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Archive for the ‘perception’ Tag

Would You Ever Say That To Someone Else?   Leave a comment

Have you ever walked up to someone and told them how fat they look?  Have you ever let someone know, after they’ve made a mistake, how stupid they were?  Have you ever told someone they should just accept that this is as good as they’ll ever become?

I’m guessing probably not on all three.  Most people would view that as mean or cruel.  You may have even cringed a little bit reading the questions because it’s hard to imagine how someone could be so insensitive to someone else.  You’d never treat another human being like that?

Or would you?  You’re a human being after all.  Has there been a time when you looked in the mirror and felt bad about what you saw?  Maybe you made a simple or easy to understand error, but were quick to judge yourself as stupid for having committed it?  Have you ever looked at the life of someone you felt was better off and wished you were them?  Right after wishing you were them did you tell yourself to get real?

We’d be so upset with ourselves if we ever treated someone like we sometimes treat ourselves.  But have you ever felt bad about treating yourself bad?  If it isn’t acceptable to treat others that way, then hold yourself to the same standard.

The next time you walk by a mirror, smile to yourself and let yourself know you look good.  Made a silly mistake?  Then why not chuckle a little instead of berate?  Afterall shouldn’t a little silliness bring a smile to your face?

And here’s the big one, just be happy where you are, but always work to be a little better.  The first step in getting a little better every day is first accepting you can be better.  This isn’t a negative judgement about where you are now.  Remember in the progression good, better, best you’re starting out with good.  But why just be good when you can be better.  Why settle for better when you can become the best version of yourself?

When listening to your self-talk this week remember to ask yourself “would you ever say that to someone else?”  And if you wouldn’t, don’t accept that language for you either.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Don’t judge yourself harshly.  Just be kind.  That’s all it takes.  Be kind.  Just as you would treat others and would have others treat you.  Have a nice day.

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Being Open to Positivity   Leave a comment

Along with my body I’ve been working on improving my mind.  This is both in the functional sense (reading faster, thinking more clearly, having better focus) and in the focal sense.  I’ve come to realize that there’s no point in creating a better body and a longer life if it’s going to be an unhappy one.  So I’ve worked hard at improving my mindset.

This has been done via a number of methods.  I meditate more.  I reorganize my thoughts to favor the positive.  I reject negative thoughts and negative conclusions.  And the more I do this the more I see things that reinforce a positive point of view.

In the movie Batman Begins, Alfred chides Batman about how he can’t be living a double life if he isn’t living the life of Bruce Wayne. He teases Bruce by saying “Who knows Master Wayne, if you start pretending to have fun, you might have a little by accident.”

Although meant as a playful jab, there’s a certain amount of truth to this.  Positivity is infectious.  If you start spending your time looking for the positives in life you’ll start seeing them more and more.  As Earl Nightingale said “you are now, and you do become, what you think about.”

The more you focus on the positive the more you see positive things.  The more positive things you see, the more positive you become.  The more positive you become the more you think positively, and the cycle repeats itself.  You just have to be open to being positive.

Many will look around at the state of the world, or the state of their life and ask, “what do I have to be positive about?”  It’s a great question to ask yourself, if you’re willing to answer it.

So here’s a little challenge for you this week.  Keep a little notebook on you.  Or if you prefer the tech route, start a new note or document on your phone.  I personally have a separate Evernote folder just for this challenge.  Every time you have something positive happen to you write it down.  It doesn’t have to be anything super special.  This is about writing down anything that you feel is a win.

Did someone smile at you for no reason?  Write it down.  Was the drive home a little quicker than usual, or the traffic a little lighter?  Put that on the list.  Perhaps you find a penny while walking into work today.  That counts too.  Anything where the needle moves towards the positive.  No matter how small.  If you’re not sure if it counts, write it down anyway.  Chances are if you had to wonder if it does, you think it could be a win.

After a week, go back and look at your list.  If you did a reasonably good job of remembering to write things down I’m betting you have a nice long list.  This is what you have to be positive about.  Over the next few weeks keep adding to the list.  Make it enough of a habit that you enjoy adding entries.  Add that you enjoy adding entries onto your list of positivity.  There’s really no wrong way to do this other than to not do it.

When you start going back each week and reviewing your list you’ll be amazed at just how many positive things happen to you all the time.  Take an example from me today.  I got an award at work today.  I met a cool bulldog named Leon.  A attractive woman looked my way and smiled.  The drive home was so easy because the traffic was light.  I met my fitness goal of closing all three rings today.  That’s five easy to find positives I had today.  That’s 35 for the week if I do it every day.  That’s a lot of positives that just happen to you if you bother to look.

And again, it’s all about what you focus on.  When you keep looking for positives you’ll keep finding them.  If you’re looking for positives you’ll also start overlooking negatives because you aren’t focusing on them anymore.  At a certain point if you keep looking for positives enough you might even accidentally feel positive.  Just kidding, you’ll feel positive but it won’t be an accident.  It’ll be a way of life for you.

“You are now, and you do become, what you think about.”  Blessed or cursed.  Happy or sad.  Positive or negative.  They’re your thoughts.  Choose the ones you want to live the life you desire.  It’s all in your hands.  Or your mind. However you want to look at it.  I recommend looking at it the positive way.  Have a great day.

10/15/2018 Weekly Update   Leave a comment

Did my weekly weigh in this morning.  Down another .6 pounds from last week.  I’m now at 277.8 pounds.  My muscle mass is 27.1% and my body fat is 37.5%.  Last week they were at 27.0% and 37.7% respectively.  In terms of pounds that comes in at 75.3 pounds of muscle and 104.2 pounds of fat this week.  That puts me up .1 pounds of muscle mass and down .8 pounds of fat.

So not a lot of big changes but they were all changes in the right direction.  As the speed at which I lose weight varies from week to week I try to keep an eye more on the averages.  I still think that when looking at the averages I’m on target to be at the weight I want by mid next year.  I’ll be at my first goal of 230 pounds by about April I’d imagine.  Now that doesn’t take into account any issues with loose skin I might need to take care of.  This is more a timeline of how I’ll do losing what I can without surgery.  If I can lose the weight and the skin retracts nicely so I don’t need the surgery, all the better.

In terms of exercise progress so far this month I’m really on target.  Since the 1st of the month there has only been one day that I didn’t close all three rings. So that’s two fifteen minute workouts a day for all but one day so far.  They’ve been mainly walking workouts.  I’m planning on including at least one, maybe two, jump rope workouts a week to try to get the weight loss revved up again.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

Food wise, I’m considering upping my calories by increasing fat intake.  I think another possible reason I’m losing more slowly is my body needs to have the fires stoked again.  Temporarily taking in more fat will accomplish that goal.

Meditation wise I’m doing well.  I get my morning meditation in almost every morning.  I’ve started adding a nightly routine where I listen to subliminal messages.  Right now I’m doing the ones on lucid dreaming.  I’ve been interested in lucid dreaming for a while. It’s happened a couple of times in my life but I’d really like it if I were to be able to lucid dream more regularly.  I figure worst case scenario, even if the subliminal messages don’t work as planned it’s still another 30 minutes of meditation a day.  And that can’t hurt.

So I’m liking the progress I’m making.  I’m feeling better and stronger every day.  That’s both on the inside and the outside.  I’ve lost more already then I have to go so happy about that.  I can see a finish line, which is very motivating.  And each day I visualize a better future then I did the day before.  And each day I become that more certain the future will come true.  I’ve had a great day today and I hope you have too.  I’ll see you again in a week for another weigh in and tomorrow for another post.  Take care.

Your Inner Voice   Leave a comment

Have you ever started doing something and for some reason it just started feeling like a bad idea?  Have you ever wanted to buy something and you get this nagging sensation that you shouldn’t?  Have you met someone before that seemed nice enough to you but for some reason you just feel uncomfortable around them?

I think we all would answer yes to those questions.  We don’t know how we know, or why we know, but sometimes we just know things are amiss.  That knowledge is coming from your inner voice.  And the reason why we don’t know how or why we feel a certain way is because we sometimes do a bad job of listening to our inner voice.

Why is that?  It’s our inner voice, so surely it’s working in our best interest.  It’s a part of us so we should be able to trust it.  And we probably would if we recognized it as our voice.  The problem is that we don’t hear it clearly so we dismiss it as nerves, or a chill in the room.  We rationalize it away because our conscious mind has come to a conclusion on the subject and we accept it must be the right one.

So why would our inner voice be at odds with our conscious mind?  Because our conscious mind is easily swayed in the direction we want to go.  When you started doing whatever it was you’re doing right now your conscious mind had a “good” reason for doing it.  You don’t just start doing something for no reason at all.  Your conscious mind decided this was the action you’ll take because it viewed it as the correct action.  It’s therefor biased towards that decision.  Or when you go to the store to get something your conscious mind has already decided that it should purchase that item.  The decision is already made presumably with rational facts to back it up.  And when you’ve already decided you like someone then surely they must be a good person.  Your conscious mind wouldn’t allow you to befriend a bad person.  And you’re a pretty smart cookie so it isn’t likely they could be fooling you into thinking their nice when they aren’t.

Your conscious mind is acting on the principle of confirmation bias.  It will seek out all the facts that justify its position.  Finding facts to support your position is a good thing.  At least it is when you aren’t overlooking facts that suggest you’re wrong.  That’s confirmation bias.  We only accept the facts that confirm our point of view.

Your inner voice is different.  It’s your subconscious mind.  It isn’t interested in right or wrong.  It’s merely going by what history tells it.  It will access all the information pertinent to a decision, whether it confirms a position or not.  It’s noticing all the facts and is seeing something wrong.  So when it’s giving you that off putting feeling about the person you’re talking to it’s because it knows from previous patterns that there’s something wrong with this guy.  It doesn’t care that he “seems nice” or comes off as a “good guy”.  It is picking up on subtle hints that your conscious mind is overlooking that lets it know there’s reason to be concerned.

It’s like your own built-in “spidey sense.”  You just have to tune in to it.  How do you learn to hear your inner voice more clearly?  The same way you hear outer voices better.  You stop and listen.  If you get that tingly feeling at the back of your neck, question why.  If you’re looking at that new TV you wanted and something about it doesn’t feel right, pause a moment and ask yourself “what am I missing?”  And then listen to what your inner voice tells you.  You don’t have to blindly follow everything it says, just give it a chance to be heard.

Another way to hear your inner voice better is similar to what you do when you are trying to listen to music or are on a phone call in a noisy environment.  You change your location to a quieter one.  The way you change to a quieter location in your mind is through meditation.  Breathe in and out slowly and rhythmically, focusing on your breath.  When you feel your body relaxing let your mind relax as well.  As thoughts pop into your head that aren’t related to what you’re trying to figure out just gently release them without judgement.  When your body is relaxed and your mind is calm start asking yourself questions about the area you’re looking for insight into.  Do this often enough and it will become a habit where you can quickly slip into the relaxed and self-aware state.

Like many changes you can make in your life, if you’ve been ignoring your inner voice for a long time it’ll take a while to get back into the habit of listening to it.  But it’s a habit worth spending time on developing.  Your inner voice can be a great and helpful guide if you allow it to be in your life.  As with all things the choice is yours.  Have a nice day.

Goals   Leave a comment

Go on Amazon and do a search for books on financial success and you’ll find books about how to be a millionaire with no cash in your pocket now.  How to create passive income to be a millionaire.  How to invest to become a millionaire.  How to do (fill in the blank) in order to become a millionaire.  It’s as if the only possible way to be a financial success is to be a millionaire.

Or maybe you do a search on getting in shape.  You’ll get page upon page about books that will help you create rock hard abs.  90 days to a six-pack.  Maybe even books on how to create an 8-pack because a 6-pack just isn’t fit enough.  Books on how to create 20 inch biceps with no equipment in your home.  Bodyweight exercise books promising to give you the physique of a champion, the champion being Schwarzenegger.  You’ll get muscles on top of your muscles.

You can even find books on how to super charge your mind.  A book that will teach you how to become a speed reader so you can finish a new book every day.  You might be more partial to books that will teach you another language in 3 months.  How to become a human calculator.

These books all have one thing in common.  They tell you what your goal should be in advance.  There’s a preconceived notion that if you want to improve your health and fitness you must be going for the body of a greek god.  Or if you’re looking for financial success the true and only goal is to become a millionaire.  Unless of course you’re a high performer, in which case you’re shooting straight for billionaire or bust.  When it comes to improving your mind, obviously your brain needs to be able to learn and retain things on a level on par with The Matrix.

These are the goals that society has decided are proper goals for each endeavor.  But they aren’t necessarily your goals.  Don’t get me wrong, these goals are perfectly good goals to have.  That’s if, of course, you want them to be your goals.

Take me for example.  This may come across as financial heresy, but I just don’t want to be a millionaire.  What I want to do with my life doesn’t require me to have that level of cash.  My goal is simple.  I want to be able to get a nice class B RV and spend my life just touring North America.  Who knows, I might even decide to try South America as well.  I don’t need to be a millionaire for that.  I don’t even need to be a quarter millionaire for it.  There’s nothing wrong with my goal.  I’m not aiming low.  I’m not settling.  I just don’t see the need to own a huge mansion with several high-end sports cars out front.  I don’t desire that.

Now for the fitness goals, yeah I’d actually like to have bulging biceps, tremendous traps, and 6-pack abs.  However your goal may be different.  To you, being able to walk upstairs without needing a nap afterwards could be sufficiently fit.  You might not be interested in being able to rip that back of your shirts apart with your super broad lats.  Instead you just want to be able to sit in an airplane seat comfortably for a cross-country flight.

I’d like to learn another langauge or two.  I would definitely love to improve my reading speed so I can take in that many more books.  But I don’t particularly care if I can do Calculus in my head.  To you a great working brain might entail not being foggy all the time.  It might be having the ability to crush anyone in a game of chess.  Or something altogether different from anything I’d imagine.

What’s important to remember in all this is your goals need to be your goals.  Not what society deems proper goals.  If your dream life is to earn $50,000 a year, the fact that other’s might respond “That’s all?” isn’t a negative reflection on your goal.  It just means it clearly isn’t their goal.  Which is fine because they aren’t walking your path, you are.  You don’t need to justify your goals to anyone other than yourself.  If you have buy in on your goals you’ll accomplish them.  That’s why they have to be yours.  Because if you’re chasing society’s goals you just don’t have the buy in, which means you won’t have the success.

Be happy with your goals.  Confident in your goals.  And most importantly, have a steadfast faith that because they are your goals, and you’re truly worthy of attaining them, you’ll reach that destination.  I wish you the best of luck with your goals.  Have a great day.

Posted 10/07/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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Why?   Leave a comment

I listen to a variety of podcasts and read a lot of books. I think this moves me forward along my journey to be my best self. I just don’t think there’s anything such as bad information, so long as you always ask “Why?” at the end.

You see the problem with the information we are exposed to isn’t the information, it’s the lack of critical thinking we put into it. We often hear something and either accept it or discount it uncritically. Why?

We’ve spent a long time becoming the person we are now. We’re very invested in that person. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So we hesitate to do anything that upsets the apple cart. But if you’re that certain of the person you are there shouldn’t be any problem asking those “Why?” questions.

If you ask Why? and follow that thought critically you’ll discover one of two things. First is, you were right to hold that view or belief. Yeah you! Or you might realize that you could be a little off. Maybe even way off.

It sounds bad at first but think about this. Once you’ve identified a problem you can fix it. Once you’ve fixed it you’re back to being right again. You’re back to “Yeah you!” That’s a win.

Asking Why? is the path along which we get to the best version of ourselves. We’re often told not to question ourselves. Have confidence in who you are and what you believe. I think questioning yourself is the best way to show that confidence in who you are and what you believe. So go ahead and start asking yourself Why? a lot. You’ll love the results of being comfortable challenging yourself. Have a nice day.

Fear Itself   Leave a comment

Last night it rained a bit, and early this morning it rained a bit more here in northern Alabama.  Shocking, I know.  So when I drove into work this morning the roads were a little wet, and there were a few sprinkles along the way.

The road conditions were not perfect, but not bad either.  There was a car in front of me most of the way to work.  If a vehicle approached our road from a side road he’d start slowing down.  If he came across a puddle in the road he’d swerve a bit to miss it.  When people would pass him on the left he’d quickly move right as far as possible.  His driving gave me the distinct impression that he was fearful of driving on the wet roads.

It wasn’t that any of the things he did were inherently bad ideas.  Puddles can hide pot holes so avoiding them would seem wise.  Except these puddles really weren’t that big which meant it was really unlikely there was an issue there.  Sometimes people ignore stop signs so slowing down for the people approaching on side roads could seem a prudent precaution.  But the vehicles on the side roads were going really slow and showed no signs of bolting out.  And giving someone a wide berth when they pass you would seem reasonable, if he wasn’t moving so far to the right he was crossing the line and driving on the shoulder.  He appeared way more fearful than he should have been under the circumstances.

When you experience a small amount of fear, that’s a good thing.  It’s your mind’s warning system telling you to start being more vigilant.  Experience too much fear and it quickly become negative.  You begin overreacting and stressing out, neither of which is good for you.  If the level of fear rises high enough it can even be crippling, keeping you frozen and unable to react at all.

Making things worse is the fact that your mind doesn’t know the difference between a real threat you should fear, and a perceived threat, that only has the potential for harm because a perception in itself isn’t harmful.  Seneca famously stated “We are more often frightened than hurt;  and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.”  Or more simply, fear’s bark is often much worse than its bite.

So how do you fix this?  How do you keep fear at the smaller level of a simple warning system?  You be mindful.  If you are keeping yourself focused on the here and now there’s less time to focus on the fear.  If you aren’t focused on the fear, it can’t grow.  If you’re focused on the here and now you can make decisions in the present moment, not the feared future.  And when you’re making those decisions mindfully and calmly you’re seeing more options and making better decisions.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation, which means it’s stress reducing, which reduces anxiety and fear.  It promotes calmness, which reduces fear.  It makes you happier, which reduces fear.  It enhances gratitude, which reduces fear.

Why focus on an imaginary future of fears and worries when you could spend that time quietly thinking to yourself that “you’ve got this” and that “I am more than enough.”  Focus on the good things in life.  Or dwell in fear.  The choice is yours.  Me, I’m going with calmness, happiness, and gratitude.  I hope you do to.  Have a great day.