Tuesday, May 1, 2012

5 Things I Live By

Rain Bucket
Via backpackphotography
Several years ago when I got my very first promotion in the beauty industry I was on top of the world.  Finally, after years of hard work and making coffee my talents were being recognized and I knew that I had a promising career path ahead of me.  An industry that I loved, a good salary, benefits, 401(k) -- I was on my way.  Months later the company went bankrupt and I was laid off.  And that's the way the cookie crumbles.

One moment everything's great and the next it's shit.  Life is like an ocean, and here we are just riding the waves.  My dad used to tell me that the key is to stay level.  When things are going good, don't get high.  This way when things turn for the worse you won't get too low.  Native American spiritual warriors talk about this control of emotions and how important it is to master.  Taoism and Zen philosophy does as well.  So this is what I attempt to do in order to avoid stress and still live a life of abundance.

5 things I Live By:

1. My Work Is Not My Worth
I work and then I let it go. I'm all about going with the flow.  Not internalizing my goals or my ambitions because that's what causes stress.  I work and I plan but my work does not define me.  My happiness, my appreciation for life, my love for the earth and people around me, my passion for music and art, my ideas -- these are what define me.  Success does not make you happy, it may make you financially secure but life is so much more than that.  The great spiritual leader Osho says, "Life should not be taken as work but as play."

2. Don't Trust Employer
If they give me a great 401(k) plan great, but I don't depend on it.  I take my finances into my own hands with stock investments and 4N1Fund.  After getting burned once I refuse to let it happen again.  I could lose my job tomorrow, my employer could make the wrong investment choices for me.  By taking it in my own hands I feel more in control.  I make payments to 4N1Fund each month, which they leverage by combining it with other group members (social networking meets investing).  And I'm guaranteed a tax free income stream in the future that does not depend on the market.  If the market crashed tomorrow the amount of retirement money coming to me would not change!

3. Run
Running alleviates my stress more than anything.  It also challenges me and I see it as a metaphor for life.  The progress is slow but it's there.  I just believe in myself and I make it happen.  I don't think to hard and in fact I don't think at all when I'm running.  I breath.  And I go.  And I make it further each time and I feel better each time.  I feel stronger and I'm happier.  And so I wake up the next morning and do it all over.

4. Meditate
Meditation is the best way to quiet your mind, to separate yourself from the ego and to just be.  It's important to remember that your ego is not who you are.  Your ego in fact is what holds you back.  Cartesian philosophy introduced the idea of the self as the center of the universe but many other cultures and modes of thought believe otherwise.  When you begin to strip self or the ego out of the equation, your worries melt away.  When you surrender to the universe -- you are free.  Lao Tzu says, "There is nowhere to go, you are already there."

5. Live Life
It's so short!  Just live it, enjoy it.  Move on.  Appreciate.  Be grateful.  Have fun!  Stop searching for meaning.  The very meaning is being alive.  That's it.  It's not deep, not a struggle.  The profound is in the simplicity.  And that's beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Vety good & true in present day context. This is all about attitude towards life. In our lang, we used to tell our self "Dont spread your legs more than your bed" i.e. in Good times, we have to learn how to keep ourself on grounds. All the best in your life. - Nitin (INDIA)