Monthly Archives: July 2011

Give up to gain

W.E.B. Du Bois, Gelatin silver print c.1911,

W.E.B. Du Bois c.1911

“The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.”

~ W.E.B. Du Bois

Do you want to become something different than you are right now? No matter the change you want from yourself, you’ll need to give up something in order for the change to occur in your life. It might be something perplexing, like removing yourself from a circle of close friends, or having to choose something that would anger a longtime friend. When considering a change to make in your life, always do what is best for you in the long run. Why the selfish action? Because no one cares for you as much or knows you better as you do yourself. Being selfish sometimes is not bad as long as it benefits one or more people in a spiritually positive manner. If there isn’t anything spiritually-related to your selfish act, then it is truly selfish since it is done just for personal gain. Personal evolvement is made with proper progress requiring good judgment at precise moments. 

Make a wish

Statue of Confucius at the Confucius Temple of...

Statue of Confucius in Shenyang, China

“What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.”

~ Confucius

Zi gong (a disciple of Confucius) asked: “Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?”
The Master replied: “How about ‘shu’ [reciprocity]: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself?”

If you want to make a substantial improvement in your life, then start by doing more for yourself rather than asking others to do things for you. Don’t be a burden to others if you’re able to do something by yourself. You’d be surprised how much we ask of our family and friends. You’d also be surprised to know that doing more yourself will make you smarter, more confident and less dependent. Start today by doing more for yourself which will allow others to do more for themselves. Liberate others and yourself!

Take me higher and higher

A Tang Dynasty portrait of Confucius (by Wu Da...

Confucius (ChunQui Dynasty)

“The higher type of man clings to virtue, the lower type of man clings to material comfort.  The higher type of man cherishes justice, the lower type of man cherishes the hope of favors to be received.”

~ Confucius (551-479 BC) Chinese Philosopher

If you want to know what defines some people from the masses, read the quote above from Confucius again. It’s easy to be like most people who seek to have as much stuff as possible and expect much to be given to them. The virtuous people aspire to be great by doing things for other people without any expectation or anything in return. The person in the mainstream of life will do their best to acquire as many material things as they can even at the cost of their dignity and/or at the cost of others, including friends. Don’t allow yourself to cling to a place in life where you feel you need stuff to be happy. Let go and cling to another place where you can find your true self by doing things you never thought possible. Get liberated and you’ll find enlightenment.

Who are you?

Online/Offline Personality

Personality Chart

You can generally place people in four quadrants: Amiable; Expressive; Analytical; and Driver.

If you want to increase your success of building better business and/or personal relationships, then first you need to understand what kind of person you are among the 4 quadrants listed above. I am in between Amiable and Expressive with some Analytical. Since I know what kind of person I am, I know I need to find others who share my personality pattern if I want the best chance at a successful relationship. Two people who get along in a friendly manner are also inclined to work well together too. So, there really aren’t any negative factors with finding people who are more like you since you’re most suitable as best friends and/or doing business together. This is a perfect marriage that can bring forth wonderful benefits. If you want to sharpen the other personality types that you don’t possess, then make some new friends who fit those types and you’ll be on your way to finding: stress, love/hate emotions, fear, passion play, bitterness, self-reflection, etc. Aren’t relationships fun. My advice: Always be on the lookout for someone who is just like you.

You’ve got a friend

JT (album)

James Taylor

“People should watch out for three things: avoid a major addiction, don’t get so deeply into debt that it controls your life, and don’t start a family before you’re ready to settle down. ”

~ James Taylor

Wise words from someone who has seen a lot in his life – stardom, drug addiction, a famous marriage and divorce, lost millions of dollars, etc. JT has always been one of my favorite singer/songwriters. I saw him in concert in 2003 at the Hollywood Bowl and he sounded great as he always does. I suppose because James is a Pisces like myself, I feel an affinity to him. One of my favorite songs he sings is “You’ve Got A Friend” (lyrics below) that has surely brought encouragement to millions of people who needed that song when they were friendless. Try to be better friends to the ones you have and friendlier to those who could be friends.

“You’ve Got A Friend” by Carol King
When you’re down and troubled
and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
and you know whereever I am
I’ll come running, oh yeah baby
to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
all you have to do is call
and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You’ve got a friend.

If the sky above you
should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
and soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
all you got to do is call
and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you.
Well they’ll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Oh babe, don’t you know that,
Winter spring summer or fall,
Hey now, all you’ve got to do is call.
Lord, I’ll be there, yes I will.
You’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend.

Be like Mike?

Former basketball player Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.”

~ Brian Tracy

If you’re an average person, then consider yourself something special. If you start looking at yourself as someone who can do great things in this life, then you are on the right track to actually doing it. Michael Jordan was an average basketball player in high school but became the greatest in the game when he imagined himself being better than average. If you really want to be somebody special in life, then realize your full potential and make a difference for yourself and to others. Do what MJ did and become great. You’ll never regret it.

Protective coating

Wiserhood Crest of Integrity

Crest of Integrity

“Confidence on the outside begins by living with integrity on the inside.”

~ Brian Tracy

Confidence without integrity is nothing more than arrogance. Integrity is the key ingredient for anyone wanting to live a life that’s beyond reproach, and is esteemed, honorable, and desirable.  If you want a strong coat of confidence to help you through life, you need to be full of integrity to the very core of your existence. This combination gives you something that is untouchable and enviable; so do all you can to build yourself into someone who is known for doing the right things at the right time to the right people. Right on!

The long and short of it

“You must have long-range goals to keep you from being
frustrated by short-range failures.”

~ Charles C. Noble

It is so important to keep this thought in mind when you are faced with a difficulty so that you can look beyond the failure and keep your eyes fixed on the goal. Even if you fail 18 times, you keep going until you reach success. That’s what perseverance is all about, and in life you need lots and lots of it.  Don’t give up on something until you have nothing left to give; and always keep your eyes on the big picture. Never settle for less unless it satisfies your original intention. Overcome your failures and you’ll be a winner!

The stage is set

Cropped screenshot of Shirley MacLaine from th...

Shirley MacLaine

“I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself… and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.”

~ Shirley MacLaine

If life is a stage, and everyday we live on it, then we must write ourselves a play to guide us in how we will act out our lives. What part do you want to play in your stage play? In order to be good at playing a convincing role, you must constantly practice, be bold, have no fear, and passionate, in order to become the person you are playing. If you want to play a lead part, then you need to work hard at it and be your best. If you want to play a minor role in your life, then no need to practice your lines much. And if you want to play an insignificant role, then you don’t have to do anything except show up. Whatever role you choose, be sure and do it artistically so others will be inspired to play along with you. 

Know when to say NO

The Spiritual Audacity of Abraham Joshua Heschel

Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”

~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

Saying “no” to yourself can be one of the hardest things to do sometimes. When was the last time you refused to not eat that meal that was not healthy for you; or not to accept doing something that was illegal or unscrupulous that would of put a lot of money in your pocket? When you learn to say “no” to yourself, then you can say “no” to others in a more meaningful manner. Just be sure and know when it’s the right time to say “no” and when it’s the right time to say “yes.” When you say “no” you need to mean it; when you say “yes” you need to meant it. This will help you to be looked at as a more dignified and respected person.

What makes you a good person?

Arthur Schopenhauer by Ludwig Sigismund Ruhl.

Arthur Schopenhauer

“What a man is contributes much more to his happiness than what he has, or how he is regarded by others.”

~ Arthur Schopenhauer

The key thing to understand about this quote is what the exact meaning of “What a man is” is. By what methods do we measure someone to classify them as someone who is a good person or not? To me, it all comes down to one thing: “You have only one life to live here on earth, so you must do as much as you can to improve the lives of other people.” You don’t have to be super-rich or famous to do this; you just need a giving heart. It’s not about how much money you make in your life that you’ll be judged by, or how attractive you are, or even how popular you are to other people. Making a real indelible difference in this world is done by people who give whatever they can – money, talent, time, energy, etc. to help others be better people. This is how people should be judged in the end. 

For better or for worse?

“Instead of always harping on a man’s faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits. Hold up to him his better self, his real self that can dare and do and win out.” 

~ Eleanor Porter (1868-1920) American Novelist

It’s just as easy to build someone up as it is to tear someone down. It takes the same amount of energy and action using words and intention to help someone for the better or the worse. All it takes is the right attitude. Next time you’re faced with the opportunity to help or hurt someone, try your best to help them. You’ll notice that is wasn’t all that difficult to do and you’ll probably enjoy it. The good Karma will bring you welcome benefits that you never expected which will encourage you to give more and do better at helping others. Remember, it’s far better to give than to receive.

One minute fool

Study proverb

"We learn till we are old; and even while learning till we get old, there's still 30% left we can never learn while we're alive." Chinese Proverb

“He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever.”

~ Chinese proverb

To be a fool for only a minute is quite alright in order to learn something that you can take with you for a lifetime. To be a fool forever for something that you can never take with you is senseless and truly foolish. Never be afraid to ask a question no matter how easy or difficult it may seem to you. Remember, the only stupid question is the one that never gets asked. Because we can never learn everything there is to learn in life, you might as well ask as many questions as you can so that you can be the first one to do so. My question to you is: “When will you start asking more questions that you can benefit from for a lifetime?”

How to improve yourself

“Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.”

~ Swedish Proverb

Words to live by for certain. Everyone wants all the good things in life but few are able to do what it takes to earn them. If you start by integrating all the suggestions listed in the quote above into your life, then you will be on your way to a life filled with more of the good things. Remember, we must give up some things in life to gain other things we desire which sometimes turns out better for us if we are true to ourselves and don’t hurt others along the way.

Rise to glory and virtue

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

“Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.”

~ Cicero

There is no better example of someone rising to glory and virtue based on natural ability than Benjamin Franklin, the great American statesman, scientist, musician, author, printer, inventor, businessman, politician, diplomat, father and husband. He was one of 17 children, born to a poor family, quit school at 10 years of age and was never formally educated. Benjamin was able to take his natural ability and turn it into greatness which was best manifested in his written contributions to the Declaration of Independence and to the US Constitution. These two works are considered to be two of the most important documents ever written by man. In my life, I could only hope to achieve a fraction of what Mr. Franklin achieved in his life. I will do my best to achieve some greatness in my life that benefits others for generations. Why don’t you try doing the same.

From necessary to impossible

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

~ Francis of Assisi

Have you ever considered something and thought it was too difficult or even impossible to do? Then, as your in the middle of doing that very something, you realize that you can actually accomplish it. This is how the impossible is done – by putting forth physical effort along with lots of passion and unending desire. With the right combination of these forces at work, there are only two things that can stop you: yourself and death. So, before you say “that’s impossible!” – say I can “conceive it, believe it, see it, achieve it.”