The Power of Now

Inspirational Book Reviews

The Power of Now

I have listened to the audio book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle a number of times but this is the first time I’ve written anything about it. The premise of the book as you might expect is the value of living in the present moment, in the now. The audio book is over seven and half hours long, with the hardcover version of the book containing 208 pages. I really enjoyed this book probably because I tend to get lost in thoughts of the future, which frankly have me missing the great things that I am should be experiencing in the present moment. 

Maybe you don’t have this problem but instead you are thinking about what happened yesterday or a decade ago, spending most of your time living in the past. In either case whether you spend your time living in the future or the past we are…

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Crime and Punishment

Inspirational Book Reviews

crime and punishment

I just finished listening to the audio book Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This part of the my own personal discovery of Russian novelists. I have been reading The Gulag Achipelago by Solzhenitsyn, enjoying it very much so I thought I would check out one of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s famous novels. Written in installments in 1886 the book centers around a central character Rodion Raskolnikov sometimes just referred to as Raskolnikov in the book. Raskolnikov is a student living in Saint Petersburg, who falls upon hard times and commits a capital crime. I won’t spoil it for you by going into a lot of details, but let’s just say it is pretty unexpected.

I just wanted to state that I don’t write book reviews that summarize the story line, which would frankly just ruin it for you should you decide to read or listen to the book. My purpose for…

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The Happiness Illusion (updated)

 

happiness is not good enough

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden

You are constantly bombarded by self help gurus that preach the mantra that happiness is the primary goal for you life. Take some time to observe your own life and calculate the amount of time each day or week where you feel truly happy. I’m not talking about the times you feel content, challenged, or at peace, but instead the emotion of feeling very happy or elated. If you are forever chasing some state of happiness where the majority of the hours of the day are filled with happiness, then you are setting yourself up to experience yet another emotion, which will be a feeling of disappointment. You immediately jump to the conclusion that there is something wrong with me. I must be doing something wrong or I would be happy all the time, instead of the brief forays into happiness I am currently experiencing.

I’m guessing your day is filled with time spent in some or all of the following emotions:

  • Feeling anxious.
  • Frustration with yourself, others, or some man made process or rule.
  • Feeling challenged by your work and/or people you work with.
  • Loving others or feeling loved.
  • Feeling the fear of the unknown or known.
  • Anger or being pissed off about something or someone.
  • Self loathing for not living up to your own expectations or the expectations of others.
  • Envy for things or envious of what others have.
  • Fleeting moments of bliss or happiness.
  • Satisfaction with accomplishing something or learning something new.
  • Feeling uninspired or tired.
  • Feeling appreciated or unappreciated.
  • Desiring stuff, money, sex, or some mind altering drugs or alcohol.

I could go on and on with this list of emotions we experience often on a daily basis. We are filled with all these thoughts that affect our well being and all the yoga and mediation in the world will not eradicate them from your mind, believe me I’ve tried. Give yourself a fucking break, you are an emotional bundle of somewhat uncontrollable thoughts and you know it. Don’t and I mean do not let some dumb ass on YouTube tell you that if you buy this, or practice this, all of this will go away, and your life will become one big vacation. You can’t exist in some state of continuous bliss; you are not the Dali Lama. Sure you can seek enlightenment and end all this suffering and discontent, and I hope you achieve it someday, but on the off chance you don’t then you are going to have to learn to live in the world you currently inhabit.

I think happiness is overrated, there are many other emotional states that should occupy your mind; those that are more valuable to you and to others. I’m not saying you should live in some state or misery, but chasing a state of happiness is an illusion. Replace that quest with these feelings or life goals:

  • Taking responsibility for you life, your work, and your decisions.
  • Feeling challenged by your work and the fulfillment you feel when you step up to take on the challenge, win or lose.
  • Feeling good about yourself because you are working at being more disciplined.
  • Being grateful for all the shit you have; just look around you and notice the type of life that many are merely existing in, and you will see you have a lot to be grateful for.
  • Developing an appreciation for the people in your life, family, friends, co-workers, and customers.
  • The quiet satisfaction you feel from learning that came from reading, studying, experimenting, watching, and listening.
  • Desiring more from yourself or desiring more from life than you are currently getting. Desiring more for your life is not a bad thing. A lot of great things have been done by people with a burning desire to accomplish something.

Suffering builds character

In fact I would challenge you to consider that happiness as your constant state of mind would put you at a big disadvantage in life when it comes to achieving what you want. You need to experience difficult times, challenges, and a certain amount of pain to grow as a person. Maybe you can be satisfied by all the obstacles you have overcome to be where you are today, instead of wishing for a life of ease and self gratification. If the totality of life consisted of sitting on a beach in the Caribbean and drinking one Margarita after another how happy would you be then?

Think back on all the things you have accomplished, the events in your life that bring back good memories. What about the time you landed that job you wanted, or met that special person, or obtained that degree or certification you worked so hard for. I’ll bet you weren’t sitting around bullshitting yourself in some blissful state of euphoria; instead you got off your ass and took action. Quit wishing for happiness and start doing something constructive; in the long run you will feel a whole lot better about yourself.

I used to watch all this motivational shit on YouTube from Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Eric Thomas, Les Brown, and Bob Proctor, but instead of motivating me it made me feel dissatisfied with my work and my life in general. To tell you the truth these people have some good ideas, but ultimately they are trying to sell you one of their books or have you come to their seminar. Meanwhile they make you feel unfulfilled about your life so they can generate more sales and then you just feel like shit when you could have been enjoying the life you have.

You already know what you need to change in your life to progress. You certainly don’t need someone else to tell you the areas of your life that are pretty fucked up.

Let me leave you with this quote from Gary John Bishop that comes from his book UNFU*K Yourself:

I expect nothing and accept everything!

Try living your life for a while expecting nothing and accepting everything that happens to you. If you expect to be happy all the time and can’t accept it when life sucker punches you then you are doomed my friend. Drop the stupid expectations and take life as it is served up to you, then you can at least control the suffering and enjoy the good stuff.

Namaste

Fiber and You

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Unlike the weather, as in Mark Twain’s famous quote, “Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it” fiber is different. Everybody talks about it and there is plenty we can do about it. Following is what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has to say about it.

food salad healthy summer Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains all contain dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate that provides minimal energy for the body. Although the body can’t use fiber efficiently for fuel, it’s an important part of a healthy eating plan and helps with a variety of health conditions.

  • Heart disease: Fiber may help prevent heart disease by helping reduce cholesterol.
  • Weight management: Fiber slows the speed at which food passes from the stomach to the rest of the digestive system – this can make us feel full longer. Foods that are higher in dietary fiber often…

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Airline Travel

Resultado de imagen para small airline seats

I must admit this is kind of a rant if you will. In the last few months I have been traveling about every other week, so I have had the joy of flying with a particular airline that has its headquarters in Dallas Texas where I live. I won’t name the airline, but if you know anything about Dallas it could only be one of two airlines. Let me first explain my company does not purchase first class tickets for their employee’s so I fly coach exclusively.

Let’s start with the seats and their lack of size and comfort. I weigh about 160 pounds, so I would be an average sized man, and I barely fit into these seats. I’ve noticed some pretty big guys and gals on the plane and I can’t believe they can squeeze in these tiny seats. Recently I needed to pull out my laptop and get something done for work before I landed. I was in the middle seat, although I’m not sure that mattered all that much and let me tell you I could barely type and the screen on the laptop was vertical. There is not enough room to comfortably use a computer on these planes with the exception of flying first class. I try to get an aisle or window seat, but there have been a few times I was in the middle seat, which is maybe 5 times worse than the aisle or window seat. In any case these seats are way to small, with no consideration for the customer with the only objective to jam more people on the plane to make more money per flight.

Now what about flight times? I love it when the airline says we have a 2 hour flight, but what they don’t tell you is they intend to board the plane 30 to 45 minutes prior to take off and then they close the door having you nicely trapped on the plane. Now you are likely to sit around for 30 to 60 minutes on the runway before departing to your destination for all kinds of reasons usually related to their inability to understand logistics. You start to feel some sense of relief when you land, but wait there is more. During a recent trip we taxied around the runway for 25 minutes before getting to our gate and then it took them 10 minutes to hook up the walkway so you could actually leave the plane. Add another 45 minute Uber ride and then I am finally home. Here is the total time:

  1. Uber to the airport 45 minutes
  2. Get to the security check area and get through it 15 minutes
  3. Sit around the airport for 1 hour before boarding
  4. Board the plane 30 minutes early
  5. Sit on the runway waiting for weather or other planes to take off (say 45 minutes)
  6. Two hours for actually flying
  7. 30 minutes once you land before you actually get off the stupid plane
  8. 45 minute Uber ride home

Grand Total = 6 hours and 30 minutes

Let’s talk about the TSA, also known as the people that work at the security check you need to go through to get to your gate. If you are TSA precheck then life if much better for you, but if you are not you are treated like a potential terrorist. Take off your shoes, your belt, take your laptop out of your backpack, empty your pockets, and now you get to stand in a full body scanner with your arms raised like you are under arrest. To add insult to injury they do random body searches, which I think is more like every 10th person or so. Now if you don’t have anything on you because you are trying to hold up your pants and you just went through a full body scanner, why in the hell do you need to be patted down?

I won’t even go into cancelled flights, the airline employee’s, the smell of fuel in the cabin while you are sitting on the ground, the louder than hell cabin, other passengers babbling incessantly,  or how hard the fucking seats are.

Unfortunately a two hour flight can take you places over a 1,000 miles away, a lot further than you could comfortably drive in a day. So flying is a necessary evil for many of us and it is a shame the airlines and airports can’t make this a more tolerable experience.

Well I feel much better now. Sorry about the airline rant and if you work for an airline as a pilot or steward I’m sorry for you, as you are not to blame for what has become one of the worst ways to travel.

Namaste

 

 

 

The 5 best foods to fight aging

Great post from Tony on the best foods to eat that contribute to a long life.

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

I hope you realize that, just as you need to start saving for retiring in your youth, you need to worry about eating well for aging well starts a lot earlier than when you are a senior.

Eat well; move more; live longer  – that’s a mantra that we’re all familiar with, but what are the best foods to help us achieve that goal?  Medical News Today (MNT) offered the following:

Official figures indicate that, currently, the top three countries in the world with the highest life expectancy are the Principality of Monaco, Japan, and Singapore. These are places where the inhabitants experience a high quality of life, and an important element of that is eating healthful meals.

clear glass bottle filled with broccoli shake Photo by Alisha Mishra on Pexels.com

Often, we find praise for “superfoods” in the media – foods so high in nutritional value that they are seen as dietary superheroes.

Nutritionists reject…

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Extreme Ownership

Inspirational Book Reviews

Extreme Ownership

I just finished the book Extreme Ownership written by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. This book was written by two Navy Seals who led forces in the city of Ramadi, Iraq. While much of this book is about missions that occurred in Ramadi, the true purpose is to outline the leadership lessons learned during the war with the insurgency. Each chapter reviews a different leadership principle and the authors take turns providing examples on how this leadership principle applies to business.

I’m not going to go into each of the leadership principles covered in this book, but one that comes up over and over in the book is the idea of taking extreme ownership of everything, leaving  your ego at the door, and taking responsibility for all outcomes.

What I liked:

  • The stories about the Navy Seals operations are compelling and help to illustrate a particular leadership principle.
  • The authors…

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