Spending the minutes of your life

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Lately I’ve been thinking about how life is simply an equation. Inputs result in outputs. What are the inputs of your life? What are the factors, if added all together, shape your destiny? Can someone who has spent countless minutes in front of the TV complain when his or her career has not progressed? Can someone who has not spent their time eating healthy and getting exercise complain when their body begins to fall apart? Can someone who has not put in the effort to foster relationships complain when they are lonely?

How do you spend your time? If you added up all the minutes of your life and compared them to the minutes of someone whom you deeply admire – what would be the differences? Does the person you admire work more or less? Does the person you admire spend more time with their loved ones or less? Does the person you admire eat more healthily or less healthily? Does the person you admire watch more or less TV? What are the habits that they will not compromise on, and what are yours? Continue reading

Life is but a dream

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Don Miguel Ruiz has a book, “The Four Agreements”; if I recall correctly the four agreements are four commitments one can make to help improve their life experience. One of the four agreements is “Don’t take anything personally”. The reason you do not take anything personally is because everyone is living their own dream – their own reality. Each person is operating under a different program, and because you cannot understand or change the program that other people are operating under, you realize their actions are not a reflection of who you really are, nor are their actions your responsibility. Our only responsibility is to observe and watch our own dream – the way that we operate in the world – and to form and mold our dream so that it maximizes our life experience.

Our dream consists of our thoughts, our interpretations, our beliefs, and our emotions. We do not live in reality; our brain and nervous systems perceives the sensory world and interprets reality. This interpretation is our dream. We live in a dream that we largely did not choose. We were born into this world and a dream was imposed onto us in order to teach us how to survive in the society/civilization we were born into. But non-helpful things were also taught to us. We were taught by our parents, the media, and the general population on how to operate and what to believe in this life. We were taught beliefs both about the external world and beliefs about ourselves. And our dream is always changing based on new sensory inputs, ideas, thoughts, and experiences we are exposed to. If we would like and are willing to put forth the effort, we may choose the way our dream changes. Continue reading

Insecurity as the fuel to mastery

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I have had a mild obsession with Kobe Bryant lately. I recently watched his documentary on Showtime – I have been reading news about him online almost daily – and I even picked a #24 go-kart in a recent game of “whirly ball”. For being someone who has some level of pride about being ignorant about celebrity culture/lifestyle – I am a nearly 30-year-old man with a fascination about someone who I know very little about.

But it is what I do know about Kobe that keeps drawing me to him. Due to moving frequently as a kid, he felt like an outsider growing up. He does not consider himself to have any close friends. He is completely obsessed with his craft – spending time at the gym at all hours of the night. He has chosen to fight injury after injury late in his career in order to continue doing what he loves. There is something my brain is struggling to figure out – and Kobe personifies this question mark in my mind.

Michael Jordan used basketball to increase his self-worth in the eyes of others. If you read his book “Driven From Within”, he admits that he used basketball to gain acceptance from his peers, to gain attention from females – he used basketball to elevate his status in the world. With Kobe, it seems to be a similar story. An outsider growing up, not fitting in, not having a place in the world, feeling isolated – and then finding a craft to focus on that helps cope with the discomfort of his life. Obsession with a craft to cope with or fix a dissatisfactory life situation. Is this the soil of greatness for some individuals? Continue reading

Coming home

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I come home and I breathe in deep – an undeniable invitation to silence and peace lingers in the air. The seemingly noisy world gets put on pause – mental chaos that was so familiar and persistent a moment ago is suddenly odd and obscure and completely irrelevant. Though I left a lifetime ago, home is somehow always ready for my arrival – ready to breathe into me new life – ready to fill me with calm grounding strength that gets lost with a hectic life lived on unfamiliar roads.

Home is where you soul settles in perfectly, like putting on an old pair of jeans that fits as well as skin itself. Where the pressures of the world are drowned out by the satisfaction of running your bare feet through a familiar carpet. Where a home cooked meal, an afternoon laid out on a worn-out couch, and the words of an outdated magazine remind the forgetful spirit of the joy of simplicity and belonging. Continue reading

My greatest most impossible dream

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Change is happening always. No matter what it is – it passes. Unquestioned strength gets overtaken. Broken hearts heal. A good flow is blindsided by a gut shot you never saw coming. Bad luck yields and creates space for growth. If you pay attention to the changes, you realize they are a trail of crumbs leading you towards the truth.

There is a point I am always striving towards; a self within that I am always trying to reach. And in this journey toward self-determination, I‘ve been forced to change a few million times. I’ve learned to stand taller, accept more, love more, breathe deeper, and hold on less. I’ve learned all these things, because at some point I did not know these things. Like an onion with a center of realization, you have to peel back the layers of illusion to discover the nirvana within. And there are so many layers to peel back. Continue reading