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Cultivating Positivity: The Power Of Selective Attention

“And this one speeds up the death penalty! So if you’re tired of paying for these guys to stick arou…” as he waved a clipboard at passing strangers.

“If your fond of sand dunes and salty hair…”

The soothing melody of Groove Armada drown out the vengeful little worm’s spiteful rhetoric. My breathe deepened as I returned to a state of post-workout zen.

In agreement with the decision to return to the calm of the earbuds, the waning afternoon sun cast its last rays of warm glow upon my shoulders. I strode past him and into the parking lot, an unshakeable smile plastered upon my goofy face.

And with that, the cretin’s jibberish fell to the wayside, never to disturb my mind again.

As I sat down and turned the key in the ignition it occurred to me that this simple act was a microcosmic example of the greatest shift we all can make to immediately to foster happiness, compassion, and kindness in our lives – selectively deciding upon the inputs to our consciousness.


 

 

Ruthlessly guarding the thoughts and thought processes we choose to allow into our lives is far and away the greatest strategy towards cultivating inner peace that we have.

And within that peace we build the quiet confidence to go about our lives pursuing exactly that which we feel is our purpose on this planet. That which needs to be done, for ourselves and for others.

Whether that be to become a more loving spouse, to finally get in shape so that we can keep up with our kids, to take control of our career, to make a difference in our communities…

It’s a thinly veiled fact that nearly everything that bombards us in our day-to-day lives is meant to foster unhappiness, fear, insecurity, and a sense of lacking , of a void that’s only a purchase, a relationship, a war away from being filled.

Otherwise why the hell would we work ourselves into the ground for 30 years?

Take on interest-bearing debts?

Agree to fly halfway across the world to shoot at people we don’t know for reasons we don’t even understand?

Consumerism

From the cover models’ flawless airbrushed skin to the enviable wealth and luxury that hollows us out from the inside every time we pry our needy little eyes through the hedges long enough to catch glimpses of our favorite celebrities on television and in their social media feeds…

“There’s something better than what you are or what you have right now.”

 

And if you’re  one of the few who is content with where your life is… there’s a terrorist, an immigrant,  someone who doesn’t look or talk like you hellbent on taking that security away.


 

I’m not mad at the do-gooder pining for revenge and death outside a Trader Joe’s in suburban California. Nor do I pity his blood thirsty little mind.

 

When we express frustration, pity, disgust, or any other critical emotion it removes the power from our hands to change the fabric of the society that spawns these types of individuals.

 

“That’s just the way it is… always has been, always will be.”

 

“I feel sorry for people like that.”

 

These are familiar statements you hear from even the most positive of our friends and family.

Do any of us wonder why we’re overweight, overmedicated, and overly pessimistic about mankind and the fate of our planet?

The reality of the situation is that our current state – both personally and collectively, is the result of the information and concepts which we have chosen to allow into our psyches.

If you can’t lose weight because “dieting doesn’t work for you”- is that a fact? Or is that an idea that you’ve allowed to be reinforced by people who tell you that it’s too complicated a process or by ads that tell you your only hope is to buy “Bullshit in a Bottle Product #3”?

If you can’t take care of your health because you need to spend 5 days a week in the gym to be in decent shape, have you ever considered trying twice a week? 

If you think people are poor, hungry, or rioting because they “don’t want to work”, “are out to get something for free”, or are just “violent thugs”- is that your idea? Or is it someone’s opinion you absorbed as a child or from words you heard on the news?

If you think “we can’t feed the world without torturing animals and spraying millions of gallons of herbicides and pesticides on our soil because the population is too high”- did that notion come to you out of thin air?

I’ll leave you with words of wisdom from a philosopher much more articulate than this over-caffeinated meathead…

 

“We are the past, there is no question about it. And that past is operating, modifying itself in the present. The present, if there is no fundamental change, then the future is what we are now.

So all time, the past, the present, the future is in the now. And if we can really capture the significance of this, then we begin to see the implication of what it means to change.

If you will accept that there is no tomorrow, how will you look at the world? How do you look at yourself? How do you consider God? How do you consider becoming something? If all time is in the now, is there psychological becoming at all?”
-Jiddu Krishnamurti


 

Guard your mind my friends.

Turn off your televisions, turn off the radio, tune out the gossip in your office and the billboards you drive by on the way there every morning.

By all means stay informed, but never fail to read between the lines, and never fail to question what you hold as “fact”, what you can or cannot do, and what is or is not possible for us as human beings…

Krishnamurti quote taken from the 19:50 mark…

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