Category Archives: Self improvement

Handling Escapism

I would wager that just about everyone has some form of escapism that they engage in on the daily. A fraction of these people recognize the opportunities that are missed because of the time that is spent on something that is not in direct attainment of life’s goals. For me, its most obvious in the urge to play video games comes because I have shortcomings in other parts of my life. In order to change my focus to something that I am competent in, I turn to video games to get a sense of gratification that I am not getting in the real world. It can be extremely challenging to keep from turning to these types of escapism when faced with overwhelming obstacles. In order to get at the root of escapism I have a few penetrating questions. Where do these negative emotions come from? Why is it that I am unable to control myself when confronted with these emotions? What could be some possible solutions for living a better life?

Firstly, defining what constitutes a negative emotion that then turns me to escapism. From the position that I sit in now it seems entirely irrational to do anything but build myself to overcome in the face of adversity, but this is not the case. One instance of a source of these negative emotions comes from going out at night in order to have fun and meet new people. Not all the time but often enough these events can cascade downward so that when I am leaving the bar I feel alone in that I was unable to make a solid connection with anyone that I met that night. This does not happen often but when it does it can be hard to deal with. Other things that can be hard to deal with are things like shortcomings at work, run-ins with the bad side of the law, and arguments between friends. These are the type of things that cause negative emotions and thus give rise to the will to escape from it all.

The ideal version of myself grows stronger when faced with adversity and at times I have experienced such a thing. A willpower arise that detaches emotionally in order to achieve the desired outcome. Other times a weakness that desires to neglect the reality of the situation in favor of something lazy and shameful wins. I can only understand the ebb and flow of these two internal drives as a necessity of life and therefor I must prepare for both.

Building a life that is full of positive emotions so that one would never even be tempted by escapism sounds disagreeable. This is not to say that I would do anything but pursue my dream of dreams, it’s just that I feel that anything worth doing should be challenging and therefore will include trying situations. For me, it’s not about finding the path free of road bumps but more so about strengthening the self in order to handle any road bump that might occur; and so I turn my attention to the weakest version of myself and ask: What’s wrong? Why are you unable to do what you know to be right? Is it a lack of courage or maybe you just don’t want it bad enough? From the heightened perspective of where I sit now I can offer few words that might help. Remember that life is short and that greatness can only be achieved by those who work for it. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, so take your time and start small. Just remember to keep moving forward. Like the butterfly that created the hurricane, a small step in the right direction could be the first step to shift the minds of millions. Without the first step, there is nothing.

So yeah. Writing is where I do my most precise introspective work and by publishing this online I hope that it may help anyone that stumbles upon my work. If you thought about anything at all while reading please leave a comment. I love to hear other perspectives and to build a community is some of the greatest thing we do as humans and I am looking forward to all of it.

Brothers Fight

Men have a different way of going through life than women. We could say that biologically men’s lives are less valuable than women’s in that it only take one man to carry on the population while it would take many women to have many many children. When we look at the lives of men we see that men die more often by risky behavior like stunts and car crashes pointing to the idea that men have a biology that is designed differently with things like social power in leadership and prestige being valued as much more important. This is not to say that women do not have such a thing in their lives it’s just that with women the nurturing instinct is much more developed and for the good reason of the children and the family.

Often times men will grow up in a patriarchal family where, from the time of Cain and Able it has been observed that the son will have the desire to overthrow the patriarch, the father. You can see this with kings of the past going on for centuries. In many cultures the transfer of power was almost always violent. With the king at the top it often times was up to one of his sons to replace him. Which son was to replace him was the question that provided the tension between brothers.

Growing up outside of royalty, my brother and I had a more civil relationship though not without conflict. Looking back I can see the harm that I did to him and the recoil from this harm and how this has effected me. Brothers fight in the sense of wrestling and other games where we would both try and get the best of each other. Being the older brother I would almost always win and would then make it a point to show how much better I was than him in additional displays of strength. This eventually backfired as my brother stopped wanting to play any more games with me. He could not get away with playing no games with me however as we had many of the same friends and groups of friend play games with each other inevitably.

To this day my brother and I seldom talk and despite my best efforts I get a call from him maybe a handful of times per year. When I think about what has brought us to this point in our relationship, besides all the times that I would not allow him to play his choice of video game or not use the TV, there are a few key instances that come to mind. There was the time that we convinced him that by strapping him into a dog harness that we could then hoist him up into a tree and thus climb any tree we wanted. After getting him 30 feet in the air my friend and I tied our end to a different tree leaving him suspended while we left to eat lunch. We were not gone that long but when we got back he was distraught. Another time we mummified him in duct tape to the point where he was unable to moved. These are the things that make me laugh about my childhood and I look back at with fond memories. There are darker parts of our past however that are harder to get into.

My brother left for the military shortly after college. After returning from basic training he came home with confidence that we had not seen in him before. It was great for the entire family, but when it came time to choose which video game to play it was bad for both him and I. I had been at my own school and was currently in my third year and so my brother and I had not been spending much time in the same location. I believe it was Christmas break for both of us and spending time together was something we were both not used to. When the video games came into conflict violence broke out immediately. In a way similar to WWII this was the last time my brother and I got into any type of physical fight. It was the most violent fight either of us had ever been in and ended with a black eye for me and getting kicked out of the house for him. We have not been the same since that point. It would be nice to have a brother that is confident about his ability to handle the world but I could not let this confidence tread in an area that I felt was mine. I can imagine it would have been a blow to his ego to learn that his military training still could not take down the enemy of a brother that he had at that moment and must have changed something in him to avoid rather than confront.

I still believe that later in life we will both become closer to one another. Maybe it will take a colossal event like both of us having kids, but someday in the future my brother and I will be on a similar level. It’s impossible that we stop being brothers and so no matter how much we hate one another we will always be in each others lives. The fight between brothers has been going on for so long that it’s built into all of our minds. We know how brothers act and to learn about myself in this way I can learn about everyone, because everyone knows that brothers fight.

The Monkey Light

Its crazy how having money can change your life. Its important to work hard and make sure that you save enough to do what you want to do and buy the things that you want to buy. Its been a long time sense I have been able to buy things that I want rather than just save for the things that I need. This new freedom allows me to look online whimsically for things to buy. This is not something I am used to doing and would never condone spending money on trivial items that are immediately thrown in the trash. No, what I did was order a Venus fly trap for something like 15 bucks off amazon. Its going to be awesome when it gets here and I can feed it bugs or maybe peaces of meat. Its going to be my little buddy sitting right besides the window.

The thing about money is that everybody wants more and that its very easy to let slip from your hands if your not vigilant about keeping it. I must admit that in having money there is a force that keeps me in line and on task that is no longer there. I have enough and getting to more than enough is less motivating than getting to enough. I now need to find new challenges that stimulate me into getting different places. Things like writing are great tasks in that they have no monetary stipulation although the point of this article is just that.

I want to meet people. I want to grow in terns of skill and ability. I love all of these things and the way that I am going to get these things is by getting the tools that allow me to learn and allow me to show up in style. I recently ordered a Monkey Light off Amazon which is just a simple bicycle light that understands spit. It goes on one spoke of your bike tire and then as the tire spins is able to project an image over the entire wheel to the point where you could literally watch a movie on this thing if you wanted to bike for that long. I have not seen any of them in the Denver area yet and so I am excited to be a show off.

Its daylight now but I am going to head off for a long bike ride to explore the town. Here is a link to a monkey light affiliate site. Check it out if you get the chance. If you like biking then maybe you will buy one.

VentureExpansions

Its official. VentureExpansions finally has a business license and is operating as a legit company helping people solve problems in the Denver metro area. Its great to be taking steps in a direction that I always knew I would travel. Its awesome to be connecting with people that are in need and to be able to provide them with a service that fulfills that need. Much discipline is still needed to get things going in the direction that I want them to go but things are at least moving in that general direction.

Its important to note that in the US 4/5 business will fail within the first year. Being that it is the first week Id say that its time to be as vigilant and aware as possible. So far we have sold about 80 roofing inspections to various companies and set up two tree trimming jobs with AR Custom Woodwerks. Total business generated could be estimated at about 40k. Total commission earned could be estimated at about 8k. Total commission received 2,020 dollar bills baby!

Tomorrow I am meeting with a professional tree trimmer who would like to get on board with what we are doing here at VentureExpansions in that he is in need of tools and jobs. AR Custom Woodwerks can provide him with the tools, and I here at VentureExpansions can provide him with the jobs. Tomorrow looks like it will be at least 4 of us working out in various neighborhoods. Two door to door sales guys, and two professional tree trimming guys. My focus now is care. As the one that is putting most of this stuff together, it has become my responsibility to make sure that everyone gets their just accommodations for the work that they are putting into the company. Assuming I can generate half the business I plan to generate we should be fine. The idea is to do such a good job that all of these guys will come back the next day thirsty for the things that I can provide. Charisma with my friends will be key. Strict business ethics will also be a focus. Its hard to believe that this stuff is coming through to thruition. So thankful. So blessed.

Now the new project for me is the social media aspect of things. With my focus divided between Facebook, you-tube, word-press, snap-chat, twitter, and Instagram (did I miss any?) it will be a whole new world to learn. There are some basic fears in starting out. Things like; did I promise more than what I can deliver? I have almost no overhead cost. Am I going to be able to handle the road bumps and are for sure in my future? Is what I am doing exactly legal? I sure hope no one gets hurt. At some point you have got to put your head down and go for it. Currently looking for people that I tree trimming expirience or want to learn such skills, and always looking for canvassers that are comfortable earning a great income that is commission based. I understand that this is going to take an awful lot of work but that is what makes me so excited about it at the same time.

It all comes from a place of peace and love, and so from there what could possibly go wrong. Whatever it is we will have to see. I plan on writing about this so if you would like to keep up to date with the story just let me know. Any and all advice would be great so be sure to leave a comment. It might just save my life.

Best

-Chris

How to quit a video game addition

It’s been going on 6 years that I have been trying to quit video games. I imagine all the skills that I would have learned by this point and in my mind, I feels great to quit and to start honing my craft, and yet when times get low and all I want to do is huddle up in my blanket and play what I know I am good at is when I relapse back into the thing that I swore never to partake in again. This is a research paper mostly for myself but can help anyone that wants to also follow in these research footprints in order to quit video games all together.

At first I was pulled into the game because of what it allowed me to do. For a moment, I could command troops like a military general and fight in a war bigger than myself. The graphics and skill are what got me going but it was the escapism that kept me there. There have been times when I am out downtown and looking to meet other people. Sometimes I find it hard to talk with other people are that is when I have the urge to escape back into my room to find that familiar video game that I know I can perform without humiliation. It’s a place that I know I have the skill to play. It’s a place that allows me to forget about the problems of life and focus on the problems of the game.

What has happened over the years is that what challenges my mind is more fascinating in the game than it is in real life. If you remember what the key to flow chart looks like there is a sweet spot in a task when the task is challenging but not too challenging to be frustrating, but also easy but not too easy to be boring. Life has gotten frustrating and so the game solves this with new inventive challenges. The new challenge is to make life a flow sport like that game has been for so long. To do this will take time.

It would seem that I need to grow my life in order to make it easy to find flow activity in. After my life has grown a certain degree then I will be able to easily take it to the streets when I am feeling like a gamer. It’s in this first faze that would be the hardest. The best option that I can think of right off the bat would be to use as much willpower as possible. Willpower is only so strong though so the next step would be to uninstall the game. Past this point the only thing I can think of is to really get into my own head how disgusting video game playing really is.

I have missed out on so many opportunities because of gaming. If I had put my time into anything other than the game that I played I could have easily mastered it by now. If I would have played an instrument with this time I would have been able to travel to New Orleans with passions and then been able to make friends and even had sex with many more women that I did the last time that I went. If I would have spent all that time working or even looking for a job I would have had maybe 10 grand in the bank right now and probably be driving a car. If I would have spent that time reading I could have brought all my friend new information and been a much more interesting person than I am. If I would have spent all that time in the gym exercising I would be buff as shit right now. What has video gaming done for me. I was able to connect with a few friends through the game but nothing ever really came of it. Instead I zonk myself out in a chare somewhere and neglect the things that are really important in life.

Video games are a bunch of shit when played in excess. If you like them than good for you. If you like women or the outdoors or money or anything that good an important in this work then you will not play video games and instead work on bettering yourself because bettering yourself is what this is really about. Who wants to sit with the same skill set their entire lives? We all want to be good and then we all want to be great. Let’s make this life about becoming great, not about playing some bullshit until life catches up with us and we are forced to take action. Take action now. Become better at something.

Reasons to learn lucid dreaming

A lucid dream in a direct encounter with the subconscious that can cause greater knowledge of the self. In a lucid dream, you are surrounded with imagery that is invented within the mind. By looking at the symbolism of these images and figuring out the meaning under the surface, the dreamer is allowed access into the psyche at a level that may not be able to be experienced in waking life. By understanding these aspects of the subconscious, the conscious mind has the opportunities to understand and mend injuries that may have been held within the body for years. Learn to lucid dream.

Lucid dreaming offers endless creativity and escapism. Is this not the reason that all of us dream other than to find ourselves in a world that would not otherwise be possible. To be able to speak to your dead idol, or to spend some time with the otherwise extinct dinosaurs. All of these things become possible in a lucid dream, where the limits of the world become the limits of imagination rather than the limits of physics or money. Lucid dreaming allows anyone to experience anything they can create.

This can work as an exercise for your imagination as well. As you experience more profound realities within the dream world you then get an idea of what you can conjure up inside your head and all of a sudden you notice yourself become more daring within your waking world. Social situations become expanded as you play within your world with a greater understanding of where things have the potential to go. You become braver in creating fantasies that previously you would have never thought of. Lucid dreaming is an expansion of the mind that improves more than just the world of sleep.

When experiencing the first lucid dreams, questions of consciousness often arise. What is the nature of consciousness and what is the nature control. By experimenting with these questions one gets a greater understanding of the true nature of things like consciousness and control. Greater understanding of these things pervades all of waking experience and allows one to live a life that has greater clarity and direction. As you start to question things like the nature of reality you get a greater understanding for what is real which then translates into more accurate goal attainment as you can now sort out what your are fantasizing about, and what you are able to control.

Science has shown that you become better at things that you dream about. This means that lucid dreams get to choose what they want to get better at, and that they can use lucid dreaming as a training ground for whatever they want. Beginning lucid dreamers will often do things like talk to lots of women or focus on getting money. Later in their career they can focus on things like living in the world of the forums and experiencing reality on deeper levels, all of which act like training helping them get better at life.

Throughout the course of life, we experience setbacks that can be hard to get over. The death of a loved one for example, can be relived within the dream. Lucid dreamers have the option of speaking with the loved one and asking them questions they wished they had voiced while the loved one was still alive. Nothing can ever replace the real thing, but through dreams we can often find solace in death and can greave easier when we have access to our memories within a dream.

Lucid dreaming is fun as shit. Just imagine that when you go to sleep you could be fighting armies of ninja warriors, or blasting through space in a rocket shit you invented with your mind. You could be having sex with thousands of women or maybe you are the king of nations. You can do anything you want and for that reason lucid dreaming is an incredibly empowering activity that everyone should take the time to learn.

Next week’s post will be the specifics of how to lucid dream and the challenges that first time lucid dreamer often face. Personally, I am going through all of these challenges now and would love to help others get through to the other side of lucid dreaming. Until next time.

-Pan

 

 

The Mindset of a lucid dreamer

The hunt for lucidity has been taking place for about a week now I am remembering my dreams on a nightly basis and every day I am studying the strategy of what it takes to have a lucid dream. Just last night a good friend and I were exploring an abandon mansion from my childhood. Today I found out that I was in his dream as well but not in a mansion. Coincides; who can say? Here are some basic tricks for becoming lucid while dreaming coming from a beginner going through all of this stuff for the first time.

When it comes to dreaming lucidly what I am coming to find out is that lucidity is something that happens to degrees. You have your basic dream like state which counts more or less as a zero on the awareness level. Sure, maybe you have some subconscious idea that pink elephants don’t have a good reason to dance around your bedroom but you go dreaming anyways and then wake up to discover that it wasn’t “real”. The sense that we have for the real is what’s really interesting. What is this sense that dictates what we consider as real and what we take to be illusion.

In my experience through Zen practice, reality is something that goes without saying. It’s just something that is and when we put words or images to it what we are doing is creating a narrative to explain the reality of our experience. The narrative and stories that we tell are important because it allows us to cross examine our experience with the experience of other people to see if anyone is experiencing the same thing. The first words that any form of life would have been able to produce would have been no more than a similar sounding moans created by two autonomous individuals in a simple way to express the sensation of the moment. To be placed in a universe that is so uncertain and then to find something that gives the slightest assurance to even the most trivial aspects of existence would be like finding a spec of light in a place that before was nothing but darkness. The question of the real within the sphere of communication is that spec of light.

There seems to be an intuitive grasp of what is dream and what is not. Perhaps we cannot say that we are not currently dreaming, but we can at least say “I woke up from that dream.” The reason that we have this sense is because we are the surviving linage of the most real persons to have ever walked the earth. Life is striving for reality. Even through self-deception is life striving for reality. Cultivating this sense for reality by simple awareness checks is what we hope to learn and accomplish in this project.

Here are a few basic checks to implement into your day.

#1- Keep a dream journal

The first step is that you need to start remembering your dreams. The simplest way to do this is start a dream journal and make an entry every time you remember your dreams i.e. right when you wake up. I have been experimenting with film and so started a dream video journal. There are certainly advantages to writing that are not captured in film but personally I like how quick I can speak to my video camera in order to get the dream out of my head.

#2- Reality checks

Usually it’s enough to ask yourself “am I dreaming?” Do it now. How do you know if your dreaming or not? If you are dreaming, and I am an invention of your dream, then you might be able to sniff it out with this simple reality check. Personally, I have been tricked by my dream back into thinking that it wasn’t a dream when it was a dream the entire time, so here are some more detailed reality check that you could implement so that you can out smart yourself. Look at the time. Look at some text, look away and then look back again. Getting into the habit of making these reality checks throughout the day (every 2 hours) can help get in the habit so that you make the check when your dreaming.

#3- Set the intention each night before bed.

This is the most important task. Each night, right before falling asleep make sure to remember that you want to lucid dream. If you want it enough then this will be the only thing that you need to do in order to have a lucid dream. The art of a burning desire is something I have written about before and I would recommend more research and then some deep meditation on the object of desire.

#4- Consider setting an alarm for an odd hour of the night.

One idea is to go back to sleep right after you wake up. At this point of going back to sleep you have a good chance to realized that your dreaming. Just try not to wake up too much to your alarm and instead turn it off quick and let sleep take you again.

#5- Get the app

There are more than a few apps that a designed specifically for lucid dreaming. Some of the apps have a subtle alarm that can be set for the middle of the night, others track your brain waves over the course of the night, and others emit video light as another method to trigger lucidity. Check it out at the app store.

Those are my 5 tips for beginners who want to get into lucid dreaming. Check it out and be sure to write a reply in the comment section below as I love all things dream.

Here are some links to some helpful lucid dreaming stuff

http://amzn.to/2q2dKwo