Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Monday, February 10, 2014

This post is stolen from Craig Ballantyne's site Early To Rise. I love what Craig's doing and wanted to share some of his insights on a topic close to my heart. So click through to this article at his website and poke around. It'll probably ask you to sign up for his newsletter. I enjoy it, but if comes often so be sure to chose weekly digest if you feel overwhelmed.

Anyway, the topic is rules to live by. I pursued this for many years and became quite frustrated with my lack of will power. So I want to modify this a little with my own experience. I've mentioned Jack Canfield's formula on the responsibility thing before (E + R = O) where the Event and your Response to it determine the Outcome. All the Gurus lately are harping on taking responsibility for everything and I think it's true to an extent. However, some events are so traumatic or we're so unprepared that no matter how we respond we aren't going to get a desirable Outcome.

We need to realize the limitations of taking on responsibility for EVERYTHING. Let me take the focus off the E part of the equation without shining the light on the R part. Let's look at O. If you live for outcomes you'll find it zap's your joy just as much as making excuses does when you should place the blame on your responses. Dissecting outcomes is a great way to realize that your consistently making certain responses to common events. (2 happens and I always end up with 4 when I want 5, I'd better figure out how to respond differently than I have been.) But living for outcomes, which is a natural consequence of taking all responsibility, takes the focus off the journey.

For example I've noticed recently that when I'm completely dissatisfied with my life the answer is that I'm looking at the outcomes I'm not getting. What fixes the problem is to stop looking at me entirely for a bit and look around at others. Who needs help? What can I do to encourage, console, or listen? Those things always make me feel better. If I except that I'm always responsible for everything then I need to focus on outcomes and decide how to squeeze a little more effort out of my responses. Or worse, if I stop looking at me then I become responsible for everyone else's issues too.

I don't think that's what the Gurus are saying, but you'd be surprised by the absolute crap conclusions that will hang out in our brains sometimes, so I have to state it for the record. That's how we break unspoken agreements. We say them aloud and they become laughable.

What the Guru's like Craig B. are speaking to is something I call learned hopelessness. Most homeless are only that way for a couple weeks. But when I say homeless, the image in our heads is the chronic homeless. What could bring someone so low? Obviously substance abuse plays a role, but under that is Learned Hopelessness. After trying everything they can think of and having their heart broken repeatedly, some folks give up. They don't quit trying because it's hard--it's hard to live on the streets. They quit trying because the more they try the worse it gets. Nothing works as it should.

This is another disease of hyper responsibility. If they are causing issues by trying they can end the issues by quitting. Homelessness is an extreme example, but learned hopelessness is common among all people everywhere. We've all got something we've stopped trying to fix. No matter how much we respond we don't get the outcome we want. Well sometimes the answer is counter-intuitive. Like accepting a different outcome or focusing on others for a time. Maybe it's counting your blessings. Maybe it's surrendering to God.

Enough of me rambling. Take a gander at Craig's post below.

Here's the original article
The one thing I admire about people who have strong nutrition beliefs is their dogmatic behavior.
For example, a vegetarian, under no circumstances, will ever eat meat. There is no, “well, everyone else is having a burger, so just this once, I will too.”
That’s not how it works.
Not when a vegetarian has a strong personal philosophy that they never, ever, ever eat meat.
And that strong personal philosophy guides them to guilt-free behavior that is congruent with their goals.
I’ve also taught my fat loss clients to develop their own personal philosophy – essentially a set of rules that dictate decisions, and I’ve also created my own rules that determine how I live my life so that I reduce guilt, stress, and wasted emotional energy.
Now the purpose of this email is not to say that my personal philosophies are wrong or right.
Instead, they are simply here to encourage you to adopt your own rules for the sake of living a better, more productive stress free life. 
You may have your own rules in your head, but I encourage you to put them in writing. And you can adopt a set of rules for every aspect of your life, from health to financial to family and business.

(NOTE: My rules have changed – slightly – since I first wrote them. Here is my updated approach to life.)
My 12 Rules
  1. I go to bed and get up at the same time 7 days per week (8 p.m. and 4 a.m.) I stick to my diet, avoid caffeine after 1 p.m., and avoid alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime.
  2. I write for at least 60 minutes first thing every morning.
  3. I do not check email before 11 a.m. and I do not talk on the phone unless it is a scheduled interview or conference call.
  4. I act polite and courteous, and I do not swear.
  5. I create a to-do list at the start & end of every workday and update my daily gratitude & achievement journal.
  6. I do not engage in confrontations with anyone, in-person or online. This is a waste of time and energy. If I have caused harm, I apologize and fix the situation. And then I take a deep breath, relax, breathe out, and re-focus my efforts back on my work and goals.
  7. I am guided by these two phrases:
    a) “Nothing matters.” – I can only work towards the major, massive goals and my vision of helping others, while the opinions of others do not matter to my goals.
    b) “It will all be over soon.”
  8.  Everything that happens to me – good and bad – is my personal responsibility. I blame no one but myself. These are the choices I’ve made – this is the life I’m living. I will accept the consequences of my actions.
  9. I will help 10 Million men and women transform their lives.
  10. I will not be the person I don’t want to be. I will not be petty, jealous, or envious, or give in to any other of those lazy emotions. I will not gossip or speak badly of others, no matter who I am with or what environment that I am in. I will not be negative when it is easier to be positive. I will not hurt others when it is possible to help. I will know the temptations, situations and environments in life that I must avoid, and I will, in fact, avoid them, even if it means loosening relationships with others who “live” in those environments. It’s my life and that matters more than what other people think of me.
  11. “I will always keep the child within me alive.” – Ted Nicholas.
  12. “I will write with honesty and feeling.” – Ted Nicholas. The opinion of others does not matter. What matters is the number of people that I can help by sharing advice and encouragement in my writing.
So that’s it. These 12 rules allow me to live my life with less guilt, more energy, and more productivity than if I did not have these personal philosophies outlined.
Now I know there will be two types of reactions to this content. First, some will dismiss it – and dismiss me.
But to those people, remember the point of the list is not for you to sit there and think, “Oh, what a total weirdo. I never want to hang around with this guy.”
Instead, the point of the list, the idea, the article is to simply stimulate your thinking.
And that’s the 2nd type of reaction you can have to this article.
This is the reaction of the people who I’m interested in – the people who will realize what’s holding them back is not a lack of knowledge (because the knowledge is out there and freely available), but instead, it is decision making.
Listen, I know that every week you make decisions that leave you full of guilt and remorse, but on the other hand you also make decisions that you know are correct – even though they are difficult to make.
Wouldn’t you be better off if you made MORE correct decisions with less effort?
Of course, and that is where you rules to live by, your personal philosophies, come into play.
With this post, I’ve given you a model so that you can create your own personal philosophies that will allow you to make the correct decision and fewer decisions that leave you with remorse.
As a result of making more correct decisions, you’ll move closer to your goals and suffer less frustration. Life will be simpler once you start adhering to your own personal philosophies – and not worrying about what others think.
I’d like to hear your personal philosophies and life rules. Just add your thoughts to the comments section below.

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