Positive Gangster

Frustrations
Frustrations
Vibrations

I stroke with my pen as a whip
Hit hard, no lard
Substance using
No abuse
Just choosing.
Spending attention on facts
Not dollars
Rolling thoughts
Caught up
In no limitation.

Seemingly random facts , they breeze by
Want the fruit, but no trunk
The tree’s die,
So tinted red
I take the right one,
Use your head
not lead
and make it right son.


-Ben

If you liked this, I’d recommend checking out this post.

Why you should READ.

I once read a statistic that said this: “If one were to read 1 book on their chosen subject for a month, in 3 years they would be in the top 5% most knowledgable in their field”

WHAT?! You’re telling me that all I have to do is read a book a month?

With a book one disappears  into a world of their creation, all the while learning and being taught anything that they could possibly want to know. The possibilities are literally limitless. Books are the door into your very own intricately detailed brain cinema… that can also teach you things!

So why do so few people actually do it?!

Most people will say “Yeah… I should read but I just don’t have time”

“Or yeah I should, and I do really like it, I don’t know, I just don’t really do it.”

Often when I hear this, the person I’m talking to sat on their phone, or we are down at the pub, or they are watching tv… often not even good tv.

There is a reason for this.

One reason is that there are so many alternatives to reading that are so much more sensorially stimulating. One can sit in front of a TV for hours and just be spoon fed entertainment without having to lift a greasy finger.

Another reason is consistency.

Reading is a participatory. One has to sit down and use their brain muscles. Reading is a practice. And a practice has to be practiced… Mind blown right?

Most people are out of this habit, and so when they do read, they find it difficult or a chore. Surely this should be unsurprising; any level of ability and fitness has to be built and maintained… but often it’s not. And often it’s a discouraging enough experience that people give up after a session. It’s like the new years gym rush in reading form.

Like any other muscle in the body, if you don’t use it then it simply shrinks. We’ve got to train our reading muscles! And it’s a speedy spring-back for sure.

My estimate based on my own experience of reading relapse is that it takes me one and a half weeks to two weeks of being in the habit of picking up a book and reading it daily for it to become simply effortless. To the point where it is as easy to read a book as watch a film except, like eating a salad instead of the chips, reading the book feels healthy and stimulating in regards to my growth, not my complacency.

The trick is to know WHY you are reading, and to be able to discern the feeling of growth from the feeling of deterioration…

So… Why are you reading? Do you want to be the best musician in your field? How many musicians do you recon pick up books in their free time to read about theory applications and jazz history…  Is it for leisure? Great! Just know that… And when you decide to begin reading because you want to learn how to be a great leader, or manage a workforce, or build a motorbike, keep your eyes on the reason and feel it coming closer into your sphere of reach.

Another factor to consider. Rising to the challenge. Do you have a HIGHER purpose in mind that you are working towards everyday?

When you have a higher purpose, reading, exercising, working, and doing anything in alignment with it that purpose comes effortlessly. When what you are doing is in alignment with your purpose, you are excited and fulfilled in dance and movement your own progression, and reading is a vehicle for that momentum. (If you’re having trouble finding your higher purpose, here is a resource for you that I wrote.)

Reading raises your consciousness up. It is part of the vital interplay between the inner and outer consciousness. Both the inner and outer game are on their own path towards growth, and in turn each feeds its counterpart.

If you are interested in growing in any capacity, reading is not only your friend, but your mentor and closest ally.

Books don’t don’t discriminate, they just give. Be a book.


My advice is to think of reading (like meditation) as a practice that is a guiding light: A grounding force: A sturdy hand pointing the way for intuition on your Hero’s Journey.

If you’re still not bought on the idea of reading, consider some of the greatest teachers and leaders ever to have lived: You can have lunch with Gandhi, and Tea with Malcom X, dinner with Steven Hawking, and drinks with Arnold Schwarzenegger… Lives and lives worth of tips, tricks, lessons, and mistakes, compiled into a book that can be held in the palm of your hand and enjoyed at your leisure.

If you are not sure where to start on your reading journey, here’s where I started, and it is a great place to start for anyone: ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’

This is about outer game. This is about becoming the most educated version of yourself in order that you can bring yourself and others up. To educate is to elevate. True education is self guided, and it’s there for the taking. Elevate yourself, and bring others with you. Share your gifts. Take your power.

Reading, unlike most modern media, is not just entertainment. Reading is a practice. It will reveal things to you about yourself, and take you to places on your own journey of personal development that you never thought possible.

Who knows… maybe one day you will end up writing your own book. May it be filled with tellings of wonder and success.

Take it from Abraham Lincoln:

“My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”


-Ben

If you liked this post, then I’d recommend checking out this post also…

Also if you are still not bought on the idea of reading: here’s an interesting article that might aid your decision,

How Music Can Bring People UP

Always I’ve had a back and forth between my artistic development, and my own development. Always it seemed to be a choice… Music or Self…

This is a false dichotomy. It’s taken me so many years to realise that one can be an artist and also allow his own self-development to be his first and foremost priority.

Music is culture. 

Culture is all about bringing other people up. I don’t care what anyone else says. Whether it is intentional or misled, cultures are created as a way of sharing and empowering one another. Music is no exception.

The cliches and stereotypes regarding the ‘popular’ music industry has tainted it’s image to it’s very core. I’d been misled in regards to what it’s all about, even though both of my parents flipping work in the wider music industry.

For instance: Due to bad experiences with prescription drugs in my teens, I tend to try and avoid all drugs, even mere Ibuprofen. There have been many times when I have considered not entering the music industry and pursuing that career path purely because I was led to believe that all musicians are into drugs, and that they took part in a culture of self-destruction. I didn’t want to be part of that.

This was pure ignorance on my behalf, and even though this is not uncommon, this is FAR from the case for the majority, and I can only take responsibility for my former views, regardless of how much of this belief was actually perpetuated by myself.

now look back at those times and feel that I should have known that the feelings that I got when I listened to music; the inspiration, the feeling of empowerment and excitement the feeling of possiblity; That in and of itself was what it was what it was all about. I wanted to give people the feeling that I felt when I listened to my favourite artists. I wanted to touch people in the way that music has touched me, to my very core.

The arts are CULTS. Cults are vehicles for education and empowerment… If wielded correctly.

Now: Here’s a potent point by my main man Abraham Lincoln:

“Nearly all men can stand the test of adversity, but if you really want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Music at it’s core is about bringing other people up. And this is what musicians do. They pour their heart out in order that others are not alone. They share their deepest darkest secrets, as does any artist, giving you their hearts on a plate for you to share and stand with, or to move on without.

It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are. And what you do is an expression of those gifts; How do you give your gifts?

Here’s another I found while searching for the former. I couldn’t leave it out:

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” -Abraham Lincoln


-Ben

If you liked this post, then check out this post also! 

How to get out of a Rut!

We all want to be our best selves, we all want to live our best lives.

Yet so few of us actually do so! Bucket loads of potential is wasted every day by plethoras of people thinking about what could have been done, or why it cannot be done now; Most people do this. That is why most people are NOT their best selves.

I say this only as someone who has partaken in negative thinking incessantly for the vast majority of my life. SO much energy wasted on creating negative patterns of thinking which led to negative actions and behaviour, which led to me feeling… you guessed it, like a pile of s***.

I call this pattern a rut. You’ve heard the saying. ‘Being stuck in a rut‘. Never did I think about what this really means.

Litterally: A rut is a vehicle track created by repeating the same path over and over and over, so much so that it becomes the only easy path to it’s end once a vehicle is in it.

To get out of a rut, one has to get out of the vehicle that they are travelling in, take a good look around, decide he’s had enough, and climb the hell out of there. To get out of a rut, one needs to remove HIMSELF from the rut, and take a NEW path. This involves leaving the well trodden trail behind. This involves going your own way: putting YOUR purpose FIRST.

Be your own vehicle for change.

Now if you feel like you are stuck in a rut, which most of us are to some degree. Here is what I would offer you:


STOP what you are doing now. I want you to look at the thoughts that come up for yourself. Are they positive, are they negative? Are they conducive to LOVE and CREATION? and most importantly, DO THEY SUPPORT YOU?

If your thoughts are not supporting you, then I reccomend checking out


YOU first. If you want to grow, you must prioritise your purpose on this earth before all else. And once you begin to say yes to this, your purpose will come to you, oh yes it will, and you will float up the fruits of the tree of life and receive the blessings from your toil.

But this ain’t going to be easy, this is why anyone rarely does it. They stay in the rut, and moan about being in a rut to themselves. I’ve done it too. A lot.

To face your fears is to ‘kiss your shadows’ and become intimate with that which causes you pain. This is a part of life… and to live fully is oh so full of life.

For those of you in a rut. Who do you need to be in order to share your gift with the world? Who do you need to be in order to fulfil your true purpose in life? Only you can know. One can only ask for guidance in return for the expression of your gifts.

To finish, following my former post, another quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

‘To be great is to be misunderstood.’

Be great. Be true. Be you.

P.S. If you have any interesting resources that you’d like to share, send them over! I’m always looking for new insight and inspiration.

Your friend,

Ben


If you liked this post then here’s another post that you might enjoy. 

Photography by James Frid