Monday, November 7, 2016

What is your "Why"?

As many of you may know, I’ve had some struggles over the last 10 years or so. Well probably longer than that, but things went south when I lost my job at Qualcomm Inc. I’ve talked about my weight problem and my continued recovery from compulsive overeating. Yet a solution has presented itself.

Recently I started working on some stuff, and I had an epiphany. Now I’ve not had many of those. But this one came because of looking at my past and how I’d behaved in those times. Lets call it a review of things long gone. In my studies, I was asked what my “why” was. Why is it you want to change your life in this manner.

What if you knew why you did something? I’m not talking about bad habits here. I’m talking about the times you were successful at anything. What made that time, event or action different then all the other times that failed, maybe even at doing something you tried before?

Let’s take my 250-pound weight loss, yes I still have 250 or so to go, but I’m halfway there. Something I’d tried to do before but never had success for this long. I just took my 3rd year token, In 12 step parlance that means it has been 3 years since I have compulsively ate food. Something I’ve never done before. But have tried hundreds of times before. What changed?

How I thought about the weight loss.

I’ve always known that eating better would produce good results, but that had not helped. I know I was killing myself and my family was suffering due to my obesity. But that “fluffy emotional appeal” was not enough.

On October 22nd 2013, I found a why. Well started to anyway. When I stopped worrying about what I ate, and focused on why I ate, everything changed.

I dumped my “red food” list and forgot about my “banned food” list. I focused on what became my “Abstinence Statement” – To eat for the healthy purpose of nutrition. Whenever I saw anything I wanted to eat, I simply asked myself was it for nutrition or some other reason?

That simple shift has changed my relationship with food. I still get to eat whatever I want, I just don’t want the same things anymore.

What if I could apply this to other areas of my life?

What if the why for going to work was more than earning money?

Part of what drove this point home to me is this video I ran across. It's less than 4 minutes, done by a comedian named Michael Jr. Watch this video and then ask yourself some questions:

  1. Is what I’m doing right now my purpose?
  2. Could I get excited helping other achieve success?
  3. Is my happiness based on what I do and have or is it based on the why I do it?
In the video, Michael’s audience member sang 2 very different versions of the same song. One was accurate and well balanced, the second was full of his own soul.

Can we find our “own soul” in whatever we do?

I Can only speak for me when I say, the times I’ve been at my best, is when I had a purpose that inspired me. I lost my inspiration at Qualcomm Inc years ago, and my job performance showed it.

Now because I’ve learned to “question with boldness” everything, I’m going to school and opening a business. My journey could not be more exciting. Sure I have challenges, but it’s not what happens to me that matters, but what I do that sets me apart in the eyes of man and more importantly God.

Set yourself apart, find your why!

Gregor - Back from the brink! From there and back again. A spiritual Hobbits journey.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Why is principle more important than winning?

In November we will elect a new President of the United States (POTUS). The Republican party is telling me I need to vote for Donald J Trump (DJT) to keep Hillary Clinton (HRC) out of office. There is always the question of whether the lesser of two evils, really is a lesser evil. I don’t know the future. The point of this post is not about telling you who to vote for. I believe in the principle that America is to be a Free country. Not cost less, but restriction limited. The founding principles all focused on giving the individual all of the freedom possible, with still having a cooperative environment. One where the powerful could not remove the welfare of the powerless.

So why do you think I must vote a certain way? To vote for a winner? So this is nothing more than a popularity contest. Sorry gang, in High school I didn’t vote for the popular class president, I voted for the one that would actually do something. Voting for a winner is not how to rule a country. The whole problem with “Voting for the winner” is that your principles are not even consulted. Wining is not a principle, it's a result.

Do you sometimes need to compromise your principles? No. Do you need to make compromises to get to an equitable end? Sure. Of the 57 founders of the 1791 Constitution, 15 of them were slave owners. Of those 15 at least 2 were against slavery and were unable, by law, to sell their slaves. So they were unwilling slave owners (G Washington and T Jefferson). So there were 13 staunch slave supporters who wanted their slaves to be counted as a citizen. Why? So they could ensure the existence of slavery. The slave owners knew they could control the higher population of the north, because their slaves would balance the representation.

Yet we needed a new country, stronger than the original articles of confederation. So a compromise was reached. In determining the number of representatives, slaves will only count as 3/5 of a person. So it takes 15 slaves to make 9 people in the census. This was the best compromise the Continental Congress could reach.

So now my question to answer is, if I vote for a person who does not “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Am I compromising my principles? Making a compromise, not compromising my principasl.

Or you may ask “What are principals anyway?” – They are what makes me who I am. They are the reason I’m still married to a wonderful woman for 30 years. They are what allows me to forgive others, keep me honest, they are what makes me the nice guy I am. Principals define my character. Modern life seems to have passed on principals as a defining benchmark. We hear phrases like “What does it matter!” or “They will do what I tell them!!” and cheer. Not me. I can’t.

What I would like to see are people who believe that each person can do what they feel is correct, as long as no harm comes to others. Of course often times people think “harm” is defined by a comment that makes another person uncomfortable, politically in-correct. But harm is defined by results not feelings. Is a person’s property forcibly removed, is a person’s progress impeded, or is a person denied the ability to voice their own views? All of our current candidates seem to fall under the oppressive side.

So failing to have a candidate (Yes Gary Johnson even you) who would look to enforce a person’s individual freedom, over the collective comfort, I’m stuck in a compromise. Not voting is an option. But that serves no purpose.

So I will vote for the person I believe will do the most to bring America back from it’s downward spiral to socialism. To start to turn the wheel away from “collective conscience” and back to individual freedom.

Individual freedom is where the most can be helped. This country rose from a terrible civil war to become the brightest light on the planet in the 1890s. All because of individual freedom. Despite the Democratic Party’s insistence on Jim Crowe laws, and the re-segregation of the military and American Internment of German-American during World War 1 by Woodrow Wilson. Despite the over regulation of the American economy in the 1930’s making a recession that lasted for 3 years in the rest of the world, take more than 13 years in America. We still prevailed despite our government imposed shackles.

If you want a world where people are not abused, where the most people are brought out of poverty, where schools can actually teach something that is useful to kids, making them smarter and capable of carrying us to the next technological breakthrough, then vote for principles not for a winner. At times they may be one in the same this does not seem to be one of those items.

Having a civil discussion based on facts is what real exchanges are about. There is the hard part - “based on facts.” We the people don’t seem to know what those are any more. We are constantly bombarded with half of the equation expressed as all fact. I’m always game for discussion, but if you start telling people how to vote directly, understand you are trying to be the oppressor.

When I vote, and I will. I will sleep well knowing I voted for the best choice I could make. If America wants to create our own Babylon and sell ourselves to slavery, all I can do is follow my principles. They will show me the correct path. Sadly, the path less chosen.

Gregor - Back from the brink! From there and back again. A spiritual Hobbits journey.