March 26th 2016: Thought of the Day

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I was inspired to write this post because of something I learned AND executed from the 4 Hour Body. This book was my first foray into the world of “biohacking”. Even though I first read Tim Ferriss’ masterpiece over four years ago, this is the first book I come back to when I am aspiring to optimize a physical area.

I always revisit a section in the book called reversing permanent injuries when I feel that my body needs a tune up. My back has been bothering me since I helped man the high jump pit at the UBC open track meet where I got the honour of seeing the two-time olympian Michael Mason jump.

After my hamstring injury, I scoured the internet for the possible cause of my injury and methods to ensure this injury would not happen again to me. I came across an article that exclaimed the virtues of the egoscue method. So when I saw that Tim Ferris had provided a detailed introduction about it, I was very excited but also quite embarrassed.

I had read this section of Tim’s book so many times, but I had completely disregarded the part about the egoscue method. I thought it looked silly and too time consuming. Yet, today my pain propelled me to not only read about it, but to try it out. It was absolutely amazing. My back felt brand new, and it had the added benefit of drastically improving my primal squat. 

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The primal squat is a movement pattern I struggle with a bit. The first time I am enjoying it after using the egoscue method.

Even though I had the knowledge about this powerful technique for years, I was not able to glean the positive benefit until I finally acted upon my knowledge. 

This is not only something that I struggled with for a while, but is also a pervasive problem in society. We know we should move more and eat less. We know we should spend less time watching TV and more time with friends. We know we should spend less time on Facebook and more time sleeping. But do we?  I overcame this by immediately experimenting with any new knowledge that I believe could help me become excellent and help better serve this world. It is essential to execute on what we learn because it does not matter if you know the perfect thing to do if you do not act upon it.

Summary

  • Knowledge not acted upon does not produce results
  • It is not only important to learn about new and better methods, but to also implement them in your lives

What helps you integrate new interventions that you learn about in your daily life? Please comment below! Hearing your experience could be exactly what someone needs to hear to take their life to the next level. 

Personal Excellence and Service, 

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

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March 23rd 2016: Thought of the Day

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One of my dear friends encouraged me to get the motivate chrome extension that displays a motivational and uplifting quote every time you open up a new tab. The quote above came up yesterday morning while I was doing some work. While I recognized the profound wisdom in Confucius’ statement, my ego bristled at it. Losing is for losers my ego continued. Only if I knew how I would be challenged later on that day.

I had recommenced training with the track team at UBC later that afternoon after a brief hiatus because of some troublesome achilles tendonitis. Something in my body felt a little bit off, but I ignored my inclination as I was feeling quite explosive and eager to return to action.

We were practicing our run throughs for a competition this weekend. I was blazing down the runway doing the last run through of my jumps for the day when calamity struck. The moment every track athlete feared occurred. Just as I had taken off for my jump, I felt a searing pain simultaneously with a huge “muscle cramp”. Having hurt this hamstring before, I knew this was a severe injury.

TRINIDAD'S BOLDON HOLDS HIS LEG AFTER THE 200M FINAL IN SYDNEY

No one is immune to injuries. However, some of us bounce back stronger and more resilient.

Even though I was extremely disappointed and angry, a tiny voice calmed me down and quipped, “they are no failures or negative events, just learning opportunities”. They were a lot of glaring physical and mental weaknesses that I was ignoring because of the wonderful progress I was making in my training. I needed this to occur to focus my attention on them so I could rebound a stronger and better athlete and human being.

Before I could conduct a thorough investigation of my injury, I needed to become aware, accept, and then let go of the emotions that were coming up after my injury. It is essential to realize that any so called negative emotions that arise from a certain event/situation is NEVER caused by that situation. Life brings out these suppressed dark elements of ourselves to the light so that we can transmute them into something beautiful. 

There are no bad or negative emotions. Emotions only become negative when they become bottle up and submerged. The key is to let it flow and then let it go. For example, do not suppress your emotions of anger because it is not socially acceptable to be angry. Instead, revel in the anger, pay attention to how your body feels when you’re angry, and then and only then can you make the enlightened decision to drop the emotion. An important corollary is that just because you are feeling an intense emotion, you are not compelled to blindly have your actions follow that emotion. It is human to feel angry, but it is wrong to commit violence when angry. 

Dealing with the emotions that arise due to an injury is just as important as anything physical you do to ameliorate the injury. Just like you can get scar tissue lodged in your muscle and joints after an injury, you can get emotions, such as anger and fear, lodged into your psyche. This lodged emotion will hamper your performance just as much as scar tissue.

How do you deal with these emotions? Two tools that I have found helpful when these emotions arise are:

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One of the most therapeutic and effective tools I have used when dealing with with tough times.

  1. Journaling – There is something truly remarkable about spilling the contents of your mind onto a blank piece of paper. The key is to place NO filter or judgement on what comes out. People who say they have nothing to write about are just unconscious about how much they judge and limit themselves. Lastly, it is essential that you physically write in cursive with a pen and paper. There is an intimate connection with the hand and brain that you need to take advantage of to be the best that you can be.
  2. Body Meditation – Many times physical pain experienced in the body is a deeply lodged emotion’s last cry to become noticed. It is no coincidence that disease has the words “dis- ease.” Disease can not occur in a body in a state of ease and non-resistance. This meditation can be done anywhere at anytime you have a spare moment. Become aware of your body. How fast is your heart beating? What does it sound like? What is the rhythm of your beats? Are you at ease? Is there tension in your body? Get curious about your body and revel in all of its sensations. For the vast majority of people, they experience reality all in their head. Remind yourself that you have a miraculous body attached to your head.

Losing and/or getting injured just plain sucks. There are no qualms about that. Sometimes I wonder if the ruthless mentality of professional sports and NCAA athletics, which unfortunately is seeping its way into youth sports, needs to be revolutionized. A maniacal obsession with winning and being superior to others should NOT be seen as a positive trait. The pursuit of self actualization and personal excellence are, but beating others is definitely not!

Even though there are many pitfalls with this culture, there is one major positive aspect lurking in the background. Elite athletics is such a ruthless world that every athlete will experience their fair share of losing, heartbreaks, and injuries.

This is an amazing opportunity that provides the impetus for all of us to not only be a better athlete but also a better human being. I hope this post gave you a fresh new perspective to help deal with defeats, disappointments, and injuries that are integral parts of athletics and just life in general. If you are going through an injury now and this has helped you, please share your experience below. It will not only warm my heart, but hearing someone’s experiences could be exactly what someone needs to be the strongest version of themselves. Lastly, if you have any other tools you use to deal with tough injuries and loses, please share it with everyone. Let’s create a community of leaders who are adamant about achieving their full potential and serving the world. 

Personal Excellence and Service, 

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

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March 1st 2016: Thought of the Day

“Self actualization or enlightenment is when you are no longer caught up with the good opinions of others. “ – Dr. Wayne Dyer

I had the privilege of attending Douglas Heel’s level 1 Be Activated workshop this weekend in Chicago. It was a life-transforming event. I am definitely looking forward to attending the level 2 workshop and learning more about the nuances of this unreasonably effective technique.

However, near the end of the workshop, Doug quoted Dr. Wayne Dyer when describing enlightenment and self actualization. He related the optimal sequence of athletic movements (Zone 1 -> 2 -> 3) to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. His statement resonated with me at such a deep level not only because of the wisdom in it, but because he actually completely embodied his teachings.

He was unapologetically himself. He did not care if you liked him or not. Almost everyone can deal with someone hating them, but the vast majority cannot handle someone loving them. Just look at all the celebrities that go completely bonkers once they become famous.

Even though I could recognize the truth in his words, unfortunately, there were too many times where I did not have the courage to go against the grain and do what my heart heart told me to do. This is a skill that must be cultivated on a daily basis to live a truly fulfilled life.

Luckily for me, I got the wonderful opportunity to improve on these skills during my plane ride back to Vancouver. Usually on a plane I prefer the aisle seat because I am constantly getting up and pacing up and down the airplane.

However, on the way to Chicago I was assigned the middle seat. Instead of staying true to my nature and asking to get up, I stayed put for the entire flight. Boy did I pay for it. My body felt trashed once I landed in Chicago.

So when I was assigned a middle seat again for my return flight, I had an important decision to make. Was I going to cower to societal pressures to conform or was I going to stay true to myself? I pushed myself through my groundless fears and discomfort and got up multiple times during the flight. The end result: the gentleman next to me was very happy because he got a lot of time with extra room while I was standing, and I felt like a badass once I touched back down in Canada.

This story I just told you may seem inconsequential, but the small things you compromise on will snowball until you live a life that is the complete opposite of what your heart desires to survive and thrive. How you do anything is how you do everything. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you constantly strive to be unapologetically you, because no one else can. As doing so takes a lot of courage and discipline, it will not happen overnight, but is something you must work on every day.

Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

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February 26th 2015: Thought of the Day

“Strangers are just friends I have not met yet. ” – Dan Milman

While sitting in the airport terminal waiting for my flight in front of a children’s play area, I was busily working on a systematic review I am trying to get published. After I finished my work, I began doing my stretching/squatting routine to keep myself loose and limber despite being cramped in a metal tube all day. All of a sudden, a friendly women turned to me and said: “Aren’t kids wonderful? It does not matter their race or color, they make best friends so easily.”

That was such a profound statement. Children are gifts from the universe that allow us to learn the lessons we have forgotten. When did we become so disconnected from our natural state of well being and interconnectedness? Main stream media and other influences have lead us to believe that superficial external differences are ultimately very important. This is absolutely false! 

Whenever you find yourself being rude to a stranger that is doing something “wrong”, remember that they are someone’s father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt. Are their actions truly imbued with malicious intent? We tend to attribute our negative actions to external circumstances, while attributing negative actions of others to being due to character defects.

This is obviously easier said than done, but it is a truly transformative exercise. For example, next time you find yourself irritated by how slow someone is driving in front of you, imagine if that person was your grandmother or grandfather. Your expression/feelings would instantly change, right? This brings up a super important point: Reality only has the meaning you give it. So to make this world a better place, it is essential to develop the skill of compassion. 

I am by no way a guru, and I fail at an embarrassingly high rate to exhibit compassion, honor, and respect for another’s humanity instead of making rash and superficial judgements. Even though I have and will continue to fail miserably at this practice of being more compassionate, it is one that has and will continue to improve my state of well being and help to build a better world. Keeping Dan Milman’s wisdom in mind is what inspired to persist through my failures.

Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

Pavan Mehat’s Instagram

February 20th 2016: Thought of the Day

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While I was waiting in the lobby before the shuttle came to take us back to the airport, I was having an in depth discussion with one of my roommates (who is currently a medical student) about various medical topics. I asked him about the difference between Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBD is an autoimmune disorder that affects your digestive organs with a clear biological origin, while IBS is a constellations of symptoms; however there is not clear biological evidence of the pathophysiology.

There is contention about whether IBS is real or simply a figment of the patient’s mind. While the content of this argument may not seem important to you, the underlying misconception that created this argument is!

It is not that something is just in your mind. The demarcation between the body and mind is an illusory distinction made by us that allows healthcare professionals to begin to organize and better understand the never ending complexity that human beings are. Therefore, something is never just in your mind because your body reflects what you are thinking. Conversely, your body influences and shapes your mind and emotions. This is why stress is an underlying factor in almost every disease known to man. So if you are not able to evolve your nervous system (read more) and learn to appropriately deal stress, disease will be your constant companion.

I was then discussing my thoughts about the session I went to, on nutritional influences on rheumatoid arthritis, and found the lack of internal consistency with some of the recommendations disconcerting. This transitioned into a discussion about how although the study of disease is hopelessly complicated, the study of health is a lot simpler than we make it out to be. If you model what others have done to remain healthy and vibrant well into advanced ages and attune it to your body, you will be fine.

One aspect that we feel is greatly under appreciated is the importance of having fun, and fostering meaningful relationships with family and friends. Especially for a type A person like myself, I have trouble with finding balance and enjoying the process instead of just being hell bent on achieving my end.

If you are serious about becoming the best you can be, it is absolutely essentially to mark out time in your calendar at least once a week to do something for the pure joy! You may argue that you do not have time for fun, but you do not have time to not have fun. Saying you do not have time to have fun is like saying you do not have time to fill up the gas in your car. Eventually it will catch up with you.

Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

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February 19th 2016:Thought of the Day

I feel a bit demoralized when my posts such as February 18th 2016: Thought of the Day, receive fewer views than usual. I pour my heart and a piece of me into these posts to try and convey an inspirational message with some context in hopes that it can help you be happy and chase your dreams. However, I had obviously failed at that mission yesterday.

I was questioning if what I was doing on this blog was even worth it. Do I need to change directions and start something new? Or just focus on my research and becoming a world class physician? One of my mentors (read more about the importance of mentors) gave me the answer to my questions. The video above.

If you are anything like me, you want the results you aspire to yesterday. This impatience is a good trait because it motivates you to work harder than your competition. However, when it is coupled with negative feedback, it can quickly cause you to lose hope and potentially give up right before you achieve more than you could have imagined.

We tend to overestimate what we can get accomplished in the short term and underestimate what we can accomplish in the long term. Why is this? We do not buy into our skills or the tremendous power of small daily actions (read more: book review about the Compound Effect). When you truly deconstruct world class performance, it is clear that it never happens in a short period of time. Visionaries that positively change the world are able to be in two places at one time. They can maintain the ideal of their vision while intensely focusing on what needs to be done now.

Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

Pavan Mehat’s Instagram

 

 

February 18th 2016: Thought of the Day

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I have not posted in a while because I have let fear, my perfectionist tendencies, and paralysis by analysis get the better of me. I have been wanting to create my own website and domain to build a community of like minded individuals who are passionate about becoming self actualized and gaining mastery over themselves in order to serve others. I have just been having troubles actualizing my vision. So if you would happen to have any suggestions, please feel free to connect with me.

But I digress, today’s thought of the day was motivated by my experience at the Canadian Rheumatology Association’s Annual Scientific Meeting. I had the wonderful opportunity to listen to two talks by Dr. James Maas, aka the Sleep Doctor, that completely transformed how I view sleep. I am going to try and get him to answer a few questions and post them on the blog!

Usually I succumb to inertia and do not go up to the speaker after a moving talk to express my gratitude and ask any questions I may have. In the moment I will always come up with bullshit rationalizations, but I always end up regretting it. However, today I confronted my fears head on, and realized how they were completely unsubstantiated. Dr. James Maas was unreasonably patient and kind in answering the slew of questions he faced after his talk.

He answered a couple of key questions I had, and gave me a sample of a natural supplement to aid with sleep after an intense workout. More to come on that later, but keep an eye out if you find yourself up all night after a very intense workout.

Realize that we have been brainwashed by society to think of the world as a dangerous place. Your mind is magnificent and will seek out evidence to support your beliefs, so you do not think you’re insane. Instead, face your fears head on with the mindset of an inverse paranoid: the world is not out to get you, but out to bring positive and loving things your way.

Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

Pavan Mehat’s Instagram