Circle of Concern vs Circle of Control

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Most people literally throw their lives away because of this…

They waste their time and energy on things they can’t control, while neglecting the things they DO have control of.

If you want to step off of the sidelines and actually engage in life, you need to understand the concept of circle of concern vs circle of control.

Your circle of concern consists of everything within your awareness.

Anything that you’re aware of is in your circle of concern. This can be news events, your friend posting pictures of their travels on social media, what the president of the United States said yesterday, what happened in the last episode of your favorite tv show, that person who yelled at you in traffic…etc. All of that stuff.

Your circle of control is what you can actually control. You have control over the thoughts you choose, the actions you choose and the reactions you choose. That’s pretty much it.

Sadly, most people focus on their circle of concern and neglect their circle of control. This is insanity! And because so many people do this, it makes things worse on the collective level (because the vast majority live in fear and believe that their daily actions are meaningless).

It’s all about where your focus is.

If you focus on your circle of concern, you become passive. And because most things on the news or tv are not empowering, it’s most likely going to be passive and negative. This is the state most people are in. If you don’t focus on your circle of control, you’re going to be a victim. It’s that simple.

Are you going to be a passive victim or are you going to be responsible and empowered? That’s the question you have to ask yourself. You might not be able to change what the President said at a press conference, but you can change your own thoughts, actions and reactions.

This is where a sense of purpose comes into play. What do you want to do? What impact do you want to have? What ripple do you want to send across the Universe?

You can optimize your health.

You can write a book that inspires people.

You can smile at a stranger on the street.

You can hold the door open for someone.

You can give a genuine compliment.

You can support local businesses.

You can choose inner peace.

You can start a business that creates positive change in the world.

You can create art that brings people joy.

All of these are possible for anyone, but they require you to focus on your circle of control.

So I ask you these questions…

Where is your focus?

Are you creating more than you’re absorbing?

Are you making the world a better place, even by the slightest bit?

This is a call for you to step into your power as a creative being.

Let’s co-create a better world together.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

PS – This was an excerpt from my new book, “Essentialism And the Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience

Civil Disobedience

“If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth–certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Obedience is the connective tissue of oppression.

In other words, any form of control on a collective level can only be carried out through obedience. A dictator can’t arrest or kill an entire population himself; he needs mindless minions to do the dirty work. This principle applies across all forms and degrees of systematic control, even the most subtle.

The desires of any wannabe controller can only come to fruition through the compliance of others. And that’s been the case throughout recorded history (his-story). The desire for control becomes a virus, driven by fear and infecting more and more people, until there are enough drones to oppress an entire population.

This phenomenon isn’t just the case with large-scale atrocities; it applies to anything which is an impediment to freedom or love; be it a person, group, system or idea.

Everything is held up by belief. Laws are merely words written on paper, only legitimized by collective acquiescence. Laws need people to enforce them. And if laws are unjust (as most are), those who carry them out must unquestioningly submit to authority and go against their own inner knowing.

The only way control or oppression works on any scale is through compliance. Too many people do the work of ‘the man’ for ‘the man.’ That’s the problem. The solution lies in civil disobedience.

Freedom Cannot Be Granted

“Freedom cannot be granted. It must be taken.”
― Max Stirner

Asking for freedom is oxy-moronic. If you have to ask for freedom, you’re already a slave.

How is freedom taken? The simple decision to be the master of your own body and mind.

It really is as simple as that, though difficult to apply. It’s easy to blame problems on others, it’s easy to neglect our health and think “the doctor can fix me.” We’ve been conditioned to externalize our power since childhood. We’ve been taught to not trust ourselves. We’ve been taught to submit to authority without question.

This is a recipe for a control system to stealthily and slowly permeate society (the totalitarian tiptoe).

When you attain a degree of self-mastery, you do not acquiesce to the will of destructive people or disharmonious institutions. Which leads to the next point…

Fear-Based Programming

“The pioneers of a warless world are the youth who refuse military service.”
― Albert Einstein

The covert means by which oppression takes over is through fear-based programming.

If you have people in fear, you can easily control them. Fear activates the part of the brain known as the amygdala (the center for emotional behavior/motivation) and inhibits neocortex function (our “thinking brain”). This means that rationality and intellect are thrown out the window, the perfect storm for brainwashing. There’s even a term for this fear response; amygdala hijack.

The media is one big amygdala hijack, perpetually programming the population with which boogeyman to fear next. This is a massive ritual of fear-based programming that insidiously shifts entire populations into thinking and acting irrationally out of fear. Television is called programming for a reason.

Remember the whole weapons of mass destruction fiasco with Iraq in 2003? US military action in Iraq and massive destabilization of the middle east (which continues to this day) was predicated on that lie. There were no weapons of mass destruction. But lingering fear from 9/11 resulted in a string of irrational behavior and many people blindly believing the hype.

The holocaust took place because German soldiers were thoroughly conditioned to carry out orders. They didn’t carry out orders because they liked doing it, but because they feared the wrath of their higher ranking officers, or even because they were conditioned to fear jewish people. These abominations only occur when fear is the driving force.

Fear is hard to pin down. It’s slippery, and ultimately illusory (False Evidence Appearing Real). Yet it’s the undercurrent of all “negative” emotions. Fear is what stops us from saying no to evil. Fear might actually distort our perceptions to support evil. That’s why it’s so dangerous.

When you cultivate self-mastery, you’re able to break the cycle. The spread of fear stops before you and is transmuted by the omnipotent force of unyielding love.

Love Over Fear

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
― John Lennon

Strive to choose love over fear in every situation. You can never go wrong if you act from a place of compassion. This is the fulcrum of change, and it starts within you.

The change we all yearn to see in the world will only happen in the wake of a fundamental change in consciousness. Everything we see in this world starts in the realms of imagination before coming into manifestation.

The change begins within and ripples outward. Embodying the change is the first step, the prerequisite. Without inner transformation, humanity will be stuck on the same merry-go-round of madness.

When a critical mass of people create positive inner changes, it will open up doors we never could’ve imagined before and will provide possibilities far beyond our current limited perspective. Solutions will spontaneously emerge.

Go within and stop the momentum of fear. Learn to listen to and trust your intuition. Have the courage to follow your heart instead of cowardly bowing to fear.

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.'”
― Brene Brown

Compliance with destruction, hatred, oppression, violence and fear is cowardice, while noncompliance is courageous. In the depths of your being, in your heart of hearts, you know what is right.

Choose love over fear.

Have the courage of heart and freedom of mind to disobey oppressive forces.

Be the change.

– Stevie P

The Power of Surrender

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In our modern Western culture, the word “surrender” is thought of as negative.

The basic definition of surrender is “to yield to the power of another.”

It has become synonymous with giving up and viewed as an irrevocable display of weakness. But, contrary to popular belief, the act of surrender may possess far more power than you’ve ever imagined.

Let’s look at another interpretation. In the religious context, surrender “means that a believer completely gives up his own will and subjects his thoughts, ideas, and deeds to the will and teachings of a higher power.” (Wikipedia)

I’ve come to view surrender as something slightly different than what both the dictionary and religious definitions imply. To me, surrender is letting go of your egoic sense of control and allowing the rational mind to yield to a higher purpose. (“Higher purpose” meaning that it’s beyond and more expansive than the ego, the rational mind and physical reality.)

While the religious perspective has some innate wisdom, I don’t believe that this higher purpose or higher power has to be something separate from us. Separation is a physical illusion, as everything is connected on some level. We are multi-dimensional beings, whose layers eventually roll up to Source, God, the Infinite or whatever you believe is the essence of everything. However, simply heeding this intuitive wisdom, whatever that source may be, is more important than debating about exactly what it is or if it’s something separate from us or not.

This higher purpose often comes in the form of subtle intuition that the conscious mind can’t quite grasp. It can also be a deep-seated feeling (aka gut feeling) that you can’t completely rationalize but know to be true.

Surrendering to the Flow of Higher Purpose

I’m not going to say it’s God or angels or spirit guides or higher self or Zordon, because I don’t know for sure. But there is undoubtedly some source of intuition that subtly feeds us information and guides us in certain directions. I’m just calling it “higher purpose” for the (higher) purpose of this article (see what I did there?). Plus, it reminds me of the great Buckminster Fuller quote “God is a verb.”

Surrendering to the flow of higher purpose is ultimately a surrender of the ego and its controlling tendencies. It’s also a surrender of the problem-solving/problem-finding mind to heart-wisdom or intuition. There is less logic and rationality involved, but more feeling, trust and an intrinsic sense of knowing. You release all fear and flow with a higher aspect of yourself that sees beyond what your conscious mind does. While the conscious mind only sees the next step, the intuition sees the entire journey.

Trying to control life with your egoic mind is like trying to walk on your hands (your hands being your egoic mind and your legs being your higher purpose/intuition/heart-wisdom). Sure, you can walk on your hands, but your legs are so much more capable of walking. Besides, your hands are of far more use when they’re free. It’s just like how your mind is sharper and more useful when you’re not exhausting or stressing it 24/7. Let go of that inner egoic control-freak and surrender to the mysterious wisdom of your heart’s intuition. Remember, the mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

Think of this higher purpose as a stream carving through the landscapes of life, always leading to the ocean called “What You Need Most for Your Growth” (Yeah, it’s an ocean with a long name). You can choose to flow with this higher knowing, or go against it. And we all know what happens when we go against our intuition…

Additionally, surrender doesn’t mean being a victim or just sitting around waiting for things to happen. It means heeding your intuition, surrendering to that higher knowing and moving with faith, knowing that your intuitive compass is pointing you in the right direction (because it always does). Another major component is surrendering to the moment.

For more in depth articles on ego, intuition and all of that good stuff:
How To Hone Your Intuition
What Does Your Ego Look Like?

Surrendering to the Moment

Though blind faith in man-made systems without any critical discernment can leave you vulnerable to manipulation, not having faith in anything is just as debilitating (if not more so).

Trust the process of life. Have faith that everything happens for a reason. Trust that life is unfolding for your highest good. Well, what’s the other option anyway? Living in perpetual fear and doubt!? Eh, no thanks.

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Surrendering to the moment doesn’t mean not changing anything. It’s simply an acceptance of what is, accepting that what is happening is indeed happening. There is none of the paralyzing, insidious self-denial that slowly gnaws away at your well-being. Accepting the moment (what IS) actually puts you in a better position to change or maximize your situation than not accepting the moment.

For example, if it’s 2PM and you surrender to the fact that you’re stuck at work for three more hours, it puts you in a position to make the most of it. But if you resist what’s happening, you guarantee yourself complete misery for the next three hours. Here’s another one: If you’re overweight and you accept it, only then can you make the lifestyle changes to make yourself fit and healthy. But if you’re in denial of the situation, that self-delusion will prevent you from facing reality and making a change.

The Journey of Life

Learn to let go of your sense of egoic control and trust the flow of life. And paradoxically, when you do this, more of your desires come to fruition. Life is strange, right?

Your intuition is your built-in GPS (higher purpose), trust that it’s bringing you to the right place. Just keep your eyes on the road (be in the present moment) and your hands upon the wheel (ready for action).

Feel the paradoxical power of surrender.

One love.

– Stevie P!
 

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What Does Your Ego Look Like?

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EGO = Everything Gets Ominous

I just came up with that acronym, which seems to succinctly capture that mischievous creature which resides in all of our minds.

The ego can be loosely defined as the part of your mind that separates yourself from others, or your sense of self-importance.

As you’ve probably experienced, the ego can be deceptive, shadowy and a master of creating problems out of nothing. But it’s not all negative. The ego is necessary for things like your (physical) survival and personal uniqueness.

While the ego is a natural part of being human, the key is not letting it run the show. As long as you’re human, there will be ego, but does it control you? Are you completely engulfed by it? Or can you draw your perspective back and observe it?

The ego is a terrible master because it lives off of fear. It only exists because the reality we’re living in is based upon duality and separation, which is divergent from the truth of oneness (see my series on oneness, linked below). Being a product of this disharmonious paradigm, the ego exists in perpetual fear and seeks to control every situation to ensure its survival. This is why people who are completely controlled by ego live in constant fear, create problems out of thin air and try to control everything. When you’re not mastered by the ego, you can let go of fear, follow your intuition and trust the process of life.

On oneness:
Distilling the Truth of Oneness: Events
Distilling the Truth of Oneness: Part 2
Distilling the Truth of Oneness: Symptoms of Separation

What Does Your Ego Look Like?

I recently participated in a guided meditation that included visualizing the ego. And I was surprised, because the image that instantly came to me was the Pokemon “Gengar” (see the picture below).

Gengar

It’s so appropriate, especially when reading the description on Bulbapedia

“Gengar has the ability to hide perfectly in the shadow of any object, granting it exceptional stealth. However, Gengar’s body acts as a heat sink; its presence cools the temperature of the surrounding area by nearly 10°F, because it absorbs the warmth. In addition, Gengar possesses the ability to fly through the air, as demonstrated in the anime.

Gengar is very mischievous, and at times, malicious. It enjoys playing practical jokes and casting curses, such as pretending to be one’s shadow, then behaving erratically. When the quarry notices, the Gengar takes delight in its victim’s terror. However, Gengar has been known to be loyal to a Trainer who treats it well. Gengar lives in shadows of rooms, caves, and dark places where shadows form. It is especially fond of urban areas such as cities and back alleys, but only during the night.”

Why the Ego is Like Gengar

  • It’s the “shadow self” or negative aspects of yourself that remain hidden – “Gengar has the ability to hide perfectly in the shadow of any object, granting it exceptional stealth.”
  • It’s “mischievous, and times, malicious.” – The ego is cunning and deceptive. If you let it run the show, it will sneakily create problems and coat your life with an undertone of fear.
  • It’s a good servant, but a terrible master – “Gengar has been known to be loyal to a Trainer who treats it well.” When you’re able to just observe the ego, without being governed by it, life is all good.

Now let’s get into some practical tools.

How to Know When Your Ego is Coming Out to Play
(This is not a definitive list by any means. But it will give you a good idea about how to know when your ego is popping up.)

  • If you’re feeling self-doubt
  • If there is any “problem” that does not involve immediate danger (like getting chased by a bear)
  • If you’re judging
  • If you’re blaming someone or something
  • If you’re offended
  • If you feel good only because someone complimented you
  • If you choose a label as your identity (nationality, race, religion…etc)
  • If you feel any form of fear (The ego is sustained by fear. The fundamental fear is the fear of death (or non-existence), because the ego dies with the physical body)
  • If you’re playing out scenarios in your head
  • If you’re trying to justify yourself
  • If you’re trying to prove that you’re right
  • If you’re playing the victim
  • If you see others as separate from you or your group
  • If you’re instantly labeling something
  • If you’re feeling inferior or superior
  • If you’re comparing
  • If you’re jealous
  • If you’re attempting to control a situation, person…etc (anything related to control is ego)
  • If you’re making decisions based on what other people think of you
  • If you’re nervous or anxious
  • If you have a static image (persona) of yourself that you’re trying to maintain

2 quick tips to help you distinguish between your heart and your ego:

1. Ask yourself if the source of the thoughts or beliefs is that of a wise elder or a cynical, fearful skeptic speaking. The wise elder is your heart wisdom (the inner truth, which I discuss in more detail in this article), while the cynical, fearful skeptic is the ego.

2. Is it coming from a place of love or fear? Love is heart. Fear is ego. Simple as that.

Remember, there’s no need to judge or condemn the ego. That’s actually how the ego sneaks in again through the back door. Just accept it and observe it. Because once you’re aware of the ego, you’re beyond it and it no longer controls you.

Ego Visualization Meditation
1. Sit, stand or lie down with your eyes closed (whichever is more comfortable).
2. Take 10 deep breaths through your nose, focusing on your breath.
3. Visualize your ego – Let go and see what image pops into your head. What does it look like? What color(s) is it? Is it similar to something you’ve seen before?
4. Visualize your ego in front of you – What feelings do you get? What vibe does it give off?
5. Shake hands with it or pet it (depending on what it is).
6. Smile at it with compassion and amusement, knowing you’re the master.

Try this out. Acquaint yourself with your ego. Build that awareness and you’ll be able to differentiate between the blabberings of your ego from the intuitive wisdom of your true self.

A fun challenge to give you more “ego awareness”:
If someone gives you an ego compliment (ex/ “You look good today.”), respond with “My ego thanks you.” It’s hilarious, lighthearted and will cultivate more awareness regarding the ego.

So I’ll leave you with the question, what does your ego look like?

One love.

– Stevie P!

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12 Signs That You Need More Freedom

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Freedom is a tricky term. It’s a word that has been dragged through the muddy waters of assorted interpretations and biases for some time now. I could write a book philosophizing about what freedom is and what it entails…

But instead, I’ll share a simple definition that I found fairly accurate and useful: Freedom – Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. (Dictionary.com)

With that being said, we won’t find absolute freedom (in this reality, at least). Limitation is just a part of the game here on Earth.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have more relative freedom than what we’re experiencing now. Perfection is unattainable but we strive for continuous improvement. That’s what we do as humans. That’s what life is all about.

Some of us are finding that we deeply feel fulfilled by more freedom. Not more money (although this could be a means to more freedom), not a bigger house, not a comfortable, safe job…etc.

Those things may make some people happy, but this post is for the free spirits, those of you who yearn for freedom from the depths of your being. Those of you who recognize that something feels absent when you politely nod your head and swallow orders; knowing that deep down, your heart doesn’t agree.

Tame birds sing about freedom. Wild birds fly.

12 Signs That You Need More Freedom

1. You don’t like being told where and when to be somewhere – Instead of feeling like you have to be somewhere (think work), you prefer to determine where you want to be. You live by your own instincts, which usually don’t coincide with rigid, predetermined group models of time and location.

2. You value your time – You thrive off of prioritizing your time and doing things that are in your best interest. You enjoy being able to choose who you spend time around. Having to participate in time-consuming activities that are disharmonious with your goals makes you uneasy to say the least.

3. You prefer to create your own schedule – You’re independent and self-sufficient. You’re in tune with your natural rhythms. You know when you’re most productive and how to leverage your own unique “body clock.”

4. You trust yourself – You have faith in yourself to make the right decisions. You have confidence in your own inner judgment and intuition. You don’t need someone else dictating what you can and cannot do.

5. You think for yourself – You’re an individual who celebrates a unique world view. You have trouble aligning all of your thoughts, beliefs and actions with a one-size-fits-all group structure.

6. You’re self-motivated – You don’t need people to tell you what to do. You’re driven and productive by your own accord.

7. You’re spontaneous – You live in the moment and by your own intuitive guidance. You don’t like planning every minute of your life. You would rather go with the flow of the moment. The idea having to get approval for vacation time months in advance is ludicrous to you.

8. You cringe at being inauthentic – You just don’t feel right when you compromise who you are. You can’t feign enthusiasm. You struggle to put on a fake smile. You don’t want to make borderline (or blatantly) unethical decisions based on orders from others.

9. You question authority – You don’t accept anything at face value. You don’t blindly take orders out of fear, you would rather act on things you truly believe in. You question everything, even the fundamental beliefs that society is based upon. A passionately curious mind cannot be relegated to a state of confinement.

10. You don’t take yourself too seriously – You have a sense of humor. You laugh deeply and genuinely when something is funny. You’re not overly serious. Being “professional” and politically correct feels like you’re suppressing your inner child. You often ask questions like “Why does everyone have to be so serious all of the time?”

11. You’re highly creative – People who are highly creative have trouble staying inside of the box. Artistic freedom is paramount. So if you’re a creative person working in a job that doesn’t allow you to express your inherent creativity, you will constantly feel stifled and unfulfilled.

12. You have no desire to control other people or be controlled – Live and let live, this is the crux of freedom.

And you don’t have to be a single twenty something to attain more freedom (although that does help). You can make all of it work if you’re married with kids as well.

This idea of freedom will look differently for everyone (and is intimately connected with work and money in today’s society). For some people, they might be happy with a traditional, corporate office job. For others it might be working for a more innovative and flexible company, or manual labor, or some form of freelance work or entrepreneurship. For others it might even be checking out of society entirely and living off the grid. It’s all unique to each individual. Find out what more freedom would look like for you.

I personally fall somewhere around the freelance/entrepreneurial part of the spectrum, which is why I’m writing this post. It’s become glaringly obvious to me that the traditional, corporate office structure is absolutely antithetical to my intrinsic nature. I’m actively taking steps in the direction of more freedom (more on that soon) and I already feel as though a weight is being lifted off my shoulders.

Remember, we came here to be free.

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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The Choice is Up to You

I got inspired after reading this post. Here’s the FGFG spin on it.

The choice is up to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have the choice. You have the power. You have control.

You choose whether or not to get offended when someone cuts you off in traffic.

You choose whether or not to get angry when someone bumps into you.

You choose whether or not to wake up in a good mood.

You choose whether or not to be offended by what someone says.

You choose whether or not to let other people affect you.

You choose whether or not to watch tv or do something beneficial for yourself.

You choose whether or not to treat your body right.

You choose whether or not to eat foods you know are good/bad for you.

You choose whether or not to implement good/bad habits.

You choose whether to complain or not.

You choose to be grateful for what you have or whine about what you don’t have.

You choose to be a victim or take responsibility for your own life.

You choose what you think.

You choose your actions.

It is your choice to be positive or negative.

It is your choice to be happy or miserable.

You have the choice. You have the power. You have control. Stop being attached to stories you tell yourself. Be present. And discover how empowering life can be.

The choice is up to you.

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A Great Paradox of Our Age

We live in an age where everything we desire is available at the push of a button. We do not have to expend much effort to do anything. It’s comfortable. It’s safe. It’s a problem.

"What it must be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button? How would I spend the hours I now commit to combing the woods for sustenance if it were so easy to come by? What do they do all day, these people in the Capitol, besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?"

“What it must be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button? How would I spend the hours I now commit to combing the woods for sustenance if it were so easy to come by? What do they do all day, these people in the Capitol, besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?” (excerpt from The Hunger Games)

Isn’t it ironic that as everything is becoming easier for us, our mind and body, the two most fundamental facets of our lives (and the only things we have full control of), are becoming more and more difficult to maintain?

This is a result of giving our power away.

We no longer find and cook our own food, we allow others to do it for us. This disassociation from the food chain makes it oh so easy for companies to produce and sell us “food” that destroys health. It makes it easy for us to place the responsibility of our bodies in the hands the medical community. It makes it easy for “big pharma” to sell dangerous drugs to everyone with so much as a slight headache. Having food available at our beck and call 24/7 makes it easy for us to overeat. In terms of food, we view chicken not as the living animal, but as a chicken nugget. Our ignorance regarding this has made us vulnerable to a whole host of health problems. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and all other diseases associated with poor diet and lifestyle choices (key word) are rampant in modern society. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Knowledge is power, and applied knowledge is a powerful tool for change. We need to educate ourselves on health, learn to cook (create) for ourselves, and listen to our bodies. This empowers us, because being in control of our health creates an unshakeable foundation for success in all other aspects of life.

We no longer think for ourselves, we allow others to do it for us. Look around at all of the institutions in place that tell people how and what to think. The education system, the mainstream media, organized religion…etc. All of these institutions delimit free thinking. And what’s the result of this? So many people walk around with an underlying feeling of purposeless. The feeling that something is missing; that something is not quite right. Depression, fear, and anxiety are rampant in modern society. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Knowledge is power, and applied knowledge is a powerful tool for change. We need to start thinking for ourselves, keeping an open mind, being open to unlimited possibility, and letting our inherent creativity flow. It’s amazing how this creates a sense of empowerment and instills an enchanting purpose in everything we do.

Let’s take our power back, and hop in the driver’s seat of this ride we call life.

Why Body Transformation is the Most Popular Form of Personal Improvement

 

When someone wants to change their life for the better, what’s the first thing they usually do?

That’s right, Musclebob Buffpants.

They focus on transforming their body. (aka makin’ all kindzzz of gains)

Why is this?

Well, it boils down to two things, CONTROL and TANGIBILITY.

There are only two things that we have full control of, our mind and body.

Everything else consists of either things we may be able to influence to certain degrees, or things we have no control over. Realizing this allows you to let go of what you can’t control and focus on what you can.

You can’t control other people (although there’s some “powers that be” that believe otherwise). You can’t control the weather. You can’t control the score of the game you’re watching. Seriously, what’s the point of getting angry over a bad call by the ref during the Knicks game? You just lost a minute of your life in which you could’ve been happy. And did I mention you’ve been sitting on your ass eating chips for the last 2 hours? We need to take control of our lives.

The second aspect is tangibility. Unlike the mind and thoughts, the body is tangible. It is measurable. This is the reason why so many people strive to improve their physicality. You can literally see the results. You can’t measure positive thoughts. You can’t measure willpower. But you can clearly see and measure when you lose 50 lbs of fat. You can measure it when you deadlift 400 lbs.

Having such tangible, measurable progress is ridiculously empowering. It puts you in control of your life. It seeps its way into all aspects of life and creates a snowball effect of success.

You’ve mastered what you can control. You’re in the driver’s seat. You don’t fret about what is beyond your control. You do all that you can, and leave the rest up to the Universe, or God, or whatever you want to call it. Remember, “the universe tends to unfold as it should.”

Let’s evolve to become the best versions of our unique selves, and spread it. It’s contagious.

And, in conclusion, here’s a relevant Mr. T fact on a camper van…

There is no control key on Mr. T’s keyboard… Mr. T is always in control!

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Guest Post: Inward Control

This is a guest post by Jason Martuscello.

From an evolutionary perspective, we have seen magnificent growth in science and technological advancements as well as increases in pools of information and knowledge. As a result, the choices we make everyday have exponentially increased. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Halo 4, iPad mini, Call of Duty, iPhone 5, fluorescent colored shoes, 50 Shades of Grey – are just a few examples of choices that we may encounter that keep us on the cusp of this evolving society. We are all consumers and are required to make choices everyday that add complexity to our everyday lives. Should I buy? Should I read? Should I listen? Should I remember?

We are constantly battling a tension of forces of human progression and adaptation versus conforming and adapting to society. In other words, should I buy/adopt the newest, latest, and greatest? Are we in control of decisions or are we just pawns getting played in a game chess? We all toil with this dilemma to some extent but the ones whom prevail in these situations demonstrate a sense of inward control. To better understand lets consider the alternative, ones who lack a sense of inward control, allow the complexities of life run rampant. For example, they may easily succumb to peer pressures, influences, information and are (sub)consciously controlled by the external environment.

In one sense, controlling complexity can be considered a balancing of information, influences, memories, and experiences. Left uncontrolled, our minds become bombarded with unregulated sensory input, which can contribute to increased stress, emotional trauma, anxiety, misery, conflict, and negativity. Inward control puts you in the position of power and you become the gatekeeper allowing simplicity, peace, and happiness. Inward control begins with a free, open and clear mind and provides the foundation for simplicity in life.

If you’d like to get in touch with Jason, you can e-mail him at jmartuscello@mail.usf.edu