Because because because because because …

Because of the wonderful things he does –
We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz.*

Dorothy and her companions were to make their journey to the Wizard of Oz because they thought he could help them.

To know why and how we do the things we do really matters.

It takes time, questioning and ongoing reflection but it can be the most liberating thing that we can do.

It is what Dorothy and her friends were going to discover about themselves.

Towards focusing on our because, Ben Hardy’s five means of forcing our function to a higher level are helpful.

Figure out how to invest more of yourself in what you do.

Use the expectations of your environment to hold you accountable.

Increase the consequences of failure.

Do things that are more difficult.

Change things, do things differently, rather than same old same old.

Each of these will help us feel the real because because because because because.

(*From the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz.)
(**See Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)

One finger one thumb one arm one leg one nod of the head keep moving

Here’s another saying from somewhere in my childhood: Every day in every way I am getting better and better.

I wish I knew at half my age what I know now.

As I thought about this, regret gave way to gladness: I know many things now that I didn’t know at 29 or 30.

It means I’m still moving, still growing.

Agility is important to keep moving in this journey.

Open minds, open hearts and open wills develop our agility.

Read another book.

Ask someone to tell you about the things that are important in their lives.

Do something you haven’t done before.

Open your mind open your heart open your will keep moving …

Transcendence

The gravitational pull holding you down is the struggle you must learn to transcend.*
(Ben Hardy)

To the human nothing is as it first appears.

When the World Wide Web appeared we came upon blue words.  Phrases and sentences that, if clicked on – whoah, took us somewhere else.

Everything is blue.

Perhaps you were hyperklinked here from my other blog, but people, places, ideas, objects, smells, tastes, sounds and more transport us to new possibilities and experiences.

Transcendence means “to climb beyond.”

We are a transcendent species.

This is not it.

This is not who I am.

My next contribution will be …

(*From Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)

Complacency and the gift of randomness

Struggling with one’s own shadow self, facing interior conflicts and moral failures, undergoing rejection and abandonment, daily humiliations, experiencing any kind of abuse, or any form of limitation: all are gateways into deeper consciousness and the flowering of the soul.*
(Richard Rohr)

True meaning in life is to be discovered in the world rather than with man or his own psyche.  I have termed this constitutive characteristic “the self-transcendence of human existence” [-] self actualisation is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.**
(Viktor Frankl)

We must create our most enriching environments but there is no such thing as a perfect one.  We are in danger if we believe there is.  They are all gardens full of rocks and weeds.

Then we must break out of our environment, disrupt the danger of complacency with some randomness, some practice that is different or reading someone who brings us something new or we disagree with.

It’s not easy because our environments are woven together with our emotions, making them tricky places for us, as David Brooks points out:

‘far from being a cold engine for processing information, neural connections are shaped by emotion’.^^

Journaling is always really helpful for capturing this, making whatever other means for inquiring of our lives more effective:

‘Journaling makes the other keystone activities ten times or a hundred times more powerful.  If you’re not using your journal daily, then your meditation, visualisation, and prayer will be far less effective.’^

The mythologist Joseph Campbell writes about the critical nature of our myths or big stories that we tell:

‘The ancient myths were designed to harmonise the mind and the body.  The mind can ramble off in strange ways and want things that the body does not want.’*^

Journaling becomes a way of capturing and unwrapping the myths we live within, to be able to change them when we become complacent within them and re in danger of ceasing to grow.

(*From Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now.)
(**Viktor Frankl, quoted in Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)
(^From Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)
(^^David Brooks, quoted in Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber’s The Slow Professor.)
(*^From Joseph Campbell and All Moyers’ The Power of Myth.)

Bland moments

Recording your history is a crucial component of journal writing.  It provides context to your ideas, goals, and plans.*
(Ben Hardy)

Tenda began telling me how tired she was, with days full of work and studies, including extra degrees of difficulty – there wasn’t a lot of time for sleep.

At the end of hour-long conversation I simply had to mention that she had been wide awake the whole time.  The reason being, she was telling me about what she loved and that mattered to her.

Our conversation was a verbal journal.  It was a way for Tenda to be able to articulate the things that mattered to her and, through my questions, bring greater form and detail to these.

This is what journaling helps us to do.

When we get up in the morning and journal, we find ourselves joining in the story that we have been writing over many months, even years.  We know where to pick up, where to take it next, how to lay it down in the evening with satisfaction ready to pick up again the following morning.

When we do this, it’s difficult to have bland moments:

‘A key component of writing big-picture is that it re-connects with your “why.”‘*

While we may think journaling is about changing ourselves, it’s really about changing our environment.  As Ben Hardy points out:

‘Because the environment prompts your behaviour, it is the environment that needs to be disrupted.’*

If we begin the day in a bland way, we ought to not be surprised that we live in blandness.  If we read blandness, if we don’t focus our thoughts, if we connect with bland people, we shouldn’t be taken aback by blandness.

Just beneath the surface, though, there is a dynamic self simply needing a dynamic environment to surface to.

Journaling is a dynamic environment.

The books we read can come from dynamic thinkers and activators.  The people we seek out to connect with at work and in play and around our hobbies can be the dynamic people we need for disrupting our environment.

Ban the bland.

(*From Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)

Defying gravity

The gravitational pull holding you down is the struggle you must learn to transcend.*
(Ben Hardy)

The most spiritual thing you will do today is choose.**
(Erwin McManus)

We imagine that life is richer when we have more options.

Options, though, emit a gravitational pull on our lives.

Choice, though, sets us free from these, places us on a trajectory of releasing our joy and purpose.

(*From Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)
(**From Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow.)

This is my spirituality

Since then something within me
strains through closed pores
of words to get its echo out,
but becomes dumb again
when it hears their foreign voices
mangle outside what is tender within.*
(John O’Donohue)

Your little “I Am” becomes “We Are.”**

Human consciousness means life is more than food, shelter and procreation.

Whether we think of this as being our spirituality, what emerges through our imaginations is nothing less than astounding and sometimes exquisite.  There’s something trying to come together from the day we are born, straining to express itself through each and every life.

It is a tenuous and fragile thing at first, struggling to meet the expectations of others, even being stopped by these.  There is something in this that is about joining with all things – with the universe, with each other, with ourselves and, perhaps, god.  We know we need to connect, but not anyhow.

When our connections are smart – that is, we bring our best selves to join with each other – we step into the higher and the sublime.  When are connections are less than this – when we meet in our unexplored selves – the results can be mediocre or even dangerous.

But when we are doing what we love and love what we do, bringing our ever developing talents and imaginations and hopes and practises to bear, then all things are possible.

(*From John O’Donohue’s Echoes of Memory: Arrival.)
(**From Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now.)

To die for

The reason people consider peak experiences to be rare is because they haven’t set up their lives to live them on a regular basis.  Most people are disconnected from themselves.*
(Ben Hardy)

But that future is energising only for those for whom the present has become unbearable.**
(Walter Brueggemann)

We live with huge imaginations in a world where a day has only 24 hours.  We have to choose carefully what we do.

What Ben Hardy names peak experiences I think of as being bright moments.

These are the moments where our energies (passions), talents and experiences are fully present and together.  When we notice what these moments look like for us – and they are different for everyone, we can make more of them happen … and then can diversify them.

These are our enriching environments.

With only 24 hours in a day, there’ll be things we have to let go of.  To be at our creative best – which requires plenty of rest and refreshment – there’ll be things we have to get let go of, things to die to.

It could just be the things that need to go are stopping you from identifying your peak experiences.

(*From Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)
(**From Walter Brueggemann’s The Prophetic Imagination.)

Calling: present and imperfect

Some are waiting for their call.

Some don’t think people like them will ever receive a call.

Others think once they are called, that’s it.

But what if calling is present imperfect?

What if you’ve already been called?

What if you’ll be called again today?

What if there’ll be another call tomorrow, different to the degree you responded today?

Responding to a call will bring you into enriched environments that enhance calling.