My Method for Finding Purpose Driven Work

An eclectic system to doing the work you were meant for.

Your present:

  • What are your gifts?
  • What do you need to survive?
  • Where are you in societies social structure, and location in the world?
  • What is your personality, nature, characteristics?
  • What is your current knowledge, skills, abilities and capacities?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your deepest wants and desires?
  • Your inner fears and character defects?
  • What are you missing in your life?

After doing some inner work I discovered my personality type; INFP.  Here is what that tells me about myself:

As an INFP, career satisfaction means doing work that:

  1. Is in harmony with my own personal values and beliefs and allows me to express my vision through my work
  2. Gives me time to develop substantial depth to my ideas and maintain control over the process and product
  3. Is done autonomously, with private work space and plenty of uninterrupted time, but with periodic opportunities to bounce my ideas off people I feel respect me
  4. Is done within a flexible structure, with a minimum of rules or regulations, letting me work on projects when I feel inspired
  5. Is done with other creative and caring individuals in a cooperative environment free from tension and interpersonal strife
  6. Lets me express my originality and in which personal growth is encouraged and rewarded
  7. Does not require me to present my work frequently in front of groups of people or be called upon to share before it is completed to my satisfaction
  8. Allows me to help others grow and develop and realize their full potential
  9. Involves understanding people and discovering what makes them tick; allows me to develop deep one-to-one relationships with others
  10. Allows me to work toward fulfilling my ideals and not be limited by political, financial, or other obstacles

Work related Strengths:

  • Thoughtfulness and ability to focus on one issue or idea in depth
  • Eagerness to think outside the box and consider new possibilities
  • Deep commitment to work I believe in
  • Ability to work well alone if necessary
  • Natural curiosity and skill for getting the info I need
  • Ability to see the big picture and to see implications of actions and ideas
  • Perceptiveness about people’s need’s and motivations
  • Adaptability; i can shift gears and change directions easy
  • Ability to work extremely well with people one-on-one

Work related weaknesses:

  • Need to control projects or i may lose interest
  • Tendency toward disorganization and difficulty setting priorities
  • Difficulty working on projects that conflict with my values
  • Reluctance to follow traditional ways of doing things
  • Natural idealism, which may prevent me from having realistic expectations
  • Dislike of doing things in traditional or routine ways
  • Difficulty working in competitive or tension filled environments
  • Lack of discipline about attending to and following through important details
  • Impatients working with structures or people who are too rigid
  • Tendency to be unrealistic about how long things take
  • Reluctance to discipline direct reports and criticize others

The secrets to success for me – develop realistic expectations, value compromise, and not take things quite so personal.

Popular careers for INFPs

  • CREATIVE ARTS
  • artist
  • writer
  • journalist
  • entertainer
  • architect
  • actor
  • editior
  • musician
  • graphic designer
  • editor of magazine
  • editor of website
  • composer
  • film director
  • set designer
  • interior designer
  • desktop publisher – high grow area
  • EDUCATION/COUNSELING
  • College professor
  • Researcher
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counselor – high grow area
  • Social worker
  • Librarian
  • Special ed teacher
  • Consultant – High growth area
  • Child welfare counselor
  • Legal mediator
  • planned-giving officer
  • Philanthropic consultant
  • Career coach
  • Curator
  • Public health educator
  • RELIGION
  • Minister
  • Religious Educator  – High Growth area
  • Missionary
  • Church worker
  • Pastoral Counselor
  • HEALTH CARE
  • Nutritionist
  • Physical therapist – High growth area
  • Home health social worker
  • Occupational therapist – high growth
  • Massage therapist
  • Holistic health practitioner – high growth
  • ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • Human resources deveopment trainer – high growth
  • employee development specialist – high growth
  • Social scientist
  • Diversity manager – human resources – high growth
  • Consultant – team building / conflict resolution
  • Corporate trainer – high growth
  • TECHNOLOGY
  • Customer relations manager
  • Coach – high growth
  • Project Manager
  • Human resources recruiter
  • Educational software developer

Evaluating current work:

  • What would your life look like if you stay on your current career path?  Physically, mentally, and emotionally? Would you be dissatisfied, stressed, etc.? (for me as an electrician with this type of personally it causes me to act outside of my natural behavior.  Causing stress, discomfort, and is unappealing)
  • Keep in mind your own world view and approach reality with as little bias as possible

Thinking of potential ideas:

  • What are you drawn to that you feel in a world of your own?
  • What puts you into a state of flow?
  • What excites you and would make you look forward to waking up?
  • Would you be proud of this work?
  • Can you be excellent at it?
  • Is it aligned with spiritual principles?
  • What do you want? What do you want to see in the world?

Values of the Work (here are mine):

  • Something that is meaningful and positive to myself and all humanity. It changes people for the better
  • Human connection on a one on one basis, but still allows deep individual work
  • Brings me joy and strengthens my higher sense of self
  • Allows me to feel like I am working with a spiritual connection
  • Something I can put my whole heart and being into
  • Not attached to the rewards
  • Has a long term focus and not shortsighted. Can enjoy the journey and not solely focused on an end goal
  • Strives to be the best in the world – Innovative
  • Allows me to express myself and be differientiated through art – passionate, original, creative, and personal that challenges the status quo and changes the recipient
  • Continually challenges me and allows for growth
  • Alignes with my personality and passions
  • Provides a good amount of stability
  • Demands a high skill level and experience
  • Allows the ability to over deliver
  • Able to be fully present when performing
  • Flexible structure

Evaluating the Work:

  • Does the world really need it?
  • Are you able to make a decent living at some point?
  • Will you have co-workers, and if so can you form true friendships with them?  What is the culture like?
  • Would you do it even if you weren’t getting paid?
  • What do you bring to the job of value?
  • How many hours will you need to work and will it allow a balanced lifestyle?
  • Does it allow you to enter a state of flow?
  • Does the work allow for vacation time?
  • Is the labor non-commoditized? Or, are you just another easily replaceable cog?

Next steps to take:

  • What work is currently in front of you?
  • What are the next baby steps you can make to start making changes?
  • How can you test different paths to see how they make you feel with minimal initial investment?
  • How can you be happy in the present until the correct path presents itself at the right time?
  • Be fearless, but not reckless.  Feel the fear, acknowledge it and do it anyway
  • Know that if you surrender and pursue what you feel is right with love. The Universe will support you and course correct along the way and more will be revealed
  • When resistance tells you not to do something, listen, read, attend, etc.  GO! Just do it.  Any route you take that doesn’t lead to success is the result of resistance
  • Refuse to do any sort of busywork like check email, and twitter. Don’t distract yourself with anything but your work
  • It’s that race to completion after an idea is born that makes all the difference
  • Build a habit of writing things down, prioritizing the ideas, building them, and shipping it. Start now, today, and ship.
  • If it doesn’t work and you are not changing anyone keep giving gifts.  Make more art and keep learning from it.  The only other option is becoming a cog again.

 

Spiritual Approach to Working Life

Work, Service & Selflessness From a Spiritual POV

Trying to sum up everything:

Work starts with your entry point in life.  What social class/location you were born into.  From there you need to do some inner work to discover your nature, personality, characteristics, knowledge, ability and capacity. These things will give you some direction. Then, just start with the work that is in front of you at that particular time. Once working, strive to be present and wisely fulfill your duty with your entire being. Knowing that every position is equally important. And with a sense of connection and selflessness for all of the Universe with no attachments to the results. Acting cheerfully out of love.  As you grow and expand in your work/worship to help others and the world, the specific jobs can shift and you can take on new ones.

Various nuggets of wisdom:

Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. Pleasure and happiness come to an end. It is a mistake to suppose that pleasure is the goal; the cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that men foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal to strive for. All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in your own mind. The external world is simply the suggestion, the occasion, which sets you to study your own mind, but the object of your study is always your own mind. 

Like fire in a piece of flint, knowledge exists in the mind; suggestion is the friction which brings it out. So with all our feelings and actions—our tears and our smiles, our joys and our griefs, our weeping and our laughter, our curses and our blessings, our praises and our blames—every one of these we may find, if we calmly study our own selves, to have been brought out from within ourselves by so many blows. The result is what we are; all these blows taken together are called Karma,—work, action. Every mental and physical blow that is given to the soul, by which, as it were, fire is struck from it, and by which its own power and knowledge are discovered, is Karma, this word being used in its widest sense; thus we are all doing Karma all the time. I am talking to you: that is Karma. You are listening: that is Karma. We breathe: that is Karma. We walk: Karma. Everything we do, physical or mental, is Karma, and it leaves its marks on us.

We are responsible for what we are; and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act

The Gita says that it is doing work with cleverness and as a science: by knowing how to work,. one can obtain the greatest results. You must remember that all work is simply to bring out the power of the mind which is already there, to wake up the soul. The power is inside every man, so is knowledge; the different works are like blows to bring them out, to cause these giants to wake up.

Man works with various motives; there cannot be work without motive. Some people want to get fame,and they work for fame. Others want money, and they work for money. Others want to have power, and they work for power. Others want to get to heaven, and they work for the same. Others want to leave a name when they die, as they do in China, where no man gets a title until he is dead; and that is a better way, after all, than with us.

Even the lowest forms of work are not to be despised. Let the man who knows no better, work for selfish ends, for name and fame; but everyone should always try to get towards higher and higher motives and to understand them. “To work we have the right, but not to the fruits thereof.” Leave the fruits alone. Why care for results? If you wish to help a man, never think what that man’s attitude should be towards you. If you want to do a great or a good work, do not trouble to think what the result will be.

The ideal man is he who, in the midst of the greatest silence and solitude, finds the intensest activity, and in the midst of the intensest activity finds the silence and solitude of the desert. He has learned the secret of restraint; he has controlled himself. He goes through the streets of a big city with all its traffic, and his mind is as calm as if he were in a cave, where not a sound could reach him; and he is intensely working all the time. That is the ideal of Karma-Yoga, and if you have attained to that you have really learned the secret of work.

But we have to begin from the beginning, to take up the works as they come to us and slowly make ourselves, more unselfish every day.

Our first duty is not to hate ourselves; because to advance we must have faith in ourselves first and then in God. He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.

Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest ideal, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the truth.

The great duty of the householder is to earn a living, but he must take care that he does not do it by telling lies, or by cheating, or by robbing others; and he must remember that his life is for the service of God, and the poor.

Our duty to others means helping others; doing good to the world. Why should we do good to the world? Apparently to help the world, but really to help ourselves. We should always try to help the world, that should be the highest motive in us; but if we consider well, we find that the world does not require our help at all. This world was not made that you or I should come and help it. I once read a sermon in which was said:—”All this beautiful world is very good, because it gives us time and opportunity to help others.” Apparently, this is a very beautiful sentiment, but is it not a blasphemy to say that the world needs our help? We cannot deny that there is much misery in it; to go out and help others is, therefore, the best thing we can do, although, in the long run, we shall find that helping others is only helping ourselves.

Work, but let not the action or the thought produce a deep impression on the mind; let the ripples come and go; let huge actions proceed from the muscles and the brain, but let them not make any deep impression on the soul.

Karma-Yoga means; even at the point of death to help any one, without asking questions. Be cheated millions of times and never ask a question, and never think of what you are doing. Never vaunt of your gifts to the poor or expect their gratitude, but rather be grateful to them for giving you the occasion of practising charity to them. Thus it is plain that to be an ideal householder is a much more difficult task than to be an ideal Sannyasin; the true life of work is indeed as hard as, if not harder than, the equally true life of renunciation.

Therefore, be “unattached;” let things work; let brain centres work; work incessantly, but let not a ripple conquer the mind. Work as if you were a stranger in this land, a sojourner; work incessantly, but do not bind yourselves; bondage is terrible. This world is not our habitation, it is only one of the many stages through which we are passing.

Krishna says: Look at Me, Arjuna! If I stop from work for one moment the whole universe will die. I have nothing to gain from work; I am the one Lord, but why do I work? Because I love the world. God is unattached because He loves; that real love makes us unattached. Wherever there is attachment, the clinging to the things of the world, you must know that it is all physical, attraction between sets of particles of matter; something that attracts two bodies nearer and nearer all the time, and if they cannot get near enough produces pain; but where there is real love it does not rest on physical attachment at all. Such lovers may be a thousand miles away from one another, but their love will be all the same; it does not die; and will never produce any painful reaction.

To attain this unattachment is almost a life-work, but as soon as we have reached this point we have attained the goal of love and become free; the bondage of nature falls from us, and we see nature as she is; she forges no more chains for us; we stand entirely free and take not the results of work into consideration; who then cares for what the results may be?

In whatever you do for a particular person, a city, or a state, assume the same attitude towards it as you have towards your children—expect nothing in return. If you can invariably take the position of a giver, in which everything given by you is a free offering to the world, without any thought of return, then will your work bring you no attachment. Attachment comes only where we expect a return.

The whole gist of this teaching is that you should work like a master and not as a slave;work incessantly, but do not do slave’s work. Do you not see how everybody works? Nobody can be altogether at rest; ninety-nine per cent. of mankind work like slaves, and the result is misery; it is all selfish work. Work through freedom! Work through love! The word ‘love’ is very difficult to understand; love never comes until there is freedom. There is no true love possible in the slave. If you buy a slave and tie him down in chains and make him work for you, he will work like a drudge, but there will be no love in him. So when we ourselves work for the things of the world as slaves, there can be no love in us, and our work is not true work. This is true of work done for relatives and friends, and is true of work done for our own selves. Selfish work is slave’s work; and here is a test. Every act of love brings happiness; there is no act of love which does not bring peace and blessedness as its reaction.

Therefore the one point we ought to remember is that we should always try to see the duty of others through their own eyes, and never judge the customs of other peoples by our own standard. I am not the standard of the universe. I have to accommodate myself to the world, and not the world to me. So we see that environments change the nature of our duties, and doing the duty which is ours at any particular time is the best thing we can do in this world.

 He told me once the secret of work, “Let the end and the means be joined into one.” When you are doing any work, do not think of anything beyond. Do it as worship, as the highest worship, and devote your whole life to it for the time being. Thus, in the story, the Vyadha and the woman did their duty with cheerfulness and whole-heartedness; and the result was that they became illuminated; clearly showing that the right performance of the duties of any station in life, without attachment to results, leads us to the highest realization of the perfection of the soul.

It is the worker who is attached to results that grumbles about the nature of the duty which has fallen to his lot; to the unattached worker all duties are equally good, and form efficient instruments with which selfishness and sensuality may be killed, and the freedom of the soul secured. 

All good acts tend to make us pure and perfect. What can we do at best? Build a hospital, make roads, or erect charity asylums! We may organise a charity and collect two or three millions of dollars, build a hospital with one million, with the second give balls and drink champagne, and of the third let the officers steal half, and leave the rest finally to reach the poor; but what are all these? One mighty wind in five minutes can break all your buildings up. What shall we do then? One volcanic eruption may sweep away all our roads and hospitals and cities and buildings. Let us give up all this foolish talk of doing good to the world. It is not waiting for your or my help; yet we must work and constantly do good, because it is a blessing to ourselves. That is the only way we can become perfect.

So, always remember the instance of the curly tail of the dog whenever you have a tendency to become a fanatic. You need not worry or make yourself sleepless about the world; it will go on without you. When you have avoided fanaticism then alone will you work well. It is the level-headed man, the calm man, of good judgment and cool nerves, of great sympathy and love, who does good work and so does good to himself. The fanatic is foolish and has no sympathy; he can never straighten the world, nor himself become pure and perfect.

Firstly, we have to bear in mind that we are all debtors to the world and the world does not owe us anything. It is a great privilege for all of us to be allowed to do anything for the world. In helping the world we really help ourselves. The second point is that there is a God in this universe. It is not true that this universe is drifting and stands in need of help from you and me. God is ever present therein, He is undying and eternally active and infinitely watchful. When the whole universe sleeps He sleeps not; He is working incessantly; all the changes and manifestations of the world are His. Thirdly, we ought not to hate any one. This world will always continue to be a mixture of good and evil. Our duty is to sympathise with the weak and to love even the wrongdoer. The world is a grand moral gymnasium wherein we have all to take exercise so as to become stronger and stronger spiritually. Fourthly, we ought not to be fanatics of any kind because fanaticism is opposed to love. You hear fanatics glibly saying, “I do not hate the sinner, I hate the sin;” but I am prepared to go any distance to see the face of that man who can really make a distinction between the sin and the sinner. It is easy to say so. If we can distinguish well between quality and substance we may become perfect men. It is not easy to do this. And further, the calmer we are and the less disturbed our nerves, the more shall we love and the better will our work be.

Are you unselfish? That is the question. If you are, you will be perfect without reading a single religious book, without going into a single church or temple.

 He works best who works without any motive, neither for money, nor for fame, nor for anything else; and when a man can do that, he will be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a manner as will transform the world. This man represents the very highest ideal of Karma-Yoga.

Just as the universe is always in motion we should always be as well.  We should not avoid work. Just as the body would wither away and die if you never moved.  Perform your duties without concern for the results and for the higher good of all. You reap what you sow.

We must be careful not to engage in work in a selfish manner.  It must be done in a spiritual fashion.  Which evolves in the following way (gunas):

  1. tamas – darkeness, ignorance, inertia
  2. rajas – passion, activity, energy
  3. sattva – goodness, light, purity

In every man there are these three forces. Sometimes Tamas prevails; we become lazy; we cannot move; we are inactive, bound down by certain ideas or by mere dullness. At other times activity prevails and at still other times that calm balancing of both. Again, in different men, one of these forces is generally predominant. The characteristic of one man is inactivity, dullness and laziness; that of another, activity, power, manifestation of energy; and in still another we find the sweetness, calmness and gentleness, which are due to the balancing of both action and inaction. So in all creation—in animals, plants and men—we find the more or less typical manifestation of all these different forces.

These three properties of Prakriti’s gunas, which are distributed disproportionately in everyone and are never in equilibrium, decide the difference in one’s call of duty. If you are predominantly sattvic in nature, you will be fitted for one kind of work in this world; one type of participation will be expected from you in the scheme of things. If you are predominantly rajasic for some reason or the other, then you will be assigned some job, some work, some duty according to your particular temperament. But suppose you are basically unfit for other physical reasons, such as the preponderance of tamas, etc.; then, you will have to be taken care of in a different way altogether.

It’s important to be detached and work from a sense of duty.  Not for personal gain or enjoyment.

Every work is equally good. We should not say, “Why should I do this kind of menial work? That person is doing better work.” There is no such thing as menial work and better work in this world. It is all a contribution from one’s own point of view for the total welfare of humanity. Every work is equally divine; every work is equally contributory to the welfare of one’s own benefit as well as others’. Work should not be compared

the concept of dignity of work, and the divinity that one can see in the performance of duty, is to be the guiding factor in one’s daily life; and there should be no complaint either in regard to placing oneself in a so-called inferior position or imagining that somebody else is in a higher position. There is no higher position or inferior position. Each one is fitted for something, and that must be done; and what we are not fitted for, that of course we cannot do. So, we should not complain.

All work is important.  There is no one thing that is better than another.  It is all apart of a larger system that is dependent on each smaller component.  If you take a wheel off a car the end result is that you cannot drive it.  The same goes for if you take the steering wheel off.  A steering wheel, or tire is equally important in the end goal of driving the car.   Our work is the same in the sense that all work is apart of the system of God .  Whether you’re a doctor, or a construction worker building the hospital.. each is dependent on one another for the betterment of humanity.

Where are you starting from?

The Gita calls this your duty.  Just like in the game of cards.  If you get dealt a good hand of cards and play wisely; you have a good chance of winning the game.  If you get dealt a bad hand of cards you have to play the best you can and you can only hope for a small win.  Play either hand foolishly and your odds of losing go up.

The same goes for life.  The hand of cards we are initially handed is our birth into society.

In essence what this is trying to say is you have to accept the life you were given.  If you were born in a very low place it would be very hard for you to say become president.  Or, a smaller person trying to be in the NBA, or NFL.  It’s just not in the your dharma.

The broad four conditions/circumstances of human society people are born into:

  1. Power
  2. Intelligence
  3. Wealth
  4. Labour

The four classes of society are blended together and suppose to support one another.

As time goes by your abilities can change your conditions/circumstances.  But each person should perform their duty to where they where they were placed in society.  Then, it’s possible for someone to go higher.   

Here is what my path looks like:

  1. Not happy with current labor job and would like to jump into one of the other classes (power, intelligence, wealth)
  2. Accept that it is my duty to accept the place I was born into – labour
  3. Evolve into a higher place as my abilities and capacity grow

Where I feel I have struggled with is not accepting reality and wanting to jump from step 1, to step 3.   You may ask.. what’s wrong with jumping to step 3?  Well I think you need to be in the correct place to move into a higher placement.  Part of that involves just loving what is your current reality.  Then, letting go of any expectations or attachments.  And doing your work in a spirit of selfless service.

“Our worship of God should be through the work that we do according to our ability and our concept of duty, performed in a totally unselfish manner”

I kinda think of accepting your duty as a foundation for future work to be built upon.  So as a construction worker.. maybe I would develop into building sustainable homes (wealth class) using the skills and abilities developed from construction work.  Relating it to relationships.  If someone is seeking happiness from their partner because they are unhappy.  They will never truly evolve even if that other person does fill that role.  They first need to become happy with themselves.  Then they will be 100% happy with that other person.

There is also something about letting go of something.  Have you ever wanted something really bad.  Then, when it didn’t come let it go.  Only to find a little later after it was let go it comes into your life?  Maybe this is detachment at work?

If I tried to be the president (power class).  My knowledge and capacity would not be enough and would cause me great stress.  I need to stay out of trying to do other peoples work/duty.

You need to do some inner work, and be brutally honest with yourself of your current knowledge and capacity.  Which will give you your starting point in society.

Many people I read about today are unhappy with their current station in life.  Then try and jump to step 3, but have a hard time as well.  What most do at that point is then sell jumping to step 3 to others.  Without having really accomplished anything for themselves.  This is made very clear in the follow the passion crowd.  A person was an unhappy lawyer.  Then, he is writing books on following your passion and giving talks.  He is selling the dream but he is not living it.

“According to our nature, according to the predilection of our psyche, the inborn characteristic of our own personality will decide what kind of work we have to do and what duty is expected of us. Then we shall not have any kind of fear of sin because we are doing the best that we can—kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam.” – swami-krishnananda

Now, the duty that you are expected to perform in the world is not something imposed upon you by a government, or a social mandate from outside. It is the law of your own nature expecting you to do what is necessary, under the very structure of your own individuality, or jivatva – your personality.

The way to live:

Viviktasevī laghvāśī (18.52): Always wanting to be alone to oneself, and not feeling happy in the midst of people. The more we are alone, the more we feel free and happy. That is the characteristic of a spiritual seeker in an advanced stage. Laghvāśī: Eating only as much as is necessary, and not eating like a glutton. Yatavākkāyamānasaḥ: Working only to the extent it is necessary to work. He does not work beyond his limit and become fatigued. He speaks only when it is necessary to speak, and does not speak unnecessarily. He also restrains the mind, and thinks only when it is necessary to think in a particular line. Otherwise, he does not think anything at all because of his inward spiritual approach. Dhyānayogaparo nityaṁ: Always intent on the supreme meditative mood on the ultimate goal of life. Vairāgyaṁ samupāśritaḥ: Totally renouncing all attachment to worldly involvements, all perishable objects—anything that is external, spatial and temporal—renouncing all these things by vairagya dharma.

The gift of knowledge is a far higher gift than that of food and clothes; it is even higher than giving life to a man, because the real life of man consists of knowledge; ignorance is death, knowledge is life.

The misery that I feel when I am hungry is satisfied by eating, but hunger returns; my misery can cease only when I am satisfied beyond all want. Then hunger will not make me miserable; no distress, no sorrow will be able to move me. So that help which tends to make us strong spiritually is the highest, next to it comes intellectual help, and after that physical help.

We may convert every house in the country into a charity asylum; we may fill the land with hospitals, but the misery of man will still continue to exist until man’s character changes.

It is not actually the work that is the source of your satisfaction; it is the connection of this work with the consciousness of your identity with the whole cosmos. 

Yoga is harmony, and it is also expertness in action. Expertness means the ability to see unity in everything that you do, and in every position in which you are placed.

If you don’t heed this advice that is offered:

If you insist on your own ahamkara and say, ‘I shall do this, and I shall not do that’—then you will be responsible for what follows.” You shall actually perish if you insist on your egoism and say “I shall do this, and I shall not do that” as Arjuna said in the beginning of the First Chapter. Atha cet tvam ahaṁkārān na śroṣyasi vinaṅkṣyasi: “If you do not listen to this good advice and insist on your egoism again and again—well, you will reach nothing finally.”

You have to be vigilant to see that your behaviour and action at any given moment of time is not out of context with the unity of purpose that is to be at the back of it. Otherwise, it will be a drab, desultory work which will please nobody – neither you, nor anyone else.

Even if people inwardly decide not to do anything, not to work at all, and maintain silence, it is not possible. As long as the body and mind—which are the properties of prakriti—are there, and because prakriti is always in a state of motion, it is not possible for any person to be inactive.

“fearlessness”—fear nothing. Fear is a sign of weakness. A man must go about his duties without taking notice of the sneers and the ridicule of the world.

we need not have to engage ourselves in any work later on. Just as rivers move, but they need not move after they reach the ocean, so too one has to work hard until the Universal Being is reached

Resources

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/kyog/index.htm The Secret of Work

http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/bgita/bgita_50.html

http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/gita1/bhagavadgita_05.html

The Last Webinar – Mike Seddon

Even though I have never met Mike in person.  I’ve been receiving value from him through a mastermind group for quite a few years.  Not only in wisdom, but observing the actions he took in service to others.

Dov Gordon gave him the gift to give one last time. Through organizing The Last Webinar.  What an amazing idea!

Notes/thoughts:

  • Wisdom is timeless.  We take in information, but often times do not act on it. And then, we forget about it.  Listening to the webinar will be a good reminder of maybe some things I have already heard. But, putting them in a different and more personal context that hopefully causes me to take action.  Taking action and succeeding and growing is the best way for repaying Mike.
  • We build a business to build a life.  Over time we forget the building a life part.  The business consumes us.  The answer is to build a ritual of stepping back and getting off the treadmill of constant work.  And making sure you’re doing the right things from a higher perspective.  Reminds me of the saying that you can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.  Make sure to take the time to do this.  Mike likes the time period of seven days.
    • Remember
    • Reflect
    • Make a change (even a tiny one)

Reflect and take seven days outside of your business (garden, walk, golf, hike..) to think and make notes about the following questions:

  1. What’s my why, and am I living it? Applies to more aspects of life than just business.  Living your why makes you happy.  Most people say their why is their family… I have to work too much, miss family things etc… and I am doing this all for you.  It is a slippery slope of a trap. Your family is more interested in the time (and connection I would add) that you spend with them than the money you give them.  No child wants their parent to go to work and leave them alone. They want to play with you.  Others usually get into business to escape a job that they no longer like. Mike got fed up with working with idiots.  And those idiots getting promoted because they know how to butter up the senior idiots!  (I can strongly relate to this Mike).  And it’s the same the higher up you go.  That was a lousy why… to run away from something.  But, go deeper.  His why was to really help the small business owners with online marketing and not be a shark out for their money.  When you get your why right you’re really giving of yourself and serving that community. Work becomes purposeful and you love doing it, because you’re doing it for you why. if you’re not doing it out of your why you might as well stay being an employee.  At least you can call in sick if you wanted to.  I really like that Dov chimed in here with “when you have conversations with good people, things become clear”.  The change that you want must be clearer than the path you are currently on.  We make excuses to stick with doing the things we know how to do because the change we want to make is not clear and we don’t know how.  Or, it requires us to do something we’re not so comfortable with.
  2. What does success look like? Starts to bring the money part into the picture.  Most people think of money when trying to answer this.  If that’s the case you have forgotten your why.  But a business should have some number goals to to know what you need to support yourself or family financially and achieve your why.  If it cannot sustain itself then it’s not a business but a hobby.  Which is fine if that is what you want.  Most people either focus on the money too much, or they give away too much of themselves.  But both can waste your life energy.  Build your business around the value you bring to others, and be well paid for it.  Take the middle of the road. Focus on the people you want to help.  Rather than trying to serve everyone to make the most amount of money.  Make sure your vision of success is your own personal vision and is not being shaped by someone else or societal expectations. Ask is this what you really want.  Meditate and reflect on this.  Most people do things out of fear.  One of the most valuable things someone can do is walk out on something they shouldn’t be doing in the face of fear. And they will find what they should be doing.  Be brutally honest with yourself on what you actually want. Don’t let fear stop you. If you aren’t getting the results you want… don’t take it personal.  It’s the process you’re using.  It’s not personal.
  3. Am I enjoying the journey?  Putting too much emphasis on the end result is risky.  You should have goals, but you should make sure you’re enjoying the process.  If your goal causes you not to enjoy the process and live an unbalanced life.  Then you  need to change that goal.  Say the goal is to make $100k a year.  If that doesn’t allow you any time to spend with your family maybe you should lower it to $60k a year and spend 2-3 days a week with family.  You have to know where you want to end up, and you want to know what the next baby step is to take.  How do you want to be as a person as you go through this journey.  Sticking to your why allows you to keep enjoying the journey.
  4. Am I hanging out with the right people?  Some friends and family are going to be toxic your own business.  Even though they may mean well.  Or, they may even be jealous.  Surround yourself with the right people to share the journey.  People can pull you into the mud with them if they aren’t happy.  Share your vision with the right people.  Two types of people.  Stick with the friends you have before the business became successful.  Generally those after may not be true friends.  And surround with like minded entrepreneurs that are on similar journeys.  Don’t surround yourself with people who boost your ego.  Put yourself into groups that challenge and stretch you.  You become the average of the group of people you hang around with. In business and life. Little people talk about other people.  Big people talk about ideas and how to make things happen.  Get away from toxic people.  The right people will help build you in a positive way.
  5. What would happen to my loved ones if I was no longer around?  Buy life insurance if you have people depending on you. Dave Ramsey is a good source for setting yourself up for this process.  Build a business that can run without you.  In cases where you’re injured and can’t work.  Look into automation.  Mike uses IM strategies like member instruction videos that he doesn’t have to constantly work on them.  The membership fees will still come in.  Can loved ones take over everything?  Do they have access to needed items such as computers?

Schedule your Seddon Day now to take time off from daily life and get this process going.

One of the greatest lessons I have pulled from this is highlighting the fact of living the best possible life you can right NOW instead of the thinking you can find a cure later.  I read the responses to Mike through our group emails.  And many of them told Mike to fight and listed alternative therapies and websites of people who have healed from cancer. Proving doctors wrong.

While I do not disagree and am a big believer in alternative medicine.  He chose to follow the path that felt right to him and his situation.

We often live with the thought.. oh this guy beat cancer by using xyz treatment.  If it ever happens to me I can beat it by doing the same.  I will just keep on living my life the way I want and if it happens I can fix it.

Sometimes… and I would say more times than what is highlighted by the media.  You just can’t fix cancer.  As much as we all like to believe in the fairy tale (while they sell us their products…) that against all odds we can beat anything.

Not to say you shouldn’t fight or try everything in your power with the right mental and spiritual framework.  If that is what you think the correct decision is for you.

But sometimes.. the cards just don’t lay in your favor.  And it’s nothing you did wrong.  As they say in racing.. you can’t win them all.

So where does this leave someone?

You certainly don’t want to feel shame when you’re dying.  That you didn’t try the right things, or try hard enough to succeed like the websites/books/etc that beat cancer and causing distraction.

For the person not yet in this position I would say you need to put some serious effort into listening to what Mike had to say and follow his advice.  Pull your head out of the sand and get honest with yourself.

Mike stated he is calm and peaceful about what lies ahead.  And wants to impart some more gifts before he leaves.  He is so relaxed because he has been taking 7 days regularly throughout the years to build a life.  And this has given him the peace ahead.  He is able to end his life happy.

One regret Mike admits to is wishing that he was willing to allow himself permission to be himself earlier in life.  He did that around the time he started his business 15 years ago.

Give yourself permission to be yourself – Mike Seddon

This seems to be exactly what Mike is doing in the face of the unknown with a courageous spirit.  A hero.

Thank you Mike.

 

Global Glue Project

Love the concept of this website (thanks Claire!).  I think I sometimes learn best from seeing real life examples of principles in action. The lessons just seem to stick more. Rather than reading a book, or a person just lecturing.  Though, you can learn from everything.

I’m going to run through some of what is talked about in the videos. I don’t think there is a perfect relationship set of standards and all relationships are unique in their own way.  So I am excited to see this in action in the videos.

  • Electricity between them.  Amazing; and I can say this is awesome after personal experience. :)  Which I had begun to doubt actually happened and people were just on drugs or something.
  • They were both in relationships when they met.  After some time and a random event they finally went out on a date.   A great example of the universe bringing the right person into your life at the right time.  And them allowing that to happen.  If they had forced it when they first met.. with significant others they were attached to at the time.. it could have been ugly.  But instead they just allowed the process to unfold.
  • “After all this fighting, she was able to switch it around and say ‘you’re right, I’m sorry”. David  Supporting her at being 100% great.. and that she can admit to her shit was another great line. Being willing to say you’re wrong and fly in the face of the ego is not easy.  And having a partner that is willing to be brutally honest and say.. “you know what.. I’m calling you out on this…” is great. Because it forces that person to own up to it if they’ve taken a incorrect action.  If they can do that.. the outcome should be positive and cause some growth.
  • Keeping up with being intimate to keep the connection alive is important.
  •  Staying true to yourself and in alignment with who you are is very key.  As stated many times before. You have to love yourself and be happy with yourself before you can be a good partner.  By saying “to not change” I think this is what they were getting at.  To be the best person you can be as an individual.. which carries over to their relationship.  At first, I was a little thrown off by that.  I am a big believer in change and growth.  But when in a relationship those changes and growth should also benefit the relationship.  Where I have seen it go wrong is when one person becomes selfish and grows an area that only serves them and detracts from the relationship.  An example that comes to mind is working a job that requires 70-80 hours a week and all you have time for is work/sleep.  How can you be in a relationship with that other person?  Sometimes you have to do what you have to do when in tough financial times.  But, most of the time when I hear stories of this it is based out of material greed.  And being unhappy/having problems in the relationship.  So a guy would rather avoid the problems/his wife and just keep working.  Instead of facing the reality, communicating and working through things together.
  • I like her giant smile and the way her face lights up when she looks at him. I also love that she mouths what he is saying at about the 50 second mark as he is talking about the cab.  It shows how much that moment meant to them.

Will go through more videos later on..

Balance Point – Joseph Jenkins

Balance Point – Searching for a Spiritual Missing Link; Book Notes

Balance Point - Joseph Jenkins Book

Wicca – witchcraft, craft of the wise.  They were the wise ones in villages that knew about natural healing, legal matters, and spiritual ones.  They were doctors, lawyers, and priests.

They believe in a spirituality that is completely connected nature.

Links:

https://www.wicca.com – “one of the oldest and largest Wicca, Witchcraft and Pagan sites on the Internet!  “

http://www.wicca.org/courses/library.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca

 

Honeybee “Robbing Frenzy” 

Humans are herd animals in small groups and hive animals in large groups.

When a hole is discovered in a hive that isn’t guarded by resident bee’s they start to steal all the honey from it.  It’s kinda like people looting a store during a riot.  They become crazy.  Their natural thinking of sustainability is thrown out the window.

The bees will steal until there is nothing left, or the hole is patched.

 

Humans are in the middle of a robbing frenzy with the earths resources.  Someone who digs an oil well and finds oil is like finding a back door in the bee hive.

Like alcoholics we cannot control this illness.  We’re taught from a young age that excessive material wealth is what we should strive for.

Our population is growing exponentially.  And is dependent on oil for food production.

Our stealing and burring fossil fuels is causing the earth to be sick and heating it up.  The natural cycles can not overcome the excess heat/waste.

The ego acts as a barrier between humans and nature. It blinds us to the destruction we are doing to the planet.  The ego allows us to think we are more important than the earth.  It’s pumped up by material wealth and social status.

Just like addicts.. we are addicted to consumption and afraid to admit and fix the problem.

Global collapse at around 2040 if we don’t change.

Population growth, resource consumption, waste production are all growing at an exponential rate.

 

1992 World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity

Scientist Statement
World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity (1992)

Some 1,700 of the world’s leading scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in the sciences, issued this appeal in November 1992. The World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity was written and spearheaded by the late Henry Kendall, former chair of UCS’s board of directors.

INTRODUCTION

Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.

THE ENVIRONMENT

The environment is suffering critical stress:

The Atmosphere
Stratospheric ozone depletion threatens us with enhanced ultraviolet radiation at the earth’s surface, which can be damaging or lethal to many life forms. Air pollution near ground level, and acid precipitation, are already causing widespread injury to humans, forests, and crops.

Water Resources
Heedless exploitation of depletable ground water supplies endangers food production and other essential human systems. Heavy demands on the world’s surface waters have resulted in serious shortages in some 80 countries, containing 40 percent of the world’s population. Pollution of rivers, lakes, and ground water further limits the supply.

Oceans
Destructive pressure on the oceans is severe, particularly in the coastal regions which produce most of the world’s food fish. The total marine catch is now at or above the estimated maximum sustainable yield. Some fisheries have already shown signs of collapse. Rivers carrying heavy burdens of eroded soil into the seas also carry industrial, municipal, agricultural, and livestock waste — some of it toxic.

Soil
Loss of soil productivity, which is causing extensive land abandonment, is a widespread by-product of current practices in agriculture and animal husbandry. Since 1945, 11 percent of the earth’s vegetated surface has been degraded — an area larger than India and China combined — and per capita food production in many parts of the world is decreasing.

Forests
Tropical rain forests, as well as tropical and temperate dry forests, are being destroyed rapidly. At present rates, some critical forest types will be gone in a few years, and most of the tropical rain forest will be gone before the end of the next century. With them will go large numbers of plant and animal species.

Living Species
The irreversible loss of species, which by 2100 may reach one-third of all species now living, is especially serious. We are losing the potential they hold for providing medicinal and other benefits, and the contribution that genetic diversity of life forms gives to the robustness of the world’s biological systems and to the astonishing beauty of the earth itself. Much of this damage is irreversible on a scale of centuries, or permanent. Other processes appear to pose additional threats. Increasing levels of gases in the atmosphere from human activities, including carbon dioxide released from fossil fuel burning and from deforestation, may alter climate on a global scale. Predictions of global warming are still uncertain — with projected effects ranging from tolerable to very severe — but the potential risks
are very great.

Our massive tampering with the world’s interdependent web of life — coupled with the environmental damage inflicted by deforestation, species loss, and climate change — could trigger widespread adverse effects, including unpredictable collapses of critical biological systems whose interactions and dynamics we only imperfectly understand.

Uncertainty over the extent of these effects cannot excuse complacency or delay in facing the threats.
POPULATION

The earth is finite. Its ability to absorb wastes and destructive effluent is finite. Its ability to provide food and energy is finite. Its ability to provide for growing numbers of people is finite. And we are fast approaching many of the earth’s limits. Current economic practices which damage the environment, in both developed and underdeveloped nations, cannot be continued without the risk that vital global systems will be damaged beyond repair.

Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future. If we are to halt the destruction of our environment, we must accept limits to that growth. A World Bank estimate indicates that world population will not stabilize at less than 12.4 billion, while the United Nations concludes that the eventual total could reach 14 billion, a near tripling of today’s 5.4 billion. But, even at this moment, one person in five lives in absolute poverty without enough to eat, and one in ten suffers serious malnutrition.

No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished.
WARNING

We the undersigned, senior members of the world’s scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.
WHAT WE MUST DO

Five inextricably linked areas must be addressed simultaneously:

We must bring environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems we depend on.
We must, for example, move away from fossil fuels to more benign, inexhaustible energy sources to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of our air and water. Priority must be given to the development of energy sources matched to Third World needs — small-scale and relatively easy to implement.
We must halt deforestation, injury to and loss of agricultural land, and the loss of terrestrial and marine plant and animal species.

We must manage resources crucial to human welfare more effectively.

We must give high priority to efficient use of energy, water, and other materials, including expansion of conservation and recycling.

We must stabilize population.

This will be possible only if all nations recognize that it requires improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning.

We must reduce and eventually eliminate poverty.

We must ensure sexual equality, and guarantee women control over their own reproductive decisions.
DEVELOPED NATIONS MUST ACT NOW

The developed nations are the largest polluters in the world today. They must greatly reduce their overconsumption, if we are to reduce pressures on resources and the global environment. The developed nations have the obligation to provide aid and support to developing nations, because only the developed nations have the financial resources and the technical skills for these tasks.

Acting on this recognition is not altruism, but enlightened self-interest: whether industrialized or not, we all have but one lifeboat. No nation can escape from injury when global biological systems are damaged. No nation can escape from conflicts over increasingly scarce resources. In addition, environmental and economic instabilities will cause mass migrations with incalculable consequences for developed and undeveloped nations alike. Developing nations must realize that environmental damage is one of the gravest threats they face, and that attempts to blunt it will be overwhelmed if their populations go unchecked. The greatest peril is to become trapped in spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic, and environmental collapse.

Success in this global endeavor will require a great reduction in violence and war. Resources now devoted to the preparation and conduct of war — amounting to over $1 trillion annually — will be badly needed in the new tasks and should be diverted to the new challenges.

A new ethic is required — a new attitude towards discharging our responsibility for caring for ourselves and for the earth. We must recognize the earth’s limited capacity to provide for us. We must recognize its fragility. We must no longer allow it to be ravaged. This ethic must motivate a great movement, convincing reluctant leaders and reluctant governments and reluctant peoples themselves to effect the needed changes.
The scientists issuing this warning hope that our message will reach and affect people everywhere. We need the help of many.

We require the help of the world community of scientists — natural, social, economic, and political.
We require the help of the world’s business and industrial leaders.
We require the help of the world’s religious leaders.
We require the help of the world’s peoples.
We call on all to join us in this task.

A shaman is a healer.

Cacao is a seed that gives great strength and stamina.

We’re all the same.  We are all connected.  When someone harms the earth they harm all life.  Our spirit is what connects our human mind to a higher mind. The more we develop the more we realize how connected we are to nature and the great mystery.

Our awareness of the true extent of life is very limited. So we have created myths to explain it all.  Or religions.

We don’t have the answers.  We are just one life form in a vast universal, continuum of life.

The more spiritually evolved be become the more we notice that we are also a part of  everything outside and beyond ourselves.  We are just a tiny piece of a greater whole.

The key is reaching a balance of selflessness and self awareness.  The people who harm the earth are out of balance.

The world around us is the only part of the unknown mystery that is known to us.

We are balanced when we live in harmony with the larger whole. With all of life and the earth.

A true spiritual relationship can only exist between you and something that actually exists. 

Spiritual – We are all apart of a Greater Being.  We are linked to it.  Everything is connected.  Awareness of that connection is spirituality.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Our spirit becomes ill when we think we are apart from the rest.

We need to see that we are apart of an unlimited consciousness.

Oneness is the essence of spirituality.

Religion separates and is based on belief. Spirituality is based on awareness.

Being balanced leads to leading a healthy, productive, rewarding life that is without pollution, waste, greed that is common in our culture.

This point is different for everyone on one person may lean on one side or the other.

A spiritual person can participate in religion without actually believing the myths.  Myths are dogma.

Churches provide charity, social connection, inspiration for many. But they need to get more into spirituality and based more on reality. People need to feel a connection to what they are actually apart of.  You can’t have a connection to some mythical human figure. We are apart of a living universe.

The life that continues after you die is the life on Earth.

The first step is to admit the problems exist and not feed our egos and deny it.  Then use our brains to solve the problems.

GDP is measured by money spent.  But we are not admitted we are losing wealth because the natural resources are not being replenished.

If we change our consumption habits it will cause huge shifts if it hits a tipping point and forces bad businesses out of the market.

As a business owner I can no longer pursue a simple goal of just profit.  I have to think about the rest of the world and posterity when I have any interaction with the economy.  As a consumer I can refuse to buy things that doesn’t support this mission.

When you get in touch with this balance point you will know that you are in the right mix of selflessness and selfishness. You will feel it.

We who are alive today.. right now will determine the future of humanity.

Vagabonding – Rolf Potts

I finally read the book Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.

Vagabonding - Rolf Potts

Book Notes:

Vagabonding is about taking a break from everyday life and traveling the world on your own terms.  It’s about improving your life not in relation to others, but to yourself.

Long term travel is about being more deliberate.  It’s learning what you truly want and what adds value to your travels.   Your personal outlook is more important than money, age, race, etc.

It’s about using the possibility and prosperity of the info age to provide you more freedom rather than material possessions.

It’s about finding adventure in our normal lives.

It’s about how we use the most precious resource we have.. time.

Earning your freedom to travel involves working.  Working for your freedom builds its value and makes you appreciate freedom more.  Working allows you time to plan, get rid of any loose ends, and teaches you to be happy in the journey to your destination.

“I don’t like work, but I like what is in the work- the chance to find yourself.” – Joseph Conrad

The meaningful part of your life and travels begin with work at home.  It allows you to clear up whatever needs to be cleared up before your travels.  Then, travel will not be an escape from your life, but a discovery of your real life.

“Regardless of how long it takes to earn your freedom, remember that you are laboring for more than just a vacation.  A vacation, after all, merely rewards work. Vagabonding justifies it.”

Make work serve your interests.

Material investment such as health food does very little to help the state of the planet.  And a notion that it’s more important than personal investment is what leads so many people to think this sort of thing is outside of their grasp.

Travel isn’t something you buy.  It’s something you give yourself into.  Through simplicity and using your resources wisely.

Remember wealth isn’t about the things you consume, or own.  It’s about having time and using it how you want.

Time is what you need to live.  Switch the game from material to time. 

Save whatever money you can make to help you meet basic survival needs, but spend your time lavishly to create the life values that you’re passionate about.

As you soak in the new found time; you can’t help but grow as a person.

Travel will help you simplify your life because it demands it.  You can’t bring a bunch of unneeded junk along with you on your travels.

Principles of simplifying your life:

  1. Stop unnecessary consumption/expanding
  2. Optimize your daily routine to lower expenses below your means (cook instead of eating out)
  3. Reduce clutter/possessions

Get out of any debt.

Keeping expenses low while traveling is key.  Sleep in hostels, take local transportation, eat at local vendors not expensive restaurants, etc.

Traveling on the cheap may become preferred over expensive options.  The simplicity will save you money and buy you time, make you more adventurous, allows you to meet others more easily, etc.

Seeking simplicity at home and while traveling will help you find a new meaning of life.  Time.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. – St. Augustine”

Vagabonding teaches you that the most rewarding experiences are usually ones that find you by accident.  And this will help you from your worldview and develop a great outlook on life.

Most people are afraid of traveling, but after the first couple days you will most likely be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner.

The secret of adventure is not to carefully seek it out but to travel in such a way that it finds you.  Open yourself up to unpredictability. Instead of spending 10 thousand dollars on a climbing expedition bike through local towns.  Put off your destination until you get to a bus stop.  Follow your intuition.  Leave yourself open to both good and bad experiences.  Trust chance and always learn from it as you go.

Adventure is whatever you allow to find you.  Bad experiences can be seen as increasing your knowledge of the world.  Don’t seek the bad, but make the best of it.

Be open to reality and accept it for what it is.

Strive to find a balance of finding yourself and losing yourself on the road.  Doing so will require some creativity. Mix things up a bit. If you have been traveling alone find someone to spend time with.  Instead of taking a plane rent a boat or walk. Take a random job. Volunteer.

Hitting the road and letting go of material is a spiritual journey.  Your choice to enrich your life with life experience and time will pay spiritual dividends.  Without all the day to day stuff that complicates our life travel forces us to look within for meaning.   It leaves you with nothing to find behind and pushes you into the present.

Jesus – The kingdom of God is within you.  It is pointless to look to otherworldly realms for revelation.

Buddha – Enlightenment comes from taking apart the conditioned personality.

God favors what we do now.

Spirituality is a process that deepens with time.  Instant results can not be had.  Just like the gym.  It requires openness and realism.

Life itself is a joinery just a your travels.  And the lessons learned in both go hand in hand. Keep the envy, fear, selfishness, vanity, prejudice at bay.  Be creative and open minded to get into adventures.  Keep things real and keep learning.  Keep your spirit growing and life simple.

Most important; keep living in a way that allows your dreams room to breathe.  Don’t get tied down with debts because you never know when you will want to hit the road again.

Your travels never truly end.

 

 

 

 

Living in a Van Behind Walmart

Wow what an awesome story of a dude that embodies simple living.  While actually living and not all about the consumer lifestyle our society promotes.

Here is what I am learning about people who live in cars.  There are people who are forced into it.  Live in their vehicles and do drugs, drink, etc.  These are the people most think of when they see a person in this circumstance.

But, there are also people who choose to live below their means.  Allowing them the freedom to truly enjoy their life on their own terms.

Is life about working your life away to buy a large expensive house with rooms and stuff you don’t use.  Or, is it about who you are, how you relate to others, freedom, and the experiences you have along the journey?

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http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12420393/top-blue-jays-prospect-daniel-norris-lives-own-code

Some of my top quotes:

For almost 80 years, his father and grandfather owned and operated a small bicycle shop in car-dependent Johnson City, and their store was not only a place to sell bikes but a way to spread their family values and popularize a belief system. Play outdoors. Love the earth. Live simply. Use only what you need.

Being alone on the mound reminded him of being out in the wild, where he was forced to solve his own problems and wrestle with self-doubt.

Most players had spent $10,000 or more on laptops, jewelry and headphones. Norris returned with only a henley T-shirt from Converse, bought on sale for $14. It’s been a fixture of his wardrobe ever since.

It’s enough to live in a van, but just barely. “I’m actually more comfortable being kind of poor,” he says, because not having money maintains his lifestyle and limits the temptation to conform. He never fills Shaggy beyond a quarter tank. He fixes the van’s engine with duct tape rather than taking it to a mechanic. Instead of eating out with teammates, he writes each night in a “thought journal” that rests on the dashboard.

“Research the things you love,” he wrote one night. “Gain knowledge. It’s valuable.”

“Be kind. Be courteous. Love others and be happy. It’s that simple.”

“Where else can you be as free as by yourself in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of the ocean, or on the peak of a mountain. Adventure is freedom.”

This is his favorite beach in Florida, a 25-foot stretch of sand separated from the road by a line of palm trees, a place so public that nobody else seems to notice it. The traffic cruises by on the causeway at 50 miles an hour, and he has the beach to himself. He comes here to paddleboard, to read and to journal. Once, after a morning in the water, he returned to the beach and fell asleep on his surfboard. A few hours later, he felt the cold chill of water on his foot and awoke to see that the tide had risen and swept him back out into the ocean on his board. He was quite a distance from shore, out there by himself, disoriented and scared. “That was one of the best moments of my life,” he says.

“WHAT I’LL DO, IF BASEBALL GOES WELL, IS I’LL BECOME EVEN MORE OF AN AMBASSADOR FOR THE THINGS I REALLY CARE ABOUT. ”

– DANIEL NORRIS

Cutting Grocery Costs

So I have decided to tackle my grocery bill.  It’s typically $100-150 a week.  Which comes out to $400-600 a month.

Using the formula for retirement. ” 4% withdrawal rate -> 1/0.04 = 25 times annual expenses = 300 times monthly expenses.”

At the upper end that tells me that in retirement I would need $180,000 to sustain that eating style.

My goal is to get down to $150 a month in food expenses which requires only $45,000.  So I would not have to save that extra $135,000.

In the future I also plan to grow some food and get a few chickens for eggs.  This should lower it to the $100 range.   Saving even more money.

I want to do this in a healthy way that provides good fuel for my body.  Preferably in a macro profile that is 40-50% carbs, 10-25% fat, and 30% protein.

How am I going to do this?

Lets look at a sample day:

  • 3 eggs $2.99 a dozen for Phil’s eggs.  $.25 a egg = $.75 total
  • 1 cup rolled oats – $.18 a serving (1/2 cup) – $.36 total
  • 1 cup pinto beans dry – $.05 a serving = $.20 total
  • 2 tablespoon flax seed – $.15 a serving = $.30 total
  • 16 oz of Alaskan Pollock – $.60 a serving = $2.39 total
  • 1 cup brown rice – $.12 a serving = $.48 total

Total daily cost = $4.48

Monthly cost = $125.44

Calories = 1984 which is a good amount for me to maintain my weight.  If I wanted to cut weight I would cut back on the carbs a bit and add some more protein.  Maybe another serving of eggs at night.    If I wanted to gain weight/muscle I would just add more servings.

Macros = 54% carbs, 18% fat, 28% protein.

My main concern is low moderate fat intake and enough protein for my lean body mass.  This provides 147 grams of protein so I can eliminate any need for expensive and highly processed protein powders.

Now I also add in some additional foods such as fruit and veggies which will easily add up to $25 a month.

This trip I bought 2 pounds of carrots ($2.00), salsa ($1.99), hummus ($5.69), frozen organic berries ($12.36 a bag = $2.13 a cup), Ezekiel bread ($3.99), pears ($1.76).

I will also buy nuts in bulk and make my own nut butter using my Vitamix blender.

Cooking will be done by first sprouting the nuts, seeds and grains to remove anti-nutrients and boost bio available nutrients.

Here is some good info on sprouting:

“Nuts, seeds, grains, and beans are nutritional powerhouses. However, the natural agents that protect them from early germination can wreak havoc in our digestive system. Soaking and sprouting replicates germination, which activates and multiplies nutrients (particularly Vitamins A, B, and C), neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, and promotes the growth of vital digestive enzymes.

Soaking and sprouting is very easy. The method is exactly the same for nuts, seeds, grains, and beans—only the time required for full germination changes. (See the table below.)

Please note: Many “raw” nuts and seeds have been pasteurized and irradiated. Truly raw almonds and peanuts will sprout, but those that have been pasteurized and irradiated will “activate” with soaking, but will not physically “sprout.” However, soaking still removes anti-nutrients (compounds that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients), increases nutrient density, and makes the nuts more digestible.

 

HOW TO SOAK NUTS, SEEDS, GRAINS, AND BEANS

PLACE  in a large glass bowl or mason jar, and cover with warm, filtered water (about a 2:1 ratio) and about ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt. Cover with a light cloth for desired time.

RINSE food thoroughly and drain.

USE these activated “non sprouts” immediately to make plant-based “milks.” You can also cook soaked and rinsed grains immediately, using them just as would un-sprouted grains in any of your favorite recipes or as a bed for vegetable dishes. Do note that most soaked grains only need a 1:1 water/broth ratio to be cooked through because they are already plumped with water.

OR

DEHYDRATE in a food dehydrator at no higher than 115º F for 12 to 24 hours, and store in sealed glass containers in the fridge. Beware: If nuts are not completely dry, they will develop mold.

 

HOW TO SPROUT NUTS, SEEDS, GRAINS, AND BEANS

GET a quart-sized (or larger) mason jar. Remove the solid middle insert of the lid, and cut a piece of cheesecloth or breathable mesh to fit inside.

FILL one-third of the jar with nuts, seeds, grains, or beans, and fill the rest of the jar with warm, filtered water and about ½ tsp Celtic sea salt. Screw the lid on with cheesecloth or breathable mesh screen in place.

SOAK For soaking times, see table below.

DRAIN/RINSE Remove the mesh insert of the lid, and replace with metal insert. Pour the soaking water out of the jar, fill with fresh water, replace lid, and rinse well by shaking jar. Replace the metal insert with the mesh lid again, and drain. 

INVERT the jar and lay at an angle so that air can circulate, and the water can drain off. Allow to sit in the light.

REPEAT this process, rinsing every few hours, or at least twice daily.

WAIT  In 1 to 4 days, the sprouts will be ready. Sprouts vary from 1/8-inch to 2-inches long. When ready, rinse sprouts well, drain, and store in a jar (with the solid part of the lid replaced) in the fridge.

ENJOY within  2 to 3 days. Sprouts are a fabulous nutrient-rich addition to raw salads, sandwiches, and wraps, and are also tasty in smoothies, soups, and stews.

 

 

FOOD SOAKING TIME (hours) SPROUTING TIME (days)
Almonds 8-12 No Sprouting (if pasteurized) 3 Days (if truly raw)
Adzuki Beans 8-12 4
Amaranth 8 1-3
Barley 6 2
Black Beans 8-12 3
Brazil Nuts 3 No Sprouting
Buckwheat 6 2-3
Cashews 2-4 No Sprouting
Chickpeas/Garbanzo 8 2-3
Flaxseeds ½ No Sprouting
Hazelnuts 8-12 No Sprouting
Kamut 7 2-3
Lentils 7 2-3
Macadamias 2 No Sprouting
Millet 5 12 hours
Mung Beans 8-12 4
Oat Groats 6 2-3
Pecans 6 No Sprouting
Pistachios 8 No Sprouting
Pumpkin Seeds 8 3
Radish Seeds 8-12 3-4
Sesame Seeds 8 2-3
Sunflower Seeds 8 12-24 hours
Quinoa 4 2-3
Walnuts 4 No Sprouting
Wheat Berries 7 3-4
Wild Rice 9 3-5

 

PLEASE NOTE: Sprouts can be subject to contamination which can result in bacterial growth such as E. coli, leading to food-borne illnesses. Always purchase organic fresh products from a reputable source, wash your hands thoroughly before handling foods, and keep sprouting equipment and all kitchen surfaces clean to avoid cross contamination. Always consume sprouts within a few days, fresh and straight out of the fridge. Some health organizations also recommend consuming them cooked to reduce the risk of infection. I certainly consume raw homemade sprouts, and have never had an issue. Decide what is a responsible choice for you and your family.”

Then I will use a pressure cooker to cook beans/rice/potatoes.

Water – I drink lots of water and found myself going through 1-2 cases of water a week.  Closer to two cases.

I have purchased a reverse osmosis filtration system to make my own water.  I will monitor water qualities with a TDS meter to know the water is filtered properly and when to change the filters.

Cases of water typically cost $3.99 a case.  Making my own water will cost $.44 a case.  And I will avoid any PCB’s from the plastic bottles by using stainless steel reusable bottles.  Saving the environment as well.

Summary:  Lots of healthy whole foods at a affordable cost.  Plus lots of clean water equals a great diet, body, and life.  Not to mention saving $350-450 a month and not having to save an extra $135,000 in a retirement account just for food expenses.

 

 

New Personal Training Website

I finally completed my CPT with NASM in October 2014.  It had been a long time coming.  During my motocross racing years I fell in love with training and pushing myself physically.

I searched for something I was passionate about for many years.  One of the questions I would ask myself is..

“If money was of no object.. what would I do everyday?”

I found an answer.   I found what I would do without working is working out and studying about health and fitness.

So I clearly learned that I had a passion for the fitness industry.  The next question was how do I help people and make a living? I was turned off by the big box gyms that pushed sales.  Trainers are on a commission pay basis most of the time.  This forces them on selling and not on helping clients.  This is the opposite of how I feel.  The clients results should be number one priority.  Not selling.

I now have a answer for that question as well.

Announcing my new website for personal training: BiologicPerformance.com.

The goal with this new company is to directly work with people.  Helping them live longer and healthier lives and get the most out of their body at the same time.  Losing body fat, gaining strength and feeling better.

I am going to initially offer a variety of personal training options.  As time goes on this may change based on feedback and which method produces the best results for clients.

Check it out and let me know what you think.  And if you’re looking for help with your health and fitness feel free to get in touch.