Life, an Incredible Opportunity

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Life is an opportunity that over 108 billion people before us have had and then as lost as is the nature of life: there is a beginning and an end. Therefore to be alive is wonderful opportunity to do something!

In addition to biological evolution, there is also the evolution of culture and spirit. Spiritual evolution means becoming more human. As G.K. Chesterton put it: “a dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” We are blessed with brains that create the human mind, which allows not only to go with the flow, but to go upstream or any other direction we wish.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

The difference and human blessing of life lies in our brain, which allows us not only to live, but to learn and live better as well. This means we are no longer bound only to progress through the biological evolution, but through cultural evolution.

Other animals certainly are social and therefore have the ability for cultural evolution as well. However, very few of them are able to stop and contemplate on life on such level as humans can. We learn comparatively fast and therefore our culture, way of doing things evolves as well.

On individual level, it’s our own decision to exercise this superpower of choice each day. Well actually thinking and deciding something new for each day would be possible, but not very convenient. Although we have the ability to contemplate, it is rather energy intensive. Therefore it’s useful to use both of the abilities, the ability to contemplate and the ability to do in a harmonious way.

Contemplate and discover your values and goals. Then work on these goals every day habitually.

Do not dream of life without work. Work is the opportunity, ability to create something greater than what you were given. What will then happen? According to the law of karma, if you do good things, good things will happen to you.

Put your priorities straight using the priority category method and then live your purpose and plan.

In life you will get more things done, if you are really good at prioritizing and deciding what is important and where you can add the most value. You will be able to create more value and well-being to your environment, which then again means that you will also receive more and then we all flourish.

* * *

I’ve taken it as my mission to help other people to realize the love for life. This comes from my personal experience with the meaninglessness of life, which led to depression and sickness.

Have a great evening!

Janne

Do Not Forget Yourself

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In the world, the selfish will survive the short term. In the long term, there are always people who want to do good for the greater good of the mankind, for others.

Other centered people have discovered, what scientist are also beginning to discover that the most long lasting joy is the joy of giving.

Personally I’ve discovered, as I lose myself in my service profession I forget myself. Days go by and weeks go by.

Yet no matter how pleasant or good it is, too much other centeredness is not a desirable thing either. Although it’s true that we get what we need through others, we already have everything we need right now. It’s the present moment and it’s ourselves.

Do not forget yourself. Remember that you have everything you need to be happy, right now! This is my reminder for the weekend, have a nice Friday evening!

Growth and Truth

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Real growth comes from accepting reality or ‘the truth’.

Yet as powerful adults, we do not necessarily always like the truth. Our capacity to understand and manage it is limited. That’s why human societies have all kinds of quirks to like fools in courts or business consultants in businesses to tell leaders what they need to hear in comical or other narrative fashion, so that they might hear what they need to hear.

While the truth may be our shield, yet truth can also hurt and be dangerous to hurl around. It needs to be wrapped in a nice manner and presented carefully.

To put it shortly: living according to the truth isn’t the simplest or easiest way. In fact it is the middle way, creating the way like Buddha or Gandhi did.

Do what is true and right, and you will be remembered if not by the current generation, then by the generations to come.

Three Reflections About: Shame, Learning and Leadership

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Today I’ve had wonderful time reflecting on my painful experiences and trying to learn from them. Having gone this process I am sure that many of these lessons could be beneficial insights to anyone and therefore I decided to summarize it all in a one blog post.

 

Shame is the central human experience and a tool to deal with it

Upon waking up and pondering, the last party night and past weeks I began to depress. A question came to me: what is it exactly that prevents me from living the life as fully as I would like to? After journaling it became clear to me that it is the experience of shame.

Shame is a very limiting emotion, actually a collection of emotions as I further studied and recalled. Feelings that can be connected to the shame are:  feeling of insufficiency, inability, weakness, helplessness, feeling different, feeling of failure, imperfection, feeling of rejected, feeling of being hurt etc.

I discovered many of these feelings in the social interactions. The story of shame is the story of my life quite simply. However, what I’ve found increasingly awesome is that I’ve been able to begun to process it, which is necessity to get ahead in life. Only that which we acknowledge we can begin to heal from. So, although I still might suffer, I already remembered that I’ve begun the process.

Seriously finding a good and working with a good therapist would be a shortcut in this. However, writing journal, friends and family can good ways and addition to process some of it as well.

For me it’s mostly journaling, reflection, friends and on these kinds of days its’ also studying. Always when I get into the mode of reflection I start to study and recall as well what is the root cause all about. Then I finally try to recall or learn some kind of tool to help to deal with it more productively. Today I found one really useful tool from my online coaching materials by Jari Sarasvuo: “In 20 years, who cares?”

That’s very powerful! It gives the proper time perspective to all things in the present. Time is on constant flow.

 

Life is so limited, so what you going to do about it?

In life we can achieve only so much. Today I was also learning about history a bit, because of earlier discussions with friends and then I happened to stumble upon documentary about Silk road. In particular I was interested about the fate of Persepolis, which was ruled by the Darius I. It was interesting, that Darius had subdued all his enemies and therefore the city was left unfortified. This was for a while of course a great idea, until there came the Alexander the Great and pillaged the city.

Darius was Great. Persian Achaemenid Empire was great. Alexander was Great. Later on world has seen even greater empires. However, I think there is a one particular quality that strikes in all the greatness and it is the leadership ability to get things done.

There are different kinds of greatness, because in each civilization there is someone who really gets things done and manages to organize the common successes.

Alexander was a man of ambition. Did you know he left a will? The will goes on like this according to Wikipedia and its’ sources:

  • Construction of a monumental tomb for his father Philip, “to match the greatest of the pyramids of Egypt”
  • Erection of great temples in Delos, Delphi, Dodona, Dium, Amphipolis, and a monumental temple to Athena at Troy
  • Conquest of Arabia and the entire Mediterranean Basin
  • Circumnavigation of Africa
  • Development of cities and the “transplant of populations from Asia to Europe and in the opposite direction from Europe to Asia, in order to bring the largest continent to common unity and to friendship by means of intermarriage and family ties.”

Alexander was a military commander, and my ideals would lie in nonviolence, however I still gotta admire most of this list and the level of the ambition. I believe he had the ability to organize these successes, only if he had the time.

That’s why I am saying time is of the essence in life. Most great people get done great things, however they would benefit from the ability of more leaders.

So few people are actually born leaders, they taught. And there are few people who are able to teach leaders. I’ve recognized this path as something that I would like to do, to teach about leadership.

 

Feel the Burning Desire of Leadership? Here Are Some Ideas to Get Started

Jari taught me about four levels of learning:

First level is to learn.

Second is to learn to learn.

Third is learn to teach.

Fourth level is learning to teach about teaching.

 

I really like this kind of thinking and thus it is rather guiding thought in what I do. However, what is central here is the learning skills as well as the teaching skills. Where and how does one exactly acquire all this? Short answer is by constant practice.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ―  Albert Einstein

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ― Isaac Asimov

By constant practice I mean there is no way around it: we have to do it by ourselves. We do not have to do it all the time by ourselves: we can involve others, however there is just no way that we can skip the part of learning by ourselves.

Self-education is called autodictatism.

When graduated from university of applied sciences with my bachelor’s degree in business, I knew I was just getting started with learning. I had started my thesis by reading a single book about organizational culture, ended up going through some hundred books and I still wasn’t satisfied. I am still on the quest to learn more and to describe exactly what it is that I want to teach.

We may have unlimited information available through search engines, however what we need to be also aware of is train our minds for the task of recognizing quality information. This is what learning is all about. When learning is applied we get results.

When learning is applied so that it can be taught to many, we are talking about teaching as well as leadership and the results can be multiplied.

 


I started the story and the blog very personally by admitting that my shame still limits me. The key learning here is to get moving and a good question to get moving is, “in 20-years, who cares?”

Decades are good timespan to think anything meaningful. I decided to try some different beliefs about ten years ago and from that point to this point I am living in utopia. This was utopia back then, yet  it is just everyday life now. There is still a lot of work ahead of me, a lot of shame and all kinds of inner demons to be dealt with, however there are tools.

Main tool in here is learning, serving the needs of others first and then organizing common successes.

 

Janne

Power of Naps

I’ve been a longer time a fan of naps. In my normal routine there is less chance for such because of open plan office workplace.

In my previous work I had the chance to nap during lunch hour. Just a 10 or 15 minutes dord wonders to a mind.

Now that I’ve been on vacation that has been combination of many activities I’ve been reminded of this habit. Having a naps during the day revitalizes the mind and feels great.

Now I’ve recognized that the skill to nap anywhere is great to have simply because it gives the day fluidity you wouldn’t othereide have.

Creative Habits

What separates people who create from those who don’t? People who create start and are willing to start with imperfect ideas and develop them further.

Most importantly creatives are willing to make the ideas real and deliver each day.

Taking the risk takes courage and effort. Courage it takes because once you deliver the work is out there for the public eye to criticise. Effort because you have you work with incomplete ideas and make them more whole under all the constraints.

Healthy Opportunism is the Spark of Life

Great life is about fulfilling great ideas which come from relationships.

Having great relationships means finding people with who  you can compete in virtue. Borrow the courage to live your values true and live a virtuous life.

To live life fully we must be healthy opportunists. We must work, have a plan, and values, but to prioritize them smartly.


When a better opportunity presents itself be prepared to be flexible and go with it.

Whatever You Do It For Fully

Today I had a blast. Key learning has been to go all out at anything at present.

There are always people who would laugh at you and your efforts. Ignore them and focus to your thing and to those people who actually encourage your efforts.

Life is too short to leave attention to the haters.

Also when you focus more fully you just seem to have more energy for the relevant people and activities.

May You Have All You Are Looking For

Trip day yay! What makes travel so special to me is that it’s travel as much inward as outward.

This time I am traveling with friends so there are more needs to be taken into account.

What is exciting is that for many reasons I am also traveling rather light. I left my laptop to home deciding that I should be able to write well enough on my phone.


It’s also a thinking and editing exercise as much as it is requiring myself the same amount of output with less means.


I finished my packing just on time for the metro. Thus lean is very much alive in my life.

Travelling is a growth experience. As an experience it shouldn’t be necessarily as comfortable as it is fulfilling. Fulfillment comes through understanding the needs of others fulfilling them so in turn the world will find a way to fulfill your needs.


So you don’t have to prepare as much as you think. Just prepare to fulfill the needs of others.

Goodwill Balance

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What I love about Buddhist philosophy is the thought of building incredible goodwill.

Aristotles had similar ideas: if everybody would compete in virtue, we all would get the best of everything.

Whatever it is virtue of ancient Greece, or the good deeds of Buddhism or any other culture I am fascinated by the human desire to be good.

Good and bad in the end have the same potential. However, what I think is right: when we feel accepted, contributing and fulfilling life, we naturally want to be good towards others as well. We have the need to share.

The thing about Buddhist philosophy is, to train the mind to let go of most of things and then sort of delay the gratification indefinitely. Well delay might be wrong choice of words, since it also involves enjoying what is in the present, enjoying to like the simple things that are present in life.

Equipped with a mind that has few wants and all the needs fulfilled, is a happy mind. And happy mind wants to share and see others prosper as well. That kind of mind seeks to fulfill the needs of others to the best of their ability.

All the good in life does in the end happens when we live through the virtues and build a solid goodwill balance.