Life can take us down unexpected and difficult paths.
Through painful experience, I have learned that to be very successful in your life, there are some things we must do. Most of them are difficult, bordering on the impossible, but all of these 10 things listed below are actually achievable.
There are two types of people who will tell that you cannot make a difference in this world; those who are afraid to try, and those who are afraid you will succeed. ~ Ray Goforth.
I firmly believe that these are the most important of the rules we must follow in order to overcome life’s challenges, and ultimately win out:
- Stay Healthy. It’s almost impossible to be successful if you’re often ill, spending time in bed, or in hospital.
- Overcome Addictions. Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Gambling, Smoking….. to name perhaps the most dangerous of all possible addictions. If you drink too much you will lose almost everything. If you drink and gamble you will lose everything. If you drink, gamble, smoke, and take drugs, you will lose everything, and then you’ll die ~ horribly
- Stay Within the Law. If you get involved with illegal activities, including taking drugs, drink driving, illegal gambling ~ sometime or other you will have a run in with The Police. A criminal record does your chances of living your dream life no good at all.
- Say Goodbye to Toxic People. Toxic relationships will make you unhappy, corrupt your mind and soul, and prevent you from realising how much better things can be.
- Seek Out, and Take, Good Advice. If you’re physically ill see a doctor, if you’re suffering mentally see a counsellor, and if you’re just struggling seek out your closest and wisest friend. Whatever advice you’re given, really take it to heart.
- Do Not Waste Time or Money. Too many people throw their money away without thought. Almost everyone wastes their time on unimportant activities. A fool and his money are soon parted. Time is the most precious resource we have.
- Stay Romantically and Sexually Faithful. Affairs, casual sex, multiple partners, using sex-workers, are all going to waste your time and money. You will get into trouble, and if you’re married, you will be asked for a divorce.
- Keep Learning. Nobody can know everything, but most people don’t even try to improve their mind and knowledge once they finish their formal education. The internet and a million books are out their, and something you learn may just give you the edge you need to become successful.
- Focus On Things You Can Control. God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. And, don’t let me try to change people, because that never works.
- Follow Your Dreams. Dreams are the fuel for your success. Without dreams there can never be any meaningful and lasting success in your life.
Some very smart people can ignore some of these rules, some of the time, and still be successful. But you can’t ignore all of these rules, all of the time, and still have a hope in hell of making a success of your life. And, never worry about failure, just make certain that you pick yourself up and start again.
Marmaduke is a success,
and he loves Bentleys and Jaguars
Almost everyone is comfortable with intuition,
almost nobody is really comfortable with psychic power.
the eyes are windows to the soul
For most of my adult life I have had an uncanny ability to read people, to instantly understand moods and situations, to know that someone is lying to me. Over the past few years I have been in a long distance relationship, and without even speaking to her or chatting with her, I generally know what’s going on with my friend in California. She can wake me from a deep sleep just by thinking about me. If it involves me or my Californian friend, then sometimes I know what is probably going to happen in the future.
These things are not explainable by natural laws, until you get into the world of quantum physics where things like spooky connections, (quantum entanglement), are the norm and not the exception.
I firmly believe that thinking and feeling beings are also affected by spooky connections, and that true psychic abilities exist. Dogs can detect cancer and predict earthquakes~ how?
For example; my personal astrologer knows me and knows all about me, even though we have never met, and the most important information I have ever given her is the date, time, and place of my birth. When I say she knows me it’s almost as though she has bugged my apartment and has cameras watching everything I do. She also predicts my future with uncanny accuracy.
I truly believe that I am also cursed with psychic abilities. Over the past few days I have stopped suppressing my unnatural intuition and allowed free rein to any sixth sense or second sight I may have. It’s already got me into trouble with my Californian friend.
Also, allowing psychic forces to manifest themselves is driving a very strong need for self-improvement and self-development deep within me. Mostly this drive includes the following weird stuff;
- a need to eat less meat
- a very low tolerance of overeating and eating rich foods
- a total repulsion of processed food and junk food
- a total intolerance to booze
- a strong desire to explore, new places, new situations, new people
- an inability to sit still, I continually need to be doing stuff
- my creativity has exploded into fascinating areas
- utter intolerance of procrastination and being late
- a very low tolerance for things that I think and feel are wrong
- utter fascination with self-improvement and self-development
- a need to more deeply connect with my Muse / Goddess / Spiritual Guide
Some say that the Cosmos is filled with unseen energy vibrations. And that what we think, feel, and desire are driven by this cosmic energy. All I know is that it’s better for me if I never tell anyone that I can read them like a book.
ancient philosophers and modern quantum physicists believe that Time is not a straight line
time is curved ~ the past, present, and future run in parallel
the basic nature of a man is constructive, faithful, and trustworthy
If you have been following this blog, you will know that, over the past few years, circumstances, and my own stubborn nature, converged with my incipient depression to create a weird and unsustainable view of life for me. Not only that, I was also suffering from vicious, undiagnosed, and untreated Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), and that blessed me with paranoia and a morbid fear of abandonment.
Add those things together and what happened was that I became an agoraphobic, anti-social, celibate, friendless, psychotic recluse.
My door stayed locked, I seldom left my apartment, I avoided meeting people, the telephone remained unanswered, and I deleted unread any emails I received. Quite honestly, I may as well have been dead as to live that kind of non-life.
It took years, and I do mean years, for me to begin to break out of my self-made prison.
My escape started because I like to write, I wasn’t writing anything, and so I went to a writers’ group, met a few people, and even spoke to them without my being stabbed, attacked, denigrated….. And then I started to write this blog ~ and trust me to begin with it was terrible. Yet, an amazingly articulate woman in California found something that she liked in the way I wrote. And, as things happen, we became long-distance, online friends.
Those of you who have been in a long-distance relationship will know that it’s fraught with problems, and my friendship with this cool Californian woman is probably no better or worse than most relationships that started on-line. As you would expect from a guy with Borderline Personality Disorder in their background, I became obsessed with her, had unrealistic expectations, and did stupidly impulsive things. I was not constructive, reliable, nor trustworthy. None of that was helpful.
My good fortune is that I spent some time with a therapist, my doctor, and a psychiatrist. The general consensus of their opinion was that I had been suffering from BPD, but I was mostly recovered ~ at the time that was all news to me, (I even had to look up what the hell Borderline Personality Disorder was).
But, if I was mostly recovered I could start to live my life the way I wanted, and not the way a serious mental illness was telling me to exist.
Ergo, I am on a journey of self-awareness, self-discovery, self-development, and self-improvement. Now I mostly say and do what I think is right, and those that don’t like it can just feck off and have a nice day, and please don’t keep in touch. That new and more assertively honest attitude of mine has ruffled a few feathers ~ but I’m never going back to being that agoraphobic, anti-social, celibate, friendless, obsessive, psychotic recluse.
Maybe I need to find some new friends, and maybe I’ll be alone again for a while.
Some say that a friend in need is a friend indeed. And that you should choose your friends wisely. All I know is that I’d rather be alone than have fair-weather friends.
at least I have a friend in Marmaduke
and he’s always ready for anything
Only a fool will let miserable situations run on from year to year.
Despite everything, there have been some dark clouds over my head. Ergo yesterday, on a whim, I took a train ride to the nearest big city to do a little shopping.
More than just going shopping yesterday, and buying whatever took my fancy; in a few weeks I’m going to New Mexico to attend a ‘new-age’ retreat, and I’ve just booked a week on the Algarve for over the Christmas Holidays. That Christmas trip will be my 6th vacation this year. How fortunate is that?
Oft times I tell you of my woes, bemoaning my luck, revealing the darker parts of my psyche ~ and yet there are so many others who are far worse off than I. Even in this moderately wealthy country, this green and pleasant land that is England, much misery abounds. There are those who struggle to find the next penny, let alone have the cash and freedom to just take off whenever they feel like it.
And, in America, that Land Of The Free there are more people living on the streets than a supposedly civilised country should countenance. Some say those people are just down on their luck ~ some bad luck America.
Without revealing too many confidences; yesterday I had to give a friend enough money for petrol, (gas), to allow her to visit her son who had been rushed into hospital. Even some of my friends aren’t as fortunate as I.
Maybe I want so much that I aim too high, and just going off shopping, or taking a vacation, is ultimately less than satisfying for me. Those foreign trips may put me under a different sky, but I still often feel alone and unsatisfied. Perhaps this is because I have unreasonable expectations, or that I am acting with selfishness, or it may be that I am not living a mindful life anyway.
One hope is that my upcoming New Mexico trip will give me some new psychological tools to put in my bag. Another is that as I become more self-aware and more self-confident, I will be able to look at my life, my relationships, my wants, needs, desires, and dreams in a more honest and mindful way.
Some say it’s not what you keep that matters, it’s what you are prepared to leave and lose. And, that if you have doubts about people it’s time to walk away. All I know is that the harder I work at things, the luckier I get.
Living on the streets is not much fun
I you try you risk failure, if you don’t you ensure it.
In order to truly become a better man I’ve had to fall back on some of my past strengths and abilities. Back in the day, I was paid stupid amounts of money to invent, develop, organise, and run major projects ~ ergo I’ve decided that I should treat my becoming the better man as a project. Think about it, it sort of makes good sense.
It is less about becoming a better person, and more of being better, as a person. ~ J.R. Rim
This self-improvement, and self-development project would seem to have the following elements;
- Embrace change to avoid slipping back into my old, negative patterns of behaviour.
- Have more confidence and self-reliance in my own innate abilities.
- I should always speak up for myself, and always speak the truth, strive to communicate well with others, especially with those I care for.
- Keep my close relationships in focus, neither neglect the people I care about, nor have unrealistic expectations of them.
- Conversely, have increasingly ambitious expectations of myself, and what I will be able to achieve.
- Get some balance and stability into my life ~ and I may need a lot of help with this.
- Remain grounded, balanced, and in control of my thoughts, feelings, and actions.
- Be in touch with the Universe and accepting of the realities in every area of my life
- Develop the endurance to plan and successfully achieve long term wants, needs, goals, desires, dreams, and ambitions.
- Get fitter and healthier so that I have the controlled energy to make the fullest success of Project: Jack Collier.
Written down like that it seems I have a lot to work to do, and I’m certain that if I thought harder I could add more bullet points to that list. But, 10 difficult things to work on is more than enough for now.
My Life is changing day to day, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in quite scary ways. I need to find my path forward, and be the captain, master, and director of my own life.
It’s not about taking control of my life in the sense that I am trying to control everything and everyone around me, it’s about me deciding what it is that I really want, and then striving with everything I have to get it. I I really want something, I should let nothing stand in my way. My life is a reflection of my choices, and how I use my strengths and abilities to achieve success.
The goal of life purpose is not what you will create, but what it will make you into for creating it. ~ Shannon L. Alder.
Some say that success is getting what you want. And that happiness is wanting what you get. All I know is that my strength will not come from winning, my strength will be the result of trying very hard.
parasailing was so far outside of my comfort zone that I didn’t try it
I should have
How many bad decisions seemed like a good idea at the time?
Over the years I’ve made some really bad decisions. From time to time I got angry and subsequently did some reprehensible things I now regret. I have reacted with nasty spite when I should have stayed calm, and I’ve felt resentful for no good reason, which usually turned me into a dangerous Mr. Hyde or a rabid black dog.
And when he was good he was very, very good, but when he was bad he was horrid. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Not every time things went badly pear-shaped was my fault. Not every person I’ve hurt was an innocent bystander. Some of the people I’ve had uncharitable thoughts about actually deserved my condemnation. And there have been some people I wouldn’t cross the road to spit on. But, and here’s the thing, all the time I was an angry, judgemental, resentful, dangerous
bastard person, I was still suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, and / or, Bipolar Disorder. I was always afraid, and I was always running away.
Add the whole lot together, all the anger, resentments, mental illness, and it’s not surprising that I used to be hypercritical, lacking in understanding, and totally unwilling to accept anyone who didn’t measure up to my warped standards. It’s not surprising that from time to time I could hurt the ones I love. Sometimes the only things I was good at was causing pain and heartache.
It only takes one word to hurt a woman, a matter of seconds, one stupid, impatient sting of the whip. But winning back her trust takes years. And sometimes there isn’t the time. ~ Nina George
I have actually made a list of all the people I believe I have hurt over the years, (that’s the difficult step 8 in 12 step programmes), and thought about the what, why, when, how, where, and if of making amends to those people. Of my original list I’ve crossed off some names, because I’m not a saint, so I’m not making amends to everyone I’ve wronged. And, I’ve underlined some other names, of women I really do need to make immediate, meaningful, and lasting amends to. (my Goddess Aphrodite and The Girl Riding Shotgun spring to mind.) But as the quote from Nina George says, sometimes rebuilding trusting relationships takes years.
I have spoken in haste too often, spoken from negative and dark emotions too often, and been thoughtless too often. But, the recent paradigm shift that I experienced from being way outside of my comfort zone for a week should mean that I don’t make those enraged mistakes again.
Some say there is no such thing as a mistake or a bad decision. And that the consequences of a really bad decision are a learning opportunity. All I know is that if I go off the rails there is going to be a painful disaster, and someone will get hurt ~usually including me.
Nobody likes to be with a dangerous jerk.
Be that guy, and be alone in the dark.
Don’t be satisfied with how things once were, unfold a new story.
In the last few days a great deal has changed for me. Circumstances of my own choosing forced me well outside of my comfort zone, and made me escape a prison of my own making. And coming down the pike like a runaway a great deal of transition is heading right for me.
It is time for me to embrace a life path that is more true to who I am, and the grounded, enlightened, successful man I want to be. Now is the hour for me to grow in courage and mental strength ~ no longer allowing my doubts and fears to undermine my dreams, desires, hopes, and plans for the future. Now is the time for me to be who I truly am deep inside.
You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way. ~ Richard Bach
That means ridding myself of the emotional burdens of the past. It means ceasing to be reckless with the feelings of others. Ceasing to be negligent when it comes to accepting, cherishing, nurturing, understanding, and supporting those I care for. And it means embracing harmony, strength, and fortitude. All the mistakes I made in the past are now just learning tools for the future. Each time I fell off the rails and turned into Mr. Hyde are salutary lessons and cautionary tales ~ reminding me that those dark places and negative feelings are to be avoided and not encouraged.
Hard work bears fruit, and the near future will be bright for me and those I care for as a result of my hard work in the past paying off. I have tried so hard to be the best version of me that I could possibly become, that I have earned the right to enjoy life now that I can finally see the results of my efforts. My ‘new’ personality, attitudes, demeanour, heart , and soul means that I can express myself with greater clarity, confidence, and strength today and into the future.
My core values, the things that really matter to me, are what I will live by today, tomorrow, and in each and every day to come. I need to spend some time in walking meditation to reflect more seriously on my ethics and ethos, to truly identify what I am willing to tolerate, and what I will just not accept. It is so ingrained in the habits of most people, (myself included), to put everyone else’s needs first, and then forget to take care of themselves. Yet if we don’t take care of our own needs, our physical, mental, and spiritual health, we cannot grow nor prosper nor be truly happy. Today and into the future I will take care of myself first, and then nurture and support those I care for to the very best of my abilities.
Un-winged and naked, sorrow surrenders its crown to a throne called grace. ~ Aberjhani.
Some say I am worthy of a life full of friends, loving connections, enlightenment, and spiritual empowerment. And that there will be a new love in my life, either platonic or romantic. All I know is that I am not just going to sit back and wait for things to happen ~ the cosmos does not roll out a red carpet for anyone.
A new day has come.
Great things never came from comfort zones.
Just another day and I’m back in the garret where my psyche tells me I belong. Not anymore I don’t. I need to change and the picture of York Railway Station is a metaphor. To get to anywhere by train I have to change at York ~ in rail journey terms York is the fulcrum.
Some of you may recall that I have been trying to change for years; to grow, to become the better man, to walk the warrior’s path….. and I’ve had some limited success. No that’s wrong, I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve gone from being a celibate recluse, stuck in the garret and afraid to go out, to a chap who has just completed a course of swimming lessons ready for my solo vacation in Crete in a couple of weeks time.
It seems that my fulcrum has been shown me by those self-same swimming lessons ~ the whole thing was utterly outside my comfort zone, and I mean a long, long way outside my comfort zone. And you know what? Our comfort zones are not a place of safety, they are a prison.
Have the courage to leave our self-imposed prison and great things start to happen.
What I know now, (what I always really knew), is that I have to accept life as it comes, live in the moment, enjoy whatever the moment brings, open my eyes, and welcome surprise. Stop cowering in the corner, and stop living a life where today will be pretty much like yesterday, and tomorrow will be pretty much like today. Life goes on, but from now on my life will be filled with adventure and good things.
IF I continue on a wiser, kinder, more mindful, more courageous, more self-loving path, I know that I will be able to embrace the results of all the hard work I’ve put in over the past few years, and discover the truth of my Life. I know that things WILL improve, even from this good place I am in right now. And, not in years, or even many months, but in the coming days and weeks. Things will get even better for me far sooner than my comfort-zone loving heart might expect.
But I have to stay focused and believe in myself, because sitting back in my comfort zone and waiting for the Cosmos to roll out the red carpet just doesn’t work. Trust me, I know.
We have free will. We need to use it and leave our self-imposed prisons. We are the Masters of our Own Fate, we need to accept that, get out of our comfort zone, and live life, even if that means making mistakes.
Some say that all the changes we try to make for ourselves are bad. And, that we should do as we are told, do what’s expected of us, never question authority, always respect the wishes of our family, and stay in our comfort zone. All I know is that leaving my comfort zone far behind me is the fulcrum of my Life.
this is a long way outside of my comfort zone, but the next time I go to Turkey I will be up there
Wherever I go, I always find that special person who is so wrong for me.
In the world’s largest financial centres, I spent most of my career making a hell of a lot of money by exploiting my knowledge of people and what makes them tick. In London, Paris, New York, and Chicago I learned to read people, and know what they really want, need, and desire. My skill was in matching the things I could do with what my clients thought they wanted. And, for a long while, I was the acknowledged world expert in my field of esoteric banking. But, really, my success was all due to the way I could use my interpersonal skills.
If I am so skilled at the art of interpersonal relationships, how come I can get it so wrong with women? Some of the time I am forceful, passionate, prideful, self-indulgent, sensual, lustful, and too warm towards women who possess grace, beauty, and charm. If I am very attracted to a woman I can be far too liberal with my affection, compassion, time, love, and money. I tend to do a little too much by way of extravagances, and luxuries. Maybe I send flowers too often. And, as you would expect, sometimes these women take everything I can give without the slightest show of gratitude, appreciation, or affection in return.
A fool and his money are soon parted, especially when it comes to affairs of the heart. ~ Thomas Tusser
Obviously I am not doing the right things, in the right way, at the right time, with the right person. There isn’t the right balance, or sense of equilibrium. And there’s the rub ~ we don’t choose who we fall in love with.
Something tells me that self-confidence, strength, and passion are a heady mixture which is not always under my control ~ I often let my emotions run away with me, and this can only lead to loneliness and heartache.
My past has been marred by decisions I made that have left me feeling disappointed and bitter. It’s important for me to remember that I am accountable for my decisions. What I need to do is reflect on those past choices in a frank and healthy way, without looking at the past through rose-coloured glasses, or sugar coating the choices I made in error. I have made many bad choices, which then turned out very differently from the way I had hoped.
At times this has caused me much pain, worry, wasted time, and wasted money. Perhaps I fool myself that I always tried to do my best, and that I always had good intentions at heart ~ but I don’t think so. I did my best with the cards Life dealt me, but somehow things always took unexpected turns.
There may have been doubts in my heart which I ignored. I was careless, and not always honest with myself. I have often acted impulsively, with utter disregard for the consequences. I have had the feeling of being utterly out of my depth, and I usually pressed on regardless.
Some say that we can only learn by our own mistakes. And, that we don’t fail by falling down, we fail by staying down. All I know is that I’ve made some bloody painful mistakes.
If there’s nothing much about sex in the paragraphs I’ve written above ~ that’s because usually there hasn’t been any.
Exactly the sort of woman I should have never been involved with. Great legs do not necessarily a nice person make.
Never look to another to tell you who you really are.
A friend of mine has said that I need some form of mental health / spiritual counselling ~ suggesting to me that she thinks there’s something seriously wrong with the way I feel, think, act, and react to events and people. I guess she believes that I don’t feel, think, act, or react in ways that she likes when it comes to my friendship with her.
I thought about this a lot and very seriously. I am fully aware that I don’t follow normal rules of behaviour, especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and I also know there are, (at least), a couple of reasons for this.
Something happened to me deep in my early childhood, so far back that I don’t know exactly what happened to me when I was maybe 3 years old. But whatever happened had a very profound effect on me, sufficient to change my personality for my whole life. It’s complicated, but various mental-health types have said a couple of things; #1 I don’t have bipolar disorder, and #2 I may have had borderline personality disorder, but if I had I’ve recovered. Well, that’s helpful….. or not. The practical upshot of whatever happened when I was a young child is that I will not willingly accept advice, criticism, or chastisement. So what? That just puts me in line with 99% of the rest of the crazy people on this planet.
The second reason I don’t follow normal rules of behaviour is because I’m better than that. I’m enlightened, truthful, open, ethical, grounded, and fucking smart. And to be honest, with the exception of the people who follow me on this blog, that makes me a better man than anyone any of us is likely to meet in an average day.
So, I thought about this very carefully when it came to finding a therapist / counsellor / spiritual adviser….. and decided that wasn’t going to happen.
I’ve spent the greater part of the past 2, 3, or maybe 4 years trying to walk the warrior’s path. Trying to find out who I am, who I was, and who I wish to be. And now, after years of effort, I’m finally beginning to see some light.
It may just be a candle in a hurricane of hellish darkness, but that small light is me.
The little boy may have become a broken man, with a broken spirit and broken dreams, but today I can hold on and today I’m feeling strong. I know who I am, and I’m not a shadow or the man in the mirror anymore.
No over-qualified, well-intentioned, mental health wazzock is going to be given my permission to dip their dirty fingers into my soul. There is no chance of me attending therapy / counselling / psychotherapy. Not now, not next year, not ever.
It turns out that I know who I am, and I like who I am. And, those that don’t can fuck off. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, and please don’t keep in touch.
Some say that humility is the true key to success. And, that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. All I know is that I’ve tried humility and therapy, and all I got was insanity.
I have a new plan of action concerning my supposed need for counselling. I am happy to take no action whatsoever.
Marmaduke is as sick of misplaced and unwanted advice as I am.