Finding What’s Really Important

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Past is past, we should accept that and move on.

Future has yet to come, we shouldn’t worry about it too much.

What we are left with is the present. Using the present moment in smart ways to do important things is the one key skill that we need in life. We need to have the capacity i.e. courage and social skills to have the difficult discussions for example.

Time flows. Experience is of the time is relative. We if we feel pleasure our focus is in that and the flow of time seems quicker. If we feel pain the experience of time slows down.

It’s our abilities to identify the critically important things, in smaller and smaller chunks and then do that which is most important and get that done that makes our time spent feel very meaningful.

In fact it doesn’t involve a lot of work, but a lot of prioritization skill. Also with prioritization it’s very easy to think that doing this or that. However, have you ever considered are these the actual tasks that need to be done? Skillful people learn to recognize and break down the tasks that actually need to be done, instead of just looking and retaining the status quo, they challenge it completely.

Often the tasks that are at hand can be broken down into further tasks that are actually important.

Your Goals are Team Effort

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All great individuals have teams behind them. In fact when it comes to this, there are no great individuals at all, they are all part of the team.

To me this has taken almost three decades to realize and see, and to start grasping the true meaning of a team.

In western culture the individual seems to get attention in media for example and this creates false sense of what really made this possible. However, there are good examples too: credits of the movies for example or the acknowledgements in books, these both are eye opening to the number of people involved and gives slight hint of how much work and thought is behind a complete product.

In scientific research these are the references. We all are standing on the shoulders of the giants.

Whatever worthwhile you want to achieve, i.e. your purpose, your goals etc. You need a team. Whatever worthwhile you achieve is because of the team.

Be grateful.

Have a great day!

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.

* * *

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

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.

Making a Difference

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 Do you want to matter? I bet you do, many of would like to. Only few of us are willing to challenge ourselves to do it.

Our energy saving programming drives us to do this.

Yet our conscious desire and ambition should every day do something to challenge this status quo of energy saving. We should push ourselves consciously, in order to make sure we are getting most of our lives and that we are making the life better for generations to come.

Yesterday I was under the tutelage of Jari Sarasvuo again in the form of coaching session. Well a good teacher makes all the topics worthwhile going through again. He asked me why do we need to grow?

Spontaneously I answered something, yet missed the core and that’s okay. What was wonderful is that my mind continues to work with that thought “why do we need to grow.” Actually I’ve written about it in February (Why to Grow?) last time. Yet the mark of the master is everyday start to ask the same questions and furthermore drill deeper in to the nature of things.

So this is as always, a kind of continuation to the last thing, every time getting slightly deeper.

Jari said that growth is what separates us from animals, we are the conscious animal and I agree on that.

Yet at the same time, I gotta same time remind that we are an animal. We may have 40 bits per second of conscious bandwidth, but most of us are not using much of it all during day. Adults are mostly operating by our routines and habits.

Here comes the important point: CHALLENGE YOURSELF.

I’ve written about this too. Last time during summer when I was traveling: Challenge Yourself and Survive. Without the challenge, pattern and routine breakers we gravitate to the center of our comfort zones.

Actually the ability to break patterns is at the moment in my mind the most important skill in leadership, no matter are you leading yourself or others. Even in basic things such as conversations, the ability to break the common patterns is the sign of leadership.

With pattern breakers, the common becomes uncommon, it becomes meaningful and that makes all the difference.

Also real difference and progress is made only when we grow. When we grow to handle our emotional responses; made peace and traveled through the vastness of space. Then have made a difference.

Janne

P.s. Because life is so limited, we also should ask regularly what does matter? Are these results meaningful? In the core of the triple loop learning is not only asking are we doing the things right, or are we doing the right things, but to contemplate on what is right as well. Staying humble and asking questions, because humility unlocks the next level (Model for Long Lasting Happiness).

Capacity Matters

 

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Today I was reflecting that I am happier when I’ve meaningful work to do, than when I do not. I do not mind the work to get it done.

People make the work meaningful, all the people involved, especially those who I work for the most of the time.

What I like about working, is that it builds the capacity to work more. During last summer I noticed, that both my mental and physical stamina are at surprisingly good levels. Then I started to ponder how this came to be, and mostly I came to the conclusion that it has to be not only the physical exercise and small things I do each, but the mental exercise as well.

Work builds capacity. And above all it’s the capacity that matters.

If I were suddenly taken into less challenging work, it would start deteriorating and in few months I would already be in position where I cannot the old.

I think capacity matters, especially if you ambition matter. And I do think that we all have or should have a purpose that for which challenging ourselves matter and therefore our capacity matters. We shouldn’t settle for just anything, we shouldn’t lower our standards, but to keep challenging our capacity.

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.

Living Meaningful Life

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Living full life to me means much of the time and energy is focused to action, movement, doing something meaningful and then taking care that there is enough energy in both short and long term.

In between the action and movement, I’ve inbuilt moments for quiet pause as well. These pauses can be either meditation, just stopping in front of mirror and dropping the worries of the life for a moment or taking a short walk. Often the sacred time is the mornings and evenings, when I am with my journals.

Through every day experiences I try to record as much what I am going through as possible. If I’ve particular concern, I might use my previous journals and knowledge to reflect upon the issue as I’ve already dealt with similar situations, there is often a lot of buried wisdom that I’ve forgotten.

If nothing else, when the weekend when I don’t have any particular plans comes up, I get super excited. There is mountains full of information on my computer that I am ready to reflect and contemplate upon. Often time this contemplation reads to further study and research and compiling of the already learned wisdom into a new kinds of formats.

Today was Sunday, and I had a day for my favorite reflection. There is nothing like revisiting my current goals and purpose to question their relevance. Today I found out that many of my priorities have changed since the past year and a half. I clarified my current priorities in satisfying manner.

As we never have time for everything, yet we have always time for the most important things. It’s alright to revisit the priorities and goals as well. For priorities I recommend a three category system critical, big, small, which I use.

  • Critical priorities are things worth sacrificing for, virtues and values that are not up for negotiating.
  • Big categories are the important things in my life.
  • Small category is the things that are nice, they come last after the big categories are done each day.

I realized that our purpose should be at the top of the critical category, because our purpose makes us immortal in a sense. When we are living our purpose, we do not fear death. My second priority is good health, so that I may live up to the purpose. As third I list metta (loving kindness), which again guides how I do things.

Big categories are more every day, where I’ve again prioritized learning and results over people and selfless service over positive cashflow. Final item on the list is a reminder to love myself too, which is a tendency that although should be included in metta, is easily forgotten.

Small category has things I enjoy: salsa, games and red wine.

To my surprise overall number of items on my list has gotten smaller. Above all it means I managed to combine many of the qualities I appreciate. I think that having less priorities is better if we consider focus and focus is good for the results. I’ve more time for the most important things and I feel like I am progressing more.

And I think you should clarify your most important things too: think what really matters in your life and what do you feel meaningful. You have only one lifetime to live, so cut out things that do not further your purpose.

Anticipate Needs, Accept and Fulfill Them

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Life becomes very satisfying when we realize that our needs are met through other people. We are often too blind for our own needs, we simply live our own life every day and thus cannot see the bigger picture very well. Other people we meet on the other hand can start to see a lot better than ourselves the ways what do we rebeally need in life.

It is through others that we can satisfy our needs at high levels.

I want to add, that we may have the wisdom about ourselves to know the difference between a need and a want. We may even understand that we do not need much. It’s about there where our understanding about the needs tend to get blurred. Often our greatest needs are social needs, because we are really social beings.

As example, much of the feeling of safety comes from group and society. Feeling of belonging as well. Even feeling of meaning and purpose: doing good to others and to the whole society at large.

When we become good at anticipating needs of others and also our own our life becomes meaningful. Our purpose literally becomes anticipating and fulfilling the needs of others at high levels.

When we operate at high levels, there is playfulness, curiosity, experimentation and exploration! We want to improve our societies, we want to live exciting happy lives.

Yesterday when I watched Elon Musk talk about Making Life Multiplanetary I see that he is working from what do we need or even must do as a species in order to increase the odds of basic survival and safety.

Elon Musk has anticipated the need, as has many others. Anyone who has anticipated and accepted the need starts to talk about the importance of doing something, in order to find collaborators to find a way to fulfill the need. Then there are those who are resourceful enough find the people and with limited resource start to work towards fulfilling the need. Eventually they will succeed.

Whatever it is a big or small need, in our own lives or in the lives of others. Try to anticipate, accept and fulfill them. Be a good stoic and you won’t be disappointed.

Best Parts of Life Are Unknown Before They Are Known

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This phrase keeps coming to my mind. Whatever it is growth, learning or leadership, we often need to have the courage to face the unknown, a life without any assurances.

By unknown I mean that something that is unknown to us. Meaning we do not have personally experience with that. If we do not personally experience something we cannot really know what is anything like, no matter how hard we try.

Try simulating weightlessness (microgravity) for example? In a pool we might get pretty close, yet that is pretty far away from the actual experience.

Only way really to know is to see ourselves, to experience by ourselves. Only by getting to know the unknown for as long as we live, we can have more accurate sense of reality. We need to go towards the unknown to know what life has in for us.