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The Core – Better Life, Better Performance

Kirjoitettu 14.02.20
Esseen kirjoittaja: Jenni Suomalainen
Kirjapisteet: 3
Kirja: The Core – Better Life, Better Performance
Kirjan kirjoittaja: Oskari Saari, Aki Hintsa
Kategoriat: 8. Henkinen kasvu, 8.3. Havahtuminen - ihmisenä kehittyminen, 9. YPK:n ulkopuoliset, 9.08. Henkinen kasvu, 9.12. Elämänkerrat

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I started listening to The Core – Better Life, Better Performance sort of on a whim. I had heard a lot of good things about the book, but for some reason I had been a bit skeptical towards reading it myself. Still I had saved the book into my books in BookBeat to be read someday. The day came and I just decided to start tackling this book.

This piece written by Oskari Saari is sort of mix between a biography of Aki Hintsa and a health book based on his discoveries. It is a piece that is full of the flavor of life. It talks about wellbeing in a way that shows that it isn’t always black and white. The book shows that even the people who are always willing to take care of everyone else, sometimes forget to take care of themselves.


Hintsa’s personal life

The book begins a bit more with the personal story of Hintsa, how he ended up working in Ethiopia and his journey in general. I was surprised to get any personal hits from this part but was positively surprised. I resonated strongly with Hintsa’s views on faith; he said that he has always hated forcing one’s views on others, he found faith to be everyone’s personal decision. Still, he was open to talk about his personal thoughts if someone was to ask for them.

Hintsa’s stories throughout his working life are pretty hard to internalize, he has been through it all; being threatened to be killed, having to flee from unsafe environments, divorce, burning up, his child’s anorexia and a lot more. It is somehow ironic but also comforting and touching to know that the person who help others to have their shit together has struggled as much as any one of us with having control over their own life. Hintsa seems to be a warm and caring person, whose main thing in life was helping others, sometimes at his own expence.


The Core 

In Hintsa’s theory everything starts from the core, the center that everything forms around. To help you refine your core, you are given three questions to ponder with.

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you want?
  3. Do you have control over your own life?

Next, I am going to think about the questions from my personal view.


Who are you?

I feel like I have quite good knowledge and understanding of myself. I understand my past and its effects on my present, of course not fully but I am quite aware. I have a lot of thoughts and I have always been a big analyzer; throughout the years I have also learned to vocalize those thoughts quite well. Sometimes I still struggle to open up my feeling, but compared to where I used to be, I have gotten miles ahead. I am a people person and will always evaluate people over things and success. I am pretty aware of what is important to me in life and what kind of a person I aspire to be.


What do you want?

I want to do work that I find meaningful. Giving tools and ownership to those who are not used to having them is the dream I want to achieve, hence my “ultimate goal” of starting a Team Academy in Thailand. Helping people find out that their potential is much larger than they have seemed to notice is what I aspire towards. This burning to provide for others started to burn during my volunteering period in Laos in a youth centre. It was inspiring for me to see that the youth there were empowered by the ownership they felt. I saw that a lot of young people started to believe in themselves and find out what are their unique features and starting to use those strengths to empower others. That is the change I want to see in this world. The world has moved rapidly towards individualism and people praise individual achievements. I don’t like this mentality that the world is living in right now and if there is even the smallest change I can achieve in someone’s mental model being opened up, I can feel accomplished.


”Ask yourself what success really means to you,

before blindly searching for it in the wrong places.”

– Dr Aki Hintsa


Family has also always been important for me. So, I also dream of starting one for us someday. Right now, I am focusing on my education and learning but still in my belief system family rises over most. One of my biggest dreams in life is to be a mother, I would easily choose having a family of my own over being successful and rich.


Do you have control over your own life?

This is maybe the hardest question of all three. I don’t believe that I have full control over my own life. I am working towards having more control but there is still a long way to be made. Inspired by this book I have started to make small changes such as not looking at any screens after nine pm and going to bed before eleven pm. I have been trying this out now for few weeks. Previously I used to go to sleep between eleven and one, through this change I have already noticed a rise in my energy levels.  Not using my phone in the evening hasn’t been as hard of a habit to break as I thought. Still, I have failed maybe like three times, but I haven’t let those setbacks ruin my change and I’ve kept on doing it still. I decided to start with these few little changes since my sleeping habits were quite off after the Christmas break and I noticed that not sleeping so well affected my mood quite a lot.

I have also started to update my bullet journal actively, to keep track of my habits and mood in a fun and easy way. Updating my journal lets me have a moment for myself daily to evaluate how am I doing mentally. Through getting more in touch with myself I have started to make my decisions of seeing people on my free time based on my energy levels. I still struggle with the fear of missing out when I decide to deny a hangout with friends, if I need time for myself or I want to spend more time with Valtteri. But I have noticed that not pushing my limits with social interactions has been good for my overall wellbeing.

In the previous chapter I told that helping others in different ways is one of my biggest values. Too often I still realize that I get stuck in my own mind and problems and therefore forget to do my best for others. On the other hand, sometimes, I realize that I am doing absolutely my everything for others and forget to care for myself. There is a balance to be found between the too, I want to do the thing that I find meaningful, but I also want to take care of myself on the way. I hope that I am on the right track of balancing these two, at least I think the changes I have made recently have helped me now on a short term. I have to continue reflecting and analyzing have I improved over the time too.


The outcome

I don’t think that there were necessarily totally new things in the book. Still I feel like I got a lot for my current situation through it. The book was full of familiar things that got just explained a bit more and I got reminded of them. I am quite pleased that I didn’t get into this book previously since I think now was just the right time to read it and be reminded of lots of things.

I decided to start making small changes, but also decided not to push my self with too many changes at the same time. I am taking small steps towards better wellbeing and contentment in my life.


“No one is perfect, but every one of us can be a little better, one day at a time”

– Dr. Aki Hintsa

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