Pressure Reveals Ourselves and the Culture We Are Surrounded by.


We can become that which we learn to be under pressure. By observing our thoughts, we can change our response, we can change our action and we can change our habits. We can change ourselves to take smarter action under pressure.

We can become smarter by taking smarter actions.

Top performers perform better under pressure, because they have more time to choose a better response. So can anyone become better at chosen action is the responses are better and you have more time to respond.

Pressure reveals how prepared we are, and how do we react to the pressure: do we have time to evaluate the best choices or do we mindlessly react like animals do?

More than ourselves, the way we react reflects the culture around us. For those who are in the culture, it is difficult to see. From outside its easier to observe that under pressure our behavior is often based or even copied from those who are close to us.

Pressure therefore not only reveals ourselves, it reveals the culture we are surrounded by.

Of course we do influence and get influenced by culture at the same time. What is in our own control is the respond to each situation and that’s it. Do you breathe for four seconds before reply or do you respond straight away? Do you have multiple choices or do you go with the first one that pop  into your heads.

Sleep, move, eat


Tom Rath has written a wonderful book titled Eat, Move, Sleep, it’s one of the best books I’ve read on wellbeing and if you have not read it, that would be the one book to read.

Today I amused myself with the thought that prioritizing sleep is important because once I am well rested I can respond better to almost anything! Up until to a point.

Sleep therefore deserves to be first. The second is a bit more difficult, but I would assume that if I first take care that I’ve rested well enough and I’ve empty fridge I guess I would have to move. The same would’ve applied to the hunter-gatherer example: if there is nothing to eat we need to move before we can eat.

Especially when we live the life of growth, the growth happens when we rest.

Be Calm and Prepare

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Calm and preparation make life to seem to be under our control. Of course even at best we have illusion of control, because life is way too big to be controlled. We at (best) can control our own impulses and responses to what life throws at us.

The calm and the preparation both help us to choose even better responses. And what makes life wonderful are those best thought out responses to whatever happens!

If we are calm, we have all the time in the world to make the right decisions.

If we are prepared, we are never in a hurry because we already are prepared and ready to go.

The sense of calm comes ability to see the reality as it is, not to take it too personally. In fact, the very nature is change between huger and huger forces at play so it’s just easier to remain calm because that’s the only thing we can control: how do we respond when everything comes crashing down.

We have to ability to remain calm and prepare for tomorrow, until sadly the tomorrow one day doesn’t come. Yet if we are calm and in control of ourselves we should have a lot of fun while at it. While others depress or worry, we remain calm and enjoy the life as it is!

Choose Your Response Carefully!


A bit of continuation to the mature response -blog from last week.

That topic was in retrospect a big hit for myself, because by writing that I had prepared myself for rejection what followed the next day. Now I was ready to deal with it in mature way, because I had just revisited the notes and what it means to respond maturely. Despite knowing and remembering some of this, I have to say that dealing with rejection in personal relationships is never easy.

Even in professional life: sales and marketing people face rejection several or even dozens of times per day it’s not easy even though there it’s not so personal. Rejection hurts.

Here we come to the part what we are actually able to control: our response to the outside impulse. Separation between an animal and a conscious being is the ability to delay the time in between impulse and response. We have the ability to choose our response. This so called last of human freedoms is what many philosophies including stoicism teaches us.

Today I realized that choosing means that there are usually several different options for us to consider. Several paths, from which we can always choose the best suited path for our purposes.

How long can you take in between impulse and response? Try taking a moment of your time.

Usually the powerful have the time to be quiet and think before reply. Do you recognize the feeling?

Be responsible, choose your response carefully!

Mature Response


I read King, Warrior, Magician, Lover and The King Within to support my contemplation on maturity and what does that actually means. It’s clear that not all old people are mature, or all the mature people are old.

Maturity has to do with a quite a different thing than age. It’s more about how do you respond to outside stimuli. Jari Sarasvuo put it very well: “maturity is impulse control.” He further adds that it is either that you cannot be and express yourself or you cannot control your impulses.

Mature response to outside stimuli is to create a win out of everything that happens to you. It’s not only that ability to see and create it, however it’s ability to see the bright side in everything.

World is providing abundant possibilities for us to build the character we want to be, it is up to us to start shaping ourselves through responding more maturely through action and effort.

Observe your emotions and tell me what do you see? Do you see fear, insecure or perhaps it is anger or lust? Whatever emotions you have, does not mean you are those emotions.

We all are incomplete and immature to a degree. Yet the fact that we feel something, doesn’t mean we are something. What we feel we are not. We may still choose how do we act on these feelings.

I.e. I may feel jealous, however once I recognize that it is up to me what to do with this feeling and the energy. Do I put it to work on my own virtue or do I waste it on useless things to feel better or to put it in effort of resentment of others, which does not lead to anyone’s goodness.

Emotions are energy to be used for fuel of our virtue. Mature response is to sublimate whatever you may feel, into something greater for the good of others. If you can keep doing this, you will live the virtuous true and nothing in the world can stop you from enjoying and living a happy life. You are in fact building one for yourself through responding and shaping what the world throws at you.

Whatever the world throws at you, make something good out of it! Take everything as a gift, add you thing to it and give it further 🙂

Examples for such mature response and action would be in my case writing, meditation,  exercise, work or connecting with loved ones.  You will always find ways to channel the setbacks into a virtuous action and if you keep at this long enough, you good things will follow to your life.

Have a great evening!


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.

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


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?

Your Emotional State is in Your Control


Human beings are emotional creatures, emotions are contagious. In the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor there was the two minute rule: the dominant emotion after two minutes will prevail in a group.

Because nothing worthwhile can be achieved by our own, we take part in social groups. It’s in these groups that emotions are more contagious than ever. In life business the emotional states affect the much desired results of a business and this of course isn’t good for the business.

These things being said, we are human & emotional creatures. We cannot turn off our emotions, so we have to accept that what we are and work from there. It turns out, as I have many times written we cannot choose how we feel, however we can choose how do we respond to it. Our total emotional life is dictated by our responses to different feelings.

Annoyances in life will occur. How we react depends on our own values, self-awareness, imagination, free will and conscience. We can identify our values, we can improve our self-awareness, we can use our imagination to explore alternative options, we have free will to decide otherwise…

When we are with others, we can choose what we bring to the table. We can choose the attitude with which we partake in the common effort. Use your imagination a bit, and think that you have a task to get completed, then you ask two different colleagues for help:

A reluctantly accept the job.

B enthusiastically accepts: “I do this and…

Try it yourself. Instead of just doing your work you add “and…”, you take the work further without asking. If you do this consistently and thus challenge yourself and raise the bar you’ll get really good. The difficult becomes easy. Attitude matters.

We are all in service profession.

Why to bother with any of this? Love.

“Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”
― M. Scott Peck

Super Productivity of a Team


We do not achieve anything worthwhile just by ourselves. Life is a team work, and human being is a social being.

Recently I have been pondering what is the determining factor on how well we work with each other?

We are unique human beings with different strengths and qualities. Yet if we are given X and Y, why is the end result sometime 0,8, sometimes 1 and sometime more than one i.e. 1,2? I am talking about super productivity and what is behind that.

If our neutral state is one, what could be our enthusiastic, open, kind and cooperative state? I would say that would be 1,2. Then again when we are a reluctant, tired and selfish we our input in a group regresses to 0,8.

What factors of our own input are in our own control?

  • We cannot choose our feelings, we can choose how to respond to them. By choosing how to respond to emotions we can set our emotional state which is far more than just the whims of single emotions
  • We cannot choose our circumstances, however we can choose our attitude
  • We may not always decide who we are with, yet we can decide to be present and mindful

Great results are always the result of your best input: you can choose if your attunement , i.e. do you bring something to the table or take something from it.