Lifestyle

Embracing Uncertainty

I love to read a lot, and I mean a lot! I’m constantly diving into new books, starting new ones, finishing old ones constantly absorbing information from different areas from fiction to finance, the occult and nature. I developed this appetite as a voracious reader in school, spending a lot of time by myself playing music and getting lost in the pages of good prose or poetry and it has really helped in my personal development as a young man.

I was driven to look for knowledge in books because I lacked the direction afforded to most young men in the form of a role model or whatever have you – but no excuses here! I noticed that after reading a book I was in some way invigorated like I had discovered some new secret that no one else knew and I walked around with a little smug smirk on my face somehow feeling more self-confident full of self esteem. Has this ever happened to you?

I gravitated to more books about self-development and grand fictional stories of characters with strong principles and I would sometimes absorb those principles and attributes that I too wanted to cultivate – in a way it gave me power…but it also made me dependant and like a drug addict I was always searching for my next hit, where was it going to come from? Ayn Rand? Homer? Marcus Aurelius? Henry David Thoreau? Suits? (haha it’s true you can get knowledge from anywhere!)

Life is funny because you move through so many different cycles, learning lessons at the bottom when you felt that you were finished, and forgetting lessons at the top thinking the good times will keep rolling on. I am a devout believer in respecting the process because I believe that it is through repetition of a correct process that people begin to develop skills and I mean truly develop the skills that will propel them to something great or feeling great. Sadly, 95% of us never reach that stage of dedication, opting instead to take the easier path, the road that doesn’t tear at us, rip us apart, make us feel stupid, make us feel like failures, make us feel lost…and the list goes on and on. That’s okay though it’s human nature and it takes some extraordinary willpower to get there, but that’s why you’re reading this right ;)

The majority of people will never walk down the road less travel because it is UNCERTAIN and people hate uncertainty, we are hardwired to respond to leadership and respond to orders, it subconsciously takes the responsibility away from us and from our decisions because “someone else told us to do it”.

I found that I constantly went to books because I was looking for that exact thing, some sort of certainty some sort of guiding hand to help me along my journey, I, like many people was searching for assurance. I came to realise that the world is completely uncertain and the huge paradigm shift comes when we can accept that uncertainty and embrace it even using it to help guide us.

The answer lies within. It hit me that all this time searching for the shortcut or searching for the path to walk was me searching for certainty, searching for directions to take away the pain and embarrassment of failure. I had a huge change in perspective and a massive paradigm shift once I did this.

We are all scared of the future, most of us don’t even know what is going to happen. Some of us are in a job or a career that we question, unsure of what we are supposed to do next. Some of us leave it until tomorrow, but how soon tomorrow becomes never. Most of us are trigger shy because we are uncertain of what is going to happens. Most of us seek advice in the hopes of comforting us in our decisions, but those same people are in the same boats as us. Remember, this is your life and you are reading this because you are on the same wavelength as me, you are seeking change and looking for likeminded individuals in the hopes of removing some uncertainty! 

No one can predict the future and the harsh reality is that you could be here today gone tomorrow, really really really think about that. Most people are stuck in hypnosis believing that they will live forever, leaving their passions, dreams, business ideas until another day. Don’t get stuck in that loop because it is so hard to break out of once you are under the spell that mainstream society has cast upon you. Most people are already dead just going through the motions seeking cheap thrills to take their mind away from their mundane existence – it’s harsh language but I’m not going to sugar coat it for you. Don’t seek cheap thrills, seek a life that you want to live, seek the passions and the dreams that will make you feel alive.

Embrace uncertainty.

You will never stop the feeling of fear at doing new things.

It never goes away, it just gets easier to get started. 

Be prepared to fall, you will get up again.

Be prepared to make mistakes and face ridicule – there will be those that are scared of your willpower because they can’t take action themselves

Look inwards and clear your mind – trust you will get to where you want to go.

 

Be well,

The Shining Man

 

 

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The Only Thing You Can Control is Yourself

I’ve decided to give The Shining Man a little bit of an update cosmetically and keep it much more simple, which goes hand-in-hand with how I like to live my life. Simplicity is king.

It’s been about a month since I’ve last written and for good reason too, I have been super busy working on a new business and that plus Sons of Midnight is taking up most of my time. I can safely say that 2013 will definitely be earmarked as a year to remember for me, so many things have happened and I am so grateful to have had these amazing life experiences.

Starting a new venture is really fulfilling, really draining and really scary but I am convinced that the best way to truly embody the principles of a Shining Man is to go out on a limb and try something. Entrepreneurs are THE coolest and baddest motherfuckers out there, they took a huge risk with their life and their capital and were probably faced with outright skepticism from the beginning, so kudos to you if you had a great support network. Entrepreneurs are the life blood of capitalism and help push society forward, which is why the most successful ones are the most handsomely paid – just google Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Joshua Kushner, Tony Zappos to name a few.

Enough about that though, today I wanted to write about self-control.

The concept of self control is THE central belief system that we must install in our heads, because without it all else fails. You must have the belief that the only thing you can control in this life, in this universe is yourself. You control your actions, you control your beliefs, you control your emotions and how you react to situations. Life is about probability and we have no idea what the universe has in store for us next, but the most important thing is that we are prepared by taking ourselves into our own hands.

Fortune favors the prepared mind – Louis Pasteur 

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck. – Tony Robbins

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation – Henry David Thoreau

Is there something that you really want, a life that you imagine for yourself now? In the future? In ten, twenty or thirty years? The most important thing is not IF it is possible but that you are moving in that direction. The only people that ask if are the people that can’t imagine making mistakes, can’t imagine failing and can’t endure pain. Don’t ask if but take the first step towards where you want to go. Success in life is little about how and more about that grit and determination in getting there, after all life is a journey and the journey that you take to get there is worth more in the end.

There are no rules in life, and lady luck will tend to throw us all curve balls which leads us to going to Plan B, Plan C, Plan D et cetera, life is not perfect and neither should your plan because I can guarantee that things WILL NOT go the way that you planned.

So what can you do?

  1. You control your beliefs
  2. You control your actions
  3. You control your reactions

Those above three steps all build on each other because once you believe that you control your beliefs, everything will fall into place. Once you have that and start controlling your actions, your taking action will reinforce those beliefs which will allow you to control your reactions, which leads to a beautiful and positive self-reinforcing cycle of belief and action. No matter what anyone tells you, you CAN do it.

Are you trying to lose weight and boost your self-esteem – note not self-confidence but self-esteem

  1. Realise that your current behaviours are unhealthy
  2. Take the necessary action by starting to exercise and PUSH YOURSELF
  3. Your good and positive emotions and your body transforming will reinforce 1 and 2.

Are you trying to hustle, be successful and ultimately become a boss?

  1. Remember that YOU CAN DO IT and every one “starts from the bottom”
  2. Think about a solution to a problem (if you are selling a product)
  3. Educate yourself and build the skill-set or bring together a group of people with the skills that you don’t have
  4. Start something new
  5. When you begin to achieve success (however you want to define it) these actions will reinforce those beliefs.

This is why, to me, reading is so crucial to success. Most people say they can’t read or don’t have the attention span, but remember your brain is a muscle which means you have to train your brain to be able to sit down and read. Start small, start by reading a chapter every few days, then a chapter a day and soon enough you’ll be chomping through books. Did you know that some of the most successful people on earth are voracious readers. That exercise is an example of the system I was explaining above.

Reading has a special place in my heart because if you are trying to break free from your current state and you don’t know where to turn to first, read a book. Read an autobiography or a book about a successful person because chances are there is something in there that you can relate to and take lessons from. Remember that the person who wrote that book spent a considerable amount of their time to assimilate their life lessons and experience in a condensed and effective format to help you.

 

“Be – don’t try to become” – Osho

 
Yours always,

The Shining Man

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A Daily Reminder

I have big dreams and aspirations. I work hard everyday to realise the vision I have for my life, every moment is another experience and another step in my journey to achieving my dreams. Where things should have been a weakness for me, I was fortunate enough to turn them into my strengths. Growing up without a dominant male figure in my life – which is a common story in our modern society – I was blessed with the thirst for knowledge, to learn on my own out of necessity, but I always had one thing that drove me – to be better.

My friend recently asked “why do I always hate losing, in anything that I do?” – I was surprised, that isn’t a bad thing! Most people can’t even summon the courage to put it all on the line day in day out in the pursuit of personal glory. It’s better to absolutely hate losing because you’ve put everything on the line, then unconsciously go about your life with no competitive streak!

Do you have a vision for yourself, can you see where you want to go and where you want to be? Visualisation of your future is so important to me and it has really helped me a lot. Sure I am content with what I’ve got but having to be grateful for how fortunate we are is used as a justification by some people to not push forward. Sadly I think it is a filter, we are constantly surrounded by things in the mainstream press and – subconsciously – by our friends and family of the limitations that we face. Have you ever had such a big dream but were constantly shut down about it?

Most warnings and the limiting beliefs that people project onto us are warnings to people that haven’t got the hunger to realise a vision for themselves, or even the self-belief to do so. IT IS EASY TO TAKE IT EASY.

Pain is good, it means you’ll get better. The process of success hurts because you’ve fallen over so many times on the way up. Look at yourself in the mirror, picture your vision and take the small steps forward, push yourself and make it hurt. What is it that you really want?

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The Door of Opportunity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning, just thought I would share something with you that really struck a chord with me. It’s about opportunity and just putting yourself out there. So many people think that just creating content, whether that be music, writing, blogging, fashion, or anything will get you noticed – it’s part of the entitlement syndrome that modern society has bred in us, we think we deserve the world. I’m not saying don’t work hard, but play the game too, be social and get out there get noticed. Sometimes in life, as you’ve heard many times before, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

When the Door of Opportunity Opens
by Chris Widener

Anybody can achieve anything—do you believe that? I do. But there is a caveat that must be made. Those who succeed are those who walk through the door of opportunity when it swings open. That we know. But what is the secret to getting through the door of opportunity?

Being outside the door when it swings open.

As the story goes, Frank Sinatra got his big break while working as a waiter. One day, as he was waiting tables, who does he see sitting in the restaurant, but one of the biggest names in the music industry. Old Blue Eyes did the unbelievable: He cleared off a table next to the gentleman and got up on it and sang! He knew he was done at the restaurant for doing so, but how many times would this door of opportunity open up? Needless to say, the rest is history.

You may have heard about the stagehand for Kenny G who one day was in the auditorium with Kenny, just the two of them, when he started to play every song for him on the piano that was set up. Kenny didn’t even know the guy could play the piano. Guess who is now the lead keyboardist for Kenny G? You got it!

You see, you never know when the door of opportunity is going to open wide. For some, the big break comes early in life, and for others, later on. But for all of those who become successful, there is one key similarity: They were ready. And for every one of those who were ready, there were thousands more who weren’t.

So the principle for us is: Be ready!

Are you ready? Here are some thoughts for you to consider.

Are your skills as sharp as they could be? Are they enough so when your shot comes you can perform? Is your character deep enough to handle success? Let’s face it; you don’t want big success if your character won’t be able to handle it.

Are you working hard to position yourself now? The job to do while waiting for the door to open is to develop your skills and your character, so as to position yourself to get through that door before it closes.

Your door will open someday. It opens for everyone. It may only open once or it may open many times. It is different for everyone and life just isn’t fair that way. But everybody gets a shot. Will you be ready?

When that huge door of opportunity opens up, will you be able to walk boldly through it?

Do everything you can to be ready. Don’t just sit and wish and dream. Be proactive and make sure that you are the most qualified when the door opens. Make sure that you are the hardest worker. Make sure you are the closest to the door. When it opens, be ready!

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The Power of Mistakes

Wow, it’s been a long time between drinks since my last post, almost coming up on month! Sorry for the lack of writing, but for the past few months I have felt that if I put pen to paper, to make it count. On with it :)

The Power of Mistakes

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and every time I make them it hurts, and it never gets any better. Mistakes are bad though right? Wrong, mistakes are good.

We have grown up in a society that only permits us being right, that we are somehow failures for being wrong or not being ‘good enough’. Sadly it is a mindset that is a byproduct of our environment.

As a young man, making mistakes is considered as unmanly and we as man should always be right, can you remember your father ever putting on a manly front in the die hard belief (or pure stubbornness) that he was right. He was afraid to make mistakes.

See your ego paints a vivid image of yourself and how it perceives itself and it will try so very hard to never put you in a place where this image is challenged. It doesn’t like it. So subconsciously most of us will never ever get to the point of pushing ourselves, or completely expressing ourselves for fear of having our image challenged, or worse yet, never going that extra distance, so we don’t make a mistake!

Learning comes from making your biggest errors, being wrong and making the wrong judgements. I’ve done this over and over and over again in my life but it’s what makes me grow as a person and as a man. You are your greatest teacher in life, and it’s only once you trust yourself in knowing this and look back at the mistakes you make will you turn your mistakes into gifts of learning.

We are only human and bound to making the same decisions from the same mentalities, and it is not until we step away and “see ourself, seeing ourselves” that we can view things objectively. Have you made a mistake lately? Good, think about it. Is it something you can fix? Something you can repair? Someone you can talk to and heal your relationship with them? Learn from it.

Embrace your mistakes and go for it, don’t be afraid to look like an idiot. You may be wrong, you may be right but it’s not until you ‘burn the bridges’ and go for broke will you ever find out. Constantly remind yourself, think back and look to the future, look at my Aldous Huxley quote below.

Enjoy being wrong almost as much as you enjoy being right. It’s hard and it takes a bigger man to admit and embrace how wrong he is. It is not woven in the fabric of how society says we are supposed to be as men, but it is wrong.

Go against the grain, be wrong, hurt a little and make mistakes.

Be well.

The Shining Man

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Maintain the fire

How do you keep that fire burning alive inside of you? How do you keep that passion driving you further closer to where you want to be?

You might not know this but all of your life’s experiences that have lead you here is the fuel that you need to keep going. Use your life’s experiences to drive you.

Depending on how better you respond, whether that be negative or positive reinforcement, you can use the deep experiences you have cultivated to help you define the vision and define the goals that you set for yourself.

I have a hunger, do you? I hunger to continue to grow and have the freedom to do anything, and I mean anything. Whether that be financially free or be free from the shackles that society tries to impose on you, because believe it or not most of us aren’t free, we are frozen on the inside, afraid to truly be who we are. We lack the confidence to freely express ourselves for fear of judgement.

I’ve used lost loves, triumphant moments and beautiful experiences that I’ve shared with people to keep me hungry, to put fuel on my fire and unfreeze my inhibitions.

Has there been times in your life where someone has doubted you? Broken you? Helped you when you were down? Think about those times and draw power from them. If it was a negative experience, re-frame it in your head and draw power from them.

I have learned the lesson that you must surround yourself with people who inspire you, who support you and encourage you, who challenge you to never give up, who challenge you to be at your best, who ultimately want to experience life with you. 

They are very simple rules to live by.

Be well.

The Shining Man

PS I am currently re-reading “The Doors of Perception” by Aldous Huxley, check it out :)

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