- Hara Hachi Bu
Sometimes it feels like our brain waits the very last minute to remind us about the things our body requires to function properly. It’s only when you get the alert from your body that you know you went too far. When you forget to drink regularly or when you eat too much food in one go, the only alerts you get are the symptoms, you feel thirsty or you feel sick. It’s at that moment you realize you went too far but that’s already too late. It’s the same with our energy, it’s only when we accumulate too much fatigue, pressure or worries that we feel the after-effects. As a pattern, we can observe our tendency to push too far the limits in many aspects of our life. Unsurprisingly, work is often in the Top 3 and is causing more and more people to experience some kind of burn-out. As a result, we can feel weak on a recurring basis or worse, get completely locked up out of the blue. But should this be a fatality? No, there might be a way to fix that. Justin Jackson made me discover the existence of the « Hara Hachi Bu » philosophy. This Japanese sentence literally means « eat until you are 80% full. » The people of Okinawa Island use this principle and eat only about 80% of the calories they need. Research shows that those people have a better life expectancy. This leads Justin to realize how this philosophy could have a good impact on our life if we would apply it to our energy. If our brain can’t play the role of a safeguard, it seems like we have to mindfully monitor our energy. I must admit, monitoring our energy is not an easy task. It’s not as functional as drinking water every 15 minutes even if you’re not thirsty. Energy is fluctuant and unstable over time. But our energy is so precious and crucial that it makes sense to aim for a life habit that could save us some hard time. There is no reason why we should always end up siphoning our energy until exhaustion and suffer from being tired repeatedly.
- Egocentric interpretations
We can pretty fast make wrong and negative assumptions about a single event. We often project our perception of the world and take shortcuts to make conclusions on what has just happened. In those situations of frustration, anger or surprise we often overlook options that might explain the situation and tend to focus on the negative by making a mean value judgement. « There can’t be a good reason why this person did what she/he did to me. », you might think in your head. As Shane Parrish describes in his article, « We often instinctively chose to assume the worst of people ». We selfishly react to the situation and we loose our ability to think clearly. Interestingly, you might have noticed how much more reserved we can be when we are not directly concerned by the situation. We might even think that the person directly involved in the situation is overreacting. True, right? But, despite that, it doesn’t mean we will better respond to the next situation we will be involved in. We don’t realize how easy it is to accumulate dangerous thinking biases overtime by always assuming the negative from the world that surrounds us. To invert this situation, there is a simple trick. When you experience a frustrating or annoying situation ask yourself: « What could have genuinely cause this person to do what she did »? There is a french expression that sums up this way of thinking: « Laissez le bénéfice du doute » which means: « Give the benefit of the doubt ».
2021, week 17
— Justin Jackson wrote:
As Westerners, we believe in pushing up against the limits, and going over them. We max ourselves out in every facet of our lives until there is no more margin left.