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.
The Gambler (During the Great Depression, there was a man who walked into a bar one day…)

The Gambler (During the Great Depression, there was a man who walked into a bar one day…)

One of my favorite humorous stories with multiple morals to be interpreted, as the best stories always are! Make the best of what you’ve got. Turn weaknesses into strengths and advantages. Master presentation and social situations. All are not as they seem. Be curious, don’t be certain of others. Question your level of certainty, as the penalty for error may be beyond what you can afford. Having poor pissing accuracy really isn’t a problem.


The Gambler

During the Great Depression, there was a man who walked into a bar one day. He went up to the bartender and said, “Bartender, I’d like to buy the house a round of drinks.”

The bartender said, “That’s fine, but we’re in the middle of the Depression, so I’ll need to see some money first.”

The guy pulled out a huge wad of bills and set them on the bar. The bartender can’t believe what he’s seeing. “Where did you get all that money?” asked the bartender.
“I’m a professional gambler,” replied the man.
The bartender said, “There’s no such thing! I mean, your odds are fifty-fifty at best, right?”
“Well, I only bet on sure things,” said the guy.
“Like what?” asked the bartender.
“Well, for example, I’ll bet you fifty dollars that I can bite my right eye,” he said.
The bartender thought about it. “Okay,” he said.
So, the guy pulled out his false right eye and bit it. “Aw, you screwed me,” said the bartender, and paid the guy his $50.
“I’ll give you another chance. I’ll bet you another fifty dollars that I can bite my left eye,” said the stranger.
The bartender thought again and said, “Well, I know you’re not blind, I mean, I watched you walk in here. I’ll take that bet.” So, the guy pulled out his false teeth and bit his left eye.
“Aw, you screwed me again!” protested the bartender.
“That’s how I win so much money, bartender. I’ll just take a bottle of your best scotch in lieu of the fifty dollars,” said the man.
With that, the guy went to the back room and spent the better part of the night playing cards with some of the locals. After many hours of drinking and card playing, he stumbled up to the bar. Drunk as a skunk, he said, “Bartender, I’ll give you one last chance. I’ll bet you five hundred dollars that I can stand on this bar on one foot and piss into that whiskey bottle on that shelf behind you without spilling a drop.”
The bartender once again pondered the bet. The guy couldn’t even stand up straight on two feet, much less one. “Okay, you’re on,” he said.
The guy climbed up on the bar, stood on one leg, and began pissing all over the place. He hit the bar, the bartender, himself, but not a drop made it into the whiskey bottle.
The bartender was ecstatic. Laughing, the bartender said, “Hey pal, you owe me five hundred dollars!”
The guy climbed down off the bar and said, “That’s okay. I just bet each of the guys in the card room a thousand bucks each that I could piss all over you and the bar and still make you laugh!”
At the Swing of Midnight

At the Swing of Midnight

I really love this poem, for lack of a more elegant opener. It’s similar to What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction, except it wasn’t written by teenagers and it has a touch more grace. It doesn’t apply to only women either, though I’m happy to dedicate this post for our beloved females. I know enough people who walk around oblivious to the light they emanate wherever they go. Beautiful minds and beautiful hearts with their thoughts elsewhere, devoid of ego or self-awareness of how amazing they are (in this case, it does not take one to know one).

My ask: send this to someone to which you feel it applies. 


At the Swing of Midnight

At the swing of midnight, on the day you were born,

Three lightning bolts came together.

The first, sinuous and long, said, “I shall make her graceful.”

The second, jagged and strong, said, “I shall give her a mind

That cuts into darkness like diamond.”

The third, bright as a sun, said, “I shall give her radiance

That warms and brightens all those around her.”

 

 

As the three lightning bolts descended on the newborn,

Lightning-fast,

A fourth came along, so spectral and pale as to go unseen,

And whispered: “I shall make her forget.”

 

 

And so she walked the earth, oblivious to her gifts,

Save when staring into a newborn’s endless eyes

Or hearing a strain of music so pregnant with yearning

As to have the weight of truth,

Or when a dusty pilgrim would arrive from far away

And cry, “Ave!,” with wild eyes that could see

The goddess for the human that she was.

 

 

— Ali Binazir 10/2012

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.