A Single Breath

Find a mirror, and gaze into your own eyes. Take a deep breath and remember just how insane it is that you exist. That you can read this text made up of pixels presented from an application which uses the internet to transfer its data. That you have this moment to breath, to think and to feel. To love and to suffer. To dream and to create. To me, one of the primary lessons of those I look up to is to strive to find an inner peace through fleeting moments. Our lives are chaos. Constantly torn between past mistakes and future concerns, many of us rarely feel fulfilled and content. But we haven’t lost yet – the game isn’t over. We have this moment. This very second to appreciate and feel gratitude for our lives. Its up to you to decide what to do with this chance. This chance to breath again. We are all very aware that one day, a single breath will be our last, but not one of us can say when that will be. So let us live where each new breath we take gives us the oxygen to do something more. To do something amazing. To fuel an unknown fire deep within. A fire with compassion, and eagerness to live better. I know for a fact there are many souls who feel low on fuel. Who believe they have lost the kindling and spark to ignite their own flame. So let’s fuel our own fires so that our light helps them find it. In this breath, find happiness within your heart so that those close to you can feel it as well.

How my Mom’s Quilts made me a better App Developer

On the spectrum of humanity’s capacity for cleanliness, there are times when I can be rather messier than most. However, when I’m working on a project that requires more intensive thought than usual, I gain this odd tendency to clean my room (also my work area) nearly spotless. Declutter the room -> declutter the mind.

Laundry -> Closet (Out of sight, out of mind, right?)

Trash -> IN THE Trash

Desk -> Wiped

The room cleaning finisher, the almighty:

Bed -> Made.

Of course now that a monumental challenging task was completed, it was time to relax for a moment. So with my arms spread airplane style, I lunge face first onto my newly made bed. I decided to have a look around. And thats when I saw the seams.

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Back (Again)

I will give this another attempt. I don’t really know how, but I will find a way to make blogging a part of my routine.

 

I have to get a bit more work done before I can justify taking the time to do an extended writing. New content is coming. 🙂

Saturday Morning Thoughts

Gratitude and wonder have the power to overcome the sadness in our hearts. In the battlefield of personal struggles, these are the tools by which to get through shitty days. I’ve come to find that in my pursuit to enjoy more from my life, I find it extraordinarily effective to remember to focus on minimizing sadness in addition to maximizing joy. These tools are what help me do just that.
It’s a balance of these two mindsets that have begun to help me the most. What does it mean to minimize sadness? Well, people say that time will heal all wounds, but they don’t say how long. That’s for you to decide. The trick is figuring out how to get back on your feet quicker than last time. I’ve gone through many “health” crazes during my days. And even if I’ve gone to the gym 5 times a week for 2 consecutive months, If I miss a day, I could miss a week. Then a month. Then I’m 40 pounds bigger and feel like a king elephant. And that is just in the realm of physical health.
The same can take place for our mental and emotional health. Maintaining a level of joy for life is a constant effort. I believe that happiness is a muscle, not a reward. It’s not something you win or earn externally. It’s something within you that you must choose to grow and strengthen. The goals you set for yourself and an everlasting appreciation for the life you have. And when those shitty days come — the ones where you skip the gym and the ones where you eat enough for a family of 7 three nights in a row, the key is to not let that become the new normal. To not forget the good and think of only the bad.
Because you are ever only in this moment. And even though the distractions are around us, and even though there are so many things on our minds, at some point I truly believe we all know what we want out of ourselves. We just have a hard time believing its possible.
Whether its 3 months, or 3 weeks, or 3 days, it’s never too late to get back on your feet. And as for me, I’m probably more of a prince elephant now ;). So figure out what drives you and brings you passion and follow that path.
Got a project you wanted to work on? Start it up!
Been a while since you went to the gym? Go for a run!

Workout Epiphany

I tend to cover up the time left and distance on the ellyptical with a towel while just focusing on my music. It makes the run go by much faster and I always reach the end. As each moment passes, my focus and attention are on my speed and intensity, and not the time remaining. Yesterday I had an epiphany about this mindset. This is much like life. I think a lot of us get overwhelmed by the enormity of the goals that lie down the road. It’s easy to dream about the completion of these goals. But often I have found that the more I have focused on the completion of a goal, the less time and effort I put into reaching it. My mind has a false understanding of the actual progress made as it only thinks about the final steps. It thinks that it can do less work because it has already made so much progress when in reality, not much has been accomplished. The powerful mindset to maintain is one that is not only focused on a goal, but one that focuses on maintaining an active push on always moving forward.

Introduction to Personal Speed Bumps Part 1: What is a Speed Bump?

It truly is amazing how quick time can be when not under constant watch. Yet even a month after my last post, people continue to view my blog. For inspiring me to keep this blog alive, I thank you. 

So what’s a speed bump? At first, I see a small hill on the road that slows you down. They can tend to get annoying – especially when you want to be going fast. A negative connotation usually accompanies the word.

“I want to go fast, but this speed bump forces me to drive slower.”

In most conversations, speed bumps are mentioned as fleeting moments of extremely reduced productivity. An undesirable single event that hinders progress.  And that’s that. Speed bumps are merely a hindrance.

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Speed-Bump

A speed-bump on my path towards infinite bliss has not only led me to allow my vision to become clouded, but also I have fallen behind on the flow of blog posts. My internal mental compass, however, is still pointing in the upward direction towards growth. The speed-bump is a result of internal resistance to the next realized step on my path. This step is the internalization and solidification of my set of values.

This coming Friday, I plan to complete that process. Afterwords, the upcoming posts will dive deeper into the discussion of values as well as diving into what occurred during this speed-bump.

My Daily Code

In the first book that I read, one of the important lessons was realizing private victories before public victories. I began this blog prematurely; I was discussing the possibility of reaching happiness instead of the steps I am taking to get there. A friend told me he wants to see what I did to make a better a life, not just what I think will work. Because of this I have been focusing on actual methods of self-improvement. After reading the book “Make Today Count” by John C Maxwell, I’ve come up with a daily code. Here is my daily code.

 

 

 

3. Striving for an impossible goal. Is it worth it?

Having goals are an essential aspect of life. There is nothing profound in that statement. Whether it’s setting tasks to accomplish for that day or that week, they help people focus their responsibility and accomplish that which they wish to accomplish. However, let’s look a bit deeper than looking at trying to get an A in Physics or an attempt to lose 15 pounds before Summer. Look at the goal to master an instrument, to get in shape, to ace not just one course, but all your courses each year. A goal to better your life. These are not impossible goals in the literal sense. No laws of physics need to be broken nor extraordinary feats of talent be harnessed to reach these goals. With long-term consistent effort these goals are possible to reach for.

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2. What is Absolute Maximum Potential?

Absolute maximum potential. Strip everything away from The Project and those three words are what remain. To the core, The Project, is my journey of maximizing my experience on this earth. I already dabbled in the path of lethargy and apathy. To do nothing is easy. To do nothing is painful. To do wholly nothing is not simply self suicide but a pure waste of life. Writing this right now, I am alive. I am living. You, the reader, are alive as well. There is nothing to argue or discuss over. These are facts. Stop, Breathe. Look up, then look around. Who controlled those actions?

You did. This is your life. You can choose to sit or to stand. I can suggest for you to look up and look around but the neural impulses to do so come from your mind. In this moment you have the power of choice. Society, environment, family are all external entities that fail to have explicit control of your mind.

To conceptualize the idea of an absolute maximum potential, look at the timeline of all that has ever been and all that will be.

At one point on this timeline, you were born. Let’s call this Point A. Assuming only those living can be reading this, then there must be a point in the future when you will die. Call it Point C. All that lies between these points is your existence. This moment where you are breathing, reading, and existing is Point B. On the timeline, the track between A and B mark your past. Whether you choose to look or not, that line is visible for you to see; there to analyze and to understand. Although it is there, it is merely a stream of knowledge and facts from transpired events. It is up to us to decide whether to empower our past or to release ourselves from it. Point B is truly the only moment that matters as it is the only moment we can ever experience. In Eckhard Tolle’s book, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, he discusses the importance and consequences of truly living in the moment.

As every moment is fleeting, Point B is continuously approaching Point C. Unlike how time, events, and history can be recorded and documented from A to B, there is no information other than mere prediction between B and C. It is impossible to discern how far away Point C is from the moment you are in now. 5 minutes, 5 years, 5 decades, it does not matter.

Now, in this moment, during this brief time you have the oppurtunity of live, ask yourself:

“Am I happy and satisfied with my life and how I am living?”.

Stop and think about everything from point A to where you now. Although the past is important for understanding how to handle future situations, Tolle describes how clinging to the past in place of embracing the present is the cause of much pain in peoples lives. Release yourself of your history and ask the above question. If you happen to be in a state where you are fully content with who you are and what you are doing, than I applaud you. I know many people, including myself who can not say the above statement every moment of every day. The entire purpose of this writing and discussion is to find the source of negativity in my life and understand how to release myself of it.  So for those of us who haven’t reached the level of happiness that we so desire, let us ask this question:

“What is there in my life preventing my happiness?”

This is a biased question. It inherently assumes other conditions as the cause for the lack of happiness. It is not a unique concept and it is not my concept to realize that we have the power to understand how we let the world around us affect us. It is not my own thinking that realized we also have the power to control how the world around us affects us. Steven R. Covey discusses the importance of realization that we have the power to choose our response to situations in his novel, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Power Lessons in Personal Change.

I also understand how easy it is to put blame on the world. That guy cut you off as you were about to choose a parking spot. What a jerk! The professor gave way too much homework during finals week. I can’t believe him!  Theres no challenge at being angry at the friend who failed to acknowledge something you did for them. A slice of cake to be pissed at the boss piling more and more work on you. Easy as pie to blame that which is out of your control with the responsibility of being accountable for that which you can control. And if you find yourself blaming a person or an event as the source of unhappiness, then ask this:

“Why does this have a hold over me?”.

“I don’t know. It just does. I can’t change it. Life isn’t fair. He needs to change. She needs to call me more. You all need to fix yourselves.”

The power to control the allocation of ones emotional dependancies is not something that can be changed instantaneously. It involves a long term process and shift from outward recognition to inward satisfaction. To not depend on what happens to us and instead focus on how we react to what happens to us. Its a shift from simply responding to outward stimuli to understanding and modifying the way in which we perceive that stimuli in such a manner that allows us to control our response. To control a response that falls in line with our inner goals and long term desires.

When our state of self is dependent on external factors other than an inner state of presence and consciousness, we subvert our control of our lives to those factors. What I am focusing on is understanding how these external factors have influenced on both my emotional states, self image and actions and how to regain control of my mind and my life (future post).

The crux of this notion of an absolute maximum potential is to understand that although what lies between Point B and Point C is fully unknown, we can make the choice to either better or selves or not to. I can choose to type this blog post or I can choose to watch television. I can choose to exercise or I can choose to eat pizza all day. We have the ability to choose to work towards a better self. To learn, to grow, to mature. Or we can enjoy fleeting pleasures and vices (future post).

Absolute maximum potential is an abstract concept that identifies the idea of a self where all our goals are met and achievements done. All things that we wish to know have been learned and all abilities we wish to master have been mastered. In a sense, reaching this stage is actually impossible as time is finite. The goal, however, is to see how close we can get to that standard as we approach is asymtotetically.

The purpose of The Project is to figure out what it takes to change my life from long term procrastinator to life long kick-assinator, make those changes, and then ultimately share the process with those who wish to make the same changes.

My next post will expand on what it means to work towards an absolute maximum potential in “3. Striving for an impossible goal. Is it worth it?“.