Don’t Let the Limits Bother You

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Creativity blossoms out of limits.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

Excuses are form of our own thoughts limiting our own actions. Let go of excuses.

Beliefs what is or is not possible is a form of limitation. Do not let beliefs hold you back, look to open up possibilities.

What we have achieved before, does not mean something is impossible. It has just merely been done before. Do not let past, history limit you.

What others think you can or cannot do, is not necessarily accurate judgement. Do not let others determine what you can or cannot do. You know yourself best and if you think you have a chance, try it out.

Do not let the limits bother you, even if there are limits, seek to build bridges in between. You will find more strength and are able to summon unexpected strength and creativity. Limits are the construction material for greatness.

Do not listen (too much)

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For long time I used to think that listening is my strength.

Then I read a book[1]  and there was a note that perhaps listening too much is not so good idea. Not a good idea because there is a lots of all kinds of stories that we are playing over and over again and most of these stories we are playing unconsciously to others and to ourselves. Mostly we are unconscious about this, until either we or someone else makes us aware of this.

In everyday life our minds are too busy to become aware of ourselves, unless we set out to do deliberately through practices such as mindfulness, yoga or meditation.

The constant playback of the stories means we are being influenced and also influencing our environment in unexpected ways. To others listening, it means we are rather boring.

And to listen others too intently means also to allow those same stories to begin to play in our heads. That’s why it is better not to listen (too) seriously and too much.

 

[1] Sisäinen tuli by Jari Sarasvuo

Why Easier Life?

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”This or that would make my life easier and that would be nice…”

This kind of comments are not so rare. Yet I do not understand why people wish easier life. Life already tends to make itself easier, people are working at it every day. Human beings are lazy by nature, so our environment gets “easier” for sure.

Question is, should we desire easier life?

As Bruce Lee put it, we shouldn’t wish for an easy life, but the strength to live a difficult one.

Instead of wishing to play on easy mode, be grateful of what you have and then ask what it is you can develop today to get better at it.

What We Focus on Grows

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What we focus on grows, this is such a powerful thought! Essentially anything that we give our attention to strengthens. Anything we put our conscious thoughts, will grow stronger.

I.e. if we feed our thoughts about tiredness, those thoughts will strengthen. In the same way, if we focus to what has gone well, we positive feelings that come through it amplify and will last longer.

Applying this to the real world: how much positive feedback do you give? Precise actions and numbers please! I noticed some weeks back, how easy it is for us to think the feedback as something mainly negative to give when something goes wrong. I met some other passengers on the bus that only intended to give complaints.

Woken up by the thought I thought I must also try to give more positive feedback on every possible occasion. Positive feedback strengthens and grows that which works. Naturally strengthening what works is a far better approach than nagging about what doesn’t work.

In fact a good tip that I just picked up from the How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Caernegie is to always praise first. Of course the point is to find genuine praise, which is possible by learning to find things that are genuinely praise worthy.

That which we focus on strengthens. We will find more positive if we direct our attention through the positive.

Super Productivity of a Team

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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.

The Climb

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Getting a thing done is easy: do until its’ done.

It requires patience, persistence and determination and even collaboration depending on the size of the project. If we are however long enough persistent, anything can be accomplished.

Today I asked myself a question: what keeps us from persisting? This question I couldn’t answer.

However slightly more personal “what keeps me from persisting?” I could.

Answer was suffering.

I would rather not suffer, I would rather be comfortable and feel nice than to get the something done, from which is no guarantee to be completed.

While the slow climb up might be tough, at least I am moving up. Falling down might feel comfortable for a while, until I hit the rock bottom.

 “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one”― Bruce Lee

In my life the both professional work and creative efforts are challenging me, sometimes I feel adversity, even suffering. I try to think of it as bliss, because adversity and challenge makes me stronger. Through adversity, we become conditioned to the difficult climb and eventually as we reach top, we forget how strong we’ve become on the way. Gravity has crushed many on the way, but only those we are willing to endure the difficult long enough persisted.

The climb is not easy, air gets thinner, slope gets icy, winds grow strong and climb gets slower.

Yet what does remain? The process: process of moving up, no matter how slow. I know as long as this process is going on, I will be climbing up.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
― Calvin Coolidge