10 Ways to Get Healthy and Happy – The MAP Manifesto

summer fun


I believe that life is meant to be lived. Too many of us spend our time being bored or angry or confused or scared and then on our deathbeds we regret everything. I hate that. I hate that anyone would have to spend their lives that way. This is why I think everyone needs to get in touch with their inner child. Children know how to live life for the moment, how to get up and get moving and find purpose without purpose in life.

There are four main tenets for living the My Adventure Playground (MAP) life. Those are joy, fearlessness, curiosity and movement. All four of these tenets will help you lead a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life – not to mention a life that is a whole lot less boring.

So, my friends, I give to you:

The MAP Manifesto

1. Get off the sofa

Or maybe try to get across the room without getting off of the furniture. The point is stop being stationary. Life is meant to be lived and you can’t live it by sitting around wishing you could live it. Why is it that you like playing video games or watching movies or reading books or surfing the internet? It’s because all of those activities are escapist activities. You’re escaping life. When you’re old and on your deathbed, do you really want to remember your life that way? Learn how to get up and get moving.

2. Screw the boring stuff

Okay, so now you’ve decided to get up. Now what? Go out for a run? Do some burpees in the middle of your living room? To that I say, HA! No way. How boring is that? You might add some years to your life by going out for a run, but you’ll be spending those years running. Exercise is work and work is no fun. Do you know what is fun? Playing. And the whole world is your playground. So don’t listen to those magazines, books, infomercials that try and sell you equipment and tell you that you have to jog or do sit ups. It’s time to have some fun.

3. Figure out your passions

You’re up and you’re ready to have some fun, but what is fun? You know video games are fun. Or movies. Or Facebook. But why do you like those things? Do you like playing first person shooters? Do you like fantasy movies? Do you like chatting with your friends online? Maybe there are deeper reasons for liking those things. Perhaps you can try doing some paintball or laser tag if you like video games. Maybe you can try LARPing or hiking if fantasy movies are your thing. Hang out with friends down at the beach, or play a sport with them and you can chat with them then. Find out what you like about the things you do, or try something you always wanted to try. Choose your own adventure.

4. Experiment on yourself

You’ll never know you will love something unless you give it a try. You’ll never know if you’re good at something unless you give it a shot. Want to do parkour but you think that you won’t be very good at it? Go to a class. Try it out. If it’s not for you, you’ll know right away. Want to ride horses but you’ve never even touched a horse before? Find a ranch where you can ride horses – go and pet one and see if you have a gift for horseback riding. Go around town and try out new things. Bring friends or family with you if you can. Try foods you’ve never tried before. Experience life by experimenting with yourself.

5. Don’t let anything hold you back

And I mean anything. Whether it’s fear, obligation, disability, anything – don’t let it stop you from living your life. One of the tenets of My Adventure Playground is fearlessness. There are several ways to overcome your fear or to embrace your fear. If you don’t have enough time, or you have young children or a demanding job, that’s no excuse. Find a way to make the time for you or you will have a very miserable life. How about disabilities? We see over and over and over and over again that overcoming disabilities, mental or physical can be done. Embrace who you are and go out and find out what you can do.

6. Enjoy what you’re doing

Don’t love what you’re doing at the moment? Maybe you have an exercise routine going and you hate every minute of it. If so, stop it. What’s the point of living life if you hate what you do? If you don’t have a routine planned, but you know you should go out for a run because it’s healthy, kindly close your hands into a tight fist and punch yourself in the face for me. You don’t have to do that stuff. What should you do? Something you love. Something you’ll enjoy every minute of. Something that makes you wake up with a smile on your face, ready to go out and get the day started.

7. Learn to love the process

It’s easy to give up on things because you don’t see results right away. In a world of instant gratification, it’s nearly impossible to stick to long-term goals. But what if the goal isn’t to get to the end? What if you didn’t want to reach the peak of the mountain you’re climbing. Forget results. Results are just a nice side-effect, the icing on your cake, to your true goals. Your true goal is to love the process. Learn how to enjoy what you’re doing instead of why you’re doing it. Don’t work out because you want to lose weight. Get up and get moving because it’s fun and it makes your life better. Losing weight might just be the nice bonus.

8. Become a kid again

When you see children playing in the park, do you see them lined up doing burpees? Do you see the kids jogging around the track listening to an ipod? If you do, I don’t know what kind of park you’re going to. When I see kids play, I see them doing just that – playing. Swinging on monkey bars, chasing each other, seeing how high the swings can make them fly. There is no thought to what they’re supposed to be doing. They just do what feels right. Driven by joy, fearlessness, curiosity and movement, they set out to have fun and enjoy life.

9. Don’t obsess

There are people out there who love to track everything. Every time they go out for a run, every little crumb they eat goes on a spreadsheet, gets graphed and the data analyzed. Everything has to be perfect. They have to get a certain number of miles in this week. They get angry that they went 200 calories over their daily budget. This is fine for some people. I know some who have been tracking this stuff for years and they’ve done fine. But it’s not for everyone. If you think you have to log everything you do, ask yourself – is this sustainable? Odds are it’s not. Here’s a little secret – you don’t have to log everything. You don’t have to be obsessive. The idea is to get up, get moving and to eat well while enjoying what you’re doing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find obsessing very fun. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until I stopped logging my food and counting my calories that I started to see a difference in my health and happiness.


I know, YOLO is old and tired. But the message behind it is not. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, would you be happy with where you are now? If the answer is yes, then what do you need me for? Just keep doing what you’re doing. You are there already. If the answer is no, then it’s time to change things. That can be scary, yes, but think about it. If this was your last day on earth, you’d probably think about how you spend your time in a different light. This is the core of what My Adventure Playground is all about. You need to be happy, enjoy what you do or else you’re not really living life. So get up, get moving, and let’s play!

water fun


Living by these ten guidelines will change your life. No longer will you waste your days wondering what you SHOULD do. Learn these rules. Memorize these rules. Live these rules. Make love to these rules and have little babies with them.

They are the only rules you will need.

Now it’s time for you to take action. Send me a line about what it is that you want to change. Give me your thoughts. And go and live your life.


Photo Sources: Summer Fun by gfpeck, water fun by afu007


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