One Desire

Naval Ravikant:

So just don’t focus on more than one desire at a time. The universe is rigged in such a way that if you just want one thing and you focus on that, you’ll get it. But everything else, you got to let go.

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How You Interpret Your Reality

Naval Ravikant:

At the end of the day, I do think, even despite what I said earlier: life is really a single player game. It’s all going on in your head. You know, whatever you think, you believe, will very much shape your reality, both from what risks you take and what actions you perform, but also just your everyday experience of reality.

If you’re walking down the street and you’re judging everyone, you’re like, “I don’t like that person because their skin color, I don’t like that — Oh, she’s not attractive. That guy is fat. This person is a loser. Oh, who put this in my way.” You know, the more you judge, the more you’re going to separate yourself. And you’ll feel good for an instant because you’ll feel good about yourself. “I’m better than that.” But then you’re going to feel lonely. And then you’re just going to see negativity everywhere. The world just reflects your own feelings back at you.

Reality is neutral. Reality has no judgments. To a tree, there’s no concept of right or wrong or good or bad, right? You’re born, you have a whole set of sensory experiences and stimulations and lights and colors and sounds, and then you die. And how you choose to interpret, that is up to you. You do have that choice.

So this is what I meant, that happiness is a choice. If you believe it’s a choice, then you can start working on it. And I can’t tell you how to find it, because it’s your own conditionings that are making you unhappy. So you have to uncondition yourself. It’s just like, I can’t fix your eating habits for you. I can give you some general guidelines, but you got to go through the hard habit forming of how to eat right. But you have to believe it’s possible, and it is absolutely possible.

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You Are the Experiencer

From a Reddit thread:

Good, it seems like you have made a breakthrough, that being that “you” are not what you think you are. “You” are the observer of the experience that your body is creating.

Buddhism has a couple of concepts that may help – no self – and dependent origination. No-self would be that there really is nothing that you can point to and say this is “you”. But you have a body, a mind you say? No, these things are “content” in your experience. “You” are the experiencer, you cannot be anything in the experience. And then one of the later realizations is that there is only experience, “you” are a perspective that the experience can be viewed.

A second idea is of dependent origination. The idea is that you believe you are a person. But there is nothing that is an individual thing, everything is created out of other things. You could say that “you” are the entirety of the universe as viewed from your unique perspective.

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A Decade of Skill-Building

Steve Pavlina:

When you start building a skill, it’s like planting a seed. You may have to water it for a while before you see any results. But eventually you get a nice harvest that makes it all worthwhile.

What skills might you begin building today that could really come in handy 5-10 years from now?

Ten years might seem like a long time, but it doesn’t matter. That time is going to pass no matter what you do. It’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself there someday. When that day arrives, you’ll either have a decade of skill-building behind you, or you won’t. It’s up to you to decide which path you’ll take. If you don’t consciously commit to the path of skill-building, you settle for stagnation by default. Please don’t do that to yourself.

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Play Hurt

Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro:

The amateur believes that she must have all her ducks in a row before she can launch her start-up or compose her symphony or design her iPhone app. The professional knows better.

Has your husband just walked out on you? Has your El Dorado been repossessed?

Keep writing.

Keep composing.

Keep shooting film.

Athletes play hurt. Warriors fight scared.

The professional takes two aspirin and keeps on truckin’.

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Explore

Steve Pavlina:

If you don’t like the career choices in front of you, don’t decide. Go outside and explore, and let your intuition guide you.

What many people don’t realize, however, is that this exploration never ends. Exploring is an integral part of any fulfilling career, not merely something you do before making the choice. No career choice is final.

If you’re feeling stuck in your career choices, maybe none of them are right for you. Go outside your comfy hive. Do some of the things you’ve always wanted to try, even if they don’t seem relevant to your career. This exploration will serve you well.

And:

As I made additional career decisions, I asked myself, “What would be fun and interesting to do next?” as opposed to “What permanent career choice should I make?”

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Are You Inventing Problems?

Ryan Holiday:

Of course, Odysseus isn’t unique. He is us. He’s the human condition in a nutshell. As Blaise Pascal put it, “all of humanity’s problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room.” Because we cannot be happy, because we can’t just be, we waste years of our life.

We go begging for trouble. We invent problems. We busy ourselves. We neglect our families. We flee, as Seneca once put it, from ourselves. Then we justify it, pride ourselves on it, point to our restlessness and call it ambition or responsibility.

“People try to get away from it all,” Marcus Aurelius said, “to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like. By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul.”

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The Undivided Wholeness of All Things

Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe:

Most mind-boggling of all are Bohm’s fully developed ideas about wholeness. Because everything in the cosmos is made out of the seamless holographic fabric of the implicate order, he believes it is as meaningless to view the universe as composed of “parts,” as it is to view the different geysers in a fountain as separate from the water out of which they flow. An electron is not an “elementary particle.” It is just a name given to a certain aspect of the holomovement. Dividing reality up into parts and then naming those parts is always arbitrary, a product of convention, because subatomic particles, and everything else in the universe, are no more separate from one another than different patterns in an ornate carpet.

This is a profound suggestion. In his general theory of relativity Einstein astounded the world when he said that space and time are not separate entities, but are smoothly linked and part of a larger whole he called the space-time continuum. Bohm takes this idea a giant step further. He says that everything in the universe is part of a continuum. Despite the apparent separateness of things at the explicate level, everything is a seamless extension of everything else, and ultimately even the implicate and explicate orders blend into each other.

Take a moment to consider this. Look at your hand. Now look at the light streaming from the lamp beside you. And at the dog resting at your feet. You are not merely made of the same things. You are the same thing. One thing. Unbroken. One enormous something that has extended its uncountable arms and appendages into all the apparent objects, atoms, restless oceans, and twinkling stars in the cosmos.

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Savour the Aroma

Vadim Zeland, Reality Transurfing:

Instead of playing the game of a destructive pendulum, seek out pendulums that benefit you in some way by their game. Acquire the habit of giving your attention to all that is positive and good. As soon as you see, read or hear something pleasing or encouraging hold it in your thoughts and let it lift your spirits.

Imagine that you are walking through a forest where there are beautiful flowers as well as poisonous thorns. Which would you choose? If you pick a bunch of elderberry flowers and put them in a vase in your home you will soon get a headache. What would be the point of that? It is the same thing as reacting to destructive pendulums. It is better to pick a jasmine flower, admire its beauty, and savour its aroma. Let in the things that are positive and you will be greeted on your path by ever more good news and auspicious opportunity.

Once you have experienced a brief moment of inspiration or joy it is easy to get pulled back into the stresses of your daily routine. The feeling of elation is forgotten and the working day takes over. To keep the festive feeling in your life, first and foremost you have to remember it. Habit makes us jump head first back into the monotony of everyday life. The negative pendulums make us forget whatever the good thing was that happened and we loose a sense of the pleasure it gave us.

You have to support the little flame of enthusiasm and nourish the feeling it gives you inside. Observe how life is moving in a better direction, take hold of any straw of happiness you are offered and look for good signs in everything. At the very least it will keep you from being bored. It is essential to remember that in every minute you give to the Transurfing practice, you are consciously moving towards your dream, setting the course of your own destiny. This in itself imparts a feeling of calm, confidence and happiness that helps you to stay positive. Once this feeling becomes a habit you will be constantly riding the crest of the wave of good fortune.

Good news is quickly forgotten because it gives us no cause for concern. In contrast, bad news evokes an active response because it poses a potential threat. If you do not let bad news into your heart, you will not allow it into your life. Close yourself off to bad news and remain open to good news.

It is important to note and carefully nourish any positive change in your life for these are the messengers of the wave of good fortune. As soon as you hear any even slightly encouraging news, rather than forgetting the information immediately afterwards, as you would have done previously, savour, discuss and track it. Think the news over from all points of view. Take pleasure in it. Make predictions and expect further improvement. In this way the vibration of your thoughts will remain at the frequency of the wave of good fortune and you will be attuning yourself to its parameters. The good news will increase and life will get better.

To filter information in this way is neither a practice of mysticism nor is it a particular quality of the human psyche. It is the nature of reality. The pessimist looks at the world through black-tinted glasses and the optimist through rose-tinted glasses. Either way, you shift to different life lines according to the quality of your thoughts.

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Little Onion

Alan Watts:

When you can really allow yourself to be afraid and you don’t resist the experience of fear, you are truly beginning to master fear. But when you refuse to be afraid, you are resisting fear, and that simply sets up a vicious circle of being afraid of fear, and being afraid of being afraid of fear, and so on.

And that’s what we call worry. Worry is simply a chronic condition, and people who worry are going to worry no matter what happens.

Because when one possible threat is exterminated, they will immediately discover another… because worry is an infinitely skinned onion. And you can go on and on and on, because the moment, you see, you reduce the size of the onion and you get your worry down to about this, suddenly your whole sense of distance and size changes.

And because you’re looking so intently at this little onion, it fills your whole field of vision and is once again a big onion. You start peeling that down. But as you get another one about this size, then it enlarges itself in your judgment and your sense of values. And once more, it’s colossal.

So if you are disposed to worry, there is always plenty to worry about.

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