Life wisdom, straight from the barber’s chair to take into 2019
Ah… that time of year again. Time for fresh starts: a more effective gym routine, fulfilling career, healthier relationships, distant travels, mastering new skills and saving the world… In other words, the life you’ve been meaning to live but just haven’t quite come round to it yet.
Another calendar year added to life’s mileage makes you stop, look from a wider perspective and crave change. But then the everyday often finds its way of taking over again and by mid-January, you have given up and unwillingly fallen back to your old ways. Chances are, you also end up beating yourself up about it. Not the best scenario for an already-gloomy month.
There is a copious amount of in-depth advice on ‘how to improve your life’ available online, but the more you read, the more you soon realise that it boils down to a few simple truths. Over the many years, between our barbers we could count a considerable amount of broken resolutions and failed self-improvement attempts, but it turns out that we have come across plenty of sound advice and learned valuable lessons along the way that have really stuck. So here’s some wisdom straight from the barber’s chair to take into 2019…
Our expertise lies in barbering so we will start with that. It is astonishing how a clean wet shave or a beard trim and a freshly cut and shampooed head of hair can invigorate and help you see things more clearly. Looking the part is a great first step in any transition. New hair – new life!
Tony Robbins, an American entrepreneur, self-made billionaire and life coach to the likes of Bill Clinton and Hugh Jackman says: “If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.” If you’re wondering what (and more importantly ‘why’) is going on with your life right now, take a closer look at your routines. It will help you see where the time you’re lacking goes. Reflect and hopefully find a way to make the necessary adjustments.
Our barbers will tell you that's what they did to develop their careers! Also, rather than trying to change and fix everything at once, focus on one thing that gets you closer to realising your goal. What is the one thing that you’d really like to change and what would get you closer to it? Pick your goal, prioritise, and start actually doing it. The rest will follow.
Timothy Ferriss, the author of bestselling ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ says: “If you win the morning, you win the day.” Ask any accomplished person and most will share this one belief - get the morning routine right and you have laid the groundwork for a successful day. And although the internet is full of those ‘make-you-feel-like-a-sloth’ stories of people getting up at 4am, so that by 7.30 they have finished an hour and a half workout and another two of writing the next bestseller, we are only talking about 10-20 minutes here. Set the day right by determining your intention for it. Try some breathing exercises or meditation first thing. Don’t think you have 10 minutes for yourself? “There's no excuse. If you don't have 10 minutes, you don't have a life.” – Tony Robbins
Louise Hay, bestselling motivational author, the founder of Hay House and one of the founders of the self-help movement says: ‘The point of power is always in the present moment.’ NOW is all that you ever have. You can’t control what happened in the past and it is easy to get caught up in conditional living focused on the future: “When I get this, then I will… next year, next month, tomorrow…” So don’t wait until next January, the circumstances may never be right and the planets will probably never align perfectly. Make the present moment the focus and realise that there is never a better time for anything than now.
Make a decision and act on it. It doesn't have to be ‘all or nothing’ but as long as you start and initiate the change, opportunities will materialise.
“Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it's no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.” – Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author.
Meditation benefits your body by reducing stress and enhances your mind by boosting clarity and creativity. It worked for the Beatles (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi meditation), Steve Jobs (Zen mindfulness meditation), and David Lynch (Transcendental meditation). It can work for you too. If only it wasn’t so hard to sit still…
"If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things - that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before." – Steve Jobs
It’s that old cliché - we fail to notice what’s right in front of us. Appreciating what you already have is key to feeling fulfilled. And getting into the habit of ending your day with naming three, even the simplest, things you were grateful for that day invites more abundance.
“Having the basics - a good bed to sleep in, good relationships, good food, and good sex - is most important, and those things don’t get much better when you have a lot of money or much worse when you have less. And the people one meets at the top aren’t necessarily more special than those one meets at the bottom or in between.” – Ray Dalio, billionaire investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist.
Everybody’s annual favourite when considering New Year’s resolutions... But seriously, try making sport/being active/working out part of your regular life rather than the rarely effective early January and pre-summer local gym sieges. The benefits will see your body look and feel better.
Regular exercise also provides mental health benefits - reducing stress hormones, boosting production of dopamine that helps motivate your brain and serotonin that gives you energy. You can also expect your general mood to improve, as well as sleep and appetite. Add to it the post-exercise rush of endorphins and working out can also soon become an excellent way to help alleviate any symptoms of stress and depression.
No fads this year, just common sense. A good, balanced diet with more veggies, seasonal produce, muscle building protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats (omega 3), and less processed food will do just the trick. Simple, really. Plus, even The Rock has a cheat meal on the regular, so don't fear relaxing on it every now and then.
The older we get the more time seems to speed up. When we are young, our less hectic perception of time is attributed to being constantly exposed to new experiences and learning new things. So how to avoid that feeling of life passing you by? Challenge yourself to learn or experience something new. Make it a year full of 'firsts' - visit a place you’ve not been before, start learning a foreign language or learn a new skill.
Our barbers are on hand to help you with the last one - book in for a ‘How to Shave Tutorial’, and learn how to handle a straight razor as confidently as Daniel Craig’s Bond.
The true benefits speak for themselves really - from burning calories and boosting your immune system, to lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease or prostate cancer. If you still need convincing, look it up!
Here’s to a fulfilling year ahead.