Imagine yourself on the London bridge last Saturday night — Sympathy VS. Empathy

Imagine yourself on the London bridge last Saturday night — Sympathy VS. Empathy

I will be honest. I did not enjoy writing this article. It makes me sick to my stomach to truly imagine myself in the place of some of the witnesses to the London bridge attack as I recount the stories in my own words. Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters, while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Imagine it’s Saturday night. You are out for a couple of beers with some friends. Someone suggests you all go to another bar just across the London bridge. “It’s a better vibe over there,” they say. You all step out into the warm spring night and start making your way over to the next establishment. There are people everywhere in the streets, its the weekend. The group walking ahead of you is a little drunk, singing and laughing, as they stumble along the sidewalk. There is a couple walking behind you, holding hands. Others are following them. You hear the squeal of tires and immediately guess it’s another young kid showing off, spinning the wheels on his dad’s sports car. You laugh. You were his age once and know what it’s like to crave attention from the ladies. You hear the roar of an engine as the pedal hits the floor and look ahead to see a pair of headlights swerve towards the sidewalk. It’s not a sports car, it’s a van. “Drunk idiot!” you say, “He’s going to hit somebody clowning around like that.” The tires hit the curb and the van bounces onto the sidewalk. The folks ahead of...
Where your eyes go, energy flows.

Where your eyes go, energy flows.

Why you can’t move away from the negativity that plagues your life. When Scott Summers, a member of the X-Men, first discovers his superpower, it comes in the form of an uncontrolled blast of energy from his eyes that destroys everything in it’s path when his emotions surge. Until the young man learns to control these beams of energy, he causes a lot of damage to himself and his surroundings. It is only his visor that finally gives him relief of the sporadic head pains and control of his vicious power. But unlike Scott’s eyes, our glare does not destroy the things we look at, but instead destroys our lives as we focus on them.   Don’t we all have this power?   Our brains have worked very hard over many years of our human existence to protect us from predators. Whether it was the saber-toothed tiger, an attack from the next village over, or losing our mate to a stronger man, our brain has evolved to spot danger and send us warning signals. It is like that beam of burning energy from our eyes, drawing us in, wherever we may look, always analyzing and sending stress chemicals through our body. The problem is, we no longer have saber-toothed tigers to watch out for yet the brain continues to spend massive amounts of energy on searching for anything that is a potential threat. We took things that hurt our ego, self-esteem, or social status and conditioned the brain to identify them as threats. This is why it is so much easier for us to zero in on the negativity and...
How to: The simple 3 step guide to dividing people

How to: The simple 3 step guide to dividing people

A “Nazi” and a “Communist” take an Uber together. A few days ago I was in Seattle for work. We finished up our project early and decided to catch the Mariners baseball game being played in town that evening. We ordered an Uber and hopped in, heading for the stadium. On the ride over, we learned our driver was born in Germany. His grandpa fought for the German’s in WWII, and ended up in a Russian prisoners camp for 13 years. I thought this was neat because I was born in Soviet Russia, and my grandpa fought against the Germans in WWII. He ended up in a German death camp for prisoners of war. Here we were, nearly 65 years later. We rode in the same car and we shared stories of a disturbing time in human history, a “Nazi” and a “Communist,” as we would have been called not too long ago. There was no hate. Why would there be? The war was fought by young boys, convinced they were fighting evil, justified in their actions. But it was started by manipulative, power hungry, ******* (Insert expletive here. I personally like the word “bastards.”) So how do you divide and create a hate between people, to the point of them murdering each other? Easy. 1. You make them believe they belong to a great cause, even greater than human life.  We humans have an amusing characteristic. We NEED to believe in something and be a part of something. It’s what gives us meaning, a sense of belonging, a sense of community. Sharing a common belief with others gives us comfort...
3 P’s that consume your daily thoughts: Pain, Problem, Purpose

3 P’s that consume your daily thoughts: Pain, Problem, Purpose

There are 3 “P” words that consume our minds when we are not busy masking our thoughts with our daily tasks. There is our PAIN Our “pain” is the job we hate, the financial situation we are in, the fears we deal with, the insecurities we mask, or the mundane cycle of life we live in. It is the place we are in now, the place we want more than anything to ditch and move on from. It is that thing which causes all of us to say the same thing over and over again: “There HAS to be a better way” Our pains are what cause us to seek something different, to step out and search for a different way, to try and do things differently. They are what drive us to seek change. Then, there is our PROBLEM Our problems are what stop us in our tracks. Our “problems” are what make us go back to our pains and repeat the cycle. Every time our PAIN hurts us enough to try and do something about it, our PROBLEM stands before us with a stern finger, pointing us back to our places. Problems are our excuses. These are the things we use as reasons for why we continue to hang out in the cycles, drowning in our PAIN. We say, “But the problem is… I don’t have the skills”, “… I don’t have the resources”, “… I don’t have the knowledge”, “… I don’t have the opportunity”, “… My situation doesn’t allow me”, “… I’m just not a motivated person”, “… My bills won’t pay themselves if i quit”, “…...
“What will people think?” Why we should avoid conformity

“What will people think?” Why we should avoid conformity

There are a few questions we ask ourselves when it’s time to make a tough decision and we may not even do it consciously. How will this make me look? What will they say? What will people think!? You don’t actually say these words, but you think in this way. I do. When I started my transition from living with blind hope that one day I would be a success and do work that gave me a sense of fulfillment and happiness… to actively searching for my purpose, I was afraid. I was afraid of what people would think. What would they say to me when I would tell them that I could’t take it any longer? That I was about to walk away from a job to which I studied in school for? What would they say to me when I would tell them that I would rather mow lawns for a living than spend another day behind that cubicle? They would think I was nuts. And worse yet, they would laugh when I told them I was doing it to pursue my dream of being an inspirational speaker and writer. I was “good-time Charlie” on the weekends and I made people laugh. I led the charge when it came time to break into a football stadium at night or climb the roof of the house at a party. What the hell did I know about inspiring others? They didn’t know I had a single serious bone in my body. And they never would have if I had crumbled to my fear, conformed, and never took the step....
6 ways you can tame your “Monkey Mind”

6 ways you can tame your “Monkey Mind”

If someone were brilliant enough to create a device that could hear and record ones thoughts, they would only prove that we are all a bit insane and I don’t know if that would be a good thing. The average person has about 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day and that comes out to about 35-48 thoughts per minute. By the time I finished those two paragraphs I have already checked my Facebook notifications twice and checked up the status of my football team’s injured star player… seriously. The struggle is real. You would think this wasn’t that big of an issue as long as when you need to focus on something, all of your thoughts turn focus to that one particular task but that’s where we are wrong.   Our mind works sort of like a computer. When you start and run multiple programs on a computer, it runs them simultaneously. Even if the one you are currently on is being used, the other programs continue to run in the back ground until they are completely shut off. This causes lag in your computers performance. Your mind works the same way. The thousands of thoughts that run through your head throughout the day never really shut off. They just cycle through and your mind focuses on the most current thought but the others stay in the subconscious. This is why you continue to be caught in an endless loop of thoughts all screaming for attention and the more you think, the more gets piled on. Your mind begins to slow down and operate much slower. You are giving...

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