Nothing focuses the mind like the prospect of being hanged. So said Mark Twain.
I haven’t faced that prospect myself. I have experienced the very real possibility of getting beat up. In fact it happened a few times, in grade school. And I can tell you that after the first time, the prospect of it indeed focuses the mind quite sharply.
What also focuses the mind is fasting. I have just gotten hip to fasting. I’m 36 percent of the way into a well-known book by Dr. Jason Fung, called The Complete Guide to Fasting.
So I am not the world’s foremost authority. (Dr. Fung may be.)
A central point of the book is that fasting is not dieting. The untold variety of prescribed, familiar diets out there are based on the same essential plan: Eat less, move more.
Which is a fine idea. Millions have lost weight and gotten healthier by consuming fewer calories and getting more exercise. I too have dieted, usually with some degree of adherence the South Beach Diet. But I have not had lasting, noteworthy results.
Fasting is different. It does not just reduce your consumption of food and drink. Instead, you simply stop eating. It can be for a period of 18 hours, a day, three days, or a month.
Recently I have taken a humble stab at fasting. The results have been stunning—both physically and mentally. My mind and thinking seem more focused than in quite a while. I’ll save the details for another post.