Self-Assessment: Spirituality vs Religion

Dive into an analysis of the two wildly popular belief systems!

When it comes to creating your paradise, there are a few concepts that will greatly further your endeavors. Establishing a strong belief system is important as it serves as a strong foundation. This belief system can range from atheism all the way to pantheism and everything in between. In the Self-Assessment series, we will look at these bricks that can be laid. The first one as I’m sure you guessed is the internal debate between spirituality and religion. We will analyze the terms, and take an objective look at the pros and cons of each.

Spirituality – This belief system can be defined as a state of being that focuses on the spirit/soul instead of the material/physical. When someone is spiritual their primary concern is the inner sanctity of their being in opposed to the material world. Spirituality typically emphasizes the belief in the supernatural, personal growth, the journey of inner meaning, and experiencing the hand of the gods/God. Traditionally spirituality is practiced alone or in small groups without many rules/regulations. Ultimately, spirituality is about the path to the “true self” and relies heavily on experiences.

Religion –  This belief system can be defined as a cultural system that focuses on creating an accepted set of behaviors and practices. This can be accomplished using world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations. Religion in a broad sense will connect humanity with the supernatural. This often comes in the form of a higher power. Traditionally, religion uses faith as their foundation. The ultimate objective of most religions is to give meaning to life.

Disclaimer –

For this next section, I will take an objective view on these highly subjective topics. My goal is to provide you with the pros and cons of using these two belief systems. Thus, you will have a strong foundation for creating your paradise. I urge you to read this with an open mind as understanding these systems can be beneficial to your growth.

Pros of Spirituality – Spirituality tends to bring about a great amount of personal growth. A spiritual person is constantly adapting to their conditions and draws new conclusions based on their experiences. A spiritual person is not heavily affected by societal norms as their practice relies on their own individuality. This can be very useful when attempting to carve your own way in life. Not being hindered by the group grants one the freedom to be responsible for their own actions. Because spiritual people focus on personal growth they are typically more mature than the average person.  Because of this maturity, logic based decisions are maximized while emotionally ones are minimized.

Cons of Spirituality – With great maturity often comes great isolation. One who is spiritual tends to spend a lot of time in isolation. They spend so much time meditating and self-reflecting that the world around them can pass them by. Essentially, they enter a small bubble where they can easily neglect the world. Additionally, it is easy to succumb to selfish desires when one views the world internally on a large scale. Finally, the spiritual person will often come across as eccentric, lazy, distant or crazy. This is due to the “wild” kinds of conclusions that spirituality often leads to. One such example is the belief that nothing in the world matters because humans are energy and energy never dies. Thus, what actions we take now are meaningless in the grand scale of things. But at the same time everything matters because we are all connected in some way, no matter how distant. It is not uncommon for a spiritual person to arrive to countless paradoxical beliefs causing inner turmoil.

Pros of Religion – Practicing an organized religion grants access to a second family. This second family can often be closer than your blood ties. A rare concept such as trust suddenly becomes abundant. Additionally, there are more people that can pool together in your time of need. This is one instance where blood isn’t thicker than water. Another pro to practicing an organized religion is that it tends to boost your overall happiness. By participating in group activities, one can share in the positive vibes of the group.  These vibes are infectious and will often raise your overall mood. There is a set structure to your daily life and clear rules and guidelines to follow. This ultimately makes life a bit easier as there is less thinking involved in making decisions. An action either falls in accordance with your religious beliefs or they don’t. There is usually one leader in an organized group that one can look up to for guidance. An example of such a leader would be a priest or a rabbi. Having a clear hierarchy makes for a smooth experience when making decisions.

Cons of Religion – An organized religion can sometimes be too organized, limiting what you can and cannot do to the point of frustration. Additionally, if you fail to meet the standards of the group there tends to be several consequences. These consequences often come in the form of ridicule, disappointment, or even ostracization. This will have a drastic effect due to the close-knit culture. Being thrust into isolation can lead to severe depression. Having a leader to follow also has its drawbacks. It is possible for said priest or rabbi to exploit their followers or lead them astray. Finally, depending on where you live following a religion may make you blind to the world around you. Not associating with people who have different opinions and perspectives is the major cause.

Wrap Up – When it comes to choosing a belief system it is important to choose one that fits your desired lifestyle. Stay tuned for my next post which will be “Stoicism vs Buddhism” I have taken a very complex topic and taken it down to its very root. Whether I have done these two wonderful concepts justice is up to you. Please like, share, or comment. I would love to see feedback on this post.

“If you believe all is right with the world then it is true, likewise if you believe all is wrong.” – Negus Lamont

5 Life Lessons From Mother Nature

Mother nature has a LOT to teach us…are you willing to listen?

 We are all familiar with the concept of mother nature, but do we really KNOW what it means to be in a natural state? These days, most of us go through life oblivious to the massive world that surrounds us. We essentially stay in our little bubble and fail to appreciate the epic beauty that she has to offer. When it comes to creating your own personal paradise there are several life lessons that can be acquired by observing mother nature.

1.  The Squirrels – The squirrels teach us that play is the name of the game. All work and no play makes for a high stress lifestyle that will bring you to an early grave. The key is to learn how to have a healthy balance between hard dedicated work and taking time to appreciate the things that put a smile on your face. The squirrel also teaches us that it is important to stow away resources for the future. Failure to plan ahead can be one of the biggest mistakes one makes on their journey to paradise. A great goal to set in motion is to have three months salary saved up in case of a financial crisis.

 

2.      The Birds – The birds teach us that we need to aim high and never stop flying once we get there. It is important that on your journey you focus on your dreams and goals. There is a big difference between a dream and a goal, both are critical to success. A dream focuses on the ultimate destination while the goal focuses on the process required to get there. Never lose sight of your dreams as they will serve as the way point when obstacles pop up in achieving your goals. The birds also teach us that the hard work doesn’t stop once we have achieved our dream. It requires consistent effort to maintain a certain level of success. Your wings need to keep flapping as you glide across the sky.

 

3.      The Fly –  The fly is a persistent fellow. When they pick up on a scent that they are attracted to they will constantly buzz around it and attempt to land until they get bored. Persistence is the key, particularly in overcoming obstacles. Sometimes life will throw crap at you and you must deal with it. Instead of crying over your “bad luck” you need to take it as a welcomed challenge. A challenge is something for you to overcome and bask in victory once you have done so. Meanwhile, a bad circumstance is a situation that causes you to wallow in self-pity.

 

4.      The Butterfly – The glorious butterfly is elegant in her beauty. She teaches us that there is beauty in all things, but above all beauty in the self. Love yourself and love those around you. Self-love is one of the few things that can dramatically change your life for the better. Feeling genuine love for yourself can spread like wild fire throughout your soul. Once you have achieved a heightened sense of self it will feel as if you are walking on sunshine. The added benefit in loving yourself is that you learn to value your own opinion. Eventually you will seek to solve your own problems, taking control of your life.

 

5.      The Wind – The wind as an element is one of the most dynamic elements one can encounter. It can rage through the land causing devastation or it can blow through the veins of the soul with a gentle breeze. The calming effect of the wind is not to be underestimated. The wind teaches us that one must be dynamic in their mindset and be open to new possibilities. It is important that the one who wants to achieve paradise constantly adapts to changing conditions.

 

These are just a few lessons that can be learned from observing mother nature. Ultimately, one should spend time outside their comfort zone in order to create something that they have never experienced before. Anyone can create their own paradise as this is something that is unique to you. Never give up and always keep an eye out and pay attention to the life lessons that mother nature can teach you. If you enjoyed this post please like, share, or subscribe!

“Paradise can only be achieved once the inner self is understood” – Negus Lamont

5 reasons your friends want you to fail

Friendships are tricky…especially when some of your friends wish you ill!

There comes a point in time where one must assess their friendships and decide whether they have established healthy relationships with the people around them. It is not uncommon for some of these relationships to be riddled with hidden agendas and ulterior motives. To make matters worse it is easier than ever to offend someone without you knowing. Below are five reasons why at least a few of your friends want you to fail and what you can do to combat that negativity. Continue reading “5 reasons your friends want you to fail”

5 Reasons Money Isn’t the Motive

Is money REALLY the best motive?

There comes a point in time in our lives where we need to sit down and ask ourselves whether we are on the right path for us. I implore you to sit down and ask yourself. “Should money really be the motive?” I know we all need to eat. But should the chasing of money be the best way to go about it? Here are five reasons why money isn’t the motive and what you should be chasing instead.

Your Passion – It is a rare soul that finds themselves doing what they love. Most of us are stuck in a dead-end job that we don’t care about, doing things that we don’t care about, and interacting with people we don’t care about. This is by far the saddest predicament one can find themselves. Being numb to your surroundings 35+ hours a week is a hell that most wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy. So why do we accept that as a way of life for ourselves?

 The Solution – Find a way to make your passion a source of income. First off, I want to reveal two secrets about success that most people won’t tell you. The first is that most of the wealthiest people in the world are entrepreneurs. If you have dreams of owning a mansion one day, working for someone else probably isn’t the best way to go. The second is that these people more often then not were passionate about something and then decided to start a business around that something. If they can do it you can do it too!

There Is Never Enough – There is no way to soften the blow for this one. It all boils down to human nature. For most of us there will never ever be enough money in our bank accounts to satisfy our wants. It is easy to say, “I’ll retire when I make a million.” But when that time comes you realize you want a five-million-dollar mansion to go with that car you just bought. This concept even works on a smaller scale. How many of you were happy with your raise this year? No matter where you stand in terms of performance, chances are you wanted and or expected a higher raise to go with that paycheck of yours. The biggest reason is that you subconsciously value your time more than anyone ever will.

The Solution – Learn to separate a need from a want. This can be challenging but it is important to prioritize your life. Once you can identify what you want from what you need you will learn to be happy with what you have. I know it is cliché but money really can’t buy happiness. Happiness is something that you must create from within. The first step to achieving this happiness is understanding who and what brings a smile to your face. Eventually, you can figure out how much you absolutely need to maintain that smile. You’d be surprised how little money it takes to be happy.

Money Value of Time – No the sub heading for this point was not a typo. I hope most of you a familiar with the concept known as the time value of money. This concept states that money today is more valuable than money promised in the future. This is because money today can be used to gain interest or other capital gains, while money in the future is subjected to inflation. The concept that is dubbed money value of time is what I’d like to take a few moments to discuss. How much is your time worth? What really is the difference between someone paying you 11.50 to scrape vomit off the floor and 11.50 to work in an office building? Either way you are giving your time up for a piece of paper that is used to purchase goods and services. If someone can rent you at that price, how much is it to purchase you? Doesn’t everyone have a price? Essentially as a society the mental shackles that were once based on race have been changed to mental shackles based on class. Notice how adamant the rich are about not wasting their time, that is one of the few things you can’t replace.

 The Solution – You need to start valuing your time and saying no to the things that aren’t beneficial to you. It is perfectly ok to say that you can’t stay when your boss tries to pressure you into clocking overtime. You have your passion to rush home to work on! Maybe you need to assess the company you keep and tell them no you can’t hang out because you have other things you need to take care of. There is nothing wrong with valuing your time above everything else, if you don’t then who will?

It Doesn’t Travel – No matter what your beliefs are about the afterlife, your riches won’t be coming with you when you pass on. You can possess all the money in the world but it won’t matter one bit when you’re put in the ground. Having a good sense of reality can really put things into perspective. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind you? Do you want to be so focused on chasing money that you let the beauty of life pass you by?

 The Solution – Focus on living in the moment. When you focus on living in the moment you end up changing your perspective for the better. Ultimately, it becomes easier to appreciate the little things in life that take your breath away. You will see the beauty in things that you once took for granted. You begin to appreciate the people around you because you can recognize things in them that you value in yourself.

 Self-Improvement – If you’re a crappy person while poor then you will probably be an even crappier person when you strike it rich. Chasing money usually causes one to head down a dark path that requires them to live a parasitic lifestyle. A lifestyle where they feed off other people to achieve their goals. Additionally, it is easy to become manipulative and selfish when you get into the habit of thinking “money over everything” and “money is the motive”.

 The Solution – Self-improvement ought to be the goal of anyone seeking to live a joy fulfilled life. Studies show that our brain releases feel good chemicals when we learn a new skill. Leveling up constantly is a great way to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. This goes twice fold when choosing a career. It is important to choose a career path where you are learning something new on a consistent basis. If you are stuck in a position where everything you are doing is mundane and repetitive then I implore you to seek change.

Conclusion – Changing your mindset isn’t something that happens overnight, but it is something that can be done with the right steps.  When creating your personal paradise it is important that you take a serious look at your actions and analyze what you can do to better serve your higher purpose. If you enjoyed this useful post please like, subscribe, and share!

 

“Time ceased being money the moment it began being happiness.” – Negus Lamont

 

5 Reasons You Should Talk To Yourself

Think talking to yourself is only for the crazies? Think again.

Just by reading the title you’re probably already thinking to yourself crazy alert! But that was the whole point. You were thinking to yourself. What is really the difference between thinking to yourself and talking to yourself? The biggest difference is that one is thought to be completely normal while the other is thought to be for the crazies like myself. I’m here to discuss five scientific reasons why you should talk to yourself out loud.

  1. Calm Down – Yes you read that correctly, I told you to calm down. When we’re angry we tend to do and say things that we would normally keep to ourselves. It is easy to make big mistakes while we’re upset. Why not take a breather and talk yourself out of the big mistake? Talking out loud will allow you to voice your perspective and analyze what it is that has you so hot and bothered. Additionally, it gives you time to cool down and act when you are in a more balanced state.
  2. Inner Debate – To expand on the last point, talking out loud will allow one to have an inner debate with themselves. This process of blessing your ears with your own thoughts allows one to debate both the pros and cons of a situation. Allowing you to see both sides of the story. Often in most cases a problem is simply two different sides of the same coin. With an audible approach to thinking you can gain much needed clarity and come up with solutions that you wouldn’t normally come up with.
  3. Self-Motivation – This one is a BIG reason to get up and start having a conversation with yourself. Studies show that those who voice their thoughts for motivation purposes have an increased success rate in achieving those goals, additionally they feel happier and more accomplished when doing so. Who will be your biggest cheerleader if not you? Besides who else can you rely on to tell you exactly what you need to hear if not yourself?
  4. Practice Makes Perfect – Do you have a big date coming up? Or maybe you have a huge performance and are getting the jitters? Perhaps there is a difficult conversation that you want to have with a friend, family, or spouse. Well the solution is to practice what you want to say beforehand. But the key as you probably guessed it is to say these things out loud. This allows you to be prepared for when that big moment comes up. There is no way around it, practice makes perfect and a monologue is the best way to achieve said perfection.
  5. Subdue Your Subconscious – Another big reason to join in on a monologue is that you can release your subconscious from its shackles. Suppressed emotions and thoughts are unhealthy and can cause various health issues such as anxiety and stress. By having conversations with the self, you bring these things to the light so you can deal with them. Unfortunately, keeping things bottled up isn’t the best solution. This solo time is the perfect time to deal with your darkest demons, the ones that you can’t share with anyone else. If you’re unable trust yourself with these things then who can you trust?

It is time to start taking care of your mental health which is something that very few people know how to do. This can be the first step in the journey that is your mental health, please do not take it lightly. If you found anything in this post useful please subscribe, like, or share. I look forward to providing you with more useful posts in the future!

The Cardinal Dating Rules

Dating in 2017 can be a real headache! Allow these five rules to be your Advil.

Dating today is like pulling teeth. With the emergence of Tinder, POF, and other online dating sites/apps you have been reduced to a disposable commodity. But you are more than that. You are a human being who has hopes and dreams. One of them is to find a partner that stimulates you mentally and physically. To find the right person, it is crucial that you hold yourself accountable. This way you won’t fall to the many pitfalls that is the minefield of 2017 dating. These rules are called the Cardinal Dating Rules which apply to both men and women seeking dating success in 2017.

  1. Love yourself.

This rule is by far the most important one. Dating isn’t supposed to be about filling a void in your heart. It is supposed to be about finding someone that makes your stomach tingle. Whether that is romantically, sexually, or mentally. When you date to fill a void, you end up short changing yourself because you are relying on someone else to do what you can do for yourself. Additionally, you will come across as needy and potentially push that special person away.

  1. You are NOT disposable.

Please repeat after me, you are not disposable! With how easy it is to swipe right it feels as if we are living in a world of abundance when it comes to suitors. Although the clear majority of men are sending the exact same message to a dozen other women that doesn’t mean that you aren’t special. Entertain men who point out specific details of your profile and ask thought provoking questions. Just because the guy wants to sleep with you doesn’t mean that is all he wants. If you are male then the reality is that the woman you have matched with probably isn’t going to respond. Chances are your message got lost in the sea of messages or she doesn’t even check her dating app anymore due to being overwhelmed. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t a suitable mate it just means you must cast your line out more often. Hence the vicious cycle. Ultimately, one must be patient in this dating game and weed through the muck to find their personal gemstone.

  1. Have Standards

This goes hand in hand with number one. One must have standards for a partner. At the same time, one needs to be realistic in their expectations. When looking for a significant other you need to assess your own dating value. For example, if you live in a shack have no job and have no prospects whatsoever then you probably shouldn’t expect your partner to have these things and more. At the same time don’t limit yourself by setting your standards too low. If you have a good head on your shoulders, are career driven, and well educated then don’t accept a partner who can’t step in your arena.

  1. Multi-Dating

With the convenience gained from dating apps comes a major repercussion. Chances are the person you are dating is dating other people. Because of this it is more difficult than ever to hold someone’s attention. At the same time, this can work in your favor. Dating multiple people allows you to experience different personalities and choose someone that best meets your standards. Every great hunter has several arrows for their bow.

  1. Social media is NOT your best friend

Just because you can post anything you want on social media doesn’t mean you should. Especially when it comes to the dating game. The whole world doesn’t need to know when you and the person your dating enter an argument. Additionally, this childish tactic serves the purpose of embarrassing both you and your partner. It is a clear cry for attention. Be direct and address any issues you have with your partner.

Conclusion

Dating doesn’t have to be difficult but it is challenging when done right. That is the beauty of it. It takes time and energy to find someone that sparks that special spot in your heart. But it is worth it in the end. Be sure to mind these five rules and feel free to create some of your own. It is important that you know your worth and trust your gut instinct. Life is a journey that is meant to be lived with both eyes open, enjoy the twists and turns.

“One step in the right direction is worth a thousand in the wrong.” – Negus Lamont

 

 

Escaping The Digital Daze

Are you married to your technology? It may be time for a separation!

The Digital Age

What a wonderful time to be alive! Please take a moment to take a deep breath and acknowledge this fact. We live in an age where with one single click of a button you can reach hundreds, thousands, even millions of people. This digital age that we live in allows many luxuries. These luxuries include ease of implementation, convenience, and as already mentioned reach. But what happens when the luxuries that we so often take advantage of turn us into walking zombies? What happens when the digital craze turns into a Digital Daze?

The Digital Craze

There have been several technological advances that have come within the last hundred years to propel society forward leaps and bounds. The three I would like to bring your attention to are the computer, the internet, and the cellular phone. The educational benefits from owning a computer are vast. With its ability to compute highly complicated tasks in a short period of time has saved lives. In a similar fashion, the Internet has propelled civilization by connecting people across the world. Without the internet many things that we currently take for granted would not be possible. Finally, we have the Cellular Phone which has catapulted itself into the hands of over 60% of the world population. These three pieces of technology have several things in common, but one truly stands out. They were all designed to expedite the flow of information. Combined these three have allowed us to have access to a near unlimited amount of information in mere seconds. So, what’s the problem?

The Digital Daze

The problem lays in just how much our brain can handle. Our brains are constantly flooded with information coming from all kinds of sources. Because of this it is easy for the brain to become bogged down with useless information. Symptoms of Digital Daze are anxiety, depression, poor decision making, insomnia, and memory loss. Which coincidentally are all things that can be caused by stress. In other words, spending too much time with your technology can lead to stress. This should not be news as many of us have experienced the dreaded Timeline Demon. The moment where you catch yourself watching the lives of your friends and family online only to have a feeling of inadequacy at your own accomplishments. That feeling of dread and pain knowing that you aren’t as happy as they appear to be. Maybe if you spent less time on social media and more time on your goals you wouldn’t feel that way? Another issue that rears its hideous head is communication. Studies have shown that millennials have worse social skills than their parents. Having a face full of screen on a consistent basis makes it difficult to exercise some of the higher cognitive functions that deal with leadership skills, empathy, conflict resolution, communication, and the ability to expression emotions.

The Digital Phase

The solution to the age of technology is not to turn yourself into a hermit who hides away in a shack. But there is some balancing that is called for. Once and a while it is a good idea to get away from “The World” and spend time on yourself. Something as simple as a weekly walk in the park can do wonders for your health. In addition to nature walks one can go into a deep meditative state where they ponder their life’s greatest mysteries. Meditation helps to relieve stress, increase happiness, and increases self-awareness. All of which are crucial to living a fruitful and balanced existence. Interacting with friends could bring a whole new (old) dynamic when you hang out without phones. It forces you to actually talk to each other and if you guys have nothing to talk about…it’s probably time to find new friends.