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TK’s Two Cents: Don’t let me set your agenda! Part II

I ended the most recent post promising to return with “my two cents on how to ensure you stay on the winning side of life in a world of conflicting agendas.” Let’s delve in…

A world of agendas

 
Entire religions, political factions, businesses, & philosophies are based on how people see reality and their place within it. Their funding and future growth depends on enough people espousing a certain viewpoint.
 
Products can’t be sold unless consumers first buy into ideas that are consistent with the purchasing of those products.
 
Politicians can’t be elected unless voters first buy into the problems those politicians promise to solve.
 
Religions can’t keep or recruit followers without a continued faith in the existence of certain cosmic agendas.
 
Everyone who rewards you or rejects you for believing certain things, is someone who has an agenda they’re trying to fulfill.
 
This is not a knock against business, politics, religion, or anyone in particular. Agendas are a part of everything. The concept of neutral agenda-free people, programs, and policies is a myth. We all have an agenda of some sort.
 
Some agendas are harmless, some manipulative, others benevolent. Some hidden, others disclosed in plain sight.
 

What’s your agenda?

 
What’s most important to those who choose to live their lives as creators, is that they develop the habit of always including their own agendas in the belief formation process.
 
Before you accept someone else’s interpretation of reality, ask yourself the following question:
 
“Who wins if I accept this point of view?”
 
If the answer to that question does not include you, perhaps it is in your best interest to find a different viewpoint.
 
You are never obligated to accept a disempowering belief just to fit in with another individual or group’s notion of what it means to be “cool”, “good”, “responsible”, “mature”, “intelligent”, or “informed”.
 
Anyone can tell you what to think, but you’re the only one who gets to experience the full spectrum of the regrets and rewards stemming from your beliefs.
 
I’m not encouraging you to go out and be a rebel for rebellion’s sake. That’s as unlikely to satisfy you as mindlessly believing everything someone tells you. Continue being involved in whatever you find joy being involved in. 
 
But before you read the newspaper, go to church service, buy the book, turn on the tv, order the product, make fun of a new concept, or regurgitate an old idea, make sure you’ve at least thought about what your agenda is first.
 
Choose to be selfish enough to live your life consciously.
 
Once you do that, you can live an involved and informed life that ensures the facilitation and fulfillment of what matters most to YOU.
 
I have a feeling that I’m not done with this subject, but that’s my two cents for today.
 
Until then, have fun creating your own thrill-filled agendas.
 
Cheers,
 
T.K. Coleman
 
PS: My agenda is to selfishly feel the joy I derive from “arguing” for people’s possibilities. It’s all about me and how happy I am when I do this. What’s yours?
 

TK’s Two Cents: Don’t let me set your agenda!

We live in a world where many different agendas attempt to dictate what we accept as true. 
 
Sometimes we believe, or live as if we believe, certain things out of loyalty to friends, family, peer groups, or religious and political affiliations.
 
Although there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with being loyal to those whose respect we desire, if we’re not careful, we may find ourselves believing things that don’t really benefit us at all because of the incentives provided by the parties we wish to please. 

The hidden rewards of losing

 
People who argue or fight for “negative” outlooks on life often defend themselves by saying “why would I choose to believe something like this when i don’t enjoy looking at it in that way?” They often take the “negative” interpretation as the one they are being forced by reality to accept against their own will.
 
What we often fail to realize is the many ways in which “negative” beliefs are rewarded and reinforced by certain demographics who don’t see your personal well-being as a top priority. 
 
For instance, if you choose to believe that money is dirty, filthy, and evil, you might be less likely to live a financially sustainable life.
 
However, there are groups who would take great pride in associating themselves with you. They will make you feel very holy, dignified, and pleased with yourself for adopting that perception. You may struggle to pay your bills while their agenda benefits greatly from your financial woes. 
 
If you hang out with the “right” group of people, there are intangible rewards for every possible belief, even the so-called depressing ones.
 
Consider the notion that no matter how hard you try, you can never be happy and successful because of your background, your parents, or your looks. Surely, anyone in their right mind would dismiss such a proposition wth little afterthought, right?
 
Although that belief might sound depressing to certain people, somebody wins when people choose beliefs like that. It might not be you, but somebody wins.
 
This is not a conspiracy theory. It’s just a simple fact that not everyone on this planet cares about you. There’s no need to be angry or preoccupied with that fact. But the sooner we can free ourselves from the illusion that things are otherwise, we can begin taking control of our own lives.
 
In tomorrow’s post, we’ll continue our discussion and I’ll give you my two cents on how to ensure you stay on the winning side of life in a world of conflicting agendas.
 
Stay tuned and continue to thrive,
 
T.K. Coleman

Confessions of a Tough-Minded Optimist: I am water

I am water.

Though I assume many forms, the essence of what I am remains formless.  

I cannot be grasped, but only experienced.
 
I can nourish you or destroy you, depending on how you choose to engage me.
 
Toss me into the heat and I will rise as steam.
 
Let the world freeze me with its coldness and I will become solid and strong as rock.
 
Shatter me into a thousand pieces and I will return again to my true nature as unbroken and undivided oneness.
 
T.K. Coleman

TK’s Two Cents “Excuses are great, but they don’t create.” Part II

In my last post, I opened up a discussion on the issue of “excuses”. You can read that post here. I ended by saying I would “give you my two cents on the critical component to successfully creating the  results you desire in any area of life.” Well, here goes…

Stop talking to your Ex(cuse)

You must find a way to forego the luxury of having excuses. Plain & simple. You have a right to your excuses, but being right wont always get you want you want. Your parents will understand, but your heart will never be content. You must learn to love making things happen more than you love being sympathized with for not doing what you really want to do.

When we make up our minds to consciously evolve in some aspect of life, it’s as if the Universe decides to “test” us by sending several fantastic reasons our way for why it would be completely okay if we decided to quit or procrastinate.

People who wish to take charge of their lives must resolve to decline those invitations as much as possible.

The real “why”

Good News:

If you fail to do the work you were created to do, the people who truly love you will most likely understand your reasons why.

Bad News:

You’re not here on this Earth for the sole purpose of being understood by the people who truly love you. You could be loved by everyone on the planet and still be miserable.

Better News:

The real reason why you’re here is to do the work you’ve been uniquely created to do. Those who find a way to conquer their excuses and engage in this work, know the difference between existing and being alive. The philosopher and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman, advises

“Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” 

One of the deepest sources of joy in this life comes from voluntary involvement in the process of creating something you love. Whether you actually “succeed” or not is irrelevant. It’s the sensation of being alive, of flowing harmoniously with the energy of who you know you’re supposed to be that comprises genuine satisfaction. This satisfaction is the real “why” that you’re looking for. The reason “why” you’re not experiencing that satisfaction is the cheap imitation. It looks good and it might fool others, but you’ll always know for yourself that it falls short of the real thing.

What excuses can and can’t do

Excuses can appease your guilt, but they can’t alleviate the pain of an unlived life.

Excuses provide you with reasons, but they don’t protect you from regrets.

Excuses can make you look good in the short-term, but they never make you feel good in the long-term.

Excuses are great, but they do not create.

Only YOU can create and you can’t do that until you say goodbye to some really good excuses first.

If you feel the achievement of your personal goals is being hindered by difficult to overcome excuses, stay tuned. In the future, I will return to this topic and offer some personal suggestions for how we can get around them. It’s a learning process for all of us and it will take some work, but our happiness is well worth the effort.

For now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some creating to go do. I hope you do too. Either way, I’m glad you stopped by for a cent or two.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Excuses are great, but they don’t create.

An excuse would not be an excuse if wasn’t at least somewhat reasonable. The presence of logic is precisely what separates an excuse from just plain ol’ hogwash.  There’s another word I could use here, but my Dad’s a pastor and he reads my blogs now so I need to keep things PG-13. That’s an honest excuse. I’m not hogwashing.

Hogwash vs Excuses

“Hogwash” is pure nonsense. In fact, it’s so nonsensical that the person who’s telling it doesn’t even believe what they’re saying. Statements like “My dog ate my homework” is just plain ol’ hogwash. It’s a way to keep the conversation going in order to avoid confronting the real issue at hand.

An “excuse” is a logical sounding explanation for why a given result was not obtained. “I have the flu and have thrown up three times already and it’s not even noon yet” is an excuse.

Hogwash is obnoxious. Excuses are respectable.

The subtle danger of excuses

The most dangerous thing about an excuse is that, although they are far more intelligent and socially acceptable than hogwash, they ultimately produce the same net results. The only difference between a hogwasher and a man with a good excuse is that one of them has a respectable reason for not getting anything done and the other lacks a respectable reason for not getting anything done. But in the end they both still get nothing done. By “getting nothing done”, I’m specifically referring to the process of avoiding what you love whether you’re physically active or not.

I fully excuse your excuses

Before you conclude that I’m a cruel insensitive jerk, let me be clear about the fact that I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong with not getting things done. This is not an essay on how I think you should live your life. If you don’t spend your time and energy following your own bliss, I harbor no judgement towards you at all. I don’t find you annoying. I don’t think you’re a  lazy idiot. I don’t think you need to change. In fact, I don’t even think excuses are bad. Sometimes, an excuse here or there seems necessary. So, if you feel passionate about excuses in any way, I’m glad to let you know that we can still harmoniously coexist on this planet.

However…

For the person who wants to get the most out of life, there must be a clear understanding of the following fact:

Being great at creating what you love is not the same as being great at explaining why you are not creating what you love.

If you need heart surgery, do you want the doctor who’s great at heart surgery or do you want the friendly lovable awesome guy with a totally understandable reason for why his inability to finish medical school was completely beyond his control?

More importantly, if it was your dream to be a heart surgeon, which one of those people would you rather be?

In tomorrow’s post, I will give you my two cents on the critical component to successfully creating the  results you desire in any area of life.

I hope you’ll join me for the dialogue. In the meantime, make it a great day.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Click here for “Excuses are great, but they don’t create.” Part II

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