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Rules for Humans #9 Your life is up to you.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Rule 9: Your life is up to you.
Life provides the canvas; you do the painting. Take charge of your life - or someone else will.

Reminds me of one of the motivational quotes I have in my collection:
"If we don't discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us."
- William Feather

It also makes me think of the principle that your life is not about whether or not youíre lucky to avoid disasters, but rather about how you handle the inevitable situations that arise.

Or a principle in Aikido that you donít wait for life (or an attack) to happen to you, but rather lead the situation to the most harmonious conclusion you can manage.

Since Iím a legal adult and not a ward of the state or something, my life IS up to me, I suppose. I can do whatever I want with it.

Right now it suits me to spend time in boats. Lots of time in boats.
www.flickr.com/photos/47911494@N06/c
ollections/72157624923446540


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For the past 2 weeks I have commented on the Rules for Being Human. I like their sensible approach and now that I'm transitioning back into kayaking and training for kayaking it seems like a good time to revisit them.

To see all of the blog posts I wrote in this series, go here:
docs.google.com/document/d/1Ci-bdg7_
3CEnBXkc9TxHkgRTsJJt-jL_NfhJDL_nebE/ed
it?usp=sharing


You can see all of the rules by themselves, here: rules4humans.com

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KHAYNES_WDE 11/7/2011 11:27AM

    A positive outlook!

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KAYOTIC 11/5/2011 1:08PM

    And it's so empowering to realize that each of us has the power to decide how we want to live our lives, and that we really can forge our own path....rather than just reacting to outside forces all the time. Or even that our reaction is up to us as well...

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L*I*T*A* 11/5/2011 12:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ANDALEX 11/5/2011 2:19AM

    just cruised by on ddoorn's advice and read your rules for humans series. wonderful blogging! many of these issues are ones i've grappled with...or should have. thanks for sharing your history and insights!

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BLVINBUTTERFLYS 11/5/2011 12:26AM

    emoticonit!

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WATERMELLEN 11/4/2011 8:09PM

    Yes, there are a few disasters from time to time . . . and yes, up to me how I deal with 'em! Gosh, this doing an excellent imitation of a grownup thing can be exhausting . . . so appealing to shift the responsiblity to someone else at least once in a while!

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DDOORN 11/4/2011 3:19PM

    I've spent too much time in my life being a tumbleweed and blowing whichever way the winds carry me.

I STILL have to fight sliding down the "easiest" path of least resistance because all to often it proves to be the TOUGHEST route in the long run!

Don

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SLFGOLF 11/4/2011 1:01AM

    Very true. Our attitudes can make all the difference I know. I have to go into things positively, make wise decisions, and follow through.

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Rules for Humans #8 Others are only mirrors of you.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Rule 8: Others are only mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.

I have to say that yes, almost always when someone gets under my skin it is because they share some kind of trait that I donít like in myself. My innate laziness and procrastination. My tendency to try and jump ahead in a conversation and anticipate where the other person is taking it. My greedy tendencies. My insecurity about being left out of things.

I think itís harder to see the things I like about myself in others, but theyíre probably there. I enjoy folks with a gritty, insightful sense of humor, who are not afraid to be ďrealĒ about how things really are. Who can step up and deal with difficult situations when they need to. Who can lead when itís necessary, and follow when that is warranted. Who are team players and offer a hand wherever itís needed. People who are intelligent and clever and yet have a childlike ability to find amusement in simple things. Perhaps some of these are in me, too. It would be nice to think so.

I suppose the most helpful thing that can come out of this principle is to try and be aware to the qualities in others that either get under our skin or make us want to be around them. Once weíre aware, we can try to eliminate or cultivate those qualities in ourselves.

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For the past 2 weeks I have commented on the Rules for Being Human. I like their sensible approach and now that I'm transitioning back into kayaking and training for kayaking it seems like a good time to revisit them.

To see all of the blog posts I wrote in this series, go here:
docs.google.com/document/d/1Ci-bdg7_
3CEnBXkc9TxHkgRTsJJt-jL_NfhJDL_nebE/ed
it?usp=sharing


You can see all of the rules by themselves, here: rules4humans.com

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/3/2011 9:40PM

    You are indeed "that" person: humorous, real, a leader, intelligent, able to take pleasure in the simple childlike stuff: all of that's clear!

But: lazy? procrastinating? greedy? insecure? Hmm. Seems harsh. Not apparent from this point of view.

And: I'm never sure it's very possible to eliminate or cultivate qualities. Maybe only possible to learn how to "manage" them . . . if that. Some people have personalities that are more difficult to manage than others . . . and I'm thinking that a huge component of personality is innate/inherited like height, eye colour and the like.

But for sure: if I "manage" my own personality (difficult!) I'm more likely to evoke different responses from others! And when I don't like others . . .it's often a signal they're reflecting something I don't like about myself. Yeah.

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KAYOTIC 11/3/2011 11:03AM

    Agree! Those qualities you listed as "like" come out in your blogs and posts....

And I also try to look at qualities in others I'd like to cultivate in myself, I tend to be introverted, but then also to take on leadership roles, so it can be a bit of an internal struggle, I like to see how more extroverted folks behave and try to emulate those behaviors when I need to.



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DDOORN 11/3/2011 10:26AM

    "Perhaps some of these are in me"...? Absolutely YES! :-)

Don

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Rules for Humans #7 _There_ is no better than _here_

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Rule 7: "There" is no better than "here"
When your "there" becomes a "here" you will simply obtain another "there" that looks better than "here".

Iím not sure the new ďhereĒ even looks better. Often it just looks *different*.

THE FOLLOWING OPINION IS AN ODD THING TO SHARE ON A WEBSITE DEVOTED TO CHANGING OUR LIVES, BUT IT REFLECTS HOW I FEEL, SO I'M GOING TO JUST LET IT FLY.

I am where I am. Even when I was at my heaviest in the mid 300s I had a pretty fulfilling life. This life now is not necessarily better, itís just different. I had a different set of priorities, and some of the new priorities have wedged out the old ones. It's not as if a door opened into a magical fairyland where my life is suddenly perfect now.

I used to enjoy eating out more because I didnít care about how much or what type of food I ate. I used to avidly play board games with other cerebral friends. I read a lot more back then. I used to play my violin and guitar more often. I donít have as much time for those things now because Iím more interested in doing active things outside or else training to stay in shape to do those active things outside.

The things I get to do now are fun, and I enjoy being able to shop in ďnormalĒ stores and fly in planes without a seat belt extender and itís an ego boost to mostly like what I see in the mirror. And I am not as concerned about mobility issues.

But Iím definitely not a better person, and Iím not sure I can say itís a better life I have now. It is more comfortable in some ways, and less comfortable in others. It just different. Really, really, really different.

And will I be happier and more fulfilled when Iím back comfortably within goal range? Probably not. Iíll be able to do the things I like even more easily and with less likelihood of injury, and my favorite clothes will fit, but there are choices I have to make in order to maintain that level of fitness, and when you pick one choice that means youíre turning down another.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not rushing to put back on the pounds in disappointment that my life is not all stardust and rainbows now that I've lost 50% of my body weight.

I do prefer the way things are now, and it's worth it to me to do the work to keep it that way.

So in the end, I think itís more about accepting wherever you are, and if there is something else youíd like to explore, work on changing it to see if you prefer it that way. But in the end YOU are still going to be essentially YOU, just in a different setting, with different habits.

--------------------
For the past 2 weeks I have commented on the Rules for Being Human. I like their sensible approach and now that I'm transitioning back into kayaking and training for kayaking it seems like a good time to revisit them.

To see all of the blog posts I wrote in this series, go here:
docs.google.com/document/d/1Ci-bdg7_
3CEnBXkc9TxHkgRTsJJt-jL_NfhJDL_nebE/ed
it?usp=sharing


You can see all of the rules by themselves, here: rules4humans.com

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 11/6/2011 10:16AM

    Great blog....different yes, necessarily better, no, worth it? decidedly yes! The journey does change over time....my attitude changes over time, and here and there may change as well, but we really only ever have "here" (or "now") at any given moment, so it does pay to appreciate that when we have it! (and I really had blocked out the joy of not caring what was in the food when I could eat with abandon...it was so long ago, not that I don't enjoy eating now, I do try to go with really delicious choices, but also ones that fit into my current mindset about food, which means less processed, and more from the source...) "food" for thought.

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SALSIFY 11/3/2011 7:52AM

    I loved this blog. Thanks for posting it.

It was only when I realised that losing weight & getting fit would only solve problems in my life directly related to being overweight & unfit that I was able to start losing the weight. Before that, when I thought that life should be perfect once I was a normal weight, it was too overwhelming to think about changing.

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MOBYCARP 11/3/2011 7:30AM

    Does "there" look better than "here"? I tend to have the opposite experience, that "here" looks pretty good and "there" looks scary. Of course, that's not always true either. "There" is just different, not necessarily better or worse.

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WATERMELLEN 11/2/2011 8:02PM

    This is so candid and I appreciate that. Fact is, there are "gains" to losing . . . and losses too. It is fun sitting around being cerebral and eating whatever you like and engaging in all the other sedentary ways of passing time . . . yeah! And it's not entirely fun to be thin when you take into consideration what it costs, including eternal vigilance/tracking/expenditure of energy and all the rest of that. Plus: being thin doesn't magically solve every other problem (and does create a few new ones including loss of friends who don't care for my new priorities or don't frankly fit in to them).

On balance? worth it. Absolutely. More ease, more comfort, more pleasure in inhabiting the bodies we are. But as you say, not without cost.

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KHAYNES_WDE 11/2/2011 6:52PM

    I hadn't really thought about the whole different vs. better thing. I'm going to ponder that one. My initial instinct is that life after losing 100+ pounds is different AND better... Sounds like something for me to process. emoticon

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XNANNY 11/2/2011 6:46PM

    One of my brothers plays guitar and he has trouble with his fingers if he stays away too long! I hope you are enjoying life as it seems that you are.

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DDOORN 11/2/2011 6:13PM

    Self-acceptance is just so HUGE! For many of us (yours truly most DEFINITELY included!) the *interior* work is just as vital as the *exterior* work in reclaiming our lives!

You play guitar too! How about that! Bet your guitar is gathering as much dust as mine...lol!

I DO pick it up once every month or so to make sure I haven't TOTALLY forgotten how to play! :-)

Don

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Rules for Humans #6 You will know you've learned a lesson when your actions change.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Rule 6: You will know you've learned a lesson when your actions change.
Wisdom is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.

I have definitely seen my actions change in the past three years.

I finally bit the bullet and accepted that I have to track everything. I have learned to embrace the numbers and use them as tools to help get me where I want to go.

I track my food (and use a scale for accuracy)
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_pu
blic_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=25
88275

I track my weight daily (and follow the trend at physicsdiet.com and on my iPod)
I track my % body fat daily (and watch the 6-month trend)
I track my exercise with a heart rate monitor (the Polar website keeps a log of my training load)

To make it easier to do this I use a nutrition tracker on my iPod that works without any internet connection. I have an app on there that also tracks my trend weight for me. More about iPod apps here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_pu
blic_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=39
60282


And my activity levels have changed. I used to spend a lot of time in the horizontal position reading - and eating. Now my week looks something like this:

M - Tae Kardio at lunchtime, Body Pump Class in the evening
Tu - XC ski at lunchtime (if there is snow), Spinning in the evening
W - Tae Kardio at lunchtime, Body Pump Class in the evening
Th - Tae Kardio at lunchtime, Spinning in the evening
F- Rest, stretching, sometimes a deep tissue massage
Sa - Playing outside (kayaking, XC skiing, snowboarding, road cycling, etc.)
Su - Playing outside and 4hr kayak rolling / skills session

I guess the fact that Iím actually DOING this is evidence that Iíve learned that I need to.

For now. Iím sure Iíll lapse again in the future at some point. Life seems to just go that way. But maybe Iíve learned the lesson hard enough and frequently enough that the lapse wonít happen until a long while...

I sure hope so. LOL

--------------------
For the past 2 weeks I have commented on the Rules for Being Human. I like their sensible approach and now that I'm transitioning back into kayaking and training for kayaking it seems like a good time to revisit them.

To see all of the blog posts I wrote in this series, go here:
docs.google.com/document/d/1Ci-bdg7_
3CEnBXkc9TxHkgRTsJJt-jL_NfhJDL_nebE/ed
it?usp=sharing


You can see all of the rules by themselves, here: rules4humans.com

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/2/2011 7:51PM

    Aristotle said that there is no virtue except in action! By whihc he meant "doing" as opposed to contemplating "the good". And: you're exemplifying that for sure, in every sense of the word "action"!

I am enjoying this blog series so much. Thank you!

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XNANNY 11/2/2011 7:18PM

    If it is a habit it is hard to break, so you might not have to learn this again. I hope so for your sake.

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DDOORN 11/2/2011 3:28PM

    Tracking is SO BASIC and SO ESSENTIAL, as I've been learning *THE HARD WAY!* :-)

Don

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KAYOTIC 11/2/2011 10:21AM

    Good stuff....tracking works for me too...mostly the weight and activity tracking, and I like the quick tracker for fruits/veggies and water, it keeps me honest!

Love all the lunchtime workouts, I keep thinking I may have to give that a try...

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FISHPOND7 11/2/2011 9:23AM

    I wish I could take a look at your food you are tracking. Sometimes it helps to see what others are eating that look like they are on a similar plan re. carbs and protein and about the same calorie level. Keep up the good work.

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SILLYGIRL106 11/2/2011 1:06AM

    Great blogs !!
Would like to read more but I'm getting sleepy it's 1:00am here in Pa.
Thanks for the inspiration to never give up !!!

~AMY~
emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 11/2/2011 12:26AM

    Cool! Thanks for posting the rules4humans link, too!
HUGS!
Jocelyn

(My sister is due to have her 3rd child in February, so I might be coming out to Central NY in 2012, maybe we can visit!)

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Rules for Humans #5 If you don't learn easy lessons, they get harder.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Rule 5: If you don't learn easy lessons, they get harder.
External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state. When you clear obstructions, your outside world changes. Pain is how the Universe gets your attention.

This rule reminds me of the previous one, that lessons are repeated until learned.

Iím not sure why lessons would necessarily get harder, though.

Perhaps what this rule means is that if you donít deal with stuff itíll cause other stuff to happen, making a bigger pile of stuff youíre going to have to deal with at some point.

In an example too familiar to me, if youíre gaining weight and donít reverse the trend youíll feel less like getting fit and end up adding even more weight to that. And so on until eventually youíre painfully lugging around 180+ extra pounds of fat. That are killing you slowly. And causing additional problems on top of what was already there.

So maybe the lessons really do get bigger if we delay in learning them...

--------------------
For the past 2 weeks I have commented on the Rules for Being Human. I like their sensible approach and now that I'm transitioning back into kayaking and training for kayaking it seems like a good time to revisit them.

To see all of the blog posts I wrote in this series, go here:
docs.google.com/document/d/1Ci-bdg7_
3CEnBXkc9TxHkgRTsJJt-jL_NfhJDL_nebE/ed
it?usp=sharing


You can see all of the rules by themselves, here: rules4humans.com

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/1/2011 8:04PM

    Compounding interest, I think: and not in a good way. (Maybe compounding disinterest, when I haven't taken the lessons seriously enough soon enough).

Been at the 230 pound, though. From not paying attention while those 100 extra calories a day compounded to 10 pounds a year compounded to 90 extra pounds. Yeah!!

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DDOORN 11/1/2011 2:40PM

    Oh yeah...know ALL ABOUT the harder part...lol! Ugh! The WAY HIGH price of being thick-headed!

Don

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SLENDERELLA61 11/1/2011 11:34AM

    Very good one! I will go check out the link. Looks like very important stuff indeed. -Marsha

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