Wonder of the Present Moment

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Present is the wonderful state, in which you have everything you will ever have or ever need. Your past cannot be taken away from you, or you cannot lose your future just because it has been promised to you. Only real time is the present, others are just fragments of the past and future has not yet decided how it will appear.

Do not worry about past, you cannot change it.

Do not worry about future, you cannot control it.

Focus to the tiny portion of the present in which you are in control.

“Present is all we have, no past or future cannot be taken away from us.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Be fully present, inhale, exhale! Those are the joys of life. Just as the breath, life is full of energy going in and out. World has plenty of energy, plenty of possibilities, plenty of time!

World is abundant place when you sharpen what it is you want to do in the present moment. At the present moment you only have a space for one thing, you have chosen wisely, make sure to keep choosing wisely!

Have a great present moment!

Janne

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.

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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

The Choice

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You have a choice; you can choose what you believe. Your beliefs will translate as action, which will then again translate as results.

Beliefs may or may not have some basis. During the weekend, I was discussing with my brother and I understood. I understood a thing about my own past and then I presented a question what causes people to challenge their beliefs?

Answer is something from outside needs to challenge our beliefs, which then with later reflection may tip us to turn into ourselves and ask if it’s true or not. Even more accurately a blog post that I found describes this belief formation and questioning: How Our Beliefs Form and What Causes us to Question Them.

When I think about my own life, nine years ago I did question my beliefs and decided to start test some these beliefs if they are right or not. Turns out most of my beliefs were not true.

As I read that blog and saw the set of questions to challenge some of my beliefs I am quite certain that I’ve still a lot to do.

We have a choice about our beliefs. World is wonderful place when we have more positive beliefs about people and things. When we look at the facts, world is at the moment better than ever before. What do you choose to believe in today?

Influencing with an Impact

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Life feels meaningful when we have a purpose in mind and we are progressing towards the fulfillment of that purpose. On the way to the fulfillment, we already have to make choices: what to do and what not to do. If we do whatever we want to achieve that purpose, then it might feel meaningless, because we haven’t worked to sacrifice for it.

To have something so important, that we are willing to sacrifice something else for that purpose. Fulfillment of purpose feels meaningful because of our values and because we are willing to pay the price for our values both in emotional and real cost.

Meaningful life is despite of these costs, we are progressing towards our purpose. It’s our own choice.

Once we have thought of our values, we start to make these choices, and sacrificing other choices. We become a person of virtue. We should focus to our own doing, in that way we become the shining example for others, the greatest way to influence others is through prime example.

Last of Freedoms

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A thought that keeps coming to me more and more is that how happy I can choose to be. This thought comes from the realization that I’ve had that we can actually choose our emotional response. Victor Frankl wrote the Man’s Searching for a Meaning where he has been personally experimenting the limits of this sense of freedom which he calls last of our freedoms.

In cognitive behavioral theraphy there is as well the idea that often before emotion a thought occurs. When we can start to recognize the cycles of thoughts, emotions and action we can begin to see our life more objectively.

Last week I picked up this as a new mindfulness routine as well: I began to classify what kind of feelings the thoughts had behind them and this furthermore increased my inner awareness.

Thoughts and emotions which aren’t being noticed will only grow stronger, so it’s good to have the time to acknowledge them and try to understand what the emotions are telling us.

However, it’s also good to remember that we are not our thoughts, or we are not our emotions. Thanks to our consciousness we can choose to respond to these thoughts and emotions. We have the last call. Because of this choice, we can literally decide and that feels liberating.

Choose Yourself

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Everyday experience of life can feel out of control. Even though this is the life we’ve chosen, we might forget it when we wake up. So reminding of the choice, is a good idea.

I was reminded by this choice today, as I was reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. As inspired by the book, I also started to pay attention to my internal dialogue and quickly noticed interesting “have to” –structure there. Quickly I reminded myself that in fact I do not have to, this is what I’ve chosen and this morning too I choose it.

This was a reminder for me, as I’ve sketched out my plan and connected that plan with actions. Those actions do include things like going out to work, writing each day and other things such as exercise, meditation and prospecting for investments. Because I’ve done this groundwork, reminding myself how this action is a choice was rather easy this morning.

Sense of freedom or illusion of the control is requirement. We can choose to be happy or to be anything as Stephen Covey puts it. That which we focus to grows. If we choose to be happy, our happiness increases.

Choose the yourself what to be and do then claim responsibility over it.

Put Less Money to Poor Choices and More Money to Good Choices

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Going thru a supermarket, looking for almonds and walnuts, but cannot find those here. All kinds of other nuts sure. At a huge supermarket there is a lot of stuff. It’s quite interesting to go thru a lot of foreign foods, while also realizing we do not need that much in life.

Even with very little, few specific things, we can be very happy.

In fact buying and wanting more does not equal happiness. I even feel that sometimes saying no to the things we do not really need creates more happiness. It’s about priorities, because when we focus and prioritize those things we truly value we can cut off everything else.

My purchasing power here in Vietnam is about three times greater than in my home Finland. That being said I do not like to spend on money on things that aren’t really matching my values.

I know, that there are places where I can put the saved money that will have long term returns. My favorite investment is education, knowledge and things like that. Second form of investing which I am learning about is real-estate, which I see as a one great vehicle, a bus that I haven’t taken yet, but I am looking for opportunities. Thirdly, there is my passion to invest in business: mostly high-risk, high reward companies with small stakes.

I get great pleasure in clarifying myself what do I really need and what are the highest priorities for my money and what is the expected return. I’ve been doing this kind of thinking practice for few months now, and it has started to become my second nature. It’s much easier to do the right decision: abstain from poor choices when you know what are the better options and what is the opportunity cost for investing to this mediocre chance now versus to the good chance.

Success Starts with a Choice, Repeat the Choice Daily and You Become That Choice

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When you learn to take the first step, taking the second step is just a matter of choice. Continuing the thought from yesterday with attaining the results we want from the life.

Excuses are easy way out, but once we have learned to take the first step, only thing that prevents us from taking the second is our own choice. We already know how, so then it’s merely matter of taking the steps until we reach our goals.

In theory that is, in reality there are limitations such as time and space in addition to our own beliefs and views of the reality. Here comes the big difference, about a really sensitive topic: optimism and pessimism.

As I’ve read and studied Martin Seligman’s book about Learned Optimism, I’ve also come to understand that it’s not necessarily solution to turn everyone into optimist, although there are certainly benefits when dealing with depression.

I’ve experienced depression and my natural thinking style has been quite pessimistic, or realistic as I would have put it myself even ten years ago. In fact, after reading the book the realistic observations seem to be right according to the book, although the explanation style in life is a major downside, which indeed has been a more limiting and depressing factor.

As I’ve become more aware of this internal dialogue and more importantly the explanation styles I’ve become also more relieved that with such minor adjustments I can find reasons to live fuller life.

When it comes to pessimism and optimism, we are talking inevitably about our relationship to time and space as well. Optimists seem to think good things last forever, while pessimists that they are very specific and temporary.

In the long process of life, I find it that having the belief to influence things and make life better is a very empowering one. What I know for sure, is that we have the tiny space of control: our decisions. Nothing in the universe can take that ability to make our internal choices away from us, we have that power.

Leveraging that tiny choice, power of decision we can create higher quality lives for everyone.

Quality comes through quantity, the more we do the more quality we are likely to produce. The more we do, the more feedback we are able to receive and through that we can improve.

Therefore once we first learn the first step. Second step is to keep on the repetition until we have mastered that one step. If we keep taking once step at a time and that becomes our nature, we will master whatever we desire in life.

Learning optimism might help, however it isn’t a requirement. Only requirement is the decision and keeping on to that decision every day.

Choice to Create Something That Matters

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As I’ve been taking baby steps towards becoming something more like the great role models I admire, I’ve also noticed in my thinking some quite challenging aspects. For example: it has become really difficult for me to understand the ‘decadent pleasures and behaviors’ of smoking, alcohol etc.

I label these as decadent, because I feel like these are habits that take me further from my goals rather than closer.

My attitude is quite harsh, probably exactly because it has been only some years since I myself have been living with such habits: I am nobody to judge, yet my mind is quick to do so.

My guess it’s a kind of defense mechanism for myself to keep the distance, because now I actually have the experience through which I can determine and guess what will take me forward and what will hold me back.

That which has come through hard work, is a lot appreciated and less likely wanted to be given away freely. Or to use another metaphor, same would go with money “easy come, easy go.”

Only in this case its mostly about the wealth of wisdom acquired, and more importantly the understanding that in order to be able to use that wisdom, the life is about choices every moment. Even after the choices what matters, is what we do after those choices. I’ve made my choice and continue living to according to that.

Life is very limited, and once I understood that, for the very least even though I am not hundred percent sure what I want to do, there are many paths that I know for sure are not for me.

A lot of what my being is, mostly trying to reach something higher.

“Stop settling for what’s good enough and start creating art that matters.” – Seth Godin, Linchpin

I like the way Seth puts it. We all have art in ourselves in some form and we can create something that matters for this world. The idea to create something resonates so deep, that I want to immerse myself in that act of creation rather than to the passivity.

Turning around the emotional state with right choice

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Today I knew that my emotional state wasn’t so well founded when I found myself blaming on the external factors quickly and surely. After quickly realizing this I tried to quickly find a more skillful way: hey I must’ve done something wrong… When that realization didn’t exactly make me feel much better, however hopefully it did contain a bit of my newly found negativity.

What had gotten into myself? Honestly, we all have bad moments, especially when we are tired and burdened. Later on I noticed that of course the external work pressures, stress and worry were eating my emotional stability. Upon realizing this allowed me again to accept that this can happen and now I am feeling responsible over the results.

For a moment I felt the urge to just take full responsibility and do everything myself, but such solutions cannot be scaled over a lifetime and the limit to my own actions is so limited. So instead, I decided to address the situation and ask for help. Acknowledging our human limitations feels liberating and energy creating force, with this I certainly feel negative worry turned into a positive energy to take action that doesn’t crush any one person.

Negative emotional experience can make our thinking really narrow and unsustainable. That’s not the way thought. We should always take effort in the way that allows sustainable growth and positive energy.

To do this, we need to be kind for others and ourselves. With a little bit of kindness we can answer we can shrink away the worry and negativity.

We always have a choice.

Remember the tale of the two wolves:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

 “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

 The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

 The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”