You are the Eyes of the World

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authentic voice / awareness / creative inspiration / enlightenment / how to live / mindfulness / Ralph Waldo Emerson / Uncategorized

From Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on Behavior and the wonderful expressiveness of the human body.

Wise men read very sharply all your private history in your look and gait and behavior. The whole economy of nature is based on expression.


The face and eyes reveal what the spirit is doing, how old it is, what aim it has. The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul. . .


An eye can threaten like a loaded and leveled gun, or can insult like hissing or kicking.  . .


Pavel Guzenko

or in it’s altered mood by beams of kindness, it can make the heart dance with joy.



The eye obeys exactly the action of the mind.


Our eyes are projections of the self-absorbed movies we produce inside our minds. When we are lost in our self-delusional narrative, the imaginary stories we tell ourselves, we risk projecting our true soul.


Featured & posted drawings

Overdrawn Face Illustrations by Stefan Zsaitsits


Say Little, Do Much

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awareness / ego / how to be / how to live / inspiration / Sparking Joy



2. and try not to make anyone feel threatened or alienated.



Sometimes I get so damn angry with myself. I get so impatient with people and although they don’t say it, I know they feel resentful.

3. Be thoughtful.


4. Create new ideas, ways of doing things. Give the best away. Just let it go.

5. Reach out. Connect people. Cross wires to make new sparks.

6. Be the one to do the hard work. The drudge work. The work no one else wants to do.


7. Find inefficiencies and redundancies and fix them. Solve every day problems.


8. Produce more with quality.



9. Make others shine.


10. Do great work and then give up the credit.

Lessons for today.

The Case for Being Cautiously Optimistic

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advice / awareness / book quotes / career / Cautious Optimism / cognitive biases / decision making / Greatness / how to live / self awareness

Being cautiously optimistic keeps me informed and realistic while remaining hopeful about the outcomes I wish to manifest.

Being too realistic can dry up my soul, but being too optimistic can make me extremely delusional.

If I see only the worst, it destroys my capacity to do something and if I only see the best, I may become blindsided by the bullshit I’m telling myself as things go horribly wrong.


A case for remaining causiously optimistic throughout the day.

1. I remain clear and focused

The optimism bias (also known as unrealistic or comparative optimism) is a cognitive bias that causes a person to believe that they are less at risk of experiencing a negative event compared to others.


Four factors exist that cause a person to be optimistically biased: their desired end state, their cognitive mechanisms, the information they have about themselves versus others, and overall mood.[1]

The optimistic bias is seen in a number of situations. For example: people believing that they are less at risk of being a crime victim,[2] smokers believing that they are less likely to contract lung cancer or disease than other smokers, first-time bungee jumpers believing that they are less at risk of an injury than other jumpers,[3] or traders who think they are less exposed to losses in the markets.[4]

2.  My decisions are realistic.

The are based in reality, not in some daydream of how I want reality to be but more focused on how I am designing and producing the outcomes.


3. I carefully weigh the pros and cons

I weigh the pros and cons and stay focused on the results I want – knowing I can achieve them, because I am optimistic that I will get results.


4. Turning worry into work

Cautious optimism has me turn my worry into work while remaining positive about the outcome because I do a combination of what is tried and true while experimenting with fresh new solutions.


5.  Impulsive vs Intentional

I am less prone to make impusive and spontaneous decisions – I am more strategic when I am cautiously optimistic.

6. Time is on My Side

I don’t waste or maybe I should say, I  waste less  time. Grounded and focused in reality and humble and hopeful for the future, I am purposeful. I remain cautiously optimistic.


7. Open to Opportunity & Outcomes

I move forward and do what needs to be done, but I am not holding onto a set outcome – I am open to different visions and versions of what winning looks like for me.

8. Celebrate the Moments

My careful optimism has me recognize the small wins throughout the day. Celebrating the bits of wins throughout the day – acknowledging my small moments and accomplishments.

9. A Reminder to Be Here Now

Caution + optimism has me locked in to being present to what needs to be done now for the future.

10. Correct and Certain


When I am cautious, I correct my mistakes. Having a sense of certainty and understanding and knowing what needs to be corrected in order to continue to make certain that I achieve everything I want to achieve.

11. Awake & Aware

I  remain on the look out for problems and I dare to make them opportunities. I ask myself, what’s great about this problem? Does it propose an opportunity to make something better?


12. Hacking Away without Skipping the Essential

I recognize that there are no real short cuts – just smart strategies and in turn I am less delusional while focused on great outcomes.

No skimping – no scamming – just making sure I take each step carefully while remaining hopeful while proceeding with intelligence and faith.


Having faith in the outcome while I am willing to learn, grow and make corrections.



Turning Your Passion into Progress

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ego / findyourpassion / Greatness / passion / purpose / quotes / ryan holiday


To be passionate about your dreams is one thing. To realize your dreams and create with purpose is completely another. Oh the danger of being drunk with passion and intoxicated with ideas.

When all we have is passion, we fall prey to being impatient while assuming we will succeed while overcoming our limitations. Limitations are real and something we need to see clearly or we will never make progress. Self-denial about our limitations let us miss where we need to grow and go. We risk the chance of becoming blinded by naive enthusiasm. We promise ourselves more than we can muster. It’s a delusional place to be.

But oh how much fun it can be.


We all know the loop. Take an idea, what seems like a very good idea and become really excited about that idea. Pumped. Stoked. On fire. We are filled with unbridled enthusiasm, perhaps what many people call passion.

That passion you feel, that deep desire to fulfill that dream, it’s the fire that fuels. Passion may very well be what kicks your ass out of bed in the morning and charges you to move forward, to go forth, to get on with it.


The Alchemy of Passion

Read: The Surprising Alchemy of Passion & Science from the MIT Leadership Center.

But, passion without execution and the ability to fail and endure is a trap.


Turning Passion into Progress

Turning your passion into reality requires something more. It requires progress. Sometimes painful progress. Progression – making  headway towards your goals – can and should be measured and tracked with a daily dose of reality. What your passion requires is honesty and clarity.

It might also need a plan.   A deliberate disciplined action strategy and of course the discipline to honor that purposeful plan every day. A blueprint of sorts. A guide. A map.


But how do you know if you’re really making progress? Harness the data. Measure the feedback. Track how far you’ve come and how far you need to go before your dream(s) are reality.

Planning the process and producing a bit each day, making progress. This is what transforms passion into progress. What makes those dreams come true.


Passionate activity without purpose is just noise. It might even mean just being busy.

Busy without being productive will keep you spinning your wheels while never making any real progress.



We can ward off that danger of being drunk with passion by being realistic about what we are doing. Staying in the moment, measuring our progress and making corrections to our course each day.

A Critical Look at Our Faults & Failures

The ability to evaluate one’s own ability and progress is an important skill to turning passion into progress. It requires a critical look at what needs to be improved. Including your skills.  How good are you right now, really? How much more do you need to improve? to practice? to plan? to execute. 


How are you sure that what you are doing is moving you forward?



Inspired by

Ryan Holiday’s Ego is the Enemy should be required reading for everyone, especially those with a dream, a vision and or a passion. I am finding his book to be one of the most grounding pieces of writing I have read in a very long time. Thank you Ryan.

Illustrator Ruben Ireland


Why We Fail to Become Our Best

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awareness / Creating Habits / deliberate practice / empathy / how to be / how to live / life advice / mental training / mindfulness / performance

Doubts don’t kill dreams, delusional thoughts do. Our half-beliefs and uncertain thoughts are trying to tell us something very important and it is our responsibility to listen up and act.

Negative mind chatter

These annoying worries that wake us up early and keep us from moving forward, hold the power to help us grow and become stronger.

While most of us tend to drown out the worry, anxiety and concern, I am interested in finding out what happens when instead of tuning out self-doubt, I give it an ear. What is my self doubt trying to tell me?


Listening and questioning about my worry and ruminating thoughts of . . .


Do I have my priorities straight? Am I doing what is most important to me? What is best for all? What have I been ignoring? What should I take care of now?


How have I let others down? Am I treating others and myself in a caring and endearing way? What have I neglected to do?

Am I continuing to keep up with my skills? Will my work actually effect the lives of others?  Will it make an impact? If not, what might I do instead?
Am I practicing what I preach? Am I as loving, patient and compassionate as I could be?
What am I not doing enough of? How can I bring more value? How can I contribute more? Where am I needed?

Self-doubt reminds us that we have work to do. It nags at us -we need to improve.


It tells us that we are not finished, that we can and we should try to become more . . .thoughtful. . . honest, intelligent. . .loving, patient, wise. . .compassionate, empathetic. .

The uncertainty and apprehension of self-doubt, the emotions that ride along, that keep us fearful and manifest into worry and anxiety can really improve us. If we listen and take action.

These feelings don’t have to drown us and we don’t have to drown them.


Yet and while we are at it, we must hold on to some confidence. Anxiety and worry should push us to power on, to move forward and to hone our skills, better our behavior and become an improved version of our former selves. Not break us down.

BUT. . .


First things first, we must cease and desist the ongoing self-delusion.




“you think I’m crazy,” she said.

“no,” he said, “you’re not crazy enough”


Few people nowadays know what man is. Many sense this ignorance and die the more easily because of it . . . I do not consider myself less ignorant than most people . . . I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teachings my blood whispers to me. My story is not a pleasant one; it is neither sweet nor harmonious as invented stories are; it has the taste of nonsense and chaos, of madness and dreams like the lives of all men who stop deceiving themselves. (Hesse 105)

Hesse, Herman. Siddartha, Demian, and other Writings. Ed. Egon Schwarz. New York: Continuum, 1992.


I am deceiving myself every time I . . .

  • underestimate the amount of time it takes to do something.
  • continue on with conflicting behavior that does not align itself with my ideals.
  • set goals that I don’t yet have the tools, skills or talent to reach.
  • think I got my point across, when I believe I made myself understood but the other person did not listen- did I use the right words, the best tone, how can I command more respect, get others to really listen?
  • tell myself that was my very best – I gave it my all. Push on.
  • blow things out of proportion – thinking that problems are bigger than they really are.
  • make excuses for bad behavior -lashing out, behaving poorly or treating others in a way I would never wish to be treated.
  • tell myself something is going to be easier than it actually is.
  • have an idea, that I think it’s a great idea, even though I haven’t tested it.


Those who are slow to confess their errors are busy constructing lies to conceal them. – Unknown.




Sometimes we must detach as we question.
& remain cautiously optimistic, which is fostered as . . .
no blind faith.png
. . .a feeling of general confidence regarding a situation and/or its outcome coupled with a readiness for possible difficulties or failure.

Directions for listening and acting on self-doubt and delusion.

Take inventory. List what must be done and then take deliberate action. Self doubt will dissipate and melt away with each attempt you make, measure you take, routine you practice, habit you build. . .  the stronger you will feel, the more confident you become. Taking action to improve your behavior will soothe away the worry and concern.
Remember it is thoughtful and deliberate action . . .
continue on with dedicated practice . . .


Featured image 

Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach, 1938 by Salvador Dali

Surefire Success: How to Get What You Want

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bad ass / career / career advice / gratitude / health / how to be / how to live / life advice / mindfulness / mindset / performance / self transformation / Success

I love listening in between the lines. Especially to smart people. People like performance coach, Tony Robbins. Evan Carmichael edited an all day Tony coach session that you can watch here.  I am watching about ten minutes a day every morning and taking copious notes.

Inspired by Tony’s tenacious approach, I created this surefire success equation to get anything you want. Anything. A raise at work, a new startup business off the ground, shed the last ten pounds, you name it. Anything you want.

  1. Know what you want and believe you can have it.
  2. Know what it takes to get what you want. If you don’t know, find out. Ask the people who have what you want what it took to get it. What did they have to do to achieve the results. How long did it take? How much work did they do each day? 
  3. Ask yourself the question, what is absolutely certain, 100% necessary, in order for me to get what I want. What must I do in order to get the results I want.
  4. Make the list of what you absolutely must do and get to work.
  5. Do the work. Do it daily. Check off the list. And then review your results. Be sure you are getting closer to getting what you want. If you are not getting results, get REAL with yourself. What are you not doing? What are you doing wrong? Where do you need help? New skills? 
  6. Ask yourself, can I do any of these tasks, the actual work, better. Not faster, not quicker, but better. Are there any tools to help me perform the work better? Any professionals out there who can coach you? If there are, then find the tools, find the people. Use the tools. Hire the people.
  7. When you do get what you want, appreciate it. Be grateful for the work it took to get there.

What type of mindset does it take to win? To outperform and produce stellar results.


It’s not just practice that produces results. It’s perfect mindful practice. Practice combined with absolute certainty that you will achieve whatever you set out to do. You burn the boats.

Tip Sheet for #6


Absolute certainty that makes you tap into your full potential that has you take massive action which in turn produces remarkable results that reinforces your belief in your absolute certainty.

This is what it takes to get what you want.

And using failure as a tool.


Mindset Tip

Don’t choke at the free throw line. Be absolutely certain in your mind that you know without a doubt that you will achieve the results you want.


What Moves You Forward?

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awareness / Goals / life advice / Living Intentionally

I wonder why you do what you do. What drives you through your day?

Why I do what I do.

Why do I desire deeper connections with people I love and admire? Because life would seem vacuous with anything less.


It is important for me to feel connected, relevant, needed and valuable.

Why am I  driven to understand where the world is headed? Because standing in the dark seems like such a frightening place to hide.


It seems to me that learning, knowing and growing gives me a feeling  of security. It frees up my time to focus on my why(s).

Why do I attempt to live a life of daily adventure, filled with no regrets? Because it feels like something that would be great to bring to the grave. I don’t want to waste this precious gift.


Knowing the truth about everything around me brings clarity and an easier way to navigate through the twisted turns.

Focusing on what is most important and essential to being human feels like a good way to grow. It’s enlightening.

Living to my full potential and co-creating with the universe and God together as one, seems like a way to live a life filled with higher purpose.



Life Hacking Your Rookie Mistakes

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awareness / beginners mind / career / daily rituals / how to be / how to live / life advice / Living Intentionally

Six strategies to help you avoid making rookie mistakes in all aspects of your life.

Pre-promoting what you are going to do. Setting expectations too high.

Strategy. Stay hush. Keep it chill. Launch slowly. Surprise and delight. Be subtle.

Giving into the temptation of being the flavor of the week.

Strategy. Know your essence and stick to it. 

Calling yourself an expert.

Strategy. Know how to hit the headwinds. There is a fine line between saying who you are and being arrogant about it. Aim to serve humbly.

Being lost self-imposed anxiety. Self-absorbed.

Strategy. Examine your true intentions. Are you driven by selfish needs and desires? Or are you asking yourself, how can I add more value to this moment? Choose service over greed. 

Becoming overly distracted by every new shiny object.

Strategy. Stay focused on your what is important and what you are going to accomplish to win.

Taking too many aggressive shortcuts, life hacks.

Strategy. Some things were made to simmer. Long lasting change is a daily habit.


This Day Was Made for Adventure

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adventures / appreciation / awareness / beginners mind / daily rituals / how to be / life / Living with purpose / transformation

Last night I closed my eyes before falling to sleep and made a decision. I want every day to feel more exciting and adventurous.



Or in other words. . . .

A common song sung to a great melody is another way to find beauty.The Art of Writing, Lu Chi’s Wen Fu.

So, today showed up again. In all it’s predictable glory. The same usual sunrise, just slightly different.

Another clean and clear slate of a day to paint on. To set things right, to improve and to create a new. Another breath, another moment proceeding another moment. This day was made for adventuring.

Today I have made a decision to expect more from myself and more from this day.

Every moment today will be held accountable to demonstrate the wisdom I need right now.

I will look for evidence that the people around me really do care.

I become more conscious of the choices I make today.

This process begins with turning worry into wonder. Anxiety into action.

My improved life comes from making conscious choices while making a commitment to change the way I see the ordinary wonders of the world.


How to Make An Ordinary Day an Adventure

Ask a stranger a question.

Don’t plan out every minute. Leave a little room for spontaneity.

Travel home on a different route tonight.

Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Experiment. Create something. Anything. Get into maker mode.

As We Are, So It Is

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cognitive biases / decision making / enlightenment / Great Performances / how to be / how to live / Living Intentionally / Living with purpose / mindset / thoughts


Our perception builds and constructs our reality; which in turn becomes our life. With the help of our good, bad and indifferent judgements, our choice of language, our cognitive biases, past experiences and memories, we  assemble how we choose to see the world. All of these inferences paint the way we experience our lives and effect the lives of those closest to us.


What we see is one thing, what we perceive is a completely different matter. Our reality is a co-production. Everything is a projection of what we hold inside our mind. So, I wonder, what if everything we see is really our very own optical illusion?  Everything in a way, our own private hell hall of hallucinations.

Like this beautiful parrot. . .



That’s really a woman painted to look like a parrot.


What if we could change the way we see everything, to see more clearly, to expand our mind and in turn our world?   What can we bring to this next moment, day, week, year so that we may live a life filled with more purpose and meaning?


Instead of allowing our brains to create a haphazard existence based on our misconceptions and judgements. . .

What if we played a more active role in the process of creating our lives?



Perhaps we begin with examining some of our cognitive biases. A cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that affects the decisions and judgments that people make.

Cognitive Biases can screw up our thinking and decision making.

cognitive bias

I am curious, which cognitive biases do you relate to?


Side note: a fascinating look at some of the most impressive optical illusions.

Featured photography by Laura Williams