Who are you?

I was listening to a podcast this morning, and the host made the point that with COVID and lockdown, many of us are suffering with stress and depression because of our self identification with our jobs, our self appointed roles. And that’s a very long sentence! In more ways than one!

But the point struck home with me. More to do with my job, but I guess the point to be made is easier with the following.

At points in my life I was a punk, I was a skater, amongst other things and I self identified with these “tribes”.

I still listen to some punk, but listen to a lot of other genres too, but I’m a lot older now and have no need to self identify with that tribe. No more scene politics, no scene police, just enjoying music for what it is.

It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I’ve chosen not to self identify with something that causes conflict, is that a better way of saying it?

This could apply equally to football, to clubs, associations, area codes, whatever.

Ego is the enemy.

It is our own opinions that disturb us. Take away these opinions then, and resolve to dismiss your judgment about an act as if it were something grievous, and your anger is gone.” – Marcus Aurelius

Natural Born Talent… part two

Took a while to get back to this thought! So much has been going on recently!

So I saw a post by Steve Caballero over on Instagram, and it summed up perfectly the point I was trying to make in that last post…

People see the end result – they are the success and the skill obtained through patience, hard work, the grind, hustle, practise, planning, self sacrifice and so on.

And they ascribe it to ‘talent”

Is there a reason for this? Maybe.

Could it be because people know deep down inside what it takes to be a success, to be seen as a talented individual, and they don’t have it in them? Or they aren’t prepared to sacrifice so much to, in their eyes, “make it”

It’s all within our reach, as Marcus Aurelius once stated “Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.”

Have an awesome day!

Satisfaction is the death of desire…

Is an album by Hatebreed, and I believe its a super important idea.

If you are satisfied with everything, desire is dead. As an artist,or any profession, when you think you have learned everything, BAM! someone does it better and takes it further!

Dissatisfaction is so important, you failed at something, desire to complete that goal takes that failure and pushes you to hit those goals, but to be satisfied with everything is in effect, surrender. Surrender to someone else’s ideals and concepts.

Satisfaction is in effect, resting on your laurels, standing still. Standing still never won a race. Standing still never felt accomplishment, Standing still is game over.

Dissatisfaction and desire are what motivation is made from. Embrace it!

And listen to Hatebreed!

And learn something new everyday!

The Grudge.

Not the films. Although the prequel TV series on Netflix is insane. But I digress. I’ve been infamous in the past for holding grudges, to the point at times I had forgotten why I even had beef with someone, and had to ask somebody else why. I pretty much woke up everyday, and decided to focus on bitterness and let those who had crossed me live rent free in my head. I made that decision!

Why the hell would anyone do that to themselves? Life is hard enough at times as it is, without creating new troubles for yourself.

There are so many more important things in life, skateboarding, art, being greeted by your pet dog when you’ve left the room for ten minutes, realising how awesome the blue in the sky really is. So many things to be grateful for.

Dwell on the awesome things in life. Wasting your entire day, week, month, years on something somebody once did pales into comparison to all of the blessings in our lives.

This post is beginning to remind me of being at school, and a teacher would say to the chaos of the classroom “It’s your time you are wasting…”

It was MY time on earth I was wasting. And what a difference a negative to positive mindset makes!

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you” – Lewis B Smedes

Focused…

I put Youtube on my tv this morning, and this story came up. It’s an awesome example of PMA at work, on so many levels, gratitude, motivation, goals, focus, determination, stick-with-it-ness! It’s the story of a skater called Mogely, who is on the Braille skateboards team.

“When you make a deliberate decision to take control of your mind and feed it positive, constructive thoughts, you are on your way to taking control of your life. The thoughts you allow to dominate your mind will determine what you will get from life.” – Napoleon Hill

Looming Lockdown

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 fall down…

I get back up again!

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

Daughter took her first big slam skateboarding on concrete this week. She was stoked! I asked her why and she said “Because it taught me a lesson!”

Proud dad.

The end of shadow…

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”

Keep on keeping on!

Stop smoking part 2….

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!

It’s the daily decision that counts.

One day at a time…

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.