"When I look at myself I don't see
The man I wanted to be
Somewhere along the line I slipped off track
I'm caught movin' one step up and two steps back" -- Bruce Springsteen
At some point, it happens to us all. We sense it in our bodies long before the words enter our minds. Lethargy. Resistance. Exhaustion. Maybe even anger. Looking for someone or something to blame.
At long last, we admit to ourselves. I did it again. I lost sight of what's really important. The accumulation of poor choices, doing the little things I know better to do or ignoring the things I know I should, and here I am in that same old familiar place again. Like the song says, "I'm the same old story, same old act. One step up and two steps back."
It feels like we're stuck. But we're not. We are simply out of practice. And what there is to do, is to jump right in and restore the integrity in what we know to do and refrain from doing. No more excuses or indulgences....
The gift when life is at its very worst is the opportunity to expand our capacity for love and forgiveness beyond what we imagined possible.
There is something about when life has dealt us something awful (or we fear it has or will), that puts us in a unique spot. Something in us wakes up. We can, if we choose, quickly distinguish the difference between the meaningless and the meaningful -- what is important and what is not. The imperative to be responsible with our time and our relationships is real.
Grudges are no longer worth harboring. Resentments and complaints disappear. We become acutely aware of the things we want to do and undo, say, and take back, and let go. We want to make each minute count. To matter. To feel love and express love.
In an instant we see how simple it all is. We marvel at the complexity we add to obscure life's elementarinesss. Our excuses for neglecting self-care, relationships, and our heart's desires...
Is the world fundamentally a better place because of science and technology? We shop at home, we surf the Web... at the same time, we feel emptier, lonelier and more cut off from each other than at any other time in human history... -- Palmer Joss, Contact by Carl Sagan
We've all heard about the studies that reveal the closer we are in proximity to our smartphones, the dumber we get. Our cognitive capacity and overall brain power are significantly reduced if our smartphone is within glancing distance -- regardless of whether it is turned off or face down. Not really a surprise, is it? The surprising part is why our cognitive capacity is diminished. The brain drain is a result of us TRYING NOT TO THINK about our dumb phone.
So, even when they are not distracting us, our smartphones are distracting us.
A typical smartphone user interacts with his or her phone an average of... wait for it...85 times a day. It is the ultimate, grand...
Hilton Head Island is covered with gorgeous leisure paths for cyclists, runners, joggers, skaters, and walkers to find their way to the beach and explore the natural beauty and historical artifacts of the island. A few houses up from where I live there is a fork in the path. This is one of my favorite places in the world. Each time I approach the fork, I bask in its symbolism. Where do I want to go? What path do I want to take?
The choice is mine, always. My choice inspires everything I say or do. So, what or who do I want to be? Now? This moment? What inspires me most? What expression of myself makes life worth living?
Will I be bold?
Or will I be small?
As you develop new habits and practices to free yourself and protect your thinking from the influence of the Mountain of Lies, it may be tempting to start cutting out things in your life that make you feel uncomfortable. We find plenty of encouragement...
Excerpt from Journey Back to Me
Awareness is the first step to replace destructive thoughts with ones that pull for your happiness and success. Raise your awareness by noticing when destructive thoughts hijack your thinking. Start by journaling in the evening. List the instances you remember. Then up your game through frequent reflection throughout the day. Before long, you will catch yourself. "Oh! I am digging holes in the sand." Or, "Oh! I am riding the What-if Roller Coaster!"
At first, don't try to interrupt the behavior. Just notice the pattern in thinking and let it go. As you reflect on the day, notice how much of your day is spent time doing these things. That is usually sufficient to start unconsciously decreasing the amount of time spent on these activities.
Collect a Grievance—Instances where you secretly make a mental note of something someone did or said so that you may use it against them in the future. Collect a...
“I can’t teach you how to do it. You just have to do it enough times until you get it. Notice the things you are not good at, you do the least times. Repetition is your teacher. There is no substitute.” — Unknown
Realization of our dreams is achieved through our daily habits and our daily practices. So, what's the difference between habit and practice? Both play an essential role in creating happiness, so understanding the difference between a habit and a practice is important.
For this conversation, we will define a habit as a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior or thought that is acquired through frequent repetition. A habit is a regular tendency or settled way of doing things or thinking about things.
Through repetition and effort, a physical routine becomes natural for us -- instinctive, such that the behavior is performed automatically, without thought. Tasks such as...
We all have blind spots – pitfalls in thinking that hinder us from reaching our full potential and robbing us from living and loving fully. Start uncovering the hidden barriers in your thinking. For a limited time, you can sign up for free to receive my thought-provoking, thought-revealing email series:
Hidden Lies: Beliefs We Rarely Stop to Question
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Three Habits & Three Practices for a Happier, Freer Life
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Learn the three thought habits that most impact your state of mind and three practices you need to detect your disempowering thoughts, interrupt them, and then redirect your attention to something fruitful.