Why You DON’T Remember Your Past!

๐Ÿ˜ฑ YOU DON’T REMEMBER YOUR PAST (REALLY)! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Did you know I make these social media posts not just for you all but also for myself? Yeah I know! I’m so selfish right?! ๐Ÿ˜‚

For me, these posts I create are not only to share with you but they’re also friendly reminders to myself. My Future Self. It’s so he never forgets the memories I’m choosing to retain for him. โค๏ธ

Now perhaps what I just said sounds a bit odd; what do I mean: “retain”?! Let me ask you this: do you remember every single waking moment of your whole entire life? I highly doubt it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What if I told you with every memory you have, you also have the choice to choose which parts you’ll take with you into your future. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

No this isn’t some voodoo! I’m talking about:

๐Ÿ“Œ The parts of your past you choose to continue focusing on

๐Ÿ“Œ The parts of your past which mattered to you the most

๐Ÿ“Œ The parts of your past you defined as shaping you into the person you are today

Think of a family photo where everyone looks so cheerful and is enjoying themselves. But in actuality, the real moment wasn’t as cheerful as the photo made it out to be. The family was simply posing for a photo, putting on forced smiles for the camera. ๐Ÿ“ธ

And say a few years later a family member comes across the photo. They barely remember the actual moment, but their only reference is now this photo. This cheerful photo. Thus, that family member starts to believe the past moment was in fact a pleasant one. But remember: it actually wasn’t. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

๐ŸŒŸ We don’t remember our pasts as a matter of fact. We remember the stories we created about our pasts. ๐ŸŒŸ

So when I say “retain”, it’s a matter of questions to ask of oneself: What do I want to remember for my future? What stories will I choose to continue remembering about my past? What stories am I willing to let go of? ๐Ÿค”

Even more importantly: How will I choose to ultimately define my past? Are the moments I once felt negative about now the thorns I carry? ๐Ÿ˜ก Or will I now decide to see each thorn as a blessing in disguise instead? ๐ŸŒป

๐ŸŒŸ It’s less about what actually happened in our pasts and more about how we’re choosing to interpret them for our future. ๐ŸŒŸ

This photo was taken as I sat atop Dunure Castle. I share this photo because it’s how I want to remember this moment in time. โฐ This photo is what I want to represent that moment for my Future Self to see later. And whatever else I write here about this moment is what I’m consciously choosing for my Future Self to keep on remembering. ๐Ÿ˜Š

While we certainly remember key moments from our posts, we often forget the smaller details and retain what we wish to remember. That being said, I want to make sure my Future Self also remember this about this moment:

๐Ÿ“ How in awe I was sitting atop there, how grand it all felt to me.

๐Ÿ“ How my friend Kris Nimbley took the photo and was using the Rule of Thirds I told him about.

๐Ÿ“ How it was a chilly and windy day, but the scenery dissolved the complaints I had in my mind.

๐Ÿ“ How it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited, how I wanted to stay there for hours.

Choose what you will remember and how you will define it. Because however you define it now is what’s going to shape the rest of your life. โค๏ธ #EudaimonicLife

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How We’re Always CHANGING!

๐Ÿ™Œย We are always changing.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ
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There’s this thought that has been on my mind the past weekend. And let me add: whenever I have a thought I’m really interested in exploring, what starts as a single thought grows into a multi-faceted set of ideas in my head. I take many routes.ย ๐Ÿง 
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It’s what psychologists commonly refer to as a “flow state”. It’s a state where some of my favorite posts have been written. It’s a state where time stops and I’m mentally swimming in an ocean of ideas.ย ๐ŸŒŠ
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Yesterday as I helped load out the last of Tony Robbins’s UPW event materials at the LA Convention Center, I became reminded of the day before where the thought I’m talking about first came to mind…
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๐ŸŒŸย Change is a part of life. The question is if we’re consciously choosing to change or if we’re letting our environment choose the change for us.ย ๐ŸŒŸ
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…The day before I had briefly met up with an old high school friend I hadn’t seen since 2010. We had a really insightful and meaningful conversation. He told me about what he had been doing since high school, and like myself he had chosen a road less traveled. It was a life which filled him up and not one which the status quo may expect one to choose.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ
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In a way, I felt like I was talking with him for the first time. I found I had a lot more in common with him now than I did in high school. As we parted ways and I got an Uber, this thought of Change had become planted in my focus.ย ๐Ÿ‘
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To say he had changed would be only giving partial credit. We both had changed. Grown. Evolved.ย ๐Ÿ‘ฅ
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I started to think about my other friends from high school, wondering what they may be doing now, what lives they had chosen for themselves, or whether they were letting life choose for them. I thought about the decisions we all make as individuals which set the trajectory for where we will end up long-term. I thought about how the littlest of change in our actions can make the biggest of impact in our lives.ย โค๏ธ
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๐ŸŒŸย Whatever we do, wherever we go, whatever we see, whatever we feel, it all has shaped us into the person we are this very moment.ย ๐ŸŒŸ
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So why am I sharing this all with you?ย ๐Ÿค”
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It’s because I’m also thinking about the 15,000 participants who attended this past weekend at Unleash the Power Within. I’m thinking about the participants who have been given a handful of knowledge and understanding and what they are going to do with it.ย ๐Ÿค”
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Will they use it to change their lives for the better? Will they fall back to their old ways of thinking? Will they come back to what they learned later since the seed has already been planted in their minds? They each have an opportunity to Change. As they say at the event: The biggest growth starts the day after the event, when the choice is now up to you.
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With me traveling to LA…with me Crewing another event…with me making new friends here…with me seeing my high school friend…with me typing this very post…I am changing.ย ๐Ÿ™Œ
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And I did it with purpose. Eudaimonia.ย โค๏ธย #TranscendLabels

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Do You Believe in Coincidences?

Do you believe in coincidences? Do you believe everything happens for a reason? As my other blog entryย about reuniting with my old friend illustrated, I’m a believer in this area, how life happensย forย us, notย to us. The past few years I’m noticing what I’d call “happy coincidences”, occurrences I can’t fully explain but I can’t help but smile about. I’m not talking about anything paranormal, but occurrences that make me think that the odds of them happening were so slim. Nonetheless, they happened.

I’ll share with you another example. Two weeks ago I was on my way to London to do some volunteer work. I’d never visited London, let alone traveled to Europe by myself, so a lot of Firsts were going to happen for me on this trip! Little did I expect an additional First that I wasn’t even expecting!

The day of the trip, I anxiously packed my bags, got driven to O’Hare airport, stepped onto the Norwegian Airline plane, and traveled 4000 miles across the world to London’s Gatwick Airport. Minus my new sleeping accommodations, I was so anxious I could hardly sleep on the plane. By the time we had arrived at the airport, I was needless to say a bit dazed and drowsy!

As I stepped off the plane, it was now 10am in London. Still in my half-awake mode, I grabbed my bags at the baggage claim and went straight to Customs so I could enter the UK. I believe I waited in the line there about 2 hours, but given my sleepy mood I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and say it was at least an hour. It was one of those long lines where the airport had it set up to zig-zag throughout the room. It was one of those lines where every 30 seconds everyone took a step forward except you because you likely weren’t paying attention. It was one of those lines where you could look at the crevices in the floor and write a bestselling novel about them before you reached the front. Long story short, the line took a while.

And here’s where it happened.

I was waiting in line, rubbing my eyes with one hand and holding my baggage in the other. I’m looking to see where the front of the line is, and then to the back to see how much longer the line has extended since I got in it. And then I see him. I see a taller gentleman with a woman. At first I’m unsure, but then I have this feeling in stomach that I know who he is. This person that was about a dozen people behind me in line was someone I use to work with.

I remember my body feeling tense, because in my mind I debating whether or not I should ask and confirm it was him. The part of me that was saying not to do had a valid point:ย What is the possibility I’d really run into someone I knew from a different state, from 10 years ago, 4000 miles away from home, in the same country, in the same airport, and in the same room?

It was him. He was just as surprised as I was. We honestly didn’t know what to make of this surprise reunion. He noted how he vaguely recognized me, but he remembered. We briefly spoke, we gave each other our farewells, and we went on our way. This person, I worked with him 10 years ago at a summer camp. I barely knew him at the time then too, but I never forgot his face. As I got to the front of the line and walked out of Customs, I started smiling to myself:ย The possibility of that happening happened…ย 

I had many great memories on my trip, and this was just one that continues to stick out to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

I Smile Remembering High School…

I browsed through some old high school mementos and felt a sense of nostalgia this evening. I remember being back there. There honestly weren’t many thoughts that crossed my mind of when I would enter adulthood. Most of my focus back then was on my present life: my friends, the homework, the pep rallies, the after-school activities, the cliques, the AP classes, the couples, the drama, etc. Continue reading “I Smile Remembering High School…”