DW's Blog

Think Before You Act

by DW Green — March 16, 2022

What was I thinking?

Why did I do that? you’ve probably asked yourself. We all have. How could I have been so stupid? What was I thinking?You weren’t. That’s the problem. Within that head of yours is all the reason and intelligence you need. It’s making sure that it’s deferred to and utilized that’s the tough part. It’s making sure that your emotions, not your immediate physical sensations, not your surging hormones.Fix your attention on your intelligence. Let it do its thing.

Read More – The Jingle

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Pleasure Can Become Punishment

by DW Green — March 8, 2022

Soon enough, you’re willingly abstaining from cheating at all.

Self-control is a difficult thing, no question. Which is why a popular trick from dieting might be helpful. Some diets allow a “cheat day”—one day per week in which dieters can eat anything and everything they want. Indeed, they’re encouraged to write a list during the week of all the foods they craved so they can enjoy them all at once as a treat (the thinking being that if you’re eating healthy six out of seven days, you’re still ahead).At first, this seems like a dream, but anyone who has actually done this knows the truth: each cheat day you eat yourself sick and hate yourself afterward. Soon enough, you’re willingly abstaining from cheating at all. It’s not unlike a parent catching her child with cigarettes and forcing him to smoke the whole pack.It’s important to connect the so-called temptation with its actual effects. Once you understand that indulging might actually be worse than resisting, the urge begins to lose its appeal. In this way, self-control becomes the real pleasure, and the temptation becomes the regret.

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Did That Make You Feel Better?

by DW Green — March 2, 2022

“Is this actually making me feel better?”

The next time someone gets upset near you—crying, yelling, breaking something, being pointed or cruel—watch how quickly this statement will stop them cold: “I hope this is making you feel better.”  Because, of course, it isn’t. Only in the bubble of extreme emotion can we justify any of that kind of behavior—and when called to account for it, we usually feel sheepish or embarrassed.It’s worth applying that standard to yourself. The next time you find yourself in the middle of a freak-out, or moaning and groaning with flulike symptoms, or crying tears of regret, just ask: Is this actually making me feel better? Is this actually relieving any of the symptoms I wish were gone?

Read More – It Is What It Is

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Fear Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

by DW Green — February 23, 2022

The things we fear or dread, we blindly inflict on ourselves.

“Only the paranoid survive,” Andy Grover, a former CEO of Intel, famously said. It might be true. But we also know that the paranoid often destroy themselves quicker and more spectacularly than any enemy.The combination of power, fear, and mania can be deadly. The leader convinced that he might be betrayed, acts first and betrays others first. Afraid that he’s not well liked, he works so hard to get others to like him that it has the opposite effect. Convinced of mismanagement, he micromanages and becomes the source of the mismanagement. And on and on—the things we fear or dread, we blindly inflict on ourselves.The next time you are afraid of some supposedly disastrous outcome, remember that if you don’t control your impulses, if you lose your self-control, you may be the very source of the disaster you so fear. It has happened to smarter and more powerful and more successful people. It can happen to us too.

Read More – The Best Investment

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Don’t Seek Out Strife

by DW Green — February 16, 2022

He was also driven by a compulsion, a work and activity addiction that was seemingly without end.

It has become a cliché to quote Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech, which lionize “the one whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who stives valiantly…” compared with the critic who sits on the sidelines. Roosevelt gave that speech shortly after he left office, at the height of his popularity. In a few years, he would run against his former protégé in an attempt to retake the White House, losing badly and nearly assassinated in the process. He would also nearly die exploring a river in the Amazon, kill thousands of animals in African safaris, and then beg Woodrow Wilson to allow him to enlist in World War I despite being 59 years old. He would do a lot of things that seem somewhat baffling in retrospect.Theodore Roosevelt was a truly great man. But he was also driven by a compulsion, a work and activity addiction that was seemingly without end. Many of us share this affliction—being driven by something we can’t control. We’re afraid of being still, so we seek out strife and action as a distraction. We choose to be a t war—in some cases, liter...
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Steady Your Impulses

by DW Green — February 9, 2022

Who is in control here?

Think of the manic people in your life. Not the ones suffering from an unfortunate disorder, but the ones whose lives and choices are in disorder. Everything is soaring highs or crushing lows; the day is either amazing or awful. Aren’t those people exhausting? Don’t you wish they just had a filter through which they could test the good impulses versus bad ones?There is such a filter. Justice. Reason. Philosophy. If there’s a central message, it’s this: impulses of all kinds are going to come, and your work is to control them, like bringing a dog to heel. Put more simply: Ask: Who is in control here? What principles are guiding me?

Read More – Regret

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Where Is The Good In Life?

by DW Green — February 2, 2022

What you focus your attention on, grows.

“Almost two thousand years ago, the Greek philosopher Plutarch wrote: ‘Most people bypass what is good and refreshing in their lives, and habitually focus on the unpleasant, bad elements.’ How easily all our attention can get absorbed by our “problems.” Thinking and talking about them strengthens a false sense of self. And so we miss the good in our lives. Where is the good? It’s where Life is: in the present moment. It’s in the clouds and vast spaciousness of the sky, the air you breathe, the life-giving light and warmth of the sun, the silence of the night. It’s in a small act of kindness given or received. It’s in the sound of the rain, the intense aliveness of a flower…the same aliveness that you can also feel inside your body. Another word for acknowledging the good in your life is – gratitude. And: what you focus your attention on, grows.” —ECKHART TOLLESo where is the good in life? It’s where Life is: in the present moment. Be there. NOW.

Read More – When To Say When

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The Source of Your Anxiety

by DW Green — January 26, 2022

Why are my insides twisted into knots?

The anxious father, worried about his children. What does he want? A word that is always safe? A frenzied traveler—what does she want? For the weather to hold and for traffic to part so she can make her flight. A nervous investor? That the market will turn around and an investment will pay off.All of these scenarios hold the same thing in common. It’s wanting something outside our control. Getting worked up, getting excited, nervously pacing—these intense, pained, and anxious moments show us at our most futile and servile. Staring at the clock, at the ticker, at the next checkout lane over, at the sky—it’s as if we all belong to a religious cult that believes the gods of fate will only give us what we want if we sacrifice our peace of mind.Today, when you find yourself getting anxious, ask yourself: Why are my insides twisted into knots? Am I in control here or is my anxiety? And most important: Is my anxiety doing me any good?

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What We Control And What We Don’t.

by DW Green — January 19, 2022

You don’t control the situation, but you control what you think about it.

Today you won’t control the external events that happen.Is that scary? A little, but it’s balanced when we see that we can control our opinion about those events. You decide whether they’re good or bad, whether they’re fair or unfair. You don’t control the situation, but you control what you think about it.See how that works? Every single thing that is outside your control—the outside world, other people, luck, karma, whatever—still presents a corresponding area that is in your control. This alone gives us plenty to manage, plenty of power.Best of all, an honest understanding of what is within our control provides real clarity about the world: all we have is our own mind. Remember that today when you try to extend your reach outward—that it’s much better and more appropriately directed inward.

Read More – Do It

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Just Say No

by DW Green — January 12, 2022

The more you say no to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to things that do.

One of the hardest things to do in life is to say “No.” To invitations, to requests, to obligations, to the stuff that everyone else is doing. Even harder is saying no to certain time-consuming emotions: anger, excitement, distraction, obsession, lust. None of these impulses feels like a big deal by itself, but run amok, they become a commitment like anything else.If you’re not careful, these are precisely the impositions that will overwhelm and consume your life. Do you ever wonder how you get some of your time back, how you can feel less busy? Start by learning the power of “No!”—as in “No, thank you,” and “No, I’m not going to get caught up in that,” and “No, I just can’t right now.” It may hurt some feelings. It may take some hard work. But the more you say no to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to things that do. This will let you love and enjoy your life—the life that you want.

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