Once again I was watching Les Stroud in the TV series Survivorman as he navigated another survival situation. In this particular episode, he was in the Canadian Boreal Forest in very late autumn.
Because it was so late in the year, he was having trouble finding enough food to eat. He had trouble sleeping as well due to the cold temperatures at night—in the 20’s. On the third morning, he remarked that he was feeling the effects of little food and little sleep. He was making stupid mistakes such as starting a fire using a bow and hand drill and getting an ember that he coaxed into a flame, only to realize he’d forgotten to collect sticks, twigs, and small logs first. These were essential to turning the flame into a fire that could last the night. As a result, he had to start over after first gathering the wood.
As he was speaking to the camera, I noticed he was spacey—his gaze would be unfocused and wandering. Also, he would lose his train of thought in the middle of simple sentences.
Eventually, he was able to find some freshwater snails and a few edible plants, so he was okay. However, seeing him suffer the temporary physical effects of lack of food and little sleep made me think about the times I skimped on taking care of myself because I was too busy or a project deadline was looming.
Seeing Les struggle made it starkly obvious that we do undergo a decrease in effectiveness and a deterioration of clear-headed thought when we don’t take care of our physical needs.
Your homework is to make sure you are taking care of your daily physical needs: proper nutrition, drinking plenty of water, and getting the sleep your body requires. When your physical needs are met then you have plenty of energy to fuel sustained concentration and lasting efforts that are needed to reach your goals and achieve your dreams.
Also, remember to take the next step! Break it into small bits that you can easily fit into your schedule and are relatively effortless to complete.
You can do it!
I’m proud of you!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,