What is “Mundane”?

 

What do I Mean by “Mundane”?

I use the word “mundane” frequently, and realized I should probably level-set on its meaning.
So . . .  what exactly is “mundane”?

From  my perspective and life-philosophy, the mundane in life is bare minimum “living.”

It looks something like this:

Work, eat, consume, zone out on media, sleep.
Wash, rinse, repeat.

Do the same thing day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year.

It’s about just getting through the work day, then escaping through television, social media, shopping, eating and drinking.  Life in a daily rut of routine.

Lower your life expectations to accomplish only the minimum to get by – – basic survival and escapism. Set the bar as low as you can for living.

Most people are:

  • not driven by passion for excelling
  • not driven by Purpose
  • not identifying with important core Values
  • not pursuing Growth and Self-Actualization
  • not achieving life goals
  • not pursuing an enriched life
  • not living with adventure

Instead, most simply become comfortable with routine, and routine only.

 

Can We Ignore the Mundane?

If we strive to be a self-actualizer, can we ignore the mundane in life?  No.
Should we shirk our mundane responsibilities?  No, not unless we arrange to pay others to do them for us.
Should we get satisfaction out of accomplishing mundane tasks?  Yes, I think we should.

However, the enriched living approach should be:

  • Tackle the mundane, get it out of the way.
  • THEN pursue the passion and excellence in our life’s Purpose and Mission.

Take whatever satisfaction you can with accomplishing the mundane, but know there is WAY more to living a life of purpose, joy and satisfaction.

Don’t let the sum of your life be a totality of mundaneness.  Move beyond it to realize greater potential and life happiness.  Pursue living an Enriched Life!

“Are you really living life . . .  Or are you just paying bills until you die?”

 

How to Move Beyond Mundaneness

Eliminate the time vampires in your life and do something – anything – beyond the mundane. Consciously use your time on this Earth better than letting it waste away.  Stop being a couch potato and choose to spend that time making life a bit more of an adventure. . .

Read books, learn something new, keep learning, develop a hobby, travel, tackle projects, build, create, write, visit parks, get out in nature, hike, kayak, visit museums, appreciate art, take up art (whether visual or performing), listen to beautiful music, go to art shows and other festivals, take family outings, go camping, find the magic in discovering history, explore your city, appreciate architecture, drive or walk through a historic neighborhood, visit beautiful landscape gardens, surround yourself with beauty, restore something old, develop a craft, collect something meaningful to you, unclutter your life of the things that aren’t important to you, go to concerts, redecorate or remodel your living space, learn new skills, try something new.

Get the idea?  Reach for more. Choose something that resonates with your interests. Don’t settle for the mundane as the only option for living.

Your efforts don’t have to be perfect.  The goal is to get out of the rut of the mundane and actually LIVE life doing the things that are truly important to your core.

Yes . . . .do the mundane, as a matter of being an element of life, just don’t get mired in the mundane.  Fit more substance into your life.

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”   – Robin Sharma

 

 

 

 

Growth and Self-Actualization

If you resonate with any of the messages presented to you in the writings on this site, you’re already of the mindset of someone who knows the importance of Growth and Self-Actualization.

But what is it exactly?  Why is it important – at least to some of us who are driven beyond the normal and mundane?

 

Growth

Personal Growth is the desire to self-develop yourself; to become more than you are today; to discover the possibilities within you; to achieve more in life (and I don’t necessarily mean material achievements).

Not all people are interested in personal growth.  I think it must be due to personality differences.  For me – and the audience I write for – the need to self-improve, self-discover, grow and expand your personal horizons is an important element of life.  I can’t get away from it.  It’s part of my personal being – part of my life’s Purpose and Mission – even before I went through the formality to determine them several years ago. I always knew deep within there was more to discover and more to accomplish. I had to take that path.

Growth doesn’t come from doing nothing, or doing the same thing over and over.  If during your waking hours you’re only working your job, watching TV, playing video games and sleeping, you won’t get Growth. It can’t happen. Couch Potato-ism doesn’t equal growth.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.” – Jessie Potter

If you desire to live an enriched life in this mundane world, and you’re not living it now, then you must decide to do something different.  You need a burning desire within you to be more…. to do more…. to have an impact on yourself and others.  You need an internal fire within to grow as a human being towards your realized and exciting potential.

Growth comes in three opportunity packages:

  • Growth by starting something new
  • Growth by stopping something you are presently doing
  • Growth through the mistakes we make

You can see by this list that Growth requires action.  You have to start something new, stop something you’re doing, and/or make mistakes to learn valuable lessons.  Sitting secure in your comfort zone and doing nothing differently will not get you Growth.

“Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in a harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr., Life’s Little Instruction Book

Make a decision to do something different.  Make a decision that will count for something critical to your best self.  Decide to grow – not rot.  Don’t sell yourself short.

“The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.” – Abraham Maslow

 

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Hierarchy of Needs?  It’s a psychological theory of motivation developed by Abraham Maslow, and is a step-by-step progression of human needs to be pursued for maximum satisfaction and happiness.  Here are the basics:

Think of a pyramid.  Human needs start at the bottom of the pyramid shown above and move upward as each is achieved.  Here’s the hierarchy in the order they’re typically met (bottom-to-top in the diagram):

  1. Physiological Needs – It starts at the bottom of the pyramid with the fact that people in a base/primitive existence will be trying to achieve physiological needs (air, water, food, sex – basic human survival needs).
  2. Safety Needs -Once the basic survival needs are met, people can then be concerned with basic safety and security issues around personal life, health and finances.
  3. Love & Belonging Needs – Assuming physiological and safety needs have been met, then people will gravitate towards gaining psychological needs of loving and belonging – feeling loved and accepted (friendships, family, relationships).
  4. Esteem – After achieving the prior three needs, we move to pursuing the needs of ego and social status.  We desire to be respected and valued by others.
  5. Self-actualization – After mastering esteem and the other needs, an industrious person can now work towards becoming the best self they can be.  To self-actualize.

Maslow called the first four needs basic or deficiency needs – meaning, they are a lack of something and are met externally.  The final need is called a growth need – and is not a lack of something externally but instead a desire for personal growth, which is met internally.

The growth need of self-actualization moves a person beyond other people’s opinions – or any external validation for that matter.  Its driven by a desire deep within us.

Not all needs have to be met in the precise order presented in the theory.  There are individuals who tackle their growth need at the same time as they’re working on some of their deficiency needs; there’s no hard-and-fast rule.

Self-Actualization

This article is concerned with the highest need – the growth need of “Self-Actualization.”

What does Self-Actualization really mean?

“What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.” – Abraham Maslow, 1954, Motivation and Personality

This is a state of being; of self-awareness and concern for fulfilling your potential.  Maslow referred to those in this state as “self-actualizers.”

Growth and self-development is a lifelong process.  You really don’t ever get to a point where you can say you’ve completed your path to self-actualization.  It’s a process of wonderful growth and self-discovery, progressing continually to realize your potential.

Your Purpose and Mission should be a result of deep reflection and passion for what is critically important to your being, and this will directly drive your path to self-actualization.  Follow your passion and bliss.  Let it drive your life and its actions in fulfilling your potential. Live a life of self-discovery and adventure!

 

What are the Characteristics of a Self-Actualizer?

I have to admit that I hadn’t previously been exposed to Maslow’s list of characteristics for Self-Actualizers.  It’s quite an eye opener, and I see many that apply to my own life – particularly over the last 30 years of growth.  A self-actualizer doesn’t necessarily have to display all these elements of character.  As stated previously, this is a process.  As long as you’re able to look at the list and see some of them reflected in your growth path, then you’re on the right track.

Here is the list direct from Maslow’s Motivation and Personality, Chapter 11, “Self-Actualizing People: A Study Of Psychological Health”:

1) More Efficient Perception of Reality and More Comfortable Relations with it

Self-actualizers have a keen sense of realism. This includes the ability to correctly judge people because they can detect false and dishonest people. They live more in the real world of nature than the man-made abstractions, beliefs and stereotypes most people confuse as the world. They are logical and rational, perceiving what is real rather than their own (or other’s) wishes, hopes, anxieties or beliefs. They’re not frightened or threatened by the unknown or ambiguous; rather, they often desire and welcome it.

 

2) Acceptance (Self, Others, Nature)

Self-actualizers accept themselves and others as they are. Because they more clearly perceive reality, they see human nature as it is and not as they would prefer it to be.  They accept it and don’t give it much concern or thought, viewing any deficiencies as neutral personality characteristics.  Because of this they tend to lack guilt, shame, inhibition or anxiety – enjoying life free from these burdens, without regret or apology.

 

3) Spontaneity; Simplicity; Naturalness

Self-actualizers are relatively open, spontaneous and unconventional – in both thoughts and behavior. They’re not confined by norms – not allowing rules and regulations they feel are trivial to prevent them from achieving their important goals.  Although unconventional, if the situation calls for it, they will go through the ceremonies and rituals of convention with a good-humored shrug and with the best possible grace.

 

4) Problem Centering

Self-actualizers focus on problems that are outside of themselves (problem-centered) rather than problems within themselves (ego-centered). They typically have a mission in life to fulfill which enlists their energies – tasks they feel compelled to do for others. They feel it is a calling to serve a greater cause. They’re concerned with basic issues and eternal questions in the philosophical and ethical realm. They live in the widest possible frame of reference, a large horizon, a broad vision, never losing sight of the forest due to the trees – focusing on the big picture.

 

5) The Quality of Detachment; the Need of Privacy

Self-actualizers positively like and desire their solitude and privacy. Since they’ve moved beyond deficiency needs and are focused on growth, they don’t need others in the ordinary sense. They don’t need external reassurances, or other’s opinions. They’re very independent and use their time for developing their own individual potential. This detachment is often viewed by others as aloof, cold, snobbish, and unfriendly.  They’re objective, strong self-starters who are active, make up their mind and are responsible for their own decisions and destinies. They’re not pawns who are helplessly “determined” by others.

 

6) Autonomy; Independence of Culture and Environment; Will; Active Agents

Self-actualizers are independent and not reliant on their main satisfactions coming from their external environment or other people. They are “self-contained.”  While deficiency-motivated people need others available to satisfy their lower hierarchy needs (safety, love, respect, prestige, belongingness), growth-motivated people are actually hampered by others. Their satisfactions come from within rather than from outside social interactions.

 

7) Continued Freshness of Appreciation

Self-actualizers have the wonderful capacity to repeatedly appreciate, freshly and naively, the basic goodness of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.  They experience a richness of subjective experience in the form of joy, ecstasy, pleasure, inspiration and strength – whether in music, beauty, nature, people, or even in the basic elements of life. They don’t take their blessings for granted and maintain a sincere gratitude for life.

 

8) The Mystic Experience; The Peak Experience

Self-actualizers experience moments that Maslow called mystic or “peak” experiences. This is an intensification of any experience in which there’s a loss of self or transcendence of it.  The experience can provide feelings of limitless horizons, the feeling of great ecstasy and wonder and awe, the loss of placing in time and space, and finally, the conviction that something extremely important and valuable had happened.  The individual is to some extent transformed and strengthened even in his daily life by such experiences. The intense feelings do not come all the time but occasionally and at the most unexpected moments.They can also occur in lesser degrees of intensity.  While one would be apt to identify this as a religious or supernatural experience, it’s actually a natural experience.

 

9) Gemeinschaftsgefühl (Identification with mankind)

Gemeinschaftsgefühl, a word invented by Alfred Adler, describes the feelings for mankind expressed by self-actualizated people: it’s an identification with humankind. They have a genuine desire to help the human race, as if they were all members of a single family. Even though the self-actualized person is very different from other people in thought, impulse, behavior and emotion, they have a deep sense of empathy for those around them. They are often saddened, exasperated, and even enraged by the shortcomings of the average person, yet however far apart they are from them at times, they nevertheless feel a basic underlying kinship with them – much as an older brother.

 

10) Interpersonal Relations

Self-actiualizers have deeper and more profound relationships than any other adults. They’re capable of deep ties and greater love than other people would consider possible. However, these especially deep ties occur with only a few individuals.  They have a small circle of friends and these relationships are likely to be healthier and closer than the average person – much closer.

 

11) The Democratic Character Structure

Self-actualizers are friendly with anyone of suitable character regardless of class, education, political belief, race, or color. As a matter of fact it often seems as if they are not even aware of these differences, which are for the average person so obvious and so important. They find it possible to learn from anybody who has something to teach them – no matter what other characteristics he may have. They share a quality that could be called humility of a certain type – humble before people who can teach them something that they do not know or who have a skill they do not possess.

 

12) Discrimination Between Means and Ends, Between Good and Evil

Self-actualizers are fixed more on the ends rather than the means. The journey is just as enjoyable and important as the arrival. Very few are religious in the orthodox sense, but they have strong ethical and moral standards and are certain about what’s right and wrong (although their notions of right and wrong and of good and evil are often not the conventional ones).

 

13) Philosophical, Unhostile Sense of Humor

Self-actualizers are often seen by the average person as rather sober and serious. Their sense of humor is not of the ordinary type. They don’t find humor in making fun of people in a hurtful, denigrating way.  Philosophically-oriented, thoughtful humor is more to their liking – poking fun at foolishness or inflated egos – even laughing at themselves. Think of it as humor with a message.

 

14) Creativeness

Self-actualizers are creative in a youthful, childlike manner.  They retain a fresh, naive and direct way of looking at life. Most people lose this as they become enculturated, but not those who are self-actualized….. they’re more spontaneous, more natural, more human. They do things without inhibition and with spirit and insight of perception. They’re not necessarily gifted with a “special” talent such as playing the piano or writing literature or poetry, but display more of an uninhibited, youthful, creative expression – like young children.

 

15) Resistance to Enculturation; the Transcendence of any Particular Culture

Self-actualizers maintain a certain inner detachment from the culture in which they’re immersed. They’re autonomous and less molded by societal influences. They may appear to be culturally adapted in terms of what they wear or their social practices, but it’s not a genuine “buy in.”  If cultural conventions are too annoying or troublesome, they rid themselves of this superficiality and focus on what’s important to them.  They’re not radical rebels, but if needed – they could be. They’re primarily intellectual in nature and have a mission of something important to improve the world. They’re not likely to make useless sacrifices – being more of a realist.

“Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.” – Unknown

 

It’s Your Choice.

Life is about choices.  Our lives are the sum total of the consequences of our choices.  Choose to be more.  Choose to pursue your potential.  Choose to self-discover.  Choose to adventure in Growth and Self-Actualization!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  – Mark Twain

 

“Human life will never be understood unless its highest aspirations are taken into account. Growth, self-actualization, the striving toward health, the quest for identity and autonomy, the yearning for excellence (and other ways of phrasing the striving “upward”) must by now be accepted beyond question as a widespread and perhaps universal tendency . . .” – Abraham Maslow, 1954, Motivation and Personality

 

Self-actualizing people enjoy life in general and practically all its aspects, while most other people enjoy only stray moments of triumph.” – Abarham Maslow

 

“Growth takes place when the next step forward is subjectively more delightful, more joyous, more intrinsically satisfying than the previous gratification which we have become familiar or even bored. – Abraham Maslow

 

 

Some decent online sources:

 

As with any sourcing on the internet, links can go ‘dead’ after a time. If you find the above-mentioned links no longer working, try the WayBack Machine:  http://archive.org/web/web.php    It’s sometimes a good way to pull up and view websites that are no longer active.

 

 

Your Purpose and Mission in Life

Why should anyone be concerned with identifying their Purpose and Mission in life?  What good is it?  Will it really make any difference with living life in this hodgepodge world of the mundane and chaotic?

What’s the difference between Purpose, Mission and Vision?  Do I need big goals to have a Purpose and Mission?  Or is it the other way around?  Is this some kind of useless, fuzzy-bullshit, corporate or new age stuff?

Hang on, let’s see what it means for you . . .

 

What Are The Benefits of Identifying a Personal Purpose & Mission?

Do you bounce around life in an uncontrolled fashion not really knowing why you’re doing something – like a cork tossed about on the surface of a stormy sea?

Are you dissatisfied and frustrated with life? Do you have an anxiousness within; a nagging feeling that something isn’t right and there’s more to life than what you’re living?

Do you wonder if you’re here on Earth for a specific reason but have no idea how to identify that reason?

If so, then you could reap great rewards from taking the time to determine your personal Purpose and Mission in life.

Here are the compelling benefits:

  • Laser-like focus for your life; Avoid distractions; Eliminate wasted time and energy
  • Know what’s most important to you; Live a purpose-driven life with a sense of direction
  • Simplified decision-making – no waffling; Know exactly what you should or shouldn’t be doing
  • Live a life of certainty, confidence and self-esteem
  • Stay aligned with your critical personal core values, and attract people who have similar values
  • Change your life in an extremely positive way; get incredible results; Accomplish valuable goals; Impact the world; Leave a legacy
  • Experience a sense of energy, excitement, motivation, passion and gratitude
  • Know who you are – to the core; See the Big Picture
  • Experience in-depth happiness and satisfaction
  • Gain personal freedom and independence

Without identifying a personal Purpose and Mission you’re relinquishing your future to a haphazard road map of unquestioned turns and directions.

Don’t live with randomness, indecision, doubt, uncertainty, and confusion.

“You are the architect of your dreams.” – Andy Andrews

 

What is the Difference Between Purpose and Mission?

Purpose . . . Mission . . . Vision . . . Goals . . .  What’s the difference?  Don’t they all get you to where you need to go?

Maybe.  It depends on the order you tackle them.

If you simply start setting big goals without having identified your Purpose and Mission, you run the risk of choosing goals that others portray to you as important.  What good is it to pursue other people’s goals?  It just leads to dissatisfaction, frustration and unhappiness.

Most of the online resources don’t bother distinguishing a rigid difference across Purpose, Mission and Vision.  And even the ones who attempt it have varied success in conveying why you should even bother splitting hairs about the differences.

From a general perspective, here are the nuances:

PURPOSEWhy do you exist?  Why are you here?  Your purpose is the reason why you should be doing what you’re doing in life – your raison d’être. It brings excitement and passion to living. It’s the truest & deepest meaning of life for you.

MISSIONHow will you accomplish your purpose.? How will you get there?  How will you focus?  What will you do and How will you do it?  It’s about action.  Mission is your personal philosophy of what you hope to be and intend to accomplish, based on your Purpose.  It’s doing what matters and eliminating the distractions. What will you allow in your life and how will you positively influence others?

VISIONWhat will it look like when you arrive at your destination? Where do you want to be?  This is a mental picture of your optimal future state – the Result you want to obtain based on your Purpose and Mission. What does the difference you’ll make look like? It’s a vivid and inspirational mental picture of where you ultimately want to be in life. It inspires you to set goals.

 

Some workshop exercises ignore Purpose because it comes out within the Mission and Vision.  Others ignore Vision and focus on Purpose and Mission. Some identify Purpose as being the same as Mission.  If you follow the better workshop exercises, you’ll end up getting to the critical end-point either way, which is identifying your Purpose and Mission.

The way I see it:   Purpose drives Mission which, in turn, drives Vision, which drives Goals

Purpose —-> Mission —–> Vision —–> Goals

Several less-than-adequate resources will have you defining goals before you’ve identified your Purpose and Mission.  I adamantly DISAGREE.  It’s foolish to identify goals before Purpose and Mission.  That’s one of the problems with living your social conditioned life – because you’re likely to be convinced something outside you is your true Purpose and Mmission – when it is not.  You end up pursuing goals that others have identified for you as critical and valuable, and you mistakenly see them as important.  They’re not your true goals. This is a road to frustration and unhappiness.

 

How To Identify Your Life’s Purpose & Mission

The best method to determine your Personal Purpose and Mission is an exercise in self-discovery. You need to spend some quality quiet time with a series of introspective questions and an honest attempt on your part to self-discover.

The best online resources I’ve found with a great set of questions are nearly identical and can be found here:

Those two, by far, have the most effective set of questions to allow a proper introspective adventure and self-discovery.

A couple of decent runner-ups (but not quite as thorough) include:

 

Introspection time . . . Your Purpose

The first article noted above has fifteen excellent questions to identify your life Purpose.

Find a quiet place and time. Take a pad of paper and write out your answers as quick as they come to you – the first thing that pops in your head. Be honest with yourself and don’t give other people’s answers.  Answer genuinely about you; from your gut.

Don’t edit.  Don’t second guess. Don’t change your answers.  Spend only about 30 to 60 seconds per question.

Go back through your answers and circle or highlight the words and phrases that jump out at you as the most important. Prioritize them from most important to least important.

Think about your true passion . . . what is it?

Combine that passion with your prioritized words into a sentence or two that best describes your purpose.

 

Bonus Introspection:

I had four memorable introspective events that helped solidify my Purpose.

  • My first encounter with any kind of exercise in a Personal Purpose or Mission was probably about 1995, in the early days of the web.  I had become interested in self-improvement and success and came across a brief exercise online someone had written – probably for identifying life goals.  It had a major impact on me, stopping me in my tracks and forcing me to look inward for genuine answers to my true purpose – not just pursuing monetary “success” in life at the expense of all else – instead, something real and significant.

The scenario?

Imagine yourself on your Deathbed. Look back over your life and where it’s brought you in this moment.  What will you need to have done and accomplished to feel that you lived life well?  A fulfilling, meaningful life?  Throughout your life, what’s been most important as you ready yourself for death?

  • Then, about three-to-five years ago, I found a particularly significant question in an introspective exercise.  This made a huge difference for me.  Identifying a Gnawing Purpose:

Think back over your entire childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.  What is it that continually came up over and over through those years that was very important to you – a passion for you? Something gnawing at you that you couldn’t let go and forget – or outgrow?  A relentless feeling to pursue something. What was the repetitive theme, value, or activity?

  • In late 2012, I went though a process to identify my Core Personal Values.  This, too, really helped zero in on my Purpose.
  • I’ve always had an issue with procrastination and lack of action to implement my biggest desires (due to recurring fear, self-doubt and perfectionism).  In late 2015 I finally bit the bullet and decided I wanted to take action on what/how I wanted to leave a Legacy.  (Legacy is missing from the exercise above, but appears in some of the other sources noted in this article.)  That’s what pushed me to the point of creating and focusing on this web site. I created it in January 2016 with the intent to write for whoever could relate – anyone with open ears, eyes and mind.  But my main focus was to perhaps influence one or more of my descendants to live beyond the norm; to excel and live a fulfilling life.
“While goals are chosen, a purpose is discovered. Our purpose is something we have been doing all along, and will continue to do, regardless of circumstances, until the day we die.”
― Peter McWilliams, Do It!

Your Mission Statement

The same article goes on to describe how to identify your life Mission:

A personal mission consists of 3 parts . . .

  • What do I want to do?
  • Who do I want to help?
  • What is the result? What value will I create?

Follow the steps in the article to create your Personal Mission Statement.

You personal Mission Statement should get you excited about life. It should be action oriented – describing what you want to do with your life and who/what will you impact.

Your life from this point forward should be guided by the results of this exercise.  Your Purpose and Mission will allow you to more easily make decisions based on what you should be doing with your life.  If new opportunities and activities arise that don’t align with your Purpose and Mission – don’t pursue them.

Mission Statement Tips:

– Keep it short & positive
– Make it emotional: It should infuse you with passion and ignite the fire within you
– Make it future-oriented & include the people who matter most

Your personal Purpose and Mission Statement should drive your Vision and Goals – pushing you to excel in the very thing you’re on the Earth to achieve.

This self-discovery exercise is powerful.  It will change your life. It will give you confidence and focus.

Go for it!

 

“A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts. He should make this purpose his supreme duty, and should devote himself to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought.”      – James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

 

“Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force: he who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger than a mere bundle of wavering thoughts and fluctuating sensations; he who does this has become the conscious and intelligent wielder of his mental powers,”   – James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

 

Some of the best online sources for this topic:

As with any sourcing on the internet, links can go ‘dead’ after a time. If you find the above-mentioned links no longer working, try the WayBack Machine:  http://archive.org/web/web.php    It’s sometimes a good way to pull up and view websites that are no longer active.