Of Resilience & Grit


The big events in life are beyond our control.  The key to success is not in prediction but in reaction and adaptation.

Often we think we stand on firm ground, but do we?  An article in the Portland Mercury “4 minutes” (1)  provides a scary example of how wrong we can be.

earthquake

I grew up in Portland Oregon. This always felt like a rugged, safe and solid place.  Yet that Mercury article describes a scenario when a huge geological fault that runs the coastline, from Northern California to Vancouver Island slips and creates a 9.0 earthquake that will last for just four minutes, but leave effects in the entire Northwest for decades to come.

Some of the text in that article shows how shaky what we perceive as terra firma really can be.

There’s a good chance that in the next 50 years the Pacific Northwest will be hit by such a large quake. Nearly all of the Portland’s bridges will be heavily damaged (and potentially useless), the power is expected to be out for weeks if not months, telecommunications networks won’t work, the state could lose nearly all of its liquid fuel supply chain, water and sewer systems would be wrecked, and thousands could die. No one knows exactly what the killer quake will look like or when, but it could be tomorrow or decades away.

Hillsides will have landslides taking houses and their foundations with them. Roads will be buried.

Across town, teachers will evacuate students from structurally deficient schools. Many will be injured. Others will die when their schools buckle and fall down. Children who do survive may wait outside on playgrounds, where teachers and administrators will work for weeks to reunite them with their families.

Those who survive disasters of this type, or business failures, or war, or political meltdowns any type of big disaster, or even the myriad of small setbacks, are this who have resilience and grit.

This is the 8th installment in a series that looks at factors of resilience.

The 8th factor of resilience is optimism.  “The glass half full” goes a long way towards enabling one t0 cope with life’s travails.

A Wall Street Journal, “Is there anything that grit cannot do” (2) gives a clue on how to be optimistic.  This article is based on an interview with University of Pennsylvania professor  Angela Lee Duckworth.  More than eight million people have watched her 2013 TED talk on grit. That same year she won the renowned MacArthur “Genius” grant. U.S. and foreign government officials, CEOs and ordinary helicopter parents, teachers of every stripe, world-class coaches and award-winning researchers line up outside her office to pick her brain about how to make their employees, students, children or competitive swimmers grittier.   She has written the book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” (3).

The article says: So what is this thing called grit, and why should we believe it is a key to success? “I define grit as the tendency to pursue long-term goals with passion and persistence”.

Here are some points from that article: “People’s lives certainly can’t be explained by intelligence.  Some of it is luck, some of it opportunity.” And some of it is “grit”.

She was a student of American psychologist Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, a scientific study of human well-being, and the creator of “learned optimism,” the theory that people can learn to cultivate habits of happiness.  Ms. Duckworth has her own 10-question test called the Grit Scale.  High grit scores had the same predictive power for all of them.  Persistence driven by passionate interest, she concluded after testing the various likely alternatives, predicts achievement in ways that neither conscientiousness nor IQ nor talent does.

The kids who seemed to have the greatest natural skill in, say, math, were often not the ones who aced the tests.  Instead, the most dogged excelled. 

The key to this thinking is that it’s not just about your talent and ability, it’s also about how much heart you put into it.  Developing grit relies on an inclusive definition of character from Aristotle: everything that allows a person to live a good life.  Not just grit but gratitude; not just gratitude but curiosity, imagination, social and emotional intelligence, empathy, kindness, delayed gratification, self-control and a growth mindset.

These thoughts support two key mantras we repeat this site like a broken record… “Turn Your Passion into Profit”… “Start Small and grow naturally using the Business Evolutionary Process (4)”.

There is an old Chinese saying about resilience, “If you sit by the riverbank long enough, you’ll see all the bodies of all your enemies float by”.   That patience, to sit, to wait, to continue regardless of past results, can overcome all obstacles, just as grit when applied long enough wears down even the toughest steel.

Gary

(1) 4 Minutes

grit

(2) Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance at Amazon.com.

(3) www.wsj.com:  Is there anything grit can’t do?

(4) Angela Duckworth at Ted.com

(5) Business Evolutionary Process Case Study.

How to Kick Start Higher Vitality

Vitality and a good start to the day are the foundations of health and wealth.  Good heart health creates this vitality by sending a strong flow of blood to and through the body and brain.  I believe so much in this fact that I take a supplement called Vitality Force first thing in the morning.  Modern living often inhibits a strong flow of blood and the World Health Organization says that 17 million people die every year from heart disease. Fortunately there is a simple, inexpensive way to kick start a positive heart spiral.

llama walk

After taking Vitality Force, I meditate, have an infrared sauna and do some gentle exercises such as this LLama Walk.  This process gets my mind active and my blood flowing.

Take light exercise (perhaps an easy walk) after eating.  Research has found that timing meals and exercise is important for glycogen loading, muscle maintenance and nutrient uptake and use.  The research suggests that even a little light exercise creates healthy hormonal shifts that improves the way nutrients are metabolized.  The exercise appears to help balance triglyceride and glucose levels which reduce the cravings for between meal snacks and the desire to eat rich, sugary foods.

Vitality Force is my kick start to make sure I have the vitality to take that walk.  This supplement has a powerful precursor to a single simple molecule that can increase vitality and feel like getting a good start.  Vitality Force provides L-arginine. This is theprecursor to nitric oxide.  The medical establishment has known about the benefits of nitric oxide as nitroglycerine which create a flood of nitric oxide.  Nitroglycerine has been used in medicine for over a century.

In 1998, three research scientists won the Nobel Prize in medicine when they discovered that nitric oxide is essential to a vital natural cycle at the cellular level.  The nitric oxide cycle, especially helps the heart.  Nitric oxide is the simple molecule that can help improve the flow of blood to the body and brain as it increases energy and stamina, relieve  stress, strengthens the immune and digestive system, plus improves clarity of mind.  Over the past decade, 92 studies examined the role of nitric oxide in modulating the severity of certain heart problems and 73% concluded that nitric oxide has a protective effect.

An Abstract at US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health of a scientific research entitled  “The effect of nitric-oxide-related supplements on human performance” (1)  says:  “Nitric Oxide has led a revolution in physiology and pharmacology research during the last two decades.  This labile molecule plays an important role in many functions in the body regulating vasodilatation, blood flow, mitochondrial respiration and platelet function. Studies involving untrained or moderately trained healthy subjects showed that nitric Oxide donors could improve tolerance to aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Nitric oxide makes you feel better when you exercise more.  It helps you want to get enough exercise.

The Pritikin Longevity Center website explains the importance of Nitric Oxide in simpler terms in an article, “Sex, Nitric Oxide, and Your Heart” (2) and says: Nitric oxide is a very simple but important molecule.  It is not the same as nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas.” The nitric oxide story is no laughing matter; it will determine how long you live.  And it’s an integral part of sex and heart health.  

The article tells how nitric oxide improves the health of the inner wall of a blood vessel, keep vessels pliable and elastic, dilates blood vessels keeping blood flowing smoothly, relax blood vessels, keep platelets and white blood cells calm and prevent them from sticking to the vessel wall, prevent oxidation, slow plaque growth, suppress atherosclerosis and melt away plaque that already exists.

One way to get more nitric oxide into our system is with a small scoop of powdered Vitality Force.

Vitality Force provides arginine, a semi-essential amino acid that has shown promise in the prevention of blockage of the arteries.  L-arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide.  After arginine is consumed in foods and in supplements, it makes its way into the bloodstream and circulates throughout the body.  As it enters the cells that line the smooth muscle walls of blood vessels, an enzymatic reaction converts arginine to nitric oxide.  Rising arginine levels increases production of nitric oxide, which improves your cardiovascular health and makes you feel better.

There are over 85,000 medically published clinical studies attest to the fact that arginine will help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, improve diabetes, improve sexual function, reduce blood clots and strokes, improve congestive heart failure, improve wound healing, improve liver and kidney function, improve memory and cognitive functions, increase human growth hormone (HGH), improve muscle growth and performance, and much more.

Vitality Force, is much more than just a solution for cardiovascular health.  The formula includes the highest quality arginine, vitamins, minerals, and other immune boosting ingredients.  It works by dilating the blood vessels to allow more oxygen and nutrients to flow freely throughout the body.   This helps improve the  bioavailability of all nutrients and helps enhance your other supplements that you may already be taking.

I like the powdered form because research suggests that consuming liquid nutritional products provides significantly improved absorption, (80% vs. 20% from tablets).

Vitality Force supports:

* Cardiovascular health

* Healthy immune function

* Anti-aging properties

* Improved energy levels

*  Dilated blood vessels to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to muscles and cardiovascular system

* Increased efficiency of oxygen utilization for energy production

* Enhanced numbers of mitochondria to actually produce energy

Vitality Force includes:

L-Citrulline

L-Citrulline is an amino acid which promotes energy, stimulates the immune system, and detoxifies ammonia, which damages living cells.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D, calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin. D3 is normally produced in the skin by the action of sunlight.  The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that protects cell membrane from environmental pollution and from dietary and metabolic free radicals.  This prevents the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol.  By decreasing LDL cholesterol and plaque deposits on the walls of the arteries, it is one of the most important nutrients in reducing probability of heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.  Vitamin E also helps alleviate respiratory problems and boost your immune system’s ability to fight off infectious disease.

Vitamin C (50% ascorbic acid & 50% Ester C)

Vitamin C works both inside and outside cells as your body’s first line of antioxidant protection.  Not only does it neutralize harmful free radicals, it also prevents the formation of free radicals that initiate artery blockage by damaging artery walls.

B1 (thiamine)

This vitamin enhances circulation and assists in blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism, and the production of hydrochloric acid, which is important for proper digestion.  Thiamine also optimizes cognitive activity and brain function.  It has a positive effect on energy, growth, normal appetite, learning capacity and is needed for muscle tone on the intestines, stomach, and heart.  Thiamine also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from the degenerative effects of aging, alcohol consumption, and smoking.

B2 (riboflavin)

This vitamin is necessary for blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration and growth.  It alleviates eye fatigue and is important in the prevention and treatment of cataracts.  It aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.  Vitamin B2 is essential for energy production and in regenerating glutathione, one of the main cellular protectors against free-radical damage.

B3 (niacin amide)

This vitamin is needed for proper circulation and healthy skin.  It also aids in the functioning of the nervous system.  This vitamin is an antioxidant and is involved in the regulation of blood sugar and detoxification.  It has been shown to exert a favorable effect on cholesterol levels.

B5 (pantothenic acid)

This vitamin is involved in energy production and is considered the “anti- stress” vitamin because of its importance for optimal adrenal function.  It is required by all cells of the body and is concentrated in the organs.  It is also involved in the production of neurotransmitters.

B6 (pyridoxine)  

This vitamin is involved in more bodily functions than almost any other single nutrient.  It affects both physical and mental health.  Vitamin B6 is extremely important for the formation of proteins and structural compounds, neurotransmitters, red blood cells and prostaglandins.  It is also critical in maintaining hormonal balance and proper immune function.  Vitamin B6 plays a role in cancer immunity and aids in the prevention of arteriosclerosis.  It inhibits the formation of a toxic chemical called homocysteine, which attacks the heart muscle and allows the deposition of cholesterol around the heart muscle.  Vitamin B6 is also helpful in the in the treatment of allergies, arthritis, and asthma.

B12 (methylcobalamin)

This vitamin plays a critical role in proper energy metabolism and immune and nerve function.  It is essential to the manufacture and normal functioning of blood cells and for the production of nucleic acids, which make up DNA.  B12 also helps maintain proper mental functioning and mood.

Folic Acid

This vitamin is considered a brain food and is needed for energy production and the formation of red blood cells.  It is the most commonly deficient vitamin in the world.  Studies have demonstrated that it is difficult to get an adequate amount of folic acid from food alone because it only 50% absorbed.  As a supplement, however, folic acid is 100% absorbed.  Taking supplemental folic acid, along with B6 and B12, will substantially reduce your homocysteine levels.  When homocysteine builds up inside cells and spills into the bloodstream, it damages arteries and reduces the integrity of vessel walls, laying the groundwork for the accumulation of deposits and blockage of the arteries.  Only folic acid, taken as a supplement, has been shown to substantially reduce the risk.  Folic acid may also help depression and anxiety.

CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is involved in energy production at the cellular level, is vital for sustaining life and is found in greatest abundance in the heart. The heart requires more CoQ10 to provide energy needed to pump blood throughout the body. It is also most sensitive to CoQ10 deficiency. Numerous clinical trials have shown that patients with congestive heart failure have low CoQ10 blood levels. Generally, the worse the heart condition, the lower the CoQ10 level. In addition, studies have shown that when administered orally, CoQ10 is an effective therapeutic agent in the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

Clinical studies have also shown that CoQ10 can treat periodontal disease. CoQ10 is also being investigated in treating cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s and even immune system disorders including AIDS.

Omega 3

Omega EFA’s (essential fatty acids) are vital to good health, but they must be acquired through our diets or supplementation because the body is unable to manufacture EFA’s itself.  Leading doctors estimate that upwards of 80% of North Americans are deficient of these Omegas and there is a direct correlation with this deficiency in Omegas and the modem proliferation of fat-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer and adult onset diabetes.  Furthermore, these doctors believe that by simply supplementing the Omegas into one diet can dramatically reduce the onset of these deadly diseases.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is known for anti aging and may confer special protection on the heart.  Research has found that low doses of resveratrol mimic the effects of what is known as caloric restriction – diets with 20-30 percent fewer calories than a typical diet – that in numerous studies has been shown to extend lifespan and blunt the effects of aging.

Potassium

This mineral is important for a healthy nervous system and regular heart rhythm.  It helps prevent stroke, aids in proper muscle contraction, and works with sodium to control the body’s water balance.

Potassium is important for chemical reactions within the cells and aids in maintain stable blood pressure and in transmitting electrical chemical impulses.  It also regulates the transfer of nutrients through cell membranes.

Chromium Polynicotinate

Because it is involved in metabolism of glucose, chromium (sometimes called glucose tolerance factor or GTF) is needed for energy.  This essential mineral maintains stable blood sugar levels through proper insulin utilization, and can be helpful for people with diabetes and those with hypoglycemia.

A deficiency of chromium can lead to anxiety, fatigue, glucose intolerance (particularly in people with diabetes), inadequate metabolism of amino acids and an increase in arteriosclerosis.

Chromium has been used successfully to control blood cholesterol and glucose levels.  It also promotes the loss of fat and an increase in lean muscle tissue.  Studies also show chromium may increase longevity and help fight osteoporosis.

Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for healthy heart function. It is crucial to produce the high-energy bonds that drive the energy machinery of your cells.  More specifically magnesium reduces blood pressure,

Selenium

Studies now show that people living in areas with low levels of selenium in their soil have increased incidences of cancer and heart disease.

Selenium has important antioxidant properties and studies have shown a link between low levels of Selenium and a high rate of heart disease and that individuals suffering from heart disease responded well to Selenium supplementation.

OPCs
Oligomer proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are naturally occurring substances found throughout plant life; however, the two main sources are pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) and grape seed extract.  They are unique flavonols that have powerful antioxidant capabilities and excellent bioavailability.  Clinical tests suggest that OPCs may be 50 times more potent than vitamin E and 20 times more potent than vitamin C in terms of bio-available antioxidant activity.  In addition to their antioxidant activity, they strengthen and repair connective tissue, including that of the cardiovascular system, as they moderate allergic and inflammatory responses by reducing histamine production.

Fulvic Minerals

A natural extract from ancient plant deposit that was created 75 million years ago in the upper cretaceous period, consist of an immense arsenal and array of naturally occurring phytochemicals, biochemicals, supercharged antioxidants, free-radical scavengers, super oxide dismutases, nutrients, enzymes, hormones, amino acids, antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals.  Fulvic Acids greatly enhance the bioavailability of important trace minerals.

AstraGin™

AstraGin™ is the first and only natural food ingredient that has shown in cell, animal and human clinical studies to significantly improve the absorption of many life supporting and health promoting nutrients; such as, amino acids, glucose, and vitamins, into cells, by allowing greater amount of these nutrients to pass from the blood stream into cells.  AstraGin™ provides for truly improved bioavailability and hence improvement in overall health, fitness, energy, endurance, sense of well being, blood sugar balance, and lean body mass.

Fructooligo Saccharide

Fructooligosaccharide is a unique prebiotic fiber blend with various sweet characteristics that are used for growth and multiplication by beneficial bacteria (bifidus) in the digestive tract.  A healthy population of these bifidus in the digestive system enhances the digestion and absorption of nutrients, detoxification and elimination processes, and helps boost the immune system.

Stevia

Stevia Rebaudiana is an herb in the Chrysanthemum family which grows wild as a small shrub in parts of Paraguay and Brazil.  The refined extracts of Stevia called steviosides (a white powder, 85-95% Steviosides) claim to be 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar.   In one study on stevia, participants who consumed stevia before their meals, felt satisfied with fewer calories and did not eat more food throughout the day.  In that same study, the stevia group showed lower after-meal glucose and insulin levels.

All of the above ingredients are in Vitality Force so it packs a lot of positive health spiral into one scoop!

I take mine first thing each morning and feel a big difference in my vitality.

The Ultimate Key to Vitality

Vitality is gained by being vital.

The use it or lose it law is always a part of nature’s play.  Nature is efficient.  Nature does not expend energy maintaining things not used.

Vitality begins with activity including physical activity.  Many factors in modern living inhibit our physical activity.  There is a lot of stress to maintain a lifestyle.  Modern conveniences like the computer, electricity and car make it easier not to exercise.  There is also a difficulty in obtaining vitamin filled and rich, healthy food.  All of this saps vitality and can lead to a negative health spiral.  We feel badly so we eat comfort food and sit.  This makes us feel worse and the negative spiral deepens.

One way to break bad habits and a negative health spiral is to generate more nitric oxide.

One way to generate more nitric oxide is simply by taking a scoop of Vitality Force each day!

vitality Force

Click on image to enlarge.

Learn more or order the food supplement Vitality Force.  The price is $44.95 when you order one container.  I recommend ordering two. The price drops to $37.95 and two months supply will give your vitality kick start a better chance.  To order Vitality Force click here

Gary

Learn more about Vitality Force here.

(1) NCBI – Effect of Nitric Oxide Related Supplements on Human Performance

(2)  Pritikin Longevity Center – Sex, Nitric Oxide, and Your Heart