Tag Archives: Possibilities

goal-setting VS. wishful thinking

Just a few thoughts on a few differences I’ve noticed between goals (GS) and wishful thinking (WT).

  • GS: INTEND to achieve
  • WT: HOPE to achieve

 

  • GS: Belief that you CAN
  • WT: NO belief that you CAN

 

  • GS: Uncertainty re HOW => Possibility
  • WT: Uncertainty re HOW => Impossibility

 

  • GS: Emotional ATTACHMENT
  • WT: Emotional DETACHMENT

 

  • GS: INVESTMENT of daily effort
  • WT: SQUANDERING of daily effort

 

  • GS: RISK = MISSED accomplishment => DISAPPOINTMENT
  • WT: RISK = NO accomplishment => FAILURE

Hope this can offer some clarity if the lines between the two have been a bit blurry.

moving forward

I’m getting older. Hey, so are you! And as time passes we accumulate a multitude of experiences – good & bad – to which we automatically attach emotional associations – good & bad.

When these associations are positive, all is well, no problem. But negative emotional associations can be very powerful and significantly interfere with our success.

One example of this that I come across quite often looks something like this: “I can’t seem to outpace the persistent negative effects of the past – mentally, emotionally, and/or physically. I feel like I am never going to be done paying for past mistakes or bad decisions!”

So what do you DO about it? Well, for me the solution lies in realizing that it’s not about “outpacing” anything at all, so stop trying to! It IS about choosing to not repeat the same patterns – mentally, emotionally and physically – that created your troubles in the first place.

Fact: You may feel you cannot “escape” your past mistakes or choices because if you’re thinking and feeling about them in the same way as you always have, you’re actually keeping them alive in your present. (As Aristotle said: We become that to which we give our attention.)

What you need to do is to accept whatever “consequences” are on the table today as a present circumstance, and deal with them as they are now, and as you are now; while being careful not to fall into the trap of repeating similar patterns of thinking, feeling & doing.

Bottom Line: If you want to live better, you need to think better than you did before. When you can think differently, you will no longer be held hostage to your negative associations, and so you will feel differently. And when you feel differently, you will behave differently.

So this is one way to not only get over whatever lingering consequences may be showing up in your life, but get ahead of them.

Give it a try.

my “recipe”

Ever since I can remember, my singular objective has been to Make The Most Of Myself. And so it remains.

Naturally, during the past forty years of conscious effort directed towards this goal I’ve created and employed a variety of insights & ideas to guide my efforts, naturally meeting with mixed success.

At any rate, what follows is my latest effort at clarifying my own personal “recipe” for Making The Most Of Myself:

Simply focus all my efforts on building BOTH a Better Man AND a Better Life. How? Specifically…

  • Build a Better Man Þ Be a Superior Man as per my own personal parameters & definition.
  • Build a Better Life Þ Be a Superior Player in the Game that is living in human society.

Sounds simple, but the big change for me is that until now I’ve been focusing more or less solely on making myself into a Better Man, which while valuable has nevertheless proven a somewhat antediluvian outlook.

In hindsight I suppose it was either incredibly optimistic or incredibly naïve (or both) to believe that putting my efforts into becoming a Better Man would automatically generate a Better Life. In point of fact, alone it is simply insufficient to meet the demands of succeeding within our present society. Hence the need to focus on building both a Better man and a Better Life, which for me are two distinctly separate lines of effort.

Perhaps this will prove a useful framework for Making the Most of Myself, and in doing so guide me in living a great Life that is worth all the effort.

“Fingers crossed”? Nah, as the venerable Yoda says: Do or not do, there is no “Try”. 🙂

disappointment

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how to avoid being disappointed in other people. Really wish I did, but I don’t.

However, I can offer some guidance on how to avoid the awful morass of being disappointed in yourself. I say “awful morass”, but I could just as well call it a trap or a cesspit, because once you set foot on the path of feeling disappointed in yourself, the inescapable swamp of self-pity is just around the corner.

Fortunately, that trap is completely avoidable. Because you have an extraordinarily powerful weapon at your disposal with which to obliterate self-disappointment whenever you may feel it coming on. And that weapon is Critical Thinking.

The reason why Critical Thinking is so all-powerful is that it provides you with both motivation and guidance – at the same time! Guidance in that it focuses your attention on objectively & effectively considering precisely what expectation you feel disappointed in not meeting. And clean motivation because you are taking control, which is an excellent way to avoid self-pity and gain ascendancy over any set of sub-optimal circumstances.

As an added bonus, Critical Thinking gives you insights into how to improve, remedy, or just learn from whatever situation that prompted you to feel disappointed in the first place. Wow. And in case you’re worried that you have to be an Einstein to use Critical Thinking, fear not, because it isn’t about how well you use it, just that you do use it. Period.

So go forth and think critically! 🙂

freedom of choice

When you dig deeper into the phrase “I want freedom”, you’ll find that what people really want is “freedom of choice”. But this interpretation can be misleading, because what most people really want is specifically “control over whatever impacts their lives”.

So what’s the difference? Well, while most people say they crave “freedom of choice”, few people actually enjoy making choices; most find it difficult and stressful e.g. What if they make the wrong one? What if they regret their choice? etc.

So at the end of the day, what most people want is not more freedom to make even more choices! Rather, they want the feeling of “freedom of choice” without having to actually make tough choices; freedom without the accompanying Responsibilities & Risks of choice.

What’s going on here?  Well, once upon a time when we were young, most of us experienced a sincere desire for true freedom of choice. However, at that time we didn’t have any idea of the harsh realities of the Responsibilities & Risks inherent in making any choice. As adults, though, after years of real-world “experience”  (e.g.. having some of our major choices effect unimagined consequences) we have a healthy respect for – and perhaps even anxiety over – the Responsibilities & Risks inherent in Choice.

And that is why, although we may still feel that familiar desire for “control” over whatever impacts our lives, we can still prove through our behaviour to be unwilling to accept both the Responsibilities AND Risks of choice.

The crux of the matter is that the Responsibilities AND the Risks of choice are each one side of the same coin that we call Choice! So the inescapable truth is that it is impossible to accept ONLY Responsibility OR Risk! You must accept BOTH or NEITHER, simply because they are both always present together – again, two sides of the same coin: Choice.

The takeaway is twofold: First, you must make a blanket decision to accept both the Responsibilities AND the Risks of choice as the investment cost of true freedom. Second, you must understand that your reality will be entirely dependent upon which side of the coin you decide to use as your anchor from this point forward. You can decide that Choice represents RESPONSIBILITY, in which case making choices will give you a feeling of inherent control. Or you can decide that Choice represents RISK, in which case making choices will cause you anxiety and the feeling of living perpetually under threat.

You must decide for yourself. Your future awaits your choice.

infinite possibilities exist

If you don’t believe in possibility, you won’t set any Goals to aim for.

Without any goals in mind, you’ve nothing from which to Expect any payoff.

With no payoff in mind, you’ve no Motivation to do anything.

Without any motivation, you’ll take no consistent Targeted Action.

Without any targeted action, you’ll Achieve nothing.

Bottom Line: Whether you are convinced by particle physics or otherwise, the fact remains that Infinite Possibilities Exist.

So set your Goals with confidence, Expect positive results, and Achieve your best.

4 levels of power

Are you in Control of how you respond to Others?

I’d call this the BASIC LEVEL of power.

 

Are you in Control of how Others respond to you?

This is an INTERMEDIATE LEVEL of power.

 

Are you in Control of what Others are thinking & feeling?

I’d call this an ADVANCED LEVEL of power.

 

Are you in Control of what you yourself are thinking & feeling?

Clearly this is the MASTER LEVEL of power.