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Ian O'Byrne

You are not controlling the storm, and you are not lost in it. You are the storm. - Sam Harris In issue of the TL;DR Newsletter. Subscribe at #power


Ian O'Byrne

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival. - Aristotle

2 min read

In our lives, the number one priority should be the expansion of our own self awareness. We need to become aware, accept, and in some cases adjust the truth about our selves and our world.

To examine this narrative and build self-confidence, we have the possibility of reversing that narrative and speak from expertise as the person we would like to believe that we are. We are who we think that we are.

We can achieve this through the following:

  • Cease automatically and arbitrarily defending your own viewpoints as being binary (i.e., right/wrong, or black/white). This relentless attack/defense stops us from receiving new ideas.
  • Problematize and reassess your concepts, values, belief systems, assumptions, defenses, goals, hopes, and truths.
  • Understand, evaluate, and revise your real needs and motivations.
  • Learn to trust your intution. 
  • Observe your mistakes and try to correct them. we learn more about ourselves through this process.
  • Love yourself and others.
  • Listen without prejudice and evaluation. Train yourself to listen to WHAT someone is saying without auditing their expressions.
  • Recognize what you are defending most of the time.
  • Understanding that the end result and your unlocked awareness will provide the means and motivation needed to enact further change in your life.

Ian O'Byrne

We are what we think about all day long. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

2 min read

Our beliefs and narratives hld us back and in many ways imprison us from achieving what we'd like to accomplish during our lives.

From an early age we are indocritinated to this narrative about how we're supposed to act, about the value of hard work, and our role in society. We use this narrative as a form of belief system that includes conscious and unconscious information that impacts what we see as being "real." This narrative and belief system impacts our views about "truth" and perspectives on the world.

We filter our view of the world through these prisms and react to what may at times be misconceptions about the current milieu. Regardless of what the truth may be, we filter this truth, see what we want to see, and reject most everything else.

If we want to make a real change in our lives, we need to recognize these self and socially constructed narratives and question the root of our thinking. What are the narratives and belief systems that dictate our decisions? In what ways do these hold us back from living the way that we choose? How might we revise, or recreate these narratives to achieve self-actualization?

As we change what we see to what we want to see, we must start with changing ourselves. We need to question and understand our present state and reality. What is the current state in which we exist? What are our capabilities? 

Our present state is determined by education, environment, family connections, childhood experiences, successes, failures, and religious beliefs.

Within these contexts, everything that is happening to you in your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual present state is the result of what in going on in your mind. You can be what you want your mind frames it to be. 

What do you think about and bring into being?


Ian O'Byrne

Trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

2 min read

Bondage or liberty as we consider aspects of self-reliance in our daily interactions.

A self-confident personality is not possible until we build a solid foundation of self-reliance.

The main deterrent to self-reliance is the mistaken certainty that others are smarter, wiser or more intelligent than we are. This causes us to look to others for our happiness and welfare. The person who is dependent in this sense must always reach out to something external.

Self-reliance is not only the belief that you can handle things and become successful, it is something more than that. It is having the courage to listen to your inner prompting for a hint of the kind of success you truly desire. It means taking your cue from yourself – not listening to something or someone outside yourself to get an idea of what you should be, do or have. When we learn to read the “signs” correctly and follow our intuition we can begin to trust ourselves and not follow the beat of someone else’s drum.

The habit of leaning and depending is so ingrained in certain individuals that they abdicate all personal authority in favor of another person, philosophy or religion. They feel that they will be secure if they can find a person, organization or religion that that they can cling to with blind devotion. They allow this person, organization or religion to be responsible for their happiness. 

Ian O'Byrne

I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me. - Abe Lincoln

2 min read

Dehypnotizing ourselves.

Since our birth, we're hypnotized to some extent in believeing ideas that we believe to be true about ourselves. These ideas may come from parents, sibliings, friends, teachers, etc. We co-construct this narrative with others about ourselves using some of our own thinking and intution. An even larger portion of this comes from those outside forces that seem to forget how much influence they really have on us.

These forces are like a form of hypnosis as we believe what we want to believe, or see what we want to see about oursleves. The real truth is that in many ways, we're blieveing what others want to see in us.

When we see someone getting hypnotized, we sit in the theater and watch as the subject easily enters a tranclike state. We laugh and sit on the edge of our seats as we see the hypnotized person easily lift heavy objects, withstand pain or degradation, or easily accomplish things they would never in their right minds try to accomplish. 

Once you believe something is true, you act as if it were true. No matter what facts or opinions you recieve, you hold steadfast to your beliefs. 

In this same belief system, what could you do if you considered that you were not aware of the real potential or truth about yourself. What if you really were hypnotized all of this time by those around you that help you co-construct this narrative? 

Perhaps you're currently hypnotized by incorrect beliefes, concepts, and values that interfere with your true potential and identity.

When you finally wake up...what will you do?

Ian O'Byrne

Trust is like blood pressure. It's silent, vital to good health, and if abused it can be deadly. - Frank Sonnenberg

1 min read

What is Trust?

Trust is the belief by the trustor that the trustee is capable of delivering on a promise.

Trust is the belief by the trustor that the trustee is honest and fair and will not exploit the trustor's vulnerability.

How can you grow or build trust?

Giving trust involves taking a risk. Trying to reduce the risk means possibily reduing the trust involved in that relationship. 

Honesty and timing are key factors in building and rebuilding trust. Be truthful and realistic. Communicate.

Transparency. You need to dare to bare it all in the relationship and put yourself out there. 

Practice what you preach. Lead by example.

How can you build trust culture?

If you start with trust and stick to it, others will follow. Trust can be part of the DNA of what makes up the habits and practices of the culture. 

Ian O'Byrne

April 4, 2016

1 min read

Following through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things. - Gene Hayden

Many of us come up with great ideas, or ways to innovate on current circumstances. It takes a confident, resolute mind to follow through and finish on those ideas that we've tinkered with.

In these circumstances, there is a feedback loop that occurs, and paralyzes us as we get stuck in a cycle of perfectionism becoming paralysis. There is a belief that we need to have all of the right answers, and have the absolutely correct answer to every question.

To break this cycle of paralysis the answer is to get started. The initial idea is the best. From there, build, iterate, test, and build again. Over time, you will find the model and the correct path to take.

Ian O'Byrne

February 8, 2016

1 min read

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity - Seneca

In thinking through the events that bring me to this today, we often look back at points in life and identify an unforeseen element known as luck that brings us opportuniites.

The challenge is that we sometimes cannot factor in "luck" to identify when or how it'll appear. 

One statement that I cannot stand is "it is what it is." Although...I frequently find myself wanting to say it more in the day's events. I think this statement connects with a willingness to identify "luck" in the world...and have a belief that things just happen to opposed to making decisions to put ourselves in line to make it happen.

This quote by Seneca is nice because it offers a middle ground. There is a need/opportunity to prepare yourself for what life may bring. In this preparation you make decisions and live each day.

Within the day's events, we come across opportunity and what we view as "luck" may in fact just be a mixture of preparation and opportunity connecting at the right place and time.

Ian O'Byrne

January 5, 2016

2 min read

"The notes are under your fingers, you just need to learn how to play them."

Listening to Tim Ferriss interview Jamie Foxx this morning while working out and on the way in to work.

The quote from the top is something that Jamie remembers from when he first met and worked with Ray Charles. They were talking about playing jazz music and missing a note while playing on the piano. The lesson is that you're already prepared and ready to do what it is you need to do in your life. The trick is preparing yourself and beliving in yourself to get it done.

Another quote that came up in the podcast was Jamie saying that he tries to instill in his children a sense of fearlessness in order to empower them to believe that they can achieve. He commented that he daily says to them the following:

"What's on the other side of failure? Nothing."

Many times the only thing stopping us, or holding us back is self-doubt, and a lack of belief in our abilities. We think that someone else will tell us we're wrong, stupid, or not want to read what we have to share. The truth many times is that there is nothing on the other side of failure. 

If someone yells out across a room and threatens you, or you're afraid to start up blogging, attend a class, or whatever that metaphorical tree branch is that's out there waiting for you to jump and grab it...there's nothing on the other side of that fear.

You might experience fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of ridicule. Regardless of the name, once we really unpack it...or better yet just try and make it happen...there's nothing on the other side of that fear.