End It Strong

I can’t stop rediscovering the importance of finishing with vigor.

This applies to almost anything.

The last words of a deep talk with someone.

The last rep of a training session.

The last, climactic part of a book.

The finish line of a race.

Hiking the last leg of a mountain trail.

The end is so important. There’s some kind of primal ecstasy from roaring through, full speed, full passion, to the end of it.

Never plod at the end. Don’t drag something out. If you’re gonna do it, commit and hit it hard, do it right, until you’re done, and especially right when you’re finishing. Otherwise quit early.

End with the beginning in mind.

The way you perform your last rep is the primer for the first rep of your next session. If you let your form go, you tell your body, your mind, your soul that it’s okay to fail. That it’s not that important to do things right every time.

I’d rather end it early while it’s good than slop through to mediocrity.

This applies to nearly everything in life. Where have you found it to be true? I’d like to know where you’ve applied this to!

Live powerfully,

Steve

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Choose Better

You have more options available if you meditate.
This happens because meditation can help you make high-level decisions. What does high-level mean? It means that the decision comes from a calm, focused state of mind. You will be more and more able to judge a problem and create a solution for it that works in a positive way. You will be able to rely on your logic, experience, and instinct. The instinct you rely on will be of a deep nature, rather than a reactionary instinct.
On the contrary, a low-level decision is reactive. Something scares you, and you jump. Someone makes you angry, and you attack. There’s little focus on the underlying problems. Attention turns from what matters, to what is in front of your face. There’s lots of hurrying, hustling, and bustling to put out fires.
Think of Bruce Lee dodging a punch. He could spin around and crouch into a corner with his hands covering his face. Low level decision. No other options will present themselves. Or, he could side-step, let that incoming fist graze his cheek, and punch straight back into his opponent’s face. Deep instinct. He’s still on his feet, still has his eyes open, still has his composure. Lots of options.
Real world example? Okay, here. Has your boss ever come up to you with a quick request for something irrelevant and totally not on your priority list? What was your response? Did you end up just doing it? Why?
Enter high-level mindset. Your default response is no longer, “Okay I’ll do it right now”. Instead, your natural, deep-instinct feeling tells you this is not as important as it may seem. It’s something your boss may not realize is irrelevant. She’s in a rush for it because her boss wanted it from her. You’ve got more important things to do. Really. But you know you shouldn’t tell her that.
So you say, “Okay, I can see that’s pretty urgent. I’m working on xyz right now, that you wanted me to get done by tomorrow. It’s taking my whole week and I’m making sure it’s finished by when you need it. Do you want me to put this aside, though, and help with this new issue first?” And watch the world take a different turn.
High-level decision. The more of these you have, the less busy work you end up doing. That’s because you’re coming from a place that is focused on getting the right things done. It’s the beauty of “managing up”. You are able to recognize, from your unique standpoint, what’s important. And when you recognize what’s important, you give less urgency to things that aren’t important. No one, not even your boss, wants to be seen as ineffective. If done with respect, you will get respect for prioritizing.
Your emotions will no longer stop you from finding the most effective ways to get it done. If your heart was beating fast from reading the above scenario, you’re not alone. Mine was too. I’ve been in that situation countless times. Only when I developed a hold of my mind, control of my actions, did I start responding better to such emotional circumstances. And I grasped it through meditation.
Let me share something from the other side of it. I was also the boss of employees. And I also put my staff through these situations. I need something, quick. Please do it. Put aside your other tasks, this is more urgent. I saw that with this management style, people were doing what I asked. But often, they had more important things that were getting swept aside.
As I discovered that meditation was helping me become effective, I wanted to help my staff develop the same sort of prioritization. Not everything I say or ask for is of the utmost importance. Let me know if I’m out of line. I cultivated an atmosphere of dialogue.
This was healthier for my team. People needed to be able to do the good work they did. So I started to encourage push back. I would tell people to actually let me know if what I’m asking was getting in the way of something more important. And guess what?
When one of my employees took a deep breath, turned and looked me in the eye, and sincerely said, “I have abc that needs to be done first. Can I help you after?” More often than not – as a matter of fact almost always – I would rethink my priorities.
Do I really need this thing? What’s most important for the organization –  for our mission? And if my request paled in comparison, I would delay it, do it myself, or tell my boss we had more important things to do.
So there you have it.
If you come from the right place, you can take ownership of the situation. You can stop the freight train, take a breath, and set priorities before making a move. It doesn’t matter if you are an executive or a front-line employee. Make high-level decisions. Have more options.
Meditation brought me to that place. Have you tried this?
Live powerfully,
Steve

What I’m Learning From Regular Meditation

Of course I’m going to say it’s awesome. But I’ll get specific for you. I want you to know what exactly is happening for me. Meditation has already been a quiet, but gargantuan, force in my life. Regular meditation, though, is a whole other beast.

I haven’t been perfect this past month. Sometimes it was only once a day. But for the most part I meditated upon waking, and before going to sleep. With the exception of a few days, I meditated at least once every day.

The thing I really noticed was an increasing awareness of myself. I heard the words I was saying. I felt the emotions I was feeling. I saw the thoughts I was thinking.

You might think this is obvious stuff. Who doesn’t feel what they are feeling? Let me go deeper. When you get up in the morning, what’s the first thing you think? What is the very first word you say each day? What do you feel? Are you happy? Sad? Excited? Or maybe angry?

Believe it or not, there is a first emotion. A first thought. And more tangibly, a first word. If you believe that the beginning of something sets the tone for the rest of it, then your first everything of the day might be worthy of observation.

I heard a Buddhist monk say that there are actions of the mind, of the mouth, and the body. These are thoughts, words, and physical acts. We have responsibility for all of them. I’ve been noticing my actions throughout the day.

One thing I don’t like is how I curse. I feel like it hurts people and it adds little positive value to anything I’m trying to say. But I do it because I like how it feels fresh in the moment. It’s a thrill thing. After meditating regularly, I’m actually aware of myself doing it in the moment.

I’m just more able to pay attention to how it feels, what it sounds like to other people, and what I think about it. Right in the moment. Here’s the crazy thing. The next time I’m talking, I actually feel a curse word coming. It’s like a good time, a nice spot, for a curse word to emphasize my point. And I choose to not say it.

There’s a lot of other words to use to express myself. And when I don’t curse, I still say what I want to say. I just don’t feel like it’s me to curse, even though I’ve been doing it since junior high. It’s one of those things that I don’t do for a while, and then I pick it up from somewhere and mindlessly start cursing again.

Mindlessness. That’s what I’m shedding through regular meditation. Why make actions left and right with no attention to the quality of my impact? Am I that lazy?

Meditation is building up an awareness, stronger every day, of myself. It makes sense, because in meditating we are paying attention to ourselves. We breathe, we pay attention to the smallest thing in the world, our breath, and in that we are able to see clearly what out minds hold.

We also see that our minds keep a lot inside, but we don’t have to be the things that run through our minds.

I see thoughts about myself, about other people, how I feel about situations, and I realize day to day that these are simply thoughts. My actions will come from a place of wellness and happiness. At least I want them to, and I’m finding it more doable recently.

Let me know if you’ve noticed something similar from meditation, or if you just naturally have this sort of awareness.

Live powerfully,

Steve

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Rested Decision Making

If you’re in management or an office job, and feel that sleep is not that important, you’re not alone. If you do think sleep is important, but just don’t get enough, you’re absolutely not alone. A lot of people in this world feel the same. I used to think lack of sleep was a cool thing, a war wound, a chip on my shoulder. But I learned the importance of sleep and rest after seeing the difference it made in my performance.

Sleep not only helps with things like strength training and illness recovery, but also with decision making.

I was a supervisor of a call center that handled phone calls with grieving families. There were intense calls and important decisions to be made every day. We operated at all hours of the day. It was hard to get a full night of sleep, let alone a full recharge of my batteries. Most of my years working there were in sleep deprivation.

There was a point where I started to pay attention to my rest. I wanted to recover from chronic exhaustion and tiredness. So I started looking into ways to get more sleep, and to rest my mind when I wasn’t in the office. I found that when I was able to get a full night of rest, I had high executive function. My decision making power was greater, and decision fatigue was offset. I think the biggest reason for this was that I was more able to prioritize.

With a full night of sleep, I was better able to manage my time and tell people “no” or reschedule things. I had more mind energy to deal with the stress of saying “no”, and more foresight as to the importance of doing so. Because I was able to see the full picture, I knew that it was of the utmost importance that I handle the task that mattered most. With insufficient rest, I had trouble dealing with persistent requests from people bringing up non-urgent issues.

When I prioritized well I was able to keep myself from doing spur of the moment biddings from others. Less distractions meant more focus on the important things. This fed a positive feedback loop. I felt better because I was doing things that mattered, and doing things that mattered made my day easier to navigate, and this made me feel even better.

I also felt more positive when I had a full night of sleep. A positive approach helped me say “no” to people in a generous, gentle way. I didn’t have to offend anyone through rejection, and I didn’t have to feel bad about it. I had the energy and mindset to be kind to people, even when they had the most urgent or emotionally charged problems thrown in my face. It was simply a matter of letting them know I would get back to them shortly. And I did.

I was doing the most important, and often the hardest, things, feeling great about it, about getting it done, about the rest of the day getting easier because of that. Prioritizing and keeping on task really does snowball into amazing days, and sleeping a full night increased my chances of doing this. And this really allowed me to treat others with more attention and respect, because I was taking care of myself and my work.

When fully rested, I trust myself more. I have a more positive view of myself, my abilities, and I dive into difficult tasks or situations because I know they are important and I know I can handle them. If I’m tired, this becomes much harder. My self confidence goes down, naturally, because I’m not sure if I have the energy to handle tough situations. How can I when I myself don’t feel taken care of? I think it’s just natural.

Strong trust in myself means I stick to my instincts, follow my gut, and let my intuition lead. In turn, doing this makes me feel better about myself. I’ve gone a certain route based on my own feeling, and found good results. I reinforce the idea that I’m trustworthy and capable.

Lastly, with plenty of sleep, time seems more abundant. I just feel more relaxed, even with deadlines or the end of the day approaching, or in really critical circumstances, because I feel more capable of using my time. I just know that I can handle whatever comes, and things don’t seem overwhelming.

For some good reference on the importance of sleep, check out Arianna Huffington. I heard about her book on sleep through the GaryVee show. She has recently been encouraging the world to sleep. In particular, she urges people in top positions of leadership to get their shut eye to help them make better decisions. She sleeps eight hours a day. Even her employees sleep well. And they’re kicking ass.

Live powerfully,

Steve

How To End Fridays On Time

You work an office job and want to get out at a reasonable time on Friday. Start right now. Four o’clock is your cut off time.

Today is your chance to end this week strong. End with the beginning in mind. How you finish Friday is how you finish this week. The end of today determines your outlook on Monday morning. Think about that. But more importantly, let’s try it.

During my corporate stint, Friday was the perfect day to start thinking about Monday. As I finished things up each week, how I left the office made a difference. If I had my head held high, proud of the week, excited for the next, then Monday morning was fresh. I would be back the next week feeling positive about things. My energy and mood were better. I was more willing to get started.

If I left on Friday with my tail between my legs, allowing myself to feel like a failure, Monday morning would be slosh. As a matter of fact, the whole weekend would suck too. And since a lot of days ended like this, a lot of days began the same way. No matter how much work I did, and how well I did it, things would come up that I would allow to ruin my day.

So found resources in leaders like Tim Ferriss and Dave Stachoviak. I started to put a ton of energy into making those last hours of the last day a positive time. It did the charm. Leaving on a fresh note brought me in the next week on a fresh note. Toward the end of my short career, I was coming to work pretty pumped each day. But I had to engineer that.

Tasks

Choose a definite end time to wrap things up. If I wanted to be out the door by six, I had to stop taking on new tasks by four. Interviews, meetings, data collection, those things seemed benign and even exciting when thrown at me last minute. But then I would find myself at the end of it, hours past when I wanted to leave, tired, and feeling like I had been abused. That was my fault.

If you report to someone, check with them a few hours before you’re going to leave. Let them know you’re figuring out what needs to be finished for the week, that you’ve taken care of most of it, and you want to know if there’s anything last minute. Perfect. Now your boss has a final chance to throw anything at you. With plenty of time for you to finish and leave on time.

For everything that’s in your control, figure out what you want to finish and what you’re going to pick up next week. You need to determine the end for yourself.

Meetings

Meetings come in all shapes and sizes. Even random drop ins by people took up my time and pushed other things back. So it was important for me to let people know that I could not meet with them after a certain cut off point. I would let my boss know what I was doing and then either:

  • Request that the interrupter find and implement a solution
  • Say I was busy and ask for another appointment
  • Deal with emergencies if I could in a short amount of time
  • Keep my door closed
  • or Ask for an email summary for non emergencies

The key is to stop intruders at the door. Do not invite them in with friendly greetings or hesitations. Keep them at the door and you have a much higher chance of preventing prolonged, unnecessary talks or task assignments. I’m talking about your boss, too. Keep it delicate and polite, but assertive, and even your boss will learn to respect your boundaries.

Emails

At my cutoff point for the day, I completely ignored emails. You will think that’s not possible. Believe me, it is possible. And you won’t get fired. If someone has something so urgent that you will get fired over it, or they will, and they don’t get an immediate response, then they will call you. Or show up at your door. I did this for over a year and ended up with far fewer email crises, better face-to-face interactions, and fewer needless interactions.

Phone Calls

Where I worked, a phone call was usually more urgent than an email. I also engineered that situation to be so. At my cutoff point for the day, I did pick up phone calls. And my immediate greeting was curt:

“Hello?”

“Hi, Steve, it’s so and so. How are you?”

“I’m actually in the middle of something, what can I help you with?”

“Oh, then never mind, it can wait.”

“If you send me an email, I can respond Monday.”

“Oh, I need something today. Can you help me with so and so?”

(Non-urgent or can be delegated) “You know what, I’m pretty tied up right now. Can we ask so and so to help with that?”

More often than not, the person would wait to bring it up again the next week. In short time, I got fewer and fewer last minute requests. Either people stopped because they no longer saw me as the jackpot of last minute work, or they learned themselves to not have last minute work to do on Friday.

Every once in a long while, there really was an emergency. And I did have to stay later than expected to take care of it. But these instances became further and fewer between when I stuck to these principles.

Engineer the workweek you want to have. End Friday with a bang. Start Monday with a bang. And enjoy the weekends between.

Live powerfully,

Steve

P.S., it’s the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Get out there and enjoy the outdoors this weekend!

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Expressing Emotions with Awareness

Feeling emotions and expressing emotions are two different things. Some of us get angry but don’t say anything about it. We just feel the anger. Others of us say something about it. Some of us do something about it.

My usual response to emotional situations is to hold back from expressing myself directly. This is a survival tactic I developed from being in a highly emotionally charged family and work environment.

There were so many people around me with emotional turmoil, it seemed harmful for me to blab about my own emotions.

This backfired, to say the least. I grew up with a lot of repressed feelings. I got through work situations with a “professional attitude” but had to let the feelings burn inside of me. In my mid-twenties I was a field of blackened tree stumps, a wasteland of a forest fire.

I learned from my mistakes, but it was too late for me to recover in the same environments in which I had died. The roots were charred, seeds were turned to dust. There was no springing of life where I was. So I left.

I traveled for four months to get out of the ashes of my life. I had cultivated enough positive mentality and nutritional practice to get myself healthy and moving again before I left. Travel freed me from the stagnant waters of anxiety and allowed me time and space to meditate, rediscover myself, and stretch out in a spiritual and physical sense.

I met new people, took part in new cultures, and grew in love. My wife and I, through the constant adventure of finding our way, expanded our hearts and built courage. We lived our dream of seeing, learning, sleeping, and waking in new worlds. And now even home is a new world.

Meditation was key to my awakening to my misery and grasping an optimistic view of myself. It helped me in several areas of life. Strength training, sleep, and fear were a few areas of growth through meditation. Recently, through meditation I reached a breakthrough in how I express emotions.

I noticed a difference in my awareness of emotions and expression after several days of meditation. My sessions were two times per day, 5-15 min each time. Nothing big.

However, when a recent emotional argument broke out between me and someone close, I noticed a difference inside. I expressed myself through my emotions, but I was fully aware of myself. I could hear myself talk, see what I was feeling, and feel what the other person was feeling. This was very unlike other times, where I would have gone blank in the head.

The awareness allowed me to process what was going on, during and after the argument. It also allowed me to start the forgiveness process. Since I was “there” while it was happening, I remembered how I felt, and why, and what triggered it all.

The reason this happened was that during meditation leading up to this day, I had been focusing on how I felt. As I breathed and came into a centered disposition, I let my feelings float up into my awareness. Whatever I felt, I let my mind rest on it. I breathed, identified the emotion, felt it plainly and deeply for what it was, and sometimes even visualized the root. Then I breathed again and let it go.

This built awareness of my emotions. It made me feel okay with what I was feeling. I used to get uncomfortable with the fact that I was emotional. It felt like a weakness. But this awareness practice was facing reality. I accepted myself as an emotional being.

I still felt upset after the argument, I still dealt with the residual emotions, and all of that. But I was in a place where I could build on the experience. Rather than wallowing in confusion, I learned about myself. I thought forward to the next time I would be in that sort of situation. And instead of feeling apprehensive, I felt excited. I wanted to grow!

I’m not saying I’m a saint and we should have a day for me because of this one incident. But I hit a definite pivot point in my emotional life. This is an area of discomfort for me. I’m not used to getting deep into my emotions, and evaluating them, let alone talking about them.

But I’ve been trying within that past few months to dig into this and grow. And I’m learning the importance of expressing versus simply feeling emotions. The key is awareness.

Live powerfully,

Steve

Studies on Meditation and Emotion Regulation and Mindfulness

 

You Only Live Once

But if you do it right, once is enough. Mae West. It’s possible to see the world in this light. That we all are guaranteed two documents, a birth and death certificate. That time is limited. But there’s no need to panic.

You only live once, but why think of it as “only” and “once” unless you’re expecting to live twice? Sure, some of us might live a few years longer or shorter. Some of us may meet with disaster and die “early”. But we live, regardless of the end date. We have every moment that we have. Worrying about our expiration dates takes focus from now and pulls it to later.

Perspective can be good. Knowing that we have a finite amount of breaths to breathe gives us a prod to be productive. It also gives us inspiration to be great. I want to produce something that matters. I want to create and make real what’s in my mind.

But accomplishments, life works, and career achievements are for Wikipedia and history books. Sure they are important to have. The important things we make in this world inspire, motivate, and hopefully make the world amazing. They are the things we remember. But I’m convinced that actually living life is more about the incremental moments.

For example, if I told you about my life-changing experience with strength training, I could give you a history. My maximum squat was 315 lb. at age 24, when I learned and utilized progressive powerlifting techniques. Within a couple of years, I increased my squat to 370 lb. This would be a wiki version of things, if anyone cared enough to write one.

But that sort of story line washes out all the moments throughout that period of time that actually changed my life. I would rather tell you about the individual training sessions. The times that I was so afraid of the weight that I hesitated going to the gym for weeks. The moments of absolute clarity, in front of the bar, when I refused to let myself escape from my fear. The days I discovered who I was, and who I could be. And the instances I became someone new under the weight.

You only live once. So we try new things, exciting things, yes. But we also know that every moment is the life we’re living. The story doesn’t have to be fresh, it doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, or history-making, but we’d better be present when the moments are happening.

If you do it right, once is enough.

Live powerfully,

Steve

Breathe Your World Into Dust

He’s been in a world in his head, a world ingeniously designed to the specs of his limited view of the universe. A landscape of fears, should be’s, and can’t’s. And then he gives attention to his breath again. And he realizes that he hasn’t been with himself.

With incoming breath to calibrate to, his mind comes back to him. And he is all of a sudden able, seeing, and unafraid. The skyscrapers stretching into clouds of doubt, the unending streets, and the maze-like city blocks of his thought world are vanquished. They crumble in the quake of mindfulness and evaporate, thin as mist.

And in possession of his consciousness the beast moves forward to create the world. The world that does not disappear with a breath, but takes millions of breaths to make. He works with his mind. His body translates the blueprint of his mind into the world. Mind, body, and creation are one.

The solemn beast briefly remembers a different reality in the past. He gently thinks of the days in which his body worked separately from his mind. The days when his mind did not control the work of his body. The days when his mind wandered in the world of thoughts, staring up at the skyscrapers, turning down countless alleys, treading along endless streets. All the while his body worked for the minds of others, for the creation of a world in which he did not believe.

What is it for a beast to create what he does not see? Is it not a spending of his life, something that comes once, so precious and irreplaceable, irretrievable, for finite benefits? Doesn’t that reduce his life down to meaningless currency? As cold, forgettable, and pitiful as a bag of coins.

With another breath, the beast returned with joy to his creation. He allowed himself to be happy. For who else but his own self could give happiness to him? He took a moment to breathe in the atmosphere of happiness. The path would be long, he knew. The skyscrapers would be tall, taller than he could ever imagine. And the possibilities would be more convoluted than ever. Rest, and enjoyment of his happiness, was good to have.

He marveled at the parallel worlds of his past unpossessed self and his present conscious self. Both would look similar to any other beast who could have the chance to gaze in upon them. But one, he thought, is fundamentally different from the other. One he creates. This one he chooses.

Live powerfully,

Steve

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

On Living with Throat Bared

I wrote this four months ago at the start of my travel through Bali and Thailand. Somehow I failed to post it to this blog. I still stick with it, so here it is. I hope you make something of it. Continue reading “On Living with Throat Bared”

Help yourself first

“Self-centeredness, from my perspective, posits that if you are good to yourself, you can be good to others. It comes from a more mindful, loving and gentle place. If you treat yourself with contempt and judgment, you do not embrace the “self” – that beautiful core deserving of validation and compassion. Self-centeredness is the highest form of self-love.” From DBT Center of OC.

We think selfishness is bad. Selfishness means we care too much about ourselves and nothing for others. We all understand that. So maybe selfishness, in the sense that someone has no concern for anyone else, or satisfies themselves at the injury of others, is really a bad thing.

But we need to start caring for ourselves, period. Without worrying about others.

Our society has gone far on the concept of being selfless. Helping others is a top value. There’s guilt from living in one of the most affluent nations in the world. We have it good, other’s don’t. Celebrities and influencers are praised for their philanthropy. Religious studies emphasize a focus away from self: Put others before yourself, put God before yourself, put yourself last.

Perhaps the leaders of society who provide true help for others do so from a deep place within themselves. There’s no need to judge them; that’s not what this is about. But we’ve come to idolize the mere act of giving, forgetting the essential source of that giving. Kindness. True kindness comes from a wellspring of joy and peace. The impact of giving from this place is much different from giving out of obligation.

When I do something nice out of obligation to this virtue of selflessness, it costs something. I’m not helping anyone. It’s surface level, insincere at the core, and actually a bit hateful. Better to leave someone be than to thrust on them an act of false kindness. Expecting a sweet response is another hazardous byproduct.

If you’ve ever held the door open for someone that walked through and didn’t thank you, and you felt indignant about it, you know what I’m talking about here. I’ve even blurted out, “You’re welcome!” in a snarky way a couple of times. The original gesture did not come from a good place.

The thing is, your self is very important. Who else but you is the highest priority in your care? Your physical health, mental well being, and spiritual vibrancy are yours to tend to. Not a doctor or healthcare system. Not a family member. Not a psychologist. Not a priest or minister. These people all help, of course. But you are not their ultimate responsibility.

You are responsible for your wellness.

I think about the last time I comforted someone who was crying. Eased someone out of their anger, helped them to resolve an issue with calm and dignity. Gave someone my time and emotional energy to provide company, an open ear, and support with suggestions. Provided a shoulder massage.

When did I do this for myself, last?

Buying myself tasty food, drink, fun experiences, movies and shows, may feel like self care. It can be, coming from the right place. But a lot of times it’s just hitting the pleasure button for pleasure’s sake. It’s trying to mask hurt and distress from something else. Perhaps from giving too much, from a place of emptiness and emotional debt.

It’s different from taking time to really tend to and care for myself. One of my favorite things to do: walk barefoot on the sidewalk in quiet neighborhoods. My own pleasure, no one else’s. Other things that can get your started:

Quietly examine where you are hurt. Figure out the treatment for it.

Move attention through your body to find areas of tension. Allow yourself time and space to relax enough to relieve the tightness.

Delve into your depths to behold your greatest strengths. Take joy in your disposition, personality, and unique characteristics.

Eat wholesome foods that make you vibrate with energy.

Create space for ample sleep.

And simply be with yourself during the day.

C.S. Lewis writes about this. “But till the end, give me the man who takes the best of everything (even at my expense) and then talks of other things, rather than the man who serves me and talks of himself, and whose very kindness are a continual reproach, a continual demand for pity, gratitude, and admiration.”

If you’re worrying about being selfish, you can stop. Heed yourself. It’s the first step to being a truly giving person.

Live powerfully,

Steve