How many people, how many nations, how many races have believed they were doing “good” yet were causing great harm to humanity?? This thought is a sobering reality check. Look at the Nazis. They thought they were doing humanity a favor by wiping out millions of Jews. The Catholic church killed millions of “heretics” during the Inquisition and thought they were doing good. How many “infidels” have been killed by Muslims merely because they were “infidels”?? How many communists in China and Russia truly believed in the cause of communism and overlook the fact of millions of lives dying because of the advancement of communism. The last example I’ll give is the United Sates believing they’re liberating countries by invading foreign countries and waging war with them and many innocent lives are killed in the process. How much “good” do I have to do to have the epiphany to realize I’m not doing good. The examples I gave have quite an impact on humanity and this world. Where did it all start?? I’m guilty just as every other human being is guilty of believing how we live are lives is “right.” Who defines what is right?? Men are prone of justifying doing wrong by doing right. It’s such a slippery slope. It can be so dogmatic and so deceiving. I can draw the line somewhere and the next decade the line has moved. Look at humanity throughout history. The line of legalism and ethics wavers. What’s the answer?? How can one find the answer if one doesn’t have a question at first?? This is what I believe. I have to believe in something that didn’t originate in the heart or mind of a human being. Man’s ideas and beliefs fade, it’s like the withering grass. There are principles and moralities that have never experienced the four seasons. They have always existed and always abide in eternity. These things are so simple. That’s the thing that’s so elusive. It can elude philosophers, theologians, scientists and mystics. We like to be amazed by outrageous theories and concepts. They can be so brilliant and also so deceiving by their complexity. That complexity is just a reflection of how complicated we human beings have become in our own minds and being. I’m not saying the universe isn’t complex or that nature or life isn’t complex. It is complex, but the origin and foundation of it all is simple in its being and structure. It’s amazing how complex everything is yet so simply uniform. The whole universe and nature works together in synchronicity and unity. There are laws that govern us and all things. These are the things I’m referring to that have always existed. Man can have a revelation of these laws but how often it is that we are deceived by changing those laws by just a little. Just by changing it a little changes everything. Just writing this has made me question and meditate on my own life. That’s the reason I’ve written this. If it’s made you do the same then I’ve accomplished something. Hopefully we can evolve into something that’s more primitive and simple.
Do you have big goals in your life?? What are you doing to achieve your next big goal?? Are you letting “life” distract you?? Are you creating “excuses” of why you can’t do it?? Are you letting people stop you from living your dreams?? How bad do you want it?? Are you willing to make sacrifices?? Are you willing to suffer and endure?? Are you telling yourself the cost is too much?? YOU are the only one responsible. Only YOU can align your focus in living the life you want. There are so many voices telling us how to live our lives. It’s the media, it’s the government, it’s billion dollar corporations, it’s Hollywood, it’s family, it’s even ourselves. You know what has to be done. SHUT. OUT. THE. NOISE. Just shut it out. Just set a goal. Make up your mind. And then execute it. Things will never go according to plan so why wait for the “opportune” moment. When there is an opportune moment, take advantage of it because they don’t come by that often. And if there is no opportunity, create the opportunity. Don’t wait for it. Create it yourself. There’s lots of people that always have an excuse. How convenient is it to have an excuse that every human being faces. I don’t have the time. I’m too tired. It’s too late. It’s too much. It’s no use. Every now again we’ll experience a legitimate cause for not doing something but to live your whole life to just excuse life away. How unfulfilling is that?? How mediocre is that?? Yet that’s the average way of life for some human beings. I’m not going to live that way. How am I going to do it?? BY SHUTTING OUT THE NOISE. I’m not going to allow myself to get distracted. Psychologists get paid by marketers in how to reach more customers. There’s two key components. Desire and attention. If you don’t know about it or see it, how can you even have a desire for the product being sold?? That’s why I have to tune out things that are going to arrest my attention and seduce my desires in conquering my goals. A master martial artist doesn’t become strong and powerful by being distracted. When he is in combat, he knows himself. He knows his weapon. He and his weapon are one being. They are fully immersed in the moment. Just one second of distraction is threatening to his life. His opponent may not even be as skilled as him, but if he gets distracted; it won’t even matter how much knowledge, experience and strength he has. Life will throw everything it has at us. It doesn’t care how good or bad things are. How hard is it to focus when experiencing fear, hopelessness and pain?? We will all experience these things, some more than others. Do I quit or keep on going?? When I get pushed back five steps, I’ll start over and walk one step at a time until I’ve walked more than five steps and keep doing the same thing. There’ll be moments where I’ll have to just stand. I can’t move anywhere so I’ll just stand and maintain my focus when I’m standing and move when I no longer have to stand. What’s the difference between a champion and a loser?? The loser quits. Why does the loser quit?? He lost his focus and desire. Babe Ruth led the most strikeouts in five seasons yet he is known as one of if not the greatest homerun hitters of all time. He never quit. He didn’t quit, lose his focus or desire of playing his best no matter how many strikeouts during his baseball career. One of the secrets to not quitting is focus. It’s by shutting out all the noise. The best pitchers in professional baseball know how to shut all the noise of the crowds. The stadium could be jam-packed and the spectators are in an uproar but they tune out the noise. What good are the countless hours they practice in throwing a perfect pitch if they can’t tune out the noise?? Forget all the naysayers. Shut down negative thoughts and emotions. Don’t let these things rape your destiny. Choose your own destiny. Don’t let something else or anyone else make that choice for you. SHUT. OUT. THE. NOISE.
If you have a huge ego, you’re going to be one insecure, controlling individual. We all have to deal with our egos from time to time. Whether you’re a very humble person, the ego is still there and it must be confronted. And if you’re a very proud person, it’s because you haven’t confronted it and are ignoring it. People who are secure in their beliefs and secure in who they are don’t have to prove anything. They just live their lives and let people judge for themselves if they want to copy their lifestyle. Now someone who isn’t secure has to prove something. It could be religion, philosophy, politics, eating habits, etc. Whatever it is, whoever is disagreeing or who has a different point of view MUST be proven wrong. Arguing, debating, proving on who’s right and who’s wrong doesn’t solve anything. How much bloodshed has there been in this world because one group of people has to prove that another group of people are wrong?? People are not our worst enemy. My ego is the worst enemy. We can all live different lives and coexist. That coexistence is possible if we all let go of our egos. You can still believe in something and not force that belief on others. I’m certainly not coexisting with my neighbors if I’m rioting in the streets, getting into fistfights and destroying public property. Another thing with having a huge ego is never willing to admit that you’re wrong and apologize for it. It takes humility to apologize and that’s only possible when you’ve let go of your ego. I’m going to say it again because I think it’s worth repeating. People are not the problem. The ego is the problem. Backbiting, backstabbing, tearing others down so I can climb over them and step up the ladder a few more steps is because of huge egos. If there’s going to be more peace and love in this world and less violence and hate, we have to let go of our egos. When we do this, we learn to respect each other regardless of our differences. People who kill other human beings have no respect for life. They have no respect for humanity. They have no mercy, compassion or remorse. That isn’t is so with a person that has great humility. Next time a person disagrees with you, don’t try to prove them wrong. If you feel you have to prove them wrong, that’s a sure sign you’re ego is very much alive. Am I promoting pacifism?? No, I’m not. If someone attacks you, defend yourself. Our country and families need to be defended and protected. I’m questioning the root cause of why people want to attack each other. I’m questioning the things that hinder peace from existing in this world. Ego does not allow peace in one’s mind. Ego does not allow selfless love in one’s mind. It will tell me that I decide what’s right and wrong for ME, MYSELF, AND I. Ego is the enemy of humility. We all need to learn to let go of our egos.
Why do we involve ourselves in things that take away more than it actually gives. Anyone one of us can relate to this. It could be a one-sided relationship that’s self-serving. A hard to break addiction with unhealthy food, drugs, cigarettes. Whatever the substance is, it doesn’t serves us in a positive way. We can waste away our time with things that don’t give us back anything more with the time that was spent. Kids and adults spend hours, days playing video games or watching the latest blockbuster movies. How productive are we being with our time?? Do the foods that I eat contribute back to my health?? Do the relationships with my friends strengthen or weaken me?? Are the thoughts that I’m thinking positive or negative?? Does my life affect the world in a good or bad way?? This principle of does it serve me in a good way can be applied all across the board. None of us live perfect lives but am I embracing the lifestyle that’s taking away more from than embracing a lifestyle that gives more back. Just one little guilty pleasure can turn into addiction and turn into a slave-master. Do you drink soda?? Coffee?? Do you eat candy?? Do you really need them?? Are you dependent on those things to get through your day?? Are they serving you in a positive way?? Do you hate to exercise?? These questions should provoke us into questioning our lifestyle. Do I do things even though knowing that it affects me and others in a negative way?? I don’t want to live each day and keep maintaining habits and make choices and think certain thoughts that aren’t serving the well-being of my life and others in the long-run. We’ve all got to start somewhere. Wherever your at. Start small. Keep making an effort. Don’t quit. Persevere. If there’s anything that I’ve learned trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it’s this. Living a comfortable life will make me weak. I won’t grow. If I’m not growing, I’m dying. If I’m growing, I’m going to be uncomfortable. My ego and human nature don’t like to be uncomfortable. That’s why I’ve got to exercise self-discipline and self-control. Doing this crucifies my will to serve my ego. I’d rather live a life that’s uncomfortable and be fulfilled in the end than be comfortable and unfulfilled. I also have to know where to draw a line. I can become consumed with perfectionism where it becomes unhealthy. I can do things that are giving something good back but it can become an addiction. That addiction is self-serving. It stops me from giving something good back. When we’re living healthy, we’re serving and giving something good back.
How much more time do I have on this Earth?? Just as there was a day I took my first breathe there will be a day I’ll take a final breathe as well. Am I wasting my life?? Do the things I value really matter?? Life is too short. Life teaches us that all things under the sun will expire. One day I may be king of the mountain and the next a beggar weeping in the gutter. Change is the one sure thing in this world. Even time has an end. The sun, the moon and the stars will eventually die. Impermanence teaches us the intrinsic beauty and worth of all things. When you take something for granted, you believe it will always be there. How often we do this with people. Those who surround us from day to day won’t always be there. The amount of resources on this planet have limitations. Are we living life the most efficient way?? Are we living life in the most effective manner?? Humanity shouldn’t get to the place where we deplete everything that’s sustains life to truly understand the value of all living things. I don’t want the mindset of just take, take, take and what’s in it for me. We receive much more from giving than receiving. If everyone was a receiver, there wouldn’t be any givers. Look at creation. Every creature gives something to sustain life in their ecosystem. It doesn’t matter how big or small the creature is, they have a part in contributing something. Even something as “worthless” as dirt has great value. Dirt is the substance in which life grows. Let that sink in. Maybe my perception needs to change. Maybe the things I view as being worthless are things that are essential for life to exist. My consciousness is very narrow when it revolves only around my own life. I can expand my consciousness when it’s less about me, and more about my family, my friends, my community, my country and so on. Do I own this planet?? Do I own my dog, cat, husband, wife or children?? There’s an obligation and responsibility that’s been given to me to love and care for them but I do not own them. We are caretakers and stewards of each other. When we are selfless, there is this connection with life of being interconnected. Whenever I’m not being selfless, the less there is of that connection with life of being interconnected. How blinded are we if impermanence cannot teach us to make the world a better place when we die?? If a 10 acre forest was burning down and I managed to save 1 acre of that forest, was my effort a success?? It’s a success when 10 acres are saved and 10 more are grown. The principle of life isn’t just the existence of life. It’s the existence, the fruition, abundance and multiplication of life and the sustainability of these things. That goes for human life. That goes for the life of the animals, the environment, for everything that’s alive. We do not hold things sacred when we think there’s no end to everything. Do not take your life for granted. Do not take your family and this planet for granted. When we take things for granted, we are deceived in believing that everything is permanent.
A man can gain the entire world and be a miserable wretch. A man can also have very little to nothing and be serenely content. Why is this?? The lust and desire to acquire more never ends. Is there gratefulness in gaining more material possessions?? If I was grateful for what I already have there wouldn’t be a need in possessing something else. I would be content with what I have and wouldn’t have to seek out something that’s “better.” Gratitude is one simple way of removing lust and desire. Don’t be jealous of what your neighbor has. Don’t be jealous of his wife, his kids, house, car, boat. Whatever it is. Don’t be jealous. Be grateful for what you have. Life can be greener on your side of the fence when you take care of your own lawn. Stop comparing. If your own lawn isn’t green, whose fault is it?? I’m not going to chase after a material thing that takes an entire lifetime to achieve and be discontent and disappointed in the end when obtaining it. Some people will chase after that one thing and never get it. All that sacrifice and hard work to be let down towards the end. Who’s going to suffer and be a victim in the process?? Is it going to be your wife, husband, kids, best friend?? Whoever it is, don’t let them become collateral damage. People are valuable. You can’t put a price on life. Enjoy the journey. Make the most out of what you can while you can. We can miss out years of our life trying to possess things. Yes, I need a job to make a living. Yes, I need a car to drive and a home to live in. I choose to not live beyond the means of living simply. I’m happy with the car I drive. I don’t have to be driving a Porsche or exotic foreign sport car. I’m blessed to have a roof over my head and having running water electricity. Sometimes we really need to just stop everything that we’re doing and think about how blessed we really are. There’s people in third world countries who are starving, homeless and have no hope of removing themselves from that terrible situation. I’m not sure what’s more sad, a third world citizen that’s more happy and content with what he has or a first world citizen who commits suicide because of feeling so hopeless regardless of all the things he possesses. You can’t buy contentment. You can’t buy peace. It’s something you cultivate yourself. You’re not going to find it in things and material possessions. Immanuel Kant said, “We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can without.” I can have “nothing” and be the richest man in the world.
Diamonds are cut from their weakest point. When they are cut correctly, their brilliance can be seen. When they are cut incorrectly, the diamond can be chipped or broken in half. How often it is we see are weakness as being a weakness. When we are always fighting against it, we become damaged by it. Our flaws are what make us who we are. We can’t deny or ignore them. Beauty is defined by the things that aren’t so beautiful. It’s the same with our weakness. Our strengths our defined by our weakness. Yes, we need to work on the areas we’re lacking in. The sobering truth is I’ll never be perfect. That isn’t a bad thing. Accepting this makes me more secure as an individual. I do not want to be a perfectionist. There is no contentment in perfectionism. When you strive for perfection, it is never good enough. You always fall short. You feel like a failure. You feel burdened, fearful and insecure. Living this way will break you. This is a delusional way of thinking. We’ll all experience moments of feeling burdened, being fearful and insecure but to be trapped in that cycle is not normal. I have to show myself compassion. I have to show those around me compassion. If I possess love I’ll accept all my defects and the defects of my friends, family and anyone else I come into contact with. Relying only on my strengths will destroy me. If I was perfect, that means I wouldn’t need any help in any area. Maybe I was created this way for a reason. Maybe I was created with a weakness so someone could help me and in return I could help them. Weaknesses make us rely on each other. Navy seals never desert each other in battle when one of their brother in arms is wounded. That wasn’t a natural instinct. They had to work hard at cultivating that instinct. Ego will tell you not to rely on others. Ego will tell you not to work as a team. This is not the mindset of a champion. Look at the very best teams in team oriented sports. What is it they all have in common?? They work as a team. They know each other so well they work together as one unit. They can read each other just by merely glancing at the other teammate. You may be talented. You may be gifted. You also have a weakness. That weakness is there to humble you. It’s there for you to rely and trust in others. Don’t allow your weakness to break you, let your weakness be what shows off your brilliance.
There’s something powerful about the imagination. It can be a goal. How we see ourselves. How we perceive the world. Lives are changed by mere thoughts!! A single idea can change everything. This goes for the negative and positive. What is the limit of your imagination?? Do you believe that conception in your mind is possible?? Are you crazy enough to act and make it reality?? The world is full of possibilities. Yes, there are obstacles. Yes, you will have to overcome certain things. No one ran the 4 minute mile until the 1950s. The first man recorded was Roger Bannister. Was he insane that no one ever did it that it was worth pursuing?? He challenged the odds that were against him and broke the record. From that record others followed in his footsteps and broke new records. Jesse Owens set the world record in the Olympics in the 1930s for the long jump. He imagined himself jumping 8 meters. And then he did it. Yes, he trained. It took many years of training. There’s some thoughts we won’t even experience until we begin the work. Everything starts in the imagination. What are your own goals?? What are your dreams for your life?? Are you pursuing something?? Is it something no one else is doing?? Ignore the crowds. Ignore the critics. They don’t know what’s in your heart. They don’t understand who you are as a human being. And if you don’t know these things either, you’ll have no idea what to go after. People thought Albert Einstein was stupid. What if he actually took to heart what people were saying about him?? Einstein even said himself “Everybody is a genius. but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that is is stupid.” We’re all unique. We’re all different. We all have a meaning and purpose in this life. Don’t let the limits of other imaginations limit the limits of your own imagination. Imagine If.
Give me a quick fix. I’ll just pop a miracle pill. Get a breast implant. Have my stomach stapled. Try the latest fad diet. Take these vitamin supplements. Whatever you do, don’t make me take the road that’s long and hard. I don’t want to take the way that requires a lot of effort. Just give me something that’s instant and not uncomfortable. Things are not going so well in my marriage so I’ll just file a divorce. I’m not going to change my ways until things hit rock bottom. I’ll keep eating fast food until my first heart attack. Being drunk every day makes me happy until someone gets killed in a DUI. Don’t make me look in the mirror and confront what’s there. Don’t hold me accountable for any of my actions. I don’t want to work on myself. We are harming ourselves with this kind of thinking. It all starts small and eventually snowballs. I could start smoking 1 cigarette a day and then its 2 packs. We like to do what makes us feel good, but with anything there are consequences. There’s a price to pay for indulging in a life that’s comfortable in the brief moment. This kind of lifestyle is hazardous in the long term. We like to tell ourselves we deserve it. Does our future self deserve it?? Will the future me thank me when I get there?? Will my kids, grand-kids and family thank me later?? Will the world thank me later?? It’s a scary thing when a whole culture is built around convenience. Who’s benefiting from it?? Is it me or whoever’s programming me and continuing to push a certain message down my throat. It takes guts to say no to a system that alot of people are allowing themselves to be influenced by. It takes hard work, sweat and commitment to get results that really last. Your gonna have to dig deep within side yourself and face your demons head on. People don’t like to face their own demons. If you keep avoiding it it’ll turn into a seven-headed hydra and wreak havoc on those around you. Kill that thing. Discipline yourself. Be strong. Become a force to be reckoned with. Learn to say no. Learn to gain control over yourself. I don’t want a quick fix. I’m going to take responsibility. I’m not going to procrastinate but take action. The road may feel like its long and hard at times but in the end its worth it. Live more healthy. Get outside and breathe the fresh air. Make an effort to walk and exercise. Be more positive and shut out negativity. A life that’s worth living must be lived slow and steadily.