Taken from the podcast of Broken Brain (#32, winning in life), where the founder of Bulletproof, Dave Asprey, is a guest. (He has his own podcast I still want to start listening to, but time…).
If you want to do everything you do with excellence, you’ll want to invest in yourself.
You’re your own tool and life partner. Improving your life and that of others greatly depends on how you develop yourself and the relationship with yourself, and allows you to reach common goals of growing in power, strength and handling and maintaining power well. I try to work on this (nearly) every day, and it’s a rocky road but a really fascinating one.
Focusing on positive things, and things that give you and the people around you power (without treating people as purely a means, but as an end - a Kantian reference), is immensely valuable. Lately, I’ve been reading, thinking and listening more about things related to happiness and power. I’m trying to apply things like ‘regulatory self-world adaptation’ and ‘sexual self regulation’ (things I will mention in under the 'thinking' tag).
Gratitude, appreciation in your practice and thinking will reduce your stress a lot.
If you are in a stressful situation, and you experience gratitude or relief, your telomeres shrink less meaning this impacts your quality of life a lot. Telomeres protect the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes.
If you experience stress and fear, without resolving it - and experiencing gratitude or relief - your telomeres shrink more. Shrinking telomeres directly affect your longevity as a human. Appreciation for things that go well, and thereby also sharing winnings in a team, is extremely important.
Every night, asking yourself what you are grateful with and happy with thoughtfully.
As an example, possibly doing this works:
Go through your day, and think about a stressful situation. What exactly made you stressed there? What went well in that situation that could’ve gone worse?
Then, go through your day or week, and ask yourself: what was truly nice? Something good that happened, it could be as simple as making the train after running for it. Finishing a book, or having a great workout. Pause a bit with the positivity of that experience, and be grateful for the fact that that chance became a positive part of your reality.
Sex and happiness
Sometimes sexuality is a bit of taboo. I don’t really understand this, though can share the feeling of awkwardness talking about it. Fascinatingly, I can’t find a legitimate reason for sexuality to be something we don’t discuss more openly.
We all know that sexuality has a big effect on how we feel. Sexual, and honest good sexual experiences without a necessary orgasm have a great impact on happiness and energy. Dave Asprey says it nicely: ‘How you show up in the bedroom greatly impacts the way you show up in the world’. Apparently, there is an old Taoist calculation for the healthy amount of orgasms for a man. A reason to take this seriously, is the effect that an orgasm has on you. Your age in years, minus seven divided by 4 is the amount of days you want to have in between orgasms.
Conscious sex with the right people creates neurochemicals that set you free and create a state of flow. Porn creates neurochemicals that block a state of flow. - From the Broken Brain podcast #32
A good book on flow is ‘Stealing fire’
It apparently also appears from a national survey in the US that pornography is going up a lot among both sexes (mostly men), and the actual physical intimacy, is less. This is a worrisome thing.
Orgasms for men cost the body and mind a lot of energy, that can be used on a lot of different things in life. Having more sexual openness and experience, but without focusing on the outcome (orgasm) has had people gaining a lot of value in their career but also general happiness. It seems to be a general healthy habit to adopt. Your whole body reacts to things as intense as this. Of course, we’re not limited to sexual experiences in the traditional sense. Dancing in an intimate way is a great way to share intimacy in a safe way, and have a great experience! Sharing intimacy through dancing is something humans do all throughout history.
Moreover, we don’t have to think about sex or sexuality as ‘acts’ but as a form of communication and a healthy source of happiness for the mind and body. Touch and physical intimacy increases oxytocin, a hormone that greatly impacts our happiness. Vanessa van Edwards also goes into the role of oxytocin in social interactions.
Of course, being more open and free with sexuality poses some new challenges. The possibility of involuntary pregnancy or sexually transferrable diseases are frightening and we should use contraceptive measures and common sense to prevent these things, and preserve each others happiness.
But this doesn’t at all make more intimacy a real problem in this day and age. In fact, by viewing intimacy as something a lot deeper and broader than just sex, we open ourselves up for so many more beautiful experiences to share besides ‘just sex’. We don’t necessarily have to worry too often about pregnancy or too much ejaculation, if we expand our view on what intimacy is and learn to develop the habit of being intimate instead of simply sexual.
Intimacy, both emotionally and physically, is something every person longs for. We all want to love and be loved, show ourselves and feel safe. Admiration for who we are, in the moment we share intimacy, is something we should all cherish and share openly with each other when we feel safe.
In more scientific terms, I’d think of intimacy and friendship as ‘facultative symbioses’. Depending on one another for intimacy, partly, for the betterment of each others existence. This means feeling free, being bold, crazy and awkward too. These things, too, play a role in the essence of a virtuous being.
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