The Four H’s of Self Destruction: Have You Fallen Into The Trap?

I’m tired. All the time. And I’m ashamed of myself that I have not been able to overcome it. Quite simply, I have not been accomplishing what I’d like to in my life specifically when it comes to my blog and the “bigger” plans I have for it.

People struggle with so much more than I do on a daily basis. I feel like a weakling, a 40-year old dude from NY who can’t get his shit together. I’m doing my best, but it never feels good enough.

I’m dedicated to my kids and my wife. They come first, and that’s how I like it. But somewhere along the way I have lost my balance. Being dedicated to my family should not mean sacrificing all of oneself. But in my mind, in a twisted subconcious way, it seems I have done just that  sacrificed my professional happiness in order to be a better dad and husband.

But nobody asked me to.

I just feel there’s just not enough time in the day to get it all done (or so it appears at first glance). And after working long hours 5-days a week, how can I take more time away from my family?

The result is a crabby, edgy, non-satisfied dad who feels unfulfilled in the career department. Since I have no plans of putting my kids or wife anywhere but in the number one position, I need to find another way to make time for myself. Time where I have enough energy and cognitive process to work on Fulfilling Career Stuff (FCS).

Although the term does sound a bit funny, I think just about any parent can understand where I’m coming from.

So I took a closer look at my situation, how I spend my time.

I realized (for the umpteenth time) that there is a small window of opportunity after the kids go the bed for me to be productive and work on my FCS. About 2 hours before I pass out (only to wake up with keyboard face).

So why do I play Internet poker instead of working on my blog, my idea for a TV show or my book? Why aren’t I working MORE on making Daddy Brain a bigger deal, one that can potentially support my family? This is what I THINK & SAY my goal is, so why aren’t I taking ACTION on it?

When the night rolls around, I WANT A BREAK. But then all day long, I WANT CHANGE. I’m getting stuck in wants, and when that happens I find myself lacking the very things I desire. I’m basically stuck in resistance.

Is part of it self sabotage? Maybe, but it think the problem is more complex than that.

It begins with being exhausted. And when I’m this tired I become captured by the Four H’s of Self Destruction: Hobby becomes Habit becomes Harmful becomes Hated.

Bear with me while I explain because this is a dilemma I think most people struggle with. One that traps us in a particular state of mind that makes us incapeable of accomplishing that which is so important to us.

Many of us have hobbies, things that are fun, bring us joy, help us relax and so on. Technically speaking, hobbies are harmless as long as they remain hobbies. But sometimes something happens to these harmless things they change and become…

Let’s take my Internet poker playing as an example. At one point playing Internet poker was just a hobby. But somewhere along the way it became a coping mechanism. It became something that, as the day wore on, I would feel more and more of a compulsion to do.

Don’t worry, I’ve made money and I’m not broke from it. But it has robbed more hours from my life than I can count. Just an hour or two a night, but the hours add up. Put together, these same hours could have resulted in a book, dozens of blog posts or a spec script for the TV show I’m developing. It could have also been dedicated to some extra sleep which would keep me in a better state of mind (making it easier to avoid the Four H’s of Self Destruction).

Another example: a casual drinker who has two or three beers a week. This turns to a six pack a week. Then multiple beers a night until this casual drinker (hobby) has a drinking problem (habit). It could be any hobby that mercilessly grasps you sex, drugs, TV, reading, puzzles, exercise, naps, crosswords… the list is endless.

Now your little hobby has turned into a monster. It negatively affects your life, your relationships, your work whatever. And since it’s no longer a hobby, but a habit, it is very difficult to stop.

Sometimes we hate the habit, sometimes we hate ourselves for having the habit. Often, people just feel unhappy and unfulfilled and don’t allow themselves to go any further. Let’s face it: turning a hobby into a habit is a great way to hinder ourselves. For many it is a path to self destruction.

In the following weeks, I plan on diving deeper into each of the for H’s. I hope you’ll stick around to read them, and more importantly to share your opinion so we can all become happier, more fulfilled human beings.

A clear indication of whether I’m figuring this out or not will be the amount of blog posts I am able to complete. And the amount of poker I am able to avoid.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:
The Four H’s of Self Destruction: When Hobby Becomes Habit

Give Your Kids One of the Greatest Gifts of All: Their Own Voice

This holiday season, many of us are facing tough economic times. With little or no “spending” money for holiday gifts, what’s a dad (or mom) to do?

Fortunately, you can give your kids one of the greatest gifts of all. It doesn’t cost a dime, but it lasts a lifetime. And its positive effects are immeasurable.

You don’t even have to wait for Christmas! You can give this gift on a daily basis (hopefully many of you already do)…

Give your kids one of the greatest gifts in the world: their own voice.

No, I’m not talking about a lovely singing voice. I’m talking about something far more important. Every time our kids’ share a thought, opinion or feeling with us, it’s a moment filled with potential — the potential to support their voice or to undermine it. If we’re able listen, we show them respect — acknowledging that what they say (and who they are) is important.

This gift is as simple (and as difficult) as taking the time to really listen to what our children have to say. They might be telling us something that seems completely trivial, insignificant and unimportant. But it’s important to them. If we disregard what they’re expressing to us as unimportant (either verbally or non-verbally), what are we really saying to them? The situation becomes ripe for feelings of rejection and disapproval.

This is not to say that we always need to agree with our kids. It means that we need to hear them out. Not when they reach a certain age, but now.

I firmly believe that honoring our children as human beings is one of the major ways we can help them fulfill their potential in life. I do not want my boys to become “cookie-cutter kids” that fall onto the conveyor belt of life. My job is to support, nurture & love them for who they truly are, and do my part in giving them the tools to discover just who that really is.

Just because someone’s little, doesn’t mean his or her opinion is any less significant than ours. We all deserve the right to be heard. Kids deserve the same basic human rights as us.

Like it or not, we are the ones who play the largest part (at least while they’re little) in bestowing these rights upon them. In doing so we’re shaping our kids’ sense of self worth & self esteem. We are responsible for making sure they don’t grow up to be directionless, opinionless lost adults who are always seeking approval from others because they lack it for themselves.

If we teach them to believe in themselves now, empower our little buggers and let them know they are worthwhile people, I’m hoping this will make them more resilient to the unyielding grind of life. Hey, maybe it won’t even feel like a grind if we do our job right.

Our children are superstars. It’s our business to help them shine.

And remember, you are not alone…

The Road to Nowhere: It’s not too late to recreate your reality

Those of us old enough to remember the band, The Talking Heads, know that this is the title of a fantastic song. But what about the roads we travel each day? The path that we’ve carved out for ourselves, or the one that we unwillingly walk because it’s the only one we see?

I often feel mixed emotions about my existence. On the one hand, I have a beautiful family that brings be great joy and offers me unconditional love. I am so grateful, and I feel there’s nothing more special or important than my wife and kids. On the other hand, my wife and I have been facing health issues, and like most “middle-class Americans,” finances have been tight. Although I believe (spiritually and in my heart) that there is always a solution to every situation, my thoughts often wander into feeling that there’s nowhere to turn.

The road I’m traveling feels like the drive that never ends, with no relief in sight. Or so it seems. And although I think most parents face this same dilemma, that doesn’t make it right, normal or particularly sane.

I believe that we create our own reality. I’ve written about it many times on this blog, including posts on Anything is Possible; The Magic Quarter: Creating Your Own Reality; and Positive Energy: Life Changing Energy.

How does creating, or recreating, our reality work?
For those of you who haven’t heard the concept before, it’s basically about being mindful about what you’d like to bring into your existence. Think and speak about what you would like to manifest in your life and it will come. It also involves action — doing your part — to help the manifestation occur. There are a bunch of books on the subject that will explain it to you better than I can (see a brief listing below), but that’s basically it. Think, speak, do — and eventually it will manifest.

I’d like to clarify that sometimes “doing” has nothing to do with what you’re really doing. It’s about who you are being in relation to what you’re doing that’s important. Doing will keep you busy, but it’s stagnant. Being is dynamic, and is a much more powerful way to live.

In a very direct way, how you change your child’s diaper is related to changing your life. Are you happy to do it? Or complaining because the poop stinks and you’re running late, and you didn’t get a restful night’s sleep? In life, do you take action on what needs to be done to better your existence, or do you let fatigue and lack of time (difficult reasons to overcome) stop you? It’s all about being true to who you are no matter what you are doing or where you happen to be. The more positive we are, the more positivity we attract into our lives. This is no easy feat, but if we can pull it off we become like a giant magnet, attracting our desires. The bigger the magnet, the faster we create. This is how we accomplish great things.

Otherwise, we’re on a road to nowhere.

And remember, you are not alone…

Recommended books on creating your own reality:
– Conversations with God, by Neil Donald Walsh
– Spirit Healing, by Mary Dean Atwood

Related posts:
Out of Energy, Out of Time, Out of Luck?
The Magic Quarter: Creating Your Own Reality
Anything is Possible