Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beating the High Cost of Living

The only way I've ever figured how to beat the high cost of living -- is to move to a lower cost market.  That of course, means identifying how the markets perform relative to one another.  It's not unlike finding the better performing stock -- from those that are underperforming.  Values have always been relative as a general rule -- but beyond that, highly individualized by personal tastes and judgment.  

Many people believe that they have to buy only what one particular seller wants to sell -- and not that they can go to another.  Sellers of course, will try to convince their potential customer, that they are the only game in town, and there are no other sellers -- anywhere, at any other price.

But one of the distinct advantages, if not the greatest, of living in these times, is the realization that there are virtually endless markets, as well as exchanges, that merely require one to locate those agreeable to such an arrangement -- which is very unlike lives in an earlier time, when marketplaces were much more limited, and the weight of tradition forced one to believe they had no choices.

Critical to this development, was the availability of information, and the ease of obtaining it.  Despite that, many will simply deny the real possibility of making choices other than the only one they have always made -- rather than has been satisfactory and fulfilling or not.  They may be conditioned to believe that all variance from the "normal," is futile, and always leads to a greater disappointment and disaster than their accustomed course.  If the denial is great enough, they may even convince themselves that they are living in "Paradise," and there can never be any better -- as punishing as their present situation is -- with its endless toil and dimming prospects that it can ever get better.

They don't want to even believe that life could be different -- other than it has been, even as they keep getting worse.  The golden years to them, is always a greatly embellished past -- that has almost no resemblance to any reality.  They're even convinced that though life for most was abject and miserable for virtually everyone in those "glory" years, they would have been the king or queen, because that was the literature (legends) of those times was all about.  Even better and more convenient if that history was unwritten, and fabricated by those who are the most self-serving and self-aggrandizing -- because there is no record that can be verified.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion -- by which they mean theirs -- and not each their own.

Again, it is information that rues the day.  If one is taught to deny the new, life will predictably be very difficult -- with no possibility of any other.  That is simply rejected from the beginning.  Instead, they want improvement -- but the cultural imperative, is that there be "no change" -- because everything is perfect in "Paradise," or we wouldn't be calling it that.

But those who stray from the "political correctness" and mass conformity at any cost, discover whole new worlds waiting for them -- oftentimes, with no one else even aware of them.  Do such places still exist -- or will one be the last one buying a microcondo in San Francisco or New York as the only possible alternative?

That is the beauty of being "retired" at this particular time: one can live anywhere -- and not just begin a second career in retirement, but begin a second life -- with the advantage of Social Security and Medicare -- if one is up to that challenge their previous life has been merely a preparation for.  The younger, the better -- at realizing that.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Exercise" in the 21st Century

The bottom line is that we have to change our thinking -- as well as the way we talk about conditioning activities.  The "old" manner of talking about exercise, is a huge part of the problem -- that one has to run three miles every other day, or have to bench press our bodyweight as indicative of greater fitness.  Exercise doesn't work "even" for older people; it works "especially" for older people -- and people in deteriorating conditions.

But those "exercises" can't be ones that increase one's risk of injuries disproportionately to any benefits.  That's as preposterous as the health experts advising people to stand up all day -- as though that is the best thing for sore feet, aching knees and backs.  I don't know how many times I've heard a 100 year old frail and blind person explain that they fell trying to follow their expert's advice to walk a half hour each day.

That's not an appropriate activity for such an individual.  And any running would be worse.  But one can create movements they can do in bed, sitting, or standing in one place -- when they realize the really meaningful movement, has to take place at the critical joints of the head, hands and feet -- rather than the attention to the autonomic functions of the heart beat and breathing -- which is the problem when they persist, when movements (and activities) at the head, hands and feet, are no longer exhibited in any meaningful and responsive action.

And reviving 5,000 year old understandings of the human body and health -- as the latest and greatest new insights, are moving in the wrong direction -- towards a 21st century vision of actualizing lifelong health of extended durations.  The parameters for these measurements and discussions focus on the wrong things -- and simply doing more of the same things, is not the answer but the problem.  People won't do them because it doesn't make perfectly good sense.  When things make perfectly good sense, there's nothing more important or effective for them to do to begin each day.

That is the clarity they have to begin each day with -- or no amount of coercion masquerading as "physical education," will overcome.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Exception is the (Greater) Rule

Some "highly educated people" think that the object in life, is to see no difference in everything -- rather than the uniqueness in everything.  And so they think they've seen everything, when they have not even begun to see anything, or to look earnestly.  So even when something is new and different, they will only see it as the same, and are quite content to confirm that it is what they already know -- even thought they have not even begun to inquire and investigate.  They just know they are right -- and there is nothing more to know.  That is the end-all and be-all of any inquiry -- just to confirm what they already know, and have done -- repeated one more time.

In that manner, nothing new will ever be discovered -- but only the ancient wisdom confirmed, reasserted, repeated -- as though nothing new can ever be discovered, or will ever be.  And of course, for such people, nothing ever will -- though they will claim to know many things, because they have been the invariably same thing repeated through the generations.  Such minds, and therefore bodies, become old before their time, and there is nothing they can do about it -- because that is the way it is -- and there is nothing they can do about it, etc.

People just age badly, because that is what they were meant to do -- and there is nothing to do but commiserate, as the fate all must endure -- and not that life and fate could be any other way, as it must be, for the few who will be the successful exceptions to the rule of failure.  One will invariably know only that failure, until one discovers the success against it.  That is what individuals who are successful, eventually do.  They find a way to overcome and prevail, against the rule of failure, that thus far prevailed and ruled life until that point.

That is what changes life -- and the world, and not just repeating the failures and mistakes forevermore.  Individuals find a way to win, and prevail, when the collective wisdom and "the averages" say they can't, and suggest they should not even try, or even think about it.  All must simply acquiesce, or give in, to what those who claim to know all, and better, say is the rules for all time -- just as they have always been up to now, and nothing more is possible -- because all knowledge and wisdom, was perfected long ago -- by their chosen ones, and it is heresy to believe anyone can do any other, more, or differently -- under threat of even death, which they feel comfortable and justified to enforce.

That is invariably "the news," just as it has been for all time before -- and not that the real news, is the unveiling of the challenge to the rules revealing a greater underlying truth -- formerly dismissed, as only an exception to the rule, and an aberration not worth knowing about.  Thus the "law of averages," remain inviolable and sacrosanct, as laid down previously by "the authorities," which are the self-appointed few of every profession and self-interest.  They are "the experts," and no further proof and demonstration, is required other than their say so, which must not be questioned -- or the gods themselves would be upset.

That was the old world order -- that new information revealed as the limits to thinking that retarded the progress, until it too was challenged and overcome -- and life became very different, for the next generations to come.  It has always been that way -- until it isn't, and becomes the critical failure, at which life ceases as we know it -- and something radically and unfamiliarly new and different, comes into being -- as the natural evolution of how it must be -- with or without us.  Life will go on.

But the question for every individual, is to remain a part of it -- and not the many falling by the wayside -- until we can't.  That is quite different, from the many who drop out, because they refused to find a way to go on -- but were discouraged and frustrated at every turn, until they simply gave up trying and waited for their end -- even for however long that might be.

For too many, that is sadly when one no longer has dedicated teachers and guidance for their improvement -- and they are "on their own," to provide it for themselves -- as the successful individuals, they are conditioned to be.  Instead, they learn all the wrong lessons -- that plagues them all their lives.  Society then has no recourse, except that they must enforce the rules for such persons, because they cannot mature as individuals -- discovering the truth for themselves, as the exception to the rules -- they are uniquely privileged to discover for themselves.  That is the reward, of their very living -- and not just what everyone is "entitled" to, regardless of how they live their lives.

That is the reason for their living -- and the meaning and purpose of their lives, they've given to themselves.  That is very different from those who think that "Shit happens," and because of that, they have no control over their own lives, but should control everybody else's -- for the same results, or worse.  What is important for such people, is that all experience the same results -- without variation, or individuation, because their golden rule, is that everything be the same, for everyone, for all time.  That is their "Paradise," and what they strictly enforce.

They simply do what everybody else does -- thinking "more" is all they can do -- and never differently, or better.  Such things are not possible -- to their way of thinking.  Only more or less -- in only one way of thinking.  And so their problems are never solved, but only get worse with time and age -- until the critical failure when it is impossible to continue any longer.  But that is not the one way it has to be for everyone.  That is the value of those who discover the "exceptions to the rule" -- that reveal the even greater truth lying undiscovered beneath it.  It was there all along too.

It was the "simpler" truth -- there for the taking, but nobody could figure out how to make their exclusive profit from it -- and so it languished, neglected and ignored, until impossible to overlook anymore.  It was the mountain overshadowing all the molehills people claimed as their exclusive turf and could work their own profit from.  That is the greater life beyond present imagination to recognize -- that transforms life immeasurably without such limits and preconceived notions of what it is.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Easy Does It

Most people who think that exercise has to be hard and difficult, end up not doing any -- because just the thought alone, is enough to discourage them. Eventually, it is not even a consideration, or an impossibility -- for some trivial reason. They just never "go there" anymore.  What do they do instead?

Exercise is what one actually does -- and not just the thought of doing something, that one doesn't. The human capacity is expressed in this manner -- or loses that capability for the lack of its actualization and expression (exercise).  One tends to keep and improve those capabilities they actually express -- as the requirement to keep them intact, fully functioning, and improving as long as one does so

Those faculties not exercised, naturally atrophy and are extinguished as unnecessary baggage particularly with diminishing resources.  That is just the way it has to be.  So at all times, one has to be choosing to do this or that, and not that by doing neither, all capacities remain in top form -- just because they ought to.

People become good at what they practice (exercise), whether it is beneficial to do so or not. That is their conditioning - and far from doing just one thing, an obviously better approach is to determine what range of movements and actions one wishes to become good at -- even if at first, they don't start off doing it perfectly.  A large part of any practice, is to simply become better and more efficient at it -- to make it easier and more disposed to moving in that way.  Those variations are not unlimited. -- but they are varied -- and not just one motion, repeated as the entirety of one's repertoire of movements -- enabling all whenever one has to.

The superior performer, has a greater range of movements than just the one done repetitiously and unvaryingly -- as many people's choice of the one capacity they wish to maintain, while the rest are neglected, and predictably atrophy. In this perspective, running alone would be a very poor choice of an adequate response to most real life demands  In fact, it is distinctly useless in contemporary life -- when the speed of transmission, is the speed of light and electricity.

The obvious and most visible places people deteriorate, are the extremities of the head, hands and feet, that even athletes who should know better, regard merely as stumps -- which they often become -- because those parts are never moved.  That has a catastrophic effect on doing those things most important and critical to do -- and not merely speeding up the autonomic functions of breathing and heart beat.  Autonomic means simply that -- that they don't require conscious thought and effort to effect or optimize, and as we often see, many can go on breathing and beating, for many years beyond any other willful motions of intent and expression -- which is the bane of lengthy lives -- with no other meaningful and willful capacities.

Fine motor coordination and capacities is the first thing lost, and is the most reliable predictor of declining health -- rather than breathing and heart beat, that can distressingly continue way beyond most resources to support in that state.  The appearance and functioning at those extremities, are the indicators (whether people realize it or not), of vitality and responsiveness -- that most people consciously ignore, and are never taught (or learn), as the highest expressions of human capacity and life.

That is what needs to be exercised -- no matter how much one runs, jumps, bicycles, walks -- without attention to those extremities of expression -- as in writing, drawing, playing an instrument, taking care of oneself as deftly and skillfully as possible.  It is a very serious disability not to be able to feed oneself.  Those abilities don't just disappear easily -- but have to be maintained, as well as perfected just as children are taught to do, as their basic conditioning (education) in life.  But as people get older, all that is taken for granted, and when there is serious dysfunction and disability, few think there is anything they can do about it -- like making that development the focus of their activities (exercise), rather than all the other things that are doing fine without that need for attention and attentiveness.

One has to address those needs and weakness -- and not simply divert all one's time and energies to doing what doesn't need to be done -- thinking that is all one can do.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Golden Age

Retirement is great -- as long as one is healthy.  When one is in declining health, nothing else can get much better.  That is dependent on one's health.  Therefore, obviously, attention to health must have our highest priority -- and implies the quality and vitality of one's life.  If one is getting better, what more can be said?   And if one is in a declining health spiral, eventual disability and death seems the only certainty.

Yet many are paralyzed by the fear -- rather than realizing they have nothing to lose in doing everything they can to make themselves better.  Certainly, they can't get any worse.  But most don't want to change -- even if it means getting better.  The inertia is too great -- to get moving again.  They don't want to move on; they want to die where they are.  Formerly, people made those choices for themselves.

But now with so many health care workers, social workers, home health aides, one can be kept alive longer than their own efforts alone make possible. That is fine -- as long as any other doesn't have to sacrifice their own health and well-being for any other, whether the young for the old, or the old for the young.  Often, it is not just one for one, but many for the one, until one has a whole empire serving the needs of The One -- for which any sacrifice, is not too great.

That is not the trend in modern societies -- fortunately.  The highest attainment is the greatest self-reliance and self-sufficiency, because everyone is given equal access to all the resources -- particularly information of what they are, and how to access them.  But the outcomes and results, will never be the same for everyone because of individual variations that ensures the survival of the species in the diversity of responses to any crisis or challenge  Otherwise, one thing would wipe out everyone in an instant -- rather than allowing a few exceptions to the rule, to survive and eventually flourish in drastically changed circumstances.

It could be that some can stand the cold better, while others the heat. But as such, some enhance their survival prospects by moving towards their most favorable conditions -- rather than their most trying and difficult circumstances -- as proof they can withstand anything.  Far better, for them to identify and move towards their greatest strengths and favorable conditions -- in optimizing their life and existence.  That is what every living thing must do.  That is their categorical imperative -- the drive above all the others.

The individual must survive -- in order for the group to.  If none of the individuals survive, than the group is not possible.    That is why the individual must survive, and beyond that, thrive -- to make all things possible beyond that.  And rather than retirement being the end of those responsibilities to do well, it is actually the test tube of experimentation for how life can be -- if one's primary responsibilities are no longer the perpetuation of the present society, and its dependencies.  It can be a life of greater independence, than increasing and inevitable dependence.

That is a choice -- that the most able make, because they can.  That creates the society of the future. -- and not simply extending the lifespan of failing/fading life.  That formula is doomed to extinction. -- because the measure of life, has never been its quantity -- but its quality.  And quality is not just more of the same -- but significantly and appreciably different and better

Those are the foundations of a golden age -- of individual or collective life, when one has access to all the information.  The limit then, is not the information, but one's own desire and drive to tap it.  Many don't even want to know about it -- because if they did know about it, they'd feel compelled to do something about it -- and so let themselves off of that responsibility, by choosing not to know, and turning away from every possibility of knowing.  So theirs is the age of darkness -- repeating life as it has been, for thousands of years before.  Or even the generation before.

That is the betrayal of all that have come before us -- not to see what lies beyond.  Quite probably, it is of life beyond the money and cares of our traditional lives -- which we think is the ultimate goal and destination. And then we die -- or spend the rest of our lives worrying about it.  That too, will come to pass, but to spend the better half of one's life worrying about it, is wasting the best years of one's life -- in the actuality.

All of life up to this point, has been a preparation, for moving beyond the past and knowledge that limits us. Only those who take on the challenge and responsibility of finding out the life never lived or imagined before will enter the golden age of these discoveries. And that is to embrace and embody, all that has gone before -- and go beyond that. That is the golden age of discovery.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Easier Than You Think

What works almost as well as a complete layoff, is only one overload workout a week (to stimulate growth) -- particularly as a person ages, and their recovery ability drops off dramatically. They should still continue light daily movements to aid the recovery and prevent severe muscle soreness from setting in. One has to fine-tune to their recovery ability -- rather than the arbitrary objectives of benching their bodyweight at age 90 -- or whatever they think will defy that decline.

No matter how determined one is to override the pain messages and the lack of recovery that begins to accelerate the aging process that leads them to abandon exercise entirely, they have to recalibrate what load and frequency sustains gains, rather than increases the pain -- until there is debilitating injuries and accelerated aging -- indicated by decreasing range of movement.

At 90, one is less impressed with how much one is bench pressing, as it is that one still can simulate that range of movement -- with no resistance at all. People who can no longer lift their arms or legs -- are in obvious decline and deterioration brought about by their efforts -- and not the lack of them.

That's what a lot of young people do not adapt to -- as they grow older. That's true for Arnold, Casey Viator, Frank Zane, Dave Draper, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, and many of those cross-fitters who think that they can continue to jump out of the building -- for as long as they continue to do so, because nobody tells them to stop -- before they absolutely have to -- when they inevitably tear their (Achilles) tendon. Less fortunate people have heart attacks -- because the heart doesn't have unlimited capacity, as many world's strongest men have already proven. Or the legendary John Henry. Even the original marathon runner, dropped dead right after delivering the news that "We prevail." Or all those WWE Superstars.

Life doesn't end at 40, or 50, or 60 -- crippled by all those past abuses inflicted upon ourselves. The body doesn't get used to it, but breaks down -- when the objective is to break the body down unnecessarily and needlessly. So is there a level of muscle stimulation that can be sustained indefinitely so that at age 90, one has the full range of all their movements -- if no longer the speed and explosiveness, because that is seldom an actual requirement to maintain functionality throughout an extended lifespan? And that should be the greater objective -- that one maintains their full range of movement throughout life -- and not that they're crippled and so no longer attempt any movement anymore.

But the curious thing is that the maintenance and extension of range of movement -- results in the greatest muscular contraction possible -- even without any added resistance. That's what I pointed out to Arthur Jones when he was determined to create machines that could provide resistance through the full-range of movement -- which he never went far enough to realize that the fullest range itself, invariably provides that resistance, and results in the ultimate muscular contraction we know as a "cramp." But the trick is, can we move easily in and out of a cramp? That is what we're trying to condition the muscle to do.

The old folks get cramps a lot -- and therefore don't contract their muscles anymore -- which results in that atrophy, because the most valuable "work" of any muscle, is simulating the pumping effect of the heart, that increases the circulation that maintains the health of any organ, and improves it. It's possible to produce the pump without the pain -- and increasingly desirable and beneficial to do so. But not if one is conditioned to believe that the pain is necessary; it is actually a deterrent for doing so.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Creating Value

Many people think that "making money" is the be-all, end-all of life, when there is something much more fundamental at work, and that is "creating value" when there was nothing before -- and that action, is what is monetized in some financial transaction (exchange) -- or not.

In many cases, it is inefficient and counterproductive to place a price on an item to value it, if there is no one readily available to value that on the other end -- and so the better values may go unappreciated, while lesser values are greatly overpriced.

That is not to say that it shouldn't be that way -- but rather, there may be another value system in play -- frequently much greater -- like the air we breathe, and the company we keep, for surely, that is the world we live in and enjoy -- and not going down into our vaults, and lying in our money.

Thus the value of something, can be immense (immeasurable) to one, but of no consequence (value) to another -- as in the case of a person who rides a bicycle, and another who eschews it because it is not a car, and wouldn't think to ever use it -- and thinks the value of it is getting rid of it, to free up space so they can maneuver their car without it.  Thus, not having it, has more value than having it -- while the right person, would have their world expanded greatly into essential transportation.

Obviously, the key then, is to have and be able to function in many, alternative value systems, and not just the one -- and beyond a certain point, may not be a reliable measure of one's actual quality of life.  That becomes increasingly true when information and understanding is the transformative catalyst that determines ultimate, or useful value.

"Usefulness" is what many lose sight of -- which determines how much value one gets from the same thing.  A coat is not valuable in the tropics as much as in a colder climate -- where it might be the difference between life and death, or just being an ornament and adornment, one could just as well live without unless one subscribed adamently to the dictates of fashion (fad), as affluent societies are often prone to regard as the current essentials of contemporary life.

But while there is that super culture at work, those living closer to the edge, or more in touch with actual needs, can better determine for themselves, what are the essentials, and what are the wants generated by the various trade associations -- as the must-haves, if one subscribes to their programs, and values of how one ought to be living their lives.

It is easy to get caught up in those confusions -- depending on their sources of information and marketing.  The common concern of these times, is frequently how much one needs to have, not only to live well now, but well into any reasonable lifespan -- and beyond to ensure that affluence for all one's progeny as well.  There is no amount of money that can assure that success for everyone -- for all time, because that capacity has to be learned as well as earned, in living each individual's life.

That can't be done by one -- for everyone else, for all time.  Each individual has to learn and earn that ability -- as the be-all, and end-all of their own living.  That is the meaning and purpose of life.  That is what it is all about.