Tag Archives: taoism

I'm Declaring This Year: The Year Of Badass

I've decided to declare this year The Year Of Badass. Now this doesn't mean I'll be getting all tattooed up, dealing drugs out the back of my place, joining a motorcycle gang, doing drive-by shootings or burning down the homes of people I don't like. It's not about being an asshole.

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Being a badass dude is about living via our internal compass and doing life the way we want, rather than trying to keep other people happy doing what they think is acceptable all the time. It's going to piss a few people off mainly because they'll be jealous that they aren't living their life the way they know, deep down, that they should be. Trying to keep everyone else happy is a recipe for misery. So being able to tolerate the discomfort that other people will feel when we live life our way is all part of learning to be a badass. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable occasionally.

At the same time, I've recently taken a deeper interest in Taoist philosophy. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tze recognised that life had a certain flow to it, and that by living in accordance with our true nature we can live life much more easily.… Continue reading…

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The 10 Secret Keys To Happiness

Many people are looking for the answer to the basic question: how to be happy?

We all want to enjoy life and avoid suffering, but there's more to it than just that. So here are my 10 secret keys to happiness:

#1: Make A Difference To Other People

No man is an island. We're all biologically wired to live in community, and to make a contribution to the greater good. Of course we're also wired for self-protection and to get our personal needs met, but millions of years of evolutionary development living in tribes means that we can't do this in isolation. Loneliness is one stark reminder of this that motivates us to reconnect with our fellow man.

If you make yourself the center of the universe, and your life solely about meeting your own needs, you create personal misery. At the other end of the spectrum, martyrdom will make you bitter and resentful. The primary key to happiness is to find ways to make a positive difference to other people in a way that energizes you without depleting you.

#2: Use Your Gifts, Talents and Passion

To be energized in the long haul while you're busy making a difference to other people, you need to be utilizing your unique gifts and talents in ways that you feel passionate about.… Continue reading…

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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This therapy integrates the most useful parts of Western psychology, and Eastern philosophies. It includes the Buddhist idea that most human suffering is caused by an attachment or desire for things that are often temporary or unattainable. So you start by accepting everything exactly the way it is, without trying to change it. Fighting against reality is the cause of a great deal of our angst and suffering.

Having accepted that things are the way they are and you are exactly the way you are, you can then learn some new skills to help deal more powerfully with life. This is the paradox of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); but get the balance right, and it works. Integration of other Buddhist and Taoist concepts like mindfulness, expansion, and going-with-the-flow distinguish ACT from other therapies.

An underlying principle is that happiness comes from doing what works in practice, rather than from what we think should work. Ask “Does that work?” instead of “Is that right?” Let go of the need to be right, and of your hard luck story. Letting go of beliefs based on the way we think things should be helps relieve stress and anxiety. Being truly confident means being able to go with the flow, and not needing to be in control all the time.… Continue reading…

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