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Big in Japan…and Other Life Lessons

end of year tips

Image thanks to heschong

Right now, I bet you’re thinking about how next year will be different from this one.

Let me offer this suggestion: Think about what went right this year, what you learned, and how you’ve grown. It’s a fine way to pat yourself on the back, and get psyched up for what challenges lie ahead.

Here are a few of the lessons that I learned this year.

Maybe they can help you too…

Not Just What, But When

You want a bad idea? My mom calls it “The sumo diet.”

Sumo wrestling is a highly revered sport in Japan. The athletes that compete in this sport don’t look like most people’s ideal of what athletes should look like. The point of sumo wrestling is to knock your opponent out of the ring, and it’s harder to get yourself knocked out if you weigh a lot. Thus, successful sumo wrestlers tend to be pretty darn big.

One way they bulk up is by eating late. They’ll have a big, hearty meal and go straight to bed afterwards. They’re sleeping on all those calories, which as we know will cause the body to just store them up as fat.

I’ve tried taking the opposite approach. I keep the majority of my caloric intake before noon, so my body will have time to burn it all off. I’ve only been consciously taking this route for a couple months, but after losing five pounds in that time, I think it might be working!

Difficult is Good

Recently, our offices moved. My morning commute used to be a simple fifteen minute bus ride. Now I have two options: take a forty-five minute bus ride crammed in with all the other 9-5ers, or take a forty-five minute walk with no one to talk to but myself. To some, this would be a question of choosing between the lesser of two evils. I chose the one that gives me my daily cardio and clears my head.  You should see my calves!

You’re Your Own Worst Enemy

We can all get held back by doubting ourselves. We see certain situations and think how we could never do that. Public speaking. Moving to a new place. Quitting a job that pays the bills but is miserable. We get trapped by our own bad head space.

Being brave is taking action despite being scared. That old saying about just having to believe? It’s true.

If you believe you can’t, then you can’t. But if you believe you could, then maybe, gosh darn it, you might…

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