Use Negative Swing to Create Positive Momentum

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Power of perspectives is so powerful, you can literally turn anything upside down and build upon the momentum. This applies in good and in bad. Usually people would rather have more of the good and less of the bad.

It’s completely within our power to decide how each event will serve us: is it a lesson or a burden. Masters find the lesson in everything and everyone. It’s sure to be there, if you look deep enough.

Then use those lessons to create habits.

Use those habits to create combinations of habits that shape your days.

Use those days to make your dreams reality.

What Does It Mean When You Not Ask Questions?

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Lack of questions signals that there is no interest. When I understood this a few days ago I felt shocked as indeed it’s in many cases easier not to ask anything than it is to ask. Sometimes I’ve also passed asking questions even though I’ve been curious about something, however I still haven’t bothered to open up my mouth.

Often the questions are more valuable than the actual answers.

Questions show that we are thinking.

Questions show that we care.

Questions are essential for learning.

Questions connect people.

When you do not ask questions you are not moving towards people, you are drifting apart.

Asking questions means building understanding, building happiness, building love and all that good stuff.

Full Ownership

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Ownership.

Responsibility.

The more of these two we have in our lives, the better our life starts to get. Especially if the ownership is paired with action to improve the thing. If the thing cannot be improved, then there is nothing much to worry about.

Today I made interesting association with the ownership. Taking ownership of the time: not complaining about the time, accepting and prioritizing based on that. It feels powerful. The idea once again comes from The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, where he explains the idea of Einstein time. Belief that we are the creators of our time and if we focus to that we will have more time in our hands.

As Seneca put it, we never have time for everything, yet we have time for the important things. This seems to be the golden rule in thinking about the time: what is important and what is not.

Ownership of the thoughts and the words that we let out transforms everything. It’s not irrelevant what we say or how we say it: because that does not only reinforce our own thinking but affects others as well.

Full ownership means having all the control we can have and it is the key in mastering the one time where we can affect things: present.

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.

Finding the Positive in the Negative

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A reflective post about acquiring new, more constructive and positive thoughts.

Often by default we do not have the optimum thoughts, no matter how smart we think we are. We are our own programmers, so we write our own destiny, even though much of what we have running inside us is also adopted from the environment and upbringing for example.

However what would happen, if something went wrong or will go wrong along the way? Unless we learn the skill of unlearning bad thinking patterns, and replacing them with more skillful ones we are likely going to end up suffering a lot.

One such thinking pattern that I’ve had to confront in my life recently has to do with abundance.

About a year ago I read this book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Yet now as I’ve listened thoughts about the book through podcasts, I’ve understood that I remember quite a little from the book. I revisited my notes and I got excited: I have to read this book again. So what I did yesterday on Sunday was to purchase Audible edition, put the speed on 1.7X and listened almost the whole book in one sitting and made meticulous notes as the author himself was reading the book for me. This was absolutely brilliant way to spend my time, because on this time I picked up very much different things than on the first reading.

On the first time I read the book about a year ago there was literally too much to handle at a one time. We can only process one thought at a time anyway, so it wouldn’t make much sense to do more. On this time thought I was able to focus more on the content and how to apply it than during the first time.

Especially interesting concept are the upper limit problems, the kind of subconscious thinking through which we (our own ego) starts sabotaging us. This is also outlined in the book: Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday and widely in psychology as well. Idea is that, we are rather in familiar hell than unknown heaven. Our ego is afraid, and that’s why we would sabotage ourselves.

This is also the reason why Winston Churchill said that courage is the primary virtue, because nothing would happen if we would stay crippled by fear. In the book Hendricks quotes Fitz Perls that fear is excitement without breath and suggests that cure for fear is simply start breathing.

I picked up the success / abundance / love mantra that was introduced in the book, however what I found particularly useful was the thought that whenever something perhaps undesired happens, is to view it as just so that something wonderful must be happening. This is based on the idea that we are sabotaging ourselves, because we have reached an upper limit where we cannot ourselves to enjoy the good fortune. Therefore right place to shift the attention is to wonder what kind of wonderful things are going to happen next.

Tiny Action

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Action is over- and underappreciated word.

Overappreciated as in action without consideration, thought or end in mind.

Underappreciated as in thought without action. Action remains just a word, instead of verb in action.

There is the middle way: thinking, without thinking too much and doing, without doing too much.

My personal fault lies mostly in thinking too much and doing too little. Thus I see this quality in others as well emphasized. And it might be that I am too blind to my own actions that are mindless, so I cannot even name them yet. With a bit of thinking, I think there is indeed also this mindless action in play.

The more I’ve studied about habits and applied what I’ve learned to my life, I am amazed to discover these tiny pockets of time all around me. More efficient actions (=habits) create more time and space. What used require effort, do not any longer. Thus taking action becomes easier.

With habits also the cost of starting doing something (which I feel is immense). Have you tried to start a work out after a long work day? That’s only difficult if you do not already have the neural circuitry in your mind to fire of and start doing it. When you’ve the network however, it will automatically flare up and you will start the work out when you just find the right triggers for that.

The difference between habit and a separate action decision is huge. Habits have little to none starting cost, they trigger automatically. Decisions to do something have tremendous starting cost and when we are tired and hungry we are less likely going to make any good decisions.

Therefore life consists of making these tiny decisions right through the days, these will ensure sufficient energy when we need it the most.

We need tiny action everyday to start building momentum for the bigger decisions and challenges.

 

Breakthroughs in Your Daily Actions

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“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.” – Upanishads

While there is connection between, thinking and talking, sometimes the connection between the talking and doing seems to be far away. In my mind the phrase “there are those who talk and those who do” lives strong. This despite the knowledge that while this may apply, it does not apply hundred percent, and that there are always exceptions to the exceptions.

Action is the only thing that does make thoughts and words visible and concrete. It is through work and action that great things get made.

Action then repeated often becomes a habit. With thinking combined, habit can improve drastically. You will of course improve a little by little over time which is nice. However, at times you are bound to reach also breakthroughs, at times you will reach a completely new level of doing and being.

Key with the actions and habits is that, you need to stick with them a particular amount of time for breakthroughs to happen.

Not only starting an action is the challenge, sticking with it until it becomes a habit and then keeping the small pressure to challenge yourself in order to gain small wins is the key. This is called character: something that becomes part of your identity. If you manage to do this you will reach breakthroughs in the ordinary things you’ve just kept long enough with.

We Have All That We Have

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We do not have anything more than the present. We do not have our past and certainly not our future.

Suffering is created by clinging either to the past or the future.

If we go to past or the future we are distancing ourselves from the present. This in turn creates a vicious cycle of suffering, because if we are going to past or the future, we will lose present again.

All that we have is now, the present. Present includes everything. Buddha understood this very well and he also understood about the thinking and action which leads to these results.

In addition to the present, our present mindfulness or our thinking is all that we have. In fact we are not our thinking, because we can observe our thinking. Yet only few of us consciously exercise this human superpower called ‘thinking critically what we are thinking.’

We shouldn’t let our thinking taint our present experience, because present is all that we have. We should come to accept what we have and be happy with that 🙂

What Service Are You Drawn to Do?

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There are actions which make everybody’s future better.

There are actions which make everybody’s futures worse.

Know these two, it’s easier to choose to put any extra energy to make the future better.

For longer time now, I’ve been drawn to writing. I’ve had to be rather internally motivated, because there has been very little extrinsic motivators. Or perhaps there has been, but I’ve haven’t been really interested in looking those up.

1,5 years ago as I was starting my writer journey, I got a piece of feedback & advice from authority figure: apparently my thinking and writing is clear, but the writers are not gonna get paid.

Well this didn’t bother me, as I hadn’t done it for the money in the first place. It still doesn’t bother me, because writing is just a way for me to crystallize thinking and share interesting and helpful ideas. External feedback is appreciated and the comments etc. are the best part of the writing.

Of course writing has a purpose, but first and foremost it’s a service: value to the audience first. If audience has a feeling that it’s valuable, of course then the feedback response is very much appreciated.

Therefore for me the writing is first and foremost a way to channel my reminder energy into a service that I feel is a most natural way for me to create value. I do it, because I can and I am able. Then I think how I could serve best today. With the serving focus I do write and as I am done, I publish my blog for example.

Anything that happens after that is just rather a nice addition and possible new ideas to elaborate what I’ve done days before 🙂

What are you inclined to do with your excess energy?

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 🙂