Fast Ideas to Live By Pt. 1

This is a collection of ideas that may help you today.  Not 100% original but worth repeating.

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  1. You will become the people you let be around you.  You will be as good or bad as them.  You will struggle to push yourself harder than they push themselves.  Don’t weigh them down and don’t let them weigh you down.  Be neither the Ox nor the Load.    
  2. If change is needed and you are…                                                                                               surrounded by chaos…  be the order that is needed.                                                 restricted by order…  be the change that is needed.                                                         beaten down by pain…  do no harm to others.                                                           comforted by love…  be at peace with the world.                                                       Resistance breeds strength…  know when to resist your environment to become stronger.
  3. Become addicted to the truth.  Above all else value the truth.  Sacrifice everything on the altar of truth.  If it is not true then it is nothing.  Could be’s, should be’s, and feelings have their place, but they are beneath what is true.  Your strongest held ideals are but paper if built on a lie or they are unshakable if built on the truth.  There is no value without truth.
  4. Be your best yourself.  Work to be better today than you were yesterday so that everyday you are becoming your best self.  Do not put yourself with people who do not think the best of you.  Avoid systems that are set up to make you feel bad or start you from a place of apology.
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Don’t * Yourself.

This is advice I try to give to myself all the time.  It is a struggle.

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Boys and girls, I want to talk about achievement.

Some would argue that achievement today is demonized.  That wealthy people didn’t earn their money, which can be true or not.  That athletes cheat and take drugs.  That leaders lie and deceive.

The thing about achievement is that it cannot be stopped.  It is a force of nature bound in the essential foundations of existence.

You will achieve something.  Whether you achieve something big or small is up to you and a topic for another time.  I want to look at two current types of achievements in my sphere today.

 

The first is Two Division Champ Champ Conor McGregor (No, that’s not a typo… that’s how he likes to refer to himself).  Conor, or Mr. McGegor as he would probably like me to call him, changed the world of Mixed Martial Arts and no matter what everyone wants to argue about when it comes to him he achieved.  His latest and greatest achievement was winning his second UFC title to be the first person to hold two belts at the same time.  Here he is in victory.

Conor Wins 2nd Belt

Doubtless you had a reaction to that.  You can call him arrogant or an asshole.  You can admire his confidence or hate him.  However, he did not do one thing.  He did not apologize.  He did not * himself.

 

The second example is every realty show that competes with men and women.  I won’t into specific details because they don’t matter but here is what does.  The shows been running for five or six seasons.  The show is about a particular skill.  The show has men and women competing to win.  In five or six season no woman has won.

Ok, got it?  This season the women are particularly talented and aggressive to win.  Chances are one of them may win the whole show.  The whole season though they have gone on and on about being the first Female Winner.

Did you catch it?  Female* Winner.

I know what they are trying to say, “I am the sixth winner!  But the FIRST Female!”  They are attempting to inflate their position in some way by declaring they are the first female, gay, paraplegic, black, white, Asian, Irish, Transgender, Handicapped, Handicapable, on and on and on…  winner.

Adding that qualifier to first (and that is what it is… it is a qualifier that changes the conditions so you can be “first”) doesn’t elevate you or your group.  At best it’s an apology at worst it’s an accusation.

Either that qualifier or * is saying that the game is rigged towards the group that has historically won and my group finally got a fair shake because I am more talented/hard working than the members of my minority that have tried to win before.

Or that qualifier or * is saying that your minority group has finally caught up to the other groups with your talent/hardwork.

 

Be humble in achievement, always shows gratitude, but apologize to no one.

Don’t * yourself.

Let your achievements be what they are.  You are not the sum total of you gender, race, nationality, on and on and on.  You are who you choose to be.  Those are factors in your choices, big ones, but they are not you.  You are the sum total of million billion unique moments.  You are not just a series of factors.

When you see the world that way then you can truly enjoy your achievements and your own, earned, and apologize to nobody for them.

How to Enjoy Something Despite Other People

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I had a recent bad experience sharing something that I love and have dedicated a large amount of time to with other people.  It was a good feeling to share with other people something we had in common and everyone had shared energy for.  People have a way of magnifying things when it comes to enjoying things.  The problem (or paradox) is that the effect works the other way as well.

I am not talking about when people don’t share something you enjoy.  If you are into an obscure genre of Japanese Anime starring chipmunks vs. octopi then you know that you are going to be in a small group of fans.  If you are a rabid fan of ancient Tibetan yak haired instrumentals then you are most likely not going to be fighting for front rows seats at the next concert (if you can find one!).  There is a small comfort that can be found in being in an elite group of people of a fandom.

I am talking about when people’s shared passion stifles you.  It affects everyone.

 

You like Batman?  You don’t know who Bill Finger is and celebrate his birthday?  Then you are not a “real” Batman fan.  Poser!

 

You like football?  Who was the most intercepted QB of 1986?  Don’t know?  Take your jersey off and throw it in the fire you ass.

 

This can be especially painful when it’s an active thing you enjoy; something that takes your time and energy like learning a sport or any kind of skill.  Its inherent in the nature of people that if you had to work for something that you want to put barriers to entry up for others.  We all want to be “elite” and the easiest way to do that is exclude others.  The hard way is to work hard and be the best, but most people are like “Fuck that!” because they may not actually be that good and it means hard work to find out.  So instead it’s easier to make up trivial shit to keep you out of their club.

 

So, what do you do?  Refuse to enjoy anything? How can you really enjoy something while at the same time defending your right to enjoy it as much or as little or any way you want to?

It’s like trying to hug a puppy while being poked with a shit covered stick.

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So do you stop hugging the puppy?

Do you learn to ignore the stick?

Both of these ideas are terrible.  No one wants to stop hugging a puppy and learning to ignore the bad acts of others is never a true solution.

So here’s my two cents boys and girls.

 

Learn to dodge the stick.

 

Upfront I will tell you this sucks as a solution.  You are going to have to putting energy into learning to handle the bad acts of others just so you can hug your puppy.  It puts the burden on victim.  It sucks.  However, that’s life.  You will never stop “bullying” or just general asshole-ry.  You need to learn to defend yourself or you will never enjoy your puppy.  Note:  thisis not the same as ignoring the stick, this is actively  engaging it and make sure it can’t hurt you.  This also doesn’t mean just toughing up so that it doesn’t hurt when it hits.  This truly not letting it hurt you because it doesn’t get into your mindset.

Change your mindset to see those people as the obsessive pricks they are.

No I don’t know the exact issue that Superman first kissed Lois Lane, but it’s because I’m awesome and spent time enjoying Superman rather than reducing him to trivia.

Dodge.

No I don’t know the leading wide receiver from 1974, but it’s because I was enjoying the game with friends and family who don’t quiz me to be their friends.

Feint.

No I can’t scale a 14” wall and then do a handstand.  But I am closer than I was yesterday and when I can I won’t be an asshat about it, I’ll help others.

Super Deluxe Dodge.

 

Most things in life come back to that first primal act, fighting.  When these super elites assholes “attack” you can go blow for blow with them but that’s not a way to fight smart.  Dodge, feint, and counter are always going to win out…  And you don’t have to put your puppy down.

Remember Life Tip #3:  You do not have to be around people you don’t like

Planning Part 2! Dating Your Plan! (Almost there)

 

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(This picture will make sense later!)

Last week we talked about planning and broke it into three parts.  If you missed part one go read it first.  I’ll wait.

Planning is broken up into three questions.

Part 1: Do you have plan?

Part 2: Can you show it to me?

Part 3: Can you show me your progress?

 

Ready?  Okay, part two…  “Can you show it to me?”

 

We talked about the need to have a real plan, but what about a plan that exists in realty?  If I were to tell you “Hey, hand me your plan.”  Could you do it?

Can you touch it?

Is it real, as in a part of our shared reality?

Do you get what I’m saying?  No matter how good your plan is… IT CANNOT EXIST ONLY IN YOUR MIND!

 

There are two reasons for this.

 

  • It needs to be a real thing so that you take it seriously. The issue is not that you cannot change it or even chuck it all together if it doesn’t work for you anymore but if it is a real plan that really exists then by its very nature it requires you to take it much more seriously.

 

  • You should be able to show it to people, but not in a Facebook way, i.e. Not in a “Look at me I am going to post one selfie from a gym… I’m so fit!  But then you eat cheeseburgers and sleep in for the next three months and bitch about being fat kinda way”.  You should be able to show your friends, family, basically anyone that means anything to you that Hey this is my plan!  This is what I am going to do with my finite amount of sand through the hourglass that are the days of my life.

 

Let me prove this point with a negative.  For those playing at home this is a method that proves something by establishing the opposite, for example you brush your teeth so they don’t fall out.  This is particularly effective in a call to action like we have here.

Not having a physical plan that you share with those that matter is like having a girlfriend/boyfriend you keep secret.

Maybe you are ashamed because you know you are doing something wrong?

Maybe you are aiming too low?

Maybe you are doing something that is harmful to yourself?

Maybe you are not committed enough to see it through if your friends and family don’t believe in you?

If any of the above are true then you need to rethink your plan.  Maybe you don’t deserve your plan.  Maybe you are trying the wrong plan.  Sitting in honest judgement of yourself is essential and is a natural result of making your plan real.

 

Is your plan something you are in a relationship with or something you just hook up with?

In base terms your plan should be something you are proud of.  If it is, make it real.

 

 

 

 

Conflict and Desire

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A lesson to live by:  All conflict is result of denied desire.

Conflict is almost always manifested as “I want something someone else has.”

It could be their candy, their time, their affection, their money, their status, their friends, their mate, their stuff, their life, on and on…

 

You could take it.  That would be an external conflict.

You could suffer without it.  That would an internal conflict.

You could work/change to have what they have.  That would be a personal conflict.

 

Denying a desire creates conflict.  Let’s step out of the ethereal and get into the practical.

 

Work conflict.

 

I want these people to proper fill out their forms.  I desire their attention.  I desire their concern to do what I want.  Ultimately, I want to get things done and I can’t because of this.

 

If you start to look at conflict in its base element you can begin to address it in the most effective way.

Ask yourself, “How do I get what I desire?”

 

Successfully resolved conflict is not hurting the other person as you were hurt, that doesn’t get you what you want.  When you do that you are making a false equivalence.  You hurt me… so I hurt you until you stop hurting me.  This feels right because it appeals to the most primal part of conflict, external or physical.  The problem is that it doesn’t translate past physical threats.

Going back to our example:  If these people won’t fill out their forms correctly and so you stop helping them then ultimately nothing gets done.  That is opposite of your ultimate desire, to get things done!

So how do you get what you want?

You need to get them to what you want… your ultimate desire.  You need them to want to get things done as much you do.  If they want it as much as you do ten there will be no conflict as you are all committed to common goal of getting things done.  That single purpose drives all interactions and sets the rules for the relationship.

The conflict is resolved only when the denied desire is fulfilled or abandoned.

 

Personal Conflict

 

I desire to have this kind of relationship with that person.

If they desire that same kind of relationship then there is no conflict.

If they do not desire that same kind of relationship then there is conflict.

 

It is that simple.  It really is.

 

Example: I want my family to treat me a certain way.  When they don’t I feel bad, angry, or stressed and I want to feel calm and accepted.  Ultimately, I want to feel happy.

 

This comes down to a matter of choices.

 

The people in your life will choose to treat you how you want to be treated.

When they treat you want to be treated you happy and your Ultimate desire is to be happy.

You want someone to treat as a lover, a friend, a brother, sister, son or daughter… whatever it is.  You have an idea of what that looks like and you desire them to conform to it.

 

That is their choice.  To treat you the way you desire or not.

 

Your choice is to accept it or not.  You cannot resolve the conflict by hurting them like they hurt you.  Again, this is primal our usually our first response.

 

You desire your relationship to conform to your ideas of what it should be and to the degree it does is the degree that the relationship exists.

 

HOWEVER!  This puts two responsibilities on you.  (Pay attention here kiddos!)

 

  • You must know and communicate your desires. If you are vague or unsure of what you want then you are the cause of the conflict.
  • You must be willing to confront the conflict. If you desire one thing but tolerate a lesser because you fear or have no desire for conflict then you are actually making the choice to accept relationship as is and are not entitled your desires.

 

That being said… conflict is not bad boys and girls.  Conflict is your desires and your willingness to go after them.  The conflict is no worse than your desires are.  If your desires are valid then so the conflict should be worth it.  Count the cost and know exactly what you are in conflict for.

Oh… Really?  An Article on Planning… Ugh Fine!  (Part 1 of 3.  Really? 3 Parts!)

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Look, I hate reading them too.  Before I’ve lost your attention really take a moment and answer three questions about anything you are trying to accomplish (fitness, career, and relationships, whatever).  If you can answer all three as “Hell Yes!” then good for you… take a lap and hit the showers.

  • Do you have a plan?
  • Can you show it to me?
  • Can you show me your progress?

So why am I asking those questions.  Let unpack this one questions at a time.

  • Do you have a plan?

Most people are quick to say I want this, need that, or that would be really nice.  Others can say I like to do this, or I’m good at that, or I need to work on something.  These are not plans.  These are parts of plans… mostly the goal and the journey.  There are one million billion articles on how to plan and guess what here’s one more.  Also, they all have one thing in common.  You need to have a fucking plan!

So here’s my method (not saying it’s better than any else’s but it may strike a chord with you)

A plan breaks down into three parts.  The conflict, the journey, the prize.

The Conflict: I want to lose weight.  I want to make more money (or the more common… I motherfucking need more money!).  I want to stop doing this bad behavior or get better at this good behavior.

Conflict is inherently an unfulfilled desire.  (See my thoughts on Conflict)  What is that unfulfilled desire?

That’s where you start.  Most people tell you to start with the prize and work backwards.  This does not work in my opinion because it puts the ever important “WHY” off in the future.

Example:  Jack has to walk to the bus stop and take an hour bus ride to work.  Weather is problem, he is limited in what he can carry, and he hates wasting the extra time.  Jack wants a car.  Jack could think about the shorter drive, carrying more stuff, the ease and convenience of being a driver.

Is that motivational?  No.  That’s a far off happy fluffy warming idea.  He needs to start with the real concrete conflict in front of him.

He needs to save money, get his credit straight, etc. and what’s going to motivate him to do it?  The ethereal happy thoughts in future?  Or the oh so real rain, smell, and horrors of being a bus rider?

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(Oh the horror!)

Start with the conflict.  The prize is off in the future and won’t motivate you to take all the tiny steps and every day choices you need to make.  The conflict will.  It will be there every day; in your face and taunting you.

 

The Journey:   It’s what you do.  It’s how you address the conflict.  Let’s be blunt…  It’s how you fight back.  So many people have no fight in them.  They become one with their conflicts.

You know who I’m talking about.  The people that define themselves by how much life has taken them out back and fucked them into submission.  They complain to the point that it’s like breathing to them.  They have lost the ability to fight.  They become blobs that not only can’t fight their own fights but glob on and drag you down.  They call your efforts crazy, or pointless, or some other bullshit.  AVOID THESE PEOPLE!  You cannot help them and they will only weigh you down.  Identify and delete them.

NOTE: Some people have had truly terrible lives and deserve sympathy of course. Then some people are just fuck ups and you know the difference so don’t come at me with that “be understanding shit”, like my understanding is going to work where SELF INTEREST has failed and on wings forged out of pure empathy they are going to fly to a magic island that makes them stop being fuck ups… Really?  I didn’t think so…  Let’s just move on.

The journey starts with that first step on a PATH.  Every great journey has a path, right?

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(If you need a visual)

Dorothy had the yellow brick road.

Frodo had a guide to Mordor.

Luke had Obi Wan to teach him.

Whether it’s a guide, a map, or a physical trail… every Hero has a path.  That path is heart of your plan.  There are signs, turns, up hills and downhills…  But it’s a real thing!  It’s not just a loose idea to “do better”.

This is where almost everyone fucks it up.  I don’t need the yellow brick road…  I know the way.  Then you show up to fight the Witch and missed the companions that you didn’t even know where on the road and the Witch fucking eats you and steals your shoes.  Why?  Because you knew better.

Write out your journey.  Take it out of the realm of fantasy in your head where you have a million dollars from a 20 hour a week job where you do nothing but work on your abs and screw hot people.  Make it real and put in front you.

Make it a real thing that sits in front of you and tells you walk the path, do the heavy (force) lifting, and get through the temptation.    I’ll expand on this in a minute when we talk about the 2nd question.

 

The Prize:  Simply put, it’s what you get.  It’s the first AND last thing you think about in making a plan.  Here is how this might play out if you don’t about it last…

 

First Thought: I want more money!

Second Thought: You will need to spend a lot of time and money first, go to school, give up social obligations, sacrifice fun, and work hard!

 

If the thought process stops there then you run off and quickly lose momentum.  Let’s try that again.

 

First Thought: I want more money!

Second Thought: You will need to spend a lot of time and money first, go to school, give up social obligations, sacrifice fun, and work hard!

Last Thought: Hmmm…  I have invest time, energy, and money to make “more money”.  I need to be super deluxe careful then.  Let me make good choices and plan this out carefully.  After I spend so much how much more money will I have?  What’s the return on my investment?  Why do I need more money?

 

If you follow this reasoning you will develop a plan much slower but it will be a stronger more dedicated plan.  Think about it like this… One shot… one kill.

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Digest this… really think about it.  Don’t say to yourself “That’s what other people need for success, I don’t need to do this.  That’s for losers.”  You just called the Wizard of Oz, Yoda, and Obi-Wan losers.  Think about that.