This is not who you are

I’m re-reading the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne which I’ve probably collectively read and watched the documentary over 10 times in my life. It’s transformed my life for personal reasons and was shared with me by a dear friend years ago who’s no longer alive. But I started re-reading it again out of the blue and you always learn something new when re-visiting a book. I like the following passage on your current self being a collection of your past thoughts and that you can always change yourself if you choose.

Most people look at their current state of affairs and they say, “This is who I am.” That’s not who you are. That’s who you were. Let’s say for instance that you don’t have enough money in your bank account, or you don’t have the relationship that you want, or your health and fitness aren’t up to par. That’s not who you are; that’s the residual outcome of your past thoughts and actions. So we’re constantly living in this residual, if you will, of the thoughts and actions we’ve taken in the past. When you look at your current state of affairs and define yourself by that, then you doom yourself to have nothing more than the same in the future.

 

“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.”
– Buddha

On Being Alive

Yesterday, I drank a cup of coffee way too late into the evening and found myself a little restless as I was trying to fall asleep. I could feel my heart beating, and it was beating fast and hard. I was just in my bed, wrapped by the darkness of my room, quietly listening to my heart beat. And then I had a thought as I was listening to my heart:

“What if this heart stops beating and I don’t wake up tomorrow?”

Of course that’s a dramatic thought and I didn’t actually think I was going to die, but just observing and listening to my heart beat and knowing that it’s been beating since I was born without missing a BEAT like a true solider..  it made me think about how precious life is. If this heart of mine stops beating, it’s all over. And is tomorrow really guaranteed? It was a beautiful realization I had, and I really felt like it was a blessing to wake up this morning and see the sun shine through my windows.

I was reading the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris yesterday and there was a question posed in the book:

“What are some of the choices you’ve made that made you who you are?”

The book interviews a lot of extremely successful people in different fields, so this question was posed to these people to figure out what lead to their success. However, I thought about it and posed it back to myself – what are the choices I’ve made in my past that have lead me exactly at where I am right now? And taking it a step further, what are the choices I CAN and WILL make that will allow me to BECOME the person I will be? When I thought about that, that was an extremely powerful question. Because through the book Conversations with God, there is one concept that keeps repeating itself through the entire series – that life is a process of creation, not a process of discovery.

We’re not here to find something that we’ve been searching for. We’re meant to create whoever we want to be, and we’re creating ourselves in every second of our lives. Literally every choice you make is an expression of who you think you want to be. But the beautiful thing the book mentions is that if you don’t like what you have created, choose something else and create again. It sounds overly simplified, but it’s a fact that we’ve created ourselves to be who we are right now. For most of us, it was probably an unconscious act of creation. But we always have the power to create ourselves and choose again. I think that’s the beautiful thing about life – yes, life is hard and it’s harder for some than it is for others, but each of us is given the power of creation. And creation is not about what you’re doing but it’s about what you’re being while you’re doing. For example, it doesn’t matter that you’re a billionaire CEO if you’re not being happy, fulfilled, inspired, and driven. I think that’s what is meant by creating yourself – not the lifestyle you want or the things you want to have, but the highest state of being and feeling you can achieve in this life. Another beautiful thing is that all of us have different preferences and desires so maybe it IS that having a certain lifestyle and getting a bunch of things will make you reach that state. But it’s never the opposite way around.

Appreciate the fact that your heart is beating right now and even for just today, we can choose to create a beautiful day for ourselves.

“Life doesn’t happen in any other way than that in which we think it will.”

Dancing Between The Extremes

Today I had the humble opportunity to get interviewed for a local newspaper about a new venture I’m starting. I was asked many questions, but one question I was asked was, “What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?” It was strange to be asked that question because that was one of the questions I often pondered about the past few years. But on top of resourcefulness and resiliency, I said a successful entrepreneur is experienced enough to know how to dance between the 2 extremes of optimism and pessimism. What do I mean by that? I mean that ignorant and early “wantrepreneurs” have all of these ideas and think they can be billionaires just by having “the next Facebook.” However what they’ve failed to realize is that they’ve delved into the spectrum of optimism too much and have been blind-sided by the lofty dreams of becoming billionaires and having nice cars and mansions. On the other hand, once first-time entrepreneurs get a taste of “failure” and immediately dive into the deep end of pessimism, they think that their entire world is crumbling before them, and they fail to realize that they have more going for them than they realize.

A successful entrepreneur knows how to elegantly dance between these 2 extremes. Beyond meeting the requirements of having a good idea, assembling a good team and being resilient and resourceful, a good entrepreneur knows how to masterfully dance between the 2 extremes of optimism and pessimism. They know how to keep their head in the clouds but keep their hands on the dirt at the same time. It’s an elegant discipline of knowing how to control your temptations and emotions.

Gratitude

This is just a short thought, but I’ve been re-reading some books on spirituality and living a “good life” and took some golden nuggets from these books that I want to continue using everyday. One of these concepts was on the power of gratitude. I’ve read again and again that gratitude is the most powerful cosmic thought in the Universe, and it’s really impossible to feel bad when feeling grateful. I have so many things in my life to be grateful for, and in my position, I’m aware of it every single moment of every day. But one thought I’ve been having in particular is around how much help we are getting in our lives. Have you realized how much help you’re getting from your friends, family, strangers, co-workers, etc? It’s insane! Many of us like to believe we’re independent and are getting along in life as “lone wolves” but just take a minute to think about all of the help you’re getting in life right now. I wrote down this thought:

Thank you Universe for bringing all of this help my way.