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After I started living in a van I realized that there are many others that do as well. If you already live in a van then great, lets talk. If you aren’t a Van Dweller (yet.. ) then you will find this site pretty interesting. Even though I live in my car and live a very different lifestyle, I am very much like you.. Everyday you and I are both involved in the same battle. The battle against all of the bullshit and the bullshitters in the world. I define bullshit as:
“Unnecessary and False Information claimed as Truth, Fact or Reality”.
Because of this B.S. I moved into a van and started this website.
This website has two purposes:
1. Consciously, rationally, and logically identify, understand, eliminate and expose all the bullshit.
2. Record, instruct, explore, celebrate and discover the joys of living in a van.
Each post will be labeled under two main categories, if you are interested more in eradicating bullshit and discovering the philosophy side of the site then explore the “Bullshit” category.
If you are interested in van dwelling, then consider the “living in a van” category.
Also I will be providing some special services for you later, however it might take a little time until that portion of the website is ready.
In the meantime, lets enjoy the life of van living and kick bullshit’s ass!
We all have our own values, goals, and ambitions. We were all raised by parents or a guardian of some sort, we all have authority figures and we all have taken advice and knowledge from them. We all see “reality” in a slightly different way. Some people think people are bad, mean, unpleasant, evil, backstabbing, and all around shit heads. Others believe the world is a play ground, people are fun, nice, pleasant to be around, inspiring and all around desirable.
Everybody, well 99.999% has little struggles, insecurities, doubts, challenges and obstacles.
Nobody knows everything and we make decisions based on the best information we have, and we always have the best of intentions. In the video I talk about Hitler and 9/11 and how their belief systems (that they chose) caused a lot of suffering. They thought they were making the right decision because their belief system was so unaligned with reality. The moral is: It is extremely important what we choose to believe. Its important what we think “reality” is.
The Maturation Process
As we learn more about how the world works, we make changes in our lives, we grow, we adapt, and in other words we mature. We all feel we are mature and everybody else is immature. Everybody thinks they are right, which is good, it’s healthy… it allows stability for your brain and most importantly allows action.
The maturing process occurs when we act and get negative feedback, we analyze, we correct and we procede. It really is that simple. The more we mature the more we become aligned with actual reality. The more we know what is real the less we need outward sources to tell us where to go and what to do. The less we need parents and authority figures.. this can be hard for them. (Most people demand that government or someone else take care of them.. That is immaturity, for almost all cases the person needs to recognize reality and start making changes in their life and they will soon create solutions for themselves)
As we mature, we become more independent and rely less on outer sources for our validation in our life paths. Now just like most things we can plateau, most people get to a certain level of maturity and then never breach past their sticking points. They get a view on life that is mostly aligned with reality, or in some points it is, but not entirely and because of this they suffer for a long time for no reason. The more in line “our reality” is with actual reality then we don’t have as much dissonance.
That is the process.. Simple and self explanatory, however many people have never thought about such simple things.
Logically, the more we mature and become independent of ANYTHING and everything, and be self reliant the happier you will be, the happier the world will be and there will be a considerable less amount of suffering.
Do you know why muslim extremist attack and suicide bomb others? because the western world shows flaws in their reality, they can’t be right if we exist, in their reality it is good to kill non believers.. It even says the same thing in the bible.. deut 13:7-11.. kill non believers.. these things are dangerous if accepted as your reality. There are a lot of christians and muslims that don’t act on such writings. If we “choose”, CHOOSE is a critical word, those types of beliefs to be part of our reality then there will be suffering.. Period.
Freedom and how it relates to Maturity and Independence
As men (humans) we are meant to be free. We have been fighting surpression for the last several thousand years. (All of the new knowledge and technology is because of the freedom we have had had for the last two centuries. )
If we don’t expand our realities and push our limits we never find out what true reality is. We never become independent, that means we don’t control our own destinies, we depend on others to carry our weight and allow them to steer us like a bridled horse. (In reality we are hurting ourselves, and everyone else).
If we never mature, we feed off of others and want to be taken care of which is simply Socialism.. It doesn’t work, but it is a great way to oppress man as a species. We are the only species that i know of that cannibalizes our own species both of the mind and of physical means.
The only way to overcome this is to learn, push our limits and let our realities crash with the reality of the universe and find out where our weaknesses are. Identify, Modify and Act.
For example I’ve always thought I was this big pimp, good with the ladies and so on.. The reality of the situation is I’m not as much as I thought I was, so now I’m making a conscious effort to crash my reality find its weaknesses and find my beliefs that are flawed when it comes to dating and relationships.. Do it with every aspect of your life.
How Living in a Van helps me to Mature and become more Independent
Living in a van puts me in a situation where my whole reality is at question, where I have to act more, I can’t get lethargic, passive and sit at home in my comfort zone. Van Dwelling requires me to get out and act.
If you know anyone (whether they live in a van or not) that would be interested in reading this, now is the time to share it with them
This post is all about my van that I chose to live in. Take some time to watch the video and you will see how bad ass it really is.
I’m not your Typical Van-Dweller.
Some people live in vans out of necessity, are having tough times economically or simply are having a difficult time coping with life.. and if living in a van is a solution to their problems then those are perfectly valid reasons. I find that most people that are forced to live in a van become aware of the benefits and choose to continue van dwelling long after their situation improves.
I have very different reasons but that is a topic for later.
The van I chose is a 1975 Ford Econoline 250. It has a 351 Windsor with a two barrel carburetor to try and improve gas mileage. It has been modified as a camper van, I have modified it some myself but most of it was done before I purchased it. I have plans to modify it more, however that is also a subject for another time.
Here are some features in my van:
The captains seats swivel around 360 degrees
I removed the passenger seat so I could have some extra room
The roof has been raised with a conversion top and I can stand up straight
Carpeted and insulated floors and walls
Above the cockpit there is an area where I store food, pots, pans and other things
There is a small closet behind the drivers seat where I hang my clothes and a MSR camp towel
A propane two burner stove
Plenty of counter space
Inverter with an extra battery under the couch seats
Extra power outlets to charge my phone, computer, camera and other electronics
Cabinet space where I keep my dirty clothes, dog food and other items that might stink
Drawers to keep toiletries, silverware, books, pens, pencils, and other useful items
Interchangeable bed and circular table
Extra storage under the bed
Extra storage under the table
Clean water storage
Grey water storage
Blackout/insulated curtains which hang by bungee cords
Lighting throughout the vehicle (with mood lights, which the ladies love)
Insulating and blackout curtains
Huge storage space above the bed, which has plenty of extra space
The van’s exterior:
Grey water dump
Grey water air vent
Connections for power or water if I wanted to stay in a campground
I try to keep my home on wheels very clean and organized so that traveling is made simple and also if any cops or people get curious they see that the van is well kept and that I am not a “shady” or “irresponsible” person. It is clean, clear and pleasant to be in, in fact other people enjoy coming and hanging out in my van and socializing. I try to make my van a good, safe place to be.
I will post more videos and articles about some of these features in more detail. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment below and I will answer your questions for you.
The problem with being sneaky is that you are openly betraying your inner beliefs and values.
Don’t feel bad, I’ve done it too. In fact, I used to get a little bit of an emotional rush when I would do something crafty. It was that feeling of being “alive”.. and you know exactly what i’m referring to.. C’mon, I know you do : -) Little did I know that I was actually killing myself little by little. (Keep reading) The more I would deny myself and my inner beliefs, the more and more I would put to death that which is most valuable… My self respect.
If you feel sneaky on a regular basis or even every now and then, you better rethink you actions. This could have a negative effect on your life more than you realize. If you feel like rationalizing and that you need to be sneaky “just this once” because the consequences of getting caught aren’t worth the teeny tiny bit of self betrayal then please think again.
How creepiness affects your self esteem
The reason you get that deceitful feeling is because you have a contradiction between your thoughts and your actions, your beliefs and your behavior.
Man does not function well on contradictions, that is why we find a way to lie to ourselves or to trick ourselves into believing a false reality. Its safer to live a lie than to deal with the truth.
We all innately know being creepy is not a positive step forward, but I would much rather concentrate on what to do instead.
Show your intent, reveal your purpose, give your reasons..
It doesn’t matter what you want to call it.
There is nothing more honorable and respectful to other human beings if you simply show your intent. Wear your reasons on your sleeve so that everybody can see, they will respond in a much more authentic manner. Besides, showing your purpose gives them the opportunity whether or not to align with you so that you both can move on and quit wasting your time (if that be the case). Revealing your objectives builds a foundation of honesty and trust where a future relationship can be constructed.
If you don’t believe me, prove it to yourself by starting with small moments and little by little building up to more “scary” situations. I’ve had a lot of sales positions and sold many different products, the clients always appreciated me the most when I was upfront and honest with them. Usually in the beginning of the conversation, I would show my intent, create a relationship of trust and find out whether or not the client and I could come to a simple agreement to trade value for value. Oh this was so beautiful! Most of the time it completely blew the client out of the water, they almost didn’t know how to react!
It really is too bad that the major percentage of the population today only wants what they are told they want. Because if two individuals, who know what they want, wear their intents and purposes on their sleeves then relationships can be built and succeed a hundred million bazillion times faster than if both parties are hesitant to reveal their cards.
I find this especially true in romantic relationships.Honesty is everything, be honest with yourself and then be totally honest with those around you.
I mean c’mon, nobody likes sneaky people. Oh, and women are especially turned off by sneakiness and creepiness! Just ask them.
I almost don’t even know what else to write because it seems so clear and absolutely evident to me that being honest and showing your reasons provides many more benefits rather than disadvantages.
We can clearly see that the reality of the situation is:
“Creepiness and Sneakiness is weakness, showing intent is extravagant”
(These reasons are not listed in any certain order or level of importance.)
Having less stuff is one of the greatest reasons to live in a van. I have listed six benefits to having less stuff and how that ties into why living in a van is so great.
Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
I don’t even remember where I heard that phrase for the first time. It was several years ago and I was exposed to this quote at just the right time in my life. I was accumulating everything and by everything I mean EVERYTHING! I was accumulating more things, more ideas, more guilt and uncontrolled feelings, more useless experiences, more clutter in my house and in my mind. It was time that I began sorting through it, deciding if it was valuable or of any utility or purpose at all. Believe me my mind was the most cluttered of all, I had past ideas and beliefs, underlying beliefs, all sorts of social conditioning, lots of undiscovered fears, and lots of useless memorized phrases and trash philosophy demanding my attention. Its been a long process sorting through it all but the first thing I did was began eliminating the clutter on my desk, then my dresser, then my closet, my floor, my bed, then to my life, my mind.. etc.
Only once I began clearing out un-needed physical items was i able to clear the mind space in order to even begin working on my thoughts. Many of you might have these same issues and I highly recommend removing minor objects around your living space before you start dealing with deeply rooted negative beliefs. Start small, gain the practice and abilities, and then expand those abilities into other areas of focus.
You are not Defined by Your Things!
We all know this is foolish but why do we continue identifying ourselves with our stuff?!! “You are not your job, you are not your contents of your wallet, you are not your fu*king khakis!” – Fight Club If you haven’t’ seen Chuck Pollonick’s Fight Club this might be a very healthy movie for you to watch.
Maybe it will also help if we understand why people identify with their things. If a person doesn’t have a solid foundational philosophy or set of beliefs in their life then their whole lives seem to be floating on air, on a bunch of meaningless fluff. Because of this, their minds are looking for solidity, and the mind latches onto the closest thing possible or perhaps the thing that “holds the most value”. The mind doesn’t care what it identifies with, it just needs SOMETHING! If you observe your mind or other people’s minds it will attach to anything, it could be something tangible like a nice watch, car, house, job, clothes, purse, or something more vague like a group of people or a sickness, or an experience. These are all “things” and you are not them. Once people become conscious of identifying with things, they start to lose that incredible drive, to keep stuff or acquire new stuff. Check out this video (Stuff)
Quality over Quantity
The first example that pops into my mind is food.. Okay thats always on my mind, but this time its relevant. How many americans get plenty of calories? How many americans get quality calories? Acquiring calories is not that hard, however, acquiring quality calories takes planning, effort, choice, and energy. Likewise, accumulating things is not hard, however, accumulating high quality, useful, functional, and versatile things takes planning, effort, choice and energy. This is why it is so prevalent to have a lot of things without actually having anything. As you look around your life, if it is low quality throw it away (or sell it). Unless you need the item until you are able to acquire something high quality.
Question – Why is it so hard to get rid of stuff?
Answer – You are scared.
It all comes down to fear. Fear that you will need it again (btw if you use it often then don’t throw it away.. unless you can find a way to use it for free or for very cheap). Fear that you wasted money.
Fear that you will offend somebody by getting rid of it. Fear that you will miss it. Fear that somebody will judge you. Fear… its pure fear… Here is how you overcome it, Man up.
(Or create system or ladder that you can slowly climb until you are able to fully man up). Step by step works really well, don’t feel that you have to do it all at once, that will only create more anxiety on top of all the anxiety that all your “stuff” creates. Essentially, having less stuff helps you overcome your fears.
Being and Doing – Rather than Having
“Having” stuff doesn’t get you shit. Look at all the people that win the lottery, get everything they want and lose it and become more depressed. “Doing” is better, however, doesn’t quite cut it.
Here is the trick to getting what you want: Be the type of person that naturally has what you want merely as a byproduct of being that type of person.
People usually think like this: “If I had (fill in the blank) then I would be able to do (fill in the blank) and I would be (blank)… This is absolutely false and not based on reality.
Think like this: I am (this type of person) who naturally does (whatever it takes to get what you want) then I will automatically have (the thing of your desire).
Have a Deep Respect for Space
Not space as in outer space but space as in an open area where you could place something. As solid as our bodies and everything around us seems, it is quite deceiving. Everything in the universe is made of protons, neutrons, and electrons which are very, very, very ,very tiny objects or energized particles (except for the neutrons). Each atom consists of protons and neutrons at the center in the nucleus and electrons in the electron cloud. These electrons are moving at incredible rates all around the nucleus but the majority of the atom, which is the building block of matter, is essentially space, emptiness, or vacant. The universe functions at its best with lost of space. Look at the world around you and realize that everything is essentially empty space.
Do you ever hear about black holes and how scary they can be? A black hole is a dead start that has created a vacuum and is pulling every object around it closer and closer together. It is cramming every possible object that it can in the smallest space available. Human beings cannot function in such a manner. WE NEED SPACE.
I hope its clear by now that having less stuff is truly beneficial. You don’t have to go to the extreme that I did and sell/give away everything and move into a van. I say start with the small things and clear the clutter. You will feel the difference. Who knows maybe someday I’ll see you living in a van : -)
I cannot begin to tell you how prevalent this is… It absolutely blows my mind how often I see this.
Guilt… is Bullshit
I have another issue that I need to inspect and master in my own life… it used to be much worse, however, I’m determined to overcome this one. I have been tricked and manipulated over and over and over again. I aim to recognize this pattern before, during or if need be after it happens. By any means, I will be more conscious toward this very devious manipulation/control device. This manipulation tool is called Guilt.
I’m not talking about over eating at a chinese food buffet (which I will do time and time again). I’m not even talking about somebody directly guilting you, I picked up on that so fast even as a little kid. However, most of us never realize the slimy, covert little ways that guilt can move furtively into controlling our lives and dreams. You almost never realize the guilt until, before you know it, your actions don’t align with your true desires (you are almost embarrassed to admit what your true desires are because you feel guilty admitting them, you almost don’t even want them to be named). A very typical case is when people give up on their dreams and now are ashamed to admit that they wanted to be something else. Usually people don’t “give up” on their dreams, they get guilted out of their dreams. Usually it takes a little while for the guilt to build up and you eventually give in, accept the guilt, and forever live unsatisfied at your core. Does this sound familiar? If so, then keep reading. If not then you are one of two things, you might be a badass and don’t need this discovery or two, you have never been aware of the “unearned guilt” and if so, then you must definitely keep reading!
What is Guilt?
My definition of guilt is – an internal awareness of having “broken the rules” and therefore it is an internal self government feedback mechanism.
Now we’ve all felt it. But the real question is: Why do we allow ourselves to feel it? In order to find this answer, it helps me to imagine we were all cavemen again Anybody that knows me, would tell you that I would happily be a caveman or an american indian before the “white man” came.. I would hunt, fish, build and make weapons, tools, clothes.. relax in the sun with family and friends, eat the most healthy diet available, nothing but plants and animals (to hell with all this processed shit we eat now). At night I would sit around the camp fire, laughing, telling stories, staring at the stars in amazement, and have crazy monkey sex all night with my little indian squaw or cavewoman :- ) so anyway.. Guilt.. Ugh, I hate guilt!
Why do we feel Guilt?
Back in the caveman times we lived as part of a community group, little bands of people where we were safer, more effective and less vulnerable. Now we didn’t exactly “need” the group to survive, however it made life much, much, much easier and there was a good chance that if you did leave the group you would die. So in order to harmoniously live with other people our ancestors created rules and if you didn’t keep them, you were simply killed, or if you were lucky then you would be cast out of the group and they “wouldn’t be your friends anymore” (little kids do this all the time, hell, even adults still do this). Anyway, if you were a healthy individual you would check yourself and make sure you were “in line” in order to avoid being banished and die.
In a caveman sense, you would die if you were “wrong”. So if you were “wrong” you would naturally start to feel you were “unfit” for life and even existing. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where guilt comes from. I first heard this concept from Tyler at RSD Nation.
Because human beings are the crafty little creatures that we are, certain individuals took note of this and began using guilt as a manipulation tool. Some people say the source of this guilt is from “sinning”… “Because you have sinned you feel bad…” (I’ve heard that countless times) I will blog about Sin in the future. Either way, this guilt is used to manipulate and to align your actions to THEIR desires. (Don’t misinterpret me here. My future blog post will state clearly my perception on “sin”. My definition is similar to others’ definition however it is from a totally different perspective. If this causes you trouble, maybe its best to overlook this point for now until I further explain). Either way, you feel bad or wrong and you will do anything to escape that feeling. You may not consciously understand this, but if you are sacrificing your dreams, denying and evading REALITY then you ARE sacrificing EVERYTHING.
Usually the way they do this is to use higher concepts such as: Love, Respect, Courage, Holiness, Passion, Charity, Duty, Honor, Kindness, and many more out of context to show that your actions, desires, feelings or thoughts are not in line with these higher concepts.. Its bullshit. Its a covert and sneaky little tactic. Most of them don’t even know they are doing it.. they just know it works. If you don’t believe me just watch almost any charity plea.. they rely heavily and you wanting to identify yourself with higher concepts and therefore feel you must follow their action in order to “keep being the great person you are”. I was first made aware of this by reading Ayn Rand’s, Atlas Shrugged.
How do you overcome this Guilt?
First of all, you need to learn to recognize it and see that it is actually used on a daily basis. Second, Stop using it yourself if you do. Third, create list of your own values, define them and then strive to live them everyday. If you live life on your own values you will be less susceptible to unearned guilt from others. Fourth, help others to see it (this one can be tricky), however don’t attack them directly, a good way is to show them an observation that you’ve made in your own life and how its affected you. (Yes, kind of like I’m doing right now : -)
I promise you will begin to feel a renewed sense of self and a greater sense of worth. The arrows of guilt people send at you will always come, but with a little practice they will simply bounce off like a raindrop on granite.
This blog is and will be written for me. I’m not saying that is will not be of benefit to others because I know for a fact it will. I am not writing this blog in order to make money, however I know I will.
I am writing this blog in order to help me deconstruct my thought processes and reconstruct them based on reality. Reorganizing my beliefs, values and actions will not be an easy task. My audience for this blog is mostly me, I will be writing to myself and trying to include food for thought for whoever stumbles upon my site in some unknown way. I do understand the value of exposure in a blog and I would appreciate your help sharing it. I will approve any comment that seems to have any remote amount of content, whether it be supporting or opposing my views is not important to me, quite frankly I don’t care. It is a possibility your comment will help me or somebody else discover some incongruence in their lives and they will change because of it.
Did your mother tell you not to talk to strangers? Maybe perhaps your school teacher or a trusted adult friend? Perhaps it was one of your classmates or friends that wanted to feel important and teach you something. It doesn’t matter who it was, they lied to you. Most likely it was an unintentional lie and believe me, they had the best intent when they said it. However, “good intentions pave the road to hell”.. I’ll tell you how never talk to strangers creates a Hell.
Why do they tell us these things?
First of all, why they advise to “never talk to strangers”? The truth the reasons are all completely and utterly FEAR BASED. Again, they did have good intentions. However, I will list below some of the underlying beliefs you inherit when they tell you not to talk to strangers. Yes, some of these are legitimate concerns, but these concerns can be taught and dealt with in a manner that doesn’t create self-limiting beliefs.
Never talk to strangers because:
“You will get kidnapped”
“Strangers are bad, who knows what they are capable of?”
” You are intruding on their space”
“You are not good enough to effect or influence others”
“You will get Raped”
“Its scary to meet new people”
“Its bad to be bold”
“Other people are scary or possibly evil”
“They might judge you, you are making yourself vulnerable”
“You are bothering people”
“The world is bad”
“If you need help you can find it from within, don’t bother asking for guidance”
I’m sure there are many more, however this is what I brainstormed in just a couple of minutes.
Now, we could talk about each one of those and why they are silly. Which we can do down in the comments section below. However, I feel that discovering all of the positives and benefits to talk to strangers is much more important than simply focusing on the problem.
The reality is, there are many advantages to talking to strangers. Because we are rational beings we will say in our heads “Of course I know its ok to talk to strangers” but what you say and what you believe might be total opposites.
Symptoms of believing in the “Don’t talk to strangers” syndrome.
(Some of them are very subtle and very sneaky).
Feelings of “you are not enough”
Hesitation to open your mouth and say whatever you want
Anxiety to approach an attractive member of the opposite sex
Having the tendency to waste time “thinking about solutions to your problems”
Your speech is stifled, muffled, quiet and often faint (even to a slight degree).
Feelings of mistrust or suspicion towards others.
Almost everyone suffers from the “don’t talk to strangers” syndrome to varying degrees. Do you want to know the secret to overcoming such symptoms?.. its tough but is well worth it… TALKING TO STRANGERS!
Here are the reasons why you absolutely must talk to unfamiliar people:
You will grow
You will gain self confidence
You will gain self confidence
You will have new experiences
The only way to make the unknown known is to go into the unknown
People are genuinely good
People are genuinely funny
You ARE good enough to affect them in a positive way
Its exciting to meet new people
They won’t judge you, and if they do so what, you won’t ever see them again
People are far from scary and even if they were you would become accustomed to dealing with scary and then it wouldn’t be scary
You will have more connection and love in your life
Find answers outside of yourself, there are some incredibly intelligent people out there. You can even learn from people who are not “intelligent”
You will feel more certain about who you are
Its a joy to meet new people
Its an adventure!
Remember in the first paragraph I told you that I would show you how believing this lie with good intentions creates a hell? Living in those conditions creates a constant state of unnecessary paranoia, self inhibition, and belief systems that you are not good enough. Nobody deserves such feelings and especially not you.
My challenge for you
I’m going to challenge you to talk to strangers : -) and I want to add one little piece of homework on top of that. Talk to strangers and when applicable create some sort of future with them. Trade phone numbers to go take your dogs on a walk, plan on participating in some interesting activity together. Set them up on a date with one of your friends. Become Facebook friends. Find something to create a sense of future between this “Stranger” and you.
If you do this, I promise you will see/feel/notice all the benefits. For all you parents out there, teach your kids the benefits of talking to strangers while still being responsible and wise about not putting themselves in harmful situations.
I’m interested in your stories about when you didn’t follow the bad advice of ”Don’t talk to strangers” and something great happened. Post your story in the comment section below.
In order to begin on the right foot and set a solid foundation. I will communicate in the most straightforward and honest way I know how. This post is all about YOUR weaknesses, challenges, obstacles, problems, hindrances… whatever you want to call them. In essence they are all the same. As we speak about your pitfalls and challenges, we will use my life and my own personal shortcomings as an example (lucky me :- ).
I am human just like you are, we all have our challenges, get used to it. We all feel that we can be more, do more, experience more, love more, and connect more, the great thing about life is that “YES WE CAN!” (Does that slogan sound familiar? : – ) Now, even though we live in a near perfect world where everything is absolutely amazing and a giant miracle, there are still countless imperfections found within everything and everyone. What should amaze you in this life is that you have the ability and consciousness to identify those imperfections, analyze and correct them. I personally feel that someday, if we don’t end up destroying ourselves, we will be able to solve almost ANY problem, but lets first start with the things we can handle right now.
As I write about my weaknesses and challenges you will automatically think about yours (like if I say “Don’t think about sexually transmitted diseases”… you automatically thought about the most twisted, gut wrenching diseases that you could imagine, even if it doesn’t exist). This is also great because maybe my problems aren’t very relevant to you, but you can apply the same solutions to your issues.
Remember that all weaknesses are relative and perceptual. If I believe I have a weakness then I will act accordingly, I will either strengthen and improve it or guard and protect it.. Its like when you talk to a beautiful woman that absolutely despises her body for the most ridiculous “imperfection”. (Speaking of, I think Viva Bianca is gorgeous but why did she have to get a nose job? Viva, if you read this, you were just fine before your surgery.) Judge yourselves by your own standards and stop comparing yourself to others! Even the best of us fall into that trap sometimes. Get rid of the ego and be the best you can possibly be for no one but yourself.
OK, lets stop the rambling and get on to the meat of the post.
How to identify your greatest weaknesses?
(Or your smallest weaknesses so you can start with something small and build momentum in order to kick the “big one’s” ass in the future).
The answer to our question is another question. Its funny how the best answers in life are simply just a different question or perspective. Learn to ask the right questions and you will get the right answers… I think most of us know that by now. But for me, my challenge is simply taking the time to find the right question, my mind wants to get to the next task but I make myself slow down, focus on the present, and formulate my question/answer.
The questions I ask myself are these (and usually in this order): 1. What is my desired outcome? 2. Why haven’t I achieved it yet? (gain further understanding of the situation) 3. What am I evading by not (you fill in the blank)? This is usually my most important question! This is usually where I find the problem! The reason I don’t have the desired outcome is because I am evading something that I have labeled as “bad” or “uncomfortable”. What I find most in life is that people would rather not live with the truth than live with an uncomfortable feeling. (Think about that and see how you do the same.) Usually people replace reality with some sort of a lie in order to evade a “negative” feeling. Man up and face the truth! 4. Why do I want the desired goal? (This gives me plenty of motivation to take action) Many people have said this but I first heard it from Tony Robbins, “80% is “why’ you want something and 20% is ‘how’ you will get it?”
Its simple, start finding things you evade and follow them to the core.
My Weaknesses and Challenges
As I mentioned above, I will use myself as an example. After asking myself some of these questions I quickly came up with a huge list of improvements I would like to see in my life, they are:
• Isolation – I tend to isolate myself from others in order to avoid appearing without a life, it is fear of some sort. I’m quick to judge and think that other people aren’t very “growth oriented” or that they are “totally caught up in ego” (which is true for the most part, however I use it as a shield or an excuse not to take action and my relationships pay for it). That is a classic example of evasion.
• Fear of vulnerability – Another example of evasion…This is a reason why I would isolate myself. In some ways I have become very comfortable being vulnerable, however putting it all out on that table is difficult for me. Its my ego not wanting to be damaged, fail, and it wants to appear strong and so it overcompensates. (Writing about my weaknesses is a positive step for me.)
• Inhibition – I am more of an inhibited individual than an outgoing one. Everything written above applies to this as well. I don’t speak up, my voice is stifled and quieter than it should be. Maybe its not to the extreme of mumbling and whispering, however my vocal tonality and projection can most definitely improve. Its a sign of me not wanting to intrude on your air space, in other words its a sign of me not feeling like I am enough.
• Quick to judge – Even though I say I’m a not judgmental person, I am. Whats funny is that I probably suffer more from my judgements than whoever I judge does : -) We can be quite foolish sometimes.
• Lack of focus – This I feel is an issue and challenge for most of the world today. I feel that the only thing we should judge ourselves by is how often and how consistently we stay in our desired mental state, for me I want to be in a constants state of “Fun, Focus and Pride” with a hint of “Adventure, Excitement and Celebration”. I feel those six characteristics are absolutely essential for a consistently happy life.
• Intermittent laziness – Some times I evade putting out energy and contributing and I will go through little lazy slumps. This will change.
• Lack of main passion and purpose – I feel it is important for a man to have passion and purpose, as I grow I know that part of my life purpose is to help “spread consciousness around the world”, another purpose is to “evolve consciously”. However, those seem so vague and undefined and that is where I fail to identify my purpose and passion. I feel that writing and continuing to write this blog helps fulfill both of those purposes and will lead me to a more specific path, it all begins by taking action now on what I have available to me.
Once you have identified and defined exactly what the problem or weakness is then you are free to find the solution. Many times just simply knowing what the weakness or problem is, is enough to take action and make an effective change. Quick word of advice: Do not focus on the problem too much, only identify it and then spend the rest of your time focusing on the SOLUTION to the challenge.
Some people don’t like the word “problem” because people seem to identify with their problems and then it only makes it worse and a repeated behavior. Unless of course your problem is being “too cool” or “too loving” and “too productive”, identify as much as you want with “problems” like those :- )
Solutions to your Weaknesses and Challenges
I feel that if everybody focused on their own personal weaknesses then nobody would have to solve anybody else’s problems. It’s call maturity and self reliance.
Here are some steps in order to find solutions:
(If I leave anything out or if something else works for you then please leave a comment below and share it with us.) 1. Identify the weakness. 2. Identify your why’s and be able to list out the benefits of changing the undesired weakness. 3. Ask “What small changes can I implement to begin a slight course change?” 4. Ask “What can I do in order to help me realize I am falling into old weaknesses or how can I catch myself before, during or after I succumb to a weakness?” 5. Ask yourself “Who has already conquered such a weakness and what can I learn from them?” 6. Ask yourself “How can I make myself accountable in order to change this weakness/challenge?”
All in all, simple questions like these can make a huge difference. Apply them. Try them out for a couple of weeks and you will notice a huge difference and your weaknesses will no longer be your weaknesses. I promise you will have more connection, growth, stability and adventure if you do. If and when you run into any issues or road blocks don’t hesitate to ask for help, either I or somebody else on this blog will have valuable advice for you. Also, don’t forget when you have any breakthroughs, don’t hesitate to share with the rest of us! We really would love for you to contribute to our lives. I don’t think weaknesses are bullshit, but the way we typically deal with them is.
I’ll begin my first blog post with my story. I think its important for readers to understand who I am, what has influenced me until this point in my life, and several important life changing events that will help give you an understanding of my psychology and thought processes.
Even though I am now 27 years old, at times I really feel quite ignorant, foolish and sometimes quite gullible. Side note – I have learned that if you are not feeling foolish you are not learning and progressing. A lack of progress can only mean there is apathy. So feeling foolish is a good thing for us as humans and its funny how we run from exactly that which will help us. Even though I may feel foolish, I can still take a look around and look at the masses of people who are still wandering this planet in a walking daze, they seem to be full of emotion and full of life but are actually merely reacting to stimuli and nothing more. Rarely do I see conscious individuals that take life moment to moment and make the absolute best out of it. I realize that at this moment in my life I am surrounded largely by unconscious individuals, and part of my purpose in writing this blog is to increase the consciousness in this world and to reach out and find other human beings that perhaps are on the same path that I am, or others that have been where I want to go and can help light the way for me and others.
Like everyone, my past has shaped me into the person that I am today. I am not my experiences, nor is anyone else, however they have led me to this point in my life where I meet you now. I will be brief and try to cover some of the major events and influences that I have encountered. No doubt throughout this blog I will mention more and more, however I will mainly focus on universal truths and objective truths which will have nothing to do with events or circumstances in anyone’s life.
I was born of goodly parents :- ) I smile because anyone who has ever had a mormon influence in their life is familiar with that sentence. It is one of the opening lines in the Book of Mormon. Yes, I was raised mormon and their influence had a intensely tight grip me for my first 22 years of my life. I’m not saying I didn’t have little doubts here and there but I identified myself with them and therefore tried my hardest to be the best mormon I could possibly be. I had a relatively easy childhood, no violence, no difficult trials, no sicknesses, no diseases, school was easy, and I had plenty of friends (looking back they were all very superficial friendships), however I was never an outcast and I always “fit in”. Later I learned that “fitting in”, being normal and being part of the status quo is exactly what I don’t want.
In high school like many others I participated in sports, honors classes, and was a typical preppy-jock-good-ol-mormon boy. Everything was relatively easy, I grew up on a farm we had plenty of land and I spent a lot of my time bass fishing. I really connected with the art and science of fishing, I loved how every little twitch of the wrist immediately effected the lure. Or how the weather conditions changed what type of lure, color, cast, retrieval, and speed that I applied to the technique. It was a sense of mastery and connection with the outdoors and nature that I constantly appreciate and crave. I worked hard in school and sports but I never actually tried, nor did I ever put my heart on the line, or even made that extra effort to be great.. I was content with just being good. Which is a common problem with today’s society. Read the book Good to Great. In fact one of my purposes to writing this blog is to leave behind the good and only accept the great from now on.
I graduated and immediately moved out on my own to Stockton, California to begin a door to door sales job. I would solicit wood shake roofs and get them to sign up for a free roof inspection. I was taught sales techniques in order to improve my results and took slight notice that these same tactics were also used within the LDS church (mormons) in order to inspire and motivate us. I earned enough money to go on a full time mission for the church and was sent to Lima, Peru. Yes, I wore a black name tag and smiled everywhere I went. It really was great, I learned an incredible amount about life while serving. I worked hard and was the best missionary I could be, I learned a lot of doctrine and became familiar with both the bible and the book of mormon in order to teach effectively and to strengthen my “testimony” but really all I was doing was strengthening my reality as a mormon so that I could suck others into my reality and baptize them. I served well and even extended my mission an extra two months because I did not want to leave and return home to a “normal” life. I had identified with being a missionary so much that I felt elevated over everyone. I felt I was a humble servant of the lord :- ) I was far from humble. By the way, humility is Bullshit (I will definitely write about that, and will most certainly piss some people off :- D. Oh, and getting pissed off is bullshit too!… I will absolutely write a post about that in the future :- )
I returned home and almost got married within a couple of months, however I’m extremely grateful that didn’t happen. I moved to BYU in Provo, Utah and decided I wanted to be a dentist, make lots of money so I could have lots of babies and still live comfortably. I was a typical BYU student, full of ambition and ignorance. Life was bliss. I worked sales jobs, and went to school. The best job that assisted me to evolve the most was selling pest control door to door for several summers. These were extremely difficult summers that required me to learn a lot about myself and others. One summer I worked with many foreign students from eastern Europe, my time with them taught me a lot about life and the real world.
While at BYU, I met several girls I wanted to marry and eventually I met “the one” we dated and fell in love. I decided that being a dentist would be too boring and that I wanted to become a real estate investor instead, I got involved in a company called Nouveau Riche and bam spent twenty-something thousand dollars on a real estate education. I made about one thousand dollars and was left with a huge chunk of debt. I was not ready to be a real estate investor yet, I had not acquired the skills, mindset, and knowledge necessary to succeed. I was a little bitter at first, but now am extremely grateful because it started me on my path to where I am today, I began reading personal development books, started learning about business and the psychology of business.
(Quick side note) Something I should mention is that when I was about 14 years old I “accidentally” ran into internet pornography. As a mormon, I began to feel large amounts of guilt and self doubt. I was supposed to give in and let Jesus take all of my guilt and expel my desire to view a naked woman… but the more I tried and the more I guilted myself and allowed others to guilt trip me, the worse I felt. Only more pornography (and more fishing) soon became the only temporary releases from the guilt. Later I would learn that there are hordes of people who want to guilt you and use altruistic leverage to manipulate you into giving up and being less than you are and less than you can be. Most of them have good intentions, however there are a few very evil people that use altruistic motives to destroy. I cleaned up my porn habits before the mission and after returning and while attending BYU I “fell” back into pornography and began feeling guilty and feeling that I would never be enough. I dated several good LDS girls that wanted to get married,however I had an underlying belief that I would never be good enough for a daughter of god like her and I would then slowly sabotage the relationships. The porn addiction got worse. Interestingly enough, I only felt temporary relief through Jesus and his sacrifice, however I found more knowledge and functional advice in the self help books at Barnes and Noble. Only when I began to study human behavior, human psychology and human relationships and give up on the “war against porn” did I loose my desire for pornography and start to place my energies toward more effective and efficient activities.
I slowly I began to evolve, I began to see bullshit for bullshits sake and it took me years of filtering through my conditioning and beliefs, I made plenty of mistakes, and wasted lots of time fighting within myself. Eventually I began to see my religious upbringing for exactly what it was. (Many of my mormon friends and family members don’t understand this, they continually try to “activate” me, their efforts are appreciated because I can see they have the best of intentions, however, I will not be returning to the mormon congregation.) I began to make small shifts and small transformations, I began to chip away at the false self that had built up over the years of trying to be somebody that I’m not and living up to others expectations. In fact I’m still finding areas of improvement and I expect to be doing so my whole life.
Within each segment of my life, there were countless little experiences which helped me along my path and some that slowed me down. Eventually I might reveal some of this experiences if they are relevant to the topic of discussion.
The purpose of this post is to show that I am exactly like you, we all have our pasts. Whatever they are, they are important but not as important as this moment right now. Use your past to learn but never identify with and get stuck in your past, it will only bring misery and suffering. Take now for what it is and make your life the greatest it can be.
I encourage you to write your own little evolutions story, its really interesting. Feel free to post them below and share with the rest of us!