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

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!

Does Your Decisions Increase Well-being of Others?

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When your thoughts match your words, and your words match your actions, you are what we could call happiness.

This sounds easier than it is, however with practice and effort it is achievable state of being.

Any mismatch here causes anxiety. Anxiety is not a state of wellbeing to ourselves or others.

We make decisions at thought level. Therefore a good question to ask yourself, does this increase the well-being of myself and others? Well-being that we manage to create for others always returns to ourselves, we only get that well-being what we have managed to create into our environment.

Happy Way to Get What You Want In Life

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Think for a moment, what it is you want in life? Let’s say next three years. Set an audacious goal.

Isn’t it so that you probably have to face some kind of adversity in order to get that? If it was anything daring, out of your current level of competence, this is definitely case. Audacious goals are audacious and meaningful exactly because they are just beyond our current level of operating.  Does what you what bring happiness or just gratification to you? Make sure to pursue the kind of goal that brings something more lasting than the instant gratification.

Okay now we have an audacious goal in three years, what are you going to do now towards that? Crawling millimeter by millimeter towards the goal is the key to the success as I wrote in the Climb.

Also another trick towards being more productive and getting to your goal even more sure AND feeling happier now is being happy now. Well while of course that won’t happen just because I tell you so, here are some ideas to get a boost in your both present and long term happiness:

  • Giving
  • Sharing
  • Kindness
  • Gratitude
  • Going extra mile to smile

That which we focus upon grows. That’s why I am always looking opportunities to help, give and share. I’ve been writing gratitude’s to my journal, actually anything positive. My favorite addition to my routine this fall to start giving positive feedback, so now I try to use every opportunity to do that as well.

So now you have an audacious goal, that is probably connected to your bigger purpose. Give your daily tasks your everything, you are surely to develop very good at them. Crawl forward and remember to be happy first 🙂

Janne

Happiness, Wealth, Success and Love is in Our Minds

 

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Our minds create meaning. Consciously we can choose what kind of meaning we give to what happens in life.

With the same principle our happiness is in our minds.

Our wealth is created by our mind, creativity, imagination, habits and actions.

Our success is the result of our actions.

Love? Actual love is doing rather than a feeling. Feeling is a mess in brain chemistry, real love is actions. If you do good, you will find eventually that it resonates back to you from people.

We become what we put into our minds. This includes the environment we are in as well as where do we spent our focus: i.e. is it in watching entertainment, pursuit of knowledge, building relationships or doing good deeds.

Your Happiness is Your Decision

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Any one of us can make the decision to be happy right now. We cannot choose our emotions what we are feelings, we can choose how do we respond to the emotions. And by choosing the right responses we will inevitably feel good too in the long run. This means, happiness is in our control to decide.

By making the right choices consistently happiness is inevitable. There are even shortcuts to happiness, for example gratitude, giving and positive thinking.

Human is highly social animal, so the best we can do is to be grateful of what we have and share our happiness with others.

There is enough for everybody in this world, if we think through the lens of creating. Human creativity has created the well being that exists. Human doing is also the suffering of our planet and fellow species.

It is our next actions and decisions that determine what will follow. Therefore we can be happy with what we have now, contemplate on our virtues: what are we willing to sacrifice for our future?

We get only that well being which we are able to create for the world.

The Happiness Equation: book highlights

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Out of 34 books I’ve read this year and out of 36 that I read last year, there are few gems in there. Among all the books, one that makes almost any day better for me is the Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha.

Yesterday I reviewed my notes thoroughly and they made me so deep impact that I ought to share the main points with you today.

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future”

Life is happening now, we must learn to be present is the present for a reason. To be more present, mindfulness is a good practice it makes us happy and success follows happiness. Be happy first.

Distractions in life are major obstacles for happiness. Like we are in the present, we shouldn’t focus to external goals, but to internal drivers. Internal motivation is a driver of excellence. Happy people do things, because they are happy and interested about doing things.

While external motivations can get ourselves distracted, it is only our own judgements and criticism that often makes us discouraged and sad.

Buddha says, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Be happy first, and start with yourself. You are worthy of attention, love and affection. We cannot control most of what happens in life, however we can control how we react to it.

So now we have the groundwork covered. Next is the difficult part: the purpose, the work and social life. To put it shortly, we are social animals and we need social context. We should work in something where we can increase our collective happiness. As it is pointed out: giving is the simply best way to increase your own happiness. Doing good for others.

We need to stay active with the giving and kindness as well, here we get to the purpose or what is described in the book as ikigai. Never retire, what you do not use you lose: this applies to happiness, your brain and your health as well.

Like Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

I ought to read the whole book again soon and I recommend it to you too.

Love What You Have

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When contemplating about suffering, especially the mental kind. Most of it boils down to having different expectations than is reality at present. I guess the idea of four noble truths, is that we must begin by accepting the present conditions as they are.

Once we can accept the present, another set of thoughts that surely helps us to live forward is the Tetrapharmakos: “What is good is easy to get, what is terrible is easy to endure.”

Because change is slow and requires a lot of repetition, loving what you have works the best. By loving what you have you are likely to succeed faster. Happiness brings success, not the other way around.

Become the Programmer of Your Life by Reflecting on Your Stress Responses

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When we are born into this world and grow up, we cannot choose the environment much at all where we are brought up. From the environment where we grow up, we inherit, learn and copy models for responding to stress. Let’s call these learned models scripts from now on.

Script is essentially a sequence of thoughts, emotions and actions that happen automatically and effortlessly in mostly unconscious mind.

Stress should be defined as influence that alters an existent equilibrium. Therefore inherently stress is not good or bad, it’s merely a sign that something should be done and thus triggers thoughts and emotions in us.

So when we grow up, and a stressor enters our world we automatically take actions according to the learned scripts. If we get hungry, we may go to the fridge and grab whatever we would like to eat at the time.

Since life is complicated, these scripts that are drilled into unconscious mind save a lot of time and energy for us. Yet to live a happy and productive life, scripts we have inherited, learned and copied may not always be optimal. The reason is simply that we are the very first version of ourselves the moment we become aware of this. Before we are aware of this, we are a product, not a programmer.

When we become aware, we become the programmer of our lives. Conscious time and space for reflection is one way to be aware. I write journal every day and try to meditate as well. From these activities I write down all thoughts I can get.

Best of all habits is to have time during weekend for such reflection, because then we can contemplate more deeply on what actions we have taken and have they been optimal.

As an example today I had such a reflective day which I spent mostly in quiet long walk. It’s during this walk I happened to go upon sea where I rested a bit and start my mobile phone and entered upon the realm of social media where I saw an update by a friend.

My reaction then and there was rather negative since the emotions like  uncertainty, inadequacy and jealousy a rose. I caught myself a few minutes afterwards thinking, why would I choose an emotional response to that?

I had to accept that I had a script that lead to rather unskillful stress response. Now that I had become aware of such unskillful script and accepted its existence, I could do something about it. Since I knew, I could choose the way I respond to stressors, I began to think what would be mature way to respond to this? I quickly found more positive things such as happiness for others, belonging and acceptance.

Actually it is through this reflection that changed the whole lense I am looking now at the happiness of others that is shared often through social media. I have to admit my ignorance: it’s a bit scary that I haven’t noticed this earlier in myself.

During the walk, I also decided to start practicing and deepening my bond with the virtues even more. In 2013 I used the virtue list, an idea from Benjamin Franklin. Yet now in 2017 since I’ve put more thought into my values and virtues as well, I thought I need to start practicing these in the same way, one virtue each week. Humility is on that list too.

Remember as long as we live, we are never the final versions, we are always under development. Are you a code produced by the chance and the environment or are you the coder of your own life?

Cognition Advantages

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A common misconception is that intelligence is fixed. It’s not so much at all.

In fact I dislike to use the word intelligence at all, because it is so emotionally loaded.

I’ve contemplated the topic of intelligence a lot especially from personal development / intelligence improvement point of view, from which I wrote a popular reply to Quora on 2013.

The more I’ve learned the less I’ve liked the word intelligence. If we are thinking along the lines of Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences there are so many kinds of intelligences that it’s absurd to claim any kind of intelligence.

Therefore I am more in line with ability to think and learn. When it comes to thinking and learning it’s all about cognition.  When we are talking about cognition we are also talking about great health, because these two are strongly interconnected.

Here are some cognitive advantages:

  • Basic acknowledgement when it comes to cognition is that our brains do consume a lot of calories, one fifth of all our intake. Quality of calories for sure matters in the long run as well. Pay attention to your diet from your minds perspective.
  • Unrested mind is literally the same as drunk. Have good quality and quantity sleep.
  • Fear literally shuts down our cognition at worst, or any kind of fear inhibits our higher cognitive function. Learn to recognize fear.
  • Stress, especially the stress about safety (i.e. income, relationship, home…) reduces our cognitive capabilities.
    • Build income buffers to reduce this.
    • Work to create more opportunities for income (=diversifying)
    • Learn to invest and manage money.
    • Learn what is in your control and focus to that.
  • Be happy first. Success follows happiness, not the other way around.
    • Start a journal and find three good things about each day.
    • Start giving to others, that way the happiness lasts longer.
  • Learn to control your breath: meditate
  • Exercise, even walking is better than nothing!
  • Work proactively with the numbers on your side
    • This reduces both stress and fear plus it gives you good night sleep knowing you’ve worked from the probabilities.
  • Emotional first aid: learn to forgive yourself.