Author: josephsacco

You live in the future

I think this quote is self-evident and I don’t want to elaborate endlessly on its meaning. You and I and every other homo sapien spend their time thinking about what I need to do next. It wouldn’t take too much convincing to say we all live in the future.

Here is the thing, living in the future burdened by a to-do list a mile long and an endless striving for one or more goals, leaves us forever unsatisfied. We have checked out of the present moment, trading it for the next achievement. We all live in this materialistic, goal-oriented, society that says you are never enough, and you need to work on yourself. Being unsatisfied with who we are has spawned the self-improvement industry where millions of dollars are spent by us in the hope that we can change ourselves to become a better version of ourselves.

My response to all this self-improvement bullshit is as follows:

  • You are not broken – You are a human being with unique talents and skills. Don’t let other people tell you that there is something wrong with you.
  • You don’t need to work on your weaknesses – I really hate that shit when people spend so much of their time focusing on their weaknesses. It’s such a fucked up approach to your life. I mean you will never overcome all your weaknesses, instead, we should focus on our strengths. Do you know why they want you to focus on your weaknesses? To sell you more shit and this focus on what I’m not good at leaves you feeling inadequate.
  • There is no future – I’m not saying don’t have any plans but stop sacrificing today for tomorrow. I know this goes against all the goal-setting maniacs that are always advocating that you achieve more, acquire more, be more. Do you really want to miss out on time with your friends or family so you can drive a BMW or live in a million-dollar home?

Enjoy what you are doing right now, focus on what you want to do, and stop looking to someone else to give you the answer to living a life of your dreams. If you can begin to love yourself just the way you are, things start looking better, and you begin to actually make more progress in your life because you are not thinking about how fucked up you are. You must begin to start shifting from thinking about the future to being totally engrossed in the present.

Say this to yourself every day:

I’m not broken

I love myself

I have something to give to this world

I am focused on the now

 

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

If you would like to support this blog, check out the awesome selection of eBooks at:

Mind, Body, Spirit books at eBooks.com

If eBooks aren’t your thing, check out my Resources page for additional ways to support this blog.

Visit my other blog Inspirational Book Reviews where I review some incredible literature.

 

 

 

There is no escaping choice

I love this quote from Ayn Rand the queen of objectivism and rational thinking. To begin with, whatever you experience in your life is a result of how you perceive the world and the choices you make. If you think the world is a terrible place filled with injustice and evil, then this will dictate your experience. On the other hand, if you perceive the world to be one of great opportunity and just, this becomes your experience. Your own image, that meaning who you are based on your perception dictates the world that you experience.

As Ayn Rand mentions you have the power to choose, but you can’t escape the fact that you must make choices as you traverse this life. Well, you might say fuck it, I’m checking out because everything is just too difficult or this world is filled with injustice and I don’t want to participate. Fine, then you have still made a choice, there is no escaping that choice is the one thing you cannot run away from. Here is the thing while it is true that you are building the world in your own image, there are always choices that you make that can change your image of who you think you are.

For most of us, we have way more choice than we think we have, yet we don’t make those decisions that can help break out of our current paradigm. I am as guilty as the next person of repeating patterns of behavior that keep giving me the same shitty result. Here are a few choices that are available to most of us that we defer:

  1. What we do for a living – You’re not a fucking rock, you can change and choose to do something different. It might be a bit painful, but you do have a choice, your not and indentured servant. Realize that excuses like I’m too old, too young, or too stupid are just excuses. Stop thinking this shit, if you are still breathing you still have a choice to do something different for a living.
  2. Where we live – There are many people that are not happy with where they live, but never move, never even entertain the possibility of leaving and finding a better place to live. A stupid example from my own life is I lived in the upper midwest United States for 55 years before moving to a better climate. I lived with snow, rain, sleet, and gloomy weather six months of the year before finally realizing that I wasn’t a tree and could get the hell out of there.
  3. What we expose ourselves to – For many years I used to come home, grab a whiskey on the rocks and watch CNN, MSNBC, or FOX news for hours, polluting my mind with this distorted reality. Finally, I realized that I was exposing myself to this garbage and it was warping my mind, and for the last 3 years I have lived news free! Now, this is a somewhat mild example of exposure and a choice to do something different, but you get the idea. If you are allowing yourself to be exposed to some negative person, situation, or whatever then stop that shit.
  4. How we perceive this world – Yes and this is the mother of all choices you make every day, every moment. You can choose to view this world as some terrible place filled with violence, injustice, and inequality, or you can choose a more positive view. I’m not saying this is easy because your past along with your ego are fighting for control over your thoughts, but ultimately you can break from these demons.

Given you cannot avoid making choices, what choices will you make today, that will move your life forward, more in accordance with a life you can be proud of?


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

If you would like to support this blog, check out the awesome selection of eBooks at:

Mind, Body, Spirit books at eBooks.com

If eBooks aren’t your thing, check out my Resources page for additional ways to support this blog.

Visit my other blog Inspirational Book Reviews where I review some incredible literature.

 

 

About Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (/n/;[1] born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum;[b] February 2, [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American writer and philosopher.[2] She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, she moved to the United States in 1926. She had a play produced on Broadway in 1935 and 1936. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel, The Fountainhead. In 1957, Rand published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own periodicals and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982.

Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism and rejected altruism. In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral[3] and opposed collectivism and statism as well as anarchism, instead supporting laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights, including property rights.[4] In art, Rand promoted romantic realism. She was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, except for AristotleThomas Aquinas and classical liberals.[5]

Literary critics received Rand’s fiction with mixed reviews[6] and academia generally ignored or rejected her philosophy, though academic interest has increased in recent decades.[7][8][9] The Objectivist movement attempts to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings.[10] She has been a significant influence among libertarians and American conservatives.[11

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

Grateful for the life you have

So you think your life is so miserable and unexciting. You are constantly bombarded by information that emplores you to want more, so you seek satisfaction in acquiring more things, more money, more appreciation, something that you don’t have. All the while you compare yourself to others that you view as more successful, better looking, happier, wealthier, or whatever. Stop doing that shit!

If your mindset is all about striving for more or comparing yourself to others you will never be happy. If it is comparisons you want then think about the millions, well billions of people that would trade places with you if they could. Then what the hell is wrong with me? Well, let me tell you. You are fricking ungrateful for what you have and are seeking fulfillment in the future, usually by seeking more of something. You are being duped by this ungrateful, never satisfied, paradigm. If you continue down this path there will only be more of the same, achieve this, acquire that, and a continuous saga of pursuit.

Pop your head outside of your ego for a few minutes, look around you. Do you see the beauty in this world? All this shit you have didn’t exist 50 years ago, that cell phone that you stare at, or that flat-screen TV, the internet, shit even air conditioning. We are so unappreciative of all this stuff, we just take it for granted. Instead of appreciating what you have, you spend your time wanting more. Do you really need a BMW or Mercedes? Will it get you to point “A” better than your Honda?

You have become a materialistic junky, addicted to shit you don’t have, spending all your energy working for more stuff. It should come as no surprise by now that you live your life looking towards the future, missing out on the present moment and you lack even a small amount of gratitude for what you have. If what I have written here so far even marginally rings true for you, then you are in a pretty serious need of a reset in the way you think.

Let’s turn this shit around and instead of making what you want paramount in your mind and behavior, start with gratitude. There are many ways to shift from I want more stuff, to I appreciate all that I have. The two most effective ways that I have found to be more grateful include:

  • Be Present – When you shift your thinking from looking to the future for happiness, you start appreciating each moment. Sounds pretty simple, but it’s not that easy to do when you have spent the majority of your life looking ahead for satisfaction. The present moment is the foundation for being grateful. For me and my monkey mind, I need to practice yoga, meditation and take long walks to help me quiet the mind and live in the present.
  • Grateful Practice – Being the stupid egotistical morons that we are, we need to frequently remind ourselves to be grateful. I have a journal that I write down 3 to 5 things I am grateful for. I do this in the morning shortly after getting up so that I start my day with a feeling of being grateful. I find that actually writing it versus putting in an app on my phone, seems to make it more effective. This daily repetition is the beginning of a habit where you remind yourself of all the things you are grateful for which then chips away at the ego.

If you still need to compare yourself to others, then think about the billions of people that would trade places with you, and happily assume the life you have.

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

If you would like to support this blog, check out the awesome selection of eBooks at:

Mind, Body, Spirit books at eBooks.com

If eBooks aren’t your thing, check out my Resources page for additional ways to support this blog.

Visit my other blog Inspirational Book Reviews where I review some incredible literature.

 

 

A life without challenges

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have all the money you could ever spend or anything you wanted without effort? There are a few people where this is, in fact, the situation, usually the children of billionaires or multi-millionaires. You may think their life is superior to yours as they have a life of leisure where everything is provided not earned.

These people are often living a life that is flat and aimless as there is nothing for them to attain and no challenges. It is the challenges in your life that make overcoming them so sweet. How can you distinguish the struggle from achievement when there is neither in your life. We are a pretty goal-oriented species and without those goals and subsequent achievements, we become bored and unsatisfied. In fact, many of the people that we consider great Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, or Nelson Mandella all achieved greatness through their struggles.

I love this quote from Mahatma Gandhi as it illustrates his struggle for an independent India:

mahatma-gandhi-quotes-first-they-ignore-you

Do you think any of us would remember Gandhi if he had not encountered challenges and overcome them? Hell No!

Next time you think that life is too hard, and you catch yourself saying I’m sick of this shit, think about how greatness is achieved. It’s not achieved by quitting or just giving up. Ultimately what you will achieve will be proportionate to the number of challenges you encountered and the level of perseverance you exhibited.

Whatever you have achieved so far in your life it is directly related to the struggle and challenges you have faced. Think about your life, when you obtained that Master’s degree, started that business, wrote that book, or hell made a better life for your family. Was any of this easy? Did you feel better for having done these things?

There is no struggle-free life unless as mentioned above you were born into massive wealth, and you know deep in your heart that life wouldn’t be worth living without the challenges.

Let’s face it there will be no easy life in the future, that is free from challenges or problems, so stop looking forward to it. It does not exist. I would like to end this post with a quote from Bruce Lee:

Bruce Lee - dont pray for an easy life

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

If you would like to support this blog, check out the awesome selection of eBooks at:

Mind, Body, Spirit books at eBooks.com

If eBooks aren’t your thing, check out my Resources page for additional ways to support this blog.

Visit my other blog Inspirational Book Reviews where I review some incredible literature.

 

All the little things matter

Take some time today to analyze all the things you do today. What is your routine comprised of? We tend to think I need to make a massive change, quit my job, and move to Bali where I will be a writer and contemplate the various sunrises or sunsets. I contend you don’t need to make a massive change in your life for you to fulfill your dreams, but instead you need to start making sure those daily habits become a contributor and not a detractor to the life you envision.

You have all of these little habits each day that you perform that dictate your results, so this is a good place to start. Let’s say you want to be a writer, artist, or entrepreneur. What activities are you doing that contribute to this goal? If your habit is to get up late, dive in the shower, and drink three cups of coffee so you can make it to work at the last minute you are missing an opportunity to do something to contribute to the life you want to live. What if you just got up a couple hours early and worked on that thing you are passionate about? Well you would then spend 2 hours working towards your goal, or in aggregate 14 hours per week, or 728 hours a year. Could you accomplish something with 728 hours of effort, hell yes!

What if you wanted to become healthier, and instead of watching 3 hours of Netflix, Amazon Prime, or YouTube you spent an hour working out doing something good for your body. None of this shit a revolutionary change in your life or maybe for you it is, but the daily application of these new found habits accumulate over time and lead to massive results. Listen Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the success and satisfaction you seek won’t magically happen. You don’t need to destroy everything you have or do to improve, but you do need to make sure you have these supportive habits that occur on a frequent basis for you to start living the life you want for yourself.

Someone will always be selling you some new way to turn your life around, but all these ideas of reprogramming who you are usually don’t work. You have become what you were in the past, all these habits and ways of looking at life have been engrained over many years of just being you. Stop thinking you need to remake yourself, your not fucked up, but you are also not so locked into your past that you can’t start making changes. Don’t buy into this shit that you are broken and need to be re-built, you and I know there are a lot really great things that you are doing, and yes maybe somethings from your past that are holding you back from being an even better version of yourself.

Say it with me:

“Today I will make one small change that will contribute to the life I want to live”

Namaste


If you would like to support this blog, check out the awesome selection of eBooks at:

Mind, Body, Spirit books at eBooks.com

If eBooks aren’t your thing, check out my Resources page for additional ways to support this blog.

Visit my other blog Inspirational Book Reviews where I review some incredible literature.

This post was proofread by Grammarly.

Make them better

We all have a finite amount of time most of which we waste on pursuing material crap and satisfying our ever-increasing need for pleasure in various forms. Then we spend whatever time we have left searching for some kind of meaning in our life. It is unlikely that we will find a whole lot of meaning chained to a desk and computer, knocking out work day after day so we can buy more stuff. Knowing that our time on this earth is limited we better come to terms with a need to make these days better as Thoreau suggests.

As I have gotten older I have become less enamored with the stories that this world is constructed around. Stories like work harder and you will achieve more and these achievements will provide satisfaction. Other stories tell us that we must be goal-oriented ever pursuing greater things and not wasting our time. Still, other stories tell us that only through growth in revenue and GDP will we fulfill the capitalist dream of greater wealth for all. Most of these stories are bullshit and have been created to keep everyone in line, following the same path. While I’m pursuing all those goals, making money, and generally working my ass off there is no time for getting to know who I really am or what I really want out of this existence. I’m simply too fucking busy doing what everyone expects of me and adding to my investment balances.

The fact that you spend some time with your family, read a good book, take a walk, write a blog post, or take some time to do nothing but think is, in fact, making your days a little better. I currently work for a company that wants to dominate the world, and instead of my work being part of my life, it is more akin to being in a cult. You know the routine, work, eat, sleep, and repeat. I would guess my situation is not unique and that unless you take the reigns and regulate your behavior your life will never get any better. Remember you are an individual not a cog in the machine, as much as you relate to the organization you work for, their loyalty to you only extends one day at a time.

Life is impermanent by nature, and your employment status is even more precarious. Some of you know what I’m talking about and have been laid off so that the balance sheet looks a bit better. In my work life this happened a couple times and each time something better was right around the corner. I’ve seen people literally crushed by a layoff because they had invested so much of themselves, were extremely loyal to their employer, yet they were naive and couldn’t understand how this could have happened to them. I have a friend who once told me “At the end of the day we are even” and that is that. This is the attitude you need to have in this economy, don’t expect loyalty from your employer, because it does not exist.

Maybe this post has been in many ways a therapeutic exercise to take this quote to heart.

I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better.

Henry David Thoreau

Each day is a precious gift, and it up to you to find some kind of balance in your life.

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

 

About the author

Henry David Thoreau (see name pronunciation; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayistpoet, and philosopher.[3] A leading transcendentalist,[4] he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay “Civil Disobedience” (originally published as “Resistance to Civil Government”), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, in which he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close observation of nature, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and attention to practical detail.[5] He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life’s true essential needs.[5]

He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending the abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau’s philosophy of civil disobedience later influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo TolstoyMahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.[6]

Thoreau is sometimes referred to as an anarchist.[7][8] Though “Civil Disobedience” seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government—”I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government”[9]—the direction of this improvement contrarily points toward anarchism: “‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”[9]

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau

 

 

Worthy of happiness

Worthy Of Happiness

I was reading a quote this morning and thought it was very interesting. I knew little of Immanuel Kant, but what intrigued me was the premise that to be worthy of happiness you need to live a moral life. As I processed this thought that the possibility of happiness can be earned as a result of morality I thought about The Five Precepts in Buddhism, which are:

  1. to abstain from taking life
  2. to abstain from taking what is not given
  3. to abstain from sensuous misconduct
  4. to abstain from false speech
  5. to abstain from intoxicants as tending to cloud the mind

In Buddhism, the five precepts are a moral code for laypeople, or one could think of them as the fundamental baseline of morality. Read them and you begin to realize how broadly they can be applied and how powerful their influence could be on your personal conduct.

Personally, I tend to stay away from talking too much about morality, as it is often applied for example in religion to various behavior that I may see as moral and not immoral. Still, there is something about this quote that made me think that maybe we all need to strive to be more moral, and by doing so provide an opportunity to be a bit happier.

Note Kant does not equate morality to happiness only to being worthy of happiness. To me, this means real happiness like everything else must be earned, and in Buddhism, this starts with the Five Precepts. Can you be happy without striving to live a moral life?

If you are aware of the consequences of your actions and the impact they have on others, then the answer is no.

Who was Immanuel Kant?

He lived in the 1700s to early 1800 and was an influential German philosopher in the Age of Enlightenment. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time, and causation are mere sensibilities; “things-in-themselves” exist, but their nature is unknowable.

Kant’s theory is an example of a deontological moral theory–according to these theories, the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty. Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.

Well enough, for now, I need to start making myself worthy of happiness and do something good today, guess I will start by reflecting on the Five Precepts.

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

 

 

Reference:

Five Precepts of Buddhism Explained

 

A little information on Immanuel Kant

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant

 

 

But I Can’t

Random Thoughts / Poetry

But I Can’t

I catch myself complaining about things

Let it go

I expect things to turn out a certain way

Expect nothing

I will be happy when such and such happens

Be happy now

Everything is changing

Change yourself

I can’t do this

Yes you can

It’s too hard to do this shit

No, it isn’t

I’m too tired

Do it anyway

No more excuses

 

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

 

A New Road

A New Road

There are two types of people in this world. The first type of person just exists, adheres to the norms of society, is concerned primarily in themselves, and is a follower. The second type of person strives for excellence in everything they do and is hell-bent on blazing new trails. This second type of person is also transparent in dealing with other people and takes calculated risks.

This quote by Ayn Rand who by the way is one of my favorite authors shows us that the road to greatness will require you to leave the beaten path and blaze a new trail. Men like Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford were examples of people that took new roads on their way to massive success. Ask yourself are you happy following the path that someone else created? You have one life to live and to spend your time following a safe, but boring existence will lead you nowhere, and ultimately leave you unsatisfied or even miserable. These norms that you hold so dear are holding you back from being the best version of yourself that you can be.

Fuck the beaten path, it is for losers. You are not too young, too old,  too lazy, or too stupid to make something of your life. It’s time to dream again and get excited about your life. You are given precious few days on this earth and its time to get your shit together. Do you really want to coast through life as some zombie following some boring expectations that society expects of you?

Hell no!

If your reading this blog, it means you are seeking something better for your life, but the reality is that something better must come from you. You will not get help from your parents, the government, your friends, or anyone else. It’s all on you and you need to decide if you are sick of putting up with the life you have so that you can move on and create something better. If you are so deeply swallowed up by your ego you will be making statements like this right now:

  • Well I work so hard and get no recognition
  • I’m too tired to do anything more than I’m doing now
  • Everyone is an asshole and I’m the only sane person on this planet
  • I don’t have enough shit (material stuff) and I deserve more

Well if you are coming to the table from this point of view you are fucked. Abandon the ego and start working on delivering value to others. You can’t sit on your ass and wait for good things to happen or spend your time dreaming about a better future. Don’t spend your time wishing for shit and then expecting the law of attraction to make it happen.

Castaway your doubts and silly expectations, or some stupid lie that this fake world is telling you. Start with the premise that you are smart enough, you are inspired by your goals, and you are going to quit wasting your time. You know a few fairly small changes will elevate you to the top 10% of achievers in this world. A couple years ago I decided to stop watching the news on television. I felt that it was too negative and not depicting a balanced view of the world. Within days I now had a couple more hours per day to do something useful and my attitude improved measurably. Not much of a change is it?

What if you strung together 3 or 4 of these minor miracles and then the results you begin to see start compounding themselves. Listen when it is all said and done it’s up to you as to what kind of life you want to live. It’s your responsibility and also your privilege to make it a good life, one of service, one of striving to be great.

There is greatness within you. You can make a difference in this world, but you must approach this opportunity that is given to you with the understanding that your life is temporary. You don’t have time to sit around and wait for things to get better None of us know how long we have left on the planet, so make the best of every day, every hour, and every minute.

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

 

Creation Of Greatness

Random Thoughts / Poetry

Creation Of Greatness

There are times when the pace of life is almost unbearable

The never ending requests

There is no respite

There is no work life balance

There is only work

What will I do?

Realize that everything is temporary

Endure it with courage

This stress you are under is actually making you stronger

This is where greatness is created

 

Namaste


This post was proofread by Grammarly.