Quiet Contemplation on Decisions

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On occasion it’s good to have no structure and enjoy the chaotic connections and insights that arise. In order to prioritize we must determine and decide what is important. For that the time to reflect and weigh different options is necessary.

It seems I need to spend at least a day of a week in this kind of quiet and reflective in order to stay operational and to be able to function.

Life is rather easy if we think about it: we just need to prioritize spiritual, social and physical wellbeing and then when the time to do something comes, we are able.

Yet a life of growth is a bit different, because we are not facing the same challenges every day, instead we are facing progressively more difficult challenges.

Stress challenges our mind, body and spirit, and with rest all these grow stronger. Rest is much more than sleep: in physical terms it’s also everything that maintains our body. Our mind also needs healing: thinking practices, social bonding and emotional intimacy. Our spirit needs also nourishing: from social life and spiritual practices.

If we each day and week face increasingly more difficult challenges, how come we spend so little time to prepare for such?

I feel that we have plenty of time to prepare if we do it economically, each day a little bit. To do it economically only thing we really need to do is to keep doing the practices and reinforce the decisions we have made for example to exercise, meditate and socialize with friends and loved ones. Quiet contemplation lets us to appreciate and feel grateful for everything good we have in our lives and to work for those most important things even harder.

Life is Less About the Individual and More About the Collective Achievement


Anything great or worthwhile, is not an individual effort. Anything worthwhile isn’t certainly worthwhile to be doing alone. Anything important, is not worth doing alone.

I’ve lived a long time under the illusion of individualism. Although I thought I saw some of the connections, too little on much of it.

On 2015 when I began reading systematically more books, I paid attention more to the  acknowledgements parts of the books. What kept amazing me was that there were so many people who these authors thanked and for great reasons.

Same goes for movie credits, and that often just begins to reference to the original story which then again has come alive through ideas which come from relationships. Collective effort.

It’s therefore unskillful to think that individual does anything in this world.

Humans are hyper social beings, we are born and alive thanks to the collective effort and thus all of our achievements are in part thanks to those who came before us.

The Happiness Equation: book highlights


Out of 34 books I’ve read this year and out of 36 that I read last year, there are few gems in there. Among all the books, one that makes almost any day better for me is the Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha.

Yesterday I reviewed my notes thoroughly and they made me so deep impact that I ought to share the main points with you today.

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future”

Life is happening now, we must learn to be present is the present for a reason. To be more present, mindfulness is a good practice it makes us happy and success follows happiness. Be happy first.

Distractions in life are major obstacles for happiness. Like we are in the present, we shouldn’t focus to external goals, but to internal drivers. Internal motivation is a driver of excellence. Happy people do things, because they are happy and interested about doing things.

While external motivations can get ourselves distracted, it is only our own judgements and criticism that often makes us discouraged and sad.

Buddha says, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Be happy first, and start with yourself. You are worthy of attention, love and affection. We cannot control most of what happens in life, however we can control how we react to it.

So now we have the groundwork covered. Next is the difficult part: the purpose, the work and social life. To put it shortly, we are social animals and we need social context. We should work in something where we can increase our collective happiness. As it is pointed out: giving is the simply best way to increase your own happiness. Doing good for others.

We need to stay active with the giving and kindness as well, here we get to the purpose or what is described in the book as ikigai. Never retire, what you do not use you lose: this applies to happiness, your brain and your health as well.

Like Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

I ought to read the whole book again soon and I recommend it to you too.

Be You With Your Strengths


The lesson that has taken me to about thirty years to internalize has been the “it’s okay to be me.”

My unique tendencies, such as introversion, combined with my keen curiousness towards learning about a bit about everything had me to think that such preferences are “too out of the normal.”

Yet what is normal anyway? Watching TV? Parties?

As I’ve grown older I’ve bit by bit understood to embrace these tendencies, as they’ve made me wiser in the process.

Normal, or ordinary people do not put much effort to their personal growth at all. They say they do not have “time to read”, or even “interest.”

Yet in the world, there is a lot of people who are interested in such intellectual pursuits and use all their time and energy very carefully around both learning and action. Gradually as I’ve learned that it’s these people that are far more interesting to me in any way, that my life has been filled more with meaning and purpose.

A breakthrough for me has been to understand what thoughts or feelings to follow, and what not. Most of the thoughts and feelings that are really just about instant gratification, I should not relate much with. This reflects very well what majority of people do. Therefore it makes it very challenging to resist desserts, or caffeine for example. Following these thoughts is not therefore very advantageous for me, therefore this is something I would rather be not, even though these thoughts might be once in a while in my head.

The thoughts and feelings about delayed gratification might sometimes be almost as strong as the impulses about instant gratification. Often these are battling against the consensus of the group for example, even in mundane situations such as “should we take a stairs or the elevator” – for example. In these cases I would feel inclined to take the stairs (in Finland there is not many tall buildings ) to keep up my daily step goals and above all my health.

Socially explaining some of these inclinations has been the awkward part for me. This is because the delayed gratification feelings might be and feel obvious to me, yet verbalizing them might take time and I might not even specifically remember how was it. I would need to consult some sort of memory aid and all of the sudden the situation has gone past already. So what has been in the background has been that I’ve felt the desire to do the right things, yet haven’t felt secure to do so previously in my life. Presently I don’t feel such pressures as I’ve learned to handle the social situations.

In my case the major block to utilize my strengths has been mainly psychological inability to articulate and then go to a feeling of shame instead of some more productive feeling. Basis of overcoming these disadvantageous moments that I’ve had has been the self-acceptance thought.

I wish to see the strengths and above all the potential in everyone, so therefore I hope you can learn something from this example.

How Rejections Help Us to Grow



In order to grow, we need to step out of our comfort zone. And why don’t we do it? Well one big reason are our fears. Especially in the social circumstances there is the strong fear called fear of rejection.

We humans are social creatures, we long for social connection. Most of the good stuff happens with other people like going to the moon or mars or playing in a rock band. Even better it is when we get to perform in a rock band in front of audiences. We long for social connection.

As an example: easiest way to meet new people and build connections is to open your mouth at every opportunity and say something. You could start small, but say something!

This is also very scary part that requires not only courage, but also something else to keep going. In how to develop courage I already outlined some tips to get more courage.

To keep going, we must see the rejection itself as part of the path, as it is. Babe Ruth said “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

Even more importantly he said “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from coming up to bat.”

Seeing the rejection as a process towards the success helps us to carry on and keep challenging ourselves to venture out to the uncomfort zone, slowly but surely. Without stepping in to the uncomfort zone, there is no growth and if there is no growth there is either stagnation or degradation, which are not really desirable options.

Facing the rejection not only can help us grow, it will.

Introversion in the age of extraversion


In this age of extroversion, it’s not always easy to be introvert. Despite the fact that extroverted ideal social and outgoing seems to be pop in both personal and professional worlds, I still see much hope for the introverts as well. This is particularly well highlighted in the Susan Cain’s book Quiet, where she brings out several examples how indeed introverts have always been part of the society just in the quiet ways.

Since human beings are hyper social herd animals, we are craving for social life, some degree of social life. Once the basic level of safety in the social hierarchy has been established our personal tendencies kick in.

For me in example, over most people, I prefer to be alone. Being alone is a choice for me most of the time due to many factors. In a sense I am jealous a bit of more extroverted people who actually have that kind of energy to go around and meet so many people, I would feel exhausted. I still occasionally meet new people, but only with a select I feel like I have the energy to contribute to get to know on a deeper level.

Some connections feel so superficial that I would rather read a book. Yet accepting these feelings has been a challenge. During the years I’ve read a lots regarding to the topic of introversion and one of my favorite advises comes from the book “Networking for people who hate networking”, and it is quite simply: reserving time for yourself from your own calendar.

Essentially the justification to have time for ourselves is important, we are more important than the superficial connections we would miss out if that is the way we feel.

What’s Our Potential in Social Era?

YouTube_logoYesterday I learned about the Pewdiepie and his popularity online. It’s huge. I studied a bit him in Wikipedia and he seems like really likeble and genuine personality who is operating the kind of social cause through what he does best. Big thumbs up.

Then I researched a bit about the other Youtube stars, if you wanna follow the same path this is good place to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG0hh2b3Ejw. To me only other known ones were Vsauce and Ryan Higa.

Youtube as a media is really exciting to me now, because it seems that there is so much potential! It looks like int he social era the genuine and persistent people get a lots of freedom in return for their initial courage. Common denominator seems to be the desire to share and help, as well as the enjoying the process of whatever they are doing.

At this point I gotta say that past ten years my mind has changed quite radically. I guess thats a good thing, because it shows that I’ve been learning something. I admit that I am really excited about the Youtube as a channel of expression. Actual potential manifests after creation, before that try to apply the intent of creation towards the above mentioned virtues: doing something you enjoy doing and sharing that to help others.