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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Want to know how to stay safe?

     Here's the answer. Marcus Aurelius said it:

I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured.

     But is that a true statement? And just what is the truth? Who decides? Is there a Truthmeister somewhere handing out edicts? Is the truth relative? Absolute? The same for everybody?
     A lot of questions to be sure, but the truth is still out there and still reliable.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Is it strange to be a human being or is it just me?

     You don't have to answer that. It's just we think it's so typical, so ordinary to be a human being. We take so much for granted. Personally I think it's very strange to be a human being. Take drives (hunger, thirst, sex). People don't think about it but it's strange stuff. It's like you've got an alien in your body pulling the strings.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Time is running out.

     If you live another hundred years it's going to go by in a flash. It's a blip in terms of eternity. So what are you going to do with that blip?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hard work pays off.

     That seems like a real given, right? But it's not. How many times do people get in ruts where they're just working hard and working hard and working hard and they're not getting any of the benefits they should— and lots of times when that happens they get jaded or exhausted or defeated. The key thing to remember is— we work hard for things to pay off. Don't ever lose sight of that. Even when things aren't working out the way you planned.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who does the work--us or God?

     I have a hard time getting up on Mondays. It's like leaving behind the fun and relative ease of the weekend and facing the seriousness of your life, and you have to do it fifty-two times a year. Well, this last Monday I woke up early and I lie there in bed, not wanting to get up, not wanting to do anything. I thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if God just took over, gave me energy and got me going?'
     So what did I do? Was I wafted up out of bed by some supernatural power? What do you think?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Can we be "supermen" or "superwomen"?

     I think so. I met somebody, a very nice woman, on one of those dating sites. We corresponded a bit, were both interested in writing, so I ended up telling her about this blog. A couple of days later she wrote back and said she didn't think we were a good match and she didn't think it was healthy to try to live in a zone or be superman.
     Well, I disagree.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Living in the magical.

     You know, the whole vampire/zombie/Harry Potter craze just says one thing: people are enthralled with the idea of being able to live beyond ordinary human experience. And do you know why. Because people can live beyond ordinary human experience. But you're not going to find out how from Harry Potter. Oh no.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Something small could really be huge.

     Let's face it: we tend to look for the big things in life. We want to know what major changes are on the way for us. Big big big: it's the American way. But the small things can be where the beginning of something huge may be taking place. So when you see something small, don't brush it off, looking for something bigger, because you don't know where that small thing might lead.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Everybody's doing it. So what!

     Okay, here's a fact. Your life has a fixed number of heartbeats left. That's it. Now the human heart will on average beat 2.5 billion times during the course of a lifetime, but still, the point is: our time here is fixed. Period. No wishing or dreaming or hoping or denying or blanking out is going to void that fact. And if you're wise you'll embrace it.
     So how are you going to spend those heartbeats? Just recently two different friends told me they were going to read Fifty Shades of Grey. I said to the first friend: "It's about S&M, isn't it?" She said, "Yeah, it's 'Mommy Porn.'" I said, "Well, why are you going to read it then?" She said, "To see why everybody's talking about it." It was virtually the same thing with the second friend.
     What a waste. What a waste.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

You've got enough.

     Ever feel like you just don't have enough of what it takes to live successfully in this world? I feel that way sometimes. In fact, I've felt that way a lot in my life. But it's a fooler because whatever you've got to give is enough. Whatever you've got to give is perfect.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Act Now

Act now— there's no "later." If I could go back, I wouldn't talk as much about writing a book— I'd write it. Don't wait around for anyone. Do whatever you can yourself. If you wait you'll be dead.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You gotta make decisions.

     I'll admit it. I have the hardest time making decisions. I was at a Kohl's department store trying to buy a pair of shoes. I like have to have everything just perfect in the shoes because so many times I've bought shoes that felt great in the store and gotten them home and after a while they've hurt my feet, and I've been stuck with crappy shoes. Anyway  back to Kohl's. This young woman was helping me, feeling my shoes to see that my toes fit, that the shoes weren't too narrow, that they had sufficient arch... And I, after every fitting, and with every pair of shoes, would walk around Kohl's, testing them out— extensively. Well, the young woman who'd been helping me must've gone to lunch and I must've been there now for hours because when she came back in the shoe section she said: "Are you still here?!"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Want to perform on the super-human level?

     This one's for anybody that wants to live at the level of the supernatural. And who wouldn't? So this one's for everyone. The baseball pitcher Steve Carlton once said he didn't like the term 'human being' because it implied limitation. Now I don't know if I agree with that one, but I agree with the sentiment of transcending ordinary human capability. And the way to that transcendence is...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Can you be yourself for a single second?

     Sure, it's easy. Anybody can be themselves for one second. Can they? Can you? Can you absolutely, categorically, 100% be the real, true, core person who you are in your soul? If so, when was the last time you were? Are you sure your self  wasn't clouded a little bit by people's expectations? By your own self consciousness? By your fear of letting that real self out, what it might do? No, being yourself isn't easy, even for one second. But if you can do it, the payoff is ecstasy.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

When disappointment is constant.

     I'm a realist. For the most part I'm a very positive, upbeat person, but I'm also realistic. I know some people are going through prolonged suffering that no amount of 'the power of positive thinking' or self-help or psychological cliches can fix. So what happens when you're suffering all the time?

Life's going to press you until you make up your mind.

     There's no easy way through this thing called life. I wish there were— I'd take it. But there isn't. So you have two choices: #1)Avoid life's challenges #2)Take on life's challenges. In Claude Bristol's classic book The Magic of Believing he had some people that came to him for help stand in front of a full-length mirror and look into their eyes. "I made them look into their eyes," he wrote, "and tell me what they saw there— crybabies or fighters?" Well, which are you?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hey, go jump off a cliff.

     Now you know I'm kidding, right? Well, for the most part I am.
     Have you ever heard of the Buddhist concept of Bardo? Oh, maybe it seems a little out there, I'll admit, but hang with me a bit because there is serious magic in Bardo. Bardo is about the world of the in betweens, and that world is where everything happens. That's where the magic is. The Tibetan Book of the Dead says:

The concept of bardo is based on the period between sanity and insanity, or the period between confusion and the confusion just about to be transformed into wisdom; and of course it could be said of the experience which stands between death and birth. The past situation has not yet manifested itself so there is a gap between the two.

     I'm no Buddhist. I'm not into reincarnation. But I am into winning. And Bardo is money. I'll tell you why.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Things not working out in your life? Yeah, you better give up.

     Like hell, you better! This is The Underdog's Corner. Remember, us underdogs are underdogs! (Talk about deep.) And this post I'm writing is for myself— because I need to hear it (I'm an underdog too), because things ain't working out in my life either. But see, the thing is I know the magic word. And the magic word is things ain't working out...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Change your mind.

     I could never be a preacher. You know, you're scheduled to preach on Sunday, and you just had a really terrible week and have almost no faith, you're really wondering if God really even exists at all, and you're supposed to get up there and tell them how great everything is and how God's doing such wonderful things in your life. No, I'd never make it as a preacher. I'd get up there and be honest and the people in the congregation would start throwing things at me. Me, I need to be free to change my mind.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Is God just waiting to zap us?

     Like if you make one false move, God goes, "Aha! You messed up, so now I'm going to punish you!" I gotta tell you I'm kind of scared to write this blog post. (If you don't see any posts after this one, you'll know what happened.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Who you are is shouting louder than what you say.

     It's the truth. What you say is not nearly as important as who you are. I've had people swear at me and it made me feel good; and I've had people say nice things to me and it felt like pure poison.

The important thing to remember is, it is not whether your words or actions are tough or gentle; it is the spirit behind your actions and words that announces your inner state. — Chin-Ning Chu

     It's like when dogs sense a person's spirit. They cut right through what a person's wearing, whether they've showered that day, what language they speak, what color their skin is. They cut through all that nonsense and see straight through to a person's spirit. We do too.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Got rage?

     I do. Tons of it. But the thing is, I never knew it. And even now that I know, for the most part, the rage stays hidden deep in my unconscious. (I only get glimmers of it.) But just knowing it's there— even if I'm not regularly consciously aware of it— is freeing. It can even be life saving.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Go after what you REALLY want.

     It's like, duh, isn't that a no-brainer? Not really. People don't realize the power of pursuing something that they REALLY want. They settle instead for what they think they can get. They settle for "good enough." Ah, but what they don't realize is that there is absolute magic in pursuing what you REALLY want.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What do I think? Let me check a book.

     Isn't that what fundamentalism is all about? In fact, there's no need to talk to a fundamentalist because if you want to know what they think, all you have to do is read whatever book it is they adhere to. The question is: is that anyway to live?   
     I don't blame anyone for being a fundamentalist. They're scared. And life is scary so it makes sense to be scared. But oh, the cost in what they pay in terms of their freedom. Cat Stevens wrote a song called "Ruins" where he talked about "freedom at what cost." That's the thing, fundamentalists are so afraid, they surrender their freedom. And ironically, especially considering the lyrics of the song, that's exactly what Cat Stevens did. He panicked and embraced fundamentalism. And what a loss that was to all of us. Cat Stevens in a sense is gone to all of us. Replaced by a book.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Are you a murderer?

     Are you so connected, so invested, so insecure in your belief in a particular religion or ideology that you would insist upon its truth even if it was hurting someone? Are you so bereft of the ability to think, to reason, that you must point to some book for definitive, indisputable, infallible answers to life's questions? Would you not draw the line, that if your belief system was harming, possibly fatally harming, a fellow human being, that it is time to back off insisting that your beliefs be true for that person?
     If not, then you are a murderer.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Anybody ever tell you you can't do something?

     This from Mike Alstott (former NFL football player):

I'm a never-say-never type of person, you know what I mean? Always believe in your abilities to do whatever you want to do. It's a mindset. A lot of people told me I couldn't be who I am today. I'm a guy who says if you want to do something and you have dreams, you have to have that confidence and believe in yourself and work hard. I've lived that.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Are you afraid?

     Sure you are. So am I. It's the human condition to be afraid. Life is tenuous. Challenges are everywhere. Threats to our survival. Disease. Violence. Old age. Accident.
     So it's natural to live in fear? Un-uh.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Just say yes.

      I don't know who said it first, but the saying is, 'There is a fine line between anxiety and excitement.' But if you look at that even closer, the issue is about change. The question is really: "How do you look at change?" I heard somebody say once, "If you want people to hate you, make 'em change." And there's a lot to that, isn't there? We get settled in our ways and don't want to change them. But ah, if we can look at change differently...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Live five miles deep.

     Ever hear the saying, You're a million miles wide but only one inch deep? Isn't that the case with a lot of people today? With the internet there is so much exposure to information that people do know an awful lot of stuff. But is it working for them?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

When people dis you online.

     We've all had it happen. People dis you when you've done absolutely nothing to them or anything to merit it. Of course, the temptation is to rip them right back. And that is the last thing you want to do. Instead, you can take their dis as a compliment. (Yes, you read that right.)
     Because it is a compliment. People who dis you for no reason see something in you that they lack. Perhaps you're moving up in your field of endeavor. Perhaps you're friendly and they're not. Whatever the reason, unjustified, nonconstructive criticism is nothing but an acknowledgment that you're doing something very right.