So far in our series on the Triad of Change, we discovered that the first part of the triad is focus (what you think about) and the second part is language or communication (what you say to yourself or allow others to say to you). As Napoleon Hill once said, “Be on guard at the door of your mind and be careful what you allow inside.” In this article we will reveal the third part of the triad: what you do with your body.
What you do with your body controls more than you realize. Movement chemically alters our biochemistry. What you do with your body can change your feelings, your emotions, your creative ability, your productivity, and even your IQ.
Children seem to be better connected to this concept than adults. For example, small children, even babies, will start moving around and wiggling when they start getting sleepy. The sleepier a child gets, the more he will try to run and play, because instinctively he knows that movement will wake him up and allow him to keep going. How many times have you heard a parent say about their child, “If he just gets still for a minute he will be out like a light.” As adults, we have learned to reach for another cup of coffee, a sugary soda, or a high calorie snack instead of moving. Both the movement and the carbohydrate-laden intake will cause our brains to release chemicals that wake us up. The difference is that the carb-laden jolt is followed by a dump of insulin into our bloodstream, which makes us even more tired, as well as prevents our fat from being converted into fuel. On the other hand, the movement creates a different chemical release in our brains that keeps us going long after we stop moving and settle back into our desk chairs. Movement in fact raises our metabolic rate, the rate at which we burn calories (or convert fat to fuel) even after we stop moving.
In addition to changing your metabolic rate, movement can actually increase your IQ. A recent study on the effects of movement claims that exercise can actually make you smarter. Several studies with various age groups have all yielded the same conclusion. One study involved high school students taking a major exam such as the SAT. They divided the group randomly in half. One half of the room took the test from start to finish with just a couple of brief stretch breaks between sections. The other half of the room stopped every hour for a 5-15 minute walk break. The walkers scored higher on the exam than the non-walkers and finished the test sooner. In another study, nursing home residents were asked to complete a series of puzzles (brain teasers). Half of the group completed a puzzle, then walked for 5-15 minutes before returning to complete another puzzle. The other half of the group just completed puzzle after puzzle without walking breaks. The walkers finished more puzzles, with fewer errors in less time than the non-walkers. In fact, recent Alzheimer’s research reveals that movement can even reduce dementia.
Movement can increase your creativity. Groups of air traffic controllers (described as the most stressful job on the planet) were asked to brainstorm ideas for increasing air traffic flow. One group was asked to walk for 20 minutes prior to brainstorming while the other group was just asked to brainstorm. The walkers came up with twice as many new ideas as the nonwalkers in this study.
But movement and DOing means more than just simple exercise. It also involves how you carry yourself, and the presence (or energy as some call it) you bring wherever you go. There is a video on Youtube where Tony Robbins (author of Awaken the Giant Within) challenges the audience to describe the posture and body movements of someone off stage, whom none of the audience has seen or heard, but is diagnosed with clinical depression. Any member of the audience is able to describe the posture and movements, even the facial expressions of the depressed person accurately. We all know what a person looks like, how they sound, and how they carry themselves when they are depressed. We also know what a happy, excited person looks like, sounds like, walks like, and moves like. So regardless of how you are actually feeling, ACT as if you feel incredible.
Walk with your shoulders back and your head held high. As you begin to adopt the carriage of a happy person, you will actually feel your emotions and feelings shift from sadness to happiness. Be in control of your body, and watch success follow.
Doing means adopting new routines and rituals. If you want to be a writer, but you never write anything, then you aren’t really a writer. To be a writer, you have to write…you have to DO the writing. If you want to be physically fit, you have to DO the things that fit people do. If you want to get a promotion, you have to DO the job you want, not just the job you have. As you create a proven track record of doing, results will automatically follow.
When you want to make changes, whether you are wanting to make a tiny change or a big one, you must embrace the triad: what you focus on (or think about),what you communicate (to yourself or from others) and what you do (action, or what you do with your body.) A short way to remember the triad is: Think, Say, and Do.
This series of articles has summarized the Triad of Change, but please work with your lifecoach for a more in-depth look at how you can use the Triad of Change to move the mountains standing between you and your success. Remember, every step in the right direction counts.