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.

Instagram and ancient knowledge

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?

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

“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? 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? 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.

The Golden Rule, summed up.

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…

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.

“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.