Are You Choosing Your Paradigms – Day 230 of 365 Days to a Better You

Do you create your own paradigms or are you a tenant farmer for someone eles’s paradigms? What do I mean?

I’ve noted that there are three kinds of people when it comes to paradigms.

  1. Buyers – There are people who buy completely into their inherited cultural paradigms. Their country is the best. Their inherited religion is the best. Their inherited political party is the best, etc. They’ve never considered another point of view for a second or questioned their own assumptions.
  2. Rejectors – There are people who have thought a little more about it. Their solution is to completely reject every inherited paradigm and believe something as totally opposite as they can find.
  3. Seekers – There is a third group that has thought more deeply than either of the other two. It doesn’t mean they’re more correct than the other two. It simply means they’ve put their inherited paradigms to the test rather merely accepting them at face value. They’ve avoided or transcended the impulse to simply reject them. They’ve taken what works through testing and applied that to their life. They’ve staked out their own ground, their own paradigm.

I’m not judging any of the groups. Each can find their way in this world. Experience tells me these groups break down about 75 percent, 20 percent, five percent respectively.

The easiest road is to be the buyer. You get plenty of emotional support and reinforcement in your circle for making that choice and staying true to it. You are, though, what I called above a tenant farmer living on ideas decided upon by others for you.

It’s harder to break free from the gravity of the buyer impulse and become a rejector. You set yourself up for social ostracism and lack of understanding from family and friends in the buyer category. You feel like a rebel, but you still haven’t chosen anything. You’ve only wholesale rejected the buyers in your culture. Thus, your paradigm is still decided by theirs because you’re going to reject it whatever it is.

Seekers are people who saw through the provincialism of the buyer mindset. No one group has all the good ideas. They probably passed through a rejector stage where they used rejection to break free. Eventually, though, they evolved to a thought-space of their own choosing. It was born from experience, trial and error, and insight.

Seekers may not be enlightened beings yet, but they have taken the two critical steps on that road.

So, I ask you again. Do you create your own paradigms or are you a tenant farmer for someone eles’s paradigms?

I deeply appreciate you stopping by and spending part of your day on this blog. You’re awesome!

Find your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

P.S. – please checkout my latest affirmation videos on YouTube.

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The Leader Within You – Day 229 of 365 Days to a Better You

Leadership is not a gift bestowed on a select few. It is an innate part of each and every one of us. You have within you the makings of an amazing leader. All that’s missing is the belief in yourself to do it and the opportunity to demonstrate it.

Life will provide you the opportunity. These affirmations, listened to regularly, will help provide you with the belief that you can lead in your life, lead in your circles, and lead in this world.

I hereby grant you a field promotion to the rank of LEADER. I believe in you. Meet me halfway and believe in you too!

Ray

The Value of Being Useless Sometimes – Day 228 of 365 Days to a Better You

Hi, my name is Ray and I’ve been pretty useless today. What could have been done, I haven’t done. I’ve relaxed, regrouped, and caught up on some of my favorite YouTube channels.

I let go of my drive to be the rushing river pushing the process forward today. I chose, instead, to be the leaf aimlessly floating down the river, but still going where the river’s going.

The ancient Taoist teacher Chuang Tzu once encouraged a student to be like a twisted, gnarly, “stinktree.”

The student scoffed at the idea. “That tree is twisted, ugly, and useless,” argued the student.

“Yes,” replied Chuang. “A carpenter could not get straight planks from it. So, he leaves it alone. The knots in the tree would make a leaky boat. So, the boat maker leaves it alone. Its wood does not burn sweet like apple or cherry and its sap pops and explodes in the fire. So, no one considers it for firewood. That tree will live a long and happy life specifically because it is useless to the world.”

There’s a time to push and race to the finish line. There’s also a time to be useless and thus extend your usefulness. The alternative is to burn hot and fast and explode in a supernova of exhaustion. Slow and steady wins the race and some days it’s OK to just pause the race.

In case no one else reminded you today, you’re AMAZING!

Ray

20 Baseball Quotes That Apply to Life – Day 227 of 365 Days to a Better You

Hey, my friends, my apologies for missing yesterday. Baseball is a game of superstition. Perhaps it’s in recognition of the fact that talent and athleticism, while important, plays a much smaller role than in other major sports. It’s a game where anything can happen. On a given weekend with a hot streak at their back, the worst team in baseball can sweep the best in a three-game series. That’s far less likely in basketball and would be in football if they played series. In those sports, a superior team often dominates and would likely do the same over multiple games.

This makes baseball like life. Talent, skill, execution, and luck all play a role in any success. No one rolls through a season undefeated or by winning three-quarters of their games.

Because of this baseball players often double as philosophers to deal with quirks of their sport and to inspire. Here a 10 pieces of baseball philosophy to inspire you today. May they keep you on track during the turbulent road toward your dreams. For what describes baseball, describes life.

  1. No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda
  2. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. ~Babe Ruth
  3. Talent may get you on the field, but it’s effort and attitude that will keep you there. ~Ken Griffey, Jr.
  4. It ain’t over ’til it’s over. ~Yogi Berra
  5. If you have a bad day in baseball, and start thinking about it, you will have 10 more. ~Sammy Sosa
  6. It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. ~Babe Ruth
  7. When they knock you down, you not only have to get up, but you have to make it clear that you won’t be knocked down a second time. ~Carl Yaztrzemski
  8. Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is. ~Bob Feller
  9. You’ve got to love training and practice. It’s the only way to reach your potential. ~Bryce Harper
  10. You can’t be afraid to make errors! You can’t be afraid to be naked before the crowd, because no one can ever master the game of baseball, or conquer it. You can only challenge it. ~Lou Brock
  11. Never allow the fear of striking out to keep you from playing the game. ~Babe Ruth
  12. There may be people that have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do. ~Derek Jeter
  13. My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging. ~Henry Aaron
  14. I take positives out of negatives all the time. ~David Wright
  15. I don’t believe in curses, I think you make your own destination. ~Manny Ramirez
  16. Ain’t no man can avoid being born average, but there ain’t no man got to be common. ~Satchel Paige
  17. I became an optimist when I discovered that I wasn’t going to win any more games by being anything else. ~Earl Weaver
  18. If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. ~Yogi Berra
  19. You can’t steal second with your foot on first. ~Tony Robbins
  20. Be on time. bust your butt. Play smart. And have some laughs while you’re at it. ~Whitey Hertzog

Take the field. Play the whole nine innings, more if necessary.know that the road to your dreams is a long season with slumps and streaks that is eventually won by the most persistent.

Ray

Self-Healing Universe – Day 226 of 365 Days to a Better You

We live in a self-healing universe. What do I mean by that? I mean we live in a universe that’s ready to heal whenever you are ready to heal. It’s ready to forgive when you’re ready to forgive. It’s ready to be forgiven when you’re ready to be forgiven. It’s ready release baggage when you’re ready to let it go. It’s ready to change whenever you’re ready to change.

The universe won’t do these things for you, but the very moment you’re ready to allow them, the universe is ready and able to offer a fresh start. You see, every moment has within it the power to change every moment that came before it. It’s just waiting for you to choose the moment to make it so.

Why not choose this one?

Thanks for spending a few of your valuable moments today reading this blog. You ARE awesome!

Ray

I have been adding a lot of new content on my YouTube channel. If you have a moment, please check it out.

Profound Moments – Day 225 of 365 Days to a Better You

In our hurry up world, it’s easy to miss the profound moments happening around us all the time. Our hurry disconnects us, I believe, from what’s authentic and real. Poetry is an amazing doorway into experiencing these moments. What the poems or what those moments mean is an experience utterly unique to you.

Today I’ll share two poems. The first was written by yours truly in 1993. It may not be world-class poetry, but describes a scene I experienced in my mind’s eye while listening to Music from The Hearts of Space.

Engaged!

In profound contemplation

on a gray wind-swept beach at dusk.

Reaching for a stone, I hurl it into the sea.

Wondering, as I do, whose universe I’ve shuddered.

And, how my universe has been fundamentally altered by the act.

Then I watch a seagull feed her young and listen as the sun sinks beneath the waves.

The second is a profound poem by the 8th century Chinese poet Li Po (also know as Li Bai).

“The Birds Have Vanished”

(English translation by Sam Hamill)

The birds have vanished into the sky,
and now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.

What are we touching in those moments of profound connection? Why does it touch something so deep within us? These are questions that must not be brushed aside by our hustle and bustle.

Wishing you all an amazing evening! That should be easy, as amazing as you are!

Ray

7 Lessons My Dog Taught Me – Day 224 of 365 Days to a Better You

This article is from 2008. Mia is 15 now. I’m still learning from her. Let’s go back in time to what she was teaching when she was three.

Mia is our beautiful three year-old black lab. She is doesn’t know it, at least I don’t think she does, but she is a master teacher on the subject of life – a kind of canine Confucius. You see, she lives her life the way many of us set out to live ours. She knows what she wants and she goes for it and she never gives up.

You can characterize this trait as persistance.

When Mia wants something she can be highly persistent. For instance, I rarely get to sleep in on weekends anymore. Mia usually makes sure I’m up no later than 7 a.m. She doesn’t have to go out she just wants me out of bed. She has a very subtle approach and a clear strategy. She doesn’t bark or run around the room.

No, Mia persists with kindness. 

It usually starts with her getting up on the bed and finding a way to lay her head on my chest.This is usually enough to wake me up. Then the licking begins. She licks my hand until I sleepily hide it under the pillow. Mia persists. She inches up her way up so that she can lick my chin.I’ve always been a night owl. On nights when I don’t have to go into the office the next day, like Friday nights, I’m often up late reading or working. So, I’m pretty determined to sleep in until at least 8:00. Mia, however, has different plans.

She’s probably spotted squirrels out playing in her backyard. She is, afterall, the fiercest squirrel warrior in five counties. She wants me to get up and let her out.  I want to sleep for a little longer.

Now she works her way up to my ear and starts licking. I’ve had enough and I tell her to go lay down. She complies, but she doesn’t give up. Mia persists. Usually, within five to 10 minutes, she’s back. She jumps up on the bed and plants herself on top of me with a sigh. She thinks she’s a lap dog even though she weighs 55+ pounds.

I hide my hands immediately. I mean I’m smarter than the dog, right? So, she starts with the chin and starts inching her way up until she’s licking me right on the face. Not one or two kisses, mind you, but a full barrage designed to end the stalemate.

Sometimes, depending on exactly how late I’ve been up the night before, this can go on for two or three cycles before I concede the point and get up and let her out. On the mornings this strategy doesn’t work, Mia has back up plans. Mia persists.

She waits until I’ve just dozed off again and then she sits at the edge of the bed and makes “crying sounds”. It’s like one of those alarm clocks that starts out low and grows louder until you turn it off. If this doesn’t work, Mia persists. If this strategy doesn’t work, she turns to her last hope – April. She starts bothering April. She’s not really trying to get April to get up. She just wants April to convince me to take her out. I usually don’t make it to 8:00.

Looked at in one way, not my tired early morning view, it’s all pretty humorous.

Persistence is one of those attributes that helps you go where you want to go in life. Unfortunately, you sometimes lose steam along the road to your dreams.

Here are Mia’s persistence tips:

  1. Be clear on what you want in your mind.
  2. Pursue your goal with all your might, but be kind. The world is full of mean people willing to succeed at the expense of others. Don’t be one of them.
  3. Be patient. The first lick doesn’t always do the job.
  4. Involve others and get their buy in to help you.
  5. Have back up strategies. Sometimes Plan A fails. That doesn’t mean your goal or your dream must fail. Devise new ways of succeeding.
  6. Never give up.
  7. Enjoy life. Mia always does!