When your mind thinks about the past, it will always associate those memories with the emotion(s) associated with the event. So what happens is, you condition yourself to think about memories that do not serve you because they are negative. Negative thoughts (memories) create a negative environment.
Your mind will focus on what’s familiar to it.
Therefore, you are essentially reliving the same negative event over and over.
You think about a difficult event in a previous relationship >> you get upset because the situation made you angry and sad >> you spend the next couple of hours relieving those same emotions, even though it already happened >> the cycle continues
Some people do this for days, weeks, months, years, and even their entire lifetime.
A visual representation of what happens when you allow your mind to take control of you.
You must learn to break the cycle and master yourself. Learnto control what you’re thinking about, aka “observe” what you’re thinking about. If these memories do not serve you, let them go. You can’t change the past but if you’re not careful, you can take your emotional response with you. Is that how you want to move forward? My guess is: no, it does not serve you or anyone within the circle of your influence.
Focus on thoughts (memories) that will set you up to win. If you want to win the day, master yourself. You are worth it.
Have you ever stopped and wondered, “Why do some people go through their entire life, working aimlessly like robots?” Is this their personal choice or are they conditioned to be this way? Well, you could make a pretty good argument that both of these reasons are a contributing factor. Obviously, no one wants to be considered a robot. However, people do not realize that our society is slowly training you to be one, at a very early age.
When you were a child, you were conditioned to wait for a sound or a voice to tell you when to move, start, and finish.
“Don’t touch that.”
“Wait until I tell you to start.”
“Don’t express your opinion, even if you believe you’re right.”
When you were in school, the sound of a bell controlled your actions. The first bell was designed to tell you when to start. As soon as you heard the bell, you were conditioned to get serious and focus on your work. [“Pay attention.”]
The bells after that, indicated it was time to transition to the next class. Once you arrived there, once again–you were required to get serious and focus on the next subject. Your school day would end at the sound of the final bell. [“You can leave, now.”] This was always an indication you could finally relax. That is, until you arrived home or at practice (sport, etc.) We have been using the bell system since the 19th century. For more detailed information about it, visit: http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/-school-bells
Make no mistake, I’m not saying anything negative about the education system. I am simply pointing out the fact that from a very early age, our lives are structured. We are told when to do things, how to do them, how long we can do them, and when to stop doing them.
Your Adult Life
The same concepts apply in the workplace. You rely on a time clock to dertimine when you get serious and when you’re allowed to relax. Even if you dont use a time clock, things called “deadlines” or “suspenses” have the same impact on you.
Although you can’t necessarily change or influence the way your employer or organization operates, you can change the way you operate. At some point, you must understand that change starts with you. Going through life like a robot does not serve you or anyone in your circle of influence.
My recommendation: make a schedule or write down your daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals. By taking the initiative to write these things down, you will place yourself back in the driver seat of your life. You establish what your day will look like so you can have the day you want, instead of settling for what the day gives you. When you operate like a robot, you’re in the passenger seat or sometimes in the back seat. Meaning, you’re not in change of where you’re going in your life.
Making a schedule is not where it stops, though. You must learn to rediscover your voice. Remember, you were conditioned at a very early age not to speak your mind.
“Don’t say that. Just keep quiet.”
Instead of sitting back in the meeting listening to the wrong information being discussed, you have the courage and professionalism to say, “Mike, the packet actually consists of five documents and not three.” The robot mentality would have kept you quiet and allowed the major mistake to occur. “I’m not speaking up.”
This iscalled thinking outside of the box. The box is your comfort zone, aka where you were conditioned to stay so you can function like a robot. Thinking outside of the box is how you grow in both your personal and professional life. Therefore, it is incredibly important for you to take control of your life sooner than later. The older you get, the more habits you build. When you’re functioning like a robot, your habits are based on robot principles.
Thinking outside of the box will make you unique.
Something to consider: once you step out of your comfort zone, several things will change. Some people will misunderstand you, roll their eyes at you (negative body language), some may even avoid you, and overall dislike you. Why? Because you no longer function as a robot. Therefore, you’re a threat or an outsider because you’re not part of the norm.
When this happens, you must stay the course. The obstacle is the path. You’re are not a robot. You are a unique person that has value.
I would like to start off by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. This holiday is truly unique because it creates a great opportunity for us to reconnect with our family and friends. Even though we associate Thanksgiving with food, this is also a social holiday.
I recently took a break from writing blogs, due to my busy schedule. However, it was a blessing in disguise because it offered an opportunity for me to reflect on what matters. As I’ve said in previous blogs and my latest book The Best Version of You, we are very disconnected due to technology. Sure, technology is supposed to keep us connected, yet–that’s not really happening. We would rather hide behind our phones or computers, instead of making eye contact with the person we’re talking to. Sure, FaceTime and Skype are unique but they are not the same as a face-to-face conversation.
Now that we can text and e-mail, people would rather text, instead have a real conversation. Consider this, if your son had some great news to tell you, which method would you prefer:
Text version: “Hey dad, I have a great news. I got accepted to the Ohio State University.” Your son has to wait for your response because he can’t see you. Therefore, he doesn’t see how excited, proud, and happy you are, for him.
Face-to-face conversation: “Hey dad, I have a great news. I got accepted to the Ohio State University.” You embrace him and tell him how excited, proud, and happy you are, for him. Instead of him reading your response (text message) and guessing how you felt, he can see it. This helps create authenticity. Not only did you convey you’re proud of him, you demonstrated it. We really can’t do that when we send a text or an e-mail. We might think a creative emoji conveys the same message but trust me, to your son, it doesn’t. Have a real conversation.
I am hoping you selected option 2: Face-to-face conversation. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, your loved ones deserve your full attention. By only communicating via texts and e-mail, it might convey the wrong message: You are not a priority to me. This might seem extreme but to a child or loved one that desires your attention, it might be a huge deal. Take a step back and ask yourself, “How would I want to receive this information?”
Here are some benefits of a face-to-face conversation:
It creates authenticity.
It displays your true emotions and reactions. [body language]
It conveys a more powerful message.
It builds relationships.
It helps prevent an argument or disconnect, due to eliminating the risk of typing a convoluted text. [What did you mean?]
It creates additional conversations.
It builds connection.
It builds winning streaks.
It tells people, what you have to say, matters to me.
I challenge you to implement this into your Thanksgiving dinner, regardless if you’re celebrating at your house, a family members house, or a friends house. The world can use more face-to-face conversations and you have the opportunity to help cultivate it.
I am very excited about finally having this book in my hands. Hard work is always worth it, regardless of how long it takes.
The Best Version of You is a self-help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re facing adversity, feeling lost and out of focus, wanting to make changes in their lives, or simply wanting to update themselves.
We update our phones, our computers, and our software, but honestly, when was the last time we updated ourselves?
The book is available on Amazon.com and Amazon Kindle:
The world would be a better place if we focused on things that we love, instead of what hate or dislike. That is why I highly recommend you develop an attitude for gratitude. Here are just a few things to consider:
I love people regardless of their gender.
I love people regardless of their age.
I love people regardless of the color of their skin.
I love people regardless of their sexual orientation.
I love people regardless of their political affiliation.
I love people regardless of their abilities and disabilities.
I love people regardless of their looks.
I love people that have a different opinion as me.
I love people for their uniqueness.
I love people for their originality.
I love people that challenge me and other people.
I love people that are obsessed with success.
I love people that are comfortable in their own skin.
I love people that value doing what’s right.
I love people that understand and practice selfless service.
I love people that choose not to conform to society.
I love people that support equality.
I love people that take ownership of the failures and success.
I love people that don’t settle for their comfort zones.
I love people that crave self-development and self-improvement.
I love people that understand when love is not always the answer.
I love people that recognize when something is not for them.
I love people that welcome the next chapter in their life.
I love people that are not afraid to take a stand.
I love people that challenge themselves.
I love people that can control their confirmation bias.
I love people that can identify their thinking traps.
I love people that own their happiness.
I love people that can fight off the comparison trap.
I love people.
This list could go on and on because once you recognize what you love or what you’re grateful for, you will begin to notice more and more things. Love, happiness, and positivity create winning streaks. Set yourself up to win.
I have officially signed with Xlibris Publishing (The same Publisher I used for my 1st book, Crematory.) My new book is called:
The Best Version of You
Although the book is in the (publishing) production phase, it still could be 1-3 months before it is available. This process usually takes some time, due to the attention to detail aspect.
Note: The official cover will be released at a later date.
The Best Version of You is a Self-Help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re: facing adversity, feeling lost, out of focus, wanting to make changes in their life, or simply wanting to update themselves. We update our phones, our computers, and software but honestly—when is the last time we updated ourselves?
Be honest: how many times have you thought to yourself, I look like a fool right now and people are laughing at me? If you’re anything like most of the people on this planet, this has probably happened to you at least 5-6 times. As much as we don’t like to admit, we are way too hard on ourselves (Negative Self Image) and we put words in other people’s mouths. (Mind Reading)
“They’re laughing at my shirt.”
“My coworkers think I’m an idiot.”
“The panel probably noticed when I accidentally used the wrong word during my interview.”
“Nobody trips over their own feet while working.”
These are just some of the examples of things people say to themselves. For some reason, people have a tendency to gravitate toward negative aspects of themselves. At least, what they believe to be negative.
Focus on what matters.
The truth is, 80% of the things you’re stressing or worrying about, other people don’t even notice. Why? Because they’re too busy stressing and worrying about themselves. People are not perfect. They’ve never been perfect and they never will be. Yet, our comparison trap leads us to believe they’re perfect and we’re insufficient. In fact, everything about us is subpar.
[Read more about the comparison trap in my upcoming book:The Best Version of You.]
“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” — Les Brown
Here are 3 things to help calibrate your thinking:
Stop stressing. People honestly don’t notice when you say something wrong or trip over your own feet. If they do, that’s ok — they’ll eventually do the same thing.
Stop overthinking and mind reading. Unless you have evidence to support your concern, stop overthinking and mind reading. For example: “John, I heard what you said and you sounded ridiculous.” Did they actually say that or do you think they said it? Information changes the situation. Ask yourself: What information do I have and what am I missing? Assumptionsdo not = reality.
Focus on what matters. What people think of you should have no impact on your goals, daily activities, beliefs, and life in general. Worrying about other people is a waste of your valuable time. It serves no purpose and will simply elevate your stress. (You will catastrophize.) Focusing on what will create winning streaks is how you will take your life to the next level. Small things are the secret. Do the little things every single day.
No matter how hard it gets, you have to keep moving forward. People are not thinking about you as much as you think — they’re honestly not. The more time you spend on trying to please them, the less time you’ll have to work on yourself.
Self Discipline vs Self Destruction
Self Discipline: Focus on yourself and ignore external noise.
Self Destruction: Focus on other people and listen/accept external and internal noise.
Every year the LGBT community is faced with difficult questions and comments, such as:
“Why don’t we have a heterosexual Pride Month?”
“Why is this even a thing?”
“Why do I always have to see this stuff?”
“This is ruining social media and television.”
“Why do they have to remind me of this, every year?”
“These people are annoying…”
Although everyone has the right to ask questions and express their opinion — it is still important to think before you ask or comment. Information changes the situation. As discussed in the About – LGBT link, everything has a meaning. Plus, regardless of what people think or believe, everyone deserves something to celebrate and be happy about.
As a sexual assault victim advocate, a man, a father, a husband, a human, and someone that values basic human rights: supporting LGBT rights are extremely important to me. This community holds a very special place in my heart. For that reason, I am a proud member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community uses the rainbow flag
(commonly known as the gay flag or pride flag), which has different colors to represent the diversity of the community. Here are a few examples:
At the end of the day, LGBT Pride Month is about the celebration of people loving other people. Even if you don’t believe in this, due to religious or personal beliefs, it doesn’t matter because everything can’t always be about you. There are 7 billion unique people on this planet and it would be a tragedy if we were all the same.
Seeing people happy or in love, regardless if they’re heterosexual or LGBT, should bring a smile to your face. That is what life is all about. No, it is not teaching children something bad. Judging, labeling, or even committing a hate crime because you disagree with someone’s sexual orientation is what’s teaching children bad things. I would rather my children grow up in an environment where everyone is happy in their own unique way, then have them grow up in an environment filled with hate or worse — the fear of them self-identifying as LGBT. To me, this world has no place for that. After all, it is 2018, not 1418.
Regardless if people disagree with your lifestyle, your hobbies, your likes, your dislikes, your character, and even if your personality — don’t you dare apologize for your originality. It doesn’t matter if you’re: a man, a woman, weird, popular, religious, an atheist, white, black, straight, LGBTQ, a hard worker, a lazy individual, short, or tall — you are unique.
Not a single human on this planet has the exact same thumbprint as you. They might be close but they’ll never be exactly like you.
That means you’re incredibly special. Yes, there will be days where you might question yourself and your purpose. You might have to make necessary changes and updates, depending on where you’re at in your life. However, those are usually just external things.
Stop letting the world stick a finger in your face and determine your value. You are a brilliant creation. This is your story and you need to be the only one that continues to write it.