Tag Archives: Self-Improvement

The Better Man

Wake up each morning a better person than you were yesterday.

Most people, if they’re both honest and intelligent, have an in-built desire to be ‘better’.  For most of my life I was no different from most people ~ until I tried to work out what it really meant to be ‘better’.

I firmly believe that for most men, being better really means being better than the other guy.  For most men being better means being superior ~ getting what you want, even if it’s at the expense of the other guy.  And, I can look back and see that attitude in myself.  I read innumerable books, watched hordes of self-development videos, and attended courses that were all about being superior, about winning at all costs, and not at all about being better.

Today I believe that being better, means being better than I used to be.  More honest, honourable, considerate, understanding, and accepting than I used to be.  Now I believe that being better doesn’t mean just going all-out to get what I want, even if it’s at the expense of someone else.  For me being ‘better’ no longer means being ‘superior’ ~ and that goes completely against all the business training and life experience I’ve ever had.  And you know what?  All that training and experience was really about surviving in a dog-eat-dog world.

That is such a bad, negative, misogynistic, and uncharitable attitude to have.

The difference between surviving, and really living a great life is all about attitude.

To become the man I wanted to be I’ve had to learn some difficult lessons along the way.  It’s a hard road, but it’s possible.  It’s a struggle, it’s harder than I wanted it to be, it’s takes longer than I wanted, and it takes more out of me than I could ever have believed at the start.

However, to be better than I have ever dreamed I could be, I had to learn this lesson ~ the only person I am competing with is myself.

To be a better man, to be a really cool guy living a really great life, to achieve my absolute and fullest potential, to reach enlightenment ~ all I have to do is to strive to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday.

Some say that the only way to win in life is to put yourself first, even if it’s at the expense of others.  And, that good guys finish last.  All I know is that I have learned the real lessons in life ~ Chivalry means something.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

be a Paladin

 

Neuroplasticity

we are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think and believe

Neuroplasticity is the ability your brain has to rewire and restructure itself according to usage and needs.  The more we use certain parts of our brain, the stronger they get.  Conversely, the less we use certain parts of our brain the weaker they get.  So, if your brain spends a lot of its time being depressed, then the part of your brain / body that is depressed, that creates sadness, melancholy, and hopelessness in you, will become stronger and larger.  You will get better and better at being depressed.

Whereas, if you fill your life with joy, companionship, and happiness, then the part of your brain / body that deals with those things will become stronger and larger ~ you will become better and better at pleasure, satisfaction, and elation.

Weird, but that’s the way it really works.

If you learn a new and difficult skill, particularly one which involves both the mind and body; golf, tennis, touch typing, knitting, carpentry, learning to drive…..  then your brain will change, enlarge, and strengthen to allow you to get good at your chosen pastime or occupation.

Because of the power of neuroplasticity, you can, in fact, reframe your world and rewire your brain so that you are more objective.  You have the power to see things as they are so that you can respond thoughtfully, deliberately, and effectively to everything you experience.  ~  Elizabeth Thornton.

The really interesting part is that we can use neuroplasticity on purpose to create and reinforce a change in ourselves.  With each repetition of  thought or feeling we reinforce a particular set of neural pathways.  These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.  Neuroplasticity offers us the opportunity to make real and lasting psychological changes in the way our brain / body works.

There are a number of exercises we can use to enhance the interconnectedness of our neural pathways, and they are both intellectual and physical.  For example, regularly only using your ‘wrong’ hand promotes left / right brain connectedness, while reading a good, difficult, and stimulating book promotes the efficiency of the intellectual and memory parts of the brain.

The key is repetition and keeping on practicing until whatever it that you want becomes a habit and your normal way of life.  If you want to stop being jealous, then practice being tolerant, accepting, trusting and understanding.  As they say in AA; ‘fake it to make it’.

Some say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  And that once a sinner, always a sinner.  All I know is that the phenomenon of neuroplasticity allows us to be whoever and whatever we want to be.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can change and strengthen your brain / body so you could build anything

Who Am I?

I was born alone, but I carry the spirit and blood of my ancestors.

I know my name.  I know where and when I was born.  I firmly believe that I knew who my parents were.  I know that in my life I have had money, wealth, property ~ all resulting from working hard in my chosen profession.  I don’t know very much about myself at all.

Like many men I have been disappointed and dissatisfied with Life ~ especially in matters of the heart.  Like many men I have gone through Life thinking that there should be more, and that I should do better.

Much of these vague feelings of dissatisfaction were a result of my brain and mind not functioning as nature intended as a result of unhealthy stress.  Too much bad, unhealthy stress results in reduced Gamma wave activity, reduced mental acuity, pessimism, negativity, fatigue, and ill-health.  No wonder many of us have felt disappointed and dissatisfied for much of our lives.

At it’s heart bad, toxic, unhealthy stress is a result of fear.  However, now I shall have a fearless engagement with Life that shall be the core condition for satisfaction, high performance, constructive relationships, and greater well-being.

This will take a fundamental change in attitude to rewire my brain and reprogram my subconscious mind until this fearless and confident attitude becomes second nature

This is a very difficult thing to do, requiring a total reexamination of just who the hell and am and just who the hell I want to be.  What foundations am I building this new Life upon?  What are going to be my building blocks for a strong, solid, and fearless Life?

There are some words; kind, caring, compassionate, polite, gentlemanly, generous, focus, faithfulness, brave, fearless, determined, confident, cool, peaceful…..  But perhaps I just need one word which encompasses all of that ~ and ‘good isn’t good enough.

However, I am one small step closer to knowing exactly what needs to be done to unburden myself of the emotional and spiritual obstacles I have been hiding behind.  I’m not seeking instant gratification, nor some advantage over others.  I am seeking to become a superior man ~ in comparison with what has gone before.

It has taken much hard work to bring me to where I am today, but this is not the moment to rest.  There are challenges ahead and I have a strong desire to manifest real and successful change through hard work and dedication to a long-term plan.

Some say that I really don’t know who I am.  And that sometimes I just don’t give a fuck.  All I know is that I can rebuild myself, better than before.  This man can build just about anything.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I made this car

 

The Inner Compass

You will find your true life path when your inner compass is steady.

Each of us has an inner compass deep within our subconscious mind, and this controls and regulates everything we do, each and every hour of every single day.  The snag is, sometimes our inner compass doesn’t point to the moral and ethical equivalent of North, and sometimes our inner compass just spins out of control.

We also have maps, models, and frameworks in our subconsciousness.  And these maps, models, and frameworks allow us to make sense of the world and our family, our partner, our work, and the all the rest of our environment.   These maps, models, and frameworks are what allows us to have any kind of a relationship with others because they help us to make sense of our body, our heart, our mind, and our spirit and intuition.  These maps, models, and frameworks are our inner world.  But, each of our inner maps are likely to be very inaccurate and incomplete, and have such helpful annotations such as; ‘Here Be Monsters’, and ‘Impassable Swamp’.  Our models and frameworks are often completely wrong too.

Our inner compass, and our maps, models and frameworks are most likely to be utterly and totally wrong when we are under intolerable stress, or have suffered from a recent, (or not so very recent), trauma.

Because we are the Captain of our own ship, trying to navigate our way through this complicated, complex, and dangerous sea of life, we need to put our maps, models, and frameworks in order, we need to find a guiding light ~ sometimes we just have to junk our existing picture of the world and life, starting again with clean sheets of paper.  We need to take our authority back to ourselves and ignore or reject all the authority that has been imposed upon us.  The patterns and authority imposed upon us is always negative and self-destructive.

We need to become the very best version of ourselves that we can, and take back our self-belief, self-confidence, and self-will.  We need to rediscover our truth and purpose, and we can never do that if we rely on outdated maps, inaccurate models, and broken frameworks.

In order to restore health and equilibrium to ourselves, to fix our broken compass, and to make new maps, models, and frameworks to help us make sense of the world we need to realise that much of what we are doing and have done falls into the realm of negativity and self-destruction.  In order to rebuild something better we need to junk the old negative ways of thinking and allow new and better into our lives.

This is easy.  This quest to become the best version of you that you can possibly be, the way to becoming the true Captain of your own ship, will just require you to work at it for every waking hour for the rest of your life.  Regaining control of your inner compass, your maps, models, and frameworks will be a never-ending story.

Some say that self-improvement and self-development books, podcasts, videos, conferences, and retreats are a waste of time.  And, some say that there is nothing at all wrong with them and the way the react to the world.  All I know is that the harder and longer I try, the better I become.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

hold true to a better Goddess

hold true to a cleaner and more positive sea

you are your own enemy

We are each our own devil, and we make the world our hell.

You decide what to eat, how much alcohol you’re going to drink, how much rest and sleep you are going to get, whether you’re going to smoke cigarettes, how much fresh air and exercise you’re going to have, whether or not you’re going to take drugs (illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over the counter medication), and how much stress you’re going to put yourself under before you stop and maybe meditate for a while.

And, more likely than not, you know what you should be doing for a healthier and longer life, as opposed to what you are actually doing with your life every day.  The chances are that every day you’re putting your body, mind, and spirit under extreme stress by doing exactly the wrong things on purpose.

Our bodies are designed to self-heal, but if we keep putting our body, mind, and spirit under stress, then we are going to degenerate, get sick, get old, look old, become unfit and overweight, and die painfully long before we should.

Yet I know that everyone reading this wants to be fit, healthy, and happy ~ so why do so many people subject themselves to so much fucking crap, every single day?

  • Be your own best carer.  Too many of us spend too much time taking care of other people, when what they should be doing is practicing self-care and putting themselves first.  If you make yourself ill, unfit, mentally sick, stressed-out, then you’re not going to be of much use to anyone else.
  • Get back to nature.  Get outdoors, get some fresh air and sunshine, breathe deeply of clean air, drink at least 3 pints of fresh clean water a day, enjoy the far horizons.  If you spend a lot of time indoors, using a computer, drinking coffee, then the tiny electrical signals that actually operate your mind and body get screwed, so you’re tired and can’t think properly by the end of the day.
  • Get plenty of sleep.  Most people need 7 to 9 hours of good quality deep REM sleep.  Don’t fall asleep in a chair in front of the TV.  Make your bedroom a blackout zone.  Go to bed the day before you get up.  Don’t drink too much booze right before bedtime.
  • Eat the right amount of good quality, healthy, organic food.  Avoid processed foods.  Drink those 3 pints of good clean water every day.  Eat a high water content diet.
  • Stop sabotaging yourself.  Commit to self-care and practice it every single day.  If you are addicted to anything: cigarettes, booze, drugs, gambling, binge eating, self-harm, anger, stress then find a cure.  Be prepared to do whatever it takes to recover from your addiction.

Some say that they hate themselves.  And, some people act as though they really do hate themselves.  All I know is that these days I am a very cool guy, living a really great life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

recently I stayed at the best B & B in all America

seize the day

do every act of your life as though it was the very last act of your life  ~  Marcus Aurelius

January in England and nature is at its lowest ebb of the year.  The ground is hard, the sea is damn cold, everything and everyone seems to be moving in slow motion.

Even I’ve been feeling lethargic this afternoon, and considering doing nothing more productive than dozing while the TV plays in the background.

That just isn’t good enough for me.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.  Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land.  There is no other land, there is no life but this.  ~  Henry David Thoreau.

Feeling bored, listless, lethargic, and filled with ennui is just a state of mind, and if I’ve learned anything in recent months is that you can change your mind, even your state of mind.

Instead of dozing, bored in front of the TV, I’m going to go out into the cold and take another walk.  At least that will damn well wake me up.

Some say that boredom the natural state of being for mature guys.  And, that most men don’t have the energy, brains, or motivation to find anything better to do than watch sports on TV.  All I know if that I’m not like most men; I’m a cool guy living a great life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a desert, a Mustang, who can be bored?

grasp your own future

Dreams do not have deadlines nor commitments…..

Hardly anyone is really in control of their own life.  This is doubly true if you happen to be an ‘average person’, who has a job, mortgage, and normal financial commitments ~ face it you have to turn up for work every day, whether you like it or not.  Add in a family, who undoubtedly will have expectations of you, and your time is not hardly ever your own.  (And, I wasn’t even thinking about the ‘average person’ who is married with children.)

The ‘average person’ can’t really have dreams and desires, unless their dreams and desires happen to fit in with what others expect of you.

Just supposing you want to take a year off, buy an old school bus, turn into a camper van, and see as much of backroads America / Europe, as you possibly can in that year.  What do you think your partner / family / friends / employer / neighbours are going to say about that?

I’ll tell you that the likelihood is that their views and words will range from incredulity to negativity, to downright hostility.  That is if you are an ‘average person’ living a ‘normal life’.  Ergo, to protect yourself you would probably not ever have that kind of empowering dream and desire.

Instead your mind will be filled with things such as; ‘what can I do about my partner / sister / brother…..?’ or ‘how can I afford to pay my bills’, or ‘how can I get a better job?’ or ‘what can I have for lunch / dinner / supper?’

None of us can do anything about our past, except reframe the way we think about it.

Most ‘normal’ and ‘average’ people can do very little about what’s happening to them in the present.  The chances are that, for them, today will be pretty much like yesterday.  If they have to work for a living the chances are that any working day will be exactly like the working day before.  Even their thoughts and conversations will have a mind-numbing repetitious banality.

However, and this is fucking damned important, we can all do something about our futures.

NOBODY has to settle for the status quo.  If there is something or someone in your life that’s sucking the life out of you, then get rid of it / them.  If your marriage is crap / abusive / boring, then get out of it.  If your job is horrible and badly paid, then leave and get another job ~ there’s nothing like being out of work to put a real edge on job hunting.

There is only one problem ~ most people will never leave their ‘comfort zone’.  If that’s you, then it’s time you grew up and grasped your own future with both hands ~ carpe diem.

As for me?  I’m a really cool guy, living a great life.  I can do just about whatever I want, just about whenever I want ~ within my own pretty rigid code of ethics, and the fact that I don’t ever want to get arrested again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

That van was in Palm Springs

Urban Survival Skills for Men

Being alone should hold no terrors for a man.

It’s pretty unlikely that I’m ever going to be stranded on a desert island, get lost in the jungle, or dumped in the middle of the outback.  But, I’ve been lost and alone in an urban jungle many, many times.  Today, as I write this I’m alone in my apartment with some cool music playing on my hi-fi ~ I’m alone in a modern jungle and I know that every single day I will need all of my hard-learned skills to survive and prosper.

The very, very first hard lesson I learned about being alone and lonely is that staying locked up in one’s own home, bolting the door, and nailing it shut, does not help at all.  Doing your shopping at two in the morning at the all-night supermarket, only interacting with other people via the internet, never opening one’s post ~ well that’s just pathetic.  However tempting it may be to utterly cut oneself off from the world, it’s not a good plan.

What I learned was;

  • Stop drinking.  Booze just makes everything much worse.
  • Don’t spend money you don’t have, and never borrow a penny.
  • Don’t gamble.  Gambling is for suckers and sluts.  The house always wins in the end.
  • Get out of bed, get showered, shaved, shampoo your hair, get dressed in clean clothes.
  • Junk all the rags you’ve been wearing for years, go shopping and buy some stylish new stuff.  Don’t shop in thrift / goodwill stores because you will look like a used tramp.
  • Get some fresh air and exercise, every single day.  Start by forcing yourself to walk for an hour a day.  Then force yourself to do the 10,000 steps a day thing, and maybe go to the gym 3 or 4 days a week.
  • Go travelling into the sunshine.
  • Talk to people.  Especially a guy should talk to women ~ and not in a creepy way.
  • Do something creative.  I write this blog.

Life can be good, no matter what has gone before.  But the thing is, you have to show up.  Mostly Life will not come to you, mostly you have to at least meet Life half way.

Today I am a very cool guy, living a great life.  And you know why that is?  Because I say it is.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

fly me away

Lack of Sleep

to sleep ~ to sleep ~ perchance to dream

Some of us may believe that we suffer from insomnia and resort to taking powerful prescription sleeping pills before bedtime.  Others may believe that they just can’t sleep unless they’ve had a few alcoholic drinks at bedtime.  Some of us may suffer from restlessness, nightmares, night sweats, or night terrors.  And then, some of us just know that we never get a good night’s sleep.

Let me tell you that if you really don’t sleep at all then bad things will happen to you; confusion, hallucinations, lack of concentration, memory loss, mood swings, physical illness, and then you will die.  About 10 or 11 days without any sleep at all will kill you.

Rest and sleep are a vital part of a life that is filled with health, vitality, and well-being ~ and here are some things that will help you to have enough restful sleep;

  • Get some fresh air and exercise during the day.  Try walking 10,000 steps a day, mostly outside.
  • Don’t use social media, for about an hour before bedtime.  Try to leave the day behind you well before you retire for the evening.
  • Don’t eat very much for about an hour before bedtime.
  • Don’t drink too much booze, especially just before you go to bed.  If you are buzzed, then you can forget having a good night’s sleep.
  • Have your bedroom dark, quiet, and fairly cool ~ if you’re sweating at night, either you’ve been drinking or your bedroom is too warm.
  • Don’t let your pet into the bedroom, especially don’t let your pet on your bed.
  • Go to bed at about the same time every night, and get out of bed at about the same time every morning. And, never, ever hit the snooze button on your alarm.

Mostly if you can’t sleep it’s one of 2 things; not enough fresh air and exercise during the day, too much booze.

Or, you could think you’re in love, or you’re worried about something.  If that’s the case, leave those disturbing thoughts and feelings until tomorrow.

Whatever you do, avoid taking sleeping tablets because they will ruin your whole life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

to relax myself to sleep

I listen to my breathing and imagine gentle waves on a pleasant beach

Why Do I Care?

It is better to give than to receive ~ the hell it is…..

so, I went on some cool trips…..

Something is telling me that there is no mileage in being a caring guy.  What good does it do me to care about other people’s feelings, to worry if they are upset, and to give a damn if they are happy, or not?

I know that some people go through life not giving a thought about the feelings, or wellbeing of others, and all in all it doesn’t seem to do those uncaring folks any harm whatsoever.  As a matter of fact uncaring people tend to be richer and get more of what they want than do guys who actually give a fuck ~ such as me.

Uncaring people don’t devote their energies making sure that others are OK, instead they spend their time and energy getting what they want, and the devil take the consequences.  Uncaring guys don’t buy their female friends cool and expensive gifts, or pay to take them on vacation, or always pick up the tab in bars and restaurants.  Instead uncaring guys just fuck lots of women like animals.

So, somewhere, somehow, I’m doing something wrong.  I care about other people a lot, and what does that get me, not a  lot.

Some say that a leopard can’t change their spots.  And, that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  All I know is that I’m going to stop giving if I get bugger all in return.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Cool hotels? A waste of money.

 

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