Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gods and Ghosts

I remember the first time I had a real debate about religion.

I was in high school and was home, online, in an AOL chat room with some of my friends - one of whom was a devout Baptist.

I remember feeling rather strongly about arguing for logic and science and what I believed to be common sense, while he was more focused on his beliefs that were acquired through years of church activities and religious teachings.

I stood by my seemingly bullet-proof claim that the Bible and stories of Jesus and the like were all just extravagant tales written by men who had no connection to God. I distinctly recall saying how aliens from another planet could've landed here thousands of years ago and planted these beliefs, and there's just as much "proof" to support that happening as there is to support the elaborate stories of Jesus found in the Bible.

Fast forward a little over a decade later and I still have pretty much the same view on the topic.
(I have a love of logic. So sue me!)

Movies such as this one below further that belief:

Though not 100% accurate, Zeitgeist shows what I believe to be much more of a factual explanation of the origins of Jesus and Christianity.

However, it's only in recent years that I've come to the enlightened conclusion that arguing about the accuracy of religion by using logic is utterly pointless.
No one can ever truly prove or disprove the stories in the Bible or the Koran or the Torah, etc.

But, not only is an argument about the validity of these stories one you can't win, but it's also one that isn't really worth having at all.

Let's be realistic - The whole reason for the existence of religion is to give people some sense of hope and purpose in their lives.

It's goals are to teach goodness, which will ideally lead to happy people in happy societies. So in the end, any reasonable person will realize that nobody wants to be the one to try and discredit anything meant to spread happiness and goodness.

So whether you can put your faith in these ideals or not, it's purpose is what's really important.

Similarly, I've also adopted a deeper understanding of the concept of ghosts.
Since I love logic, you can probably understand that I am skeptical of the notion of spirits and hauntings, etc. I can't watch any of the Ghost Hunter shows without thinking that anyone who claims to "experience" something is just another person who has succumbed to the power of suggestion.

But after thinking about it, the real answer seems almost too obvious:
People believe in God for the same reason they believe in ghosts -- the prospect of something after death!

What a great relief it must be to believe that we aren't just clumps of cells that live and die and decompose in a mundane scientific cycle, but instead, we are all unique souls that live on in a beautiful world that we can never truly explain or understand.

May God bless you all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Live the Moment

I thought about death.

I thought about losing someone close to me.

I thought about something unexpected happening that dramatically changed my life forever, and wondered how I’d feel and how I’d react.

I stopped and tried to envision how my outlook of life would change and what paths I’d choose to go down afterward.

The only problem with thinking so deeply like that about the future, is that it inevitably brings you back to thinking about the present and where you stand at this moment.

It's cliché, but life is short.

A long, hard look at the bigger picture almost always enlightens you to the fact that there's no good reason to sit around and wait for what you want to come to you.

You can't wait for life to come knocking at your door or just fall into your lap.

Living well is not something you can do passively.

Let that be your mantra and I sincerely believe amazing things will happen.

"You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done. It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it!"
--Wayne Dyer

RIP Rik T.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who Are you?

It's February.

If you had any New Year's resolutions and managed to keep them 'til now, GOOD JOB.

Research shows that it takes 21 days/times to make something a habit.
So if you've made it this far, DON'T FUCK IT UP!!!

So here we are - a little over a month into 2010 and what have I got to show for it?

Well, I did spend a week in Puerto Rico, trekking through the rain forest, touring the Bacardi distillery and exploring Old San Juan.

I'm also getting over a really rad strep throat.

But I'm a man focused on progress this year, and like my last post made clear, becoming a better person should be a consistent, never-ending battle in many aspects.

....such as fitness.

Here is a blog post
from one of my favorite training authorities.

My favorite quote from it: "If you are too stupid to realize that regular exercise and a healthy diet is a necessary part of life I’m not going to waste my time telling you. Get on some prescription drugs, order a sausage pizza and watch another episode of Friends."

Beautifully said!

Motivation has to come from WITHIN, people!
You also have to discover your own drive and determination to achieve any kind of goals - fitness or otherwise- that you truly desire.

Like Jason says, "You either want to do something or you don't"

I have people coming to me for fitness and nutrition advice, and they seem disappointed when they ask me how they can get a six-pack or lose arm fat and I say they need to change their diet.

Not to call anyone out, but I'll never forget a certain someone who said she'd rather double her time on the treadmill than give up the 5 spoonfuls of sugar in her cereal or stop eating rice with every meal.
Well guess what............
"You either want to do something or you don't"

NOTHING worth achieving comes easily - including a healthy body.
If you ask me for advice, I will ask you what your goals are and I WILL offer you a genuine, heartfelt opinion that I think will help you.
I WILL NOT tell you about some secret, all-powerful exercise or supplement or piece of equipment that will transform your life, because none exists.

But this isn't just a fitness rant, it's a lifestyle rant.

A friend recently shared with me this NY Times article about an intense research study that revealed the power of social circles.

Your close friends, not-so-close friends, and even your friends' friends, can have a dramatic effect on whether you're happy, addicted to something, fit, overweight, etc.

If this isn't a wake-up call to reevaluate the people in your life, I don't know what is.

Hanging out with guys who drink 4-5 beers or sodas a day or eat a large bag of Doritos with their lunch will prevent you from getting that leaner body you say you want.

Likewise, accompanying your buddies on a smoke break will hurt your chances of quitting.

But spending time with that healthy friend with similar goals WILL help you dramatically!

Energy is contagious!
Use it to your advantage!

Here's hoping you may you find positive people to help you with your goals.

Best of luck.