Sunday, July 1, 2007

What do you do with 18-20 Hours of Free Time?

18-20 Hours of Free Time each day...what do you do?

The above dish? I call it the Fig-Sunflower medley. In the middle is a puree of fresh figs, then surrounding that is a pate of dried figs, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, and dates. This is all sitting on a bed of shredded golden beets. Beautiful, right?

My goal in life for the past 5 years was to reach semi-retirement by the age of 35. By semi-retirement, I mean that I am still active, but I am doing something that I love and making enough money to get by. Plus I would have enough savings to live off of interest and investments. I wanted to achieve this so I could devote my free time to things that I love. Things that I choose to do, and not that I have to do.

However, for most of my life right now, this has become the case, and I didnt even realize it until recently.

I have the daily schedule of a retired person. Well...I probably do a TON more than they do, but overall, its pretty similar. I wake up, go to the gym, ride bike, read, watch movies, stretch, and listen to audio books as much as possible. Whenever I am walking or in the subway or even in the kitchen, I have an audio-book playing on my ipod. It has made my life 100 times richer. I do have castings, but again, Im listening to audio-books as I go there and wait in line. Always adding to the knowledge...

With this free-time I was forced to ask the question: "What can I do to make the most out of this excess time and enjoy it as well?" We have to ask ourselves questions so we can come up with the best answers. Most people just go along with the flow and dont ask questions that can lead to answers that open up whole new areas of life and possibility.

My whole thing is about self-improvement. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. I want to learn and study as much as I desire. I want my body to be in supreme physical condition, and I want to be connected with the life-force of the universe. This might sound really cheesy, but I have to admit that these areas are what I focus on.

I cant recommend enough getting an ipod. Just get the ipod nano...they really are such a good investment and give back so so so much to the user. Not even that expensive when you compare it to going out to eat a few times. And you can enjoy it for years, not just for an hour like a meal. I get audio books from the library or from friends (or download them), and this way no matter what I am doing during the day, I can be implanting knowledge into my mind. The great thinkers of the world have discovered so much, and have left so much of that knowledge available to everyone...its a complete tragedy that we choose not to take any advantage of this. We could make life so much easier for ourselves by learning from them, and then expanding on their knowledge and pushing the evolution of ideas so much further.

The physical part...just being active and making it as fun as possible. And effective as possible. Going to the gym before breakfast for one hour is like going to the gym for two hours after breakfast. The results will really be doubled if you go there on an empty stomach. Its amazing. And I watch TV while Im on the treadmill, and listen to good music that is motivating. I ride my bike almost everywhere now, so my heart is always beating fast. And plus...I live in NY so Im walking wherever I have to go. When I got back to Minnesota and Im using the car alot, it amazes me how little movement I get during the day. And this is how 99% of the population lives in this country. Its no wonder that most of their bodies are in horrible condition.

Flexibility is big for me now, so Im always trying to stretch. Whenever I have a free minute I stretch anything - my neck, my shoulders, my calves, whatever is convenient. And its all about CONSISTENCY. Every day! Just a little bit every day makes the difference. Continuous and never-ending improvement!

Michael Jordan was not born with god-given talents...he practiced every day of the year while other kids were sitting inside watching cartoons. If their is anything god-given about it, it was his discipline and passion for improving. You must realize this...its all about continuous improvement through training. Bruce Lee became the best in the world because he practiced for HOURS AND HOURS each day. You reap what you sow. To say that God gave them this gift is an excuse for not reaching great heights yourself. People say this for, art, athleticism...all of the masters in these areas have devoted their lives to improving themselves with their craft...while most people were going to work and watching TV at night. THINK ABOUT IT.

Spiritually...I lay in bed every night and let feelings of gratitude flow out of my heart. I am so thankful for the people in my life, and for the opportunities I have. I think by being thankful more flows towards you. Reading and audio-books helps so much in this aspect too...learning about mystics and quantum physics and religions of the worlds, the ones that are liberating as well as the ones that are enslaving to the mind. We have to learn where we have been so we can take the next step in our evolution. I listen to the free podcast of "Speaking of Faith" from NPR every week and that has added so much to my understanding of religion and spirituality. And its free!! We dont have to hire professors or even buy books to learn...there is so much free knowledge available to us in this society that we have no excuse now for not being super-human.

I do realize though that we aren't all blessed with free time like me. My diet is so clean and light that my body is no longer stressed with digestion so I wake up after four hours of sleep totally refreshed. When I would go back to cooked food, I would wake up after 6 hours, maybe even 8. And it would take about 1-2 weeks to get back to 4 hours. This gives allot more time to be creative.

Plus, I DONT HAVE TO COOK MY FOOD. And I dont have to scrub pots and pans. I eat fresh fruit, whip up a salad or a smoothie, and GET ON WITH LIFE. I love making creations in the kitchen, but that is more of an artistic outlet for me than a daily way of living. No scubbing or dishwashing...and there is no meat or nasty bacteria near my food so all I have to do is rinse of my plate with a little dish soap and thats it. Think of the energy savings...

So multi-task and get those audio-books into your life. Do exercises in front of the TV before you leave for work or before bed. Do boxing moves, or ab-crunches, or shoulder will feel it. Your heart will beat, and after one month you will see a difference. Consistency is the key though. You can do this...look at my examples...sure I have a ton of free time, but think about all the free time you would have if your diet was more simple, or if you just did two things at once? Those TV-exercise routines can totally transform your body after a while, and it will be alot more painless and easy than getting all your stuff and heading out to the gym. Just do it at home! Even spend $30 and get some 5lb and 10lb weights...there are no excuses anymore. Love yourself and make the right choice to evolve and become all that you are capable of becoming. You are more than what you are.

I spend too much time in the kitchen, but I listen to audio-books the whole time, and I love creating new dishes with my imagination. I just heard about people waiting for up to a day in line for the new iphone....I hope they brought an (audio) book with them.

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