I was listening to a Jock Willink podcast. He was interviewing Dakota Meyer, a military vet – marine and and sniper. They were discussing his career in the military, and transition into civilian life, once he retired.

Dakota mentioned a conversation with General Mattis, in which the General said, ” Don’t let this experience of war make you a more hateful human being because people haven’t experienced it. Allow yourself to go through post traumatic growth and become a better human being and treat other people like you would want to be treated.”

Pain = Growth.

Motivational speakers will tell you that you don’t know your growing unless you are uncomfortable. Like a muscle fiber that tears when you push it, but then rebuilds. The past 2 years, have been TOUGH on everyone in the world, in one way or another. How do you push past the struggle to get to the other side? How do you let go of your s***, frankly, and meet someone where they are? Every day, we are reminded with numerous platitudes and words of motivation that we can always be better human beings, to rise above our situations for the good of not only our relationships but for ourselves. Essentially one feed the other.

Emotional Nutrition.

We train our bodies for strength, endurance and flexibility. We feed our minds with the acquisition of knowledge. Where do we go to feed our souls? The argument is often made that neurotransmitters like Adrenaline, Dopamine and Acetylcholine do the job of feeding that body-mind connection. Yet, this a temporary shot of satisfaction, and without recognizing our emotional/spiritual maintenance will still cause hunger pangs.

How do we get our emotional nutrition? An integral part of who we are, is tapping into our own level of self-awareness. A first step to quelling any emotional deficit. Being cognizant and courageous of what we are deficient in and discovering the right resources to adjust our nutrient levels.

Judgement is Like Junk Food: Tastes Good but Harmful to Your Body.

Self-awareness is deceptively difficult to ascertain. After all, the judgement of others is merely a projection of ourselves. We like to think we don’t judge because rationally we understand, as fallible human beings, we aren’t in a position to be.

That leaves us to ask, ” how do we keep judgement from poisoning our own humanity? Paraphrasing General Matt Mattis, in the simplicity of the Golden Rule, it is too easy to access judgement and counterproductive emotions like anger and resentment. There will never be perfect harmony or equality in relationships because experiences, motivations and thus, behaviors vary.

Finding the Well-Balanced Diet.

Like anything worthwhile, the journey should always be the focus. It is the steps in between that help us to realize the important of self-awareness and how these “micro-behaviors” slowly influence our relationships. After all, a well balanced diet changes us over time, forgives our mistakes and enables us to recognize the power of change over time.