Life has its trials and tribulations, as we all know. One day a person may be filled with joy, the next day he or she may be deep in sorrow or worry. The human condition is not an easy state for many people. There is, however, a way to mitigate one's problems.
For too often a person will begin to wallow in their own "bad" situation. Negativity morphs into worry, regret, jealousy, fear, and other self-defeating and/or self-sabotaging behaviors. The more a person wallows, the deeper they get stuck in the muck. Walking in a field of muck and mire is extremely difficult. If you've ever done it you know that you can sink so far down that your shoes or boots may become "extracted" from your feet...too heavy to lift in the suction of the dense and gooey earth. Yet, some people get through it with relative ease, while others give up. Why?
Perspective helps us deal with the muck and mire of life. One person's mucky field is another person's opportunity for success. The pessimist sees a place to get "swallowed up," while the optimist sees an area to grow crops.
When one is caught in the muck they often lose perspective. However, that soggy field is almost always just another part of a road that leads you to success. Sometimes getting stuck enables a person to stop, look around, and collect his or her thoughts, figure out how to remove one's self from the mire, and start the next "leg" of their journey.
You'd be amazed to know how many people have used "disaster" as a stepping stone to success. They've taken the lessons learned from their "negative" experience and used it to sculpt a new aspect of their life.
As I've often said, "Keep moving forward!" While, in actuality, life does that for us anyway, in the more colloquial sense...it's really up to you and your perspective. Change your mindset and you can change your life, for the better, very quickly. Don't change it, and...you may have to hope someone hears you, as you're stuck in the muck, and - that they're carrying a "lifeline."
A positive state of mind is not just an expression, it's a way to lessen your burdens and help you deal with life's situations in a manner that enables you to grow, build, and succeed.
A short talk on analyzing your passions and how to make them productive.
A quick look at our intrinsic power and how to use it.
My take on authenticity and mental trash within the context of trust, love, and compassion.
Inner peace seems to be what we are all in search of. Some humans realize it, others don't. Many people mask their desire for inner peace by overcompensating with and/or about other things. Often the material world becomes their substitute for inner peace. It brings them a costume, a form of self deception that hides their inner being, or so they think. However, those who recognize the depth and reality of inner peace are not taken by the mask, they know that the material only covers the nakedness of the soul.
That does not mean that one can't have material things, wealth, physical desires, and inner peace as well. It's only when the physical/material world is so pervasive in one's mind that their soul is lost in the process.
I am only an individual like you. One who has had his ups and downs and has dealt with health, happiness, sickness, and death. Through it all I have learned that inner peace can come by way of a long process or enter one's life as an epiphany. It arrives from knowledge and the wisdom of using one's mind in a cognitive way. By not being led except by one's self. It is derived through questioning...everything - and accepting nothing until all pertinent information has be deciphered. It means having an open mind and not being judgmental. The paradox comes when you finally know that you may never know. When you can flow with the energy of life as if it is a river. And...when you can enjoy the beauty of life for its own sake.
The calmness of inner peace is unveiled when one understands that a cloudy day presents its magnificence in a different, yet no less incredible, way as a day when the sun is brilliant and sheds it light on all that can be seen - like a blanket covering the Earth with a golden hue that cannot be matched by the greatest of artists. Inner peace comes when the sound of children laughing soothes one's soul like the music of a philharmonic. And...when all the things of life are viewed as a huge fabric textured by every nuance that each day brings - that is when one is engulfed by the realization that inner peace is a continuum.
With that, I have listed 7 steps that may help in one's discovery of inner peace. They are as follow:
1. Love all: Every being on this Earth desires love, including one's self. It is hard to give love when a person does not love himself, or herself, first. Be loving to yourself. That also means to forgive yourself and others so that your love is unencumbered.
2. Help many: No one can help everyone. That's impossible. But...each one of us can help a lot of people in a lot of different ways. Whether you give of your time, your money, your effort, or your advice...it doesn't matter. It is the act itself that counts.
3. Care kindly: Many people will care for others in a begrudging way. It may be their job, profession, or...they may feel that it's their obligation. The caregiver who gives without kindness is not giving care at all, but just performing a function. Kindness makes care a caring service.
4. Enjoy others: Each of us needs enjoyment. We all have to laugh. As I often say, "Laughter is the nectar of the soul." Laughter and smiling, fun and enjoyment, are all emotionally and physically beneficial and makes everyone feel better and calmer about themselves.
5. Choose wisely: Life is filled with choices - constantly. We choose every action, everyday. Think about how your choices affect your life and the lives of others. The peaceful individual realizes that his or her energy and actions can create havoc or harmony, for themselves and others. Choose harmony.
6. Want little: The pursuit of material things often produces feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, distrust, greed, and many other emotions that take one's being away from peace. The most important things we have are ourselves, each other, our Earthly home, and time. The more time and energy you spend chasing a fabricated need for an over abundance of the material, the less time you will have to enjoy the peace and tranquility of life.
7. Need only yourself: Ultimately we only have ourselves on this trip called life. Of course, each one of us has other people and animals that we care about, love, and desire to be close with and to. Yet, when all is said and done...we are alone within the multitude. No one should ever be totally dependent on another person. Knowing how to be calm and relaxed in solitude is a wonderful experience. It frees us to realize that true peace materializes when we can be at peace with ourselves first. Then...one can begin to know the beauty of inner peace.
Yes, I know you're wondering what the heck I mean by "The Ultimate Question." No...it's not the meaning of life. We're all aware that life is a cereal, was a great magazine, and has something to do with our existence. Okay, maybe it has a more substantial meaning, but I've addressed that in priors post - see various posts below (both video and written) - and will delve into it further (on a consistent basis) in forthcoming posts.
What I'm taking about is the question that helps you get the answers to so many of your personal situations. Like...when it comes to interacting - speaking with your children, your spouse or partner, your friends, your parents, and anyone else (including yourself) who wants you to come up with a decision or needs guidance - and that includes when you're involved in the buying and selling process as well.
Here's a scenario: you're speaking with a salesperson who is pressing you to buy their new widget. She gives you all the features and benefits; you both establish the price and cost (yes, they're two different things), and go over the warranty. Yet, something's still missing. Perhaps the cost doesn't satisfy you, the color is not "right," or the model isn't exactly what you want. However, you know that the salesperson may be holding something back. The question to ask is: Hold it...I'm not gonna tell you until I give you this other illustration.
You're in a problematic situation with someone you love. He or she has done something that calls for some sort of response or action on your part. But - you aren't sure what to do. Okay...here's the magic question for your loved one AND the salesperson! Ready..."If you were me - what would you do?"
Yep, that's it. And guess what...it works! Ask them what they'd do if they were you and in the situation you're in (which is the same one they're in, except on the opposite side). Ninety-nine out of a hundred times they'll actually tell you what you should do. Even if it means that they'd be advising you to take an action counter to what they'd prefer.
On the rare occasion that they give you an answer like, "I'd do nothing," or "I'd buy it," you can always say..."Hmm, but that's not an option. If you take that off the table, then what would you do?" Eventually they'll come up with an appropriate answer that you can use. And THEY will have "sealed the decision." I know it may sound a bit harsh, but it's really not. In essence, they've just told you how they'd react if they were put in your position.
So my friends - that's the "Ultimate Question!" And the beauty of it is...it will almost always get you the "Ultimate Answer!" Now..."If you were me, would you say you're finished writing?" Yeah...I thought so - see you all later!
We live in a society of faith. Faith means different things to different people. To some, it's faith in a Supreme Being, to others it's faith in family and friends, and to still others - it may mean faith in our governmental, civic, academic, and religious institutions, and/or the leaders of those entities. Of course, none of these are mutually exclusive. I'd venture to say that most people have faith in a combination of all, or some, of those I've mentioned.
When we put our faith in anything that's outside of ourselves we begin to lose control of our destiny. It's well known that the best way to control people is to make them feel less confident, less capable, less powerful, less happy, and less content. Those in "power" have been using that method forever. People who lack control of their own destiny tend to want, and often need, someone to follow. However, the best person to look towards is yourself.
Sure it's easier for someone else to tell you what to do. But...those who take the time to recognize what other people are trying to do to them quite often can remove themselves from the situation and follow a different voice; the one deep inside of their heart and mind.
Contentment comes from within. If you let others run your life it becomes more difficult to find true fulfillment. I teach leadership, write books and articles about it, and give speeches on the subject, and...the first thing I like to discuss is how important it is for a person to learn how to lead themselves. Question...always question. "Don't believe what you see, hear or read until you've done research," is what I say in reference to being in a position of "putting your faith in someone or something."
It's much harder to be led when people know the facts and begin to empower themselves. Otherwise, "group think" becomes the norm and the general population turn into sheep.
By realizing that the cornerstone to contentment and happiness is knowledge and wisdom - through questioning, opening your mind to different personal experiences, listening, and the guidance of others, you're less likely to be led by having faith in people and things that you haven't fully researched.