If they can do it, you can do it too! This goes for everything pretty much in life, it’s going to take practise, hard work and dedication, but it’s within your grasp!
You ever heard of a guy called Dan Mancina? He’s a blind pro skateboarder. Not a guy who rides for Blind, the skateboard company, but actually blind, as in cannot see and uses a cane. And he skates better than me! His entire ethos is inspiring, he skates park and street, and he rips! Go and follow him and be inspired!
Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; and if it is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.
Looks like where I live and work is going to under a new lockdown soon. Its super difficult to make any plans or take any decisions when there are circumstances outside of your control. All you can control is your own reaction to events.
“There always remains an opportunity to make a new start.
Though it may not seem so when you first encounter a serious blow, you can never lose two of the most important assets you have. These are the power of your mind and your freedom to use it. Once you have turned them to understanding what laid you low, you can begin forming new plans. You may not have the money you once had; you may lack the allies you had cultivated. But you still have the benefit of a universe that eventually rewards honest effort, as well as gaining the experience of mistakes you will never make again. Remember, no matter where you are now, whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
I don’t use much social media, apart from Instagram. I follow a hell of a lot of people on, too many probably, but a few of those pages are Napoleon Hill quotes, stoic quotes, bibles verses and so on.
One post I saw today intrigued me, it was a Bible verse from Mathew chapter 7, with “Judge not…” and the rest scribbled out.
How many times do we read one of these quotes and read it without context? Like the clickbait headlines on so many sites these days we read, but don’t read on, we get the nice sugary carb hit and leave the meat and veg. And basing opinion on this, as so many do, can be a huge cause of conflict. Always, we have to read beyond the soundbite, headline, or meme.
So what is Mathew 7?
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.…
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I’m on a Norman Vincent Peale kick at the moment, reading his “Power of Positive Thinking” was a game changer for me, made me realise that wisdom that people had tried to pass on when I was young was timeless, ancient, and universal.
Reading through his books have led me onto reading William James, the great Stoic philosophers, even reading the Bible with fresh eyes. Some consider his message to be simplistic, and it is. And it should be.
I’m currently working through His book “The Tough Minded Optimist” and its set to become one of my favourites already! In it he talks about a sundial in a college which has the inscription “To larger vision the end of shadow is the line of light”
Now I like sundials, and I’m half convinced that most stone circles, obelisks etc. were forms of sundial, but that’s a whole other story! Sorry for the digression! Anyway! “The larger vision…” is the ability to see the bigger picture.
“…the end of shadow is the line of light” And when you see the bigger picture, you realise that the shadow looming over you is finite, has an end, and that is your goal. The light at the end of the tunnel. (In my mind I’m picturing the Alva Street Shadow deck, which I got as a kid and was so gutted when it delammed first ride out. Old man skateboard reference)
Does that make sense? (not the skateboard bit, or obelisks and stone circles)
A sense of perspective, is the “larger vision” and the end of the shadow, your problem, is your knowledge that as long as you keep on with your “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (big Psalm 23 fan) you will eventually reach the “line of light”
The point of the how to stop smoking post is this – changing your perception, changing your mind, changes your life. It’s the awareness of this fact is what will enable you to change your life, both for the worse, and for the better. The “easy” option, pressing snooze on the alarm, is just as much of a choice as swinging yourself out of bed and planting your feet on the floor.
And taking, the positive option, not buying cigarettes, will with consistent practise everyday, lead to massive positive benefits. This applies to everything in life, you lift weights every day consistently you will see a huge difference in 12 weeks time, 6 months time, 5 years time. You draw every day, eventually you get those 10,000 crappy drawings out of yourself and BAM! You are putting out beautiful art!
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.
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
“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“