Why It’s Always Time to Learn Something New

I know why most people hate going to the gym, and it has nothing to do with exercise, exertion, or getting all sweaty and tired.

Want to know the reason? The way most people do it, it’s boring as hell.

Let me ask you this: are you strapping yourself onto the same machine as the day before, hitting the same buttons you did the day before, and doing the same workout you did the day before? And where did this workout come from?

I’ll bet you it came from one of these three sources:

  • an article in a magazine,
  • it’s what the person behind the desk showed you on your tour when you signed up, or
  • it’s what everyone else is doing.

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The Rise and Fall of Empires

I am thoroughly and utterly convinced that fear is the driving force behind every bad decision we ever make.

Now, don’t be afraid of fear—that’s a scary thought!—just learn to recognize it for what it is.

And now, on with our story.


Once upon a time, there was an idealistic youth (let’s call him John) who believed that perfection existed, and to seek it was the best use of one’s life. He was sure that the attainment of perfection would result in happiness. He quickly learned, of course, that perfection was an impossible ideal (not to mention a miserable one). So, instead of seeking perfection, he saught inner peace, believing it would bring him happiness.

The search for inner peace led John to a group of other like-minded people who also saught the same thing, all rallied around a teacher who demonstrated some very successful techniques to help his students find and experience that peace. As the group grew, the teacher realized that he must establish a “method”, so others could teach the work as well. After all, what good would it do unless a means could be identified? And so, this method became concretized, shared, and taught to many more seekers of peace.

John, who believed the methods and the community around it to be the best thing he’d ever seen, became a teacher of this system. He taught others the methods, used them himself, and his life got better.

But then, a shadow began to grow…

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Got Some Cleaning Up To Do?

Ever notice how certain times of the year have a certain “energy” to them? I’m not just talking about the obvious seasonal changes, either; my auspicious rhythms tend to revolve around birthdays (I just had one), school vacation times, tax season, and New Year’s. Maybe it’s just the whole “collective consciousness” thing, even though that can sound like it’s on the fringes between common sense and froo-froo philosophy. Wherever the meaning comes from, I sure notice the effects in my life, and I’m guessing a lot of you do, too.

As Autumn approaches, so do my urges to clean house

As Autumn approaches, so do my urges to clean house

And as much as “cleaning” has been associated with the Spring, I tend to do a big cleanup and realignment of priorities in the Autumn. Maybe it’s the product of going to school every Fall from age 5 to 35 (K-college, then grad school and teaching seminars). Or maybe I’m getting ready for hibernation; who knows.

On my docket now are reviews of two products I’ve promised to do, but let slide in the face of busy-ness and upheaval. That’s not to diminish the value of the products, by any means; I thought they were great, each in their own way, and in their own intended use. (Okay, enough jabbering – on with the show!)
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Why It’s Not About The System You Use.

climber

Do you have a goal? Professional, personal, or otherwise? I bet you do, whether it’s to get a certain number of clients per month, to stop eating grains, or to learn to juggle.

Now, let me guess: You’ve got a system worked out to get you there, don’t you? You’re going to attend networking meetings, write blog posts, and update your LinkedIn profile. You’re going to only eat at home so you can control your meals, and throw all your old grains into the compost heap. You’re going to watch that Juggling For Fools video, and practice your juggling fifteen minutes every night after dinner.

No matter what the goal is, you’ve got a system, I’m sure. How am I so sure? Because systems are said to be the key to achieving everything these days. Just think about productivity… there’s GTD , ZTD , and Hipster PDA’s; Blackberries, Franklin Planners, and 37 Signals. What’s best? That’s like asking, “What’s the best kind of music?” It all depends on you, what you’re doing, and what works for you.

The point, in any instance, is not what system you use… it’s that you stick with it.

If you’ve dabbled in productivity systems for any length of time, you know what I’m saying is true, because everyone has discovered, researched, and spent time on setting up some kind of system, only to have the thing gather dust and fall by the wayside.
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Why I Love to Chant… oh, never mind

Chanting Rocks.I love to chant. When all else fails, it’s one of the few spiritual practices that doesn’t ever let me down.

I’ve been meaning to write a post about it, just so you all know I haven’t fallen off the wagon completely… grin But then Fabeku beat me to it. Brilliantly.

Of course, our histories are different. And each of us has our preferences, and brings to it what we do. But all the reasons Fabeku speaks about as to why he chants… how it rejuvenates him, how it cleans him out and fills him up… he could’ve been channeling me, there.

Why it matters

So I chant. Fabeku chants. Big whoop, right? Well, as I’ve been a fan of saying for some time now, when it comes to spiritual practices,

It doesn’t matter so much what you do… but it matters a ton why you do it.

I stopped working as a healer a over year ago now. I was talking about this with my wife the other night, and I told her that one of the big reasons why was because I felt dry. I didn’t feel I had anything left to give… I just couldn’t be there for my clients the way I could before. And to be honest, I was never completely satisfied with my answer as to why that was.
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How To Escape The Gratitude Trap

Gratitude is the key
When it comes to making change in your life, your health, or the health of your business, the #1 item on every “Law of Attraction”-based, personal growth-oriented list is always gratitude.

Why? Because, the logic goes, when you are feeling grateful for something, you’re in a state of appreciation and happiness, which begets a greater state of happiness. The more you get accustomed to feeling good about what you have, the more you get to feel good about, and the more good you feel about what you have, and so on… it’s an ever-growing spiral.

But what if gratitude brings you down?

I have to admit, I used to resist gratitude in a huge way. Not because I have anything against showing appreciation, but because whenever I’d do a practice involving gratitude, I ended up feeling small and unhappy, which is the opposite of what it was supposed to do for me.

Not cool, I thought. Not cool.
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Why the “Six Months to Live” Question Is The Wrong One To Ask

Time to ponder your path
Focus is perhaps one of the most crucial qualities to develop when it comes to bringing your best to work. When you’re focused, you can get incredible amounts of work done in short periods of time. Focus makes staying on task easy. And there’s one question in particular you can ask yourself that’s supposed to inspire herculean amounts of focus.

Now, you’ve no doubt seen this question circulating amongst the well-intentioned, self-help best-seller bookshelves’ residents for years. It’s pulled out time and again as the ultimate refiner of focus, the samurai sword of the cut-through-the-fluff-ers’ arsenal, the go-to tool of the productivity heroes’ utility belts. Ready?

If you only had six months to live, what would you do right now?

Ta da! Answer that question, and all your troubles will be solved, right?

Well…
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Why Growth Is Better If It Don’t Come Cheap

You gotta embrace the suck.
As I was bouncing around on Twitter the other day, I saw someone ask the question, “What do you do for your mind, body, and spirit?” It’s easy, of course, to answer that question with three answers. “Oh, I’m cleaning up my diet, I exercise a few days a week, and I meditate.” Nothing wrong with an answer like that… it means you’re looking after yourself.

But being the between-the-lines kinda guy that I am, I wanted to answer the question not with three answers, but with one. And so naturally, my answer was “CrossFit.”

Now, I never would have answered that question with any other fitness/exercise/sport that I’ve done (except maybe Nomadics), and I’ve done tons: intercollegiate rowing, yoga (bikram’s, ashtanga, hatha), triathlons, tai chi, full-contact martial arts, bodybuilding, you name it. Why?
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Put The Power Of Ritual To Work For You

Chanting monk

Why, in seemingly every tradition, are there ritual practices?

Because rituals work, that’s why. They work through repetition; through continual practice, the attentive mind learns the steps until they are memorized. Once the mind’s focus is no longer needed to complete the ritual, it goes on “auto-pilot”, and the adept can repeat the ritual and focus the mind deeper, awakening the heart/soul/whatever (depends on the ritual, of course). This allows for a much deeper level of presence to be had, transforming the result of the ritual, and the mind of the practitioner.

Or, as my martial arts teacher would say, “First, the mind teaches the body what to do. Then, the body refines the movement, teaching the mind how it wants to move. Finally, body and mind are united as one.” He also said that once you performed an action 10,000 times, you had it mastered.

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Why You Should Kill Your Inner Perfectionist

the deep, dark hole of perfectionism
Okay, so I’ve got 3 planets in Virgo, and a double-grand-trine (and two T-squares) in Air. What does that mean? For those of us (’cause I’m one of ‘em) who don’t have much of a background in astrology, it basically means I’m frogged.

Not really. It means I’m smart. Yay for me. But it also means I’m a perfectionist out the wazoo, so all these great ideas I have? All the amazing connections I see between things? All the creative impulses I have? They ride on the backs of turtles, past huge guardians of Quality Control, on their slow march towards freedom. It’s a wonder you’re even reading this. But who knows, you might not – I might edit this before I publish it.

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