Monday, March 4, 2013

Are you living the way of the Ouroboros?

A hobby of mine is creating jewelery. I designed and co-created the ring below recently.
The Ouroboros is an ancient mystical symbol, which depicts a dragon or serpent eating its own tail. It is symbol that has been represented by one or more of the following: self-reflectivity, reincarnation, the Milky Way, cyclicality, mercury, harmony of opposites, dual nature, infinity, and immortality.
To me, the Ouroboros is a symbol of: Continuous Self Improvement. It is a way of living, thinking, and acting. It is choosing to continuously audit your thoughts and actions, to identify and filter that which is enabling and disenabling. It is devoting yourself to lifelong learning. It is auditing and upgrading your circle of influence.
I believe every interaction you have, every second of your life - be it from a friend, stranger, book, something on the tv, or some internal thought, has some measure of influence on you. What that measure is, depends on your thought ‘filters’.  We are highly adapted at filtering information, that which is of value, and that which is not. It is important to continuously evaluate that which you give attention to. Choosing to live the way of the Ouroboros means you are constantly upgrading - the quality of your life, the books you read, the company you keep, the movies you watch. You are the pilot of your character, actions, thoughts, and life choices. You are not a ship lost at sea, being blown in the direction of the prevailing wind.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Make better decisions

Where you are in life, what you have, and what you believe; is mainly a result of your past thoughts, decisions, and actions. You have complete control over your thoughts and decisions. So where you will be in the future, will be a result of the decisions you're making today.

So how do we make the right decisions? .. Logic and reason, right?

But most of our decisions are made with out applying logic and reason. We make decisions on the fly. Note you're making thousands of decisions everyday - What you're going to wear, what you say, what you do, what you eat. Most of our decisions are made from our belief systems. So the thing you can do today and everyday, to help yourself, is to address and question the utility of your belief systems.

Some common belief systems could be: I'm not good in math. I'm not smart. I'm not lucky. Money is evil.

We all have many belief systems. The question is, which belief systems are empowering you, and which are disempowering you?

If my goal is to have lots of money, you can see how a belief that 'money is evil' would disempower me. This belief system will either slow or block my attempts to make lots of money.
Money can be used as an instrument of good or evil, but money by itself is just paper.

How do we form our belief systems? Most of them you formed when you were just kids. When your minds were young, impressionable, and believed everything you were told. They came from your friends, family, teachers, and yourself.

I can imagine a large number of people have gone through life, never really trying at a certain discipline, because they believed they weren't good at it. A boy can fail his grade two math test, then can decide to adopt the position that he's not good at math, and then his belief system creates a self fulfilling prophesy.

So the first step in making better decisions, is to question and change your belief systems.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Controlling your emotions

Why is it that some things affect you, and not me?

How many people have no control over there emotions? How many people just react to whatever emotional trigger is pulled in them? When someone says something negative to you, do you just react with whatever emotion comes from within?

The next time you feel a negative emotion being induced in you, from another person or thing, try to for a moment to see the situation from a birds eye view, or in the third perspective. Imagine yourself as an observer to the situation, an observer detached emotionally from the situation. Doing this gives you a higher level of objectivity, and thus how you respond will be more logical. In practice this can be difficult at first, so if at first you find you can't detach yourself from the immediate negative emotions induced in you. Just reflect later, think about the emotion you felt, and ask your self why you think you allowed that person or thing to induce that emotion in you. It's not about what was said or done, it's about why you allowed yourself to feel the negative emotion. Its about why you gave control over your inner peace and contentment to someone else. If it's something that was said, it was just sound, until you gave it power over you.

Someone or something, pulls one of your emotional triggers when they say or do something that causes an emotional response. Some people have a lot more emotional triggers then other people. The next time someone pulls one of your negative emotional triggers, ask yourself in hindsight, why you allowed that person or thing, to have power over you.

I'm not saying don't use emotion, or suppress it to non existence. By all means use emotion when you find it profitable to do so. But don't be a victim of your emotional triggers, and don't allow other people to control you via your emotional triggers. There is a big difference for example, in spontaneously reacting with anger to a situation, and choosing to display an assertive or anger countenance. When I choose to display an assertive or angry countenance, I'm doing so to control you via your emotional triggers. I'm manipulating you, via your emotional triggers. But I can only manipulate you if you have the emotional trigger. What do you think a boot camp instructor in the army is doing when he yells at the new recruits? He is pulling their emotional triggers (fear and anger in this case), to manipulate them to his will.

Removing your emotional triggers doesn't happen over night. It's a mental discipline, that takes time, and a lot of inner reflection. The first step is to identify the negative emotional trigger. The second step is to reflect on them. The third step is to either remove them, or recognize them and choose to have control over them always, and allow only you to pull the trigger.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Audit your thoughts!

We all have thousands of thoughts spinning around in our heads through out the day. We reflect and contemplate on the things we see and hear. We hear other peoples thoughts when they speak. We sometimes accept other people's thoughts as our own. Thoughts that pass from one brain to the next can set up societal beliefs and standards. So at what point does a thought become harmful?

When you audit your thoughts, and you challenge in particular, your negative thoughts with reason and logic. You may find that some of the thoughts that you're having are from outdated or incorrect thought models, or belief systems. You may have accepted a criticism in the past, perhaps when your faculties of reason were poorer. In many ways you're shaping your reality with your thoughts, so it is very important to question your thoughts, and their usefulness. Since you have the power to choose your thoughts, you can replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Just acknowledging your negative thoughts, will start the process of transforming or eliminating them. What we think about, consciously and unconsciously, structures and implements our belief systems, which soon becomes apart of our character.

I challenge you to continuously question and audit your beliefs and your thoughts. Ask your self: Why did I think that? Is it good for me to think that? Why have I accepted that I'm __________ ?