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To Be Happy, ...
Published: June 8, 2024

To Be Happy, Stop Fitting In and Start Fitting Out

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Joshua Rosenthal, Founder, Director, and Primary Teacher of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition shares his wisdom about creating a healthy and happy life that helps transform the world.

I want to tell you something that you may or may not know: Most people wish they felt happier on a daily basis. We have a solution: Stop fitting in and start fitting out. 

You might be scratching your head and wondering what exactly that means, and how it can help you be happy. 

Many people feel like they’re living on the periphery of society and try to fit in because that’s what they think they’re supposed to do to survive. 

A lot of people, especially Americans, have never experienced delicious farmer’s market vegetables or 15 minutes in the steam room. Why would you want to fit in with that?

How much of your intelligence and creativity is channeled into fitting in? If you put the same amount of effort into fitting out, you’ll be so much happier.

Fitting out means being your authentic self in every moment. Fitting in takes up so much precious energy that you could use to share your authentic gifts with the world and live an amazing life. 

When I was first starting the school, I knew I wanted the color red to be a big part of it. Everyone told me that was a bad idea, that red was too overpowering and represented violence. But I didn’t care – I knew I wanted to use it because it represents blood, and the food we eat becomes our blood, thoughts, and feelings. Red also represents passion, the heart, and the energy of our students. That’s a great example of me fitting out. 

By the way, I chose the spiral because spirals appear so often in nature and in the body, like with fingerprints, hair patterns, seashells, cyclones, the solar system, and more. Spirals are natural and beautiful and represent the ongoing ripple effect the IIN community creates.

I’m so curious, what risks are you ready to take to live the life of your dreams? And who are you if you’re not your authentic self? The world needs you, exactly as you are. 

When you express yourself fully, all areas of primary food – the things that feed you that aren’t actually food – improve greatly. And primary food is the most important key to a healthy, happy life:

  1. Your relationships come into alignment and soar as you’re more honest about your needs and more yourself. When you’re suppressing your needs and what you know to be truly true, there’s no way for your partner to support you. They can’t read your mind. When you’re honest, you attract a partner who loves you for you, you get your needs met, and you become much happier and healthier.
  2. Your career begins to be a source of energy, not something that drains you and makes you feel like a zombie. When you do work you hate, you suppress your immune system and wind up depressed and miserable. If you can learn to love the work you have or find work you love, your life will improve so much.
  3. When you finally admit that you hate running, for example, you can start doing exercise that you actually like. Can you guess what happens next? You actually do it consistently, because it’s fun for you. Doing exercise you hate means you’re fitting in and suppressing your needs. Fit out by choosing the exercise you like and doing it because you want to feel fantastic.
  4. Many people grow up in a heavily religious family that is not aligned with their true spiritual beliefs, or others grow up with no spirituality at all. By reassessing this area, you might find out that you need a different form of spirituality in your life. Perhaps something more structured, or the opposite – something less structured. Spirituality includes everything from religion to meditation to simply spending time connecting to nature. Experiment to find out what form of spirituality feeds you. 

The takeaway here is to live each day with the freedom to choose what’s right for you. Strive for what is truly true. You know that I know you can do this and thrive.

Who’s in control of you and your life and your future is you, not the voice in your head or societal pressure. 

In what ways are you still trying to fit in? What are three specific ways you could fit out to feel happier? Share in the comments below. 

What if the world knew about this too? Wouldn't it be a better place? Use the tools on the left to spread the word! 


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