The best way to make money work for you

s


(40 seconds to read)

Money influences government. But really, it influences almost everything. Because we like money.

Most everyone’s actions are fundamentally driven by it. Moneyed elite? They are elite because we like their money. Not because they’re elite by some inherent power from the money itself. Our reaction to money gives them their power.

It’s never been about us versus them, or them versus us. The class-warfare argument that divides us never seems to go away, because our love for money hasn’t gone away. But it’s never been about money.  It’s about how we value money.

It’s always been about us. All of us, as a human society.


 

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How to get the most of your Amazon shopping cart

Amazon prime


(40 second read)

I get this warm, invigorating feeling when I click into my amazon cart. There’s stuff in there that makes me happy. It’s like a hit of some powerful drug that makes me feel satisfied. I am helpless in my mindset as a consumer, but sometimes I don’t consume anything. I just leave that stuff in the cart, and get high on that feeling every time I login. I feel rich, but I don’t have anything. Yes, I am weird.

I also feel rich when I go to the public library and get a bunch of books, and then at home, I think, Look at that, I have my own library!

But it doesn’t make me feel rich because my monetary situation prevents me from buying tons of books.

It makes me feel rich because I have access to all this knowledge and art and wisdom from human beings across the globe, across the span of human history:  The public library and its computers and internets, open to anyone and everyone.

I think we’re all rich, especially in a place like America. All this power to cultivate, at our fingertips, if we want to.


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The day you actually changed

keep-calm-and-make-it-so-1


(30 seconds to read)

“Everyone is crippled in some area, and everyone is somewhere on the path of evolution, some ahead of us and some behind. In the steps we have walked are the old lessons of life, and before us are new teachings.

There is nothing to feel guilty about and nothing to blame. There is no one to hate, but there is that which is better avoided, and such blind alleys will become increasingly apparent.”

The day you awaken is when you see the blind alleys you turn into.

The day you actually change is the day you know you are not that person anymore.

Quote credit: Dr. David Hawkins


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More participation.

Which is the focus? Your Flesh, Breath, or Mind?

 

marcus-aurelius


(1 minute to read)

“Whatever this is that I am, it is a little flesh, and breath, and the ruling part. Throw away your books; no longer distract yourself: it is not allowed; Instead, as if you were dying right now, despise your flesh. It is blood and bones and a network of nerves, veins, and arteries.

See the breath also, what kind of a thing it is, air, and not always the same air, but every moment sent out and again sucked in.

Finally, there is the ruling part: consider this: You are an old man; no longer let the mind be a slave, no longer be pulled by the strings like a puppet to selfish impulses, no longer either be dissatisfied with your present lot, or shrink from the future.”

-Marcus Aurelius (from Meditations)


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The safety of observing from afar

first row of coaster


 

(Less than 2 minutes to read)

I met people in my life who were full of fear. Fear that keeps them far away, up on their mountain top, earthbound. They stayed up there, like a baby bird who never jumped, but walked around in the branches of the tree, growing into an adult, never trying to leave, never trying to risk itself. And I was no better, so my trying to help these people was pretty futile.

But I’ve left the mountaintop refugee finally. I stopped telling myself stories, and although I haven’t jumped to experience the total experience of being liberated, I’m taking small leaps, restraining myself, finding outcroppings to rest on.  I couldn’t stand the suffocating thin air of that flat-topped prison any longer, complaining about things, but not willing, or courageous enough, to change them.

It’s so helpful to surround yourself with the people doing things you want to, but aren’t. The strong influence of your friends on you is shown in scientific research. But the catch-22 is, you need to be self-aware enough to find these people, or allow them into your life.

One of the most heartbreaking things to see are those with so much potential, but so little  heart, unwilling to step up to the edge and look down to see what they’re missing. So they stay in their refugee, with enough air to survive, but not to thrive.

It’s a lesson to those of us who have decided to leave our nest on that mountaintop: The lesson of letting people go who aren’t ready for change.  The lesson of the futility of trying to pry open a person who has closed themselves off, like a clam. And finally a lesson that helps you face sadness: the sadness of seeing love wasted, missing from the world, from those who are too overwhelmed to open themselves up and share it.


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We can do better, if we choose the people who will do better by us.

plato


“States will never be happy until rulers become philosophers or philosophers become rulers.”

Why are we voting for leaders who are career politicians? Why are we voting for leaders who want to rule us, with their rules, instead of guide us, and empower us?

Actually, we’re not voting for leaders. We are voting for managers, accountants, and technicians. Let’s vote for leaders, instead. Leaders who want to inspire us to do better in our life, not give us a life where the best deal becomes the paternal controls of a corporate employer driven by profits, or putting our retirement money in irresponsible investment bank 401k’s.

We can do better, if we choose the people who will do better by us.

It’s always been up to us. Despite all the money in politics, the biggest factor still comes down to your vote.


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“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Shakespeare

Realize that there is a world out there where things have evolved under circumstances so different than our world, where there is a nature that is not natural at all, from our perspective.

Because the universe is so so vast, odds are that these worlds exist, and are being created as we speak right now. Many worlds, containing so many things, like earth…

But these other worlds are so alien from our own, I wonder if we could even recognize them? Would they exist in a place which requires a perspective our minds have not learned yet?

Would they exist in different states, flitting between quantum worlds so we can only see them momentarily in the world we are tuned to? Does Mars, or even closer, the moon, contain these worlds, and we simply don’t have the tools and mindset to see them yet?

The frontier of the universe is more than going places, physically moving through space in some vessel or looking through the viewfinder of a telescope or microscope. Travelling this frontier is about realizing what may be, and creating new tools to see them. It’s about discovering new states of existing that we cannot even dream about. Yet.

Layered states, working independently but existing at once: Worlds set into worlds set into other worlds, like nesting Russian dolls, where we go from one set of laws, to another set of another laws, each inconsistent with the next, but working in some cooperation so that all the world co-exist, each in plain sight, or completely invisible until someone breaks the barrier our minds have maintained, and then humanity can stream into this new place, as if we knew it was there all along, and how silly for our ancestors to not have realized these things are existing right there in front of us, or more radically, existing inside of us all along, like bacteria in our gut. Or an ability to travel without leaving our physical shells.

Now that is a lesson in humility. And human potential.

Shakespeare must have known something we didn’t about the universe and existence.

A playwright, with the mind of a quantum physicist.


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Heart over mind or mind over heart?

Heart and mind


 

Control much of life by exercising our mind over matter, but without the heart, nothing will matter to the mind.


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In which state do you spend the most time?

Care by the Lorax


 

There are three states: love, fear/anxiety, and apathy.

The proportion between the states should favor love.

Love requires passion and a curiosity of  life. Love also requires confidence that whatever happens, it’s going  to be alright.

Let go, and gain that confidence to love.

And when you reach a love at a high enough level, that love will power you into action. And that kind of action is unstoppable, inspiring, and evangelical. It changes lives, and people, and society.

The alternative proportions are not wrong. They’re simply less fulfilling.


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Why having a new year is more than a new number

Kiss of Death

The change, based on the grouping of days spent in one trip around the sun.  So we leave the time period called 2015 and enter the time period called 2016. And our ride of 2015 has been done. Forever. And we begin the 2016 part, but that will end, too. And each of these parts of our life end, the ticket for each ride extinguishes in our hands. It’s still in our memory, but we’re never getting it back.

So the “new year” is a good time to take stock, if only for a moment, even if it’s just for a couple weeks, until another revolution around the sun, to see what we’ve done, and not done, and decide what matters to us.

The mindfulness around this time period is valuable. I’ve made it my practice throughout the year, not just when the numbers flip forward, because I have reached a point in my life that I feel the need to pay attention, even if it is sometimes too much, to make up for not being responsible enough in my earlier life.

So what does the new year matter? Nothing, really. It’s just a reminder that we are all on borrowed time. And the sands of time relentlessly drain from our glass, until one day they won’t, and then we’ll be gone, and whatever wishes we had will be irrelevant because we won’t exist to even realise them.


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