Positive Beliefs: Life is a Wonderful Adventure

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When you allow more positive beliefs to your life and reduce the limiting beliefs to your life, your daily experience will not be the same, ever.

Yesterday as I listened the Awaken the Giant Within abridged edition (to my disappointment). I did pick up quite a few useful thoughts from there. Mainly there was this idea about beliefs as tables and then there are these stories that either give the table more legs or take them away.

With limiting beliefs, we ought to question them and take some legs away.

With positive beliefs, we ought to strengthen them and add more legs to the table (reasons to believe). The stronger the references, the stronger we will believe them.

Positive beliefs allow us to live more fully, we are not limited by the unseen any longer. We allow us to be something we can be.

It’s an incredible realization to see that what you believe supports your reality. I am suggesting you to become a bit positive lunatic, not completely though.

Optimism is in itself about having positive illusions about life. This makes life worth living, even if this is partially true. Optimism in itself can be dangerous too as I’ve written before.

Martin Seligman, one of the founders of the positive psychology field and also a person who has developed something he calls “learned optimism” – which can be helped to cure people who have what he calls ‘learned helplessness’. It’s very interesting concept, where he also warns of the dangers.

Stock market crashes and too overly optimism is not a good thing. Then our decisions are not based on the reality at all, but to our illusions.

With the positive beliefs, I believe we can though questioning find right mix of realism and joy of life. Life has more to offer to us than we think and we have more to offer to the life than we can imagine. That’s why we need optimism and positive beliefs.

Questions are a good tool to sharpen the thinking, and with this we can test if the reasons and references for our beliefs are true or not. By doing this the questioning exercise often enough, we quickly notice that the negative beliefs are not worth it. Positive beliefs combined with actual gratefulness makes life really joyful.

List your positive beliefs about yourself and the world.

Then make another list about the negative beliefs.

I did this exercise yesterday and  I noticed that most of the negative beliefs that popped up didn’t make much sense. I started writing right away reasons that these are actually causing more pain than any good to me and I started to distance myself to these thoughts.

At the same time, I started seeking more positive beliefs. In fact since my imagination was only limited, I could come up with a few good ones, yet I felt lacking something. Then I tried googling and right away for example this list of 100 positive beliefs comes handy, you can take a belief or two from there that really resonate with you and make it your own.

Life is a wonderful adventure,

Janne

From Present Towards Utopia

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We live life forward, from the present moment onwards. I remember browsing some strategy book at my friends place, where I took one idea: that we should live 70% in present, 20% in the future and 10% in the past.

By these portions of course that the includes preparing and planning, and then 10 of the past % reflection and learning. While giving absolute portions for life is difficult, as a guideline I like the idea.

Good questions to ask:

  • how does future look and feel like? I think it should be more like an utopia, that makes life worth living for.
  • is the past a prison or building ground for your future endeavors? We can learn a lot from our past, but as the 10% suggest we shouldn’t spend too much there. Just to take what we need and then get back to living.

With this, living in the present is easier. We can proceed from the present towards our goals and ambitions if we know exactly where we are. Sometimes even when we think we know where we are, we do not, because of some sort of error. Therefore remember to figure out first where you really are, then check if you really are there and then start to think which direction you would like to go.

Use the past experiences as a source of learning, however do not attach to them too much, because that information may not be valid any longer.

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

Exciting Life

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Uncertainty can be a torment or bliss.

When you grow and adopt growth mindset, you’ll start to invest more which means taking risk and working to reduce the chances of failure. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Uncertainty is always present.

Then at times, you’ll know you will probably win. Or you will know something will probably happen and you’ll start thinking how could you use that something to your and everyone’s advantage.

When you grow, you’ll learn. Through the learning you’ll see. When you see the future as exciting potential you are living an exciting life. Every morning starts to be exciting, because exciting opportunities start to appear here and there.

Suddenly your attention is not on what whet wrong, but what can potentially go right. Of course your still work the basics right and work to reduce the risks, but you will start to see the potentials.

Seeing the potential, and living the potential to something it could become, something more or something surprising is what makes life exciting.

 


Some thoughts, that life should be exciting. Exciting takes work, we need to learn to see the exciting and the potential. Or that’s at least the path I’ve had to walk: to see all the potential.

 

BR,

Janne

Habit Combinations

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Living the last week of 2017 has again draws the mind to the contemplate how did this year go and what  to focus on upcoming years.

This year I’ve become more aware than ever so far about the power of habits. On my own eight and half year conscious growth journey majority of the time I’ve spent unlearning habits and then a bit by bit finding more healthy behaviors. With the exception last two years I’ve dedicated more conscious effort into two habits that seem to reinforce each other very well: reading and writing.

As I pondered a bit about this, I understood that most habits do work in combination. I.e. it’s not only reading nonfiction that turns into writing. It’s the whole process of study, application, dialogue and experience that makes it meaningful.

Best habits work in combination with each other.

What is difficult about habits is thought rarely we can really know if a habit is suited for us and how it is suited for us with too short time span. In the beginning of my personal development journey I read about 30 day trials on Steve Pavlina’s blog. Idea seems to be fine, however now equipped with the experience and understanding I have now, I don’t think the 30 days is nearly enough to test drive any significant habit.

On the other hand I’ve come another interesting way to look at the habits. The advice was originally from some dating scene,  however I think the application is very same with the habits as it is with the partners: we should see through a year first before making any significant advances and commitments in the relationships. Just as with the habits: see the full year first, then decide to move ahead or not.

One year is interesting time, because as humans our moods are also a lot different depending on the time of the year. One year will give the full experience of the year and certainly the timeframe to really know if this habit is for us.

As I mentioned this is for any significant habit, any significant life choice that you would like to make.

Within year the habit starts to solidify as part of your identity. Then what you can do after a year of doing having the habit, is to start experimenting with habit combinations.

I think and talk a lot about writing. At times I feel like writing is the only thing I’ve wanted to do and often times I am craving to write. Yet at times, I wonder, if this is really the thing that I am most enthusiastic about?

However, I’ve noticed writing is a great way for me to express myself and my various ideas. So it’s probably so that writing by itself is more like a medium of communication for me rather than my thing in itself. Despite being a mean of communication, it still is important way to process and think as well, so definitely a habit that I keep experimenting with and finding a way to keep in my routine in combination of all the new and exciting habits to come.

Live Your Purpose and Plan

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Do you have a dream? Have you made the dream into a goal by setting some due dates?

My purpose is good karma, which means trying to live everyday virtuously according to my values so that the after the day I would’ve done more good than harm. This is a bit difficult to assess to be honest, because even with best intentions one can end up causing harm. Knowing this, I try my best to do good and mostly that starts with myself.

My purpose shows in daily actions as following the vegetarian diet, exercising, writing journal, reading books and meditating. I try to apply it to everything I do and work, this is described as “karma yoga” or yoga of action as described in Bhagavad Gita.

After the important daily actions which I mentioned, I still usually have quite a bit of energy left: this goes to work of serving other people. Usually most of my energy goes to my professional work. After my professional work has been done and the daily actions are done, I do not have much energy left for the day. Usually with the reminder depending on the day I spend with friends, family and finally try to write and publish a blog post. Then there is also perhaps a bit time during the week or perhaps weekend for reflecting and planning for the future and reflecting of the past. Especially life planning and financial planning are perhaps weekly themes that I check, if everything is going as I feel they should.

Even though I feel like I am living a purpose, I feel like I must still have some sort of action plan and vision for life. I’ve vision about better future, where we could succeed together in bigger and more audacious projects such as discovering the potential of the human mind, space travel and exploration.

This requires learning and that’s why I am big advocate of learning: I wish everyone would have the opportunities get the basic schooling to be able to read and write. Then get the access to knowledge through teachers, mentors, and coaches. Internet is important place to learn and share the learning,

Civilization, becoming civilized I think is the answer and that happens through learning. With learning there are few necessary skills such as critical thinking and learning and the abilities to learn and required. Then with reading and language skills, access to knowledge such as teachers, internet and libraries we are finally unlocking the vast potential of human curiosity. I value highly projects such as Wikipedia, Youtube and Khan Academy.

Planning and having this positive desire, does not need to mean to having to attach to this plan or the result. Life is prioritization all the time, it’s not skillful to get attached.

Karma yoga

Your work is your responsibility,
not its result.
Never let the fruits of your actions
be your motive.
Nor give in to inaction.

Set firmly in yourself, do your work,
not attached to anything.
Remain evenminded in success,
and in failure.
Evenmindedness is true yoga.

—Bhagavad Gita, 2.47-49

Yet having a plan, means that you’ve given a thought for the future and when the future meets present, you’ve ore options. At best you’ve a different plans plan a, plan b and so worth and then you can choose the closest options or the hybrid of these plans and continue with that. Planning is proactivity and probabilities. Planning means recognizing risks and working to minimize those risks.

Life is rather short and no one exactly knows how much time we have left. Thus living a mindful, present and happy life with a sense of purpose is a sound piece of advice. Yet what could be more inspiring reason to get up than inspiring vision, that today’s actions do good today, but perhaps tomorrow as well?

Because of the shortness of the life, we have to live the purpose every day. Where we spend most of our time we should stay focused there. Yet we should be aware of the future potentials, plan for different skenarios and be awake to take advantage of them. If we could be even greater service through planning, shouldn’t we take advantage of that?

That’s exactly what I had in my mind today as I broke down my previous cash flow calculations into a more actionable goals. About a year ago as a part of the real estate investment coaching I calculated the following cash flow requirements from assets per month to feel secure, wealthy and rich.

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It’s still holds true I feel. However, as I had these stages thought out, I didn’t have much plan to how to achieve them. I had a bunch of separate ideas hanging around, yet crystal clear action plan or scenarios thought out.

Three scenarios I did manage to write for the near future, that was rather rewarding. Then in regards to this stages, I also considered the potential vehicles. Mostly I’ve come to the conclusion that real estate investing is the way to go, the vehicle of the choice so to speak. What now made these stages now really feel achievable was that I was about to calculate with my conservative numbers how many apartments I would have to own in order to achieve these goals. First earned euro from real estate asset is of course the first step, however now I also know that the first milestone is 13 apartments. This feels very energizing and great to know that it is doable number, although there is a bit of how still remaining: planning helps us to visualize the potential outcomes.

Then it is just up to us to live the life mindfully in the present and enjoy whatever life brings without an attachment!

What You Think Becomes What You Feel  

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Interesting point about us that either can think what we feel, or then change our thinking and then feel what we think. I realized this today morning while listening to Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind by Joe Dispenza.

What you think frequently is what you get used to and what will you gravitate towards. Our brain generates emotions which are in fact chemical mixes and then our brain likes to maintain homeostasis – a familiar mix of chemicals all the time. If this gets disrupted, our consciousness gets signals to restore the balance in form of cravings, wants and annoyances for example.

Considering the difficulty of changing emotional life, it does take a  long time. Yet it appears we have no choice.

As I understood it, the cells in our brains we decay and degenerate if nothing new happens: new experiences of learning. Repeating the same is the way for destruction when we are talking about cells.

This biology seems to support the idea of continuous growth and openness to experience 🙂

Problems or Suffering Are Never Going to Cease

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Solving a problem leads to a multiplying amounts of tinier problems. We have the power to create happier problems.

Since problems are not going to cease, we just might pick one that is interesting and start chipping at it. If we just worthy problem, solving that just might become our purpose.

Like Schopenhauer said, our mind swings between boredom and suffering. Mind will always find a way to do one or another. I’ve found that it’s easy to suffer although things are very well. It’s unless we teach ourselves, what is real suffering and what is not, we will suffer no matter how well our life is.

Any suffering is tolerable with a right and just purpose. Our purpose may become our legacy and legacy is one form of immortality that is within our reach.

Doesn’t sound too bad does it?

 

Why Easier Life?

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”This or that would make my life easier and that would be nice…”

This kind of comments are not so rare. Yet I do not understand why people wish easier life. Life already tends to make itself easier, people are working at it every day. Human beings are lazy by nature, so our environment gets “easier” for sure.

Question is, should we desire easier life?

As Bruce Lee put it, we shouldn’t wish for an easy life, but the strength to live a difficult one.

Instead of wishing to play on easy mode, be grateful of what you have and then ask what it is you can develop today to get better at it.

Virtue is the Purpose of Life

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Doing good, doing the right thing in whatever position you are in life is the purpose of life according to the Stoics. Take responsibility of your soul, of what you can do, because that’s all you can do.

Do not judge, writes Marcus Aurelius.

Do not judge, always seek to praise were Abraham Lincolns words according to Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Virtue is doing the right thing when we have the freedom to choose otherwise. Marcus Aurelius is fascinating example of this, because he was the emperor of the known world, ruler with absolute power. Yet he was living in virtue.

Trying to put this to the scope of personal life: should I discard all my desires I ask myself again? Then I remember the difference between a desire, lust and a positive desire.

What causes us to be virtuous? What causes positive desires?

Sigmund Freud suggests that it may be sublimation. Something negative we have done earlier in life may cause to turn into something major positive later in life.

Reflecting on my own past, I certainly feel that the reason I contemplate so much on the virtues, what is right and best for everyone is because I feel that when I was younger I wasn’t very good example. Due to that earlier experience I certainly want to go to the opposite direction as fast as I can, which is a very positive.

We want to progress and above all we want to be something more than we were before. As stoics put it, at least we should try to be better than animals. And the way to do that is through civilizing ourselves and taking responsibility of our souls. By putting our values to work and working from where we are now.

 

Further info

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Wikipedia

Marcus Aurelius Lecture on Stoicism

Freud on: Sublimation

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie