A Message by George Carlin: The Paradox of Our Time

A Message by George Carlin: The Paradox of Our Time

I read this “message” roughly once a year to remind myself of what matters most and to remain grounded as possible. It’s incisive and deeply profound. Enjoy, share, and reflect. Comedians are the smartest and most perceptive people on the planet, in my opinion, like creative polymath Jim Carrey. They see the truth, as displayed in the message below, and put a coat of humor on it to ease the delivery and bypass our mental biases.


A Message by George Carlin

The Paradox of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

I saw that Ben Greenfield (prominent health and fitness influencer and self-proclaimed biohacker) recently chanced upon a place I have been holding in my back pocket for several months, waiting for an opportune time to give it my full endorsement. The Human Garage, in beautiful Venice, California is the place of which I speak. Simply put, it’s the most holistic and bleeding-edge health center to improve your body alignment, biochemical wellbeing, energy, and mind. They have several modalities to accomplish this, along with the absolute best supplements one may find on earth. Basically, their standard for anything they do or sell to improve your health is an 11 out of 10.

I’ve gone through their full protocol of multiple sessions, along with a subclinical wellness test to better tailor their recommendations for me. My results are below, along with Ben Greenfield’s. The provider they use for the wellness analysis, QurEcology, is apparently one of the best, with extremely unforgiving and stringent gradings for the most relevant biomarkers ranging from digestion to inflammation to toxicity. If you’ve ever wondered if you have “adrenal fatigue,” this would be the best indication. Sure, you can just go off of how you feel, but why not get reliable data on your health. In God we trust, all else bring data.

Now, health is not a competition and this post title is admittedly a bit clickbaity, but I have very real lessons learned through comparing my results to someone like Ben Greenfield, such as:

  • Get tested. Get the data. Don’t assume anything.
  • Never give someone too much credit or worse, not give yourself enough credit.
  • Lifestyle takes its toll. Ben travels all over the world and has a packed schedule giving talks, training for long-distance endurance competitions, etc. That undoubtedly impacted his results.
  • Simple is better than complex. Ben has tried every biohacking tool under the sun, but that is majoring in minors. The majors being the basics of health (meditation, breathing, gratitude, love, nature, non-excessive exercise, and the rest of the stuff I beat you over the head with in this blog). I get caught up in the latest and greatest as is human nature to seek novelty, but discipline myself to execute on the 80/20 of health (and per below that has evidently paid off). Anything I do past that is whimsical and hopeful experimentation derived from my obsession with health.

If you have lingering back pain or neck pain, want to realign yourself to undo years of sitting and the 21st century sedentary lifestyle, or simply want to upgrade your mind and body through the most exquisite experience, I highly recommend you make the trip to Venice and visit Human Garage. They have a waiting list and all that jazz, so check in with them first.

Brian’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage (QurEcology Biochemical Wellness Analysis)

  • Green/good count: 8
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 6
  • Red/poor count: 0

Ben Greenfield’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage

  • Green/good count: 1
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 7
  • Red/poor count: 6

If you’re reading this Ben, know that I would jump at the chance to learn from you, as I have done so in the past, along with your friend, old roommate and vacuum-vixen Brett.

Emotional and Mental Health – Elite Tips

Contents

  1. Meditation
  2. Miscellaneous

Meditation

  • 3 critical steps
    • Sit upright comfortably.
    • Focus on the breath (nose, chest, and/or stomach)
    • Don’t control the mind. When it wanders, bring it back to the breath. Goes out, bring it back. That is the exercise and training.
  • TM is best meditation.
  • 40 years of zen to expedite meditation long term benefits.
  • Benefits
    • Long term meditation allows you to enter flow state much easier.
    • Virtually everything, including seemingly unrelated afflictions like psoriasis and IBS
    • Studies show transcendental meditation may decrease the amount of sleep we need to still perform well.
  • As a simple form of mediation to achieve optimal heart rate variability, breath in a slow and controlled manner while summoning a feeling of gratitude.
  • Think about actively releasing and relaxing your body parts as you set up and do meditation.
  • Keep an upright posture during meditation.
  • Say out loud the negative thing you want to stop. Eg “thinking” while you are trying to meditate and quiet the mind. Worrying, impatient, mad, etc. when you name something you don’t identify with it as much. This will help break bad patterns through this simple interruption. “When you name a fear, you have power over it.”
  • Exhale longer than inhale to engage parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Balance left and right brain so you are not too dominant in problem solving without being able to use intuition. Ziva meditation (alternate nostril breathing, start and end with exhale on left nostril).
  • Mantras
    • Soooooo (inhale) Hummmm I am that. Repeat
  • Guided Meditation
    • Holosync Meditation
      • Always use headphones, for all versions.
      • Can let mind wander or do anything; other meditations are compatible but not at all necessary. Observe your thoughts.
      • Sit 3-5 minutes after finishing to lessen the emotional material experienced as you move through the day.
      • Dive moves you through alpha, to theta, to delta brain waves over 30 minutes. Immersion is only delta.
      • Holosync gives you the benefits of meditation, eight times faster. Do with with affirmations and/or repeatedly saying “release” to prompt you to release all mental, physical, and emotional tension.

Miscellaneous

  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to overcome fear, anxiety, emotional wounds and trauma.
  • Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:
    • Ask, “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
    • Label those negative emotions. Give it a name, and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
    • Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
    • Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.
  • In their fascinating study “Would you be happier if you were richer?”, published in Science, Princeton professors Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, found that perhaps the best indicator of happiness was frequency of eating with friends and family.
  • Unseen Therapist – Gary Craig 
  • Tension, Stress, Trauma Release: Watch the 8-minute Tremors video on T.R.E.’s official website to see how it works.
  • To be free of stress and in the unfuckwidable zone. Forgiveness is the ultimate health and life hack. Improved physical performance tests, etc. mindfulness, and self love. All three together. 
  • When feeling down/depressed:
    • Don’t worry alone. Find people.
    • Get the facts.
    • Have a plan.
  • Find at least one positive for every negative event.
  • Vagus nerve etc. think and say peace love and joy and avoid anxious people to make yourself calmer and happier
  • Simply observe your thoughts and feelings without judgement, as if you are a 3rd party, vs. trying to stop and control all of them. Distanced observation naturally makes us more calm and at ease.  Notice don’t judge.
  • Stress is the PERCEIVED threat of something real or imaginary. Don’t think about your lack of sleep and unhealthy behaviors as stressful.
  • Bout of exercise when stressed or anxious.
  • Your intelligence is not fixed and we grow new neurons throughout life. To maximize, do new challenges, course corrects, and exert effort to get the achievement. Mental effort builds mental abilities.
  • Reframe anxiety as excited. It’s much easier to go from negative to positive than from high arousal to low.
  • HRV takes 5 mins for efficacious assessment. For better coherence, close eyes, envision nasal breath going into your heart. Then envision something or someone you love floating in front of you and go into your heart. Then feel an intense feeling of gratitude for what you put into your heart.
  • Lavender oil: relieves anxiety
  • Happiness hack: smile and tilt your head up. It’s biologically incongruent to be sad or depressed when doing this.
  • Have a clear goal and anticipating achieving that goal is a natural and strong way to get dopamine flowing. Great to combat depression of any form. 
  • You don’t have energy. You GENERATE ENERY. You can do things to generate energy, happiness, etc. Embrace this mental reframe.
  • Batch checking emails and messages vs constant checking and monitoring. The latter messes with your dopamine and puts you in a state of chronic stress. Self-observation: applies to constantly checking the stock market or anything with surprise/volatility. 
  • ANIMALS
    • Own or take care of a dog.
    • Watch cute animals on TV/computer.
  • When you are feeling down in the day, doing a short burst of exercise (e.g. pushups) can quickly pull you out of it with the endorphin rush.
  • Exercising gratitude tangibly reduces our stress.
  • Self-Hypnosis (autosuggestion)
    • Record your voice and replay it back (goals, hopes, who you want to be, etc.)
    • Use neutral computer voice (Kindle text to speech app.) so you don’t lose the persuasion in your vocal tonality when you may be lying to yourself otherwise.
    • Text to voice app.
  • Take an 80/20 analysis of your emotional wellbeing. What are 20% of the things that are causing you 80% of the joy and happiness. Same for negative (stress, guilt, etc.). Change your life accordingly. Cut the fat, double down on the wins.
  • Arguably the best of thing we can do for our health is have quality loving relationships, including friends family and significant others. One study showed different benefits received from having a close guy friend than wife/girlfriend. Give hugs, connect with others, and be PRESENT when doing so.
  • Loneliness promotes negative bio-markers. Social connection promotes health and longevity.
  • There is a strong feedback system between your physical and your mental/emotional. Positive posture, breath, etc. dictates mental sense of control and power. Vice versa. Work on one, to help the other, creating a positive cycle.
  • GEE of happiness. Gratitude, enthusiasm, engagement.
  • Stress reduction technique: close eyes and focus on your heart as you breath in a slow and controlled manner
  • Cultivating a positive, self-perceived efficacy mindset can be the make-or-break differentiator in trying to succeeding at a relatively large endeavor. Moreover, it is crucial to avoid people who cause you self-doubt.
  • Stop ruminating on past negative events as this increases your stress and can be addictive.
  • Heart Math
  • Expensive but effective: EEG Neurofeedback
  • Adopt confident posture, restore movement, breath into belly
  • Get a massage (many of it’s benefits are debated but one for sure benefit is it reduces depression/anxiety
  • Write down positive thoughts
  • Shake and vibrate
  • Mindfulness Meditation
    • Being in the present
    • Focusing on sounds, sensations, taste
    • Thoughts: label thoughts rather than engaging them can make it easier to let them go
  • Make a daily list of things good about your job and life. This re-wires your brain to see the positive, boosting your performance and overall life satisfaction.
  • We are less happy when we have excessive choice, because it raises our expectations, and prompts us to regret our choice knowing there may have been a better option.
  • Three elements of positive psychology: pleasure, flow (time stops as you are using your strengths for something), and meaning (doing something for a cause bigger than yourself). These affect happiness in increasing order; pleasure does not affect life satisfaction. 
  • Writing or thinking of gratitude, and what someone has done from you to greatly affect your life, also positively influences your happiness.
  • Gratitude kills fear and anger. Embody as much as possible.
Book Summary: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

Book Summary: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

My Interpretation

We are the sum of our thoughts and actions, but most interestingly, often our thoughts are imbued in us by society and subconscious comparison to others. Mindfulness works in conjunction with this to observe your mind and thoughts as they occur as a preliminary step toward any positive redirection. People (myself included) are walking basket cases full of their own insecurities, issues, and worries, so it’s really a waste of your energy and time to take things personally or assume the worst. Show up as your best self, both to yourself in how you speak and think, and to others. Reclaim your sense of inner child by finding and sustaining what energizes and excites you.

Book Highlights

  • “That is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands.”
  • “The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word.”
  • “The second agreement is don’t take anything personally.”
  • “Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. The mind has the ability to talk to itself, but it also has the ability to hear information that is available from other realms.”
  • “The third agreement is don’t make assumptions.”
  • “The fourth agreement is about the action of the first three: Always do your best.”
  • “Sometimes that little child comes out when you are having fun or playing, when you feel happy, when you are painting, or writing poetry, or playing the piano, or expressing yourself in some way. These are the happiest moments of your life — when the real you comes out, when you don’t care about the past and you don’t worry about the future. You are childlike. But there is something that changes all that: We call them responsibilities.”
  • “We are addicted to being the way we are. We are addicted to anger, jealousy, and self-pity. We are addicted to the beliefs that tell us, “I’m not good enough, I’m not intelligent enough. Why even try? Other people will do it because they’re better than me.” All of these old agreements which rule our dream of life are the result of repeating them over and over again. Therefore, to adopt The Four Agreements, you need to put repetition in action. Practicing the new agreements in your life is how your best becomes better. Repetition makes the master.”