Are you asking yourself the right questions?

Fear is one of the worst enemies of success. Confront your fears, see them for what they are, throw them to the side and chase your dreams with a relentless passion. What are you afraid of today? What fears must you conquer to be able to achieve your dream?

Don’t be lethargic and wake up from your slumber. Persevere to the utmost of your abilities. Unsuccessful people will never accept responsibility for themselves. Are you accepting responsibility and taking your life into your own hands?

Are you focusing on what you can control? Come at it from a higher awareness, always choose to see the positive in everything and shift your perspective. Focus on yourself and create, create the moments that you are proud of. Control yourself and your emotions because ultimately that’s all that matters.

Do something instead of killing time, because time is killing you – Paulo Coelho

What is it that you value?

I value growth and always pushing myself.

I value being congruent to myself.

I value positivity.

I value success.

I value honesty and integrity.

You create your reality in your head. Life is meaningless so give it the meaning you want to give it. Don’t believe everything you see, reality or consciousness or whatever is is you want to call it is usually dictated to us. You create this life and the reality you want so fill your thoughts with extremely positive and ridiculous talk. Make the conscious decision everyday and put it into action.

Things aren’t weird or crazy or insane, they are just way out of people’s realities and comfort zones.

I’m currently re-reading “Hidden Spirituality of Men” by Matthew Fox and I found a passage that I highlighted that resonates deeply with me. I’ll leave you with this,

The warrior knows about death, does not deny mortality but carries it like a shield. A guard by which to defend self others. Knowing one’s mortality urges one to live fully now and defend what is beautiful now, not tomorrow. The warrior does not wait to live, does not put off living and loving and defending and creating for another day” – Matthew Fox

What is holding you back right now, at this very moment that is keeping you from where you need to go and who you want to be?

 

TSM

What The Thinker Thinks, The Prover Proves

I’m currently re-reading a fantastic book called “Prometheus Rising” by Robert Anton Wilson (RAW), that a good friend recommended to me a couple of years ago and I think I’ve re-read this book every year since 2011! It’s a great book because part of it is tongue-in-cheek and parts of it are entirely applicable to life.

In the early chapters of the book, RAW talks about a known concept “Whatever the thinker thinks, the prover proves”. What does that mean?

I want you to think of the color white….right now. Now close your eyes. Open your eyes and immediately your brain focuses on all of the white objects in the room. Great….so what? Now I want you to see how many blue things your brain remembered? Interesting, no?

Our brains are very interesting in that it is like a computer with years and years of software programs installed that have become buggy or slow that we can completely reboot. I will save the outline of the book but you can find it online. I highly recommend it.

So how can you use this in your life? One of the key tenets in self-improvement is being able to shift yourself into patterns of continual positive self-belief, to focus on the positives over the negatives. Many people refuse to believe that creating a better life or achieving your goals can be accomplished by mastering this concept alone. In some ways, they are correct. If you read Tony Robbins, Maxwell Martz, Zig Ziglar etc, you will find that the key concept is this positive reinforcement. Think about it, if you are either consciously or subconsciously telling yourself that you suck and are self-defeating then your brain will reorganize the information it receives to Prove what the thinker has thought. I’ve read some books that label this as a Reticular Activation System amongst other names.

Right now I’m reading a few books and they seem to all be pointing me towards this direction of creating positive re-frames, I’m being pointed back to square one which is refreshing. It’s like the universe is taking me back so that I can master these original beginning concepts. In order to be a shining man (or woman!) this is definitely the first area of self-control that we need to master. It’s something I will be focusing on everyday for the next month to see how much of a difference it makes.

Think about the absolute best version of yourself that you want to be. What qualities would you have? How would you act? Are you unshakeably confident? Are you charming, irresistible and witty? Write it down, download Evernote and create a visualisation board of this and constantly refine this best version of you. If you take this first step and continually think of yourself and life in a positive manner then I would be surprised if you don’t begin to achieve or at least move somewhat closer to where you want to be!

We are trying to change and hack our software so that our brain will find evidence to prove it correct. This is how belief systems work. We are trying to prove what we are thinking ;)

I am great.

I am confident.

I am attractive.

I am irrestible.

I am moving towards my goals.

Try it out for the weekend and shoot me some comments, I would love to hear from you all, this is a community afterall :)

 

The Shining Man

Life man

Howdy everyone, it’s been awhile. I thought I’d start out my first post in awhile as honestly as I possibly can. My posts on The Shining Man have been inconsistent to say the least and I feel that this has been a reflection of my life for the past year. These inconsistencies have been neither good or bad though. I will warn you in advance that this has a little less structure to my previous posts, I am just letting it all flow out.

It’s funny how fractal life is, how in the way you do anything, you do everything. My inconsistency in life, my inconsistency in posting and everything in general all stemmed down to something within myself that I hadn’t confronted – until now. I am a firm believer in synchronicity and that everything happens for a reason.

Lately I have been working on some projects that have really forced me to summon parts of myself that have been laying dormant for quite some time, and that was the process I had created for myself to be process oriented and focusing on the present moment. You see, everyday is an entirely new day, and life does not keep score on what you did yesterday, how you felt, where you’ve come from. Rather, life is built to focus on what you will do now, with the skill set you have right now, what you’re willing to do and putting in the work to get to where you want to go.

In order to operate at your best, and for me that is as A Shining Man, you have to work hard everyday, if this was easy than we would all be living the dream!

Whatever it is you choose to believe in, life/the universe/the force helps people who help themselves – fortune favors the prepared. I can safely admit that I have been a shadow of my former self for the past 8 months and quite honestly did not give a fuck…about anything. 

I had been working hard for a long time and had not seen tangible results or rewards for the time and effort I had put into many things. In trying to be an entrepreneur and embodying those qualities that lead to success, I was looking around at my peer group and seeing the easier life they were leading with less effort. I thought to myself, what’s the fucking point?

Well, I’m back to the state of mind where I’m beginning to see the point again. You become your environment for better or worse, whether that is the company you keep, the things you watch, the books you read or the food you eat. I forgot that and just lived life through the motions – the complete antithesis of who I wanted to become and why I started writing. 

My interest is moving back towards operating my hardware and software to its highest level and hack these systems to achieve my definition of success. 

I was afraid to be me, to be my unique self and shine like the diamond that I know I am. Am I being egoistical in that statement? No, because we are truly all unique and are diamonds, born with our own identity until society moulds us to conform and fit within the system. Let’s get extreme and ask the question, what is the point of existence if we are not here to completely and unashamedly be ourselves and shine bright? 

In order to awaken ourselves, we must first fall in love with ourselves. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, who will have confidence in following you? 

It was important for me to go through something like this and get to the other side. From pain comes growth. If you’re going through something like this I implore you to keep fighting the battle and push through and never give up. At the very worse, I am on your side!

Thanks for having me back,

The Shining Man

Be like water – Bruce Lee

Find your eternal Peter Pan

Robin Williams as Peter Pan

The world just lost a great legend of a human being. As I scroll through my Facebook feed, my Tweetdeck and Instagram I have never seen so many tributes being paid to a celebrity as I’ve seen with Robin Williams untimely passing. This is testament to the impact that his acting had on generations of people. Now straight off the bat I always see people react to a celebrity’s death or misfortune with cries of the injustice of the world, with the wars in the Middle-east, with famine and poverty in Africa. I’m sorry people, that is not the point, it is a battle for another time though.

Robin Williams crafted so many great characters throughout his amazing career with unforgettable performances in Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Dead Poet’s Society and many many more. Today though I would like to focus on one, my all-time favourite, Peter Pan.

Coincidentally I share the same first name with Peter Pan and as such have somewhat of a soft spot for the character, after all I did get spoiled with a Peter Pan cake for my 21st birthday! My entire life I have always been enchanted by this character of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. As many of my regular readers know, I have spent the better part of the last five years trying to understand human behaviour and belief systems and understand how some people are successful and how others aren’t. To simplify, I love understanding how – all else being equal – if there is a common thread between successful people or not…and it turns out there is.

Yesterday me and best friend spent a late night in the studio writing and we were crafting a song about standing different from the crowd, not being afraid and chasing your dreams. Cliche I know but still very relevant in our modern society. What is it about growing up that when we hit the proverbial fork-in-the-road we have to choose between reality or chasing our dreams? It is like as soon as we turn 25 we all freak out and “think that we have to get our shit together”.

Why can’t you fly now, mother?”
“Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way.”
“Why do they forget the way?”
“Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly.
J.M. BarriePeter Pan

Sadly, as soon we shut off the “dreamer” within us, we are relegated to a life of suppressed goals that kills our spirit and you can see this in the eyes of people going to work who hate their job, always thinking back and thinking “what-if”? Now I know there are many who face unfortunate hardships that aren’t afforded this luxury, so be gentle on me I’m generalizing here!

Depression is a horrible thing and some people say it is a chemical imbalance, a disease if you will, while others say it is a state of mind. Out of respect for Robin Williams, I would like to focus on that one thing – chasing your dreams. The older we get the more we try and play it safe, to never stick out, to live within imaginary boundaries and stay comfortable. Mid-life crisis I believe is a condition caused by suppressing that vision that you had for yourself when you were younger.

So what is the remedy? Well for those that say depression is a disease, I argue that it has been a negative state of mind that has been reinforced and compounded over many years. As such, changing that state of mind and introducing one positive thought a day might help – you have to start somewhere.

For those of use who are still in limbo, I say to take some time and really ask yourself a few questions.

What makes you happy?
Are you where you want to be in your life?
Have you reached some of your goals?
What do you want in your life, out of your life?
What do you fear the most in your life?
What makes you feel the most alive?
If money wasn’t a concern what would you be doing with your life?

This is just scratching the surface here but you get the idea.

So what does Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, have to do with all of this? I think the true essence of Peter Pan was that it was a story about never giving up, never losing that inner child who dreamed to take on the world. So many things in society are made to make us as normal as possible because the more normal and structured we are the easier it is for society to function. We were raised to believe to go to school, get good grades, get a safe job, marry your sweetheart, buy a house, live frugally and play it safe. For some, sure that in itself is a dream, but that’s not who I’m talking about.

Our parents grew up in different times, with different fears and as such they had different values. We grow up now in a world that is still uncertain, still living in fear. This is why it is so important to stay true to the above and never lose that inner child and never stop chasing your dreams. A very wise man once told me to have faith and jump. Step off the ledge.

Change your life, chasing your dreams.

I leave you with the wisdom of Robin Williams. Rest in Peace ‘ole boy.

Be well,

The Shining Man

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.

What do you want to be in the world? I mean the whole world. What do you want to be? Close your eyes and think about that
You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
I left school and couldn’t find acting work, so I started going to clubs where you could do stand-up. I’ve always improvised, and stand-up was this great release. All of a sudden, it was just me and the audience.

But only in their dreams can men be truly free. It was always thus and always thus will be. 

We were romantics. We didn’t just read poetry. We let it drip from our tongues like honey. SPirits soared. Women swooned, and gods were created, gentlemen. Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?

You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I’ll guarantee you’ll win.

What’s wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.

Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself

There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for

You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for.”

 

 

The Importance of Why

Recently I’ve been thinking about the factors driving motivation, how some people have it and some people are lacking in it. What are the commonalities of those people with a burning desire to succeed and those who are more inclined to let life be dictated to them?

[Even if you don’t like basketball I highly recommend watching the video in its entirety to appreciate the level of dedication this young man has to achieve his dreams]

I watch a lot of basketball and often enjoy drawing parallels between the drive and determination of basketball players and that of successful entrepreneurs and musicians. Yesterday I watched a video of Stanley Johnson, a high school basketball player from California who recently took his team to four straight national championships – very impressive stuff! Stanley Johnson is a freak of nature when you watch him play basketball, he is tall and fast, a good defensive player and has great knowledge of the game. Sure many people will attribute his talent and skill to some God-given talent but that is what most people do to justify the success that others have that they perceive they don’t.

A section of the video is focused on his mother, who was a champion basketball player herself in college, and she talks about Stan’s love of basketball from the age of 5 and his determination to be a professional basketball player from this young age. Understanding that her son had this drive she began to develop an extremely long term path of training and dedication for him that would later pay dividends to his yet-to-begin professional career. She raised him to become hard-working and to have the long term always in mind, for the first 5 years that he was able to dribble she would tie his left hand behind his back to develop his right hand skill. Then she would tie his right hand behind his back to develop his left hand skill. Then she would make him dribble the court with a blindfold on so that he wasn’t dependent on any one sense.

There are multiple lessons in this beautiful story but I want to focus on one first. The Why.

I often see people struggling with finding meaning in their life or just lacking the motivation to push them that one step further in their journey to improve their lives or to mastery. I believe that most people before they even begin doing something fail to ask themselves the most important question, why am I doing this? It sounds very simple but more often than not simplicity is often the best solution to many of our problems.

If you break down what it is that motivates us it all boils down to this one question, why am I doing something?

If you find it hard to get out of bed, ask yourself, why am I doing this? What do I want to be? Where do I want to go? What do I want to learn or achieve from this?

If you find yourself soon ready to give up after a long plateau or feel there is no positive end from now, ask yourself why am I doing this? What do I want to be? Where do I want to go? What do I want to learn or achieve from this?

By doing this, you are consciously asking yourself this question and the answer will come from something deep inside you, from your subconscious. In your subconscious are the true drivers for your motivation and your meaning of life, in the process that you are looking for to be a successful human being. If you just go through the motions without diligently questioning yourself in this way, you lose the ability to stick to the process without keeping the long-term end goal in mind.

Right now just ask yourself, “am I struggling with something?” or if you’re thinking I just can’t do it anymore, ask yourself why am I doing this? Actually do it.

Do you feel your body reacting to the answer, have you pictured in your head a successful version of you in the future? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Is it for money? Is it for security? Is it for freedom? Is it for your family? Is it to feel alive and break free from the monotony of a normal life? Is it for glory?

It doesn’t sound like much but this is something I personally use all the time and I have found it to be incredibly powerful in helping find my own answers and help me stay motivated.

Remember in life to try and keep it simple to strip everything back to its minimal core, no enemies within, no enemies without.

Be Well

The Shining Man.

Real men – Kevin Durant MVP


Greetings all! I know it’s been a long time between drinks and I must apologize for that, I tend to go through cycles of working hard with my head down and not being able to focus on the blog and getting my thoughts out there. Now is the time!

I will keep this one short and sharp.

In case you haven’t done so already please do yourself a favor and watch this clip of Kevin Durant from Oklahoma Thunder giving this speech http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2053737-kevin-durant-gives-heartfelt-thanks-to-teammates-while-accepting-nba-mvp-award.

This really touched my heart and struck a massive chord with me. For those who don’t follow NBA, Kevin Durant is one of the star players of the league and for his franchise the Oklahoma Thunder. This guy truly is all class and he is very much a Shining Man.

The thing that I loved about this speech was the massive amount of praise he gave to his team mates for being there and for pushing him, and most importantly for his mother and his family.

What is the true sign of greatness? Greatness comes from being humble and from never forgetting where you came from and who you are. KD talks about how much the rest of his team mates push him and how much their comments and support help him when he is down, and I mean truly down. This is the sign of a true champion. I admire athletes for the ability to continue to push towards their goals and more importantly never lose focus or become hampered by defeat.

There is a reason why extremely successful people, billionaires, legendary athletes – and so on and so forth – are where they are, they did things in their lives so few are prepared to do with their own. They sacrificed to chase their dreams, but the really great ones, they get there without forgetting where they come from.

We were all dealt our hand, some of us more fortunate than others, but what sets us up for failure or success is our determination to never let our past negatively affect our future. Have a look around you at the people you are surrounded by and ask yourself this question, are these the people who are going to push you to your potential? Do these people annoy you sometimes because they are always on your back? The only reason you respond negatively to them is because they are smacking you in the face with the truth, and if you aren’t reaching your potential, if you are getting lazy, this reaction is your sub-conscious realizing you haven’t been operating at your limit.

Your true friends are those that really know you, that really know what you fear and are prepared to ride with you ’til the end. They are there to hoist you up on their shoulders when you think you can’t go on any longer. KD knows this which is why it is so amazing to hear him praise each and every one of his team members.

We are all here for each other and if you are here reading this blog I hope my writing inspires you to realize your greatness or gets you moving in the right direction.

Be well,

The Shining Man