Growth

Accepting myself in order to grow (case Janne & reading more)

So the story after yesterday continues with interesting observations. First, as I replaced my stolen smart phone with a new one, it’s not just technology that has gone click ahead; it’s also understanding of the human mind in the product development and the software to support our vain needs. I am talking of course about the camera and the effect features, which certainly allow us to create more pleasing image of ourselves, to ourselves.

Picture below to demonstrate:

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(Image 1. Janne 42 hours after being punched to the face)

The picture taking conditions nor me as the model are hardly sufficient, but certainly the beauty 10 setting is way more pleasing to the eye, I gotta admit. Even though, at the same time this thought is disturbing to think that the marketing department know so well what we secretly want even though we cannot admit that to ourselves.

Oh yes, and I work in marketing too, which makes me too the student of influence. And also it makes most of us susceptible to our own hidden desires. If we can admit this, we are ready to move on.

Only by accepting where we are now and who we are, we can advance. Not from where we were yesterday, or where we think we are, only from where are now. So the truth and reality are really essential, in this we cannot have positive illusions.

Example case “Janne & reading more books”

Let’s take reading books for example: I thought I read quite a lot, at least more than in reality I did. By taking some measures of accounting and most recently in the Goodreads, it turns out after serious recollection I could come up with over sixty titles read.

Honestly, I do not know what kind of number my illusionary mind had in mind, however it felt quite low number.

By confronting the reality this way forced me to think about my habits, where I am then spending my time on and what exactly I am reading? This further reflection helped me to feel better and further identify the habits that did not serve my purpose.

You see, my reading I do read quite a lot different books when I am pursuing particular question or fulfilling a curiosity in mind, this is what I call reading for interest. In cases like this there is rarely need to read books from cover to cover, but to understand the context and then look for the relevant information. There is no need to go book by book, page by page order, that’s magic. It’s more like idea to idea, and who internet and hyperlink system revolves around this idea that we can jump from great idea to the next. The whole feeling is best described as “great ideas having sex inside my head” –feelings of ecstasy and insight. Reading like this rarely does qualify in my own standards to increase the Goodreads read book, however what is does is to introduce me quickly to the ideas and allows me to link it with my existing knowledge. Perhaps later, when I want to deepen this knowledge I am actually ready to read the whole book and I can do that more quickly (hopefully).

Then there is another form of reading which is just distracted. This is all the news and social media etc. Of course there are sometimes gems over there too, however it does not deepen as much as broaden and there is a great chance to get stuck in this distracted zone for too long so it takes most of the hours in the day. In fact I’ve been spending more than enough of my life here already, therefore recently I’ve decided to find solutions for this. It’s quite simple: the first hour of the morning I read and that’s it. On work days I’ve arranged it so that I read the commute, two times 45 minutes, pretty convenient. On other days I just have to create the time and space for reading, preferably away from all the other gadgets than my Kindle. Best option would be to just go outside to read in the park or café what I did when I was traveling in central Europe.

Then reflecting back further my life and especially reading habits, the quite recent changes make me very proud of myself. As I mentioned, yesterday evening as I was thinking I could come up with 63 titles of books . However almost 20 of these have come in the past 10 months. Although I am not yet on the track of 36 books per year, which I first imagined possible I am quite well on the way there.

In any case it’s not just the quantity also the quality of reading has gone up. I mentioned the 10 months, what exactly happened there? Well I got my Kindle and it changed my reading habits a bit. Mostly because of the portability I carry it around wherever I go and thus I read. Another thing is that the digital books can be acquired very easily and as it’s very portable, yeah why not read what interests me, instead of what is around (although that’s enlightening as well).

In a sense when I looked at my true numbers about reading I did indeed comfort my illusions and the reality. However, it is that exactly that made me think deeper about the way I spend my time and what I get done in that time.

As the example shows, it takes effort to see the world and ourselves as we are, even more so to accept ourselves as we are. Remember there is no need to be afraid because we all are worthy. What makes us worthy? It’s our capability to love, grow and create, in short our potential. We are often our own harshest critics and therefore we also need to develop more love towards ourselves (great talk about this topic is ‘Why we all need to practice emotional first aid by Guy Winch‘.)

So to advance, we need to increase our capacity to love ourselves more, in order to be more accepting of ourselves. The more we align with love and truth, the more power we create for ourselves, power to create and love more. It’s really an expanding cycle. When we accept and start to nurture our roots, the fruits will come in time.

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