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Ep. 12 — There are things that happen for you without your involvement

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Hello and welcome to The Optimistic Perspective Podcast.

I’m David the optimist and in today’s episode I’m going to share with you some insights about the things that happen for you without any planning on your side or without your involvement. Let’s begin.

To properly share this insight with you, I’m going to start with a story.

In the last few years, or to be more specific in 2022 and 2023 and I also think 2021, I’ve been struggling a lot with losing weight. For some reason, whenever I was trying to lose weight, it didn’t work.

I was stuck somewhere in between 82 and 85 kilograms. For me, that was more than I wanted to have. And I was trying like crazy to lose weight. I was trying like crazy to go even below 80 kilograms. And my target, as far as I remember, it was somewhere around 76 or 78. So it shouldn’t have been that difficult, but nonetheless it was.

I think I tried everything. I tried eating less or doing more sports or running more or dancing more or whatever. And I think I also tried all of these at the same time, as in eating less and also dancing and also running. And it didn’t seem to work out.

Now that I look in the past, I think I know why but back then I was struggling and I was struggling so much with losing weight. And I was hating myself and my body for not being able to reach my goal.

After two or three years (something like that) of constantly trying to lose weight, and this was not my first battle with losing weight, but after two or three years of constantly trying to losing weight, I reached a point where it happened.

But it didn’t really happen because of me. And I’m going to tell you in a second what I mean by that.

Back in 2023, I set myself at the beginning of the year that I want to travel to one different city from a different country every month. So I started in February with Budapest.

I went to Budapest for like five days, six days, something like that, and then I came back home. Next month in March, I had on my list, Zurich.

For some reason, some things happened and I couldn’t go anymore. I canceled everything around three days or two days before my flight. I canceled everything and I then took care of all the things that continuously appear on my life.

The time passed, I kind of gave up on that plan of traveling to a different city every month. But then at the beginning of spring, so somewhere in March or April, I decided to go for another Camino.

I did my first Camino de Santiago in 2022 from Porto to Santiago de Compostela and now I wanted to do it again, except this time in 2023, I went from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela.

In all this whole month, because it took me 26 days from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela, I walked around 750 kilometers. And I lost some weight.

But before that, there’s something that I forgot to tell you and I think it’s quite important.

My trip from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela, my Camino de Santiago in 2023, started if I remember correctly in June, the middle of June or something like that (or July, I don’t remember).

Before going to travel and do this Camino de Santiago, I decided to try a different approach to lose weight. The month before that, I got to lose 4 kilograms from an unhealthy strategy that I had back then.

I’m saying it wasn’t healthy because I gave up every kind of sugar. I didn’t eat sweets at all. I tried to cut carbohydrates as much as possible. And I replaced everything with Pepsi Max. That’s why I was saying it was an unhealthy strategy, because I wasn’t eating all the sweets and sugar and carbohydrates but I was drinking two liters of Pepsi Max every day.

It helped me because it doesn’t have any sugar. And I was, in a way, cutting a lot of sweets from my diet. But at the same time, it wasn’t healthy because, well, it’s Pepsi Max and it’s not healthy at all. Even more when you consider that I was drinking two liters per day every day. I did it for a month then.

All of a sudden, from 82 kilograms, at the end of that month, I was at 78 kilograms. So I lost four kilograms in one month, just because I was drinking Pepsi Max.

I don’t encourage anyone to do this but if you feel like you’re struggling too much with losing weight, maybe experimenting with it can get you some results. But then again, there’s a tricky side when it comes to drinking Pepsi Max as a mean to lose weight. And I’m going to share that with you in a second after my Carino Santiago story.

I lost 4 kilograms in this month and now I was having 78 kilograms and I was starting my Camino de Santiago.

As I told you, it took me 26 days to walk the Camino de Santiago. And it was around 750 kilometers. I had to walk 750 kilometers to reach Santiago de Compostela.

The thing is, I didn’t feel like eating more than one meal per day and some nuts that I used to buy from some supermarket. That was kind of all my dieting for the whole 26 days.

Except for, I think, one or two days, maybe three days, where I got out and ate something. And there’s another day when I bought some chips. And yeah, but that was the exception. And I’m thinking that at least 20 days out of these 26 (but I think there’s more than that) I ate only one meal per day.

That was really healthy. I was I’m a pescatarian, not a vegetarian and I was eating like just the lunch that that was my whole food every day. Just lunch and some nuts and then drink out of water.

In the first seven days, I remember I was walking between 35 and 40 kilometers every day.

I was doing this unconsciously as in, it wasn’t part of my strategy to lose weight. I just gave up on that and I was happy that I kind of reach my goal in a way.

As I said, I wanted to have between 76 and 78 kilograms and I was at that weight. I had 78 kilograms right before starting Camino de Santiago. So I was happy in a way. But then I started doing Camino de Santiago and eating only one meal per day.

Then when I got back home, I was at 71.5.

I’m sure that in the last few days of the Camino journey, I was below 70 kilograms because in the last few days, I mean, I after reaching Santiago Compostela and staying there for a few days, I started eating junk food again: some chips, some things, some whatever, some sweets, some cakes.

I started gaining weight again.

It’s crazy how without setting a specific goal, as in, I’m going to do Camino de Santiago and lose weight and lose maybe 10 kilograms (I think I lost in these 26 days) without setting that goal and without caring about it at all anymore, I got to lose the weight.

My conclusion back then, and I’m still really connected to this conclusion, is that there are things in life that happen for us without any kind of planning or without our involvement or without anything. Even though you could say that it was my involvement, because I walked that much and I ate less.

I would like to go beyond the story itself and talk a bit about these things that happened, because I can bet that you had in your life experiences where you really wanted to do something or to get something and you put a lot of effort and you struggled a lot. But then you had no result.

And at the same time, I bet that you had experiences where you kind of didn’t do anything. You wanted something and then you got that thing that you wanted without too much effort or without even paying attention to the thing that you wanted.

If you think about it, then it means that there are things that I said, there are things that are happening for you without your involvement, without you focusing on it, without you becoming aware of the strategy, the method, and the way that you’re going from where you are right now to the point where you have the thing that you want to have.

I really wanted to say this out loud and record the podcast around it, because I see a lot of people struggling to getting the things they want, as in they want to build the business, or they want to remove some unconscious behaviors that they have that they feel like they’re holding them back, but they don’t know what’s going on. And they struggle and they want to do all these things because they believe that doing all these things will get them to where they want to be.

But at the same time, maybe that’s not the right strategy, it’s not the right path. As I was trying before the Camino de Santiago to lose weight and it didn’t happen for two or three years, and then in just one month, let’s say two months with the Pepsi Max experience, I lost more than 10 kilograms.

I was like “Woah! Something’s happening that doesn’t require me to be there fully present and the way of what’s going on.” And that made a lot of the difference, that conclusion made a lot of a difference.

I’m saying this out loud because maybe right now you have something in your life that you’re really struggling to do. You really try to do something and to get to a certain result. And maybe you could let go of something connected to what you want, or just let go of it entirely, because maybe there’s a different way to get to what you want, and it’s not the way you’re currently engaged with, and just letting go of it could eventually show you the right way or the right path of reaching the point that you want to reach.

Because I promised I want to go a bit back to my experience and share a few more things.

In regards to Pepsi Max, when I came back home, I started drinking Pepsi Max again. I think I did for four more months and I got to a point where only after one glass of Pepsi Max, I was trembling, I was shivering, I was nervous, agitated, and that was the point where I decided to quit. I stopped drinking Pepsi Max, and I kind of stopped drinking any kind of juice. And now I only drink water and tea. And there are some exceptions, but it only happens, I think once a month, something like that.

Going from drinking everyday Pepsi Max (2 liters of Pepsi Max), to drinking only once a month something, a glass of something, or whatever, I think that’s a really good improvement.

At the same time, again, would like to bring some awareness on how some things want to be part of your life. But because you insist so much, so, so much, on your way of bringing those things into your life, you may never get to experience them, because it’s not your way of bringing these things into your life. But it’s their way of getting into your life and you have to accept that, you have to let go of the strategy.

For sure, and I’m going to end with this, for sure, you need some kind of strategy, you need some kind of way of doing things, you need some way to go through your day and feel like you put some effort into your day and feel like you did something with your time and your energy, for sure.

But at the same time, keep in mind that what you’re doing may not be the thing that you’re supposed to do and don’t be so strict about it.

Thank you for listening. I hope you found value in today’s episode.

If you want to become more optimistic and learn what optimism is all about, join the Optimistic Tuesday Newsletter. Go to davidtheoptimist.com/newsletter and I’ll send you one newsletter every Tuesday, with insights about optimism.

To reach out to me, use the contact page on my website at davidtheoptimist.com.

To stay in touch, subscribe to The Optimistic Perspective Podcast or follow me on Instagram at davidtheoptimist.

Thank you for listening.

With love and optimism,
David

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