Your Life…Washed Away

Are You Clear About What You’re Doing and Why?

“And so castles made of sand, fall into the sea… eventually.”- Jimi Hendrix

Much of the cause of anxiety in the world today has to do with what I would call people building the castles of their life on sand. In other words, people feverishly work, trying to gain something, earn something, accomplish some feat or beat out a competitor, but they are doing so misguidedly, for that person doesn’t has not yet built a solid foundation or set of reasons for WHY they need to be doing what they are doing. This person is like a rat running on a wheel–without an endgame or destination. The harder the rat works, the more life is drained from it, without ever truly accomplishing anything. You may be thinking that as humans, we are different and should not be likened to a rodent. I would suggest that we are not that dissimilar. The rodent has no long-term goals. Neither do most people. They both are focused too heavily on the near term. Both of them are building a life, a castle on sand.

While the comparison to the rat running on the wheel and the average person working away without a goal may seem harsh, my point is that too many people lack the strong enough reasons to know why they are doing what they are doing. The worst part is that many know it unconsciously. Stress, anxiety, fear, depression are all rooted in the belief that “I won’t be loved unless… Or, I won’t be enough unless…” fill in the blank. Clarity is what leads us to the fulfillment of our potential and therefore a fulfilling life. Perhaps understanding this will become clear through the following examples:

-The man or woman who works all day long trying to earn a living while ignoring the family he or she has a family at home is building a castle on sand that will crumble eventually. Why does he work so hard? “So he can provide for his family, of course”, you may say. To which I would say, “And then what?” Does he have a plan to escape the rat race?   Does the family wish him to work and be away so often? Perhaps they would much prefer him being present at home. Which begs the question, if the man or woman isn’t fulfilling the wishes of his family by grinding away at the millstone, why does he keep going without an endgame in mind? Should he keep working so hard when he is at risk of losing his family? The accumulation of wealth should only be done so that more free time is afforded to you. Acquiring money for its own sake without stronger reasons behind why you doing it is the equivalent of the rat running on the wheel. Working hard is a virtue but not without knowing why you are putting in the work.

-The person who desires material riches to impress others is building a castle made of sand. Let me be clear, the desire for material possessions and financial security is not a vice, if it is done for the right reasons (a strong enough foundation). Opulence can be used as a tool if it helps remind your ego that it can live in a world of abundance rather than scarcity. It’s important to know that one doesn’t have to struggle and can in fact thrive if desired. I have many “anchors” that I use to remind me to think larger and more clearly. I have one nice car. I have some fine watches. I have a couple nice suits– all of which serve to remind me that I can accomplish whatever I desire if I do it for the right reasons. But none of those possessions serve to “impress” others. The salesman who thinks that going into debt on fine clothes and cars will make him a better salesman is dead wrong, for he is acquiring possessions for the wrong reasons. Charisma and believing in your product makes for an incredible salesperson. Flashy clothes without the other only makes one untrustworthy, for the prospect will know his reasons for selling are shallow and the salesperson does not have the best interest of others in mind.

-The desire to become famous without worthy reasons as to why will only cause a lack of tranquility and a life of anxiety. It has become nearly impossible to wake up and go through the day without seeing a news story about a celebrity who overdosed on drugs, is in rehab, engaged in some scandal or acting in some inappropriate way in view of the public. You would think such stories of distressed lives would dissuade people from trying to become famous, but in our age of television, internet and social media, more people than ever are, I dare say obsessed with becoming a celebrity. The problem, as we have seen with the other examples, is that engaging or pursuing anything without strong enough reasons as to why you are doing it will result in stress, anxiety and fear. Humans were not meant to be famous, however, we were also not meant to fly or travel under the sea. The beautiful thing about being human is we get to decide what we want to do, but I would warn that you must figure out WHY first. Being famous is not a problem is your goal is to help and inspire millions of others. The only way to do that is to be well known. In fact, I would suggest that for most businesses and people obscurity is actually the enemy. A person or business should WANT to be well known, but only because they believe they can help others. Having solid reasons for doing something will keep you from building a life made of sand.

The only way to limit the anxiety and fear in your life is to have worthwhile goals and take massive actions towards reaching those goals. I believe if people know that they are working towards their goals, they will be fulfilling their potential as humans. Without this, the subconscious mind will serve up anxiety and fear as a warning that we are wasting our lives. However, just like happiness and fulfillment, fear and anxiety can be useful tools for us to discover our flaws and redirect our efforts. I love the following quote from Rollo May:

“But attempts to evade anxiety are not only doomed to failure. In running from anxiety you lose your most precious opportunities for the emergence of yourself, and for your education as s human being.” –Rollo May
If you are experiencing anxiety and fear on a regular basis, don’t let them destroy you, but also don’t run from these emotions. Embrace them, for your subconscious mind is trying to tell you something. Use them as an opportunity to examine where in your life you may be building castles of sand. For castles made of sand will surely fall into the sea, eventually.

 

-In health

Advertisements

Beating the Winter Blues

Beating Back Winter Blues With Heavy Metal

If there is anything I have learned, it’s the time between Halloween and New Years Eve can be a devastating time of the year for many people. The stress of the Holidays, the sugary sweets, the financial burden of buying others presents and especially the lack of vitamin D from sunlight- all of which can lead to negative emotional and physical states. I’ve always joked that if only we could skip the Holidays, there would be no need for New Years Resolutions because most of those resolutions are to fix what went wrong during the holidays. So, let this year be different. “How?”, you ask. Well, let me suggest that between now and the New Years, you make an effort to train your body like you’ve never done before. We will call this “heavy metal therapy”. The reason for that is because this holidays we are going to use the iron, (weights) in a way that drives us into the New Year with incredible momentum, strength and endurance.

Now, for this heavy metal therapy to be effective, it is important to remember that old habits must be broken. It was old habits that got us in the predicament we are now, therefore, we are going to start off by skipping the treadmill altogether. In fact, all of our cardio is going to be interval training with body weight or weights. We are going to focus instead on big, heavy lifts that stimulate muscle growth, burn fat and cause our bodies to produce more hormones that keep up feeling young and healthy. The main lifts we are going to incorporate to our weekly training us as follows:

-Deadlifts (rack pulls if you lower back doesn’t allow deadlifts)
-Bench press (seated machine or hammer strength press if shoulder injuries are present)
-Squat (leg press is lower back has problems)
-Pull ups (assisted if necessary)
-Dumbbell shoulder press

These movements incorporate many muscle groups to execute the lift properly. This will elevate your metabolism and begin to train

So here’s the plan; we are going to do each of these exercises twice a week throughout the winter months. The rep range is going to be between 5 and 8 reps (after proper warm up). Each repetition should feel somewhat heavy. You get to pick whatever accessory exercises you like, such as bicep curls, leg extensions, planks and shoulder later raise, but the focus is going to be these Big Lifts. Each workout should consist of 5 sets of these main exercises. Be sure to hit each twice a week for throughout winter, allowing the extra Holiday food to fuel your strength gains. Also, try to track the progression in weights week after week. You should find yourself mastering these lifts the more you do them and also begin to notice significant strength gains and hypertrophy in your muscles. Finish off every workout with 15 minutes of interval training(30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) with the following:

-farmers walks
-burpees
-jump rope
-push up to plank movements
-medicine ball clean and jerks.
-kettle bell swings

Last, try to get as much sunlight as possible so that your body can manufacture Vitamin D. Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD, is a very real thing that occurs when people suffer a lack of Vitamin D in their diets as well as lack of sunlight during the winter months. Too little Vitamin D can cause a variety of issues including, depression, compromised immune function, joint pain, asthma, decreased cognition and even increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. I personally supplement 5,000 IU of Vitamin D an K2 daily during the winter to ensure my body is operating properly. If you live in an area that still receives direct sunlight during the winter, get outside!

So there it is- an out of the box, heavy metal recipe to beat back the winter blues. Let’s change what the Holidays mean for our bodies this year. It doesn’t have to be a winter of discontent to quote Charles Dickens. Rather, it can be a time when you really learn about your body and what it is capable of doing. Your New Years Resolutions don’t need to be actions to repair yourself from the Holidays, but rather to propel your new self into the New Year. Happy Holidays from my family to yours!   We are eternally grateful for you and family. From our family to yours,
Happy, Healthy, Heavy Holidays!

On Marriage

Seven Ingredients for a Happy and Lasting Marriage

            Perhaps the word marriage does not apply for some people. I don’t want the word to scare you off, so please substitute whatever word applies to you: relationship, partner, lover, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you understand the essence of any great relationship or marriage. Almost fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. An even greater percentage of dating relationships, around 80% end with break-up. What about just regular friendships? I suspect that friendships end for similar reasons to relationships. I’ve seen first hand how relationships, friendships and marriages end and while a romantic relationship has slightly more elements needed to make it last, the similarities in what makes all human relationships work or fail are fairly simple to recognize and understand. After 12 years of being with my beautiful wife, I can confidently tell you the ingredients necessary for a happy (very happy) and harmonious relationship. I’m not saying things last forever, but I will tell you that if something bad happens in my marriage, it’s going to be my fault. The reason… #1.

  1. Taking Responsibility—How much is each person in a marriage responsible for keeping it going? 50/50? 60/40? The answer is 100%. Each person must take extreme ownership of everything in a relationship. Each partner is responsible for 100% of what they do and the situation he finds himself in. Don’t like that? Too bad. Own your life and take responsibility for it. 100%.
  2. Desire for Harmony—First and foremost, there must exist a desire to get along with another person in order for a relationship to exist or a marriage to thrive. Believe it or not, I don’t think most people desire harmony. They look for problems. They look for drama because they know others can relate to it. They know their friends will love to hear about everything wrong, so they secretly want problems. You see, many believe in the fallacy that “all marriages have problems.” Or that “the seven year itch” is real. The truth is, whatever you look for, you will find. If you look for harmony, you will find it. If you look for issues, you will find them. Be careful what you focus on and…
  3. Know Your Outcomes—What do you want out of this relationship? What does your partner want? If you don’t know your desired outcomes, or they don’t jive with what your partner wants, your marriage will end. No exceptions. My wife and I talk about what we want and where we want our partnership to go at least once a week. My outcome is to live an incredible life by being in an incredible state with my wife and children. I want my family to always feel my love. I want my wife and I to be partners in our journey together. I know that my wife wants the same. How do I know that? We talk to each other about what we want. Communicate or expect your partner to seek it out elsewhere. Here’s a hint, you should not have to talk to your friends because they “are the only ones who get you.”
  4. Value and Values—All relationships must add value to the individuals involved. If you are not getting a significant amount of value by being with someone, or you are not providing value to another, you don’t have a relationship, you have an acquaintance. Along with bringing value to the marriage, you must value the other person. This almost goes without saying, but you’d be shocked at how many people take their partner for granted, or worse, detest them. You must value your partner as well as provide value to them. Beyond that, you must have similar values in how to live life. If your values differ to an extreme, the path your lives will take will be very different. That doesn’t bode well for a successful and happy marriage.
  5. Empathy—This is the area of life I think most people are lacking. I admit, even I have trouble with this at times. Seeing something from another’s point of view is very difficult to do and it’s likely the main cause for violence and despair in the world today. Do you know what’s going on in your husband’s or wife’s head? What’s the story they tell themselves about what they are doing here on Earth and who they are? I suggest that if you don’t know the answer to these questions, try to find them out. Empathy is the main ingredient to a lasting relationship. Without it, and without understanding your partner, you won’t have a partner for long.
  6. Passion—Let us not deny that passion is vital to a marriage. Attraction to your partner is a must. Sexual intimacy that occurs often and is fulfilling is how many relationships bloom and grow. The lack of it is how many relationships end. You should look forward to being close with your partner. It shouldn’t be a chore or a hassle. It shouldn’t be embarrassing. It should be a staple of your marriage. If passion is lacking, work to make it great. It’s such a vital and fulfilling part of the human experience, to miss out on it is a crime… in my opinion.
  7. Love—Its the strongest word in any language spoken in the world. Everyone wants love. We crave it from our families, our partners and our children. It’s vital to a happy marriage. Love, though, is very difficult to define. The dictionary definition doesn’t quite do it justice. Some define love as a feeling, but I believe it’s more than that. I believe that love, in addition to a feeling of deep affection, requires sacrifice. Whatever you love, you willingly sacrifice for. You go the extra mile, you give up opportunities, and you put their needs before your own. I know many in marriages that have deep affection for their partners, but are not willing to sacrifice anything in their own lives to make their partner happy. Is that true love? I would suggest that it’s not. I think love requires deep affection and the willingness to put another’s needs before your own.

So there you have it. The seven ingredients for a happy and lasting marriage (or partnership). I hope this helps. As someone who has never been unhappy for more than a few hours in my marriage (my fault), I think that what I’ve written above is true and valuable. Above all, if you don’t want a relationship to end, do what you did at the beginning of the relationship and there will not be an end.

In health,

Sean

Addicted to Our Problems

We live in a therapy culture. We are taught to talk about our problems so we may find a way to resolve them. Problems, problems, problems. We have become addicted to our problems. People feed off of them. They talk about them to friends, family, and coworkers. Problems are talked about so much it would be safe to assume that people are becoming much healthier emotionally compared to our ancestors. Is this the case? I don’t think it is.

I disagree with the “professionals” that say talking about your problems is healthy. I don’t want you to think that I am a proponent of hiding issues or living in denial. I do think that acknowledging problems is important, but not as important as being focused on your desired outcome. Energy flows to where focus goes. If your focus is your problems rather than your outcome, your problems run your life. Spending too much energy on problems is not healthy—it is toxic.

I don’t talk about my problems much. I readily acknowledge that I have various health issues including spondylitis and asthma. However, I don’t focus on it or talk about it much. My problems are not a part of my identity. I do not let them control me, or the emotional states I live in. Yes, they do exist. No, I am not better talking about them to everyone. Nor is anyone else better off having heard what ails me. I do not direct my energy to what I do not want.

I believe the ancient stoic and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius gave us sound advice for dealing with problems, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” The Stoics school believed in maintaining tranquility throughout life. They did not believe this was possible if your thoughts and actions were focused on problems instead of your desired outcome. Stoicism is a philosophy worth looking into. I believe reading Seneca or Marcus Aurelius, two men of great wisdom and power, can help you navigate the road of life with a little more perspective.

Be Disgusted

Disgust is a negative emotion, but it can be a very positive, powerful force if used properly. The moment when “enough is enough” is evident throughout human history. Disgust has been a turning point for change since the beginning of modern man. Humans had enough of lifting heavy objects, resulting in the use of the wheel. We were disgusted with being at the mercy of the elements, resulting in shelter and the use of fire. A revolution came about by colonists being disgusted by taxes. The world would not be what it is today without people saying, “That’s it. I’ve had enough.” Disgust, like all emotions, can be useful if harnessed for positive action.

I’ve been disgusted with myself various times throughout my life. My regular use of ibuprofen to combat my pain was certainly one. I was taking so much I couldn’t function without it. Another moment of disgust was when I realized I wasn’t making nearly what I had the potential to make in income. I’ve been disgusted in how I have acted towards others. I have been disgusted in how I gave up on something or someone I cared about. Come to think of it, by writing this, I’m becoming disgusted by how I’ve often failed to live up to my potential. I’m disgusted that I may never fulfill what I’m capable of…

Moving on, I’ll ask, what are you disgusted by? When is enough going to be enough? Is it a dependency on something or someone? Is it your body?   Are you tired of being sick? Are you disgusted with being tired all the time? Are you disgusted with yourself for always being sad? Are you disgusted by how weak or frail you are? Are you disgusted in how you’ve treated others or failed in some endeavor? What are you going to do about it? When is enough, enough? Don’t be afraid of disgust. Don’t block the feeling. Harness it to learn and promote positive change.

Do You Have These Four Areas Mastered?

The Four Areas of Your Life

            How is your life going? Are some areas good and others… not so much? Did you know there are really four aspects of life that you must master to have a truly incredible life? Right now you’re thinking, “Sure. Sounds too simple.” Indeed it is simple to have an incredible life. It’s not easy, but it’s not complicated either. Here are the four areas of life that you must acknowledge and control to truly have an incredible life.

Mental Life— The mental part of your life relates to your belief systems and the way you make meaning of the world. Your mental life is the philosophy you have about life, business, family and everything else. The mental world is how we all make meaning of what happens and how we determine what to do. The easiest way to identify your mental world is to think about the thoughts you produce daily. “He hates me.” “She thinks I’m ugly.” “I’m so smart.” “Everyday above ground is a good day.” All of these thoughts reflect what’s going on with you mentally. Your philosophy about everything in life all comes from your mental life. Mentally, you must develop a success philosophy that will produce thoughts and therefore habits which will serve you.

Emotional Life— Emotions are really just chemical reactions in the body and brain, but they have a tremendous impact on the quality of our lives. Emotions can be affected by the thoughts you produce, but emotions can also occur independently. In fact, when we think about the quality of life, what we are really talking about is how much time you spend in positive emotional states. Happiness, gratitude, ecstasy are all states of emotion that most value and wish to spend time in. The elephant in the room that few are willing to say out loud is that your emotions are in your control at any given time. You get to choose what emotional states you live in. Emotion comes from the root motion–meaning that by changing your physical state, changing the foods and drinks you consume and spending time being mindful of emotions that arise in your mind, you can have complete control over your emotions. The key is to remember that you CAN be in control of them, but to do this you must be mindful of what emotions you are experiencing and take action to shift your emotional state to one that you value.

Physical Life— We live in what we perceive to be a physical world. Everything, everyone, our bodies present in a physical form. This is easy to understand, but it’s worth noting that most people do not have control over the physical aspect of life. The current epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and prescription drug addiction suggest that mastering the physical world is far from complete for humanity. Though we have discovered secrets of the universe like electricity, gravity, radio waves and x-rays, bacteria and other planets, there are many more physical aspects to life that people have yet to discover and understand. For the purposes of this article, however, I suggest that you start by getting control over this aspect of your life first. The reason being that your physical life controls so much of how you view the world. Your health, energy level and vitality directly affects your mental and emotional world, and by changing yourself physically, you can have a positive or negative effect on the quality of your life. Start by getting fit, gaining strength and developing the capacity to produce more energy. (Energy is not something you have, it’s something you produce.)

Spiritual Life— This area of life is by far the most misunderstood. The word spiritual usually brings about thoughts of religion. However the word spirit comes from the root “spiritus” meaning breath. Spirituality really predates any religion and it’s root meaning shows how truly the important this part of life is. Spirituality deals with our consciousness and its contents. To understand spirituality, you must recognize that you are not your thoughts. You are the one who is producing them and listening to them. Your spiritual world reflects your ability to ability to separate yourself from your thoughts and feels as well as recognize there are other states of consciousness available to you through meditation and mindfulness. Some call this prayer. Some call it something else. What it really is though is the ability to recognize and connect to an infinite energy and intelligence that is apart from the thoughts your mind produces. To become spiritual then, you must first recognize that you are separate from your thoughts. You are something else entirely. You are a “spiritual” being, one that is able to change your consciousness and self reflect.

Mastering these four areas of life is so difficult that I feel it’s safe to say most never achieve it. Worse, most don’t even recognize there are different aspects to life. Some say, “There’s just life.” That mindset fails to recognize that just like a stew, life can be boiled down to it is most simple ingredients. Start by acknowledging these four areas of your life and you can begin to work towards changing them in a positive way. Every area of your life should work to serve you, not hinder you in living in an incredible state most of your life.

Here’s to your incredible life,

Sean

25 Biggest Problems in the World-Solved

Top 25 Problems Solved in 6 Words or Less

In this very short article I will attempt to provide an answer to what I believe are the world’s greatest problem. Caveat: My answers will be six words or less. My goal here is to get people to think about the questions posed and then research my answers for themselves. I believe most of the problems we face as humans have simple solutions, but we refuse to believe they can be solved because “it just can’t be that simple.” What if it was? Complexity is the enemy of execution, which is just another way of saying that people don’t do something if they believe it will be too difficult or complex to complete or solve the problem. So I’m going to be deliberately brief in my answers and I hope that my brevity will spur people to take some action.

1.How can I be more happy and fulfilled? A: Gratitude and mindfulness.
2.How can we achieve wage equality? A:Not possible unless humans are identical.
3.How can I build the best business? A:Build a monopoly. Do not compete.
4.How can I make more money? A:Add more value to marketplace.
5. Why do we have financial bubbles and cycles? A: Fractional reserve banking, central banks.
6. How can I stay positive? Focus on serving others. Be decisive.
7.How can we cure diseases like cancer, AIDS, etc? A:More private donors to startup firms.
8.Can poverty be cured? A:Only through the free market
9.Why is it so hard to stick with a goal?A:The reasons for achieving it,weak.
10.How can I make a marriage last? A:Take 100% responsibility for it.
11.Why is violence so prevalent? A:Violence makes humans feel significant.
12.How do I stop being mad or jealous? A: Focus on loving and serving others.
13.How do we end war? A: Private law societies,libertarianism.
14.How can I feel better about myself? A:You are wise,enough,courageous(repeat)
15.What is the most important trait to have?A:Courage, by far.
16.How do I know what to do in life?A: Do what others won’t or can’t.
17. How can I be financially secure? A: Multiple streams of income.
18. How do I bring progress to the world? A:Look for and work on “secrets”
19.How can I have a great life? A:Decide: live in a great state (everyday).
20.What determines if a person or country will be successful?A:Their philosophies and culture.
21. Best supplement for depression? A: Sam E (joints +liver also)
22.Best diet to lose fat and our disease in remission? A:Ketogenic diet
23. What is the biggest problem the world faces in the near future? A: Loss of hope.
24. Why do people tend to make the same mistakes over and over again? A:Habituation.Not examining their consciousness.
25.What is the biggest mistake most people make in life. A:Believing and following the majority (herd).
There you have it. Did this make you think? I truly hope it was helpful in expanding your consciousness and making you examine your own thoughts. Truly, the greatest thing any of us can do is to be mindful of our consciousness and its contents (thoughts). If we do this, the world will be a better place.