1) “Look into their minds, at what the wise do and what they don’t.”
2) “Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, ‘why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?’ You’ll be embarrassed to answer.”
3) “God sees all our souls freed from their fleshly containers, stripped clean of their bark, cleansed of their grime. If you learn to do the same, you can avoid a great deal of distress.”
4) “You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind—things that exist only there—and clear out space for yourself: —By comprehending the scale of the world. —By contemplating infinite time. —By thinking of the speed with which things change—each part of everything; the narrow space between our birth and death; the infinite time before; the equally unbounded time that follows.”
5) “Nothing that goes on in anyone else’s mind can harm you. Nor can the shifts and changes in the world around you. —Then where is harm to be found? —In your capacity to see it. Stop doing that and everything will be fine. Let the part of you that makes that judgment keep quiet no matter what the body attaches itself to.”
6) “The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.”
7) “Beautiful things of any kind are beautiful in themselves and sufficient to themselves. Praise is extraneous. The object of praise remains what it was—no better and no worse.—Is an emerald suddenly flawed if no one admires it???”
8) “Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, thats when he has you in his spell.”
9) “Things are wrapped in such a veil of mystery that many good philosophers have found it impossible to make sense of them. Even the stoics have trouble. Any assessment we make is subject to alteration—just as we are ourselves.”
10) “That nothing belongs to anyone. Children, body, life itself—all of them come from the same source.”
11) “Characteristics of the rational soul: Self-perception, self-examination, and the power to make of itself whatever it wants. —It reaps its own harvest. —It reaches its intended goal, no matter where the limit of its life is set. No matter which task you pick-it has fulfilled its mission, done its work completely. So that it can say, ‘I have what I came for.’—
—It surveys the world and the empty space around it, and the way its put together. It delves into the endlessness of time to extend its grasp and comprehension of the periodic births and rebirths the world goes through. It knows that those who come after us will see nothing different, and those who came before us saw no more than we do.—Affection for its neighbors. Truthfulness. Humility. Not to place anything above itself.”
12) “Give yourself a gift: the present moment.”
13) “If you can cut yourself—your mind—free of what other people do or say, of what you’ve said or done, of the things that you’re afraid will happen, the impositions of the body that contains you and the breath within, so the mind is freed from fate, brought to clarity, and lives life on its own recognizance—doing what’s right, accepting what happens, and speaking the truth—
—If you can cut free of impressions that cling to the mind, free of the future and the past—can make yourself ‘a sphere rejoicing in its perfect stillness’ And concentrate on living what can be lived (The present moment) —-then you can spend the time you have left in tranquility. And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you.”
14) “Alexander and Caesar and Pompey. Compared with Diogenes, Heraclitus, Socrates?? The philosophers knew the what, the why, the how. Their minds were their own. —The others?? Nothing but anxiety and enslavement.”
15) “People ask, have you ever seen the gods you worship? How can you be sure they exist? Answers—Just look around….I’ve never seen my soul either, and yet I revere it —I Know they exist because I’ve felt their power over and over.”
16) “So keep this refuge in mind: the back roads of your self. Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human, like a mortal.”
17) “External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.”
18) “So too a healthy mind should be prepared for anything. The one that keeps saying ‘Are my children all right?’ Or ‘everyone must approve of me’ is like eyes that can only stand pale colors, or teeth that can handle only mush.”
19) “Wash yourself clean. With simplicity, with humility, with indifference to everything but right and wrong.”
20) “Don’t be disturbed. Un-complicate yourself. Something happens to you. Good. It was meant for you by nature, woven into the pattern from the beginning.”
21) “Pray for others and pray not to feel fear, or desire, or grief… —Isn’t it better to do what’s up to you?? Like a free man! —Start praying like this and you’ll see.
—Not “some way to sleep with her” but a way to stop wanting to.
—Not “some way to get rid of him” but a way to stop trying.
—Not “some way to save my child” but a way to lose your fear.
REDIRECT your prayers like that, and watch what happens.”
22) “I am part of a world controlled by nature. I have a relationship with other, similar parts. And with that in mind I have no right, as a part, to complain about what is assigned me by the whole. Because what benefits the whole can’t harm the parts, and the whole does nothing that doesn’t benefit it.”
23) “And why is it so hard when things go against you? If it’s imposed by nature, accept it gladly and stop fighting it. And if not, work out what your own nature requires, and aim at that, even if it brings you no glory.”
24) “That no one can say truthfully that you are not a straightforward or honest person. That anyone who thinks that believes a falsehood. The responsibility is all yours; no one can stop you from being honest or straightforward. Simply resolve not to go on living if you aren’t. It would be contrary to the logos.”
25) “Four habits of thought to watch for, and erase from your mind when you catch them. Tell yourself:
—This thought is unnecessary.
—This one is destructive to the people around you.
—This wouldn’t be what you really think.
—That the more divine part of you has been beaten and subdued by the degraded mortal part—the body and its stupid self-indulgence.”
26) “Because to be drawn toward what is wrong and self-indulgent, toward anger and fear and pain, is to revolt against nature. And for the mind to complain about anything that happens is to desert its post. It was created to show reverence-respect for the divine—no less than to act justly.”
27) “If this evil is not of my doing, nor the result of it, and the community is not endangered, why should it bother me? Where is the danger for the community?”
28) “As you move forward in the logos, people will stand in your way. They can’t keep you from doing what’s healthy; don’t let them stop you from putting up with them either. Take care on both counts. Not just sound judgments, solid actions—tolerances as well, for those who try to obstruct us or give us trouble in other ways.”
29) “It’s normal to feel stress and pain as a human, as a normal human being. And if it’s normal how can it be bad?”
30) “That it’s about how you choose to see things. That the present is all we have to live in. Or to lose.”
31) “If the problem is you’re not doing something you think you should be doing, why not just do it?”
32) “The mind in itself has no needs, except for those it creates itself. Is undisturbed, except for its own disturbances. Knows no obstructions, except those from within.”
33) “Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life-the rough & the smooth.”
34) “Stop perceiving the pain you imagine and you’ll remain completely unaffected.”
35) “Comparing a man who people are mocking and a spring of clear water: —”A man standing by a spring of clear, sweet water and cursing it. While the fresh water keeps on bubbling up. He can shovel mud into it, or dung, and the stream will carry it away, wash itself clean, remain unstained. — To have that. NOT A CISTERN BUT A PERPETUAL SPRING. — HOW?? BY WORKING TO WIN YOUR FREEDOM. HOUR BY HOUR. THROUGH PATIENCE, HONESTY, HUMILITY.”
36) “You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought: everything random, everything irrelevant. And certainly everything self-important or malicious. Get used to winnowing your thoughts so you aren’t ashamed of what you’re thinking.”
37) “The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all. And before long you’ll be no one, nowhere—like Hadrian, like Augustus.
The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.”
38) “People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like….By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful-more free of interruptions- than you own soul An instants recollection and there it is: complete tranquility (think of pleasant memories). A quick visit to this mindful place will be enough to ward off all nonsense and send you back ready to fave what awaits you.”
39) “The mind without passions is a fortress. No place is more secure. Once we take refuge there we are safe forever. Not to see this is ignorance. To see it and not seek safety means misery.”
Acting has become a gateway to enlightenment for the actor Jim Carrey.
A big influence in this awakening came from what he learned throughout and after his role of playing Andy Kaufman while filming the movie “Man On The Moon.”
As Jim played the character of Andy he realized that we are all playing roles in our day to day lives; that we make choices each day, either consciously or unknowingly, and these actions lead us to where we are right now. Jim realized that we can take conscious actions, like actors do when preparing for & playing a role, which will guide us to becoming the person/character we want to become.
Each of us can choose to be the hero of the life we are living in, but many people live life only as a product of their environment, reacting instead of acting.
Like I said, some of this realization came to Jim when he went back to being “Jim Carrey” after playing the role of Andy Kaufman for months. If he can make intentional choices to become “Andy Kaufman,” then who really is Jim Carrey?
He thought. Isn’t that just a name he has been given? Our actions are what define us and turn us into the character we are, and we are all taking several actions each day.
Jim has realized that he is not the name he has been given. That he is not limited to the words we humans use to describe and live “life.” Most people don’t understand this and think Jim is crazy, but he is just waking up to who we all really are and I hope you will too. This quote of Jim’s just below shows his understanding that peace is beyond words and the things we have created:
“The peace that we’re after lies somewhere beyond personality, beyond the perception of others, beyond invention and disguise, even beyond effort itself.”
We are all so much more than the names we are given and we can all be more than the product of our environment but most people don’t make the choice to be who they want to be.
Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.”
Jim is basically saying what Shakespeare said. Each day we all put an act on, whether we intentionally choose our act or not is up to us. Let these quotes guide you to taking control of your life, your “act.” Make a choice to become the character you want to be.
Below are some Jim Carrey quotes that may help you awaken to your true self and help you make choices that will lead you to living the life you dream of. Take action on your dreams. After all you are an actor of life.
“I’ve never been one to sit back and go, I’d better do what the audience wants me to do, because I don’t want to lose them.”
“It is better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what’s left?”
“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it.”
“How will you serve the world? What do they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out.”
“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”
“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
“As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and then working toward it while letting go of how it comes to pass.”
“I don’t believe in hope. Hope is a beggar. Hope walks through the fire, faith leaps over it.”
“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up, and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.”
“You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world, and as you walk through those doors today, you will only have two choices: love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”
“Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them.”
“Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything, or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.”
“I’m making a conscious choice to see challenges as beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way.”
“When things are really bad the only thing to do is laugh.”
“You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about your pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear.”
“To find real peace you have to let the armor go. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”
“Fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much.”
“This is the voice of your ego. If you listen to it, there will always be someone who seems to be doing better than you.”
“Beware of the unloved, because they will eventually hurt themselves… or others.”
“Fear is writing that script. And the working title is ‘I’ll never be enough.’”
“If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.”
“Maybe other people will try to limit me but I don’t limit myself.”
“Originality is really important.”
“You’ll come up with your own style. That’s part of the fun.”
“I really believe in the philosophy that you create your own universe. I’m just trying to create a good one for myself.”
“There is a huge difference between a dog that is going to eat you in your mind and an actual dog that’s going to eat you.”
“I’ve arrived at the place if I’m not taking a career risk, I’m not happy. If I’m scared, then I know I’m being challenged.”
If you know Jim Carrey you have probably heard this quote just below:
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” (Is it that we all desire for more, yet when we get more there is another thing that comes to our minds that we want…Be happy now.)
“For the most sensitive among us, the noise can be too much.” (And it’s all just a bunch of noise, right?)
“My soul is not contained within the limits of my body. My body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.”
“We had problems like all families but we had a lot of love. I was extremely loved. We always felt we had each other.”
“I refuse to feel guilty. I feel guilty about too much in my life but not about money. I went through periods when I had nothing, so somebody in my family has to get stinkin’ wealthy.”
“I’m the first to admit this whole salary thing is getting out of control. In the final analysis, it’s still about the work.”
I hope you enjoyed these illuminating quotes. I encourage you to continue learning every day as you awaken to your best self by making conscious choices. This will direct you to living as your ideal actor in this play of life. Please share and spread the message if you see what Jim Carrey is trying to tell us!!
How much time do you spend in your mind?
I have spent quite a bit of time in my mind, and have realized that I am more fully alive when I am NOT living in my mind.
It’s good to rationalize and make the best choices you can, but it’s even better when you can make those choices without thinking too much. This takes practice…
Would you like to live a more present life, being more in the moment & less in your thoughts?
“The birth of the mind is the death of the senses,” says Dan Millman, but it is by living through our senses that make us feel most alive. This is why many people drink alcohol or do drugs; it is because they want to escape their thoughts & live more in the present moment. Well you can reach this state of mind without the use of drugs or alcohol.
So how can we get back to living through our senses in a healthy way?
Through Mindfulness Meditation: Defined as “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
We live in a world where distractions are all around us. The cell phones we carry with us at all times may be our biggest distraction; they have the ability to make you anticipate a text or call, bring you social media updates, or give you some “important” news. I keep my phone on silent 90% of the time and have most of my notifications turned off. I rarely watch the news because most of it is there to put fear into its watchers.
So in this World of technology & constant distractions, how can we make time for practicing Mindfulness Meditation?
To begin, you don’t need to make time for practicing Mindfulness Meditation. You can practice it in the morning as you wake up, on your commute to work, during work, and at any moment during your day.
Example of practicing Mindfulness Meditation:
It is nice to take a specific amount of devoted time for Mindfulness Meditation, but when you are just beginning you should try to practice it within your already established daily routines. The next time you are commuting to work, practice observing the things around you. Get into your senses. Don’t think about what you are seeing, see. Don’t think about what you are hearing, hear. Don’t think about what you are feeling, feel. Don’t think about what you are smelling, smell. Taste.
Don’t label the traffic as “good” or “bad,” allow it to be as it is; see it & hear it. Don’t label the weather or other drivers, just observe them, letting go of your thoughts & tapping into your senses. It’s simple, but we make it difficult.
As you practice this, there will be a tendency for thoughts to arise, and they will. Be patient with your thoughts. Hear them in your head and then go back to observing. Take a deep breath when needed, putting your focus on your breath and then your surroundings, free of judgment.
“Turn on, tune in, drop out,” said Timothy Leary. There are many interpretations of this, but it can also relate to Mindfulness Meditation as you are dropping your thoughts & tuning in to your senses.
“You’ve become bored to things because they exist only as names to you. The dry concepts of mind obscure your direct perception.” Dan Millman
Millman also discusses this state of mind as Satori, “which is the warrior’s state of being; it occurs when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness; the body is active, sensitive, relaxed, and the emotions are open and free.”
Reading Dan Millmans, Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, has helped me get more into this mindset.
Getting into the present moment helps us stop dwelling on past thoughts, and to stop anticipating the future. Millman says, “Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for. The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear & anger, regret & guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future.”
Overall Mindfulness Meditation is when you look at everything surrounding you without labeling it or judging it. You don’t look around & think “I see a chair, a cup of water, a tree. I’m tired. I need more money.” You just sit and observe, letting go of thoughts as they arise. This requires practice as all great things do, but it can be done! You don’t need to drink that 6 pack of Bud Light each night to relax. Dilly dilly. Drink in moderation sure, but this mindfulness practice can help you live more fully in a healthier way.
Again, don’t judge your thoughts as they arise, be patient with them.
The more you practice this, the more awake and alive you will feel throughout your days. You can practice Mindfulness Meditation wherever you are, and I highly encourage you to practice it everywhere.
Use your thinking mind when you need to take appropriate action, and then take action & live in the moment. Choose to pay attention to your surroundings on purpose. Stop letting your phantom mind drag you backwards. Don’t believe everything you think, we are often wrong anyway. Practice Mindfulness Meditation throughout your day. It won’t always be easy, but you have a choice.
“Old urges continue to arise, but urges do not matter; only actions do. A warrior is as a warrior does…Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It’s only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.” Millman
Some of the answers to our biggest question are found not in thinking more, but in thinking less. In being in touch with your senses, you are able to live fully.
Let us get back to our natural and blissful way of living. Regain your curiosity for life. Learn & observe all things.
“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. There is no path to love. Love is the path. There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.” Millman
“My name doesn’t matter; neither does yours. What is important is what lies beyond names and beyond questions.” Millman
I encourage you to listen to and read anything from Dan Millman, Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh & all the many other teachers of living a fuller & happier life in the present moment. You can read a summary of Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman, by Clicking Here.
Let me know how you practice mindfulness! I love connecting with like minded individuals.
Disclaimer—This might change your perspective on life. Hopefully for the better.
The choice is yours.
The 4 philosophy ideas I discuss stem from a philosophy called stoicism.
I wanted to title this post: “Stoicism 101; an old philosophy that can liberate you,” but I’m not sure if many people have heard about stoicism, and I know most people have heard of philosophy.
So what is stoicism? (scroll down to ‘4 Main Points‘ section for just the main points if you’d like).
Stoicism is defined as: “The endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint.”
It is being okay with everything that happens & accepting how you feel. It is focusing on what you can control, and letting go of the rest.
Stoicism is liberating.
Stoicism can help you:
- Become a better person & friend
- Deal with people & external events appropriately
- Deal with adversity
- Maintain a level head through praise & criticism
- Come to peace with death
- Overcome destructive emotions, and many more.
Stoicism is also defined as: “An ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge, and that the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.”
Stoicism helps us accept life as it is. It helps us get past our labels of “good” & “bad.” Stoicism helps put us in a mindful state of awareness, getting us out of our constantly judging mind, enabling us to experience life fully, non-judgmentally.
In relation to living non-judgmentally, I’ve heard this quote: “What is chaos to the fly is normal to the spider.”
Shakespeare also said, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
We know what is good or bad in human terms, but there is a lot more going on in the universe than what we think.
There is so much happening beyond us.
We know that murder is a bad thing, yet cows, chickens and other animal life are murdered daily in our world. I eat meat so I am not complaining, I am just trying to get us all to think.
Do you think eating dog is bad?
Multiple countries eat dog today, and other countries think that this is very wrong…Here is an article that came out April 3, 2018 that discusses how over 5 million dogs are eaten in Vietnam every year—Click Here For Article.
Is it wrong to kill animals for food? I don’t have that answer.
Maybe hundreds or thousands of years from now, if the human race is still around, they will wonder how we could have eaten the meat of other animals.
Maybe not though as well.
Look back to a few examples from recent centuries, the 1900’s & beyond, to things we look back on in disgust: Open racism, public hangings & no womens’ rights.
These injustices are still happening today in some places.
So this is what philosophy is; thinking. Thinking, learning & then living out the best life from what we know. Philosophy is about questions & perspectives.
Stoicism is not pessimistic, it is optimistic, you just need to see it in the right light.
Before I get to the main points of stoicism, I would like your feedback via email. I am considering writing a short ebook that will discuss stoicism in more detail. I have about 70 pages of solid notes on the subject, & have read multiple books regarding stoicism, so if you would be interested in reading a short ebook(condensed to about 20 pages) please let me know!
For now, here is a summary of a few main points that stoicism offers & how we can apply them to our lives.
4 Main Points
•Which translates to a love of one’s fate•
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was a big fan of amor fati.
He is quoted saying, “my formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.”
The stoics also had another way of looking at this. They believed in a universal guiding force of the universe. They thought we are like a dog tied to a moving cart, and we have two options: We can try to dig our hind legs in, struggling to control everything, getting dragged & being challenged. Or we can enjoy the ride & live our best lives.
Last quote on Amor Fati:
“Demand not that things happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do, and you will go on well.” Epictetus (Philosopher & former slave)
Are you loving your fate? If not, you can with practice, and it will help you live your best life.
2~Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest
Most of us have heard this quote: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr
We have heard it, and might think, “yea that’s good, I should do that.” But we often don’t follow through with this quote.
We need to follow through with action. Make a list of things you can control, and a list of things you can’t control. Then stop wasting any time on things you cannot control. This takes time & practice, as I am practicing this myself and am not perfect at it.
I love this idea from Philip Ghezelbash that relates to focusing on the things we can control:
“Do you have a problem in your life?
No? ► Then don’t worry.
Yes? ► Can you do something about it?…
Yes? ► Then don’t worry.
No? ► Then don’t worry.”
I have been practicing this lately when I am stuck in traffic. There is no reason to get upset in uncontrollable traffic, but many people do & I have too at times. I’ve been reminding myself that I have no control over the traffic, and this reminder has been bringing me peace of mind.
3~Practice poverty & misfortune
This may sound counterproductive but it can actually help a person grow tremendously.
When we intentionally practice poverty & misfortune a few days each month, we will be more prepared and accepting for when it does come.
“We must learn to disappoint ourselves at leisure before the world ever has a chance to slap us by surprise at a time of its own choosing.” Alain de Botton
Alain goes on to say: “One of the goals of civilization is to instruct us in how to be sad rather than angry. Sadness may not sound very appealing. But it carries – in this context – a huge advantage. It is what allows us to detach our emotional energies from fruitless fury around things that (however bad) we cannot change and that are the fault of no-one in particular and – after a period of mourning – to refocus our efforts in places where our few remaining legitimate hopes and expectations have a realistic chance of success.”
Entrepreneur, practicer of stoicism, and author of a New York Times Best Selling Book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss, practices this each month. See him talk about it by clicking here…
Ferriss talks about how the philosopher Cato, would practice poverty & misfortune:
During Cato’s age, over 2000 years ago, every now and then he would wear clothes that society viewed as humiliating.
Cato did this to train himself to be ashamed of only those things truly worth being ashamed about.
Deep down we know that clothes are nothing to be ashamed of, but many people spend a lot of money to buy brand clothing to impress people they don’t even like.
The philosopher Seneca also practiced this. In one of his writings he wrote: “Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’”
We undervalue what we have, because most likely we’ve always had it…
“Many of your fears are based on undervaluing the things that are easily obtainable.” Tim Ferriss
Ferriss also practices this by doing fasts, not eating anything for days, & also doing fasts that include only eating rice, or only drinking water. (If you plan on doing a fast, research it as much as possible beforehand).
This year I have done two 30 hour fasts, and multiple 16-20 hour fasts.
There has been a lot of research done on fasting, and it has many benefits. This Harvard study explains how fasting can lead to a longer and healthier life: Click Here for the study.
I’ve been practicing this another way without even knowing it: When I need clothes, I first go to Goodwill or other thrift stores, where I buy great clothes for a cheap price. I am very glad my mother took us to thrift shops growing up; they really have some amazing gems. And when I buy clothes that society might think is “poor,” that doesn’t bother me & I’ll still wear it.
Macklemore agrees here in his song Thrift shop(clean version).
He says, “I’m like, ‘yo, that’s 50 dollars for a t-shirt.’ Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition. 50 dollars for a t-shirt, that’s just some ignorant _____.
I call that getting tricked by the business.”
Do we care that much about the opinions of others that we will spend enormous amounts of money to impress them?
2000 years ago, former Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius said, “it never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”
Think about what your life would be like without the things you have. It could happen. Better to have practiced misfortune so that if it comes to you, you won’t be bothered by it.
Are you practicing poverty & misfortune? If not, do you think you will?
4~None of what you do lasts
Again, this may sound pessimistic, but it is liberating, and if you are still reading you can sense that practicing stoicism can be liberating.
Marcus Aurelius reminded himself of all the people who have died, whether they had a “great” occupation or a “lowly” one. He said: “Run down the list of those who felt intense anger at something: the most famous, the most unfortunate, the most hated, the most whatever: Where is all that now? Smoke, dust, legend…or not even a legend. Think of all the examples. And how trivial the things we want so passionately are.”
“No matter how clever or brilliant, none of what we do lasts…It’s good to remember that.” Ryan Holiday
“If everything is ephemeral, what does matter? Right now matters. Being a good person and doing the right thing right now, thats what matters and that’s what was important to the Stoics. Be humble and honest and aware.” Ryan Holiday
If you want to really live your best life, it is important to frequently think of your own mortality. This will help you appreciate each and every moment, and not have such an intense fear of death that most people refuse to think about.
“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” Marcus Aurelius
I hope you enjoyed learning about, or learning more about the wonderful philosophy of stoicism. There are many more practices involved with stoicism; these were a few key starting points I believe are good to begin with, & they are ones that I am practicing.
If you want to learn more about stoicism, I recommend reading the book “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius. I recently read it & it is now one of my top 3 all-time favorite books.
And as I said, I have many notes on stoicism and am considering writing a short ebook on the subject to discuss it in more details (the ebook would be around 20 pages). If this is something you’d be interested in reading please let me know 🙂
I look forward to hearing from you, & hope you have gained a new perspective through reading this.
“In your actions, don’t procrastinate. In your conversations, don’t confuse. In your thoughts, don’t wander. In your soul, don’t be passive or aggressive. In your life, don’t be all about business.” Aurelius
And it’s okay to feel good.
How long have we had this idea in America that everyone should be happy all the time?
The media portrays smiling families, good times, and happy endings, but that isn’t always the case.
You don’t need to be happy all the time To Live A Great Life.
Does your Instagram look like the picture on the top left?
Oftentimes we look at someone who is upset and think “Oh there must be something wrong with them.” Why do we think something has to be wrong? Maybe it’s okay for them to feel bad. It’s okay for them to feel what they feel. When we allow our feelings to come and don’t try to force them to leave, they will leave on their own. When we try to control our emotions, they multiply.
You are not alone in your struggles. Basically everyone at one point or another in their lifetime will experience depression, anxiety, OCD etc.
Check out this list of some of the greats who have dealt with depression and in some cases suicide:
Vincent Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, Ludwig Wan Beethoven, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Allen Poe, Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Newton, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Orwell, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Kurt Cobain, Ellen Degeneres, Johnny Depp, Eminem, Chris Evans, Jon Hamm, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Michael Phelps, Brad Pitt, J.K. Rowling, Channing Tatum, Owen Wilson, and many others.
So we can be there to support others and to support ourselves because everyone is going through something, and that’s okay. We need to remember that everyone suffers in life, and the meaning we give our suffering can make our lives better or worse.
“You don’t need to feel great to act great.” Coach T
So how can we gain Peace of Mind through this idea of accepting our feelings as they are?
“Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” Eckhart Tolle
Psychologists at the University of California Berkeley have researched and tested the idea of accepting negative emotions and have found that “people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health.”
See their article Here
These psychologists have also stated that acceptance and self-compassion are two key habits to happiness.
“People who accept their emotions without judging or trying to change them are able to cope with their stress more successfully.”
There have been multiple times where I’ve experienced overwhelming feelings. Over time I’ve learned that I can sit and dwell in these feelings or I can try to move on. Sometimes these feelings come back to me, but I now work on accepting them as they are. I allow myself to feel what I’m feeling, and then let the emotions go away in their time.
I remind myself that these feelings are temporary. They will pass, and it will be okay. With each new day comes a choice to suppress our emotions, or to allow them to come and then go.
Smiling helps, just look in the mirror and smile. It’s funny, I know. Try it for a few minutes and see what happens.
I Exercise. This is something that is known to boost endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body.
Or you can take some time to just breathe. Listen to your breath, just your breath. Find a comfortable place, let go of the wandering mind and breathe. Listening to your breath allows you to get back to this moment, here, now. Try that for five minutes just to see how often your mind wanders.
I am not perfect at this craft, but I enjoy the practice and think you will too!
It’s okay to think & feel happy, sad, depressed, anxious, joyous, all the emotions.
Remember that feelings are temporary; they will pass, but your actions will last.
Try to be conscious of how you are thinking and feeling when you are down, and don’t allow yourself to just dwell on auto-pilot in negative feelings. Feel what you feel, accept what you’re feeling and thinking, even wave to your feelings if you’d like, and then watch them go like cars passing by.
Peace of Mind is not just a state of relaxation.
Peace of Mind isn’t about feeling a certain way.
It’s about feeling the way you feel.
Feeling how you feel is the greatest happiness of all.
“You can’t stop the waves (of emotions) but you can learn to surf.”
Above all, it’s about letting the mind be as it is and knowing something about how it is in this moment. It’s not about getting somewhere else, but about allowing yourself to be where you already are. — Jon Kabat-Zin
Thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts in the comments.
This post mainly comes from the ideas of the great Tony Robbins while I only add to it.
You are seeking emotions and experiences. After researching experts, I have found that there are six basic, universal needs that drive ALL human behavior. Every human being has these needs, but we each put different VALUE on these needs. Our focus on these needs will determine the direction of our life! What need will you live for?
The six human needs include:
Each of these needs influence every single human being’s life, and by understanding the needs that shape your behavior, you can take control of your life, and create new habits that lead you to the life you’ve been dreaming of living.
What do you think the most addictive thing in the world is???
Find out in a few paragraphs, it’s not what you think.
Before we get more into our human needs, lets look at how DECISIONS shape our destiny, and our decisions of course are intertwined with our needs.
Decision is the ultimate power. Decisions shape destiny.
There are 3 Decisions we are making EVERY moment of our lives:
1) What am I going to focus on? Focus=feeling. Past/present/Future…Self or others?
2) What does it(this situation/experience) mean? Is it the end or the beginning? Are you being punished or rewarded?
3)What are your going to do? Are you going to give up or move forward?
We make these decisions consciously or unconsciously.**
Lance Armstrong for example could have focused on his cancer but he continued to focus on biking and being the best. He continued to win!
Rosa Parks. Her focus was that she could change the world for her kids or grandkids instead of focusing on what she was told to do. She wouldn’t go to the back of the bus & she changed the whole world!
Entrepreneur Tony Robbins also has an incredible story. When he was a eleven years old with a very broke family and no food for Thanksgiving, a stranger came to his house on Thanksgiving to give them a turkey. Tony’s angry father and himself had VERY different PERSPECTIVES/FOCUSES on this event that went like this:
Tony’s Father: His 3 decisions: Focus was “this is charity” What does it mean “I am worthless” What do I have to do? “Leave my family.” Which he did…
Tony’s focus: There’s food! What does it mean? “Strangers care about me and other people.” What am I going to do? “I’m going to do something to make a difference.” Six years later he started feeding families when he was 17. Slowly but surely he built a foundation and has fed millions of people all over the world.
Your FOCUS determines much of your life. Try to be intentional and conscious of what you focus on.
& The most addictive thing in the world is….
Most people will guess wrong. The answer is Problems.
**Most people find a way to feel significant by having a significant problem. Problems are the safest way to connect with others and not be rejected. Problems are the biggest addiction in our culture.
And SiGNIFICANCE is one of the six human needs!!! Think about your life. Do you connect and feel significant through problems? And are you happy with constantly talking about problems or do you want to live a life with less complaining?
***Instead of just looking at peoples’ behaviors, see their attempts to meet their needs.***
A few insights into the 6 human needs:
- People like to be certain, to have financial security, to trust people and experiences. But too much certainty makes us bored, so we need some variety.
- People like good surprises, if it’s a bad surprise they call it a problem.
- We all need to feel important, special, unique..People do this in so many different ways-tattoos, religion, joining a group..etc..One of the quickest way some people feel significant is through Violence. Violent things happen each day, just watch the news; these people have a striving for significance, as well as some big mental problems..I encourage you to be significant in a positive way. Join some great groups, read, write, travel.
4) What we really need is Connection & Love
- Connection and love are like rain to a garden of flowers, they make us grow. Surround yourself with people who support and love you. I am so thankful for my family because of their love. Also if you are feeling down and depressed, get a pet. Dogs will love you and are always happy to see you. Cats are different, but they can show love to their owners as well.
Every human finds a way to meet the first 4 needs. What will your FOCUS be to meet these needs???
The next two needs create fulfillment!
If you don’t grow, you die. Relationships, businesses, self, etc.
- We grow when we have something to give of value. So don’t always be thinking of yourself..I know it’s hard, but try to get out of yourself for awhile & see what you can give to others that can help them. EVERYONE has something great to contribute, but it can be very difficult to find it. Start by donating food or clothes, or doing something small for someone. It feels amazing and will help you grow. It’s funny how a selfless act will ultimately help you too.
6) To Contribute beyond ourselves
- Growth and Contribution are intertwined. You grow by contributing. Contribution=growth.
“The secret of living is giving.”
“It’s not about me, it’s about we.” Tony Robbins
People truly get excited to contribute once they experience it and not just talk about it.
We ALL have the same needs, but whatever need leads us will lead us to our destination.
People all try to meet the same needs, but we do it in different ways. A firefighter saves lives for significance while someone else kills a person for significance.
Try to appreciate how people are attempting to meet their needs, explore your decisions, and give.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO FOCUS ON?
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
- Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
- When in doubt, just take the next small step.
- Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
- Pay off your credit cards every month.
- You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
- Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
- Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
- When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
- Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
- It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
- Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
- If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
- Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
- You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
- A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
- It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
- When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
- Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
- Overprepare, then go with the flow.
- Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
- The most important sex organ is the brain.
- No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
- Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
- Forgive everyone everything.
- What other people think of you is none of your business.
- Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
- However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
- Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
- Believe in miracles.
- Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
- Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
- Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
- Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
- If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
- Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
- Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
- All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
- Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
- The best is yet to come.
- No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
- Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
These are all so good. I read this a few times! Credit to Regina Brett. Which is your favorite??