Friday, February 22, 2019

The Happiness Hypothesis By Jonathan Haidt Top 10 Lessons (Part 1)

After re-reading The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, I have found a few key lessons that will help you to grow happier in your own life.

When I first read this book a couple of years back, I did not understand much of it and the text went over my head for the most part.  

After reading it the second time through I found between 20-30 parts of the book that really spoke to me.

I compiled a list of the top 10 lessons from the book and wanted to share 5 of them with you here today in part 1 of the top 10 lessons from The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt!

1. Play your role in the universe.

"The message of the Bhagavad Gita (a central text of Hinduism) is that you can't quit the game entirely; you have a role to play in the functioning of the universe, and you must play that role.  But you should do it in the right way, without being attached to the "fruits" or outcomes of your action."

If you are a follower of Ganifit, you know that I have talked on this same subject over the past few months.  I strongly believe that we all have our own role in this life.  Sadly most of us don't even try to play that role, because we try to follow what others say we should do.

But for one minute, take out the time here before reading on to really think of how much better your own life, the lives of those you deeply care for, and the world as a whole will be if you start or continue to take action on your gift to the universe.

Each and everyone one of us has a role to play.  To be exceptional in our lives.  You were put here at this specific time for a reason.  You have some gift and some role to play.  

This quote from The Happiness Hypothesis is one of the best ways to realize how to be happier in your own life.  

Personally I find that whenever I am doing an activity that allows me to play my role in the universe that I always end up feeling happier, during that time and the rest of my day.  

As an example, as I write this blog I feel good while writing because I am sharing something that I know is going to help you live your life a little bit happier.

What is it for you?  Have you been practicing your role in the universe, or do you need to start your role in the universe?

2. Acknowledge the fault.

This one is going to be hard for many of you.  That is ok, it is hard for me and everyone else on Earth to acknowledge their own faults.

Think of it like this.  As an example, how often do you notice other people slacking off in some way?  Maybe its with their workouts, diet, or playing video games for hours on end, or watching too much TV.  

Now I mentioned that, you probably thought of other people that do these same exact things.  But how often do you notice yourself do the same?

It is always going to be easier to notice when others make mistakes than when you make a mistake.  It is human nature.

Haidt suggests that if we acknowledge our own faults that it will be painful at first, but by digging into the faults we will be rewarded with a flash of pleasure and a hint of pride.  Similar to the feeling you get when you pull a splinter from your skin.  

I believe this is not only important for happiness, but to live a better life as a whole.  If you are able to acknowledge your own faults it will also be able to help you with lesson number 1 (play your role in the universe) as you will get to know yourself better.

3. Know your baseline state.

Haidt suggests that when something good happens to us, or something bad happens to us, that we will eventually go back to feeling the way that we feel most of the time.

You can think of this in terms of when you have bought something that you have wanted.  For a while, you will feel a sense of a rush once you bought this thing.  But after a while you notice yourself go back to your baseline way of feeling.

The opposite is also true.  If for example this same thing that you really wanted was to be damaged.  You may be devastated for a while, but then go right back to your baseline state.

Why I believe this lesson is huge is because by knowing our baseline state (the way we feel most of the time) we will from there be able to find ways to increase that baseline.

A couple ways to do this that are described in The Happiness Hypothesis are through meditation, cognitive therapy, and prozac.

Personally, I can only speak on meditation and what I have felt from doing meditation on a regular basis.  (If you have done cognitive therapy, or use prozac, I would love to hear how they work for you!)

I have just started to get back into 20 minutes of meditation per day like I used to do.  Although as of writing this I have only done 2 days in a row.  When I would mediate in the past, every single day, I noticed that it would help me to be more patient, calm, and centered in my daily life.  

I find that after about 5 days of meditating I start to notice these benefits in my own life, but once I fall off I start to notice that my baseline state gets lower.  When I make time to meditate every single day, my baseline is higher.  I am also able to come from a better space more often than when I do not meditate.

4. Happiness comes from within / focus on what you can control.

One of the easiest ways I have found to feel unhappy and stressed is by focussing on the things that I can not control.  Every time I do this simple action, I always find myself stressing out.

Focusing on what you can not control not only stresses you out but also is just a plain waste of time and energy.

I know there are different degrees to this, some things you can not control are bigger than others. 
The Happiness Hypothesis By Jonathan Haidt Top 10 Lessons (Part 1)
As an example, if you have bad eyesight, would you sit there and complain about how bad your eyes are (something you can't control).  Or would you go get your eyes checked and get glasses, contacts, or eye surgery (something you can control).

The first option will make you unhappy and feel like a victim.  The latter will put you in control of your eyes and help you see like normal.

5. Turn inward.

For part one of this blog, I believe this is the one lesson that would bring these points from The Happiness Hypothesis together.  

As humans we must share our life from inwards out.  What Haidt believes will cause unhappiness is by making the world conform to your will.

This way of thinking that the world revolves around us is a guaranteed way to live an unhappy and unfulfilled life.  

Once we start to turn inward (a great way is through meditation) we start to notice that we are actually the creators of our own world.  Instead of trying to make everything work our way, for ourselves, we must first turn inwards.  Once we turn inwards towards our true selves, we will have true inner growth.

With this inner growth we will then be able to spread it throughout the universe (the opposite of making the world / universe conform to us, which is a form up taking rather than expanding).

Closing thoughts.

I hope that you have gained massive value from these first 5 lessons from The Happiness Hypothesis.  By implementing at least one these lessons into you life today, you will without a doubt start to notice a positive change in how you feel throughout the day!

Live your life to the fullest,


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Why I Will No Longer Consider Myself A Hard Gainer And Why You Should Do The Same.

Over the time I have created the Ganifit blog and Youtube channel I have been considering myself a hard gainer, and using the term "hard gainer" in several blogs and videos.  And this is great, it may give you something to connect with, and is an easy term to understand.

The problem I am having with using this term is I feel, for myself, that as long as I consider myself a hard gainer, I will always have some kind of trouble for gaining muscle.

However I may still use this term in some of my videos and blogs so it is easy for you to find what you are looking for when you search for something such as "How to gain muscle as a hard gainer".

The reason I am going to no longer consider myself a hard gainer is because over the time that I have started my personal journey, I have always been considering myself a hard gainer.  Which from the books I have read, podcasts I have listened to, and Youtube videos I have watch over this time, I have heard many people talk about small barriers that block people from becoming successful in their given field.  Many of us aren't even aware that we are blocking ourselves, but from what I have heard from several people that I consider successful, is that we are what we think of ourselves as.

So if I am always calling myself a "hard gainer" then I will always have trouble gaining muscle and this will be who I think I am supposed to be in my subconscious.  But for an example, if I flip the language I use and start to perceive myself as a bodybuilder, then I will find it easier to gain muscle, and train more like a bodybuilder would train, eat like a bodybuilder would eat, etc.
Why I Will No Longer Consider Myself A Hard Gainer And Why You Should Do The Same.
How this can apply to your life.

What I am talking about here, not only applies to how you perceive yourself in terms of health and fitness, but how you perceive yourself in any area of life.

To name a few common things many people think about themselves, maybe you are always thinking deep down you "always mess things up" "just can't lose weight" or "I'm never good enough"

If you are currently carrying any type of language that is limiting yourself from living your best life, I want you to write it down right now, whatever it is just accept it for the moment.  Next I want you to write down one belief for each limiting belief that could break your limiting beliefs.

If you have one limiting belief that is OK, if you have 1,000 that is also OK.  

Once your have identified a way to flip your limiting beliefs to beliefs that will work for you and serve you along your journey, just start by implementing one empowering belief into your life.

How implementing empowering beliefs will change your life.

By identifying your limiting beliefs, writing them down, and implementing empowering beliefs, you will be making things easier on yourself.  You will no longer have to keep hitting the wall you are currently hitting.  Instead you will blast right through that wall, crumbling it into a million pieces.

Now by no means am I saying your goals are just going to be a walk in the park and all rainbows, where you can just sit there and wait for things to happen.  But by taking away these limiting beliefs and replacing them with empowering beliefs, along with taking action towards your goals, it will feel a lot easier than it has in the past.

As an example, as I write this blog I also wrote down my limiting beliefs on the notes app on my phone.  I found that one of my limiting beliefs was being a "bad writer" because most of the time in school I would rarely get A's on writing assignments.  But by doing the exercise of making this limiting belief and empower one, I switched that I was a "bad writer" into "my writing positively impacts billions of people around the world".  Now although this may not be true for the current moment in my life (as I don't yet have an audience of that many people) it has rewired my mind to write as if I already am writing to that many people.  And if I view my these blogs as something that is a positive impact on the world I am also going to be writing with more emotion.

Closing thoughts.

It has taken me years to actually implement this into my own life.  Which I know has in turn set me back years in terms of where I could be today if I actually implemented this mindset when I first heard about it.  I wrote this in hopes that you will implement this today, instead of waiting years, and wasting your own time by having limiting beliefs, that make you stay right where you are and stop you from achieving your goals.

Although I have neglected this in the past, I wanted to write this as a way to share my own experience, in hopes that it will help you to take action today to live your best, healthiest life!

Join me along this journey, and lets start to grow together.

Live your life to the fullest,


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Why I Started Adding 1 Set To Each Exercise (From Skinny To Bodybuilder).

I really wanted to start to share with you a tip that I am currently testing at this time in my life.  I am testing this because I believe it is always a good idea to test new things to find stuff that might work better for you in your life.

Over the next couple months I am going to be testing this strategy out, of adding one more set to each of my exercises (accounting for about 8 extra sets per workout since I do approximately 8 exercises per workout in the gym).

I am hoping this helps me grow muscle faster since I will be training my muscle groups 25% more than I have been over the past year or so.  One reason I am doing this to get to 165 lbs as fast as possible in a healthy way, but another, even more important reason is that by adding these extra sets to my workouts, I have already noticed I am pushing myself a little bit more in my daily life with the other activities I do, including writing this blog right now.  Because I didn't even plan on writing this today, I was going to plan it for another day.

What can you gain from doing this?
why you need to add one set to each exercise for maximum muscle and brain growth
Imagine yourself right now, instead of walking out of the gym just doing the bare minimum, and feeling the same as you always do, imagine yourself walking out of the gym head held high, feeling like the champ you really are!

You may currently be saying to yourself "that sounds really cool Brian, but how is this going to help me?"

Besides being able to have more courage to push yourself more, you will feel like a champ the second you walk out of that gym.

It is very easy to get stuck in a workout routine and always just do the same thing over and over with no change whatsoever.  The second you decided to push yourself and add some more sets you may start to say "This is going to take too long"  or  "Doing this much of a workout is too exhausting".  But the second you complete your workout, how do you think you will feel by proving to yourself that you can complete it?

Only you can answer this for yourself.  However I would like to share with you exactly how I feel after completing my workouts over the past week by implementing this strategy into my lifting.

I have been in the gym 4 days in the past 7 days, and each day I implemented this technique.  3 out of the 4 days were super productive for me outside of the gym.  The only day I didn't feel to great was Saturday, but I think I just woke up on the "wrong side of the bed" if you will, for achieving my goals.  Regardless of this, I still felt amazing during my workout and after accomplishing what I set out to accomplish during that workout.

Closing thoughts.

I am hoping this becomes a useful part of your life.  First start out with pushing yourself a little more in your workouts, and then after a while start to carry this same philosophy into other areas of your life as well.

If you have gained massive value from reading, and implementing this into your workout I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on how much it has made a positive impact on your life as a whole!

Live your life to the fullest,