Archive | April 2012

Follow your heart

Follow your heart.

Do what it tells you.

Do what feels right, even if you don’t know why.

This is how you get in touch with your self and you inner desires.

But still don’t get discouraged if this seems hard and you don’t know where to start, because simply by asking the question you’re already beginning your journey.

“People, they make it sound so easy
They say just do what your heart tells you to.
But sometimes you cannot hear it
Sometimes you cannot feel it
Sometimes it won’t talk back to you.”

-Avett Brothers

The reality of making it happen

It’s funny how for a long time along my journey, I had just been waiting for that Hollywood-like click to take place where all of a sudden everything works and a radical mental shift takes place.  But that’s not how it works, and that’s not how it happens at all.

In reality, it really is the little by little steps that you take and the hard work that you put in that make it happen, and to sit around waiting for that one special moment is foolish, since you could end up waiting a lifetime.

Authentic interaction

One thing that’s been going on with me recently is just a complete lack of patience for people that I don’t like, and usually if I’m not liking someone these days, it’s probably because I think that they suck at life in one or more ways.

Sometimes I just can’t fucking stand people.  I can’t stand people who are overly negative or complaining, or awkward, or uptight or any number of perceived flaws.  So I dislike them.  And then what does this end up doing?  I begin to focus on these people’s flaws instead of their strengths.  I focus on what they could be doing better rather than what they are already doing perfectly well.  It’s really just my own personal standards and expectations that I’m putting onto other people.  And it doesn’t work for anyone; this type of thinking is a negative experience for both people.

On a deeper level, it’s what these people can’t do for me due to their flaws.  I can’t enjoy a fun interaction with this person if they’re negative.  I can’t enjoy a pleasant conversation if they’re complaining and talking at me.  I can’t have in-depth talks and learn something if they’re skimming by on the surface of life.

Ideally we all stop thinking about what other people can do for us, and start thinking about what you can do for other people.  Offering value rather than taking value.  I think that along a path to mastery in anything, in order to keep progressing past a certain point you need to become a teacher as well as a student.  You must always still remain a student, but at some point you need to start passing on your knowledge and gifts as well.

So offer value.  Think about what you can do for them.  And the best thing that you can do for anyone is to be present and see the world with as few mental filters as you can.  Not judge someone for their flaws or focus on them, but to take in that person as a whole, and interact from there.  Be kind towards their flaws, just the same way that you should be with yourself.  How you interact with other people is a direct reflection of how you interact with yourself after all.

Success and Happiness

So for a long time I thought that accomplishing a goal was something to celebrate, something to rejoice in, and something that means you could now take some time off and relax.

I heard stories of guys like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, how the day after they win championships they’re getting up and going to the gym at 6:30 in the morning.  No time off, no big celebration, no relaxing.  I always thought that they weren’t allowing themselves to enjoy their victories and relish in what they’d accomplished, and instead being too focused on some other future target.

But that line of thinking came from not understanding about success, and how the path to success can lead to happiness.  I thought you were supposed to work towards something, then stop and enjoy, then work towards something again, and then stop and enjoy what you’ve done.

I feel like a certain part of this comes from the conditioning of society and the way that our working world is set-up; i.e. that you bust your ass in your job all month and all year long just so that you can go and take your two separate week long vacations in the Caribbean, and that is the enjoyment, that is what you had been working and sacrificing for: to lie around in the sun.

For me though, what I’ve learned lately is that life is about the practice.  Life is about working and growing and how you build towards this on a day-to-day basis. If there’s one thing that I’ve really internalized in the past few months of taking a very proactive, work hard approach, it’s that life and happiness is about learning, growing, and what you’re doing to accomplish your goals, not the goals themselves.

You can see it on the faces of kids who are learning how to walk or learning how to talk or learning how to do any number of things that are necessary for functioning as a human being.

And then you can see it in adults too, where those that typically seem the happiest with their lives are those that are constantly pushing themselves and growing and learning new things by overcoming obstacles; the ones who understand and value the importance of going through the day to day grind in the effort of a greater future whole.

On the other hand, the ones who turn off the learning part of their brain and don’t proactively try to better their selves or accomplish goals sink into the petty things and become unhappy and dissatisfied.

Over time this could lead to disillusionment, where people don’t know what’s going on because they’re no longer engaged with the world.  And they may be unhappy because life hasn’t given them what they want, not realizing that you need to be engaged with the world so that you can respond appropriately when you need to direct your life in the direction you want it to go.

I’ve now learned that although you should take pride in accomplishing a goal, completed goals are not stopping points, but rather just benchmarks along the path.  The true happiness comes through the act of trying to achieve them and overcoming the obstacles that come up, not finally having them achieved.

But then again I don’t want to make it sound like I think this is the only ‘correct’ path available.  It has its pros and cons just like anything else.  When you have this life set-up and you have these goals that you need to get accomplished, it’s going to cut into your social life.  You may find yourself at 9 pm on a Saturday night going to the gym just because you had made the commitment to do so and that was the only time you could fit it in.

Living this life you may at times make you wonder why you chose such absurdity, when just chilling with friends and hanging out would be so much easier and possibly more fun.  And different things work for different people.  I know that for me personally despite the occasional loneliness that can come with this sort of path, too much just hanging out with friends would leave me bored and itching for something to do.  And I guess that’s how you know which one is right for you.

And for anyone reading I wanna know what you thought!  Do you agree with what I said? What type of path are you on?  Are you happy doing it?  I wanna hear about it!!

So a weird thin…

So a weird thing happened to me last night after writing my blog post, after thinking about and feeling the love that I referred to, and after seeing that people really appreciated my thoughts and that they were able to relate to them.

I got this amazing feeling of love in my body, very similar to that feeling you get when you first start dating someone new and you’re still in that infatuation stage, when everything about them is new, fun and exciting.  That warm fuzzy feeling in your chest and that joy that brings a smile to your face so easily.  I felt that last night, and the most incredible part about is that there wasn’t a romantic encounter involved.

Even still now when I think about it I can feel remnants of that feeling, it’s not quite as strong, but it’s still there.  I wonder if this is the feeling of truly loving yourself and truly being fulfilled in this life.

Sometimes I fee…

Sometimes I feel like I need just a little bit of reassurance, reassurance that the path I’ve chosen and the life I’m living will lead me to where I want to go.

Where do I want to go?  I want to live a fulfilled life, full of work that I enjoy and people that I enjoy being with.  I want to be appreciative of everything that I have and I want to continue to admire the simple things in life and wonder about the complexities and mysteries.

My biggest fear is to become one of those old or even middle-aged people that I see far too often; the people that you (or at least I) can spot a mile away.  The people who are so disillusioned by the world around them and have a giant sign on their forehead that says “I’m no longer with it”.  So much of what I’m doingthese days is done in an effort to not become this, but maybe I need to start moving towards something I want rather than simply avoiding something I don’t.

As much of a pussy as it may make me sound, I want to feel love.  And not just love for a girl, but a deep love for everything and everyone around me.  To be one of those people that can look at someone who is being nasty and yelling, and not see the ugliness that they are putting out into the world, but rather to see the beauty in them as a person and as part of the common humanity.

It’s funny because as into personal development as I am, whenever I read some like uplifting story online with everyone else commenting on it saying ‘Yea! You go!’, it just makes me want to barf, and even this post up to this point has been borderline for me, but fuck it that’s what’s flowing off my fingertips at the moment.

Really the point of a lot of what I’m writing here is just to allow people better ease of understanding what’s going on in my head and what I’m doing with my life.  Perhaps I’m being too presumptuous with how many people would really care that much, but again, fuck it, this is for me and if people want to read it that’s great, but if not at least I can point to it and say that everything is spelled out right there.

So yea I guess that’s that.  Just living my life and progressing forward, often with a slight worry that I’m not living it the right way and always wondering if there’s something better for me out there, but hey at least I’m doing something.

And for anyone who’s reading leave a comment!  Let me know if any of this resonated with you or share with us some similar experiences you may have had 🙂