Relatively speaking, I’ve been making some big changes in my own life. Moving from a place where I’ve been comfortable with my surroundings for years on end, to jumping at an opportunity that I know wouldn’t be there if I hesitated, I feel like I need to re-examine what I stand for. As they say if you don’t stand for anything…
1. Seek the truth.
This is one that I’ve always lived. Whether it is in figuring out why you tick the way you do, to why you move a certain way, I’ve always had a curiosity for “why” things are the way they are in life.
Determining the “truth” has lead me down several different paths in life, ranging from learning how to breakdance on my own, to lifting a few hundred pounds from the floor every now and then. However, I’m talking about personal motives here – what is the true meaning behind your actions and words? Is it for money, fame, or power? Do you want to move better to compete in a professional sport, or do you really want to just look great naked? What is your true motive? Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear, or what “society” is telling you to do. What is your “truth” to live by?
2. Respect the body.
Avoid addiction, practice moderation, and learn to respect the body both physically and emotionally. This will allow me to further make hard decisions in life, because all I have to ask myself is whether any particular decision will help or hurt my body. Obviously the answer won’t be available immediately in most cases, and like Dan Ariely says (to paraphrase him), we are most irrational when coming to a rational decision. I’ve had addictions – alcohol, video games, internet, etc.
[My own personal definition of a negative addiction is something that my mind immediately drifts to when I’m not focused – when I first got a job I immediately wanted to have some fun, which led to partying! While it was definitely fun at the time, I realized that I spent quite a bit of time not focusing on the bigger picture at hand.]
We all have our vices, and in reality they are just one form or another some type of distraction aimed at taking away from our goal, which segues nicely into the next rule I live by…
3. Sacrifice for your dreams.
With almost every decision you make in your life, you’ll either take up time or energy. Commuting to work – time and energy. People you spend the most time with – time and energy. The foods you eat – time and energy. In any endeavor you choose, you are sacrificing some sort of time commitment, or energy involvement. In my case, if I allow myself to seek out my own “truth”, and respect the body, I’m more able to determine where I want to go, what I want to do, and who I want to spend time with in my life. Decide on a dream, and sacrifice some sort of time and energy to achieve that dream as quickly as possible. Like Will Smith says…
“Make a choice. Just decide what it’s going to be, who you’re going to be, how you’re going to do it. Just DECIDE! And then from that point the universe is going to get out of your way.”
4. Positive unknowns = Opportunities.
I forget where I got the term “positive unknowns”, but it is a good one. Essentially, a positive unknown is a scenario or opportunity where the outcome is unknown, and to deny jumping at that particular chance or opportunity is to your detriment when it comes to your dreams. If somewhere down the tunnel, I can see a positive light out, I can help not only myself but also others out of the same or similar path. We’ll give this rule a nickname of “experience”…
5. Contribute to the world.
Filter the noise, and actually contribute to the world. My own definition of “contribute to the world” first means helping my family. That is my immediate “world”. My family are the ones who helped raise and develop me – that is the whole picture right there. They sacrificed tons of time and tons of energy into guiding me throughout my everyday life. It would be foolish to ignore contributing to my “world” after all of that.
In other words, just seek to help people. I’d love to help contribute the end of world hunger, but if the World Health Organization can’t quite get there yet (they’ve had a rather large deficit for quite some time now), then I’ll focus on what I can do to change “my own” world first. So develop a perspective on a specific population, and create an environment conducive to progressing that population.