Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tony's Words of Wisdom: Life Is Behavior

By Tony Horton

I've learned from my own experiences (filled with the usual trials and tribulations) that life has stages. These stages can occur in any and all aspects of life—physical, spiritual, psychological, financial, romantic, adventurous, familial, and so on. As you look back at your life (so far), you can see where you've excelled and where you've come up short.

Tony Horton

Most people spend their whole lives focusing on only two or three of the abovementioned categories. They neglect other areas of life because of lack of interest or desire or necessity. The truth is that a lot of men and women these days spend a substantial amount of their time working to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and money in their pockets. Many homemakers (male and female) spend most of their time keeping the hatches battened down.

So if life feels like an endless episode of Survivor, then how the hell do we focus on what I call the "Bliss Maker" areas of life—the romantic, spiritual/psychological, physical, purposeful, and adventurous areas? The three key ingredients for finding bliss in these areas of life are TIME, ENERGY, and PURPOSE. If you live in a 9-to-5 world and feel overwhelmed, then it's going to be pretty tough to find the TIME, ENERGY, and PURPOSE to discover your true bliss.

The average person can find temporary bliss in food, alcohol, drugs, tall tales, and sex. This kind of short-term bliss will take away health, consciousness, rationality, discretion, accountability, and responsibility, along with distorting values and a sense of morality.

If you're lucky enough to finally discover that there's more to life than making a buck, feeding your face, getting off, and manipulating reality, you'll start to inquire about how to find your bliss. Then you'll have to begin to find the TIME, ENERGY, and PURPOSE.

Time isn't that difficult, really. You look at your schedule, move some stuff around, explain to people what you're doing, and figure out a reasonable TIME frame in which to accomplish your goals. ENERGY is a piece of cake! You can master that every time you decide to Push Play! Doing P90X or any other kind of physical activity will automatically propel you into one of the most important "Bliss Maker" categories. PURPOSE is probably the most difficult and complicated variable when it comes to long-term success and bliss.

Woman in Bliss

Pursuing your bliss by means of dishonesty, manipulation, coercion, or the need to seek self-aggrandizement will backfire worse than any short-term pleasure ever will. If your spiritual pursuits give you a holier-than-thou attitude, all your learned dogma will fall on deaf ears. If you exercise hard and long just to look hot at your high school reunion, then talk to me the next day when the show is over. If you start looking for adventure for the sole purpose of acquiring trophies, will you still enjoy it if you fail?

If you ever chase any of these areas of life for the PURPOSE of looking for attention, accolades, and kudos from others, then you are doomed to a life of confrontation, depression, confusion, illusion, and delusion. I never said pursuing your bliss was easy. That's why most people who try it fail.

You can avoid failure by pursuing your bliss with clarity, wisdom, acceptance, vulnerability, patience, consciousness, and truth. These words, in both the selfish and selfless ilk, represent intent. Your intent is everything and the only thing that matters when it comes to the right use of will.

I believe that real lifelong change and bliss are achieved over the course of three separate stages:

  1. Recognition. Knowing and understanding that there must be a shift in the way you approach certain segments of your life and an undaunted willingness to want to make a change.
  2. Catharsis. The period of time you spend venting, releasing, and unleashing the emotions that keep you from your bliss.
  3. Application. The employment and utilization of the tools you've learned at the cathartic stage.

If you can move through these three stages with the right intentions, then you will know what it's like to live on this earth in a state of bliss.

Tony H.

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