Using the power of your mind to get the life you want.
Desires. Ambitions. Goals. Inspiration. Dreams. Motivation.
Doubt. Fear. Worry. Failure. Regret. Anxiety. Depression.
Emptiness. Oneness. Clarity. Peace.
I have often asked myself these, and many similar questions. We as humans seem to be programed with an insatiable interest in purpose. We want to accomplish something, we want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and we want to know why. We often imagine purpose as something that we must find, discover, or create. Or something that must be bestowed, or given to us by some other entity. But purpose is something that is always with us. It is an integral part of who we are, and we cannot be separated from it.
Water does not strive, it does not desire, and it has no goals. It does not search out its purpose. Simply by behaving according to its own properties, it fulfills its purpose. As a result clouds are formed, canyons are carved, and life is sustained (The water does not aim to accomplish these things, yet they are still accomplished). The purpose of water is to be water.
Consider A Tree
What is the purpose of a tree? Other than to grow and to become a perfect manifestation of itself? There is none. A tree does not desire to make a name for itself. It does not try to make the world a better place. A tree is a tree, and that is its purpose.
Can we live like the tree, or the snail, or the bird? With no purpose other than to be ourselves? Is it possible to stop striving, planning, searching and asking? Or is longing for a greater purpose simply part of our nature?
“The Master gives himself up
to whatever the moment brings.
He knows that he is going to die,
and he has nothing left to hold on to:
no illusions in his mind,
no resistances in his body.
He doesn’t think about his actions;
they flow from the core of his being.
He holds nothing back from life;
therefore he is ready for death,
as a man is ready for sleep
after a good day’s work.” ~Lao Tzu
Yesterday’s Post outlined my plan to focus on my own continued improvement. The meat of the plan had to do with changing habits, removing the bad, and adding the good. However, this is not something that I have done well with in the past. I often set out to make changes, and start strong, but soon my will power runs out, and I am left in a far worse position than where I started.
Coincidentally, a friend shared with me yesterday a website that he has created called How To Be Human, Which he described as “a self-help site that will deliver therapy-grade psychoeducation accessible to everyone.” As a good friend would, I immediately clicked on the link to check out his creation, and it absolutely blew me away.
I have been on a mission to resolve my personal struggles. To live free of anxiety, depression, self doubt, shame and regret, to connect with those I care for, to live in the present moment, to feel and enjoy it, to think clearly, to sleep easily and fitfully, to breathe, to find balance in what I eat, to be comfortable in my own skin whatever that looked like, to not fear being confused and vulnerable, to be warm and caring, to be authentic to myself and others, to find joy, meaning and harmony in how I live, to love, to be happy.
Every step of the way I wondered “what’s the link? How do all these diverse goals hang together? There has to be a simple answer.” This series is that simple answer. It is all part of being human. I have spent the last nine years learning something I didn’t ever expect I’d need to learn, how to be human.
The Series has 11 modules, the first of which is called CHANGE. The CHANGE module explains our ability to re-program our brains through learning, solution shaping, and enacting change. It also covers factors that may derail attempts to change, and those that help to facilitate change.
That just so happened to be exactly what I needed, and It has given me a little extra guidance as I begin (once again) my journey to make the most out of life on this planet.
How To Be Human is written with a very easy to read style, while still being extremely informative and educational. I can’t recommend this series highly enough, and I look forward to reading the second module MONITOR AND MOVE which is scheduled to be released on October 14th, 2014.
Thanks for reading folks.
I have a lot of goals: Eat right, exercise regularly, have a clean organized home, be a good parent, work less, make more money, and be a better husband, among other things. Here is the step-by-step process I have been using to accomplish those goals.
- Read several articles about self improvement
- Fantasize about actually following through with the plan outlined in those articles
- Read two more articles
- Forget what I read in the first few articles
- Start a blog without a clear direction, I just know I want to make money
- Have a cup of coffee
- Feel inadequate
- Eat junk food to make me feel better
- Check blog stats
- Wonder why I even try
- Yell at the wife and kids
- Read an article from Psychology Today to figure out why I act this way
- Pour over blog stats at work. Instead of working.
- Try to find the article I read the first day, cause I know the answer is in there somewhere
- Start another blog
- Determine to do better
- Read more articles
- Finally find the answer to all my problems
- Have a few candy bars
- Check my blog stats while I am supposed to be playing with the kids
- Run around the house absentmindedly, leaving drawers and cabinets opened, and a trail of candy wrappers/dirty dishes
- Check blog stats
- Worry about how messy the house is, how I am failing at work, and failing as a husband and father
- Wallow in self pity
- Check blog stats (I got a new follower! Hope is restored!)
- It was just a company trying to sell me something
- More Coffee
- Start a blog post, don’t have time to finish it, post it and call it “Part 1” and never make a part two
Update: 29. Come back the next day and remove careless errors I was too lazy to look for. There are probably more I missed.
I have many goals, dreams, and aspirations about the future, and what I want it to look like. All kinds of ideas about what I’d like to have and do, and the kind of person I’d like to be. It can be depressing, sometimes, to think about how far I am from achieving my ideal life, and sometimes I beat myself up about it.
Something I often forget to think about, however, is that much of what I have now, is what I was longing for years ago. To get married, to start a family, to have a job where I could help people, and didn’t have to compromise my values. Maybe you are the same way. Think about the dreams you had 5, 10, 20 or more years ago. What were your dreams? Think about what you have now, and how proud your previous self be if they could see that you finally reached that seemingly unreachable goal. This applies not just to physical things, but also your mental and emotional state, relationships, and every other aspect of your life.
- Buying a house
- Overcoming an addiction
- Getting a degree
- Starting a business
- Having a child
- Having grandchildren
- Learning to relax
- Moving to another state
- Changing your diet
- Visiting the grand canyon
- Growing a garden
- Learning to play an instrument
It is important to keep moving and growing, but it is also important not to forget where you started. Your current self has done so many things that your former self could only dream about.