Liam Johnson

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  1. Entry 357 | The Life Purpose Course Made by Actualized.org So a bit of context going into this review. Last year, I completed a music degree and decided to take a year out for some soul-searching. I had a very ambitious idea about what I wanted my life to be about but was unsure (a) that it was a legitimate idea and not a childish one, and (b) whether I would regret choosing such a lifestyle in the long run. So after some contemplation, I figured that this course would be able to set the deal straight. It would maybe reveal some things about myself that I wasn't aware of before and give some very practical advice about turning an idea into a reality. Fast-forward to today where I have just watched the final video of the course (minus FAQs). The question is: was it worth it? Of course it was. There is enough information in this course to last for years. Each video is tightly packed with all the nuggets of wisdom that you could need to go about bringing together a life purpose. The most valuable thing that I have taken away from this course is just how much value can be created in knowing yourself in depth. Sure, I knew I loved the hell out of performing music and playing guitar before starting the course. But I had no idea how vague a description that was until I went through the rigorous process to discover more about who I am, what I value and what strengths I can bring to the table. One thing I have noticed since starting the course is the amount of resistance I had to go through to complete it. Clearly, the ego realises the enormous potential of such a course to transform your life so it does whatever it can to sabotage your efforts to finish it. That's not the fault of the course. But it's something to be wary about when purchasing it. You must see it through to the end no matter if it takes you several years to finish it. It took me over half a year from start to finish with a good deal of resistance in the middle to pad it out. This course would be especially helpful for those at a loss with what to do with themselves. Even if you think you have a solid idea about what your life purpose is (like I did), you can still learn so much from this course that will make you think otherwise. The practical advice in the course is related to the inner game of building a career, no matter the profession. There are plenty of exercises, visualisations and quizzes as you complete the course and trust me that most of your resistance will be felt during those. It's easy to watch videos. It's more challenging to put your heart and soul into the exercises too. There's also a small reading list with plenty of book/video/program recommendations attached to specific videos for those wanting to take it further. Many of the books you will find in the Top 200 Self-Help Books list. It's been a long time coming, but I made it to the end. And it feels damn good! Pick of the day:
  2. Entry 356 | Leaving It All Behind The last few weeks have been full of resistance. This journal semi-abandoned but never completely. I was always going to come back to this journal but truth must be said that resistance won one over. The last year has truly been wonderful spiritually. Going to Scotland to interact with and learn from guitar heroes, finding a partner that feels like a soul mate, and having freedom to do anything has been a blessing this last year. As my life purpose started to look a lot more probable than possible, the resistance switch flipped and freaked me out. Being home with my parents this last year has been so wonderful that it's become difficult to even dream of leaving it behind to pursue a life for myself. I didn't realise how much home meant to me until me and mum had a heart-to-heart talk last night. I told her that by pursuing my life purpose, I felt like I was abandoning home and the people I love. She told me that just because I believed that didn't make it true. We could still communicate with the wonders of technology most of the time and that home would always be waiting whenever I would feel like coming back. It was also one of the few moments where my mum hasn't tried to encourage me to develop a backup plan. Instead, she willed me to start looking for as many gig opportunities as I could and go and enjoy it. That meant so much to me. So by finally allowing my deep sadness about leaving home to come to the surface, the resistance disappeared. I'm now able to face this journal and continue to self-actualise. It really sucks that the last few weeks, I've not exactly been a prime example of someone living the self-actualised life. But it's a work-in-progress and (if it's anything like practicing the guitar) it will be a lifelong practice. I said I would be back on this journal and broke my word. I could promise to do the same now but it's perhaps better to just do it. No satisfaction comes with talking about doing something. Pick of the day:
  3. Entry 355 | Self-Worth Issues Theory: It's easy to be blind to the many ways that you can provide value for others and therefore feel a lack of self-worth. Applying it: Talk to a close friend or relative about your self-worth issues to hear their perspective. They will be able to show you how much value you provide for them and others. Last night, I had a meaningful pep talk with my boyfriend about my self-worth issues. After an unproductive day, he sat me down and helped me explore what the root of the problem was. We discovered that the cause of most of my problems traced back to an event that happened in secondary school where I became a reject. I've written about this in the past so I won't do it again. Needless to say that while most of the emotional scarring had been cleared up from that incident (which happened 10 years ago now), there was still some bad conditioning left in my brain from it. Self-worth was the general theme that kept coming up. I felt unworthy of having people that cared about me in my life. So much so that my brain had been conditioned to interact less with people and in a more reserved, dishonest manner. If I liked someone, I would keep it to myself and be too afraid to let that person know it. When my boyfriend started to convince me that I had some genuine value to offer as a person, the limiting belief was so strong that the notion that I could be a value to somebody's life felt bizarre. The chance that people could actually want more of me in their life felt so strange and still does a bit. Another limiting belief that I had was that people are mostly being fake when they express that they like me. This came from that same event in childhood when my "friends" decided to abandon and reject me as a person. Every friendship since then has been approached with scepticism. I've found it hard to believe that people actually want to be my friend for genuine reasons other than wanting something from me. Sure there are fake friendships around. But it's almost as if I was looking for confirmation bias in all of my friends that they were also being fake. As I move forward as a musician, this pep talk has helped me so much to realise the potential value that I could create. Now it's clearly in sight, it's hard not to be motivated to make it possible. Pick of the day:
  4. Entry 354 | Down But Not Out Yikes, hello there. It's been a month since the last journal entry. Two of those weeks were spent on perhaps my last family holiday while the other two were full of resistance. Facing these emotions has been incredibly difficult to do. But hopefully, this journal entry will be able to shine a light onto how I'm feeling and how I'm thinking. Thanks to resistance, no longer do I have a daily meditation habit nor do I have any drive to self-actualise like I once did. I'm earning not very much money, spending less days at the gym, spending less time creating something worthwhile with my music. And the root cause of it all is my resistance to emotion. Thankfully, I feel more calm halfway through this entry to start looking at whats going on. I'm afraid of what my life will become if I succeed. My focus is not so much on where I'm going but what will be left behind. This journey is going to end up killing me, destroying my ego. To constantly give everything I've got on a daily basis until death would be a selfless way to live. And that's what I'm initially resistant towards. There have been times in the past where I've felt so content with life that I would welcome death. But I don't feel that way right now. I'm scared of death. But not because of what will come next. It's more what potential could have been squandered. Yet the ego persists to squander my life away. Self-sabotaging behaviours have been developing over the last month or so. But I still have the awareness to realise that those behaviours can change. The surest way to do that is to change the way I think. That's a lot easier said than done. And I feel like that's kind of what I've been doing ever since starting this journal. But changing the way that you think hurts. Not painfully but emotionally. Brooke Castillo would call it the "river of misery." When the conscious mind tries to teach the subconscious mind new thought patterns, there becomes a disconnect. The subconscious will put up a fight against this new thought pattern to cast it away. But even the subconscious mind will weaken eventually. As resistant as I have been over the last few months, the desire for growth has never left me. It was a voluntary act that got me to sit down and write something in this journal. And I feel that growth has happened. No longer do I tell myself that it's not possible because I can see and believe that anything is possible. The next step is to go ahead and do it and feel the discomforting emotions that come with doing it. It's like taking responsibility of both the rewards and the costs of living such a lifestyle. One can't be claimed without the other. Strangely, I feel more motivated to start bossing it now. So I'm gonna go do that while it's still there. The resistance has gone. I can now start to feel and accept the discomforting emotions along the path. I'm back. Let's boss this. Pick of the day:
  5. Entry 353 | Meeting A Hero Good grief, the cobwebs have been gathering on this journal for a while. Last weekend, I finally made it to the Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp in Scotland. This trip was booked a good 6-7 months ago and it was my aim to learn as much as I can about how to become a professional guitar player. But most important, it was to inspire me with the kind of lifestyle that is possible for me and to meet and learn from the best. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Because I went alone, it felt legitimately as if I was stepping outside of myself to live every guitar player's dream. There were three intense days of classes, workshops and concerts from Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles, Richard Smith, Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo. I also got to interact with guitar players from all over the world during meal times and at the open-mic sessions at the end of each day. Although the whole event was inspiring, the defining moment was when I got to perform with Tommy onstage. The guy can jam to anything so I chose to perform my rendition of Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. What an absolute joy it was! To look one of my guitar heroes in the eyes and perform onstage while dancing around and having fun will be the equivalent of looking into the eyes of an enlightened master who really understands me and where I'm coming from. Guitar teachers and university lecturers have taught me a lot. But there's something special about learning from the very best, from the guys who are the masters in their field, the ones who are highest up the mountain. They know things that your standard teachers and lecturers don't know. Their philosophy in life is special and so is the energy that they carry around with them. Being immersed in such an atmosphere for over a weekend has worked wonders on my beliefs. I find myself suddenly lots more optimistic and convinced that such a lifestyle is really possible. This is borderline self-actualization because it's very specific to my life purpose. However, I would recommend such an experience to everyone. Meet your heroes and learn from them. Take their classes, say hello to them. They really are just normal people like us! They're not superhuman. Pick of the day:
  6. Entry 352 | Stopping Old Habits Theory: The act of stopping your habits isn't the difficult part. It's facing the emotions that you've been resisting that is the most difficult. Applying it: Take five minutes to stop what you are doing at the end of the day and reflect on your own emotions. Don't condemn negative emotions that come up. Instead, welcome them into your life and listen to what they have to say. Yesterday's pep talk with myself was just what I needed. Today has been a day full of creative output. Meditation, exercise, guitar practice, video recording, life purpose course and cooking. I think the trick for me is not to do lots of things in the day but to do the things in great detail. The results I've created today confirm this for me. But today wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for my surrender to negative emotions the night before. Listening to the voice that came with the negative emotion, I realised just how pointless my consumption-based habits have become in my life. So long as I spent the majority of the day doing these activities, I was cutting off the amount of creativity that I could muster in a day and killing off a lot of joy to be had. Creativity was my top high-consciousness virtue (according to the work I've done in the life purpose course). This is what I deeply want my entire day to revolve around for the rest of my life. The only thing getting in the way was these old, consumption-based habits. I actually feel pumped right now about how much I've been able to achieve since turning inward and facing my emotions. By doing so, it made it very easy to drop them habits today. They really do feel less desirable after having done that exercise yesterday. My focus on creating rather than consuming has led me to live a more fulfilling day. This is the focus that I want to keep reaffirming with every day that passes. There is no joy to be got. Only to be created. Pick of the day:
  7. Entry 351 | Return To Creating Theory: Addictions may be heavily consumption-based. But on the flip side of the coin lies a more creative, healthy alternative. Applying it: Write a list of all the activities you enjoy doing and categorise them into "creating" and "consuming." For every item under the heading "consuming," try to come up with a creative counterpart. I wasn't going to journal today because of heavy resistance yet again. But for a moment before bedtime, my psyche just gave into the resistance and feel what needed to be felt. I've been spending a lot of my days consuming recently, from watching YouTube videos to buying and eating fatty snacks (my metabolism is ridiculously good, not gonna lie!). The realisation came to me that it was time to start focusing on creating. The deepest joys in life come not from what we get, but from what we create. And so this exercise came to me like a map handed to me in the middle of a jungle. I separated all the activities that I got pleasure from into two columns: creating and consuming. The key difference is in the result you get out of it at the end. Creation produces value, consumption produces no value. As I filled up the list, I started seeing that some activities surprised me because of which category they ended up in. For instance, reading non-fiction books is very much a consumption-based activity. I was confusing this with the more productive, creative counterpart of taking notes and analysing and applying teachings from the book. Then it became clear to see that everything on the consumption list could be turned into something creative. Cooking meals from scratch instead of buying pre-made meals. Analysing films and TV shows for any lessons they may offer instead of just unconsciously binging on it. Interacting with other people on YouTube instead of watching videos back to back with no interaction. Also, everything that ends up on the consumption list could be referred to as an addiction if applicable. Thus, every addiction can have a more creative counterpart. It just takes some awareness to realise what that is. Now as I sit here with this list in front of me (it's not huge), it suddenly looks a lot clearer of which activities I need to focus on. It's actually made me want to focus on them more. By finding counterparts to the consumption activities, everything in the creation column feels more attractive and worthwhile. Pick of the day:
  8. Entry 350 | Reflection Blimey, that's a lot of entries. A lot of time has passed since starting this journal and a lot of things have changed. For one, it was very easy to be optimistic at university because the whole vibe of positivity is contained within the uni bubble that you enter when you're a student. It's been almost a year since that bubble popped for me. Almost a year since the biggest recital of my life so far. And almost a year since I turned 21. The amount of resistance that I've tackled in the last year has been plentiful. This year has felt like one enormous plateau. It didn't always feel like I was growing. But if there's anything that can be taken away from a year such as this, then it's inner strength. No matter how much resistance lies in the path, nothing will change my course now. I've been so reluctant to get a normal job like every other university graduate is pressured to do by society, family, friends, etc. My persistence to create the self-actualised life has only gotten stronger since leaving university. An important thing I need to emphasise is that it doesn't feel good emotionally. It feels like turmoil. And that's how it's supposed to be. School and college may feel emotionally discomforting but there's no doubt that you learn so much from such an experience. And the philosophy I've been clinging onto to keep me on the path is "the first year is the worst year." This is in regards to making a career for yourself. And it is somewhat a comfort in these unpredictable times. While I haven't accomplished a whole lot of things since leaving university, the things that have changed in my life are meaningful to me. Since last year, I've started and maintained a YouTube channel which will contain almost every piece of music that I ever wrote. I also found some students to teach and get a little income from. Also I've found a partner who seems genuinely excited about being together. And recently, I left Tutorful to become an independent guitar tutor which, however small an achievement it was, it felt deeply meaningful to me. This year has been learning how to stand on two feet. Except that those feet are attached to some very tall stilts with nobody to hold me upright and the wind is strong enough to knock me over. There's been a lot of fumbling and a lot of emotional torment. But I've not fallen over and will not. Pick of the day:
  9. Entry 349 | When Obvious Slaps You In The Face Theory: What may be obvious about yourself on the surface can feel like a complete mystery to yourself. Applying it: Become interested in your desires, values and strengths in life. You have been born with something unique and it might be obvious to others. But can you see it for yourself? This life purpose course has left me with a lot of resistance lately. More than I've felt in a very long time. All this time, I've been wondering about my life purpose, which I kinda had a big impression of before starting the course, and finally the answers are starting to present themselves to me. And this huge amount of resistance, which seemed to have no reason for being there, is now becoming clear as to why it's there in the first place. It's looking like my life purpose is exactly what I thought it was. I've not completed the course yet but the best I've got is "creating and performing music to inspire others to be more self-expressive and authentic." This is exactly the purpose I gave myself way back in my teenage years when I decided to become a guitar legend. Part of the reason for taking this course was to confirm whether or not this purpose was that of an egoic teenager who wants all the attention or whether it could actually be for real. And god damn is it for real? Hell yes, bitch. Although, there is more to my life purpose than what I had started with. Namely, the "inspiring others" bit. This component hasn't exactly been at the forefront of my work. But perhaps it was hidden away in there all this time. Now it has come into the light, I can focus my efforts towards making it a reality and being more self-expressive and authentic myself. But this realisation that my childhood dream is in fact my life purpose has left me shocked. It honestly terrifies me at the daunting prospect of climbing that cliff face. The mountain of my own desires. The most terrifying prospect of all, though, is the amount I will have to sacrifice to climb it. This mountain is to be climbed at the cost of my own life. This is no longer armchair philosophy. This is the pursuit of a lifetime. Pick of the day:
  10. Entry 348 | Don't Get Comfortable Theory: So long as you try and build a life that revolves around your own comfort, you are going to limit your capacity for growth. Applying it: Notice all the things that feel comfortable in your life. Be willing to sacrifice these things in pursuit of something more noble and meaningful. This lesson has been a very relevant one from my recent past. For a while now, I've been content with having lessons booked through Tutorful and only receiving 75% of my own earnings. But I've recently taken the plunge to start up my own booking website and ditch it altogether. It's been a nervous experience telling my students' parents about the change and lots of doubt about whether it could actually work came to mind. It felt to me like I could be throwing away all of my clients if it doesn't go to plan. But thankfully, everyone seems interested or even excited with the idea. There's just one family I need to talk to about making the move. This has given me a whole lot of excitement about taking matters into my own hands. From now on, I'm the boss. My focus can be on creating a service (and lets not forget MUSIC) that people can feel excited about. And it's my philosophy that so long as I'm excited about the future of my career, others will feel it too. Especially when I meet those others in person and share my energy with them. The only way I can maintain that excitement about my career is if I make radical decisions and hope for the best. Sure, I may not be earning that much at the moment. But it feels like I'm engaging in the process. I'm learning so much more than I could from reading books or watching videos online about being an entrepreneur. More importantly, I'm starting to adopt a more healthy philosophy and relationship in regards to making money. It's becoming clear to me that the value I provide others is worth the price I'm charging. Value creates money. I can see that in everyday life now instead of as a concept. Pick of the day:
  11. Entry 347 | Music Comes And Goes Theory: The best musical ideas are often the most memorable ones. Applying it: Whatever ideas you receive, don't feel like you need to hang onto them and remember them. If they are worthy of being shared, they will return to you. This is my philosophy when it comes to writing new music. Sure, my music might not exactly be so memorable that people all over the world are singing it to themselves every day. But the compositions that I share are the ones that are most memorable to me. It's a personal thing. Some tunes remind me of the first time I fell in love with the guitar while others make me remember how much of a boss I can be as a guitar player. That's not necessarily the point of the piece of music but they are remembered in this way nonetheless. Hundreds of composition ideas have come to me over the years. Far too many to share with others. The ones that do get shared are my best picks. But every now and then, an old idea from the long forgotten past will revive itself and present itself to me. This is also part of the philosophy. Just like any idea, a musical idea comes to you. You do not go to it. And when these forgotten ideas come back to you, they often come back with far greater significance than they had before. Yesterday, I remembered a tune that I wrote during my difficult first year at uni. This tune had been forgotten for 3 years until it came back to me. Why? While it was random, there was a definite reason why it came back to me. At the time I wrote the composition, I found myself lacking in the skill to play it. And so, I abandoned it without recording it or writing it down. It literally became non-existent once again. But how interesting that it decided to return to me after several years. Perhaps my subconscious mind recognised that my skill had increased enough to perform the piece at last. And such is the same with all good ideas. It might be that present circumstances don't allow for the idea to take hold. In which case, let it come back another day. It's important not to obsessively try to remember the idea and force it to come about. That way, you have no way of being sure that it's truly a worthy idea. Pick of the day:
  12. Entry 346 | Small Victories I don't want to say that my lack of journaling has been the result of a bad thing recently. Most of my self-actualization work has taken the form of actual grunt work, so to speak. Over the last few days, I've been making some serious progress on establishing myself as an independent guitar tutor. Currently, I'm using a site called Tutorful (previously named Tutora) which allows me to receive messages from potential students looking for lessons. But I've been working away on my website to build a booking service that will allow students to message and pay me directly. Although teaching isn't my biggest passion in life, it's perhaps the second biggest. I've discovered that perspective wisdom is my second best strength in life and teaching students how to play the guitar feels very fulfilling. Plus, it's the surest way I can think of to earn some kind of living right now. But today was the day I decided to let my students know that I will become independent. It seems like a pretty small change but it fired me up inside and made me nervous and excited about it. My website is unfinished and I have announced a deadline to my students letting them know when the change will begin (30th April). But I think the fulfilment from this small victory comes from the fact that I'm deeply invested in the growth of my current students and I want to provide a service that other people get tremendous value from. Sure I'm not catering to the masses at this point. But it is so wonderful to see just how much I can help one person. That's all I need. I'm super excited about having the balls to take charge of my business and finance. Goodness knows what it's going to be like once this album is complete! Pick of the day:
  13. Entry 345 | One Simple Rule For Acing Life If you haven't watched Leo's video of that title, then I highly recommend that you do. To sum it up, the rule is to always do the most emotionally difficult things in life. Because it's only by doing these things that you can lean into resistance and transcend it. The emotionally difficult things to do in life are aligned with your life purpose and are therefore very personal. What may feel easy for some might feel emotionally challenging for you. The reason why is because it matters to you more. The things that matter to you are emotionally difficult to go through. This could mean starting up your own business, a new relationship, telling the world your biggest secret, telling the truth to someone, performing onstage, meditating, journalling, dressing how you want to dress, authentically self-expressing, and so many other things. For the majority of the week, I was heavily resisting the good habits that I'd cultivated to seek lower forms of pleasure. But after contemplating my death for a while, the question came to me from nowhere: "What is the most emotionally most difficult thing to do right now?" I've been repeating this question to myself for the last two days. Like a mantra, it brings me straight back into the present moment and realigns my focus with what matters most to me. And since doing this, my productivity has been so much higher this weekend alone than the whole week. I've been able to meditate and exercise like a boss, complete a huge amount of business work for my website, design and order some posters for my teaching services, record a new video and prepare some healthy grub all the while. The best part about this question is that it completely undercuts resistance by driving me deeper into the thick of it. This question forces me to observe what would otherwise not be observed due to resistance. And in fact, it becomes so much easier to face the task once the resistance is out of the question. Sure it still feels emotionally difficult. But the knowing that it will inevitably provide me with deep fulfilment at the end makes it so worthwhile. Pick of the day:
  14. Entry 344 | The Other Kind Of Resistance Theory: Knowledge is synonymous to action. He who has superior knowledge takes responsibility for making superior actions. Applying it: Treat education as a tool to overcome resistance. Learn about the ways your mind works and the ways that you can transform your life. The actions will spontaneously follow only when you are educated enough to take them. I found myself rereading some of my notes from my first read-through of Toward A Psychology Of Being by Abraham Maslow. One of the points he made was that of knowledge being synonymous to action. Here are some of the main points: This has definitely been true in my own life recently. There is a particular exercise in the Life Purpose Course that I have been resisting for some reason. It was a kind of resistance that I'd never experienced before. It wasn't just resistance to action. It was a resistance to knowledge. To knowledge of myself. It explains a lot because as I go through each one of the exercises in the course, I'm becoming more knowledgable about my future. And the more I know, the more I will need to act in conjunction with it. The reason for my resistance now is because it would feel more comfortable to not know myself so deeply that I needed to act on it. Thanks to reading something like this which caught me completely off-guard, I feel more compelled to keep pushing forward with everything. It's an important discovery process that is happening for me right now. Having been threw out of the university bubble, it's important to know my place in this new world. Not only that, but where I fit in for the new world that occurs every single day. So this is the vague resistance I have been feeling recently: the resistance of knowledge. Hence the lack of reading, coursing, journalling and self-actualising. Now I understand myself, perhaps it's time to swallow the pill and just keep going for it. Pick of the day:
  15. Entry 343 | Time For An Update Did I mention the ridiculous amount of holiday time I've been having recently? It's been an interesting few weeks to say the least. It's felt like an emotional purgatory for the most part with my days either being incredibly awesome or incredibly full of resistance. All the while, I've been applying the work in the Life Purpose Course. Part of me is wondering if it feels like there's more resistance because I've been feeding my subconscious mind something new and constructive. But no matter how much it may feel like things are going wrong in my head, there is evidence to support the fact that the growth that has happened this year has been pretty huge. For instance, the holiday that I just came back from (a weekend cottage break) was with my university flatmates. As much as I love them, it was obvious that they were struggling with their diet unlike myself. And although diet might not feel like the most important thing to get right, it's foundational work for any self-actualiser. And by comparison, my diet has dramatically improved since this time last year. I can look after my basic bodily needs first and foremost, which is an achievement that makes me feel good inside. Also, I'm getting used to being recognised for my sexuality. One of my flatmates cracked a joke about it yesterday and I distinctly remember thinking "hang on a minute, I don't need to feel insecure about this anymore." And what an amazing feeling that is! For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I can embrace my sexuality rather than hide it. Part of that comes down to finding a partner that actually makes me feel honoured to be with. But the other component is self-acceptance. I can at last feel happy about expressing what wants to be expressed, not what I think needs expressing. Anyway, let's talk some music! This album that I'm working on has got me super excited to get it out there. There's now two discs worth of original music in my library and I've created a design for an album cover using a sketch of my initials that I found from several years ago. Seeing it in it's working form on my iTunes library makes me realise that this shit is actually possible. And for once, I'm willing to wager that people will actually want to go out of their way to purchase this album. Maybe not immediately. But I'm imagining that after several decades of producing value for the world, there will always be people who want to look back at my life's work from as early as possible. I realise now that this album is about far more than what it looks like on the surface. Instead of trying to grab everybody's attention by showing them how good I am, it's more about taking a moment to appreciate the music that spoke to me. My life is becoming less and less about the former and more about the latter. I've had enough compliments about my skill level to heal the wounds of my school years which felt like the only cure for them was public recognition and respect. My psyche holds no desire for these things now. It only cares for making music. My self-actualization work and meditation have suffered over the last few weeks however as the irregularity of journal entries may have indicated. But let me set the record straight with myself right now. My top strength is zest, enthusiasm, energy. Whenever I put my heart into doing something, I boss it. Guitar playing, diet, exercising, meditating, self-actualising... I have the ability to become better at any of these things whenever I feel like it and when I make it my primary mission, I go all in. Just because I slip up here and there doesn't mean that something wrong has occurred. The more I slate myself for doing something "bad," the more I focus on the "bad" and continue to produce the "bad." But fortunately, my enthusiasm helps me to replace that word with "good" whenever I choose. Just because I haven't chosen yet doesn't mean I will never choose to. It just means that it perhaps isn't a priority at the moment. I'm working upwards from Maslow's hierarchy of needs. My diet is great. My love life is awesome. I have shelter, clothing, social interactions, self-esteem and general wellbeing. But right now, the money/career category is deficient in that I haven't reached a sustainable income. Once I boss this area of my life, I can continue to pursue higher-consciousness values. Okay this life is pretty fucking awesome! Thanks to the pain I felt as a teenager, I've been able to grow into a guitar wizard! And during this period of my life, that pain must return. Only then will the next level of growth be reached. Pick of the day: