Have you ever brushed your teeth for 90 minutes straight?
Of course not. Because it doesn’t take that long to get fresh breath and a sparkling smile. Two minutes twice a day is plenty.
What if taking care of the rest of your health –– mental, emotional, and physical –– could also be that easy?
Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, resident BBC Breakfast doctor and author of the internationally bestselling book Feel Better in 5, is on MarieTV today to tell us that “Yes, great health really CAN be that simple.”
It’s not repetition that wires new habits –– it’s emotion. @drchatterjeeuk Click To Tweet
From reducing anxiety and pain to upping your energy and focus, Dr. Chatterjee shares simple, effective ways you can transform your health in 5 minutes a day.
In our conversation Dr. Chatterjee breaks down decades of medical practice into digestible “health snacks” you can use today:
4:40 — The Motivation Myth debunked. 9:01 — When to set new health goals (& why most people get it wrong). 10:16 — Amazon’s 1-Click formula for massive results with minimal effort. 19:08 — The Toothbrush Method you *must* follow for change that lasts. 25:48 — Want to raise healthier kids? The actual chart Dr. Chatterjee uses with his family. 26:17 — The crucial “health snacks” that have nothing to do with food.
If you’ve ever thought you need more time or motivation to be healthier, please watch this. A healthier mind, body, and heart is closer than you might think.
Hit play to watch now or listen on The Marie Forleo Podcast.
Now it’s your turn. What’s one small daily habit you have that makes you feel better every day? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Remember, it’s not willpower or motivation that makes the difference. Like Dr. Chatterjee says, “Absolutely everyone can make lasting change and improve the quality of their life. Starting small works.”
Some of the best conversation starters are “what would you do” scenarios. Ask a hypothetical question with friends, and you’re guaranteed some interesting answers. The goal here is to enjoy each other’s company while letting others see more of the way your mind works. To that end, enjoy our hypothetical questions list. You’ll see them …
Do you ever feel like you’re completely overwhelmed with things to do, yet you’re still not doing enough? Maybe you thought you’d be further ahead in life than you are right now, or maybe you have this list in the back of your head of things you *should* be doing.
No matter what, whatever you’re doing doesn’t quite seem to be enough. Seeing other people’s successes can trigger this feeling of inadequacy. Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself can also cause this feeling that nothing is ever quite good enough.
Of course, there’s always room for improvement in our lives, but it feels like a never-ending rat race when you’re constantly chasing the next thing. It’s overwhelming to feel like you need to do everything.
When you start to feel like you’re not doing enough, it’s easy to overwhelm yourself even more. Feeling like you should or could be doing more only puts more stress on your already heavy shoulders.
In this post, I’m sharing how I’ve been dealing with this feeling of not doing enough. You’ll also find some practical tips to counter this fear if you’ve been feeling the same way.
What Causes the Fear of Not Doing Enough?
Though I’m doing plenty, there’s always more I think I could or should be doing because there’s pressure to always be busy. This pressure can manifest itself from internal expectations you set for yourself, as well as those from the outside world, like work, society, relationships, etc.
Family members and friends who have good intentions might say things like, “You should be doing this” or “I saw this person doing this, you should try it too.”
Maybe you feel like you’re not getting any recognition for what you’re doing at work, so you start to think you’re doing something wrong or simply not doing enough. That pressure only adds to the weight of your to-do list.
Something I’ve learned is that I often overwhelm myself more than anything else. A simple check-in helps when I feel overwhelmed. I ask myself, “Am I the one causing this extra stress?” If the answer is yes, I take ownership of the issue and try to take things off my to-do list. If it’s caused by someone else, I ask myself, “How can I set better boundaries with this person or communicate my needs better?”
Another reason for feeling inadequate is the comparison game. I often feel like I’m not doing enough because I compare myself to other people. In reality, whatever I see from other people is a highlight reel, a curated version that they want me to see. That’s not necessarily bad because creating (even if it’s sharing your mundane daily life) is an art. Making life seem more interesting is an art.
But I realize that I don’t often find myself comparing my life to my close friends and family. I think that’s because I see their successes, but I also see their struggles. It reminds me that we all have highs and lows.
When I find myself in the comparison trap, I remember that I’m not seeing the full picture of someone’s life. Whatever they’re doing does not affect how well I’m doing. In reality, they’re probably comparing themselves to someone else too.
Whatever you’re doing is enough. There is nothing more you have to add to your to-do list. Focus less on what you ‘should’ be doing and focus more on what you ‘need’ to be doing. You already know what that is deep down.
Not feeling good enough can also come from perfectionism, even from the most mundane of things. I posted a quote on Instagram the other day and as soon as I’d posted it, I felt like it wasn’t any good. It was literally just a quote on a social media platform. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I felt like there was something better I could have posted. Something more meaningful. Something more impactful.
I have to remind myself that even the smallest thing can be meaningful. Having someone comment and say “I needed this reminder today” is enough. The simple act of me sharing something is enough.
Sometimes I have to take a step back and remember that every little step is part of something bigger. Every little step we take contributes to our growth or our decline.
In the book, The Power of Focus, the authors talk about how everything in life is built on tiny little actions. Good friendships flourish from small efforts – sending a text, sharing a meme, or meeting up for coffee. Over time, these little things build a closer relationship. Other relationships dwindle because you stop texting, stop checking in, or get into an argument and don’t attempt to smooth it over.
Every little thing you’re doing is adding up to build something greater. This reminds me that the small things I’m doing- no matter how perfect or imperfect they are – actually are worthwhile. Whatever you’re doing is enough.
3 Tips For When You Feel Behind
When you find yourself thinking “I’m not doing enough”, here are a few things that can help:
1. Stop making your to-do list so long. Do fewer things with intention.
When you’re working on a bunch of things at once, you might feel like you’re making progress, but divided attention makes it difficult to actually get ahead. Progress requires dedicated focus.
Stop overwhelming yourself and do fewer things extraordinarily well. If you’re thinking, ‘But there’s so much I could do…how do I know what to focus on?’ You know what you need to do deep down. You know what you could do, but what do you need to do? Ask yourself this question often.
There’s always something more that could be done, but it’s not always necessary. Focus on what’s necessary. Focus on what fits into the vision you have for your life, business, career, family, and health.
If you often get to the end of the week and wonder whether you’ve accomplished anything, keep a log of what you do on a daily basis. I tracked my time for a week and saw that I was spending a lot of time on things that weren’t even important to me.
Evaluate your time and see where your efforts are going. You’re going to a) realize you’re doing more than you think and/or b) realize you’re spending your time in the wrong ways. If you think you’re spending it in the wrong ways, mindfully plan your schedule using time blocks based on your top priorities.
One of the most powerful switches I ever made when changing my entire life was switching up my identity.
And while I never did it overnight, I successfully did it in multiple areas:
I changed from a smoker to a non-smoker — and once I did, I stopped thinking of smoking as something to do when I was stressed.
I went from meat-eater to vegetarian (and later to vegan). It literally took meat off the menu for me, so that I didn’t even consider eating it.
I thought of myself as a marathoner. Later, as just someone who exercises regularly to stay fit and healthy. It meant that there was no question I was going to exercise, even if I fell out of it for a bit because of disruptions.
I became a meditator (and later Zen student). That means even if I stop meditating for a little bit, I’ll always come back to it.
I became a writer. Sure, before this change, I did write, but not daily (join my Create Daily Challenge in Sea Change if you want to change this one!).
I became a minimalist. Actually, before I decided to call myself that, there wasn’t really anyone else who called themselves “minimalists”. The purposeful change in identity allowed me to free myself of clutter and enjoy a life of less.
There are dozens of other examples: as a father, unschooling parent, early riser, reader, teacher, speaker, entrepreneur, someone who takes meticulous care of his finances … every time I’ve made a major (or minor) life change that stuck, I changed my identity.
It’s more powerful than most people realize, and it’s doable.
The Subtle Benefits of Changing Your Identity
While it takes a little work, if you can shift how you see yourself … you’ll likely notice some of these benefits that aren’t obvious to most people:
You’ll stop doing (some of) the behaviors that you used to do. Stop smoking, stop eating meat, stop playing video games, whatever someone with your identity wouldn’t do.
You’ll make the behaviors you want become a given. If you’re a writer, you write every day. No questions asked. If you’re an entrepreneur, you … entreprendre every day? You know what I mean.
Things that you have to debate yourself about … become not a question. This saves you a lot of mental energy. It becomes much less of a daily struggle.
You can change some long-standing beliefs about yourself. That you can’t do this, that you’re no good at this, that you aren’t someone who does this. If they’re not serving you, toss em!
You begin to get a mindset that you can change anything. That you’re not stuck in old ways, but someone who can grow and become new possibility.
There are more benefits, but I’m going to let you discover them on your own. By now, it’s probably best to get to the How.
How to Change Your Identity
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as flipping a switch and bam presto! You’re a new person. However, it’s eminently doable.
It can be done a million different ways, but here are some points I’ve found important:
Do it consciously. We can change our identity without doing it intentionally … but I’ve found that it works much better if you do it intentionally. Doing it accidentally is like blindly stumbling upon something amazing — I wouldn’t count on it, but if you wander around long enough, it’ll probably happen. Instead, make it an intention to consciously shift your identity in this area.
Think about who you want to be. Do you want to be a person who writes every morning? A person who only eats plant-based foods? Someone who buys very little? Write it down: “I am a morning meditator.”
Intentionally start doing the actions. Set up visual reminders, phone reminders, whatever you need to do … but start doing the things that you would do if you’re this new version of yourself. If you’re a runner, go run.
BE the new version of you. Doing the actions is one thing, but you might be doing it while thinking that this is so not you. Instead, do the actions as if you were already that person. See yourself as the runner, the early riser, the vegan. Feel it in your being. Stand as this person.
Reinforce it by appreciating yourself. Each day, have a minute where you look back and see what you did. And appreciate this about yourself. See that you’re already shifting. “Yeah, this is happening, good job me!” We tend to focus on the bumps in the road rather than the progress we’re making.
When you falter, think about what this new version of you would do. Notice I said “when you falter,” not “IF.” Even a Zen teacher misses a day of meditation sometimes. That’s a part of life. We don’t always do things “perfectly” … but a Zen teacher wouldn’t miss a day of meditation and then just give up. She’d just sit the next day. A runner will get back into it even after a week of disruption (maybe due to visitors, illness, travel, injury, etc.). Don’t think of the disruption as proof that you’re not a runner, but instead approach the disruption as if you are a runner.
Again, there are many other things you can do. As your new identity, you’ll think of them! The How actually works itself out once you start to Be the new identity.
A Caveat: Don’t Fix Your Identity & Become Rigid
It’s important to note that creating a new identity for yourself — seeing yourself in a new way — can also. have some pitfalls. A big one is that you might create a fixed, rigid view of yourself.
For example, if you create a new identity of yourself that you’re an early riser, that could come with the rigidity that you’ll never stay up late or sleep in a little. And if your family has a gathering that’s later in the evening, you might just pass — not because it will impact anything important, but because of a rigid view of yourself.
There are lots of other possible examples: if I always work hard, then I can’t take a rest; if I am an expert in my field, then I can’t ever admit I’m wrong.
We don’t want our view of ourselves to limit us always. Some limits are helpful, if they’re chosen consciously (i.e. a limit of no meat means I don’t harm animals). Other limits can be unhelpful, if they don’t let us do what would be beneficial in a situation.
So while shifting identity can be helpful, I encourage you to not be too rigid. Think of your identity as fluid, something you can shift as needed, consciously.
I encourage you to pick one area at a time. Don’t try to shift everything about yourself. Choose one, and apply the steps above.
Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”
We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.
Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.
From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.
Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.
And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.
And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.
So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.
To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.
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