Are you living from principle, or impulse?
I like impulse. Impulse is what makes life spontaneous. Full of adventure. But even spontaneous impulses can come from a place of principle, or a place of unhinged desire.
Desire can be a liar.
Desire is what makes you yell at unsuspecting strangers who gently stepped on your toes (and excuse your behavior by saying you’ve had a long day). Because you felt like it. You had pain inside. And they triggered you because now you felt a tiny tinge of physical pain. And you lost your shit, because you desired to unleash your pain on someone else.
Desire is what makes you run off with a man who will be your downfall (and excuse it by blaming it on attraction — on being blindfolded by attraction).
Desire can be unhinged.
If, on the other hand, you have a number of principles to act from, no matter what you desire, you’ll do the right thing.
I will serve my body. That’s a principle. If you desire to eat twenty cookies after a long day, because clearly something is causing you discomfort you and you want to escape it by eating cookies, you’ll first ask yourself: will this serve my body? The answer is no. So you’ll eat just the one cookie instead. Because your desire to serve your body is stronger than your desire to escape the discomfort you’re having.
(This reminds me of something Russell Brand said: heroin saved my life. He was depressed, he felt pain, so he used heroin so as, basically, not kill himself. Then he realized heroin started causing him MORE pain. So he found something else to help him deal with the pain and overcome it. Though he only did that after a forced stint in rehab where he broke all the furniture before getting to that conclusion.)
I will only spend time with people who are serving my life. That’s a principle. Is the man you intend to run off with serving you? I.e. are they supporting your heart’s desires to live a happy and healthy life in accordance with what you’re passionate about? If the answer is no, then don’t run off with them. No matter how much you desire them. Because we always desire our emotional wounds.
Desire is a beautiful thing. It’s what makes us come alive and brings passion to our lives. But it can also bring us to our downfall — our destruction — when the desire is not coming from the right place.
If you apply principles that override desire, you will lead a happy life. And the more you eat healthy, for example, the more you’ll desire it.
This is what I learned from listening to the abridged version of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as it’s basically about applying seven principles and acting from those, instead of from our impulses, which are colored by unconscious patterns. It’s like we’re looking at life through a distorted lens. Once we stop acting from what we think we want and start acting from these seven principles (regardless of whether we feel like it or not), our lives will change. So fuck
that man your desires. Live by your principles instead. Yeah. Uh. Mhm.
I’ve been thinking a lot about habits lately — my own and others. The people fortunate enough to know me, have had the misfortune of having their habits analyzed by me. I’ve become obsessed with creating habits aligned with the principles I believe in; aligned with the things that serve me; the things that serve my heart.
People have the weirdest excuses for who they are and what they do. I’m fat. Therefore, I can’t help but eat as much as I want. I am bad. Therefore, I can’t help but lose my shit on people. I’m smart. Therefore, I can’t help but act as a superior ass. That’s just who I am. Yeah right. You’re stardust. Plain and simple. Who you are, is who you choose to be. How you act around others, is how you choose to act. What you do to yourself, is what you choose to do.
Unfortunately, there’s a hick-up with this: programming. Neurological pathways. My former principal in drama school likened them to paths you walk — the more you walk them, the deeper they become, until eventually you’ve walked them so many times they turn into ditches where you can’t see outside the sides. I.e. imagine standing in a ditch (or hole) not being able to see out. You no longer choose your actions, because you can’t. You can’t see outside the pit you’ve dug yourself into. You just automatically do the same thing over and over again, because you can’t see you have an option. Or if you can see it, you feel unable to make the right choice. Basically, you’ve become helpless to yourself. You really believe you are a superior ass and can’t act any other way than the way a superior ass acts. (Sorry, this is cracking me up. I have to use amusing examples to entertain myself. And I have been known to act as a superior ass myself.)
To get out of your “ditch” you need to learn there are other paths you can take. That’s the first step. Secondly, you have to engage your will to be able to do so.
So basically, if you act as a superior ass, because you’re smart and just can’t help yourself, then start acting from a place of integrity instead. Because you want to have integrity, don’t you? You need to start desiring integrity more than you do showing off your smarts at every opportunity.
Still, neuro-pathways are a bitch. It’s a bitch to ditch a habit because you have to constantly override your own desire. But there may be a solution.
Through co-incidence I decided to Google the effect magic mushrooms can have on addiction and came across this really epic article on Psychology Today. Then, Tim Ferriss (who I’ve had an intellectual crush on since like 2008 — the man’s a fucking genius) emailed me (not personally and no naked pics included, sadly) twice about the effect of psychedelics on depression and addiction.
Then, today, I came across and applied for a job writing articles on the topic. Did you know that the founder of AA used them? Yeah. And now it’s being researched by John Hopkins Hospital and other such legendary institutions.
Apparently, psychedelics rewire your neurological pathways. Plus, a lot of people, when on a high has some kind of spiritual experience where they realize everything is one. They feel connected to life, God and the Universe. They often also have negative experiences, where somehow they let go of old trauma. In a matter of hours.
People usually take drugs because they’re depressed. Once they find sinner peace, they stop. Like the veterans who came back from Vietnam and stopped using heroin at once. They didn’t need the drugs anymore. They were fine. They were home. They even had very few withdrawal symptoms.
So now psychedelics are used for depression too. Well, at least in studies.
I find this interesting, because for years I’ve worked to change some of my habits…and failed. Desire has overridden sanity. Plus, sometimes I haven’t even seen I had a choice. I just acted instinctively. And by that I mean, in accordance with learned behavior. I was in my little hole/ditch, not realizing there was another way.
Recently, things I’ve changed. I’ve started choosing to act from the principles I believe in. Mainly because every day on here I blog about how:
- focus creates reality (what you focus on becomes your life, so focus on what’s working and where you want to go; your end result)
- structure has integrity (the structures we put in place in our life — if you work from home, chances are you get distracted, if you work from an office, less of a chance — that’s a structure. Likewise, a personal trainer banging on your door at 7am every morning is a structure)
- communicate from the heart (instead of saying what you think you need to say to get what you want)
- watchout for your own and other people’s hairy bullshit (the stories we all tell ourselves, such as: I had a long day, I deserve a cookie, I’m shy so I need alcohol, or I’m shy so I can’t make friends. Or the above: I’m a superior ass so I can’t help if I offend twenty people by being myself)
- be impeccable with your word (use your word for the good — uplift yourself and others)
- don’t take anything personally (people act out their patterns, and while you have to take responsibility for your actions, most people will act out their patterns no matter what you do — if they’re an ass, they’ll be an ass to you whether you treat them as a king, queen, or ass)
- engage your will
- there’s only one creative structure (i.e. if you want to create something you need to take action to get there and stop at nothing until you do)
- do your best (i.e. don’t punish yourself if you fuck up, just keep doing your best over and over againa and you’ll make progress little by little)
- don’t make assumptions (s/he did this, that means…uh, no, it might mean anything)
- don’t measure yourself against others/time — just keep moving forward
- don’t get impatient — just keep moving forward
So, erm, the point with this blog was. Uhm, yes. Overriding desire with principles. Overriding stories we tell ourselves with principles. And possibly downing some magic mushrooms to help create new neuro-pathways and realize we’re divine beings, everything’s fine and we can stop acting like class act idiots. There is a better way.