(The reason I haven’t written in a while is because I want my writing to be perfect. I have ideas and when I brainstorm the flow is incredible, but when I sit down to write I freeze and I become self conscious and it becomes impossible to write. The past few posts, although the concepts felt authentic the writing felt alien. So what I wrote in this post is straight from the heart onto paper so don’t be too harsh on my grammar and spelling.)
The past few months I’ve been reflecting on a lot of different ideas that have come up from conversations I’ve had had, books I’ve read, or stuff I’ve reflected on, so in no particular order I want to share random thoughts/ideas I want to incorporate into my life –
1. Vulnerability is the key to authenticity. The only way to be truly authentic is to be vulnerable to let another person see you for who you are – your faults, worries, aspirations, goals, dreams no matter how trivial or crazy they may seem. Surprisingly, when you do this you quickly realize the other person also feels the same way and this allows you to truly connect and be authentic with another person, and it feels awesome to be heard and to know that we are all in this game of life together – going through the same highs and lows and have the same hopes and dreams for the future.
2. Paradox of choice – there are so many choices to make every single day and we all want to optimize for the best outcome so we push off making choices, we freeze. The irony is that because we are presented with a million awesome choices in life – we actually end up doing nothing. The key is to get out of the mindset that there is a right or wrong – or best or worst. Every choice you make gives you the opportunity to grow and learn so don’t be afraid to make the choice. If you don’t know what choice to make go with your gut/intuition, and you are probably lying to yourself if you say you don’t know what your gut is saying.
3. Rationality vs. Love/Gut/Intuition/Being – Our culture pushes the idea that until there is data behind something we shouldn’t believe it because it might just be the placebo affect or you might end up brainwashing yourself. The tech companies these days are all based on data – until you have statistical significant results are meaningless. This way of thinking is needed in some aspects of life – but I feel like we are relying too much on rationality and are forgetting the power of just believing in something. What is wrong with having a belief that you can’t prove? When I first started meditating it was weird telling people what I do. But now with all the science behind meditation I proudly proclaim and discuss my meditation practice. What changed? Why does it matter what the data says about what I do? If meditation brings purpose to my life and a sense of being then the data doesn’t matter. The power of just having a belief and going with it because it brings a sense of wonder and purpose in your life seems to be on the decline. This carries through in the decisions in your life. Sometimes, you have to go with your gut and intuition even if rationally or logically it seems dumb. You have to do it because that is what makes life fun and adventurous – leaping into the unknown and seeing what happens.
4. The way you choose to spend your time and the action you engage in should not be tied to what you will get out of it. If 10 years from now the company you built goes bankrupt you need to look back and be able to say that you wouldn’t have changed a thing – that if you could go back in time you would have made the same decision because it comes from a place of love and not this idea that you are doing x and y in order to obtain z in the future. This applies to relationships, works, hobbies, exercise, eating, everything!
5. What is right action? Right action has to be 100% based on your beliefs and values and secondarily balancing the practicalities of life like earning a living. It is definitely easier said than done.
6. Who am I? My natural way of replying to this question leads to an entourage of statements from work, education, and hobbies. But none of that answers the question, since those answers are superficial they are all based on social constructs we have created and could change in any moment. This identity we use to define who we are can change in an instant or moment – I could wake up tomorrow and decide to change my identity. So who we think we are is based on a decision we have made either consciously or subconsciously. The real answer to that question is tough to answer because it is so hard to express it in words. If I had to start thinking of ways to describe who am I – it would start with discussing the things I value for those are at least a bit more permanent then things like work, finances, etc. however values too can change.
7. Where are you on the fake meter? We are all fake – there are just different levels of fakeness depending on the situation we are in.
8. I used to defer important decisions to a vote given by my close friends and family. I used to ask each person for advice and whatever the majority said that’s what I did – despite what my gut was saying – because I was too scared of making the wrong decision. However, I now realize how dumb that it is – what makes life fun are the challenges because they give you the opportunity to learn and thrive which makes things interesting. Right or Wrong is something we create – there is no right or wrong in most situations. I still think it is important to talk to the people around you when it comes to the big decisions because they may have an interesting perspective, and hopefully your closest friends and family are close because you admire them and value their opinions, but ultimately you have to go with what your gut is telling you and learn.
9. If you feel like your in a box and not growing – what can you do to get out? (Bear with me on this long winded explanation) I believe there are 2 levels of thought. The first level is the mind – the chatter that goes on in your head which is a function of your ego – this chatter gives you advice and tells you things based off of past experiences or fears.
The second level of thought is higher awareness/being or whatever you want to call it. For a lot of people, including myself on some days, the inner chatter is so loud that it is hard to break through to this higher level of awareness. Think of a plane that has to break through the clouds to get to the sky above. The stormy clouds is the chatter in your mind and it can be an extremely bumpy ride since the storms are intense and the turbulence is insane. You start thinking that there is no way to get above the clouds but when you do get there you are met with the vast expanse of openness for as far as the eye can see. You are above everything – above the storms even though the are still happening – and are able to think from a different level of thought.
The way I tap into this higher level of thought is by running and by meditating – those activities calm my inner chatter so I can access this level of wisdom that is above the ego and the mind, even though, these moments are always too momentary.
This all has to do with growth because the choices where you have the biggest opportunity to grow are areas where your mind is loudly screaming NO but your higher level awareness is emphatically screaming YES. This dichotomy is what gives you the opportunity to really push yourself and grow.
For example, me writing this post is something my mind is saying NO – all these fears about what others will think, to the inner critic going to town on how terrible my writing is, is racing through my mind right now. However, the higher level awareness is emphatically screaming YES and telling me that I need to be authentic and that it is okay to be vulnerable. Every time I write and post something it is indescribable how much I feel like I grow through this activity and get closer to who I am.
The important takeaway is make sure the most important activities you engage in and decisions you make comes from the higher level awareness – otherwise your decisions maybe rooted in social constructs, fear, and ego.
10. It is so easy to forget why we are here – to forget the joy and pleasure of interacting with another being in this world. It is so easy to wake up and instantly think about the barrage of emails to answer, the looming deadlines, the errands, the bills, the endless task list and just forget why we are here or fail to give enough thought to the question about why we are here on this planet?
This is an area I really want to work on because I’ve noticed how easily I forget how amazing everything is in this world and just get caught up in my thoughts. Work in particular is an area where I easily get caught up in the deadlines and forget how amazing and what a privilege it is to work and collaborate with so many passionate, motivated, and intelligent individuals. It is easy to forget that each person I interact with has a life beyond their work title and that I have the opportunity to use my job to really interact with interesting people everyday beyond the superficial level if I choose to.
11. Everyone wants to be accepted and acknowledged – and in every interaction you have the ability to make someone feel accepted and acknowledged if you choose to. If we made sure and did this in every interaction I think we would see that people would stop using the idea of money and power as a way to fill this void of acceptance and acknowledgement.