Brian Kirwan

Brian Creates is an animator, artist, musician, writer, and film maker.  His actual name is Brian Kirwan, but it's hard to spell (let alone pronounce).

Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives Book

Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives is now available on Amazon.

Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives

Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives – Kindle edition by Kirwan, Brian. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives.

 

Widen Your Focus

Being a well-rounded person will make you a better person. Focusing your attention on only one thing neglects everything else, including your happiness and health. Whether you only focus on politics, entertainment, technology, money, science, culture, religion, health, food, books, art, family, or other things that may be beneficial to you, other things in your life will suffer. Expand your focus and you will expand your mind. Rather than becoming an expert on one thing, learn as much as you can about everything. No one can experience everything or everyone in the world, but widening your attention is always preferable. Other people exist beyond who you know. Get to know them as people, not stereotypes or cliches.

Kids spend most of their time focusing on only one thing at a time. This is not so much of a choice as a limited ability to focus on more than one thing at once. Kids have the excuse of being kids, but they still need to learn to widen their focus as they grow up. Parents who focus their kids on a singular goal are doing their kids a disservice. Kids need to learn a variety of skills to be happy in adult life. By only focusing on one or two skills in life, the child’s quality of life will decrease. Some parents unintentionally teach their kids to only focus on themselves. We call these kids brats. Hopefully, they grow up and deal with people outside their family and friends so they can widen their focus on the world at large. If they do not, we call these people snobs.

Is widening my focus/attention going to make me more of a success? Being a well-rounded person will make you much more of an interesting person, but it won’t make you more successful. That is unless you consider happiness being successful. Most people consider money to be the measure of success. If you want to be more successful financially or just be more powerful, probably narrow your focus. People who have large amounts of money have it because they were born into money or they narrowed their focus to such a point that money was the only thing they cared about in life. They may have divorces in their past, lost family and friends, cheated and lied to others, or suffered health problems, but they had their money.

Nerds are examples of being narrowly focused on only a few things. I say this with all the love in the world because I consider myself a card-carrying member of several nerd clubs of the month. Just like other subjects, it is possible to be nerdy about multiple nerdy things. In most cases, the nerd focuses on one show or type of show. I like Star Wars but cannot tell you every last detail about Star Wars. I also like Star Trek but I have seen little of the original TV series. I was more of a Next Generation fan. Some would say, “If you don’t consider the original Star Trek to be superior, you are not really a fan of Star Trek.” So be it, I say. As a creative person, I would rather create something others can nerd-out about than focus on what someone else created.

I have a degree in English Composition I am using to write the words you are reading. In the past, I called it my Useless English Degree. I didn’t consider it useless because I didn’t use it. It seemed useless because I didn’t make a huge amount of money with it. I was at the time only focusing on the money. Now, in my wider focus on life, I see that the degree has been helpful in every other aspect of my life. I have focused on music, animation, acting, and philosophizing as I am doing now. Writing has helped with all of my pursuits in life. It has allowed me to put all of my experiences in life into words (just like the words you are reading right now).

Addictions are an extreme over-narrowing of your focus. When you only focus on one substance or one activity in your life, you can become addicted to that substance or activity at the expense of the rest of your life. No substance or activity starts out as an addiction. The more focus you give to one thing, the more your addiction can develop. An intervention is often needed to break the narrow focus of the addiction. Addictions will never break easily, but if something does not break it, the person can lose his or her life or live a life that is not worth living.

Those who narrow their focus on only one thing in life will soon find themselves unable to widen their focus to the world at large. Widening your focus is a skill that needs developing. If you never develop these skills, you will soon only see the narrow focus of the world you have created. Everything else becomes invisible. Widening your focus means accepting the world around you. The world around you is not going away so you may as well embrace it and increase your awareness of other people.

Valuing Time

Valuing time is the most important concept that anyone can learn. Valuing your own time and the time of others allows people to work together in society. Time is one of the few things that everyone on earth has in common. Everyone has to confront the finality of life. Valuing time means making the most of your limited time. When you deny reality, you are not valuing time. The goal of valuing time is being happy and healthy for the greatest percentage of your life.

You will neglect most aspects of your life if you only focus on a few. Spending more time on one aspect of your life will leave less time for the rest of it. If you value your time, you will try to distribute your time evenly and efficiently. Any aspect of your life that is neglected can bring down the value of your life. Valuing time is valuing all of your life and not letting one aspect devalue the rest. Singularly focusing on one aspect of your life will lead to an unfulfilled life. Widen your focus in life and you will better discern what values your time most.
Being bored can devalue your time. If you are forced to sit and do nothing, you can still value your time. Spending time alone is valuable for yourself and those around you. Having your own thoughts and opinions is important to valuing yourself as a person. If all of your thoughts and opinions come from others, you are merely acting as a mouthpiece for them. Valuing yourself as an individual is just as important as valuing the time you spend with others. Being bored is a symptom of being a boring person. One regret people have when looking back on their lives is not living true to themselves. Be the person who brings value to others and yourself.
Planning how you spend your life is critical to valuing time. If you do not plan for the future, your time will become less and less valuable. Planning allows you to optimize your time. When planning for the future, keep in mind why you are planning. If you are planning to spend more time at work because you want more money, ask yourself if you consider that time as valuable at the end of your life. Did that time at work make you happier or would more time with your family and friends have valued your time more? Valuing time requires you to balance planning for the future, living in the present, and learning from the past.
Arbitrary time restraints can limit your ability to value time. Most arbitrary time restraints are self imposed. If you say you do not have time to do things that value your time, that is an arbitrary time restraint. Part of valuing your time is arranging your time so you prioritize your hours in a day to allow yourself to do what you most value. Instead of saying what you “must” do, make conscious choices to do things that most value your time and the time of those around you.
The top goal of valuing time is happiness. Valuing the time of others builds the happiness of others. The more happy people are, the less they will deny reality. Happiness has more to do with the choices you make than the reality you can not change. Knowing what makes you happy is not always clear to all people. If you do not know what makes you happy, you will not be happy. Always keep in mind that happiness is not the same thing as pleasure. Pleasure is short term, but happiness can last your whole life. Planning to be happy is just as important as any other planning you will do. Valuing your time will increase your happiness.
An additional benefit of valuing time is better health. Balancing your time between exercise and good nutrition is just as important as valuing your happiness. Happiness will lead to better health and good health will lead to greater happiness. Making time to eat right and exercise is a matter of starting slowly and building. If you exercise too much when you start, you risk injuring yourself or stopping exercise all together because you are in pain. Nutrition can also take time to work into your routine. The end goal of developing healthy habits slowly is to make the habits part of your daily routine. When you are tempted by unhealthy practices, you will be less tempted over time because you will crave being healthy over the unhealthy feelings brought on by the unhealthy practices. Valuing your health values your time.
Valuing time encompasses every activity in your life. At any point in your day, you can ask yourself, “Am I valuing my time right now?” Valuing your own time includes valuing the time of others. A person who is isolated from others is not valuing his or her time. Valuing time is not about making the most of every moment, it is about valuing a high percentage of your lifetime. You will have negative moments in your life, but how much those moments maintain or decrease your happiness is up to you. If you lose valuable people in your life, you can value those people in your memories. Focusing only on the loss is not valuing those people or your time. The only person who can say if you are valuing your time is you. You must accept the reality that time is finite. Valuing time is important in accepting that reality.

Craving Simplicity

Most people dislike things that are complex. We crave simple things like sugar, salt, pleasure, and winning. Reality is nothing but complex systems interacting with other complex systems. Nothing in reality is simple if you examine it closely enough. When people simplify reality, they are only simplifying their view of reality. When something becomes too complex, it gets ignored or denied. Complex realities become unaccepted while they accept simple beliefs that do not exist. Their craving for simplicity overshadows their view of reality.

Reality that is complex does not make it unknowable. The only reality that people need to understand is the reality with which they interact. The average person need not know the reality of space or infinity. Understanding the reality that affects your health, relationships with others, and dealing with everyday problems only requires a basic grasp of reality. Depending upon the amount of reality acceptance in the society in which you live, understanding reality at a basic level is possible. Although reality is complex, individuals need not understand every aspect. Facts do not matter as much as understanding general concepts. Individual facts, names, and numbers are useful when talking to someone else about specific details of a subject, but they are unnecessary for a basic level of understanding.

Simple solutions only work on simple problems. The more factors involved in a problem, the more complex the solution must be. When people propose simple solutions for complex problems, they will ignore many factors. The simple solution may work for a short time or with a limited amount of people, but we must implement a solution that considers all factors if we will solve the problem for the most people. We must make compromises in dealing with complex problems. We cannot completely solve some problems. The goal in solving a complex problem is solving as high a percentage of the problem as possible. Complex solutions are not as satisfying as simple solutions, but they are necessary for handling complex problems.

Simpleminded strategies will work less well as sensible and well thought out strategies. If you quickly create a strategy, it will be a simple strategy. A well thought out plan will always consider more factors than a simple one. You may not always have the luxury of time for a well thought out plan. Emergency situations require quick and simple solutions. A simple strategy should be general enough to work in most situations. Most situations are not emergencies. Time restraints are usually self-imposed. Being late to work is not an emergency. If you are speeding in and out of traffic, you have chosen a simple strategy that will force you to make quick and simple decisions. If you get into an accident, it will be an emergency that was unnecessary and highly preventable. Taking the time for a well thought out strategy will help you make better decisions.

Craving simplicity is not a problem as long as you accept the complexity of the world. Understanding the complexity or offering solutions is unnecessary as long as you accept the entire reality of a situation. Complex problems involve many factors. Many of these factors will include other people. Each person must consider multiple factors to finding a solution that will satisfy the most people. As it involves more people, the more complex the solution will need to be. We can base even quick decisions on experience and a general knowledge of reality. Having knowledge of a complex reality is not as useful as understanding the general realities of the world. Simple solutions can not solve complex problems any more than complex solutions are necessary for simple problems. Accepting a general reality will help you much more than accepting simple solutions that do not address all the factors involved in complex problems.

The History of Reality Denial

Reality denial exists all over the world. We deny realities long proven true with evidence from multiple sources. Our beliefs shield us from realities we find unpleasant or confusing. We deny global warming despite an overwhelming amount of evidence from around the world. The more time marches on, the more absurd our denial becomes. We could excuse people thousands of years ago for denying realities most people did not understand, but we are being openly ignorant if we still deny these basic realities today.

Believing in something does not make it real. Our beliefs are temporary assumptions about the world. We base them on our experiences with the world and other people. No baby has ever been born believing anything about the world. They are a blank slate. Luckily, we have other people looking after us. They keep us alive until we become conscious of the world. We gather beliefs from our parents, mentors, and teachers. Accepting reality is impossible if we only learn about other people’s beliefs and not reality.

You do not have to believe in your need for food. Your stomach feels hunger and you know to eat. Your beliefs guide you toward what you eat. If we allow our children to choose what they eat, they will probably only choose things that taste good to them. Most of these foods will be high in sugar, calories, and salt because our palates are not sophisticated when we are young. We believe what we eat only needs to taste good. When we are older, we learn about nutrition, but still eat mainly good tasting non-nutritious food. Our beliefs allow us to ignore the damage we are doing to our bodies. We believe we no longer can control what we eat.

The history of reality denial has many origins. The earliest and most influential beliefs most people had were their religious beliefs. Of all religions, Christianity in all its forms tops the list of most influential around the world. As science emerged, scientists exposed religions as denying many fundamental realities. Many religions, especially Christianity, fought to hold on to their beliefs (and their followers) using racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. All these forms of discrimination existing today can trace their roots to the religious discriminatory practices of the past.

The reality denial of the past led to many negative concepts people believed were real. The concept of good and evil led to concepts of winning and losing, simplistic this or that thinking, heroes and villains, moral and immoral behavior, us versus them thinking, and other reality denying concepts. These concepts led to most forms of discrimination we see today. We label things such as racism as the problem. The problem is our beliefs that began these racist behaviors. Race is a non-scientific concept born from racist beliefs. Eugenics was one of the worst forms of discrimination stemming from these beliefs.

The only way we can get away from these negative beliefs is to value our knowledge over our beliefs. We base all our beliefs on ignorance because, once you learn the reality of what you believe, they are no longer beliefs. They are knowledge. Most societies around the world continue to base many of their laws on beliefs rather than reality. Basing our laws on reality means we only create laws that solve actual problems for all of a society. We need to stop valuing people’s beliefs about reality. Until we do this, reality denial will continue.

Reality Acceptance Categories Explained

The first part of accepting reality is accepting the reality of your Health. Ill health will hamper your perception of reality. As your health improves, you will be happier and your view of life will improve. Most people would benefit by examining their health more closely. You can only work on health problems you accept as real. You can start with your physical body. Are you dramatically over or under weight? Do you have frequent illnesses or health problems? Do you eat nutritious food and exercise? The answers to these questions will tell you the state of your physical health. Next, start thinking about your mental health. Are you a content person? Do you have anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, or other issues preventing you from being happy? The answers to these questions will tell you the state of your mental health. The reality of your health depends on your physical and mental health working together to improve your overall health.

Knowledge can help you improve your physical and mental health as long as you accept the reality science can teach. Science examines reality without bias, opinions, or inconsistencies. Science allows everyone to gain knowledge about the world without having to conduct experiments themselves. Examining established science will allow you to understand reality. All scientific information gets updated, re-examined, and questioned by other scientists. Science is constantly developing and growing. Our understanding of reality grows with it. Science examines what we cannot perceive with our senses alone. The knowledge learned from science can help you understand and accept reality.

Your Thinking about the world will improve your perception and knowledge of reality. Knowing why you think as you do is much more important than expressing simple but clear thoughts about what you believe. Filling your head with the thoughts of others will only result in thinking like they do. If they think negatively, you will have negative thoughts. Reality is neither positive nor negative, it is a mix of both. Focusing on the positive aspects of life will give you a positive outlook on life. As your thinking becomes more positive, it will cause your behavior to improve. This will improve your relationships with other people and the world.

When you accept other people in your life, your Behavior toward them will affect them as much as it does you. Your positive interactions with other people will improve until you and the other people are happier and healthier. You will notice others who are not happy or healthy because they are not accepting the reality of their life. If you know them, you can try slowly to get them to accept more realities to improve their lives. Some will resist or deny reality, but others will accept the realities in their lives. Through your journey of Reality Acceptance, you will have learned the skills of living a happy and healthy life so you can spread reality acceptance to others.

Reality Acceptance Introduction

Reality Acceptance Introduction

Accept reality for what it is, not what you want it to be. People and groups who deny reality do so because reality is against them in their minds. Reality is not their friend. If you dislike how the world is, deny it is that way. If you do not agree with someone else, deny anything they say has validity. We all perceive reality differently and interpret what we perceive differently. To accept reality, you must become a reality detective. We do not perceive reality in simple to understand presentations. Our experiences, senses, and beliefs mask reality. We can only understand reality by gathering the perceptions of others and matching them with our own. Life will present you with many problems to solve in your life. Accepting reality will lead to better outcomes for these problems.

I have broken Reality Acceptance into four different categories. I explain these categories here.

Examining reality is difficult. Most of us have spent a life with beliefs, biases, and a singular point of view about the world. Widening your focus to see the reality of any situation requires accepting a diverse group of perceptions. Reality Acceptance is a skill you must develop. I will help you accept reality, but I will not explain reality. If I claimed to explain reality, you would know I was lying. I will give you the skills to discern reality even when your senses, experiences, and beliefs tell you something different.

 
Accepting reality is about accepting limitations. If you do not see the limits of something, you are only missing the limits. Everything has limits. You must work with the limits to accomplish what you want in life. People see limits as barriers they must avoid, but they are just the parameters of reality. The possibilities between the limits are much more abundant than people believe. Accomplishing goals within these limits is possible as long as they are realistic. Working with limitations builds your creativity and problem-solving skills.
 
An important part of accepting reality is a concept I call Other People Exist. You cannot accept reality without acknowledging the perceptions and experiences of other people. Our personal experiences only allow us a limited view of reality. Even the other people you see regularly only widen your view slightly. If you separate yourself from other people, you are separating yourself from reality. Understanding reality is gathering a diverse number of experiences directly or through other people. Connecting to other people helps us understand them and ourselves better.
 
I accept the reality of the world and am a happier person because of it. I see other people whose beliefs, experiences, and biases lead to a miserable life. Nothing about reality is miserable, but their perception only allows them to see negativity in the world. The more you examine reality, the more you will see how few things are inherently negative. Your misery is completely in your head and has nothing to do with reality. Happiness is a choice we must learn to accept. If no one taught you to accept reality or happiness, you never will.

Fellow White Men, We Need to Talk

My first video called Fellow White Men, We Need to Talk for Reality Acceptance is now on YouTube. I learned many things in making it, and my future videos will be even better. With the recent events happening in the Capitol, this is a message that needs to be heard by everyone, but especially white men who think their horrible behavior is acceptable in 2021.

As always, your feedback is highly welcome. Reality!

The Reality of 2020

The pandemic has forced people to confront realities like never before. Marginalized groups have had to confront the realities of discrimination throughout history, but the pandemic has forced people to confront realities they did not have to accept in the past. Their money, power, and privilege are not enough to allow them to live the way their privilege accustomed them to living. This is a global event that is forcing everyone to accept the reality of the pandemic. No amount of ignoring or denying can hide us from it. It is a reality.

People who deny the reality of the pandemic will go down in history as absurd and unfortunate victims of their own ignorance. Many will die and they will take others with them. Their beliefs are betraying them at the expense of their lives. Most people are accepting the reality of the pandemic because they have no choice. Some people are using the pandemic as an excuse to deny other realities. They are distancing themselves from others, wearing masks, and washing their hands, but they are not accepting the reality of their mental health. The pandemic is a worldwide mental health problem we will continue dealing with long after we have dealt with the physical health problems.

The pandemic is happening as much of the world was trying to separate themselves from other parts of the world. Reality denying events such as Brexit, the Trump presidency, and police brutality allowed people in power to discriminate and separate themselves from large groups of people they hated. Hate is not something happy and healthy people feel. To accept hate is to deny reality. People who hate others cannot hate the pandemic away from themselves or their families. They are taking their frustrations out on other people, but more and more people are no longer accepting their hate.

Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and other anti-hate movements are forcing people in power to accept realities we long denied throughout history. Because we have historically accepted discrimination does not mean we must continue to accept it. Continuing to deny realities most people accept shows how far humanity has come and how far we still have to go. We cannot accept the reality of the pandemic and ignore other realities. My greatest hope is the pandemic will trigger a reality acceptance movement around the globe.

I have seen many memes wishing for 2020 to end so we can get back to our regular lives. 2020 will not end the pandemic or the other realities we have not accepted. We can see it as a tragic year or we can accept it as a year of wake-up calls for all of us. This is only the beginning of our reality acceptance journey. We need to realize we are the people in power. The hateful people trying to separate us cannot hide from those they hate any more. Discrimination has never been acceptable, but it is only now many people are recognizing this reality. 2020 can be the year of reality acceptance. Accepting reality is about understanding reality as it is so we can fix problems and change things for the better. We cannot hope for change to happen, we must make it happen.

The Positive Side of the Coronavirus

I am not here to declare the coronavirus as a positive thing. It is a pandemic we do not completely understand. We should all take the virus seriously for ourselves and those we care about. If you are healthy and you are taking steps to stay healthy, make sure others are keeping themselves healthy. The positive side of the virus is in allowing people to examine their own behavior. Seeing how we handle a crisis is the most realistic view of us. Whether we accept the reality of the coronavirus, everyone is being forced to deal with it. It will force us all to confront our traditions, routines, and needed changes to reconsider what we value in life. We must now confront health concerns that we ignored in the past. Developing a healthier life is just one of the positive effects of the coronavirus.

Lying to yourself about your health will not work on this real pandemic. If you did not wash your hands after using the toilet, went to crowded areas, or did not eat nutritious food, this situation will force you to confront those decisions. People are being forced to accept the reality of their behavior and how it affects their health. Many people will resist the changes that are necessary to improve their health. If you do not know how to improve your health, now is the time to educate yourself. Eating nutritious food, exercising more, and drinking more water is a good place to start.

We are all in this together. This pandemic is forcing us all to work together to deal with this situation. Working together should always be our goal, but the competitive thinking of many people has clouded our goals. Our collective goal should be to improve the lives of everyone. We are being reminded of this lost goal, and that will be positive for the world. Helping others is the best way to improve your own life. When we feel alone, even if we are not, it will be detrimental to your health. If you are struggling with anxiety, fear, or other negative emotions, know that help is available to you. Getting help only requires reaching out to others and accepting their help.

The lack of resources such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and food is forcing us all to change our regular buying habits. They force us to avoid shopping for things we do not need, finding alternatives to wasteful practices, and spending excessive amounts of money on food and drinks. Staying at home, avoiding restaurants and bars, and avoiding live entertainment is not a bad thing. We should all be questioning our reliance on these economic extravagances unhealthful for our bodies and our bank accounts. Many people are focusing on what is unavailable instead of appreciating what we have already. Questioning your beliefs should be a daily activity. If you only accept the positive aspects of your activities, you will ignore the reality of what is positive in your life.

If you have read this article and reacted negatively, I can only guess that it is contradictory to what you have been told from other sources such as the news media. The news depends on ratings. Whether they depend on clicks, views, or some other form of rating, they are not a good source of information. We can find the best source of the most current information at the CDC website (www.cdc.gov). Alternatively, there are many other sources of helpful information on the web, in podcasts, and other scientifically accurate sources. When you feel that you are well-informed, entertain yourself with something that truly makes you happy. The happier you are, the healthier you will be.

Scroll to Top