Tag Archive for: attention

I was recently asked to write a chapter for my good friend John Bardos’ ebook Change Your Life.

“Is there something specific that really helped put your life on a better path? Can you talk about a transformation that occurred because of one particular strategy? Is there something you do every day that is critical to your productivity?”

Rather than the typical personal development tips you hear, beyond practicing meditation and establishing a morning routine, my answer is the same one I give to people who ask how they can find more happiness in their lives. It’s incredibly simple advice, but requires great discipline to implement:

Choose Wisely

The secret to life is deceptively simple: choose carefully what you focus your attention on.

Namely, focus on the things you genuinely and deeply want more of. Look for what makes you happy.

Don’t obsess over the things that frustrate you. Don’t let anger, or resentment, become the center of attention.

Because as the saying goes, what you focus on grows. When I started to focus on cultivating an attitude of gratitude, my whole life transformed. And I find that when I consciously acknowledge the experiences, the people, and events I’m grateful and thankful for, somehow I tend to find more and more similar things that inspire gratitude.

Whereas, when I focus on my problems — when I go into emergency mode fighting fires and looking for every little detail of what is wrong with my work and family life — then I’ll find plenty of problems.

Seek, and you shall find. So seek the right things, and discipline your mind to search for opportunities rather than limitations.

I highly recommend any ambitious young person in the world today develop a regular gratitude practice as part of your daily rituals – write your answers in some kind of journal, or keep an ongoing note on your computer — but start the day with 3 things you’re thankful for, and end your day with 3 amazing things that happened for you. (If you have a hard time getting started, I recommend trying The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day)

You’ll be surprised how quickly this daily practice can change your outlook, and even your circumstances.

Count your blessings, not your problems.

If you want to read 99 other great chapters from experts sharing their top strategies for reaching your highest potential, download your free copy of the book here.

Reporting live from Chiang Mai city in northern Thailand, after the royal announcement Thursday, October 13th that His Majesty King Rama IX has passed into immortality.

Watch the video below. You won’t believe what happens at 3:33! I was recording from my balcony when this happened:

“The death of the Thai king throws the country into turmoil”

warns The Economist

“Thailand as we knew it is now at an end” – from the Bangkok Post even.

It’s true, the world’s longest-reigning monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, passed on Thursday at 88 years old. He was a universally-loved leader, and revered as almost a god. With the utmost respect, I have been saddened by his passing, and I stand with Thailand and my Thai friends as they mourn this very sad time.

Please click here to read my formal announcement about the King.

This day has been coming for a long time, and many have speculated that it may plunge the country into chaos. But so far things are not so bad. There will of course be challenges in the succession process and as power is transferred, and this is the end of an era.

But don’t believe all the headlines. Especially the international (US) mainstream.

I mean no disrespect with my stunt here, and I apologize if I caused anyone momentary panic, but I mean only to call your attention to the fact that manipulation is everywhere, and illustrate with my own example.

Everything in Chiang Mai at least is fairly normal so far. There is a quiet respectful air of mourning. But as my colleague Simon Black astutely noted, “same same but different” as the Thai motto goes.

It’s mostly hyped-up rhetoric to get you to click. These old world newspapers and mainstream media organizations are dying a painful, slow death as the internet gradually, but inevitably, sweeps across the globe and transforms society.

They are losing their influence, and the old oligarchs (and new technocrats) who own these major “news” sites and media portals will do ANYTHING to stay in business, to keep the profits rolling in, to grab your attention.

Their very livelihoods, actually, depend upon dominating your attention.

They are distraction machines, really. Because if they don’t distract you from your real life, from your actual responsibilities, from what’s directly important to you, and the things you should be doing to take care of yourself, your family, and the people you care about — if they can’t distract you from that then they’ll go out of business.

Which is why you continually find them spreading alarmist, sensational, often one-sided stories, often outright propaganda — whether it’s for the state, for their affiliated organizations whose agendas they support, or simply in their biggest stockholder’s best interests.

And by the way America: you know your government made it legal to spread propaganda within US borders, to US citizens, through mass media — just before Independence Day 2013.

So don’t tell me it can’t happen in the U.S. Don’t be so foolish.

I want to tell you that a lot of what you see in the media — even on your Facebook feed or “trending” news — is manipulated, sensationalized, wildly exaggerated, or outright fabricated.

It’s called clickbait. And it’s important to know that you’re probably not immune to it.

And people can use our natural curiosity against us.

Like my man Ed Latimore, the pro heavyweight boxer who’s been dropping obscene amounts of TRUTH on Twitter recently said:

https://twitter.com/EdLatimore/status/776454488450330624

Especially the scared part. But I’ve been seeing a lot of all of the above lately.

Lots of fear-mongering and misinformation designed to keep you ignorant and powerless. Lots of manipulation, especially during this election cycle in America. The place is going mad.

But, just like here in Thailand right now, it’s not chaos in the streets — rather, it’s literal mental insanity that you’re letting the elites lead you into. (And America is suffering HARD right now from a mental health epidemic.)

And chances are, no matter who you elect President this year, there still won’t be utter chaos in the streets, nor a Hitler-like regime installed, or nuclear war apocalypse.

They’ll create a terrifying narrative out of almost thin air, repeat it a thousand times on every front page and every station, and eventually people believe it.

But, meanwhile here in Chiang Mai, with King Rama IX vacating the throne and a new King succeeding him, it is not the END of Thailand, the country is not in turmoil.

In fact, it’s still a stunningly beautiful spot to make your next vacation. I mean just go back and watch my video if you didn’t already.

I’ve seen so many people on social media panicking, spreading alarmist rumors. “Nightmare: My holiday is ruined,” said the Daily Mail! And yet, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the cows are grazing.

It’s laughable. I’d call it major exaggeration in this case, to stir up fear in people.

(If you want to follow the real situation, I recommend you find on-the-ground, local voices — here is my recommended Twitter shortlist.)

But see how easy it was for me to get your click with my alarmist headline?

You introduce a problem. Then you offer the solution.

Even if you have to create the problem.

And when you filter the happenings of over 7 billion people across the globe, looking for the very worst — the scariest  and most shocking events, the most violent, the most negative things imaginable — and broadcast that across the whole world as if it’s the norm, and repeat it over and over a thousand times, then you can easily start to deceive people into thinking the world is going to hell.

I’ve caught myself recently addicted to this distraction and fear porn and “political anxiety” as they’re calling it in America.

But the world they portray on the screen does not align with reality. And you need to know that.

Most of us, when we look outside the window, life is mostly pretty good.

That’s not to say there are no real news stories out there, but we are no longer dealing with journalism in the mainstream media, we are dealing with infotainment and, frankly, often indoctrination. Everybody wants you to think like they do, or think like they tell you to.

But be vigilant heroes, because most of the time others will coax you into nothing but FEAR or DESIRE.

There are real concerns out there in the world for sure, but it’s all about perspective.

Mostly you just need to DO YOU.

Don’t forget to go take a walk, talk to your neighbors, spend time in The Present with your family and loved ones, work on YOU, and listen to your inner voice for direction. Not the TV, or the newspaper, or Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, or even Huffington Post.

They all have a vested interest in keeping you distracted, fearful, misinformed, and worried about imaginary bogeymen.

2010 protests in Bangkok

The attached photo is actually from 2010 in Bangkok. I was in the heart of real protests and violence in Thailand in 2009 and 2010, when things did get hairy, but I also saw Thais come together afterwards in amazing cooperation

The real bogeyman is not in the headlines. He is not out there, coming for your job, or your life. You don’t need to hide your wife, or your kids.

The real bogeyman is usually yourself.

Most fears are imagined.

Start with the man in the mirror, and let everything else take care of itself.

If you’re ready to start working on yourself, developing a higher perspective, and occasionally hearing the REAL big-picture scoop from someone who’s been living outside the “Reality Distortion Field” for a while, traveling over 30 countries on 4 continents for the last 8 years, join me on the Hero’s Journey — just fill out the form below.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds! Marcus Garvey