Finding Your Bubble (and why good advice can be bad advice)…

OK, so what the hell am I on about with “Finding Your Bubble”…

Well, for each of us, there can be those things that we consider healthy, or good for us, and those we consider unhealthy, or bad for us.

Both of these are stressors (if you’ve read my blog ‘Constructing A World Without Stress’, you’ll understand what I mean here. If you haven’t, why are you still reading this blog???? Go read it (but do come back) –

Both healthy stress (eustress), and unhealthy stress (distress), requires the use of calories; energy, and as Matthew Walker, Neurosciences foremost expert on sleep states, ‘whenever Mother Nature burns calories, it’s usually for a reason, because they are so precious”.

In other words, one really needs to be pretty tight fisted with the burning of calories from a physical and cognitive standpoint.

But what is good for me in this world of calorific expenditure isn’t necessarily good for you, and vice versa.

Now yes, I hear you, there can be crossover (exercise is generally seen as a good thing for all), but I like table tennis and you like yoga and never the twain shall meet. Stick me on a yoga mat in a 300*c sweat box and I won’t be namastaying there for that long (thank you very much – extra tickets to my sell out tour available soon).

Same with relationships, food habits, what fires me up in a work capacity, my creative output, the list goes on forever and ever amen.

We are all unique.

My life experiences good and bad, my upbringing, my circle of friends, all these personal things that make me who I am has never been and will never be repeated, not to mention how my parents own lives influenced them to influence me, their parents to influence them, and on and on and on.

And the same with you.

You have an abundance of stored information with your experiences in learning, loving and living, that is solely unique only to you (caveat here – for any of those reading this and saying ‘McDonalds 3x a day and 2 bottles of wine are genetically what I require on a regular basis… Well, no, sorry, there is zero evidence to support that thinking).

So now to that bubble.

Neurologist Robert Sapolsky states that “we all have a different capacity and appetite for stress”, and so if we are to believe someone who has been awarded the coveted MacArthur Fellows Award (better known as the Genius Grant!), then we can safely assume that whilst running 10k for you might be too little and 20k too much, a brisk 3 to 6 hour walk in the woods can still be just right for me. So I like walking, you like running. Over time, and with effort (an effort that I will only apply if I’m actually enjoying what I’m doing), I begin to learn more about ‘what is right for me’, and maybe I can even narrow down the window even further, or expand it into new areas once I’ve honed the skills and freed up enough neurons to go looking for some other area of growth.

But a walk in the woods… what’s not to like???? After all it’s nature, exercise, fresh air filling your lungs, peace and quiet – how can you not like that????

Because – YOU ARE NOT ME. You are YOU.

And it would be sensible to apply this individuality bubble to any aspect of life, and to be mindful when accepting someones advice. Others’ words, whilst born often of good meaning, can be woefully off the mark.

At times when advice is given, it can take some considerable confidence to gently go against someones opinions, especially when consulting someone in a supervisory role (I won’t even go to the debate of the threat and reward response of someone initiating status, and it’s potentially negative effect on the brain).

But confidence, when in this vulnerable state, is often not top line in your strengths, and by adopting others’ opinions you may well find yourself simply going along with their ideas and pleasing them, or maybe worse, adopting as advised and wondering why this miracle cure that worked wonders for them, isn’t working for you.

As Irvin Yalom, the renowned psychotherapist once stated, “You don’t want to be too powerful in someones life, better still is to help someone become inspirational in their own life”.

Find your bubble. Find someone to help YOU find YOUR bubble, and be wary of the giving and receiving of advice.

*(btw – hot yoga is apparently AWESOME!)