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What is “Success” to you?

Ralph Waldo EmersonI came across a quote today from one of the great philosophers of recent time, Ralph Waldo Emerson. As I read through I felt the truth of it ring through my very bones. We spend so much time chasing titles and raises in life trying to define our success by the standards the movies, media and books have filled our mind with that we don't realize those things have absolutely nothing to do with success, true honest make your soul sing success. That is something that no amount of money can buy and no title can give, it is something each of us have to earn in our way. Read through the quote below and see how it speaks to you and leave a comment about what you think success really is.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The Wisdom of Fortune Cookies

I once got a fortune cookie that said "The strongest desire known to human life is to continue living" and at first it sounds like something so simple and true that we all kind of go d'uh but if you stop and think about it there is a deeper meaning to it. Our desires as we know them are just part of our paradigm which is really just a culmination of our thoughts, beliefs, habbits and feelings and in order for us to have such a stong desire that we can classify it as the strongest desire known to human life all those different pieces have to be desiring for the same thing. This is why change comes so slowly and painfully for so many people. Our current paradigm sees this change we are trying to bring into our life as a threat to its ability to keep on living and so it fights with all the resources it can to stop that changing from taking hold.

Why then do some of us seem to be able to change and adapt to change so calm and effortlessly? Could it be that those of us who experience this have come to realize that the change we are bringing into our lives is the end of our current paradigm but just an addition to it? You see when we accept a new truth, form a new habbit or decide to change the way we feel about something our old belief, habbit or feelings doesn't just drift away into the void. We still remember the old belief even though we don't currently agree with it and becuase of that we can view things through the perspective associated with that truth when we choose. Think about Santa Clause for instance. Most of us at one point in our lives believed that on the night of the 24th of December that a pudgy old man with bright red cheeks who magically slide down our chimeny's and leave us presents under the tree and drink the milk we left out for him. Now that we are grown we know this not to be the case yet when we talk to little children who still believe in Santa Clause we can understand where they are coming from and so we play along with their belief or we can choose to tell them the truth and take that magical time away from them. The point is the belief never really leaves does it?

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Facing Life’s Forest

The trail at Adam's Canyon in Layton, Utah

Life is like facing a dense forest where you can barely see through the trees. You know you want to get to the other side and you know you are going to have to go through the forest to get there. So you observe, analyze, theorize, test, plan and finally attempt to make your path. Yet more often than not you are so focused on following the path that you put so much effort into planning, so much time into thinking about that you fail to notice that just after you started to make your path you came across something wonderful; a natural trail through the forest that was hidden from you by the trees. One that, had you been paying attention to the here and the now instead of twenty trees down the line, would have made your journey so much easier and would have allowed you to enjoy the calm, peaceful beauty of the forest instead of fighting it to get to your goal.

We all live within the confines of our perception and we tend to zero in on something we feel is challenging us. What if we’re misunderstanding the situation though? What if through some miscommunication between life and us we took what was meant to be a rewarding experience and turned it into a never ending challenge with little meadows of easy travelling before we are forced back into pushing our way through branches and leaves?

Next time you feel your leaving the meadow and heading back into the fight take a moment to stop and try to shift your perspective. Let go of your long term goal for just a moment and take an objective account of the options life is currently offering you. You may find that one of them, something you had never thought of before in your life, sounds much more inviting, natural, enjoyable and rewarding than your original goal.

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If you could live forever, would you? The choice may not be yours…

The year is 2040 and the latest rave is immortality implants and genetic changes only you can’t get them because our beloved government had decided (Since it is represented by our ‘Decider’) that they will be the body that will control how long our lifespan will be. At least that’s the quote from Francis Fukuyama, a former bioethics councilmen under the Bush administration (see the article Experts debate indefinite lifespan. Poll: what’s your opinion? for the story that inspired this post.)

This is where my question comes in. Lets say that this technology comes out and is wildly successful and everyone is presented with the choice to live for as long as they personally determine. What right does the government have to step in and make that decision for me? I mean we are talking about MY life here!

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Zodiac Signs, Name Definitions and The Collective Unconscious

Have you ever read a description of your zodiac sign, birth number or name and thought “Whoa… that was almost creepy”? I find that personally more times than not any kind of description I read about any of my ’signs’ are pretty damn close to being spot on and I have a theory that involves some less out there methods while still maintaining a little mysticism and mystery to explain this.

Zodiac SymbolsCarl Jung proposed this idea of a “collective unconscious” in his work which basically says that at some deep unconscious level we are all connected to this warehouse of our species memories, experiences and emotions. What this means is that you, at some deep level, are connected to the person who actually wrote this definition. What this also means is that if any of these definitions have been around for say a couple hundred years, than humanity has been hearing this definition over and over and over and… you get the idea. So how does this explain the definition being so accurate? When we are very young I think the connection between our subconscious or unconscious and conscious is much stronger and we can easily reach into this warehouse of information from our species. Now when our subconscious learns our name it simply uses it’s access to look up what it means and thinks “Oh, that’s who I’m supposed to be. Okay”. Same thing applies to Zodiac or birth number definitions, or whatever other kind of definition you can think of.

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A New Spin on Déjà Vu

Reset ButtonA friend of mine sent me an article on a theory by Brian Whitworth Ph.D that basically puts the idea out there that the Big Bang was actually someone or something flipping the switch on a ‘Virtual Reality’ which we experience as our ‘real reality’. While this idea is pretty cool it’s hard to think that we’re nothing more than a simulation in a virtual world. Kind of takes the ‘Bang’ out of life. However, this theory got me thinking about Déjà vu the other day and I have my own theory I’d like to throw out there:

What if Déjà vu is your mind or your consciousness coming back to a ’save’ point in your life. For example, you get Déjà vu while driving your car. What if “you” have already driven down this street and you made a choice that led to another choice that led to another choice that eventually led to a situation or decision your consciousness either couldn’t handle or didn’t want to so it analyzed the data it had, found a point where it believes the chain of events started from and ‘reset’ you to that point. The more times you’ve been ‘reset’ to that point the more times you’ve experienced it and as a by product the Déjà vu gets more intense and lengthy.

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