Mornings play a major role in setting the tone for the day. When I wake up hating life, I ruin things for myself. I wait forever to get out of bed then rush through breakfast and… More
Would you be prepared?
What if by chance meeting today you encounter that person you have up on a pedestal, whom you never thought you’d meet so soon, if ever?
Someone you never imagined you’d be stuck standing in line with whilst in the middle of the most mundane errands.
They’re asking about the coffee you’re holding from the new cafe. Time halts. Light casual conversation ensues. You happen to mention what you do.
They are surprisingly receptive to what you’re saying, but they’re paying for their items and are about to rush out.
“Nice meeting you too,” they say, eyeing their phone while moving towards the door. Then they pause for a second and hurriedly half-turn back towards you. “Oh, do you have a card or something? I’d like to take a look at what you do.”
They want to see what you do. They want your website. Your Youtube. Your whatever. This once in a lifetime chance — they’re leaving. You’ll probably never see them again.
Would you be overwhelmed by joy or be sinking with regret?
Would you be able to show them something that you know is your current best work — something that gets across everything you stand for, everything you represent? Would you feel confidence in knowing what you give them is your highest proof at conveying everything you are, regardless if you ever heard back from them or not?
Or would your heart descend into the underworld, realizing that what you have to show them is either non-existent, sparse, low-quality, half-assed, watered-down and safe, or some other poor representation of your true brand of creative genius…and mourn that this magical serendipitous meeting could have been so much more?
Your life would have changed if they supported you in even the smallest of ways — a mere “cool stuff” comment would’ve been treasured forever — but you blew it.
You blew it because you’ve been waiting around for the ‘right’ approval first before putting your all into making your best work come to fruition. You’ve made excuses and sat in self-doubt. You looked at the statistics and weighed yourself against everyone else around you, and figured that it wasn’t worth trying 100% for.
Because you were so afraid to disappoint yourself, to embarrass yourself. You were afraid to give it your all because you were afraid your all wouldn’t be enough. That someone like them would never even want to see it.
Regardless of what happens, you will only disappoint yourself if you don’t give it your all.
If you don’t make your vision and personal genius your priority — no matter what.
If you don’t do it because you believe it’s supposed to always feel easy and breezy and beautiful.
If you don’t do it because you’re afraid of disappointment: That is the sure-fire way towards disappointment.
Don’t half-ass it and stall because nothing is happening yet. Don’t wait for recognition or that promising nod from the universe.
If things were to start happening, would you be able to communicate that you can deliver?
You never know what could happen in a week, 6 months, a year.
Are you preparing?
Are you honoring?
Are you believing?
Are you working?
If you think your thighs are great, it doesn’t matter if someone else thinks you look unproportioned. Every time you look in the mirror, you’ll get to feel good about yourself.
“But what if they’re right? What if they do make me look funny? I don’t want to be delusional.”
There billions of people in the world, and each will have their own opinion. Some will think your thighs are desirable, some will find them ugly, and all the in-betweens. Many won’t have any opinion about them.
If you went back in time to another era or another culture, your body could be perceived by the majority completely opposite from what the masses currently think. One person’s idea of fat thighs is another person’s chicken legs.
What you decide to think, you get to feel.
It would only be delusional if you were to believe that there was a right or wrong way of seeing something that is completely subjective. Or if you were blatantly in denial about something that could be proven in court.
You cannot legally prove that your life is too hard, your habits are set in stone, your body is unattractive, or that things will never workout for you.
The truth is that there are many different ways of thinking about your situation, and no matter what anyone else may believe, your choice of thought is yours.
Even if “everyone thinks…”, “mom says…”, or “all the experts believe…”; it doesn’t matter.
They can have their beliefs, and you can be like Oprah Winfrey, Arthur Boorman, Steve Alexy, or Sean Stephenson, who believed in what brought out their best selves no matter what everyone else thought or what statistics showed.
The only truth you experience is what you choose to think and believe right now.
What do you believe?
The best part about being an adult is the freedom to make choices. This is what I envied as a kid.
It took me a while to realize that the grown-up freedom to choose also includes deciding when I’m tired of blaming my circumstances, focusing on stuff that makes me upset, and treating myself in ways that don’t feel good.
Being an adult means that I have power over myself. With great power comes great responsibility. Taking responsibility for how I choose to think, feel, and behave is emotional adulthood.
Emotional childhood is when we want everyone and everything to take care of our emotional needs for us.
We are full of “shoulds” and requirements:
Believing that someone else should make us happy. Making excuses for our poor behavior. Escaping from our emotions by indulging in distractions. Depending upon immediate gratification. Complaining about things being unfair. Blaming other people or circumstances for how we feel.
When we’re being an emotional child, we are constantly depending on external sources to charge us up and make us feel alive. We show up to the world uncharged, and try to plug into people and things that we believe will give us validation, success, and love. And even when we do manage to get a good charge out of something and are happy for a while, we eventually become afraid that we will lose that thing that we so depend on.
We become bent on manipulating the external to keep supplying our expanding needs.
And therein lies the problem.
So what we know so far is that in order to feel better and take better action, we need to simply be aware of how our thinking is causing our feelings.
If you think positive thoughts, you’ll feel positive feelings. You’ll then act in a more positive way, and get a more positive result.
If you think negative thoughts, you’ll feel negative, act negatively, and get a more negative result.
It sounds so simple that we have to ask:
What about what’s happening around us?
What about when someone says or does something? Or when something happens? Or I’m in a certain situation? Or anything that occurs in life? Don’t those circumstances create feelings?
No. Circumstances don’t make you feel anything until you have a thought about it.
In my guide to why we do anything, I explain that everything we do is because of an emotion. So now the big question is:
How can we change how we feel, so that we can cope better, behave smarter, do more, and create lasting change?
The first step is understanding how we create our emotions.
Here is a simple scenario:
Our minds are like open aquariums, and our thoughts are like fishes swimming around and about. We have around 60,000 thoughts per day!
Each thought is a sentence that appears and swims through our minds.
Many of these thoughts are basic observations about our environment and what we’re doing.
Oh it’s 8:00, I need to turn off the stove. Look that funny commercial is on again. Where is my oven mitt…here it is. Food looks good. I need to wipe the stove top.
Thoughts appear, swim around, and swim out. They’re helping us do our thing. We don’t cling on to any of them. We’re feeling fine.
Before we begin to create better things in our lives, we first must understand why we’re doing (or not doing) things in the first place.
Everything we do or want is because we believe it will make us feel a certain way.
Our actions come from trying to get or trying to avoid a feeling.
Our feelings drive our actions:
We do everyday things either because we believe we will feel better upon doing them, or to avoid feeling worse:
We follow personal hygiene so we look and feel better, and to also avoid social embarrassment or nervousness at the dentist. We go to work, pay the bills, and obey the law because we feel a degree of personal responsible satisfaction, mixed with fear of consequences.
We do things that we know aren’t the best for us, in order to avoid feelings that we don’t like:
We get wasted/ zone out on TV/ overeat/ do drugs/ cause drama/ shop for fun, so we don’t have to face what we really feel. We distract ourselves from our present uncomfortable feelings, and thus temporarily feel better in the moment.
We buy things and strive to look a certain way if we believe it will make us happier:
We work hard and go into debt to acquire things. We spend countless hours looking at beautiful things and people and scheming how we can get more of that.
We obsess and cling to objects, people, and thoughts even though we’re not really happy, because we think the alternative will feel worse:
We stay in a dysfunctional relationship because it’s more familiar than being single, spend all our money on a fancy item because we think it’s worth the admiration we receive, and will refuse to admit being wrong for years because it’s less painful than the vulnerability of apologizing.
Creative: the ability to go beyond preset ideas, rules, patterns, relationships; and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.
Rebel: to resist or rise against some authority, control, or tradition.
If our minds were aquariums, and the fish inside represented our thoughts and beliefs; most young people would have an aquarium-mind that looks very similar to the the minds owned by their parents, friends, and mentors.
In adolescence we began to realize that there are ideas beyond the stuff that’s been swimming in our heads. In fact, we’ve become bored with the same aquarium-mind that we’ve known our whole lives, and we begin to explore what else is out there.
There’s a entire infinite ocean-galaxy of stuff to choose from. When we begin to try out different thoughts and ideas, we begin to build our own mindscapes. We begin to feel and act different.