Nice info thanks a lot love self-improvement

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

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The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.

who else loves this

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott

Have you been doomscrolling at night, feeling overwhelmed by the news and everything that’s going on in the world? Even if it’s not that deep for you, it’s easy to get caught in a cycle of endless scrolling due to boredom or procrastination.

how to unplug when you need a break

Many of us are craving a way back into simpler times when technology didn’t rule our lives. The only problem is that unplugging might leave you feeling disconnected. Especially right now when many of us can’t see our friends and family, wanting to go offline might make you feel like an outsider.

The truth is that we all need healthy time away from social media and the internet. Ultimately, we need to figure out what we want to plug into instead. In this post, I’m sharing tips for how to unplug without feeling isolated or left out.

The Effects of Staying Plugged In


how to unplug when you need a break

Plugging in affects your mindset

The internet can inspire you, help you make connections, and allow you to document your life to look back on someday. But it can also mess with your mindset and make you forget what real life looks like.

Being plugged in all the time has given us all a weird sense of reality. People now seem to post things for the sake of keeping up with an algorithm, rather than sharing what’s actually happening in their lives.

I often feel pressured to share my own life on social media, yet I struggle with this because I’m quite a private person. Sometimes I wonder if people from high school have forgotten about who I am because I’m never posting on social media. But then I think, ‘Who really cares?’ I’m not here to impress anybody.

I’m part of the generation that knows what things were like before social media, yet I’ve also grown up with it being a big part of my life. I remember having to wait until I got home from school so I could check Myspace and re-arrange my top 8. There was no way to check things on my phone back then. Distractions from social media didn’t even exist, and it didn’t have the same effect as it does now on my mindset.

Plugging in keeps you charged

Staying plugged in might be a way to keep ourselves charged in some way. We feel charged when we get likes from others, when we’re in on the latest drama, and when we learn new information. But is that the kind of charge we really need?

Being online all the time puts us at risk of living our entire lives through screens. You might think you’re close to other people (especially influencers and celebrities) because you follow their daily lives, but you don’t really know them. This can make you forget about what’s actually happening beyond the screens.

Though I’m conflicted in my thoughts on social media and the internet, I am certain that being mindful of the way you use them is the best way to approach things.

Related Post: 5 Ways To Have A Healthier Relationship With Social Media

How To Unplug When You Need A Break


Awareness is key to making changes. If you can find healthy boundaries and set intentions with the time you spend online, you can make sure you don’t lose a sense of yourself. Here are my favorite tips and examples of ways to unplug:

1. Address your mindset

Wanting to unplug can make you feel like an outsider. When your friends are always on social media and don’t seem to notice their addiction to it, you might feel weird for not being as into it.

You might also start to create stories in your mind because you’re not as active on social media as others are. For example, I’m usually the last to respond in a group chat because I don’t have notifications on my phone.

Sometimes I worry my friends are going to think I don’t want to talk to them. This is a story I create in my mind. Can you imagine if my friends of ten years stopped talking to me because I was late to respond in the group chat? If they did, they weren’t my friends to begin with.

Some things to think about:

  • What are you afraid of missing out on if you unplug? 
  • Do you fear that people will forget about you? 
  • Do you worry you’ll offend other people because you didn’t react to the meme you sent them?
  • Will people not want to work with you because you didn’t respond to their DM?

Notice when these fears creep up. Question whether it’s part of a story you’re creating in your mind. When you realize these fears aren’t warranted, you can begin to let go of them.

Related Post: 5 Daily Habits For A Healthy Mindset


2. Set boundaries & intentions

Be intentional

Most of us can’t unplug from the world completely (and we don’t really want to). In that sense, it’s better to focus on being intentional with how you use technology, rather than trying to remove it from your life.

Here are some things to think about:

  • What do you use different apps for? Is Facebook for connecting with family? YouTube for entertainment? Pinterest for inspiration?
  • What do you WANT to use different apps for? If you can create separation between platforms, you can better avoid endless scrolling when you’re bored or frustrated. For example, if you’re in need of a mood-booster, you’ll know to go to TikTok instead of aimlessly scrolling through Facebook.

Curate your following list

The people you follow and listen to WILL have an impact on your mindset. The best way to be intentional with this is to curate your following list.

Here’s an exercise: Make a list right now of people you enjoy following. Do this from memory, without actually going on social media. You’re going to forget people and that’s okay. The ones that you remember are the ones to keep on your feed. Mute everyone else who’s not on that list.

Stop seeking out your triggers

As humans, we love drama. Sometimes we seek out drama to feel better about ourselves, and other times it’s to feel intense emotions (good or bad).

You probably know what your triggers are. To have a healthier relationship with social media, it’s important to be aware of your triggers and stop yourself before you seek them out.

For example, I gravitate towards the comment section of videos, especially when I know they’re going to be triggering. Instead of automatically going to the comment section, I’m learning to watch the video without reading the comments.

Also, stop visiting the profiles of people who you know are going to trigger you. That includes your ex and public figures you disagree with.


3. Create an unplugging system

Image via #Offline48

The tricky thing about technology is that it’s created to be convenient and distracting. In order to unplug, you have to make it inconvenient to access apps and platforms.

Here are some ideas help you unplug:

  • Delete social media apps on the weekend (Venetia La Manna does this with her #Offline48 challenge)
  • Go offline one day a week (Tiffany Shlain talks about this in her book 24/6 which I wrote about here)
  • Have someone else change your social media passwords until Friday (James Clear recommends this in his book Atomic Habits)
  • Move social media apps to the last page on your phone screen
  • Log out of all social media on your computer
  • Put your phone in another room while you’re watching TV
  • Turn off notifications for social media apps (I personally do this)

Set expectations

Of course, one of the hardest things about unplugging is setting expectations with other people. Let them know your boundaries. People may think it’s odd, but you might inspire them with your actions if they see it’s working for you. 

Tell people that your phone is on ‘do not disturb’ mode, but they can call you if it’s a level 8 emergency. Tell them you’re taking Sundays to be offline and you won’t be checking emails. If you own a business and clients tend to DM you, set the expectation for them to email you instead of messaging you.

Setting these expectations will help everyone involved avoid miscommunication and unnecessary panic.

Plug into what matters

If we’re going to unplug, it’s important to plug into something that matters. When you unplug, you’re giving yourself permission to focus on the things you actually want to focus on.

Think about what you could do with the time you gain from not spending so much time online. You might choose to plug into your relationships, hobbies, health, self-care, etc.

“Unplugging is an act of separating ourselves from what doesn’t align with our values and our heart-centered desires.”

Caroline Makepeace from yTravel Blog


My question to you: What do you want to plug into?

I hope this post has encouraged you to make unplugging part of your regular life. The way you use technology is ultimately going to determine your relationship with it. Most importantly, think about what you want to plug into so you have a reason to stay accountable.

Leave a comment below! What are your tips for unplugging?

The post How To Unplug From The World When You Need A Break appeared first on The Blissful Mind.

IMO stuff about method are fantastic

Recently, a friend of mine met a woman while on vacation in another country. They had immediate chemistry and decided to keep in touch after he left. As the months passed by, he became more and more enamored with her, telling me that he had never met a woman like this before. He said he hadn’t felt this way since he met his last serious ex. Apparently, the feeling was mutual, as the woman continued to battle through time zones to keep in touch with him. Soon, despite living on different continents, they conjured up plans to ‘follow their dreams’ and see each other again.

At one point, he went as far as to suggest to me that he’d be able to arrange his work-travel situation to where he could even live in her country a few months out of the year and make a relationship work. This was serious business — especially coming from a friend I knew to be particularly commitment-averse.

Eventually, they found a solution. He had another upcoming trip overseas, and he could take the following week off at a beach town nearby and arrange to have her flown there to meet him with his frequent flyer points. She excitedly accepted. He arranged for a romantic room, massage trips at a local spa, walks on the beach, the whole nine yards. It was finally going to happen.

Following Your Dreams Isn’t Always the Answer

We are all beaten over the head that we should always follow our dreams, always pursue our passions, always turn reality into what we believe will make us happy. Most marketing and advertising is based on this. The majority of the self-help industry pushes this. And with the “lifestyle design” and “self-improvement” obsession of this generation, it has become a borderline religion.

To create and define one’s own life is viewed as some sort of salvation; to remain trapped within the confines of traditional society as some kind of hell.

But this isn’t necessarily rock hard capital-T truth. In fact, it’s largely a cultural belief. The entire modus operandi of the United States was the idea that any person can achieve what they desire assuming they work hard enough. Individuality and originality have been successfully marketed to us the past century to the point of parody. We’re told that such-and-such shaving cream will make us “our own man” and that driving a mass-produced sports car is the best way to express ourselves.

Here’s an Audi commercial that tries to tell you that you’re being unique by buying a $39,000 car:

But it’s not just materialism. The “follow your dreams” mentality dominates our relationships as well. It’s only in the last couple centuries that romantic love has been championed as the sole prerequisite for a happy relationship.

Lonely? Just fall in love and then live happily ever after! Duh.

It’s reached the point where practically all of our pop culture is based upon the idea that romantic love is a justification for just about any neurotic behavior.

The underlying assumption behind all of this? You deserve to follow your dreams. You owe it to yourself to pursue them at all costs. Achieve your dreams and they will finally make you happy once and for all.

Whether it’s a new career, being the best-dressed person at a party, reaching enlightenment, or realizing a tryst with a woman halfway around the planet, we’re told that we owe it to ourselves to go out and get it, and we’re some type of failure if we don’t. (Now buy this hemorrhoid cream for $19.95.)

Sometimes Wanting Something is Better Than Having It

Rock concert with guitar player standing on stage
This was supposed to be me one day.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end.

The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time until I could invest the effort into getting out there and making it work.

Even when I started my first online business, it was with an eye to cash in quick and then finally start my belated career as a musician. Even as recently as a year ago, I bought a guitar with half a mind to start practicing again and join a band in some of the locations I ended up living.

But despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time to figure out why.

I didn’t actually want it.

I’m in love with the result — the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, putting everything I have into what I’m playing — but I’m not in love with the process.

The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 lbs of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I don’t like to climb. I just want to imagine the top.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. Lifestyle designers would tell me that I gave in to my conventional role in society. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that:

I thought I wanted something. But I didn’t. End of story.

I’ve since discovered that the rock star fantasy has less to do with actually rocking out on stage than simply feeling acknowledged and appreciated. It’s no coincidence that as my personal relationships improve dramatically, the fantasy slowly fades into the background. It’s a periodic mental indulgence now, not a driving need.

Reality is Always Messy

At the end of his brilliant album Antichrist Superstar, Marilyn Manson plays a loop of a spoken sentence, “When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.” The line is repeated over and over as what was a dark and beautiful ballad devolves into a chaos of clustered samples and distorted noise.

Later, in his autobiography, Uncle Marilyn explained what that line meant and why he ended the album with it.

After achieving all of his goals — the fame, the fortune, the social critiques, the artistic statements, the rock star status — he was paradoxically the most miserable he had ever been in his life. Reality hadn’t lived up to his fantasies. There were stresses and pains he could have never imagined. Vices had taken hold. The character of those around him had changed.

In the book, he relates breaking down and crying into a pile of cocaine in the studio while recording the song. Because at the tender age of 27, he felt he had nothing else to look forward to in life. He had already achieved everything he had ever wanted. And the excess of it was destroying him.

In my own life, I’ve written about how the dream of living as a digital nomadtraveling the world and working online — has at times presented unpredictable challenges and downsides that you never get when you live in one place. Fellow nomad Benny Lewis recently wrote about similar issues in his life.

The truth is that pain, longing, and frustration are just a fact of life. We believe that our dreams will solve all of our current problems without recognizing that they will simply create new variants of the same problems we experience now. Sure, these are often better problems to have. But sometimes they can be worse. And sometimes we’d be better off dealing with our shit in the present instead of pursuing some ideal in the future.

Jim Carrey quote about fulfilling dreams not being the answer

How do we know the difference? How do we know what’s worth pursuing? We don’t always. But here are two guidelines that can help:

  1. Fall in love with the process, not the result1 – If your job is drudgery now, then there’s no reason to suspect it won’t still be drudgery when you make partner or when you’re managing your own division. We live in a results-based society, and unfortunately, this gets most of us (70% by some surveys) into the wrong pursuits and career paths, even if we find our ‘dream job’.2
  2. What’s motivating you? – Take a long, hard look at what’s really driving you. Is it some compensation for an unmet need? Or is it a genuine expression of enthusiasm and joy?3,4 The fact that I fantasized about being on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans and didn’t fantasize about writing or playing new songs is telling.

 

Does this mean you shouldn’t pursue your dreams? Is this some kind of nihilistic screed against how the world is shit and we should all waste away and nothing matters anyway?

No.

I’m simply urging you to exert a little caution. We’ve all been bombarded with the message that if we’re not making ourselves special in some way, then we don’t matter. But as David Foster Wallace wrote at length about, some of the most heroic people in the world are those who toil silently through the monotony and boredom, who live lives of simple satisfaction and anonymous successes. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

‘Follow Your Dreams’ Comes Crashing Down

When my friend informed me of his beach getaway plan with his foreign love interest, I strongly advised him against it. I went on about cognitive biases, how long distance relationships allow us to idealize others, about being blinded by infatuation, how it sets a terrible precedent for a relationship, and so on.

He said he understood. But he had never met a woman like her and that if he didn’t at least find out, he’d wonder “What if?” for the rest of his life.

Sounds reasonable, even admirable. And hey, I don’t really blame him. Although I wouldn’t have done the same. Because my point was that he actually hadn’t met this woman yet. The woman he had met who was “like nobody else” was a product of his fantasies and desires, not reality. In reality, he ignored dozens of real women directly around him to pursue a romantic phantom.

The week of the getaway came. He disappeared for a few days. When he resurfaced, his first message to me was, “Well, I know you’re going to say ‘I told you so,’ but…”

From his account, the first day was fine, if a bit awkward and distant. But then the weight of the stratospheric expectations crashed through on the second day. She couldn’t square the circle of their lifestyle differences, the living on two different continents. I imagine reality hit her like a slap in the face. What the hell was she doing on a beach somewhere with some guy she only met for a few hours a year ago?

She told him that she thought they should just be friends.

Obviously, my friend was disappointed. He had followed his dreams, and it didn’t work out. But by the third day, the disappointment had turned into anger — and not necessarily at her, but at reality. This woman “had everything he looks for in a woman,” and was like “no one he had met before.” And within three days, she  became “immature,” “entitled,” and “unappreciative.”

But the fact is that she had always been those things. Just as he had always been just a friend to her. They were just the last ones to find out.

(Cover image by eflon is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Footnotes

  1. Dweck, C., & Leggett, E. (1988). A Social–Cognitive Approach to Motivation and Personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), 256–273.
  2. Kenyon, G. (2016, November 25). It’s not unusual to get your dream job—And then hate it. BBC.
  3. Studies of motivation often show we are way more motivated if we are excited, joyful, or enthusiastic. See: Patrick, B. C., Hisley, J., & Kempler, T. (2000). “What’s Everybody so Excited about?”: The Effects of Teacher Enthusiasm on Student Intrinsic Motivation and Vitality. The Journal of Experimental Education, 68(3), 217–236.
  4. Intrinsic (internal) motivation has been linked with higher achievement and well-being in a number of fields. See: Ryan, RM & Deci, EL 2008, ‘A self-determination theory approach to psychotherapy: The motivational basis for effective change.’, Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 186–193.

Anything related to this is very important

What do you buy for your adult children — specifically if they’re a Gen Xer or Millennial?  You want to find something they’ll actually use and enjoy, not something they’ll regift to someone else at the first opportunity.  This all-too-common quandary is why we’ve put so much effort into creating a list of fantastic Christmas …

Read More21 Perfect Gifts For Your Adult Children

The post 21 Perfect Gifts For Your Adult Children appeared first on Live Bold and Bloom.

I <3 self-improvement ?

Recently, a friend of mine met a woman while on vacation in another country. They had immediate chemistry and decided to keep in touch after he left. As the months passed by, he became more and more enamored with her, telling me that he had never met a woman like this before. He said he hadn’t felt this way since he met his last serious ex. Apparently, the feeling was mutual, as the woman continued to battle through time zones to keep in touch with him. Soon, despite living on different continents, they conjured up plans to ‘follow their dreams’ and see each other again.

At one point, he went as far as to suggest to me that he’d be able to arrange his work-travel situation to where he could even live in her country a few months out of the year and make a relationship work. This was serious business — especially coming from a friend I knew to be particularly commitment-averse.

Eventually, they found a solution. He had another upcoming trip overseas, and he could take the following week off at a beach town nearby and arrange to have her flown there to meet him with his frequent flyer points. She excitedly accepted. He arranged for a romantic room, massage trips at a local spa, walks on the beach, the whole nine yards. It was finally going to happen.

Following Your Dreams Isn’t Always the Answer

We are all beaten over the head that we should always follow our dreams, always pursue our passions, always turn reality into what we believe will make us happy. Most marketing and advertising is based on this. The majority of the self-help industry pushes this. And with the “lifestyle design” and “self-improvement” obsession of this generation, it has become a borderline religion.

To create and define one’s own life is viewed as some sort of salvation; to remain trapped within the confines of traditional society as some kind of hell.

But this isn’t necessarily rock hard capital-T truth. In fact, it’s largely a cultural belief. The entire modus operandi of the United States was the idea that any person can achieve what they desire assuming they work hard enough. Individuality and originality have been successfully marketed to us the past century to the point of parody. We’re told that such-and-such shaving cream will make us “our own man” and that driving a mass-produced sports car is the best way to express ourselves.

Here’s an Audi commercial that tries to tell you that you’re being unique by buying a $39,000 car:

But it’s not just materialism. The “follow your dreams” mentality dominates our relationships as well. It’s only in the last couple centuries that romantic love has been championed as the sole prerequisite for a happy relationship.

Lonely? Just fall in love and then live happily ever after! Duh.

It’s reached the point where practically all of our pop culture is based upon the idea that romantic love is a justification for just about any neurotic behavior.

The underlying assumption behind all of this? You deserve to follow your dreams. You owe it to yourself to pursue them at all costs. Achieve your dreams and they will finally make you happy once and for all.

Whether it’s a new career, being the best-dressed person at a party, reaching enlightenment, or realizing a tryst with a woman halfway around the planet, we’re told that we owe it to ourselves to go out and get it, and we’re some type of failure if we don’t. (Now buy this hemorrhoid cream for $19.95.)

Sometimes Wanting Something is Better Than Having It

Rock concert with guitar player standing on stage
This was supposed to be me one day.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end.

The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time until I could invest the effort into getting out there and making it work.

Even when I started my first online business, it was with an eye to cash in quick and then finally start my belated career as a musician. Even as recently as a year ago, I bought a guitar with half a mind to start practicing again and join a band in some of the locations I ended up living.

But despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time to figure out why.

I didn’t actually want it.

I’m in love with the result — the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, putting everything I have into what I’m playing — but I’m not in love with the process.

The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 lbs of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I don’t like to climb. I just want to imagine the top.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. Lifestyle designers would tell me that I gave in to my conventional role in society. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that:

I thought I wanted something. But I didn’t. End of story.

I’ve since discovered that the rock star fantasy has less to do with actually rocking out on stage than simply feeling acknowledged and appreciated. It’s no coincidence that as my personal relationships improve dramatically, the fantasy slowly fades into the background. It’s a periodic mental indulgence now, not a driving need.

Reality is Always Messy

At the end of his brilliant album Antichrist Superstar, Marilyn Manson plays a loop of a spoken sentence, “When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.” The line is repeated over and over as what was a dark and beautiful ballad devolves into a chaos of clustered samples and distorted noise.

Later, in his autobiography, Uncle Marilyn explained what that line meant and why he ended the album with it.

After achieving all of his goals — the fame, the fortune, the social critiques, the artistic statements, the rock star status — he was paradoxically the most miserable he had ever been in his life. Reality hadn’t lived up to his fantasies. There were stresses and pains he could have never imagined. Vices had taken hold. The character of those around him had changed.

In the book, he relates breaking down and crying into a pile of cocaine in the studio while recording the song. Because at the tender age of 27, he felt he had nothing else to look forward to in life. He had already achieved everything he had ever wanted. And the excess of it was destroying him.

In my own life, I’ve written about how the dream of living as a digital nomadtraveling the world and working online — has at times presented unpredictable challenges and downsides that you never get when you live in one place. Fellow nomad Benny Lewis recently wrote about similar issues in his life.

The truth is that pain, longing, and frustration are just a fact of life. We believe that our dreams will solve all of our current problems without recognizing that they will simply create new variants of the same problems we experience now. Sure, these are often better problems to have. But sometimes they can be worse. And sometimes we’d be better off dealing with our shit in the present instead of pursuing some ideal in the future.

Jim Carrey quote about fulfilling dreams not being the answer

How do we know the difference? How do we know what’s worth pursuing? We don’t always. But here are two guidelines that can help:

  1. Fall in love with the process, not the result1 – If your job is drudgery now, then there’s no reason to suspect it won’t still be drudgery when you make partner or when you’re managing your own division. We live in a results-based society, and unfortunately, this gets most of us (70% by some surveys) into the wrong pursuits and career paths, even if we find our ‘dream job’.2
  2. What’s motivating you? – Take a long, hard look at what’s really driving you. Is it some compensation for an unmet need? Or is it a genuine expression of enthusiasm and joy?3,4 The fact that I fantasized about being on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans and didn’t fantasize about writing or playing new songs is telling.

 

Does this mean you shouldn’t pursue your dreams? Is this some kind of nihilistic screed against how the world is shit and we should all waste away and nothing matters anyway?

No.

I’m simply urging you to exert a little caution. We’ve all been bombarded with the message that if we’re not making ourselves special in some way, then we don’t matter. But as David Foster Wallace wrote at length about, some of the most heroic people in the world are those who toil silently through the monotony and boredom, who live lives of simple satisfaction and anonymous successes. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

‘Follow Your Dreams’ Comes Crashing Down

When my friend informed me of his beach getaway plan with his foreign love interest, I strongly advised him against it. I went on about cognitive biases, how long distance relationships allow us to idealize others, about being blinded by infatuation, how it sets a terrible precedent for a relationship, and so on.

He said he understood. But he had never met a woman like her and that if he didn’t at least find out, he’d wonder “What if?” for the rest of his life.

Sounds reasonable, even admirable. And hey, I don’t really blame him. Although I wouldn’t have done the same. Because my point was that he actually hadn’t met this woman yet. The woman he had met who was “like nobody else” was a product of his fantasies and desires, not reality. In reality, he ignored dozens of real women directly around him to pursue a romantic phantom.

The week of the getaway came. He disappeared for a few days. When he resurfaced, his first message to me was, “Well, I know you’re going to say ‘I told you so,’ but…”

From his account, the first day was fine, if a bit awkward and distant. But then the weight of the stratospheric expectations crashed through on the second day. She couldn’t square the circle of their lifestyle differences, the living on two different continents. I imagine reality hit her like a slap in the face. What the hell was she doing on a beach somewhere with some guy she only met for a few hours a year ago?

She told him that she thought they should just be friends.

Obviously, my friend was disappointed. He had followed his dreams, and it didn’t work out. But by the third day, the disappointment had turned into anger — and not necessarily at her, but at reality. This woman “had everything he looks for in a woman,” and was like “no one he had met before.” And within three days, she  became “immature,” “entitled,” and “unappreciative.”

But the fact is that she had always been those things. Just as he had always been just a friend to her. They were just the last ones to find out.

(Cover image by eflon is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Footnotes

  1. Dweck, C., & Leggett, E. (1988). A Social–Cognitive Approach to Motivation and Personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), 256–273.
  2. Kenyon, G. (2016, November 25). It’s not unusual to get your dream job—And then hate it. BBC.
  3. Studies of motivation often show we are way more motivated if we are excited, joyful, or enthusiastic. See: Patrick, B. C., Hisley, J., & Kempler, T. (2000). “What’s Everybody so Excited about?”: The Effects of Teacher Enthusiasm on Student Intrinsic Motivation and Vitality. The Journal of Experimental Education, 68(3), 217–236.
  4. Intrinsic (internal) motivation has been linked with higher achievement and well-being in a number of fields. See: Ryan, RM & Deci, EL 2008, ‘A self-determination theory approach to psychotherapy: The motivational basis for effective change.’, Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 186–193.

Valuable Post !

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

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The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.

such a great page

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

Join for free and receive upcoming articles, teachings, special announcements, and more.

The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.