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We need more time to sort through the data from an increasing number of countries and states to know which substances can be relatively safely and effectively legalized, and for what ages and with what regulatory controls. But this is not to say that we should continue the romance with law and order, control and interdiction, and criminalization of what every culture uses and will continue to use. The basic premise of this book is that people use drugs for a purpose. They work. Patterns of use can be light or heavy, periodic or steady, recreational or compulsive, legal or illicit, safe or not--dependent on prevailing views and ideologies about any given drug as well as the personality of those taking them (set and setting, once again). But drugs are winning the drug war. Better to make love than war, which means, here, first appreciating the purposes drugs serve and then offering alternatives--either to prevent psychoactive drug use or to enable people to move from the potential harm of illicit drug use and its unsafe practices, medically and criminally, to alternative ways of changing how they feel and think. We can offer humans and societies ways to achieve different altered states of consciousness that are safer, healthier, and more socially acceptable. Sarah decides to give up driving, much to her family's alarm. Everywhere else she goes her mind starts performing some quick maneuvers to try to imagine what she would do if she had a heart attack in that setting. When she and her parents go out to a restaurant, she keeps trying to imagine to herself who she would call if this happened. The most frightening situations for Sarah become those in which she would have to be out of cell phone range for long periods. She decides she can't fly anymore, because if she had a heart attack in mid-air, it would take too long to land the plane and get her to a hospital. She is aware that they have defibrillator machines onboard aircraft and that flight attendant is trained to provide medical first-aid and CPR. But why take the risk? The next year, Sarah turns down an exciting job that would require her to travel to places in other parts of the world, because she decides she doesn't trust other countries' health care systems. She recognizes this is probably an unfair attitude. She is a smart and well-read person and not generally judgmental about other places and cultures. Again, however, she thinks to herself: Why even take the risk? Isn't the most important thing to stay safe?

What could be more important than keeping herself alive? Being a chiseled person is about getting rid of everything unnecessary. It's being free of all nonsense. It's eliminating the mental fat - everything in your mind not helping you become a high-caliber individual. Just like becoming physically chiseled requires you burning as much fat as possible, building muscle, and eating healthy, becoming and remaining mentally chiseled requires you getting rid of all mental fat - unnecessary thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and habits, building mental muscle - taking action and getting experience, and feeding your mind healthy food - reading, learning, educating, improving yourself, and only surrounding yourself with knowledge, wisdom, experience, and positivity. Before a statue is carved into a masterpiece, it's nothing special. It's a huge slab of ugly rock, wood, or whatever it's made out of. Before it becomes a beautiful work of art, it has to be carved and downsized. The useless parts have to be removed and thrown away. Instead of building it from nothing, adding material to it, and molding it the way a clay statue, for example, would be made, the artist eliminates the "fat". He continuously and purposely carves out and removes what he doesn't need layer by layer until the statue bears a resemblance to the final piece of work. The more he "trims the fat" and removes what isn't needed, the more beautiful and striking the statue becomes. Here's the thing, the only way he can take it from being an ugly rock to a beautiful piece of art is by removing and throwing out what isn't needed. The more he keeps, the more it's an ugly, useless rock instead of a valuable piece of art. In order to be the person you want to be, you have to carve away at yourself and eliminate the thoughts, emotions, behavior, and habits keeping you from becoming a beautiful masterpiece. You can't be a chiseled masterpiece and still keep everything that's unnecessary. What can I do to help myself? If you have any concerns at all about your health, your first port of call should be your doctor. I have always believed that all medical conditions should be eliminated before considering any emotional and/or life factors. The following are some dietary tips that will help you: Drink plenty of water - not only is it good for your skin, it helps flush out toxins and keeps your kidneys in good working order.

Around eight large glasses a day is best. There is nothing wrong with flavouring the water if you are not keen on drinking water. However, avoid sugary flavourings as this will defeat the object. Drinking fruit teas are also a good way of getting water inside you. Make sure you eat at least six times a day. Breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon, tea, and dinner. By eating little and often and ensuring you do not skip meals you will help your blood sugar levels stay balanced. Keep healthy snacks around you and plan ahead for days when it may be difficult to find healthy meals. Roger Ebert began his career as a film critic in 1967, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times. Soon after, he lectured and taught film at the University of Chicago. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and began hosting, with Gene Siskel, one of the most entertaining and smart film-reviewing TV shows, famous for its thumbs-up and thumbs-down ratings. The show endured, including a move to PBS and then Disney. Ebert had been a heavy drinker in his early years, but quit in 1979 at age thirty-seven with the help of AA. He was obese and some years later settled into a routine of ten thousand steps a day, an exercise regimen that could do us all some good. He ate more nutritiously as well, and had a good marriage, at age fifty, to trial attorney Charlie "Chaz" Hammelsmith. Exercise, diet, and a trusting, supportive relationship were the elements that propelled and enriched his life. At age sixty, Ebert was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer, requiring first surgery on this gland, then on his local salivary glands, and then radiation. Misfortune did not leave him, and a few years later, following further surgery for cancer of the jaw, he had a carotid artery bleed, a life-threatening event. He was left disfigured and unable to speak, or to eat or drink normally. For Thanksgiving that same year, Sarah's parents decide to visit her brother, who lives on the other side of the state.

They know that their daughter doesn't like to drive, so they plan to drive the van instead, and Sarah sits in the back seat. As they are going, Sarah keeps plotting out to herself what she would do at each stage of the trip if she had a heart attack. Here she would call 9-1-1. Here they could pull over at that exit, where it looks like there's a clinic or an urgent care center. As they get further and further away from home, however, Sarah's anxiety becomes more acute. Eventually, they reach a stretch of highway out in a rural part of the state. Sarah looks down at her phone, and she realizes there is no cell service out here. She starts to panic. Her heart is racing, and her arms and legs are tingling. "I'm trapped," she thinks. "If it happens right here, there will be nothing I can do about it. I'll be dead, and that's that." At some previous point in her life, Sarah has heard the term "panic attack." She had never connected it to her own experiences before. But now she starts to wonder if that is what is happening to her. If so, a "panic attack" is way worse than she ever imagined it could be, she thinks. More than that - she starts to worry - what if having a panic attack can bring on a heart attack? What if I'm about to cause the very thing I'm most afraid of? When you're getting your act together, remain detached from the process. Get your emotions out of it and to stop "feeling" certain ways about what you're doing. Put your feelings away and just do what needs to be done to get to where you're going. Anyone who acts on emotion can't be trusted and that means you can't trust yourself to do what needs to be done when you're constantly flooded with emotion.

Getting up early, staying focused, working hard, disciplining and controlling yourself, reaching goals, etc. - separate emotions from it. Detach from it. Emotions are not required. They're a distraction and have no place in the process. Consciously remain "emotionally zeroed out". Society says you need emotions to make things happen and you have to be "passionate, excited, and stoked" about what you're doing. While that sounds lovely, intense emotions use your energy up and cause you to burn out faster. These people start strong, quickly run out of energy and motivation, and give up. For long-term success, save your energy and turn off your emotion. Use your energy to take action. High emotion isn't the secret behind success and reaching goals. It's putting your emotions away, thinking clearly, and forcing yourself to do what needs to be done regardless of how you feel about it. Stop attaching emotions. Eliminate "loser" thoughts - "This isn't healthy", "I should sleep more", "I'm going to burn out", "This is hard", etc. Don't feel one way or the other about it. As hardcore as it sounds, have the emotionless attitude of, "I'm going to reach my goals or die trying." Turn off the emotions. Stop waiting until you "feel" like it. Lose emotions about the past. It's gone.