The Power Of Repetition

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

A quote from Aristotle, that’s helped change my life. An enlightenment I’ve placed upon myself for taking on new obstacles, enduring trying times, and focusing on the bigger picture. 

At a time in my life I was out of shape, poor, and badly put together; my mind dwelled off poor choices, my body strived off sincere laziness, and my vision lacked longevity. I had nothing to look forward to, nothing to stand upon, and not a thing to fight for. As time continued, I awoken to the acknowledgement that my reasoning had been this way because of what I did everyday. 

In life, you make a choice, day-in and day-out; decisions that push progression or instill stagnation. Habits are formed through our consistency. Time becomes the difference. A wise man once said, “impactful humans hold the same amount of hours in a day like the rest of us.”

However, what’s the difference? 

REpetition.

Repetition has the ability to not only get you closer to your goals, but also has the ability to keep you at a stand still from where you could be. 365 days in a year means you have 365 chances to push yourself forward. As I choose to push my life in a set direction, I’ve achieved something to look back on. Creating a path to give guidance during confusing moments. As of now I’m healthy, financially stable, and my vision looks toward a bright future. The repetition I’ve chosen, helped pave that path. Those building blocks became my sturdy road to continue traveling on. The decision I habitually chose lead me through my darkness.

What will be the basis of your everyday decisions?

What habits will you form to strengthen your journey?

Habits begin with not only a choice that is repetitively chosen, but consistently executed.

What will your choice be?

The Mind of Eden

I realize how the mind correlates amongst gardens. Like plants, we nurture and cast light to where we desire growth. Feeding our thirst for knowledge through informative mediums somehow seem beyond remarkable. I’d proclaim reading as the ultimate “watering” for knowledge. However, this day and age, we’ve expanded that intake. From libraries to websites, letters to clips, images to audio; our focus directed towards learning helps us discover all that we inquire.

I find it fascinating, our potential reach for education. Wide array of options, multiple forms of access to different perspectives; different minds that give us insight of memorable experiences. One can only assume with ambition, we conquer. Through our glory, we find wisdom and from wisdom grants growth. The mind of eden lies within us, the garden we raise like children. Enlightenment sought out and obtained, solely based upon our own wish to do so.  As our years tick like seconds, we pass on something greater than what we’ve learned. We share our growth, forever expanding our garden. The eternal passing of an intellectual baton.

Learning Nothing

Hey Followers!.. or Future Followers.. (Click the Follow Button Please and Thank You.)

I recently spoke of my journey to learn how the brain works. This post is what I’ve picked up on from my self-education. My most recent reading concerns Self-Repair which is from a book called “Whole” by Melissa Moore and Michele Matrisciani. I must say it is a spectacular read. 

However, within the book, I picked up on something I’d like to share with you called “nothingness.” This represents the idea that with nothing comes something and with something comes nothing. Without a space you don’t have a shape and there couldn’t be a shape without a space. Lastly, with void comes form and with form, surely, comes void. I am sure you see where I am getting at. 

If not.. Rest assure, I’ll further explain myself..

Nothingness is the importance of how absence plays a vital role in our existence.  Learning to understand something and nothing depending upon one another to exist can make way to the concept on how to utilize both during situations. We have a response instinct in us that is intuitive during stressful times called “Fight-Flight-Freeze.” The last of the three cannot be seen as useful until examined with a deeper look. The freeze concept correlates to the grand idea of nothingness since essentially you are doing nothing. 

However, keeping still can be very beneficial.. Here’s why..

The book states that doing nothing during an issue can more give clarity towards what needs to be done in order to resolve the situation.  In the reading, they call situations a “storm” and staying calm during the storm can help build enough confidence to not only gain enough insight but can help identify the right response or allow the path to reveal itself.

Food for thought, I suppose.

“Shape clay into a vessel; it is the space within that makes it useful.”

My New Start.

It has been quite awhile since I’ve set a new goal for myself.  From learning to survive on my own to venturing off into new areas, this person I had always dreamt of becoming had turned into reality.  I’ve lost weight, furthered my career, and even joined the military; I love the person I have turned into.  A lot has been set out with the path I chose. I have discovered that being grateful does not come with learning to appreciate who you are but appreciating the challenges and change you press upon yourself. Chasing after goals has turned me into a passion driven person. Even though I fail and succeed interchangeably, the chase itself is what I value.

Lately, I’ve been trying to set new goals for myself. I am eager to come up with new plateaus to reach for and one of them is to advance my passion for writing and reading. I shall take these next few months to concentrate on learning and understanding the concept of how the brain works. I have obtained quite a few books from a local library and will continue to educate myself in this field.  As I document and broadcast everything I experience, my idea is to not only share this journey with you(the reader) but to also gain insight and advice along the way.

Any feedback and thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you.

A Vital Lesson From Traveling

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” –Saint Augustine

To “travel” can mean anything from across the world to across town. From passing through various cultures with contrasting social norms or over a railroad that splits a neighborhood in two.  You could surpass an ocean full of life that the world has yet to discover or simply cross through an invisible line that we consider as our boundary.

An exploration needs not an airplane ticket, a boat voucher, or an automobile filled to the brim with gas. Our expeditions inquire us to step away from our limited imagination where we ponder our usual thoughts and give attention to ordinary imagery. Our journey begins once we step away from our comfortable path and into the outer limits where our minds give way to expansion.

A vital lesson I’ve gained from traveling to different locations inside and out of my country is that the best reservation, the greatest itinerary, or the largest amount of money will not be the cause of a meaningful experience. The incredible encounter we hope to endure will only be achieved once we approach our getaway with a clear conscious and an understanding of who we are and what we aren’t. To be fully aware of ourselves can help us find our findings become truly profound. Saint Augustine may have said that the world is a book, but I think it is only up to the reader how they travel through the pages.

Thank you.

One Phrase I Live By

“If You’re Not Growing, You’re Dying.”

This brilliant quote has turned me into the discomfort seeking, pain enduring, and failure-oriented growth monster I am today. In my youth, I had sought after comfort as if it were something beneficial. As if to conform in my own shell would help myself grow into the person I planned to become. I had always knew what I wanted and most certainly had envisioned what I were supposed to be, except, I didn’t know the route to develop into him.

At an early age I was taught not to walk too close to the street, to stay away from bad areas, and to look over my shoulder in fear of trouble lurking. This sort of brain washing had morphed me into some kind of worrywart in which I am still in constant battle with today. I have never been scared of standing up for myself but can plead guilty to over worrying about every consequence stemmed from my actions.

As time presses on, the pleasure I seek has been through journeying into different outlets. Various platforms in which I have longed to conquer in reality, but at one point, have only dreamt of. As I sit in this café in my new neighborhood that I had once assumed was “too dangerous,” typing on a laptop that I longed to own but deemed “too expensive,” and thinking with the mindset that I had originally thought of as incomprehensible; I have begun experiencing life and all of it’s embellishments. I continue to grow through all of my uncomfortable positions, all of the pain inflictions, and all of my failing attempts to succeed; so I can argue that living my life to it’s fullest potential is now underway.

Being able to fully experience growth coexisting with life has also helped me understand how my demise will only come from the inability to grow any further. Though all of this lay in question, one thing is for certain; I will continue to grow until my last breath is taken.

Growth Is Life.

 

What I’ve Learned From The Passing Of A Loved One

Painfully, as the saying proceeds, “ The Good Ones Are Always First To Go.”

This quote has played out immensely over the past week from mourning the passing of a tremendous person, Eddie Lopez.

Through it all, I have seemed to pick something up from this experience.

As I stood inches away from the burial of my beloved friend, thoughts ran sporadically through my mind. I’ve always been very intuitive growing up, so while staring at the gravediggers fill up the hole where the remains of greatness lay; I felt a strong gush of wind blow right through our commencement. Hastily, I glanced around to nearby trees where no other branches swayed in the distance. Yet, the tree that overlooked ours shook like no other.

“He’s here,” I quietly thought.

As each hair on my skin propped them selves up, I felt his presence and energy. The ceremony ended but while soaking it all in, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had just come about.

While breaking free from this deep thought, I looked around and realized everyone had already left. I stayed due to the connection I felt that offered enlightenment.

“What if life was more than just a physical being with an expiration date imprinted on it? What if we were more than just animals comprised of a birth and death?”

As this spiritual inception began to grow, I started to think about life in its entirety. I believe we are given one chance at life, one issuance of our own beginning and ultimately… Our demise.

I think, however, what makes this set of events so special is that from the moment we are brought in this world we chase after what brings us joy and we die in pursuit. From our introduction we puzzle together an understanding of ourselves and as we continue, this pursuit becomes our purpose.

“Our purpose” being the reason we were created or exist.

As time gave way, all I could think about was this idea. If this concept were true, it would seem that our purpose is far more significant than us as individuals; and if that were true then us as single entities play a part in something much larger.

Point being, in my opinion of course, what I’ve learned is that it’s important to chase whole-heartedly after what drives us because in the end we all play a single stroke to a much larger painting; a canvas of life where us as the details are vital to contributing to a fuller picture.

“Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

-Dylan Thomas

 

Thank you for listening…

R.I.Paradise

Eddie Lopez

 

 

 

 

 

My Father/The Hero

I remember at one point in my life, I would always run to my father for every question, troubled issue, confused idea, or pondering problem..

“Hey dad, can you help me with my math homework?”

“Sure!” was his reply as he would jump up without hesitation to help me finish the rest of my school work.

The man knew everything from solving quadratic equations, to knowing an artist’s name of a song(and album name), to fixing my car when it broke down.

When I got older, I’d drive around the city of Chicago and get lost..

(Phone rings) “Hey dad, if I’m on Foster and Kedzie, how do I get back home?”

(Answers quickly) “Take Foster west to Austin and then take a left on Austin, take that street all the way down to Roosevelt, you’ll know your way from there.”

Boom, got me home in 20-30 minutes.

It was easy going through life having a strong person support your every move. Even though he would give me a hard time when I was lazy, he would push me to go the distance at all times.

Dad – “I don’t care if it’s snowing, you’re still walking to school! I walked to school everyday when I was young, you will too!”

As he drove off in his car to work, I angrily walked my seven blocks to school. (I was just being lazy. haha)

Well.. Last year he had a massive stroke and as he lay in the hospital bed at Loyola, all I could think about was how devastating life would be without my super-human dad. He was more than my leader, more than my guardian, more than a role model.. He was my father.

I’d show up at the hospital everyday to watch the Bulls/Steelers/Blackhawks play, I’d shave him, keep his pillows tucked neatly on both sides to prop him up, bring a speaker to play his favorite salsa songs, and even stay overnight sometimes to make sure he had everything he needed(the nurses there did a great job as well keeping him comfortable).

A couple months later, the nurses reached out to me and asked that I come in to learn how to accommodate to his needs while he was home. As I came in at the time prompted, I was confused by what they were teaching me. They showed me how to lift him up, lay him down, how to shower him, how to bring him up and down the stairs in a wheel chair. I was so confused..

“You mean he’s always going to be in this paralyzed state?” I asked..

The nurses would respond that it depended upon my father. Something we had no control over, only the strength and perseverance of my father would make any of that possible.

“Until that time comes, we’ll teach you how to accommodate to his needs for the time being,” they would politely respond.

As I stood there worrying that my strength would not be enough to handle this, I heard my father’s voice shouting within me, “stop being lazy, you can do this!”

What I realized is that, even with my father in this state; he is not only still physically around but also spiritually within me. I possess the strength my father had and as our roles have shifted, the energy never left.

I am the rock, the leader, the role model now.. I am the one that will hold this family together.. I am the one that will build him back into the man he once was, because I am “my father.”

I am the Hero.

Thank you for listening.

THE DISCOMFORT ZONE

As far back as I can recall being uncomfortable always came to mind as something “bad.”

If my clothes felt uncomfortable, my mom would reassure me that it was because they were either too small or perhaps I was too big. When the weather was too hot or bitter cold, I was uncomfortable searching for ways to feel comfortable again. When classmates would poke fun at things physically wrong about me, I’d go home and look in the mirror and see all those flaws staring back at me in the face, again uncomfortable…

This made it easy for myself to draw the correlation between feeling “uncomfortable” and the idea that it should be prevented, hidden, and/or avoided at all costs.

Now I am in my mid twenties and I find myself going through reinvestigation, retracing my steps on things I made my way around in the dungeons of “discomfort.”

Foods that once left me in disgust are now given another chance, movies that once frightened me I laugh at, and places I never thought I’d visit are now pictures posted on my social media with my selfie somewhere in the mix.

Being able to find joy in the discomfort zone as I get older has helped me truly understand the feeling of being uncomfortable and the benefits that come with it. Stepping outside my comfort zone has helped me push through to new depths, realizing my true strength when going with the flow and trusting my instincts as I move along.

One cannot technically see into the future, but with a vision of what you want of yourself, anything can be accomplished. All it takes is that first step into the land of “discomfort.”

Break Out.

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