On not letting go

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2013/07/do-your-goals-conflict-with-your-personality/

I experimented by letting go of goals for a while and just going with the flow, but that produced even worse results. I know some people are fans of that style, but it hasn’t worked well for me. I make much better progress — and I’m generally happier and more fulfilled — when I wield greater conscious control over the direction of my life.

~ Steve Pavlina

“Letting go” of my structures and goals is good for short-term health. I do this when I’m traveling, or when something unusual happens, (such as having a house guest for a weekend.) Letting go enables me to see if my default habits have changed, as I’m often working on some goal or project that involves habit change. Letting go creates space for serendipity.

But letting go does not get things done. My mind is meant to have ideas, not to hold them. Systems (a grocery list, a todo list, plans for projects, and so on) are how my mind creates the changes I want to see in the world.

Letting go certainly recharges me. It’s the restorative yin to my personality’s default yan.

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Ownership

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2012/06/virtual-real-estate/

Ownership is somewhat of a gray area, both with physical and virtual real estate. I use the term loosely here. Ownership depends on how much control you have over the property, so we have a spectrum of possibilities. For instance, if you want to discover who really owns your home, stop paying your property taxes for a while and see what happens.

~ Steve Pavlina

This pull-quote has little to do with the linked article. It simply made me laugh out loud—for real, in the literal sense. If you’ve not owned a house, you cannot aprehend property taxes. I digress.

Just before this article by Steve, I had read a short piece about adulthood and children. A piece about parents who give children too much choice. It contained a thought or three about:

Why would I want to grow up and have to accept all the responsibility, when I already have all the freedom and luxury?

That is one of the Big Questions. The day on which I understood the answer was the 3rd most important day of my life.

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Happiness first

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2012/08/happiness-first-then-everything-else/

Social conditioning may have convinced you that sacrificing your happiness to maintain a certain bank balance, to send timely payments to corporations to which you’re indebted, or to pay for someone else’s needs and expenses is the proper way to live. Perhaps your parents played a role in this conditioning as well, teaching you the importance of being responsible and holding down stable employment.

~ Steve Pavlina

There’s a lot of value to the idea of, “and now that you are moving, you can steer.” Lots of metaphors here: A ship’s rudder doesn’t work unless the ship is moving; A car cannot turn around unless it is moving; etc. But there’s a vastly bigger picture that, “you can steer,” will never reveal.

It doesn’t matter how fast I’m “moving” or how well I “steer” if I’m on the wrong eff’in continent.

Steve often writes phoofy new-age mumbo jumbo stuff that I can’t even read. Why do I keep reading [you might ask]? Filter bubble. Perspective. Articles like this one which challenge the reader to wipe off the entire board and consider redrawing the plate tectonics.

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What are the odds?

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/12/what-are-the-odds-of-becoming-a-black-belt/

What does such a statistic have to do with your personal chance of success? Nothing at all.

~ Steve Pavlina

This has nothing to do with martial arts.

If you—you reading this right now—are NOT making mistakes, you are not learning.

Put another way: If you are always certain—or if you can’t take action until you are certain—then you are not doing the work you need to be doing.

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Triage

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/12/triage/

The practice of triage is a challenge of consciousness. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re staring at a project screaming for your attention. But you still need to muster the awareness to ask, “Is this the most important thing that must be done by me right now?” Whenever you fail to ask this question, you can bet there’s a more important project being stalked by the Grim Reaper.

~ Steve Pavlina

There are many variations of this. My favorite is currently a large note above my desk which reads…

2018: “HELL YES!” or “no”

Regardless, Covey’s quadrants are an excellent way to triage things.

I’m adamant however, that one’s goal should be to do nothing in Covey’s quadrants 3 and 4—things which are “not important”, wether they are urgent or non-urgent. See also, Time management.

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News addiction

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/09/overcoming-news-addiction/

After a couple weeks without news, I got past the hump and wasn’t craving it so much anymore. At this point I began reflecting on the habit from a distance, and I made the following observations …

~ Steve Pavlina

100%

I substituted a syndication reader‡ and never looked back. I now read only the sources I want, when I want. Nothing beats my morning caffeine accompanied by a scroll through my feed reader. NOTHING I read is a “standard” news source. :)

‡ I suggest collecting your feeds into http://www.feedbin.com and then using Reeder (IOS, Mac).

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The global level of consciousness

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/07/ask-steve-how-to-resolve-global-conflicts/

The only practical and lasting solution to global violence is that we must raise the global level of consciousness. Only when that occurs will violence cease to be part of the human experience. Until that happens violence will always be with us.

~ Steve Pavlina

This is a beautiful observation. Beautiful in the sense that it let’s me stop fretting over violence and wars, and frees me to think about things like: Can I help [this person / these people]?

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Suffering is not what you think it is

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/07/ask-steve-staying-conscious-while-under-attack/

Suffering is nothing more than a lack of consciousness. The more conscious you become, the less you suffer. The act of raising your consciousness is really a process of letting go of every thought that causes you to suffer. This process can take considerable time, but it does work. Every step you take in this direction will yield an improvement.

~ Steve Pavlina

Self-improvement is an exercise in lifting oneself up by the bootstraps; Quite impossible and quite necessary.

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The power of now

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/05/the-power-of-now/

This shift in thinking produced a significant shift in my priorities. I began focusing more of my energy on improving the quality of my present reality instead of projecting all those improvements into the realm of someday. I started asking questions like, “How can I experience more joy in this very moment?”

~ Steve Pavlina

Steve’s writing is probably an acquired taste — some of it I’m still not swallowing. But this one was well worth the read; Probably well-worth a re-read too. ;)

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Social conditioning

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/03/what-lies-beyond-the-haze-of-social-conditioning/

If we support a foreign war or oppose it, it’s because of what effect it’s having on us, either individually or collectively. Our soldiers are dying. Our President is making us look bad. Our corporations are manipulating us. Our national debt is out of control. My taxes might go up. My budget might be stretched. My family member might be killed. We aren’t encouraged to consider such situations from the viewpoint of planet earth as a whole, or how our actions today might affect future generations. We perceive each other as separate and distinct individuals as opposed to cells in the same body.

~ Steve Pavlina

This isn’t about “us” versus “them. It’s about “I”. How do I see my world? How do I see myself? Have I been conditioned? (duh. Of course I have.) Now that I’ve discovered I have a brain, do I like how I’ve been conditioned?

…oh sorry, got to talking to myself there.

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