Thursday, July 28, 2011
As Blessed as You Want to Be
The Power of Staying Positive
Our thoughts are not simply ethereal pieces of information that enter our minds and then disappear. The words and ideas that we think can shape our lives and drive us toward success and happiness or failure and distress. How you think and feel can have a profound effect on your ability to recognize opportunity, how well you perform, and the outcome of the goals that you’ve set for yourself. When you maintain an optimistic outlook and make an effort to harbor only positive thoughts, you begin to create the circumstances conducive to you achieving what you desire. You feel in control and few of life’s challenges seem truly overwhelming because it is in your nature to expect a positive conclusion. An optimistic mind is also an honest one. Staying positive does not mean that you ignore difficulties or disregard limitations. Instead, it means spending time focusing only on the thoughts that are conducive to your well-being and progress.
Positive thinking dramatically increases your chances of success in any endeavor. When you’re sure that you are worthy and that achievement is within your grasp, you start to relax and look for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. You are more likely to imagine positive situations or outcomes and disregard the thoughts related to giving up, failure, or roadblocks. What the mind expects, it finds. If you anticipate joy, good health, happiness, and accomplishment, then you will experience each one. Thinking positively may sound like a simple shift in attention – and it is – but it is a mind-set that must be developed. Whenever a negative thought enters your mind, try immediately replacing it with a constructive or optimistic one. With persistence, you can condition your mind to judge fleeting, self-defeating thoughts as inconsequential and dismiss them.
It is within your power to become as happy, content, or successful as you make up your mind to be. Staying positive may not have an immediate effect on your situation, but it will likely have a profound and instantaneous effect on your mood and the quality of your experiences. In order for positive thinking to change your life, it must become your predominant mind-set. Once you are committed to embracing positive thinking, you’ll start believing that everything that you want is within your grasp.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
-M. Scott Peck on The Feeling of Value, The Road Less Traveled
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Copyright Benjamin Miller
Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was reading the newspaper one morning when, to his shock, he turned the page and discovered his obituary inside. It turns out that his brother had died, and the newspaper had published Alfred’s obituary by mistake. The obituary read, “The merchant of death is dead”. It went on to say the following:
“Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”
Needless to say, Nobel was taken aback by the way in which the world was going to remember him after his death.
It’s believed that it was due to this shock that Nobel decided to set aside the bulk of his estate in order to establish the Nobel Foundation, which annually bestows international awards in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. Today, Nobel is not remembered as the merchant of death, but as the creator of the Nobel Prizes, and, consequently, as a great humanitarian. Having read his obituary while he was still alive gave him the opportunity to change his legacy.
Although it sounds a bit macabre, writing your own obituary—or asking a friend or a family member to do it for you—can be an excellent wake-up call that can help you make important changes in your life. There’s more on this below.
The Late Dr. Crane
Yesterday I was watching a re-run of one of my favorite television shows: “Frasier”. It stars Kelsey Grammer as Seattle radio psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane. One day, Frasier is in a minor car accident in which he hurts his nose; he goes to the hospital to get his nose looked at, but after a while he gets tired of waiting and leaves. When the hospital nurse calls out Frasier’s name, a man who was also waiting to be treated pretends to be Frasier in order to cut to the front of the line. When this man suddenly dies of a heart attack in the hospital, the evening news reports that Frasier Crane had died.
The next day, Frasier has an experience very similar to the one that Alfred Nobel went through: the newspaper mistakenly published his obituary. This makes Frasier reflect on his life and everything that he has yet to achieve. Here’s the exchange that took place between Frasier and his producer, Roz Doyle, when they were talking about Frasier’s obituary:
- Roz: Well, there’s something for your scrapbook, huh? Your own obituary.
- Frasier: Yes, well. You know, frankly, still it’s a little upsetting.
- Roz: I don’t think they meant to be insulting, you are “lovably pompous.”
- Frasier: Not that. It’s just, seeing all my life in black and white, it just all looks a little incomplete.
- Roz: What do you mean?
- Frasier: Well, I was going to do so much with my life. I was going to write a novel, run for public office, I was gonna do my own translation of Freud…
- Roz: Well, what’s stopping you? You’re not actually dead.
- Frasier: I guess you’re right. I’m not dead, am I? You know, maybe that’s a good way of looking at this actually, more of a wake-up call.
After that exchange Frasier goes home and, as a self-actualizing exercise, he writes his obituary as he would like it to appear years later, at the time of his actual death. Here’s part of what he wrote: “Dr. Crane came late to athletics, he became a fixture in the Seattle marathon, the America’s Cup yacht race, as well as the Kentucky Derby [as a stable owner].” In addition, he included in his aspire-to-obituary that he had started a website to teach children about psychiatry, that he had traveled to South America, that he had taken up rafting, and that he spoke Russian.
As he contemplates what’s missing from his life, Frasier also decides to take a risk by grabbing a bottle of wine and heading over to knock on the door of an attractive woman who lives a few doors down from him.
Write Your Obituary
Do the following: write an obituary as a true account of your life to date. As an alternative, if you want to be more objective, you can ask a friend or family member who knows you well to do it for you. When it’s ready, look over your obituary and ask yourself questions such as the following:
- If I died today, would I die happy?
- Am I satisfied with the direction in which my life is headed?
- Am I happy with the legacy that I’m creating?
- What’s missing from my life?
- What do I need to do in order for my obituary to be “complete”?
Then, write a fantasy obituary in which you write down all of the things you wish you had done with your life. What does this exercise tell you? You’re not dead yet, so get out there and start making any changes that you need to so that you can “live up” to your fantasy obituary.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Purpose: Evolution through Exploration
Most living things belong to a particular soul group and are born knowing their purpose in life. An animal will spend its day foraging for food, taking care of itself and its young, and creating a home. No one tells an animal to do this, yet it instinctively knows how. Humans, for the most part, are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is.
Purpose gives our life meaning. When you discover your purpose, you can live your life with intention and make choices that serve your objective for why you are here on the planet. Finding your purpose is not always easy. You must embrace life wholeheartedly, explore many different pathways, and allow yourself to grow. Your purpose is as unique as you are and will evolve as you move through life. You don’t need anyone’s permission to fulfill your purpose, and no one can tell you what that purpose is. Finding and fulfilling your purpose can be a lifelong endeavor. To figure out what your purpose is, ask yourself what drives you – not what forces you out of bed in the morning, but what makes you glad to be alive. Make a list of activities that you wish you were involved in or think about a career path that you would love to embark upon. These are the endeavors that can help you fulfill your purpose and bring you the most satisfaction.
Picture yourself working on projects that don’t interest you or fulfill your purpose, yet they help satisfy your basic survival needs. Imagine how living this way each day would make you feel. Next, picture yourself devoting your time to projects that spark your imagination, inspire, excite, and satisfy you. More often than not, these activities are some of the ways that you can fulfill your life purpose. Time spent on these endeavors will never feel like a waste. Live your life with purpose, and you will feel significant and capable because every action you take and each choice you make will have meaning to it.
July 15, 2011
Finding Your Next Step in Life: The Most Fulfilling Road
Our lives are made up of a complex network of pathways that we can use to move from one phase of life to the next. For some of us, our paths are wide, smooth, and clearly marked. Many people, however, find that they have a difficult time figuring out where they need to go next. Determining which “next step” will land you on the most direct route to fulfillment and the realization of your life purpose may not seem easy.
There are many ways to discover what the next step on your life path should be. If you are someone who seeks to satisfy your soul, it is vital that you make this inquiry. Often, your inner voice will counsel you that it’s time for a change, and it is very important to trust yourself because only you know what is best for you. Personal growth always results when you let yourself expand beyond the farthest borders of what your life has been so far. When figuring out what your next step will be, you may want to review your life experiences. The choices you’ve made and the dreams you’ve held onto can give you an idea of what you don’t want to do anymore and what you might like to do next. It is also a good idea to think about creative ways you can use your skills and satisfy your passions. Visualizing your perfect future and making a list of ways to manifest that future can help you choose a logical next step that’s in harmony with your desires. Meditation, journal writing, taking a class, and other creative activities may inspire you and provide insight regarding the next step in life that will bring you the most satisfaction.
It is when you are willing to listen to yourself and be fearless that figuring out your next step becomes easy. Beneath the fear and hesitation and uncertainty lies your inner knowing that always knows which step you need to take next. If you can allow the taking of your next step to be as easy as putting one foot in front of the next, you’ll notice that your next step is always the one that is right in front of you. All you have to do is put one foot forward and on the ground.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Friday, July 08, 2011
Scene: Awaken to a Sunny Los Angeles morning with opportunities and seconds placed before me; a time to free myself.
Of course I am headed to work and will be inundated with hours of production time, but the perspective I focus on possessing is liberating. A while ago, I began evaluating my life: how did I feel in mind, body and soul? How did I rate my life’s 6 F's (family, faith, fun, fitness, finances and obviously f@$&ing)? If I were to score lower in a certain category, how could I improve it within my life?
After months of questioning, I remembered a quote by Buddha which reads, "doubt everything, find your own light." Light bulb on with that moment’s epiphany! Had I subconsciously accepted many of society's norms without evaluating them within my own life?
By beginning to question more, I began to free myself - in soul, mind and body.
Free Your Soul
Years ago, I enrolled in a Concepts of God course that completely shattered the notion on who/what I thought God was. I am grateful it happened because it has allowed me years of spiritual discovery and enlightenment. Without it, I would not have been so awakened by other religions when I was granted the opportunity to traverse the world and be immersed within other cultures, other ideologies and other surroundings. It is incredibly freeing to understand another individual’s spiritual perspective – especially if it is completely different. By no means should we weigh spiritualness over religiousness or vice versa, but for me - questioning had ultimately become my emancipation. Last month, I finally arrived at the definition of who God is, and at this exact moment, I realize in fact, that my definition should be and will be ever-evolving because I am always growing and questioning the world.
Free Your Mind
How many men do you know that participate in activities such as cleaning, dancing, yoga and cooking? Unless your circumstances absolutely prevent you from participating, I do not understand why anyone would not want do these things. We should embrace the fact that gender roles are not like they once were, but still…
- Why would you not want to learn something new every day?
- Why would you not want to become more marketable and attractive to yourself, your family and the world?
- Why would you not head to a meditation class and lift your heart to the sky?
Speaking from experience, I once shunned these same activities because I listened to what was normal, but as I began to doubt things and find my own light, I began to free myself. I free myself through the child’s pose, I free myself by removing useless clutter within the physical capacities of my life, I free myself through experimenting with new recipes and ideas.
I free myself with the world of possibilities.
Free Your Body
People who knew me as a kid generally compared me to the child-version of a sumo wrestler. Yes, I was out of shape and extremely overweight with the never-ending desire to have another chocolate Oreo. In high school I lost all my weight, but many do not know I gained a significant amount of it back while I was in college (about 90%). My whole notion of dieting and exercise had been completely out of whack because I saw it as a task rather than a lifestyle.
About a year ago, I possessed the idea but lacked the focus, the commitment and the discipline. One day, I woke up and decided I would no longer allow myself to fret over my body image without me doing something about it. I began to free myself by eating many of the things I love in life including seafood, fruits and vegetables. I began to free myself by running to the tops of hills and canyons as a means of cancelling out the task of working out, and by reinforcing the emotions that come with standing atop beautiful sites such as Runyon Canyon overlooking the lights of Los Angeles.
I began to free myself by using my creativity to my advantage, by applying everything I have learned in life to new daybringings. I began to free my soul, my mind and my body.
Everyday is a new day to learn something new. We should strive to remain students of life even after the ages of adolescence. It is never too late to begin liberating yourself.
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."
One Life, You Decide™
Interview from Another Magazine
1. You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.
2. A gentleman today has to work. People who do not work are so boring and are usually bored. You have to be passionate, you have to be engaged and you have to be contributing to the world.
3. Manners are very important and actually knowing when things are appropriate. I always open doors for women, I carry their coat, I make sure that they're walking on the inside of the street. Stand up when people arrive at and leave the dinner table.
4. Don't be pretentious or racist or sexist or judge people by their background.
5. A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach
It's up to you to agree or not to agree. You are the guide of your own life.