Tag Archives: self-improvement

Outline: What will be my message?

The following is a rough outline of the message I intend to send. It is only a starting point. My message is apt to change. Some of this will be discarded. Other parts will be explicated.

My message has congealed. My message is congealing.

Gritty realism and hope. Positives and negatives. Individuality and community. Freedom and fate. Ignore none of these.

Acknowledge the shit life happens to throw at you; however, do not let it weigh you down.

Aim for self-development, aim for growth. Connect goals with this ideal.

The connection between diabetes and life as a whole. What does diabetes have to teach us about life?

Mindfulness, diabetes, and life. Mindfulness of ones BG patterns, the impact of various foods and activities = essential part of diabetes management. Emphasize its value in life as a whole.

Focus on focus. Emphasize it.

Acknowledge limitations. Focus on freedom.

Acknowledge X, focus on Y.

Focus on the power we already posses. Focusing just on empowerment = one sided.

Focus on what you can control. Avoid focusing on things that depend on other factors.

Focus on behavior.

Focus on habits.

Focus on perspective.

Obsessing over circumstance is not the most beneficial option.

Above all else, make it about eudaimonia.

Battle Language – an explanation

I need to clarify something.

Heather Gabel’s comment a few posts back has made me realize that I have failed to explain why I use battle language. Motivation is not the primary motivator. My reasons are inextricably intertwined with my history.

Let me (try to) explain.

From an early age I have had a profound need to live a purpose driven life. The circumstances surrounding my diagnosis hastened the advent of this need, while other life experiences were an accentuating influence. This need would, in the course of time, strengthen and give direction to my intellectual curiosity.

Given my disposition, I was, quite naturally, inclined towards philosophy and spirituality. Pope John Paul II passing when I was 12 pushed me further in that direction.

In the ensuing years, I found meaning and purpose in faith. I became religious – extremely religious at times.

These years left an indelible mark on my future unfoldment.

It was during this period that I began to see my life as being a journey. Rising above my current situation was seen as a solemn duty.

The desire for complete transformation and the theme of spiritual warfare have been abiding influences. Due to these influences, I continue to see inner conflict and self-development as being inseparable.

Sun Tzu’s Art of War, which I read when I was 16, proved to be a further influence.

Noting the applicability of Sun Tzu’s advice to life in general, I started to, intermittently, explore the similarities between life and warfare, and began using lessons learned from the latter to assist me in the former.

In the language of war, I found a set of metaphors that were useful in helping me as I moved forward in life. They proved to be conducive to transcending the obstacles I ran into.

To expect the unexpected, the fallibility of even the best plans, the role of fortune, the importance of distinguishing between what is & is not in your control and of focusing on that which you can control – these are some of the lessons that have stuck with me.

These lessons are, I believe, beneficial to us all.

I’ve got 99 problems and insomnia’s one

“To me, success is the ongoing process of striving to become more. It is the opportunity to continually grow….while contributing in some positive way to others. The road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not an end to be reached.” – Anthony Robins, ‘Unlimited Power’

Insomnia has reared its ugly head. I’m feeling tired…oh so tired.

My mind is enveloped by a thick blanket of fog, but my eyes are as dry as a crisp winter day.

I hate insomnia. It’s an obstacle to that which I hold dear. Like diabetes, it makes everything more difficult.

Writing no longer comes with ease. It has become an arduous task. I had intended to update this dblog on Monday, but my tiredness sabotaged my attempts to write.

My intellect has been hit by insomnia as well. I love to think. I love intellectual stimulation, and seek it out. I love to ponder the mysteries of life, and dream about the possibilities of the future. Insomnia is an intruder. It gets in the way of these things.

Socially, I feel inept. Like my energy, my sociality has melted away. Face to face social interaction has become a chore. Conversations have become impossible to follow. Manners have disappeared.

I’d be a dishonest SOB if I plastered on a smile and claimed everything was going well. Insomnia’s making life less than ideal; however, things could be worse.

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, having to deal with blood sugar problems in addition to insomnia’s much worse. Remarkably, my blood sugars remain at an acceptable level. This is atypical.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found…

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, it isn’t causing me any dire problems. It isn’t getting in the way of my day to day life. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a big deal.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found…

Although insomnia’s making my life less than ideal, there are worse afflictions. Impoverishment, oppression, harassment, HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc. are all more extreme afflictions. Insomnia doesn’t prevent me from actualizing my self to the same extent as those other afflictions. Eudemonia is still possible. I can still flourish.

In every situation, positives and negatives can be found… How we interpret our circumstances is a matter of perspective. Our mood, our standards of judgement, etc. all mould our interpretation. The mind is not passive.

I’ve dealt with insomnia for years, but my approach hasn’t been fruitful. This has been a common theme in my life. More often that not, I’ve taken a pessimistic view of things. I’ve always had a knack for criticism, but a lack in my ability to see the bright side of life. My perspective on my life has often lacked balance.

For the past 4-5 years I’ve been rectifying this…

This post is but one component of a greater process that has been going on for years, and will continue to go on indefinitely.

Self-improvement has been my telos and moving beyond pessimism is a necessary goal if I’m going to accomplish my purpose.

I have a choice in how I will accomplish my goal.

My strategy is this: to focus on developing new habits rather than fighting old ones.

In effect, this means that I’m going to allow myself to continue looking at the negative side of things. Rather than expending my finite energy on fighting this habit, I’m going to focus on getting into the habit of looking for positives after I’ve looked at the negatives. I’m going to cultivate a balanced perspective.

By moving beyond optimism and pessimism, I’ll be able to take a more realistic view of life. By taking this perspective, I’ll, hopefully, allow myself to flourish.

20 Facts About Me Tag

I forgot to mention that I've had facial hair since 2010
Alsoblood also, high blood sugar gets on my nerves! 

When I woke up this morning I had no clue what I was going to write about for today’s post. Thankfully, Rich the Diabetic saved me from having to come up with something original to write about. Thanks Rich! Without further ado, here are 20 facts about me:

  1. I was born 3 months premature at Maine Medical Center in 1993;
  2. I’m a pile-organizer, not a file-organizer;
  3. I’m a caffeine fiend;
  4. I’ve lived in New England my entire life;
  5. I can speak broken Polish;
  6. Although I’m not Canadian, I love hockey
  7. I’m not a football fan; 😮
  8. I’m afraid of: heights, bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets;
  9. Although I’m a voracious reader, I rarely finish reading books;
  10. I’m the eldest of 4 children;
  11. I was an only child until I was 8;
  12. I was diagnosed with diabetes on Christmas;
  13. I used to have wicked bad sensory issues, and I’m still not a fan of big crowds;
  14. When I was in 4th grade I could read at an 11th grade level;
  15. I see myself as being a free-thinker;
  16. I enjoy playing the guitar;
  17. I’ve practiced meditation (on and off) since 6th grade;
  18. I love intellectually stimulating conversations;
  19. Given my life story, I’ve got a passion for my own self-development;
  20. I’ve got a passion for helping others meet their full potential.

Not all things are created equal

Got meters?
Got meters?

A month ago I was testing 2-3 time a day. On most days, my numbers remained above 200 all day, and I’d often see at least 1 number over 300. Numbers in the 400s – which had formerly been rare – happened almost every week.

Fast forward to this month. I’ve been testing 6-10 times a day. On most days, my numbers remain above 200 for most of the days, but I’m starting to see due some decent numbers. Numbers in the 400s – which been all too common a month ago – are now non-existent. Improvements have been made.

Being a pessimist, I’m adept at seeing the negative aspects of any situation. In my present situation, I could easily choose to focus on the fact that my blood sugars still remain, on average, higher than what I’d like to see.

Although I could choose to see my present situation through tinted glasses, I have decided not to. To interpret my situation in a negative manner would do me no good.

It’s essential that I keep things in perspective. Although my blood glucose readings are important, they’re not what’s most important to me. Of far greater significance to me is  the fact that I’m testing my blood sugar frequently.

My current blood glucose readings are irrelevant to me, so long as I’m in the habit of frequently testing my blood sugar. Although, by itself, it won’t have a major impact on the extent to which I have my diabetes under control, it will form a firm foundation for me as I continue to recover from diabetes burnout.

Discernment is essential.