How to stop smoking…

How I stopped smoking was fairly simple. I just stopped buying cigarettes and avoided everywhere I smoked and made a decision to stop using cigarettes as an excuse to take a break from working.

You make thousands of decisions to do something everyday, which also means you made thousands of decisions not to do something. It’s really that simple. If you say you can’t quit you mean you don’t want to quit. And that’s all good too!

And since the smoking ban, so many people have quit, because they were forced to change a habit. And it’s probably one of the few times quitters win.

My mind is my own…

In one of the Napoleon Hill books, possibly the Law of Success, there is a formula he asks you to copy and write down. I have this on the wall in my house, in the kitchen and my daughter has a copy in her bedroom.

I believe my mind is my own.

I believe I can take possession of my own mind,

I believe I can direct and own my emotions, moods, intellect, tendencies, attitudes and habits with the intention of developing a positive mental attitude.

I will develop a Positive Mental Attitude.

On typing this, I’m reflecting on how this reads almost as a prayer, and what is a prayer but a statement of focus and faith?

PMA is taking control of your own mindset and directing towards your own focussed intention. It is not a wish.

PMA is taking decisive actions towards plans. taking advantage of opportunities as they come up. It is taking mistakes and using thme as lessons. Turning obstacles into opportunities to learn. Learning every day.

“Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind.” – Jock Willink

Will power

“If belief consists in an emotional reaction of the entire man on an object, how can we believe at will? We cannot control our emotions…. But gradually our will can lead us to the same results by a very simple method: we need only in cold blood act as if the thing in question were real, and keep acting as if it were real, and it will infallibly end by growing into such a connection with our life that it will become real. It will become so knit with habit and emotion that our interests in it will be those which characterize belief” – William James

How do you exercise will power? By acting “as if the thing in question were real, and keep acting as if it were real, and it will infallibly end by growing into such a connection with our life that it will become real

An example…

Carrying on from the mind with a body concept, a super simple example of it! A few days ago we went on a family day out to Blackpool! We visited the Blackpool Tower, those of you who don’t know if it, it’s basically a version of the Eiffel Tower in a seaside resort in northern England. It is over 500 feet tall, and you can ride a lift up to observation decks.

On the lower deck there is a “walk of faith”. A thick laminated piece of glass, replacing part of the floor. So you are literally stood looking down 500 foot or so, to the ground below.

I stood on, it then walked onto it, BAM! the fear hit me right in the nuts! All i was prepared for was to walk onto it and off. Then I saw my 8 year old daughter jumping on it, and I saw other people laughing and just standing on it taking in the view… So at this point, I have two choices, I have half faced the fear, and stood on it, and scurried away. But other minds with bodies around me, see it as the floor, in their mind it’s literally a floor. So I decided too, that it was a floor, and led my body onto it (mind with a body), and stood around on it for a while, took photos the whole touristy shebang. (Is that even a word? I just checked and it is!)

My imagination had created this irrational fear, that because I could see through the solid floor, I would somehow fall through it! So then I control that imagination, I see others have no fear, and that is all it is, an irrational fear.

Now when I’ve ridden motorcycles, at pretty high speeds (obvs within the legal limits) the fear didn’t take me over, but it kicked in standing on a glass floor at 500 feet up. Who knows why, but now that tiny dragon has been slain.

“If something is difficult for you to accomplish, do not then think it impossible for any human being; rather, if it is humanly possible and corresponds to human nature, know that it is attainable by you as well.” – Marcus Aurelius

Mind with a body… (part deux)

The more I thought about the previous post, the more my mind realised what a huge concept it really is, the mind is AWESOME!

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca

So much suffering is self created, it’s never happened, it may never happen, but that fear can stop you from doing something great. It can stop you from trying some crazy new food. It can stop you from taking the great job you could so so well in. It could stop you from living your dreams. It can stop you from living up to your true potential.

Your imagination can create your reality. I’ve been a self created victim of thinking negatively in the past, we probably all have. People have told me in the past I couldn’t do something, told me that I was not capable, and in a moment of fear I’d absorbed this bullshit, and held myself back. I HELD MYSELF BACK. Think about it. Nobody physically held me back from doing it, my imagination had created a negative situation and I’d scared myself into inaction. “We are more often frightened than hurt” (and the physical hurt would have been so much better for me, because I could have taken it as a learning experience)

Our minds are so powerful, but that power can be for good or evil.

“There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare

In other words, your thoughts on any situation can create suffering or joy.

A mind with a body…

Talking to a customer at work one day, and this guy was super posi. I mean a genuinely happy guy, smile and a handshake for all. Guy could have sold ice to eskimos. And in the middle of the conversation he said something that stuck with me “You are a mind with a body”

Now W. Clement Stone was the originator of that phrase I believe, and it stuck with me. A mind with a body, mind with a body. What does this even mean?

To me its a statement that all of your personal power comes from your thoughts, and your thoughts alone! Your ability to control your own thoughts is your power!

And everything you see around you, is a product of the mind! From the computer I’m typing this on, to the shoes on your feet to the house you live in to…. Well you get the idea! The mind is the connection between you and the universe!

Your mind is all powerful.

I’m going to go into more depth on this in an upcoming post!

Jesus, Plato and the Negatrons.

A strange thing can happen to you when you begin the journey of bettering yourself. Friends turn into strangers sometimes. and that can be a good thing. It kind of brings to mind the bible story of the rejection at Nazareth – “…56Aren’t all His sisters with us as well? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own household is a prophet without honor. 58And He did not do many miracles there, because of their unbelief.… “(Matthew 13:56-58 for the biblically inclined amongst you)

Why am I bibling at you? Follow me and I’ll explain..

Imagine you are in a dark cave, and you are chained together with 5 or 6 other people. You cannot see behind you, but you are aware of a fire behind you, and the light is casting shadows on the cave wall directly in front of you. What do you do now? Well you eventually come to accept this is your lot in life, to the point these shadows you see cast are your reality now. if you try and grope blindly out, towards where you can feel the breeze, the prisoners chained to you, whether out of fear, or something worse, drag you back… “IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!”

One day, the Prisoner escapes. “Come with me!” and they cry back “NO” whether out of fear, or something worse, they want to stay in their caves.

The Prisoner escapes and learns the true substance of the world outside of the cave. He returns to the cave once more, but his eyes, unused to the shadows of the cave now, render him blind at first… The prisoners see this as proof that there is no use in escaping, and drag the Prisoner back down with them.

I see the “Rejection at Nazareth” story as the biblical version of Plato’s allegory of the cave. Those familiar to Jesus, knowing him previous to his ministry sought to denigrate the mission. The Prisoner in the cave, moved beyond the cave, and attempted to increase his knowledge of the world, and then he too was denigrated when he tried to share his new found knowledge. And who were these people, without faith and full of fear? NEGATRONS!

What the hell is a Negatron? Well they are negative influences in your life. You know the guy who who asks you to go to the bar and you say “No, its all good bro” and he replies “Haw haw! I remember when you were a fuck up like the rest of us, you think you’re better than me?!”. Negatrons are the people who say “Why even try? You’re too old! You’re too young! You’re too fat! That’s not for the likes of us” You know these people, they might be old friends, or sometimes family. And you need to keep these people at an arm’s distance at least. AT LEAST. Preferably a really long arm. Like Plastic Man’s arm length away.

It’s crazy when you think you are pretty much the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Which is awesome because it makes me 20% staffordshire bull terrier! But think on that, if you spend most of your time with 5 negative people, you slowly become the sum of their parts. Think on it! IT’S MADNESS! MULTI-BALL MADNESS! It’s also crazy to think that Jesus had salty haters on his brief. Also, this is the plot of the Matrix.

“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.”

Consistency is key to everything in your life, both positive and negative.

An example, is how the hell did I end up fat, drunk and stupid?

By CONSISTENTLY eating crap, CONSISTENTLY making terrible choices and refusing to accept my responsibilities and CONSISTENTLY neglecting self education.

How do I fix this?

By CONSISTENTLY eating healthy foods and working out, CONSISTENTLY accepting responsibility for my own actions and CONSISTENTLY engaging myself in reading and learning with focus.

Dean Wormer from the Animal House movie.

Rediscover!

Yesterday, I did something I hadn’t done in maybe 20 years. Now I love skateboarding, in all its forms. I street skated for years, curbs, blocks, ledges, benches. From around when I was 12, much of my weekends and my weeknights sometimes were spent looking for freestanding curbs, waxing them, seeing it turn into a bust, moving on. Some places were police/security free, and then as I grew older, I got the fear.

What might happen? What if? What if I break my arm? (did manage to shatter my elbow, and got berated by my then boss) and I’d also let people get into my head, was I doing this trick wrong? Someone told me I was doing it wrong. I stopped doing it, unsure of myself now. I was the generation where we sat there looking at trick tips – photo sequences in magazines, I’d watch Streets of Fire over at someone’s house or maybe The Search for Animal Chin.

So I settled. And remembered what was awesome, but fell into “adulthood”, later than some but the “fun” now seemed to involve regret and coming down. And you know something, it went against every value I’d been brought up to believe in, and that, can send you into a spiral. I’ll probably go into this more in a later post. I still skated, on and off over the years, never really got into park skating though.

Anyways! What did I do? I skated town for the first time in maybe 20 years. A friend suggested it, and yeah I’m onboard! (Thank you brother!) We went and rolled around, I searched for the old spots, now mostly gone, found some new ones, met some guys who ride electric unicycle wheel things, saw some longboarders, even some rollerbladers. People who were stoked on life. The sun was out, I slammed pretty hard, life was awesome.

Positive thinking does not work.

I see this sentiment written in so many self help books. “Thinking positive thoughts doesn’t change anything” the reasoning being that PMA will leave you feeling “inadequate” if it doesn’t banish that negative energy, whatever it may be. So if positive thinking does not work, what does? Well their answer is accepting the negative thoughts, but then controlling your actions.

WHAAAT?!

The essence of Positive Mental Attitude is the fact that we choose how we react to something and what our action is from that point on!

Sometimes I feel as though some writers think PMA is an outdated concept, and they have to deride it, dress it up in new clothes, and call it SUPRANORMALCOMBATIVEBRAINMODE! (by the way, SNCBM is all mine! No stealsies!)

Positive Mental Attitude is the concept that we are free to control our minds, and to direct emotions, moods, feelings, attitudes, habits etc. with the intention of making a positive choice every time. And if we fail, or make a mistake, we take it as a learning experience and move one!

PMA ALL DAY!