Tag Archives: Self-Improvement

choices really matter

The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.

In the past couple of weeks I have had the fabled luck of a sailor being followed by an albatross, (never, ever, shoot the albatross).  Something has carved out a window to let me see who I truly am, and allowed me to start to take control of my fate.  But, it’s also enabled me to surrender to the will of the cosmos ~ working with natural energies to empower my body, mind, and spirit to true and lasting enlightenment.

I shot the ALBATROSS…..

I had done a hellish thing, and it would work ’em woe: for all averred I had killed the bird, that made the breeze to blow.  ~  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

These changes in me are never going to be some quick way to amass a fortune, (I don’t need to), or find an easy way out of life’s problems.  Instead, taking control of my fate allows me to discover the interconnectedness of all things that binds us and the cosmos together, and creates the web of infinite circumstances, places, and people that allows me to walk the warrior’s path.

You know what?  I am excited about all this enlightened thinking that seems to have taken over my psyche.  However, whatever wisdom or enlightenment I have suddenly gained access to is more than a little bit complicated and confusing for an ordinary Englishman such as I.

I know that this is a positive and strong time of decisive action for me, and I need to harness all the determination I can muster.  I firmly believe that, in the next few days I will need to take some action that is critical to the shape of my future.  The snag is, right now I have no idea what that action is supposed to be.  I’ve got no idea what I most need to do, except that it’s going to be a balancing act between passion and practicality.

So, I’m already working on my general health and fitness ~ walking everywhere, breathing plenty of clean and fresh sea air, and detoxifying my life of crap and negative influences.

I have a feeling that I also need to work on better friendships and more meaningful and mindful connections. I need to give more attention to particular special people in my life.  I should build greater self-worth through more integrity, more confidence, better and more authentic interpersonal relationships.

I should be shrewder in my choices of friends and the type of friendships I want, need, and desire.  But, being a shrewd operator does not mean that I would ever be underhand or less than utterly honest  about how I nurture my friends and friendships, or be dishonest in how I choose the people I wish to associate with.

Some say that communication skills is an art we go on learning throughout our life.  And, that interpersonal relationships never stop being a work in progress.  All I know is that sometimes we only say to others what we ourselves need to hear.

Sometimes a man just has to howl at the moon.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

just remember, interpersonal relationships can be dark…..  and as deep and strange as still waters.

And, choices rule your life.

Enlightenment

Inner tranquility ~ freedom from anger, anxiety, and fear.

There was something weird about my short stay in Turkey.  Was it the place, or the people, or the blue, blue sky?  Was it getting enough good sleep, good food, staying sober, staying calm?  Or, was it the long, meaningful, and mindful conversations I enjoyed?  Or was it some inner spirituality that was awoken in me? I suspect all of these things and more combined to wrought a significant change in my psyche.

For me this was a jumping-off point.  I lost some things, I lost negativity, I lost the way I was used to seeing the world, I lost judgmentalism, I lost my mistrust of others, I lost my fear and anger, and I learned how to fly…..

Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe. ~  C. JoyBell C.

I had not been there long before I knew a radical freedom that allowed me to seek acceptance, humility, integrity, mindfulness, and understanding of myself, of those around me, and of those I care for.  I was encouraged to take a new control and responsibility for my own life ~ I believe that most of us, (up to and including me), are not in control of our own lives.  Rather most of us drift aimlessly through life, so that today is pretty much like yesterday, and tomorrow will be pretty much like today.

That isn’t really living, it’s just existing, and that’s no way to explore true happiness and well-being.  To know true happiness and well-being we perhaps should strive to improve and enhance our own lives, the lives of those we care for, and society as a whole.

Within the real meaning of human happiness and enhanced existence, within our aims, significance, and overall purpose, we all have the freedom to choose what to do, to be who we want to be.  Sadly so many of us never even try to grow into an enlightened being.

After a couple of days in the mindfulness of my Turkish vacation I began to seek to understand things, to understand the interconnectedness of all things, and the ways to find the significance of my own life among the chaos.

The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.  ~  Nikos Kazantzakis

I realised that each of us is what we take ourselves to be.  But to live in an authentic, caring, and mindful way, we each have to take each situation as it comes and show our true nature through what we do, and not what we say.  Talk is cheap.

I was always frightened to show my true nature.  I was a shadow man, the man in the mirror, I was always conforming to what others expected of me, putting on masks that fitted the roles I was expected to play.  I saw the world through a winter mirror, darkly.

After just one week in a small Turkish hotel, under blue, blue skies, among a group of friendly and supportive people, I was able to throw away the masks, stop playing a role, eschew the man in the mirror, and really take charge of my own life.

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.  ~  Lao Tzu

Today, back in the garret, I am self-analytical, self-aware, self-confident, and filled with real self-control, and self-discipline.

Now I need to act in a way that reflects my new self-awareness, and the awareness of my own complete freedom.  This is what I am, this is what I choose to be, this is the real me, and I will never again dodge responsibility for being true to myself.

I do not pretend to understand how this enlightenment came about.  Probably it was a unique set of serendipitous circumstances, a synchronicity that has energised me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Some say that once in a lifetime your chance comes along, that once in a lifetime fate deals you the perfect winning hand.  And, that we each have to be courageous enough to take that chance, to throw everything we have behind our one great opportunity in Life.  All I know is that today I feel better than I have ever felt before in my entire existence.

My short stay in Turkey was the kindling of a flame.

~

jack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

 

each man is an island unto himself

Be peaceful in the storm.

So I can’t sit own and let the time of my real being take me, for if I try and for a moment can see no direction, cannot tell where I am going, I am filled with panic, scared of emptiness.   I am driven and must always look to the far horizons.  ~  Joanna Field

For most of my life it seemed that I was afraid of still serenity, uncomfortable of just having nothing to do, and having to make no plans.  I seemed to be happiest if there was a great deal going on around me, as though I was in the midst of a raging storm.

I have come to believe that this was a manifestation of what was going on inside my own mind, that I was driven by a mixture of perfectionism and fear of failure.

My focus seemed to be on what I didn’t have; materially, intellectually, and spiritually.  My glass was always half empty, never half full.

Perhaps that was not such a good place to be.

Instead of bemoaning what I don’t have and the things I feel are wrong with my life, I am changing my attitude to celebrate what I do have.

Today I have an infinite number of choices, and they all begin with me having a positive outlook.  The decisions I make today will have a direct bearing on how meaningful and mindful my life will be.

I am reminded of some words by Ralf Waldo Emerson; This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.

Today I will try to do some good and mindful things with my time.

Today I will be peaceful amid the storms.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Being Mindful and Forgiving

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the lunatic prisoner was you.  ~  Louis B. Smedes.

There has never been much forgiveness in my life, and mostly I have been very unforgiving of myself.  I expect to cope, whatever happens, and be a high achiever.  At times I can act like a lunatic.

This has led me into a very disruptive pattern in my life.  A pattern which others can often recognise better than I can.  These words of advice were sent to me a couple of days ago, by a very good friend.  This is how she describes my life.

  1. High on Life …… very optimistic….. on top of the world.
  2. Sexual buzz is strong.
  3. I forget all the things that were said when I tried to confront past problems and issues
  4. Minor irritation sets in when I don’t feel appreciated.  I become resentful and mistrustful.
  5. I start looking for the hidden dark meaning in things said, or not said.  Become more distrustful, and often angry ~ often very angry with myself.
  6. Get totally pissed-off when feelings, emotions, and thoughts that have no basis in truth fill my mind.  Start to apply twisted logic to situations and conversations.
  7. Voices in my mind tell me to escape, say ‘Fuck It All’, and then I will have a drink or 10.
  8. Go missing from the world for days at a time, during which something very bad will happen.

That’s been the pattern of my life for a very long time.  I need to recognise it, and cut it off at the neck when the darker, depressive thoughts begin.

I agree with my friend that I need to try to live with inner peace, mindfulness, and serenity.

Escaping into booze is no solution.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke lives very peacefully

Know What You Don’t Want

A wise man doesn’t try to get what he doesn’t want.

Many people don’t know what they want out of life, and many of them struggle to find a way to discover their true needs, want, desires, and dreams.  Even if you know what you most need, want, desire, and dream of having ~ well, whatever it is might be very difficult, or almost impossible to acquire.  This applies especially to friendship, love, sexual desire…..  in fact anything that relies upon another person doing what you want is always going to be an almost impossible dream.  You have no control whatsoever over what another person thinks, feels, likes, dislikes, loves, or hates.

Your most important “want” should be the one you can control.  ~  Shannon L. Alder.

You cannot make her / him love you, desire you, or even like you.

It follows therefore, that in our journey through life, at some point we should work out what we truly, honestly, realistically need, want, desire, or dream of having.

And this is where most of us come unstuck.  We have no idea what it is that we want ~ other than our life goes on pretty much as it has always gone on, without us having to think about it too much, or wandering too far outside of our own comfort zones.

We Just Do Not Know What We Really Want.

However, all of us, or almost all of us, know what we don’t like about our life.  Almost all of us know exactly what we hate about our lives.  Most of us know exactly who and what we want to walk away from, and after that never, ever, keep in touch.

Some of us can tell exactly when there’s an elephant in the room ~ we know when there are important issues that are not being discussed with our significant other, and instead all we ever seem to talk about is meaningless trivia.

Many of us know that our wants, needs, desires, and important dreams are not being fulfilled.  We know that we are frustrated and unfulfilled.

Therefore, as a first step to knowing what you really want, write down what you know you don’t want.  Write down what you don’t like about your life.  Write down what you hate about your life.

Be honest.  Be brutally honest with yourself.

Do not censor yourself ~ just write down what comes into your head.

Don’t over-think things, just write, whatever it is and however bad it seems.

You will have to force yourself to confront the real and damaging issues in your most private life, instead of just focusing on fluffy easy minor annoyances.

Most likely you will not complete your list of dislikes and hates in one short attempt.  Keep your list safe, and add to it whenever you think of something else that disturbs your quest for a fulfilling inner peace.

And, most importantly, DO NOT let anyone else see this list of the things and people you hate and what you hate about them.

For example, your partner / wife / husband may not be happy to know that you think she / he is as sexually responsive as a wooden plank.  You know what, if I had a significant other / partner / wife like that, then I’d hate that too.  (Trust me, I’d hate it, I’ve been there.)

Most likely, if you’re brutally honest with yourself,  sex will feature heavily on your list of things that aren’t going right for you.  After that, probably your job, your home life, your friends, health, fitness, enjoyment…..

My current list of things I don’t like / hate about my life has 34 things on it, and I’m telling nobody what they are.

But now I have a good idea of what I don’t want, I can start to get what I do want, by any means necessary.  (As long as the means I use are legal, honest, and ethical, I will do whatever it takes to get what I truly need, want, desire, and dream about.)

When you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.  ~  Jim Rohn

Some say that success is getting what you want.  And that happiness is getting what you need.  All I know is that I’m damn certain what I don’t want in my life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

I would like to go back to California again

 

 

Being Confident

If you confidently believe in yourself, you can do anything.

Sometimes our lives can suck, and having a life filled with problems and pain can leach any self-confidence you ever had right out of you.  But, without self-confidence we are useless in life.  Without self-confidence we become diffident, hesitant, inward-looking, and pretty crappy at everything we might try to do.  Without self-confidence we worry, fret, and fail.

In fact, without self-confidence we may not want to do anything at all, just in case it all goes badly wrong.  Not doing, not turning up for life, sitting alone and lonely in your own space ~ well that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and destroys whatever vestige of confidence you may have had left.

Remember this truth; To be good at what you do, you first have to do.

Self-confidence is a skill, and like any other skill it can be learned, and relearned.  Fear of failure is a skill, stop learning and relearning it.

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt

The road towards true self-confidence has only a few steps along the way.

  1. Know who you are.  Self-awareness is something we should all work at, and the more you work at it, the more you will know your true self.  Hey, I know exactly who I am, my name is Jack Collier.
  2. Be comfortable and happy with who you are ~ and if you’re not happy with yourself, then work at changing yourself to be a better version of you.  Lose that weight, exercise and get fitter, spend time on personal grooming, dress well in clothes that flatter you, go back to school…..  The only person we can really change is ourselves.
  3. Be OK with what you do.  So your job sucks, and the people at work treat you like shit, so look for a better and better-paid job.  You owe no loyalty whatsoever to the people you work for, nor the people you work with.  Don’t just quit your job, instead use your time at work and their facilities as assets in your job-search.  Better still, start working for yourself.  The really successful people in life are never wage-slaves.
  4. Be cool with where you are heading.  You may not even know where you’re going, but go somewhere.  The longest journey begins with the first baby steps, and you won’t know if you’re going in the wrong direction if you’re going nowhere.  I know where I’m going ~ for a start I’m going to leverage this JackCollier7 blog into a best-selling self-improvement book.
  5. Do not ever give up after one failure.  In fact, do not accept failure.  Everybody fails from time to time, mostly because other people aren’t smart enough to see just how good you really are.  JK Rowling, the best selling author of the Harry Potter books, was turned down by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury picked up the rights to her first manuscript for just £1,500.  Today JK Rowling is worth around $1 billion.
  6. Remember that nobody will believe in you unless you believe in you.  If you don’t believe in yourself, then act like hell and fake self-belief.
  7. Remember that life is filled with opportunities and choices, never stop looking and learning to find the opportunities that enhance your self-belief, self-confidence, self-worth, and self-empowerment.  The more choices you have, the more self-motivated you will become.

You are the Captain of your own ship, and you are the master of your fate, so step up and impress yourself, impress everyone around you, and if they aren’t utterly impressed by the new self-confident you, then move on because it’s their loss, not yours.

Some say that before embarking on anything new, you must first believe that you can do it.  And, that you must honestly ask yourself if whatever you’re going to do will work.  All I know is that I ask myself if it’s going to be worth it.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

always be open, honest, and self-aware

you can’t get to the moon if you don’t try

Never Give In, Never Give Up

To be good at what you do, you first have to do.

For a few years I’ve been feeling unwanted by the life I live, unloved by the world I live in, and disliked by all the Goddesses that there ever were.  And then I realised that there were more choices open to me than being a miserable, celibate, unwashed recluse, drinking myself to death in a dirty garret.  All I had to do was turn up for Life.

Life is filled with opportunities, we need to make the most of them.  ~  Scott Geller

The more choices we have, the richer our life can become.

I have some good choices, and one of those is to be happy.

This song makes me think of doing cool things with someone I feel very happy about today.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Practical Realism

True realism is a willingness to reveal and accept the truth.

Scientific studies, and my own bitter experiences, have shown me that one of the character traits necessary for a man / person to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong, stable, and resilient is Realism.

Being too pessimistic is depressing, being too optimistic means that you are easily disappointed and crushed, and being too idealistic is to search for unrealistic perfection.  Being realistic means that you accept the reality of the world as it is, rather than as you imagine it to be.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects the wind to change; the realist adjusts the sails.  ~  William Arthur Ward.

It seems that being realistic tends to mean that you’re also deep, grounded, mindful, compassionate, able to deal with adversity, are not easily disappointed, and recover quickly from whatever shit the world throws your way.

To be realistic is to be self-aware and be fully cognisant of your own wants, needs, desires, and dreams.  Being fully self-aware means that you do not easily fall prey to self-deceit ~ you don’t much lie to yourself, nor to others.

Realistic people also have good situational awareness, they are grounded in the truth of any given situation, seeing things for what they actually are, rather than they would wish them to be.  They have a solid sense of time and place.  They read people easily, and they are not reliant on a specific other person for their happiness.  Most people don’t have your happiness at the top of their agenda.

It is a healthy approach not to expect persons to turn out precisely how you would have wished.  ~  Criss Jami

There are 3.2 billion women in the world, so why should a realistic guy tie their happiness to just one particular uncaring and unavailable woman ~ no matter what.

One key feature of a realistic person is that they will always have some sort of written plan / plans in place to achieve their wants, needs, desires, and dreams.  Realists know that unless they do something then nothing happens.  To live life you first have to show up.  Realists make the very most of any opportunity that comes their way.  Realists take action to make things happen, they do not wait for things to happen to them.  Realists tend to devote enough time and effort to whatever task lies in front of them.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.  ~  Abraham Lincoln.

A realist will also have more free will than any other type of person.  This is because they are prepared to say ‘No’.  Every time you blindly agree with other people means that you have taken away your own free will.

Realists have a particular type of personality ~ they are physical, sceptical, jealous of their own time and space, independent, practical, clear-headed, good in an emergency, objective, non-judgmental, taciturn, and easy going.

But you don’t have to possess all of those character traits to be a realist ~ perhaps they are attributes we should aspire to.

Some say that a realist believes that some things are worth fighting for.  And, that a realist will have a flexible plan for winning their battles.  All I know is that to be a realist means showing up for the fight ~ it means showing up for Life.

Practical Realism 1.01 ~ First Know Yourself.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

remember you’re supposed to be draining the swamp, not fighting with the alligators

How To Be Lucky

Luck is great, but most of Life is hard work.

The hard truth is that we make our own luck.  If you want to be lucky enough to witness a brilliant sunrise, then you have to get yourself out of bed before dawn.  If you want to be lucky enough live your life’s dreams you must first know what you want and then do something to get it.  If you want to really live Life, then show up.

I want a better life, I need to be a better man, I want to live my dreams.  A few short weeks ago I was in the depths of Hell.  Walking the hard road up from yet another rock bottom, these are a Magnificent Seven Truths I have been shown.  These things have helped me find my luck, perhaps they may help you too.

  1. Self-Awareness.  Know yourself.  Be congruent and grounded in your own truth.  Know that you are unique and that you have unique skills and abilities.  Understand your own power.
  2. Know where you want to go.  Chart your course.  Dream your dreams.  Discover what you really need, want, and desire.  Create a vision board, or mind map, or just make a list.  If you don’t know what you want, then Be Brave.  Stop asking others what you should do, and don’t do anything that others may want you to do if it doesn’t match your own truth.  Change I should to I want.
  3. Do Something.  Take some action.  Get off your ass and do something to realise your wants, needs, desires, and dreams, even if it’s just making a plan, or writing a daily journal.  ~  just don’t do things that you don’t need to do.  Change should to could.  If you can get others to do things for you then use their unique skills and talents.  Let the Cosmos work for you too.
  4. Leverage the Magic.  Use your dreams, thoughts, words, and deeds.  Have the best attitude you possibly can.  Nobody likes an impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, unforgiving and manipulative jerk.
  5. Believe in yourself.  Be more congruent.  Make certain that your inner beliefs match your needs, wants, desires, and dreams.  If you don’t believe then you can’t achieve.  If you don’t believe then you certainly will have no luck at all.
  6. Engage the Magic.  Make a start on living your dreams.  Do something positive, even if it’s just a very small thing.  The greatest journey starts with that first baby step.
  7. Be adaptable.  After you have taken some action, look at what happened.  If what you did didn’t get you what you want, then do something else instead.  If you do what you always did, then you will get what you always got. A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Scientifically, and mathematically there is no such thing as luck.  So, if you want to be lucky in life, if you want to take advantage of random chances, if you want the good things to come to you, then work at living your dreams.

The harder I practice, the luckier I get.  ~  Gary Player

Here’s the thing, should I want to, I can win money playing cards.  That isn’t because I’m lucky, it’s because I’ve studied Hoyle, probability theory, and statistics, I can work out odds in my head, and I’m a natural card-counter.  Some say that’s cheating, it certainly isn’t luck.

Try to stay focused.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  Don’t get drawn into fighting the alligators when you really want to be draining the swamp.

Some say that life’s hard and nothing ever goes right for them.  And, that they never have any luck, their whole life is a train wreck.  All I know is that the harder and smarter I try, the luckier I get.

The road goes anywhere and everywhere you want, but you have to get out there and be prepared to enjoy the journey.

Create your own luck, and then ride it hard.

~

jack collier

email:   jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Just Enjoy the Journey

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.

In this modern world most of us are driven by results, we do things in order to achieve a desired outcome.  In this modern world hardly anyone enjoys the journey, what most people want is to get to their destination as quickly as possible.  And yet, psychologists know that what our mind and spirit seek most are experiences, and not results.

In my working life I was extremely results oriented, I always had innumerable written plans to ensure that each of my projects produced a specific outcome, with specific deliverables, on specific future dates.

Consequently I was always in a hurry, impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, and unforgiving.  To a certain extent these character traits are useful in business, but I also carried these characteristics into my personal life.  That may be natural, unavoidable, but it certainly isn’t useful, and it certainly wasn’t the true me.

Aggression only moves in one direction ~ it creates more aggression.  ~  Margaret J.  Wheatley

Nobody sane wants a good friend or partner who is always in a hurry, impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, and unforgiving.  Oh, and I was also very manipulative…..

Because of my conflicted and driven life I was continually unhappy, and continually ill.  I was also continually afraid of failure.  My life was mostly joyless.

I no longer believe that it’s the outcome that matters most to our mind and spirit.  What I believe is that it’s experiences that matter most to us, and not the eventual deliverables.  In other words it’s the journey, and not the destination which teaches us the most.  Like all things in Life this is probably not a yes / no, black / white, male / female thing.

The yin and the yang are opposite forces.  Yet, they exist together in the harmony of a perfect orb.  ~  R. A. Wise

I have come to believe that somewhere in between the yes and the no lies a place where either, none, and both exist simultaneously.  I have come to believe that the past, present, and future exist simultaneously.  And, I have come to believe that it is the journeys that really matter to our body, mind, and spirit ~ not the destinations.

In other words it’s how we live each moment that matters most, not what we eventually achieve.

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.  ~  Robert Breault

Some say that life is somewhere between an experiment and an adventure.  And, that if you follow all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun.  All I know is that nothing is more important than this day, this hour, this minute…

The sun may not always shine, so enjoy it while you can.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

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