Finding Your Way - Through Your Why

Tag: selfdiscovery

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Watch Your Own Movie

How much stress and life-struggle comes from watching other people’s movies? How often do you “watch your own movie?” We want what our friends have. Their social media posts seem better than ours. It seems their children are more well behaved than ours. Vacations they take are even more extravagant than ones we get to take. The constant daily grind often is perpetuated when we tune into the broadcast life of others around us. Peace, serenity, meaning, and happiness is brought to you through watching your own movie, not the movies of others.

But how do we steer clear of the traps of watching others movies so that we can maximize the lives we live?

Here are some tips and life hacks that you can implement to continue living as your authentic self, rather than envying those around you.

Get Comfortable in Your Own Skin

be comfortable in your own skin so you can begin watching your own movie
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Look, by now we’ve all heard about body shaming, confidence issues, and the like that force some people to look at others with envy.

Stopping this infectiously bad habit takes some rewiring of the mind. Start with these steps:

  • Assess yourself by your health – not your bodily figure
  • Depending on your physical fitness, decide what steps you need to take to be more fit
  • Set S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) physical health goals such as
    • walking / running at a certain pace
    • how much weight you want to be able to work out with
    • what is your cholesterol level and where should it be?
    • blood pressure and what target you should be at?

By using actual health and fitness goals, you begin to see yourself in a better light. Gauging yourself against how physically fit you should be for your age is far better than trying to pin yourself against others in terms of how they look versus you.

There is no telling how physically fit someone is that “looks attractive.” However, you working to become your best self health wise, will begin to add more confidence and security of mind. It will help you live as your more authentic self. This is just one step in watching your movie over the movies of others.

Discover Your Life Passions and Live Them

silhouette of person standing near camping tent
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So much in our lives comes from watching others. When are we going to jump into the water of life for ourselves?

We look to others that are living what we enjoy, yet often don’t believe we can do what they do.

What are your interests? How about your passions? Would you be doing something different in life if you could?

Make a list of all the things in life you love. Be as far reaching as you want. Here are a few that I am very passionate about:

  • Travel
  • Outdoors
  • Exercising
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Life-Long Learning
  • Consciousness
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy

My list could go on quite while longer, but I think you get the point. If you are going to watch your own movie and not the movies of others, we must find a way to intertwine your life passions into purposeful intent within your daily life.

Discovering your purpose in life is where you begin to really entwine more meaning and excitement into your life. You begin to focus heavily on what it is you can do for yourself and others rather than wishing and hoping after what you see others do.

  • What does the world need that you love to do?
  • What are your passions and talents that you can bring to the work you do to serve those world needs?
  • Take these passions and talents and put them into practice in all you do!

Even if you aren’t 100% in the chosen career field you want, you can still bring your talents and strengths into your everyday job to begin living your purpose. Want to find purpose at work? Change your perceptions. This will give you more meaning and you’ll quickly find yourself watching your own movie, rather than hoping for a new job or career change.

Live and Be at Your Best

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Rest easy if you know you’ve done the very best you can.

I go to bed and sleep easy at night if I know I have any problem or life situation the best I had to give. When asking yourself that question honestly, only make adjustments if you know you could have put in more effort. If you know you gave the maximum output; rest easy.

Know and live by your values. Develop a code of conduct that you can live within. These are values you will not compromise and will look for in others you bring close in your life.

When you authentically live as your best self, it is far easier to live with and watch your movie over getting caught up watching the movies of others.

What it all boils down to is life is about YOU. Not those that you watch around you. What are you doing to live as your best most authentic self?

Are you living out your purpose and passions? How can we be better at this together? Would love to hear thoughts and comments as we aim to grow and achieve more together.

bust of ancient philosopher on grey background

The Benefits of the Stoic Mind

The benefits of the stoic mind are relevant perhaps now more than ever. Even though the teachings and philosophical views go back to around the 3rd century BC, the learnings may be even more practical today. Our lives are full of social, political, career, personal and media driven distractions. It is often hard to center oneself on what is necessary to focus on let alone deal with the challenges that the modern life is placing in front of us.

Here is an old story that helps frame up the teaching of stoicism quite well:

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is angry, jealous, greedy, resentful, lies and and has a big ego. The other is Good. It is full of joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.” The boy thought about it, and asked, “grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

Which wolf are you feeding?

Introduction to Stoicism

old domed ceiling with sunlight shining through to show the enlightenment benefits of the stoic mind
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Let’s shed some light on the belief system that Stoicism operates within.

In the most simplistic terminology, Stoicism was designed to help people live their best lives possible.

Stoicism is a life philosophy that centers around positive emotions. The goal becomes reducing negative emotions and helping individuals to develop virtues of character.

Stoicism provides a framework for living a life well-lived. It teaches what is truly important in life. In addition, it also centers on providing tactics to bring more positive outcomes into our circle of influence.

Stoicism was created to be understandable, actionable, and practical. Practicing Stoicism doesn’t require learning an entirely new philosophical methodology or meditating for hours a day. Instead, it offers an immediate, useful and seamless way to find tranquility and improve one’s attitude, behaviors, and overall state of mind. It is a life practice that not only can improve our way of living, but also help us discover our purpose.

The Foundation of Stoicism

ancient greek temple to contextualize the benefits of the stoic mind
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Stoicism was an attractive school of thought during the 3rd century BC because it provided compelling answers to anxiety, stress, fear, and troubling questions to life at the time. The Stoics offered an operating system that dealt with the trials of the human condition that are quite relevant today.

The teachings largely center around pulling into the front and center of one’s mind more positive behavior. Thus, that focus resulted in a more positive mindset. All of this focus was targeted to avoid the negative focus and negative outcomes of life.

A handful of thinkers helped to form the Stoic philosophy:

  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • Zeno of Citium
  • Epictetus

Our ancestors have taught us the benefits of the stoic mind. They have helped us pave our way to understanding life so that we can attain the most positive outcomes we desire.

The Four Habits of The Stoic Mind

notebook checklist to put into practice the benefits of the stoic mind
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  • Accept What is only True

We often can get caught up into gossip. It is a human condition that we must resist. The reason being is, more often than not, gossip drives negativity in our lives. When you hear gossip, ask yourself where it is coming from? Does the affirming party truly have proof of this gossip? Ask them if they have proof. If they do not, then kindly ask them not to tell you or do not reciprocate.

  • Work For the Common Good

Do right by others. Be a good humble individual. Give more compliments than complaints. By being an overall kind, empathetic, loving individual, you will attract more of those traits into your life through giving them off.

  • Match Our Needs and Wants with what is in Our Control

Life is neither good nor bad; it is the space for both good and bad.

Seneca

Think of life as a hand of cards. You didn’t control the hand you were first dealt. However, you do control how you play that hand. Essentially, even with a more difficult draw of the cards, we can win. Conversely, with a great hand we can overestimate our good fortune and still lose. The situation we are dealt in life is mostly neutral. It is the actions we take after the hand is dealt that matters.

  • Embrace what Nature has in Store for Us

O world, I am in tune with every note of thy great harmony. For me nothing is early, nothing late if it be timely for thee. O Nature, all that thy seasons yield is fruit for me.

Marcus Aurelius

Let us work to control only our direct surroundings. Even those at times we can’t fully control. Bringing fear and anxitey into our lives over issues we aren’t generating isn’t healthy. What we do control is how we respond. We always have the power of “choice.” Place our focus there.

Taking Action

person holding world globe  and taking the benefits of the stoic mind into practice
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Putting into practice the benefits of the stoic mind can help change our lives for the better. It does require some action and effort around mindset.

Take one of the four mentioned habits of the stoic mind and put it into place immediately in your life. You’ll see instant benefit if you adhere to the practice daily.

Once you gain the benefits of others, work the other mindsets into your daily life as you are able. Pause and reflect on what is happening in your life. With the benefits of the stoic mind fully employed, you will find your life with:

  • less anxiety
  • lower stress
  • better health & wellness
  • more focus and mental fortitude
  • more meaning and happiness

What benefits have you had from practicing more of a “Stoic Mindset?” However we are living now in these challenging times of change, we stand to benefit even more through practicing the Stoic teachings.

I’d love to hear from here from you! Feel free to post a comment or engage in the conversation.

closeup photo of assorted title books

Five Books that Impacted my Self Development the Most

What is the difference between education and learning? Education is the process of being told what one needs to learn through the perspectives of society. Learning can be self-directed and often driven through the ambitions of the individual. It is often far more beneficial to the growth of the individual that they are empowered to seek learning and knowledge into aspects of life that most interest them. That was certainly the case in my life. I didn’t enjoy being “educated” in school. I much prefer to seek out information in life that intrigues me. There are certain aspects of life we need base education in, but I would much rather seek the learning that inspires and motivates me. With that in mind, here are the five books that impacted my self development the most in my life.

The Law of Attraction – How Life Works

In 2006 I came across the now renowned and infamous book, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. In this book the author speaks to her discovery of how the non-physical aspect of life works in conjunction to our thoughts.

Deep within I could feel this truth. At the time I was 26 years old and had begun successfully putting my life in order.

It was through the realization that our thoughts are connected energetically through our physical reality that hit home to me. The mind is truly more powerful than given credit for. It isn’t just responsible for intellectual intelligence and the functions of our body, it also acts as like a software program for the hardware of our lives. What we think and believe, eventually manifests itself into existence over time. Sometimes faster and othertimes times longer, but without a doubt we are programming our realities through each thought.

The Law of Attraction is real in my life and I’ve witnessed its authenticity so many times. As I often say, your truth will come through your own experiences.

Belief of a Higher Power – Or Not?

Shortly after discovering “The Secret” I began wondering more about the significance of a higher power. Does God exist? If so, what exactly is God’s purpose?

Did God just create us and then take a back seat in our lives, or is God more active in our everyday lives?

These are questions that we likely may not be able to 100% answer, but the point in asking them in my opinion is necessary.

In the book “Is Belief in God, Good, Bad, or Irrelevant?” – the lead singer Gregg Graffin, of Bad Religion, and his friend Preston Jones debate the terms of “God” and other religious aspects of life, their relevancy, and other big questions that many people ask.

This was one of the books that impacted my self development the most because it put into focus front and center, that our belief system doesn’t necessary matter. It opened my perspective to “Naturalism” and wanting to know more about “Universal Law.”

Non-Believer to Believer

Reading “Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant?” led me to “Proof of Heaven” from Eben Alexander.

The author is a neurosurgeon that was an atheist until he had a near death experience during a coma and bout with Meningitis.

While in his coma, he remembered specific awe-inspiring details of being reunited with his sister in the afterlife.

Eben Alexander awoke from his medically induced coma with a brand new “truth.” He had experienced the very real aspect of his spirt or consciousness leaving his body for a period of time. This differed in specific ways from a dream.

Because of this book, I began wanting to understand more about the non-physical aspects of life. What is the spirit? What is consciousness? Do either of these exist once the physical body ceases to exist? These are questions that demand more exploration.

Out of Body Experiences – Not a Myth

What Eben Alexander was experiencing during his coma was and OBE or “out of body experience.” People that have “near death” experiences often experience OBE’s. However, they are still very much alive, just not always in the physical sense. It is beginning to become more clear, that when the body dies, life continues. Just not in the way we are accustomed to.

In “Journeys Out of the Body,” Robert Monroe tells the story of his experiences of being able to “view” life while not “in” his body. Bare with me here…

This is not a new concept. During the Cold War, the CIA recruited “Mind Readers” to spy on the Soviets. The CIA declassified 12 million pages of records. The reveal from the CIA speaks to previously unknown details about a program, which eventually became known as Project Star Gate. The program was shut down in 1995. But the study revealed how psychics known as “remote viewers” took part in a variety of operations, from locating terrorists to helping free hostages.

This book led me to study how we get our minds and bodies into a meditative state that allows the consciousness to “experience” life in real time outside of the body. Through these practices, I have been able to discover the very real truth that our life extends beyond the physical realm we see each day.

Being Healthy in the Here and Now

Although there is much more to life than just the physical, we still need to tend to “our capsules” we refer to as bodies. Of all the books that impacted my self development, this one made the most impact in my health.

In “Super Human,” David Asprey brings attention to how important healthy functioning mitochondria are in our bodies. All the physical aspects of our bodies rely on healthy cells.

For all the attention we place on the outside image of our body, we neglect the internal workings. Much of the degeneration that occurs as we age is due to the cellular breakdown we endure. However, there are many natural supplements that aid our different cells in slowing the break down that occurs as our bodies get older.

When we learn how to supplement and eat a more balanced diet, we can begin to “age backwards” or slow the aging process. David has a life goal of living to be 160! In this book, he speaks to the many different tactics that can be put into place in practical ways.

With proper health, supplements, and modern science, the only thing that keeps us from living vibrantly past 100 is typically our belief and mindset.

Let Your Intuition Guide You

lighthouse
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We each are walking our own path and journey in life. The books that impacted my self development might not be the ones that you need the most to impact yours. The key in our individual journey’s are to pause and reflect with our intuition. Where does your intrigue lead you? What topics in life inspire you to learn more about?

So many people are simply “moving through” life. They often don’t pause to discover needed personal awakenings. When you do pause and generate the questions you seek, pay attention to what life puts in front of you. That is how it has worked for me. One discovery leads to the next, and then the next, and before you know it you’re well on your way to finding your specific answers.

What has been your path? What self-awakenings and discoveries have you had? Which of these left the biggest lasting impacts in your life?

I’d love to hear from you and your experiences in personal awakenings and self discoveries. All of us walk different paths, but all our paths are unique and beautiful in their own ways.

Let your intuition continue to be your life guide…if you pay attention, you will see it is taking you to the discoveries you need for your own personal awakenings.

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