fight or flight

There is a moment of turmoil between my alligator brain and my conscious brain each and every morning. I feel I am not alone.

The turmoil occurs at the precise moment my alarm clock begins to sound and I am to make the decision on whether to get up immediately, press snooze or spend 20+ secs thinking about how crazy my day is going to be and then press snooze.

I am fascinated by this moment. It is such a primal event, fight or flight in its most basic representation. This morning my dilemma was this:

fight: face the day, get up early and seize the opportunity before me.

or

flight: put off the suffering of vertical life and retire further into my warm, safe bed.

I think the application of this principal is huge. If I cannot control the simple decision to wake up early and have a more productive day, over sleeping in, how can I trust myself to make difficult decisions when more than sleep and sunken eyes are at stake.

Think about this the next time your alarm goes off, own your morning routine and become the master of your daily decisions. 

When given the choice, will you fight or flight?

on purpose, what’s yours?

When you awake each day, what is the first thought that crosses your mind? What is the first thing you do? Why are you doing what you are doing?

If you do not think about these questions, you will never have the answers. The problem I have found, is that not asking these tough questions is equally as bad as not asking them enough. 

We are creatures of habit. Our habits define who we are and who we become.

Trying to reach the tipping point between action that is keeping you stalled (or even in recession) and action that will take you towards your goals and greater purpose is the essential missing link in many of our lives.

I ask myself this question each day, “why are you doing what you are doing?”. Until you answer this question, until you realize what it is you truly want and admit it with honesty to yourself, it is almost impossible to achieve.

If you really want freedom and financial wealth, or to become an expert in your field of study or to live in nature or be a school teacher, you need to realize this within yourself, be honest with yourself and embrace it.

I was recently moved by an article by Derek Sivers, “Why are you doing”, which inspired me to write this post (read it, you will be thankful). Instead of trying to regurgitate his ideas in my own words, I will leave you with them:

Maybe the most important thing to you is learning, or creating, or giving. Maybe it’s how many people’s lives you can influence. Maybe it’s how deeply you can influence just a few people’s lives.

Once you realize it and admit it, you need to pursue it.

Like if you want freedom, then you own a business but delegate all the work. You won’t be learning or creating or giving as much as you could with a different strategy, but that’s OK. You know freedom is what you’re after.

Sometimes your best strategy is counter-intuitive.


 

Seriously, read the full post from Derek here. Stay golden.

on the good life

The good life. A whisper, wives-tale, unreachable, too reachable, promise. Something you learn about growing up. The good life. Something you are meant to achieve. A balance of personal sacrifice, freedom and happiness. All of us are suppose to be working towards it yet so few admit to ever arriving. 

I regret that I do not yet have the key to the good life for you. Those answers I have yet to find for myself, but I do believe a few things to be true for anyone hoping for more happiness.

Have good thoughts.

“the soul is dyed the colour of its thoughts” ~ Heraclitus

Good is such a subjective word, but that is why it works so perfectly for the idea of a “good” life and the practice of having “good” thoughts. Have good thoughts. More of the thoughts that make you happy and fewer that do not. Easier said than done. For me, it started with 5 mins, each day, for a week. 5 mins of positivity, reflection and gratitude. If I was feeling like shit that day, maybe it was 5 mins of thinking about how or why I felt that way and how to avoid it in the future. Have good thoughts, dye your soul a whole new colour.

Make gratitude a habit.

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…” ~ Marcus Aurelius

The more I read, think and learn about what it is that will make me happy and fulfilled, the more I realize that it comes down to habits. I came across an idea recently I absolutely LOVE that I think describes it perfectly: The journey is the way. We are all products of our habits and to live a more fulfilled life, habits must not be overlooked. 

“Get to iconic levels not by your to do list, but by your NOT to do list.” Robin Sharma, from a talk at the Archangel Summit 2016.

If you can do ONE THING TODAY to improve your day and inject some instant gratitude into your life, it is to read the following quotes which I shall leave you with today:

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…

and

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

 


When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

Both quotes are from Marcus Aurelius in his work, Meditations. I read or reference this book monthly. I highly recommend it as a starting point or point of continuation for learning more about stoicism, the good life and philosophy. Get it from Amazon here.

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