Cleaning your mind

If there is one thing I can look back on and finally appreciate, it’s my mother telling me to pick up my shit and not to be a fuckin slob. As insulted as I was upon hearing such an offensive jab at my basic cleanliness, the 16 year old me still knew there must be more to these demands than to just boss me around.

It took a lot of years after my teens before I finally realized what an impact keeping up with a few basic chores can do for ones drive to succeed and really lead a happy life. This is not an article about how to clean your house. There is plenty of info on that with just a quick Google search. Rather this is a reminder that the little things can make a huge impact even when you don’t realize it until after the fact.

It typically takes a lot of work to achieve the goals you set out to do, but if one is to shift their focus just a little bit you can lift the burden of too much to do and not enough time. This is a BIG deal when it comes to your mental state. If you often feel overwhelmed and have a hard time getting going on the things you know you need to get done then I hope you take a few ideas from this and apply them in your own life.

First of all grasp the fact that blaming anybody else but yourself for whatever is going on in your life may be convenient and possibly true, but will serve absolutely zero purpose in moving forward. So suck it up and decide to make the change. I believe everybody has an ever changing routine they need to pay attention to and work on. Some things in your routine may stay the same through out your life (Wake up, shower, brush teeth etc..) while others may change every few months.

If you are the type of person that gets a sense of satisfaction when your home or living space is clean and organized then the following simple ideas will improve your drive to accomplish everything want and need to do.

Step 1: Pen to paper
You don’t need to make a gigantic daunting list of everything in your world that needs to be done. Pick a few things you would (like) to get done and put them on a sheet of paper. I recommend item number one is figure out what makes you feel motivated in the first place. For me a clean house makes it easy to focus when I sit down and figure out what I (need) to get done. Less chaos around you equals less chaos in your mind. This is something that once done right, is only a few minutes a day to maintain. I have kids it can still be done, just figure out what works for you.
My wife and I have recently taken a more minimalist approach to our home. This has been one change in my routine that has tremendous benefits. We did not just go through our house and throw everything away, but instead slowly went through and really looked at what we need and use and got rid of the rest. Also this is a work in progress and will be for a while. This helps you appreciate the things you own which in turn let’s you get out of a store without buying unnecessary crap you think you need. Another side effect is that I now know where everything is. Until recently I didn’t realize how much energy was spent looking for (stuff.)

Step 2: Awareness 
Pay attention to your surroundings. You wouldn’t wander into the street without looking both ways. A simple skill you picked up, likely from your parents as a child, so why would you do anything without looking both ways. If you start with the little things you can quickly develope one of the most valuable skills anyone can have. Make your bed in the morning and discover a lone sock under the covers, you have just saved yourself the irritation of that missing sock when you do laundry. Though this example may seem silly, it is intended simply to point out that that the two seconds it took to pick it up and toss it in the laundry saved time and mental frustration in the long run. It is not difficult and does not need to consume your mind all day. Just occasionally check yourself through out the day and you will soon see many opportunities you may have been missing or simply been unprepared for previously.

Step 3: Love the process
Eric Thomas put this out there in a way that really resonated with me. In short when you have a goal or task that requires more work than just picking up your house, really spend some time educating yourself on the needs that must be met to get there. Get yourself excited about doing all the steps. It takes some practice but if you start to do it you will understand that it feels good overcoming all the obstacles in your way. And when it sucks, it sucks but push through and know that persistence will get you there.

Step 4: Stop worrying 
This was and sometimes still is a tough pill to swallow because it is so easy to worry. What people think, am I doing a good job, why do people on Instagram always look like they enjoy life more than me. Fuck all that. We are aloud to worry a little here and there but if you have the time to worry about everything all the time it’s likely because you are not actively working towards something of your own. If you find yourself in a worried state take a mental note of what triggered it then start educating yourself on easing those feelings into something productive. For me I like to handle those feelings like this:  “what am I worried about, I am a tiny spec on a larger blue spec floating through space. I will do things that are productive and make me feel good because that is what is important to me. I’m not perfect and others can judge me however they want.”
Then I’ll plan a vacation in my mind that I may or may not ever take.

Step 5: Take to the web.
As you likely found this post, taking to the web is a powerful tool that our parents or grandparents did not have access to in their day. There is so much fantastic inspiration on the web for the taking. You have the incredible benefits of just searching, picking out ideas you like and trying them out. Trial and error is the key for picking fruit from this tree. Pick an idea that gets you excited educate yourself and try it out. If one idea doesn’t work toss it and grab another. There has never been an easier way to get information. Don’t be afraid to try as many as you want just keep at it until you find things that will push you to grow.

At the end of the day there are a thousand different ways to build a happy life. And what works for me may not work for you. Keep in mind that millions of people have done it before you and you can too. Keep searching don’t quit and don’t be afraid to change your routine.

The act of cleaning up for me is a great way to kickstart the “get it done mentality.” I hope you can find yours.

Mental Exhaustion (time to pay the piper)

We do this shit to ourselves, and it’s time to stop paying for it. TV is my poison. I can’t even begin to tell you how many Netflix marathons or three hour movies have screwed me over the next day.

Mental Exhaustion is the ultimate killer of drive, motivation, creativity, wit, passion, will and a laundry list of of other traits we try to maintain on a daily basis. It’s one of those things that can sneak up on you and suck your will to live. We know the basics that help fight this frustrating fatigue. A Good night sleep, exercise, eat healthy, drink water etc… But what can you do if you haven’t been maintaining this lifestyle and you need to kick your ass into gear? 

Here are somethings that require very little brain power that can help reboot your system quickly and get you back on track.         (Note: everyone is different and any additional suggestions that work for you are welcomed in the comments.)

Sometimes you may need to except the fact that you’ve burned yourself out. Your emotions are often the culprits of mental fatigue so be aware of how you feel. Take a brief moment to collect yourself and get some fresh air. Stop and feel how you feel so you know how hard you’ll have to push to get through the day. 

Come back and make a quick general list of to-do’s. 

You need your mind and body to understand there’s work to be done and all parts have to be able to communicate to get that shit done. 

Now is your moment, fuck what anybody thinks you NEED to shock your system just enough to give it that boost. 

You can be as creative as you want but make sure you do something. 

  1. MOVE! Get up off your ass and get your heart pumping. You can do this in less then a minute. Jumping jacks, Sprint down the hall, run to your car, do whatever it takes to get your blood pumping. Get a drink of water, wash your face put your headphones in and knock out something on that list.
  2. Take a cold shower. This is my personal favorite when I’m home because it’s the most effective for me. Get that water ice cold and jump in. Do your normal routine as if you were getting ready for the day. Hop in your car and treat yourself to a fancy overpriced store bought cup of joe. Then get back to work. 
  3. Turn your brain off for ten to fifteen minutes. Don’t look at Facebook or Twitter just close your eyes and think of a time and a place that you love and makes you feel good. Be careful not to pass out or this my backfire and you’ll be right back where you started. 
  4. Peer assistance. See if anyone around is available to help you out, often working together or holding conversation while you work can get you back on track. Make sure you enjoy that person’s company or you’ll just be tired and irritated.
  5. Clean up. Doesn’t matter what it is but cleaning up any chaos around you can really boost your get shit done spirit. Whether it is your desk, job site, car, room, a drawer, or a pile of dishes, cleaning up will get you moving, you’ll have gotten something accomplished and created momentum to tackle your to-do list.

Now that you have pushed through the day you should finish it off right. Eat light and healthy tonight, drink lots of water, (I notice I can consume more water easier with a little lemon juice in it.) Don’t eat a pile of garbage, we all want to on days like this. And for God sake DO NOT PLOP DOWN LIKE A LUMP IN FRONT OF THE TV!!! Try to complete a few more personal things before bed and go to bed on time or earlier. 

Impossible PeopleĀ 

Most of us have that soul sucking friend, family member or co-worker who thinks they know all there is to know about everything under the fucking sun. They act as if their opinion is absolute, and the “Facts” they find on the internet are unquestionably true. It’s impossible to carry on a conversation of any value without wanting to blow your fuckin head off since the entire conversation is a test of your knowledge on some bullshit they just looked up five fuckin minutes ago. And the better you know each other, the worse it is.

I think the real dilemma here, is the the fact that this is the one person who seems to make you act the opposite of the person you actually are. They seem to bring the worst out of us, and we are faced with a situation thats easier said than done. End the relationship.

Why do we tip toe around this?

Well there are a lot of reasons….. It’s uncomfortable, awkward, you’ve known each other your entire life, she’s your brothers wife… the exuses are endless. But then there is the real reason, and it makes the most sense. They are the one person that doesn’t believe you. They know more about you than most, and have latched on to every stupid thing you’ve ever done in your life. Which gives them the your kryptonite, something to hang over your head. Well mark today on your calendar as the day you put an end to all that. Nobody needs this kind of toxic bullshit in their life, so call them up and call them out. Tell them straight up “I’m out.” You don’t need to explain yourself just move the fuck on.

I understand this may be slightly more complicated in certain situations, but don’t let that stop you from taking action to improve your life. Soul sucking people will always be looming around, be conscious of the impact they have on your life. It is ultimately on you. I have let one linger around for the last 15+ years, and although it’s tough it has to be done.





The golden rule

The idea of “The Golden Rule” is one of the early lessons we learn as children, and quickly forget as adults. When that asshole in traffic cuts you off, when that douche bag at Starbucks orders 50 ridiculously complicated drinks or that dip shit at work that never seems to do anything right. I’ll be the first to admit I can be a real judgy fuck and yes it does give me a sense joy when I can share these shitty thoughts with (certain) friends. And while laughing at someone else’s expense is not very nice, the majority of us do far more than we should. Just the other day a rather large fella wizzed by me on a tiny scooter, ass crack hanging out shocks fully compressed and laughed until I was in tears. I later felt guilty for finding so much amusement in that moment.(it’s not like I’ll be entering a fitness competition any time soon) Realistically that guy was probably having the time of his life and could care less what I thought. Especially since I was the idiot stuck in traffic in my wife’s mom car, not getting to where I needed to go. (I was late.) 

I’d  like to think I am an overall genuine person.  I work on myself often and admire those who practice what they preach. But after 15 years of trying to be a better version of who I think I am, it really comes down to making a conscious effort everyday to do that. While some things can and do become habits others take a little more work. There are two things that cross my mind more than others and it’s probably because it is the two I continually see myself tripping over. 

“The golden rule”

Treat others how you would want to be treated. That is really easy to do when everyone around you is doing it. But why would we do it if  “that asshole” is just a rude person. Well I suppose for the same reason you put the toilet seat down if there are ladies in the house or help a friend who is struggling. It’s the right thing to do. You don’t have to hang around a shitty person you can almost always just walk away. But I think you’d be surprised how a jerk changes their tune when you kill em with kindness. Obviously some people just have bad days or maybe they are just angry. Don’t try to fix them, just be nice and walk away. Remember sometimes you might be the jerk.

“Don’t spread what you don’t want more of.”

Plain and simple, pay attention to the words coming out of your mouth. Think before you speak and dont interrupt. If you want to be treated well, listen to what people are saying then respond. If you feel like the things you are saying about someone, (especially your friends and family co workers or anyone you know or don’t) would not be interpreted in the way you intended then you need to check youself. Even if that means just shutting up. What goes around comes around. 

Think about the golden rule from time to time and try not to be a dick.