15 Thought Provoking Quotes and Book Recommendations

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Line taken from its original context may be surprisingly curiosity arousing, thought provoking or even misleading. Fifteen lines from some of my favorite books:

  1. Sugar is cancer” – Tom Rath, Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes
  2. Everybody is in sales.” – Daniel Pink, To Sell Is Human
  3. Everybody works on straight commission.” – Brian Tracy, The Science of Money: How to Increase Your Income and Become Wealthy
  4. There are leaders and there are those who lead.” – Simon Sinek, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
  5. Ask no more or less of anyone than you would of your own child.” – Bob Chapman,  Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family
  6. What if optimism is a learned skill, one that can be permanently acquired?” – Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
  7. Spend your free time the way you like , not the way you think you’re supposed to .” – Susan Cain Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
  8. There’s a common belief that creativity flourishes when criticism is withheld, but this turns out to be false.” – Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
  9. You can’t extinguish a bad habit , you can only change it.” Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change
  10. Once a person stops searching for information and self-knowledge, ignorance sets in” –  Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!
  11. We give too many fucks when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend.” – Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
  12. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship in your life.” – Neil Pasricha, The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything
  13. One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring him joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
  14. People often experience big breakthroughs… and then find a way to avoid relishing their achievement.” – Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level
  15. Stop asking what’s in it for you and start giving gifts that change people.” – Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future

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 🙂

Learning Begins With Ignorance

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Life is a learning experience, about the world and about ourselves. About ourselves, not everything is not revealed even during lifetime. Thinking about this: even though we are with ourselves, yet we barely can comprehend this.

If we cannot know ourselves fully through lifetime, how can we expect to do so about others, or about our environment?

Learning begins when we acknowledge our ignorance or the lack of understanding. It’s often about the things we take pride in, that we have to admit that we do now know much at all. If we can do this in healthy manner we can rise to a higher level, where again eventually we will face the place where we have to admit to our own ignorance.

Where ever there is ignorance, there is also potential for learning.

Learning to admit our own ignorance is one really useful skill to have and to recognize.  Ignorance is often focusing on one kind of thinking and shutting down the other possibilities. Total openness and awareness about the possibilities could be at the other end of the spectrum.

For the word ignorance, antonyms are for example understanding, intelligence, education or wisdom.

More important than absolute states I think is the direction which we are going to: is it opening or closing. Enabling possibilities or shutting down possibilities.

Learning means progress and thus increasing liberties. Ignorance means satisfying what is and shutting off possibilities.

However, we learn the quickest when we recognize the ignorant thought patterns in our lives, accept them and then we can start to notice that over there is actually a lot to learn!

Practical Philosophy

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In my early twenties I was suffering in life and I did not have tools to deal with it. I had tried praying for change and miracles, without any results.

After years of doing what is not going to work, I finally realized, I might just as well open my mind to something new.

So instead of praying for what I wanted, I tried to typing that to google. I began to look for tools to deal with my problems.

That was important starting point, because I had started acknowledging my life and the problems.

What I found out, was that there had been this guy called Gautama, who had been already about 2500 years ago been thinking similar stuff and he had come up with this very practical insight on how to deal with suffering of life. Gautama’s insight was four noble truths his tool noble eightfold path.

Ever since 2009 I’ve been contemplating on the noble eightfold path and I still find it compelling: I find it as a compass for my life.