Think about all the political anger and outrage that we direct at a politician. What if we focused all that energy on electing someone better.
Imagine if all the @replies, retweets, shares and Facebook comments about the faux outrage of the day were redirected to amplifying good works and inspiring leaders.
Trolls feed off outrage. Their battery packs are recharged with anger and vitriol. Imagine these monsters standing on the top of a mountain in the middle of raging storm and holding a lightning conductor. The more lightning strikes they get hit with, the more powerful they become.
Starve these the trolls, and they curl up and shrink. They can stand on top of the mountain all day on a beautiful sunny day and won’t get one lightning strike. Next time you feel anger boiling up inside of you. Don’t engage. Redirect that energy into something constructive. You’ll starve the nasty beasts and build something great.
Is there something or someone on your mind, something in the past or a problem you are working through that’s making you anxious? The following exercise won’t answer any specific questions you have or offer up a solution, but it will help you.
Take ten deep breaths through your nose and imagine a field. See it bathed in the late afternoon sun, or maybe it’s early morning, and you can feel the dew under your feet as the sun starts to warm up the ground. Feel the breeze on your face and take note of the different smells.
Now take the problem or memory that’s on your mind and release it into the field. It’s now standing in front of you. Sometimes it’s a person, an event or both. Let the sun shine on it and release it from your mind. Don’t try to solve the problem and don’t intellectualize it. It’s free to go. Give it up to the sun and the warmth of the field. If the person you’ve released wants to come back to you, then gently tell them they are free to go with your blessing and love.
That’s it. It’s an exercise in release and surrendering whatever you are holding onto the field and leaving it there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there – Rumi
Side note: It’s incredible how many people imagine a green field. It’s a little uncanny and cool.
If you have a gambling problem, then don’t go to Las Vegas even if the best show in the world is playing on the strip.
If you can’t say no to that last drink, then stay away from bars.
If you are addicted to nicotine, then don’t hang out in the smoking lounge.
If you are trying to kick caffeine, then stay away from coffee shops.
If you are addicted to the endorphin kick from social media, then delete the apps like Facebook or Instagram that suck you in. Turn off push notifications and opt out of the email. There are brilliant people at these companies whose sole job, compensation and bonuses are centered on getting you to spend more time scrolling through the feed. Sadly a lot of them could be applying that same expertise to nobler causes, but money talks and principles walk out the door.
If there are people you follow on Twitter who spew negativity, hate, and decisiveness and in the process make you feel pretty shitty then unfollow them.
Don’t try to control these vices; you need to flee from them. Keep away from the hooks, and you won’t get sucked in. Addictive vices are seductive, so to counter the gravitational pull you have to engineer your life and habits to avoid them. Associate with people that reinforce good habits and keep you on track. Sometimes the best way to beat something is to run away.
Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.
Look for the best in people and assume they will do the right thing. I believe that people aren’t out to screw me over every time I leave the house. Living in fear and expecting the worst from the human race takes a lot of energy and will probably kill me before anything else does.
I’m not saying don’t be cynical. A healthy dose of cynicism and cunning is a necessary ingredient in this world. Just don’t be a slave to it.
Put your trust in God but keep your powder dry.
Put on your oxygen mask before helping others. An essential air safety trip and a useful metaphor for everyday life.
In other words look after yourself first. If you are taking care of yourself, spiritually, mentally and physically, then you will be much better placed to listen and assist others.
Practice making principle-based decisions. The practice will keep you consistent, reliable.
When you are asked a question – frame your response around your core principles and then answer the question within the framework of the principles.
Loyalty might be one of your principles. If you are asked to betray a friend, then your loyal principle will help you get to a principle-based answer.
Honesty might be one of your principles. If you are asked to lie about something, then your honesty principle will help you answer truthfully.
The principles that govern your behavior are just words if you aren’t courageous enough to stick to your principles when the pressure is on, or when you have something to lose. We are seeing this happen in the current political climate where politicians lack the courage to adhere to their principles. That’s why people applaud so much these days when we see a CEO or politician stands by her principles even when it’s not in her best interest. That takes courage. Without courage, you’ll end up compromising when it matters most.
Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others. – Winston Churchill
Vampires suck on you constantly. The more distracted you are the better it is for them.
It’s the monthly subscription you pay for but never use, the unread book that sits on your bedside table, and people with their own agendas requesting time and attention. These things drain you over time and suck up your energy. The constant pull builds up resentment in you and the result is anger and frustration.
It’s hard to say no to people when you don’t have a yes to something else. Free up space to spend time on your own goals and dreams. Once you’ve simplified and clarified “your way” then it’s easier to see the vampires because the clutter is removed.
Taking time out, sitting still and breathing is like garlic and silver bullets. Do it every day.
The word of the day: NOW!
The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The next best time is NOW!
When I go for a hike in new territory I take a map or consult a guide. When I’m driving to a new location I pull out my phone and turn on navigation. It makes no sense to get in the car and start driving before I have directions.
When it comes to a spiritual journey most people do the opposite. Maybe they read a book, watch a film or speak to someone who inspires them. They make a decision to investigate and explore which is awesome, but they forget to pick a guide.
If you’ve woken up and are searching for answers, the first step is realizing that having a guide will keep you on track when you lose your way. This path has already been trodden by poets and mystics – take someone’s hand and follow. If you reach out, someone will hold your hand.
Work with people who have the same values and expectations around outcomes. When you are out of alignment with your investors, employees and partners it’s like having a bad back that’s in need of a chiropractor. Every movement, whether big or small is painful because the vertebrae are moving in different directions and wasting energy.
Think about it for a second…misalignment is a serious waste of energy when getting from point A to point B. At every turn & blockage you are losing energy, it’s painful and you build up scar tissue.
If you are thinking long term and your partners are thinking short term then why would you ever agree on anything. Apply the same rule to how you treat your customers and vendors. It’ll save you so much time down the line.
Before you pitch an idea make sure you all agree on the definition of a successful outcome. If that’s out of whack then even the brightest idea won’t win. It’s a lot harder to get this right once you’ve agreed to work together, so spending more time upfront picking the right partners will save you a lot of brain damage over the long term.
Simple questions like this will help:
1. Investment horizon timing? (Long term or Short term). How do you define Long Term and Short Term?
2. Define success
3. Is this a one time partnership or do you want to work together again?
4. Define failure