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      All content by Charly Mann unless otherwise noted.


Why You Should Give Up Caffeine and Sugar

by Charly Mann

To really experience life you will need to give up caffeine and sugar. Your days will be full of energy, you will sleep soundly, and you will wake up every day feeling fully refreshed.

The ingestion of caffeine and sugar is a fairly new addition to the human diet. The widespread popularity of caffeine began in the 17th century with the introduction of tea from India by the British, and a chocolate drink derived from West Indies cacao trees by the Spanish. Pure caffeine, that is now a daily part of most people’s diet, was not developed until 1824. Refined sugar did not become popular until the mid 19th century. Since then the average daily intake of sugar consumption has increased by more than 1000%.

Today our favorite delivery system for caffeine is coffee, chocolate, and tea, and we consume the equivalent of three NO DOZ tablets of it everyday. When we are hungry and need a boost we rarely think of reaching for an apple, orange, or banana, but go for the quick pick-me-up of something containing sugar. We have become dependent on caffeine and sugar, which are both addictive drugs, and both are detrimental to our health and emotional well-being. A significant effect of the high doses of these ingredients is that we often feel over-stimulated, anxious, and have difficulty getting a good night sleep. Even though during 99.7% of human’s history manexhisted without caffeine or refined sugar; today we are so addicted to both that it seems impossible to live without them.

Caffeine is stimulant that enhances alertness and suppresses appetite within moments of ingestion. It also causes our blood pressure to rise and our nerves to feel on edge. Just a small cup of coffee, or a 12-ounce can of cola, raises our bodies stress chemical adrenaline enough to make us feel anxious for the remainder of the day. As a result it is virtually impossible to feel relaxed when we are regularly consuming caffeine. Over time insomnia, high blood pressure, exhaustion, and uneasiness are common symptoms of our addiction to caffeine. It is also a diuretic, which causes us to urinate more often, and depletes our body’s level of calcium, magnesium, and B vitamin levels.

Sugar provides a quick spike of energy by releasing a burst of insulin into our blood stream.  The problem is our bodies are not properly equipped to handle the purity of refined sugar like it does the natural sugars found in fruits. Eating refined sugar causes our blood-sugar levels to rise and fall dramatically. Just as fast as sugar can give us a pleasant boost of energy, it also soon produces a dramatic lowering of blood sugar which makes us not only crave more sugar, but also feel tired and cranky. A recent study published at St. Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO demonstrated sugar may be even more addictive than cocaine.  In a study they did with rats that had become addicted to cocaine, every rat they observed gave up cocaine when they had a choice of refined sugar instead.

Another health problem with caffeine and sugar is that they suppress our attraction to healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that are high in valuable nutrients, thereby making us more susceptible to serious ailments and diseases.

So if you want to be in a better mood, sleep a sounder, feel less anxious, be able to focus and think more clearly, lose weight, rarely feel fatigued, and be much healthier, give up refined sugar and caffeine.

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Alva, Oklahoma - The Happiest Place to Live in America

by Charly Mann

Alva, Oklahoma is an absolutely charming, picturesque small town of less than 5000. It is more than 100 miles from the nearest city, and is known as “mural town” because of the dozens of stunning large murals depicting the towns historic past. There is nowhere else I have ever been where the people are more warm and friendly.

Whether you love architecture, history, shopping for unusual items, food, people watching, engaging in conversation with fascinating people, or just strolling around streets looking at amazing murals, Alva has it all.

Much of time I was in Alva I seemed to be engaged in one big conversation with their citizens who I met in stores, restaurants, along the sidewalks, or in several cases who drove up along where I was to talk about a mural I was admiring. They told me how every one knew everyone else in this town, and that they never felt like part of a crowd here. I found out that the crime rate was so low that there had not been a murder, rape, or even robbery in the town in years.

Everyone I met, or saw, seemed excited and happy. On the day I visited much of the town was about to shut down at 2PM to enjoy the simple pleasure of watching their girl’s high school basketball team play in the state championship that afternoon. That evening I learned they won the game and had gone undefeated, 30-0, for the season, however what the town seemed most proud of was that the team was also awarded the state academic championship with a 3.984 grade point average.

All of the pictures in this article are murals from Alva. There are dozens of incredible murals around the town, and most are panoramic in dimension and not ideal for displaying here. This is an experience that is definitely worth the visit, if only for the blocks upon blocks of museum quality artwork on their buildings.

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Real Happiness is a Choice You Make


by Charly Mann

Real happiness is about choice.  Will you be happy or unhappy?  Will you move forward or backward?  Will your circumstances define you, or will you define your circumstances?  No matter where you are; no matter what the setback; no matter what the blessing; happiness is internally generated. 

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The Self-Righteous Mind is Not a Happy or Wise One

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
with several long hours before her flight. 
She hunted for a book in the airport shop, 
bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be
grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, 
which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, 
as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. 
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, 
thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too, 
when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. 
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, 
he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other, 
she snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother. 
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude, 
why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled, 
and sighed with relief when her flight was called. 
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, 
refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat, 
then she sought her book, which was almost complete. 
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, 
there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair, 
the others were his, and he tried to share. 
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, 
that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

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Happiness is Derived From Your Outlook on Life

by Charly Mann

I believe that most of one’s happiness is derived from one’s overall outlook of life.  For example in my own life I look at almost every adversity as a positive challenge which I have great confidence I can find a perfect solution for that will eventually make my life even better. I have had this attitude since I was 16 (I am now 65), and at least up to now this has always been true. As a result major problems give me a reason to smile because I know my life will soon be significantly improving. 

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The Path to Happiness is through Calmness

by Charly Mann

We live in very trying and difficult times. But circumstances like these reveal who we really are. The more tranquil a person is in difficult situations, the more influence and power they will have for good. A calm mind is an indication of self-control and wisdom. A recent study has even shown that people who maintain their balance in adverse situations will probably live three years longer than most of us.

The strong, calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character, which we call serenity, is the last lesson of culture, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold — yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money seeking looks in comparison with a serene life — a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm! - James Allen


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Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
Charly Mann

About Me

Ever since I was very young I have been intrigued with how one could live happily ever after like the characters I read about in fairy tales. As a child I noticed most of the adults I was exposed to were often anxious and angry, and only a very few seemed to be calm and happy. By the time I was a teenager I was scouring philosophy and psychology books looking for instructions on how to have a marvelous life. I also began questioning scores of adults I would encounter about their philosophy on life and what they thought one needed to do to be perfectly contented. In 1967, at the age of 17, I started a daily journal that compiled all the information I acquired that day on the subject. Today that journal includes three dozen large notebooks and more than 3,400 pages on my hard drive.

I have had a marvelous life thus far - most of it incredibly happy, healthy, and successful. Since 1968 I have also tracked how happy and successful I was in the previous year. Through the end of 2013, each year has been significantly better than the year before. I believe much of this can be attributed on what I learned and implemented in my own life about achieving good health, success, and happiness. As I mature and learn more my methodology for making my life great has changed a lot. I achieved enormous financial success before I was 25, which contributed greatly to my enjoyment of life for almost a decade, but even before I was 30 I found that there were things far more important than wealth that made my life great and I keep discovering more. I have had financial independence since I was very young, but almost all the joys and pleasure I now derive from life are free or cost very little.

On Uplifting Visions I share insights that I have gained from my own experience, observation, and a life of research on attaining happiness, health, and success.

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