Waiting for Samadhi Isn’t a Life Strategy – Day 156 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation:

I find my bliss in the chaos. I find my stillness in the dance.

When I was younger, I used to spend my time waiting for this perfect moment I imagined would come to take action. The right moment, I assumed, would arrive for me to ask out that girl. The sun would shine upon me, as in a movie, to tell me I was making the right choices. The Universe would suddenly sing in unison to show me the way.

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of those moments in my life and perhaps you have too. However, they’re not reliable enough base your life strategy around.

The great mythologist Joseph Campbell pointed out there were two spheres of thought in ancient Buddhism – Indian and Chinese. The former has this concept of Samadhi, while the latter is based more on the idea of the Tao.

Samadhi is a moment where the great enlightened being stills the world around him or her to a state of perfected bliss and union. Meanwhile, the Tao summons the idea that life is a chaotic balance always in movement around the great being and that enlightenment is found not in stilling the chaos, but in becoming one with the ebb and flow.

That younger me was constantly waiting for moments of Samadhi. Now I’m certain such a state is reachable by the most enlightened among us and for all of us in certain moments. It’s also reachable if you want to leave the world, as Buddha did, and spend your life on a mountain or in a forest in complete contemplation. For most of us ordinary human beings with a job and mortgage, though, we must be content with finding our bliss amid the chaos of a life that never stops and is always presenting new challenges.

That younger me thought life would stop and wait for me at some point; that I”d suddenly “get it” and all would fall beautifully into place. This older wiser me understands that the beauty and sometimes the terror is found in the constant chaos that is our lives. The beauty is not just in that magical stillness, but in the flow of the river that never ceases.

Power Hack: Stop waiting. There’s no perfect moment except this one. Your goals, your dreams, and your destiny are found on the run. Samadhi does exist and I’d welcome you to seek it, but it’s not the mechanism that will drive most of your happiness or success. For that, you must lose yourself in this moment of action and find your bliss amid the chaos.

Ask him out. Apply to Harvard. Write the book. Change the world. Do it now.

You are all amazing! Never forget it no matter what anyone says. Thank you so much for spending a few more minutes with me on the blog today.

Ray

https://affirmationspot.net

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Living Beyond Other Peoples’ Opinions – Day 77 of 365 Days to a Better You

Living beyond other peoples’ opinions.

Today’s Thought

Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.
~Plato

April and I were listening to Rachel Hollis this morning. She says something repeatedly throughout her work that I really like. It’s something to the effect that other people don’t get to choose the life you live.

As long as you can remember, you had to deal with other peoples’ of you, what you do, and who you are. The mistake you may have made early on is believing their opinions. Maybe they had a position of authority, they were your friend, your spouse, or someone you really admired.

The fact of the matter is there’s only one opinion, ultimately, that matters in your life. There’s only one opinion that propel you or stop you in your tracks. That’s your opinion.

Now, you may have a low opinion of yourself in a given situation or endeavor. That’s content for another blog. Right now, we’re focused on all those other opinions that stream into your life, often without invitation. Who should you listen to and who should you ignore?

Let’s start with this. An opinion that limits you or squashes your potential, no matter how much you love or respect the person offering it, needs to be ejected from your life now. That opinion is not moving you forward.

I’m not talking about ignoring sound advice like don’t, “Don’t drive on the wrong side of the road.” I’m talking about opinions like:

  • “Oh, you don’t want to write a book. No one will ever buy it.”
  • “He’s the best you’ll ever do. You better hang on to him no matter how he treats you.”
  • “You can’t run a successful business. I never could.”
  • “Why do you need a Master’s Degree? I did fine without it.”

Power hack: When someone is audacious enough to tell you that you never can or never should follow your dream, I want you to apply this standard. Does that person have the life you want? Have they achieved what you dream of achieving?

You see, most people who spend their lives shooting down other peoples’ dreams and naysaying are bitter because they never had the courage to go after theirs. Or maybe they did, and it didn’t work out for them. That’s sad, but it’s no reason to squash your enthusiasm and determination for yours.

If your critic lacks the credentials to advise you or obviously is not coming from a supportive place, ignore the opinion. It’s of no value to you. Find those people who do support you and, damn it, support yourself! Every great achievement in human history happened, despite all the opinions about it not because of them.

You will never be free of opinions flowing into your life, but you can free yourself from their negative effect and get on with the business of following your bliss!

You – yeah you – you’re AWESOME!

Ray

Fear, Failure, and Dreams – Day 39 of 365 Days to a Better You

Fear, Failure, Dreams Lived

The fear of failure is the shortest route to it.
~Ray Davis

Today is the last in this little mini-series about following your dreams. It’s a theme we will revisit before the year is over.

Ellen Johnson once wrote, “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” Many people have been taught to avoid fear and failure. They’d feel embarrassed to try and fail. What would their family and friends think? This is an evil trap that keeps many people in the starting gate when it comes to their true dreams.

A few years ago I read an article about a study where they compared Japanese and American students’ approaches to learning. The writer pointed out that it is not uncommon to see a Japanese student fail numerous times on his or her way to learning something successfully. In Japan, there is no stigma to failing along the road to success. It is an expected and accepted part of the learning process.

In the United States, we attach a tremendous amount of stigma to failing. So much so that American students are generally not willing to go through the process of failing to learn. American students tend to focus their attention on subjects where they can be successful and shy away from subjects where failure might be involved.

So instead of going through the failure to learn the process we often hear our children say things like, “I hate math.” They don’t really mean that they hold a personal grudge against math. What they are saying is, “I would have to fail too many times to get math and I’m not willing to do it.”

I’m not here to say that one nation’s approach to learning is superior. However, this fear of failing extends beyond school and impacts our adult lives as well. Many people have big dreams or goals they would like to accomplish, but, again, they are still not willing feel the sting of failure to get there. Instead, they learn to play it safe just as their children do with the math.

That’s where my little aphorism at the top comes in. When fear failure so much that we are unwilling to try, unwilling to risk learning new things and failing a little; we cannot achieve our goals and dreams. Most this revolves around our stigma of fearing to fail.

Recondition yourself to overcome your fear of failure. In an outstanding article, Olimpio Zapanta offers five steps for overcoming the fear of failure.

  1. Divorce failure from your self-esteem.
  2. Failure is not all bad. It can be a great teacher.
  3. Failure and success are intimately linked – failure is often a prerequisite for success.
  4. Successful people fail constantly. That’s how they succeed.
  5. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect before you go for it.

With these five great steps and little determination, you don’t have to let the fear of failure sidetrack you from your destiny! Remember that “A Success” is what we call someone who had the courage to persist through fears and through the failures.

Just accept it. You’re going to have some fear when you step into new arenas. You’re going fail when you try new things. So what!

Joseph Campbell called out the irony of human striving when he said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

Refuse to allow your dreams to die on the sword of inaction.

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

Ray

Here are three fantastic quotes that remind you how important it is to try new things.

 

10 Promises to Always Keep to Yourself 0 Day 19 of 365 Days to a Better You

Make these 10 promises to yourself every day and keep them.

Yesterday we talked about being here now. One of the biggest reasons for being in the now is so that you can take positive action in the now toward the things you’re committed to.

There comes a time to make certain commitments to yourself. That time is now. Here are 10 promises to make to yourself to begin getting the results you want in life.

Why is now the time? Because! Because you know that your dreams are right here, right now for you. You know that by following them, you will benefit you, benefit your family, benefit your friends, and benefit the planet. You came here to make a difference and today you do!

No judgment! Some days you will live up to these and some days you won’t, but if you seek to EVERY day, amazing things are on the way for you.

  1. Today I am ready to believe and I am ready to achieve!
  2. Today I seek solutions and results rather than problems and excuses!
  3. Today I take massive action on my dreams!
  4. Today I refuse to put off until tomorrow what will benefit me today!
  5. Today I refuse to put off until tomorrow what will benefit my family today!
  6. Today I refuse to put off until tomorrow what will benefit my friends today!
  7. Today I invest in me to get the best in me!
  8. Today I believe that setbacks are shortcuts to something better than I had planned!
  9. I came to the planet to make my difference and today I do!
  10. My dreams refuse to quit on me and I refuse to quit on my dreams!

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

Ray

For more great motivational content, please visit the TAS website and YouTube channel.