So try to eat protein-rich foods several times a day, especially when your energy level needs a lift. Healthy choices include beans and peas, lean beef, low-fat cheese, fish, milk, poultry, soy products, and yogurt. As I've said elsewhere, avoid processed proteins--such as packaged lunch meats and wrapped cheese slices--and look for organic choices instead. Be "vitamin B aware." Several research studies have demonstrated the link between vitamin B12 deficiency and depression. For instance, one study of more than four thousand men and five thousand women found that rates of depression tended to rise in men--especially smokers--who were deficient in folate. The same thing happened for women--especially for those who smoked or didn't exercise--when they lacked vitamin B12. B vitamins and folate can be found in legumes, nuts, many fruits, dark green vegetables, and low-fat animal products, such as fish and low-fat dairy products. Make vitamin D a must-have. In a 2013 meta-analysis, researchers concluded that a deficiency in vitamin D results in a higher risk of suffering from depression. Because vitamin D is essential to the brain, low levels of it can be a factor in depression and other mental illnesses. Who said achieving true wealth and happiness had to be difficult? The truth is, the world is divided into two kinds of people--those that are successful, and those that have stopped trying to be successful (so they never master the skill of what it takes to be successful.) There are a handful of simple strategies that you can do to leverage your finances and career so that virtually any goal you have will be realized in a very short period of time. I myself, as well as many of my wealthy friends have applied these techniques. While some of them may be ideas you've never heard before and outside of your comfort zone, I like to remember this: "The best stuff comes from stepping outside of your comfort zone." It's true--so instead of thinking about how far you have to go to make your dreams come true (compared to where you are today, right now), take just one step. Pick just one technique I've laid out for you, and you'll soon be living the life of your dreams. It's not a theory--it's a fact: Spend one hour a day strengthening a new skill. Some people get really bitter about not having opportunity to advance their career, or for never getting their `big break.' But in my experience, you can't get your big break without mentally setting yourself up for it. Let's say you want to become a professional actor, but currently you're an accountant for a corporation firm. If you're really serious about becoming an actor, you have to start somewhere. You can't even allow the thought of, "How could I EVER become a professional actor," to seep into your consciousness--and you do this by rolling up your sleeves and diving into the work.

Spend just one hour a day learning about something related to acting. Take an acting class once a week. Read books about perfecting your craft and autobiographies written by your favorite actors/actresses. Take it piece by piece, and before long, you'll begin to become mentally and physically the actor you always wanted to be. You're seated in a small, windowless room. On the table in front of you is a large shock generator with a row of thirty switches arranged in a horizontal line. The switches are labeled from fifteen to four hundred fifty volts, indicating the level of voltage that would be administered if activated. They also have verbal descriptions that range from "Slight Shock" to "Danger: Severe Shock," with the last switch simply indicating "XXX." In the next room, a person is strapped to a chair with an electrode attached to his wrist. You can't see him, but you can hear him, and before being strapped in, he told you that he has a heart condition. There's a man in a white lab coat standing over you. He says, "This is an experiment on the effects of punishment on learning. You will ask the person seated in the other room a number of multiple-choice questions. If he answers incorrectly, you are to give him an electric shock, starting with the lowest voltage, and increasing the charge after every successive incorrect answer." To give you an appreciation of the pain, the man in the lab coat gives you a forty-five volt shock. It jolts you a bit, and he says, "Although the shocks can be extremely painful, they cause no permanent tissue damage." And so it begins. The person in the other room initially answers a few questions correctly, but then begins to make a number of errors. You start to increase the voltage on the shock generator after every wrong answer. At about seventy-five volts, he starts to grunt when you shock him. He gives a few more wrong answers, and at one hundred twenty volts he begins to shout, "Hey, these shocks are painful." At about one hundred fifty volts, he starts to plead with you, saying, "Stop! I refuse to continue." At that point, you turn to the man in a lab coat, but all he says is, "The experiment requires that you continue." Reluctantly, you continue to ask questions. At two hundred seventy volts, the person starts to scream loudly after he's shocked.

You become very agitated and again turn to the man in the lab coat who tells you in a stern voice, "You have no choice; you must go on." Again, you continue. At three hundred volts, the person in the other room screams, "I can't answer any more!" The man standing over you says, "No answer is a wrong answer--you have to continue the shocks." You're getting very worried, and your hands start to shake as you pull the next switch. When you administer the higher voltages, you hear the person banging on the wall and begging to be let out. But you continue. Finally, there's no sound at all from the next room. Now, you may say, "I would never do that. As soon as the person in the other room said they wanted out, I'd stop. How can you give those extreme shocks when he's crying out to stop? It's inhumane." But a wealth of research indicates that you're likely to do it. Psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of classic experiments on obedience that followed the script given above.1 Milgram first asked forty psychiatrists how far they thought people would go before they refused to shock any more. The psychiatrists thought that most everyone would stop around one hundred fifty volts, when the victim asked to be let out. In fact, the majority of people participating in the experiment, around 62 percent, continued to shock to the very end! Really deep concentration can only take place under certain specific conditions. Buddhists go to a lot of trouble to build meditation halls and monasteries. Their main purpose is to create a physical environment free of distractions in which to learn this skill. No noise, no interruptions. Just as important, however, is the creation of a distraction-free emotional environment. The development of concentration will be blocked by the presence of the five hindrances that we examined in chapter 12: desire for sensual pleasure, aversion, mental lethargy, agitation, and doubt. A monastery is a controlled environment where this sort of emotional noise is kept to a minimum. Members of the opposite sex don't live together there.

Therefore, there is less opportunity for lust to arise. Possessions aren't allowed, thereby eliminating ownership squabbles and reducing the chance for greed and covetousness. Another hurdle for concentration should also be mentioned. In really deep concentration, you get so absorbed in the object of concentration that you forget all about trifles. Like your body, for instance, and your identity, and everything around you. Here again the monastery is a useful convenience. It is nice to know that there is somebody to take care of you by watching over all the mundane matters of food and physical security. Without such assurance, one hesitates to go as deeply into concentration as one might. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is free from all these drawbacks. Mindfulness is not dependent on any such particular circumstance, physical or otherwise. It is a pure noticing factor. Thus it is free to notice whatever comes up--lust, hatred, or noise. Mindfulness is not limited by any condition. It exists to some extent in every moment, in every circumstance that arises. Also, mindfulness has no fixed object of focus. It observes change. Thus, it has an unlimited number of objects of attention. It just looks at whatever is passing through the mind, and it does not categorize. Distractions and interruptions are noticed with the same amount of attention as the formal objects of meditation. In a state of pure mindfulness, your attention just flows along with whatever changes are taking place in the mind.

"Shift, shift, shift. Now this, now this, and now this." You can't develop mindfulness by force. Active teeth-gritting willpower won't do you any good at all. As a matter of fact, it will hinder progress. Mindfulness cannot be cultivated by struggle. It grows by realizing, by letting go, by just settling down in the moment and letting yourself get comfortable with whatever you are experiencing. This does not mean that mindfulness happens all by itself. Far from it. Energy is required. Effort is required. But this effort is different from force. Mindfulness is cultivated by a gentle effort. You cultivate mindfulness by constantly reminding yourself in a gentle way to maintain your awareness of whatever is happening right now. Persistence and a light touch are the secrets. Mindfulness is cultivated by constantly pulling yourself back to a state of awareness, gently, gently, gently. In another study, University of Toronto researchers noticed that people who had symptoms of depression, particularly seasonal affective disorder, tended to improve when the amount of vitamin D in their bodies increased as it typically does during the spring and summer. To ensure you're getting enough vitamin D, consume plenty of salmon, egg yolks, yogurt, whole milk, almond milk, orange juice, oatmeal, cheese, shiitake mushrooms, and fortified tofu. Find more fiber. Replace foods high in sugar and fat with those high in fiber. This includes vegetables such as asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, leeks, and onions, as well as bananas, legumes, and nuts.