What Reality Do You Live In?

“In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality.” 

Kristian Kan

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I often tell people, “I’m living in my own reality and everyone else is a guest.”

Egotistical or honest? Maybe both?

Meh… who cares? In my reality, I don’t, nor should anyone care about such trivial a thing.

Let’s just say, I’m stating the obvious.

Of course, people don’t want the truth because they can’t handle it (name the movie), but the fact is, we all live in our own realities.

That means you, and that means me.

My reality, your reality, his reality, her reality; they are all uniquely strange and different even when they are all looking at the same exact thing.

Let’s rap about your brain for a moment. Did you know that your experience in life is nothing more than your brain interpreting signals from the external world, which only exists in your mind because your brain tells you it exists? 

There is only a universe because your brain tells you there is one.

What does the reality of a “crazy” person look like? What about a “sane” person? What about an “average” person? What about a “successful” person? 

The easily identifiable thing each of these realities have in common is the fact that they are different. They are unique and impossible to explain or quantify by anyone but the individual living in that reality.

What makes anyone’s reality more “real” than another’s? Maybe all of us “normal” people are the crazy ones and the people locked up in the asylums see the truth. Maybe there is no truth because truth is only subjective to the individual?

And still, we are so egotistical to think we know things, like math, space, science, nutrition, and so on. How do we really know anything?

We don’t!

That’s the beauty and the tragedy of it all, depending on how you look at it. And that’s where our power lies if we are wise enough to grasp it and use it to our advantage.

Socrates often said he knew nothing. It wasn’t until recently that I formed an understanding of this for myself. I may be wrong in assuming what he meant by this phrase, but for me, it reminds me that everything in life that I see, touch and feel around me, is as much a truth as it is not. I could be in a computer simulation. Maybe we are living in 2150 and AI has taken over and enslaved mankind, something like The Matrix. How the hell would I know any different?

But then, why does it matter if I actually take the red pill and see the harsh, ugly reality that is the truth? Why not live out a more enjoyable existence inside the machine? I know which pill I’d take if given a choice between the terrible truth or blissful ignorance. (Hint: the blue pill.)

Since we really don’t know whether we actually know anything, nothing or something, why not choose what to know?

This. Is. What. I’m. Talking. About.

We have the power to choose the reality we want to live in. You live in your reality and I live in mine, and no one will ever be able to experience or understand ours the way we do, and vice versa.

Ever wonder why it’s so hard to understand people at times? Have you ever felt like other people were idiots for not being able to understand you?

Join the club.

Your Brain

If your brain signaled to your body that anytime you touched something it felt like you were touching a hot stove, to you, everything would feel like a hot stove. It would be your reality and no one else will get it. As a result, you’d probably try to touch as little as possible. Some people will accuse you of “faking it” and/or call you crazy. Don’t feel bad, this is how most people react when faced with a form of reality they don’t understand.

This might not be the greatest example, but it does help illustrate my point: that your brain is you. Without a brain, you aren’t a person, nor do you have a personality or possess the capacity to love, laugh or cry. Your brain, and the trillions of neural connections that comprise it, is what makes you you.

I am my brain and it’s consciousness. You are your brain and it’s consciousness.

Knowing this, imagine the power you’d possess if you could find a way to “rewire” your brain. With this power, you could rewrite your reality, and thus, your life. Literally.

This might sound like woo woo hocus pocus type style, but I assure you it’s not. It’s the kind of stuff Tony Robbins has been teaching for years (see: NLP).   

You really can change your reality through conscious effort. That’s the good news. The bad news is, it’s really freaking hard to do, and can take a really long time.

So what? What worth having has ever come easy?

Nothing, my friend, nothing.

I shouldn’t have to tell you that possessing the power to rewire your reality gives you the ultimate power to turn your life into whatever you want. 

Yes… anything.

You see, I have this theory about successful people. It’ this: they understand this concept, whether intuitively or through conscious study, and they put it to use in their lives on a daily basis.

Spend any time studying successful people and you will see that the words they use, and the thoughts that direct those words, are not the same ones that most people use. Because they think differently, they act differently and get different results. 

(I purposely choose not to use the word “better” in place of “differently” to maintain some form of political correctness. That said, if you are aspiring to success, you should read it as if I didn’t go the PC route.)

Perception is reality.

You have been conditioned, since you were a child, to do, say, think and feel a certain way. You have been molded into who you are by things outside of you. It’s not until you grow older, when your brain develops to the point in which it starts asking questions of the self (self-awareness), that you start seeing things differently. 

For most, this is when they start to realize the immense power they posses; the power of choice. Some people learn how to wield this power and go on to use it to make positive changes in their life. Those that don’t get to this realization in life will end up living at the mercy of whatever randomness life brings their way.

You have the power of choice; the power to choose how you will live out each day of your life. Either you accept the responsibility of your reality and get to work or you sit back and let whatever happens, happen.

I’m not suggesting any of this is easy. It’s all really hard, in fact. Just reaching a point in life where you realize you have a choice at all is a really hard thing to do, and one that most people will never get to.

Reaching this point requires a lot of life experience in addition to a willingness and openness to learning and improving. You also have to learn things about yourself, the world around you and just enough about human evolution, anthropology and psychology so that you will be able to grasp the fact that you really do have the power to choose how you live your life.

I sometimes wonder if I would think and act the way I do if I wasn’t put through some of the things I have been. (Actually, I  already know the answer: I would’t.)

Self-Awareness is Everything (If You Ask Me)

Individuals that obtain the self-awareness needed to reach the choice, often feel as if they’ve had an awakening of the Self. A kind of “rebirth.” This often brings the individual an “existential crisis,” where the individual starts questioning their life, meaning and purpose.

For some, this is torture because it challenges firmly held beliefs, notions and perceptions. It also rarely comes with a clear answer, and instead brings more strife than before the individual reached this point.

As they say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” And great responsibility can be a heavy burden.

Individuals that realize they have the power to change their reality are the ones that do so. These are the individuals that usually pursue a not-traditional route of pursuing an income. They are often outspoken and passionate about how things should be better than they are now. More often than not, these individuals open themselves up for criticism and ridicule, even death in certain circumstances.

Joining the mob is easier for most because most have been conditioned their entire lives to follow the rules, plan for a safe and secure future (usually in the form of a job) and not cause much of a ruckus of any kind. Sure, some escape this conditioning, but most don’t.

You can probably guess that I recommend not joining the mob, and I do, but since I’m verging on the edge of a major digression with this piece, I’ll just leave it there. Do with it what you will. (Don’t join the mob! Create your own reality and live in it!)

The Brain

For retention sake, I’ll say it again: Everything in your life, i.e., the things you do, see, think, feel and hear, are simply a signal to your brain and a response from it. Your brain receives stimuli and then converts it into thoughts, feelings and actions. Everything is anything because your brain tells you so. (You and I might be just a sim in some kids computer game in some dimension we’ve never heard of. You just never know.) 

This is why your brain is the center of everything.

Without a brain, you are dead. When someone is “brain dead,” they are just an organic shell that holds organs, blood, and a collection of cells. They really are, as far as being a human goes, dead. 

We are our brains, and our conscious Self is the expression of the thoughts that go through that brain. Our brains are what make us human. It’s what allows us to rationalize and become self-aware, which is one of the things that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Your brain forms thoughts based on the learning it has received thus far. These thoughts, many of which work under the surface at the subconscious level, form your reality and perception. 

Based on all of this, would’t it be nice if you could have a better control of your brain, mind, thoughts and reality? 

Duh.

For thousands of years, humans have been trying to gain better control of the mind in an effort to control it. The most common technique for controlling the mind is meditation—which I recommend for everyone. Other forms to mental training include self-help content, reciting affirmations and incantations, music, dance, and all other kinds voodoo magic.

While each of these methods might work for you, I’m only here with one goal: getting you to become aware enough of this concept so that you will do something about it.

If you don’t accept that life and reality is what you make it, you’ll forever be what I call, “A pinball stuck in the pinball game of life,” bouncing around from external to external with no rhyme or reason or way to make it stop.

The first step in taking control is knowing you have a choice. 

You have to learn that what you interrupt through your senses, and what your brain spits out back to you, can be controlled. Then you have to get to work training that control.

The Stoics were big on interpreting everything in life as neither good or bad, but as it was. Marcus Aurelius said, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

Damn… I freaking love that set of words.

The reason I keep harping on about how your reality is just a construction of your mind is because I want you to grasp the concept that you can take ownership of this construction. You can literally build your reality brick by brick into whatever you want it to be.

Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

Smart guy, that Buddha.

Since you become what you think (Buddha said it!), you can start constructing your reality by consciously forming your thoughts. The more you do this, the better you’ll get. Your mind is a muscle, and science has proven that just like any muscle you not only have to use it or lose it, but you can also make it stronger through focused training.

Are you a guest in someone else’s reality or is everyone else a guest in yours?

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Let’s summarize all this a bit

1. Understand what reality is: signals to and from your brain.

2. Know that you have the power to shape your reality by shaping your interpretation of these signals.

3. Use as many mind training techniques as you can—meditation, reading, research, psychology, philosophy, thinking, problem solving, hallucinogenics, anything that helps you reach other levels of consciousness and/or self-awareness.

4. Commit to the long haul. Developing your reality, just like developing anything of the self, is a long process that is the result of thousands—often millions—of small actions.

You have the ability to control your thoughts, and thus, your reality. The implications of this power are life-changing. You really are what you think, and since you can choose to think anything you want, why not think bigger and better?

Controlling your thoughts is a hard process, which takes a lot of practice and patience. In fact, most people don’t learn how to control their minds until they are at least mid-way through life, and even then, most don’t get it all that right.

Of course, you and I don’t have to wait that long, and we shouldn’t.

A consciously constructed reality is available to those that pursue and practice it.

Get to work.

-Colin

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