Self doubt is the greatest enslaver. –Brian Brawdy

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Welcome to day 26 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

I’ve been certain for some time now that we are our biggest speed bumps, our most formidable roadblocks when it comes to personal success and fulfillment.

Though vogue (of late) to point the finger at external circumstances and conditions, we look for a culprit, in the end we our ultimate jailer roams the cognitive cellblocks of our own minds.

Never willing to really except the personal blame for our inaction, we cite lack of motivation, inspiration, talent, clear goals, lacking myriad wherewithal as the root of our stagnation and slumber.

Our doubt makes us drowsy; disappointed but drowsy.

So moving forward? To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth… “Out, Out damned doubt.”

For the next few moments, how would you act if you had no doubt about yourself or your abilities? No reservations about your results?

Sometimes, when it hits me hardest, I look in the mirror and let myself have it. “Knock it off, Brian. Just give it a quick shot and see what happens you big, whining baby! Wha, wha, wha.”

I know we are told to be kind to ourselves, and for the most part I agree. From time to time though (when kick-ass serves us better than kumbaya) it’s best to remember the advice of an old martial arts instructor of mine.

“Every now and then” she said, “compassion needs to snarl and show its teeth.”

Doubt, at its base is timid and cowardly; that’s its nature. Stand up to it, disrupt it, and it will back peddle and cave revealing your true self-confidence.

If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company. – Jean Paul Sartre

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Welcome to day 25 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

Looking for a philosophical passport to unimaginable contentedness and success? Jean-Paul Sartre certainly procures it for us with the following thought. “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”

Loneliness, any sense of detachment and isolation has nothing to do with being shunned by the outside world. It is an internal condition conjured-up by a human cognition totally out of whack.

And it’s a pandemic today; human value assessed by the consensus vote. Everyone looking for a “like” or “re-tweet.” We want to be loved, made to feel special, held important somehow, yet seem willing and way ready to forfeit that personal responsibility, to abdicate that authority to anyone we can find.

We’ve grown to believe we are incomplete, in constant search for a filler.

So how can we bolster our psychological immune system from this dis-ease of neediness? Is there a philosophical probiotic that can help?

Just this simple thought.

We look for outside opinion for only one reason. Only one.

When we doubt ourselves, question our being, when we turn our backs on who we truly are, we’re forced to look abroad for support of our shaky psychological position. Skeptical in our vision of ourselves, we search for external endorsement, a referee between our heart and our head. Intuitively, we sense a “distortion” but if we can get enough outside input, (or input from the “right person”) we can swing the vote and ignore the visceral longing, the gnawing-necessity within.

Problem being, we project that “uncertainty” outward and then are stunned when those around us feel our lack of conviction and subconsciously surmise…

“If they don’t possess a conviction for themselves, how am I to believe they will ever have a belief in me?”

The vicious, iterative cycle continues.

So how do we get off the train to Crazyville?

 Hunter S. Thompson’s train of thought may help. “I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” 

In the end, you have to be your own soul mate before you can ever hope of finding one.

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. –Gandhi

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Welcome to day 24 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

Ever wonder if we are too delicate, too philosophically fragile, too susceptible to the drool others try to spit at us? We’ve talked before about the concept of the unnaturally thin skin so many seem to possess today. But when does the concept of “worried over words” sink in to us and take root?

Imagine, just for a moment, you were absolutely void of any need for outside approval or validation, the only “say-so” you would accept was your own. No external input mattered in your mind.

What would you do for that moment? Where would you go? Who would you be if the only “yes-vote” that mattered was yours?

When it comes to authenticity, being an original despite public opinion, I’m certain now it operates like any muscle in the Human body. You have to progressively, patiently adapt it to ever-greater demands and calls for inner strength. Like pushups, pull-ups or sit-ups, you can’t go from doing 1 good one to 100 good ones overnight; just doesn’t work that way.

When it comes to activating your inner genuine, go at it just 60 seconds at a time; for just a minute no applause, no boos, no criticisms or congratulations, just you, pushing your own envelope for an audience of one.

Next time you are back at it, make it 5 minutes, 10, 20, whatever you like. Soon your authenticity muscles will begin to realize you mean business.

Now that’s some “muscle memory” worth having.

They had the charm of all people who believe implicitly in themselves, that of integration. – John Fowles

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Welcome to day 23 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

If you are looking for the shortest, truest definition of the word “charisma,” your search is over.

Charisma; the energy emitted by unapologetic authenticity.

It’s the human magnetism exuded by those “all natural beings” whose personal integration—the alchemic alignment of heart and head—energizes their personal and professional spheres. Its palpably unique vitality is an un-ignorable force in and of itself.

I read a post the other day about the “10 steps to becoming charismatic.” If you’re in to all that legwork, why not take up Pilates or learn a gymnastic routine? Or if you’re in to killing time, isn’t there a local pond with some ducks you could go feed?

When we “defragment” ourselves, when we release who we truly are, not the inauthentically fragmented self our surroundings want us to be, but the Soul we were brought here to be, Providence itself takes notice.

When we refuse to be a watered-down version of ourselves, it does indeed have the force of a flowing river. Which is why I am certain that in any search for happiness, fulfillment, a mate, whatever…it all begins with recapturing and radiating your personal charisma.

You want to learn to “own the room” or to find “Mr. or Ms. Right” sometime soon? The skull is the limit.

Be who you naturally are on the inside and everything and everyone around you will catch on!

When you are on the dancefloor, there is nothing to do but dance. – Umberto Eco

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Welcome to day 22 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

Some pretty simple advice from Author Umberto Eco who went home a few days ago, just after 84 years in The Labyrinth of Life.

“When you are on the dance floor, there is nothing to do but dance.”

The stark reality of his leaving is the reminder that you and I are still here, we remain on the dance floor with a chance to live this day to the fullest, to love boldly, to explore passionately, to be who we ultimately are. We are not here to be watered down versions of our potential.

Everyday we remain, there is always the opportunity to get our head back in the game, to look Fate in the face and laugh.

Perhaps my second favorite quote of his tells us exactly how to do just that.

“You are always born under the wrong sign, and to live in this world properly you have to rewrite your own horoscope day by day.”

In any field find the strangest thing and then explore it. –John Archibald Wheeler

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Welcome to day 21 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

One of the things I love about outdoor adventure is the sheer unknown of it all. Depending on the terrain, temperature and local predators, nothing is certain or guaranteed. Even though it’s a popular belief that Nature coddles human beings, it has been my experience that She is brute and uncaring, not at all a fan of multitasking. The moment you take your awareness off what you are doing, She will quickly smack you down.

Taunting you with the adventurous risk of it all, you’re driven to respond to Her call. But you better pay attention or pay a price.

I dig that about Her!

In The Labyrinththe same “all natural rules” apply. When we employ sharp thinking, we soon realize that we are a mind in context; thankfully, there are no brains in a bubble. We and the Universal frame of reference are one! “Out there” and “in here” are the same. Any preconceived boundary is a philosophical construct.

Though it is common place to do so, when we allow ourselves to believe in detachment, when by fall for Fate’s trap of inauthentic partition, trouble ensues. We grow fragmented, stressed and lost.

For those knowing and acting on the truth, everything swirling around (and therefore in us) is a potential clue waiting patiently to inform and support our next steps. Our “signs” are arrayed before us and our conscious detection makes them our guidepost. They are the “strange attractors” that draw us out of the chaos of Fate and in to the very next instant of our Destiny.

Optimizing your shot at unimaginable happiness begins with a keen acuity for the myriad chance occurrences and wild circumstances you find yourself part of at this particular junction in all of time. This rabbit hole is the port of entry for all you will be. Never let the wildness, the strangeness, the chanciness of it all disrupt your authentic comprehension and confidence.

A new lease on life begins when we are awake and alert to the all-natural workings of our minds in concert with The Labyrinth.

Tat Tvam Asi

Not all those that wander are lost. –J. R. R. Tolkien

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Welcome to day 20 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

In its marrow, the essence of the human mind is exploration; wanderlust is naturally wired into our mental fabric. We left the garden or the savannah because we had to; there was no other choice. It’a an attraction that aches. Our minds are magnetized toward adventure, built for orienteering, and as much as I dig this as a philosophy, here I mean it as an indisputable physical and psychological fact about the natural under-pinning of our working brains.

All learning is an exploration, a push into the unknown. Perhaps a remnant of the very first time our lips groped for a nipple, our hands clutching for anything to grasp, reaching out into the void is an essential tool for a healthy cognition and a meaningful life.

Many years ago, my manager and good friend Brett crafted for me a “3 word synopsis that best defines Brian.” Though I didn’t fully recognize it at the time—it would take me a few years—he was absolutely right. Not just for me, but he perfectly distilled the functional operation of the human mind at large.

His moniker, “Wonder. Explore. Believe.” still rings true for me in everything I do, and if you take a moment to reflect on his “tagline” it will work miracles for you as well!

At Life’s macro, you can wonder why you are here, explore the possibilities for fulfillment and uncover those telltales as to the underlying belief in your mind’s ultimate mission.

It also works tremendously well at the micro version. Wonder about the clues the moment presents, explore all the tangents that particular clue has for you, and once again confidently believe in your next few steps along the path of your Destiny.

There is a mystery to life, a code to be cracked (a cipher for your soul) and for all those adventurously brave enough to ignore the siren’s call of the future and focus on the myriad knowledge of this Now, the magic unfolds as it is want to do.

It takes true courage to stay put in the present, to explore the Now, which is why I suspect so many refuse to do it. For those like you and me, those using their nerve, grit and boldness at every turn, life is a great, impromptu gig just waiting for us to dive in and wander around in the moment!

Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself. –Plato

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Welcome to day 19 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

The human mind is designed for all natural thinking, ready for adventure at every turn. It lives to be surprised and improvise. It’s all about the ad-lib. Yet today, the number 1 cause of pain and stress comes from using our minds inorganically. It is born within our habit of the inauthentic application of our minds.

From my feeble attempts at woodworking (one day I’ll show you a picture of my bookcase) I can tell you that the right tool for a specific job makes the perfect assistant and all the difference in the world. You wouldn’t pound screws with a hammer, you don’t knit with toothpicks, and although an old toothbrush is perfect for combating tile grout grunge, I doubt you’d want to reverse the order.

When we actively and passionately embrace the adventure around us, saying “Yes” to the moment at hand—whatever it deals us—we think all naturally, we think sharply, we think the way the mind was built to operate. Eckhart Tolle is spot on to suggest, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” When we do, stress can’t find a foothold in our thoughts.

When we inorganically deploy our minds outside of this moment, when we adopt goal setting and binge thinking as our mental operating system, we construct fairytales in a distant fog. Exploring the moment at hand leaves us no time or energy to beg the future for anything.

It boils down to one question. Are you a human being or a human getting?

Mental health or mental hellth?

Thankfully, your Soul knows which way to go!

Experts are just trained dogs. –Albert Einstein

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Welcome to day 18 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

My dog’s name is Brash. He’s a brilliant white Lab who was trained on voice command when he was a puppy.
We sent him off to “canine college” shortly after he was born. Spending a ton of time in the wilderness, we needed to make sure Brash could follow directions quickly and perfectly or he’d be coyote, even mountain lion food for sure.

It’s scary how smart and tuned-in he really is, which initially drew my attention to Einstein’s thoughts on experts. Fresh off his big win recently with his prediction of gravity waves, I’m also beginning to believe he was right; the world needs a few less experts!

You heard me. Standby for the uproar; cue the outrage! Any expert arguing the above, here’s a quick hit of Shakespeare…You “doth protest too much, methinks.”

I can’t help but look at the shape our world is in and wonder how the political, medical, business, financial, industrial, religious, life-coaching experts get all of our attention; waiting on their pontifications with bated breath, yet assessing no blame when their know-how lands us in the hoosegow.

In a day and age like ours, where information and knowledge seems to age as quickly as it doubles, the truly insightful rely on rabbit holes and “worm’s eye” views—if the want any kind of innovation and creativity to thrive across the spectrum—so why, tell me why would one turn to the bird’s eye views and pigeon holed vision of the experts?

We live in an amazing time where our true champions of thought use “expert opinion” as little more than a springboard to the next round of human brilliance and cutting-edge acumen regardless of the attempts of academia to curb their natural cognitive savvy.

The world has enough hammers (fresh out of obedience school) looking for their nails, enough “excellent sheep” (a term borrowed here from Yale professor William Deresiewicz) if we take the time to reflect and be honest. I think of Picasso’s line “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”

I just finished a great read, The Myths of Creativity by David Burkus. In one of his chapters he discusses the “myth of experts” infinitely better than I can here. Smart guy. Well worth your time, I promise.

If you’re still in need of an expert opinion, try the mirror; almost everything else you’ll find is just a mirage.

As far as the Einstein’s train of thought, I’d rather have my Lab. Brash listens when you speak with him!

Genius is the recovery of childhood at will. – Arthur Rimbaud

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Welcome to day 17 of the 29 Days to Reviving Your All Natural Super Human.

Two quotes, the poet Rimbaud’s “Genius is the recovery of childhood at will” and the great Buckminster Fuller’s “Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them” always make we wonder about the carcinogenic effects of maturity or at least the common “static quo” based maturation process we are all subject to.

As we physically develop, why do so many of us mentally devolve?

When did our heads get hijacked in the first place? How is it that somewhere along the way, grownups get it so wrong? When did our muscle for acuity and amazement atrophy? Is it that acquired knowledge fills our neurons to the brim, our certainty encrusts our cognition, familiarity freezes our brains solid? With age comes the firewall; nothing in, nothing out, where our exclamations points become the bars of our philosophical prison?

Maybe it’s the psychological side of the physical process where our muscles lose their agility and flexibility as we age? Our brain grows as stiff as our back? Can we pack in too much knowledge? I  dig J.M. Barrie’s quote, “I am not young enough to know everything.”

Why did we abandon our childlike enthusiasm in the first place? Too preoccupied at being old to remember our love of play? When did our original eagerness for the quest acquiesce to rote dogmatism? Has our daily repetition of certainty made us “experts,” too sure of the way it is to see the possibilities of exploring the way it could be? Does mental muscle memory robs us of our natural dexterity and the “stretchiness” of our sense of self?

Did you know that the original meaning or root of the word “genius” is one’s “animating spirit?” It’s not about smarts. It’s being up-close-and-personal, intimately acquainted with your innate authenticity. Brilliance never leaves the marrow of our minds. Our genius isn’t siphoned-off in our more geriatric stages, it’s surrendered?

Paul Hudson is spot on. It has to be clear that protecting our perpetual “wonder of youth” is truly the way to go.  Our question marks are the keys to freeing us from our mental prison of certainty?

I think Thoreau nailed it! “The youth gets together their materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged concludes to build a woodshed with them.”

No more woodsheds or tenements of dilapidated thought!

Let’s stick with the palaces of our youth?