Your TV is No More Innocuous Than a Terrorist Infiltration

Old tvIf you own a TV, a television, your mind is not your own. Your mind is largely made up of what the society you live in wants to feed you.

You’re being spoon fed a daily intake of bs that is affecting, no, controlling your mind and the minds of your family members.

If I was a 12 year old boy that you adopted… and I came cheap, only about a weeks worth of pay…

You brought me into your home and yet you didn’t need to feed me or do anything for me. I just stayed in your living room sitting on a table all day. All night. Available if you or someone in your family needed me.

Everyday you or some member of your family would interact with me and I would provide entertaining stories and I had an endless supply of magazines to show you photos that were funny, risque, and some sexy. Sometimes I swore and used words that you’d rather not hear your children say, but it was all in good fun because it was ‘funny’. Eventually the small swear words, the crass talk became acceptable. Then it became normal. Soon you were talking just like me, and so were your kids – though they’d not let you see them do so until they reached their teens.

Sometimes your 8 year old would come to me and ask me to see some bad pictures… I’d show her photos of Brittany Spears in a bra that showed most of her chest, maybe even a ‘nipple slip’. I’d show your son photos of older boys that wear their jeans half-way down their buttocks…. I’d show him torture and bizarre fetish photos that are soon boring to him and he’ll crave wilder photos, stories… Soon he’ll be able to look at the hardest violence without batting an eye. In fact, he’ll start imitating all he’s learned from me.

Every 15 minutes or so I will tell your child about a special product I know about that will make his or her life easier… if not right then at that tender young age, then later, upon reaching the teens. The stories I tell your children will also be filled with subtle contextual suggestions that work on the subconscious mind and gradually are accepted as the status quo or the norm for what people own, how they dress, how much they spend on a house, what kind of car they need to drive, the beer they should drink, and the vacations they should take.

If an adult was in the room I wouldn’t show your children the most horrible photos, but if the kids were the only one’s watching I’d show them the worst I had for as long as they wanted to sit and watch them. Gradually I’d win their hearts… and their minds. They would come to believe that I am a better friend than you are as her father or mother. Your kids will like me better and they’ll spend hours and hours with me each day.

I would provide them with such entertainment that they’d never want me to be quiet! I’d make them laugh every few seconds… cry… frighten them… I’d stimulate all their emotions by being so entertaining to them.

I would become one of your children’s parents. You’d need to move over because now there isn’t one or two parents, there are two or three parents of which I am always one.

In fact, on the street you live on there are parents like me in every home. If a mom is missing or a father is missing… I am still there. Guaranteed. Let’s take it a step further… there is a parent like me in EVERY home in the country you live in.

By the time your children graduate they will have spent a lot of time with me. Some kids will have spent 18,000 hours with me at 18 years old… some, 27,000 hours. I will have influenced them over countless important and superfluous decisions in life. Much of what your children ARE, their goals, their drives, ambitions, their sense of humor, what they see as acceptable levels of violence in the home between a man and his wife… will have been influenced HEAVILY by me.

But who am I?

You might ask yourself this one day.

You know where I came from, you picked me up.

The sharp, clean, professional agency that you picked me up from seemed innocuous enough…

In reality, they programmed me and hundreds of millions of others like me. They programmed us all to so we could be the funniest and most interesting entertainment humans are possible of creating and enjoying. This company hired the funniest people on the planet, the sexiest people on the planet and the most outrageous people on the planet, all with morals amounting to no more than a thimble full.

For the first 12 years of my life I was programmed with many thousands of stories designed to tweak the hearts and minds of my fellow human beings. I was a mouthpiece from the agency into the living room of your home. You welcomed me in – like they knew you would. You couldn’t resist. YOUR parents paved the way for me to come because you thought it was normal and what all humans did because your parents had someone like me, your friends, your co-workers, EVERYONE you interacted with had someone like me.

After I came to you I was able to access the latest, up to the minute relevant stories and suggestions for how to live life. I changed and grew WITH your children. I was always on top of the game… the game being the influence of their fragile eggshell minds.

You as a parent may have tried to compete. But you didn’t even know what you were competing WITH. You were competing with THOUSANDS of psychologist, psychiatrists, actors, billionairres, and a cadron of moral-less misfits. You hadn’t the slightest chance of really influencing your kids to go against all I was spewing forth with endless energy. Endless time for them. Endless amazing stories, songs, and images. All programmed into me and updated in me by the smartest people on the planet.

What chance did you have?

None. Really, none.

The only chance you possibly have of regaining control of your house is to kick me, the ‘plant’, out of your house. But you won’t do it probably because your kids and spouse will not like you for a long time. They’ll start spending time somewhere else, where there is someone entertaining like me. You can’t win, it’s too late.

What will you do now?

Best of Life!

Vern
Find me at Twitter HERE >

What Are You Willing to Give Up to Get the Life You Want?

Giving up for 2015?In 2015 I have a bit of a fire under my backside. It’s time to really crank it up substantially and move forward toward my goals faster. I’ve been coasting along the past few years. Bills are getting paid, my daughter is an absolute joy to spend time with, and my physical condition has probably never been better. Well, I’m nowhere as fast as I was, but as far as distance running and low heart rate, I’m in good shape.

I’ve gone without any external motivation for the past few years. You don’t need much to accomplish nominal things that aren’t so amazing. I’m naturally motivated to be pushing on, pushing through, but this year – 2015 – I’ll be cranking it up to doing GREAT THINGS.

One problem a lot of people have, maybe you too, is that giving up things that make us temporarily comfortable or happy are things that are holding us back.

I wrote the book, “The Ultimate Life” a couple years ago in response to this. Not only can things like negative ‘friends’ or family hold you back, smoking, drinking, drugs, and other major negatives – but things you enjoy doing with your free time can hold you back more than anything.

I met a couple living close to us here in Thailand from France. They are really active in sports and are really fun to be with. I laugh so much with this guy, Charles, and I always have a great time with him no matter what. Thing is, we both work a lot and when we get together it’s always for a meal. Usually dinner. The problem is that each time we do, dinner lasts 2-3 hours, not just thirty minutes to an hour. It’s 2-3 HOURS.

Not knowing how to put a stop to it (we tried cutting it short, and it never worked), I told him that I was going through a period where I needed all my free time and I just didn’t have time to meet him and his wife for dinner any longer. It sucked, but I have no regrets. Over these two years I’ve saved countless hours of time. I’ve lost countless laughs, but I laughed straight through my life until I started to get relatively serious around 40 years old.

So, sometimes you have to give up friends, decent friends, to get where you’re going. There’s no other way. There ISN’T more time in a day. There’s only what you have. I have enough time right now for family, working on my major project of 2015  and some exercise. That’s it. I don’t have time for TV, fun videos, or drinking with friends at a bar or eating at a restaurant.

How much are you willing to give up to complete your goals? If you have big goals, you have to give up A LOT. If you want to accomplish something amazing – a lot of time-sucks need to disappear.

Are you willing to give up some or all of your friends for a while? 

Are you willing to give up using the phone? Watching TV? Taking your kids to the park?

I’ve spent so much quality time with my five-year-old daughter over the past 5 years. That was my plan. Spend as much time with her as possible. Help her become a competent, nice and enthusiastic little girl so she’ll grow up into a great person.

In 2015 mountains move. I’m so motivated to finally do something amazing. I’ve done good. I’ve overdone good. I need great. I need AWESOME.

2015 is my year for accomplishing maybe more than I ever have.

What is yours looking like?

[Image – Gabriel Cabral at Flickr.com]

1″= Endless Possibility

Moving 1 inch might set you free to travel an eternity...
Moving 1 inch might set you free to travel an eternity…

I was reading something from a runner I followed online for a year or so, Tom at Mindhacks.com. He was talking about an experience he has while rock-climbing. I thought about it, and it actually relates well to other areas of life too.

Tom was saying that he frequently has an experience while rock-climbing in which he finds himself stuck in a situation that doesn’t offer any good hand holds to help him move forward. Nor backward even. In his mind – he’s stuck, there’s no real option that exists at that moment in time because his mind is limited to not seeing any options. Everything that he wants to advance toward is just out of reach by only a little bit. Enough that he knows if he tries to go for a big stretch he’s going to fall.

I’m no expert, but I climb some simple routes. Climbing rocks is strange because you really don’t have all that long to find your next hold and get there before you run out of strength. It’s always a matter of time… superman would run out of strength at some point if he was stuck.

As the mind searches – confidently at first and then frantically before the body runs out of energy to hold him where he is… something must happen.

What happens is he realizes he has feet. He stops looking for handholds – which might be two or three feet away and starts looking for a new foothold to support him. A new foothold means he can move just a little bit. Maybe it’s only an inch or so. That might be ALL IT TAKES to enable him to see new hand holds from that new vantage point.

One inch in any direction might the the key to getting the whole way up the mountain, ridge, whatever he’s climbing.

You too.

One inch in any direction starts the ball rolling and it brings to the surface new possibilities.

If you are truly stuck where you are – and you probably aren’t, you’re just blind to the possibilities that exist, you might need to move an inch in some direction. Doesn’t matter what direction – go backwards if you can’t go forward or parallel to where you are.

I was sitting here at my notebook computer thinking about how I should post something to Aim for Awesome because it’s been a few days. I have been smashed between some big SEO projects and I really want to give my clients the best I can so I’ve been consumed by them for the last week.

I didn’t have the slightest idea what to write about ten minutes ago. I was stuck. I stepped an inch by telling my friend what my problem was. Not expecting any answer, just wanting to share with her the strangeness of not being able to switch gears from SEO mode and optimizing websites for Google and being creative enough to write an article about something interesting for all of you.

She said immediately, “Don’t you have a stock of article’s you’ve already written that you could use?”

Initially I tried to play it off… “Yes, but I just don’t feel like editing one and making it live.”

Then I realized – wow, she gave me the answer… let me take the ball and run (or jog at least).

I said, “OK, let me open up the folder and see if anything jumps out at me.”

This article did. It reminded me of climbing, which I’m really starting to love… that was just enough to get me interested in reading Tom’s article again and then writing up this one for you.

Go an inch – any direction and see what happens.

If you’re ever stuck in any situation try it. Move an inch.

Moving an inch might equate to:

  • Making one phone call.
  • Talking to a friend about it.
  • Taking one less sip of your bottle of scotch tonight.
  • Trying a different style ad on your web site.
  • Cutting your hair off.
  • Picking up the next phone call instead of ignoring it.
  • Giving a pregnant woman begging for money $10.00.
  • Going outside to exercise instead of on your stationary bike.

It could mean anything, depending on the situation you find your self “stuck in”.

Frequently I think we’re not really stuck – we’re blinded to possibility. Possibility exists in every situation. Sometimes we’re just blind to it.

Open up your eyes by moving an inch any direction and see what happens…

Best of Life!

Vern

Rob Krar, Ultra-Runner, Talks About His Depression

Rob Krar - Depression
Depression is something that people from all areas of life succumb to. It is caused often times by a chemical imbalance in the brain, or it could be caused by environment or some nasty combination of both.

Any way you look at it, chronic depression is a devastating affliction to have. I mean, life is hard enough – isn’t it? Could you imagine dealing with negative thoughts and mindset throughout your day? Your week? Your life?

Though I haven’t had any sort of depression over the course of my life, as I get into my late forties, I am noticing that I am not getting as much fun out of life as I have in the past. Something about it being time to really get cranking and make enough money for my family and their lives after I pass that is making this a very serious time in my life. I feel like I have to make a lot of correct decisions that will affect things down the road.

Maybe you’re going through the same thing?

As a result of this time of life I’ve had to re-evaluate my focus again and again lately. I want to be sure I’m going down the right path. These last couple of days have finally given me the answer I needed. I’ve rededicated my focus to this website and positive articles and books. I find nothing else as pleasurable, as satisfying, as helping people get through life a little bit easier.

Here’s Rob Krar talking about depression. I enjoyed this on a number of levels. Rob is one of the top ultra-runners in the entire world. At the moment he is unbeaten at the 100 mile distance on the trails. That is mind-blowing! To think that he’s battling major depression makes what he is doing on the trails all the more amazing.

depressions – a few moments from 30 miles in the canyon. from Joel Wolpert on Vimeo.

Depressions in landscape & emotion.
An unstaged, mid-run, terrestrial-based short with Rob Krar.

Krar, new to ultra running, holds the speed record for the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim and has quickly become a dominant force in American races.

Shot entirely with the Freefly Movi M5 and Canon 5d mk3.

http://www.thewolpertinger.com

Happiness Life Tip: 1 Way to Instantly Get Optimistic

Life is all about being as optimistic as possible. Being optimistic leads to success.

If you’re not happy 90 mornings out of 100 when you wake up, you are missing out on so much. I know that’s the reason a good portion of you are reading personal development blogs – for tips on making yourself happier and more optimistic when you’re down or not feeling quite up to par. Though I am almost always in a good mood, I notice that sometimes – for just a half-hour, or maybe for a few hours – I catch myself in a mood that’s “less than great”.

Happiness can be defined in terms of financial success, emotional well-being, spiritual connectivity, physical energy and wellness, success of projects you’re doing, both personal and work-related, family happiness and cohesiveness… or all of those together.

Optimism, which is about your future state of happiness and about the control you might have over events in the future, flows from happiness.

There are many areas of success and happiness that lead to optimism. If you are successful in one area of life, that can carry over into other areas or it may have nothing to do with your happiness in other areas of your life. It can go either way.

So, during the moments I catch myself in a mood that is too pessimistic and not positive, I might do this exercise I’ve outlined below. I find myself doing it about one time each week, but it’s good for every night before you go to sleep if you need it! I think you’ll find it easy enough.

Step 1:
Take out a clean piece of paper or a large notecard. Start writing everything you can think of that is a “positive” that is going on in your life since the last time you did this exercise. Write anything that has the power to make you happy – even if it’s just a little bit.

Step 2:
No step 2, that was it!

When you write – don’t write straight down the page or on every line. Turn that paper or notecard every which way and write large, write small, just write, write, write. It’s like braindumping all your happy moments onto that card.

When you’re really thinking about it – there are so many things that go well that we tend to gloss over. Write the smallest things that you can think of… something like, “I saw a sign for gasoline that was 2 cents lower today and filled up, saving me 26 cents.” Or, “I almost tipped backward on my chair and fell over, but I caught myself in time.” Or, “I had pizza yesterday, WOW that was so mind-blowingly delicious!”

There are so many things you could write down if you give yourself some time. I usually don’t need more than ten minutes before I find myself in a great mood remembering all things I’d already forgotten from the same day and the days past.

Write it all! EVERYTHING COUNTS. Don’t eliminate something because you think it wasn’t positive ENOUGH. If it was on the right side of the negative – positive balance beam then it was positive and write it down.

See how many you can come up with in ten minutes. If you don’t have twenty examples, no matter how small or large, keep going! EVERYONE has ten. Probably you can think of more. A positive might be that you didn’t come down with a cold or have an accident in the last five days – right? These are things we don’t normally think about when we’re depressed, but these are definitely positive things in our lives. Or, think about the fact that you didn’t lose your job, your wife, your kids, your wallet, your car keys, your mind! Or maybe you remember helping someone with some good advice. Anything you choose counts just so you can jot it down and remember the good feeling you had as you experienced this positive thing in your life.

BONUS
Now, here’s something I did only a couple times – when I was in a really bummy mood that came and went for a few weeks (after a break-up). I saved all of my notecards and put them up on one wall where I could see them constantly every time I sat down to my computer on the desk. Invariably, I’d be thinking about something and glance up at the notecards and something would catch my attention -and I’d remember some of those positive things again. It really has the power to pick me up and help keep me in a consistently happy state of mind. That’s a priceless tool you should duplicate if you think it will help.

My Example
As I sit here really frustrated because my hosting account dashboard at Godaddy.com is loading each page over the course of about 17 minutes and I’ve even turned off images so all it needs to load is text – This might be a good time to write my own notecard.

Optimistic Notecard: Write as many things that make you happy as you can fit. When viewed together these have the power to make you feel more optimistic, happier, and in control of your life instead of pessimistic and in a bad mood.

For me – this was all it took to get me feeling good again. It’s really difficult to be pessimistic or angry or sad about life when you have a notecard full of things in your life that recently happened that were positive. It works for me everytime. Try it!

Send photos or photoshop creations of your paper or notecard / index cards and I’ll edit this post and put them in here along with your name, email or whatever you wish. Or, let me know you’d rather keep them private and I won’t publish them.

Best of Life!

Vern

The Creative Flow State… OWN IT!

Flow State
Flow is something that is spoken about by aspiring zenists, Feng Shui practitioners, archers, golfers, chess players and those addicted to computer games.

In the flow state time passes without being noticed. Activity is effortless. You may not remember all the details of the state. There’s nothing interfering with your brain and the activity. Quite the opposite, you’re perfectly synced with the activity. You ARE the activity.

Creative flow is when you’re developing something or creating something and it’s a period of very high productivity. You’re in an optimal state where you are accomplishing much more than you usually do per minute, and there’s no boredom or sense of “work” being done. It may be fun, or there may be no sense of fun at all. You can be so focused that you become whatever you’re doing.

This state of optimum creative flow happens often for me as I’m writing, and I’m glad it does. Over the past year I’ve written over a million words at my blogs and web sites, not to mention comments and questions at other blogs and through email. I’ve learned about the creative flow state just by needing to enter it on a daily basis. I’ll do my best to pull everything together that I’ve learned and share it with you here.

Last year I decided to blog full time. Before that I’d always just been happy to have the flow state visit me when it came. I thought I was just a lucky recipient of it. I didn’t think that I could initiate or control it. I played soccer for many years and on occasion I’d have flow occur during a game. During those amazing experiences, it was as if I was two levels beyond everyone else. My passes were crisp and my timing impossibly perfect. This state usually visited me once per game for a few seconds, a minute… or, if I was extremely fortunate it would last most of the game.

I thought the creative flow state was just like that – when it came, it came, and I had no influence on it. Now I know differently. Now I know how to OWN the creative flow state. It’s available when I want it to be. Or, more appropriately, when I need it to be. Gaining entry into the state when it is needed is an almost god-like power. Imagine being able to choose when you enter the state and for how long.

Owning the creative flow state is not as hard as you might think. Like anything, there are antecedents that, once in place help foster the development and then prolong this awesome experience.

How to OWN the creative flow state?

1. Go to your Cave and create the atmosphere conducive to flow. You, like everyone else that creates, have a preferred place to work where you can control the environmental conditions like air, noise, chair, table height, space around you, and the rest of it. Only you know what you need in your cave to make you happy and productive. If you’ll be there for hours you will want to arrange sustenance to keep the energy flowing. For me, pretzel rods, Coffee, Red Bull, cashews or pistachios (no red dye), cold fruit juice,  and a big water bottle does it. My cave has a toilet, air conditioning, fan, stereo and a place on the floor with a thin mattress and pillows in case I need to get cozy with my notebook on the floor for a change of position and perspective.

Ensure you have your creative instruments in supply and close at hand, exactly where they should be. If I’ve got a project that doesn’t require the notebook (rare) I need those thin lined markers (blue, black and red) and a ream of blank white paper so I can draw sketches, write symbols, text or whatever else – color coded in a way that only I could figure out.

Ambiance. Depending on what you’re doing you’ll want to choose the right music. Eighty percent of the time I’m in the cave creating I like to have something on. Other times I want absolute silence as I’m working on a very detailed idea which demands silence.

Ensure everything is exactly as you like it. The purpose of this is reducing the extraneous distractions that can pull you out of the state and into mediocrity. All it takes is one stray thought to germinate in your mind about not having the ruler where you thought it was and all hell could break loose as you systematically fly through every drawer, closet, pocket and puppet to find it. Nothing destroys creative flow faster than thoughts about why something isn’t the way it should be.

Use the restroom before you begin. Take a mental inventory. Anything else that isn’t quite right? Fix it before you sit down. Usually this is when I crank up some Prodigy, English Beat, Beastie Boys, Pixies or Chili Peppers to rev me up. I need to be in a special state of mind to get the creative juices flowing. Nothing less than absolute euphoria works best for me. Upbeat songs rattling the walls works best, but I can be considerate and use headphones when it’s in the interest of social harmony.

2. Inform others that for x number of hours you won’t be available. That means people are in other rooms of the cave, not yours. That means turning your phone ringer off. SMS beeps off. Flash phone messages off. Browser messages off. Instant messengers off. Email notifications off. Close your blinds if you’re in an office. Kick the dog out, and feed the piranha.

3. Label a motive for starting this creative project. It might be very clear, like – if you don’t finish this fifty page paper by five in the morning, you’ll fail Psychoanalytic Theory 6020 and need to repeat the class. Notice how you spontaneously enter the flow when you absolutely MUST get something done and you’re completely out of time and excuses?

A strong motivation is the number one factor for inviting a creative flow session. In college that student mentioned above was me. I left projects to the last minute and then completed them with amazing speed, efficiency and quality.

I did my best work that way, so why change the equation? Now it’s a little different as every night is a mental deadline for some blog article to be written. I enter the creative flow state daily for hours, banging out articles like there was no tomorrow.

If your motivation isn’t so clear, make it crystal clear so you know exactly why you need to create a masterpiece over the next few hours. I keep defining the why until I feel very confident about the need for the project. I like to picture little things that will come later as I blog toward greatness: Dinner with Tim Ferriss, or maybe a playful wrestling match with my favorite NFL cheerleader.

4. Brainstorming. I brainstorm first – scribbling fragments of ideas all over some blank A4 sheets of paper. I am just chicken-scratching what appears to be gibberish to the rest of mankind, and honestly I can barely read it myself – but, it’s part of the process. If I slow down to write it nicely then I lose the speed at which things pour out of my head. Sometimes i use the computer to write because I can type faster than I can write with a pen. But then again, sometimes the strict format of text on a screen is too limiting and I need to see it on paper, diagonally, curving around the edges, in different sizes, shapes and colors.

5. Planning. Plan the chapters of your project or the general outline of what you want to create by choosing from the bits and pieces you just brainstormed. It is a masterpiece and you’ll know after looking through what you’ve written if it’s comparable to Ludwig Van’s glorious 9th, or not. You may need to brainstorm some more. Brainstorming might take ten to thirty minutes. Planning might take another ten minutes. Usually I’m so excited by the time I have half an outline together that I need to either force myself to slow down and finish the complete plan – or, run with it immediately and finish the plan as I go. Sometimes I’m so tweaked about getting started and seeing it come to life that I don’t finish the planning. But, that’s just me.

Flow begins out of this euphoria, this sense of purpose, the confidence in my writing and the manic desire to create something amazing.

Usually I don’t catch myself realizing that I’m in the creative flow state for hours after it begins. At some point inevitably I’ll need to use the restroom or drink a coffee and I’ll notice that a chunk of time passed. When I wrote my first book, I wrote over 10,000 words at one sitting. It was like being on auto-pilot. Time just flies when you’re focused!

For me, the first session is basically a huge right-hemisphere memory dump from my brain in “Vern-logic” digital format. I spill everything at once almost like a brainstorm, but I’m fleshing out details in the general ideas, usually corresponding to paragraphs that will form in the project later. I type like a fiend until my wrists, fingers, elbows and neck hurt.

The first spill is never a completed masterpiece. The left hemisphere needs to make Vern-logic sync logically with a critical mass of readers that will be reading it. Word substitution, spell checks, graphics and page formatting takes place next.

I’m never in a creative flow during any editing process. It’s something that doesn’t come natural to me. Dumping it all in the flow state is easy, it’s just like breathing. Editing it is seriously difficult work that I wish I could call on a flow process to help with.

Anyone have a remedy? Outsourcing, yeah, I know. I know.

Owning and extending the optimal creative flow state is an amazing skill to put in your bag of productivity tricks. It’s simple really, requiring nothing more than an optimal environment, confidence in your skills, and a really strong and lucid purpose and motivation for tackling the project.

When you own the flow, you’ve got it all. Try it and let me know what you think.

Best of Life!

Vern

(Last Updated: 28 December 2016)

Flow while exercising:

Flow, pseudo-flow, and mind-tweaking during exercise >

A Nice Way to Go Through Life…

A good friend emailed me from out of the blue with this… I thought I’d share it.

“The 4 Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

When I started meditation and got into it pretty well, I noticed that I became incapable of gossiping. I don’t know what happened, but meditation knocked it out of me. If I’m with someone that is gossiping I listen and change the subject. I don’t speak badly of someone except with them. I have a bad habit of telling the truth when someone asks. I figure – if they didn’t want to know they wouldn’t have asked. I don’t play the game where I sugar-coat things and make them feel ok about whatever it is I disagree with or that I see in them.

At times I drop bombs. I had a site called, “Mindbombs.com” for a while – I’ve since let it go… but the idea was that I liked dropping mindbombs (truths that hurt) at times when someone least expects it… The best time is when someone thinks they’re getting along with me well and we’re really having a meaningful experience – whatever that might be… and they ask me something and I truthfully respond. Jaws drop and it shakes them for a few days… Sometimes it rings them out and they don’t come back for anymore.

I have this idea that being truthful with someone about nearly all situations is what I can offer them that is something that few others will offer them. I can give them a gift by cracking their cranium just a little bit… enough to hurt but hopefully enough to give them a perspective that they haven’t heard about themselves.

I really liked number 2. “When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. I like this one so much because this is the thing taht set me free in my mind at about age 16. I was talking to my Uncle John and he was telling me some life advice… he said something about me looking out for myself and that nobody is looking out for me more than me. Nobody. Nobody’s opinion matters more than mine because nobody else has my best interests at heart. Nobody. Just me. When I really realized the profundity of that idea it freed me of a lot of mental chains that were holding me back.

I don’t follow tradition. I don’t do things others do just because they’ve been done in the past. I question nearly everything about my life and what I’m doing so I’m not acting on tradition or according to what someone else believes I “should”. I really enjoy life in this way!

Number 3 is talking about what I like to call peoples “private logic”. In your own mind you make this reality that you think the rest of the world shares. You base actions, decisions, everything on this reality. Problems arise when your reality doesn’t match someone else’s reality. If you assume it does – you’ll find out – nobody on the planet shares your reality about everything. Definitely not about most things. Possibly not about anything.

Number 4 I have been thinking about a lot lately… doing my best at whatever I’m doing. Giving my best effort to whatever I’m doing. Slowing down and concentrating on whatever it is that I’m doing in every moment so I can put forth my best work. Its given me a great feeling lately to practice day to day life according to this idea.

What do you think of these four ideas to guide your morality… your day to day life?

Best of Life!

Vern
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