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Author Archives: David Thomas Peacock

Resistance

Here’s a painful truth: Resistance is needed to force the body and mind to adapt. It is only through the consistent application of sustained resistance that growth occurs.

For example: Kinetic resistance (exercise) brings physical growth. Cognitive resistance (learning) leads to intellectual growth.

No resistance leads to Atrophy.

Notice I am making an important distinction here – that lack of resistance doesn’t equal stasis, it instead facilitates entropy, leading to atrophy of the neglected system.

What we are really looking for here is struggle – we want whatever it is we’re doing to be hard. This is the resistance that will facilitate growth.

If you want to maintain growth throughout your life, you have to learn to love this struggle. The long term payoff is worth it.

Personal Rules, Part 2

I don’t believe anything written anonymously on the internet.

If you’re not willing to attach your name to what you’re saying, I have to assume it’s bullshit.

That doesn’t mean I won’t skim anonymous forums for provocative ideas, it just means I put no weight in whatever I come across until I discover otherwise.

For example, I might find and interesting idea or concept which I will then investigate further to see if it has any merit. The internet is good for this sort of thing – I try to keep an open mind and I constantly look for this stuff.

But I’m also a science kind of guy – my natural instinct is to approach things looking for evidence. Intuition is good to a certain point – often it’s enough to get you started.

But it’s not enough for knowing.

It’s All A Negotiation

Everything in life – and I mean everything – is a negotiation. We negotiate with our bodies: “Ok, I’ll give you a little more exercise if you’ll give me a few more days of healthy life.”

We negotiate with our partners: “I’ll do something I know you like if you’ll do this thing with me.”

We form professional alliances based on mutual trust and respect in an understood (if unstated) agreement of “quid pro quo.” Make no mistake, this is how shit gets done in life. It seems fairly obvious, no?

With humans the very concept of providing a service to the community is a form of negotiation. You get to reap the benefits of being a respected member and the protection of the tribe by being useful.

I don’t think this is either a good or bad thing, it’s just the way life works. 

In other words, always try to do the right thing and provide value. This is the best base of power from which to negotiate.

Paradoxically

It is only through our acknowledgement of death that we become more in touch with life and our humanity.

Give Yourself Some Credit

If you’re working hard with the intent to do good, but you’re not sure if you’re really making a significant difference, how about this:

Give yourself some fucking credit for trying.

If everyone made this effort the world would be a lot more pleasant to live in.

The Last Survivor

Took care of a 96 year old man who survived the Nazi concentration camps in WWII today. Looked like he could still kick some ass.

Said to his son “There’s not many of them left.”

Son looked at me and said “What if I told you I was born in the camp in 1945?”

Mindfuck.

Understanding Politics, Part 1

Anytime a politician (or pundit) says “the fact of the matter is,” the next thing out of their mouth will at worst be a complete lie, and at best something remotely related to the truth but with a well thought out spin meant to promote their agenda.

In other words, there is indeed a “matter,” but whatever they’re about to say is definitely not a fact.

And BTW, the “matter” is usually a red herring designed to keep you distracted while their party takes something else from you while you’re not looking.

The thing is, they don’t really care if their little charade doesn’t fool everybody.

They just have to fool enough and let the tribe mentality take it from there.

The Easy Part Is The Idea

The hard part is actually making something out of the idea.

See, if you’re creative, coming up with ideas isn’t that difficult. They’re everywhere, and it’s not that hard to write them down. But let’s be clear – they’re not all good, and the ability to separate the good ones from the rest is often enough alone to distinguish oneself as someone with a vision.

But developing an idea into a fully realized piece of art is another matter entirely.

This is what separates the posers from the real thing, because it’s almost impossible. Lightening may strike once or twice in a lifetime and a piece will emerge fully formed with very little effort. But it’s a fools game to think that this is how it works, and those who believe this are in for some very cruel life lessons.

It’s only when you’ve got an idea that you think is worth developing that the real work starts. The long and often painful grind of figuring out what this thing wants to be. Oh sure, you will have some very gratifying moments along the way that will be much better than fun, and it’s these moments that will keep you going. Because in order to develop something to a high level one must be prepared for some brutally frustrating work.

All the good shit in life is just crazy hard. But if, every now and then, you can pull it off – holy fuck, it’s the best feeling ever.

Finding Joy

When life seems overwhelming bleak, you must seek joy, no matter how insignificant the source may seem. The only thing that matters is that you are able to completely immerse yourself in it, even if it’s only for a few fleeting moments. This is your medicine, the life raft you are throwing yourself in your moment of darkness.

This isn’t the time to question the worth of the source of your joy, or whether it has any perceived value to anyone else. None of that matters – the important thing – the only thing – is to just let go and be in the moment, losing yourself in this thing that you love.

It is this joy that will save you, wherever you might find it, over and over.

These are the things that make life worth living. 

Pay attention to them.

In Extremis

Definition:

1) In an extremely difficult situation.

2) At the point of death.

Personally, I like the poetic imagery of the Latin translation:

In the farthest reaches.

So the next time you think you’re in deep shit, ask yourself this:

Am I in extremis?

I didn’t think so. Sometimes things aren’t as bad as you think.

Useless Baggage

Oh sure, you can carry a lifetimes worth of anger and resentment with you constantly. That way you have easy access to it, so you can impress whatever friends you have left and whoever else makes the mistake of getting too close.

Just think of all the good that poison is doing you. Can’t everyone else see how life has fucked you over? How you deserve better, how stupid everyone else is (except for you), and how you’re going to make them all pay.

Well, I hope you’ve got a sense of humor, because I’m afraid the jokes on you.

The only one you’ve fucked is yourself.

What Is Real? Part 1

Proposition 1) It’s all a construct in your mind.

I know that sounds trippy, but it’s true. Of course, the real world, with its laws of physics still applies. These laws are not a construct, at least for now, at our current state of development.

There’s also science, which attempts to explain and understand the world around us. These disciplines enhance our understanding of reality, but they do not represent our internal construct.

What you think of as reality, is really just your internal “map” of your existence in the world as you understand it.

Proposition 2) Since it’s a construct in your mind, and since we know we have some degree of neural plasticity, it can be altered.

Successfully treated mental illness might be a useful example of this. The afflicted’s sense of reality is distorted, but with the proper motivation and treatment, the distortions can be revealed and corrected. Obviously this is not completely possible for everyone, yet it is absolutely true for some (important caveat: like life itself, this is an ongoing process).

My overarching point here is this: For the purpose of our internal consciousness, what you believe to be true is true. We each possess an internal locus of control, whether we choose to exercise it or not.

To a certain degree, we control our own destiny by what we believe we are capable of.

And Now, A Brief Message

We’d like to pause our regularly scheduled content for a brief reminder from today’s sponsor Chuck Palahniuk:

This is your life and it’s ending one moment at a time.”

Thank you, now back to our featured program…

There’s A Very Big Difference…

Between those who do and those who talk about the ones that do.

Let’s have a bit of a reality check here, shall we?

First of all, it’s a fuck of a lot easier to criticize something someone has done than it is to actually do something yourself. The person who has created something and made it public has exposed themselves in a way that takes some serious balls. The one who “critiques” what these people have done is showing no balls whatsoever, especially if it’s done anonymously on the internet. Do you really think that those of us who think and have an awareness of how life works pay any attention to this bullshit?

My hat is off to any artist or entrepreneur who actually makes something – it is the supreme act of giving of oneself, no matter what the motive.

Honest, well thought out and intelligent criticism is important, but just because you have access to the internet or write for some organization doesn’t mean you are qualified to do so. Self-serving criticism to promote an agenda is just patently nauseating, and I have definitely reached a point in my life where I simply refuse to waste my time on it.

There are plenty of people who make things I might not like, but I at least have respect for their ability to actually do something.

What have you made?

Stop Pussyfooting & Just Do It

Seriously – if you are hesitant to do something you want to do, perhaps you should ask yourself why?

What exactly are you afraid of?

Maybe you should run the process through in your mind and try to imagine the consequences. Are they serious enough to warrant actual fear?

Or are you just afraid of exposing yourself, afraid of appearing vulnerable and weak? And what, I might ask, is wrong with that? Aren’t we all vulnerable and weak at times? Isn’t this just part of the human condition?

Is it that you are you afraid of looking foolish? Really?

Or maybe afraid that you suck at whatever it is you want to be good at? Well here’s a news flash – everybody sucks before they get good. It’s part of the process. Besides, as I’ve pointed out before, sucking at something is actually a good thing because it means you are still growing.

I guess my point here is this: if you want to do something and it scares you, maybe you are just being weak. You might even be depriving yourself and others of something meaningful, something unique to yourself.

Sometimes you just have to be brave, know that your intentions are pure and put your fear aside.

Just fucking do it.

Happy Birthday Baby

Ok, let me go on the record (once again BTW), with the declaration that you are, by far, the best thing that ever happened to me.

I’m honestly not sure I deserve you, but I’m fucking grateful for the 34 years we’ve had together. It’s hard to say in hindsight, but I think it’s a safe bet to acknowledge that I was headed no where good in a hurry when I met you. You just made everything better. 

So Happy Birthday baby – life dealt me a good hand when I found you.