Do You Self-Sabotage?

We all do stupid things and mess up and go unconscious. In Buddhism, it has a name: unskillful. It simply means you didn’t have the skills yet.

 

Do You Self-Sabotage?

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Do you do self-sabotage? Imagine you’re late for your party and all your guests are there waiting for you. Your phone is dead and you’re in an unfamiliar place. You turned right onto a street hoping that it will take you to the restaurant. It’s getting dark. You start to breath quickly. Your heartbeat quickens. Your palms are sweating on the steering wheel. You can hear a ringing starting in your ears. What if you don’t make it there in time? Everyone will be disappointed and it’s embarrassing for you. Maybe they don’t even want to be your friends anymore. Your entire life will be ruined because you forgot to check a map before you left. Stop. Do you know a part of your brain is responsible for the anxiety and panic you’re feeling right now? It’s called your reptile brain. It’s responsible for your basic instincts. It wants food, sex, and safety. It doesn’t want you to take risks or do anything that’s uncomfortable and it has allies. Your right prefrontal cortex is a part of your brain responsible for visualization. When those two parts of your brain team up, they make negative visualizations.

The negative visualizations will often convince you not to take action because of bad things that could happen. You won’t even know what you’re missing out. You’re missing out on financial opportunity, new friendships, relationships, experiences, and ideas. You’re missing out on the beautiful, delicious and pleasant parts of life you don’t even know to exist. It’s all because the reptile brain is playing these little horror movies of what could happen if you take a risk. Your reptile brain is speaking. My friend Pam had a dog that had been beaten and burned with a lighter. That’s how Pam found her. That’s how they began together. In a lot of love and training, she made leaps and strides over the first few years. Until one day, she had a setback. Her worker was at the house across the street. His pickup truck backfired loud. Pam sprinted outside because the dog had been lounging on the front porch. She was nowhere to be found so Pam began running through our neighborhood. Pam didn’t catch up to her until she was about a mile from her house. She was in a frenzied trance running for her life with no regard for anything around her.

Pam shouted her dog’s name. Hearing Pam’s voice broke the trance, the dog stopped. She looked at Pam panting and terrified. As Pam ran to her, she could see her dog come back into herself. She was shaking. Pam didn’t say, “What the hell? You’ve come so far. You keep getting triggered. What’s up with that head of yours?” This is what Pam did. With her arms tight around the dog, Pam said, “You’re totally fine and you’re totally safe. Let’s go home and begin again.” I remember this incident when I got a message from someone asking about intention. She wrote that she has a pattern of getting to a certain point in creating a vision and when things are going well, she’ll find a way to mess it up. Her words, “I sabotage my success,” and it struck me.

LBD 28 | Self-Sabotage
Self-Sabotage: Nothing is ever done until you decide that it’s done.

 

Sabotage is one of those words that seem to come with its own military units and artillery. It is big and heavy. Sabotage says, “Don’t question me. I’m scary.” It can be a challenge to see clearly. On one level, I get the idea of messing things up right when they’re going well and yet how scared you can feel when things are looking like they might be working. I get that being scared can make you go unconscious to escape the uncomfortable feeling of fear. Unconscious can equal anything from eating five pieces of cheesecake to endlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed to watching Netflix until 3:00 AM. I get that fear might make you do something dumb or something mean for a few months until you have alienated everyone. Until you find yourself back where you’re comfortable in the land of things are awful and I’m to blame, a pattern is just a pattern. You’ve never done this before.

The minute you realize you’re not unconscious or when you catch yourself in the midst of a trance, what stops you from picking yourself up, looking around, dusting off, cleaning up, putting down the cheesecake, apologizing with the stupid things you said and starting again? Let’s be clear. That is the issue here and not the sabotage itself. Nothing is ever done until you decide it’s done. We all do stupid things and mess up and go unconscious. In Buddhism, it has a name, unskillful. It simply means don’t have the skillsets yet. As far as I know, someone once used a phrase, “You totally screwed that one up.” The question is this, “How do you know you’ve ruined everything?”

Sabotage requires you give in to the belief that all is lost. It’s like you have your own entertainment industry executive in your head that says you, “You’ll never work in this town again.” The problem is not that he’s there, the problem is your believing. Sabotage is a teacher. You can never do anything new without making mistakes. It’s called learning, not sabotage. Part of that was to take the first few steps and falls and that’s not saying, “I sabotage myself.” Instead, he keeps getting up and moving until he learns to walk. It’s the same when you’re learning to ride a bicycle. You keep falling off until you get it. If you really decide to learn trick riding, you start falling again. It’s about how much you want to improve your skillsets and grow.

If you think you have a knack for sabotage, then this pattern is the greatest teacher. It might be teaching you persistence or commitment. I’ll be telling you, you’re growing. One of my biggest secrets is when I’m learning something new, I create a safe space for myself to make all the mistakes I need to learn and grow. It could be in the confines of a new class where everyone is a beginner or it could mean the privacy of my home. I could go to someplace where no one knows who I am so that when I screw up, they would say, “Crazy stranger.” You either beat yourself up in the confines of your mind when you think you have screwed up or some well-meaning person says that to you and you beat yourself up.

The reality is, I’ve never had a qualified expert come and tell me I screwed up because all of them have painted views. You will have the well-meaning by a relatively clueless individual who will provide you with unsolicited advice about how you screwed up. At regular intervals in my life, I learned something new. It could be a new business approach, a new martial art, or a new dance form. I gave myself permission to make mistakes and learn. I have been enriching my brain by creating new neural pathways. The key here is you can either sit back or say, “Look how awful I am. I’ve done it again,” or you can say, “I’m learning to commit. Now is another day and with eyes wide open, I begin imperfectly.” It will be painful. It will be uncomfortable. It will piss you off and it’ll grow you in ways you can’t imagine. I know from my own experience, it’s challenging to have an emotional temperament and go for your dreams. It’s much easier to sit back and say, “It’s all too hard,” or “I’m not cut out for this.” When you start engaging, you only elongate the story and continue to trance. Instead, take steps and take them in openness and stop using the word sabotage.

Be unbelievably kind to yourself. The opposite of the voices that say, “All is lost.” It’s reminding yourself that, “All has never been lost,” and remembering how far you’ve come in your process. Monitor how you talk to yourself. Stop and correct any negativity. It only serves to keep the path in our life. In your story, you have the opportunity to be the person who is kind and the one who pushes in knowing that you’re never going to give up on yourself or your life. Whenever you shift into that unconscious mode, gently walk yourself back home and start from there. Do that for you constantly and then do it again. We’ve spoken about how to declutter your life and how to be aware. This is putting it together so that you will never believe that you sabotage yourself ever again.

One lucky audience that posts a review in iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you in a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45-minute consultation with me that’s worth thousands. I’m going to help you design a life that works so you’re able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The clearer you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you step into your true potential, stay on track, and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen? Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift, design it. Do what matters and join me each episode as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. Join me next time on Your Life By Design.

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What Game Are You Playing?

What type of game are you playing with your life? The long game or the one of immediate gratification? It’s easy to overestimate the importance of luck on success and underestimate the importance of investing in success every single day.

 

What Game Are You Playing?

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What type of game are you playing with your life? Is it the long game or one of immediate gratification? It’s easy to overestimate the importance of luck and success and underestimate the importance of investing in success every single day. Too often, we convince ourselves that success was luck. We tell ourselves that government employee that left millions behind were lucky. No, she wasn’t. She was playing a different game than you were. She was playing the long game. The long game isn’t particularly notable and sometimes it’s not even noticeable. It’s boring, but when someone chooses to play the long game from an early age, the results can be extraordinary. The long game changes how you conduct your personal and business affairs. There’s an old saying that I think of often but I’m not sure where it comes from. If you do what everyone is doing, you will get the results they all get. Ignoring the effect of luck on outcomes, the promo bill, lottery ticket and doing what everyone else is doing ensures you’re going to be average. Not average in the world, but average to people in similar circumstances.

There are a lot of ways not to be average. One of them is a trade-off between the long game and the short game. That’s why lottery tickets’ general rule of thumb is those who never learn to manage money often end up significantly poorer after winning the lottery in a few years after they have run through the money. What starts small compounds into something more? The longer you play the long game, the easier it is to play and the greater the rewards. The longer you play the short game, the harder it becomes to change and the bigger the bill facing you when you do want to change. The short game is what leads you to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease because of the easier choices you made about what you ate, drank, and the exercise you did not do. The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment is a famous study on young children. They could predict in advance which group of four-year-olds was more likely to have better life outcomes as measured by a set of scores, educational attainment, body mass index and other life measures.

The short game is putting off anything that seems hard for doing something that seems easy or fun. The short game offers visible and immediate benefits. The short game is seductive. Why learn something boring that doesn’t change when you can learn something sexy that impresses people? Finally, you reach a level of incompetence and you can pull the wool over the eyes of your customers and your corporate career is over. Why bust your butts at work to do the work before the meeting when you can read the executive summary and pretend like everyone else? Until one day, your boss asks to see if you hit the meeting and the truth comes out. Why invest in your relationship with your partner now when you can work a little bit extra in the office and then you wonder why your partner walked out on you. Why do your homework when you can go out and play? This leads to poor grades and all the anger and rage at the school system and does not allow you to be authentic. Why wait to pay for full in cash when you can put it on credit card? This is a shortcut to credit card debt and impending bankruptcy. Why go to the gym when you can go drinking with your friends and many years later comes the heart attack.

The effects of the short game multiply the longer you play. On any given day the impact is small, but as they turn into months and to years the result is enormous. People who play the short game don’t realize the costs until they become too large to ignore. The problem with the short game is that the costs are small and never seem to matter much on any given day. Doing your homework now only give you straight A’s tomorrow. Saving $5 now only makes you a millionaire overnight. Going to the gym and eating healthy now only makes you fit tomorrow. Reading a book only makes you smart. Going to sleep on time will make you healthier tomorrow. We might try these things when we are motivated, but since the results are not immediate, we revert back to the short game. As the weeks turn into months and the months into years, the short game compounds into disastrous results. It’s not the one-day trade-off that matters in values accumulation.

In the Stanford Marshmallow Studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited for approximately fifteen minutes during which the tester left the room and then returned. The reward was some type of marshmallow, but often a cookie or pretzel. In the follow-up studies, the researchers found that the children who are able to wait longer for their preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes. While the original study was that the test was a measure of pure willpower, later studies suggested it was a measure of economic background and intact family background. Children from such an environment learn from very early to play the long game rather than go for immediate gratification. Playing the long game means suffering a little now. Why would we want to suffer now when we can suffer tomorrow? If our intention is always changed tomorrow, then tomorrow never comes. All we have is now. Looking at how the Millennials are brought up, I’m somewhat concerned. They were encouraged to go for what they wanted immediately.

Often, they grew up in a school environment where winning and getting good grades without playing. Everyone was a winner from day one. There was no need to play the long game because there was instant gratification. They often did not learn about the messy things, about making friends and relationships because of social media. When I grew up, I hung out with three other guys and then four others I could call friends. I have a few thousand friends on my social media sites. I’m not a Millennial. I know the difference between social media friends and real-time friends. The Millennials are likely to struggle when they go to work in corporations because they will expect instant gratification and recognition for their abilities. They will not know how to play the long game. They’re likely to champion for shorter working hours and work that is more meaningful and impactful. They will struggle in real-time relationships because all they had was social media-type connections.

The long game is the opposite of the short game. It means paying a small price now to make later easier. If we can do these long enough to see the results it feeds on itself. From the outside, the long game looks boring. Save money and investing it for later, leaving the party early to get some sleep. Investing time in your relationship now, so you have a foundation when something happens. Doing your homework before you go out to play, going to the gym rather than watching Netflix and countless other examples. In the simplest form, the long game isn’t debatable. Everyone agrees that we should spend less than we make and invest the difference. Playing the long game is a slight change. One that seems insignificant at the moment, but one that becomes the difference between financial freedom and struggling to make next month’s rent. The first step to the long game is the hardest. The first step is visibly negative. You have to be willing to suffer now in order not to suffer tomorrow. This is why the long game is hard to play.

LBD 27 | The Long Game

 

People rarely see the small steps when you’re looking for enormous outcomes. Deserving enormous outcomes are mostly the results of a series of small steps that culminate into something visible. In everything you do, you’re either playing a short-term or long-term game. You can opt-out and you can play a long-term game in everything. You need to pick what matters to you. In everything you do, time amplifies the difference between long and short-term games. The question you need to think about is when and where to play a long-term game. A good place to start is with things that compound like knowledge, relationships, and finances. One lucky audience that posts a review in iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45-minute consultation with me that’s worth thousands.

I’m going to help you design a life that works, so you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The clearer you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you step into your true potential, stay on track, and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen? Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift, design it. Do what matters and join me each episode as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. Join me next time on Your Life By Design.

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Wellness or Sickness Medicine

What kind of healthy choices will you make, those based on Wellness Medicine or Sickness Medicine? Will you be proactive about your health or reactive?

 

Wellness or Sickness Medicine

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What health choices will you make? Those based on wellness medicine or sickness medicine? We all know our health is influenced by what we eat, drink, and other well-known lifestyle choices that we make. The latest scientific research shows that for each of us, these choices can have greatly differing effects on our health. Small differences in your genes can influence how well your body metabolizes food, utilizes nutrients, and excretes damaging toxins. All of which can affect your general state of health. By finding out if you have any of these small variations, you can modify your diet and lifestyle choices to achieve optimum nutrition and health. After many years of the American Medical Association saying that three square meals a day could fill your nutritional needs, the statement totally repudiates the stand. The AMA has been forced to revise this stand in view of this new evidence. They say it takes 25 years before a new idea takes hold in medicine. In 25 years, every medical doctor will be studying nutrition thoroughly. The average medical education spends seven to twelve hours out of a seven-year education on food, vitamins and minerals. Although that may be changing. This is out of Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002.

They say that vitamin deficiency syndromes such as scurvy and beriberi are uncommon in modern Western societies. However, suboptimal intake of some vitamins above levels causing classic vitamin deficiency is a risk factor for chronic diseases and common in the general population, especially in the elderly. Suboptimal folic acid levels, along with suboptimal levels of vitamin B6 and B12 are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, colon and breast cancer. Low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteopenia and fractures. Low levels of the antioxidant vitamins A, E, and C may increase the risk for several chronic diseases. Those of you reading this, this may seem very commonplace but this was a total turnaround from what the AMA was saying many years ago. Do you ever wonder what’s in the food store and the grocery stores around the world? People keep asking me, “What ingredients should I avoid?” I put together a short list that covers all the most toxic and disease-promoting ingredients in the food supply. These are substances causing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease leading to tens of billions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs across America and around the world. If you want to stay healthy and out of the hospital, read ingredient labels and make sure you avoid these ingredients.

Acrylamides are toxic cancer-causing chemicals found in foods and carbohydrates exposed to high heat like frying and grilling. They are present in everything from bread crusts to snack chips. Because they aren’t intentional ingredients, acrylamides do not have to be listed on labels. Aspartame or NutraSweet are chemical sweeteners that cause neurological disorders, seizures, blurred vision, and migraine headaches. Autolyzed proteins are highly processed proteins containing free glutamate and used to mimic the taste-enhancer chemical MSG. Bisphenol A, a hormone-mimicking chemical found in nearly all food packaging plastics promotes cancer, infertility, and hormonal disorders. It also feminizes males promoting male breast growth and hormone disruption. Casein milk proteins hilariously are widely used in soy cheese products that claim to be alternatives to cow’s milk. Nearly all of them are made with cow’s milk proteins. Corn syrup is another name for high fructose corn syrup. It is frequently used in infant formula products. Food colors FD&C Red 40, for example, is linked to behavior disorders in children. Nearly all artificial food colors are derived from petroleum and many are contaminated with aluminum.

Genetically modified ingredients are not listed on the label because the GMO industry, Monsanto and DuPont, do not want people to know which foods contain GMOs. Nearly all conventionally grown soy, corn, and cotton are GMOs. They are linked for severe infertility problems and even fast bacteria in your body to produce and release a pesticide in your own health. If you’re not eating organic corn, you’re eating GMO corn. The average naturopath spends 1.5 to two years of a four to seven-year degree diploma program on herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, nutrition and diet. This is why naturopaths and natural health practitioners focusing on nutrition and diet excel at prevention and medical practitioners at pathology. By the time you have a heart attack or a gastric ulcer or a lump in the breast, you may need medical intervention, drugs or surgery.

These conditions do not happen overnight. They take anything from five to fifteen years to develop. In the meantime, subtle changes occur. In fact, people become used to these changes and they put it down for aging. Once you put it down for aging, then you can’t do anything about it. What will early intervention do for you? It will ensure you will be healthy and well enough to make your next million or more between 45 to 65. For others, it will mean they can be healthy enough to run and play with their grandchildren instead of waving at their family from the bed of a hospital or nursing home. While doing a health check is a good practice, conventional medical testing does not provide a full picture. Functional medicine testing will often identify hidden health conditions long before they show up on conventional medical tests. Most medical doctors will look at the standard tests and be satisfied with this result most times, possibly dismissing nagging pains or discomfort that the patient has experienced over long periods of time. Only a small percentage of medical doctors will look at functional testing to get a truer picture of health. They will also talk and check about the quality of life the client has.

LBD 26 | Wellness Medicine

 

I was once talking about early wellness screening to one of my ex-wife’s good friend. She helped me politely and showed me this shadow I rather not know. About a year later, she discovered a lump in her breast and had to see a surgeon to remove it and biopsy it. Fortunately for her, it was benign. It could have easily been otherwise. If you think that a healthy lifestyle and eating fresh organic food protects you, think again. There are more than a hundred thousand chemicals in the environment that our grandparents did not get exposed to. There was a sweet radio personality who used to interview me on the radio many years ago. She was famous for a healthy and organic lifestyle. She was diagnosed with cancer. She came to see me for a visit and a few months later, there was a report about her death. I can’t say that I’ve prevented people from developing cancer because of the early method of detections I used in my practice work so well, they will never develop cancer. I can say I found individuals who have come in with cancer markers. Those who clean up your lifestyle and diet to not develop cancer. Those who find I did not make the necessary changes early enough or rigorously enough often do go on to develop cancer. These are general statistics from a sample population of 15,000.

The most common reason for cancer terminal and chronic illnesses included a modern lifestyle and exposure to the industry with antibiotic use and toxins like pesticides and heavy metals. In 2010, the US President’s Cancer Panel, an advisory group that considers testimony from several cancer researchers to inform the president’s policy on cancer prevention concluded that environmental toxins are a greater cause of cancer than previously believed. I turned out to be right many years later. This lady flew in from Bangkok. She was incidentally an A blood type. She had a great diet, exercised well and wasn’t stressed. She discovered she had a breast lump. She had it removed and biopsy revealed that it was malignant. When we examined and tested her, we found mercury filling in one of her teeth was leaking. It happened to be on the tooth that was on the left side that was involved in the stomach meridian. The left stomach meridian also influences the left breast, which was where she had the cancerous tumor removed. If she had come in earlier, she could have even bypassed cancer. One month later, she came in for a second visit feeling wonderful and almost well.

I’m going to help you design a life that works so you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you step into your true potential, stay on track, and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen? Feel free to reach out to me to ask a question at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift, design it. Do what matters and join me each episode as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. Join me next time on Your Life By Design.

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The Science of Happiness

Compared to 500 years ago, before the exponential explosion of science, technology, wealth, inventions, and access to resources granted us near mastery over our environment, enabled us to meet all our survival needs, and allowed us to enjoy a level of personal comfort and safety unprecedented in human history. Are we any happier?

 

The Science of Happiness

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Over the last several years, a new field of research has gained popularity, the science of happiness. Legitimate researches are dabbling and have published countless studies, books and articles on the topic. My curiosity on the subject has led me to dive deep into the literature on this new state of being. Some scientists conclude that happiness comes from our environment. Some claim that it’s determined by behavior. Some believe it is an evolutionary phenomenon and others are certain that the key to understanding happiness lies in our genetic profile and our biology. No matter what they call it and regardless of their point of view, they all attempt to answer the following question. Compared to 500 years ago, before the exponential explosion of science, technology, wealth, inventions and access to resources granted us near mastery over our environment. It enabled us to meet all our survival needs and allowed us to enjoy a level of personal comfort and safety unprecedented in human history. Are we any happier? There’s no way to summarize all the disparate and contradictory threads on research in one episode.

I’ll share what I’ve discovered about happiness as it relates to the evaluation process we had been going through. All these quality studies in the world mean nothing unless you find a way to connect them to personal experience. A lot of my research into happiness felt abstract until I stumbled upon the golden nugget of insight that makes a huge difference in nearly every facet of my life. This pearl of wisdom informs how I approach wants, desires, relationships, material possessions and important decisions. Here’s the common thread that runs through all the research. Happiness depends on the correlation between your objective conditions and your subjective expectations. Happiness doesn’t depend solely on factors you might expect like wealth, health, community, environment or happiness. Happiness doesn’t depend on your bank balance or whether you live in Hawaii or India. It doesn’t matter if you had a happy childhood or you’re battling cancer. Those things are part of the picture but they’re not as critical as most of us believe. Here is my takeaway from all of that.

The pearl of wisdom and this is how I frame all of it in my mind. Expectations are like disappointments in disguise. Expectation management. You might expect a used Dodge minivan. If I get a used Dodge minivan, then I’m content. If I want a brand new Porsche and I get a Dodge minivan, I’m far from content. I’m unhappy. I feel deprived, but not because of the presence of the minivan or the absence of a sports car. I feel deprived because I miscalculated. I failed to calibrate the instrument of my happiness, my expectations from my subjective conditions, reality. You might expect my partner to provide the support I need after a crappy day and the dog gets more love than I do, I’m unhappy. You might expect my boss to respect my work but got nothing but a grunt and a new impossible deadline when I turned in a big project, I’m unhappy.

To put it simply, it’s all about calibrating our calculations and managing your expectations. Most of us aren’t aware of the scores of expectations we have swirling around in our head every day from little things to big things. Expectation management is huge, but expectation mismanagement can break our backs. When reality hits, whether we wake up to realize we’re out of coffee or we don’t get an amazing job we applied for, we wonder why we feel crappy. The reason we feel crappy is the distance and the dissonance between what we expected to get and what we thought. Hence my conclusion that expectations are merely disappointments in disguise. I discovered early in life I was an anxious person. It had to do with being autistic. My life was not about being happy. It was feeling safe and calm. When I knew what I had to do and I could predict what will happen next, it means I could relax and enjoy the moment. I found people illogical and unpredictable. A lot of my time was tied up working out with someone who would do next if it was relevant to me. If not, I did not bother.

LBD 25 | Science Of Happiness

 

After a while, I realized that if I set my goals and expectations to be functional, I minimize disappointment and being frustrated, angry or disappointed. The only person who had to rise to the occasion was me because I could control and manage me and the rest were outside of my control. The clearer I became about my expectation and the tyranny of shoulds and musts and so on and the more aware I became, the more relaxed I got. I’ve covered the tyranny of shoulds and musts in previous episodes. I’m not saying that all of this happened overnight. What did happen is I got a handle on this once the world became less and less unsafe and more and more unpredictable. I started enjoying my life more. People noticed how much calmer I became. Hitting the jackpot, two things happen to lottery winners over time. They spend irresponsibility and go broke. They go back to the same level of happiness or unhappiness they had before. Life improved for the lottery winners. Their objective conditions changed significantly, but something else changes through their expectations.

Despite the dramatic improvement in their condition, the lottery winner still managed to feel miserable. This happens because of the entire frame of reference shifts. After the honeymoon period of wealth is over, they return to the default mode of mismanaging expectations even though they have more money than they had before. Similarly, when things deteriorate, they go broke and slide back to the pre-jackpot financial situation. The expectations shrivel up and they return to where they started. On the flip side, expectations are closely associated with anticipation, wanting and the desire for achieving great things. In that way, the fireworks of anticipation are one of the coolest aspects of being human. We imagine, we plan, we work, we accomplish. We set foot on the moon and we cure diseases that not long ago killed millions and that’s all because we expect more. As far as we know, we are the only species gifted with such incredible quality.

Sure, my wife’s best friends, cats and dogs expect things but the expectations are different. They are thinking about a tasty treat or anticipating the mistress’s imminent return home. The cat is not planning or expecting to cure cancer or send her kittens to Mars. We humans are crazy enough to expect and plan for both of these things. I find it amusing that we have created an entire industry dedicated to finding out what makes us happy. It’s amusing because prophets have been telling us for thousands of years that being satisfied with what we have are far more important than getting more. It’s how all this talk of happiness relates to decluttering. Mismatched expectations creep into the gap between what we want in the world in which we live. Declutter a space that should be simple and clear. Rather than accept the moment, expectations create illusions that have nothing to do with reality.

My personal solution and guiding philosophy around all this is to appreciate, love, and enjoy what I have while balancing it all with the knowledge that’s more out there. This is the skill I’ve had to develop and practice over time. Managing the balance is like an acrobatic team on the tight rope managing the walk across the wire. They maintain constant, dynamic, mindful and vigilant attention to the process. You can believe they didn’t wake up one day doing the art. They had to practice the skill just like I practiced gratitude and work by managing my expectations every day. One last thing I found in my research on the topic is money won’t buy you happiness, but it might buy you a ship to sail and rise up to it.

One lucky audience that posts a review in iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you in a personal journey to discover your unique mind, body, psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45-minute consultation with me that is worth thousands. I’m going to help you design a life that works so you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen? Feel free to reach out to me to ask questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each episode as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. Join me next time on Your Life By Design.

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Declutter Your Life

 

Declutter Your Life

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How do you declutter your life? It brings to mind an old routine by George Carlin when he talks about how modern life seems to be all about accumulating stuff. We fill our houses with stuff and when we get too much stuff, we buy a bigger house so we have room for all our stuff. Our houses are containers to keep all our stuff. Sometimes we even have to rent a storage space to keep our extra stuff. That’s a whole industry around keeping our stuff. The funniest routine is when he talks about when you go out of town to visit friends. They put you up in their guestroom and there’s never any room to put your stuff because their stuff is everywhere. Other people’s stuff is worthless, but our stuff is important. Our stuff is not junk. Our stuff has meaning and value, but I realized that sometimes my stuff becomes junk. I’m talking about internal stuff, not the extra knick-knacks cluttering my house I threw away. I’m talking about the ridiculous stuff that takes up space in my head. I realized that the same way I need to clean up my external life and get rid of my useless stuff. I also need to clean up my head space. I need to clean up my brain. If I don’t, it turns into head junk. All of us have stuff and if we don’t deal with our stuff, it becomes junk.

I do this twice a year in the beginning and at the end. The purpose of this is to simplify, declutter and throw out all the things that don’t matter. When you’re not careful, things will creep in. Things will pile up. The next thing you know, you’ve got more head stuff. I’ve mentioned the less is more pattern that shows up in every area of our life. I use this idea to point out that only a few things in life matter. When we break it down, only a few things, ideas or people have the biggest impact. The same pattern shows up in our head junk. Here’s an analogy to explain what I mean. I’m sure you have all been to picnics. It’s nice, peaceful and relaxing. You spread out your blanket and enjoy your lunch. You sip a little wine or beer or juice and then the ants appear. It doesn’t matter if you check the ground beforehand. Somehow they find you and invade your space and you fight back. It doesn’t matter how many you smash. More show up, they’re automatic. Automatic like the negative thoughts that pop up in our heads and start spiraling around even though we don’t invite them in and we do our best to get rid of them. I call these annoying mental patterns INTS, internal triggers. Like a column of tiny little ants can ruin part of the picnic, INTS can ruin your day at least for a while.

The internal trigger starts an endless spiral of internal babble where you start obsessing about what you should or should not have done and how you overlooked something and so on. You will see the collection to less is more in this analogy. For most of us, a few thought patterns dominate and the negative patterns have a particular potency, especially when they are left unnoticed and unchecked. If you watch your thoughts closely, I’ll bet you agree. In fact, I’d like to challenge you to take part in an experiment. Call it an exercise in self-awareness. Over the next few days, pay close attention to your thoughts. Notice how much of you thought energy is taken up in shoulds, coulds or have-tos. Then notice how often taught patterns like yours are negative and judgmental. Start to notice those INTS. I know how I deal with the INTS in my brain. Almost everything in your life is a result of an ongoing series of internal cognitive events happening continuously inside your head. Your feelings and behaviors and what you believe and what you value and nearly everything else about your life are all the results of these internal cognitive events and this is important.

All of it happens outside of your awareness. Here’s why that’s super important. What happens outside of your awareness isn’t a choice. If for instance, your feelings and behaviors are generated outside your awareness, they will happen automatically on autopilot. Sometimes the results would be good and sometimes not. I call this ongoing stream of cognitive events or internal map of reality. Here is what I discovered. If your internal map of reality runs on autopilot, you have to accept the consequences. It can include negative emotions, behaviors and habits you can’t control, continually ending up in the wrong situations and with the wrong people and overall lack of success in your life. In fact, all of the problems from my younger days were the result of an internal map of reality that didn’t work well. All of your problems are being created in your internal map of reality.

I use meditative or mindfulness practice to create enough awareness to observe my internal map of reality, which normally operates outside your awareness. As it created my feelings, behaviors and the people and situations I attracted or became attracted to, because whatever you’re doing with your awareness becomes a choice. I had a lot of that melted away and here’s why they melted away. You can’t keep doing something that doesn’t serve you and do it with awareness. Don’t explain your problems to yourself. Split brain experiments reveal a fascinating phenomenon in the left side of your brain and that phenomenon is affecting your life. When the connections between the two sides of your brain are interrupted, the different tendencies will come to the surface. The left side of your brain wants to find a reason for why things happen even in the face of scans or conflicting information. It’s an explanation factory where quantity is more important than quality. This tendency to form conclusions in the face of scans or conflicting information is especially important when you’re under stress. That’s when you tend more strongly towards an unthinking habitual pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving. Most of us tilt negative. The problems seem bigger, the world seems meaner and you have more reasons to justify your conclusions.

LBD 24 | Declutter Your Life
Declutter Your Life: If your internal map of reality runs on autopilot, you have to accept the consequences.

 

You need to realize this is happening and then you can take proactive steps to improve your life. Take a conscious look at your explanatory style, how you make sense of a stressful event. This conscious exploration can affect the resonance to stress your happiness and your productivity. First, think about the stressful event. Who was involved? What did they say and do? What do you think about the stressful event? Can you be sure that your first thought about the stressful event or situation is true? How will you feel if you didn’t have that thought? What’s a less stressful and more positive way to explain the situation? What are the three reasons that a more positive perspective might be equally true as your original conclusion? What I normally used to do before I became more aware and more conscious was even in my early days, I learned not to speak when I was angry, frustrated or overwhelmed. At that point, I went through it and show that there was some good to it. It didn’t allow the situation to precipitate and become something more. The downside was that people felt troubled and experienced it as rejection.

Along the way, I learned that when I felt overwhelmed and stressed and I knew that I was spinning out of control, I would tell somebody who I’m working with or the group I was working with that I was ready to consider the situation. I will come back and give them a measured response. On the other hand, I also recognized that when I was in a situation like that I was often overwhelmed. My decision-making and choice-making would be extremely restricted and I would normally pick the worst case scenario. I learned then to be aware of what I became aware of, my worst case scenario, and ignore it as reflecting reality. When it came up, I would recognize and acknowledge these were my feelings, but I didn’t take that as a true or reasonable reflection of what was happening. Thirdly when I went back, I would note down, write down and verbalize all the emotions and feelings I had about that situation so I wasn’t bottling them up inside and getting frustrated and angry. I will vent it somewhere.

Sometimes some people talk it out with others. I tend to write about it or ruminate over it silently until after a while everything will spiral down and the whole intensity of the situation will die down. I will begin to see a new emerging perspective, which would then result often in the whole situation to either disappearing as a problem or being quickly resolved and becoming far less of an issue that I originally experienced it as. That brings us to the next area about neuroplasticity. The more I learned about the latest brain discoveries, the more grateful I feel to be alive. Exciting practical life-changing discoveries are being made every day. Did you know that your income level, your happiness, how much you love or be loved, how easily you recover from setbacks and dozens of other desirable human qualities are all generated in your brain?

Scientists now know that you can change your brain, what’s called neuroplasticity. They also know exactly how to change it so that you can create the qualities and capabilities you want to have internally and externally. This takes personal growth and human potential to a whole new level that is much more precise and much more achievable. The bottom line is you can make specific brain changes that will allow you to change the actual wiring in your brain in a way that raises your income ceiling. Increase the power of the prefrontal cortex, the source of self-regulation, and creating lots of effortless willpower. Become natural and confident and motivated. Raise your threshold for stress so the ups and downs of life don’t just bother you the way they used to. Be creative. Have more good ideas. Learn faster and more easily, remember what you learned. Make better decisions, saving your time and money and reducing your regrets. Be happier, more peaceful and more productive. That’s a long list of other desirable qualities.

All of the things I’m talking about are results achieved by my clients and people I’ve worked with in my medical naturopathic practice. Young children with ADD, ASD, autism, older people struggling in difficult times in their lives. Business owners running six to eight-figure incomes and figures businesses and they recognized that they were running into challenges. They were running their businesses and their lives based on their old programming and wiring. When you change that, the capacity changed. In fact, they will come back and tell me how surprised they were that the moment we ran this resulted in a whole new response. Suddenly, the people they were dealing with who they used to experience as difficult and challenging became easy to handle. The first step to all of the above is practicing awareness. The second step is mental spring cleaning or eliminating all the non-essential. This is how and why I regularly do my mental spring cleaning.

One lucky audience that posts a review in iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you in a personal journey to discover your unique mind, body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45-minute consultation with me that’s worth thousands. I’m going to help you design a life that works so you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The clearer you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen? Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each episode as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. Join me next time on Your Life By Design.

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