Sunday, February 22, 2009

Creating Change

Imagine what your life would be like if you always did what you wanted to do?

What I have concluded is that too many times people base their decisions on two types of reasoning; they make decisions based on what they think other people perceive them as and they do it for the benefit of somebody else. So theoretically, few times do people ever act in their own interest.

Social conditioning proves to be a very strong influence over people and their decisions. Why people act the way they do and why we have acted in such ways for such a long time has become interesting to me. Like any problem, you figure out whats wrong with it and do your best to fix it. So how to you fix the problem if the problem is you?

In my opinion, authenticity is an admirable trait. Somebody's truthfulness to themselves has allowed them to live every moment as the full expression of themselves. Imagine how much happier you’d be if you stopped doing things that other people thought were cool, and started living every moment as the full expression of who you are.

It is uncomfortable and I'm not saying I'm original because I have been shaped by culture in so many ways. I am for from original, but I do feel some sense of freedom acknowledging that I am not. It can be a step from freeing myself from something that "I" am not. In the past there have been many things that I congenitally didn't feel was myself but did them anyway. Dressed a certain way, acted a certain way, ate a certain way, ect in an attempt to fit in and these things have shaped me into what people perceive me as today. It is now to the point of, "who gives a shit."

These actions (or lack of) were governed in large part from social conditioning. Not caring what other people think may be the biggest factor to making your own decisions. Accept that it is a problem in your life and that you act the way people perceive you to act, dress, speak, ect. Once you realize how you are perceived, it is easier to see what you are not. These presumptions of what others think of you is what is holding you back from your greatest potential. Placing a label on yourself and others only limits who you actually are. Labels are preventing you from doing the things you really want to do because you're to busy worrying about what other people will perceive you as and will look down on you because of your efforts.

It is a hard truth to accept but the only person you need acceptance from is yourself. You are the one who validates your thoughts and who has to live with those thoughts. You chose to read my blog because you want to (hopefully) not because you want to feel acceptance from me. Hopefully it can add some value to your day. For whatever reason, you should do it because it pleases you. If not, stop reading. You’re here for a reason because you choose to have a reason to be here.

I am still trying to figure out who "I" am, what I believe in and why I believe it. It is hard to justify whether or not I am just listening to another source or actually thinking for myself. One argument can be that instead of listening to a medical doctor's opinion I am listening to a Chiropractors opinion. Either way they are not thoughts of my own. In some ways this argument is true, we are all fooled by propaganda. One difference is that some expose themselves to multiple sides of the story while others are limited to one side. More exposure leads to more thoughts and more opportunities to create your own opinion. I have seen and experienced both sides and chosen what is best for me.

Above knowledge is feeling. Its not about what you say (you can hide the truth from people) but how you feel. You cannot hide this from yourself. Listen to your emotions. Does positive reinforcement from yourself feel good or are you constantly waiting for the approval of others? Are you approval dependent? Do you wish you had somebody else's life? What feelings do you get when you say what you feel?

The most adrenaline-pumping risk you can take in life is to be yourself. Caring what other people think will ensure you live a small life. The biggest risk we can take is to not risk being who we really are. You owe it to yourself to be authentic.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Winter Biking

Last night I had an incredible night ride with Jeff, Spinner, and Shockey. We left from the bike shop and ventured towards old highway 52. Our plan, to ride the snow packed snow mobile trails on a beautiful winter evening. Temperatures were around 25 when we left and not a cloud in the sky.

Trying to live up to my new attitude of having no expectations, I came into the ride expecting just that. To be on a bicycle.

Everything else surprised the hell out of me. Riding the snow mobile trails had a lot to offer. We had some killer climbs, some of which required walking. Some extremely fun (sometimes shaky) long downhills alongside spectacular views of the city on a crisp night.

It was definitely one of my more favorite rides in Decorah. I had some trouble staying on the trail at times and was getting sucked in by some loose snow. I left the rest of the group once we reached Whitetail road in order to get back home and finish up some school work and get my freezing toes warm. It sounds like they had quite and experience afterwards but I have not heard from them directly yet. Check out Shockey's blog to hear an another account of his ride here.

Get out and do something new today.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Making A Great Day

One of my favorite sayings that Aj has coined brilliantly on his blog. I am still searching for something that sticks and people can think of during the day, but I do not feel as if I have found one.

I use create, inspire and be inspired because I think that it is something that is essential in life. I enjoy helping others reach their goals because I receive some personal satisfaction from it knowing I have made a difference (at least I tell myself I have). It is equally important that I have people who inspire me. There are many people I turn to for advise, motivation or things as simple as a smile. I am grateful for having such a great "panel" for support and advice starting with my immediate family.

Above all, this group of people are the ones who I trust will appreciate my views, opinions and life decisions. They are there to question my beliefs and help me develop a better understanding for life. There is a quote that goes "Say what you think and act how you feel because those who matter don't care and those who care don't matter." I find this true right now (it may change) because everybody has their own view on subjects.

Linked to these beliefs we build in our own suffering that prevents us from making our own great day.Aj talked about in his blog how it is in us to create the world we live in and how we wish to see the world is how we see it. I am finding this to be more and more true.

Stress does not come from the environment, it comes from the mind of the individual under stress. We make assumptions about the world we live in, the way people should act, what we think should happen and how it should happen. These expectations only lead to disappointment because they rarely work out that way. Every time before a wrestling match I would run through how I expected it to go. Start out with high intensity, get the first takedown, finish strong, ect. Everything I had previously envisioned before my match rarely ever happened as I had planed. If I had gotten upset about things not going as planned, it would have snowballed and led to an incredibly disappointing career. It is like a poker player who throws all in hoping to get a good card.

We try to hard to get the world to match our thinking and complain about how difficult things are.

"This movie wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be"
"That was so much harder that I expected"
"Who knew it would take that long"

I am working towards letting go of presumptions I have before I get into things. Be it having a more open opinion towards people opinions or events that occur in my life. If we don't free ourselves from these assumptions they can devour us and create a stressful world that many live in.

In the book I just finished titled Radical Honesty, Brad Blanton explains that people cling to these assumptions because we think the decisions we have made in the past are the truths that should occur in the future. To quote him, "Yesterdays truth is today's bullshit." Evidence from the past does not prove anything about current experience. For example, I told my Mother I loved her yesterday so it should be assumed from now on that I love her and have no need to state my feelings again. Most would agree that that theory of logic is absurd so why do we follow this patter in other ways of life?

Life goes on.

Truth changes.

The way we are living today will not be the same as tomorrow.

So how will my life change if I bike home with neutral emotions and don't expect to be welcomed with a hug and a smile? I think it will be that much more of a memorable experience. An experience that is not lined with the fantasy I create in my mind only to be let down if I receive another welcome besides a hug.

The same is true with our environment. Our past "truths" are bullshit. Create the world you want to live in.

Help yourself. Its free. Pass it on.