To Succeed we Need to Consider the Community of our Future Selves

Life often is about perspective. It is about reframing the shot to bring into focus the things that are really important. We often create the idea of the fairy tale life. We see the way we want things to work out and we don’t want any real hardship as we travel down that road. But what would we really learn if it was all that easy. How would you really progress if life were a series of simple steps that didn’t push you to really know yourself? You would just float through life on a euphoric cloud only connecting ever so lightly with your surroundings and you would never any of it or yourself as real.

We have hardships to create strength. To create growth. To create ever greater versions of ourselves. To learn a difficult math problem is in fact not easy, but with the effort that we put in not only do we learn the solution to the math problem we also learn that we can answer other math problems. Often we need to go and ask people for help to do so, but there is nothing wrong with that as our lives and society is built on communities of people coming together and working on single ideas of ideology, morality, politics, economics and many other more to create great solutions to tough questions.

Often we want to be the knight in shining armour that rides in, solves problems themselves, saves the princess and lives happily ever after however we must not only realize that we are communal, we must remember to strive for community. Most of us are taught to reach solely for the prize as a lone rider but what about if a knight went into the dragon’s lair, this difficult life problem, with a group of knight’s? Not in an effort to attain all the spoils for himself but to share the spoils equally. Rather than chasing the fantasy they instead work together to reach a shared goal. All men would be able to equally share in the spoils and all live well off. This idea is, in part, supported by John Nash’s Game Theory which asks that rather than trying to reach the unrealistic and self focused goal by ourselves we may find a greater and achievable reward with a more cooperative goal.

Whilst this concept takes into consideration often working with other people or cooperative agents, this cooperative goal can also happen closer to home so to speak. That is, cooperation with your present self and your future selves to be exact. Quantum physics has told us that reality and time is an infinite and infinitesimal sequence of moments of now and it is our consciousness that stitches them together to form the flow of experience. Every moment feeds off the next but that is not to say that it is the same moment. It is in fact, in essence, a completely new moment. Your future self therefore is a completely different self to the current self and selves that are reading this. If that is confusing and difficult to digest, when we look at it from the larger perspective and think back to fifteen years ago, it is hard to believe that we were the same person we are today reading this. That is because we are not. Our bodies and minds have completely refreshed and reformed. And so when we think of our future selves in shorter time whilst harder to notice the changes we can know that the present moment we are operating is a different moment from the former and the future.

By working with your future selves for the ultimate goal, you will be able to look at the fact that while you were unable to receive the current prize, you may be able to see that you have worked in collaboration with your future self in order to create a greater future for all of yourselves, both future and present. This may come as an example where you have worked on something but it doesn’t pay off the way that you wanted it. However when you change your perspective, you can see that you have gained a lot of experience, connections and references for your future self in order that they will succeed. You can see that you have sacrificed your past self in order that others will thrive. Sacrifice and surrender is considered one of the greatest, and noblest, gifts a person can give to anyone and to anything.

When you act in collaboration with your future selves you gain a much larger and grander perspective and a much greater vision of what you are doing. You’re your actions have a greater perspective, you then have a greater purpose. You have a meaning and a reason for doing what you are doing. You allow yourself to be more forgiving of actions that didn’t pan out as originally intended for you see that they are only a small, and often necessary bump in the road. You therefore can find a greater appreciation for those little things that do and don’t work out for you, as you and your team of selves are now a step closer towards the greater goal that you are working towards. For with a team you can trust, you know that you will ultimately achieve the dream that all your selves are trying to attain. So please don’t be disheartened by things that don’t happen exactly the way you planned but instead see the bigger picture and be supportive of your greater selves. And remember Aesop’s motto “United we stand, divided we fall” so work in collaboration with your future selves and you will surely be able to reach any goal. GO TEAM!!!

How to get off the train of thoughts we don’t want

If we are hounded by a thought or emotional reaction that we don’t want, then we must learn to free our minds from the thoughts that don’t serve us. To gain this freedom we must consider the range of cognitive patterns are playing out in our lives and gain an understanding on how to work with these naturally occurring phenomenon. Everyone has thoughts, and everyone has thoughts they don’t want so it’s about learning how to have these thoughts and still be the version of ourselves.

Unfortunately to free ourselves selves from unwanted thoughts it’s not as simple as saying “No! I don’t want to think about this anymore” because very soon these banished thoughts soon reappear above our mental horizons. There is a saying supposedly made famous by the psychologist Carl Jung that said “what we resist persists, and what we look at goes away”.

Quick test: Read this and then close your eyes – Do not think about pink elephants for a period of 30 seconds!

Most people will surely think of a pink elephant, and so we can see how difficult it would be to not think of things that are emotionally charged. Therefore we have to make sure to be able to look at things and be able to remove the emotional charge from them. Sort of releasing the air out of the pink elephant balloon.

Let us now highlight two main cognitive culprits that appear to always be present in enabling emotional distress and then look at ways of diffusing them in order to regain control of our minds and hearts. Firstly, letting your mind run away with you. Often we may not have enough control over the mind to keep it focused on the things that serve us. Our minds have a natural negativity bias that fills an idle space with the worst-case scenarios in order to keep us vigilant of any dangers. This is great if we are living in constant danger and need to live day by day in a jungle filled with predators. We are living, however in an urban society filled with other social individuals trying to grow beyond survival and therefore we need to instead focus our physiological and mental resources on improving personal functionality. This is the way of the Extropist for the fact that we are utilizing the best use of our resources for our inevitable growth by negating the entropic leak. We need to instead inject new energy into our personal system to elevate us to the next level of personal progress.

The first practice to stop this energy leak is to gain control of the mind and where its thoughts are going. This can be done through the practice of mindful meditation. Start with 15 minutes a day. Sit in any comfortable position that won’t induce sleep. Follow and focus on only your breath. If thoughts come in allow them to be there and then let them move on past you like a train rushing past. Try not to jump onto the thought train. If you do notice that you are on the train – That’s fine. Simply jump off and come back to your focus on your breath.

The second element I would mention is that you are not your thoughts. Your mind is a testing ground for seeds of potential. Each thought you have is a hologram of a potential reality. Holographic servers are able to run multiple programs simultaneously thereby allowing us to test out many realities simultaneously and play these possibilities out. However, these thoughts of your simulated realities are not real. You do not need to identify with these thoughts as real. They are holograms. Illusions. Learn to see your thoughts as that. Instead let them rush on past you. If you begin to see them sneak in name them, either in your mind or out aloud. ANGER…. ANXIOUS. By naming them you are dissociating yourself from them. You are putting them outside of yourself. It is important to remember to keep these thoughts outside of yourself and not identify with them. When you talk about them try not to say, “I am angry”, instead say “I am feeling angry”. This gives you more space between you and the thought to then be free of it by gaining control of your mind and breathing through it. Therefore you are not your anger, you are only running your anger program at that moment you feel anger. Anger is the thought program on the screen but there are many other programs that you can choose to run instead. Patience. Compassion. Forgiveness. Choose the thought that best serves you and your growth.

Source: via Josh on Pinterest

Remember gratitude. It is always a powerful way to neutralize our negative feelings and enable positive programs because often we are upset because of the distance between what we want and where we actually are. However when we practice gratitude we increase the value of who we actually are and realize that there is no real distance between these places. We can realize that we are perfect in the place that we are now and what we have created up to this moment. There is so much more for us to create in our lives which only can provide a true excitement rather than a despair. So find your gratitude for this moment and the next and you will find an easing of any burning despair.

Take control of your mind by letting your thoughts and feelings move through you rather than holding onto them. When you take these steps you will create a space to be free of what you don’t want and instead you will be totally absorbed in what you do want. People really shine not when they are basking in the glow of some happy moment but when they can still smile when they are in the depths of their darkest hours. It is when you can choose to hold a positive program, hold your focus and flow through the moments, rather than resist them, that you best create the powerful processes that serve you through the darkest and brightest times of your life.

Source: via Josh on Pinterest

We can See that it is when he is off the train of thoughts he is able to reach his goal!

Failures are openings to our Greatest Creations

Many times throughout our lives we try to create an opportunity, an idea, a dream but end up without a ‘positive’ result. We look at the outcome as a failure either on our own part or that of the external world. But, what if this was not a failure but an opening? What if you actually believed whole heartedly that everything you experienced was your own creation and that embedded in the outcomes that you think are “bad” are actually such greater gems of wisdom that you could have only gained by not having a dream realized.

In this world we are taught to win and have more, have the most. However, do you really think your highest purpose, the meaning of your life, is to accumulate physical wealth and leisure or do you think that there is something far greater in store for you that you are unconsciously working toward. Do you think you would have greater life satisfaction with truly loving and knowing your life purpose or being able to afford a trip to Hawaii? I’m not saying that this definitely exists in your experience, but I am saying that if you spend the time to look at your life mishaps you may find understandings that are far more valuable than the trip itself.

I like to think about it like this, if a toddler was given everything they asked for would they gain all the lessons they needed in life? Or do you think the fact that they learnt about things like delayed gratification, about being thankful for what they have, that then they will have a far more balanced look on life.

If you have become discouraged, that is fine, but the very fact that you have become discouraged means that you didn’t truly believe. You may be able to visualize Hawaii but that doesn’t mean that you have a knowing that you are going there. We most powerfully create our lives when we have a true belief that we are not attached to the outcome. When we know something is going to happen that we don’t even question what the outcome will be.

The same way a pen falls to the ground we know that we can pick it up. We don’t even question that the pen can’t be picked up. And even if we had a sore back, something that limited our progress and couldn’t quite reach it we still trust completely in ourselves that the pen will be picked up. We understand that despite our limitation of not being able to pick it up now that once moving through the limitations we are experiencing we will again be able to complete the task we began earlier. Remember we have the soreness in our back to protect us from further injuring ourselves. Our limitations are often our greatest teachers. Love the lessons and you will gain the greatest knowing.

Hold more than a belief, hold a knowing within yourself and trust in your dreams, as if they are as possible as picking up a fallen pen. Look for the truth in the ‘limitations’ that we create that temporarily stop the reaching of our dreams because with the greater understanding of ourselves comes the greatest experience of life and the richest expression of our dreams.

So please KNOW this despite the long journey ahead: Dreams Come True! They really do!!!

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Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

This impressive 9 year old boy followed his dream fearlessly with a true knowing, and undoubtedly with life’s help, he made his dreams come true!

Choose what you ‘C’

While flipping through the entertainment pages, I saw that another celebrity had an experience with substance abuse in which they felt their life was spiraling out of control and thankfully gave out a cry for help. Their experience made me think about how we so often are faced with a perpetual stream of challenging situations in our lives. How do we stand the constant barrage of chaos?

The most common way for handling our problems is through unconscious behavior programs that either defend or distract us from the issue at hand. Born from our experiences of the past, these programs are ways we found to protect us from hurt. However such approaches typically only help in the short-term, resulting in the problem resurfacing again and again. We all distract ourselves, some drink, some watch TV, some try a new fad, there are millions of ways to distract ourselves from actually looking at the problems in our lives. But sure enough, until we face our demons they keep knocking on the mind’s door, getting louder and louder. But maybe there’s a different way to respond to our emotions that may serve us better. And there is! It is all dependent on choosing what you C.

Choosing what you C is obviously a play on what you ‘see’ but more importantly it means taking a breath and getting present. Choosing what you C is about creating your life the way that you want it. Creating it from the moment of now rather than the faults of the past. Your life unfolds from two perspectives: Reaction and Creation. When we look at these two words we see that the only difference between them is choosing what you C. When you are coming from reaction, you C what happens after the causal event and then respond to it. When you are an agent of creation, you are the beginning cause that dictates your action.

When a person is overwhelmed with emotion they typically want to remove themselves from the confronting emotions as quickly as possible. Our automatic and unconscious reactionary programs are initiated, which are typically not the most creative and insightful parts of our mind. This is similar to our fight or flight mechanism developed in our ancient mammalian ancestry to protect us from being attacked by a predator on the prairies. But in the modern world it is our ego trying to protect itself from change and the danger of loosing control. Therefore we simply distract and defend as a short-term solution. For example, you attempt a new project in your life but suddenly you have stopped and you weren’t even aware why. Without realizing it boredom, anxiety, worry bubble up to distract you and your emotion knock you off the road from your desired destination to suddenly get lost in the irrelevant.

A more progressive way our life can unfold is through creation. From creation we choose to C from the start and become the creator of our lives. We can be the true creators of our lives by choosing how we experience it. Be the creation, not the reaction. When you are presented with something that produces an emotion that is confronting, don’t immediately react through distraction or defense. Instead give yourself a beat. Pause and create some space. Take a deep breath in and exhale powerfully. Look at the emotion and instead of identifying with it by saying “I am anxious”, change it to “I am FEELING anxious” and then imagine how you want your story to unfold.

This battered celebrity, like so many of us, felt overwhelmed, at times by life, as though it was spinning out of control, and so initiated a behavior program of substance use to distract from the emotions of being overwhelmed about past experiences and future outcomes. Instead of the reaction of distraction, STOP!! Breathe and acknowledge in yourself what would be the ultimate outcome right now. Look to how you want your future to be rather than reacting to the assumptions of the past. Take your time, there is no rush. Give yourself the space and time to acknowledge your needs, because by choosing to C from the start and be the cause of change you will create the life you’ve always wanted.

Beauty exists even in Chaos, when we take the time to look.

“What is” is the way to easy creating

When we end with someone in our lives we often worry about what they are doing? Why are they doing these things? What does it mean to us? It gives us an excuse to talk about it and think about them, but does that really serve us to think on all these things? Why do we need the stories that we make up in order to fill the spaces in our lives we don’t know anything about? And most importantly are these stories real and do they really matter?

What matters is that you move your focus away from your partner and all the ‘What if’s’ and simply focus on the ‘What is’. What is happening in your life now? What is right in front of you? What is it that you are working on now? What is inspiring you in life now? The ‘what if’s’ don’t matter.

‘What if vs what is’ is applicable to all things that matter in our lives. It doesn’t just have to be your partner: It can be a job loss. It can be any pending decision for your career, for you health for a competition. It is anything that you are or have worked at to create, any project, any relationship, any dream. Keep your focus on the ‘what is’ because all the stories of what if’s often don’t serve us. It reminds me of the old Cherokee wisdom story of the two wolves that rage within us. When asked upon which wolf wins, the good or the bad, we learn it is the one that we feed. What we give our energy too we feed.

All those thoughts you have about the ‘what if’s’… they don’t exist except in your mind and imagination. People think every thought is real, well they aren’t! They are seeds of change. They are moments of creation that you can latch onto or choose to focus on something else that better serves what you really want. What you really want to create.

It is the emotion and action that we give those thoughts, which materializes one thought over another. If I am sitting here hungry but I want to finish this piece of writing. I will think to myself, “I want to go get food” but I also think “I want to finish this piece while I am in the flow”. Both thoughts are there but which do I choose to give my energy to, I choose the one that best serves me. Which thought do I feed to give energy to? In this situation, it is finishing the piece. So that’s what I choose for my reality by giving emotion and excitement for the finished piece of writing that lies before me. And in doing so, now I will not need to think on food until after I have finished this piece because my emotion and action has allowed me to give solely to this piece of writing.

So acknowledge that you are having a thought but is it a ‘what if’ or a ‘what is’? Your power of creation lies in the ‘what is’. Your actions are more clear and directed when you focus on the ‘what is’. You are more motivated to create the ‘what is’. You are less overwhelmed by the singular ‘what is’ than the multitude of ‘what if’s’. Get present and focus on your ‘what is’ and your journey will be a lot smoother and you will create a lot easier and a lot faster.