30 Days of Optimal Living
I must preface this review, I know that Jared is one of the founding members of this site. But this is an honest review based on my journey through the 30 days, and then rereading the book to write the review. Besides if you are a regular reader I already know you are interested in personal growth in the area’s of mind, body and Soul!
Jared Zimmerer is a man of many hats, he works full time in ministry, he is an author, podcaster, father husband and friend. And in all of that he is exemplary of striving to find balance between mind, body and spirit. This is the third book of his that I have read, and it did not disappoint. Both of his other books I have read in eBook format (which is my preferred format) I waited a number of months after this book came out in order to pick it up when I was breaking down and buying a few physical books. It was my loss that I did not give it a go earlier.
The Purpose of the Book
The purpose of this book is really to help you grow, but to grow in all areas of your life. It is intended to challenge the reader in all three areas of their life. It is also written to encourage us, and it was written to be a guide and help us develop skills for continuing our growth after the 30 days. At the beginning of the book is a list:
Requirements of Optimal Living:
- Desires results over comfort
- Desires a strong body, a strong mind and a strong spirit
- Desires integrity, courage and honesty
- Desires work ethic and drive to succeed
- Desires knowledge of humanity on many planes
- Desires awareness of the unseen
- Desires to shape one’s environment rather than be shaped by it
That is a pretty serious list of requirements, but if you are willing to man up and give it a go this book can help build mental, spiritual and physical muscle for you and give you tools to continue on. After that challenging list we are provided with a limited list of approved foods; proteins, carbs, fats, veggies. The goal is also to eliminate fruits and alcohol for the 30 days. These 30 days are designed to help is establish discipline and focus so buckle down and give it a try.
The Format for the 30 Days
After a brief word or caveat on each of the three target areas we are presented with three pages for each day of this journey. Each day is broken down into three focuses, and you guessed it, body, mind and spirit. The physical component is some quick body weight exercises at 5am, a main workout and a target for total carbs for the day. Next is the mental component, a reading for reflection. Some of these meditations are from philosophers, Yeats, Bruce Lee, C.S. Lewis and many more. And yes some of them are hard, but read them and if needed reread them. And finally for the spiritual there is a section for meditation, we are instructed to find a quiet place, then quiet ourselves, and finally reflect and journal on 3 questions each day.
The book is intended to be a guide; a guide to help you to establishing habits for physical, mental and spiritual growth. It will show you that you can do it. It will help you to establish new or greater discipline in your life, and how to continue that growth on after reading the book. And if you are still struggling start over and do another 30 days.
Is the book perfect, no it is not. If you do not have access to a full gym with cables and such you will need to come up with your own modifications for some exercises. It would be great if there was a substitution chart if you have only dumbbells or dumbbells and barbells. But overall it is a very very good tool to help you grow. C.S. Lewis stated “Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.” This book will help you grow and what more could we ask for!