What Is Your Identity?

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In our modern society we have so many external factors that we use to identify ourselves.  In fact, not only do we use these things to show others who we are but we use them to tell ourselves, falsely, who we are.  These are often things like how big your TV is, what type of phone you carry with you or the clothes you wear.  For me it’s watches and cars.

In the end, you are not your phone or your TV or even your clothes.  Styles and devices often change.  Statistically speaking, you probably wont be driving the same car you are driving today in 10 years.  You may feel a deep sense of identity from that car right now, however. We draw a deep sense of identity from our friends as well.

The grand illusion is that we are not those things.  This was a concept that has taken me a very long time to understand. When you look deep in to your soul and try to understand who you really are then material things start to mean less to your overall identity.

One big problem that I, and most everyone else, have is attachment to these things because I feel they define me.  Meditation is something that has helped me with this.

Ask yourself today, “who am I really?”

Upcoming Project Shameless Plug

I’ve decided to start a new website that will help people to start focusing on the positive moments in their lives.  Leading up to the launch in a couple of months, I’ve decided to start a newsletter with helpful tips and updates.  If you’d like to sign up for my email updates please email me at:

positiverpg@gmail.com

Thank you for your support and now, here’s a picture of me

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Changing Course After Overcoming Anxiety

When I started this blog on January 1, 2014, I had a mission to end the year in a much greater state of mind than when I started it.  October through December of 2013 were very rough for me.  I was riddled with anxiety and was starting to withdraw from daily life.  I knew my family couldn’t take much more of it and neither could I.  I started on a journey to discover peace and serenity.  By the end of the year I had found it.

I haven’t had a real anxiety attack in month.  Sure, there’s the occasional little bit of nervousness that I’d like to think is normal but the bad anxiety that I used to have is gone.  So for a blog that is about overcoming anxiety, there aren’t a lot of stories to tell.  That is not to say that the anxiety couldn’t come back.  It most certainly will.  I have set up a lot of things in my life to prevent it from coming back.

I think this is the best direction for me to take in this blog right now.  I’ve started practicing meditation, carrying crystals in my pockets, using sage to get rid of negative energy and just trying to stay present. I’d like to share some of this with all of you as well as tell stories about me and some of the struggles and bumps along the way.

I may have knocked out the giants in my life.  They was in a coma but they’re not dead.  My mission is to stop them from coming back.  This is something I want to share with all of you.

I will, however, direct my attention off of the anxiety.  I feel as if the saying “what you resist persists” is true.  If you focus on something, even not wanting it, it’ll keep showing up.  So my focus will mostly be on positive outcomes.

That Time I Found Myself

NOTE: My mind is a little scatter brained today but stick with my post, I believe it will help you see what you can accomplish in life.

A couple of days ago I wrote a story about a time when I followed my impulse and changed my direction in life. After writing it I got to thinking about how that one decision changed not only my course in life but my understanding of life.

I’ve always been a guy who was very in tune with my mind and my body.  At the same time, I was 25 years old when I moved out of my parent’s home in Michigan and moved to Florida to live and go to school.  Up until then, I had lived a fairly safe life never really taking any chances.

The first thing I learned about myself was that if I took chances, I could accomplish them.  It was one of my first “wow! I really did it moments” in my life.  And then we moved in, my dad, who helped us move, went back home and then one of my other friends who helped me move went home and I was on my own.  It was a very real moment for me.  School wasn’t going to start for three weeks and I was left to fend for myself for the first time in my life.

I think the experience of planning and moving 1200 miles away from home gave me the confidence to get through those three weeks and settle in to a routine.  Once I got in to school and things settled down I realized there was nothing to worry about and that things were going to be ok.  Things were ok, they went very well.

Sometimes adversity comes in to your life, sometimes that adversity isn’t very bad and it is a situation you put yourself in.  I’ve discovered that these are the times when you should be paying the most attention to how you feel.  In these moments you will truly discover yourself.

Try this for a moment.  Find something heavy.  Maybe you have some hand weights or there’s a chair near by.  Maybe there’s a couch you’re sitting on.  It doesn’t matter, find something heavy.  Now, pick it up.  Were you able to lift it? Even a little?  Lift it again.  See how many times and how high you can lift it.  Now put it down and go back to what you were doing.

Set an alarm on your phone for 48 hours from now.  Do this again, lift the same thing.  Can you lift it more times?  Can you lift it higher?  Absolutely you can.  Now you’ve just learned something about yourself.  You learned that you can get up and lift that object x amount of times and x height.  You also learned that next time, you’ll be able to lift it more times and higher.

I got A’s at a college that ran 24 hour a day.  I would have classes that would run from 1am to 5am and have to be at my next class at 9am.  I’d get two hours of sleep before my day started again.  I spent 21 hours in a day at school sometimes.  I set a goal to get perfect attendance and I achieved it.  That was a lot to learn about myself.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a) I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and b) I can learn anything even if I don’t get any sleep.

I’m just a kid from Michigan who had a dream and went for it.  I’m not any different than anyone else I’ve ever met.  I’m no more special than you.  I say no more special because we are all equally as special.  I’ve met people with great physical handicaps that are able to accomplish what they want.  I know people who are no different than anyone else, they complain about the same things, watch the same shows, live in the same neighborhoods and shop at the same stores who work on extraordinary projects in the entertainment field.  I’ve sat down at a party and laughed and joked with a guy who is a famous fighter who gets paid to knock people out.  I’ve also met unemployed people who sound like Tony Robbins.

Don’t ever look at someone and think “wow, I could never do that” because once you pull the curtain back, the fact is that these people are just like you and you are just like them.  Yes, you could ever do that. You have a talent, a love, a passion and it is something that people will look at you and say “wow, I could never do that.”

Be well. Be positive.

Acting On Your Impulses

2001 and 2002 were big years for me.  I’ll never forget when in early 2001 a good friend of mine told me he was feeling down about school, didn’t feel like he was going in the right direction in life and asked for a suggestion where he could study audio engineering.  I had audio myself at a small school in East Detroit.  In the time I was in school and audio engineering jobs I had I had heard about a school in Florida that was the best place in the country to study audio.  So I gave my friend some advice and he immediately booked a flight and scheduled a tour of the school.

I had made it known that my intention was to get my Associates Degree and then find a school to study film at.  Upon returning from Florida (I was living in Michigan where I grew up), my friend said, “This school is exactly what I’m looking for.  They have a film program, if I move there, would you be interested in moving with me?”  There was a feeling that came over me as if I had suddenly been handed a map that showed where I was supposed to go.  I immediately said yes without hardly thinking about it.

It took nearly a year.  We flew down to Orlando on September 1, 2001 and found a place to live and on January 7, 2002, we headed south to embark on a journey that changed the course of both of our lives.

To make a long story short, I now work for a sports network that is on in 74 countries world wide and my friend is a two time Emmy winner.

The point of my story is that him and I both made life changing decisions in mere seconds.  It took me less than five seconds to decide to change my life.  My friend walking in to his winter semester class and decided he couldn’t do this anymore.  It was all about what felt right to us.  He asked, I felt a feeling like a mental nudge and I jumped.

If there is something that doesn’t feel right in your life, make a change.  Ask yourself what the right direction would be.  When you think about what’s right, do you feel like life is giving you a little push in that direction?  If the answer is yes, maybe it’s time to act on it.

Be well. Be positive.

Imagine A World Full Of People You Love

What if you lived in a world full of people you love?  Not just people you love in most places but every single person was someone you love.

I believe you can trick your mind in to believing anything you want it to.  Experiments have shown that your heart and mind will follow cues you give it physically.  This means that a smile can make you happy and that holding your hands up in the air in the right way can make you more confident.

So what if you spent a day, or a week, or maybe a month telling yourself that you love everyone you encounter throughout a given day?  Could this be enough to convince your mind that you do indeed love everyone as if they were a family member?  I theorize that this may indeed be a possibility.

My biggest question is how would this affect the way I live my life?  I can imagine I would be more understanding if someone cut me off in traffic.  It probably would make me feel more inclined to open doors for people.  This would most likely force a new perspective for me that could be life changing.

I’m going to give it a shot.  I’m going to start saying, in my head, “I love you’ to everyone I see whether they’re in a car or walking past me.  When or if I start seeing results, I’ll share them here with all of you lovely people.

Be well.  Be positive.

2014 Wrap Up

It’s been a while since my last post.  I had family in town and didn’t have a whole lot of time to sit down and write.  So my apologies to those of your who have been following and reading all year.  With that said, let me wrap this up and let you all know how I’ve been.

I started 2014 with the goal to become a happier, more confident person.  As I stated in my very first post:

I feel a lot of pressure as a husband and a father to make sure my family is taken care of. I’ve let life get me down and I also have anxiety problems. I’ve never been a real confident person. I want all this to change and I plan to write about it here.

This was my challenge to myself.  I can say with complete honesty to you and myself that I nailed it.  My outlook and philosophy on life has changed completely.  In only one year!

At the end of 2013 I was riddled with anxiety.  I felt it physically and would have panic attacks.  It was affecting me and my family as well.  After reading the book, “Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts I started to look at the world in a whole new way.

One big change in my perception was of what time I set my focus on, meaning, past, present or future.  I choose to start looking only at the present moment.  This is not to say that I haven’t planned for a future but I didn’t dwell solely on the future as I had in the past.  I also didn’t focus on the past, realizing that each present moment was an opportunity for change.

Early on, I met a lot of great people through Word Press and even won an award for my blogging which really helped me realize I was on the right track.  It gave me a lot of motivation to keep going.

In March or April, I injured myself running and it was a bit of a wake up call for me.  I wanted to much to run in a 5k and had even signed up for one.  The injury put me out and a co-worker ran in my place.  Through it all, I kept my focus positive by expanding my charitable giving.  Incredible things happened when I raised for a couple of different organizations this year.  A large part of this was due to the 100 Happy Days challenge I participated in.  And with that came an article that featured ME on Headline News!

There were some ups and downs, however.  In April I started to feel a little anxious but it faded quickly.  Again in June I felt a little uneasy, but it too faded quickly.  Since then, however, I’ve never felt better.  I stopped following politics and most news and that has done wonders for how I see humanity in general!

2014 ended 108 degrees from where I was at the beginning.  Anxiety is something I don’t really deal with anymore.  I’ve learned a lot of wisdom and philosophy.  I’ve conquered a pretty big giant in my life as well!

So what will happen to this blog in 2015 now that I’ve accomplished my goal?  There are always giants in your life to conquer.  Since injuring myself early on, I’ve done very very little physical activity.  I bought myself and my wife a Fitbit and am going to start my yoga practice up again.

I also plan to continue my meditation practice once my kids are back in school and keep fighting my giants as well as going more in-depth on how to keep anxiety away.  I hope you will join me on my journey.

Be well.  Be positive.