Happiness: Achieving it, Keeping it, and Expanding it!
The Pak Kopi Protocol
No one can guarantee your happiness in life, but nearly everyone is looking for this elusive thing, happiness.
Happiness is not a state-of-being that is achieved and then automatically acquired and held onto. It comes and goes in relation to our moods, temporary circumstances, and life events. However, we do have the ability to expand and sustain it for longer periods, as well as increase its intensity.
The following brief guide is based upon my life experience, and I’d like to pass on to you what I’ve found to be successful. I’m not advocating that everybody must follow these precepts in order to achieve happiness. Everyone has their own path.
This is my personal formula for happiness and it has worked for me. If anyone benefits from even part of this article, it will have been worthwhile.
THE PAK KOPI PROTOCOL
This is my current practice and lifestyle based on three elements:
- Exercise: any daily practice which can be a combination of aerobic activity, weight (resistance) training, yoga, etc.
- Diet/Nutrition: Intermittent Fasting Regimen (IF)
- Meditation: either by itself, or in combination with #1 (for example, my preferred meditation is a 2 hour daily bicycle ride, I have an easier time getting into a connected meditative state this way. Yoga is also a good way to combine #1 and #3).
Exercise And Our Bodies
I strongly believe that the most important component of living a better, healthier, happier, and more productive life, is feeling good in your body.
Our bodies are our vehicles which we take with us everywhere we go. Feeling comfortable in them is essential in order to elevate our thoughts and creativity.
If we are constantly in pain and feeling dissatisfied with ourselves and our bodies, it will hold us back from achieving higher states of consciousness and happiness and satisfaction.
We absolutely must take care of this component first and foremost, and the way in which we do this is through exercise.
This exercise can be virtually any movement that each individual chooses. It is important to enjoy this activity, otherwise we will not be motivated to continue it.
What has worked for me is a combination of aerobics (running, biking, or swimming) and weight training. One without the other feels incomplete and lacking for me!
This is very individual and I encourage experimentation until the right combination is found. I enjoy the aerobic activity part more than the weight training because I can combine my meditation component with it and I literally get high from it!
However, as a man, I also like to feel strong in my upper body (chest, arms, shoulders, back), which is why I combine some weight training. My weight training is only 35 to 45 minutes (at high intensity) three times per week. Much less time spent in the gym than on my bicycle.
Diet, Nutrition & Intermittent Fasting
Recent studies and real-world results (from many YouTubers), has shown that what we put into our bodies, in the form of food and drinks, has a dramatic effect on the way we look and our ability to burn body fat and sculpt the body that we desire.
The consensus from those achieving amazing results by transforming their bodies, is that 80-90% of the emphasis should be placed on what we put into our bodies. I agree with this assessment.
For a dramatic example of this, see the YouTuber Brix Fitness.
We cannot sculpt the body we want by exercise alone, no matter how much of the exercise component we do! I spent years running marathons and triathlons in my attempt at lowering my body fat percentage without changing my diet at all. At the time I was eating mostly carbohydrates. You cannot outrun your fork!
More recent studies and trends have shown that keto, carnivore, and paleo diets are more effective at burning body fat and sculpting a fit looking body and curing chronic diseases.
Conversely, a strictly vegan diet has its drawbacks and often results in diseases and problems.
I think a balanced approach here is needed. I believe that fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamins and nutrients and should be included in a healthy diet (I do not take any supplements and do not recommend taking supplements).
I live by the Hippocratic statement, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food”. However, I have noticed for me that if I just have fresh fruits and vegetables I do not feel satiated. I need protein to feel more complete with my diet (chicken, meat, or fish).
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
More recently I have discovered intermittent fasting, and the results I am getting from it are nothing short of miraculous! I recommend this for everybody.
The results people are achieving with it, as well as the science behind it, demonstrates the ability of the human body to heal itself of any disease!
I recommend doing research about this subject and then starting into a practice. I started IF with a 16 hour fast and eight hour eating window. This is where I recommend to begin. Starting with a shorter fast does not give enough time in a ketogenic (body fat burning) state, and starting with a longer fast is more difficult and may be discouraging.
After my first 30 days on a 16/8 protocol, I lengthened my fast time to 18 hours with a six hour eating window. After another month, I lengthened again to a 20 hour fast with a four hour eating window, and that is where I am currently practicing.
The longer the fast time, the better, within reason. The body will burn more fat for energy the longer the fast time.
This has become a habit and lifestyle for me and I am really enjoying the feeling of it and the results! I have never before been able to achieve as low a body fat percentage while building lean muscle mass.
It is known that the body produces as much as 2,000% more Human Growth Hormone (HGH) when intermittent fasting. I can see a HUGE difference in my body composition as each week passes and it has encouraged me to continue and to build upon my results.
The goal here is to become addicted to the positive results!
Other positive side effects have been:
A greater enjoyment of food: when I sit down to break my fast, I enjoy the food so much more!
It has literally changed my relationship with food through clarity of thought (my mind works better when in the fasted state). This result is backed by scientific studies which indicate a more efficient mental state when the brain is using ketones for energy.
The only negative side effect I have had when doing IF, has been a period of detoxification which I experienced as a breakout of a rash that was very itchy and uncomfortable!
This occurred after about one week from starting IF and lasted for about three days. This is a very common result and should not be discouraging. It is the body’s way of detoxifying and cleansing.
Fat cells accumulate toxins that stay within the body and may come out later in the form of more serious illnesses. By dealing with it and releasing these toxins earlier on through intermittent fasting, you are doing your body a huge favor and service.
This is a very important component and can be done in different ways.
My definition of meditation is: connecting with one’s inner being. This goes back to my stated premise that we are spiritual beings having a human (physical) experience.
There are two things simultaneously going on:
Our eternal beingness, or soul, that is all-knowing and always in a state of bliss and satisfaction, and our physical beingness (life experience) that is engaged in the physical world and experiencing it through our senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing.
The link between these two states of being is our consciousness, our thoughts.
We have the ability and the power to link these two states through the power of our thoughts. By quieting our minds through meditation, we are better able to achieve this linking.
This can either occur through sitting, closing our eyes, and focusing on our breath (traditional meditation techniques), or by aerobic exercise (like bicycling, my preferred way), or by doing yoga. The method we choose is very individual.
The goal here is to temporarily remove ourselves from the physical material world, and connect with our eternal, nonphysical, spiritual beingness.
The Secret Mindset to a Limitless Life
Finally, I feel the most important understanding any, and every, human being can have is the realization that there is no death.
The fear of death is the biggest factor in preventing someone from living a Limitless life. When we are so focused on survival and afraid to take risks and follow our passion and interests, we become slaves to our fears and imprison ourselves in a confined and limited existence.
I recommend that each of us experience the feeling of Limitlessness by any means necessary!