I Have Arrived.

I am home.

I have arrived.

Present in this moment.

Focused on my breathe.

Letting go of my attachments.

My fears & doubts.

I am home.

I have arrived.

In the now.

 

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Distraction: How do we Stay Focused on What Really Matters?

Welcome to the 21 Century! A time period defined by its distractions, whether that be social media, Netflix, YouTube, 24 hour News, virtual reality, or video games.

Humans have been distracting themselves since the beginning of recorded human history, whether that be Roman gladiators or Netflix. Distractions can benefit society, allow for people to relax and decompress from the daily stress of life. Distractions themselves are not the problem, it’s the amount of time consumed distracting oneself. We live in a time period where there is an unlimited amount of distraction and entertainment, which becomes addictive. The high from binge-watching Breaking Bad can feel so good at first, but after spending all day on the couch, we feel horrible. This concept is known as diminishing returns. Diminishing returns is when adding more of an activity actually decreasing the amount of return. For example, 1 alcoholic beverage might bring joy but 20 drinks could lead to alcohol poisoning, at some point consuming more alcohol led to an adverse effect. The phrase “Less Is More” seems fitting.

With freedom, comes responsibility. 

We have the freedom to spend most of our waking time on Netflix while only eating Butterfingers, Taco Bell, and Coors Light. I truly believe that we are blessed and cursed with this freedom. It is a blessing to live in a country where you can choose your own path, express yourself, and consume what you want without Government control. I’m very grateful for this freedom but with this freedom comes responsibility for us to regulate our habits and behaviors. I don’t think most of us have been taught self-control because our culture of consumerism frowns upon self-restraint and responsible living. The rise of Minimalism is a direct response to this culture of unsustainable consumption. We have to regulate our two most valuable commodities, time and attention. We only have a finite amount of time and attention so we must choose wisely how we spend it. It saddens me how much time I have spent on social, media, Netflix, and watching sports when I could have been contributing, growing, and spending time with people that I love.

It’s not about cutting out all these distractions, but regulated and deciding what brings value to your life. Write down what your activities are throughout the week and you will how much time you spend distraction yourself. Here is an example.

Activities Per Week

Current                              Vision

Netflix  10 hours              Netflix 2 hours

Youtube 5 hours               YouTube 1 hour

Facebook 4 hours         Facebook 2 hours

Football 6 hours           Football  4 hours

Family 3 hours             Family 12hours

Passions 1 hour           Passions  10 hours

It’s not about cutting everything our life but regulating the distractions so they don’t make up a majority of our free time. What we are passionate about will thrive if we cut out the excess of distractions. Without the endless distractions, we can spend more time connecting with our family, friends, and significant others. Our life will have more meaning and less emptiness.

We all have the same 24 hours, let’s make the best use of it.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

 

Less is More: My Journey to Minimalism. 

When I was a child, I always enjoyed my father’s house. He didn’t clutter his living space with tons of trinkets and photos, instead he had a few golf paintings and only the essential. I didn’t realize it then, but it was the first indicator that I was in fact a minimalist. My parents divorced when I was young so I spent every other weekend with my dad. He was a minimalist before it was cool, before it was labeled as a fringe group which is slowly turning into a more mainstream philosophy.

Before the 1970’s, almost everyone was a minimalist. It wasn’t until manufacturing went to China, India, etc that material goods became so cheap and available. This cheap manufacturing has led to today, where the average American household has 300,000 items. Advertisements tell us that we need to buy, buy, buy and that we NEED this new item even though we survived without it’s existence.

I didn’t fully embrace minimalism until my ex-fiance and I broke up. You see, she owned 95% of our stuff when we broke up. Everything in the house was either brought by her or gifts from her family. When she left, I was left alone in the studio we once shared. She was gracious enough to leave 1 fork, knife, spoon, pot, and pan. I didn’t have internet/TV and I slept on an air mattress. I lived like this for 6 months and suprisingly I thrived. Less distractions made it easier to focus on the essential. I enjoyed cleaning more because I had less to clean. I focused on my diet which led to me losing 30 lbs. With no internet, I spent more time outdoors or working out (best shape of my life). With no TV, I started reading books and learning knowledge that I now share on this blog. I even volunteered for the Special Olympics because I had more time to contribute outside myself. Since moving to Maui, I’m slowly relearning these lessons and cultivating some of the skills I learned in that 6 month minimalist boot camp.

Less is more. Less distraction, more passion. Less debt, more freedom. Less clutter, more focus.

With Aloha,

Jonathan Hoffman

The Power of Meditation. 

From CEO’s to professional athletes, the practice of meditation is becoming more normalized in the United States. Meditation has also been extensively studied by neuroscientists who have found scientific proof that meditation can rewire the brain, making us more compassionate and loving people. Meditation isn’t going to make your life perfect. Think of it as a mental health exercise that can alleviate mental stress, anxiety, and depression. Adding it to a healthy diet and workout regiment for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Our mind is like a puppy wandering towards every stimulus in the park, never truly focusing on the present moment. The goal of meditation isn’t to control our thoughts but to not allow our thoughts to control us.

In its most basic definition, meditation is allowing everything to exactly exist in its present state. Sounds easy right? It’s not, our mind loves wandering to the past, future, or how things should be but they are not. Meditation is about training the brain so you are not tormented by cravings, impulses, and the natural tendency for our mind to focus on the negative.

I discovered meditation when my ex-fiance and I broke up. My anxiety after the breakup was so bad that I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. My stomach was constantly in knots and my mind was in chaos. One day I researched the benefits of meditation and found out that it could help alleviate anxiety. After trial and error, I started meditating 10-60 minutes a day. I couldn’t believe how great I felt after my meditation. My anxiety & stress seemed to vanish and I felt more content with who I was in my entire life. Life has had its ups and downs since then but I can always find my peace while meditating. It helps me focus on the present, express gratitude, and show compassion to myself and others.

I invite you to try meditation for yourself. Find a meditation that works for you. Whether that’s a mindful walking meditation or sitting on a chair/cushion. The first step is to focus on your breath, which will center your body and mind. Whenever your mind wanders, you can bring it back to the present moment by focusing on the breath. With the power of Youtube, Google, and all the different applications like Calm or Headspace you can find your own path of meditation that works for you. Just remember, meditation won’t always be pleasurable just like working out or eating healthy isn’t always enjoyable. The benefits of meditation our felt when leaving the cushion. The benefits of compassion, love, forgiveness, and focus.

With Aloha,

Jonathan Hoffman