Fight

Going with the flow has a cost

Being different is difficult.

Being different means different priorities. It means standing up for what you believe in. You’ll have to fight the system, whatever that is.

It is natural for a system n order to try to bring people towards “the middle.” “The middle” represents comfort and safety. It means no one is going to rock the boat.

If you are looking for a recipe for entropy, look no further than “the middle.”

To fight that, you’ll need to stand up and make sure your ideas go it to the table, even if it seems counter to the points of those around you.

Direct yourself to your priorities; no one else will.

Learning is a War of Attrition 

Show up every day

Decide your day with intention.

Once you have, show up.

Everyday.

Our biggest war is with our ego.

And we fight. We fight against the expectations that we “obviously deserve.”

And the minute you decide to show up, it is a war you fight.

Be careful.

We think it’s “easier said than done.”

This war is one of attrition. Each day wears on you, and ego wins when you quit.

Don’t beat yourself up. You’ll often lose this war. You won’t, however, become a prisoner of the ego unless you completely submit.

So, do your best to sustain your energy. The longer you hang in there, the more territory (lessons) you acquire that prepare you for the next “war.”

The goal is growth.

Cooperating isn’t Resigning – No One Has To “Win”

I once heard great advice.

“One should always be wary when presented with a binary choice.”

That is to say, if you have an “either/or,” where it can only be “this way or that way,” you need to be careful; there is probably more to learn.

Why is this important?

When talking about feelings, I usually hear one of two options:

  • Fight them
  • Resign yourself to them

This is the two option trap. As convenient as it is to split the world into black and white, there are side effects to such thinking.

In this example, you left yourself two options. Both create “sides” and through that, one side has to win, and the other has to lose. Win-loss scenarios are a breeding ground for hiding.

We don’t have to hide.

There are more options when we deal with our emotions, like cooperation.

People think cooperating and resigning are the same. They aren’t.

When one resigns themselves to feelings, they let them run free. With that freedom, they are unpredictable and controlling.

When one cooperates, they create boundaries, validating those feelings but not letting them control. There is no battle. One can listen.

And when you listen, neither side has to hide.

Choice, Notifications, And PUT THE CELL PHONE AWAY!

choice

I hate notifications

I am like a dog. Whenever notifications come on my phone, I turn my head and get obsessed with everything about the phone. At first, it starts with whatever that notification is about, then check email, then Twitter, then Facebook, and and and… several minutes go by.

Each decision you make leaves a few decisions on the table. By looking at my phone, I decided not to connect with someone I am talking with, losing concentration on one of these posts, some meditation, or anything else that doesn’t have to do with my phone.

It’s why I cut off the notifications to my phone, but the break in period for me is always a rough one.

There is always a choice

In everything we do, there is always a choice. Our emotions may lie to us, tell us we have to react to any and everything that happens to us, but that puts us in a severe disadvantage. We get as deluded as we want to, especially when it comes to this. I’ve seen people throw away million dollar opportunities to get loyal to things they didn’t need to especially if it’s a reaction.

We lose ourselves, in the motion or the energy of change, that we end up losing ourselves in reaction.

Get proactive.

We aren’t robots. Choice isn’t something that just happens, we all have that ability, we just need to cultivate it.

 

A great way to explore is with your cell phone. Try to turn it off for an hour. Leave it in a dresser, and just walk away.  When this gets normal, try it for two, then three, then a day etc.

This builds up the proactive tolerance, avoiding the problems that come with looking for something to happen. Its hard at first, but step away long enough, you eventually find life much more satisfying, just because you got proactive with your attention.

It’s a small start, but that’s the best way to do it.

Proactive example:

A great example is Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring.While everyone is trying to go for the knockout blow and reacting, Floyd is rolling his shoulders and jabbing.  He creates this tension, and gets the fight to come to him. 

 

Understand Why You Get Defensive

defensive

Being defensive means you already made up what happened in your head and you don’t want to hear another one. What happened becomes set by ego, not circumstance, and instead of understanding you have a bitter peace when the conflict stops.

So, you’ve kept your ego safe, what are the consequences of being defensive?

Since you didn’t hear the other person, now they generally get more defensive. Whatever discussion that happened between both parties is over, and the point is lost. What replaces the point is more yelling and screaming, because when we don’t feel heard, we just get louder. It stops being about the truth, it’s about being right.

That bitter peace feeds into resentment. Resentment is difficult to face because it hides well and shadows every move a person makes. That resentment feeds other things, such as anger and depression, which eventually leak out. The result isn’t good. I’ve held in resentment for a long time,and hurt innocent people with it. That just leaves me with regret.

 

Alright, so my relationship with the other person gets damaged, I get to be alright!

Not so fast. Putting up armor to defend yourself keeps bad stuff out, but it also doesn’t discriminate against the good. Nothing gets to you, and that energy sticks with you. Instead of moving on, you end up resenting things about the fight. This is when you start thinking about good lines, and things that could have said.

So now there is resentment in the moment.  That turns into misery. As much as you think that closing up makes you better, now you’re trapped.

We can’t help getting defensive, but its possible to pay attention to it. Instead of fighting it, listen to your defensiveness. Something around you is hitting on a truth you believe but don’t want to accept.

Stop the discussion and talk about that if you are with people you trust. If you aren’t, take note of it, and try to breathe. Get present.