New Year

Focusing on what others are doing will ultimately lead to ones own demise.

You can’t control the wind, so stop trying.

Reading stories to my child is a mutually beneficial experience.  Some of the underlying lessons within these stories, blended subtly into the general plot, are quite profound.  Some months ago whilst reading a bedtime story I had an epiphany.

It was a classic story about a character (a toy) who lived in a land of toys, and his best friend (whose ears were not small).  They pitched a tent right on the beach, in what they considered to be a prime location.  They were quite enjoying their time when suddenly circumstances changed for the worst.  The wind began to blow a gale, and the tide came in.  What had moments ago been a peaceful splendid occasion had transformed itself into a tragedy.  To say the toy character was upset would be an understatement, and he shouted furiously at the wind to stop.  But it didn’t.  The ocean wasn’t listening to his cries for it to kindly go back to where it had been previously either.

It was at this point that I literally felt an odd sense of discomfort from within begin to emerge.  I realized the character in the tale was wasting his energy shouting at the tide and the wind to stop.  For you see these things are obviously beyond his control.

Trying to control anything other than your own self is an absolute waste of energy.  All associated negativity will only be amplified, and the resulting frustration can lead one into a vicious, self feeding cycle of gloom.

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Self awareness

Awareness

Self awareness, to put it simply, is the practice of being absolutely honest with yourself.  Although simple, it is not necessarily easy, due to the perceived expectations of society and our status within it.  For example an overly emotional person may not wish for others to see them as weak, so they attempt to create a tough exterior, a shield as such, to try and fool people into thinking otherwise.  In reality however the only one being fooled is the one who is holding the shield.

In a professional setting many people act like they know more than they actually do, or imply that they are more important than those around them.  Just as in the previous example this is an attempt to shield their inner self-doubt.  The person in question is “putting on a face” to shield their own insecurity.

Nobody is perfect.  If you can be honest with yourself then you are practicing self awareness.  From this angle it is much easier to notice when you make a mistake, and stop yourself before you follow through.

Whilst this is a great place to exist it brings about its own complications.

A new cycle

So you are at the point of being entirely honest with yourself.  You understand your flaws and are working towards repairing them when you notice them arise.  That is great!  You probably feel a sense of pride, which you absolutely should, because self awareness, as previously noted, is not easy.

However when one begins the journey of improving themselves via self awareness, it is at this point the entire thing can be turned upside down.  When you notice improvement within yourself, it becomes a lot easier to see the faults in others.  You begin to notice the shields everyone is holding up to hide their insecurities.  You notice their body language (something they are not even aware of).

This can give one a false sense of superiority and begin the entire downward spiral all over again, however this time around it is much more difficult to negotiate.

You’re aware of yourself now, why is all this bad stuff happening?  That other guy at the office obviously isn’t aware of himself, why is his life so great?  See where this is going?

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Don’t compare yourself to others.

Self comparison is something that must be avoided.  If you notice yourself doing it, stop immediately and remind yourself this is your journey, not theirs.

The only thing you can control is yourself.

So do it.  Take control of yourself.  Be the person in the drivers seat of the vehicle that is your life.  Don’t compare yourself to other people and don’t blame anyone else for your problems.  You’re driving!

The subjects discussed in this article are merely a gentle rub on the surface of a massive issue.  The reality of modern life can be overwhelming and make implementing good practices difficult.  That is what makes it fun though.

I often think back to that children’s book when I am placed in a difficult situation.  Telling myself “You can’t control the wind”.   Then I smile and carry on.

Thanks for reading.

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Hi There, 2016.

Happy New Year!

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Time Flies when you are in neutral.

Reflection can either be good, or bad, depending on the attitude and mindset of whomever may be executing the task.  One may not want this year to end, while another simply can not wait for their new beginning.  Personally I am neutral.  It was neither good nor bad.  It just was.  Although I think most can relate to the fact that each year seems to be passing faster than the last.  Why?  I don’t know.  Perhaps the Sun’s gravitational force is drawing the Earth closer, therefore decreasing the circumferential distance travelled each orbit.  Or perhaps it’s all in my head.  Excitedly I anticipate addressing such issues in the future.  Stay tuned.

Whether it was a good year or not, it’s over.  Giddy up 2016.

To party, or not to party.  Is that a question?

Thankfully the days of inebriation beyond the point of delirium are well and truly behind me.  However there will be a massive number of folk who will be desperately attempting to squeeze copious amounts of alcohol (and whatever other substances they find available) into their bodies, in order for them to be able to “enjoy” the “celebration”.

Until the morning.

The morning of January  1st can be sad yet simultaneously hilarious, as the carcasses lay strewn about every beach, footpath and random neighbours’ garden throughout the land.  The thumping within their heads creating a vibration through the Earth.  Scientists say the resonance from this vibration travels  throughout our Solar System and can be detected from the International Space Station.  Just kidding.  Scientists don’t say things like that at all.  In fact a scientific study found that one in three Scientists never say anything.  Ever.

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In conclusion, I can safely deduce that for the introduction to 2016, I will not be partying.  These days  I much prefer to see the New Year in by being close to the people I love, quietly looking up to the sky, wondering what it is all about.

Live in the present

Slowly I am learning not to dwell in the past, or hope for the future.  For it is always now.  It makes perfect sense to situate oneself in the present, although in practice this is not always as simple as it sounds.  Fortunately I embrace a challenge, and if the outcome is an achievement of inner peace then I gladly accept it.

If all of the Earths inhabitants were to simultaneously achieve inner peace, then perhaps that would bring peace to the Earth.  No greed, No guilt, No shame, No hate.  Nothing but love.  That would be good.  Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if John Lennon hadn’t been assassinated.  Can one person really change the world?  Maybe not, but one person can initiate an idea that flows through many, and eventually all people, to create a change.  Well that’s what the Scientists say anyhow.

Happy New Year to one and all, however you celebrate it, stay safe.  See you next year.

Peace be with you!

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Peace and Love.