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7 Best Habits to Adopt For A Fulfilled Life in Paris.

7 Best Habits to Adopt For A Fulfilled Life in Paris.

This is for anyone that lives in Paris or wants to move here, anyone that’s committed to happiness and success.

You and I are creatures of habit. Have you ever realized that almost everything we think or do is actually a result of really-deep-seated habits that are etched into the mind through years and years of repetitive behaviors?

These very same habits either help to propel us forward or to hinder our progress in this life. Well, in fact, I think that the state and quality of our lives are basically a direct reflection of our daily habits.

We’re all aware of the undeniable power habits have in our lives. Habits are an integral part of the underlying behavioral psychology shaping the direction of our lives.

Replacing unnecessary old and bad habits with good ones is, by no means, a simple task. One needs commitment, willpower and the desire to overcome a seemingly natural tendency to think, feel, speak and act in a certain way.

Clearly, for those that are really committed to concepts like happiness and success, habits do offer a pathway to enrichment in life. Habits are are the tools we use to help automate our progress towards one goal or another, assisting us with the fulfillment of our dreams.

Still, most of the time, we're often left in the dark. We're often unsure of our own abilities or where to start on the road to developing good habits.

I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions lately about success.

What are the best habits to have in life when one wants to succeed or simply be happy?

Is living in Paris simply enough to provide some secret magical recipe for achieving life's loftiest goals?

What are the best habits to have in life?

Living in Paris alone doesn’t provide any answer to this question.

Some of the answers I’ve come up with (and, at times, tried to apply) are centuries-old. While any list of habits concocted might seem subjective, there are, in fact, 7 particular habits that will not only help you to succeed, financially speaking, but will also keep you healthy, happy and fulfilled in life.

By focusing on these 7 habits and consistently making efforts to instill them into your daily routine, your progress and momentum towards your goals will skyrocket.

1. Wake up early.

“The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years.”~Thomas Jefferson

“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”~Aristotle

I love these quotes. While waking up early can seem like a daunting task, especially when you first attempt it, it significantly boosts your personal productivity. Being an early riser is an essential routine. I’ve been doing this for almost 3 years now. I wake up at 5 am (well, except when I go to bed very late after a night out hosting an expats Paris event) and I can testify that this is probably the most productive thing of the day for me. This is when I plan for the day, go for my morning run and actually see Paris when not crowded.

For many Parisians, early morning hours are a perfect time for peaceful reflection and ample productivity. At these early hours, Paris is still and asleep. It’s the perfect time to focus on long-term goals. Thomas Jefferson, Aristotle or my grandmother or anyone who is serious about success in any measure knows how important being a morning person is.

Aren’t you a morning person? A few incremental changes in your daily routine to start waking up earlier may help you develop this habit. Check out these tips on an amazing process of being a morning person.

2. Gratitude.

Gratitude has an amazing transformative power. One of the tips I’ve always used to shift focus away from problems has always been expressing gratefulness for what I have. Yes, even for my problems. Here are few aphorisms that usually inspire and remind me of the importance of gratitude:

‘Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.’ - Lydia Sweatt

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” —Henri Frederic Amiel

"The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement." —Charles Schwab

Gratitude is one of the surest pathways to health, happiness, and even success. It actually shifts our attention towards what we possess rather than what we don't have.

3. Smile.

In this very short guide on how to make friends in Paris, I talked about the power of Smile. I mentioned how a simple (and only a genuine smile) puts one in a friendly mood, versus frowning at someone. Being in a smiling-mood-by default usually sends a strong message. It’s a signal that you like the person.

Living in Paris, smiling may seem a bit weird to some people, but it since it doesn’t hurt, you’re allowed to used it as much as you want. Oh, did you know that the world Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of October annually? Well, you don’t need to wait for that day to start smiling. “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” » said, Mother Teresa.

4. Exercise.

One of the absolute best habits to have in life is to exercise every single day without fail. This isn't about heavy weight-lifting while locking yourself in a prison (the Gym) or running a marathon. This is about doing a slightly strenuous activity to oxygenate your blood and boost the endorphins in your body.

And there’s no other city in the world like Paris where you can actually walk or run and, at the same time, enjoy the beauty of the city’s architecture. A friend of mine walks for more than 6 km to and from work every single day and, on top of that, she enjoys going to concerts where she’ll both stand and dance throughout the evening. Not only she’s physically fit, she has mental clarity and she’s emotionally sound.

5. Eating Healthy, Drink water & Fasting?

Here are a few eating habits I’ve been trying to re-introduce back in my life; Some of them copied from my grandmother and others from ancient food eating practices (caveman-eating habits).

Eating food with hands: This sounds barbarian, especially if you live in Paris, where the trendy art of cooking and eating never cease to evolve. I’m not claiming that I only eat without a fork and knife. I’m just trying to adopt some the ancient eating habits like eating with hands.

Eating with hands is neither uncouth nor tacky, but it is extremely healthy. An Indian eating myth suggests that when we put food in our mouth through our hands, the five fingers together form a mudra (a yogic position) which activates the sensory organs that keep prana in balance. Apparently, this also improves digestion because when the hand touches the food, the brain sends signals to the body releasing digestive juices. This is probably the reason why food tastes better when eaten with hands. I still have to verify and explain it scientifically.

When I moved to France 7 years ago, my eating habits changed. I found myself getting used to eating cereals for breakfast, bagels for lunch or pasta and wine for dinner. All this has so far been great, but I’ve actually realized that a healthy life isn’t only about eating. Diet interlaces with lifestyle. These two things can’t be separated.

So here’s what basically I look for in a diet: A very good sleep, easy digestion (this actually means softer foods especially for dinner), and a good meal mostly on Breakfast and lunch (eggs, vegetables, or fish - anything I can find in my fridge). I’m having a hard time avoiding sugar, Sodas or non-fresh-juice from organic fruits. All I drink is wine, water, and coffee.

The next thing I may try is intermittent fasting.

I’ve just finished reading the book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It’s obviously not a diet book, but the principles in it are highly relevant to healthy eating habits. In 2014 Nassim Nicholas Taleb completed 3 fasts of ~44 hours each over 11 days (only water & black coffee) and his report was an interesting one. You can find it here.

I’ll try to go on intermittent fasts sometimes, but the idea is scary. More on that in the coming days.

6. Effective time management.

One of the essential habits for succeeding at anything in life is effective time management. How well one manages the precious little time they have says a lot about what they can achieve. And considering that we all have the same amount of time in this world, how you leverage this resource will influence your potential for success.

What is a good system for managing time? Once you find one that works well for you and if you’re able to make it a solidified daily routine, basically everything is possible, and no goal will be too big to attain.

7. Learn something new.

Educate yourself, and learn something new every single day. Commit to learning and improving your life. This can be through acquiring new skills, enhancing your existing skills or volunteering at a local organization. From foreign languages and apps, you should carve out a small amount of time every single day to dedicate to a learning habit.

Over to you!

I’m not a huge fan of motivational or “inspirational” posts that, at times, I find rationally hard to explain, but I reckon it’s actually fun to write about these habits to trigger a conversation and also get to learn something from others. So, are they any habits you’ve developed over the years? How have they influenced your life?

Let’s have a chat.

Last modified onThursday, 03 August 2017 04:45
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