If people aren’t on time for appointments, I get mad (even though I’m late sometimes too).
If I splash ink on my paper, I throw out the entire page of notes and rewrite them.
And I constantly have this underlying ANGST in life – the feeling that I always need to get “there” even though I don’t really know where it is.
Hi, my name is Alex, and I’m Type A.
And I learned just yesterday, that even if we eat healthy, exercise, and have great genetics – Type A people die sooner than everyone else. Here’s why.
The Type A Study
What He Found In the Study
Meyer Friedman was a cardiologist in San Francisco, and in the 1950’s he noticed similarities in his patients prone to heart disease. It wasn’t just the obvious like diet or exercise, but how they led their lives. These patients demonstrated:
“A particular complex of personality traits, including excessive competition drive, aggressiveness, impatience, and a harrying sense of time urgency. Individuals displaying this pattern seem to be engaged in a chronic, ceaseless, and often fruitless struggle — with themselves, with others, with circumstances, with time, sometimes with life itself.”
These people had a vastly increased chance of developing heart disease than other people – even people who had the same physical characteristics, exercise regimens, diets, and genetic histories. Trying to figure out how he wanted to categorize this group and present it to the scientific community, he called it ” Type A.”
Isn’t that incredible?
They ate healthy.
They even had disease-fighting genetics.
Yet they still died young from heart-related events.
This takes the whole “mind, body, spirit” thing to an entirely new level. We can totally nurture the body… but if we neglect the mind and the spirit, the body can still suffer ill effects.
Well that’s great and all… but if we’re Type A control freaks, how do we actually STOP being type A?
The Type A Recovery Plan
1. Take the long view.
For example, I like clean cuts in my videos – I don’t like rambling or stuttering that you find on some videos or typically on youtube where people just push the camera and record. I actually rehearse to respect YOUR time, to make it short, to the point, and USEFUL.
In many of those videos I stutter or make mistakes… and the Type-A in me SCREAMS “WAIT! Stop. Edit it again. Shoot that all over.”
When I give in, I take the extra half hour to do that.
But if I take the long view – flash forwarding a year – I ask myself: “Will anyone else remember this besides me?”
If the answer is obviously no, just leave the little mistake. If it’s yes, then take the time to make it right.
99% of the time, it’s a big, fat “NO!” and thus I just get on with my life.
2. Remember that happiness you put off today can’t be stored for tomorrow.
We feverishly pursue success, working horrible long hours, to get to that mystical place “OVER THERE” – and when we get to the end of the board game, what happens?
Yup… that’s the end.
It’s so paradoxical, because we’re always trying to “get there” – but “there” is nothing. It’s the end. Gameover.
And we often sacrifice every single day to get there, not realizing that we don’t even get the rules of the game.
It’s a PROCESS.
I’ve talked about this many many times here, that life, weight loss, happiness, success – they’re all processes.
They are the direction in which we’re traveling – and the more we TREAT them like processes (not expecting overnight results, taking it day-by-day, not treating one failed day/week as an ultimate failure), the faster we’ll reach our goals.
The in between moments were some of the most important parts of the day.
Sitting in the grass with my girlfriend, reading a great book on a Saturday in a coffee shop, looking out the window in the morning with coffee in hand.
THIS IS LIFE!
It’s such a hard concept for most of us to wrap our heads around – life isn’t the two weeks when we’re in costa rica half naked on a beach. It’s also not the moments when we’re sitting on the stage holding our trophy, or the moments when we buy the big house or achieve the goal.
It’s every moment in between those things.
Today’s Tiny Habit
So for today, here’s your tiny habit: If you’re Type A, first understand that not only does it make you feel ridiculously insane – it’s also killing you even faster. Even if you do everything else right. Then, understand the idea of process. Life is process. Health is process. Success is process. Not “A” Process. It IS process.
What about you? Share below.
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