While the Challenge centers on those critical basics of good Primal health – food, exercise, sun, sleep, and play – there’s more to Primal life than just what I’d call the essentials (yes, play is an essential). The essentials offer us the optimum chance at health and general contentment. In looking (and living) beyond these basics, however, I think we find something critical. It’s the key to the questions about how to further apply Primal principles in a world that is anything but. We think we have it all down. It’s easy. Got it! Then the rest of our surrounding civilization has its say, disturbs our Primal peace, intrudes upon our confidence, throws its chaos in our well-intentioned plans. The answer isn’t to scrap the whole project but to deepen the lesson.
Let me expand a bit by talking about a topic that might be familiar to many of you – the “habits of successful hunter-gatherers.” They’re the cornerstones of a larger vision for ancestrally inspired living, The Primal Connection. If we can learn from our forebears’ diets and activities, what wisdom can we garner or extrapolate from other elements of their living conditions – for example, their social structures and cultural patterns. Here are all ten habits – presented for the first time on MDA and repurposed for the Challenge.
For some people, facing and surmounting a challenge is as simple as just doing it. These are the lucky few who can decide to accomplish something and immediately begin accomplishing it. Want to write a book? They sit down and begin writing. Get the girl? They go up and talk to her. Most people aren’t like this. Most people need tips, tricks, tools, and concrete strategies. They require more than the simple inspiration that lies within to get moving and actively pursue the goal – whatever it may be.
That’s why I’ve compiled 18 ways to set yourself up for success in the Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge. Because I know that feeling. While I’m lucky enough to do the things I want to do and hardworking enough to often succeed at them, it doesn’t come easy. It’s not as simple as “just doing it.” We all need a little help getting started.
Just like Primal eating flies in the face of any typical “diet,” so I think the 21-Day Challenge leaves most similar events in the primordial dust. Despite my penchant for boldness, why do I say this? For many reasons really. For one, because the Mark’s Daily Apple community never disappoints. Every year it blows the previous Challenge out of the water in terms of engagement, creativity and enthusiasm. But there’s something else – something more fundamental to the 21-Day Challenge – and the Primal Blueprint – themselves. Primal living doesn’t have need or patience for deprivation. It’s about enjoying the full measure of health, happiness and contentment. It’s about living the good life in every sense of the word – where your vision and values intersect with genuine well-being. The Challenge can be the ultimate kickstart to initiate or deepen or more fully personalize this possibility in your life. My vision for everyone: approach this 21-Day Challenge with an abundance mentality. Abundance? As in more than enough, plentiful, profuse, copious, bountiful, you ask? Yes to all of the above.
A whole lot of people come to the Primal Blueprint looking to lose weight. Some come with significant excess weight. Their before and after photos showcase amazing physical transformations that can have us doing a double take wondering how it’s the same person. Others, however, come to the PB with few actual pounds to lose. Their photos display less dramatic outward differences, but their stories tell otherwise.
Inherent to many of their narratives is the common refrain that people didn’t understand their interest in going on a “diet.” Why would they bother? What were they trying to prove? What exactly are they trying to accomplish anyway? As reader Stephart shared in her comment to last week’s gluten-free post, she’s been directly told, “You don’t need to diet. You’re tiny!”
A few years back, my general manager and editor hurt his back deadlifting. He found the only way he could comfortably work at a desk was to stand. It worked really well for him, even offering benefits above and beyond the improvements in lower back pain – stuff like improved energy levels and increased focus and cognition. Once his back recovered, he continued to stand because of these benefits. It eventually spread to the rest of us at Mark’s Daily Apple and Primal Blueprint, prompting me to devote an entire post to standup workstations.
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