The Day My Life Changed Forever – 2

Every dark cloud has a silver lining! :)At such a young age, I never considered the existence of out space to be bigger than the universe God created for us.  Man hadn’t landed on the moon yet, so what little I knew were the space walks and John Glenn.  To think space went on and on forever … well, I suddenly felt so small and meaningless.

So, in the darkness and alone, when I learned that our galaxy was one of a uncountable number – I just about died right on the spot.  (You remember last post about the world stopping?)  Given this information was not on TV (where I knew it was mostly fake) and in found in a library book, I had to consider it true.  That was the first blow to my min and difficult for me to understand – and I was confused as heck.

Then I thought … why is science, history, and religion so different?  It seems like we are supposed to believe – but what?  How am I supposed to know what is true?  Another slap in the head with another thought … if religion is true, why is there less proof?  Why do so many believe?  How is it justified?

As you can see, I had a fertile mind (and still do).  I loved understanding things and how it all fits together.  My mother came to have a habit of saying: “You will be a jack of all trades and a master of nothing.”  I was/am in awe of everything. (And she was right, I guess.)

And then to top it off – I panicked.  Then I started thinking things like: Now I’ve been duped by everyone.  Everyone is in on a conspiracy.  Is there something I don’t know yet?  What am I supposed to do and believe?  This is where I am practically wailing (silently) in the cold attic.

All of my pain and agony started to come back.  I put a lot of trust in religion.  I invested all my hope in it.  Now how do I approach religion and my spirituality?  I felt my greatest growth and development as a person through experiences that began from a religious source.  Now this astronomy thing …

***

I already had many traumatic experiences up to that point in my life (for example – I vividly remember being up close and intimate with the psychotic murder of a family next door as it happened).

Scared as heck, I tried to fit in as “normally” as possible, i.e. “not be seen or heard”.  I did what I was told; did it without question; and did it to the best of my ability.  My father conditioned us very well – we were all little child soldiers ready (and fearful) at his calling.  I did it out of safety, a sense of belonging, and for acknowledgement. (I got none!)

Then I found religion; and upon discovering everything it stood for (to a child in distress) – I thought I hit the jackpot!  It had all the answers to everything that was wrong in my world:

  • Patience, forgiveness, unconditional love, corporal punishment, sacrifice, reward of paradise, threat of eternal damnation, and much, much more.
  • It helped put my pain and suffering (and to my siblings) in a palatable acceptance of life

The biggest thing I noticed the religion I was born into did to people is what I witnessed as a power of belief and the changes it made to them.

Heck, for years, my father was transformed for 2 hours every Sunday morning for years as he proudly towed along his 8 kids to church.  He even walked differently (with attitude)!  When I caught an understanding of this a few years earlier, I knew there had to be something to being religious.

So, I remember thinking to myself that if I wanted any happiness in this world of plenty, then religion was the way to go.  By that time, I was attending St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, Canada.  I had the scholarship and the musical talents (piano/voice); and from that, religion wrapped me in a spiritual blanket.  My inspiration was fueled with thoughts of hope, faith, humility, and service – all of which brought me great joy in those years, and they set another layer to my personal foundation.

Yes, I learned forgiveness, albeit the difficult way; and I still gained valuable lessons about people and myself.  I still benefit greatly every day from these lessons learned.

A small confession:

Being a realist at the time (in hindsight, a budding Existentialist), I always felt the Bible wasn’t something to be literally believed.  I understood clearly they were stories written down to teach us things.  When I saw people expressing their 100% devotion to the faith, I didn’t understand how that could be so.  But one thing for sure: I DID believe in Heaven an Hell – and now this astronomy.

I realize now that I was questioning the trust I put in Christianity.  I trusted every other authority figure I met; and the level of trust had eroded to the point where I thought – at least in this case – that I didn’t believe enough.  I thought I could do better, or look for more suffering, or put myself down and then I will be happy.  And don’t get me wrong.  I had a great many spiritual experiences with people over the years hence.  But …

***

According to my plan, everything was going along great at this point.  I learned to avoid my father’s wrath, I kept up my school marks, and I practiced the piano every day (the Conservatory was expensive!).  Oh yeah – I prayed a lot too. Didn’t seem to make much difference though.

I’m sure you can understand how my life could change with this new knowledge.  And I realize I was just a kid, but my thoughts grew with the expectations set upon me from all the adults in my life.  All I know and remember from almost 50 years ago is that it was a common occurrence for the adults to have a plan for me and not tell me about it.

In a great lesson from that, I learned about Fear.  I guess that’s why I have no issues with experimenting, discovering, change, creativity, expression, performance, and all the other great things about living life.

***

As you can see, my world was rocked.  In a matter of about 2 hours one evening in the fall, I had (and wasn’t aware of it, btw) a personal experience that set in motion a path for a journey that would have me take on life with an unquenchable desire to understand the world.

(tomorrow – final part: How the next 40 years turned out …)

Advertisements

Touching Freedom: Discovering A Life With Purpose, part 1

What is (Life) Purpose?

This may be the second most important personal, intimate, and profound question we all face in humankind just behind “What is the meaning of life?” and just before “What is Freedom?”.  And it is most likely same the reasons it is the most difficult to answer.  It takes a lot of work just to consider what it actually IS before we even consider HOW to Live with Purpose.  All the more reason (especially in these times of short attention spans) to not consider our Life Purpose – it’s a lot of hard work – brain work – thinking.

Our access to this personal question is openly available to anyone who can understand our existence (we know that we are humans on the planet for less than 100 years). It is not so openly to those of us who are not aware of even this particular paradigm of life.

Life Purpose is being in control of our life.  It’s knowing that we will be doing the same thing forever – in some way or another.  LP is the reason for waking in the morning.

Purpose is creative.  Imagination comes from looking outside the ordinary and mundane and envisioning another way of expression.  Purpose is inventive and sees new possibility in things.  Purpose is curiosity and always asking ‘why’.  These are not things that we learn or practice like a skill.  It is an internal process within each and every one of us.

We can decide this way of living for ourselves; but often for most of us, it is decided for us because we gave up option of deciding a long time ago.

.

.

The Meaning of our Life Purpose (LP) is …

… based on feelings, both physical and emotional.

It is a sensation inside our body and mind >> a collision course of creativity and curiosity. It’s a scientific and medical action that takes place in our bodies that we tag with a meaning or a name.

These feelings are found in a lot of things we do over our lifetimes. Feelings are important because they provide the snapshot of memories (both good and bad) that left an impression on our lives.  These feelings may then end up being connected to doing something great, and we loved it, people around us loved it, and it was something that we felt was a genuine contribution to life.

With those feelings, which we want to replicate forever, we end up making stories about ourselves.  Stories about our abilities, desires, obligations, family, competency, and any other description that would give us reasons NOT to follow through on our desires.

Nobody else can decide or define it for us.  It is personal – DEEPLY personal to a point where we may not even share these feelings with anybody else – not even our families and spouses.

We decide as individuals what our own LP is and means to us.

.

The quest to discover our LP is an Internal Process with an External measurement.

While the issue of our Life Purpose is not always apparent to everyone at all times, it’s there for all of us.  It’s already inside of us waiting to be expressed to the world.  Waiting for us to ‘release the hounds’ of our secret desires.   But, before we can even consider the thought of seeking our own personal LP, we have to complete other necessary psychological and social tasks to be ready for the inquiry of the mind.

First thing, we have to complete other necessary sociological processes in our lives.  Have we tried things we liked and excelled – only to realize it is only ‘hobby-worthy’?  Have we taken any risks to seek out our LP?  Have we looked back on our lives to find any strings of similarity?

.

How do we KNOW it’s Our LP?

When we have found our LP, we instinctively know already that it is found.  Again, as I said earlier, it is something we decide – so it is a result where we know unequivocally that our life (and the lives around us) is lit up with joy and excitement.  That’s one of the great payoffs – everyone benefits.

Some ways the feelings express themselves are in the nature of who we are being.  Sometimes, our thoughts can be obsessive and overwhelming.  Scary! (That may be why we shy away from further inquiry – the fear factor!)

Another good hint of our purpose is when other people tell us we ‘should get into’ or ‘be’ something that we’ve just gloriously and happily demonstrated. They don’t understand why we don’t do it professionally and make lot’s of money doing what is fun.  Sometimes, other people can see it before we can  – sorta like bad habits.

“Getting a feeling of your Life Purpose is like
having great sex for the first time.

Once we’ve experienced it,
  We spend the rest of our life trying to duplicate the feeling.”

.

Living within our LP is a difficult proposition to consider because …

Probably the most difficult to seek and achieve, LP remains elusive to most because it involves 2 sides of our humanity at the same time:

1 – our individual Way of Being (Thinking):

– it colours our way of seeing the world and the perspective we have on it

– based on how we feel about ourselves

– being comfortable with who we are

2 – our individual Way of Doing (Acting):

– based on how we feel the world perceives us as individuals

– the expression of what we are thinking about the world

– it requires us to live with ethical and moral values

It takes a lot of conviction, courage, patience, and personal understanding to even consider the possibility of living a Life with Purpose.  Worse still, there are a million reasons/excuses for not seeking our LP that let us off the hook.

It’s always someone else’s fault. And we end up at the end of our lives saying we ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda.”

Sadly, we miss the fact that it is really the fear and discomfort we are avoiding that is really taking place in our hearts.  Besides, who deserves to feel this good in life (and get paid for it, too)?

.

Next posting …

Why is having a Life Purpose is important to us.

See you next time,

Kevin

Our Individuality

Another post on Getting Along with Others is forthcoming.

Before I post, I wanted to upload this reminder from the recent post RELATIONSHIP: We CAN Get Along just to keep a concept fresh in our mind as we journey to the next conversation about practical tips on what we can actually DO to experience the shift in our relationships.

I decided to upload the 3 points below because, like the last entry on Fear, these are constant little reminders I keep in my head as I operate out in the world.

They are now second nature and I usually don’t even have to think about it anymore – with one exception:

When I get triggered from an incident,

I usually just have to give myself a little step back, breathe, and remember the following:

Individuality

RELATIONSHIP: We CAN Get Along With EVERYONE

Getting along with others in the world is probably the most difficult thing that confronts us each and every single day.

Lightning Storm of Relating With Others


For some of us, it has gotten easier over the years as we learned some little trick to help make life easier.

For many of us, it is still difficult being in relationship with others.  We may have an inkling of how things can be done differently, and some of them we use.

Still, for others, life continues to be just a string of confrontations and problems that seem to keep popping up and never going away.

Fortunately, there is hope and possibility that this can change for the better – regardless of where we fit in the above situations.  It is possible that all our relationships, from lovers to strangers, can be without the conflict that easily shows up.

By simply changing the way we see others and ourselves, it is a SURE THING to TRANSFORM your life experiences and relationships by just having better understanding of how we operate as individuals.

______  .  ______

In the last post about relationships, which is Part One to this post, I ended it by boldly stating:

It is easy to create empowering relationships

even with people that are unlikeable,
those we don’t much trust, and
people who’s lost our respect

without the head games and general feeling of
disempowerment, and/or resentment, and/or unfinished business.

.

For this post, I am bringing the conversation full circle by sharing with you my assumptions and successes that give validation to this very incredible assertion.

Here, we will look at what we can do about the never-ending conflict that surrounds us all.  I am going to make a few assumptions about getting along and how we can live with less conflict towards a more personally freeing experiences we all seek in our lives.

***

I am going to make another major assertion; this time on why we fail miserably in relationships:

We’ve been looking at and attacking the WRONG issues
when understanding and (re)building relationships.

From all of the evidence around us (politicians, criminals, armies, activists, and others), it appears we still have limited knowledge when it come to relating with each other.

______  .  ______

Family Time

Here are some different made-up named character examples and the type of relationship (to which we will refer back) of how we are inwardly being (how we think), how we express ourselves in what we  do, what is the secret threat (or the fear), what we do in our learned response to the threat (how we defend our fear), and what we get out of our relationships by hanging on to the fear (and therefore, maintaining the behaviour):

Family/Close Relationships:

  • Jim
  • Strong and the leadership type.
  • A take-charge person with family matters and is action-oriented.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Abandonment
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, tend to seek at least one ally in the family for support. Will always be right.
  • PAYBACK: Will always have a close connection with ‘family’ throughout whole life.

Business/Work:

  • Sue
  • Quiet and invisible.
  • Does not raise issues and has few friends.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Poverty
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, may often tell supervisors what is going.
  • PAYBACK: Better feeling of security and feels a bit of power.

Primary Relationships:

  • Bob
  • Docile and expressive with emotions.
  • Usually go along without sharing concerns.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Dying Alone
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, may involve pouting and whining, usually from a ‘victim’ position.
  • PAYBACK: Never give others a reason to leave, and will always have someone by their side.

Acquaintances:

  • John
  • Usually happy and fun to be around.
  • Reliable and a team player.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Loneliness
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, may get loud and boisterous sometimes leading to escalate issues.  Usually knowledge of personal details of friends that keeps a connection.
  • PAYBACK: Will be acknowledged as a respected, liked, and a trusted friend. Always have someone to turn to in times of need.

Strangers:

  • Ann
  • Suspicious and distant.
  • Untrusting and avoid eye contact.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Victim of Abuse
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, may walk/run away or yell/scream loudly.
  • PAYBACK: Get validation for fears about other people from other people.

When considering these character traits, keep in mind that it is even possible for all of these fears to the emotional make-up of only one person.  It’s possible because we understand these kind of issues, and we can relate to them – if not in ourselves, we can see them in others (just as others would see it in us) .

______  .  ______

We can see how they act/react in such ways that
we would never know the real “deep” reason
for why they act that way.

Even more interesting,

we often don’t even know it when we do it to ourselves.

______ .  ______

So, Why Don’t These Methods Work?

In each of the people above, the pain of issues will never go away, because the real issues are not addressed. They allow the opening for more opportunities for problems and issues to arise because they will still not feel better or closer to other people.

Plain and simply:

  • First: The fears still exists – it/they have only been defended (temporarily for that instance of the fear).

Because we don’t talk about our real fears and feeling to other people, we have been trained to keep “that stuff” to ourselves – especially men; and therefore, we don’t get a deep enough understanding of other people to develop fulfilling relationships.  (Unless you want to pay a lot of money for therapy, lol.)

Because we are dealing with “what happened or is happening”, we overlook the real source of the fear. For example, maybe Sue (from above character) was born into poverty even though father was a union-man.  She witnessed a lot of violence in the workplace and came to believe management were people to fear. She developed her behaviour from the trauma in childhood and did not want to be poor again.

Another problem with this is that we then don’t get the chance to understand

we humans are all more alike than we realize: we all live and hide inside our fears we developed early on in life.

  • Second: The current methods only maintains or increases the distance we have when relating with others.

When we look at Bob or Ann, they may rid themselves of the immediate issue/threat (real or perceived) by their actions; but over the long run in their lives, they will always struggle with how they operate to get what they want.

Secretly, we know it is a ruse – or an act (headgame) – to stop feeling the loneliness, or poverty, or …

The major problem arises from the years of practice we collect to let it imprint on our memories from all our past issues. And when we look back on our lives (and be honest with ourselves), we can see links in EVERYTHING.

We can’t help what we are doing because our habits are deep-rooted.

For example, say I had an issue (fear) with feeling like people are always putting me down. I could react by arguing with people to make a point (as truth), or maybe become a loner, or by having friends below my perceived level.  I may get those feelings from way back in my childhood from, say, a mother that was always putting me down and saying I was stupid, or I lived in a community that I knew was full of poverty.

______  .  ______

Here is my understanding of relationship, and I make the following assumption:

Serene Pathway

I figure the meaning and level of relationship is:

based on OUR expectations on how the relationship should play out, which is

based on OUR values and beliefs from what we’ve learned about relating, which is

based on OUR previous experiences of similar PAST situations, which is

based on OUR secret memories of how we felt in those situations, which is

based on OUR private fears we hold from long-held, unresolved traumatic instances.

 

***

THIS IS THE SAME FOR ME – AS IT IS FOR YOU – AS IT IS FOR EVERY LIVING BEING.

We are all the same!

______  .  ______

The 3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS to remember
to start getting along with EVERYONE:

Are you ready for what I think are the 3 key things we have to remember so it begins the process of getting along with everyone?  From the insights gleaned from above, I make these assertions about people and relationships (at every level of our interactions with people and things):

The Fawn

1

WE ALL LIVE INSIDE OUR MANY FEARS
CREATED FROM OUR MEMORIES

Let’s admit it – every single one of us on the planet
is affected by fear in some way or another.

REMEMBER THIS CAVEAT:
For the most part, we aren’t even aware how our relationships are affected so much
.

And none of us are immune to the ravages of fear because regardless of whether the fear is real or imagined, the world relies heavily on our exposure to fear and promotes it always.  We just plain cannot escape it as sure as the sun always being there.

***

 The Tigress

2

WE ARE ALL TRAINED THROUGH LIFE
HOW TO REACT TO LIFE’S CHALLENGES

The Social Norms that dictate “how we should be
are taught to us without even being aware of it!

As we know, we are taught in life to be a certain way in specific situations. All of our influences come from many sources: media, entertainment, family, friends, professional associates, financial status, etc.  We are most influenced by our primary relationships: family.

***

The Wolverine

3

WE EXPRESS OURSELVES (AND OUR FEARS)
THE ONLY WAY WE KNOW HOW

Though trial and error, we learn specifically what actions works best
when we are protecting ourselves in conflict.

Because we know this about ourselves, then it is LOGICAL to make the CONNECTION that:

“If I am this way and I am normal and average,
then other people are normal and average also.”

therefore,

“We are all THE SAME.
We just
express ourselves differently.”

______  *  ______

The Brooding Sky

So, the big question to be answered in response to the insights shared here is:

HOW THE HECK DO WE ELIMINATE CONFLICT
BEFORE IT HAS A CHANCE TO HAPPEN?

______  .  ______

If I was so bold, I would first suggest maybe consider making these 3 points a part of a conscious habit to remember.  This won’t take long, maybe a week or so before it becomes second nature and

ALL OF A SUDDEN A MIND-BLOWING SHIFT IN YOUR LIFE TAKES PLACE.

Yes, an INCREDIBLE TRANSFORMATION (NOT change) of how you look at people, see people, interact with people, and get interested in people. YES!

It will suddenly dawn on you things are different. The subtle soon becomes apparent and then sliding in your life will be this “eureka moment” or “aha!“.  So remember these 3 important things about ourselves – OUR INTIMATE SELVES – and realize we are all the same:

  1. We All Live In Fear

  2. We Are Trained/Conditioned To React Certain Ways

  3. We Express Ourselves The Only We Way We Know How

***

DID YOU KNOW: When you walk along the street and you are smiling, people are almost certain to smile back at you when you make eye contact. Try it out sometimes.

Next post on relationships, we will look at some examples of how fear rears it’s ugly head.

The Art of Living

This poem is dedicated to all the silent heroes among us who dare to live life to it’s fullest.

Kevin

.

Going For It

*

Exercising secret dreams,

It’s not in our tomorrows.

Dancing rushes feel extremes,

Only in our yesterdays.

 

Living and loving outside our mind,

Free from our private sorrows.

The art of living honours our time,

Lived in the NOW each day.

.

(c) 2012

Matrix: Success 101 – The Very Basics

Success is a Master of Trickery and Disguise; and if it were a living entity, it would remind me of an impish and mischievous gargoyle watching over our every move and thought.  Inspecting and judging without offering comprehensible guidance towards our dreams..

Success, achievement, project management, or whatever we choose to label it, can and usually does coat our life like warm dark syrup (or hot volcanic lava, lol).  Based on my experience, we carve this path in our life that can be a slow, burning, and deliberate  journey or rat-tat-tat stinging with exponential responsibilities  – NEVER BEFORE FELT or IMAGINED!  Questioning, imagining, and wondering with sometimes psychotic playfulness..

There will be times, while on your journey to freedom and personal expression, you will not recognize yourself because you will change as you move along chasing your dream.  Consider that you’ve never travelled the road before, then most, if not all, experiences you will confront and conquer will be new and uncharted territory – especially if you are up to something completely off-the-wall or brand new.

.

The journey will at times make you feel like a hermit, and/or excited, psychotic, physically ill, questioning yourself, re-evaluating your choices and decision, scared as heck, and many, many more strange feelings of fear and loathing.

The disguise is how the journey towards success wraps itself in our life and then makes US decide what it all means.

Now, I’m talking about the meaning of your success – the perception of achieving your goal – the vision of knowing your dream – the accomplishment of fulfilling obligations and tasks the feeling of excitement waking up and skipping breakfast and a shower – the acknowledgement of your progress – and any other thing you can think of that comes to mind as you do the things that make you want to do the things.

***

Below, I provide you with four main steps or actions I consider and incorporate in my activities when I decide to take on a project.  I am a bit anal about having a procedure or plan because that is the kind of thinking I have had impressed on me throughout my life.

I believe in accepting personal responsibility for our lives.  A plan makes life easier. It makes living more fun and accessible.  It gives my life meaning.  And time and again, I’ve been told to HAVE A PLAN to get there.  This is the world we live in – we need to do certain things to get certain things.  So, I made this list of little reminders to prevent my GET-UP-AND-GO from GETTING-UP-AND-LEAVING.

Believe me, I have to follow these steps because I am human and I live with all the same frailties everyone else; So this is not always easy for me as well.

Over the years, through a lot of searching, training, and experimenting with success planning, I have developed this very BASIC Plan to get things done.  It’s not the end all to planning for achievement; rather, it is just a simple list of reminders to keep me moving along the journey of achievement.

I hope you enjoy my suggestions and would be interested in hearing any feedback you may have.  (This is not a perfect list, so I am always on the look out for new suggestions and ideas.)

.

***   ***   ***

1

PICK YOUR DREAM

Ask anybody – they’ll tell you their dream.
  • “Admit to Yourself” HONESTLY and “Don’t Pretend”

    • We have our story we show and tell the world; and we have inner secret truths about ourself we don’t share – our fears, dreams, joys, loves.. We’re not bad, just without the esteem we need and want to get to where we want to get.
    • It’s easy to hide because then we feel better.  Nobody is perfect – and we are ALL human, warts and all.
    • We all live with the same fears, desires, and human conditioning – so you are not a freak.  The more honest with yourself, the more success you will have in a shorter period of time.
  • Peel Away the Excuses

    • There is a reason for everything we do and DON’T DO.  This includes our dreams and goals. Some are real, and some are imagined.
    • This is the most natural part of chasing dreams – most of us do it so we can separate the fact from the fiction.  And, it is a very freeing and logical event to show yourself the ease of going for it.
    • Once you strip down to your REAL SELF and the true person who you would like to express; you will feel the excitement returning.
  • Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • YOU WILL!  It’s just a feeling – read my posts on fear.
    • Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Look back on your history when you’ve investigate a possibility of stepping out of your box.  Does it remind you of previous sabotages?
    • Stop – Breathe – Think – Get Fresh Air.
  • Take a Chance and Believe Your Dream

    • Ask yourself: “If money and time wasn’t an issue, what would I rather be doing?”  Don’t rely on your memory of past attempts – consider this question: What if …?
    • You know you CAN – it may be just that you don’t know HOW.  In this day and age – finding the HOW is the easiest thing you can ever do.
  • Anything Is POSSIBLE!

    • Everything we see, experience, own, and use was first dreamed up in someone’s mind.  It had to start somewhere – and the person just said to her/himself – WHY NOT?
    • TRUST YOURSELF!

    • Chances are, if you haven’t been FORMALLY educated in the arena of your dreams, you are probably ahead of the game.  Formal education dampens the spirit and turns dreams into jobs.  If you are self-educated – all you need help with is the technicalities.

2

GET AN ALLY

Much respect for the straight-shooter
who whispers in our ear with love and without fear.
  • We Cannot Achieve ANYTHING Alone

    • I guess if there was a truth in life – it may be this. History is filled with overwhelming evidence that we need other people in our dream with us to make a difference in OUR life and the lives of others.
    • Bringing someone else into our dream takes a bit of courage.  It also takes trustIt’s still worth sharing.
    • There is someone out there who shares the same goals, values, and dreams as you.  They just may not have the skills you have – or the joy, or the desire, or the motivation, etc.
  • A Mentor/Coach Loves the Honour

    • You don’t have to re-invent the wheel.  Someone’s been on this road before you.
    • You won’t have a difficult time finding a Coach because people who are already working in the business love to be around others who have the hunger and desire to succeed and express themselves.
    • Depending on your dream – the more groundbreaking or new – the better chances to find an excellent Mentor.
    • It will take time.
  • Remember – Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Even at this point you will get restless.  Thoughts of worthiness and personal value will creep in FROM YOUR OWN MIND.
    • We are our own worst critics.  Don’t believe the voice in the head – it loves to scare the heck out of you.
    • AND, by the way, THIS IS NATURAL.
  • Be Kind to Yourself

    • Make a list of your accomplishments – all of them from your childhood.  You will be able to see you can achieve things when you put your mind to it.
    • You will also notice how things you have done in the past all MYSTERIOUSLY fit in with the dream you want to fulfill.
  • Build An Extended Team

    • Besides having your Mentor/Coach, you will need to have trusted people in your life in other areas as well.
    • Bring together a “TEAM” that can support you on different levels in different areas.  You may want to have someone be a sounding board, someone to help with a proposal or business plan, some to help with money management, someone for mental health upsets.
    • Try to avoid people who are closest to you for guidance or advice unless they are truly impartial.  Otherwise, they either won’t understand what you are really up or they may not like the changes they are seeing..

3

MAKE A PLAN

There can be no conflict if you are awaiting it’s arrival.
  • Get an Outline for Your Dream/Idea/Project/Business/Craft

    • As I previously mentioned, information is available everywhere – and most is FREE.  Online, you can get some kind of organizational assistance on ANYTHING you are interested in pursuing.
    • Your Coach/Mentor will be a good source in this area.
    • Remember, to enroll anybody in your dream – they want EVIDENCE to know if you are chasing a DREAM or just a PIPE-DREAM.  This will show them you are serious.
  • Understand it is ALSO a Business (even if not intended or as planned)

    • I heard a saying years ago (I’m probably paraphrasing because I can’t remember who said it): “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you got there?”
    • Your dream will need MONEY.  In today’s world that’s an unavoidable fact.  But you need to know how much financially your dream will need so it doesn’t become an issue later on – especially if you are just about to get on the CREST OF GREATNESS.
    • Your dream will need TIME.  This is important because people in your current life will still want your time and attention
    • Your dream will need EFFORT. Are you up for the CHALLENGE? Is it in you physically and emotionally?
    • Having a plan will take away a lot of surprises.
  • Know Yourself HONESTLY and Don’t Pretend

    • See (in your mind’s eye) how the achievement will look when you get there.  From the exercise you performed at the beginning, since you know what REAL skills and talents you possess, you will be able to see what you have to do.
    • Is more education required?  Do you need to save some money?  Where do you lack the understanding?
    • Creative people especially, are more prone to have difficulty in this area because it’s difficult to separate the EMOTIONAL from the RATIONAL when making a plan.  It’s not a part of the mental makeup when it comes to fulfilling DREAMS.
  • I’ll Say It Again – Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Planning is probably the MOST VOLATILE AREA OF DREAM DEVELOPMENT for the dream chaser.

    • A lot of stress, miscommunication, and effort will be created because of the differences between dreamer and the people brought in to help with the dream.  Different sides of the brain is used between the relationships; so there will be clashes many times because of a deep misunderstanding of the needs required to perform roles.
    • THIS IS VERY NORMAL.

    • Just be PATIENT – Don’t end RELATIONSHIPS – Don’t walk away – and DON’T QUIT!!
  • Create a BALANCE in your activities

    • Dream chasing takes a lof of our time – sometimes too much.  People (and maybe yourself) will wonder whether it is becoming an unhealthy obsession or addiction.
    • Your health will be affected, your relationships will change, your time will disappear, and, at times, nothing else will matter. (Sometimes, this kind of personal selfishness will be essential.)
    • In your time management plan for your dream, make sure you include ALL areas that make up our lives: exercise, entertainment, socializing, EATING, going outside, etc. You get the picture and probably know what I mean if you’ve ever chased dreams in the past.

4

KEEP GETTING UP DON’T GIVE UP!

The Only Lifeguard That Saves Us EVERY TIME
  • The Bigger the Plan, the Bigger the Challenge

    • Like everything in life, you get out of it what you put into it.  When we are creating dreams, we are putting out a lot of negative influence on your OLD life – so your OLD LIFE will push back – and not always nicely.
    • Think of the computer acronym GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out.
    • Chances are, you are going to be taking on the biggest challenge in your life as you chase your dream.  Just think of this: if you have to rationalize going after your Dream once again, then you have to have all your bases covered.  That means having the answers to all the difficult questions as well.
    • If you have really BIG CHALLENGES – then you are pushing your plan – good for you!
    • No matter how big the problem/challenge, everything can be overcome
  • Keep the End Result (of your first goal) in Front of You

    • When the frustration starts to set in, just remind yourself why you are doing all this work.
    • I use displays and symbols to help me.  I always have some kind of visual reminder on my wall, in my pockets, pictures on computer, etc. so I can quickly remind me what kind of freedom I will have when I accept I am realizing my dream.
    • Use clippings from magazines, photos of people you admire, quotes and anecdotes, etc.
    • Don’t forget to use your team – they expect you to reach out to them.
  • It’s natural that everything goes up and down – so will you

    • If you have at least 25 years of life under your belt, then you understand by now that life is a funny thing.  It is unpredictable, fun, scary, sweet, angry, enlightening, and so much more.
    • LIFE forever changes from moment to moment.

    • Like everything else, your moods, successes, and moments of elation will also change.
    • EVERYTHING IS NORMAL!

  • Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Once again, and I can’t say it enough, you will!  Something will happen that will knock you off your feet and kick you between the teeth.  THIS IS NORMAL and happens more often on a daily basis as you PROGRESS along your SUCCESS JOURNEY.
    • When things get overwhelming, watch some videos by Les Brown.  He is a great motivator who can get you out of your funk of feeling down, or stressed, or just plain tired.
    • DON’T DECIDE TO GIVE UP – IT’S NOT WORTH GIVING IN!

.
So, that wraps up this installment of my understanding on achievement.

When Success is appearing to engage in Trickery and Disguise; remember that the journey will be difficult AND it will be fun and exhilarating. 

Consider these suggestions when chasing your Dream and PICK YOUR DREAM; then ensure you FIND AN ALLY; make sure you have at least some kind of PLAN; and finally, KEEP GETTING UP.

You will reach every goal to which you’ve ever aspired to achieve and excel.

.
.

Fear: Time to Tell the Truth – Ending Fear

The first time (many years ago) when I attempted suicide, I knew then without a doubt, removing the Fear of Death from my life was the most freeing and transcending experience I could ever expect.  (I implore you though, do not consider an attempt just to see if it is true!)

Gladly, because I wasn’t successful in my goal (and the final three that followed, again many years ago), I am able to re-discover and experienc the greatest joys we always read and hear about when it comes to enjoying life to the max.  Sadly, while I assume not too many people get this – but, I’ve come to realize that humankind is fooling itself when it comes to fear.

We THINK we KNOW, and we tell others about what we think we know, and that is based on misinformation and double-talk passed down from a time when we didn’t know.  Actually, those who do know about fear make lots and lots of money from that knowledge.

Here are some of the ways I noticed Fear used against us everywhere and we accept it’s use against us:

  • Business – to sell to us

  • Organized Religion – to save us

  • Government – to protect us

  • Media – to inform us

  • Family – to train us

  • Social Oganizations – to delude us

  • Entertainment – to titillate us

  • Money Markets – to free us

  • Medicine – to study us

  • Politics – to confuse us (haha!)

  • Big Pharma – to medicate us

  • Education – to prepare us

** I’ll explain in further detail in future posts on Fear.

Since having this awareness about Fear, this is not to say that life has been one of leisure and comfort; rather, I’ve never worked so hard in my life to suck everything out of my experiences and to fully appreciate how life is lived – in all it’s beauty AND ugliness.

And this is not to say that I have my life all together and face every situation without concerns as I walk about as a beacon of inspiration.  On the contrary.  I am human, so I have ‘things I am working on’ all the time.  I have natural reactions, and anger, and pain, and …

So, from my vast experiences, wide and varied education, and with hundreds of interactions with people since, I feel I can confidently assert that:

_________

Fear is the Greatest Abuse
we inflict upon ourselves and others.

_________

We are in it every day, we see it every day, and it is used against us every day.

We run away from it, we fear it, and we breathe every moment hoping we are prepared against some kind of impending disaster (insurance?).

When I really opened my mind to this and saw the ugliness of the world, I became disempowered and unwilling to play the Fear Game.  I couldn’t come to terms with the morass inflicted upon us by using Fear as a weapon against the masses.  But sometime within the last few years (maybe when I turned 50, and not an “aberrationed” experience), I began to see and experience first-hand why the world needs compassion and understanding.  I now share in genuine moments of true relationship – and not always comfortable for us. But each of us know at least the relationship is real.  And our love grows.

______  .  ______

As I study and learn more about Fear, I am able to understand that I can rid myself of Fear and live a life that is more wonderful and adventurous and fun than ever before imagined or dared..

Now, even when things appear to seem hopeless and desolate, I live more in Freedom than ever before.  The Freedom comes in the understanding that Fear is the controlling force – and in that understanding, I let go of the Fear.

It isn’t always easy – after all, even science tells us that any force against nature has an equal and opposite force,  Therefore, if I’m up to good things that are taking me out of my ‘nature’ and pushing the limits of possibility, then I have to be prepared to expect nature to push back with the same force of opposition (economy, politics, family, social standing, finances, etc).

______  .  ______

To summarize from the last post on Fear and how it happens to us:

.

  1. We take in the information, then

  2. We INSTANTLY warn ourself from being startled by automatically and normally setting off phyical reactions like adrenalin (as in all animals), then

  3. Believing that feeling, we INSTANTLY search our memory for past feelings, then

  4. Believing that memory, we INSTANTLY give the feeling meaning, then

  5. Believing that meaning, we take action based on the meaning that we automatically EXPECT to remove the problem.

.

**  It doesn’t have to be this way.  **

We can eliminate all the problems and avoid the distress.
Read on …

______  .  ______

*** A strong reminder: these are only my observations – they are not the Truth.  I will add though, the insights I’ve shared are common in most societal institution in every culture.

.

The Big Secrets About Fear
.

  • Fear is only a feeling

  • There is a difference on whether we see or imagine the source of Fear > FEAR IS TIME-BASED

  • The feeling we get when we label it Fear is the EXACT SAME FEELING WE GET WHEN WE ARE EXCITED.  Yes, Fear feels the same as excitement.

  • Fear is the label we give the feeling

  • – we have 4 distinct opportunities to feel Fear and still not be afraid

  • – How we react when faced with a fear is only a “conditioned response

______  .  ______

The Four Opportunities to Eliminate Fear

>> Keep in mind that the focus of this discussion is on our PERCEPTIONS of threats (imagined) and not REAL threats that affect our lives or of those we love.

***

The first thing that happens when we are caught off guard (to start the process):

1 – We Warn Ourselves

  • The adrenalin rush we feel is only a natural biological effect

  • The feeling happens no matter what – we cannot control it

  • The feeling has the same purpose and is common in all life

       DOWNSIDE:

  • It is too easy to automatically think the worst about the feeling

       UPSIDE:

  • The chaotic jungle of life on this planet gives us a great internal warning system for real reasons to be fearful

1st OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST CONCLUSION

  • WE CAN consciously acknowledge the feeling of the adrenalin and logically understand it can be a misread feeling

  • Opens up the mind to further inquiry of the “real” threat that scares us > more possibilities for understanding

Here is a personal example from my life that can illustrate my assertion:

When I was playing piano as a young boy, I was always encouraged to play well.  My piano teacher taught me to learn and express my talents through my inherent love of music (which I still hold today).  My father taught me to learn through the fear of losing the music because “it costs a lot of money to put you through this!” 

I can remember feeling scared and nervous before a recital (I used to play recitals at places like the old Eaton store in downtown Toronto for old rich people).  My teacher helped me quickly overcome fear of performing in public after a couple of performances.

This is what happened:

After I shared with my teacher how I was feeling (the adrenalin, hands sweaty, pacing, breathing), she told me I was wrong about my feeling.  Here it comes, I thought, now I am REALLY going to feel bad.

What she said to me was this:

“Kevin, for whatever reason you think you are nervous, it is not true.  The real reason you feel this way is because you are EXCITED about performing.  You know your stuff.  The feelings you get before you perform are EXACTLY THE SAME as Fear – and you know you are scared.  So it’s got to be excitement.”

After about three times of being reminded, I have never, ever been nervous about performing in front of people.  I’ve performed in theatre, TV, movies, music, training, and public speaking, and I’ve always excelled in this area of life.  And when I see an opportunity to perform something, I GET EXCITED!

______  .  ______

The next thing that happens after we get the physical sensation caused by some unexpected event (whether real or perceived):

.
2 – We Search Our Memory for a Similar Event

       DOWNSIDE:

  • We are limited to our memories of events AS THEY HAPPENED AT THE TIME

  • We remember details as if we were still that age

  • The more trauma to our psyche > the more embedded in our memories

  • Our memory changes because of later events, more knowledge, health, etc.

Our memories are selective > it will search ANYTHING to match the feeling (depending on the current event when we get the feeling of the adrenalin rush).

        WORST DOWNSIDE:

  • once the feeling is felt, our memory USUALLY STARTS AT THE WORST explanation and works it’s way down

  • we are conditioned by civilization to start with BAD memories because we all live in Fear

 

2nd OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST MEMORY that comes to our mind.

  • We know the memory is untrustworthy because the memory is an automatic  random event from our brain.

Here is another example from my life:

When I approach an older man who reminds me of my late father (ie. Size, looks, sound, walk, or smell > I know that he is not my father, he just appears to me like the memory of my father.

Those memories of my father go back to the brutal childhood I endured.  There was much physical, psychological, and emotional abuse from him.  There was absenteeism, unexplained punishment, and never, ever a conversation with him in my first 17 years knowing him.

I learned over time that I didn’t have to fear male authority figures solely based on a memory.  Close to twenty years later when I saw him again, I grew to understand how memory taints our feelings.  By then, I came to understand that he wasn’t as big as I remembered; he was really just a broken man and bully; and he only did what he did out of his own fears.

This didn’t forgive his treatment of his eight children; but it did help me come to terms with my unfounded fears of older male authority figures.  I learned to change my behaviour because I knew I didn’t have to experience being with them and living from a misplaced feeling that I had to cower in secret fear and try to impress in order to achieve my/our goals.

______  .  ______

After the feeling and memory has arrived, then:

3 – We Tell Ourselves What the Feeling and Memory (together) Means to us.

It has been dissected and discussed over eons humankind’s eternal and most individual personal search (whether we acknowledge it or not).  That inquiry is about our search for meaning.  It is THE crucial element in civilization because it helps us all to connect with one another by creating a common understanding.

This happened because … or she’s like that because … or this symbol binds us because … 

DOWNSIDE:

  • Since our initial and natural reaction to an unexpected event is to protect ourselves, we tend to automatically think the meaning of the feeling represents doom.

UPSIDE:

  • By giving things/events/behaviours meaning, it gives us reasons for why things happen and can create safety for us (from such things as possible real physical danger).

 

3rd OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST MEANING we automatically attach to the memory

  • we know the meaning is untrustworthy because the mind will attach anything that sticks

Another (boring?) example of how this can work:

I am involved in a lot of projects and I always have from my earliest memories as a boy.  I love them because they satisfy my need for constant change and variety, and I completely hate being on a clock and having a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke).

As I got older, my ability to achieve some of my goals was becoming more difficult.  I was becoming frustrated because things weren’t just getting done and I couldn’t depend on people.

The first thing I did was start going back through my memory to all my FAILED projects and started making checklists in my mind.  It wasn’t long before I found enough reasons to make myself feel bad.  Soon, I became fearful of sharing my ideas with others because I began doubting my skills and abilities.  That invoked my deep-seated fear of looking stupid.

One day, I decided to make a paper checklist of my ideas and projects (for a different project I’m working on right now).  Wow!  When I started to acknowledge the achievements I accomplished, I began to see patterns (as well as to feel better in knowing I wasn’t stupid after all, lol).

When I discovered I was selecting partners to work with me, I was choosing people who easily bought into the idea or were looking to impress me with their interest.  Not a good reason to select a working partner.

Since then, I realize that I don’t have to misjudge my ideas or the people working with me because I’ve changed my habits in the process.  Now when I embark on a new project, I may not have succeeded in the goal in the past, but that just means I learned something new to help me become better as a person.

______  .  ______

Then finally, after the brain INSTANTLY takes the event, and notices the feeling, and attaches it to a memory, and gives it a meaning, then

4 – We Take Action based on the Meaning We Gave to the Feeling

The classic theory on Fear tells us either we stay and defend or we run away called “fight or flight”.  This is typical whether the feeling of the Fear is real or perceived.  It is a conditioned reaction we are taught and affects every one of us (as animals).

.

4th OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to REACT TO THE FIRST MEANING we automatically attach to the memory

  • we know everything has been untrustworthy so far, so a ‘second thought’ is required

When the Fear is real, such as someone is driving at us, the action is very apparent.  The person either jumps out of the way immediately or decides to take action head on.

When the fear is perceived, such as a Fear of Failure, it may not be so obvious.

An example of perceived fear such as above, the person may choose to never take courses to get promoted in the company.  If a person has a Fear of being Late (which would go deeper than that with further inquiry), they may act out by screaming aggressively at someone who slows them down or gets in their way.  Other examples of ways people react out of fear may appear as:

  • crying every time the person fears the other is leaving, or

  • physical fighting to avoid the fear of feeling embarrassed by another person, or

  • giving false compliments to overcome the fear of not being liked, or

  • becoming well-read to avoid the fear of looking stupid, and on and on …

The person may get stressed out at people just being themselves.  Someone standing on the escalator as they ride or someone fumbling around for change may be perceived as an enemy and then anybody in your way (which ends up being everybody) catches your derision.  The actions out of fear show up in many, many ways.

______  .  ______

To Recap …

In a nutshell to bring this conversation to close for today, here are the main points I’ve brought forward:

  1. Fear is not real

  2. Fear can be changed

  3. Fear is based on past memories

  4. We can live without Fear

.

.