Choose Growth!

Onward and upward!

As a financial blogger, I read a ridiculous amount of blog posts every week. Every once in a while, I read one which really sticks out in my mind.

Maybe it’s what I needed to hear, but this one over at GetRichSlowly really suck with me: Make the Choice Not to Decay.

Essentially, our choices send signals to our bodies about how we are using them: use it a lot by exercising frequently, and you tell your body you’re still using it, so it should go ahead and stay strong and young. Make the opposite choice and avoid exercise and you’re basically telling your body that you’re done with it, so it can go ahead and start shutting down.

While I pondered this over the course of the last day or two, I came to realize that this same principle surely applies to our minds too. If we want to stay sharp, we need to constantly learn and challenge our beliefs. It’s when we become set in our ways, when we think we already know “enough”, and that everything we know is an absolute fact, that our mental decay begins.

Like physical decay, it probably begins in your late twenties. Usually by then, people tend to get set in their ways and form strong, polarizing opinions about how the world works and our place in it. I don’t know about you, but I want a mind (and body) which is strong and supple, not one which is rigid and fragile. And that’s why I’m choosing growth!

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably already made the choice. Here’s a few steps you can take to continue growing and avoid stagnation:

  • Exercise. Often. Our ancestors exerted themselves physically every day because they had to in order to survive. We’re biologically the same as them but our lives are so much easier. We need to make it a little harder on purpose, which is what we call “exercise”.
  • Eat natural stuff. If it has a food label, it’s not really food! Real food comes from the earth, not a factory. Everything else is “edible food-like substances” and should be avoided.
  • Read. A lot. Material which is completely new is great. Material which questions what you already know is the best.
  • Set goals. Review your progress and make adjustments. Don’t feel guilty, guilt is useless! Take failure as a lesson and move on.

Choose growth for a long and happy life!

Flickr photo by http://www.samcatchesides.com/

Have a great weekend!

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13 Comments

  1. Posted April 6, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. I do a decent job on staying active. Been a little behind on hitting the gym over the last several weeks, but I’m getting back to my routine.

    When I read both the title of your post and the title of the one at GRS I thought about my job. I actually enjoy my work, but I’ve been experiencing a bit of apathy as of late. I guess this happens when you have done something long enough no matter how interesting it is or how much you like it. I’m going to choose growth and reengage myself in what I’m doing and see if I can get that spark back.

    Have a great weekend!
    The Stoic recently posted..Changing Your Life By Working Abroad: The Fun StuffMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      I’m getting back into gear with my fitness too and it feels really good.

      My job came to mind too as I’ve been feeling a bit apathetic myself. But this week, I went and talked to my manager about it and he agreed to move me to a new team with some more exciting work. Good things come to those who ask!

  2. Posted April 6, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    These are some great points and one I haven’t really thought about at a younger age.

    Whenever I’ve thought about decaying it’s about in retirement. There have been quite a few studies that show if you retire and don’t do anything then you’re going to die earlier than somebody that continued to work or was active.

    This does apply even when we’re younger though! I’m meeting a friend at the gym here in 45 minutes, so I’m trying to say active. :)
    WorkSaveLive recently posted..Blog Income and Site Statistics March 2012My Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      I think it definitely applies at a young age. It’s easier to see with the physical: muscle loss due to aging starts at age 25 with 0.5% to 1% loss per year. It’s not wonder that most people end up hunched and frail when they are 75: you’ve lost up to 50% of your muscle!

      You have to keep your body and mind active if you want to have full use of them when you’re old!

  3. Posted April 6, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The article about decaying at GRS was absolutely wonderful, I couldn’t agree more. It was masterful, man, and REALLY struck a cord! And I think your post here is a perfect follow-up. Not letting your mind decay either. I’m only in my 30s, but I can already see that I’m getting set in my ways in some regards — so you’re right, just like our bodies shouldn’t be told “it’s okay to start shutting down and closing shop”, our minds shouldn’t be told that either! GREAT followup post to the GRS post!
    Blue Collar TB recently posted..Removing Smart Fortress 2012…The Blue Collar WayMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Thanks! I really think it was exactly what I needed to hear since I was kind of in a funk the day before with regards to exercise. I’m back on the wagon though and have met my 3x a week goal for this week. I’m hoping to bump it up to 4x next week, even if it’s just a long walk or something.

  4. Posted April 6, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Great reminder DollarD. This makes a lot of sense to me. The problem is that I’ve been neglecting the whole exercise bit. My diet could be a lot better too. So next time I face a decision regarding either of those things I’m going to have to think about decay and growth. Hopefully that helps steer me in the right direction.
    Modest Money recently posted..Top Canadian Personal Finance BlogsMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      I’ve wavered back and forth in my resolve to be fit. 6 weeks on, 5 weeks off, 4 weeks on, 7 weeks off. Taking it like that will get you nowhere and I’m sure my body was really confused whether it should start or stop growing.

      It’s a choice and it all comes down to what’s important to us. My grandfather on my dad’s side died in his 60s of heart disease. I don’t want to end up like that!

  5. Posted April 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    ‘We need to make it a little harder on purpose, which is what we call “exercise”.’ This statement couldn’t be truer. Although life is easier for us than it was for our ancestors, we should make a grand effort to do as much as they had to do just to survive. As you stated, we can start byexercising.

    The point is that if you want to live a successful life, you have to work hard, and be harder on yourself. You have to put yourself through more pain than anybody else can put you through. Don’t take the easy way out. Go hard!
    Anthony Thompson recently posted..Self Management – Classic Self-Management Books You Should Start Reading TodayMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      You’re absolutely right. The path of least resistance is the path of least achievement! In all areas of life, get what you put into it!

  6. Posted April 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Agree totally, great points! We can stagnate and then decay without even knowing it. Best to stay active in mind and body and seek growth.
    Squirrelers recently posted..Driving vs Public TransportationMy Profile

  7. Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    not much for me to add.

    the last month I’ve been adjusting my eating habits and losing a few pounds in the process. An interesting side effect is that my exercising has become easier and more enjoyable in the process.

    Thanks for the link DD, but I preferred your take on it.
    jlcollinsnh recently posted..Where in the world are you?My Profile

  8. Posted April 15, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I know that I should be eating more “real stuff.” Sadly I don’t.

    This argue really makes you think though. Might be skipping my monster tomorrow morning :P
    Drew @ EpicFinances. recently posted..Apparently the Best Way to Make Money is Imagination–Caine’s ArcadeMy Profile

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