The world has been going through a perceived crises for some time now. Unemployment rates are high around the globe and here in the United States the economy and jobs have been a pressing issue for the last decade.
During last November's elections there was a cry, by some folks, to elect people who will help the "job creators" - whatever that means. Never overly specific as to how those jobs would be created, the proponents of the "job creators" always tend to believe that giving economic breaks to, and loosening government regulations on, businesses will ultimately create those elusive jobs. But, I have a better idea! I've mentioned this in class many times to my university business students.
Here it is: do away with ALL government regulations on businesses. They can pollute as much as they want, ruin our water, air, and ground, to whatever extent they choose. They can also pay whatever wages they want as well...minimum wage laws would be done away with, totally. Soon, people would be hired in droves.
Plus, because there would be so much pollution, new companies would be formed to clean up all the mess our now non-regulated businesses would create. Ah...entrepreneurial ingenuity! Employment would boom! There would probably be more jobs than people to fill them.
Of course, there are MAJOR drawbacks. No one would be able to breathe clean air and respiratory sicknesses would skyrocket even further than they are now (the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries would then...need more employees too), our water would be a mess and unhealthy to drink unless heavily filtered, the plants grown in our ground would be contaminated (as would be the ground itself), the animals that ate the plants would, most likely, become less healthy (including us), and our overall health rates would deteriorate quicker than they are today (the U.S. is ranked 51st among nations of the world in life expectancy).
It is very, very, unlikely that the cleaner-uppers would be able to make our environment clean enough to negate the constant pollution emitted by the messer-uppers. And - most of us, and our children, and their children, and their children, would have an extremely tough time existing in such an environment, let alone have the money to buy much more than basic necessities.
But...people would have their precious "jobs."
It is interesting to me that people put jobs on a higher pedestal than quality of life. To paraphrase a Native-American Chief who was addressing the "White Man" about work and jobs - his words are so very prophetic: "What is this thing you call work? Everything you need is right here."
So, be careful what you wish for, strive for, and desire. Unless you fully think it through and attempt to make sure that it enhances the quality of life for everyone (including, of course, yourself), and everything, on this Earth...it can wind up being the cause of your own demise.
Smell doesn't get enough press. Yeah - that's right...it doesn't! We write and speak a lot about feeling stuff and touching things (including those we love), talking and listening (both VERY important to any type of relationship). Hearing keeps our love of music, language, and the other interesting stuff that vibrates our eardrums, at the top of our lists of things we enjoy. While seeing, looking, and viewing life as it passes stimulates us as much as, if not more than, the movies, videos, and TV shows we watch.
In fact, our society is fixated on how we look and what we see. That's what style, the fashion industry, marketing, and advertising, are all about. Including - the optical/eyewear industry - where my entrepreneurial background took shape and grew, and a field that combines both fashion and vision (in both the literal and figurative sense)
And...we certainly love the titillation of our taste buds! How else can we explain the popularity of cooking shows, restaurants, wine magazines, "liquor stores," delicatessens, food courts, food trucks, all the various food stores, and the myriad of other wonderful places and stimulating venues for our gastronomic desires!
Ahh - but what about the joys of the nose?! Smells are miraculous things. You can walk by something and its odor can take you into a memory so deeply that you actually feel like you're there. There are certain "Army smells" that transport me right back to my days in fatigues and "dress greens." The smell of a skunk instantly teleports me back to my farm and living the life of a man tilling his garden, wading in his stream, riding his tractor, and checking out his barn. So...that "skunk smell" it just fine by me. In fact, I kinda like it! I guess those memories have negated all the propaganda against the "stink of the skunk" that has been "thrown out there" during my lifetime.
Of course, the fragrance industry recognizes the monetary benefits of smell. It's been with us since recorded history. I'm sure there's an odor that reminds you of someone important in your life. It could come from the perfumeries of a designer or be strictly the work of Mother Nature.
But - some of the greatest smells of all, for me, are the odors I encounter when I walk into a bakery! Mmm...they're really tough to beat! Freshly baked bread, newly made cakes and cookies, scones, pies, bagels...yum! I can smell 'em right now! Can't you?! I always wondered how a baker can resist constantly eating all those luscious things they make. The smells alone cause my mouth to water. It's like walking into mom's kitchen on a cold winter's night when the stove, oven, and counter tops are all doin' their thing at top proficiency with the best ingredients she could buy!
So my friends, take joy in the wonders of the nose. Revel in your olfactory sense. Enjoy what nature and human innovation have provided through those waves of smells that waft up your nostrils and into your brain, to be locked there for the rest of your life and brought back as a reminder of days past and experiences lived!
Now, if only you could smell that picture at the top of this post! Does anyone have any strawberry jam?
Life is incredible. And...even though we are part of it, embody it, thrive in it, and leave it (in the form we call a person), we rarely think about how astonishing it is.
I recently wrote this post on my Facebook Community Page: "When was the last time you looked at a leaf? Really looked at it...the beauty, the intricacy, the complexity, and the fact that it's alive. Now - think about doing that more often and with more things...including yourself. How amazing this life is - how amazing!"
Do ever stop and thing about you? You...that life force who walks around, breathes, eats, sings, dances, speaks, sees, smells, feels, emotes, and disposes of waste. Wow, you - we...and all the other living things on Earth are...when you ponder it, really incredible machines. We are constantly doing. Even when we "sleep" the molecules within us are moving. Our organs pump and create, cells grow, die, and are born. So many things are happening within us that the number of cells, neurons, synapses, and other life force entities, are so enormous that reading about it boggles the mind. The same mind that's processing that information, allowing us to think, desire, relax, and on and on.
Life is not to be taken lightly. It's constantly moving. Look at your hands, your face, or any other part of your (or any other being's) body and think about the things that are happening on and in you (or them). Many of the organisms that are on our surfaces and in our bodies aren't even what make us a person (dog, cat, cockroach, tree, clam, mouse, etc.) they're aliens. Bacteria, viruses, and other "things" that, without them, we wouldn't be able to exist. They alleviate infections, process our food, and help with our overall metabolism.
We, every one of us, are to be marveled at, embraced, coveted, and admired. We are specimens of life. What more fantastic thing is there in this universe? A universe whose elements are part of us. And - while trillions of activities are happening within us in mere seconds - stop and think how absolutely fantastic life is. It truly is awe inspiring...treat it with respect.
Many students, seminar/workshop attendees, and friends, ask me what they can do to start the change process. My video outlines some initial steps that anyone can take.
This past weekend my girlfriend and I attended a very special wedding in New York City. The bride was my best friend's daughter. I've known her dad for 58 of my 64 years and her since she was born. The affair was formal, which meant I had to get my tuxedo out (I hadn't worn it for a few years) and try it on - I did, about six weeks prior to the wedding. To my surprise...it had shrunk! How the heck could that have happened while it was hanging in my closet. It must have something to do with the cycles of the sun, or the moon, or the Mayan Calendar (or something like that!). Anyway...that gave me two options. Either I had to lose weight, or have the pants "taken out."
I chose the first. I'm 5'10" (at least that's what my driver's license says - although my son will argue with that and say 5'9" - perhaps I've shrunk too, but I wasn't hanging next to my tux in the closet for last couple of years). And...have been around 180 pounds for quite a while (as attested to my last visit to the doctor - also about six weeks ago). However, I know that I wasn't that weight when I bought my penguin suite. How do I get down to "my dancing comfortably in my tux" weight? The Dan Goldberg diet - of course! No fuss, no muss, and no videos, books, or special meals to buy (from the diet company). And since this website is all about being healthy and living a healthy, productive lifestyle (physically, emotionally, psychologically, strategically, and spiritually) I'll fill you in! Here's how it works. At the end I'll give you my result.
1. Set a goal and stick to it. Make it a realistic amount within a realistic time frame. When you reach your goal, you can always set another one!
2. Exercise Daily. You don't have to join a gym to exercise. I've never been a gym member, yet I exercise every day for about 20 minutes. I've built my routine up over time - as you should - so...start with what suits you. Don't strain yourself to the point where you're pulling muscles and hurting yourself. Stretching comes first. Then side-to-side leg/body crossovers (in bed or on the floor). I do 52. I follow this with crunches and sit ups - in different reps - for a total of 420 (it sounds like a lot, but not if you do it in stages). And lastly...60 push-ups (in 2 different forms). Again, don't think you should do what I do. Set your own program and pace.
3. Eat better food and less sweets. Stay away from additives, preservatives, artificial hormones, in fact...artificial anything. Your body is all you have (physically), so treat it with respect. Don't feed yourself crap! I'm NOT saying that you should be a fanatic though. Of course...if there's nothing organic around and you're starving - "natural" can suffice. Above all, stay away from junk. Soda (pop), donuts, and all those other sugary/processed foods and drinks are what's adding unnecessary pounds to our populace. I know it's tempting to eat lots of cookies and sweets (my toughest part of this area), but...trust me, it'll pay off.
THE NEXT TWO POINTS WERE MY BIGGEST CHALLENGES
4. Eat smaller portions. We Americans "supersize" everything, including our portions. You're better off eating smaller portions and doing so a bit more frequently (perhaps 5 times a day), than gorging yourself with 3 huge meals. Before my six week sojourn my portions were always very large (especially dinner). Now, my biggest meal is breakfast (which normally includes organic: oatmeal, powdered acai, blueberries, strawberries, raisins, walnuts, a little honey, and a mug of coffee, all followed by a 1/2 square of dark chocolate).
5. Do push aways. That's one of the best exercises you can do. Push that plate (or food container) away when you feel full. Put the extra food back in the pantry, the frig, or the bread basket. And...don't be a bread freak. Overdoing bread (like anything else) can add weight fast. I'm a breadaholic...can eat a lot of it, day in and day out. So...this was a huge change for me.
6. Leave your abode. Get out of the house/apartment/condo and walk, run, stroll...whatever. Enjoy the scenery around you. Smell the flowers, look at the birds, laugh, and you'll find that you're "magically" away from food and really don't care!
7. Tell someone you're on a diet. Being accountable is part of the process. When I told my girlfriend and son that I was going to lose weight, I had two people, besides myself, who could hold me accountable. I like to do what I say I'm gonna do, so...this helped motivate me. And...it can do the same for you.
Well - that's the Dan Goldberg diet. Of course when you do it, it'll have your name as its title. It's not hard, doesn't cost anything - in fact you'll save money. And...if you stay with it, you can lose twelve pounds in six weeks like I did (or more, or perhaps a bit less). But, it has certainly changed the way I eat.
Lastly, at the start of my diet I said that I would allow myself to eat whatever I wanted at the wedding, and I stuck to my word. Plus...I ate very well at the brunch the next day. But, I also said that I'd get right back on the horse as soon as the brunch was over. I did, and will continue my new eating habits because...it just feels right and I feel pretty good without those extra pounds! I'm sure you will too!