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goals

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You're Going to Die, Your Accomplishments Mean Nothing... and That's OK

You are going to die. Your name and your life story will be forgotten. Everything you’ve built, worked for and accomplished will dry up and vanish like condensation on a summer afternoon. 

Think of the billions of people who have come and gone from this planet since the dawn of history. A small handful are recorded in history books but the life and legacy of the vast majority are erased like an old hard drive. 

Does that scare you? It scares me a little. But it also changes my perspective on things like career, goals and dreams

LETTING YOU OFF THE HOOK

Nothing ultimately matters. The book you’re writing, the dreams you’re chasing, the house you’re building… it all will disappear. I find that if I really look into it, most of our pursuit of accomplishments, career, success and notoriety are simply the ego’s search for survival and relevance. We want our art to outlive us and keep our name alive. We want fame to persuade others to reflect that our existence matters. 

But we still die and are forgotten in just a couple generations. How often do you dwell on your grandfather’s career or your great-grandmother’s accomplishments? (Do you even know their names or what they did for a living?) Additionally, our worth as a human being is no more important than literally anyone else. The street sweeper working for pocket change in Saudi Arabia is exactly no more or less important and will live no more or less longer than the top realtor, the recognizable Hollywood celeb or the millionaire entrepreneur. 

SO, WHAT THEN, IS THE POINT?

The point of our few years here is not to get a great job or accomplish your dreams or build a successful business. It’s great to contribute to society and the betterment of those around you if you can, but it’s certainly not the end-game. The point is to be the eyes of “God” experiencing a 3D (or multi-dimensional) world through your particular set of genetics and circumstances. To say it another way: the point of life is to experience life. As far as I understand it, that’s it.

For about 70-80 earth years (give or take) the universe is witnessing itself through a portal called “you.” Right now, “God” is playing the role of “you” reading this on a computer or mobile device. The things you’ve done today, the life you’ve built, your particular body composition and health and psychology - is simply ONE lens in an ocean of billions and trillions of lenses in which the universe diversely experiences itself. 

EVERYONE PLAY YOUR PART

Maybe your trip is that you’re the frustrated, underaccomplished striver that never quite “gets there.” Maybe you’re the successful business manager. Maybe you’re the angry victim who was crushed on the corporate ladder. In a sea of endless diversity, each of those characters has to exist too.

All that to say - and I’m speaking to myself here - “chill the fuck out.” If you die a beggar, a pool boy, a food runner, a postal worker, an engineer, a custodian or a rock star, it matters not. Your ego seeks worth and survival from these things but in a short amount of time you’re going to be worm food anyway.

Instead of always planning and dreaming about a future goal, be present now. Leave work at work so you can experience and love the ones in your immediate sphere. Put down your to-do list at lunch and fully enjoy and taste that peach

Whoever you are and whatever game you’re playing - why not just be grateful? Soon you will be NOTHING. At this moment, though, you’re very much a SOMETHING. So look around you and be appreciative of all that you are and have. Maybe you need to take a less demanding job so you can enjoy your evenings and weekends. Or go ahead and build your tech start-up or get your doctorate degree if you must. But if you forget to hug your kids, neglect to take vacations or frantically strive so hard for money that you IGNORE YOUR *LIFE*, it’s not too late to reconsider. 

By Trevor, The Edge of Spirit

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Go, Do and Be... Anything

Your eyes slowly open; it’s morning: a large block of conscious awareness lies before you like an empty scroll. Chances are you go through your routine and head out the door. Or if you’re a little more tuned in you may ask yourself, "What will the day hold? What unforeseen experiences await? I wonder what will happen today?"

But you're asking the wrong fucking questions.

There is a world of difference between a day chosen deliberately by conscious intention and one left to the winds of change, distraction and momentary urgencies. Your mammalian brain can and will lead you around all day fulfilling subtle and not-so-subtle bodily urges, seeking dopamine-spiking experiences and making choices based on comfort and fear.

Do you realize that today you can go, do and be… anything? Of course there are limitations such as needy children and an employer that is expecting you to show up. But if you wanted it enough, you could literally do anything. Like, today, goddamnit.

  • Call right now to hire a babysitter, sit on a dock and fish for 2 hours.
  • Take one 20-minute internet course to start learning French.
  • Go night swimming under a clear, starry sky. Include clothes if you must.
  • Surprise your lover with a sweet note written on the bathroom mirror using a dry erase marker.

But day after fucking day we do the same things, go the same places, taste the same juices. We are The Walking Dead pushed and pulled by primal urges and blind unconsciousness. 

Which leads us to perhaps the biggest question of all: “What do you WANT?”

So what’cha, what’cha, what’cha, want? (What’cha want?)
— Beastie Boys

If you’re like me, you may not know at times. It’s often a long and painful experience of figuring that out. And that’s the subject for another post on another day. But let’s say you’ve got some ideas. You know what you want to do and be. Then what?

  1. Write it the fuck down. Get it out of your head and down on a page or a smartphone journal app or whatever. If it’s your intention to drive to Vancouver, you don’t just in a car and start down the highway - taking whatever road you “feel” like at each intersection. If you did, God knows where you’d end up, but it won’t be Canada. Know where you’re going, map it out and take deliberate steps to get there.
  2. Every morning set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than you already do. Wake up and go over a self-made WORKSHEET. Make this part of your habit; copy the previous day's text, paste in a new entry, erase yesterday's input and start over. Perhaps it looks something like this:

DAILY INTENTIONS

Spiritual Practice (spirit): Meditate at 7:30am
Exercise (body): Leg workout at 5:45 tonight
Read (mind): Finish Chapter 3 tonight in bed
Spouse (love): Bring home flowers at lunchtime
Help (serve): Shoot a brief encouragement text to Steve
Create (creation): Start backdrop on painting
Learn (growth): 15-min Spanish lesson over breakfast

Or maybe you sub in other “line items” such as categories for Play, Sexual Exploration, Pet, Children, etc.

This doesn’t mean any of this is inflexible or carved in stone. You should be willing every day to take ALL of your plans, burn them with fire and piss on the ashes if the cosmic winds blow circumstances into your path. As 38 Special said, “Hold On Loosely!” - forgive yourself and SURRENDER to what you cannot control. Hell, maybe all of this control of will and autonomy is an illusion anyway. 

Lastly, you might read through the Worksheet above and say - “That’s way too much; there’s no way! That would require constant attention and to always be living by a notebook.” So start small and add over time. Does this kind of artful living require more focus and effort than the common, modern mindlessness? You bet your sweet, round little ass.  But one thing I know for certain: 

No one accidentally gets good at anything.
No one unintentionally stumbles into a long-lasting,
     amazing relationship.
Or unwittingly builds an empire.
Or inadvertently books a plane to sightsee Peru.
Or wakes up one day to see a life they truly desire. 

There’s a way. You’re just being a puss about it. The only limitation is your imagination and your will.

By Trevor, The Edge of Spirit

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