Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The No-Nonsense Approach to Life - set Boundaries

There come times when you're really forced to sit down, and ask yourself what you care about.

We spend a lot of time on meaningless distraction. Snap chat is distraction; facebook is distraction; TV is distraction; junk food is distraction. We even indulge in distracting and low quality thoughts, like ' I wonder what that person thinks of me?' or 'I wonder if I'm hotter than him/her?'

On your deathbed, fear will cause the distractions to melt away, and you'll re-address life and what you made of it. And any situation which wasn't win-win, conscious, aligned with your authentic self or bliss or purpose - you will regret. You will wish you had a second chance.

For this reason boundaries are very important. If we don't impose standards on our lives, then we're all over the place, letting all kinds of distractions and bad thoughts permeate our brains.

The thing you call 'you' is a sponge. It soaks up external influences and uses them to paint this mental image of who you THINK you are. But if you don't create a filter, then you will he bombarded with criticism, praise, advertisements and opinions. All of this stuff snowballs in your psyche to create you. The question is, what kind of you do you want?

There's no way you can stop this from happening, but you can set boundaries in your life. With no boundaries you could end up being a people pleaser, or someone going through life unthinking and unaware of deeper truths, or worse, an addict.

So what are your standards for yourself?

Really consider this now.

Notice whenever you're falling beneath your standards, and bring the boundaries down firmly. Be firm but loving with yourself.
Is spending time watching TV valuable to people? Are you being of service? This content you're watching, is it content that you want in your head?

When you're eating a greasy slice of pizza, that you know is not doing your body any good - is that a substance you want inside you? Is alcohol something you want in your system? When you're going to buy a sugary drink - are you that kind of person? Will the sugar really benefit you?

When you're being judgemental towards someone - do you really want to be a bitchy person? Are you the sort of person that would talk behind someone's back? Would you want to be judged in this way?

When you're spending excessive amounts of time on the internet - when you look back on this, will you feel happy with how you spent that time? Or will you feel like you wasted it? Is the content you're viewing helping you fulfil your purpose in life?

When you're queuing in a cafe and someone cuts in front of you in line - will you stay quiet about it, afraid to cause a fuss? Are you really the kind of person that lets people walk all over you? Or will you stand up for yourself and reclaim your place?

When you're sitting at home feeling insecure thoughts - ' I'm ugly ', ' I'm worthless', 'I can't be loved', ' I've made so many mistakes, I regret so much'. Are these the kinds of thoughts you want to dwell on? Are these the kind of self damaging thoughts you should really be indulging in?

Do you really feel that by spending hours playing clash of clans, you are doing good in the world? Is that how you want to spend your time; does it make you feel energised and productive?

The list goes on endlessly.
Bring the boundaries down like iron gates! Tell yourself, I don't eat unhealthily, I don't backstab others, I don't care what other people think of me. Those things are below my standards. Do not allow yourself to do something that is simply below you. Not even if there's peer pressure, not even if a small part of you wants to.

Just don't.

That being said...

You cannot, unfortunately, just enforce these boundaries through willpower. It won't work. If you want to quit smoking, it's going to be very hard to go cold turkey. If you want to start eating healthily and feeling more alert and alive... it's going to be near impossible to just force yourself to do this.

The boundaries come naturally - when you have a sense of purpose.

As human beings, we need a sense of purpose. It can be anything; ' to spread kindness', ' to make people happier', ' to live a relaxed life'.
When you lay out a purpose like this, and hold it in your mind with each decision - then the boundaries will come far more naturally.

Another thing I need to mention: Don't become a puritan.

Self discipline is not self denial. It's the ability to separate your honest,  integral desires from the bullshit.

If you have boundaries, then you are aware of what you're doing. Take this example:

No boundaries = see chocolate, think yum, grab it, eat it.

Boundaries = see chocolate, PAUSE - I actually want to be a healthy person you know! And this is not a real, higher desire, it's not in line with the life I want. It's just my brain craving sugar. Hmm.. But I've been eating healthily all week. There's no need to be a nun - takes chocolate, eats but stops when it's enough.

That's the power of moderation and self control. You can let yourself go sometimes, but you're aware of the inputs to your body and mind, and you're always filtering, always bringing down the boundaries.

So: With every action, ask yourself, is this me? Is this how I want to be spending my time?
Is it in line with the life I want? Is it below my standards?

Establish boundaries everywhere, with other people and with yourself. You will gain respect and respect yourself too, which builds your self esteem.

I hope this helps,

- Max

1 comment:

  1. With a new site on the way, here's my perspective in hindsight... This is describing a level above being a slave to your impulses and desires. A level above this article would be letting go of all limitations and boundaries completely