Category: Philosophy

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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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Beginning To Evolve

Random Thoughts / Poetry

Beginning to Evolve

Up early again

It’s Monday and a new week begins

I feel like I am starting to evolve

There is a sense of meaning returning to my life

It has taken so many years for the changes to occur

It’s almost Darwinian

I am calm

I am resolute

The world hasn’t changed

I am changing

I am grateful to be alive

I am present

 

Namaste


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Moving On

Random Thoughts / Poetry

Moving On

Is every day a repetition of the last?

Move on

But the money and the benefits are so good

Move on

Have you quit dreaming and setting goals?

Move on

When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep?

Move on

Are you tired all the time?

Move on

Are you drinking a little too much to forget this shit show?

Move on

Are you waiting to have enough money to retire?

Move on

Are other people maybe your family members telling you just one more year and you can do anything you want?

Move on

Have you mastered this job to the point you are no longer learning?

Move on

Do you spend a lot of time doing pointless work that adds no value?

Move on

Has the line blurred so much that you can’t tell your work from the rest of your life?

Move on

Is your work so demanding that you have abandoned all your hobbies?

Move on

Afraid you can’t do better?

Move on

Will you miss the long days and continuous demands?

Fuck No!

Move on

 

Namaste


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Not for appearance sake

One of the themes I understand from studying the Stoics like Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius is the idea that above all you should do the right thing. Another way of putting this is to be a good person, first and foremost. Doing the right thing is not done for accolades or praise, but simply because it is the right thing to do. If you find yourself more concerned about how the things you do are perceived by others then you are missing the point.

Maybe you are not doing the right thing or being a good person because you find it inconvenient taking too much effort. Being lazy or selfish is not an excuse for shirking your responsibilities and doing what is right. The stoic ideal requires self-discipline and adhering to the principle of doing good. A selfish me oriented attitude will never result in doing the right thing, nor will living a life focused on impressing other people.

Put your ego aside today and think is what I am doing the right thing, is it good for the world, or is it self serving?

There is such a thing as an honorable life, but it is not easy. Doing the right thing is difficult in this me oriented world, but you have greatness inside you and you just need to release it.

Ask yourself today, as Epictetus would, am I doing this for the sake of appearance or because it is the right thing to do?

Namaste

 


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Driven

Random Thoughts / Poetry

Driven

We make so much of every situation

It all seems so important

A heightened level of anxiety becomes our natural state

We are told to escalate for every issue

Everything becomes critical

Our life is one of hyperactivity

Driven to achieve by ourselves and others we are exhausted

Is it any wonder we are so unhappy?

We are asked to do more and more with the same amount of limited time

Our life is now dominated by schedules and to-do lists

The pace we set for our life cannot be sustained

We seek the answer in meditation, yoga, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and any other number of ways to calm our mind and give our life meaning

The days become a blur as they pass us by

You tell yourself someday I will jump off this hamster wheel, once I earn a little more money

That day never happens and you die never having really lived

Is that really what you want from your life?

Stop deferring your fucking life

Today I will jump off the hamster wheel even if for an hour or two

Once I taste freedom I will cease to jump back on the wheel

Remember the world will always try to pull you back into the vortex

Only you can save yourself

 

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.