Category Archives: Life

Thoughtless thoughts

“Your thoughts do not care about you. They only want to perpetuate themselves.”

Gary Schneider 

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

Animated brain scan.

Always be mindful of what you’re thinking whether it be in deep thought or just a fleeting thought, because your thoughts have tremendous power behind them. Studies have shown that the mind can control your heartbeat, your blood pressure, body temperature, bodily pain, etc. Under our own initiative, our brain can produce important cells, tissues, amino acids, antigens, and many other bodily elements just like it does every day automatically. Just like the food we eat produces the kind of physical health we have, what our brain produces gives us the kind of mental health we have. What’s very important to remember is that our brain is responsible for basically our entire health, so make it a habit to always feed your mind with positive thoughts. If you’re wondering where the positive thoughts come from that feed the brain, well they come from the soul. The two are intricately woven together working as the source and the power behind all we do.

I encourage you to read this very informative article entitled: 10 Amazing Examples of Mind Over Matter at http://tinyurl.com/n3hskva

Imagination relation

“ The greatest waste in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could become.  

~ Ben HerbsterBen Herbster

We are what we are, and we are where we are in life because of all the actions we have taken and choices we have made up to this point. If you’re not happy with where you are now and who are you now in life, then initiate a change in your life for the better. To change a pattern or habit you’re not happy with and convert it into something positive, you need to imagine your day being just the way you wanted it to be and relishing the moment you’re in during this time. You can do it during a quiet time — while you’re about to sleep, or when you just wake up, or during lunchtime, or while on a break. It should be a meditative experience so you can completely feel the effects of the positive thinking permeate into your mind and soul. Do this everyday and eventually you will see improvements in your life to some extent. Just be sure and record the mistakes that you made during that day so that you don’t do them again, or do them differently so the outcome is beneficial for you.  It’s all about relating your experiences each day to the ones that you want to be living. Have fun making changes for the better in your life and becoming the person you want to be!

Yesterday Wasn’t Just Tuesday..It was International Left-Handers’ Day

California Kid:

A day of recognition for all the “lefties” in the world…Including me.

Originally posted on Under the Cordillera Sky:

What seemed like an ordinary (and rainy) August 13 day wasn’t that ordinary at all, as I found out late afternoon. Without much fanfare, yesterday (and today-it’s still August 13th in the evening at the US) the world was celebrating International Left-Handers’ Day.

huh?

What? How? Why?

I was or am aware of some Left-handed advocacies which I came across the years, but I guess it kind of slipped out of my mind. Doing some browsing, here’s an excerpt from wikipedia.org which gives light on the matter:

August 13 is designated International Left-handers Day by Left-handers International. It was first observed 13 August 1976. As its name suggests, it is meant to promote awareness of the inconveniences facing left-handers in a predominantly right-handed world. It celebrates their uniqueness and difference, who are from seven to ten percent of the world’s population. Many left-handed people are discriminated against…

View original 521 more words

A shining example

“He who finds diamonds must grapple in mud and mire because diamonds are not found in polished stones.  They are made.”

~ Henry B. Wilson  

A scattering of "brilliant" cut diam...

A scattering of “brilliant” cut diamonds.

To become something that is brilliant from every angle, from within and without, sometimes you must live a life in the dirtiest place on earth. This place is not a happy place nor is it a comfortable place, yet it is the only place that can crush you into someone that is invincible, beautiful, resilient, and admired. It’s a place that no one would ever choose for themselves to exist in. Living there is difficult, depressing, sad, dark, and often lonely. But if one can endure the elements long enough that this place continually throws at you, then you will surely be something much greater than what you were before you entered. Great people are not born, they are made — just like a stone that over time and through excruciating painful forces becomes a polished gem that is the most cherished of all. To find these kinds of people (the gems), you must look in places that are not so inviting or even easy to find. I know this, because I am one of those people who have endured this place that I speak of, and I am proud to say that I have become a better person from every angle, from within and without, and hopefully for all time. 

Shining souls

“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.”

~ Aristotle

The human spirit is mighty. Throughout our lives, we are faced with circumstances that force us to look deep within ourselves to find what is good so that we can do amazing things for others in need. When something bad happens to another person, whether you know them personally or not, you feel compelled to reach out to them from the depth of your heart and help them get to a place of comfort, safety and peace. You can do this through prayer, a financial contribution, or with a helping hand. This temperament is displayed often when tragedy strikes and is one of characteristics that make the human species unique from most all other earthly creatures. This very type of behaviour must also be used when we find ourselves in a difficult place in life. All too often, we neglect our own needs when we are faced with a tragedy, depression, weakness, etc. It’s very important to remember that as individuals, we need to be heroic for ourselves too. In doing so, we keep our own soul shining so that we are available to assist others in keeping their souls shining too. 

The Soul of a Flower

Special thanks to Tim Coffey for his use of this illustration.

Love thy enemy

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on the Isle of Wigh...

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One of the hardest things to do is love your enemy. If you really ponder the fact that all our enemies are just like we are in that they desire the same things we desire. They want freedom, power, peace, love, a place to call their homeland, money, religious rights, etc. just like we do. But for many centuries, people have been fighting amongst themselves and with other cultures and nations creating havoc, unspeakable tragedies, and untold sufferings. What can we attribute this to? Is it because men dominate world affairs and women don’t? Is it because humans are more animalistic than they are spiritual? Is it because this is man’s destiny — to always be at war? Whatever the reason, it’s pitiful that people of all races, religions, and creed do not look for ways to live in harmony as much as they look for ways to become more powerful and destructive. If people in power took the time to look into the hearts of their “enemies” perhaps they would find the answers the perplexing questions posed above. Peace to all.

Managing mistakes

“The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself.”

~ Wang Yang-Ming (1472-1529) Chinese Philosopher

Wang Yangming (1472–1529), considered the most...

Wang Yangming (1472–1529), considered the most influential Confucian thinker since Zhu Xi.

Correcting mistakes you’ve made is more important than making them in the first place. We all know that life isn’t perfect, so there’s no point in trying not to make any mistakes. Instead, be very aware of all the mistakes you make in life so that you can make sure you don’t make them anymore. This is very simple in theory to understand but not so easy to physically do. I suppose it’s because humans are creatures of habit and can’t easily change or adapt themselves to a new environment. The ones that can will surely succeed in ways that most cannot. Part of being a wise person is knowing where and when to navigate in the path of life. The mistakes we have made (and will continue to make!) in life will teach us how to be wise as souls and happier as people. To me, life is simply about trying to be better human beings, and to be better we must constantly be sharpening our souls so that we can live renewed lives as much as possible.

A parable: Comfort and Riches

Because I enjoyed this story so much, I wanted to share it with you. It was originally posted by Stuart at: http://thechangeyourlifeblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/the-comfort-riches-parable/

A poor man reached middle age without becoming the success he envisioned as a young man. He decided early the next morning he would ask a rich friend of his what the secret of success was.

The rich friend pointed down a rough path near the edge of town and said walk down that path and you will find the answer. Trusting his friend, the poor man set off down that rough path.

He walked and walked in the hot sun, on and on until he had blisters on his heels. The path twisted this way then that through some low hills, never giving him a good view of how far there was to go. The path was so rough he lost his footing a few times, but he kept on going.

As he turned a bend he saw a sign on the side of the path. As he drew nearer he saw that it said: ‘Not far to go now.’ Encouraged, he continued walking.

A little further he saw another sign that read: ‘Keep going.’ He felt a renewed sense of energy and determination even though he was hot and exhausted.

A little while later he came upon a third sign saying: ‘Nearly there.’ A little stream ran alongside and he decided to take some refreshment before continuing.

After many more hours he sat down for a rest. He was in real discomfort and his ehthusiasm was beginning to wane. Sign after sign had urged him onwards but still he could not see the answer to success. ‘My so called friend has played a joke on me.’ he thought. The answer is not down this path. There’s only discomfort, frustration and endless false promises down this path.

At that moment he decided to head back home and give his rich friend a piece of his mind for making him look like a fool.

Meanwhile, the rich man was sitting on the porch of his beautiful country home waiting for his friend to arrive. A cool glass of lemonade in his hand and an expectant smile on his face.

He waited and waited, until eventually the sun started going down. Disappointed, he walked across the lawn and up to the gate of his house. He opened it and walked down the rough path that ran near a little stream. He stopped at the sign he had erected there. The sign read: ‘You’re here.’

He gazed one last time down the long and winding path but there was no sign of his friend.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

~ Calvin Coolidge

English: Calvin Coolidge.

The purpose of money

“Wealth still failed to impress him; the purpose of money was to purchase one’s freedom to pursue that which was useful and interesting.”

~ H. W. Brands, in his biography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin 1767

Benjamin Franklin 1767

Today’s Lesson: “Letting Go of Attachments”
This goes along with simplifying your life. And the act of simplifying certainly helps you recognize your attachments. You’ll see what I mean when you start to give away a perfectly good suit that you haven’t worn in ten years. Suddenly that suit looks really necessary. But once you do let go, you never look back. And suddenly you are lighter and freer than ever before.

Using this same thinking will help you to not be attached to money. The greatest asset money has is that it allows us to live our lives more richer because of the free time it gives us in life. Enjoying interesting and useful time with good friends, family and loved ones. One must remember to be wise when money and free time are available in excess because they can destroy a person very easily if one isn’t careful. Go find your purpose, and then be wealthy.

Speaking speech

To speak or not to speak? This is the question.

Justice Louis Brandeis, in his compelling opinion nearly seventy-five years ago in the criminal syndication case of Whitney v. California, in which he articulated the premise of what today is known as the “Doctrine of Counterspeech.” Here is a brief excerpt from his opinion (at the URL below):

“When it came to expression that was perceived by some to be dangerous, threatening, or harmful, Brandeis famously wrote, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

English: Photo of Louis Brandeis

Brigham Young University’s 2000 Law Review (archives) titled “Counterspeech 2000: A New Look at the Old Remedy for “Bad” Speech” by Robert D. Richards and Clay Calvert. The article has a lot of interesting points worth considering. Tell us what you think and say what you will, while we all get educated from your speech.

lawreview.byu.edu

An excellent idea

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

~ Aristotle

Aristotle (1811) Galleria dell'Accademia, Venice

Aristotle

Such a poignant statement that sums up how we should truly measure ourselves. As I celebrate my 54th birthday today, I will take these words by Aristotle with me as a reminder to live my life each day as someone who lives rightly. Doing so will help me be an excellent human being who has chosen to develop habits that are conducive to a life of excellence. After all, isn’t that what we all want to achieve with our lives? Today, choose to be an excellent person who inspires others to live their life in excellence. This is a most excellent idea. 

It depends upon

“A man is not much if he can’t depend on himself, and nothing if others can’t depend on him.”

~  Benjamin Black

There’s a school of psychology which holds that happiness is subjective. Good or bad things happen in life, but people return to the same base level of happiness. Researchers found evidence that people adapt completely to marriage, divorce, widowhood, birth of a child, and layoffs.

Death of a spouse, for instance, is a terrible event characterized by a radical drop in happiness, but in the year that follows happiness rises, and within two years happiness returns to normal and may even rise above the baseline (as the subject gets caught in another hedonic cycle). A similar hedonic pattern follows most negative events—and positive ones too. People get over them. In almost every unhappy situation that people are faced with, the happiness level reverts to the baseline. 

Because people have the strength to eventually rebound after any tragedy, they can depend on themselves, and others can depend on them to get them through the difficult times in life. Choose to be a happy person no matter what happens in your life and people will know they can depend on you. It just depends on you.

Happiness is a Choice

Seeing the unseen

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.”

~ Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

Cover of "The Story of My Life"

Cover of The Story of My Life

Such a powerful statement by someone who faced so many difficult challenges in her life. This is how Helen overcame her physical “blindness” to the world around her and enabled her to see things in such a way that most who have sight cannot. Everyone is either born with or faces some deficiencies in their life, so learning how to properly overcome them is essential to living a life that is physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. To learn how to do this, just read Helen Keller’s book entitled, “The Story of My Life” and you’ll be uplifted, overjoyed and renewed with life. Then all you’ll need to do is share your new found abundance for life with everyone you can, and you’ll see your deficiencies disappear for good. You will then become the master of your life. 

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2013

Merry Christmas everyone! Today is Christmas, a time for people to be with their families and dear friends as they relish the time together on this day of reverence and remembrance   It’s also a time where we reflect on the year that is coming to a close and when we make promises to ourselves to make the next year better than the last.  I encourage you to make the effort during this most cherished time of the year to be a better person who makes a difference in other people’s lives. To be a person who takes better care of them self and cares for the ones you love just as much as you care for yourself. And mostly to become a person who lives a life beyond reproach and encourages others to live their life with zest and zeal, kindness, joy, and vigor.

Here is something to think about as you ponder what you can do to change your life for the better. My advice to you is to live and love in the NOW. The truth is found in the moment NOW and is soon forgotten in the mad dash for NEXT… planning, hoping, worrying, dreaming, leaving the truth unnoticed when it is right NOW to be had in all its glory and wonder.

Christmas

Thinking intelligently

“The essence of intelligence would seem to be in knowing when to think and act quickly, and knowing when to think and act slowly.”

~ Psychologist Robert Sternberg

How we react to something determines the outcome of a certain situation which can have a great impact on us immediately or some time after. It all depends on how quickly or slowly you act. How you act–and react–shows how intelligent you really are. Smart people typically don’t get themselves in trouble because they have thought about what their actions will manifest and the consequences they’ll have to live with thereafter. So, next time you’re in a situation that requires critical thinking and quick judgement, try your best not to make a decision either too quickly or too slowly. Whatever you decide though, make sure your course of action is based on how it effects the lives of those involved in your decision. It will end up being the best decision of all.

Average is awesome

“The virtues which keep this world sweet and the faithfulness which keeps it steadfast are chiefly those of the average man.”

~ W. Russell Bowie

Perhaps the sweetest thing in this world is being true to those you love the most and them loving you in return. The ability to love is within each of us and belongs to everyone. You don’t have to be educated at an Ivy League school, be a churchgoer at a popular church, have perfect parents, or have a large circle of friends to know how to show your affection and appreciation for the people closest to you. The only requirement needed to manifest your love for someone is with words, action, touch — all done with sincere desire. This is something the average person can do any day of the week and at any time of the day. In being average, we give life to everything around us which gives life to the world in which we live. So, it’s OK to be average as long as you love with all your being and do it faithfully. Doing this makes you awesome!

Golf balls, pebbles, sand and coffee

“The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee”

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with GOLF BALLS. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of PEBBLES and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of SAND and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced TWO CUPS OF COFFEE from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that:

1. This JAR represents your life.

2. The GOLF BALLS are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

3. The PEBBLES are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

4. The SAND is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Spend more time enjoying your hobbies. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the sink disposal. TAKE CARE OF THE GOLF BALLS FIRST–THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER. Set your priorities. THE REST IS SAND.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the COFFEE represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

People should spend more of their time thinking about what is most important in their lives and about those who are closest to them, then spend the remainder of their time doing things for and with those people.

Do you love you?

“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.”

~ Alain De Botton

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

To be happy in life, we ultimately need to be in love with ourselves. Sometimes the only person in the world who loves you like you want to be loved–is you. If you’re buying expensive gadgets to bring you fulfillment, or using people to get something from them, or overextending yourself financially to gain acceptance from others, then you will never be ultimately satisfied with your life. If you only desire to have many things that eventually become dust in the wind or only want what one day will crumble to the sea, then you will never have what can remain with you and within you for as long as you live…Love. Nothing lasts forever and everything changes. If you can accept this and live your life according to this absolute, then you can begin to fully understand just how much more sweet love, respect and expression really are to your being. Always love yourself and life more than the dependency for material things which aren’t a source for true love at all.

The treasure within you

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.”

~ Horace (65-8 BC) Roman Poet 

The Treasure

When you are at your worst emotionally and physically, you tend to find something that has been hidden deep inside you that you never knew you had — the wherewithal to work your way through the pain you are so burdened by. Like anything that has a luster to it, the process of getting that shine that is so appealing requires many years of wear and tear, and pain and suffering. So, always remember that when you’re experiencing discomfort, agony, sorrow, loneliness, displeasure and turmoil, just realize that you are getting closer to discovering the treasure that lies within you. Once found, the sparkle and awe that people now see in you will bring so much pleasure, strength, hope, and appeal to not only yourself but to those who can see the treasure within you. Have you found the treasure within you yet?

Defining yourself

“Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”

~ Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein 2 Shankbone Metropolitan Oper...

Harvey Fierstein

When you listen to others who tell you what kind of person you are (or aren’t), you lose something very important — your own view of yourself. Although it’s important to listen to others who critique you, it’s more important to define yourself by your own measure. You know yourself better than anyone else and you see yourself like no one else does — from the inside out. If you’re going to listen to anyone, just make sure they are people you admire, respect and trust. With their help, you can become someone who others look up to and desire to be like. Just make sure you are in control of how you see yourself, otherwise you will never be all you can truly be. How do you define yourself?