One goal of space exploration is to find the six elements of life. Finding them, as we have on Mars, is evidence that life as we know it could exist there. It doesn’t mean it is there, only that it is possible. What a great filter to explore with!
The critical six elements scientists look for are CHNOPS — Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorous, and Sulphur.
There are six elements in your life too. Finding them doesn’t mean you have a satisfying or healthy life, though the odds are higher. In this case the elements aren’t so much a filter as a structure to build your life with, especially if you have ADD or ADD-like symptoms.
The critical six elements I look for are CNMMSC — Connection, Nutrition, Movement, Meditation, Sleep, Creativity.
Daily involvement with those six elements provides you the building blocks you need for a productive, satisfying, and joyous life. Nutrition and Sleep are obvious critical elements to life, right? And they are topics I’ve covered many times. You wondering how the others are important, critical even? Let’s explore this concept a bit, starting with Movement.
You may call Movement exercise. I don’t because I’m trying to convey the importance of frequent activity throughout your day, not just the periodic visit to the gym. Moving keeps your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments loose and supple — in good working order. It also keeps your organs working well. When your organs work well you think better, you excrete waste products better, you breathe better, your heart pumps better, and your hormone creation is better. Your immune system also may be strengthened by adopting a habit of frequent movement through your day. Movement makes you a well-tuned human.
Movement doesn’t have to be intense to be effective in tuning your body. It does need to be regular and frequent, though. If you’ve read many of my articles you’ve seen me say before — take a 10 minute break every 50 minutes, go outside, walk around “the block” in the fresh air, stretch, and drink a glass of water. If you want to do some calisthenics or strength building too that’s great, as long as you move for at least five minutes during each break.
Moving throughout your day makes you more productive and alert, building blocks of high performance living.
Incorporating people into your life is another aspect of quality living that contributes to productivity, happiness, and health. Social media isn’t the element of connection I’m referring to. Yes, social media keeps people connected, but it’s the face-to-face and in-person connections that are best for your life. Connection — live social interaction — is to your emotions and psychology what Movement is to your body. Spending time with people lets you exercise your emotional expression, create support systems, and helps you cope with stress. Healthy hormones are created when you interact with people. Increased resiliency arises from solid connections. And again, your immune system may get a boost. too.
There’s a great similarity between Movement and Connection and the effect on the body. It’s the frequency, not the intensity, that helps you. Close connections are ideal, but scientists find that even casual exchanges are beneficial to our well being.
This simple element in high performance living calms the mind, builds the brain’s white matter (the wiring of the brain), reduces stress, and improves concentration. My favorite is that brain shrinkage, associated with aging, is minimized in meditators. This is a short list of the meditation benefits Take your pick, it’s a win. How much is enough? Start with at least five minutes per day, recognizing the more the merrier. Start your day with meditation for the biggest impact on your day. Hit a stressful spot? Find a quiet space and meditate for five minutes. Feeling too jazzed to fall asleep? Meditate five minutes before bed. You have nothing to lose, but stress, and everything to gain.
This element is new on my list. Just as the periodic table expands with discoveries, so does my list of vital elements. Creativity is one of the strengths of people with ADD, consequently it’s important to exercise that “muscle” so it stays strong. Because I hear lots of my friends and clients comment they don’t think they are creative, before they list numerous creative things they do, I’m feeling Creativity is important for everyone to practice daily so they appreciate that quality in themselves. One note about Creativity: it’s not synonymous with artistic. Artistic people are creative, no doubt, but creativity is much more than that. It’s puzzle solving, thinking outside the box, connecting the dots, and generating new ideas. It’s being resourceful, innovative, enterprising, inspired, original, and a visionary.
Do you see how much more fulfilling your life would be if you let your creative genius out to play? I feel energized just by thinking about this! Maybe this is the linchpin of high performance living. With Creativity riding shotgun in your life all the other elements are more rewarding and interesting. I know my energy goes up when I unleash my Creativity. I bet yours will too.
The critical six elements of life — Connection, Nutrition, Movement, Meditation, Sleep, Creativity — are important for you whether you want to live a high performance life or not. These elements keep you vital and healthy at the very least. That’s not bad.
Enjoy your CNMMSC! Enjoy your life.