Rome was not built in a day. Like the Romans, you are creating something that will take incredible amounts of time and effort. You are working on yourself. Making you a smarter, stronger, wiser, healthier, more loving, believing, hard working, patient, and understanding person takes time. You absolutely can improve yourself in a day. You absolutely cannot create your ultimate desired outcome for yourself in a day.
As I've said in plenty of previous posts, kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that essentially means small, daily improvements. It is a way of life, not a quick fix. If you want to be all that you can be ... If you want to maximize your life, than you must plan and follow through over decades! Baby steps is the simple answer to creating the best you.
My favorite analogy to improving yourself is, oddly enough, like learning to drive a car with a manual transmission. I'm a stickshift fan.
Soon, this analogy won't be relevant, because it seems that the manual transmission is becoming extinct. For now, I will stick (no pun intended) with my story...
Assuming you know how to drive a stick ... These days, it is basically second nature for you to shift gears. We can easily drink coffee, listen to the radio, think about work, think about family, hold a conversation with the passenger(s), and simply switch from first to second gear without any hesitation or actual thought.
However, it was not always so easy. As a matter of fact, if you're honest with yourself, it was downright tough as nails to drive a stick-shift car when you first started out. Close your eyes for a moment and gradually slip back in time to your very first day in the driver's seat of a vehicle with a manual transmission. During that very first experience, you were learning and you couldn't do any of things we listed above. Not only could you not do them, you had to concentrate and focus completely on switching gears and switching gears alone.
Nervously, you gripped the wheel and struggled along. When it was time to change from first to second, you adjusted your hands shakily on the steering wheel so that the right hand was off the wheel and had access to stick shift. From there, you eased your foot off the gas while slowly pressing the clutch in with the other foot. Once that tedious part was done, you gripped the shift knob as sweat started to form on your forehead. Pulling the lever with just enough force, you popped the transmission out of first gear and into neutral momentarily. Finally, you kept pressure on the shifter, sliding it carefully into second gear. As if all of that wasn't enough, now you had to time smoothly pulling the clutch back out while applying gas incrementally.
Do you remember that first time? Getting your stick-shift cherry popped?? Wasn't it kind of like that?
Even after that first time, we still had to practice this carefully for hours, days, weeks, or even months before we perfected it enough to feel comfortable. Small gains and improvements were made over time before we could finally switch gears without thinking about it. Over time muscle memory took over and we were finally able to do it without a second thought. These days, you don't even think about the entire process and can juggle in a bunch of additional tasks. Heck I wrote this blog article while driving a stick-shift, eating an Egg McMuffin, and singing along with the tunes jamming out of my stereo ... Ok, I made that part up, and I would never condone blogging while driving ... But, you get my point!
Improving ourselves is done much in the same way. When we first dabble into an improvement, it often feels foreign and impossible to accomplish. However, with determination and drive you quickly get past that feeling and over time you create a desired result that feels like second nature today.
Remember to carefully choose your improvements. Then, draw out goals along the way to achieve your dreams. The last piece of the puzzle is to not only stay focused on your dreams, but to dig deep inside yourself and find the willpower to follow through!
Nothing is impossible to a person who believes in their dreams and believes in themselves.
Dream it! Write it! Plan it! Do it!
(I'll let you in on a little secret ... "It" can be anything ... The sky is the limit)
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Throughout "the Secret" section of my blog I have tackled a bunch of subjects from staying healthy to preventing the spread through safe sex. Many of these topics have been fairly taboo. This topic might just prove to be the most taboo of all. However, I would be remiss if I didn't put a little bit of a personal disclaimer in here. While I did my best to discern fact from fiction during the writing of this article, there are some areas where the lines can be blurry and you need to be responsible for your own decisions on how you read MY OPINION. In the end, that's just what it is ... MY OPINION. Much scientific fact backs the things I am including in here, but there simply is not enough data to prove everything. So ... Please take this article with a pinch of salt and a dash of hot sauce.
Let's discuss some of the myths and legends that I personally have encountered, and try to spread some reality-check all over them!
You Can Get AIDS (or HIV) From Kissing Someone
No, this is simply not true. HIV is ONLY transmitted through body fluid (blood, semen, preseminal fluid, vaginal fluid, and breast milk). That said, it is possible to have blood in your mouth and there is a very small chance of passing the virus with deep kissing if BOTH people are bleeding in their mouths. However, I have never heard of or read of a case where this actually happened.
Along the lines of kissing, I also hear about shaking hands, being coughed/sneezed on, smoking a cigarette or pipe after someone else, swimming in the same pool (honest, I heard this one), and so on. The truth of the matter is, if one of the listed bodily fluids is not a part of the transaction it simply will not transfer. Also, remember that the recipient has to get the fluid into their own fluids ... So, getting someone's blood on you (externally) is not enough to transfer the virus. You need blood to blood contact for that to happen. Oh, and you can't get HIV from a toilet seat either.
I've also been asked a number of times if mosquitoes or other insects spread or transfer HIV. All of the medical and scientific information I have read stipulate that it is not transferred via insect bite. When mosquitoes bite they inject saliva rather than their previous victim's blood. This saliva can pass on malaria and yellow fever but not HIV.
Suffice it to say that sweat, urine, and saliva are all safe bodily byproducts unless they have blood in them.
For more information on this "touchy" subject, checkout TreatHIVNow.
HIV and AIDS is Just Something Made Up By Pharmaceutical Companies
There are a few groups out there (RethinkingAIDS is one of them, and Denying AIDS is a book) who claim that HIV and/or AIDS is propaganda created by either the government and/or pharmaceutical companies. I have spoken with several folks from some of these groups, including Karri Stokely (who died two years ago) and find them a bit extreme and troubling. Many of these folks tried to talk me into stopping my HIV medication. It is my belief that protease inhibitors are doing a wonderful job of keeping me alive.
I'll go one step further and say that in the past when I stopped doing medication is when I got shingles and then another time pneumonia. These days, my doctor actually has me do a "drug holiday" every now and then to check on levels and my T-cell count ALWAYS drops when I stop taking my medication.
I know that some of the drugs (think AZT) were bad and caused more damage than they helped ... But, I also know that this occurred twenty-five years ago. Modern drugs and regiments have improved greatly and we've come a long way since the first drugs were introduced.
It's my belief that the medication is a BIG part of the reason I'm still here today.
AIDS is God's Punishment
Really? Okay, let's go ahead and debunk this one. If God is real, and AIDS was really created by him to punish sinners, why would he have punished more little children than actual "supposed" sinners? Don't give me that collateral damage crap either. Also, why would he allow a medical breakthrough that has essentially increased longevity with the virus? IMHO - This one doesn't even warrant an explanation, but I included it to cover all of the legends I've heard.
AIDS is a Government Experiment That Went Wrong
I heard a theory back in the mid-80s that the HIV virus was part of a CIA conspiracy and a biological experiment that went terribly wrong. Read The Stand by: Stephen King for a great fictional tale that goes along these lines. While it's exciting to think this kind of thing could have happened, we've scientifically proven that the virus has actually been around longer than the CIA and therefore is impossible to be a botched experiment ... That is to say unless you believe in their time travel experiments ... HA!
Thanks for reading my urban legend article. And, remember that it is ALWAYS best to err on the safe side. If you are having sex with someone and do not know (beyond a shadow of a doubt) what their HIV status is, it is always the safest choice to use a condom.
Your diligent secret divulger,
p.s. This post is a chapter in my blog-book, The Secret to Longevity. Checkout my similar posts here: http://hivlongevity.com/the-secret. Or, follow the goodie trail:
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