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86% of your week is problem free Pt 2

Yesterday’s post (click here to read) addressed the idea that our problems, measured as physical events occurring in real-time, constitute a very small percentage of  our actual lives. Yet, these “small” problems seem to set the tone of our entire day. A 15 minute argument with a co-worker can amount to a week’s worth of sleeplessness. Let’s talk a bit about why this happens.

Most problems are imaginary

One of the primary reasons that small problems seem to consume so much of our energy is because we’re conditioned to use our imagination against ourselves.

Not only do we argue with the “jerks” at work, but we take them home with us in our imaginations and continue our debates. We fantasize about what we should have said or will say next time. Not only do we embarrass ourselves at work, but we actively choose to subject ourselves to the experience over and over again by reenacting it in our imagination.

It’s bad enough when others seem to create trouble for us. It’s even tougher when we create trouble for ourselves by voluntarily meditating on unpleasant experiences.

It seems that in many cases where “bad” events do happen to us, our greatest problem lies in how we use our imaginations to sustain and amplify the existence of the event.

If you can’t find it on a map, it’s in your mind

As physical events, most of your unpleasant encounters don’t even exist anymore. They’re nowhere “out there” for you to find.

That embarrassing moment you had last month when you put your foot in your mouth? You’d have to hop into a time machine to find it now.

The guy who cut you off in traffic this morning is not in front of you right now. He’s somewhere having the time of his life at a pool party while you can’t even enjoy your dinner because you keep talking about him.

Get inside of your own head before someone else does

Most of your troubles exist primarily in the mental world of memory, imagination, and interpretation.

If you can just get control of that, you can significantly reduce the amount of daily stress, frustration, and unhappiness you feel.

Resist the temptation to start dwelling on the things you can’t change (ie. past events that don’t exist anymore).

Focus more on what’s going on inside of you and you’ll have a lot more psychological and physical energy available for the more difficult problems.

In the future, I’ll be talking more about how you can reduce stress by reorganizing and gaining more control over the contents of consciousness.

For now, that’s today’s two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

86% of your week is problem free

 
Conflict is an idea that exist primarily in the mind. As I minimize conflict in my thoughts, I reduce conflict in my experience.

90% mind, 10% matter

Have you ever heard the idea that your world is 90% mind, 10% matter?

It’s been well said that “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”. Let’s really think about this for a moment, because this would be a very important concept if it’s actually true.

Even if we can’t do anything about 10% of our lives, 90% is still an awfully high percentage to maintain control over. Most people I know would be thrilled if they could just improve their lives by a mere 50%.

What’s the bottom line?

Let’s conduct a thought experiment.

Close your eyes and imagine an unpleasant experience from your past. It can be an argument with a friend, an embarrassing moment at work, whatever makes you feel unpleasant. Take your time and relive that experience thoroughly. Done?

Now ask yourself “how long was that event in real-time?” How much time did you actually spend arguing with your friend or embarrassing yourself at work? Please keep in mind the fact that I am not asking you to measure how long the problem affected you? I only want you to calculate how long the physical event of being in the presence of the problem actually lasted.

Do the math

While most of our unpleasant experiences may be relatively short-lived, let’s just assume that your experience lasted for a full, non-stop, uninterrupted period of 24hrs.

Now take 24hrs and divide that by the number of hours you’ve lived in the past week (168hrs per week).

24hrs/168hrs= 0.14

So that problem, measured as a physical event, constitutes about 14% of your life in the past week alone.

Is this not astonishing?

How can an unpleasant event that only comprises a meager 14% of our entire week, dominate our whole lives?

In Tomorrow’s post, I’ll give my two cents on why we allow “the 14%”, or what Richard Carlson called “the small stuff”, to push us around and block us from the life of happiness that is rightfully ours.

I hope you’ll join me. In the meantime, keep your head up.

Cheers 🙂

T.K. Coleman

The unwanted is the underestimated in disguise Pt 2

I ended my last post (click here to read) by mentioning the power we have to promote problematic people and situations to a more useful function in life through the making of slight adjustments in perspective. Let’s continue following that train of thought.

The power of the processing process

 
You are free to be my enemy. I cannot control your freedom of choice with my thoughts. But I am free to process my personal experience of you in whatever manner I choose and it is this choice, alone, which determines my fate in life.

What is often left out of most discussions on dealing with unwanted people and conditions, is the sovereignty we maintain in how we “process” our experiences. “Processing” refers to a set of activities which include interpreting what a given event  means, assessing the value it has, determining what its relationship is to other elements in one’s life, and deciding what kind of response best fits the situation.

Understanding the options available to us in the “processing process” is the key to realizing the limitless extent of our creative power. More specifically, in this context, “processing” is the primary tool we use to maintain the control necessary to alchemize the personal and circumstantial enemies in our lives.

The coat of many colors

In the Book of Genesis, we are told the story of Joseph, the boy who wore the coat of many colors. As a child, his heart was filled with many wonderful dreams. But his brothers envied him and sold him into slavery. They stripped him of his prize coat, poured the blood of an animal over it, and concocted a story of how he’d been killed by a wild beast.

While most people would have been emotionally and spiritually defeated by such a cruel act of betrayal, Joseph kept his focus on well-being. Joseph had been stripped of his material coat, but that was only a temporary outer symbol of his inward ability to colorfully clothe the unwanted conditions of his life with creative thinking.

The energy of his positive focus radiated throughout the Universe and attracted a sequence of seemingly miraculous events which culminated in him becoming a great ruler. At a later time, when his brothers apologized, Joseph said to them;

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Joseph understood this great principle of thinking in harmony with the laws of well-being.

Affirming autonomy in the face of adversity

This philosophy is not a matter of letting people run over us. Nor is it a lesson which promises that we will be loved by all people.

This is a powerful dosage of esoteric wisdom which reminds us of the divinely endowed ability we have to transform our reality through the creative power of thought.

When we affirm autonomy in the face of adversity; and confess order in the presence of opposition, then we summon only those qualities from others that find agreement with our harmonious thoughts.

In this way, we “please the Lord.” When we “please the Lord”, those people, places, and conditions which once seemed to work against us will take on a new function. Though they may swear against our joy, they will be the very instruments by which that joy is obtained.

There’s an old saying “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Well, the reverse is also true. If someone can’t beat you, then they must join you. If you let no one defeat your joy, then they must become a contributor to your joy, whether they know that’s what they’re doing or not.

That’s just how powerful you are when you think in harmony with the Divine Order that exists at the very center of your being.

That’s my two cents. How do you intend to invest that?

T.K. Coleman

Evidence is overrated: It’s not what you can show, it’s what you know

You can’t prove the existence of a headache, but it still hurts

Some facts can be known, but not shown. Anyone who’s ever followed a court case knows this all too well, but this is also true of everyday life.

If you have a headache, there’s no way you can prove it to me. A headache, by definition, is a subjectively experienced sensation of pain. I can take your word for it that you have one, but I can’t know for sure since I don’t actually feel the pain in YOUR head. Even if your eyes were bloodshot red and tears were pouring out as you clutched a bottle of Tylenol, I could still choose to remain unpersuaded. You might be acting in an overdramatic manner. There are other possible reasons for why you could be exhibiting those symptoms. Who knows for certain?

But here’s the important part; Even though I am capable of remaining skeptical about your alleged headache experience, YOU still have a very good reason for believing it. After all, arguments aside, you have a direct experience of the headache. My skepticism doesn’t undermine the rationality of what you accept as true.

We’ve all been in situations where we knew we knew something, but we just couldn’t explain it. Then we see someone else who’s better at illustrating things come along and makes it as plain as day. Why is that? Because knowing and showing aren’t the same thing.

Knowing versus showing

To know something means you have a personal awareness of it through direct experience.

To show something means you have the ability to offer a presentation that will convince others of what you know.

Knowing is an internal state.

Showing is a skill.

Here’s my two cents on knowing and showing:

The inability to show others what you know does not negate the validity of what you think, feel, and believe.
 

Your life is not a game of show and tell

Some people in this world will try to make you feel as if you’re silly, naive, and uninformed simply because you can’t answer their tough questions or refute their skeptical claims. They don’t feel you have a right to believe what you believe if they are unconvinced by your convictions.

I’m here to say that you don’t owe these people an explanation or proof of any kind.

Your personal philosophy of life is not determined by a jury vote. You get to choose your own way of thinking regardless of anyone else’s opinions. Evidence is important when it comes to finding what resonates with you in your own pursuit of truth, but it is grossly overrated in relationship to other people’s need to approve of what you think.

The quality of your life is not determined by other people’s opinions, but by your opinions. Their opinions have no relevance at all until you form an opinion that it does.

Since the benefits and consequences of your beliefs are most fully experienced by you, then you, and you alone, are the one who needs to be convinced.

Anyone else can have a piece of my two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Do you want to have the last word or the last laugh? Doers and Debaters

In life, there are Doers and Debaters. Doers are people who act on their desires and follow their dreams regardless of what anyone else thinks. They do things that make them happy and they tend to live deeply satisfying lives. Debaters, on the other hand, are people who orient their lives primarily around the activity of scrutinizing and reacting to what Doers do. They don’t necessarily accomplish anything, but they rarely lack an opinion about those who do.

Debaters who appear to be Doers

The line is not easily drawn between the two groups. Some people who appear to be Doers are actually Debaters. They have the outer appearance of being a mover or a shaker and they might actually get a lot of “stuff” done or possibly make large amounts of money, but they are hesitant to move an inch when it comes to doing what they really want to do. While they may stay busy as far a physical activity is concerned, they fear taking the slightest risk in the direction of anything that might dare to make them feel alive. Their true nature as debaters is revealed only when one sees how passionate they are about arguing for their limitations when someone challenges them to be true to themselves.

Doers who appear to be Debaters

Sorting out the Debaters is equally thorny. Some people, like certain political analysts, film critics, and sports commentators, seem to be Debaters because they write and debate a lot about what’s going on in the world. But when you look beyond the surface, you find that they are very enthusiastic and enterprising people who are proactively creating opportunities through their passion for critical thinking and provocative discussion. Their true nature as Doers is revealed when one observes how consistently they show up to their blogs, podcasts, coffee shops, office desks, pulpits, and podiums to do the work that turns them on and makes life worth living.

What am I?

So, you may be asking “Well, am I a doer or a debater?”

In one sense, we’re all Doers. Either we’re doing what we really want to do or we’re doing what we’ve been conditioned to think we have to do. In the sense I’m discussing here, you’re a doer if you’re doing or preparing to do what YOU really want to do.

By the same measure, we’re all Debaters. When the subject of “living your dreams” or “practicing a self-authentic lifestyle” comes up, either we argue for our possibilities or we defend our limitations and excuses. In the sense I’m discussing here, you’re a debater if you’re the person who uses his logic and reasoning skills to keep coming up with really awesome reasons for why you just can’t live the life YOU really want to live.

Are you a doer or a debater?

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

 Am I doing that which is consistent with my highest values and excitement or am I doing something less?
 
Am I arguing for my limitations or am I allowing my possibilities?
 
Am I taking the emotional, mental, and physical steps towards expressing MY Authentic Self or am I too busy analyzing someone else’s life and work?
 
Am I living my life to have the last word or am I living my life to have the last laugh?

The choice is yours. Make it count. That’s my two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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