Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Life Tells You What To Do

If you just listen, life tells you what to do.  All one has to do, is solve the problem of their present predicament -- and that qualifies them for a higher challenge and calling -- and not that one has to aspire to reach the top at the very beginning, without solving anything.  That is the natural progression.  One simply has to do one's best -- at any task, no matter how menial and trivial it seems at the time, because that successful completion, is the foundation for every other subsequent challenge.

There is no skipping only to the top jobs and positions -- from not having done anything well to qualify for them.  If one thinks they can skip those important foundation-building exercises and practices, they will soon learn that they are missing that vital lesson when they need it most.  But if they have it in their arsenal and repertoire of skills and assets, it is there for the taking, and using -- even without deliberately knowing so.

Increasingly, that is how most skills are acquired -- without deliberation intention to cultivate that particular requirement.  It comes to support the more deliberate intention -- to solve a well-defined problem.  But the manner in which one achieves all that, is what matters even more -- and that's what many never learn, much to their regret, and eventual doom.

It's all the little things one accomplishes -- and not the few and rare big things one usually focuses on as landmark achievements.  But all the little things, added up over time, is a mountain dwarfing any singular achievement -- no matter how famous or infamous one hopes to become.  That is the clear message that all of life is telling one -- pay attention to the little things, the details -- for that is what distinguishes the great from the small.

The opposite of this approach, are the many who insist on telling life what to do, and how everything should turn out, regardless of their individual effort and attention to any part of life.  They merely want the results -- regardless of doing anything right to obtain them.  They think wanting it badly enough, is all that is required to achieving and obtaining anything, and predictably, are sadly disappointed when they realized that is not enough -- and think it is useless and too late to go back to the beginning and learn those things.  That's only the task of young people -- they think, rather than that is what young people do that keeps them young.

What makes them "old," is refusing to learn anything anymore -- but instead, telling life and everybody who will still listen to them, how life should be and turn out.  And so life batters and bruises them until they listen -- or simply continues to batter and bruise them the rest of their lives because they will not listen and learn anything more.  That is the hard way to go -- but many insist on it.  It is no accident that they look that way -- of living a hard life that ages them before their time.

They will even insist that nothing more can be learned -- especially from life because it has betrayed them at every turn.  But life is the greater, the sum of all things, and not one, no matter how great and famous they aspire to be, demanding that they alone, should tell life and everyone else, how it ought to be.  Life doesn't work that way.  It is a concert, and not any one person's exclusive solo -- no matter how the reporters want to make it seem so.  The world is not that way -- no matter how much one would like everyone to think what they tell them to.  That is the lesson of the ages.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

As Long As You Get It Right Eventually

Few get it right on the first try -- especially on the monumental undertakings.  Usually it requires many attempts to get it working in the first place -- especially if it hasn't been done before.  Of course it is very easy to do the same old thing over and over again -- but doing something different, and new, requires practice and persistence to get it right -- when it's never been done before.  And that's what one wants to do in life -- accomplish what they've never done before.

It doesn't have to be climbing Mt. Everest and all those cliched bucket list entries.  It can be different things for different people -- and will be, depending on what is really important, significant and necessary.  Most people don't have the luxury of having everything in their life in order so that they can do what is purely arbitrary in their lives.  That only happens in schools -- where the arbitrary is made to seem as important as the significant.  In real life, all that matters is the truly significant -- and learning what that is.  Seldom does one know from the very beginning.

One invariably learns that with each attempt -- what is successful, yet what is still not.  For many, that is good enough, and all they settle for -- the first whiff of success, and not refining and fine-tuning the perfection -- yet at some point, realizing that is good enough, but not before.  Where individuals draw that line determines their quality of life with each iteration.  For those who are improving, it's never the same -- they are doing something different, to break new ground.

To the untrained (undiscriminating) eye, everything seems the same -- because they don't know what to look for, and at.  They see only the gross movement, and not the fine -- which makes all the difference in every outcome.  It is what is known as the follow-through -- when most have stopped long ago, and some have already quit and gone home.  All those people know, is that they got home on time.

Those who go on to be ultimately successful, are those who are the last to leave -- leaving no stone unturned in their quest to discover all that can be discovered.  That is what drives them -- and not the clock.  And it doesn't matter how many times they get it wrong -- they keep trying to get it right, and that is what matters.  That's how they lives their lives -- to the very end.

That may mean reinventing life as they've come to know it -- but survival and thriving is much more important than maintaining whatever status quo is now failing.  Life is not permanent; it is dependent on the successful adaptations one makes all their lives, every single moment.  There is no happily forever after -- but happily for each and every moment won anew.  That is the best that can be done.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Rising to the Challenge

There is no good or bad news -- except how one responds to those challenges.  One can go into a irrecoverable downward spiral, or use it as a springboard for getting where one has never gone before.  In that way, every crisis is a challenge to be the best one can be -- based on everything else they've ever done before.  Thus the present implies the past -- as well as indicates the future.  It is not just one more thing unrelated and unconnected to every other.  That is the context of every meaningful and successful action -- and not as a lot of failing people think, that they'll be the million in a million.  The million is the success -- proven time and time again.

Nevertheless, it is difficult for a few to believe that there is a reason things happen as they do -- rather than the majority is always wrong, and they alone, know all the answers.  Most of life knows all the answers -- and those that persist in their stubbornness, usually aren't around for very much longer.  Eventually, they just run out of chances.  That's why it is so important to get it right the first time -- and every time, in everything one does -- because that alone, qualifies them for the next.

But if they just fritter away their opportunities, invariably they run out of options, choices, decisions -- and then have everything dictated to them, as the only way it can be.  You don't want to get to that point -- when all the choices and opportunities are behind one, and only a certain rut lies in front of one.  That is also burning one's bridges behind them -- so they have nowhere else to go.  On the other hand, the wise tactician, multiplies the possibilities and options before them.  They grow their life -- rather than killing it, and do so until the day they inexplicably perish.  But that is not part of the plan -- to bring about their own demise, destruction and death.

Those are Darwin's losers; the winners find a better way -- even if they have to create it themselves.  When those individuals do, the whole of the species is advanced -- and not just the one over every other -- in a brutish struggle for scarce resources and survival -- as the only way they think life can be.  At best, it is just a repetition of the past -- and never breaking any new ground.  Of course, such societies have no future.  They have to create it -- and not just repeat their glorious past.

That is the challenge of life and living: one must get better.  The alternative, is to only get worse -- and it does not matter how many others one drags down with them, or exploits for a better position.  It is still a sinking ship -- no matter how they rearrange the deck chairs.  The challenge of every individual, is also the challenge of civilization -- with the fate of humankind hanging in the balance.  But all actions are not created equal.  Some matter much more -- because that is the spirit and understanding they are undertaken with.  Others think that nothing they do matters -- and is of consequence, and so they live their lives that way -- without any significance -- "sound and fury, signifying nothing."

It's not even a good game.  Life is just one entertainment and diversion after another -- or they are interminably bored -- mostly with themselves.  Every opportunity is lost.  They rise to no challenge -- and pretty soon, it is all over.  Those challenges don't have to be big things; they are more likely to be personal challenges and milestones -- that they fail to answer, time and time again.  But life is no other.  It is entirely personal -- and not about what somebody more important and well-known does, or does not do.

When one is only talking about what others do and don't do -- as the reason for success or failings in their own lives, all is lost.  That person has lost the significance and power of their own action.  They are the pawns in the game of life.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Sometimes the Worst That Can Happen...

-- can be the best thing that ever happened.  It is moments like those to force one to go beyond themselves -- to where they've never been before, or even imagined possible.  Particularly so if what they think they have, cannot get any better -- and there is only worse, which surely cannot be all there is in this expanding universe.  But any loss, is regarded by the status quo, as a threat -- even if it represent an opportunity to improve and get better -- often, infinitely better.

That is the progress and evolution of life -- if one merely goes with that flow, rather than demanding that the whole world stop, and maintain their particular status quo -- or status.  Life doesn't work that way; it waits for no one, as much as we are singularly pleased with where we are -- and thinking it should always remain this way.  The test of any life is not that it remains one way "forevermore," but that it relentlessly moves forward -- largely by overcoming what seems like insurmountable obstacles.

Even the bad news, is just information for what one has to do now -- rather than dwelling on the good news of how things used to be great at some imaginary and wonderful time in the past.  That will serve one no good purpose -- but waste their valuable time reliving the past, when obviously, the present challenge is the only hope for a better future that may be only realizing how the world has changed for the better -- since one last assessed these things.

The present crisis forces them to look -- at the other ways of doing things, and not merely doubling their efforts in ways that are no longer working.  That invariably means change -- for the better, rather than the worse they convinced themselves was the only alternative to what they are presently doing -- often with disastrous results, that predictably, brought them to their current crisis.  At some point, they have to wake up -- or go into irreversible decline.  That is the law of nature.

Those for whom that is not true, will increasingly withdraw from engagement, and retreat to their memories of better times -- insisting that nothing better is possible, and the future only dire -- and growing more so daily.  That's obviously not a mindset that will flourish and prevail -- but predictably shrinks along with that vision of the world as a shrinking pie -- with all the good pieces already taken.

But if one lives long enough in this world, it is obviously getting richer -- and even those things that even the richest and most powerful in their time could not have -- is what is readily available to most, if not all.  "Money" is somewhat of a limiting factor -- but even more so, is the refusal to consider all the options -- including and especially life as we've never imagined possible for ourselves.  That may be exactly what we have to do -- but dismiss off hand, and obviously if we do that, nothing else will make much sense.

That is frequently the explanation of the most troubled and hopeless people on the planet -- that they dismiss the most obvious, and then develop elaborate explanations and justifications for continuing to do what they are doing -- with such disastrous results.  That is the dysfunctional lifestyle and adaptations -- hoping for a different result.  Of course it will end badly -- often tragically.  These things don't just happen -- but are made more likely to, and then the reporters will depict it as a random event.

It's not so random -- just as good fortune is more than just winning the lottery -- that frequently turns out to be the worst thing that ever happened for those unprepared for that windfall.  Within a short time, they are even more impoverished than they were before -- because their problem was not money or the lack of it, but their inability to manage any amount effectively and intelligently.  In that way, it is like any other resource -- time, money, energy, thought and exercise.

It doesn't just happen.  Life is what one makes of it.  It can be better or worse.  But first, one has to find out what is out there -- and not be content to think that everything they knew 50 years ago, is everything there is to know -- and that is what they wish to return to -- as the best of times.  The world is not like that -- anymore.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What 10% of the effort, gives 90% of the results?

Because we live in a world of finite resources (reality), we have to ask the question, what do we get out, for what we put in? -- and not as the personal motivators of every stripe insist, that we get out what we put in -- with no regard for efficiency or economy.  In such a world, there is no loss -- and there is only gain, no matter what they do -- which is convincing argument, that one should do anything, because anything is preferable to nothing -- and "nothing" includes thinking seriously, of what one is doing, or about to do, before mindlessly doing so.  That is the habit, especially novices and thoughtful people who wish to grow old successfully need to consider and cultivate -- before always learning the "hard" way -- that things are not so, and the world really doesn't work that way -- even as much as one would desire it so.

There are differences -- for good reason, and it becomes increasingly important to understand them for what they are -- before proceeding to go "all in" -- on what not might be their best bet.  Even champion boxers and predators spend their first rounds finding out about the capabilities and reactions of their opponents -- before launching an all-out attack on the unfamiliar.  One first must grant the benefit of the doubt -- to find out first what one is dealing with, and any problems that might arise, and be well-prepared to handle them.  The thing encountered, may be like nothing else previously encountered -- in the textbooks, as well as individually and personally.  And that is the reality of the situation -- and not the generalization and stereotype.  Those who can master that, are the masters of any situation -- including the many changes one can expect to handle throughout a long and varied life.

Unfortunately, many novices don't learn that wisdom before meeting an untimely and premature end -- as happens over every species of life.  All and every, will not be so fortunate -- even among the apex predators.  Their chances of survival are usually 1 in a 100 -- at best, and so something much larger must come into play if they are to survive another day.  That ability is the intelligence to survive and thrive -- in the many possibilities every individual must devise for their own lives.

Increasingly, that is dominated by individual experience and learning -- rather than the collective pre-digested, that can only take anyone so far.  At some point, they have to leave the safety of the collective, and venture out on their own path -- learning what works best for them -- even if it works for no other, and the proof is in the being.  Many will profess to "know," but one would never know it from looking at them -- because everything appears to be a contradiction and nullification, of everything they claim to be -- and so that confusion and turmoil becomes apparent to know that one has observed and learned enough -- and should more productively move on, in every individual's personal quest for intelligent life in the universe.

That is searching for the 10% that works better than the other 90% -- and to be able to tell that difference.  Some foods are better than others -- and for every individual, there is an optimal diet -- which can also fail miserably with others.  Yet to this day, there are purists insisting that there is one best diet for everybody -- and that everything else should be "outlawed" -- just as in ancient times, when most allowed the few to do all their thinking for them -- unquestioningly.

In that environment and culture, few learn to discover the truth of anything for themselves -- but are merely told that "the experts say" -- which is only what they would like everybody to believe, rather than any actual experiments, observations and measurements.  Naturally, another group of experts will be saying something different next week -- or in some other publication or forum, many created especially for that occasion and promotion.

So what is one to believe?  Most of the information one is privy to, is likely to be this kind of advertising and promotion -- even as oneself as the expert in manipulating what one thinks.  That seems to be the particular challenge in the age of information -- in determining the credibility of their source of information.  What is their agenda?  Often, it is just the simple objective of establishing themselves as the expert.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Take All Day If You Have To

Probably the egregious error most make in their lifetime, is the value of time and its use.  Most regret that it was wasted in their youth -- never to be regained, restored, and even revitalized -- which is the remarkable and ultimately most meaningful achievement in any life.  How does one use time to increase it?  In that way, time is always on one's side -- and not the fearsome arch-enemy they come to regard it.  A large part is how we've been conditioned to think of time -- as the enemy, rather than the friend.

We always think we're in this race against time -- when we'd be better served to think we have all day to get anything done.  This is especially true of how we've come to regard exercise and athletics -- to see who gets it done first -- and not who finishes last, or when all the others have long given up.  The one who keeps going, is the stand alone winner.

But does that mean we all should take up marathon running -- and see who is the oldest ever to finish a marathon -- or climb Mount Everest, or die trying?  There are a lot more personally meaningful things one could do -- and keep on doing for as long as one is alive -- and the day they stop doing it, is the day they die.  But until that end, they are capable every day of their lives -- for as long as they live, and that is all that matters.  Then one day, you just don't wake up -- and the greater life goes on.

Many on realizing they haven't done their exercise for the day -- think they are too late to get it done then -- whenever they realize that.  Time has not moved on, but is waiting for them -- to once again, get with the program.  There is nothing more important for them to do -- at any time they realize it.  They simply have to begin it now -- and if they finish in the morning, afternoon, or before going to sleep , that is soon enough, and plenty of time to do it.  One has to make time for the important stuff -- and not let all the unimportant stuff deter and dissuade them, which for most people, is simply watching more television.  Eventually, that is all they do.

Long before they get to that point, they can realize that they don't need to watch any television at all, and would be immeasurably better off if they didn't -- including even watching exercise videos.  No amount of watching all the exercise videos in the world ever made, will put them into better shape than discovering what works for themselves -- in the doing.  Some people are amazed that anyone can learn (or is allowed) to learn on their own in that way -- like all the great prodigies of every field had to.  Nobody else could teach them -- what they alone knew, and brought to the world.

For such individuals, time stands still -- because what they do is the timeless -- and they are so into that moment, that it is the summation of everything that ever came before it, as well as changing the course of its future development.  In that course, many will become obsolete in that instant -- and leap into the unknown and undiscovered.  That is what we want to know -- even more than the known, and what everybody knows -- but is not working.  Obviously, it is more valuable to know what works -- than all the knowledge and information that doesn't, and has led us to the present problem and conumdrum.

And invariably, that is to the realization that what we thought works, doesn't anymore -- no matter how hard we try, and how much time, energy and other resources we devote to it.  Meanwhile, that which does truly work, is worth doing nothing else. Regrettably, that is what we fail to get right -- determining the useful from the useless, and preferring greatly, the useless over the useful -- and leaving no time and energy for it.  That is the tragedy of the human condition -- that assuredly, is not hopeless.  It is simply the road less traveled, and the path less trodden -- but assuredly exists, even if it is much denied.

However, it is not just a matter of wishful-thinking and affirmations in spite of the actual realities -- but actual fact, as improbable as it seems.  That is "the word made flesh," the manifestation of reality, and no longer simply the belief in that possibility.  That is the integration of thought in action.  But simply believing is not enough; what matters is the exercise of that belief -- to see if it makes a difference -- incredibly, instantly -- and not simply as a matter of time, and especially, psychological time -- as many are convinced, is necessary, to make any difference.  The difference is noticeable as instantly as turning a screw: it either makes a difference or it doesn't, and then in the positive or negative direction -- but the change is instantaneous, and not only apparent in a matter of months and years.  By then, it is too late -- and all will have been lost -- as the proverbial "too little, too late" -- to do anything about it.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Productive Exercise without the Hassles

Whenever we think of "exercise," we think of something hard -- missing the whole objective that it is a practice of making the difficult easy -- and not increasingly more difficult.  That misses the whole point entirely -- and precisely why exercise is of little use and benefit, precisely when we need it most -- to be easier and more accessible.  Instead we create unnecessary barriers to it -- instead of lowering those bars, and even eliminating those constraints.

Then all you have are the benefits -- without the hassles, reservations and objections established by the self-appointed gatekeepers.  But it must be productive, and not merely another way of wasting time -- because one has no better idea of what to do with one's time and energy -- but to waste it.  Along the way, we at least hope to remain interested -- if not entertained -- for lack of a greater meaning to what we do.  "Anything is better than nothing" -- we rationalize these behaviors, while not entirely convincing ourselves.

At best, we hope to simply be able to "go through the motions" -- thinking that is enough to make a difference -- anything but this relentlessly deteriorating condition we seem powerless to do something about.  The best we can hope for, is to slow down the rate of deterioration -- long abandoning the notion that we can ever get better anymore.  And that is still the state of our conditioning and exercise -- for those who need it most.  They need something that works -- fast and immediately, and not only after staying with the program for years -- but becoming discouraged way before then.

So is it really possible to obtain the benefits of exercise -- without all the hassle and hard work we are conditioned to believe we have to endure to obtain those benefits?  Why not immediately get into shape -- which is quite possible for anyone -- and then stay in that shape for as long as possible?  It's possible right now -- for anybody who can still move, to do so.  All it requires is understanding what that shape (and position) is -- and maintaining it for a discrete muscular contraction (change) -- as the shape one wants to be in -- preferably and more often than any other.

That would be the "contracted" state -- rather than the "relaxed," or flaccid state.  But no matter what condition and "shape" one is in -- one can move into the contracted state, and "condition" oneself to do so -- but must understand that is the intention and purpose -- and not any other, usually offered as "motivation," or some other rationalization for obsessive-compulsive behavior.  That has been the usual approach to conditioning -- to make it an obsessive-compulsive behavior -- rather than an intelligent manifestation of this higher understanding and insight into this process.

It is still largely, this brute force mentality of forcing square pegs into round holes -- and failing that, applying even more force -- until of course, something breaks,  Those are not the instruction manual to an intelligent way of being -- which becomes even more obvious with the passing of time and years, leading most to believe that it no longer works as one ages -- mainly because that manner of functioning and operating the body, was never a good idea in the first place, and only disposed one to the inevitable injuries that would put a stop to all that nonsense once and for all.

But it doesn't have to be that way, and in fact, the intelligent approach to exercise and conditioning, is the only way it can be.  Any other way, simply does not work -- no matter how many centuries the practice has been going on -- also not working, but not stopping anyone from continuing to do so.  The success is not that they continue to do so, but are the results (effects) they get from doing it -- and not merely the affirmations that it is working, though it is obviously and apparently not working.

In that manner, many go into denial until the inevitable -- and are no longer capable of functioning at all -- not in spite of their exercise and conditioning, but because of it -- as the only outcome possible!  That is particularly true of those engaging in obviously dangerous occupations and preoccupations -- even maintaining to the day they die, or is the cause of their dying, like professional wrestling, boxing, or other injurious activities -- from which the "lucky" ones even get to retire from.

But even those lucky few, usually stop doing anything -- because all they know how to do, is to exact further damage on themselves -- until they are crippled and disabled for the rest of their lives, which is usually prematurely shortened.  Obviously any further activity, must be focused on therapy and recovery, and not exacting further damage until it is not physically possible to do any more -- and then they stop.  At that point they have no choice.

But at that point, they can still move on -- heal and recover -- to even better than they ever have been, because they now know better.  However, it should be obvious also, that it can't be done simply in the old, familiar ways that brought them to that state of disrepair (dysfunction).  At that point, only the rare few, will take it to the next level -- of immeasurably better health, beginning with the understanding of what they have been doing -- or simply, awareness.

That is no longer operating obsessive-compulsively -- but now deliberately and intentionally for the better -- because one now understands this process, and sees things clearly.  That is the step beyond the traditional and conventional ways -- that are not working, despite a few still being able to do them.  If it really worked, everybody would be doing it -- but they aren't, and are offered no other possibilities, largely because they've never heard of any other -- at least none that made any significant difference.  There can be many alternatives that do not work similarly -- but those don't make a difference.  They are simply more ways that do not work, and what we really want, is something that actually works -- and not simply to convince ourselves and each other, that what doesn't work, is working

That has largely been the progress of exercise and conditioning to this point -- that we don't recognize that it isn't working, until it is too late, and we are offered no other possibilities.  One either gets with the program that isn't working, or doesn't -- but there is no option of anything working any better, if at all -- especially when their lives depend on it, in their later years.  All they can do, is the same thing they have been doing, more feebly and ineffectively until they can't do anything at all -- and then they are done, and free -- to move onto the next life, but never the next level.  That movement, is not an option.

That failure, is what we have been conditioned to regard as "aging," which is the ultimate failure to understand better -- before it is too late, and we perish.  There is nothing inevitable about it; we are simply provided no other choices, no better understanding and insight  that would free us from this hopeless chain of self-destruction.

Once we have wiped the glass clean, we can see very clearly what we have to do -- and the bonds that have kept us that way -- the way we were.