'There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger,
richer, quicker or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists.
Seek nothing outside of yourself.'
~ Miyamoto Musashi, 1584-1645
A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy.
One of the greatest lessons in life is that others have already trodden the narrow pathway to conquering their own lives. In fact their fortitude, mind-set and resilience leaves our comfy 21st Century lives look embarrassingly soft in comparison.
Your task then is to simply search for those who inspire you and then determine if their principles and systems can be applied, moulded and refined within your life. Sounds simple, right? And if it were that simple why are there still so many disillusioned and frustrated people out there searching for the 'holy grail' of happiness? The answer in three words... lack of discipline.
That's all it is. The need to discipline your mind, body & spirit. Without it you will simply drown in the endless drivel and distractions of life and the media's ceaseless desire to entertain us and extract our hard earned money. I know I sound a little sceptical, but as I've mentioned before, when you reach the ripe old age of fifty you see the same cycles of life repeating themselves, and I'm hell bent on preventing you making the same mistakes I had made.
To illustrate my point, the 21 Principles of Miyamoto Musashi, the Buddhist and Japanese master swordsman, written on his deathbed in 1645 are still as relevant today. Especially if you wish to become the conqueror of your world.
1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.
~ Miyamoto Musashi
“If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you”
― Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy
“Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. Even when your spirit is calm do not let your body relax, and when your body is relaxed do not let your spirit slacken. Do not let your spirit be influenced by your body, or your body be influenced by your spirit. Be neither insufficiently spirited nor over spirited. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit.”
Musashi spent many years studying Buddhism and swordsmanship. He was an accomplished artist, sculptor, and calligrapher. Records also show that he had architectural skills. Also, he seems to have had a rather straightforward approach to combat, with no additional frills or aesthetic considerations. This was probably due to his real-life combat experience; although in his later life, Musashi followed the more artistic side of bushidō. He made various Zen brush paintings, calligraphy, and sculpted wood and metal. Even in The Book of Five Rings he emphasizes that samurai should understand other professions as well. It should be understood that Musashi's writings were very ambiguous, and translating them into English makes them even more so; that is why so many different translations of The Book of Five Rings can be found. To gain further insight into Musashi's principles and personality, one could read his other works, such as Dokkodo and Hyoho Shiji ni Kajo.
Learn more about Miyamoto Musashi at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miyamoto_Musashi
Post by Mark Weeks
Posted by Mark Weeks, creator of Authors2Prosper
Self-mastery requires a total life-time commitment to yourself.
Only you know your own story, only you know the struggles you've faced. And now, only you can change you!
Don't wait for another new year to come and go for the time to be right, make a pledge with yourself starting today. And release your inner conqueror.
The following lines represent how I try my best to live a life set on my own terms. There are worse ways to live :)
I do not choose to be ordinary, it is my right to be extraordinary.
I seek opportunities to develop whatever natural talents are borne in me.
I will not be a kept citizen, broken and dulled by having the system look after me.
I take calculated risks, dream big and am determined to build a life I will be proud of.
I know I may fall sometimes, but I know too, this is part of my growth as a conqueror.
I refuse security for its own sake, I prefer the challenges of life to guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfilment to the staleness of utopia.
I will discipline my mind, body & spirit; through continuous learning, good food and exercise.
I will never cower before anyone nor bend to any threat.
I will help those who too wish to improve their lives; I will not squander time with those who don't, or won't.
I will maintain discipline at all costs to stay on the path to freedom.
It is my right as a human being to stand tall, proud and unafraid; to think and act myself, enjoy the benefits of my creations and face the world whilst boldly saying …
'I came, I saw, I conquered.'
This is what it means to be the conqueror of my life.
'Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong.
And whoever attempts it even with the best right but without inner constraint proves that
he is probably not only strong, but also daring to the point of recklessness.
He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life brings with it in any case,
not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way,
becomes lonely, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience.
Supposing one like that comes to grief, this happens so far from the comprehension
of men that they neither feel it nor sympathise.
And he cannot go back any longer.
Nor can he go back to the pity of men.'
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
I do not pretend for one second to be an expert in psychology or understand fully the genius of Friedrich Nietzsche. But I do understand the strength and discipline required to build a company and in taking calculated risks. Unfortunately I also know the loneliness when the walls crumble around you and you are left high and dry by the endeavours of the unscrupulous!
Nietzsche may not of had the entrepreneur spirit in mind when he composed the masterful words above, but when I first read them they struck a chord so deep within me that I knew others would surely relate to them too; especially those that have already trodden the narrow path and once more find themselves carving a new path in life.
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted, you have to take certain levels of risk; there’s no way to success by playing it too safe. Even after protecting the downsides, there's still an element of risk. After all, if you find a path with no obstacles it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
Yet, once we take a few risks and then a few more, we gain a sense of momentum, and life is fine and dandy. But little did we know controlling every outside force; be it banks, recessions, competitors, suppliers or even the minds of our employees, is beyond us all. But when a little success and money finally arrives it bolsters our egos beyond recognition; suddenly we believe our IQ’s exceed those of others and that with a little more daring effort we will ride any storm. After all we did it before, we’ll do it again.
The problems come when assumptions and recklessness undermines the whole structure of your business. And when the time comes that you believe your assumptions are the truths and your recklessness calculated, it may be too late to turn back.
I hope the time has not yet arrived where your ego determines your attitude, because the following observations could help you avoid falling into your own labyrinth of recklessness.
1. Study others failures.
A successful man is always asked, ‘What is the secret of your success?’ People never ask a man who is a failure, ‘What is the secret of your failure?’ It’s quite easy to see they are not interested. Yet to study the failures of others is as important, if not more so, than studying others successes.
2. Choose your influencers wisely.
Create your own support group. You simply cannot do everything yourself, you will just run yourself ragged and burnout. And once your mind starts to burn out you take advice from others who have neither the experience of such matters, or try to manipulate your fragile ego into believing they have your best intentions to hand.
You need people who knew you before you were successful. You also need mentors who have trodden the path before and whose success to date outshines yours. You need people who will tell you that you're being an idiot, and most importantly you need YOU to put your ego to one side, step outside of yourself and dissociate yourself with everything around you. This is far easier to write down than to do. As it takes years of meditation and self-reflection to achieve, so you had better start today!
Nothing remains static, everything must change. You are either on an upward spiral or a downward spiral. And the same holds true of your influencers. Make it your duty to read signals in their own lives, of course this is easier with spouses and very close friends, but when it comes to your managers and fellow directors it is less so; and can cause even greater disruption than you can imagine. Keep in mind mood swings, employees irritability, drinking habits, sexual habits and their marriage. It pays to be nosey, but try to be subtle Sherlock!
It is an ongoing pursuit to ensure your support group is worthy of you; whilst dissociating your ego! Yet from personal experience I know this is both a priority and your duty not to make assumptions about the lives of those whose influence carries your business in the balance. The downward spiral of others is like a vortex that has the ability to violently pull your dreams, life and business into, leaving you to ponder; #WTF happened then!!!
3. Cross the bridges and let them burn.
How poetic! It has always been said that by giving yourself no escape route then you must survive. Surviving is not the issue, surviving whilst paying the mortgage is.
You need a contingency plan for a contingency plan. Let the bridge burn and master the theatrics to inspire the minds of your followers, but down the river have several rafts built, hidden and protected.
Whilst retreating from Russia in the winter of 1812, Napoleon ordered all of the pontoon bridge materials to be destroyed; used for firewood and lighten the loads through the heavy snow. The younger Napoleon of Austerlitz would never have dreamed of such a thing. Dramatically the Grande Army were forced to change directions of their retreat; through the constant pressure and vigilance of fresh Russian troops. Now Napoleon faced crossing the Berezina or annihilation of the remnants of the greatest army ever to be formed.
Luckily for Napoleon, a wily old engineer did not carry out the instructions of the Emperor and saved enough equipment to create two ‘rickety’ bridges over the freezing waters. The battle of Berezina was fought and the Grande Army forced their way back to Poland with heroic fortitude.
Your to do list as an entrepreneur is never ending, but hand this over to your sub-conscious mind and a never ending list of contingencies will emerge; no idea is ridiculous, just keep notes and be creative with the suggestions your subconscious sends to you.
4. When is enough enough?
I detest the word hindsight. People will say if I had the hindsight for this or for that my life would be so different. Your ‘hindsight’ consists of educating your mind to listen to ‘everything’, as simple as that. Hindsight = Regrets, and life’s too short for regrets.
As you make your way through life you must determine future cut off points; all of which reassess what is working or not working or even envelopes a complete exit strategy. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle choice, that operates 24/7, enough is enough incorporates every single detail in your life, be it relationships, exercise routine, pastimes or cash flow, you are your brand.
Power is such a potent mixture that you can easily fall into the belief your importance and being is critical to the lives of others. Breaking news… The world does not revolve around you, you are not a gravy train! To lift others higher and help them create a true purpose for themselves is honourable, but to believe the power of your own indispensability and myth is a crock of crap. Life goes on with or without you; sure it’s tough for loved ones, but as for employees or work partners, they will adapt and overcome. Pre-set a cut off point today; be it 100k in the bank, your house paid for or settle for a cool million. Just do it and stay disciplined and true to you.
5. Paralysis by over analysis.
Over thinking to the point of not acting is just as dangerous as not thinking in the first place.
My personal philosophy is dedicated to ‘leadership within’, no one knows you better than you do, no one knows the conversations you have with yourself; unless you talk out loud and you should really stop doing that! We can’t rush discipline and our futures, as Warren Buffet says, ‘You can’t make a baby in a month by getting nine women pregnant, some things just take time.’ But the most important thing is to get in the game, discipline yourself and then date nine women at once. (Just seeing if you were paying attention still).
Remember the old school dances when you and your friends would line up against the wall and eye up the talent lining up on the other side of the hall; who were pretending not to be watching you. You would be fretting and over analysing your own weaknesses and not playing to your strengths. Before you knew it the night was over, the lights come on and you didn’t get the dance and kiss you dreamed of the night before. You edge your way out of the door as fast as you can, whilst avoiding all eye contact with the other sex.
Well now you’re older and a little wiser, yet the lessons still remain the same… YOU MUST DANCE!
You must get into the action to get the action. And on the days you are rejected and not successful you must practice some more and get on another dance floor.
You can never go back to those still standing with their backs against the wall. They’ll have no sympathy or pity for something they have no courage for. It only highlights their own weaknesses. They will never feel the music like you, you have the soul of an entrepreneur and only people like you will truly understand you.
Keep an open mind, stay alert, don’t become complacent after a little victory and stay in the thick of the action, whilst dancing your little socks off, of course :)
By Mark Weeks
Creator of Azuni Book World and URConqueror.
Author of Mum Ultrapreneur & Code of the Conqueror: The Journey
The importance of knowing your purpose in life, and how it translates to tangible benefits,
“Definiteness of Purpose involving a hundred dollars, for example, might be translated into its financial equivalent in a few days, or even a few hours, or a few minutes, whereas, desire for a million dollars might call for considerably more time, depending to some extent on what one has to give in return for the million dollars… The best way I can think of to describe the time necessary for the translation of a definite purpose into its physical or financial equivalent, can be accurately stated by determining the exact time necessary to deliver the service, or the equivalent in value one intends to give in return for the object of that purpose.”
Wealth is a process of providing valuable service to others,
“riches and material things that men get are the effect of some form of useful services they rendered. My fortune did not come to me until I had delivered to others definite values in the form of large quantities of well-made steel.”
Money has no use when in possession, money needs to be used constructively,
“…men seldom profit by money except that which they earn… The good there is in money consists of the use to which it is put, and not in the mere possession of it. Generally speaking, the man who earns his own money, acquires, along with it, some of the necessary wisdom as to its constructive use.”
Embrace responsibilities and work,
“Of the thousands of men who work for me, I hazard the guess that not more than a score of them would be willing to assume my responsibilities and work the hours I work, if I gave them all the money I possess for doing so. A few of the men who work for me have been willing to assume such responsibilities, and it is significant that every one of these is as rich as he desires to be.”
Teach wealth principles and not merely give away money. Teach a man to fish and not just give him the fish.
“… the very best method of distributing wealth is that of distributing the principles of achievement by which wealth is procured.”
The importance to leverage on other people’s expertise and experience,
“I have surrounded myself with more than a score of men whose combined education, experience, and ability, give me the full benefit of all that is known, up to the present time, about the making and marketing of steel. My job is to keep these men inspired with a desire to do the finest possible job.”
Definition of power and knowledge,
“… success is the power to get whatever one desires in life, without violating the rights of others… Knowledge is not power but the appropriation and use of other men’s knowledge and experience, for the attainment of some definite purpose, is power; moreover, it is power of the most beneficial order.”
In forming a Master Mind group…
“…seldom does anyone has the ability, to induce others to serve as members of a Master Mind group, without giving something in return for the service received. The motive may be financial reward, or it may consist of some form of return favors, but it must be something which is of equal value to or greater than the service expected.”
A leader is a servant,
“Every leader’s motto should be “The Greatest Among You Shall Be the Servant of All!”
Understanding your motive and others’ motive,
“… no one ever does anything without a motive. Men lend their experience, their knowledge, and their aid to other men because they have been given a sufficient motive for doing so.”
Your thoughts dictate your actions,
“… every man is where he is and what he is because of his won mental attitude as it is expressed through his personality.”
The importance of the ability to deliver an effective speech,
“we can see by examining the history of mankind, the entire trend of civilization has been influenced by men who could dramatize an idea with the spoken word.”
Know your subject well!
“No amount of dramatic technique will ever take the place of the self-assurance a speaker feels when he knows his subject!”
“We have no trouble in giving feeling to speech when we believe what we are saying!”
Don’t be afraid of failing,
“Examine the records of the truly great leaders in all walks of life and you will discover that their success is in exact proportion to their mastery of failures.”
Difference between an obsessional motive and a wish,
“… one’s motive must be obsessional. That is, it must be so strong that it impels a man to subordinate all his thoughts and efforts to its attainment. Too often people become confused between motive and a mere wish. Wishing will not bring success. If it did everyone would be successful, because all people have wishes.”
Move on to nobler motive,
“In the beginning I was motivated by a desire for self-expression and the desire for financial influence with which to make that expression widespread in its influence. But, in carrying out my original motive I happily hit upon a bigger and nobler motive – the motive of making men instead of making money.”
“I caught the vision of that greater motive as the result of my having discovered, in the process of making money, the great need for better men. If civilization is to evolve to still higher standards of living, or hold even the gains it has made, men must be taught higher standards of human relationship than those which now prevail.”
Direct your emotions and not try to eliminate them,
“The emotions of man are something like a river in that their power can be dammed up and released in whatever proportions and whatever directions one desires, but they cannot be eliminated. Through self-discipline a man can organize all his emotions and release them, in a highly concentrated form, as a means of attaining the object of his plans and purpose.”
Do what you love,
“A man will always be more effective when engaged in sort of work he likes best. That is why one’s major purpose in life should be of his own choice. People who drift through life, performing work they do not like, merely because they must have an income as a means of living, seldom get more than a living from their labor.”
“… I am giving away the money I have accumulated, but this is not the solution of any part of the problem you mention. What the people need is not a gift of money, but a gift of knowledge with which they may become self-determining, including not only the accumulation of money, but the more important matter of learning how to find happiness in their relationships with others.”
Derive happiness from providing a service,
“I have never heard of anyone finding enduring happiness except by some form of personal action of benefit to others. You see, the business of accumulating riches, if it is carried on in the right spirit, not only provides a man with the necessities and the luxuries his nature requires, but he also finds happiness in his activities.”
Riches is not just materials,
“… real riches consist not in material things, but in the use one gives to material wealth. But, mind you, I am not giving it away to individuals, but I am placing it where it may inspire individuals to help themselves.”
You determine your promotion,
“An employer has but little to do with the promotion of such a person. If one employer neglects to recognize his ability, he finds another who will, but he manages to keep growing and advancing in any direction he chooses.”
People influence the environment, and environment shapes the others,
“The psychologist with a keen sense of perception can walk into any home, get the “mental feel” of the place, and tell precisely whether the home is dominated by the spirit if bickering and friction. The mental attitude of people leaves its permanent influence on the very atmosphere of their environment.”
Find what you love to do,
“A man will succeed best in that which he likes best, all else being equal. It is advisable for one to change provided he does not get into the habit of changing every time the work he has chosen becomes difficult, or he meets with temporary defeat… The successful person must reach the stage of specialization, sooner or later; the sooner the better.”
For most people who are clueless in what they want to do in life, it is more worthwhile to work for others, and allow the management to direct them. They will also become better people because they are pushed to work and forced out of their comfort zone.
“… an able coordinator not only serves the interests of a business as a whole, but he aids the individuals who work in the business as a whole, but he aids the individuals who work in the business to so direct their efforts that they can earn more than they would be worth if they lack this guidance. Men require discipline, guidance and supervision, in order to make their efforts of the greatest value to themselves and to others. If you doubt this, observe what happens when the management of any business becomes inefficient, selfish or dishonest.”
Posted by Martyn Green
Guest post by Thibaut Meurisse
'Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.'
Knowing the truth can be painful. However, it is a necessary step before any change can take place. In this article let me share with you 3 disturbing truths that we often prefer to ignore.
Your children are not your property.
'Can you be said to love me if you cling to me and will not let me go?
If you will not let me be? Can you be said to love me if you
need me psychologically or emotionally
for your happiness? '
~ Anthony De Mello, Awareness.
We constantly identify ourselves with things or people by talking about “my” house, “my” car or “my” wife. We mistakenly derive most of our identity from external things or relationships with other people. In reality there is no such thing as “my.” It’s just a social construct reflecting a strong desire from the ego to create a sense of ownership over things or people but nothing truly belongs to you.
Why did you decide to have children? Maybe you thought becoming a parent would make you happy or maybe you wanted to leave behind a legacy. Perhaps such a legacy gives you the comfortable illusion of immortality and alleviates your fear of death.
So, now you have children and you find yourself trying to achieve your unfulfilled dreams through them. You decide for your children what they should or should not do and what kind of life they should have. Your children become servants of your ego, as you use them to fulfill your own desires. What makes you believe that you can tell your children what to do?
The truth is your children don’t belong to you. It is certainly your responsibility to educate them and to give them the tools they need to be successful in life but, once they reach adulthood, you lose the right to dictate the direction of their lives. The amount of time and money you invested in them shouldn’t be used as a tool to control them, that sort of behavior doesn’t reflect true parental love.
It is not the responsibility of your children to make you happy or to live up to your expectations. You cannot demand that they do something that goes against their happiness in order to satisfy your own happiness. For that would no longer be love but rather selfishness. Let them do what they want to do and they will return your love back tenfold.
Your partner is not here to solve your problems.
'The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to
have another with whom you might share your completeness. '
~ Neale Donald Walsch
For a relationship to be healthy, you need to be happy with yourself first. Only then can you give love to your partner rather than using them in an attempt to fill a void within you. No other person or material thing can complete you, rather only you yourself can do that!
Most dysfunctional relationships are the result of people trying to fix their own problems through their partner. Your partner is not a professional counselor and is certainly not here to solve all of your problems or fill gaps within you. If you go from one dysfunctional relationship to another, it is likely because you yourself are dysfunctional.
You are hoping to get something from your partner. You don’t love your partner you simply need her!
You may certainly ask your partner to have patience in understanding you and to support you, but you should never expect her to solve your problems for you. Even if they wanted too they couldn’t. Only you can solve your problems. Stop passing the buck to your partner and take the bull by the horns.
If you can’t stand being alone and are overly needy then you will likely attract similar people, which will only result in more dysfunctional relationships!
Your life is largely fiction.
'To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.'
~ Eckhart Tolle
Theoretically, we know that we can only live in the present. However, in reality, most of us are completely trapped in our thoughts. Our mind convinces us that our past is totally real and simultaneously creates huge expectations about the future — but your past is not real. The only thing that remains from the past is thoughts that are no more than a partial interpretation of your reality. It has been demonstrated countless times in studies where participants claim to remember things that never even happened!
Your entire identity is based on a past that no longer exists. Yet, you are totally convinced that who you are is the result of some distorted memories from a past reality that is no more.
Your constant focus on the past and the future make you totally scared of death. It creates the illusion that when you will die, you will lose your past and your future while in reality you can only lose the present moment, which cannot be defined in term of time. If you think about it, you will realize that you have actually no direct way to experience time.
The bottom line: stop taking your past so seriously and stop creating countless expectations about the future — just enjoy the present moment.
If you enjoyed this article share it with your friends and join my FACEBOOK page here.
Finally, make sure to SIGN UP here to receive my FREE E-BOOK “The 5 Commandment of Personal Development” and start making changes in your life from today.
'Only your heart can free yourself from yourself.'
~ Mark Weeks
The old warrior reached out and gently squeezed his granddaughters hand. The glow of the campfire etched out her beauty, she was no longer the young girl who would ride with him into the wilderness hunting deer and swimming in the creek. She was now a woman, and this would be their last evening together, tomorrow she would leave for her arranged marriage with the Lakota. His heart felt heavy and tears welled in both their eyes. She knew too that by the time she returned, if she did, he would have died.
How can I be true to myself she had asked earlier in the evening, he had remained silent. But now as the campfire dwindled she asked once more, 'How can I stay true to me grandfather, I feel like I will lose myself within this new tribe, and lose the real me.'
The warrior took a deep breath and called upon the spirits to guide his voice.
'To know yourself and understand yourself is to begin to trust yourself. When you begin to have confidence in your own feelings and act on them you are becoming self-reliant, no matter where you maybe in the world.'
The girl gently nodded, and a half smile illuminated her angelic face.
'But,' the old man added in a heavy tone, 'this is never going to be an easy journey, others want you to conform and surrender to their principles, their myths.' He prodded the dying embers with his staff, and returned his gaze back to his granddaughters eyes.
'These battles will continue throughout your life,' he paused for a second, 'yet their outcomes are determined by the two wolves inside every heart. These wolves only live to tear each other apart. This is the bloodiest fight man will ever know. It is terrible, I still feel them everyday gnawing away at each other. They are relentless in their viciousness and power. They drain me of energy and leave me sombre.'
The old man let the silence wash over him, nourishing his thoughts, he had never spoken directly to his granddaughter about his inner feelings before, always remaining stoic, but age does something to a man. Tears welled in his eyes.
'What do these wolves stand for grandfather?'
'One is full of evil', replied the old man solemnly, 'he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, self-pity, arrogance, guilt, resentment, false pride, inferiority, lies, superiority and ego. The other, is good', he continued, 'this wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, truth, generosity, compassion and faith. This same brutal fight is going on inside you too, it is ongoing in every single person on the planet.'
The girl nodded slowly, gently squeezing her grandfathers bony hand, she thought for a minute and then asked, 'Which wolf will eventually win?'
The old man smiled and simply replied, 'The one you feed.'
Post by Mark Weeks
This week I wanted to share an article from positivewriter.com by Bryan Hutchinson.
Hope it has the same impact on you as it had on me.
The Doubts and Fears that Hold Us Back (and What to do About Them)by Bryan Hutchinson
Let’s have a moment of honesty. Do you have doubts and fears that hold you back?
What if you could legitimately do something about them and achieve your goals and live out your dreams? Would you do it?
The answer, for most of us, is probably not.
The problem is that doubts and fears don’t just hold us back from doing things we want to do with all of our hearts, like writing a book, or publish in public, or telling our most intimate stories, – doubts and fears hold us back from even attempting to overcome them.
In fact, they cause even the easiest ways of circumventing them seem challenging, if not downright impossible.
The good news is that you can do it.
I used to be afraid of heights, very afraid. My therapist tried for years to get me to go on a guided hike up a certain mountain trail to face my fear. I would not do it. Hell to the no!
I told myself it was ridiculous, it wasn’t worth it, and the guided hike cost way too much. (It could have cost 25 cents and it would have been too much.)
But that wasn’t what was really stopping me. A few hundred bucks were not the big deal. No, it was fear taking control. It had a grip on me so tightly that even the mere suggestion of defeating it was threatening. I got cold sweats just thinking about the mere possibility of that hike.
It changed my life.
Somehow, I finally went and I’ve never missed a dollar of what it cost or missed any of the time doing something else. That had just been my fear rationalizing itself. The hike turned out to be nothing less than majestic.
When I reached the Castle Eltz I was so proud of myself. The castle itself is in a Valley, but to walk there you must travel via a wide path on a mountain side, at the edge of a cliff, with a raging river below. Yep.
I was never in real danger (I hope), but it was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding walks, ever.
The moral of this story is that when something you know full well what will help you overcome your doubts and fears, but “reasons” rise up in your mind that vehemently talk you out of doing it, be it cost, time, or telling yourself you’re not good enough, or -pick something- you might want to do it anyway.
You. Are. Good. Enough.
1) Money. I give away eBooks and I’ve given away online courses that people have downloaded or joined and didn’t use. So cost wasn’t really a factor. In fact, people who pay so far seem to be the most likely to actually do something. Nobody likes to let what they spend to go to waste, but mentally, free is worth what it costs.
2) Time. There’s never enough time to do anything, until there is. It’s true, for some stuff you will need to set time aside for it. There are so many other things which beg for your attention and your time, but once you use your time to overcome whatever’s holding you back, later you’ll realize it’s the best time you ever spent.
3) It’s too hard. Is it really? Life is usually more difficult when we allow our doubts and fears to control us or what we want. It will always seem too hard, but you’re probably already facing your hardest challenges because of big D and big F. In fact, doing the work to overcome them will usually make things far easier in the long run.
You know, currently I’m offering a journaling course and I’ve received so many messages from people who want to take it, but it costs too much, or they don’t have the time, or something else is keeping them from taking the course.
That’s okay. They shouldn’t force themselves to do anything.
It took my therapist two years, TWO YEARS, to get me to start a positive journal. Of course, it cost me thousands of dollars in therapy, but to actually sit down and write my personal truths, oh, hell no! It wasn’t happening. Until it did. What a relief.
My life changed, dramatically.
I know, the outcomes all seem so ridiculously positive when you finally go against your doubts and fears and win, but what if it’s true?
Face your fears, I was told. What utter BS. Until I did. It didn’t entirely cure me the first try, but I’ve visited more and more castles over the years and those things are rarely down low, and some are even haunted (but that’s another story).
What if it is our doubts and fears that keep us from doing what could actually work to free ourselves from them?
We still probably wouldn’t do it.
In my memoir I wrote, when the student was ready the master appeared. Yeah, I stole that line, but only because it’s true. So, allow me to pass this on, when something feels absolutely right to you and internally you know, really know, it will help, don’t let doubt or fear talk you out of it. Do it. Do it with all of your heart.
The walk to Castle Eltz was the master over my fear of heights and subsequent walks. It’s a work in progress, but I’m doing it. The adventures I would’ve missed had I not faced my fear, and I’ve got to tell you, the views – wow!
My positive journal was the master which helped me make sense of my life and gave me an outlet for my writing when I didn’t have one. I never wrote every day until I started guided journaling. Since then I’ve published nearly a dozen books. Who knew?! You would not be reading this had I not start my positive journal.
What have you got to lose?
A couple bucks, a little bit of time, or something else you think you could never get back? That’s what doubt and fear want you to believe.
Instead, ask yourself:
What will I gain?
Such as: Freedom, tenacity, striving to achieve your goals, writing in public, publishing your words, making a living from your art… traveling to Bavaria to see the Disney castle. Oh, sorry, that last one is my stretch goal (Neuschwanstein).
Indeed, what do you have to gain? A heck of a lot. Right? Think about it.
I’m sure it’s a lot more than you could ever really lose; because here’s what doubt and fear don’t want you to know: you have to gain something before you could ever lose it–they just want you to think you’re going to lose in advance.
That’s pretty messed up if you ask me. But they don’t play fair and we shouldn’t expect them to.
Do it anyway. Whatever it is.
Take your dreams seriously and live out each day to your fullest potential!
Do it, because you can.
Contact Bryan if you have any questions about The Art of Positive Journaling.
Have you stood up to your doubts and fears? How’s it going? If you haven’t yet, are you ready to start looking for ways to face them?
Good luck and keep me posted.
'It is a shame for a man to grow old without
seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.'
To achieve the most from life your mind, body & spirit must work and function as one unit. When one aspect is out of kilter your whole life goes out of balance.
And through my life's up's and down's the one aspect which has brought all three areas together consistently is my love of bodybuilding and exercising. For me it has created a never ending supply of discipline, hope and energy, even after 33yrs of maintaining a solid weight training regime I still get excited at the thought of my next workout. Maybe I should get out more, but, once those 'happy chappie' endorphins are pulsating through my veins everything in life is possible.
Simply put Bodybuilding is all about achievement. It's about facing reality and overcoming adversity. The human body was never designed for a sedentary lifestyle. It was created to hunt sabre-toothed tigers and walk forty miles a day foraging. When we have no physical outlets, tension builds up within us. The body reacts to minor frustrations, such as someone cutting us up in traffic. In life and death situations the 'flight or fight' mechanism is tripped, adrenaline floods our system, and our blood pressure sky rockets. Exercise in general and bodybuilding in particular gives us an outlet for these tensions plus satisfy the body's need for strenuous activity.
Success in bodybuilding can teach you to become successful in anything you want in life. You can have it all if you want it bad enough, You have the power within your mind – a force that will accomplish anything you put your mind to if you trust it. Learn to love the challenge of accomplishment and your life will take on new meaning. Every day becomes a new adventure rather than a dull routine, a chance for a new opportunity, an opportunity for change and growth. Seize the moment. Live in the present and just go for it.
Do not merely read these words. Make them a general philosophy of your life, a way of living and success will be yours because you will be harnessing the power of your mind, body & spirit to its fullest potential. Then nothing can stop you.
Post by Mark Weeks
Creator of URConqueror & Conqueror 21st Century Nutrition.
'If you can stay the course then you'll discover something that offers great comfort
to those who understand the role that thought plays
in shaping their reality.'
~ Joe Barnes, Author of Escape the System.
In front of you is a boulder; large, grey and solid.
You hate this boulder. Every day you must push it. Every day your muscles strain and you reach the point of exhaustion just to get it to roll a few feet. Sometimes, you’re too tired. You look at the boulder, with its hard, grey exterior, and you just can’t bring yourself to push anymore. So, you rest by the side of the road. You want to quit.
Sometimes, though, you attack it with vigorous intensity. You feel strong, and as you heave with your muscles and gain leverage with your body, it responds. It moves slowly at first, but then the momentum builds. Soon, you reach a point where it feels like it’s moving itself. These are the best days. Everything clicks. There are no snags in the road, no hills to push the boulder up. Instead, the boulder just rolls and rolls and you have little do to maintain its momentum.
Most days, though, it won’t move. You lodge your back up against it, spread your feet wide apart, bend your knees and push with everything you’ve got. But nothing happens. You drive and drive and drive but it just won’t budge.
So you rest, telling yourself that you’ll move it the next day. But the next day is the same, as is the day after that. That damn boulder just won’t move.
Eventually, after a week pushing, it gives a few feet. This seems like a result. You’ve managed to move what appears to be an immovable object. But, then you look back and think. You remember all the blood, sweat and tears, all the exhaustion and effort and you’ve only managed to push the boulder a few feet. So much effort for so little return.
Buoyed by the site of your strength, you attack the boulder with even greater intensity. And it moves. Sure, it’s slow but it’s moving. So you keep pushing and pushing. It’s still painful, you still put in way more effort than you receive in results, but you KNOW you have the power to move that boulder.
And this is life for you. That boulder will always be there. Your job will always be to move it.
But, as the years pass, you begin to love the pain. You love that aching feeling in your muscles and the cascading sweat. You love it because you know what it means – GROWTH!
So, you keep going and going. Eventually, you cover miles, nations and continents. You learn the truth that nothing can stop you...
SO LONG AS YOU KEEP ON PUSHING!
Post by Joe Barnes - Author, Keynote Speaker & Life Coach.
Keep in touch with Joe on Facebook & Twitter.
Join Joe's newsletter at www.screwthesystemnow.com to create the life you were born to live.
Grab a copy of Escape the System today - it is the ultimate guide to a life of freedom and greatness.
To tread the narrow pathway on your crusade for a more rewarding existence will prove to be a lonely journey. Once begun there is no retreating only repositioning, no hesitation only deep thinking. Life will never be the same again for you.
Very few will understand your quest for mastery over the skills and desires you must fulfil. But there are others in front of you who have walked in the same footsteps, they are there, and you must search, persist, discipline your mind and resolve to find them, they are your tribe. You will never find them looking behind you.
As sad as it may seem life changes, people change and for you to achieve a greater level of happiness and security you too must change.
Now your journey has begun you must never ever, ever return to where you once belonged, keep moving forward and conquer your life, there are no more rehearsals, this is it, keep the faith and put one foot in front of the other.
Conflict of the Conqueror
Never return. Never return.
Never return to the haunts of your youth.
Keep to the path, remain stern,
Even memory distorts the truth.
Never return. Never return.
Never succumb to their tireless glare.
Keep to the track, always learn,
They will never meet you there.
Never return. Never return.
Your destiny has been blessed to me.
Cross the bridges, let them burn,
Now let your faith see.
Never return. Never return.
Never become your glorious past.
Keep to your path, never adjourn,
Treat every day as your last.
Never return. Never return.
Surrender to your desire.
Should you not learn,
Never extinguish the internal fire.
Never return. Never return.
Never fall into the lion’s lair.
Keep firm, remain stern,
Your life beckons, if you dare.
By Mark Weeks