2018 was one of the most transformative years of my life. I learned more about my life - the decisions I had been making, the worries I had, and the limited beliefs I created – than in the previous 21 years. This created a new approach to my life, one full of spontaneous unfolding of events especially as I welcomed my true passions and uncovered many false beliefs I had.
Favorite Reads of 2018:
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. This book played a pivotal role in my journey from my head to my heart and I had the fortune to encounter it thanks to a dear teacher’s recommendation. It’s in depth knowledge about the science of us and practical step-by-step meditation opened up my world and created a positive paradigm shift in my life. If you are feeling stuck repeating similar patterns, give it a read.
The Alchemist. Non-fiction books sparked my fire with reading, but I knew fiction books would have a more creative, inspiring impact. After listening to a podcast, I heard this book named and knew I must read it. It is a simple, fast read that assured me not only to love the journey but to follow my dreams. It is my favorite book thus far.
Favorite New Skill: Speed Reading thanks to Jim Kwik’s Kwik Reading Reading and comprehension was a challenge for me growing up. Over the past two years I exposed myself to learning more and became thirsty for more knowledge. I started reading more and more, and wanted to understand more of what I was reading. After taking this online course, I can now read at different speeds with a better comprehension. Plus, I can now juggle because one of the lessons was increasing peripheral vision with juggling.
One of my favorite lessons from my dad: Many of my dad’s bits of advice have come recently via text message at the the most random times… He’s on a cruise and texts me: Don’t argue with idiots. That is their opinion about you. They win, and you are going to come with the same conclusion. Avoid arguments with yourself. But trust your own discernment and faith in G-d. Make Him your guide in tough decisions.
When you treat an injury – or an illness – like your best friend, you learn more and you recover quicker. We are always in knowledge of our pains, but we don’t always want to appropriately resolve the pain because that’s work. Embracing the injury as a friend and treating it that way is healthier, and thus not equal to, symptom treating.
You can have the best diet plan, workouts, routines, etc. in the world, but it will consistently fail if you don’t uncover what’s been holding you back, and find what you’re REALLY hungry, tired, doing for. The lifestyle I created for myself and the things I was doing were great things, but the way I approached them – the intention – was wrong. Now, the healthy lifestyle I lived is paired with what I was really hungry for, a strong intention.
The second there’s a condition, it’s no longer a passion.
Quitting is not a bad thing. At a young age, my father gave me a paperweight with the wonderful Churchill quote, “Never Never Never Quit.” Although this take does have its place, quitting can actually take you to where you’re meant to be. Quitting can remind you to take a big leap, to commit to who you really are, to not let others dictate your life, to go after what really excites you.
I decided to quit grad school because I wanted to give myself an opportunity to explore if school and basketball was the best thing for me. At the time I was at school, I was not sure. I want to live a life of being sure so I temporarily knew that as long as I was not 100% committed to school or basketball, it’s time for me to back off, consider, and explore. I did and I am not questioning the integrity, purity, nor the sincerity of why I said no for now (not ever); I need to not pursue graduate school.
Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.
I did a bad job with listening to Solomon. I am learning so much about what it costs when I don’t listen to myself. The way I correct based on a mistake really matters how I learn from a mistake, or I will forever feel guilty.
If you desire a juicy apple pie and it manifests on the hood of your car, don’t question if you really want it or not.
You can’t collect water from the shower you finished taking. If you would not repeat a behavior that made you feel guilty, you are forgiven. It’s not who you are, it’s something you did.
Favorite Poem: IF by Rudyard Kipling This beautiful poem reminds me to remain in harmony and balance. It’s okay to be eager to get better, but it’s not okay to go past the balance point.
To bring an abundant 2019, I’d like to share a short story about Ralph Waldo Emerson a friend told me in regard to get where I want to go (I’m not sure if the story is precise but this is how I was presented it):
Ralph Waldo Emerson bought himself a cottage way out in the boonies with nothing but a pot, oven, stove. He took his dog there and he took his notes there because that’s where he would write. He’d arrive, unpack, feed the dog, start the stove, make some tea, eat a little something, walk the dog around the woods, and say,”I’ll start writing tomorrow.”
Tomorrow he would wake up and see the beautiful birds, take the dog on a longer walk, and then it was time to eat, he cooked something and would rather enjoy the gorgeous fire and the ambiance, and the silent sounds of the woods, so he said, “I will write tomorrow.”
After many, many, many frustrating weekends like that, he was cursing the weekends that would lead him to the time he’s supposed to write but he wasn’t.
He was at the verge of selling the property when he said, “well, I either have to call myself a non-writer, or I have to write.” Somewhere in frustratingly saying that out loud, he comes to the realization – and gifts the rest of the world with this concept – “Anything that I do in the cottage, is considered writing. The space and time has been dedicated as a shrine for writing. Me being in the physical space as a shrine to writing, whether I’m writing as walking the dog, writing as making tea, or writing as writing… Everything in the cottage will be called writing.”
He goes back and sits down and it starts to flow - the concept of what we call writing. Until he redefined and re-declared the entire space as anything and everything I do at the cabin is about writing. Whether he wrote a note or nothing at all, he walks away successful because he went to the cabin with the intention of writing and everything he did at the cottage, including napping, was writing.
Find your anything and everything I do is about writing, including writing.
Times are moving faster than ever and so is our growth. Perhaps now more than ever slowing down is where we can live extraordinarily. Rather than setting goals that could bring us more money or a better career, we could set goals to spend more quality dinners with those that make us smile.
One thing I will never forget: Things usually workout better than I had imagined.
Cheers to a new year filled with spectacular fun and unending fulfillment, waking up blissfully happy and joyful, vibrant relationships and being around amazing men and women driven by humanity focused values, and abundance in all areas of life.
Happy New Year!