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Your Life, Realized.

I am trying to do meditation in the mornings. Yes, yoga Noah Bikhram as I will now refer to myself. During these times I am trying not to think about anything. BUT, I did have this thought about closing and opening my eyes.

So many times we are at our office or in the “cube” or out drinking with friends and just living.
Nothing crazy. I guess we are open to what’s happening at the present time but maybe lacking awareness of ourselves. What does this mean? I think for me I kind of expected that one day I will open my eyes one day and will have:

  • a great wife (who loves burritos or can make them really well)
  • 2 cool kids who are child prodigies from excessive training
  • great success in business
  • close and rewarding relationships
  • and a garden filled with basil, tomatoes and garlic (my new hobby)…

Maybe it dawned on me this morning that it doesn’t just happen. You live it. Your life. Your choices that you make. Mine included for the good or bad. Life has a lot of similarities to the movie Titanic. We all know the ending but we still paid $10 maybe a few times to see it (myself not included:)). I guess we like the details, the good, the bad and everything in between. Maybe, we can choose or affect as much as possible that outcome we always pictured when we close our eyes.

I will spend more time talking about business/marketing but I think this is more personal & interesting. I am spending tons of time thinking about this and would love your opinion if you want to read more about this…

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27 responses to “Your Life, Realized.”

Jen, writer
February 26, 2008 at 1:10 am

Taking a look at my life right now, I realize that I do have dreams that I never really get around to fulfilling. I want to write a book and a plot has been hanging around my head for ages and yet I haven’t even written anything for it. It’s like a dream you’re certain will happen one day but as of how it will happen is not really on your agenda yet. Maybe this article is a sign that I should really get my creativity moving.

Ross Hill
February 25, 2008 at 7:37 am

It is interesting talking to people who have gotten over that realization. I’m talking with a 43 year old (over email) right now about Facebook and why he doesn’t use it – and it is really enlightening.

On Facebook I’ve got around 250 people who I actually know in person, and I think it is cool to be able to keep an eye on what they are all doing – because without Facebook I wouldn’t know anything because we don’t make contact that often. This guy made the comment that because he has 23 years on me he has such a multiple of contacts that most of them just don’t matter – and the ones that do are related to Noah’s dot points here.

How’s the meditation going?

February 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm

thanks to karen. A few years ago, I have rearranged my life by switching from any kinds of vague “plans” (thanks kadavy for the monkey!) to the simple “rule” of mindfulness and integrity – and watching what evolves! My life has become a great big bouquet of happiness ever since.

kadavy, I believe a distinction needs to be made between “goals” (as in such and such number of children, such size of car, such kind of partner etc.) and “principles”. Principles define your reaction patterns, as opposed to intended results. And of course, they can be adapted to changing circumstances – just like the goals.

Noah, thanks for the great post! I have been wanting to reply to it with a few long held thoughts for quite a while and finally took the time:

Just like Nicole Price, I wonder how your meditation is doing by now. One of my favorite tools to success in such practice is tolerance:

I put down some other more general thought to be happy at

keep those posts coming!

Nicole Price
February 8, 2008 at 12:55 am

You seem to have disappeared. Time to get out of your yogic trace and tell us about it.

February 5, 2008 at 11:16 am

I still can’t eat a burritto without thinking of you. Weird…

Anyhow, great post. I think we all need to slow down once in a while and just enjoy the moment. Easier said then done at times.



Nicole Price
February 3, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Its been over 5 days now. Are you still regular with the meditation. Its one of the toughest things to do I’d say. I tried it for a few days but just couldn’t get my mind free from all the thoughts. Gave up after a week of futile efforts.

Angela Shelton
February 2, 2008 at 11:38 am

More personal and interesting makes for better marketing and business. Although it seems difficult to sell the real deal – big fat lies seem to sell better for some reason. Perhaps because we really don’t want to know the truth. I love your analogy of knowing the end but still buying the ticket! Genius.

Wish I could have comments on my blog but I deal with too many wackos. You’re the only blog I read unless I’m out searching for something in particular so your personal touch grabbed my attention.

And don’t we all want a good wife? I mean really. We could all use one. I’m very good at it although I’m practicing being a wife to myself now (cheaper that way). I have a gay man wife which works out well as I spend more time merging personal business and marketing. Merge!

Dance the tango, eat burritos and work on the splits.

Drue Kataoka
February 1, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Great Post Noah!

— And if you bring a burrito to your Bikram class you can save a step — no need to preheat it.

Jason H.
January 31, 2008 at 12:40 pm

“it seems like the answer is to live by principles or things that do not change. your outside circumstances may but you never will inside.”

Indeed, this is called your life’s “Purpose” or “Dharma”…

Noah Kagan
January 31, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Given goals that you truly believe in seems to make life easier. Figuring out those I think is the tough part. A quote I made up and like but don’t embrace fully, yet is:

“learn from the past, live in the present and plan for the future”

oh if my goals were already completed i would create new goals to strive for. as well, you can create goals that are never complete like be happy, treat others well, expand your mind with knowledge, etc…

it seems like the answer is to live by principles or things that do not change. your outside circumstances may but you never will inside.

Amit C
January 31, 2008 at 10:01 am

It would definitely be interesting and more enriching to read about the deeper topics.

Another suggestion, do consider disabling the feedburner click tracking, having that removes the option of copying the blog post title and original link (URL) from a feed reader.


January 31, 2008 at 9:28 am

Karen has voiced my thoughts exactly. When I think about goals, I think about a monkey swinging through the trees, focused on a bunch of bananas across the forest. If the monkey focuses too hard on getting to those bananas, it will probably have to swing across some wide gaps (and risk becoming prey); but if the monkey is mindful, it will see the opportunities to grab closer branches, which lead to other – but comparable, or even better – bunches of bananas in another part of the forest. I guess you should go for “the low-hanging fruit.”

Of course goals are important; however, I believe well thought-out principles in the various facets of life to be even more important, as they form the framework within which those goals hang.

Joel Mueller
January 31, 2008 at 7:14 am

Hey Noah. I’m wondering what you would do with your time if you were given your top goals, marking them as achieved now. How then would you live your life and make your choices?

Then I wonder if it would be good to instead live like that now, vs. working to achieve those priority goals first. Or maybe some hybrid of that model. Thoughts?

Maya Frost
January 31, 2008 at 6:24 am

Yeah, baby.

Noah, this is a great post and YES, it’s just the living. That whole
“life plan” thing is a recipe for repeated cycles of goal-setting, planning, assessing–and disappointment.

It’s so much better to
be open to your possibilities while keeping in mind what matters most
to you (and keep in mind that what matters most to you might change
on a regular basis…and that’s okay!)

The thrill is in the journey. Who knows where it will lead?

Looking forward to meeting you soon for great discussions
about life, learning, and lovin’ it all…


Jason H.
January 31, 2008 at 1:48 am

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ~Napoleon Hill

Nicole Price
January 30, 2008 at 11:35 pm

You are turning into a highly spiritual being! Keep these kind of posts coming. One thing I can ouch for is the power of Yoga. It does miracles for your body. I have been practicing yoga for about 6 years now.

January 30, 2008 at 10:35 pm

You may have ready this already, it has been making the rounds. A good essay that is similar to this post.

BTW when meditating you should not close your eyes – leave them the slightest bit open.


January 30, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Britt and I think alike. I’m starting to like the idea of not having a plan (you’re laughing about this, aren’t you?) Reason being…when you have a plan that you’re so focused on, you miss out on other opportunities that cross your path.

I thought I’d be with my current employer for 2 more years…not the case as something great unfolded before my eyes and I jumped at the change to pursue it. If I had been focused on my 2-year plan, I wouldn’t have even thought about this other opportunity and where would that have landed me? In a place where I’d be much more unhappy than I am right now. 😉

On the flip side…if we become so obsessed with our plan and what we see when our eyes are closed, what happens when that doesn’t happen? It’s a recipe for a cocktail of failure, depression and hurt. Not a good thing…

so let go…live in the now. enjoy it and if you’re lucky, you’ll realize that the reality of your life is much better than what happens when you close your eyes.

Good stuff to think about. thanks for sharing.

January 30, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Britt–the “big bang” is a good way to put it. For far too long I lived in that personal rut. And it’s easy to get back there, too, because so much of what we do feels like paying dues for some big outcome.

A year ago I wrote this, somewhat about Yahoo!:

But it was really about chasing that big bang. As hard as it is, the answer is in Wayne’s World. Wayne pulls over to swoon over a guitar in the window that will one day be his. Garth advises, “live in the now!”

Noah Kagan
January 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm


Freaking brilliant. Just talked to my life coach about all of this today. Her advice which I like was, “just live.” What you can’t control don’t fret and enjoy what you are passionate about.

January 30, 2008 at 1:19 pm

I spent a significant chunk of high school and college waiting for that moment when life would just fall into place. For a long time, I was so focused on waiting for my life’s Big Bang that I ignored the power of particular moments. After all, how could these moments compare to this grand vision that was just a moment away?

When I started running, and I started thinking outside of a set framework, I slowly figured out that waiting for some supposed event wouldn’t suddenly trigger lifelong happiness. Instead, it’s become about putting the smaller pieces together. I think we’re cheating ourselves out of life when we refuse to live it.

January 30, 2008 at 12:12 pm

You know I love it, Noah.

In my back yard, there’s going to be a lemon tree and red bell peppers.

January 30, 2008 at 11:51 am

Will … that’s hilarious, me too (triplet 5 year olds + a 9 year old).

Noah … I’m coming to the conclusion that good living is like good eating. You HAVE TO SLOW DOWN and actually taste it, be thoughtful about it. Otherwise, you end up ingesting way too much junk way too quickly and in the end can barely remember the last really good meal you had.

Life has the tendency of happening too fast. I think meditation is a great way to regain some sanity and smoothness to otherwise erratic thoughts and days.

Good luck!

January 30, 2008 at 10:58 am

Nice post, but you should shoot for 4 kids (triplets + 1 of course, just like me).
I like to think of life as the journey and not the destination, because like you said, we all know what is going to happen in the end, it is just how we wind up there that makes all the difference.

January 30, 2008 at 10:58 am

Gardening basil, tomatoes and garlic? Good stuff! You read my mind as this topic is right up my alley at the moment. It’s good to see you are continuing to ponder thoughts beyond business – I enjoy reading these types of posts. But I’d have to admit, recently I have been a victim of expecting answers or outcomes when I wake up in the morning without really putting forth the necessary efforts. Anyway, ttyl Dov.

Noah Kagan
January 30, 2008 at 10:04 am

Glad you liked it PMC. I’d like to reach my goals. I think figuring out all of them is the challenge and the fun.

January 30, 2008 at 9:38 am

Thats a good post Noah, In the end, why do we spend every working hour building and creating? In my opinion we need to take stock on a daily basis and see how close we are to our mark of happiness. As long as we are headed in the right direction, we are able to move on with confidence and satisfaction to a certain degree. Your expectations for your own future are honorable and I am sure you will reach your goals.

Nice one.

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