apologies. I didn't really think this series out when I started it. I just
started writing. Now here we are and I've let the negativity of our economic
woes fester for over a week now. No good. Truth be told, I was in the Dominican
Republic last week soaking up a lot of dem positive vibrations. I wasn't about
to be blogging on vacation.
A lot of
people have commented to me about the title clashing with the content and I
agree with the critique. There hasn't been much positivity emanating from this
blog. I will get to that today. However, there is one more aspect I'd like to
touch briefly on and that is the media as a whole.
The system we
deal with really covers all aspects of life, but the media might be the most
harmful to us. I'm not sure people realize how much of an influence media has
on them. I didn't. It's especially true for people such as us poker players
that are constantly plugged in. For the last 10 years, I've spent nearly all
day listening to an iPod, on a computer or watching TV. I was nearly always
open to influence from whoever I gave my time to. It wasn't until recently that
I started to look at what I was putting into my head and how it was impacting
my views and moods.
A small group
of corporations/people control the majority of the media. They have an agenda.
Everyone has an agenda. I believe their overall agenda is to divert our
attention from real issues by using propaganda. Whoever is in charge wants to
see a dumbed down public. I don't think many people would even argue with this
point. Listen to the lyrics of popular music, the coverage of meaningless
stories in the news, the extreme prevalence of garbage like Jersey Shore on TV.
Does society inherently go in that direction or are we being directed that way?
At a minimum they are speeding up the pace in that direction to hyper drive. A
hell of a lot more people care about what Snooki is doing than if we are
entering a 3rd war or going broke as a country. That's a fucking
travesty. Like I said, I'm as guilty as anyone. Look at the single website I
have linked on the right side of my blog. For a long time, I cared a lot more about
what celebrities were doing more than what was going on in the real world.
extremely important because there is so much power there. People listen to
songs over and over and over without actually listening to the message. You may
think that you're above being influenced by the lyrics of a song, but I urge
you to think twice about that. Music is one of the main movers that enabled our
culture to put so much value in money, sex and violence. We are told money is
the #1 thing in the world and that we should worship money above all else. Even
if you still don't think it influences you, it sure as hell is influencing the
children in this country. They spend their days listening to Lil Wayne and
killing people in video games. I'm sorry, but that has an impact on their views
much to be said about the media and a lot of it sounds crazy as hell, so I
really don't want to dive too deep into it. The main point I'm trying to drive
home here is to always take a step back and think about what you're putting in
your brain. I also don't want it to be construed that I'm saying don't listen
to Lil Wayne or play violent video games. I'm by no means saying that. Just
understand what messages you're pumping into your head and go from there. Ultimately,
those in charge don't want us thinking for ourselves. The sad thing is that
once you do start to think for yourself, you realize how fucked up this world
is. That's where my road to positivity comes in.
making a lot of minor changes in my life lately that I think have really helped
me. There is no quick fix to overcoming the overbearing system that we live
with. The key is to realize it's there and to slowly make progress away from
dependence on it.
I've been a
slave to technology for awhile now. I'm one of those guys constantly checking
his phone, always on the internet or watching TV. It's sad. It wasn't until
recently when I started to back off it, that I realized what I've been missing.
I've missed on out social situations because I've been checking my phone
instead. I took a 2-3 year break from playing guitar because fucking around on
the Internet was more fun. There was a long period where I never read a book
except for an occasional nonsense John Grisham book on vacation. I know I'm not
alone in this. A lot of my friends are the same way. One of my favorite
examples is Guitar Hero. I have a number of friends that are incredibly good at
that game. With the time they spent, they could have become damn good REAL
guitar players. Now they never play guitar hero and that time was completely wasted.
I've been working
on making a conscious effort to unplug and spend time doing things to better myself. Some
of these things are:
- Address spirituality in my life. I was raised Catholic, but I've
ignored God for far too long. I'm spending a lot of time and effort searching
for what the real answers are here. I do feel like I have a renewed
relationship with God and I want that to grow as much as possible.
- Do yoga first thing everyday when I wake up. I highly recommend
people try this. Getting your blood flowing early in the morning really makes a
huge difference. My flexibility has increased and I just feel better about
myself. Being consistently active has countless positive impacts on your life
from anywhere to mental state to fighting diseases.
- Alter the music I listen to. I listen to music literally all day.
By eliminating most of the negative music and adding more positive music, I've
noticed myself in better moods a lot more often. I'm not saying I'll never listen
to some of the mindless rap I used to, but I don't want it on loop on my iPod.
Subbing out Lil Wayne's worship of money with Bob Marley's devotion to peace,
harmony and unity definitely makes a difference for me.
- Challenge myself with activities not related to technology. I've
been playing guitar a ton lately. I used to play a lot in high school and
completely got away from it. It's been really fun rededicating myself. I'm
planning on playing a ton of golf this summer as well. Poker/laziness/TV have taken
a big chunk out of my golf time the last few years. I'm going to play every
chance I can get this year.
- Read inspirational/educational books. For instance, I just finished
reading MLK Jr's autobiography. Wow. It's one of the most fascinating and
inspiring books I've ever read. Replacing time spent watching junk TV with reading
books like that can't do anything but good.
None of these
things on their own are life changing. However, if you make enough small
changes, you can really do some damage. That's the approach I'm trying to take.
These are just a few things I've been
working on. I have plenty of other ideas to introduce positivity and that's
what I intend to address going forward with this blog. I just wanted to get my
story out there so that people could understand where I'm coming from.
I hope people
don't take this blog the wrong way. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to live
their life. I'm simply trying to help people wake up to what I think the world
really is and to tell them what I've done to help make my life better. If I can
get one person to question things and make changes, then this blog was a
success. For the world to change, we can only start small and hope it grows,
because lord knows the change won't come from those in power.
I feel my
foundation is growing everyday. It wasn't there 2 years ago and I didn't even
know it. We have very hard times coming. This country is broken in a lot of
ways and the path to redemption isn't going to be easy. The good news is that we
can overcome the nonsense that is thrown at us and the hardships we're going to
face. Let's all better ourselves now to be prepared for anything that comes
edit: Just saw this quote on my twitter feed and thought it was worth adding:
"If we make a steady effort, I think we can overcome any form of negative conditioning and make positive changes in our lives." - Dali Lama
Peace be with