365 Days to a Better You – Day 85

Can’t see, can’t hear

Someone once said that between the two closest people, there exists a vast gulf of understanding. We have this tendency to go through life thinking that the world is as we see it and experience it everyday. We may vaguely get that others see it and experience it differently, but generally we find it hard to understand how they don’t see it the way we do.

This is another of the great unknowns. We think we have one world happening around us, but the reality is we have seven billion separate worlds going on simultaneously in near proximity. Ideas, ways of doing things, and even foundational concepts in our reality can be completely new, foreign, or just plain wrong to someone else.

I like to call this the seven billion keyholes. We’re all looking into this room we call the world from our own perspectives. From my keyhole, I may clearly see a mountain and a river. Someone else may not see that, but a beach and the ocean. We’re both looking at the same room, but we’re limited by our perspective. Neither can see what the other sees, but we’re each convinced that what we see is the TRUTH.

This is the basis for interpersonal chaos and world war. However, if we simply walked over to the other person’s keyhole and peered through, we would see what they see.

This point was driven home to me back in my undergrad days at The University of Kansas. I was an Education major and enrolled in a class for teaching special needs kids.

The professor required us to do a two-day experiment. We had to walk around campus for two days either blindfolded or with ear plugs to simulate being blind or deaf. This was my third year at KU and I’d have told you I knew that campus like the back of my hand. Two days walking around with a blindfold on (guided by a classmate) taught me I didn’t know it nearly as well as I thought.

Anais Nin famously wrote, “We see the world not as it is, but as we are.” I quickly realized that the KU campus without sight was very different from the one I experienced every day. I saw how reliant I was on my sight for so many things that I took for granted. I got to take the blindfold off after two days, but some people have to live their whole lives with that challenge.

The gulf between each of us is large, but it can be linked well enough to create a world of cooperation and collaboration rather than conflict.

I’m not suggesting you walk around for two days with a blindfold, though it would be an “eye-opening” experience.  I am suggesting you step away from your keyhole once in a while to look through other peoples’ keyholes. You’ll probably learn something, move a stop closer to them, and create the potential for a better world and a better you.

All my best for a GREAT Tuesday!

Ray

 

 

365 Days to a Better You – Day 84

Why are you here?

Yesterday I said something pithy about spelunking around in the cave of unknowing. This week we’re going to spend some time doing just that. As we do, I’d ask you to apply yesterday’s concept – question everything at least once.

Today we begin with, perhaps, the biggest question of all. Why am I here? Human beings have sought to answer this question a million different ways in 10,000 years of recorded history and likely long before that. It’s a question you’ve probably stumbled across a few times, if you’ve spent a moment in reflection.

Warning! I’m about to stroke with a BROAD brush here. Looking at our world today, all of that pondering and the angst and conflict that has come with have arrived at two broad systems of thought. We hear them referred to as Western and Eastern thought.

Broad strokes continuing.

Western thought – spiritually, scientifically, and politically – tends to be more individualistic and rational. It views the world and time as a straight line from here to there. The plight of the individual is at the center of the story. I am Ray Davis. My unique first name comes before my family name. The whole (or God) and Ray are totally separate in this way of thinking. Politically, the order of things is what individuals come together and decide it is.

Eastern thought tends to be more about the whole of existence and how the individual fits into that whole. Time is cyclical and repeats according to perceptible pattern. The whole is always present within the individual. The separation is not because they are separate entities, but because of the delusion of separateness manifest in this world. Wisdom, rather than rationality, is the means for attaining truth. In most eastern cultures, family name comes before personal name. The whole always comes before the individual.

Now, certainly there are some exceptions to these generalities and our modern world is blending and bending these distinctions more and more each day. However, this dichotomy is a great first question to ask in understanding why you are here.

You are the only one with the answer to this question for you. However, here are some important questions to ask yourself to help you drill down and get some specificity about why you believe you are here. There are no right answers except the honest answers for you.

Note: You may see these things as a scale and not absolute. You’d be right, but by choosing it forces you to define who you really choose to be.

  1. Which do you consider more often? Your own advancement, success, and goals or the benefit of the whole?
  2. If you had to choose, is wealth or love more important to you?
  3. Do you prefer math and numbers or art and literature?
  4. Do you prioritize your spiritual path or your daily life?
  5. Do you want to change the world or change yourself?
  6. What are three things you’re most passionate about?
  7. What are three things you’re really good at?
  8. If money were not an object, what would you be doing right now?

Power hack: Take the answer to these eight questions and list them on a piece of paper. Study them and really think about why they are your answers. What do these answers tell you about who you are and why you’re here? Hopefully, you have more clarity than you did about it.

Now that you have that clarity, is your current life aligned with your answers? What immediate steps can you take to get you there?

There are no limits on who you can choose to be, but there is imminent wisdom and power in recognizing who you want to be and beginning down that path without distraction.

I’ll close today with 10 of my favorite Being You Quotes.

Have an awesome day, my friends!

Ray

 

 

365 Days to a Better You – Day 83

Question everything at least once.

Being your best self is not all about answers any other human being can give you. It’s more than life tips and bullet-pointed strategies for self-improvement. Sometimes, you must go spelunking in the cave of unknowing. You must question and not just the things that are easily questioned, but some of your deepest assumptions.

One of the great limiters for human beings is the massive assumption that our five senses give us a complete and accurate picture of the reality we inhabit. So pervasive is this assumption, that many people never question it for a second. It’s taken as a given that only what we can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel is real. That assumption limits our options for understanding who we are and what we’re capable of.

Even a cursory look into the subject quickly reveals that our five senses are a pretty poor way to ascertain reality. Dogs can hear things, cats can see things, bears can smell things well beyond our capabilities. That alone lets us know there are degrees of reality beyond our senses. Yet, we are highly clever and we have developed devices that can extend our senses.

Still, the questions remain. To what degree, do even our most advanced tools illuminate our reality? Are we working with a 90 percent understanding or a .01 percent understanding? How do our biases toward our five senses even inform the tools we create to detect reality?

Without answers to these questions, we should be cautious about placing all our eggs in the limiting basket of the five senses. They have limits and we don’t know how limited they are.

Power hack: How does questioning this move you forward in your personal development? Who you believe you are and what you believe you’re capable of is informed by a whole host of assumptions – this being among the biggest.

Many theories and spiritual traditions suggest we may have access to a higher knowing and a deeper connection to reality than this physical world and our onboard detectors. Meditation, prayer, and even certain substances are said to offer doorways beyond these light-reflecting forms. If true, reality and we may be far more profound than our senses tell us.

We should not discount that very real possibility in assessing the meaning of our existence or our capabilities.

Think deeply, my friend!

Ray

 

365 Days to a Better You – Day 82

You have to buy the ticket

You’ve probably heard the old joke about the guy who prayed to God to win the lottery. He prayed and he prayed, but he never won. He dies and goes to heaven and confronts God about the unanswered prayer.

God smiles and says, “I would have helped you win the lottery, but you have to meet me halfway and buy a ticket.”

Have you bought the ticket for your dreams? Are you hoping and praying and or are you taking action to make them come true? To buy your ticket, you must attract, act, and believe.

  1. Attract: The attract part  of the equation involves putting the intention out there in the Universe. Remember, “Ask and you shall receive.”? The Universe responds to our stated intentions not our secret hopes. It’s about creating the mental environment necessary to “manifest” your goal in your life. Affirmations, meditation, praying, or verbally sharing our dreams with others are all ways to achieve that part of the equation. The man in the story did that part.
  2. Act: The second part is equally important, though. You have to take action. Waiting on God or others to meet your needs while you sit passively by is not the act of buying the ticket. This the part many people leave out. They put the intention out there and they believe, but they fail to act. You must take proactive steps that give you the best chance for success. This is the part the man in the story failed to do.
  3. Believe: The third part of buying your ticket is belief or some might call it faith. This aspect is important because it enhances your actions by adding life and purpose to them. That all plays into a better result. This part is also important because often achieving requires patience and perseverance. Many a dream has been attracted and acted upon, but lost because the person gave up a moment too soon.

President Kennedy did the attracting part with his vision for the moon. He put the intention to go to the moon out into the Universe. Thousands of experts and geniuses acted to make it a reality. And, a nation – indeed a world – believed.

So my question for you today is are you buying your ticket? Are you doing all three parts of the equation to attract your best life? No ticket means no lottery.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

365 Days to a Better You – Day 81

What do you do when it’s just one of those days?

We all know it! “Life,” as the saying goes, “is not always a bed of roses.” Some days, despite your best intentions and efforts, go off the rails early and often. That’s just part of the human condition.

Today was one of those days for me. I had a plan this morning and by midday it felt like I’d not had the time I needed to get to my agenda. I felt frustrated. I’m sure you can relate.

Who we are when that happens – when life squeezes us – says a lot about us. Wayne Dyer talked about our reactions under pressure in one of his famous PBS fund-raising talks.

Wayne makes such an important point here. We can feel all evolved and educated and zen and then life happens. Someone says something to you on social media that sets you off. The news is all negative. Your plan for the day has gone down in flames.

What comes out of you? Well, I didn’t like what was welling up in me. That “poor me” voice was taking over.

I closed the door to my office for a few minutes. I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and did a little self-talk. I reminded myself, “Ray, you know you have some karma to wear off. Today is as good a day as any. Even if today doesn’t go as planned, your big picture is still on track. These days happen to everyone and you’re not exempt. Keep doing what you’re doing and good things will happen.”

I opened my door and continued with my day and this afternoon has gone much better. I accomplished a couple of key things on the day job, I took a nice stroll in with my black lab in a gentle rain, and now I’m sitting here writing to you. Life is good!

You and I are going to have days like this as long as we draw breath here on this tiny planet. Keep in mind we have amazing days that more than balance them out. Keep being you. Keep smelling the flowers even when you just stepped in….well…you know. Most of all, keep on dancing, even if it rains!

Have a GREAT evening!

Ray

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Video: I AM Enough Affirmation

Here is the latest video on the TAS YouTube channel. So many people go through life thinking they are not enough. This affirmation is meant to remind that you are, you always have been, and you always will be.

If you love this affirmation, you can add it your personal playlist by downloading it here.

365 Days to a Better You – Day 80

Listen to people who have succeeded #1

People who achieve massive success in their own right don’t have it handed to them. They face many of the same doubts and challenges you face. It’s why we can find courage and inspiration in their stories.

Take this young boy growing up in a war-decimated Austria after World War II. He aspired to be a world-champion bodybuilder, a leading man in the movies, and an American citizen. The people around him told him he was crazy. Someone like him could never achieve things like that. That little boy’s name was Arnold Schwarzenegger and all of those dreams – and more – came true for him.

What was his road to success? He outlines his five rules for success in this video. They’re rules that we can all easily apply to what we’re trying to achieve.

  1. Find your vision
  2. Never ever think small
  3. Ignore the naysayers
  4. Work your ass off
  5. Don’t just take, give back

Let’s all commit to be our best and do our best!

Ray