Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Need of Deep Friendship Between People

The need of deep friendship between people, is an urgent need, one that has always been with human beings, as far back as historians can reach in their accounts of human life on this planet.

More than two thousand years ago, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher wrote: “What is friendship? A single soul dwelling in two bodies”

In Apocrypha: Ecclesiastes 6:16 we find: “A faithful friend is the medicine of life”. Better than medicine, really. Medicine is for those already ill; friendship is basically for the well to enjoy, a joy to keep them well throughout their lifetime.

Life without friendship is like cereal without milk; there can be no sense of completion. Real friendship is subtle, trusting interrelationship whose worth is too great to be measured.

In the word of America’s first President, George Washington, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

Another great President, Thomas Jefferson, once compared friendship to wine. Yes like good wine, friendship can give you a lift. Like wine, it lasts. Inclement conditions do not destroy it.

And as Jefferson points out, it is “restorative”; it renews a person wrestling with life’s problems, refreshing him so that, given a good night’s sleep, he can call once again upon his resources to go toward the battle of life.

It is sad that many of us become disappointed in the results of friendship that instead of enriching us they leave us wounded, causing us to think less of others and more of ourselves. We seldom think that perhaps we have been at fault. It usually seems to be the other person.

Friendship is not what we take from others, but what we give to others, not so much in material gifts as the gifts of compassion, sincerity, and understanding. It is instilling courage in someone else. It is the transfer of some of our self-respect to others. It is sharing of our confidence in ourselves with others. It is the gift of what we are to others.

“Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them…your smile, your hope, and your courage.” ~ Doe Zantamata

We must remember others, meeting them more than half way, giving the best that we are. Only in this way will we be entitled to receive friendship in return.

We must constantly work at repairing our friendship for others. And we must constantly work at repairing our friendship for ourselves. Because to be friendly to others we must be friendly to ourselves. We must always be ready to repair the damage which our failures inflict upon our self-image. We must rise above these failures to maintain our self-respect, which is basic to our respect for others.

“Love yourself first in order to endlessly love others.” ~ Debasish Mridha

Only then our friendship have true value. Only then can it be humble, free of boasting. Only when we respect ourselves can we feel the gift of humility, to others and to ourselves.

If you know the art of friendship, you stay alive. You put a smile of contentment on your self-image. You look forward, not backward. Every day is a new day in which you focus on life. You concentrate on your assets for the new day, refusing to let fear of failure side-track you.

You have foresight. You are a part of human family; you become what you are in relation to others. You expand in your capacity for love in a vast communal sense which incorporate the acceptance of human fallibility. You understand that your neighbour can make errors that distort his perspective; he can mistakenly feel that you are his enemy, not his friend. You forgive.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” ~ Steve Maraboli

The whole world is looking for friendship. Everyone seeks forgiveness as ardently as he seeks food and shelter. Yet often we are ashamed to forgive as we are ashamed to make mistake, as if it were a terrible weakness to make mistake or forgive. But this shame destroys us, damages us. It is unhealthy to be ashamed of error in yourself and stubborn not to forgive error in someone else.

The capacity to forgive should be as great as the capacity to survive because you cannot attain true stature in living unless you make as much as habit of forgiving as of eating.

To really get alone with people requires the compassion of forgiveness. To err is human loss; to forgive is human achievement. But, first you must forgive yourself so that you can accept yourself as a human being, as somebody with dignity.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr

The Inner Power

The Inner power is a quality which makes us a winner or loser. Confidence, an instant confidence that wells and swells within us, when we need it, this must be our inner power.

Samuel Johnson once wrote that: “Self-confidence is the first great requisite to great undertakings”

Instant confidence is something we all need, no matter who we are, no matter what our age and our status in life. It is an inner fire that can make our hearts sing, building the positive habits that will flow smoothly into fresh, crisp living.

We all have this inner power, to one degree or other. It is in all of us, waiting to be used.  In our lives we have known failures, successes, and mixed experiences. If we minimize the failures, resolving to rise above them and make a habit of drawing upon the confidence of past successes, seeing them in our mind, tasting them again and again, humbly, not boastfully, self-confidence becomes a second nature to us.

 “Nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities” Susan Gale

We have all known some success in life, no matter how small, no matter how humble, no matter how trivial in the eyes of others.

These successes are the base upon which we can build our inner strength, we must learn to emphasize in our mind these better moments of ours, to see them in our mind, to feel them in our hearts, until they become part of what we are as a breathing, living, thinking, seeing human being.

Over and over and over, because this is not a simple, automatic process if we have many failures to cope with, in our life. We must picture these good moments in our mind, we must remember that we came into this world to succeed, not fail.

Over and over and over, we must manufacture for ourselves our most successful product, our force for success. These repeating, previsualizing, reemphasising the winning moments in our lives, creates in us an ongoing drive, which is instant confidence.

It is debatable, perhaps, whether your coffee is better slow-brewed or instant. It is also debatable whether your orange juice is better squeezed by hand or instant.

But there is nothing debatable about instant confidence. It is a value to those who feel it, it is a priceless value, and there can be no doubt of this.

“Self-trust is the first secret of success” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We need this feeling of belief in ourselves, this instinctive feeling of belief in ourselves, to fully utilize our resources, so that we can constructively plunge forth into life activities. We need this feeling to accelerate us forward into a dynamic pattern of living.

We must understand that there is a good within us, forgive our faults, and rise above the blunders in our life to our triumphs of self-assertion and achievement.

It is no overnight undertaking, but, in terms of days and weeks and months and years, we can enlarge in our mind this successful image of ourselves, supplemented with new, rich experiences, until we have within us a great, shiny weapon, the instant confidence.

“Confidence comes naturally with success, but success comes only to those who are confident”

 


To Win The War Against Negative Thinking

To win the war against negative thinking, your failure mechanism, you must be able to break through the disguise behind which it hides. Possible rationalization and seemingly logical thinking may obscure its functioning. Do not fool yourself, or you will lose this wonderful fight for your survival as a contented human being.

“Negative thoughts and tensions are like birds. We cannot stop them from flying near us but we can certainly stop them from making a nest in our mind”

We all desire having a successful life and achieving our goals in no time, but no goal is more vital than dehypnotize ourselves from false thoughts and beliefs which paralyse our success mechanism.

What goals are meaningful, what can you do with yourself if you dwell constantly on thoughts which pull you down into failure? What can you do but sink into a no activity of depression, renouncing all goals,   blotting sunshine out of your life, moping dejectedly in a dark room while others go out into world and live?

“You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts” Philip Arnold

If you want to have a meaningful life you have to dehypnotize yourself from your false, negative beliefs about yourself. The word “dehypnotize” is not too strong word because so many people have beliefs which are unshakable, which must be jarred out of them. These beliefs so often absurd, cement inferiority complexes formed of unfortunate early experiences and ridiculous misinformation. The result are sad.

Do you believe that your life will be empty because you are an inferior person who has never done anything worthwhile and never will? Do you believe that you should suffer to atone for the mistakes you have made? Do you believe that life has no meaning for you because a loved one has passed away? Do you believe that the only way to live in an atomic age is to spend every day worrying about a nuclear holocaust?

If you think along those or similar lines, you are harbouring false beliefs and thoughts. Granted that you have seen tragedy and that you have your faults, you are still dehypnotizing yourself with false, negative ideas. Worse, you are torturing yourself with them.

“Whatever you believe, with conviction, becomes your reality, whether or not it is true or false” Brian Tracy

These negative thoughts and beliefs have the power to pull us down from our true level as human being. They can disfigure our self-image, and destroy our aspirations for the happiness that is our reasonable expectation.

I would like to spell out the components of the failure mechanism, just as I did for the success mechanism in my previous article “Goal Setting”, since I feel that this aids people in remembering them.

  • Frustration- We feel frustrated when we fail to achieve important goals or to satisfy basic desires. Everyone feels frustration now and then, because of our imperfect natures and the complex nature of the world. But it is the chronic frustration which is a symptom of failure. When an individual finds himself caught in a pattern of repeated frustrations, he should ask himself why? Are his goals too perfectionist? Does he block his aims with his self-criticism? Does he regress to his feelings as an infant when frustration plus crying resulted in satisfaction? Frustrated rage doesn’t get result; for infants, it may, not for adults. A morbid concentration on one’s grievance of life will make only one’s problems more severe, far better to focus on one’s successes, to gain confidence from seeing oneself winning out. Then one can forge ahead in life.
  • Aggressiveness- Frustration produces aggressiveness. There is nothing wrong with aggressiveness, properly channelled; to reach our goals we must at times be aggressive. But misdirected aggressiveness is a symptom of failure, usually linked with the setting of inappropriate goals, which the individual cannot achieve. This leads to frustrated rage which the person discharges wildly. Innocent parties become targets to a person trapped in the frustrated aggression; he may snap at his wife for no reason, lash out at his children, insult his friends, and antagonise his co-workers. Furthermore his rage will increase as his relations with people deteriorate. Where does this dreadful cycle end? The answer lies not in the elimination of aggression, but in properly channelling it toward the achievement of goals that bring satisfaction, reducing the unbearable build-up of frustration.
  • Insecurity- This is another unpleasant feeling; it is based on a feeling of inner inadequacy. When we feel that we don’t meet our challenges properly, we feel insecure. However it is not our inner resources that are lacking; the trouble lies in our setting of perfectionist standards. The insecure person is frequently competent but, living with impossible expectations, he tends to criticize himself constantly. His feeling of insecurity cause him to trip himself up so that he falls short of his true potential.
  • Loneliness- We are all lonely now and then, but I refer to the extreme feeling of being separated from other people, from yourself, and from life, this is an important symptom of failure. It is indeed one of the leading failure areas of modern civilization; the commonness of loneliness is enough to fill one’s heart with unending sorrow. To know that GOD’s creatures can be so estranged, this is very sad.
  • Uncertainty- The uncertain person believes that if he doesn’t make a decision, he is safe! He is safe from the criticism he might receive if he took the chance and was proved wrong, safe from consequences of decision he made that backfired. This kind of person must see himself as perfect; therefore, he cannot afford to be wrong. If he make a wrong choice he will destroy his idealized picture of himself, therefore he may linger over a trivial decision for a long time, wasting his precious hours worrying. When he finally does make up his mind, his decision will be subject to distortions, and he will very likely blunder. This uncertain person cannot live fully because he is afraid to take a plunge and get his feet wet.
  • Resentment- This is the excuse-making reaction of the failure-type personality to his status in life. Unable to bear the pain of his failure, he seeks out scapegoats to take the sting out of his own self-blame. Everywhere he finds evidence that life is short-changing him and he feel resentment. Chronic resentment leads to self-pity because the resentful person feels he is a victim of injustice. The more he pities himself, the more inferior he feels and the more he comes to hate himself and to resent others, and the world. He doesn’t realize that his inner resentment is a breeding ground for failure. Only when he can feel respect for himself, from a realistic image of himself, can he break the habit of resentful thinking which is such a basic component of the failure mechanism.
  • Emptiness- Do you know people who are “successful”, yet who seem frustrated, resentful, uncertain, insecure, lonely and mismanaged aggressive? Then they have achieved success without tools in their hands. Don’t be too sure that their “success” is real. For many people gain all the outward sign of success and then feel emptiness. They have made money but they don’t know what to do with it. They travel here and there, but nowhere can they escape their feeling of emptiness. They have given up on meaningful goal-setting, they avoid work, shun responsibility, when they wake up in the morning and see the sun, they do not see their opportunities for enjoying the day, instead they worry about what they can do to pass the time. His emptiness symbolizes the total operation of his always present failure mechanism.

These are the elements of the failure mechanism, these are enemy. I have spelled them out for you so that you can remember them easily.

NOW, what can you do about them? HOW can you win your one great war?

War is hellish and if your mind is deeply entrenched in negative concepts, you will have to struggle fiercely to win your battle. But it is a battle worth winning. To live a meaningful life, to rise to your true potential as a human being, you must win this war in your mind. Don’t give up. Keep fighting, and chances are you will win.

“Everything is either an opportunity to learn and grow or an obstacle that keeps you stuck. You get to choose”


Goal Setting

Goal setting is a powerful process which is vital for focus and time management. Without setting our goals correctly it is impossible to concentrate on a plan of action to achieve them.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible” ~ Tony Robbins

You may be a young man in your early twenties or a woman in her late forties. You may be setting goals for the day or for tomorrow or the next week. This doesn’t matter. What matters is getting into the habit of setting worthwhile goals and then accomplishing them.

Within you, never forget this, are success instincts, and if you can activate them, you will have within you a chain reaction of reaching-out-to-achieve-goals mechanism. This predisposition of a human being toward the successful achievement of his goals, is called “success mechanism

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

Sense of direction, understanding, charity, courage, esteem, self-confidence, self- acceptance, these are the ingredients of your success mechanism. SUCCESS is the nailing down of the goals which you want for yourself.

  • Sense of direction: You must set goals which make sense to you; you must know where you are going. A brand- new, smooth-flowing car is of no use if there is no highway.
  • Understanding: Many of our goals will centre around other people, and we must understand how they think, what they want, how we interact with them. We must be able to communicate with them and to understand the communication they send out to us, no matter how subtle or devious, because of their fear.
  • Charity: Setting goals purposefully, understanding and relating well to people—you are on your way to success. But you must have the courage to do, the courage to take a plunge off the diving board, or your success mechanism is incomplete. Because there are no sure things in life, no matter how well laid your plans, you can never foresee the consequences with certainty. When you have the courage to take action, then your goals in life are more than passing fancies, then they mean something to you in your world.
  • Esteem: You must appreciate your own worth as a human being, and that of others. Unless you feel esteem for yourself, your goals are of little value, and even if you achieve them the victory will be hollow. At the heart of your being must be your feeling that there is good in yourself, if you don’t feel this, your success may impress others, but you will know better, they will be superficial, phony successes. You must learn to see yourself as a child of GOD, as a creation of HIS. You must see others, also, as children of GOD, as purposeful, as valuable.
  • Self-confidence: This is similar to, but different from, esteem. Self-confidence is the product of successes; we have confidence in ourselves when we remember that we succeeded in the past. It goes without saying that we all have failures in life as well as successes, but we can develop self-confidence that triggers our success mechanism. If we concentrate our thinking on our success, seeing ourselves at our best time and again. Not that we should deny our failures; this would be unrealistic. We should use our blunders as guides to learning, then forget about them. Then we should bring into our mind images of our triumphs to cement our feelings of confidence in ourselves.
  • Self-acceptance: You will not always feel confident; sometimes your stomach will be tied up in knots and perspiration will break out all over your face. Your nervousness will be visible to other people; they may look at you curiously, or, you may do something rash, injuring your own interests or rudely stepping on someone else’s toes. Your imperfections many; everyone is most imperfect, really— and you must learn to accept this. You must understand that your blunders are not your total personality; they are just a part of you, and this is a part which you must accept to be successful. Otherwise you will dedicate your days to an avalanche of self-castigation which will leave you miserable, head bowed, a failure at almost anything you try. You must not look to others for acceptance; this is something you must give yourself.

These are the basic ingredients of success mechanism. They will help you toward the purposeful execution of your goals. They are success-oriented; they point to goal-attainment, to satisfaction in living. A purposeful living today means steering your mind to productive goals.

 “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.” ~ Mark Victor Hansen