Upset that Donald Trump is President? – READ THIS

Today is the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Regardless of whether you love Trump or hate him, there is one simple fact you have to accept:

99% of everything that happens to you over the next 4-8 years, good and bad, will be a result of decision and actions that YOU make on a day to day basis.

If you are overweight, in debt, aren’t happy with your job, or your relationships, then don’t talk to me about how Trump is going to ruin your life.

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Money CAN buy you happiness

 I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “money can’t buy you happiness”.  I don’t really like using the word “happiness” in this context, because it doesn’t really fully represent what people are trying to say then they repeat this saying.

Happiness is more or less a fleeting emotion, and isn’t necessary 100% of the time to have a fulfilling, amazing life.

I enjoying playing adult kickball and I am super competitive (laugh all you want, that shit is serious). When my team loses a game, I can’t honestly describe my emotional state for the next few hours as ‘happy’. But at the same time, I am not depressed or miserable and I am still content and satisfied with most aspects of my life. You don’t need to be ‘happy’ 100% of the time. You can’t be, really.

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Two simple ways you can look better than 80% of guys out there

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At the time of this writing I have been to most of the states in the union (Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, Arkansas, North Dakota, Iowa, and Vermont have yet to be graced with my presence). Travelling to a bunch of different cities in over 40 states lets you see a lot of unique places and people – and also lets you find out what is the same everywhere.

One of the things that is the evident almost everywhere in the country is the sad state of the modern American man. The vast majority are in piss-poor condition, physically and fashionably.  Most of them wear ill-fitting clothes that drape awkwardly over fat dad-bods.

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“The Unchained Man” by Caleb Jones

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Caleb Jones is the writer of several blogs that I read regularly. After getting familiar with his work and reading his blogs for a while I put his book “The Unchained Man” on my future reading list. I finally bought it to read on a recent trip I went on. Like most books I have been reading lately, it is independently published by the author.

I have always enjoyed Caleb Jones’ material, so I knew I would like this book, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much. This book is without a doubt one of the best I have ever read. It covers self improvement in almost every aspect of a man’s life.

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How to get anything you want

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One of the many quirks of being a human is the presence of never-ending desires, physical and mental. Our minds and our bodies make us yearn for things constantly. These things aren’t always ‘things’ – they can be emotions, experiences, or other non tangibles. For most people it would be literally impossible to ever get everything we want. Especially since  once we get it, we eventually just start desiring more.

There will never be a point in your life where you are without any desire for something you don’t have. That thought can be freeing to some, in the same way that accepting you are going to die one day can remove your fear of certain things, but it can also be discouraging; There is no way you can ever totally satisfy all your desires and get EVERYTHING you want.

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I want you to fail spectacularly

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       When embarking on a new endeavor or goal, most of you will be worried about failing. You’ll usually do everything in your power to try to prevent it from happening. This fear of failure will dictate how you structure your attempts at reaching that goal. You may try to minimize your exposure so that if you do fail, it won’t be too bad. Most decisions you make on the path to that goal will be more oriented toward avoiding a big failure than they will be toward actually achieving the goal. People really, really, don’t like to fail.

Well, I like to think about it a little differently;

I want you to fail. And not only do I want you fail, I want you to fail spectacularly. And often.

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Your goals may not be what you think they are – Your emotions are your reality

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Everybody has goals and desires, but what most people don’t realize is that the goal itself is not really what you are after. You are really trying to experience the emotion that comes along with that particular goal.

When somebody says they love their job, they aren’t talking about the emails they send every day, or the commute, or most other of the actual physical or mental tasks they perform day in and day out. They are talking about the way the job makes them feel: respected, important, helpful, indispensable, useful, powerful, secure, whatever.

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Let it go! – Remove anchors from your life

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When talking to people about making positive changes in their lives you’ll get all sorts of excuses about why they “can’t” do things. Pretty much everything can be put into one of two categories: Fears, and anchors.

Fear is such a huge issue that it will get its own post(s) soon. It is such a deep, overarching issue when it comes to living the life you want, that I don’t even want to get into it right now. Just know that fear will rob you of EVERYTHING.

The other category, and the one where most legitimate excuses fall into, is anchors. Just like keeping a boat locked in one location, and unable to float around freely, anchors are anything that is keeping you locked into your current lifestyle. They can be pets, mortgage or lease, physical possessions, obligations, your job, relationships, etc.

This term in this context was popularized by The Minimalists, in their book “Everything that remains”. I highly recommend it.

The first thing to understand is that anchors aren’t inherently good or bad, they just are. They are anything that keeps you in a particular lifestyle. A serious relationship is going to anchor you in certain ways, even if you enjoy those ways. A job is going to control many aspects of your life (where you live, when you wake up, etc) even if you love that job. So anchors are not always bad, they just are.

But for the most part our anchors are not things that we are super passionate about, and we are unaware just how much of our life is dictated by them. Something like our physical possessions can make it much more difficult to move. The more items you have the more time and money are spent maintaining them, and before you know it a large percentage of your life is spent maintaining having these things.

It is SO much easier to live the life you want if you minimize the anchors in your life. Think of what you could do on a day you wake up with no obligations, no stuff to take care of, no chores to do. It’s incredible. So much of our days are spent maintaining certain aspects of our lives that we won’t really even care all that much about.

One of the best anchors to cut loose is that of your stuff. Americans have SO MUCH stuff, and almost none of it adds true value to our lives. It takes, time, money, space, and mental energy to maintain. It requires you to have a bigger house and pay for it. It requires you to clean and maintain it. It requires you to organize and move it.

So just having a lot of STUFF can anchor you by making it so you can’t live without ALL These things that you wouldn’t even need otherwise. The freedom that comes with being able to let go of your physical possessions (or any other anchor) that don’t add value to your life, is immense.  Let it go!

Stop asking for permission

 

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                 Earlier today I was listening to The Minimalists Podcast with Joshua Fields Millburn, author of “Everything that Remains” (one of my top 10 books) and he got a question from a reader that asked whether he needs to keep his college diploma, or if he should get rid of it to further his journey of minimalism. Millburn responded to the question by asking,

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Mindset shift: Your self-image is preventing you from getting the results you want

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Mindset is the most important thing you can possibly focus on when it comes to creating the life you want for yourself. As Victor Pride of Bold and Determined says, “The how is nothing. Mindset is everything.”

One aspect of mindset that too many people ignore is self-image, and how a simple mindset shift in your self-image can make all the difference when in comes to accomplishing your goals. Too often people choose a specific measurable benchmark in some area and let that benchmark become the goal itself, and because of that it becomes inseparably linked to their self-image, which actually makes it much more difficult to reach that benchmark.

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