Friday, January 11, 2013

50 ways to free your mind

I try not to get too caught up in all those inspirational, über-optimistic blogs that seem to be so prevalent online right now. It seems that everyone has a cute quote or post that is supposed to make all of us think differently about ourselves and our hardships and where we are in our lives. After awhile I find myself exhausted by the incessant encouragement, enthusiasm and motivational mumbo jumbo intended to help me make myself a "better person."

However, there is one site that seems to give me pause time after time, and this week was no exception. I don't know who this couple is - this Marc and Angel Hack. I've never really looked into them (I provided a link but I didn't read it) because I don't want to know that they are some gorgeous, blissfully-happy pair who probably made so much money in their younger years that all they do is sit around and write ass-kicking blog posts. I just like what they say.

Yesterday, I read one of their posts and was so enlightened that I actually looked for more - and I found this gem: 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. I liked it because it wasn't preaching to me and telling me what I should be doing or shouldn't be doing. It merely asked me some pointed questions that made me really think about my "true" - not necessarily right - but my true answers.

I'm not going to go through all 50, but here are a few of the questions if you don't feel like clicking over to the article itself - and my subsequent answers.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Right? I mean, I get that we "have" to do some things we don't like, but I for one am a huge offender of liking things - and being envious of people - who are doing things I'm NOT. Time to change that. 

What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
Honestly at this moment? I'm not calling for a debate here, but if I had my druthers we'd eradicate all guns, violent video games and inappropriate television programs from the planet. I see no harm done in that. 

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
That's easy. Writing what's in my head. Every day. I'd never even have to speak again.
Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
Oh, I'm totally settling. I mean, sometimes I believe in what I do, and I for the most part enjoy what I do, but I don't feel I'm using my capabilities to do what I truly believe in. But I don't know that I can EVER do the things I truly believe in. Money's a bitch and it drives everything we do. If I had it my way I'd be an advice columnist or a psychologist. I'd like to help people more than I'd like to jumble the same 500 words into new and exciting prose each day.
If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
Doesn't matter - I'd be dead already, so a moot point.
To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
That's a laughable questions, because it's impossible. I thought I had my life all planned out 15 years ago, but it took an unexpected turn that changed the course of pretty much everything. Each time I try to gain control of it something goes awry. I try to just give it up to God and go with the flow.

If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Go back in. Seriously.
What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I write down for the world to see what some people only think about in their heads. 
Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Probably. But unfortunately my past track record of "making the right decisions" sucks so I pretty much second-guess everything I do.
Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
Joyful simpleton. I remember after watching Forrest Gump how much I wished that the world could be more like him.   

What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
I can't think of one specific memory, but when I think of my childhood, I think of neighborhood friends, a one-of-a-kind house and parents and family who made me feel very secure. All things I wanted to give to my own kids. I had a great childhood.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? 
What’s holding you back? OK. More than one thing. Write a real book. Volunteer with my kids. Finish their scrapbooks. Travel out west to see some friends and experience that part of the country. Travel to see my niece in Copenhagen. Take my kids to Mexico or the Caribbean so they can snorkel, scuba, and para-sail. Time; my kids' attitudes; money.  
     If not now, then when?
    When the kids are older. When I have more money. When I lose 10 pounds. When I can run farther and faster. When I have the time to do it. All bad answers, but if you "do whatever it takes" to make something happen, another part of your life is going to suffer in the process. And I'm not prepared to make that tradeoff yet.
      If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
      I'm assuming my kids are with me, so that answer would without a doubt be my parents.

      What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
      The difference is obvious. Being alive involves a greater proportion of doing the things you have to do versus doing the things you want to do. Truly living is just the opposite. 

      If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
      Because the learning process is so freakin' hard. 
      What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
      1) Speak out more against guns and violence/sex in video games and TV.
      2) Dance in public.
        Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
        I'd love to say I'm making my own decisions, but unfortunately, I'm frightened to make many of them for fear that they'll be the wrong ones, so I tend to let others influence - not make - but influence what I decide to do, rather than what I feel is best.

        And here's some I couldn't answer, or had a hard time formulating an answer into words. Can you?
        1. Why are you, you?
        2. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
        3. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
        4. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
        5. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
        6. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
        7. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
        8. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

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