The #1 Minimalist Tip: Inside First

Spread the love

My vice had always been anger, and I have gotten better at dealing with it, by recognizing what causes it or feeds it, and by meditating.  Nobody in my life saw me angry, but that’s because I had a lot of shame for feeling.  I learned over time that the violence that I experienced, encouraged violence in myself.  Nobody really knows.  When you come into the world, there is no baseline for what is healthy and what is not.  That is learned or felt, and the lessons often have to be sought.

The anger wasn’t destroying me, it was the debilitating shame I had for it.   How could I work on what I couldn’t face?  I never ran away from anger, but I only tried to take the edge off shame.  Shame can cause you to check out or turn to other vices, or to lean on others because you can’t trust yourself, or to continue in arrogance because you already believe you’re too far gone anyway.

Home life was unstable and violent, school life was rigid and controlling.  They tried to keep us from drinking, promiscuity, drugs, swearing, frivolousness.  My weakness had only been anger, but the more that I was controlled, the more angry I became.  The more angry I became, the more shame, then the more I would get distracted.  Pride or checking out takes the pain away, or finding a scapegoat if we’ve had more than we can handle.  But it only makes you feel worse in the end, more shame, and it becomes a full-blown problem.  To feel defective is the original problem; fighting yourself is a Sisyphean task, a losing battle.

Change occurs the best with a level head, not through self-loathing.  To truly hate yourself, you have to check out or denigrate yourself.

But the reality is everyone is human, no matter if they look it or not.  You are not any less than anyone you follow or admire.  Because value is in purity of heart and peace, and that requires very little, only being simple again.

Courage:

I think the only antidote to pride is transparency.  Every intention gets corrupted by desire after a while, but introspective honesty is our saving grace.  There is courage transparency and in protocol, to do what is right despite what we feel.  My protocol is to live according to my values and to reject shame and manipulation, to treat people with consideration.

Dignity:

I learned over time that (1) no one size fits all.  Everyone is dealing with something differently and has a unique temperament.  The more objective a person is, the more they will know how subjective they are.  The people that introspect the most don’t want to control others, because they know they aren’t any better than anyone else.

But (2) never encourage guilt or shame, as that’s manipulation.  If you want something, ask for it, but don’t try to convince someone it is the right thing to do or that’s what they wanted all along, because that’s how children begin to mistrust.  Children can sense something is off, even if they can’t defend themselves.  They have a taste for the way they dealt with reality as children, whether through checking out, running away, or indulging, and those are truly deep habits that they will have to have compassion for one day.

Love:

Love is not an excuse to do what we always wanted, as we’ve seen of it.  Recognition of motive and where we hurt others, accepting of our needs and even small desires, is honesty and beauty.

The best minimalist tip I have is to enjoy yourself first:  I worked on my possessions because I didn’t know how to fix what was inside.  When there was nothing else left to touch, then I moved inward.  But simplification of life comes so much easier if you work on the reasons why you collect or why life spins out of control, what affects mood, and by accepting peace.

Maybe you think you could never live minimally, well, or in harmony with your environment, or that you’re too far gone anyway.   But I am here to tell you that if there was a way for me, there’s a way for you.  You alone are enough as you are.  You had value before you did or said anything in this world.  One life has infinite value.  All lives have value, no matter what they do.  Set up a structure, and don’t be too hard on yourself.  Neither procrastinate, nor rush.  Take everything in balance and enjoy the changing seasons, the highs and the lows, the inconsistencies.  Nothing stays the same:  There are many sides to a person and to life.  With patience, a new side emerges.

Mind matters:

Working on the mind is grossly neglected, and we see depression, abuse in homes (1 in 3), and addiction.  People are disillusioned with the brutality of reality, but there is beauty in suffering and joy.  All has to be accepted.  If you numb yourself, there is almost no joy left as well:  We’ve died, but we’re not dead.  There is depth in death, but don’t stay too long.

When a man returns from war, he is not the same.  He knows he’s not on the battlefield, but his body’s cortisol drops and can’t signal to the stress hormone that he is out of danger.  So his body is perpetually bathed in a higher level of stress than normal, causing hypervigilance, insomnia, and fatigue.   So it is in pets that have been abused, when they hear a loud noise, they return back home, whether the home is safe or not.  Pets that have been severely abused will not walk out of an open fence if they are set free.  They cower in anxiety or become aggressive, but they stay in the same place.

The way to improve society is through encouragement and camaraderie, seeing ourselves in each other by knowing ourselves and accepting ourselves fully.  Integrity is wholeness.

Restoration:

All we can do is take forward the best habits of the past.  All we can do is refuse to make people suffer on one hand and comfort them on the other, causing them to disbelieve in humanity.  Honesty of our motives and limitations, that is our saving grace.

In a way, we leave the past when we take care of ourselves.

Healing only comes from fully knowing yourself and your actions, and admitting to what you want out of life, not rejecting it because you don’t believe it’s attainable or other things have to be attended first, to be worth the little things that bring joy.

There is a better way, and it’s simple: giving back and being at peace with life.  We have compassion for the people that hurt us.  In the end, your compassion is not complete, until it includes you, for all the things you’ve done, thought, and wanted.  It is okay to be human, and it is okay for everyone around you to be as well.

 

Importance of Health

Spread the love

It is very important that we take care of our health, and this is because everything that we are and give is colored by our personal health.  No matter if we give care for love, inspiration for love, or authenticity for love, all of this is colored by our internal and external states.  For instance,  if authenticity becomes an excuse to be purely selfish or lazy, then it’s lost its value.  If favors are just a way to get needs met, then they lose their beauty.  If inspiration is just a way to feed our pride, then it loses its impact.

Everything heightens – favors, inspiration, authenticity – with a healthy soul and mind.  But a healthy mind, soul, and body is not an easy task.

Solutions:

Perhaps the two biggest reasons these may elude us is (1) we are not consistent and (2) we do not believe in ourselves, we are fighting ourselves.  No man is the antagonist of his story, but his mind may be.  But you have to fuse your conscience with what is, for true cohesion and wholeness and integrity.  There is no integrity with constant cracks.  So if a conscience drives people to wear out sooner and takes away a level head, which aids good-decision making, then it has lost its value.  Just as authenticity can lead to selfishness or stagnation, so too can a rampant conscience.  It can drive people to break, then come back to remind them of the break.  So there is no win in fighting yourself.  You have to merge what is.  And what is, is that we are human.  There is no perfection in this life.  How can you accept or love others, if you cannot love yourself?

Being consistent:

On constancy, it takes more than an exercise once a month to have a healthy body.  I knew in court reporting school that I had to do a little every day.  It was more important that I did 30 minutes of practice a day than 10 hours of practice on one day, which some students tried to do.  Habits are slow.  This is why minimalist living makes so much sense.  It encourages you to do less, more slowly.  This is important in building behavior.  In our childhood, behavior and trauma was set, and it takes years to move it back, but it’s worth it.  You’re worth it.

Examine beliefs:

Maybe you don’t believe that you have value.  All you can see is your worthlessness or your self-loathing, or overcompensatory pride and arrogance, or partners and beliefs that stand in for yourself, because you don’t feel that you alone have much value.  But you are all you have.  You come into this world alone, and you will leave alone.  You don’t own anything forever, and you cannot own people.

Mind over matter:

On the topic of mental health, you cannot practice meditation once in a blue moon, or have one day where you relax after 50.  It has to be a lifestyle in some way, of listening to your body and your mind, and adjusting.  The key to overcoming, is to not put yourself around negativity in the first place.  So much anger is caused because people put themselves around those that they cannot trust, or because they depend on someone they think they can.  So much is caused by not becoming healthy and giving back, and letting the rest come to you.  I saw the world, and it was good, and it is only we that complicate it.

Minimalism comes into play in allowing you the time to develop good habits, based on the highest priority.  I don’t know if that is your mind, body, or soul.  I don’t know what needs the most work right now.  But it carves time and space, my two favorite things.

Some things worth considering when it comes to the mind:

living in a warm place if at all possible, spending time in nature

meditating, breathing deeper at least

10 minutes of working out

drinking more water, eating less sugar and carbohydrates

being more creative (like watercolor painting)

choosing your five closest friends carefully – friends influence friends

taking time every night to do something you love, like light candles

adding in luxury and variety every now and then – a cup of rose water in the bath or steaming your face

petting an animal

participating and giving, spending less time inside yourself

 

3 Reasons Why You Will Accomplish Your 2018 Goals

Spread the love

January 12.  That is the day that most people give up on their goals, but not you.  We dig deeper inside of ourselves.

Because we don’t give up.  We re-evaulate.  We ask the right questions, pay attention to the right data points.  We are either not following our passion or we are not doing what works, but both are things to investigate.  

Important Questions:

1.  Is the goal in question in line with my skill set or values?  

Is it just a means to an end, a seeming necessity, pressure from society, age, or someone important?

For instance, my goal is to not have a to-do list longer than 5 things if at all possible, while still fulfilling my purpose.  This is important to me and doable.  I will not give up.  I will try to automate as much as possible and not put myself around situations that involve so many errands.  I can move on to the next question.  

If you are unsure if your goals go in line with who you truly are, think back to your childhood, what you enjoyed and what you excelled at.  Were you athletic? Studious?  Organized?  Nurturing?  Is that where your passion and goals are?  It is a habit to focus on what we think we should be focusing on, instead of focusing on meaning or passion in the things that we do.  Once you lose sight of purpose, it can become drudgery.  Meaning makes the days flow.

 

2.  Am I being too hard on myself?  

If you are trying to lose weight and you keep trying the same things you’ve always tried, it probably won’t work.  You have to get to the underlying problems.  If you talk down on yourself all the time, it makes it likely that you will break your dietary rules, morals, boundaries – anything worth having.  So be realistic.  Treat yourself as well as you treat other people in your life.  Some people treat their pets better than they treat themselves.  

Also, if you don’t have a track record for discipline, it is not a good idea to set yourself up for failure by making your goals extreme or rigid.  Adjust.  Always adjust.  Never give up.  Just be flexible.  You either adjust or justify, but always adjust.  Take time to relax, always.  Reward yourself and be reasonable.  Draw up a schedule until it works well for you: Try making it more fluid, more relaxing, more enjoyable – try different methods. 

Identify problem spots: distractions, clutter spots in your house, apathy.  Always focus on what is holding you back.  Is there a workaround?  Can you focus more energy in that zone?  Can you knock it out earlier in the day?

 

3.  Are my goals visible?  

Have you minimized so much that you cannot see what you want or need to do?  Visible cues are very important.  Use Post-Its as reminders of only the top priorities (always prioritize). Use notes as encouragement too.  Don’t become so eco-friendly that you can barely make it through the day.  Be pragmatic, always.  Keep water bottles around the house if you’re trying to drink more.  Keep more fruit visible if you’re trying to eat better.  Buy an apple corer if you eat a lot of apples.  Keep your timer separate from a distraction like a phone or laptop.  The key to avoiding setback or anger, is to not put yourself in the situation that will cause it in the first place.

Best of luck in 2018.  I’m glad to be joining you in this year.  May you never give up on yourself.

Hope is Diplomacy: Listening is Loving

Spread the love

 

There is no beauty without hope.

Diplomacy can be very important in helping and encouraging people that are particular.  My father is a very intense, high-strung, and caring man.  He doesn’t take care of his health, and he rarely considers how much his childhood impacted him.  He never had the time.  Besides, even if you think back, you’ll remember very little.  He is extraordinarily hyper vigilant, tense, and prone to despair or black-and-white thinking.   On the other hand, he is pure and wise.  Nobody is harder on him than he is, and nobody carries more than he does.

I once said, I don’t know why ancestors were unemotional or ruthless.  I feel it was necessary, to be sturdy or untrusting, to survive.  We live in a safe time statistically speaking, but these behaviors can still bring us back to that reality all the time in our mind.

Catch-22:

I never knew what my dad needed growing up.  My mom couldn’t handle emotion, not of her dad or mine, so she did all that she knew how to – she checked out. I know that people usually marry people similar to their parents.  The people they choose have the same deficiencies of at least one parent.  I don’t know if this is a bad or good thing.  Sometimes it’s easier and more efficient to know what’s in front of you, but sometimes bold risks and going into the unknown is the more logical choice, if things were truly bad.   The problem is those with a rough time, are less able and less likely to take risks.  Every man has to choose for himself.  But within that choice, understanding.

What I know now is that my dad was never going to take care of himself.  He never watched his parents take care, or communicate to each other well.  He gave up on himself, and everyone around him gave up that anything would ever change.  To some degree, change is very slow, and only so much change can be had.  Many people just need more love and care, and less advice.

Activists are frequently frustrated, but it is their idealism that frustrates them.  Change is meant to be slow.  There are so many variables, and humans are drawn to what feels like home.

Time:

If you have a parent who is wise like my dad, or just pessimistic or worn out, it is good to remind them to take care of themselves.  But people have heard all the criticism and advice before.  Sometimes the best you can do is remind them they are loved.  Send salts, unscented candles, books – whatever it is you know they enjoy.  Maybe even if they never use them, they can see someone cares, and that matters more.  Time matters, presence matters.  Perspective matters.

For me, what has encouraged my dad the most was to remind him that my brother will have a hard time taking care of himself one day, if he doesn’t watch my dad do it now.  Sometimes realizing how our behavior affects others is enough for us to start taking care of ourselves.

There are many things that bring sun to people’s lives — a listening ear, gentle advice, love, encouragement — and if one thing is not effective, then surely another is.  There is a difference between optimism and positivity, and what my dad wanted was hope grounded in reality, which is what optimism is.  Hope is pure.

5 Minimalist Communication Tips

Spread the love

Here are couples ideas that would greatly increase harmony in homes and marriages.  This is very important to me, because there is nothing more stressful and economically costly than an unhappy marriage or childhood.  For me, when I try to mediate between arguing people, it is difficult because people are complex and generally not solution-oriented.  So I understand if you are dealing with mental illness in a child, parent, or partner, but acknowledge what you are up against.  Solutions have to meet this reality.  We have to work within the parameters of what is with people, not what we envision.  Harmony and effectiveness should be of primary importance.  With these concepts in mind, homes can be a place of peace, a secure base from which to live purposefully and peacefully.

5 Easy Ideas:

1. Work within reality.  

Avoiding control (because of idealization, anxiety, self-righteousness) or manipulation (going behind someone’s back, bringing up topics at inopportune times, checking out).  Developing skills of diplomacy and solution-orientation.  Recognizing how people are and what solutions/communication style would be preferred.  Writing things down if people are forgetful or if people are long-winded.  Including people in decision-making if they are checking out, to prioritize their values.

2. Clarify solution. 

Developing good communication skills: both sides are considered in resolution and egos are brought down to resolve conflict.  Action usually favors the more aggressive person.  The more controlling person needs to be fair and put the passive person’s values at high priority.  Controlling pushes people toward manipulation (hiding, checking out).  This does not create harmony or long-lasting peace; people have to feel considered.  If you are anxious, paranoid, controlling, or pessimistic, not justifying this, but examining behavior.  Seeing behavior objectively (checking out, physical touch – is it for something in return or for only yourself?).  Lead by example.

3. The power of one. 

One problem is dealt with at a time.  No backlog of problems, no pettiness.  If one person is presenting a problem, nobody else gets to present a problem on that day.  The second person has to wait until the next day, so their comments are not retaliatory. 

4. Stay focused. 

While venting is fine at therapy or with your spouse on another day, on days where conflicts are being mediated, then monologuing or having emotional outbursts are not productive and should be avoided.  These make finding a solution almost impossible. 

5. Exhibit harmony.  

Not dealing with petty problems.  Having the ability to be as unbiased as possible to see what is creating the problem.  Having a teamwork mentality, not an us versus them, or a me orientation.  

People can get caught in marriages for 20-30 years and start giving up, so they check out, or they start on a backlog of problems or focusing on petty issues (the way someone places donuts down on the counter, which I saw at a house once).  Getting to the root of problem is essential, and that’s not possible if people are clinging to their ego or emotion, if they are talking down to another person.  The controlling person has to make the other feel valued, and the passive person needs to acknowledge the logic or at least anxieties if there is no logic, of the more controlling person.

A Better Future:

Childhoods where there was neglect, inconsistency, or abuse leads to (1) people trying to prove themselves – monologuing, always working, (2) frustration/controlling/perfectionist tendencies, (3) other difficulties like paranoia or anxiety, and (4) inability to truly listen or articulate well (ambiguity).  Therefore, it is incumbent on those from difficult childhoods, to make sure that they are not an extension of the difficulty they left.

What we model sets the baseline for children for what is normal.  It shows them what is valuable, how to handle conflict, if one should care for their own agenda (an agenda that is noble) over listening to others.  We want to give them a healthy baseline.  When it comes to interpersonal relations, kindness matters far more than anything else.  

Healthy Relationships: New Solutions

Spread the love

Who we surround ourselves with is very important.  Other people set the mood. Order cannot stand complete disorder, and vice-versa.  Therefore, if we are around disorder in environment or friends, it is important that we (1) recognize what in us needs work and (2) be able to assert ourselves.  Courage is easier with integrity.  If you don’t have a voice, don’t sacrifice it for idealization or for bad habits.

Clarifying:

If we cannot assert ourselves, which is more common in women than men, then resentment or subterfuge is left, which causes extreme stress for everyone.  These are not solutions.

Therefore, one of the most valuable things you can learn is to stand up for yourself, to articulate yourself, and to effectively communicate (not starting off with an insult, not bringing up things on bad days or at inconvenient times).  A lot of dysfunction in relationships is due to passive-aggressiveness, manipulation, or being vague.  Fights erupt.  Words are not constructive, and keep at a high volume.  People go back to the same behavior, which is not a solution.

Rather, health is growth, transparency, consideration.  So then the best thing to do is to be an environment that encourages transparency and to be solution-oriented.  How I have watched.  How many arguments focus on pettiness, not a solution.  The actual problem gets lost.  People fight unfairly, based on emotion.  Anger flies, backlog of hurts are presented.  This methodology gets in the way of actual peace.  Peace is in organization, caring, and being solution-oriented.  A true solution makes sure both sides feel valued and makes sure pettiness and anger/resentment isn’t a factor.  Always present one problem at a time, try one new solution.  One problem per day.  The other person has to wait another day.  Solutions may not work.  Adjust or try another.  But work together, like a team.

Disorder:

How few marriages function with health and peace in mind.  One person is doing the controlling, or one person is working behind the other person’s back to do what they feel like is necessary or to get their due, or fights erupt without focus on resolving problems.

The root of the problem often stems from childhood.  People didn’t feel valued or loved.  So they project that onto their partner all the time.  They’re not ever seeing things as they are, they’re seeing things with idealization or pessimism.  They’re either trying too hard to prove themselves or checking out because they feel it’s futile anyway.  

Represent Change:

But representing peace is being a part of the solution.  I know familial patterns are hard to break, but it takes introspection to know what you are likely to do and to make sure the outside isn’t the only thing that changes.  Wardrobe, commitment, and careers are easy to alter, but patterns are far more important.  The external distracts from the actual problem.  Without knowledge or awareness, solution and peace become impossible.  Let us promote harmony through lightness of being, and through a focus on solutions over sides.

Greed and Materialism: Getting to Minimalism and True Priorities

Spread the love

Greed is driven by fear, and fear is one of the biggest motivators.  It is economically costly.  Fear and anxiety are behind low self-esteem, alcoholism, and other addictions.  Fear gets in the way of productivity more than anything else because peace of mind brings true efficiency.

Ambition gets in the way of accuracy.  It is hard to separate greed and ambition, but ambition can be fueled by passion and purpose.  I remember starting court reporting school with stars in my eyes.  I loved everything about it.  Efficient, challenging, only two years of school, a promising profession.  Most of the people who came through court reporting school’s doors heard about the money.  

It used to irritate me, until I realized my own fears that drive my own saving tendencies and more-is-more mindset after graduation, but I guess there’s some humility in finding hypocrisy, which is common for all humans.

Materialism:

We live in an individualistic and materialistic culture.  But what drives materialism and greed? What drives attention for identity or love?  I started doing research:  People who grow up economically deprived are more likely to be materialistic and to find excess attractive: The more-is-more attitude makes up for the deprivation felt on every level.  Also, millennials are far more materialistic than retirees.  So those who have the most money, are the least likely to value it.  I know it’s not everything that it seems – to have everything we think would make the world an ideal place.  The older we get, the more we know we don’t understand or the answers aren’t simple – humans are complex and valuable.  

Simplicity:

Greed is constricting.  To worry about every receipt, coupon, or to fret about finances and career.  To be unable to donate money or to be happy without a life full of travel.  Certain music and beliefs and people feed into one another, and life continues to get more complex.  But underneath it all, we always come back to a few similar principles: Simplicity attracts simplicity.

True and valuable things can’t be bought.  There is a quote, “Anything that just costs money is cheap.”  With the wealthy, generosity is esteemed and can even be made into show.  I have seen with older people, how little they value money, and how much of it they give away.   

To be around people that are orderly and modest is healing.  Simplicity and transparency is the sunshine that illuminates intention to purify.

Balance:

I’ve never been careless, and I do think people should save and choose a profession with the future in mind.  To be sensible and modest is to care.  Skill is valuable, hobbies are valuable. At the end of the day, passion included, work is work.  But it is what you make of work, or a poor background, or giving.  Humans give life meaning, money doesn’t give life meaning.  

Though money makes things simpler, and is envied, as individualism, values and simplicity make life truly rewarding.  Sometimes being true to yourself doesn’t stand out at all, but it’s easier to listen and to care.

We may work hard to show care — and that is admirable — but feeling consideration and love is what stands the test of time.  Love and presence is what people think of in memory, and that doesn’t cost anything.

2018: Bright and New

Spread the love

2018 is upon us.  Another year, another clean slate with which to align our actions with our values.  When we say the world is not all it could be, we say that man is not what he could be.  It is easy to focus on the macro level of politics and global issues, instead of our own homes and our own souls.

I don’t know where you are at, but you do.  Perhaps you have always lived in the moment and flitted from activity or thought to thought, this is your year to balance out the virtue of being, with the virtue of planning ahead and savoring the moment.  Maybe you are like me, and your head is often in possibilities and planning, and it is your time to balance that with being present, clarifying.

All that I know is that complication is an easy thing.  It takes strategy; it takes effort and attention to design systems that pay off dividends over decades.  These are simple systems to implement and to afford.  It is worth the time and thought to plan well and reap the benefits over a lifetime, to make life more efficient and to make values more of a priority.

Vision:

I know that skills are transferrable.  The things a woodworker can teach you, there are principles underneath that can be applied throughout life: “There are many ways to put two boards together, but all of the different ways hold well enough.”  So don’t stress on methodology, as much as have a direction, a vision.  Pencil out a rough draft of what you’re building.  Have an idea of what your values are.  Your values are your blueprint.

Pleasant Acts:

For minimalism this year, I have done some things I do at the end of every year.  I wanted to share them with you.

1. Start a new notebook.  This is a good time to start over.  There’s so something so exciting about fresh new pages.  Scan your remaining papers.

2. Start a new email if yours is inundated with spam.   Be more particular with whom you give your email to so that it is manageable.  It is a good time to cancel cards you are not using either, if you have any.

3. Curate social media.  Social media does not resemble real life.  It is a compendium of what stands out to us in real life.  It is what inspires us.  So then be sure that the spirit of the people closest to you and the things that you consume are things that are aligned with what is pure: beauty, reason, sincerity.  Throughout all causes, there are many negative and positive voices, and we are drawn to the voices within them that resemble us.  The causes do not tell you who you are, but the voices within those that you are drawn to.  So if you want to take stock of your life, examine your friends, the people you look up to, and the people you follow.  They will tell you about yourself.  People are drawn to the familiar.

4. Donate one bag to Goodwill.  If there are any gifts you can’t use or clothes you’ve grown out of, it’s a good time to pass it along.  The end of the year is always the right time.

5. Boil water.  Drop essential oils in, an orange peel.  Opening the windows, dusting the windows, clears the air.  You can use a humidifier as well.  Indoor plants keep air smelling fresh.  Attending to plants, watering and pruning is very therapeutic.  Thriving plants always give me joy.

6. Light unscented candles.  A fire and a warm blanket is always worth it.  Everything about a home fire is satisfying: looking at it, feeling it.  Warming water to infuse and to drink.  Warmth is in mood as well, the joy that we exude and how we feel.

7. Examine systems in your house, the flow of your house.  See if it has worked well this past year.  For me, less mirrors and prickly items brings satisfaction.  The softer, warmer, and more efficient my home, the more soothing.  Feng shui advocates decluttering, avoiding mirrors, and even though I do not practice feng shui, I do think many design suggestions within are wise.

8. Buy a new book.  Every month, I buy a few more books in a subject that I’m interested.  Currently, it is simplicity in business, and physics. Physics was one of my favorite subjects as a teen, to find the conclusions you could figure with very few data points.  Physics is a very fascinating subject, and the principles are true to life:  Very few data points are needed to get an accurate answer, but the right data points are needed.   Figuring out the relevant data points in life is worth your time.

Fresher:

In the end, to get back to simplicity is to get back to creativity.  In your childhood, your day was to play and to learn.  Adults took care of the mundane – the 10% of our life that we spend on cooking and cleaning.  We had many hours to breathe and to think.  To get back to that state through intentional simplicity, is to bring us back to a clear mind full of possibility and joy.  We have knowledge and structure that age brings, so we can combine creativity with reason for purpose.

Happy New Year.  Take the time to celebrate it on your own time, not just with others.  Light candles.  Start a new notebook.  Rise to what is for the day without hesitation.  Enjoy your life now.  Be here now.

 

The Orderly Life

Spread the love

It is almost 2018.  When I think of a new year, I imagine clean air, white walls, and aspirations.  The new year is time for us to align all that we have chosen as pure in the world.

There is a saying, “Don’t build your own enemy.”  In that sense, we have a chance to align ourselves with the virtues we have chosen based on what is needed – fortitude, reason, transparency, compassion.  Take a look at your internal protocol, and make sure your values have opposing ones.  For instance, if you excel at only compassion and love, there is imbalance.   In not all circumstances is kindness a virtue.

In the Star Wars’ series, there is a great emphasis on the fact that you can’t draw from the dark side to serve good ends, that it’s a lie. Every person designs their reality, and we pass down traits and behavioral patterns.  So make sure the patterns you are duplicating are objectively good.  You cannot underestimate the effect environment plays on preference.  If we are present, we are paying attention.

Order:

Order brings the means, the bulk of life, to account. A list is a mark in time, of priorities/stimuli – and this is valuable information when looking for patterns.  We get caught up on specifics, that we miss the big picture.  But pinpointing underlying principle provides efficiency and objectivity.  Your reaction to things tells you about yourself probably more than anything else.

If you can be realistic and compassionate with yourself and others, then you reap only the rewards of having protocol and organization.  Look at a project and ask if it appears done at 80%. Perfectionists often put in 120%, at the cost of efficiency and reason.

Efficiency is the new virtue in the technological age.  To get your life in order is an intelligent thing.  There is incalculable waste involved in lacking ballast – a stabilizing mechanism or protocol – and stabilization/peace starts inside.  It is true in childhood, and it is true in adulthood:  The environment indoors is the home base, from which all things can thrive.  This is also true conceptually speaking: Your internal state, if it is in order, protects and doesn’t distract.  So if your childhood did not encourage transparency and peace, then you have greater work to do in adulthood: to be more attuned and deliberate.

Life is not about us.  We get so caught up on the faces, because we get caught up on ourselves.  But the details matter a lot less than the pattern and principle belying the detail.

If you are drawn to chaos, then study the stimuli.  Recognize what draws you to destruction, what you believe, your draw to various sights and habits, and subject yourself to new stimuli with intentionality.  You create a new familiar.  If we subject ourselves to new things and change the specifics, but not the underlying pathology, nothing truly changes.  This is why patterns, not faces, matter far more.

Purpose:

There is no proving ourselves and no perfectionism in peace: Because life is not about us.  We are symbiotically tied to an environment, patterns of the past, and the people around us.  When we thrive, the environment for our children thrives.

We achieve because there is passion and purpose.  There is hope when you apply your talents to something greater than yourself, to strengthen the means we share.  Resentment and ambition remove accuracy, because now we are stuck on specifics.  There is no hope without principles.

Patterns are prolific, but there are no long-term gains to lack of truth.  We are in the information age:  It is our privilege that we can shed light on what matters efficiently.  We all have a part in this to work together to propagate all things that are true and beautiful.

2018 is a time for the orderly life.  Organized minimalism.

 

Prove All Things

Spread the love

The older I get, the less sure I am of what I know, but the more sure I am of myself, because I know myself better.  Combing through childhood, the psychology behind being drawn to familiarity, and my personality strengths – they highlight limitations.

Limitations and common detriments are important to know.  This is why living in the information age is the best time to be alive, because we can sort through our thinking and examine ourselves and data more objectively.  We are working together to comb through what is real and what is helpful going forward.

When I accepted my limitations, I was able to gain focus and clarity.  When you’re a child, you don’t have airs about you, you are yourself in an unadulterated form, and so it provides extremely valuable information about who you have always been.

Projection:

For centuries till now, humans have explained whatever they didn’t know with projection.  They put their personality or perspective in the gaps of understanding.  The world appeared flat from our vantage point, so this was an accepted fact.  White light looked white, not a rainbow combining to one.  There were things we had no explanation for, so even if a theory sounded implausible, there was often nothing else with which to counter.

Most of us have simulated our own reality, twisting the truth to fit our pre-made value system.  A professor once said, “There is a lot of reality, and very little you, so you better make sure you’re on the side of it.”   Perfectionists detest reality, and so can be unable to bridge the roads to bring idealism to this world:  For an unhealthy perfectionist, impatience, anger, and control are paramount.  For the healthy perfectionist, patience and judiciousness emerge.  Maybe impatience and control produce results, but not long-term.  The long-term is on the side of reality.

Every person projects into the unknown to some degree.  This is why humans depend on what is articulated from another, because unless you are an almost exact mirror of another person in society, you will project your values into the other person’s needs or desires.  When we recognize that our words and gifts speak more about us than others, we see things more purely.

Belief:

I am drawn to people familiar to me, in either personality or upbringing.  I remember the day I lost my belief in systems.  There were many inconsistencies and injustices that I couldn’t defend.  It’s a devastating thing, to lose community and surety in a brief time period, and I’ve watched the effect it takes on others.  There is a lot of incentive to keep things as they are.  Nothing ever feels the same.  Childhood imprints upon us a taste for certain things, and those preferences largely stay to some degree.

I will always be hopeful.  In my bed at night, I always held hope that there was a God, and that he was wise and caring, that he’d allow Pat in.  Every person hopes differently and describes God differently, and I listen carefully because each person focuses on the text that resonates with their values.  I held out hope for the future, but I didn’t hold to the verses that I had enjoyed, the wisdom of the past, which was my mistake.

The systems I left didn’t strive for objectivity.  Most systems prioritize conclusion over all things – and there’s good reason for this: When you can cut research short, you receive confidence and productivity, which (1) was our greatest priority in the days before electricity for survival and (2) those that are most productive make the rules in societies.  What we lose for cutting research short is perspective, innovation, flexibility, and accuracy.

The information age challenges systems because the list of human biases and a great deal of knowledge is accessible, so bias is harder to stand by.

No peace in resentment, no wisdom:

Leaving systems behind was not an error, but my error was that I justified my resentment.  I was resentful of the people that abused these systems, the people that backed the reprehensible and inconsistent, the disregard for biases.  I projected my priorities onto those in control.

But there is nothing more deadly than an us versus them mentality since the history of man, because when we are on the defense, most things are justified, a level head is hard to keep, and a great deal of perspective is cut off.

I was reduced to instinct without an internal protocol to handle common circumstances.  When you lose courage, clarity and peace of mind are close behind.  Perhaps with integrity and introspection, peace can be found in the middle of any system, even.

I went back to the start, to my childhood and went through each premise separately, not tying them to a person or ideology.  When I put aside my pride, I could gather experience, draw from the past and all principles I’ve heard, to form a personal sustainable protocol.  I asked people for help and for direction.  In the end, every person has to go their way and defend their systems and choices, find the most objectivity they can find and test it against reality.

We don’t set millennials versus Baby Boomers, conservatives versus liberals, or thinkers versus feelers.  To prioritize only what we are takes the humanity and value from the individual.  Pride hampers growth, limiting us to solve problems in the ways we’ve always tried.  But without pride, there are lessons to learn from everyone and in every circumstance.