“You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” – Ayn Rand
Today I was looking at a touching picture I found on the internet, it was a note
that was found on a co-workers desk, before he passed away from clinical cancer.
This touching image made me realize that as humans we’ve really got only a fixed number of years here on this planet. In reality, no one really knows how much time we’ll really get here, or what happens to us afterwards.
One things for sure though you’ll eventually die just like everyone else,
so the question for me becomes: How will you choose to spend your time?
Make no mistake: this is a choice, and in the end, it’s the only one that counts.
“Twenty years from now you will be more
disappointed by the things you didn’t do than
by the ones you did do. So throw off the
bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.
Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
More then often we spend the majority of our lives in a fixated routine,
Playing the xbox, socializing, driving to work, paying off loans, browsing on Facebook. That we don’t spend the fast majority of our time living up to our natural potential making new acquaintances, exploring new locations, meeting new lovers or bettering ourselves physically and this is because our fixation is actually embedded in a deep rooted anxiety.
“Our comfort zones become our prison, within which our potential remains locked up.” – Voice of Love, Dianna Ross
We know that it’s easier not to talk to a random attractive man or woman in public in an attempt to get a date because our minds will begin to rationalize thoughts. Things like ‘I’m not attractive enough, I’m not wearing good clothes today, my breath probably smells’ and a whole bunch of other useless shit.
But what we don’t know and the big secret is: that this fear has been cultivated into us intentionally and unconsciously.
This is really important to realize. All of our comfort zones have been conditioned into us intentionally and we aren’t even aware of it. I’m going to use fish as an alagory to explain this.
You see, a fish that swims in water it’s whole life doesn’t even know that the water exists. It’s whole life it goes around swimming and has no realization it’s there,
It never gets to feel the air so it becomes oblivious to it and is constantly stuck in a state of non-awareness.
Humans are the same, without ever being consciously aware we begin to develop into by-products of our environment. In sociology this is called conditioning.
(Above – The By-Product/Response)
So how does this help in terms of defeating your comfort zones?
Lets say for example you’re out in public and you see a hot girl (or guy) walking close to you. You will either do one of two things.
- Lock up, get tense and do anything possible to avoid eye contact.
- Or walk up to her without a seconds notice and say ‘Hi, you’re cute my names _’
The vast majority – I’d say 95% of people will take option 1.
A really good quote that explains this dynamic comes from Sun Tzu,
a military genius who wrote The Art of War.
“The general who is skilled in defense
hides in the most secret recesses
of the earth; he who is skilled
in attack flashes forth from the
topmost heights of heaven.
Thus on the one hand we
have ability to protect ourselves;
on the other, a victory that is complete.”
– Sun Tzu
The Essence of Sun Tzu’s writing is to demonstrate that by staying within
your security blanket, safety net or comfort zone you are acheiving nothing
but by flashing forward and courageously stepping outside of your defense
and comfort zones you are ascending the heights of victory.
So how does this fit in, in terms of Fear and Comfort zones?
Well the media displays forms of entertainment. Things Like Video Games, Movies, Facebook, Clubbing, Stip-Clubs etc and we get so attached to the feeling of being entertained that it becomes our one form of stimulation. We begin to fill ourselves
up with desires that are easy to obtain and as a result get tricked into thinking they are real.
- Who needs to form a band (and forge new friendships/interactions) when you can create one on your computer?
- Who needs to go out and meet new woman/men when you have porn? (forgetting that porn in synthetic and no replacement for a social connection)
- Who needs to create they’re own business when they can work for someone else? (lack of innovation/achievement)
“Imagine a banyan tree growing inside a pot – only a bonsai is possible. It may be artistic, but it doesn’t serve the purpose for which it was born.”
Being unconsciously addicted to entertainment is what limits you potential in life and wraps you in a comfort zone. Without using your real potential you grow weaker begins to put you in a defensive shell ‘Better not to try then to get hurt’
“Fear creates it’s own self fufilling dynamic – as people give in to it, they lose energy and momentum.
Their lack of confidence translates into inaction that lowers confidence levels even further, on and on.
“So, first of all,” Rosevelt told the audience: Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself
nameless, unreasoning, unjustifie terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.””
The knifes edge that separates failure from success in life. That edge is your attitude, which has the power to help shape your reality.
If you view everything through the lens of fear, then you tend to stay in retreat mode. You can just as easily see a crisis or problem as a challenge,
an opportunity to prove your mettle, the chance to strengthen and youghen yourself, or a call to collective action.
If we give in to fear, we will give disproportionate attention to the negative and manufacture the very adverse circumstances
that we dread. If we go the opposite direction, cultivating a fearless approach to life, attacking everything with boldness
and energy, then we will create a much different dynamic.
I’ve been reading a book called the Servant Leader by James C Hunter.
This book is about authenticity and leading others through your servitude,
it’s about pushing people to gently achieve they’re needs which in-return builds
trust and creates a eagerness to follow you through they’re own will rather then
any forceful cohesion. Heres some of my notes:
‘Forceful cohesion’ = Power: The ability to force or coerce someone to do your will, even if they would choose not to, because of your position or your might.
- Do it or I’ll fire you,
- Do it or we’ll bomb you
- Do it or I’ll beat you up
- Do it or I’ll ground you for two weeks
- Do it or else!
The problem with power is that people can be placed into it. Power can be bought and sold, given and taken away. People can be in positions of power because they’re some ones brother-in-law, some ones buddy or because they’ve inherited money or power.
In the end you can get a few seasons out of power but over time relationships will deteriorate and so will your influence. The Solution is – Authority. Authority: The skill of getting people to willingly do your will because of your personal influence. Authority can not be bought or sold, given or taken away. Authority is about who you are as a person, your character and the influence you’ve built with people. How do we develop authority? We must be patient, kind, humble, respectful, selfless, forgiving, honest and committed. These behaviors require us to serve and sacrifice for others. Which requires us to sacrifice our desires to blast at someone rather be assertive with them. Meaning that we literally have to extend ourselves for people we may not even like. So HOW do we do that? By loving others In the English language when we say love we associate it with a feeling:
- I love my dog
- I love my cigarettes
- I love my booze
In Servant leadership we refer to the greek version (the original biblical meaning of love) – Agape. Agape is unconditional love, rooted in behavior toward others without regard to their due. It is the love of deliberate choice – love of behavior and choice, not a feeling of love. (Agape) love it is referring to the verb describing the behavior and not a noun describing feelings – “Love is as Love does” “I can not always control how I feel about other people but I certainly am in control of how I behave toward other people” Your neighbor may be difficult and you may not like him very much, but you can still behave lovingly. Being patiant with him, honest and respectful, even though he chooses to behave poorly Corinthians, chapter thirteen “Love is patiant, kind, not puffed up or arrogant, does not behave unbecomingly, does not seek its own, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” Summary of what love is:
Again, love is not how you feel toward others but how you behave toward others. It is the act or acts of extending yourself for others by identifying and meeting their legitimate needs. Needs & Wants A leader must always identify and meet the legitimate needs of who he is serving. “slaves do what others want while servants give what others need” For example: If I were to allow my children to do whatever they want, there wouldn’t be many people willing to spent time at my home, because the kids would be running the place. There’d be anarchy. By giving them what they want you certainly aren’t giving them what they need. Children (and adults) need an environment with boundaries and accountability. They may not want boundaries and accountability but they Need boundaries and accountability. Nobody is having any favors done for them by having undisciplined homes or departments. The leader should never settle for mediocrity or second best. People have a need to be pushed to be the best they can be. It may not be what they want, but the leader should always be more concerned with needs than wants. How do you clearly differentiate between needs and wants? A want – is simply a wish or desire without any regard for the physical or psychological consequences. A need – is a legitimate physical or psychological requirement for the well-being of a human being.
Maslow’s hierchy of needs The lower-level needs must first be met before the higher-level needs become motivators. So on the lowest tier , I suppose paying a fair wage and benefit would sufficiently meet the food, water ,and shelter needs. The second-tier needs would include safety and security needs , which at work could mean a safe work environment along with providing boundaries and ‘setting the standards’ This provides consistency & predictability. Once those needs are met, the belonging and love needs become motivators. As I recall, that includes the need to be a part of a healthy group with accepting and healthy relationships. Once those needs are met, the motivator becomes self-esteem, which includes the need to be valued, treated with respect, appreciated, encouraged, to receive recognition, rewards, and so on ‘Once these needs are met, the need moves to self-actualization, which many have struggled trying to define. What I got out of it was that to self-actualize is to become the best you can be or are capable of becoming. Not everyone can be president of the company, All-American, or valedictorian. But everyone can be the best employee, player, or student possible. And if I’m understanding Simeon correctly, the leader should push and encourage people to become the best they are capable of
So I’ve had some time to consider what’s important in life
and what I’ll need to do in order to live the fulfilling life I Imagine.
I’ve realized that life is a precious gift and unfortunately most of us
of us walk through it in a type of walking daze unconsciously
we allow our minds to fill up with a heap of junk like
unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations,
unidentified wishes, doubts and fears
all thrown together by chance.
If you want to develop into a stronger person you have to
live your life consciously and define your actions.
I’ve made this guide to put you on the right path to doing that.
It will help you select the characteristics you want to embody
and how to develop them until they become a part of you.
Select 5 characters that are you right now be honest
From the list above, write down 5 characters that you currently are.
Now write down 5 characters that you want to be.
Have a look at the difference (this helps
you to get an idea how far off you may be
– you can also select the same characteristics
you are and want to be)
Now that you have established the top characteristics you want
to develop, it’s time to start browsing the top information available
to embody those characteristics.
The best ways to find knowledge is to browse sites like Amazon.
The Amazons’s book list is also good place but In my case I just searched for books on the topic of confidence.
The book I selected has 4 and a half stars and is rated by 60 users which is a awesome ratio.
Search for books with high star ratings and good reviews.
Rather then buying physical copies of books though I personally prefer to
get e-book versions if I can so that I can extrapolate the data in them and
flick back to sections at the click of a button.
Personal-development books aren’t meant to be read,
they are meant to be embodied. When you read a book
it’s like air traveling through your body, if you don’t
embody it’s contents then all the knowledge will escape you.
Knowledge without execution is useless.
Read, Translate, Define and DO. This is my repeat formula.
I know books, particularly psychology related/scientific
books can be quite hard to understand. The above book has
22,594 words so it’s very important to high-light what
is important to you.
Once you have obtained the golden nuggets of the text
the next step is to translate it. Convert the text (if it’s
difficult to get your head around) into terms which are
easier for you to understand. So you can flow through
it with ease. In my case I went through 5 pages or so
and translated it into this.
Self efficacy is something you will develop naturally
Self efficacy is known as the basic power of competence which comes with a healthy self- esteem and self respect and the experience of having dignity and personal worth.
So how do we obtain a healthy self-esteem, self respect, dignity and personal worth?
To be efficacious is to be capable of producing a desired result. Confidence in our basic efficacy is confidence in our ability to learn what we need to learn and do what we need to do in order to achieve our goals. Self-efficacy is not the conviction that we can never make an error. It is the conviction that we are able to think, to judge, to know- and to correct our errors. It is trust in our mental processes and abilities. (our facilities)
Once you have translated the text into your own understanding
the next process is to turn the text into something actionable.
“To be efficacious is to be capable of producing a desired result.”
Becomes: Today I will trust in my ability to learn
and do the things I would normally avoid – if I make
an error I can trust my facilities to fix it.
So again –>
- Today I will do the things I would normally avoid – if I make
an error I can trust my facilities to fix it.
Write at least three actions for you to do every day and do them!
only by doing them can we make the knowledge in the book a part of
our character and embody the true meaning of the book.
A couple of months ago I found myself thinking about all the
negative habits I’d developed over the years
and how my body (and mind) could
really go for some fixing up.
As I was browser beating the crap out of my google chrome to help me find
a solution for fixing my habits I found a really awesome and free application –
This program helps you to develop new habits and the way it works
is by adopting a new trial habit. For 30 days your goal should be to
follow a newly designed habit and stick with it.
If you fail to follow your habit on any given day you need to restart it from
the very beginning. This way habits are formed and they become automatic.
The good thing about forming positive habits is that research shows a
direct link between self-esteem and forming goals/habits.
For anyone who really wants to improve they’re self-esteem and
form good habits I suggest you check out the following link:
“Improve Self Esteem By Creating Habits”
Check out HabitualApp.com – Click Here
One of the things that’s so appealing about video games is making
your character gangsta. It’s like when your playing
San-andreas and CJ starts as this
lame scrawny little gangster
then turns into a full-blown thugg
One of the fun parts of gaming is turning your character into a hero or and building
up your level or reputation – whether it’s saving more money or turning your city
into something awesome. It’s almost always about progression.
Which got me thinking.. people play video games because they’re entertaining
and fun and in the end you get something for your pay offs – like a new Item a new level a new look..
But almost certainly there is some type of level system there to show your progress.
The thing about life is that we can have all of these things if we choose to
discipline ourselves and move-forward (going up levels)
Miltownkid over at http://www.pwninglife.com/ is all about self-development
and the website is for avid gamers.
I was thinking to myself.. if life had some sort of ‘level system’ like it does
in games, then maybe people would be more eager for the ‘pay off’.
If there was some way to log your progression
maybe you would be more inspired to
achieve those results.. for example:
Health Level: (Current level)
100 push ups a day for a week = Level 1
120 push ups a day for a week = Level 2
300 push ups a day for a week = Level 3
500 push ups a day for a week = Level 4
And in each day you could input your numbers and
aim to improve your ‘Level Experience’
Maybe this way people would stop looking to play
games to develop a character and transmute that energy into
Video games are awesome at emerging you into a fantasy world
where you can see beautiful things like scenery..
But the thing about life is that if you spent that time in the outside world
working on your real self you can see those things for real.
I believe gamers need a source to transmute that energy into real life progression
and passion.. cuz as hot as you think that character is in the game.. trust me
they probably ain’t so fine in real life.
What do you guys think about creating an application
which defines a leveling system for all your personal
improvement? would you use it? would it inspire you?
A few days ago I finished doing a bunch of tasks so
I decided to spend my spare time browsing Facebook.
It’d been 3 months since I had spent any time on there
posting pictures, updating my status and talking to my friends..
To be honest I saw a lot of useless info being posted,
lots of complaining and ranting about lives..
Since that time I’d developed my own personal effectiveness
and practiced a lot of self-discipline.
I used to be like FML this and LMAO that, as if I’d been
overcome by a new fad of hyper-anxiety
attention whore disorder
But this time it felt like I’d grown out of it as I
compared myself to the “Top News”
Image by – CaptPiper
I’ve personally struggled with the concept of learning..
I’ve sat there while my minds been off with the fairies
and after realizing how vital it is to be a better learner
I’ve developed some concepts and techniques which have helped me.
Now I’ll share em’ with u guys
- Plan your learning first – If you can then decide how much time and energy your going to invest in what your about to learn. Then begin by setting out a schedule for the next few days – Decide when you’ll be listening and for how long.
- Be focused – Sometimes we miss relevant information because we’re busy day-dreaming about the party that’s happening tonight. It’s important to be present with your surroundings and with who is talking.
- Take notes – Make sure you take plenty of notes on what your listening to. If you don’t need them all you can throw away what you don’t need in the end and keep what’s important to you. Make sure you check out my other post on effective note taking. Side note: Taking notes in its self is useless your constantly going over that information to refresh your mind. Re-read the notes every 4 days or so to rejogg your memory
- Plan action steps – One thing which is vital (but rarely mentioned) when it comes to learning is executing the information you’ve learned (when possible) Once you have your key notes develop Actions you can take that day which will encorporate those notes.
- Quiz yourself – One of the most efficient ways of embodying what your learning and developing a genuine cognition for content is to quiz yourself. Think up some questions relevant to your topic and make some multiple answers – heres a nice piece of software to help you do just that PopQuiz
- Fix your sleeping cycles – You know those morning when you wake up and feel like you still feel half asleep and not barely functioning, yeh well those days will affect your motor-fuctions ..get your body clock is in order so your falling asleep at around 10PM and being awake at 8AM, that’ll improve your focus and demeanor.
- Learn the basics first – When learning something, make sure your starting at the CORE of what your meant to learn, after that everything just flows and comes together.. if you don’t need it then don’t read it.
- Keep everything structured and simple – Keep all of your notes tidy and in they’re own categories with they’re own keys.. later on you can aim to improve those keys by simplifying your notes and keeping the gold.
- Be Disciplined/Persistent – I know theres times when you might feel like relaxing or doing something else but PULL THROUGH with what your learning, because in the end you will be more cognitive and empowered.
- Ask questions – Only by asking questions can you let someone else know where your truly up to. Some people are afraid to speak out or they nodd they’re head even when they don’t understand a topic. By asking questions your letting your teacher/guide feel where your authentically up to, then they can help guide you to where you need to be.
So – what do you think? How have you improved your learning ability
in the passed? and did you use anything else not mentioned here?
So it’s been about a week and a half since I’ve started listening to Brian Tracy’s No excuses program..
And honestly this program is more then just executing self-discipline it’s about
developing character and integrity. At the moment I’ve been listening to the
program each day for at least 10 minutes.
So far this has lead me 1:34:16 into the program – and I’ve managed
to jot down a mountain of gold.. I’m slow when it comes to getting through
this program, and that’s because I’ve been trying to execute what it
teaches rather then listening and eventually forget about it.
For the passed 13 Days, I’ve set aside 10 goals to complete in each day,
these are the results of those first 10 days..
7 8 9 6 8 6 7 7 6 (null)
When you compare this to me achieving maybe 2 or 3 goals in a day which
I used to do then this result is very good.. but when it comes to developing
the habit of self discipline these results are in-effective. As Elbert Hubbard
says “Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you
should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
That’s the true essence of self-discipline. It’s not about being slightly more
productive or being slightly more efficient but about being DISCIPLINED
and having the will-power to set out and finish what you first don’t feel like doing.
Wheres that leave me then?
I’ve decided that tomorrow morning I’m going to get serious about this and begin
going over my compiled notes. I’ll REALLY suck in an embrace the concept
of self-discipline and NOT let myself have it any other way – now that
I’ve internalized the fact that I will not be what I want to be if I keep on
letting myself slip up, I think it’s time to step up a little bit more and really take shit seriously this turn.
I really sucked in and internalized through experience (and failure) that I will
always be the same person I am down the track, if I continue on doing what I’m always doing.
To escape that sense you have to defeat your comfort zone and even
over-come fear. Self-Discipline is not as easy as it sounds, but it sure is worth it.
What are your opinions, do you think there is anything else out there I could
read which would really help me to become more self-disciplined? do you
have any experience in this field? feel free to post your ideas