Anger

Yawning at Anger

Anger defined is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.

Living in today’s interconnected information world, there are countless opportunities to feed from the buffet of delightful entities, persons and media to generate this emotion..

How important is your mental wellness?

When we view the word anger, it is part of the human scene. The emotion is only a feeling backed by fear.

All of us are exposed daily to the temptation to engage in this feeling.

Here are some alternatives to express this emotion;

Anger

Synonyms & Antonyms

Synonyms: Noun

angriness, birse [chiefly Scottish], choler, furor, fury, indignation, irateness, ire, lividity, lividness, mad, madness, mood [archaic], outrage, rage, spleen, wrath, wrathfulness

Synonyms: Verb

enrage, incense, inflame (also enflame), infuriate, ire, mad, madden, outrage, rankle, rile, roil, steam up, tick off

Antonyms: Noun

delight, pleasure

Antonyms: Verb

delight, gratify, please


“Winners never quit.”

“A quitter never wins.

“Don’t be a quitter.”

What about deciding to quit excessive anger?

Anger irritates the soul. If prolonged, it eats away at the soul-body generating progressive resentment or illness.

Anger can adversely affect your health and relationships. It has been known to eat away at organ tissue, cause heart attacks, disrupt blood flow and corrode the psyche.

How do we get to the point of anger?

It seems that a personalized rules violation has occurred. Beliefs!

Something that suddenly gets your attention triggers in an instant reaction. When we understand ourselves, we can better understand others.

What’s the difference between responding and reacting?

Do you recognize that when you are hungry, tired or feel alone, the emotion labeled anger can be triggered?

What about the fact that people who are hurting like to hurt others?

If we simplified that emotions are either a call for love or a cry for help, what would that do to your mindset?

The pleasure – pain principle is evolutionarily wired into the brain even though there is an alternative.

The option is to live in a contemplative state in which you understand that underneath the perceptional mind world is 98% silence. We are the ones creating all the noise in our perception with the 2%.

It is one of nature’s tricks, little understood, that each day we awaken with moods that have changed from yesterday.

When we recognize and identify the mystery of moods in all mankind, and in us, we become prepared to control whatever personality awakes in us each day.

The aim is to become master of my moods through positive action [thinking] and when I master my moods, I will control my destiny.

Remember that to “sin” means missing the mark. Where is your aim?

Can you see how describing the feeling with a word captures the emotion into a fixed crystallized state of mind?

When we label our emotions with language, we are identifying and becoming the emotion instead of just feeling them.

Language is the building block of reality.

What if we just allow the emotion? Witness it. Release it. Or better still, adjust our rules of engagement into understanding that everyone sees and interprets the world differently.

What if I told you that watching the news or engaging in social media is geared to stir the emotions of anger.

So, why are you choosing to watch it for continual periods of time?

The answer to this human dilemma is neither in abandoning caution or accepting conformity.

It is in recognizing the importance of re-learning [understanding]. The most important idea I have been able to embrace that resulted in personal growth and new found liberty is in two simple, though amazingly profound statements: “Not everything is right the way I first learned it!” and “This too shall pass.”

I must disavow what I ascertain is wrong. Then it is true. I am most alive when I exercise my own will.

Understanding that anger is a corrosive emotion which destroys in the present and transmits into the future can lead to awareness.

The present moment can be used for learning and understanding past wrongs, not to fuel resentment.

Anger can be likened to holding a smoldering coal in your hand to throw at another; all that accomplished is burning your own hand in the process.

When angered, blow by the emotion—Express it and shift quickly into a settled mind quickly. Forgive yourself for feeling it and forgive the circumstance or person instigating the emotion.

There are no wrong feelings only actions.

If possible, “vent” in private and express it. But don’t live in it and explode in front of others.

You will look back regretfully and say, “Was it really worth it?” In two weeks you might say, “was it that important?”

Understand that anger is a call to action for a new approach in perspective.

Therefore the individual who wishes to have an answer to the problem of anger, as it is posed today, has need, first and foremost of self knowledge, that is, the utmost possible knowledge of his own wholeness. He must know relentlessly how much good he can do, and what anger he is capable of, and must beware of regarding the one as real and the other as illusion. Both are elements within his nature, and both are bound to come to light in him, should he wish — as he ought — to live without self deception or self-delusion.

Dr. Carl Gustav Jung

Most of us are busier than we ought to be. At least our lives are crowded in such a way that frustration is becoming a normal and accepted mode of human experience and behavior.

Some time ago I found a new “translation” of the 23rd Psalm, called the Japanese Version, by Toki Miyashina. It helps me…and I want it to help you.

Japanese Version 23rd Psalm

“The Lord is my Pace setter, I shall not rush;

He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals.

He provides me with images of stillness, which restore my serenity.

He leads me in the ways of efficiency through calmness of mind,

And His guidance is peace.

Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,

I will not fret, for His presence is here,

His all importance, will keep me in balance,

He prepares refreshments and renewal in the midst of my activity

By anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility.

My cup of joyous energy overflows,

Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruit of my hours, for I shall walk in the pace of my Lord and dwell in His house forever.”

Continue reading “Anger”

Humility

The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.

Carl Gustav Jung

Humility is self esteem based in wholeness and fulfillment.

Humility is the acceptance of myself and my shortcomings.

I used to live two different lives, which forced my insides to be in conflict with my outsides.

Until I accepted and asked God to change me at depth, into establishing my spiritual nature and live in accordance to His Will for my life, I was unaware that I was operating solely on my ego.

Remember one aspect, that God is the image within. It is the invisible Power that runs the entire system, the universe.

The ego is into people pleasing, validation, approval, and confirmation amongst many other defects of character.

Understanding through a process of life experience, self discovery, self love, and self awareness, I am learning that my life is an evolution of humility.

Life presents to me opportunities everyday to exercise and witness humility. This is a beautiful gift because It brings me closer in union with God who is the orchestrater of my life.

When I live with humility, I recognize the behaviors and attributes that kept my ego in charge.

Fear, guilt, shame, anxiety, anger and control were the main root system of my ego. They still are a part of me, yet now I accept these feelings and go to a new choice of living with honesty, willingness, openness, love, acceptance, and trust that God is molding me into the person I was created to be.

Humility is letting go of concepts and modes of behavior and being able to transition through the process of change with a grateful attitude that even though I may not understand what to do, I must trust that the circumstance, person, place, or thing is molding my character to honor myself.

When I honor myself, I can honor others. When I come from a meaning that “I am good enough and can accept it,” I then move outward to others in a pleasing, kind, and cooperative manner.

Honestly viewing my character, good and bad; understanding that I know very little, modestly viewing myself as part of the greater whole, intuitively listening and trusting that still quiet voice within me, loving myself so I can love others, tolerating the behaviors and dispositions of myself and others, and yielding to a power that makes it all possible, these are qualities of humility.

Humility is strength. When I trust myself and am able to delegate and share with others, I experience humility.

Life also manifests humility in me. One such way is loss. Loss of health, wealth, relationships, loved ones including our animal friends, has an impact on the meaning I interpret life from.

Our being is a manifestation of meaning.

These experiences allow me to create and shift my attitude into a meaning that enriches my life.

When I understand pride, bravado, selfishness, and egoism are a part of my make up, I can transform myself by viewing these states of consciousness with an open, still, and loving heart.

Humility requires patience for the process of life and the unfoldment of my character. When I can admit that I made a mistake and release perfectionism for outcomes, I can strive for excellence instead.

People are imperfect, that is why we are human. The ideal is not lost, only the measure on how I interpret perfection does.

Asking is imagining. When I humbly ask with no attachment on the outcome, I am given all that I need. Maybe not what I want, but what I need.

My purpose is to discover a meaning for my life that includes the sharing with others, then pride is shifted to self worth, which operates under the power of faith.

With this understanding, I can now personalize my experience and live with integrity. I can have my insides match my outside.

I no longer desire to find my happiness or relevance in an another. I must live within myself. This s where joy is found.

Only then does my ego or “I,” shrink to its proper perspective. I am a part of the equation of life, not the whole solution.

Now my psychology, relationship, and spirituality are in harmony. My thoughts, judgments, and decisions include the cooperation, not competition with the outside world. I compete with myself to become better today than I was yesterday.

Better today so I can be better tomorrow. This is humility for me today. A work in progress not perfection.

Character

Thought and Character

Silence is the cornerstone of Character. From the silence springs the thoughts that manifest.

The aphorism, “ As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out into every circumstance of his or her life.  A man is literally what he thinks, the character being the complete sum of the thoughts contained.

As a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the lord of thought, man holds the key to every situation or circumstance of life and contains the transforming and regenerative agency by which he or she can make of herself what she wills.

Given this truth, character is the fluid process of molding one’s individuality.  Personality is what others perceive, individuality is what you are.  We have dominion of our thoughts and therefore dominion on how we choose to think and behave.  Man is always the master, even in his weakest and most abandoned state.  But then, he or she is the foolish master who misgoverns his household.

Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.

James Allen

When we begin to reflect on our condition, and to search diligently for the Law upon which our being is established, we then become the wise master, directing our energy with intelligence, and fashioning the thoughts to fruitful issues. Such is the conscious master, and man can only thus become by discovering within himself the laws of thought; which discovery is totally a matter of application, self-analysis, and experience.  Only by much searching and mining can we become the maker of character, the molder of our life, and the builder of our destiny. 

We may unerringly prove, if we will watch, control, and alter our thoughts, tracing their effects upon ourself, upon others, and upon our life and circumstances, linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation, and utilizing every experience, even to the most trivial, everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of ourself, which is Understanding, Wisdom, Power.

In this direction, as in no other, is the law absolute that, “He that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened;” for only by patience, practice, and careless importunity can a man enter the Door of the Temple of Knowledge.

The reality is is that character and competence drive everything in human behavior.  To nurture character and competence is the most high-leverage thing we can do to create empowerment.  But competence without character doesn’t inspire trust either.  Both character and competence are necessary to inspire trust.  And both are completely within our Circle of Influence.  

Character includes:

  • Integrity—the ability to walk your talk, a thorough interestedness of public, private and deep inner life around a balanced set of principles.
  • Maturity—the balance of courage and consideration that enables you to say what needs to be said, to give honest feedback, to address issues in a straightforward way, but with consideration and respect for the feelings, thoughts, and opinions of others.
  • Abundance Mentality—the paradigm that life is ever expanding, that there are an infinite number of third alternatives (in contrast to the paradigm  that life is a zero sum game, that the pie is only so large and if anyone else gets a piece, that means less for me).

Competence includes:

  • Technical Competence—the knowledge and skill to achieve the agreed-upon results, the ability to think through problems and look for new alternatives.
  • Conceptual Competence—the ability to see the big picture, to examine assumptions and shift perspectives.
  • Interdependent Competence—the ability to interact effectively with others, including the ability to listen, communicate, get to third alternatives, create win-win agreements, and work toward synergistic solutions, the ability to see and operate effectively and cooperatively in complete organizations and systems.

Character and competence are high-leverage areas of focus that make each of the other conditions possible.  The foundation is based in trust and one must be trustworthy and develop the attitudes and behaviors that instill trust in oneself and others.

Remain teachable.  Be so disciplined that the emotions of being alive, alert, awake, joyful, and enthusiastic are so evident, that we begin to demonstrate regardless of circumstances, situations, or moods.

In short, live a standard of excellence and commit to excellence.  Progress not perfection is the aim. Take responsibility for your character.

Sculptor, God, I am the stone.

Viktor Frankl

Referenced by James Allen, “As A Man Thinketh,” pages. 11-14. Stephen Covey, “First Things First,” pages, 241-242.

Perceiving Thoughts

Evaluate where you are

Respond, do not react.

Keep two books; bible and notebook of ideas, philosophies and concepts.

I read the bible and newspaper everyday to see what both sides are up to.

The God of the Mountain is the same One in the Valley.

Dare to evaluate where you are.

Read the New England Primer – founding fathers book of Education and Character for 100 years.

What rings your joy bell?

Develop a Wall of Gratitude.

Encourage others.

Success has experience, judgment, and common sense as its major theme.

The healthiest of all human emotions is Gratitude.

What is life asking of you?

The people who do not take the first step, never take the second step.

Some think denial is a river in Egypt.

Failure is only a temporary change of direction to set you straight on your next success.

I have a brilliant memory, although it is very short.

I remember some difficult times where I felt like I was desperately struggling.

Study!

Believe in your work.

Life is one indivisible whole – you can’t do right in one area while attempting to do wrong in a different area.

Quality of Life is better than standard of living.

Enroll in Automobile University.

You sell everyday of your life.

Be patient with yourself: we are planting seeds and the harvest is worth the work.

I thought you were going to trickle in.

The important people go first.

I am glad to meet you; I shall remember this day as long as I will live.

There is difference between how things are and should be.

Thank you for our many blessings.

Grant our family good health and well-being.

Allow us to forgive and let go.

I am in the light after the tunnel.

Eventually everything merges into one and the river runs through it.

There is no middle ground.

I choose beauty, love, sensitivity, concern; the desire to touch all others, in a gentle, comforting, creative, healing way.

I don’t repeat gossip, so listen carefully.

We are all at different growth phases of human consciousness.

I know that teaching has high leverage opportunities.

I am living to giving.

Recontextualize

Sometimes people don’t change, but they need to catch up.

Nourish the memories.

I had a rough day, I bent my library card.

Self-talk is self-control, self direction, self responsibility in its most simple form.

Create new ways to represent increases in creative opportunities.

Much obliged.

Simple presence; open heart.

What is this place where thought is useless? Knowledge cannot fathom it.

It is small, expensive, and invaluable. Step up to it!

Ten percent of non-fiction books are not read past the first chapter.

Learn value vs. cost.

We hear what we listen for.

I was blinded by my commitment, I was stupid.

What do you do? I do nothing on the first date.

People don’t wait long enough to recognize each other again.

Do you want affirmations or useful information?

This is not an installment item. Live through a cloudy weather pattern.

There is not a blemish on my name or background.

Life is a gas. I can’t believe I get to do it.

If you can laugh as much as you cry; you can make it through life.

How about that!

You’re a legend in your own mind.

Try keeping my belly in bounds.

No, I don’t understand, at all.

Remembering is the mother of learning.

I am colorful!

Imagine that!

I like it!

She has my cell number, home number; but she does not have my hotel key.

All of Life can be conceived symbolically as One Grand Cycle (12).

By analogy, three important areas can be studied and compared within a circular framework: Human Life, Nature, and Astrology.

What is your favorite course to teach? My next one!

Imagine the vision of a time yet to come.

Peace!

Be strong now; be strong.

I appreciate the kind thoughts.

This is the only time there is. Be cheerful. Be enthusiastic.

Give to others…”you make a living by what you earn; you live a life by giving.”

Go to God first.

Harness and Channel the energy.

We are perfectly imperfect.

If you don’t bite the elephant, all the mosquitoes will.

That dame is one hell of a guy.

Get good; Get better: Be at your Best.

Can you keep a secret? Good, because so can I.

I am glad your mother is not here to hear you speak that way; thank God she’s dead. 😇

If you put my brains in a bird, it would fly backward.

I will give it some thought and let it marinate for awhile.

Seek to manifest the invisible, inspired self.

I feel it, I know it; I believe it.

Well, you were there, you saw it.

I feel I am destined to achieve some great thing; what it is I don’t know.

In my life, I have made many mistaken choices. I have selected persons, conditions, situations, thoughts, concepts, feelings. I have selected all manner of things to come and live in me; things that do not belong in me. There must be a way to erase or cancel these things which do not belong in my life. How? RENUNCIATION or simply Denial.

Organize the mind.

Alone means all one!

—-ooOoo—-

M.S.

Optimism

St. Johns Bridge photographed by Martin Santos

Why choose optimism? 

It is an instant reflex these days for most of us to snatch the negative out of any situation, circumstance, condition or relationship.

The movement to avoid pain and gain pleasure is a systematic function of the brain. 

For centuries, man has been conditioned and evolved into the pain-pleasure principle.

The word optimism, is a mid -18th century French and Latin term meaning, “best thing.” It is the hopefulness and confidence about the successful outcome of something. It is also defined as a philosophical doctrine of “the best of both worlds.”

The opposite world is negativity.

A unity or balance must be established to form an equilibrium in the mind.

Relationships are constantly testing this harmonious dance of negative (pessimism) or positive (optimism). Think about how psychology and spirituality is bridged by relationships?

How?

It’s valid to assume that not all circumstances can be viewed with optimism.  As the Buddha exclaimed 5,000 years ago, “life is suffering.” 

With an established understanding, it is fair to be cautiously pessimistic or optimistic in our response to life. Yet a clearer awareness can be attained.

Optimism is primarily focused in the attitude pertaining to the present and future.  Its counterpart, skepticism, values the present and harkens back to the past for its reference to act.

It is a critical distinction to say both of these states of being, or attitude are both a call for action.

Action is not only movement or accomplishing a task at hand.  Many times no-action or patience (waiting) is more impactful and a driving force for change. 

Maybe our thoughts for optimism are an opportunity to transcend and reach higher levels of enlightenment?

Emotions

Our emotions can rule our thinking.  Pain can subdue our attitude.  Man has been given the ultimate freedom of will to choose.  

What questions are immediately raised in the mind? Sadness or gladness? Anger or fear? Loss or gain? Opportunity or challenge?

Questions control the focus of the mind; therefore, forcing ones actions to control ones thoughts is of paramount importance. Why continually say no to life when it feels so good to say yes?

The choice, the mindset is programmed into the mind by the word.  Actions speak louder than words in most cases.

The power of the spoken or written word have swayed our emotions into chaos or peace.  The renounced importance of language in the psyche are the building blocks and foundational axioms of values and beliefs.

Values, principles, beliefs determine the lens in which we perceive our world. Awareness, understanding, move the thought into action.

Being optimistic widens the field of perception to explore options, new questions and new possibilities. Pessimism limits the field, narrows and stagnates the process of moving ahead.

It’s interesting to note that optimism is also derived from optics. Most have heard the terminology that “optics” are important. They create a narrative which in the mind can influence behavior.

Fear is the result of pessimism.  It locks or paralyzes the mind into a form of spiritual death.  Yes, pessimism and negative thoughts are as destructive as pouring poison on the garden of the mind. 

In spite of everything is the will to meaning.  The meaning to choose optimism can propel you forward and allow you to meet obstacles or challenges with a renewed faith. 

Optimism, hope, confidence, determination are what the responsible man or woman can choose to live by. It fosters a unifying integrity that is unbendable, unshakable and indestructible.

Look for any opportunity as a blessing or a lesson.

Remember that pessimism is ultimately a choice. It is the difference between victim or victor.

Expectations


An expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be a result in the future. Given that definition, expectations are the reality in which I operate my life.

Interestingly, the expectation is felt in the present moment. The event, situation, or circumstance has not even been established, and we momentarily feel the result instantly.

To live a healthy life, I need to recognize that an inner peace, an open mind, my character, and trust are factors that contribute to my well being. My perception is the lens of my reality.

Photo by Vlad Cheu021ban on Pexels.com


My belief can be viewed as my rules about what something means. Beliefs or opinions are everywhere. I recognize that I get to choose what I want to believe and not infringe on others views.

This requires patience, understanding, or clarity about what is at my core. When I listen to others or myself, I notice the words, is, am, we, and are.

When I think about these words, they describe my global belief system. For example, I am a writer, I am a coach, we are learning; reading this blog is changing and questioning my perspective, and so on.

I am empowered when I can be aware of my language and those of others so I do not trap myself into someone else’s world view. I have been given that freedom or choice. You have that opportunity as well.

I have learned that no one has the power to speak I am for you. I am is the strongest creative word; and is the basis or perception on how I intend to behave. It is what you are.

Notice the words?

Frustration, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy are some negative states of mind that I want to limit or avoid.

When I was actively drinking, these emotions were dominate in my thinking and were felt so intensely, that I excessively drank to drown them. This was not a long term solution for wellness and soundness of mind.


As I mentioned previously, patience, understanding, and listening are needed to make this transformation in expectation. When I expect something to be a certain way and do not see the immediate results, my rules are violated. This can lead me to certain emotions.


Fortunately, through a process of self discovery, self growth, and self care, I now can recognize these emotions and live my life today knowing that when they pop up, I can change my focus; by the questions I ask myself or change the way I am moving my body (physiology).

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Victor E. Frankl

All of this is possible for the simple reason that today, I try not set unreasonable expectations of myself.

Of course, I plan, have big dreams, and want certain things to work. The difference is now I trust the opportunities of the day are guiding me into the direction I want to go.

I set the goal and leave the consequences to a power within me that I have nurtured, completely trust, and allows me to surrender the results to it.

I still have to perform the work and take action. I am still responsible and accountable for my thoughts and actions. Yet, my expectations or rules of getting there are more flexible. I stretch but don’t break.


Today, I have opened the door of the soul inward. My exceptions are my choice in how I want to proceed forward. There is a sense of spontaneity needed in fulfilling the expectation.

In a team environment like business or baseball, ideally every one is set on a mission. The objectives are to be as clear as possible in order to produce a desired outcome.

When a coach and leader can set the vision and allow each individual to perform at their best, successful results are produced.

Expectations are set and you march forward with faith or expectation trusting the outcome will be realized.

The bottom line is, whatever the consequences, win, lose, or draw, they are always up to me on how I interpret and evaluate the situation. This is assuming responsibility for my communication.

This freedom does not mean I don’t experience disappointment, anger, or other emotions; it means that I am the choice between my perception of my reality. What a gift. I no longer have to blame or keep a victim mind set.

I can dwell in the negativity of the result, or choose to ask myself a better question or adopt a new belief on how I want move ahead.

I now understand that perception creates duality. If I want unity, I must guard on my perception.

I can choose to forgive myself and others, which allows me to not stay stuck in an “emotional mud puddle” for very long.


I expect the best and do my best. That is all you can do. The outcome is merely my perception.

A human being is a deciding being.

Viktor e. frankl

Today I Begin A New Life

A New Life

The following is an excerpt from the best selling book by Og Mandino: “The Greatest Salesman In The World.”

In this classic self help book, Og describes 10 scrolls which are important to overcome doubt, fear, procrastination and low self confidence. Why would I suggest a book about sales for recovery?

We are all salespeople whether you recognize it or not. We are continually selling our ideas to others or ourselves in order to move into action. Since it is something we all do, it is necessary to become a student and develop, in time, self mastery over this critical facet of life.

The following is the first of ten scrolls. Practice these lessons, and I promise you will learn the fundamentals to successful sobriety living.

The Scroll Marked I: Today I begin a new life

Today I shed my old skin, which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity.

Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.

Today I will pluck grapes of wisdom from the tallest and fullest vines in the vineyard, for these were planted by the wisest of my profession who have come before me, generation upon generation.

Today I will savor the taste of grapes from these vines and verily I will swallow the seed of success buried in each and new life will sprout within me.

The career I have chosen is laden with opportunity yet it is fraught with heartbreak and despair and the bodies of those who have failed, were they piled one atop another, would cast its shadow down upon all the pyramids of the earth.

Yet I will not fail, as the others, for in my hands I now hold the charts, which will guide me through perilous waters to shores, which only yesterday seemed but a dream.

Failure will no longer be my payment for struggle. Just as nature made no provision for my body to tolerate pain, neither has it made any provision for my life to suffer failure. Failure, like pain, is alien to my life. In the past I accepted it as I accepted pain. Now I reject it and I am prepared for wisdom and principles which will guide me out of the shadows into the sunlight of wealth, position, and happiness far beyond my most extravagant dreams until even the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides will seem no more than my just reward.

Time teaches all things to he who lives forever but I have not the luxury of eternity. Yet, within my allotted time I must practice the art of patience for nature acts never in haste. To create the olive, king of all trees, a hundred years is required.

An onion plant is old in nine weeks. I have lived as an onion plant. It has not pleased me. Now I wouldst become the greatest of olive trees and, in truth, the greatest of salesmen.

And how will this be accomplished? For I have neither the knowledge nor the experience to achieve greatness and already I have stumbled in ignorance and fallen into pools of self-pity. The answer is simple. I will commence my journey unencumbered with either the weight of unnecessary knowledge or the handicap of meaningless experience. Nature already has supplied me with knowledge and instinct far greater than any beast in the forest and the value of experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.

In truth, experience teaches thoroughly yet her course of instruction devours men’s years so the value of her lessons diminishes with the time necessary to acquire her special wisdom. The end finds it wasted on dead men. Furthermore, experience is comparable to fashion; an action that proved successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow.

Only principles endure and these I now possess, for the laws that will lead me to greatness are contained in the words of these scrolls. What they will teach me is more to prevent failure than to gain success, for what is success other than a state of mind? Which two, among a thousand wise men, will define success in the same words; yet failure is always described in one way. Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.

In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the differences of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law I will obey, which precedeth all others is – I will form good habits and become their slave.

As a child I was slave to my impulses; now I am slave to my habits, as are all grown men. I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulated habits and the past deeds of my life have already marked out a path, which threatens to imprison my future. My actions are ruled by appetite, passion, prejudice, greed, love, fear, environment, habit, and the worst of these tyrants is habit. Therefore, if I must be a slave to habit let me be a slave to good habits. My bad habits must be destroyed and new furrows prepared for good seed.

I will form good habits and become their slave.

And how will I accomplish this difficult feat? Through these scrolls, it will be done, for each scroll contains a principle which will drive a bad habit from my life and replace it with one which will bring me closer to success. For it is another of nature’s laws that only a habit can subdue another habit. So, in order for these written words to perform their chosen task, I must discipline myself with the first of my new habits, which is as follows:

I will read each scroll for thirty days in this prescribed manner, before I proceed to the next scroll.

First, I will read the words in silence when I arise. Then, I will read the words in silence after I have partaken of my midday meal. Last, I will read the words again just before I retire at day’s end, and most important, on this occasion I will read the words aloud.

On the next day I will repeat this procedure, and I will continue in like manner for thirty days. Then, I will turn to the next scroll and repeat this procedure for another thirty days. I will continue in this manner until I have lived with each scroll for thirty days and my reading has become habit.

And what will be accomplished with this habit? Herein lies the hidden secret of all man’s accomplishments. As I repeat the words daily they will soon become a part of my active mind, but more important, they will also seep into my other mind, that mysterious source which never sleeps, which creates my dreams, and often makes me act in ways I do not comprehend.

As the words of these scrolls are consumed by my mysterious mind I will begin to awake, each morning, with a vitality I have never known before. My vigor will increase, my enthusiasm will rise, my desire to meet the world will overcome every fear I once knew at sunrise, and I will be happier than I ever believed it possible to be in this world of strife and sorrow.

Eventually, I will find myself reacting to all situations which confront me as I was commanded in the scrolls to react, and soon these actions and reactions will become easy to perform, for any act with practice becomes easy.

Thus a new and good habit is born, for when an act becomes easy through constant repetition it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is man’s nature to perform it often. When I perform it often it becomes a habit and I become its slave and since it is a good habit this is my will.

Today I begin a new life.

And I make a solemn oath to myself that nothing will retard my new life’s growth. I will lose not a day from these readings for that day cannot be retrieved nor can I substitute another for it. I must not, I will not, break this habit of daily reading from these scrolls and, in truth, the few moments spent each day on this new habit are but a small price to pay for the happiness and success that will be mine.

As I read and re-read the words in these scrolls to follow, never will I allow the brevity of each scroll nor the simplicity of its words to cause me to treat the scroll’s message lightly. Thousands of grapes are pressed to fill one jar with wine, and the grapes skin and pulp are tossed to the birds. So it is with these grapes of wisdom from the ages. Much has been filtered and tossed to the wind. Only the pure truth lies distilled in the words to come. I will drink as instructed and spill not one drop. And the seed of success I will swallow.

Today my old skin has become as dust. I will walk tall among men and they will know me not, for today I am a new man, with a new life.

referenced by Kathy Pilcher

FEAR

Fear

The dreaded emotion of fear is felt by all.  No one has never not experienced the grips of this force.  Yet, there are a select few who act in spite of this perception.  Why do I suggest perception?  Because fear is manifested in the mind by the thoughts or impressions we have in our memories or imagination.

It has been said that courage is acting in spite of fear.  To not permit our thoughts to rule our actions, but instead, force our actions to control our thoughts is the remedy to fear.

How do we release fear?  By moving through it. By not allowing the imagination to capture you and hindering any forward movement.  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Zeal is enthusiasm.  The word enthusiasm in its root form means “at one with spirit of God.”  To not get too metaphysical, when we are aligned with the spirit or conception of God who is all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere; we gain belief, and through time and experience, a trust established that allows you to be equipped to make forward progress.

Fear is the opposite of faith.  I refer to fear as operating in reverse opposite of faith.  Faith is not an emotion, it is a power.  It manifests the thought images of the mind into their material equivalent through a process.  You are that process.  Life is process.  It is continually changing and transforming.

When I focus on fear, I am worrying, anxious, depressed, and living in my mind. I conjure up images of despair and lack of hope.  Instead the choice can be made to operate with faith.  This is not only a power but a skill that must be developed and established in the mind as a habit of thinking.

I love the late great Napoleon Hill, author of one the all time best selling books, “Think and Grow Rich.” He interviewed over five hundred of the wealthiest individuals the world has ever known.  What he gleaned was that the vast majority operated their lives and fortunes under the unshakeable power of faith.  Im quite certain they experienced fear and trepidation, but they all acted in spite of the fear.  

You can too!

One of Americas greatest generals, George S. Patton, stated it this way; “Courage is fear holding on for a minute longer.”  When the body leads the mind, making action first, the mind will follow.  Many of us have misinterpreted this truth.  We have had it backwards all along.  “Act as if you cannot fail.”

Now, armed with this knowledge, this does not mean you will never experience fear ever again.  That is obviously not realistic.  What is realistic, is that you can choose to function in spite of it.  This can be done through the power of understanding and confidence.  We improve through repetition. 

Understanding is will.  What we will is what we understand.  Therefore, my perception or focus needs to be adjusted or changed completely.  This can be done by how we communicate inside of ourselves.  The words we choose to describe an event or situation often determines how and what the results or outcome will be.  Often they surprise us, because positive unintentioned consequences are experienced.

The mind is a highly suggestive organ, and operates on the information it is given.  It is of vital importance to guard what enters your mind.  The mind is a broadcasting and receiving station. The abdomen is the processing center.  This is why when you feel the the fear, it is in your gut, not your brain.  The thoughts are stirred my this emotional power, so reevaluating how and what words you choose to describe the feelings are of most importance.

Fortunately, life is process.  Success is the result of good judgment, and good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is usually the result of bad judgment.  Awareness is the answer to fear as well as making action in spite of it.

Adversity

Adversity


Adversity is a facet of life.

It is universal and impartial.

Everyone has experienced a time of difficulty, a time of distress, a time of misery, a time of suffering, and a time of loss.

It is safe to say that life is suffering.

What would happen if you viewed any adversity, setback, heartache, or loss with the attitude that there is a equivalent seed of benefit from it?

With this understanding, I can see that life is not always about happiness. What brings me happiness today will turn into tomorrow’s sorrow. Today’s sorrow will turn into tomorrow’s joy.

It’s hard to describe and share struggling with others. Everyone is a prisoner of their own experiences. There is no escaping adversity, but there is a useful way to respond to it.


My life has continually been filled with adversity and along the way, I have come to a better understanding why it is there and how I can use it to benefit myself and others.

It requires introspection and time.

Being a slave to alcohol, was the primary method I used to handle adversity. I was always afraid to tackle my challenges squarely and soberly. I wanted to ignore the feelings of pain. I postponed them and procrastinated any effort to meet them immediately.

What happened by not taking action in spite of adversity caused me to live in fear. This emotion blocked my feelings. It stifled forward movement.


I found in recovery and sobriety, that I am more aware of the language I use internally and externally to describe adversity.

Words have power backed by tremendous energy. They can call us to action or into retreat. Feeling victimized is so defeating because it releases any personal responsibility about changing the situation.

Today I use words like challenges, or obstacles, or setbacks, or phase.

We often cannot control our circumstances yet we can control or influence our attitude towards them by our language. Language affects our behavior.

Being aware of this does not mean that adversity will not come your way; but as stated earlier, it is how you respond that matters. To be able to “Respond” with “Ability” is the heart of personal responsibility.


A new found freedom is experienced when I don’t react by reflex. When I can pause when agitated, and in that “gap” of thought, choose a better word, and come to a new understanding; my challenges seem manageable.

This requires time and patience with myself. Also, the stories we are told shape us; they shape our world. We do what stories tell us to do. We’re wired this way intentionally, because adversity is a reflection of what most needs to be changed in us for us to grow.

The most difficult times are to bless us. All adversity is not bad or good. It’s your perspective or attitude towards it.


Don’t get bitter; understand what adversity is all about. It is there to make us grow.

It sometimes feels prolonged with no end in sight. For example, sickness, loss of job, or divorce can be painful, hurtful, and be intense. Our decisions sometimes are the cause.

When I’m experiencing suffering the last thought on my mind is that I caused this circumstance.

When I can pause and separate from the situation, there is one new skill I have developed that is powerful to bring my difficulties and my mind back to order. This is prayer.

Prayer is asking or imagining a better way to interpret adversity. I surrender my ego from, “figuring it out,’ to quietly listen for guidance. It protects me into getting consciously and emotionally connected with the ultimate source.

Do not ask for things, ask for guidance.


Rigorous trial and error tests our faith and trust in ourselves. Ultimately, adversity is there to help us. We only grow through resistance. This is how we learn to respond.

You are never alone; because if you know there is a higher presence with you at all times, then you are never alone.

What if you viewed adversity as a precious gift that guides you into new thinking?


In college, my alcoholism was at a stage of binge drinking and blackouts. I had missed classes and my grades dropped off a cliff. My scholarship was in perilI and I received the letter from the university that I would have to go in front of a committee to discuss whether my suspension would turn to expulsion.

At 20 years old, that was a lot of adversity to handle alone. I remember vividly, I suddenly turned within and asked a power greater than me to help.

I was guided to a counselor who by chance served on the committee and said he could help. He did. Our meeting resulted in a pardon and propelled me to graduate college.


Belief, trust, faith, action, patience, surrender are all needed in adversity. Most often, you will survive to fight another day.

Experience and feel the pain. Then take action. This is the process of healing.

The best is always yet to come!

Meaning

 What’s your Meaning?

My search for meaning is the source of success or failure.  Understanding, perception, and past experience shape my decisions.  These decisions affect my attitudes which in turn determine what kinds of results I experience. 

It is difficult to comprehend that circumstances outside of me do not determine the experience of my inner world.  This sounds outrageous, but I hope to express what I mean.

Meaning is an interpretation of a perceived event, personal communication, or concept.  When I can change the way I see things, the things I see change.  An inside look at myself and interpreting an experience in a certain way is useful to my growth.

The more I know today, the less I understand. The things I thought I figured out long ago, I’m learning again. So, I must be flexible and adaptable in what concept I identify my world in.  

When I was drinking, in the end, I had become habitual to alcohol.  I believed that only with alcohol could I cope with my life.  This was the meaning I felt in my soul.  I never thought I could stop; because every time I set goals to stop, even for a day, I could not.  This became to be a self fulfilling prophecy and further cemented a belief that there was no hope. 

What happened that allowed me to turn the corner and view my alcoholism in a new way?  For me it was desperation.  I had ran out of answers and excuses. I cried loudly internally, “I need help!”

I do not know your situation, but when you are about to lose your family, your health, and your self respect and dignity, a new meaning for your life is revealed. Maybe for you it’s a “nudge from the judge” in the form of a drunk drinking citation or accident.  Either way, action is required based on the meaning you give to the event, words, or self talk. 

My attitudes are based on belief.  Belief is a feeling of certainty about what something means.  It is therefore important to choose a meaning that not only serves me and allows me to move forward, but does not interfere in the well being or life of another.  I decided something needed to change, and that was me.

When I was drinking, I was living mostly in my mind and rarely had the interests of others. Self centeredness, self pity, poor self awareness were characteristics or defects of my character. Alcohol was hiding these traits from me or better still, I was running from them and using booze to mask them.

Do you see what I just did? I changed the meaning and my evaluation or interpretation of the experience instantly changed. All of us do this shifting in meaning consciously but more times than not, unconsciously.

The key is to watch my thoughts and change meaning consciously that better serves my attitudes. I am not disguising the experience with false beliefs, rather proactively finding a feeling that best expresses a meaning.

Attitude is always in flux, just like the weather. When I can find a purpose greater than my moods, true joy can be experienced. Happiness typically depends on outside forces or circumstances and joy is an inner experience. I can nurture joy.

My understandings must be viewed with an open mind and willingness to always know that my perceptions are always subject to change. What I believed yesterday is information that is subject to change today. This is what I like to refer to as “downstream thinking.” When I am living in “flow” and not fighting life, “upstream thinking,” I view life effortlessly. I can roll with the change. Life begins to hum along.

Admitting to myself and others I am alcoholic was differently difficult. I frankly was anonymous of this denial to my psyche. Eventually, in the end, I was ashamed because I allowed it to erode my dignity. There are definitely certain stigmas or meanings attached to that term.

For several years I never considered Alcoholics Anonymous because of the stigma, and reputation I had placed in the organization. I had to shift my meaning in order to behave differently. Many times this is not our decision, but the meaning is the catalyst.

Today, I understand that admitting to being an alcoholic is simply saying that I am living in the solution. I am now in the equation of solving the problem. This facet of me is a part of my experience of life and I would not be the person I am today without recognizing my past.

Admitting I am alcoholic is the first step towards recovering and experiencing soundness of mind. Without revealing the problem, I will never find the answer, which is soundness of mind.