Stretching Our Boundaries

This blog is about personal transformation and stretching our boundaries. It’s a diary of my own quest to become a more critical thinker and stronger and better version of myself. I want to become  more useful and valuable to others. And if I am really open and honest, I also want to stay relevant.

Change- Stretching Our Boundaries

I have come to understand that change, transformation and growth is difficult. It’s painful and it’s challenging.  Change is hard. Evolving is frustrating and uncomfortable.

I just started reading Kevin Kelly’s newest book “The Inevitable” Understanding the technological forces that will shape our future.  If you are currently reading The Inevitable and want to discuss the book, leave a comment below.

Change is Inevitable

A quote from Kevin’s new book.

We are different from our animal ancestors in that we are not content to merely survive, but have been incredibly busy making up new itches that we have to scratch, creating new desires we’ve never had before. This discontent is the trigger for our ingenuity and growth. We cannot expand our self, and our collective self, without making holes in our heart. 

Holes in our heart. Of yes. I agree with Kevin, the path to our “enlargement” is hard work. It’s not glamorous, exciting or even fun at times. But I believe it is necessary.

A world without discomfort is utopia. But it is also very stagnant.

inevitable Let’s read it together.

From Gratitude to Forgiveness

Now that we have this whole #gratitude thing down, the  morning daily ritual to be thankful for everything we have that’s been buzzing around the interwebs,  I make a wholehearted recommendation that we also keep a forgiveness journal.

Mark my words, scientists will discover and the media will soon expose –

FORGIVING OTHERS LEADS TO LONGER, HEALTHIER LIVES

Join me if you dare. Every morning I will add one person to my morning gratitude journal that I choose to forgive with all my heart.

Holding a grudge? Disappointed? Can’t let go?

Let’s try it together.

Forgiveness-Quote-Graphics-20

Fresh vs Familiar

To “see-saw”

To change rapidly and repeatedly from one position, situation, or condition to another and back again.

My mind is twisted in a knot this morning, it is see-sawing back and forth between wanting to rewind my mind, my attitude and my approach to life back to a time when the day  brought something new, inspiring and very fresh to

. . . the comfort of this moment now, the familiarity and “security” of knowing how things will probably pan out.

I’ve been lying to myself. I think I don’t like to be too comfortable yet I try to control it all. Perhaps if I didn’t try to command the day so much with lists, tasks, goals and the determination to “get it done” . . perhaps a few hours of letting it all go – letting life unfold. . .

The day is brand new, the possibilities are endless. Only as endless as I pave the way and invite new experiences into my life. Personal growth doesn’t come to me. I must seek it out every day.

 

This is beyond feeling “uncomfortable” and learning something new. Every day I am learning, growing, stretching my mind and body to learn how to film, edit, write, expand my vocabulary, create art. I break things, mess them up, get completely frustrated and spend hours trying new software programs. I fumble and fail miserably in the new fitness class. By 10 pm, I roll into the bed, collapsed from mental and sometimes physical exhaustion. I’ve squeezed the juice out of me.

I think self-awareness may begin with letting go, losing control and living life without the comfort of a “to do” list.

How about you? Do you ever yearn for a fresher approach to the day? What do you do to keep your mind open?

Side note: I have been using this crowdsourced Power Thesaurus but if you have a great writing tool, please share it. I have heard the Hemingway App is rather useful.

Self-Awareness – Observing and Learning

A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson “We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state.”

Paul Coelho, author of “The Alchemist”  said something very enlightening on Tim Ferriss’ podcast “The Habits of a Master” interview about observing, listening and learning as we live our lives. He believes it is not so important to journal and evaluate every action we take. He believes if we think about our lives and contemplate our actions and then let it go, the important will remain with us.

Somewhere between Paul’s no need to take notes, go live and the daily habit of keeping a diary/notebook of our daily thoughts, I believe we can grow so much faster and in turn become better versions of ourselves.

I know keeping a journal (morning and evening) helps me observe and consider my emotions and behavior in any circumstance that moves me. There are lessons that life teaches us from every situation that we could never learn in “school”. Every encounter that makes us angry, happy, sad or relieved is an opportunity to learn.

If we observe our thoughts and behavior as life unfolds we can begin to see what type of people we are and decide who we want to become. Like a scientist taking field notes from the front lines, we can observe ourselves and contemplate why we do what we do.

And hopefully, the important will remain.

Shortcuts to Self-Awareness

IMG_3887All the power that we need is within us and will set us free from a life of regret. All unnecessary worry and anguish melts away when we become more self-aware of our strengths and our weaknesses and realize that our greatest moment is the one right in front of us. Our lives become more peaceful and our minds become stronger. Our lives become better when we become more self-aware.

He who knows that power is inborn, that he is weak because he looked for good out of him and elsewhere, and so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands in the erect position, commands his limbs, works miracles; just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson “Self-Reliance

Spend time considering who you are inside. What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? What makes you happiest?

Do you feel stuck? Unmotivated? Confused? I know in the past I have and this is what helped me become more self-aware and in turn happier and a more effective version of myself.

Uncork your truth. Tell someone how you really feel about life. Share your frustrations and pain. If you know someone who is having a difficult time, create the space for them to share their thoughts. Communicate effectively.

Observe yourself. Video yourself explaining who you are and what you stand for and what you value. Then  watch, learn and listen to yourself. Examine what rings true and what seems false. What might you change about yourself or think about more deeply. Remove the falseness from your speech and heart.

Ask others. Ask  people you respect and trust to share what they think you are great at and what needs improvement. Are they right? Weigh in on the feedback and think about how it will help you grow.

Try stuff. Consider what gets you even slightly excited and try to do more of it. It doesn’t matter what it is – exercise, cooking, writing, drawing, taking photos – if you feel the slightest inclination or curiosity about something, explore it and see where it goes. Self-experiment and do more of what you get lost in and what makes you happiest. Ditch the rest.

Consider the long game. Work backwards in time. Reflect on your  future and inevitable death. Discover what you want to leave behind for future generations to come. What do you want to be remembered for? 

I’d like to be remembered for inspiring others and would love to discover what you want to leave behind. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Rules of a Renegade

beginningThe more I learn and think about how I want to design my life, the more I believe it is important to write my own rules, have my own set of commandments, my own guiding principles for success.

This list here includes some of the most important ways in which I wish to serve the world. I am sure it will grow and change as I progress. Does anything ring true with you? Anything you recommend to add?

  1. If I don’t feel it, I won’t do it.
  2. Set (very) clear expectations with everyone.
  3. Build my life on truth and all will be okay.
  4. Don’t be a slave to striving.
  5. Grit, what it takes to persevere, is a combination of gratitude, optimism, self-control, social intelligence, enthusiasm and curiosity.
  6. Pros do what they have to do. I choose to go pro.
  7. Don’t act on auto pilot.
  8. Seek to discover new solutions to sticky, old problems.
  9. Slow down a bit. Give myself some more time to complete things in an improved way.
  10. Say know. Know what I must do to make the day just 1% better, each day.
  11. Don’t try to control what others are doing.
  12. Beware of getting caught up in group think – the delusion of the masses.

Read Rules for Renegades: How to Make More Money, Rock Your Career, and Revel in Your Individuality

rules

 

Happy in Your Head

Where-the-Wild-Things-Are-002One of the best pieces of advice I ever received. . . .

See it as it is, never bigger than it is.

Don’t over dramatize. It rarely makes anything better and usually much, much worse.

It’s similar to what the Buddha man said about the second arrow.

weathervanes-scroll-graphicsfairy010The Buddha once asked a student, “If a person is struck by an arrow, is it painful?” The student replied, “It is.” The Buddha then asked, “If the person is struck by a second arrow, is that even more painful?” The student replied again, “It is.” The Buddha then explained, “In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. The second arrow is optional.”

As long as we are alive, we can expect painful experiences- the first arrow. To condemn, judge, criticize, hate, or deny the first arrow is like being struck by a second arrow. Many times the first arrow is out of our control, but the arrow of reactivity is not.

plot twistLightening up

I don’t know about you, but for me things are getting way too serious. It’s time to re-imagine a more playful attitude towards everything.

huvr-hoverboardFloating through life gracefully

As I remember to lighten up, I want to take it a step further and suggest we learn to laugh at ourselves and our situations. Laughter has been proven to improve relationships, elevate moods, decrease stress levels and enhance creativity. So why the hell aren’t we laughing a bit more?

A sense of humor is the key to resilience. It helps you take hardships in stride, weather disappointment, and bounce back from adversity and loss.

Humor—free of hurtful sarcasm or ridicule—neutralizes conflict. We can all use a little less conflict. Agree?

  • It instantly eases tension and allows you to reconnect and regain perspective.
  • Shared laughter and play helps you break free from rigid ways of thinking and behaving, allowing you to see the problem in a new way and find a creative solution.
  • We hear things differently, become less defensive and can tolerate learning things about ourselves that we otherwise might find unpleasant or even painful.
  • Laughter opens us up, freeing us to express what we truly feel and allowing our deep, genuine emotions to rise to the surface.

Play is an attitude of the heart. Some ideas I found for today.

  • Create something without the thought of succeeding or winning. Art for art’s sake. Kind of like my own mini Burning Man.
  • Do something spontaneous, even if for a brief moment.
  • Make up nicknames for your friends and family in your phone -add their photos.
  • Collect funny books that can make you laugh. Check out –

Creepiosity: A Hilarious Guide to the Unintentionally Creepy and Tim Kreider’s We Learn Nothing: Essays

creepiosity

Watch this short video:  How to be Alone  

fly

Mastering Your Mind with Charlie Bradford Part 3

 

enlightenmentI started this blog to connect with brilliant thinkers and doers like yourself with the intention of making new friends from all around the world. It’s been a little over  a month and I am excited to say, that it’s working. I am inspired by what I am reading and learning from so many of you.

I recently discovered, thinker, writer and modern day philosopher,  Charlie Bradford, author of Ensouling Potential. If you haven’t read Charlie’s work, I highly recommend you do. He is an authentic and insightful explorer of life and the bigger questions about our existence. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @CharlieBrad4ord

Why do you think people are attracted to negative conversation and news on mainstream media?

The answer to your 3rd Question:

Great question. People get a kick out of negative news primarily because it serves as a means to justify their own circumstances. If they see someone on the news, or hear about someone who’s in a worse situation than they’re in; they’re more likely to see their own life as a blessing. Which on the surface doesn’t sound like a problem; but this is a subtle form of psychological warfare, because the person who believes their life is fine just the way it is, because they’ve seen worse, will actually stop growing and unfolding their potential. Thus they are more inclined to settle for less in the presence of the greater possibilities that are out there, simply because they do not want to end up like the person they just saw on the news. Thus this negative information can condition the sub-conscious mind into a state of hopelessness, anxiety and general fear of the outside world. The world is not an evil, negative place. The Earth is in fact a beautiful garden that facilitates the unfoldment of all life, and anyone who has courage enough to take back their power from negative programming, will see the greater wonders that life has to offer.

Whats Really Going on with the World

The second thing is this: People want certainty. They want to know exactly what’s happening in the world. But here’s the bigger picture – everything is happening in the world. Anything that can happen, will happen, and is happening each and everyday. Wow, what a relief! Just by knowing this can clear our mental and emotional sinuses. The only thing mainstream media can do, is report on a tiny fraction of what’s going on in the world, because they could never cover what’s really going on because that would be an impossible task. Once we realize this fact, we can begin to wean ourselves away from the need to be informed by an institution that propagates provocative sound-bites that leave most people lost and afraid.

Cultivating an Improved Attitude

And lastly, we give away our limited daily-resources, our will power – every time we partake in such negative conversation and commotion. Most of the people who consume this kind of media, are not solution orientated. They’re happy to point the finger at who’s to blame, but they have no interest outside their own sphere of influence to offer any constructive means of correction.

The greatest investment we can make as individuals – is to cultivate a positive attitude. Positivity builds, negativity breaks down. If we nourish the mind, it remains useful, if we abuse it and feed it mental-junk, then it will lead us to our own destruction. We’re as free as our thoughts permits us to be. It’s that simple. We need to have a clear vision of what it is we want to experience in this life. If our mental barriers are not strong enough, and we allow negativity to creep into our greater vision – it’ll never become anything more than a vision. Personally, I have not participated in the news for almost six years now. In fact, I don’t even own a television. In realizing the bigger picture, I have been able to pull back from the miasma, and identify a greater truth that is to be found outside of the consensus reality. The further from negativity you get, the more beautiful your life becomes.