When Breathe Becomes Air: 7 Ways to Live a Meaningful Life

When Breathe Becomes Air: 7 Ways to Live a Meaningful Life

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

Washington Post: When Breath Becomes Air’: Young doctor’s last words of wisdom, hope

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Transform your Mind with Coach Myrna podcast

Today on the Mindset Transformation radio show and podcast, I would like to take you on a journey into living!

How to live before you die

I ask the question “What makes a virtuous and meaningful life for you?”

Psychologists says that in order to live a virtuous and meaningful life, you should have balance in these 7 areas:

1. You should have A fulfilling career – i.e. You are doing what you love.
2. You should and must have a relationship with a higher power, God.
3. You must be fruitful and multiply.
4. You should offer Service to your community.
5. You must have effective time management and stress reduction.
6. You must get quality sleep, adequate exercise and proper nutrition.
7. You should spend quality time with loved one’s friends and family.

A Fulfilling career
Most people don’t do what they love, they work to live; so they live to work!
I saw a viral picture a few weeks back on Instagram that made me chuckle
It was a picture of a man crying with the caption:

When you realize you have 8 hours to go at work

So how do you find your passion, work in your passion or work on your passion?

You have to Listen to your soul.

If you are dreading going to work, hate it all the time you are there, and you are not serving or making a difference in the lives of others, then quit.
Step out on faith.
Faith, now faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.
Believe that God will fund your purpose, if it is his will.

On the road to Damascus, Saul encountered Christ in a memorable experience that left him temporally blind. Immediately he started to undergo a major transformation of his whole life and character, including a total reorientation of his world view. Following this he was commissioned into service as an apostle to the Gentiles. Paul’s story highlights the 3 dynamics of a meaningful life.
The relational, the transformational, and the vocational. We must not choose one and neglect the others.

The relational experiences in a meaningful life results in openness to others, healing progress towards Christlikeness and participation in God’s purposes in the world.

The Transformational concerns how we transform after being touched by God and the Holy Spirit. Just as all Saul’s beliefs, mindset and values were altered, so can yours. This show’s mission is the offer you advice on how to do that.

The vocational is what we are talking about and it is how God works through us. I am doing God’s work.
He has given me the purpose of speaking life into you!

So, choose your vocation wisely and work as unto the Lord.

Know this for sure, that the quickest and most direct path to sickness and death is to linger in stressful situations. All diseases can be traced back to inflammation. Inflammation is brought on by stress and negative emotions.

Find your purpose and step out on faith.

As a coach, I can Help you design a plan to get there quicker.

A relationship with a higher power
We are dual beings having both a physical and a nonphysical experience.

The most important barometer to living a meaningful and virtuous life is how your connect with source and if you understand why your soul chose this time to manifest into a physical being. i.e Understand what you are here to do!
When you meditate, you open communication with source energy and infinite intelligence.

This is the gateway, this is the path a meaningful life.

When you are in communication with source, you get fed instructions to live a meaningful and virtuous life.
It is a 2 way communication; you ask and you receive.

So don’t stay in that job that is killing you, ask your source to direct you to the right job.
Listen for the instructions on how to do it the supernatural way, and not by your own limited powers.
I am telling you from personal experience, this works.
I receive instructions every morning either in bed before I rise, during meditation or sometimes later in the day. I act on my inspirations and they always produce fruit. And because I act on them, I keep receiving more. If you don’t act on your gut instinct, your gut instincts will stop coming.
The bible teaches us not to do anything in your own strength! With God all things are possible.
Everything begins with our relationship with God and the improved quality of other relationships that develop out of this. In the intimacy of such a personal relationship, something of God’s own character gradually spills over into ours; it stimulates our transformation. From our new awareness and knowing that God loves us, comes an increased confidence and boldness to face life’s challenges and opportunities. It motivates and empowers us to take more risks. It becomes the platform for a whole new approach to courageous and virtuous living.

God said “Be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth”

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward”
Can you truly have lived a meaningful and virtuous life if you have not multiplied yourself?
In the bible age, women who were barren were believed to be cursed.
In today’s age bearing a child is still considered one of the most rewarding and sought after experiences in life.
God hardwired unconditional love to the mother. A love that transforms hearts, an energy that is quantum, that means it can be felt over great distances just by thinking of your child.
I can tell you that the birth of my 2 children were the most meaningful things I did in my life. They are my reward, a gift that keeps on giving and giving.

The second question Dr Kalanitht asked as he faced his morality was:
“How do you nurture your child to live life, as yours fades away”
You see Dr Kalanitht and his wife decided to accept God’s plan for them to be fruitful and multiply.
They decided to leave a legacy behind, so they had a baby together.
The thought of leaving behind a child only increased the pain for Dr. Kalanitht.
We would all agree that leaving behind loved ones is the most painful part of death.

That is why we must live each day like it is your last.

You must impart all the love, knowledge and wisdom into your children when you are alive, so as they grow older, they would not depart from it and you will live on in their thoughts and hearts.

Be of Service to your community:
Your Success is in direct proportion to your service.
We must put the fuel in before we get heat.
No man can get rich by himself, unless he enriches the lives of others.
To lead you must first serve.
Your purpose in life will always include service to others.

Serving at the Ronald McDonald House
There’s a special connection that comes with preparing meals for others too heartbroken to cook for themselves. Making those dinners with a group of volunteers brings an intimacy and humility that cannot be matched. And one of the best spots I know to do that is at the Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church, Va., a place that offers comfort, refuge and care for families whose children are battling life-threatening illnesses.

Jarun Brown and Beverly Johnson prepare a meal at the Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church, Va.
Jarun Brown, 64, chops broccoli as we create a salad for 14 family members staying at the House. A social worker and former McDonald’s executive, she once “danced for a minute” with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Her previous corporate position earned her a seat on the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) board in Norfolk, Va., and she began volunteering with the Falls Church Ronald McDonald House six years ago.
“We do whatever is needed,” Brown says of the volunteers’ work. That could mean cooking a meal, cleaning the house, rotating refrigerated food or writing thank-you notes. Although volunteers and families don’t often stay in touch after leaving the House, Brown has kept in contact with a few families over the years. “It’s great to hear how our families are doing, and learn about the children’s recovery process,” she says.
Erin Petri, the evening manager, joins us. I give her an onion to chop and hope she doesn’t cry. A few minutes later another volunteer, Beverly Johnson, comes in. Volunteering with RMHC was on her bucket list after suffering the loss of a child years ago. A place like the Ronald McDonald House would have been helpful to her.
“I can relate [to what the families are experiencing] and that’s what makes it so special and so rewarding to me,” she says as she chops apples.
The families begin to enter the dining room. Several of them are drawn to the aroma of pineapple chicken simmering on the stovetop. We finish the broccoli salad and set it on the counter, next to the stove with the chicken and rice. It smells delicious and comforting, and we are happy that we have given these families what may be the only positive event for them that day.
Johnson offers to clean up, and I happily accept. “It is good therapy for me,” she says of her Ronald McDonald House work. “I think I’ve found my niche.”

Effective Time Management
The key to a stress-free life is effective time management.
If you are always working in red zone of deadline you will experience burnout.
Effective time management is scheduling your day to work on top priority tasks before you work on C or D priority tasks.
When you do this, you will eliminate stress.
Effective time management also means that you plan your days to include the things that give life meaning. Walking in nature, exercise, reading, sitting quietly to reflect or meditate, spending quality time with loved ones, and proper rest.

Getting quality sleep, good nutrition, and exercise
Physical exercise releases endorphins, improves sleep, prevents diseases, releases stress, prevents dementia, prolongs life….
I could go on and on.
Everybody knows that exercise is good for your body, mind, and soul; yet few do it.

Since our topic today is When breathe becomes air: How to live a virtuous and meaningful life.
I think everybody reading this would want to live a quality life. One that includes being healthy and independent.
The most effective way to ensure this is to get regular exercise, adequate nutrition and proper rest
In his book “The Eat to Live Plan” John Fuhrman MD says, our body’s are designed for wellness. Give it the right biochemical environment for healing and it becomes a miraculous self-healing machine. When you eat mostly high-nutrient foods, the body ages slower and is armed to prevent and reverse many common illnesses, like diabetes.

The exercise prescription.
Exercise is extremely important. Almost everyone can do something, even those who cannot walk can do arm, abdominal, and back exercises with light weights or use an arm cycle. Exercise will facilitate your weight loss and make you healthier. Vigorous exercise has a powerful effect on promoting longevity.

Spend quality time with loved ones
In human affairs, there are efforts, and there are results.
The strength of the effort is the measure of the result. We know this to be a fact.
If you studied for your test, you will get a better grade.
If you make more sales calls, you will get more sales; if you spend quality time with your spouse, you will have a better marriage, if you spend quality time with your kids, they wouldn’t act out looking for attention.

Joel and Victoria Osteen

Invest in your relationships.
Joel Osteen says that if you want your relationships to thrive, you must invest in them.
Be a giver rather than a taker. Strive to make deposits into the lives of your loved ones and other peoples lives. Encourage them, build them up, and help them to feel better about themselves.
One of the best advice I received on my wedding day, was to look at my marriage as a bank account. Don’t make withdrawals if I made no deposits”
Joel Osteen says the same thing.
Look at your relationships as an “emotional bank account” Every time you interact with loved ones or friends, you are either making a deposit or a withdrawal from your account.
You make deposits in the lives of your loved ones by giving them a hug and a kiss, telling them how much you love them, spending quality time with them, listening to them when they speak or being involved in the things they love like playing the piano, sports, painting etc.
We make withdrawals when we don’t take time for people, we don’t keep our commitments, when we don’t express appreciation. When we make more withdrawals than deposits our account becomes overdrawn.

The bible says in Ecclesiastes 5:3

The dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.

Having a meaning and virtuous life comes through much effort. You can’t just have the knowledge and don’t put it into action, you can’t just talk about wanting to live a meaningful life and not put the effort in.

Having a fulfilling career takes effort. You must learn the skills and then work hard to move up through the corporate ladder or building your own business.

Having a relationship with God takes the effort to find time to meditate and listen for instructions.

Being a good parent takes a lot of effort. Someone else is depending on you.

Being of service to your community takes supreme effort. Who has the time you ask? But something happens when you help the less fortunate. When you work at the soup kitchen and feed the hungry; you find your humanity. All your pedilly problems seems insignificant.

It takes effort to manage your time effectively, and not become reactionary.

It takes effort to make sure you are eating a balanced diet and taking supplements. It takes effort to get up early to exercise or do it after a long day. But if you want to live a long and meaningful life, you will do it.

If you found this content inspirational, be sure to share with your friends.
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How to Program Yourself for Positive Change

How to Program Yourself for Positive Change

This week on Mindset Transformation radio, Coach Myrna interviews coach Dan Willms, Positive Change MBA professor. Out topic today is “How to Program yourself for positive change.

Before I introduce coach Dan Willms, Here is my tip of the week.

From the book Switch: How to change things when change is hard
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Here are the facts:

Change is a process

1: Change is usually a situation problem, and not a personal problem.
2: For anything to change, someone must behave differently.
3: To change someone behavior, you must change someone’s situation.
4: For change to stick you must influence the person’s heart and mind.

Here is the story of Arthur that I found on line to illustrate the above points.
Arthur was an airborne paratrooper. Jumping out of airplanes killed his knees, his back, his legs. When he got out of the army he walked with a cane and couldn’t do anything so he gained a lot of weight. He could not support his weight, so he couldn’t do traditional exercise. His health rapidly declined. The doctor at the VA clinic told him to accept his faith, that he would never walk normal again.

One day while surfing the internet, he came across Diamond Dallas Page doing yoga. He said to himself, I could do this. So He bought the DVD! He figured he could use his arm to support his weight and get a cardio workout. Arthur was 297 lbs when he started doing yoga.
When he started his yoga exercises, he kept falling down and falling down, but he kept getting back up again and again!
Every day he got better and better in 10 months he had lost over 100 lbs and could not only walk without a cane but he could run!!

Change is usually situational. Arthur had a situational problem.

Arthur taught himself to do yoga because he decided to take control of his life. He got his heart and mind in the game and changed the situation!

Change is a process.
To lead a process requires persistence. Arthur kept getting back up and trying again to do his exercises.

When a change starts, it builds on itself.
The better Arthur got at yoga, the more he was motivated to keep going.
Small changes can snowball.
Change rarely works unless it is motivated by feeling. Arthur wanted to feel better about himself so he made the hard choices.

That’s my tip of the week from coach. How to change when change is hard.
There can be nothing harder than trying to loose 100 lbs when you can’t use your legs but Arthur found a way and so can you.

Our guest today is coach Dan Willms and he is a positive change guru. This is his space.

Dan Willms is a Life & Business Coach, an MBA Professor, a facilitator for The Leadership Challenge, a writer and an International Speaker – he is also the creator of the Positive Change Workshop and facilitates his workshops in Portuguese, English & Spanish. He has facilitated more than 118 Positive Change Workshops. He loves helping people and organizations to achieve their fullest potential. He is the co-author of the book Strategic Leadership (Liderança Estratégica) and the author of the upcoming book “Positive Change – One life @ a time”.

Dan is also my partner, we do a video blog on YouTube every week called “You asked for it” where we answer questions sent in from our social media network. Like us on Facebook to become part of our community. Myrna Young Lifecoach and Dan Willms.

Show notes:
Question 1. Tell us about your journey to becoming a Life coach and an ambassador for positive change.
Question 2: What is The Positive Change?
Question 3: Tell me about your happiness labs, how does it work?
Question 4: : What were your findings on these labs from your sample size of 400 people?
Question 5: So, based on your labs, what would you say is the secret to happiness?
Question 6: Why do you think is there so much unhappiness in the world?

Coach Myrna and coach Dan, Why we repeat the past

How to Find Happiness in 2017

how-can-i-be-happy-thumbnail

This week on the Mindset Transformation radio show I give my New Year’s message on the topic “How to Find Happiness in 2017”
I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and give you all the Blessing of Happiness and Prosperity in 2017.
My wish for you is that 2017 is the year that you take action to make your dreams a reality.
That you can bring the thoughts you have in your mind into physical form.

I am here to help you. As a coach and someone who stays in the space of constant and never ending improvement; I can help you make 2017 your best year yet!

The first step is to tune in every Wednesday to the Mindset Transformation radio show @ www.wdjyfm.com or subscribe to my iTunes podcast channel @
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/transform-your-mind-coach/id1144973094?mt=2

Today I want to talk on the topic:
How can you be happy in 2017.

I recently started a new video series called “You asked for it”. This is the prelude to my TV talk show!
This is a show I do with my partner coach Dan Willms.

In our premier episode, we answered a question sent in via social media on “How to find happiness after a divorce”
But the question is portable because we can add anything after the How can I find happiness after….! We can add How can I find happiness after my kids leave home, or how can I find happiness after someone close to me dies, or how can I find happiness after I lose my job etc..
We can substitute any phrase.

Dan and I shared in this episode the truth that

Happiness comes from the inside.

Listen to the Mp3 recording to hear our advise.

So let’s expand the topic to “How can I find happiness in 2017”

Happiness! It is the universal goal of everyone who has breathe.

Let’s look first at the relationship you have with yourself.
Self-love is so important to happiness.
You have to try very hard to love yourself. If you can’t love yourself no one else can love you.
If you can’t love yourself you can never be happy.
You can start by finding one thing about you, that you love.
God knew what he was doing when he created you. Everyone has at least one thing that makes them stand out.
Find it and give it love every time you look into the mirror.
And if there is something you can change, Change it. If you can’t change it, find a different perspective on it and learn to love it.
You can change your weight, your hair color, your teeth, your wardrobe.
You can’t change your height, your skin color, your sex!
There is no sense whatsoever about being unhappy about something you can’t change about yourself or about something you can change; but won’t.

I just saw one of the most inspiring movies of the decade. Hidden Figures.
As a coach, this movie had so many nuggets.
1. The women were ambitious and they took control of their lives. They did not sit around and blame their skin color.
In one scene, one of the women was bitching that in order to get a promotion she had to upgrade her education.
The problem was that the only school she could do this at was an a white’s only school. So what did she do?
She petitioned the court to change the school to an integrated school. She researched and presented her case to the judge with such passion that the judge had no choice but to grant her the motion.

In another scene, IBM computers were going to make the woman computers obsolete, so the leader of the group took it on herself to learn how to program the computer. She had to steal the programming book from the white’s only library because the colored library had no such books!

There is always something you can do to improve your circumstance.

You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.

I covered the other 2 ways to find happiness in the audio.
2. Your relationship with those closest to you.
3 And your relationship with God.

As you can see relationship is key!
We are social beings, we need connection, even if it is with one person.

I would like to end with this.
I was searching the internet for a story on Happiness and I came across this movie called “Finding Happiness by Yogi Swami Kriyanda.”
Yogi Swami has Ananda colonies all over the world where people live in harmony and higher consciousness in nature.
Ananda means true joy is within.
Yogi Swami choose to build his colonies in nature because being in the presence of beauty is important to uplifting consciousness.
As you all know the East teaches the importance of meditation.
Meditation allows you to find your sense of security inside, it allows you to find your sense of self inside and when you find these things inside of you, you can never lose it because no one can ever take it away.
The Ananda colonies teaches that if you live to be happy, you will find things that make you happy and the number one thing that makes us happy is selfless service to others.

I also added a bonus audio on “How to control your thoughts”
As you know that happiness comes not from what people do to you or your circumstances but how you think about it.
So your internal dialog and your thoughts must be controlled and channeled into positivity and gratitude for you to find happiness.
So, in 2017, I urge you to find all the things that make you happy, and do them.

Find the things that make you happy, make it a necessity to be in nature at least once per week!
I guarantee..
You will not only find happiness but you find your bliss!
Namaste