Want to do something meaningful with your life? No one is going to care about making that happen more than you do. And, if you don't really care, no one is going to do it for you. Right?
The same thing applies when it comes to your health. No one is going to care more about your health than you do.
But, why should you even care?
In this article are 3 reasons that "why" is more important that "what" when it comes to figuring out how to really make life meaningful.
Follow Your Passion? OK yeah sure, whatever. Follow your curiosity instead.
Reason #1: No one really knows what they're supposed to be doing.
"Follow your passion" might be the most generic advice ever. While, yes, that's a good idea, it's missing a huge piece of the equation. How do you figure out what your passion is?
Aside from the few child prodigies that know exactly what they're meant to do on earth from the second they're born, most people don't know. They spend the majority of their lives wishing they were doing something else but never being quite sure what that thing is.
I'm confident that you can avoid that. And, all it really takes is curiosity. And, as you'll see throughout this article, the perfect blend of curiosity and caring is what leads to discovering your genuine passion in life.
Pursuing your passion is part of what makes life meaningful.
And, your health is directly tied into not only both the ability to care and the ability to be curious, but ALSO your ability to follow your passion as you find it.
Health Is a Bridge To Curiosity
For most people, health is just background noise until something breaks down or goes wrong. The ability to function is something most people take for granted until it's not there anymore. And, for me, this was somewhat the case.
It wasn't until I had stressed my body and mind to the point where I was too depressed and anxious to write music and do work that was meaningful that I realized something absolutely had to change.
I'm here to tell you that it's worth prioritizing your health before you get to that point.
And, not only is it possible to prevent burnout and low energy. It's actually possible to go beyond the baseline of "having enough energy" or "feeling fine" towards optimal function.
By "optimal", I mean actually stretching the limits of what's possible for you. If you're a creative person or have ever ran a business you might understand what it feels like to really see what you're capable of. If you've ever spent the time honing a skill or practicing a craft, you probably know what it's like to go beyond what you thought you could do.
Those little breakthroughs are exciting. They keep you motivated and moving forward. They let you know that there's even more and this is just the beginning. They make you more curious about what's possible.
Whether you're running a business or creating art, every decision you make is going to either lead you towards your desired outcome or away from it.
Applying this lens to health allows you to contextualize everything you do throughout the day in a way that either leads you towards optimal health or away from it.
Of course, deciding you want to move towards optimal health isn't exactly the same as knowing what to to do get there (more on that later in this article) but in my opinion, deciding why you want it is actually more primary.
Every decision you make either lets you catch a deeper glimpse of your potential, or keeps you in the same range of what's already possible.
But, we have a limited amount energy through out the day. We need to sleep. We need to recharge. We need to allot a certain amount of mental and physical energy to just getting the basics done. What's left can go towards that glimmering beacon of what could be.
Curiosity Feedback Loops
See, curiosity takes energy. Apathy is the default state we go to when we don't have the mental energy to care.
It's a bit paradoxical, right? If you don't care, you're not very likely to take the time to improve yourself. And, if you're functioning sub-optimally, you're likely literally going to have less energy to care.
I wouldn't have discovered my passion for helping people use genetics to discover what food, herbs and supplements are right to put in their body if I didn't have the mental energy to be curious about how all these pieces fit together in the first place.
When I was younger, I didn't give a f#*k about either. I mostly cared about pleasure and making sure people weren't mad at me for not caring and doing the bare minimum.
It wasn't until I totally hit the wall and burnt out that I realized it was worth figuring out how to optimize my energy levels and mood so that I could care.
It wasn't until I felt what it was like to have the additional energy and focus that I realized how good it felt to really care about improving myself and what I'm capable of.
Yep, that's the paradox right there. I had to break the cycle somehow, and hitting a deep depression was somewhat of a wakeup call that forced me to either sink or swim.
I'm A Reformed Slacker
Reason #2: "Why" keeps you curious enough to figure out what.
The way I think about my health and habits is radically different than it was 5 years ago. And, it's largely because I've seen the connection between what I put into my body, the way I feel, and the way I'm able to show up in life.
I enjoy helping people with their health. I love learning. I love making and sharing music. I like satire and making people laugh. I like figuring out ways to leverage all of the above to actually make a difference in people's lives.
In the last year, I've tripled the number of coaching clients I see, guested on a bunch of podcasts, designed a brand new genetic test to help people discover how their endocannabinoid system works, raised $10,000 on Kickstarter for a satirical new age magnetic poetry set, started a brainwave entrainment product brand, and released my 4th electronic music album as Futexture and raised a bunch of money for charity.
I say this not to brag, but to illustrate how someone who considered themselves a slacker for the first three quarters of my life can go from functioning on half-empty to full-speed ahead by a) figuring out what I really care about and b) leveraging optimal health to radically increase my capacity to get things done.
I'm sharing this with you because I'm interested in helping you figure out what you really care about by giving you tools to improve your energy, mood, and focus. I care about that. It makes me feel good to help you feel good.
I also say this because I don't think I'm particularly special. In fact, I bet you're probably capable of just as much if not a lot more than I am.
I genuinely believe that you have some incredible things to offer to the world, and figuring out what those things are is often a non-linear process. I didn't just wake up one day and go "OH! I figured it out! I want to be a genetic health coach who studies the endocannabinoid system and makes music and funny magnets."
It took time to figure that out. I let myself follow opportunities and curiosity.
But, the one thing that has allowed me to grow exponentially in both my interests and capacity to follow through on them is the recognition that my habits directly impact my mood, energy, and focus. And, by figuring out what habits actually work well for my body, I've been able to design my lifestyle and nutrition in a way that supports exponential growth instead of stifles it.
Instead of just having enough energy to get things done so I can go back to watching Game of Thrones and smoking weed, I've hacked my habits to have more than enough energy and focus to actually stay curious beyond the minimum.
And trust me, that wasn't always the case...
From Slacker To Biohacker
Reason #3: Why is the bridge between Curiosity and Caring
I grew up hating school. I enjoyed a few things about it, but I rarely was challenged or engaged by it. I generally viewed it as "having to do" rather than "getting to do." I was completely unaware of the privilege I had and didn't take advantage of the educational resources I had.
I didn't realize that I loved to learn until I left school.
Growing up, at least half the comments left by teachers on my grades was something along the lines of "David is very intelligent but doesn't apply himself or do the homework."
I wasn't curious about the material. I couldn't see how it applied to me. I didn't care.
And, more importantly, looking back, I didn't have the available mental energy to be curious enough to care.
And, in my early 20's I didn't realize that staying up all night to write tracks and having a screwed up sleep schedule was further blocking me from having the energy to really care about anything but myself.
When I first decided to totally overhaul my nutrition and lifestyle, my why sounded something like "I don't want to feel like this anymore."
Good enough to start with. It got me moving in the right direction. Pain is a powerful motivator.
I wanted to stop being in my own way all the time. I wanted to stop feeling useless. I wanted to something different.
Over time, my why has shifted to "So I can have the energy and focus to write articles like this, help clients, do research, and have the energy leftover to make music and explore other new things I'm interested in."
Like I said in the beginning of this article, no one is going to care more about doing something meaningful with your life more than you.
And, eating healthy or losing weight or exercising isn't going to magically make your life meaningful.
But, it's a hell of a lot easier to figure out what you care about when you have the available health capacity to be curious.
Following your passion might be boring generic advice, but it's much easier not to be jaded by hearing it when you've actually got the mental energy reserves to do it.
I used to sneer at trite little phrases like "follow your passion" but it was only because I hadn't figured out how to actually do it.
I used to resent people that were living up to their potential because I wasn't living up to mine, and their lives served as a painful mirror to my own.
But, I'm living proof and here to tell you that making positive changes can generate an incredible positive feedback loop between curiosity, caring, and figuring out what really drives you.
And, once you figure out what really drives you, the "what" kind of just falls into place.
Your Next Steps
While this article makes a pretty good case for figuring out your reason for wanting optimal health (the "why"), I've intentionally left out the "what" and how to get there.
If you'd like some concrete steps to take to move yourself toward optimal health so you can have the extra energy you need to uplevel your curiosity quotient, join me on October 11th for a free Live Masterclass on Optimal Health For Late Night Creatives.
I'll be giving you a 4-step process to unlock your personal code to Optimal Health so you can have the energy and focus you need to take pursue your passion to the next level.
Click the link below to learn more and reserve your spot for this free opportunity.