Circle of Control: Attitude

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Out of everything that happens to us during life, attitude is what defines our life experience in all situations. Consciously choosing a mental attitude is a sort of pre-empting to whatever happens to us and how do we take that.

Positive mental attitude primes the mind to seek the good, while negative the bad.

And that which we focus in life grows stronger.

In fact positive attitude to life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When was the last time you checked your attitude towards life?

Positive Mental Attitude book by Napoleon Hill is recommended reading for anyone who is interested digging deeper in to the topic. Here are my top five picks from the book:

  • Think of your friends often and never of your enemies
  • Find and stick to a one reason why you can succeed in this rather than have many reasons not to succeed.
  • Thought can be just as effective as action.
  • Do you want to feel? Be enthusiastic. Act enthusiastic!
  • If the man is right, the world is right.

 

Have a great evening!

Janne

Imperfecting Life

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The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve realized how important it is to strive for imperfection. What is even more curious, as I strive for imperfection this can be misinterpreted easily by people who do not know me so well.

Yes, I am very interested in personal growth and learning. That doesn’t make me perfectionist, in the pursuit of something more and better. It makes me rather imperfectionist, trying to be a little more accepting of myself and others every day. It is through acceptance of imperfections that we can truly begin to make the journey anywhere. It is through imperfections that anything gets done!

In life there is no such thing as final version.

For what we need to do, we already have everything we need to get started. The result will never be final, yet we can do our best by doing our part in this project of life, then pass on the baton, light the fire of others and move on.

Living the life of imperfection is extremely satisfying.

Have a great day!

Janne

Be Like a Storm!

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You are a force, like a storm.

For you get everything done in time,

Do not focus on what others whine,

Instead let the successes chime,

And all the good find!

 

To change the world, we just need to change one dark corner of it. And often that tiny dark corner is ourselves. It’s enough to change ourselves for the better. We do not need to worry or think about anyone else but ourselves.

How simple is that?

It’s simple, yet not easy. Who said it would be easy. It’s simple and doable, not easy.

What is in your control, what do you get to decide? Start with your attitude, how do you choose to react to what happens in your life? How do you respond to challenges?

Stop wishing for easy life, start getting smarter, stronger faster. It’s all in your power.

Start smiling for what you have!

Start focusing on what is right in the world, instead of finding the faults.

Start celebrating the small successes in bigger ways!

You have all the time what you need to do what is important, just cut the unimportant out of your life.

Be like a storm, make yourself known, make a name for yourself!

 

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

Janne

Do What Makes You Better

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Living things go upstream, while dead things flow with the stream.

What makes life fun is the learning and progress. Sometimes these take time and frustration takes over first. Learning happens often in breakthroughs and come with emotional cost.

I’ve felt this frustration lately and I haven’t been able to pinpoint it. I’ve reached saturation point in my interest to absorb new ideas and at the same time to refresh myself with the old ones. This is feeling and just my experience. Probably this is not even true: I probably could get interested about yet many things and I still learn a lot.

Yet at this point I’ve accepted the feeling that every now and then I do not have interest for such things. Instead of finding something new or getting excited about the old I’ve been meditating a lot lately and I’ve tried to pinpoint the thing that I need or should focus on at the moment. Yet I’ve not found the thing, however I’ve had some breakthrough thoughts.

Such as the title: Finding the stuff to do what makes my life better.

Yesterday I was pondering what would my life look like if I were the hero of my life.

What would you be if you could be the best you?

Identity is the greatest leverage and we should think therefore carefully who we are and what kind of things we want to further during our lives.

If You Could Decide What Would Your Life Look Like?

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There are tremendous forces at work with life. They crush and crumble our plans easily. That’s why plans are useless. Planning is useful thought, because it allows us to mentally prepare for things to come and then adjust accordingly.

Visualization has the same effects on our brain as actual exercise. Same I believe to be true with planning. When we plan, we are living potential lives already. That prepares us for the actual reality to come.

With all this chaos and change in life, it might be easy to fall into the trap of victimhood: I do not have control.

While it’s true that the big picture of life gets set, we cannot affect the circumstances or the other people that are in our lives, we have surprisingly a lot of control within our own limited life.

Each day we make hundreds of decisions about our life. What if you started to look at your life the way you want to live it and make more decisions according to that ideal?

Decisions themselves are potent if you follow them up with sacrifice (decision to do means also decision not to do something else until the thing is done) and then action.

Finding the Positive in the Negative

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A reflective post about acquiring new, more constructive and positive thoughts.

Often by default we do not have the optimum thoughts, no matter how smart we think we are. We are our own programmers, so we write our own destiny, even though much of what we have running inside us is also adopted from the environment and upbringing for example.

However what would happen, if something went wrong or will go wrong along the way? Unless we learn the skill of unlearning bad thinking patterns, and replacing them with more skillful ones we are likely going to end up suffering a lot.

One such thinking pattern that I’ve had to confront in my life recently has to do with abundance.

About a year ago I read this book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Yet now as I’ve listened thoughts about the book through podcasts, I’ve understood that I remember quite a little from the book. I revisited my notes and I got excited: I have to read this book again. So what I did yesterday on Sunday was to purchase Audible edition, put the speed on 1.7X and listened almost the whole book in one sitting and made meticulous notes as the author himself was reading the book for me. This was absolutely brilliant way to spend my time, because on this time I picked up very much different things than on the first reading.

On the first time I read the book about a year ago there was literally too much to handle at a one time. We can only process one thought at a time anyway, so it wouldn’t make much sense to do more. On this time thought I was able to focus more on the content and how to apply it than during the first time.

Especially interesting concept are the upper limit problems, the kind of subconscious thinking through which we (our own ego) starts sabotaging us. This is also outlined in the book: Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday and widely in psychology as well. Idea is that, we are rather in familiar hell than unknown heaven. Our ego is afraid, and that’s why we would sabotage ourselves.

This is also the reason why Winston Churchill said that courage is the primary virtue, because nothing would happen if we would stay crippled by fear. In the book Hendricks quotes Fitz Perls that fear is excitement without breath and suggests that cure for fear is simply start breathing.

I picked up the success / abundance / love mantra that was introduced in the book, however what I found particularly useful was the thought that whenever something perhaps undesired happens, is to view it as just so that something wonderful must be happening. This is based on the idea that we are sabotaging ourselves, because we have reached an upper limit where we cannot ourselves to enjoy the good fortune. Therefore right place to shift the attention is to wonder what kind of wonderful things are going to happen next.

Win Your Fears Quickly

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Today I realized that when I win my fears quickly, life is awesome. Quickly means without a delay and without a delay means right now. When there is no delay there is also no time to suffer about anything.

I cannot believe how much of my life I’ve wasted over being afraid something could happen and then letting that fear cripple me – even when what I feared never very likely happened. Fearing causes world to shrink and pain inside us.

Fear is meant to keep us safe and it does that rather well. However when it is about mental dimensions of present day social life, not many of the perceived fears are not real.

In society there are also people who are ready to exploit the fear to a direction and another. From personal standpoint it is important to notice where do the fears are baseless and when there is a justified reason. If we can do this separation we are going to be alright and we shouldn’t stick with our fears too long. Winning fears quickly before they take a root is a good habit that builds up courage and joy in your life!

Tiny Action

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Action is over- and underappreciated word.

Overappreciated as in action without consideration, thought or end in mind.

Underappreciated as in thought without action. Action remains just a word, instead of verb in action.

There is the middle way: thinking, without thinking too much and doing, without doing too much.

My personal fault lies mostly in thinking too much and doing too little. Thus I see this quality in others as well emphasized. And it might be that I am too blind to my own actions that are mindless, so I cannot even name them yet. With a bit of thinking, I think there is indeed also this mindless action in play.

The more I’ve studied about habits and applied what I’ve learned to my life, I am amazed to discover these tiny pockets of time all around me. More efficient actions (=habits) create more time and space. What used require effort, do not any longer. Thus taking action becomes easier.

With habits also the cost of starting doing something (which I feel is immense). Have you tried to start a work out after a long work day? That’s only difficult if you do not already have the neural circuitry in your mind to fire of and start doing it. When you’ve the network however, it will automatically flare up and you will start the work out when you just find the right triggers for that.

The difference between habit and a separate action decision is huge. Habits have little to none starting cost, they trigger automatically. Decisions to do something have tremendous starting cost and when we are tired and hungry we are less likely going to make any good decisions.

Therefore life consists of making these tiny decisions right through the days, these will ensure sufficient energy when we need it the most.

We need tiny action everyday to start building momentum for the bigger decisions and challenges.

 

Now is the Time to Be What You Can Be

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In short I’ve fallen for stoicism. During the January I’ve re-read two books on stoicism: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday. Also currently I am reading Ego is the Enemy and I will read the Daily Stoic.

Stoicism is a practical and applied philosophy of a virtuous life. If you cannot practice the thought or virtue, it’s not stoicism. Being a stoic means having inner dialogue, finding what you are in control of and then living the best life you can from there with no complaints about the circumstances or about results. Stoicism is about action, not about attaching to the rewards.

Living the best you can in the present, because stoic recognizes life is only in the present. Nobody can change the past, however with the action in the present we create future. Nor does stoic gets attached to the future – everything goes to the plan because we are creating the plan every moment as we go. Stoic cannot be thus harmed by ill will, because stoic turns any obstacle into opportunity or dies trying.

Literally stoic recognizes the shortness of life: memento mori – remember you are mortal.

It’s only now time to be what you can be. It’s now when you should start not only being, but start the doing. Be the doing you can be!

I decided to modify the words of Gandhi: Do the change you want to see in the world. Doing is being, do not just talk, start doing something about what you want! In the end we never cannot be still to long, we are never complete, perfection is just a day dream. Excellence is what we should pursue. Excellence means the best we are capable of with the given time and resources. We do not need to commit overly too much resources, that would be foolish, yet we need just enough to create excellence, the best possible solution.

Excellence requires letting go and yet finding ways to fulfill the need completely. Excellence is the practice of virtues. Every day we become what we can be if we practice excellence. The time to practice excellence is now!

Transforming the Energies and Identity to a More Mature Form

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Wow what an interesting topic! I am so excited about life. Recently I’ve been attracted to things which have very positive energy. Although I cannot see energy, I think everyone can feel or sense the energy of others somehow.

I believe we are attracted to the people that somehow have the energy level that we either desire or otherwise are in harmony with.

My knowledge is based on just a few different books and personal experiences. However, the topic of personal energies and the idea that our identity is somehow connected to the energy that we are projecting outwards is tremendously exciting topic to me.

There is energy all around us. When we do something (=work), we certainly use energy. However, energy does not disappear it just changes a form. Energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed. In the same way what we choose to do, our decisions, our personality, our very identity creates and transforms energy.

What makes this part very difficult is that we cannot really measure these changes is energy, so therefore from scientific point of view we are on a very thin ice. We cannot measure the mind either.

We cannot measure ourselves.

Yet we can have tremendous impact on the visible world. We can measure our own doing thought. And if we keep track of our own results, perhaps we can track what is “good” and what is “bad” for us from personal identity stand point as well. Although the problem here is the timeframe: often what is good in the short run, is not the same as longer time frame.

We are all born with infantile energies, and we must work to transform this energies into a more mature form. This could be called spiritual or intellectual evolution. Often the process of transformation requires a guide, a wise man or woman. These are the passages of the ancients.

In the modern world we have less and less such passages in order to transform the energies, so we are increasingly left to our own devices, our means to transform our personal identities to work to a higher level.

For as long as we live, I believe we either must work within ourselves, or when we achieve the maturity, we must start guiding others. First steps would be to identify what would be truly mature and skillful level of operation. Then we should accept our present state and start sublimating the energy.

A good book, I recommend starting out, written especially from the masculine point of view is: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine.

Today I began to read this book for a second time and picked out a few important ways to recognize the archetypes we are running in our minds and then to shape them into a more mature version. Here are some tools which you can use to transform your energies into a more mature:

  • Meditation
  • Psychotherapy
  • Active imagination

Full list is provided in the book for those further interested.

On the path of growth, perhaps most important abilities are the ability to read and think critically. In this way you will find better quality information for your personal transformation. So then you may transform your whole very being into a more mature, responsible adult, whose destiny is like that of all living beings. Yet our lives have a purpose and we may touch the lives of many before we perish!

Keep on sublimating!

Janne