“All life forms drive to the maximum of its potential except human beings”
Your motivation is a good starting point but after while you will not be able to rely on it. It might fail you. You get distracted, you get sidetracked and betrayed by your own feeling.
What drives you must turn into an automatic self-discipline system. Only motivation cannot take you all the way to the finish line. There will be days that you do not feel like doing it. In those days, only habits and self-discipline can get you to pass your feeling.
Today is Sunday, I’m on holiday, or at least I’m supposed to be, but I made a commitment to myself. I have gotten up 5:30am, I did not feel like, my mind was saying ‘f#$k that s@#t I’m going back to bed’, my commitment and self-discipline drove me here not my motivation.
We are constantly bombarded by hundreds if not thousands of different stimulus. Most of us live with the pressures of our social lives, people around us, family and friends and loved ones. Powerful branded messages from products, entertainment, useless shopping gadgets, etc. All that sensory messages play a powerful role in our feelings and emotions, ultimately in our decision making. We can get easily demotivated and sidetracked. We get pushed away from our vision and goals. Our motivation betrays us.
“Let all communication devices serve you but let no one interfere with you”
We think we can postpone, do it later, after all, just a bit of distraction will not make any difference. A bit of this, a bit of that, and suddenly the week has gone, the months and the years. I can attest to that in many areas of my life.
In reality tomorrow doesn’t exist. it is invisibly shrouded and seeded in the actions we take today. Take a close look at this, do you remember how many tomorrows have since passed and have become nothing more than of a shadowed yesterday’s memory. Today when you ponder upon, you wished you had taken a different set of action and achieved a different outcome.
Self-discipline will make you work harder on your self than on your own job. Good habits will spring you into success and fortune. That’s why most people do not achieve anything, it is easy to get sidetracked and stopped.
As Jim puts it, you must develop “The ant philosophy”. They never quit, the think winter all summer and they seem to be in a hurry. All stoics philosophers told us to plan all the negative scenarios when all is positive. The ant thinks summer is winter. They are not motivated, they are discipline to achieve their goals.
Les Brown says “do what is easy and your life will be hard, do what is hard and your life will be easy”. Self-discipline is the key to take you all the way to the finish line.
The odds for you to be alive right now is practically zero according to do Dr Ali Binazir. Let’s start with the odds of your dad meeting your mum (1 in 20,000). Then multiply that by the chances of them staying together long enough to have you (1 in 2,000). If you keep going along those lines you will eventually get to the following probability of you existing 1 in 102,685,000.
Based on this perspective, the reality of our lives and the narrative we can create become unlimited and powerful. We are a freaking miracle of nature!
If you only looked at the probability of the right sperm meeting the right eggs in isolation to any other variables that would be one inf 400 quadrillion.
Start living today with that perspective, make decision and choices based on the fact that you are a freaking odd miracle, you are here to change things, to leave a mark, as Jobs said, a dent in the universe. You life is not a mistake it is a celebration, a joy no matter the circumstances that brought you here.
“A miracle is an event so unlikely as to be almost impossible. By that definition, I’ve just shown that you are a miracle… Now go forth and feel and act like the miracle that you are.”
You should never never ask the question again. Why you? Because you are unique, an effing miracle, there is only one YOU. For Dr Binazir the odds of you being alive are zero. Still, you are here. Stop b$#@ing about and get on with your life, do epic s#&t.
Dr Binazir explained the odds with the following example:
“Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in some ocean and there is exactly one turtle in all of these oceans, swimming underwater somewhere. The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water — in the middle of that life preserver. On one try.”
Don’t get stuck in your old ways. Change happens in an instant; it’s a conversion, a turning of direction. The philosophy, worldview and the lenses by which you see everything must be in congruence with your goals and visions for your future; otherwise nothing will work. Change your philosophy is the starting line and the best way to achieve anything is by optimising your life for the starting line, not the finishing line. .
Don’t get stuck in your old ways. Change happens in an instant; it’s a conversion, a turning of direction. The philosophy, worldview and the lenses by which you see everything must be in congruence with your goals and visions for your future; otherwise nothing will work.
Change your philosophy is the starting line and the best way to achieve anything is by optimising your life for the starting line, not the finishing line…
Some claim they want to change the world, some others want to win the world, a large number of people just want to get by. No matter what you have chosen your life by your own philosophy. It ultimately informs your beliefs and values, shapes your choices, habits and decisions.
Whatever you want for you, it will be achieved or not by your own views of the world and the reality around you. That is what Jim Rohn is telling us here. The biggest giant lies within, without defeating him/her first you will never feel free to be what you have got to be. Your own self-limiting beliefs and philosophy is preventing you from growing and from success.
This blog aims to address the needs of those two initial types of people in the paragraph above. The ones who want to change and affect the world as well as the ones who want to win. And many times they are but the same people. You can’t conquer the world unless you truly affect lives.
You must affect your world first, to be able to influence others’. You must adopt a new mindset first then you will realise what steps you need to take to fulfil your dreams. You have to adopt the right attitude, the correct set of behaviours and values.
What is the minimum change you can promote today, right now to start the process? What should you think differently about? What kind of thinking is not supporting your vision for your future?
There’s angst that rises from within, a silent cry. We reach out to our own identities in a busy, loud world that forces us to have, to own, to go, to do, force a smile, fake happiness. It wants our constant unswerving attention; it wants to master us, keeping us distracted, discouraging us from stopping, thinking, reflecting and discovering out who we are. That can only be found reaching within.
We exchange peace and solitude for constant limelight, the social media spotlight. That is killing us; our species is living a severe existential crisis. For most, that angst is kept silence within while striving to ‘get by with a smile.’
When we forget the simple we neglect the essential; we become blind to what is truly beautiful in this world.
Too much social yet not much living. Too much attention-grabbing effort very little delivering value affecting the lives of people in a meaningful way. The numbers battle, we all want a piece of the action, a dive in the money stack, a ride in the Lamborghini, a nightstand with the blonde of the hunk with six-pack with a bright smile.
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus have written an amazing book on slowing down and reducing your living so you can live a more fulfilled life – Minimalism: Essential Essays. The essence is to look inside of you and ask the question how much do I really need to be happy?
“Happiness, as far as we are concerned, is achieved through living a meaningful life, a life that is filled with passion and freedom, a life in which we can grow as individuals and contribute to other people in meaningful ways. Growth and contribution: those are the bedrocks of happiness. Not stuff. This may not sound sexy or marketable or sellable, but it’s the cold truth. Humans are happy if we are growing as individuals and if we are contributing beyond ourselves. Without growth, and without a deliberate effort to help others, we are just slaves to cultural expectations, ensnared by the trappings of money and power and status and perceived success.” ― Joshua Fields Millburn, Minimalism: Essential Essays
In Walden, transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau encourages us to pursuit nobility in living a simple life surrounded by nature. He is on a journey towards natures and his own nature. In 2015, I decided to start this journey, the one I’m still on and have not to regretted an inch. When you stop living under the pressure of others, society, family and friends you can finally stop and breathe.
Fact is we have never had so much ‘social’ online time and never felt so much isolated and lonely. We have traded living for existing. What should we do then?
STOP – TURN AROUND – TAKE A BREATH – SMILE INSIDE – BE THANKFUL – JUST BE
In Thoreau’s case, The Minimalists guys and even myself we discovered that going back to nature as well as going back to one’s nature was the key to leave a life of social conformity and embrace a life of true self-reliance and self-actualisation.
According to Wikipedia James Allen “was British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement.” I read his famous book ‘As a Man Thinketh’ a few years ago, it had a profound impact on my life during a very tough period I was living at the time. I have recently found some of the quotes I wrote from the book and decided to post them here.
Compared to Allen and many who have gone through similar life conditions, truly, I’ve had it easy! His dad was pronounced dead two days after arriving in the US where he was seeking after a better life for his family. Allen, age 15 then, had to stop his studies to work and support his impoverished family.
Another site devoted to Allen’s life mentioned that “James Allen is a literary mystery man. His inspirational writings have influenced millions for good. Yet today he remains almost unknown…… None of his nineteen books give a clue to his life other than to mention his place of residence – Ilfracombe, England. His name cannot be found in a major reference work. Not even the Library of Congress or the British Museum has much to say about him.”
“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.” wrote Mitch Horowitz in his work “James Allen: A Life in Brief”.
Allen’s life was the message, what he had to do was to pack that in writing format and feed it to his readers. And that is where all the power lies. The secret was in the way he lived out his own philosophy, that would empower his thoughts and words on the piece of paper. In orther words, what impact us aren’t when we read his words are not emptied rhetoric but sweat, blood, tears and badassness in face of calamities, challenges and sufferings. Your writing comes alive when it is birth out of the fiery furnace of life torments, words pierce through the flakiness, excuses and comfort of us readers.
From his official webpage we read that “In 1901, when Allen was 37, he wrote his first book, From Poverty to Power. In 1902 he wrote his second book, As a Man Thinketh. Although this would be Allen’s most successful book, it is said that he felt it be unsatisfactory and not worthy of print. It was his wife, Lily, who convinced him to publish it. Allen wrote 19 books in all.”
It is also claimed that Allen sought to live a Tolstoyan life-style, meaning, a life of voluntary poverty, manual labour and ascetic self-discipline. Russia greatest novelist Count Leo Tolstoy apparently had some influence in his life choices, values and virtues.
Below I have copied my favourite passages from his second book ‘As a Man Thinketh’:
“Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions, but when he realizes that he is a creative power and that he may command the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow, he then becomes the rightful master of himself.”
“Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”
“O my soul, the time I trust will be, when thou shalt be good, simple, more open and visible, than that body by which it is enclosed.”
“Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life”
“They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness , and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power evolving universe”
“Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought”
“There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice and a man’s worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance”
“Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals ; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditionals, all, heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will, at last, be built”
“Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it”
“You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration”
“The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul, a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities”
“Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise without your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal”
“A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought , and as he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene”
“The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart— this you will build your life by, this you will become”
in other words, be MONOMANIACAL ABOUT YOUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE OBSESSION!
“The strong, calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character, which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold —yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money seeking looks in comparison with a serene life— a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm”
“Self-control is a strength; right thought is mastery; Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, “Peace, be still!”
In Summary, Allen teaches two essential truths – “today we are where our thoughts have taken us, and we are the architects – for better or worse – of our futures.”
The only power we have when change winds blow it is to be found in the choices we make. Which direction to set our sails, which train to board or plane to take, which way to go…what to do.. choices will bring you closer to your dreams or further away…
“…So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us…”
That’s because your life philosophy, or to put in layman’s term, the way you see things, your worldview and the values that underpin your choices will become the factors determining whether you will be successful in your endeavours or not.
“Human behaviour flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” Plato
What Plato is saying is that what you do comes from material produced inside your mind, aka your mindset. The combination of those three factors will form your values or your philosophy, that consciously or unconsciously. So calibrating your desires, emotions and building a solid healthy knowledge will increase your chances for better outcomes.
Jim Rohn, throughout his highly successful career as a motivational speaker and life coach, always gave emphasis to developing your life philosophy and inner values. Jim, as well as many before and after him, developed and build their life upon their values and philosophies.
“If you work hard on your job, you make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune. What is the reason for this truth? Success is not something you pursue. Success is something that you attract by becoming an attractive person. The way that you become rich is not by wishing your life were easier, but instead by focusing on making yourself better.” ― Jim Rohn, My Philosophy for Successful Living
James Allen, British philosopher and writer, famous for his inspirational writings, wrote in his book As A Man Thinketh“Men do not attract what they want, but which they are”, in other words, your outcomes are the fruit of who you are inside, of what drives you and your behaviour. All our impulses, perceptions, sensory motivations, impetus or inertia, decisions, choices, fears, etc are born and exist and are shaped by our own philosophy and creates our identity. They are determined by how we see ourselves and the world around us, our values that will guide us to whatever outcome they are set to achieve good or bad.
Most people think they are not in control of that but that is exactly the only thing in the universe we have control over.
“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”
― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Most of us are so busy with the everyday life pursuits that we never stop to think or ask ourselves: “Why am I doing all this?”
That set me off for the rest of my Sunday morning. I normally use my Sunday morning to work on myself, study some area of science, social science and philosophy, learn something new and write about that so I can apply and change.
Today that got me going… Interestingly I had a request for a new LinkedIn connection asking me to add him and also asking to know what was the impact of my work in my current organisation. I do not have much time to this sort of requests, they normally come with an introduction and offer of service (attention management is key here) but today I was in the mood to explore that!
What is my contribution to the world? The institution I work for is nothing but one of the many vehicles I can express myself, add to others and play a part in building a better environment we all want to live. My business, my network of family and friends, my charity work, etc…
I was then taken back in time to a film I watched many years ago and one of my favourite poems of all…
O Me! O Life!
BY WALT WHITMANOh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish, Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d, Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me, Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined, The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
Answer. That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
Source: Leaves of Grass (1892)
in my view…
The power of identity and purpose should guide any life pursuit, find your verse, find yourself!
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
While we are in this world we must always make choices. The results and outcomes we have experienced throughout our lives are directly linked to those choices.
The only thing stopping us from growing and achieving amazing things are how we see ourselves and the choices we make based on this vision of ourselves at any given moment.
What drives us or keeps us in inertia is our own level of hunger, the obsession to achieve our peak… Inertia caused by fear and apathy is the result of a distorted image of ourselves and own shortcoming.
If you learn how to see yourself in a new light you will start to hunger for more, you will find your purpose and will be unstoppable!
Jim Rohn said “every life form seems to strive to its maximum except human beings”