Reality and Truth

Reality and truth can hurt. That’s why we try to avoid them most of the time. But the more we’re able to see the world and ourselves through a reality lens, the better we’re equipped to grow, to face the challenges the world throws at us, and to live a healthy life. If we choose to let our minds be clouded by lies, false perceptions, and illusions, we’ll be less likely to take the right decisions and actions.

Reality and truth are hard to grasp. Something we thought was the truth a year ago, isn’t real anymore. We need to consistently make quick adjustments to our vision of the world, and of ourselves. Everyday, we’re bombarded with information about the nature of reality. We’re constantly sorting this information, trying to discern what is real and what is not. It takes a lot of auto-discipline to keep up to date with reality!

What happens when we haven’t done any major adjustment in our vision of ourselves and of the world, but there is new information that invalidates our reality and we need to make changes? We get scared. Fear creeps in and we close our eyes, passively rejecting the new information. Or worse, we can start a crusade against the new information, trying to destroy them, manipulating them to make them concord with our false reality.

Constant and rigorous questioning can help us live a life that is real and be who we really are. It will create discomfort, but discomfort makes us grow, and growth is life. Challenging our own beliefs even when every fibres of our body goes against is the way to be unconditionally free.

What are old believes that keeps you from being free?

Discomfort is What’s Making You Grow

A low performing, low growth environment where you have to follow too many steps, always ask permission, and everything is scrutinized, or where chaos predominates, you’ll see your creativity hinder, it’ll stifle your independent thoughts and actions. You don’t want to be or stay there, where nothing grows.

A predictable environment is where you want to be some or most of the time. You know what’s going to happen when you perform certain actions, but know that whatever makes you comfortable will ruin your life. Indeed, when you always do or think the same way, you eventually stop growing. You’re like a goldfish in a small fish bowl.

In a state of discomfort, that’s where you’ll continually grow. It’s what’s giving you the push to start a new journey, or complete the one you’re already in. When you use your environment to promote growth, you’re like a goldfish in a pond. You’ll have sustainable and exponential growth if you consciously acknowledge discomfort.

 

There are ways discomfort can be triggered in your life.

It might be forced upon you. How much you’ll grow when discomfort is forced upon you– like when you get fired –will depend how you’ll react. Will you stay angry, or make excuses, or will you use this trigger to propel yourself?

It might be that someone helps you get there; a coach, a parent, a teacher, or a boss can push you deep into discomfort. The first reaction anyone has to this push is to intervene, trying to make the person feel good again. If you help the person to get back into comfort, you’re killing all the efforts made to promote her development.

Discomfort can also be triggered by yourself. When you don’t have a coach, teacher, or boss to push you, you have to do it yourself. This is hard because comfort is… comfortable!

What are ways that you use to push yourself into discomfort?

 

Your Dream Life

It might be easier than you think to make your dream life come true. You may believe you need millions of dollars, more time, or better health to achieve your desired life, but I’m sure that if you stop for a few minutes, and let your heart tell you what kind of life you really aspire to, you’d be surprised how easily accessible it is.

We make things bigger than they really are, and by doing that, we believe we can’t be, do, or have the things that make us light up. To counteract this false belief, I like to sit down regularly, and write about a simple day in my dream life. It helps me to make better choices, to have the courage to do bold things, and to make the appropriate sacrifices.

It’s also a good assessment of my current life vs my dream life. It emphasizes where the gaps are, so I can adjust my current life to have more of what my dream life is made of. It also shows me where the two lives unite, making me so much more grateful for everyone and everything I have right now.

Here’s a little excerpt from what I wrote this morning. This is not my first draft. Before it was perfect for me, I wrote lists of things I wanted in my life, I extensively tried to understand my core values, I deepened and acknowledge the stronger traits of my personality. I knew I hated it when things kept coming back in the many lists I created.

My dream is to wake up every morning to the sound of the birds singing, making coffee and drinking it while watching the amazing view outside of my home, and starting my day knowing I have no obligations but to make this day the most beautiful, passionate, and happy I can possibly can.

I’d then get dressed to go outside for a walk with my husband, letting my mind wander, listen and comment on the beauty of mother nature, and how grateful I am for who I became, and for everyone and everything I have I my life.

When we’d get back home, we’d have a healthy breakfast, talk about us, about what we aspire to be and do, look into each other’s eyes and say how much we love one another, as if there’d be no tomorrow.

Mornings are when I feel the most creative and energetic. I would unquestionably go straight to my studio, or pack my painting kit on my motorbike to explore my land, and find a nice place to paint. Each brush stroke would illuminate my eyes, make my heart race, and fill my soul with happiness.

In the afternoon, my choices of activities would vary between playing music with or without friends, go see friends or family members, cook healthy meals for days ahead, sell my paintings and everything that’s involved with that business, ride my motorbike or paint some more, exercise, learn new skills, and help someone who really needs it.

My evening would be relaxed. After a healthy dinner with my darling, we’d talk some more, make love, and I would read a great book before going to sleep.

Although I’ve let out many (personal and financial) details, you can get the essence of my dream life. It’s not complicated, it doesn’t cost millions of dollars, it promotes good health, strong relationships, and passion. It’s in perfect harmony with all my core values.

My brain has a clear image of my desires. It sees and analyzes all the opportunities that can make my dream life come true. All I have to do is listen, and act on the (electric) impulses, or messages, my brain sends me, making the gap between both lives get smaller every day.

Best of all, I’m already living many elements of my dream life. This reassures me;  I don’t live in the future, and I savour the present moment.

Does your brain know what kind of life you really want? And are you listening?

The Hard Things

This past week has been one of significant realization. I’ve learned that if I want to be or do something, achieve any goal I set out, I can’t wait to feel like doing what it takes. To make it through, there’s hard things to do, challenges, and obstacles and I have to FORCE myself to do them.

The problem is that my “old” brain doesn’t want to do the hard things. It sees the hard things, the challenges, and the obstacles as threats to my survival because they trigger stress in my mind and body. All it wants is to protect me, and keep me alive. It doesn’t know the difference between the hard things and a sabre tooth, so it will always try to tuck me out of doing something difficult by making me doubt, telling me stories about why I shouldn’t do it, and lie about the reasons why I can’t be or do it.

By being aware of this, I’ve been able to tell my “old” brain to shut up. Even better, I don’t give it a chance to say anything. I have my plan that guides me though what I have to do to become who I want to be, and to have what I want, and I just do it. If by mistake I take a little too long before I get going, and my “old” brain starts to ramble, I remind myself that I’ll never feel like doing it, and might as well do it right now and be done with it.

This process has started to build some serious discipline muscles. It has also been the most successful experiment I ever did. The results have been instantaneously visible. Instead of feeling guilty because I didn’t do what I had to do, and then rush to try to make it by the end of the day to finally fail, I’m relaxed, happy, and my hard things are done early in the day.

I’m sharing this because we all have dreams and goals, but we fail to make them come true, not because we’re a procrastinating lazy couch potato, but because we fail to understand how our brain works.

The post I wrote about “How to Get what You Want in 5 Seconds” will guide you through the information that changed the way I approached  my life’s dreams and goals. Listen to Mel and see your own life change!

How to Get What you Want in 5 Secondes

Ok, maybe not in 5 seconds, but I really want you to read this. It can change your life.


This week, I’ve watched a Ted Talk that inspired me so much, I want to share it with you. It’s called How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over from Mel Robbins.

It always bugged me that even tho we had all the information (blogs, books), the networks (social medias), the circumstances (welcome the 21st century) to change our lives, and change the world, we still didn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t understand why.

Mel says it’s because we say we’re FINE. We’ve convince ourselves that we’re fine not having/being what we want.

She also says that we snooze off all our fantastic ideas that pops-up in our head all day long. The same way we hit the snooze button in the morning when we don’t want to get our of bed.

One more reason why we don’t do what we have to do to change is that motivation isn’t happening; we’re never going to feel like doing something hard. Changing requires a truck load of energy, and the only way to go is to FORCE ourselves into action.

Her trick to outsmart our brain to make us into the extraordinary being we out to be is the 5 second rule.

The moment you feel an impulse to act on a goal, start counting backward from five (5-4-3-2-1), and physically move immediately. Write down the email, walk to that girl and say hello, pick up the phone and make the call, get dressed and go to the gym.

It works with bad habits that you want to change too.

The concept isn’t new, it’s just framed differently from what you’ve already experienced… Remember… You’ve got to your knee in cold water, in a lake or a river, and you can’t get yourself to dive in, so what do you do if you don’t want to look like a pussy? You count 1-2-3-go!!! And you dive 😛

Mel explains why and how the 5 second rule works, and she also wrote a book about her nifty little trick that will be out on February 28th.

Have you heard about the 5 second rule before? Have you used it without knowing (please share examples)?


P.S.: I hope you had a laugh at the picture, and that you returned the grimace!

Don’t Rely Solely on Motivation

Because motivation is unreliable, you shouldn’t base your success strategies on it. Yes, it can sometimes help you get your ass off to the gym, or make you work on your side project. The problem is if you depend on motivation to get things done, or to accomplish your goals, you might end up achieving nothing because you have no control over when it’s going to hit you.

Motivation is simply a desire to do something. Often, when motivation strikes, you hit Google for instant gratification and an overload of information instead of working on a simple task that would bring you closer to success. Indeed, doing only 10 push ups is 100% better than watching 10 videos about the best workout in the world.

What about getting motivation from a reward, an external source? Looks like this is a poor route to take because as soon as the reward is removed from the equation, performance decreases.

A reward can also shift your focus from the task to the motivator (reward) when you need to use more brain power. Therefor, it reduces your accomplishments. However, it can work great for very simple or repetitive tasks where you don’t need to think.

If an external source of motivation won’t get you to do what you want to do, it’s time to take a look inside yourself, tap into this abundant resource some call drive, passion, self-discipline, or self-motivation. You can build strong self-discipline by starting small. You’ll still get a reward, but the reward will be your accomplishment. Progress, and the simple act of completing something are going to be your awesome rewards.

Are you a motivation addict? I know I used to be until I understood the simple distinction between external motivation and self-motivation. I can now rely on motivation to start something (see the big picture), and use self-motivation to accomplish my goal.

Thanks for reading, and take care!

Have Fewer Rules

Rules are an important component of our society. There’s the written rules. Those rules are in the books of law of every country. There’s also socially accepted implicit rules. Those are the rules you follow when you’re in public spaces, at your friend’s house, or with your family. And then, there’s your own personal set of rules, they’re your creations based on your values.

The written rules are reinforced by the law enforcement, and there are specific punishments for each broken rule.

Although, there’s no one appointed to the job of making sure the socially accepted implicit rules are followed, you’ll know when you’ve broken one as you’ll get punished by society in some form.

One of the best punishments -and my favourite too- is to ignore the bad behaviour. In most cases, when someone breaks a social rule, it’s to get attention. Pay no attention to the behaviour, and the person will feel stupid, and won’t break the rule any time soon.

Your personal rules are reinforced by you, of course. You create your own set of punishments when you don’t follow your own rules. Shame, blame, and calling yourself stupid are some of the most popular. As with most types of punishment, it’s not very effective. If punishment was all it took to make us follow the rules, there would be no crime, and we would all be perfect beings.

What if we had fewer personal and close relative rules? Instead of playing law enforcement with our kids, we could give them values. Instead of having conflict over a trivial rule we set with our significant other, we could passionately love each other. And instead of declaring war to our parents, sisters, or brothers over some meaningless rule, we could have the best time of our lives together.

The more rules we have, the greater the chance they are going to be broken. And if we set too many rules, we become rigid, vulnerable, and brittle.

What are some rules that aren’t important that you could let go?

 

 

Conditioning

Conditioning is a tool that can greatly help you be a better version of yourself. There’s thought conditioning, where you try to have the right thought that’ll take you to do the right actions, and there’s behavioural conditioning, where if you take the right actions, you’ll get the result you want, regardless of what you think.

Thought conditioning is good and it works. It includes all the positive affirmations, positive visualizations, changing your vocabulary, and some meditation techniques. When you can’t use behavioural conditioning to get what you, or be how you want to be, the default should be thought conditioning. Everything starts with a thought.

Using behavioural conditioning to change is even better than thought conditioning because it focuses on creating new habits. It doesn’t really matter what you think of the subject you are trying to change, because when you take the right kind of actions, create the right kind of habits, your thoughts will follow, you’ll start thinking the same way of your new behaviour.

Since the Holidays, I’ve had a hard time getting up early in the morning, even with the help of my alarm. The few late night parties threw me completely out of balance. My mornings are very important for my productivity, my success, my sanity, and my self-esteem. Waking up around 8:00 or even 9:00 makes me feel like a pathetic, lazy worthless potato (sorry little pretty nutritious potato)…

So! I’ve been trying something new. Something completely unusual, even a little bizarre.

I practiced getting up. I first rehearse it in my head about ten times. I visualized every step of the process. It’s impressive how many steps there is just to get out of bed when the alarm gets off.

Then, I pretended to be asleep, set my alarm for 5 minutes in the future, and when it got off, I did exactly what I had visualized and got up. I did that 3 times, felt like an idiot for 15 minutes, but had great results the next morning, even after falling asleep around midnight. Hurray for conditioning!

Would you use conditioning to create a better version of yourself, even if it makes you feel silly?

The Simple, Easy Things I do to Save my Planet

Last week, I did a post about how to save your planet. I was expecting comments about how everyone did their part, big or small. Instead, I read a lot of excuses about why no one is saving the planet. Boo.

I’m still going to tell you what I do, because my third suggestion in the post is to tell the people around you what you are doing to make a change (big or small). I already take my responsibility, and I avidly search the Internet for what actions I can take to reduce my impact.

Here it goes!

  1. I make my own laundry detergent with baking soda, washing soda, Borax, and pure Castile soap.
  2. I do the laundry in cold water, making sure the basket is full.
  3. I use a rack to dry most of my clothes.
  4. I brush my teeth with baking soda.
  5. I use olive oil, avocado oil, tallow, and Shea butter for my skin instead of the chemical laden (and in little plastic bottles) conventional beauty products.
  6. I walk to the grocery, the gym, the pharmacy, and the bank.
  7. I drive an old, but fuel efficient Pontiac Vibe, and stick to the speed limit. I plan to keep the car until it breaks down completely.
  8. I repair my cloth instead of tossing them out when there’s a little hole. I do the same for everything else. If I can’t fix it myself, I probably have a friend who can.
  9. I remember to close the lights, and reduce the heating when not in use.
  10. I don’t buy bottled water. I use a refillable bottle that I fill with tap water. If water was disgusting at my home, I would probably use a carbon filter. I guess I’d do research for the best way to have great water with a low wasting system.
  11. I don’t buy books: I go walk to the library or read on my phone.
  12. I use a rag to clean out messes instead of paper towel (almost forgot this one since it’s so obvious)
  13. I shut the water off when I wash my body, or my hair in the shower. I do the same when I wash my hands, my teeth, and do the dishes. You get the idea.
  14. I don’t eat processed food. And I never spoil food. Ever. Leftovers are so underrated!
  15. I make an effort not to buy anything in plastic anymore. That one is really hard.
  16. I DIY, reuse, and recycle whenever possible. Recycle doesn’t necessarily means putting the thing in the green recycling bin… Just saying!
  17. This year, I want to try to buy nothing (except food and hygiene products).

Sure, there are probably things I do that are less eco-friendly, and indeed, I live with the decisions I made in the past that were not so great.

I’m also sure I forgot a lot of things that have been habits for so long they are too obvious (or personal) to share. Just think about never leaving litter behind, throwing trash in nature, or in the streets, and picking up trash people have thrown through their car’s windows. Yes, I know it’s incredible, but there are still stupid people who do that!!!

What do you do?

How to Save Your Planet

Most of us understand that if we continue in this direction, the future generations are going to face big problems. Our children’s children, will be living on a planet with around 10 billion other people. With so many people needing to drink water, eating, using their cars every day, consuming stuff and throwing it away somewhere no one wants to see it, and global warming, no need to be a Nostradamus to accurately predict the future.

It seems like not many of us give a damn about what will happen. We’re a real threat to life on this planet, but we continue to consume and destroy. We’re definitely more worried about how to make more money, have more stuff, and our precious cars than we are about tigers, trees, or bees.

We naively believe that They will find a way to make earth the paradise that it once was. They, the scientists, governments, ecologists, as if they were Gods, will make everything bad go away. The thing to realize is that we are They. I am They, you are They, we are They. 

When we talk about the future with pessimism, it anchors the tragic faith we predict, and convinces us that we can’t do anything to make it better. We’re even convinced that it’s not our fault. It’s They, Big Corp, with their marketing strategies, who make us drive our cars to go buy stuff. So we continue to consume and destroy.

Small changes can create solutions to this big problem. The first thing to do is to take responsibility, admit that we do things that destroy our beautiful planet, our air, our water.

Next, learn about what you can do (or not do!) to improve the current situation. The Internet is a wonderful place to find practical actions you can make today.

And finally, educate the people surrounding you through attraction rather than promotion. Tell your friends, family, co-workers what you do, why it works, and why you’re doing it. Let them decide if they want to follow you instead of trying to force them to your view.

Next, I’ll be sharing with you what I concretely do in my journey to save the planet.

The good always wins over the villains, right? Problem is, we’re currently the villains, but who says we can’t become the good guys?