My-next is that part of us who wants our future to be happy. My-now is that part of us who just wants to be comfortable and happy now.

The Old Ethics lionizes my-next (the good guy) and villainizes my-now (the bad guy). We are urged to sacrifice the wants and needs of my-now for the wants and needs of my-next. As a result of this, almost all of us suffer all of our life through the recurring battles between my-next and my-now.

But religion has gone one big step further in perpetuating this battle. For example, Christianity and Islam both claim that, in your afterlife, you will be punished for your sins in hell (if you indulged your my-now when you were alive) or rewarded for your virtues in heaven (if you always prioritized my-next over my-now when you were alive).

And even those religions who don't posit a hell or heaven, instead claim that you will be reborn and will either suffer from bad karma or benefit from good karma that you accumulated in this lifetime.

As the most horrific single expression of the religious expansion of the my-next/my-now wars, religions typically insist that you should never kill yourself in order to relieve your suffering in this life on the pain of being condemned in your afterlife or when you are reborn into another being.

Certain types of learning feel relatively safe. For example, if you're going to learn some algebra, it is already well known what is true and not true in the domain of algebra, with no disagreements. Also, you are not likely to learn anything that will make you regret what you believed about algebra in the past.
However, if you're going to get into learning about personal growth or nutrition or economics, you're likely to question old beliefs that will stimulate you to feel bad about what you did in the past. Or, what you learn may make you feel unsure about your current decisions and choices. That feels uncomfortable. So, maybe it's better to just believe what you already believe and not look for any information that may be disconfirming.

Whether you travel exactly east or exactly west, you will reach the same point on the opposite side of the world. Similarly, two opposing methods will lead you into enlightenment.
The first approach is called non-dual, as promoted by Ken Wilber. It is a process whereby you discover and you become that you are not separate from become that you are everything.
The second approach, more popular, is the Buddhist approach, which could be called, "Neti Neti." As you ask yourself again and again, "Who am I?," you discover that you are "not this, not that," until you become that you are nothing.
Therefore, becoming that you are everything or becoming that you are nothing both lead to the same place.

When we focus on results as our first priority, we feel stressed, pressured, as well as often disappointed and discouraged.
If, instead, we would focus first on choosing courage and enjoying the processes and journey of our life, then our life will be fun, easy, and, in the long run, we're likely to get more results also.

I have accomplished some great things in my life:
I wrote and published a 700-page book about courage...
I've made a difference in the lives of over 5000 life-coaching clients...
I have many amazing friends...
But all these don't begin to compare with the accomplishment of creating a life that I am in love with day-in-and-day-out, being my own best friend, the love and appreciation I feel for all my friends and all the people in the world, and creating an amazingly healthy body and mind.

True maturity is when we've managed to grow up, to become an adult, in a way that either maintains or re-births the innocence, spirit, energy, passion, and curiosity of the young child.

This afternoon I left my camera in a taxi by accident. I haven't found the gift in this loss yet, but I am looking around every corner to find or create that gift.
I have failed many times in my life and I am happy that I did. I'll give you three examples.
1) I dropped out of college. College was a failure for me. After that I really started to learn very enjoyably and my life blossomed quickly, getting a job with IBM within three weeks of moving to New York City.
2) I "failed" in two marriages. But, from that I learned how to create amazing long-term romantic relationship for myself.
3) My first personal assistant in Kunming failed to negotiate a deal for an apartment I wanted to rent for five years. She also quit without giving me any notice. Because of that, I found a much better apartment deal, as well as finding a new assistant who has been the best assistant and great friend for over eight years now.
Thank God for failure!

Most people's reasons for becoming parents are unexamined and flawed...

"Other people expect me to have children..." Now you will live other people's life for 20+ years...
"I want to feel needed..." What a burden to put on your children...
"My children will take care of me in my old age..." Another possible burden for you children...and, if you just invested the money you saved by not having children, you could afford to pay somebody to take care of you ten times over (and you can fire them if they are not doing a good job)...
The only good reason to become a parent is that you are very clear that you have more to learn from them than they have to learn from you (in terms of spirit, life enthusiasm, and curiosity) and that you are sure that you will enjoy being with and showing respect to your children day-in-and-day-out for 20+ years...

Can you be proactive instead of reactive?

Reactive is fine when it gets you the responses that you want.
But, when we react with blame (towards another or ourself)...
When we react with anger...
When we react with withdrawal...
...then we usually don't get the responses that we want.
Learn to interrupt this reaction with proaction...
Much happier!

If you read and listen to stuff that you already agree with, you're not likely to learn anything new.

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