As it turns out, ‘joy of life’ or even simply joy or happiness is a choice.
It doesn’t come from the circumstance, it comes from within… the willingness to pay attention to what is enjoyable, while having room, having permission for the not enjoyable to be there as well.
You can’t have joy if your attention is on trying to will away what you don’t like.
You can’t have joy if you simply tolerate what you don’t like.
And, of course you can’t have joy if you are just surviving what you are going through.
You can’t have joy unless you allow what is, and then find something enjoyable in the situation.
I have been really good at finding funny in situations. And now I can add: finding the enjoyable.
28 years ago I was really depressed when the phone rang. A person I didn’t know called. The conversation went in unexpected ways: she suggested that I would benefit from attending ACOA, adult children of alcoholics. No one drinks in my family… but when she read to me the symptoms, they fit.
The first and most important symptom is ‘I don’t know what fun is’
I didn’t know what people meant by fun. I am, just now, starting to see, that what people call fun is the enjoyment of what one is doing, what one is experiencing, in the moment.
But what people call fun all comes from the belief that fun is a result of something outside of you, something you do, something you take or eat or drink.
So it is not joy… Joy is a result of choice. Choosing where to put the attention, while allowing everything else to remain the same. Choosing is finding. Finding something to enjoy.
Joy is NOT addictive. Fun is. Happiness is.
Addictive means: you need to have more and more of it to have the same effect on you…
Joy doesn’t say ‘what’. It goes and looks for something to enjoy…
When you want to. Your joy comes from within… not from without. Joy is in you, up to you…
And for the first time in my life… I am going to choose joy.
At the risk of falling in love with life…
Want to find out what is stopping you from living life joyously?
Most people think that what they do when they are at their best, when they go to church in their best church-going outfit, when they are smart, nice, funny, or can answer a question right… that that is who they are.
Or they are that all smiles picture they post on social media, that everyone says: how pretty!
But instead, who you are is what you do, who you are being, what you listen to, what you read, what you think 93% of the time is the ‘who’ that gives you the success you have.
These are the actions you do day in and day out. Not on the holidays, not during the carefully orchestrated events. During the ordinary. The 93%.
This, that who you are is really the 93%, is true in every area of your life: In health, wealth, love and happiness.
Hoping that what you do in 7% of your life will make you deserve what you want makes you really one of the
…billions of Zombies chasing mirages.
How do you design your life for the 93%?
Example: I carefully keep my indiscretions with food to less than 7%. This way I can be healthy and also experiment. This way I can be healthy and maybe even indulge inside those 7%.
Here is an experiment I did or really am doing: I’ve bought a new ‘grain’. Teff. The world’s smallest seeds, they come from Ethiopia. Bob’s Teff flour I bought. I wanted Sorghum, but the store didn’t have it.
Then I made porridge from it, water, salt, and added some butter.
I ate a little bit… and then got sick.
I was standing over the toilet bowl poised to vomit… but in the end I didn’t.
My body finally calmed down.
Will I be able to eat teff porridge in the future? We don’t know yet. This is part of my 7% to test certain foods. Just the thought of it makes my stomach tighten up.
The selfish gene doesn’t want anything new… lol.
Your integrity is low, you lie to yourself.
One of the reasons your success score is so low is because your integrity is low, and for some of you: non-existent. Zero.
You think of getting somewhere on time and such trifles mean integrity.
But unless the 93% of your life is taking you to the best life possible, your integrity is going to be low. Integrity is between you and you… and if you don’t take care of yourself, you are cheating yourself.
Integrity also measures the power of your word… When you want to create yourself, your context, your beingness, your attitude. Without integrity nothing works.
Zombies chasing mirages cannot have integrity. Mirages are mirages, and the chasing takes you away from the best life possible.
If you start a business or course with no foundation, no guidance, no understanding… you are going to fail, guaranteed. There was no integrity in you buying that course, starting that business.
Unless you start increasing the number of hours where your activity, your attitude, your state of being takes you closer to the good life, you are kidding yourself: nothing is going to get better. You are putting on airs. You are putting on a show. Yes, you are pretending.
And one of the biggest issues I see is this: you don’t know yourself. You think that being smart, buying a book, buying a course will automatically take you to where the book/course promises to take people.
You think that coming to one of my workshop will do that… and it won’t. The workshop is part of your 7% pretend life. What you do in your life, in your 93% is the only thing that will matter.
You have no foundation to expect a course or a workshop or a book to alter your life. Why? Because your map of reality and reality don’t match. Because what you read, what you hear you misunderstand. And you don’t even know it.
Unless you have a guide who can correct you, every step of the way, the astuteness level you have will determine your results…
You cannot, will not be astute under the level of 15%… That is measure #10 of the starting point measurements. (10. The size of your accurate vocabulary: the number of words you can use accurately.) We only count the ‘distinction words’ like freedom, generosity, reality, truth… the beingness words. That is where you need to be accurate.
Astute means that you can see things for what they are.
So given that your astuteness level suggested by the accuracy of your vocabulary is low, (I haven’t had anyone who hit 10% yet! Not even one person…) here is the biggest issue: Who is going to guide you in your actions? In your attitude? In your being?
What you know, the level of knowledge you have has gotten your where you are now, in all areas of life. Using the same level of knowledge can improve your life if you get someone to guide you, mentor you, coach you.
Having someone to model after , especially if you can do it through a lot of clarifying one-on-one conversations. If you model their outside behavior their behavior that you most likely misunderstood, nothing good will happen.
One of the things you’ll need to know about me, is that I have had tons of mentors, and I have had tons of models…
OK, my history of modeling, mentors, etc.
I am an empath. I had two models as a child, a mother and a father.
My mother was an internally conflicted person: she disliked me. That dislike fought inside her with the desire to be a good mother. The two extremes were jerking her hither and tither. (And if you have those extremes yourself: they jerk you too.)
Modeling after her is like modeling after a crazy person…
Her unpredictable behavior was why I was a good fit for ACOA… alcoholics behave the way she did. She didn’t drink. No one drank in my family.
Psychiatrists call this phenomenon ‘double bind‘, where two extremes alternate in a person’a behavior. This can lead the target (me) to schizophrenia. Why? because the mind refuses to deal with confusion and escapes into a world of its own.
Because I am an empath, I narrowly escaped that predicament. I felt her internal struggle. But in some ways modeled myself after her: a person with internal conflicts, a person with an unbalanced mind.
In biology modeling is called imprinting…
…the baby animal imprints on a mother figure, and follows it around, learns how to be. I’ve seen a youtube video about an orphaned calf who imprinted on the dog that nursed her/him, and now behaves like a dog.
An animated movie I really liked about a pig that imprinted on a sheep dog, the movie: Babe. Watch it
Being like my mother has lead to the opposite of the good life.
It has taken me all my life to remove that imprinting, and I succeeded to the degree I have. 2% of my behavior is still my mother’s.
I also imprinted on my father. Seeing my father do what he did, he was successful, I recognize 50% of my behavior coming from my father.
I was also lucky that I had teachers who took a liking to me… and acted as mentors.
Also, I have been, mainly, learning ways of being from books. Many books. I am an avid reader. Nowadays that I have more time I read 1-2 whole books a week on Kindle. I underline and share the important ways I notice to a site called goodreads from my Kindle.
I’ve learned courage from books. I’ve learned loyalty from books. Yes, I’ve learned most everything that is good about me from books and maybe from foreign movies.
I ‘hang out’ with people in the books… I like books that have three-dimensional characters. Now, I am saying this, because I just spent a few days reading two Raymond Chandler novels that did not have any three dimensional characters, only funny words. Ugh. I can detect my personal growth. Last time I read a Raymond Chandler novel, I didn’t have the concept ‘three dimensional character’, lol.
And I also learn a lot about the world, about other people, about the inclinations of people… I am getting more astute with nearly every book.
The conspiracy theorist, the post-truth morons of the world don’t read, or when they do, they read only what agrees with the fantasies they consider truth.
I remember most of the characters from books or movies that I have emulated.
The first book was a Chinese orphan boy, Iron Bull… I read it around 1955, by a German writer.
Then from a Russian movie a black boy Russian sailors fished out of the ocean, and Christened Maxim.
I have read many thousands of books.
It seems all my heroes shared one thing in common with me: they were alone.
They did what they had to do to grow so they can fulfill their mission in life.
You can pick the person to imprint after.
According to Tai Lopez, who quotes from the Selfish Gene, a book. I never caught this bit, but it’s important, but I quote it from where I found it the human brain evolved to be a simulating machine, a learning machine.
Simulating is actually a very involved process… it is not mind-imagination. Simulation creates muscle memory. If your mental processes don’t, then you are just stirring the pot; what you are doing is daydreaming, not simulating.
In simulation your muscles move. Your emotions are tested. Just like sitting in the cockpit of an airplane you are flying. No daydreaming, no imagination. You are doing it.
One of the characters I learned from in Stanislaw Lem‘s novels is Pirx. A cadet. On a dangerous flight (simulation flight) a housefly gets into the cabin and creates a short circuit. In spite of that technical tragedy he manages to keep control of the machine and land it. When he gets out of the cockpit he sees that all his classmates wrecked their machines…
Unless you can wreck yourself in the simulation it isn’t for real.
You can decide that you can only learn from your own experience. Learning from your own experience is expensive. Very expensive.
You can live a life where you learn from other people’s failures… much better.
Yes, you can learn nearly anything at other people’s expense… skills, profession, behavior, beingness… whatever you need. I did that… and I still do that.
I get paid to learn, I get paid to experiment. The only area where I can’t do that is health… It’s not ethical.
The Nazis did that. All countries did that… probably still do. I believe that all these manufactures diseases are that: experimenting on people.
You can live a life where you simulate and read and take it home…
You have failures in the thought experiments but through what you learn there you get to the actions in life prepared.
Books, maybe even movies are simulation tools.
I have many favorite movies.
So I learned love from movies. I learned bringing the divine to everything. Yes, I learned the sacredness of life. I make sure I ‘own’ those movies.
Tim Roth was played the title character… the same Tim Roth from the Lie To Me series on Netflix.
His character, both in that movie and in the TV series, is simulation galore… for me.
Not because I want his life, but I want his joy, I want his ‘I don’t care’ attitude. I want to be true to myself, like him.
Who you are is who you are 93% of the time. Who you seem to be, a cook in a kitchen of your life. In a kitchen that is incredibly well equipped, but has one, maybe two ingredients. No skills, no knowledge. So you order in.
That is who you are… 93% of the time.
If you’d like to watch MY favorite movies, you can.
One of the undistinguished urges is ‘cheap closure now’.
When you are looking for something through a filter, you’ll see nothing else, but what the filter allows you to see.
Your filter is most likely your worldview…
When you see a problem, you immediately look for a solution… it is human nature to do that. But the nature of reality is that every solution comes with a cost. And often the cost is a bigger problem that will plague humanity with huge problems.
Yesterday I wrote about the destabilizing energy of avoiding, fighting, resisting. The enemies of having a good life, having a productive life. The enemies of being able to concentrate your energies on what you are working on.
How do I keep my humility high and my about-me score low… day to day to day to day?
This question came from one of my students in a class. Interestingly none of the other students in the class asked this question. They didn’t ask, even though this may be the most important question to ask, and the most important skill to master.
Some of my students are starting to see that if they didn’t have the self-concern: The ITCH, they would react to life differently, they would be less upset, they would have a life, maybe, worth living.