What’s more important to you: happiness and enjoyment or riches and status?

I think we should redefine the definition of success from monetary based to happiness. Would it be worth the risks to the economy? In my opinion it would, everyone would be happier generally, enjoy their lives more, have less regrets, follow their intuition more and we wouldn’t be destroying the planet. But society has heavily taught us that to be happy and successful we need to make the most money we possibly can and get big careers, or we’re ‘losers’, we’ve ‘failed’ at life.

In my opinion though, if working a part time, low waged job, makes you really happy (like Randy in Clerks working at the video store), then you ARE ‘successful’, you’ve ‘won’, well done, you’re doing what you want with your life. If you’re working at a store, and you hate it, then it’s not for you, you’re not following your intuition. And this doesn’t mean that it’s an unsuccessful or a bad way to live for someone else. One person’s heaven, is another person’s hell, and visa versa.

We’re unhappy because we think the grass is always greener, looking to celebrities and other people we compare ourselves to, to lead the way. I personally haven’t enjoyed my life so far at all because I’ve been striving for success and achieving things, so I resent society for tricking me into thinking that was more important than my happiness. Nothing is taught in schools about how to be happy and parents don’t help either, they want you to get the highest grades so you can secure a decent job, cos they believe the lie too. Also, according to The Guardian, Anxiety or depression affects nearly one in five UK adults. Could this be related to the chronic stress we’re under as humans living today?

Society defines success as being rich, famous and owning loads of stuff. It’s in the best interests of Capitalism to make people strive to be financially successful. If people are happy making little money, and you don’t have anything pushing you to want more for yourself and to be a ’success’, then we’ll be happy but the economy and people at the top milking us for money, will suffer.

So should we be selfish and make sure us and the people around us, enjoy our lives or should we be selfless and give our lives and happiness over to the economy that’s only friends with us for our money?

You can do what you want. Even if you chose a path, that you fall out of love with years later, you can pick another one. Nothing is set in stone, you can change any time. Same goes for falling out of love with people, ideas and religions. As long as you’re listening to your intuition, you can’t go wrong. The trick is – learning how to correctly interpret or know what your intuition is saying!

We can get pleasure from achieving, consuming and collecting in the moment and that’s okay. But if you’re life is defined only by what you’ve managed to achieve, consume or collect at the end, that’s a waste of life. There’s no point in being the richest man in the graveyard, or the one that needed just another year to achieve their goals, in order to be happy. I bet you would happier if you lived every moment as fully as you could, lived with authenticity, did what you wanted, followed your intuition and truly enjoyed yourself. How we spend and our life is how we spend and our moments. “Enjoy the moment because this is all you have. Create for tomorrow, but live in and for today.” – Robert Anthony

Live now, the time is now, this is it… don’t die never knowing what it feels like to be free. Don’t wait for happiness to come to you, because you’ll be wasting your life, time and energy in the meantime. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” – John Lennon

So for a healthier society maybe we need to redefine success to be about being happy in life now. If you manage to enjoy your life, well done – you’re a success!Would this not be a society you’d want to live in?

Summary fuel:

  • Don’t let society or anyone dictate your happiness (“care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner”) – Lao Tzu
  • If you’re happy in life; you’ve made it, you’re successful (in my opinion)
  • Listen to your intuition, do what’s right for you, do what you want to do
  • Don’t compare your life to celebrities or anyone else, everyone is unique
  • Take inspiration from animals and children in how to live in the moment, do what you feel and enjoy life (at least 50% of the time)
  • We are all going to die and we can’t control when, so what do you want to do while you’re here?
*Update: When I say happiness i mean contentment. Happiness is often short-lived. It is often an attempt to overcome feelings of unhappiness. Contentment is a state in which you are at peace with yourself and the world, even if the world around you is not to your liking.

I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get inspiration, articles, videos and quotes on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.

#Thedress that made the world talk (and fight) about seeing things differently.

“The dress is black and blue!” “No it’s white and gold, you’re wrong!” “No it IS black and blue!!! Can’t you see it?! It’s right there!”

It’s fine to have fun arguing over #TheDress but people do the same thing all the time over things like religion, ideologies & opinions.

We have a society where difference – such as experiencing reality in different ways to the majority or experiencing intense emotions – is rejected and condemned and seen as pathologised or a biological illness. But our observations of reality are totally subjective, there’s literally no way two people can look at the same thing and have the exact same interpretation or know exactly what the other person sees. Even the people that agree the dress is white and gold can’t prove that they see the same shade of white and gold as another person.

Our eyes don’t see, our brains do. Brains, similar to computers are basically information processing systems. Everything we see, hear, taste, touch and smell in the external world, gets filtered into our brains. What we’re left with, gets interpreted using our memories, experiences, associations and personality. These interpretations are what create our ideas of ourselves (the “me”), our identities, our beliefs, opinions, thoughts, feelings and the reality we perceive. This is how the human brain has evolved, no doubt to help us survive better.

So what’s bad about this natural brain functioning?

Well the consequence is that we think our reality is the only reality, but “Our truth” isn’t actually “the truth” like we seem to believe it is. Our opinions and perspectives aren’t facts, but when you treat them like they are, problems and fights occur (racism, homophobia) and sometimes to deadly levels (religion). It’s so easy to assume the reality we see is the truth because we only have our own experience that cant be compared to anyone else’s experience from inside their head and lives.

For instance, an extreme opinion might be “gays are an abomination.” That is not a fact, that’s just that person’s opinion, so it would be more accurate to say “it seems to me that gays are an abomination, but what do I know? That’s just my opinion.” It loosens you up, opens you up to new ideas and people who might not deserve your hatred and judgement just for being themselves.

You also begin to believe you can control things outside of yourself to fit with your idea of reality and when you can’t, it makes you really upset/angry/stressed.

“Our maps of the universe, our ideas should be changing all the time…It’s the way children’s brains form before they are wrecked by the school system. It’s the way that all great scientists and artists work. But once you have a belief system, everything that comes in either gets ignored that doesn’t fit the belief system, or gets distorted enough so that it can’t get into the belief system…Anybody who has a belief system that covers the whole universe, that would be the Roman Catholics, Orthodox Islam, Scientologists, CSICOP, the Marxists, the Objectivists, and most of the assholes, well, what happened is, their brain stopped receiving new signals. Or to the extent that new signals do get in, they all have to be edited to fit into the belief system.” – Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson said don’t believe any one else’s BS (bullshit and belief systems) including your own, and I very much agree. This is because you’re believing an interpretation not a fact/truth. Similar to whether the dress is white and gold or blue and black.

“Reality is merely an illusion albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein

Reality is an illusion because we are illusions, our brains create us, not us. I believe we’re just clever enough to be aware of what it’s doing and think it’s us doing it.

Problems I’ve had when believing my own belief systems have led to low self esteem, believing I’m not good enough, and that other people know how to live life and that there is a way to live life that I’m not doing. This is destructive to me, I become jealous and really low. But it’s just a belief I have about myself, that has come into existence from experiences, memories, personality etc. It doesn’t mean it’s a fact. To question my beliefs about myself is liberating, like I suddenly realise I’ve been limiting myself, trapped in my own prison.

Problems I’ve had believing other people’s belief systems and opinions is, I doubt my own opinions and decisions. And think I’m doing something wrong or there’s something wrong with me because I’m not like them. Comparing all the time. Leading to more unhappiness and low self esteem.

It would be great if we were educated from a young age that everyone sees things differently and opinions aren’t facts, wouldn’t it?

I want to add that this is based on my own personal way of looking at things.

Things to practice fuelling your mind with:

•  Our perceptions aren’t reliable

•  Use “maybe” a lot more in speech to help us remember our opinions aren;t facts

•  Don’t believe any one else’s BS (bullshit and belief systems) including your own


I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get inspiration, articles, videos and quotes on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.

What would it be like to live a more liberated existence?

This is Simon Amstell’s live at the BBC ‘Numb’ show, he talks about all sorts of great things, including the part I’m choosing to focus on for this blog post:

He has some astute thoughts on the current human race and society today if he was to leap into the future and look back on us, in this time now. Our human history is full of oppression and close mindedness, and it’s mad to think that in hundreds of years from now we could live more liberated and open-minded lives. (The opposite to many films portrayal of the future like Hunger Games).

“Do you remember when people thought money was the answer, that money would make them happy, ‘If only I could just win the lottery, oh I have won it, oh I spent it all, the problem was internal.’ Remember when we had prisons, when we separated people into cages rather than giving them the love they needed that would have stopped all the crime. What about when religious people fail to remember that God is nature, there’s nothing more all-encompassing or wise than mother nature and athiests forgot that science is the study of nature, and then they both remembered and had amazing sex by a tree. Do you remember when people felt proud of where they came from, like it was something to do with them, it’s just where you happen to fall out of your mother’s vagina. If you’re going to have a flag, have a flag of a vagina, so then you can meet people and go ‘oh hi, where are you from? Oh same as me, let’s be friends.'” – Simon Amstell

In 2014 however, certain things shunt this development of higher consciousnesses, like the perpetuation of fear in the media to sell more papers, magazines & products and to distract us from what truly matters.

It makes me think of when we were all kids, did we care about where other people came from? Did we think money would make us happy, or anything else for that matter? We wanted things of course but not because it would make us happy, but because we just wanted them so bad in the moment, like cake or a certain toy. What if, we’ve lost our childlike wonder along the way to growing up and seeing things with judging eyes, and closed minds? I want to get some of that back.

Simon’s obviously watched some Bill Hicks when he says this: “Everything’s a choice between fear and love, we may as well choose love because death is coming.”

_________________________________________________________________

I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get weekly inspiration, videos, quotes and resources on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.

“People choose the paths through life that have the greatest reward for the least effort – that’s the law of nature that’s hard to defy” ~ House MD

It’s a very natural thing in humans to do. Of course Some people defy this nature and instead work really hard, not thinking about a reward or recognition, because they might just love doing it. Like playing in a band that costs you money for equipment, practice time and to put on gigs but it’s your passion so you don’t mind the losses. Or someone who volunteers to help people less fortunate than them. That’s a lot of effort for no monetary reward, of course the reward for these things are happiness, enjoyment and fulfillment. It’s a different attitude and motive driving them. Or someone having a kid, is a hell of a lot of effort and risk but apparently it’s worth the reward.

Cases where it’s the greatest reward for the least effort would be where companies might re-boot an old film in an attempt to make money, when the film was awesome to begin with and didn’t need re-doing. But it’s the least effort cos it’s already been done, it’s just a refresh rather than from scratch. They don’t care about making history or creating meaning.

It’s a very capitalist attitude.

Like when a company makes houses as small as they can, as close together as they can, on their patch of land and do the least they can get away with in terms of regulations, materials, design etc. And you end up having 100 tiny houses instead of 50 really nice big ones, so they’ve double their profits. But something always needs to be sacrificed to get that and in my opinion it’s not worth it.

Maybe neither way is fully correct, but is good to assess and judge things on a individual, situation basis. “Everything in moderation” in my opinion, is a good way to live.

_________________________________________________________________

I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get weekly inspiration, videos, quotes and resources on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.

Email me at mindfuelstuff@gmail.com if you want to talk more on this 🙂

“I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie, there is no system, the universe is indifferent.” Don Draper, Mad Men

A lot of us feel cheated by the universe at times, like it’s out to get us, why us? It’s conspiring against us, wanting us to fail. But actually the universe doesn’t give a shit about us or about anything, it just exists, it’s indifferent, it’s neural.

Which in a way it’s quite nice, I wouldn’t want the world to have such power over the outcome of my circumstances, good or bad. The world doesn’t revolve around us, it will be here after we die, doing it’s thing, sun rising and setting, winds blowing, oceans lapping, we’re temporary travelers and nothing is truly ours to keep.

“The thing about the ultimate cosmic meaninglessness of man is that you can either wallow in your insignificance and the attendant pain that brings in a culture so obsessed with fame and being important, or you can fall in love with literally everything and everyone in a dozen small ways because everything still exists despite the statistical unlikelihood of it all and that’s a goddamn miracle” – anon

So if we be a bit more mindful of these points, we can get a bit of perspective on what matters in our lives by realising our inevitable demise and our insignificance to the universe.

_________________________________________________________________

I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. What’s your opinion on the subject?

Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side, and get weekly inspiration, videos, quotes and resources on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.

Email me at mindfuelstuff@gmail.com if you want to talk more on this.

“My brain is a computer, it will always run, because that’s what it’s designed to do.” – Giancarlo Esposito

It’s taken me a couple of years to come round to the idea of meditation and to see the benefits it will bring my life. I first had to experience a positive reaction and once I had that, there was no going back.

Apparently meditating 30 minutes everyday over a long period of time has been shown to lower stress, anxiety, depression, improved compassion and immune system and helps you sleep and even age better.

It is the act of quieting your mind chatter and just existing and being for a while, there’s no break truer than this. For me personally I’ve felt benefit in getting to sleep easier because of disconnecting with hundreds of thoughts, work better with lowered stress levels, and even to notice things in the moment more.

Buddha was asked: “What have you gained from Meditation?” He replied: “Nothing.” “However, let me tell you what I lost : Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old Age and Death.”

So if you get really into it, you can really take a look deep inside yourself and look at your problems in a new light.

For anyone interested in what it is and how to do it, here’s a quick 5 minute demo session:  http://presidemeditation.com/preside-meditation-introduction-onroll/

And if you want some more, I’ve found this to be an excellent app: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/buddhify-2/id687421118?mt=8 and this website too: https://www.headspace.com/

“Everything and everyone around us, is fleeting and impermanent” – Brianna Wiest

Also: “Property is theft. Nobody ‘owns’ anything. When you die, it all stays here.” – George Carlin

It’s up to us to build our lives how we want it and create our own inner happiness, we are the one constant in our lives, our own best friends.

Things on the outside are fleeting and impermanent, coming and going throughout life at their own pace, like technology, products, furniture, art, films, experiences, rain, sun, our appearances, friends, lovers, pets and family. But things on the inside can be fleeting and impermanent too, like thoughts, feelings, moods, memories, opinions, problems and perspectives.

This helps ease the fact that bad things will come, as they will also pass like bad weather, life is a series of moments. I think it’s worth being mindful that what we have is not ours. The awesome neon light I got for a birthday present will go back into the world when I’m dead, I can’t take it with me, which is depressing but a freeing fact of nature in a way. Nothing really lasts forever so don’t suffer too much, quit complaining, accept and live, with joy. (Easier said than done of course!)