20 minutes cardio – broke a good sweat today.
See you at the finish line!!
“The man who moves a mountain begins carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
This is a great quote for anyone that is trying to do big things in their life and tries to do too much or is trying to do too many things at once. My wife and I had a quick chat yesterday, and she is focused on two things and nothing else. The first is a bodybuilding competition she’s headed to in 6 days; the second is a test she has to take for a teaching credential. The rest of her day is eating, maintenance, errands, and sleep. She knows that focus and consistency are important when accomplishing one’s goals. She also knows that you can’t do everything. You have to decide and execute.
Learning how to make a choice and sticking with something has always been a challenge for me. I like variety in my day. I like the spontaneity of the moment. Unfortunately, you can’t get anything meaningful done that way. So I began a search for information on how to get more focused, decisive, and consistent. During my search, I discovered a book called Mini Habits by Steven Guise. He suggests doing something very small each day will build a habit over time. The key is something small, but not too small. For example, Steven’s first Mini habit was doing 1 pushup every day.
I have used mini habits for a good 5 or 6 years now and it works. The trick is not to overwhelm yourself or expect yourself to do more than necessary. You really want to stick with small things until they become habitual. Each of us is unique. The time it takes for you to form a habit may be much shorter than it is for me or someone else. The key is to keep it small, so your mind doesn’t catch on that you are making a change. The mind gets overwhelmed very quickly, when taking on new things. If you try to start too many mini habits at once or your mini habit is too much (like I will write 1000 words today), the mini habit will not take hold.
I have had to learn this lesson more than once. Trust me. The mini habits work because they avoid overwhelming your brain, which will resist change if you hit it with too much. Start small. The key to the mini habit system is consistency. Reading for 10 minutes each day may not seem like a lot, but over a year that is 3650 minutes of reading. It may not seem like a lot, but if you are not reading at all right now, trust me, this is a lot of reading (60 hours).
You can apply mini habits for anything. You can use it for exercise like Steven did, you can use it for reading, writing, learning a language, learning to code, anything. You just have to use a little creativity, carve out a few minutes of your day to do the mini habit, and then track it. I use a repeating to-do list for mine using Google Tasks, but whatever you use, even a wall calendar and a marker will do. Try this out if you are having a hard time starting something you’d like to start working on. Resistance is psychological. It is your brain telling you this is too much. Some folks have very resistant brains, while others do not. It is very individual. Experiment until you find your own sweet spot.
I hope each of you is having a terrific Wednesday!
Until next time…
“There is no influence like the influence of habit.” Gilbert Parker
Read more at: Brainy Quote
Habit is a terrific thing, as long as the habit is good. Good habits like eating right, exercise, working on your goals, keeping your living space tidy, and all the rest. Habits are hard to break once they have been built, especially bad ones. You are capable of whittling these habits down, however. You stop feeding them little by little and they will fade away.
I have written about this before, but it is worth mentioning again. It is the daily little things that build on one another. My goal this year is to read 48 books. Each year I participate in Goodreads’ reading challenge. I read every day to accomplish this goal. Some days I’ll read for a few hours. Other days I may only get in a chapter or so. I like reading multiple books at a time. I typically read a history book, self-help book, a religious or spiritual book, and a fiction book. I like the variety. On a typical day, I’ll read a chapter out of each book. If one of them catches my interest, I’ll put more time into that one, after I’ve knocked out my chapter requirement. This way, I am chiseling away at all the books I am slated to read for the month (4 books per month x 12 = 48). I read more than just books. I read articles on Flipboard. I read the news briefly. I also read my emails and any messages I receive in my Facebook feed.
One interesting thing I have discovered is that when you do one type of task, it is easier to clump these like-tasks together. For example, I tend to do my journaling and my blogging together because they both involve writing. Then I do all my reading together. Then I do my exercises. Then I do my meditation. Then I do some learning and finally some admin (paying bills, keeping track of my bank accounts, and tying up loose ends with anything else I have that is upcoming. These clusters of habits I call rituals. Each ritual involves certain key items before the ritual is completed. When I journal, I have a dream journal, a gratitude journal, and my diary (morning pages and daily review). My book writing I keep separate. This is in the evening when the house is quiet and I can sit in solitude and just write without interruptions by the family (who don’t mean anything by it). I also seem to be my most creative in the evening, so around 10 pm I do another stint of writing, first doing my daily review, followed by my book writing. The goal I set for myself is 500 words a day. I don’t set a time limit. Some days I knock out 500 words in a short amount of time. On nights where I am struggling with my words, it could take me a lot longer to hit the 500-word goal.
I have found with much trial and error the optimal times for me to do certain things during the day. I like to journal first thing. Then I like to read. Then I like to meditate and take a short nap if needed. Then it’s learning for the remainder of my first work session. Then it’s an evening of some shows and some video games, then at 10 PM I cut off the fun time and get back to writing, my daily review, and all of my relaxation techniques to hit the sack. I have found by putting these “like” habits together that I am more efficient and these rituals are in sync with my daily rhythm.
I took two days off from the gym this weekend. My sister was visiting, and we actually had our first tornado warning yesterday afternoon. It was a false alarm. The storm that hit us rained a lot with a little thunder, but moved through the area quickly. We did not see any report of a touchdown anywhere in our county.
I hope each of you has a great week! Continue to push forward on any goals or initiatives you have. You can’t lose if you don’t quit. You can’t fail if you don’t quit. You can win as long as you keep going.
Until next time…
“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.”
If you’ve read any of my writings on this blog, you’ll notice I am really into self-help. I enjoy improving myself. I enjoy finding hacks to make my life easier, more productive, and efficient. I am constantly testing my performance and trying to find better ways to do things.
One concept I learned a while back was the concept of self-love. Self-love isn’t selfish. It is taking care of you. It is giving yourself a break when you need to buck a routine or you fall short on one of your goals today. It is: remembering you are human and will make mistakes.
I have found over time that the more forgiving I am to myself, the more forgiving I am to other people. We are all flawed, broken, and inconsistent. So are your friends and family. They all have their weaknesses. They all try their best and sometimes they are at their worst.
If you are on a diet and you screw up—so what. You get back on the horse and continue. Your life will not end because you blew off a workout, cheated on your diet, or slept in. You are human, not a machine. Sometimes it’s ok to take a break from your routines or your workouts or your diet or whatever you are pursuing. Self-improvement is a lifelong endeavor, not a onetime thing. You can miss a day. You can have a donut. You can sleep in. The days you take a day off from your habits and your routines is liberating. So I use a “do nothing day”.
Each Sunday I do nothing. I do not pursue my goals; I do not stick with my diet; I do not worry about sleeping in. I literally do what I want to on this day. The rest of the week I stick to my routines, my diet, my workout routine, etc. A do nothing day can be any day you want and it can vary from week to week. Your do nothing day can also include whatever things you would normally do. This is the beauty of a do nothing day—it’s your day and you do whatever you want to.
Pursuing goals plays a piece in any meaningful life. They do not rule you. If one day off a week is too much, take one every two weeks or once a month. I want my goals to be something that inspires me, not something that rules over me. If you have never used a “do nothing day” before, try it. You’ll find, like I did, that it changes your motivation levels immensely at the beginning of the week.
You are human. You are not a machine. You will slip. You will fall down. You will miss your deadlines from time-to-time. It’s ok.
Until next time…
“When you are complaining, you become a living, breathing, crap magnet.” – T. Harv Eker
Have you ever worked with someone who blames others, complains constantly, and never gets anything done? They are toxic and uncomfortable to be around. What’s even more sad is that they don’t even realize what they are doing half of the time.
If you don’t think your thoughts are real, tangible things that create your destiny. Think the worst thing you can think of happening every day for the next month and find out where that thinking will take you. You see, the brain is an economist. It likes to save energy, because it consumes more energy than your body does. It conserves energy by automating everything you show it you want to do all the time. It does this by strengthening neural pathways each time they are used.
Complaining, playing the “blame game”, and all the rest, are habits. If you habitually complain, blame, and all the rest, your brain will continue to show you every reason possible that you are justified in your complaining and blaming. Your mind will delete inputs from your senses that counter this belief. Your mind will generalize inputs to reinforce the same thoughts across many areas. Your brain will alter inputs to satisfy what it already believes. Subsequently, if you believe that everyone is out to get you, things will always go wrong, and you will never get this or that, your brain will make sure you are right. Once these thoughts and beliefs are hard-wired in your brain, you are stuck with them, and your life will literally be a living hell.
The only way to salvage this situation is to take responsibility for yourself. You are 100% responsible for everything that you have in your life. You are 100% responsible for your results. You are 100% responsible for your attitude and mindset. Everything in your life as it is, is the result of your actions, your beliefs and values, your decisions, and your attitude.
If you are unhappy with your life, change your beliefs and values. Change your attitude. Take your time and make better decisions. Act differently. You have to do this. Your friends can’t. Your relatives can’t. Your husband or wife can’t. It’s all up to you. You dug the hole you’re in, you can dig your way out.
Stop looking for proof to justify your feelings. Your mind is already sabotaging you. It will find the proof, because you have hard-wired it to do so. Look at your beliefs. How can you make yourself happy? How can you make yourself calm and collected? How can you make yourself less worrisome? It all starts with your current beliefs and values. If you believe all of your problems are caused by other people (bad boss, stupid people, uncooperative support personnel), your brain will prove it to you. It will identify every weakness of the people around you and prove to you that they are all brain-dead and are out to get you. Change that belief to I have a great boss, the people I work with all want to win, and support personnel will do all they can to help me succeed in my role, and your brain will slowly but surely begin to prove that to you as well. You see how this works?
Changing your beliefs is not easy. You have built these beliefs over and over and over again. You can change them. You do this the same way you built them. You repeat a new belief you want to create over and over and over again. My boss is great. My boss isn’t perfect but wants to win like I do. My boss is there to support me. My boss takes care of me. My coworkers are friendly and supportive. My coworkers are fun to be around. Support personnel do all they can to accommodate my needs. Support personnel are nice to work with. Support personnel are just like me–they want to do their jobs well.
You can literally do this with any of your belief systems. You can rewrite them. You can feed them and stop feeding the limiting beliefs that cause you to suffer. Look for pain in your life. Look for suffering. These are both huge clues in finding your limiting beliefs. If you complain, are unhappy, and believe that everything and everyone is out to get you, these are all limiting beliefs. A negative person will find something wrong in every situation. A positive person will find something right in every situation and the people they work with. Guess who is the happier person who will continue to look for more right things in their life? You guessed right.
A positive person’s beliefs work the same way a negative person’s beliefs do. They distort, delete, or generalize all of their inputs to satisfy their belief system. Change your beliefs and you’ll change your results.
Until next time…
“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.” – Bradley Whitford
Read more at: Brainy Quote
One of the simplest things I have discovered is the need to take action. You can plan, dream, and use every trick in the book to motivate yourself, but action is what gets things done. Action eliminates procrastination. Action achieves. Action is what turns dreams into reality.
When I read this quote, it explains the crux of what each of us must do if we want to get where we want to go. Take that next step. Make the move. Decide. Your action will get you moving toward what you want.
Taking action does not eliminate the need to plan or strategize. These steps are also necessary. If you act without deciding where you want to go, you’ll waste time. You have to take the time to list out the actions you want to take before you execute the plan.
If you are taking action on a new goal or trying to learn something new as part of your action plan, there will be mistakes. You will fail. Failure is not a problem, as long as your failures do not cause you to quit trying. Your failures are your guide posts. They are nudges that suggest a different way to your end result. Failing quickly is a great strategy because it causes you to notice what is not working and learn from it. Every plan will have its weak points. Reality will identify those weak points much more quickly than trying to outwit a mistake before you make it. Make the mistakes. This is where the learning is. Winners fail more than losers do. Winners take those failures and turn them into victories. Losers give up. Losers keep making the same mistakes because they don’t take the time to learn from them and adjust their sails.
Think about this for a moment. If you do not quit, you cannot fail. Keep moving forward. It is that simple.
This week will focus on my rituals, which are daily reading, learning, writing, programming, exercising, and meditating. It is surprising how efficient it is to pursue key areas and just work on each of them a piece at a time. Each day I am building new skills, crafting new ideas, and taking action in little chunks that slowly build on the previous day’s work.
I hope each of you has a great week! Attack! Get at it! You can do it. If you’re stuck, take some time to read, take a course, do some research, and you’ll find the solution to your problem. Then you can adjust your plan, get it scheduled out, and then it’s back to execution again.
Until next time…
“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” – Jacob M. Braude
I have had to learn this lesson many times throughout my life. I run across a friend. I see them struggling with a challenge, neglecting their health, or giving up on life, and I want to jump right in and try to show them the error of their ways. Then, after a few weeks or months, realize that they are not going to do anything about their situation. Have you ever run into this?
You see, people are who they are. Deep down, all of us know our weaknesses. Some people ignore them. Others have tried to make a change and realized that they are too weak to change ingrained habits. They have settled with these weaknesses and literally given up. The pain of change is too great a price for these folks to pay.
If you have a friend or colleague that has glaring weaknesses that are ruining their life, you have two choices: Remain their friend or colleague and accept these weaknesses in their character or cut them loose. They will not change because you want them to. They will not change because it is in their best interest. They will only change when the weakness they possess becomes so painful that they must change themselves.
Regardless of your opinion, people are happy with the lives they have chosen to live. You may think to yourself, “God, how do you live like that?”, but this isn’t your life—it’s theirs. Happiness is defined by each of us. What makes you happy will not necessarily make your friend or colleague happy.
You also have to examine whether the person you are dealing with is empowered or disempowered. Empowered people believe they are in charge of themselves. Disempowered people believe they are ruled by outside influences and circumstances. The empowered person is the champion who conquers adversity and overcomes their weaknesses. The disempowered person is the victim who gives up and lives with their weaknesses. See the difference?
If you are empowered, you will have very little in common with people who are disempowered. In fact, disempowered people will frustrate you to no end. Empowered people learn, apply the learning to their current circumstances, and alter themselves to improve their performance, their career, and their productivity. Disempowered people have given up; they are convinced that outside circumstances and other people our “out to get them” and blame their failure on these outside elements. Disempowered people have given up on taking action or trying to change—they have made quitting a habit. Empowered people keep trying out new ideas, new options, and look for solutions—they persist, because they know they will win if they keep trying.
Change is hard. It is hard because the habits we have built for ourselves are hard-wired in our brains. To make changes, you have to learn how to unravel these knots in your brain and create new wiring; wiring that will serve you better now and in the future. To do that, you need to know how to exploit the same processes in your brain that created the bad habits in the first place. You also need to be self-aware enough to identify which of these hard-wired scripts no longer serve you.
One of the best books I’ve ever read on making changes is Mini-Habits by Steven Guise. The Mini-Habit is simply a habit that is so small that you would have to be on your deathbed in order to fail to do it. Steven’s first mini-habit was a single push-up every day. After he had managed to master this habit, he added writing 50 words a day and reading 2 pages a day in a book he chose to tackle. The genius behind the mini-habit is that it is so small, you can easily accomplish this habit without too much thought, stress, or willpower. In fact, this is the reason Stephen is such an advocate of the process. He researched willpower and motivation and found that both aspects of our makeup are too weak to overcome the hard-wired habits in our brain, especially when you consider all the other stressors in your life and how they eat away at your willpower and motivation to begin with. There is one warning he provides, however. Mini-habits, even though they are small, must be meaningful. One push up a day is meaningful towards improving your health. Writing 50 words a day is meaningful toward writing an essay, a blog post, or even a book. Reading 2 pages a day will help you finish that book in a shorter period than not reading a book at all or reading a bunch of pages one day and then failing to touch that book for a month before reading it again.
The real benefit of mini-habits is the ability to get started on something. Once you get started on a mini-habit, you will build momentum. Once you build momentum, you will be motivated to do more than one push-up, write 50 words, or read 2 pages. You’ll likely do more exercises, write 100 words or more, and read an entire chapter of your book. This momentum will build and build, particularly if you add rewards at critical milestones.
I’ve used mini-habits since I read his book a few years ago. In fact, I’m such a huge fan, I re-read this book each year in December as I build out my goals for the next year. If you want to make changes in your life and you just haven’t been able to find anything that will help you build a new habit or make these changes, give Mini-Habits a try, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s a link to Mini-Habits on Amazon: Mini-Habits by Stephen Guise (I am not an affiliate for Mr. Guise, his book, or Amazon).
To conclude this article, I’d like to remind you that changing yourself is hard, but not impossible. You have to be persistent, utilize a strategy that will work, and monitor your progress. Don’t worry about your spouse, your friends, or your relatives. If they want to make a change, they will. If they don’t, no level of complaining, arguing, or harassment will make them change; in fact, they may stick to their guns even harder when pushed. Believe me, I’ve been down this road with a few of my friends and you won’t win. People will only make a change in their lives when they are ready. They will not change because you want them to. Take care of yourself and make the changes you decide to make in your life. It will be difficult, but you’ll get there. I wish you well on your journey.
Until next time…
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”―Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
The mind is the tool we must use to negotiate our existence in this day-to-day reality. Today, you are the product of the choices you’ve made and the habits you have built. What hurts most of us is our inability to see how we create our own habits.
Imagine using a chisel to carve out a groove in a piece of wood. When you do something new, your brain creates a neural pathway to execute the steps needed to do that new thing. The brain is the chisel and your neurons are the piece of wood. Each time you do that act the neural pathway you created becomes stronger. It’s like taking your chisel and carving out a deeper groove in the wood. Do something enough and you’ll have a very deep groove. When this neural pathway becomes strong enough, your brain packs it away in your subconscious and it becomes automatic. Your brain is exceedingly good at this.
Your brain works through this process with everything. It builds neural pathways for muscular movements and it builds neural pathways for thoughts. When you think a certain way about a certain topic, your brain packs that away just like it does a physical movement like opening a door. Once you realize this process is taking place you can purposefully create your own habits and routines. It just takes consistent action.
If you take consistent action daily, let’s say exercising, your brain will begin creating a neural pathway that it can use to be better prepared for that exercise the next day. Each day you exercise, the brain fires the neural pathways related to the movements your body takes and the stresses your body feels. Each day you exercise your mind and body the exercise gets easier. It gets easier because the brain is strengthening all the neural pathways you use during exercise.
This same process of building neural pathways works for everything you do. If you want to build a habit, do it consistently each day (at the same time if possible). If you want to get rid of a habit, stop feeding it. The brain is efficient. It automates things to reduce the processing power required to do something over and over. Those things in your mind that are already automated begin to dissipate when the brain recognizes you are not doing them anymore.
To create a new habit, start small and do it consistently each day at the same time. Your brain will automatically begin building the neural pathways that support this habit and before you know it, you’ll be doing it automatically. You’ll know when you have established the habit. You’ll know because you will feel a little discomfort if you stop doing it. If you have an established exercise habit and get sick, you will miss a day of your exercise. Watch what happens internally. You will feel discomfort when you cannot exercise. When you feel this, you know that you have an established neural pathway supporting your exercise habit.
I hope all of you have a terrific Monday!
Until next time…
“May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”
Today we’ll talk about affirmations. We can use affirmations to rewrite faulty scripting, like all the negative things you tell yourself subconsciously. These faulty scripts tell us we are not good enough, not strong enough, not smart enough, etc. Whenever you resist something beneficial to you, it is the faulty scripting within you that is at work.
How do we rewrite our internal scripts? We rewrite them through repetition. We replace them with better, stronger, self-supportive scripts. We repeat affirmations out loud or speak them internally each day. They build, support, and strengthen us. We can create affirmations to patch the gaps in our internal software.
What do affirmations look like? I am healthy is one example. You could recite this one by itself or you could change it to look like this: “I am healthy because I eat nutritious foods and exercise every day.” We should write affirmations to express a state we want to be in right now. It should start with the phrase “I am.”
We are the way we are because of our internal scripts. We write these scripts throughout our lives and circumvent our ability to change, improve, or adapt new behaviors. Why? The brain does not like change. The brain likes things just as they are. Changing ourselves eats up a lot of energy. Thinking, changing, and altering all require huge amounts of energy.
We resist change because of this wiring. Each time you do something new or your thinking changes, the brain wires a circuit to automate that new task or idea. This wiring takes time and energy. Change requires the brain to create a new neural connection and destroy another. Let’s say you are trying to quit smoking or drinking to excess. The brain enjoys smoking and drinking because of the rewarding chemicals your brain produces each time you light up or have a sip of our favorite adult beverage. These habits are “hard-wired” into our brains because they are both repetitive and rewarding. To drop these habits, we have to replace the neural pathways the brain has created or let the brain decouple them when it determines we no longer need that neural pathway to survive.
Negative talk and resistance to change are also neural loops or pathways that are hard-wired into our brains. They are strong because the brain wants to protect us. Change to your brain is scary. In some people, change is fearful because change invokes the fight-or-flight mechanism in the oldest part of our brains. When this mechanism kicks in we sweat, we tense up, and our pupils dilate. We may shake with uncontrollable fear. If you have ever witnessed someone who gives a public speech, who has never spoke publicly before, you’ll see this mechanism kick in.
To change your life, you must build new neural pathways that support positive changes. One way to do this is to assume you are what you want to be. To act “as if”. If you want to be healthy, you must act as if you are healthy. Affirmations start this process. Affirmations get us to visualize what we want to be. Positive self-talk replaces the negative messages we tell ourselves unconsciously.
Here are a few examples you can try:
I am healthy.
I am calm.
I am happy.
I am smart.
One exercise you can do every day is to write your affirmations 15 times a day. Writing your affirmations down while reciting them is a powerful tool. It is powerful because it repeats and it engages your mind and your body (hand write them, don’t type them). Do this exercise every day at the same time. This daily affirmation exercise will bring about positive changes in your life. It will “rewire” you to be better. Stick with it. Don’t give up. Take the 5 or 10 minutes this requires. It is worth it.
You have the freedom to change these affirmations any time you wish. I would stick with your first set for a month. You can couple these affirmations with action. Let’s say you want to feel better. You want to start an exercise program. So, you write “I am healthy” in the morning 15 times, reciting these words as you write them in your journal. You also walk for 20 minutes each day, meditate for 10 minutes a day, and eat one healthy meal filled with nutritious fruits, vegetables, and a lean protein. You track all these habits by creating a repeating list of these items you check off each day. Try this for 30 days. Write 1) walk for 20 minutes; 2) meditate for 10 minutes; 3) eat one salad each day; and 4) write my daily affirmation “I am healthy” 15 times a day. As you accomplish each one of these things, check them off. Before you go to bed at night, write these 4 things on a list for the next day.
If you have failed to make a change in your life before, give this exercise a try. It works. I have been doing this for years and it has brought great changes to my life. Once you figure out how to rewire your brain, you can literally do whatever you want. You can make changes and they will stick. You can recreate yourself and recreate your life.
Until next time…
“As Soul, you are like a balloon that rises above the ground. The higher you go, the farther you can see. And the farther you can see, the better you can plan your life.”—Harold Klemp The Language of Soul
Have you ever observed other people’s lives? Have you ever wondered about the friends you have, the job you ended up with, or the situation you find yourself in? All of us are here to learn. We learn about ourselves. We learn from others. We learn how to do new things.
I notice patterns. I have always possessed an innate ability to recognize patterns and processes within various systems. I notice patterns in other people’s lives. Patterns that help them and patterns that hurt them. The patterns that hurt are self-destructive. Patterns like excuse making. Patterns such as blaming other people or outside circumstances. Patterns of apathy that contribute to a person giving up, accepting their lot in life and doing nothing to improve their circumstances.
If you pay attention, you can uncover destructive habits in yourself too. When I think about or observe myself, I take the view from the real me—soul. Soul is the real you. It is not the ego or your mind. It is that part of you that can view the things you think about. When you can stand back and look at your life or the lives of others, you can see what’s wrong and make changes. You can break down “you” by understanding that each part composes multiple levels of consciousness.
We have the physical or lowest level. This is the part of you that gets hungry, tired, and horny. Next you have the emotional part of you. The part of you that gets scared, bored, angry, fearful, and lustful. Beyond the emotions is the memory part. The memory contains your past and highlights key events in your life you have learned from. Beyond the memory is the intellect. This part of you represents your ability to think, analyze, and learn. Soul decides on a course of action by using memories and other environmental inputs. Finally, you have the intuition. This is the part of you that gives you little hints or ideas when you are trying to solve a problem or decide after you have analyzed all the things your mental part of you is thinking about or learning.
At the top of all of this is Soul. Soul is the real you. Soul uses these lower parts of you to interact in each sphere of existence. Soul is infinite. Soul can rise above these lower parts to glimpse the whole. When you act at the soul level, you can make better decisions because soul sees the entire picture of you. Soul can also explore beyond you. It can go places your lower parts cannot. When you get an impression or idea, this comes from Soul. Soul can warn you before you make a mistake. Soul can show an idea that might help you solve a problem. This is the analogy of the quote at the top of this posting. The higher soul goes the more it can see.
You can also limit yourself. Have you ever gotten so mad you cannot think? This is when soul has activated your emotions and focuses its attention on this part of you. Soul blinds itself to any higher faculty. When Soul focuses on the past, the same thing occurs. Soul is so entertained by the past it can’t think or analyze new ideas. Instead of rising above these lower parts of you to see the whole, it entertains itself by these lower parts, and restricts itself from the higher view it is capable of.
This leads me back to the statement I made in the initial few paragraphs. People become occupied with one part of themselves and get stuck. Soul gets stuck in the physical, emotional, memory, or mental realms. This prevents soul from seeing all there is to see and prevents soul from providing the ideas or advice these people need. They get caught in an automatic loop that the lowest part of them used for survival. Bad habits rule over them.
Your brain builds habits. It builds neural pathways to perpetuate actions that repeat. The brain does this to conserve energy. This system is automatic. We can exploit this process for good when you recognize a harmful neural pathway or habit. The only way to determine the advantage or disadvantage of any habit is to measure the results a habit produces. How do we do this? We take the time to analyze ourselves. If something we do is destructive, we can identify the specific actions we take and change them.
Changing or altering your habits is difficult. The neural pathways that compose our habits are as strong as steel cables. The longer you have acted out a habit the stronger it will be. Undoing a harmful habit can take as many years to undo as it took to build. Be persistent. Remember the harm this habit causes.
Need outside help? No problem. Research. Look for books, websites, blogs, and research articles that address this problem. You’ll find that there are many people that have run across the same problem and broke their harmful habits. Record as many ideas as you can. Try each one until you find the solution that works. Engage with other people on social media that have had the same problem. Ask them questions. Most will be happy to help you out. In fact, it is highly likely they got help from others the same way.
Remember who and what you are. You are soul. You are not your brain, your emotions, your memories, your intellect, or your intuition. You are above these individual facets.
Until next time.