Life, an Incredible Opportunity

adventure-1807524_640.jpg

Life is an opportunity that over 108 billion people before us have had and then as lost as is the nature of life: there is a beginning and an end. Therefore to be alive is wonderful opportunity to do something!

In addition to biological evolution, there is also the evolution of culture and spirit. Spiritual evolution means becoming more human. As G.K. Chesterton put it: “a dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” We are blessed with brains that create the human mind, which allows not only to go with the flow, but to go upstream or any other direction we wish.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

The difference and human blessing of life lies in our brain, which allows us not only to live, but to learn and live better as well. This means we are no longer bound only to progress through the biological evolution, but through cultural evolution.

Other animals certainly are social and therefore have the ability for cultural evolution as well. However, very few of them are able to stop and contemplate on life on such level as humans can. We learn comparatively fast and therefore our culture, way of doing things evolves as well.

On individual level, it’s our own decision to exercise this superpower of choice each day. Well actually thinking and deciding something new for each day would be possible, but not very convenient. Although we have the ability to contemplate, it is rather energy intensive. Therefore it’s useful to use both of the abilities, the ability to contemplate and the ability to do in a harmonious way.

Contemplate and discover your values and goals. Then work on these goals every day habitually.

Do not dream of life without work. Work is the opportunity, ability to create something greater than what you were given. What will then happen? According to the law of karma, if you do good things, good things will happen to you.

Put your priorities straight using the priority category method and then live your purpose and plan.

In life you will get more things done, if you are really good at prioritizing and deciding what is important and where you can add the most value. You will be able to create more value and well-being to your environment, which then again means that you will also receive more and then we all flourish.

* * *

I’ve taken it as my mission to help other people to realize the love for life. This comes from my personal experience with the meaninglessness of life, which led to depression and sickness.

Have a great evening!

Janne

Does Your Decisions Increase Well-being of Others?

sunset-1757593_640.jpg

When your thoughts match your words, and your words match your actions, you are what we could call happiness.

This sounds easier than it is, however with practice and effort it is achievable state of being.

Any mismatch here causes anxiety. Anxiety is not a state of wellbeing to ourselves or others.

We make decisions at thought level. Therefore a good question to ask yourself, does this increase the well-being of myself and others? Well-being that we manage to create for others always returns to ourselves, we only get that well-being what we have managed to create into our environment.

Your Happiness is Your Decision

balance-865828_640 (1).jpg

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.

The Limitations of Our Attention and the Cure

fantasy-2861107_640.jpg

We have limited attention, we can only be at a one place at a given time and we can only focus to one person or a task at a time. In this sense we are rather limited.

Because of our limited nature, we should also be forgiving for those who wrong us and merciful towards ourselves, who cannot always meet our expectations. At very least we can learn at the end of the day and move forward slightly smarter than we were previously on today.

Humans have deep desire for attention and desire. Attention is the currency of power and love. We realize this as children that we are not the center of the world and we are not really omnipotent either. From there on we are seeking for some kind of drought for this deprivation.

A cure that cannot be given, unless we are first willing to give it to others.

How do you treat that who has no power above you? That is the measure of our being. We get that wellbeing which we create to our environment.

It’s not even the ill words that hurt us, it is when we get no attention at all. Yet do not hold grudge to those who ignore you by purpose or without purpose, because most likely they have no purpose they are merely not mindful. And if it was on purpose, who would like to have the attention of such person anyway as it would only mean trouble?

Being present and forgiveness are the cures for our deprivation of attention. We must first administer what we wish to have.

What Are You Investing Today?  

entrepreneur-2904772_640.jpg

Exercise is an investment for tomorrow. Well being of others through comes through your health.

Learning is an investment for tomorrow: what you have learned by heart, you get to keep.

What are you doing today, to make your tomorrow better? When I realized this a couple weeks back, it changed completely the way I view my time.

Exercise wasn’t a chore anymore. Learning is a fun opportunity. Well both of these have been part of life for long, however now I found a new fun way to look at it: as an investment for tomorrow.

Exercise builds physical capacity, which enhances in turn the mental capacities to learn. Both of these capacities are at work at work. Working is therefore essentially building your capacity.

From work you might get paid in a way or another. What do you do with the money you get? Are you researching investment opportunities to make the money work for you?

If not, perhaps you should be. Because best investments for you require deep understanding, which can only come if you are looking at what market has to offer.

Investment becomes investment when the investment sum starts to work for you by returning more money that you put in.

Who You Are Makes Up Your Life: How You Are and What You Have

hatching-chicks-2448541_640.jpg

After thinking and pondering, I’ve changed my mind since I wrote the two leverages. Although time is leverage, it becomes relevant only after we know who we are, we know what we want and we think we have control over our lives.

The most important leverage in our life is identity and through identity we use time to our advantage.

I learned these three questions yesterday as I was reading Aki Hinta’s The Core – Better Life, Better Performance. The core is our identity. I realized that this book made the biology and positive psychology click together: being happy and wellbeing leads to success.

This connects very well what I’ve learned from Tom Rath from his books as well as Jim Loehr, Tony Schwartz from The Power of Full Engagement.

 

How You Are Depends on Who You Are

Our wellbeing and happiness is tightly connected to our identity.

Healthily diversified identity can process all kinds of setbacks, rejections and bounce back rather quickly. This is because a failure in one or two areas of life, is not the end of the world. One still gets support from other areas of life. More about this in Increase Your Liberties with Alternatives.

Being happy with who you are now, takes a lots of work! Mental work that is, to accept ourselves, reframe our failures as sources of learning experience. This is however, exactly what I would suggest you to do: to learn the habits to love yourself as you are, to enjoy what you have, be grateful and joyful about the life.

Focus on the good, and that will grow.

 

What You Have is Outcome of Who You Are

Your life up until now, is the sum of your actions, habits and beliefs. Outside influences have a role too, however it’s not a role we should be focusing on, because that we cannot control at all and at best just influence.

We should focus on what we can control. Essential in the WHO, is your identity. From identity comes your attitude, beliefs and action. These are completely under our control.

Aki Hintsa asks three questions:

  • Do you know who you are?
  • Do you know what you want?
  • Do you believe, you can control your life?

Answer to these questions.

When I did this exercise yesterday, I noticed that my identity part was the shakiest of these all, so I needed to remember again who I am. That’s why I went to research my strengths as well to remind myself who I am and then again, what I want to accomplish. Belief in that I can control is strong.

I noticed that my self-definition had become a bit blur in time. Actually even just a few weeks makes any definition obsolete, as human beings we are rather fluid. As example I’ve written this kind of description to my twitter which doesn’t anymore feel completely in sync with who I am: Marketing/Sales/Coach/Creative/Blogger.

Good about this description is the wide array of labels, that overlap many areas of my life. Wider and more general description serve my mental health very well. Previously in life, I’ve seen plenty enough of examples, where the identity is too narrow, and when that part is taken away from you this causes great anguish and collapse. From such experiences, I’ve decided to be keep my identity balanced and tied to many activities, rather than just focusing deeply in just few.

Therefore now I decided to clarify just for myself a few new more accurate labels. And since I am this far in the writing process I might share it with you as well:

Creative – Creativity and ideas have so many forms and it is my job to bring them alive in all areas of life.

Strategic – My major strength according to Strengthfinder 2.0. I hear strategic thinking cannot be taught. So therefore, I try to use this to benefit more people in my life.

Writer – Like I breathe, I want to write. It’s a form of habit and this habit is the savior of my life. In my priorities it’s right there with breathing and sleeping. Sometimes sleeping wins and it should, because in the long run sleeping is more important for the sake of the writing.

Coach – Coaching is teaching. Above all I love to think and learn in life. And what could be more fulfilling that to teach what I’ve learned to someone who actually needs and benefits of it?

Friend – With all the striving going on, I should remember to accept people as they are, where they are like they do accept me. Friendship is wonderful.

 


Once you’ve figured out the answers to the three questions, you have the leverage. Then there is the work.

 

Janne

Too Busy to Take Care of the Most Important Things

 

hipster-1280545_640.jpg

Does the topic sound familiar? Today a big click happened in my head:  I’ve been too busy to rest properly for each day. Why cannot I feel well rested every day, I asked myself?

I require quite a lot of sleep: doing the daily eight hours feels barely enough, yet that’s what I’ve been going with for most of the time. I’ve tried increasing that a bit in the evening with varying results.

It also turns out now with better rested perspective, that it is very difficult to imagine the cognitive capabilities of a well-rested person, versus let’s say tired. It’s quite easy to guess, however difficult to imagine for oneself.

Two weeks ago, I started noticing certain exhaustion in myself that just wouldn’t go away.  I had slept, however the quality of the sleep was poor, so therefore even the eight hours didn’t feel much at all. Even though I didn’t consider myself a person who can stress about sleep it started to become a topic of stress.

On the positive note this didn’t go on for very long as I started to think what I can do about it. I decided proactively to do some work with my calendar and start work one hour later on most of the days. Additionally I would go to bed 15 minutes earlier each day. I decided to use the extra hour in most of the mornings for important personal stuff like writing, if I would wake up earlier.

Now I’ve about one and half weeks experience, and I have say that being well rested is the advantage I’ve been looking for. Mind that is well rested is capable in complex problem solving and creativity. Much of the challenges we struggle daily, can be solved with one moments’ creative insight.

Work smarter, not harder” – is a thought that I’ve tried to identify with before. Yet, it is so humane to get derailed from that beautiful thought, like a bunch of lemmings going over the cliff, we humans too love such herd behavior and do not even notice it.

I quite hesitated to do even these minor changes: because there is no guarantee of the net positive effects, and most importantly how it looks to others.

Well since I chose to stop caring about “how it looks to others” and decided put my wellbeing as top priority that certainly helped me to get the courage to try.  Life is quite too short to be pleasing imaginary opinions of others, I do not know how did I came to forget this as well.

Learn from my mistakes and listen to yourself.