Monthly Archives: March 2017

Creative Day Starts Today

Creative day is motivated by desire to achieve. It starts by doing something which connect the seemingly unconnected.

Creative day summarized in the time you set aside each day to achieve your goal, ignore anything that makes you consider stopping.

To lead a creative day challenge yourself every day. Experience and curiosity drive you to make unexpected, offbeat connections. It is these nonlinear steps that often lead to the greatest work.

Creative day starts when we lose our fear of being wrong. Creative day starts today, not tomorrow, when we hope that all human problems will be solved in Utopian setting. It starts today with all its troubles and calamities; with all its joys and satisfactions.

Creative day starts today, with more and more people crowded into less and less space; with its racial hostilities and nuclear weapons.

Creative day starts today, with its skyscrapers, its machine shooting into outer space, and its huge glass fronted buildings.

Creative day starts today, with its search for new ideas and values, its existentialism, its Zen, its rush back toward religion, and its self questioning.

Creative day starts today, with its car-crowded superhighways, its traffic jams, water shortages, and crippling strikes.

Creative day starts today, with its increased psychological knowledge, its greater awareness of human motivation, its free exchange of ideas, and its righting of ancient wrongs.

This is the most imperfect world, true, but it has its virtues, and these are what we must strive to find. It is in today’s world that we must live; it is in today’s world that we must learn to lead a creative and good life. Forget about tomorrow; think about today.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ― Albert Einstein

Let us make today a creative day; let us look to the day with objectives; let us regard the day as our opportunity. We must do everything we can to make each day a life in itself.

Every day we must fight off our negative feelings and negative forces in our world, to make that day a creative day, a happy day.

To live creatively means a creative day today. Then another good day, and another good day. One day at the time. We add up a succession of creative days, and we will have a creative life.

We will not achieve this creative day with our modern day mechanical marvels; they may help or hurt. We will achieve it if we can develop our emotional, spiritual, and thinking qualities. We will achieve this creative day if we understand what invisible qualities we need to face up to life successfully.

There are elven components and facts to lead a creative day which I will explain them in details in coming articles. These components are:

  1. Concentration
  2. Be true to yourself (Return to yourself)
  3. Listening to others (Having ears for others)
  4. Affirmation
  5. The power of Self-Discipline
  6. Imagination
  7. Victory
  8. Eagerness
  9. Daily Growth
  10. Adjustment
  11. Yearning for Improvement

Just keep in mind that the person who lives creatively builds a feeling of strength in himself, accepts his failures compassionately, and projects his strength out into the world in the forms of goals toward which he directs his energies. He doesn’t coddle himself with vast amounts of leisure time, which end up by boring him.

He doesn’t place his faith in material things. Expensive automobiles or cloths or houses may be nice, but they are not basic. He refuses to find magic in the names of geographical localities with pleasant climates.

He starts his creative day by placing his faith in himself, accepting himself, and he feels no need to withdraw into a passive pattern. He lives each day with enjoyment and fills his hours with goals.

“If you are pursuing a creative life because you think it will bring you money and fame, just stop now. Anyone who pursues the life of the artist does it because he or she doesn’t know any other way to live.”

In short he starts his creative day with the eager goal-mindedness not with self-pity as he is too busy LIVING.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

 


Finding Meaning in Life, Key to Satisfaction and Fulfilment

Meaning in life is found by finding your purpose in life.

To discover meaning in life, we have to find the meaning we give to life by the unfolding of our powers.

People from all walks of life share an inborn urge to find meaning in life; to discover direction and purpose in their existence.

This desire to find meaning in life appears to be as vital to our psychological development as eating to our biological continuity.

We all seek meaning in our lives and recognize meaning’s absence in lives characterized by boredom, dullness, isolation, and listless disengagement. But what is meaning in life? Is it distinctive, or reducible to other aims and conceptions? Is it a helpful category for thinking about good lives that are worth living? Is it sensible and coherent to want it in one’s life?

According to Viktor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor: “What man actually needs is not a tension less state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

Throughout our evolutionary journey, many of us spend a lot of time in the search of happiness. We attempt towards a goal more focused on a better paid job, greater status, or acquiring the latest possession, rather than spending our energy and time on things which can contribute more value and fulfillment to our lives.

“Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided.”

Although an unfulfilled life doesn’t mean an unhappy or unhealthy life, but lack of finding a meaning in life can create anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Finding fulfillment and meaning in life is more about giving to others, to the community, to the environment, and to the world.

By giving, and by finding purpose, we discover satisfaction and meaning in life, but not necessarily happiness, even though it can be a by-product. Finding a meaning in life gives us a purpose to go on despite life circumstances.

Meaning and fulfilment can be found in three activities as Viktor Frankl devised in his “meaning triangle“:

  1. Creative Self-Expression: Give something to the world through expressing your own creativity in some form, whether it be through art, music, writing, good deed.  By being self-expressed we let people see our spirit and true character; they will see the totality of who we are.  And sharing of one’s “self” fully is the ultimate in generosity and is vital for finding peace, happiness and meaning in life. It’s really the state of just being yourself. And it’s also what others refer to as the state of flow; that timeless state that we’re in where we are not really aware so much of what we’re doing, it’s more of a sense of being. We’re right there in the moment; we’re in the present moment, expressing naturally who we are. And what we’re really expressing is a state of joy and fulfilment.
  1. Experiencing the world through connection, nature, culture, spirituality: Viktor Frankl wrote, realizing that our lives has reason and purpose, will enable us to understand that we are fully responsible for our lives, and for continuing them. “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.””. Our Why gives us clarity, meaning and direction. It is a filter through which we can make decisions, every day, to bring our cause to life. A Why Statement is one sentence that captures our unique contribution and impact. The contribution is the real applicable part of our Why. The impact is the condition we wish to leave the people and world around us. Together, these two components provide a meaning in life for us and those we serve.
  1. Choosing the attitude toward inevitable situations or suffering: There’s not a single person in this world that can escape from suffering. There is always a time in one’s life that they have to face unpreventable painful situation. Often, the first thing we do in a crisis is to judge what, if anything, we can do to fix the problem. But what if it isn’t fixable?  In that case, the one kind of control we can apply is to change our attitude to this new reality.   Similar to the old saying of turning lemons into lemonade. As Viktor Frankl suggested: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms; to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Suffering comes when things change – a relationship ends, someone dies, we get fired from a job, illness attacks, a disaster happens.  Sadness introduces us to impermanence and so can help us learn to let go. By having the courage to touch our own pain and suffering, we start feeling empathy for the pain and suffering of others.  We begin to see that my suffering and your suffering are the same.  “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.” ― Viktor Frankl

Remembering and thinking about the story of our lives, will help us to reflect back on what we have found joyful and meaningful. It can clarify the tasks which we have undertaken and have given us the most sense of meaning in life. And it may suggest further goals we might want to set for ourselves now.  These tasks can be in any realm; stories to write, children to care for, lessons to learn or teach, relationships to attend to, artistic ventures such as painting or sculpture, etc.  Meaning in life can be found in the very act of bearing witness to the events of our lives.  The most important thing is that these tasks feel meaningful to us to fulfil them.  It doesn’t matter what other people think of them. It is the knowledge that we’re born with an expiration date that drives our need for a sense of meaning in life to begin with.

As Joseph Campbell suggests: “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.”


How To Give To Others Builds Our Spirit

To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.

Blessed are those who are able to give without remembering and to take without forgetting.

Give to others builds human spirit. Every act of generosity and the willingness to give of our time, our interest, concern, care, understanding, humour, loyalty conveys and nourishes love. And every missed opportunity to give and to be generous destroys our experience of love, connectedness and spirit.

In giving, it hardly matters if the love that is expressed is personal or impersonal. Being eager to give to someone who we know is wonderful. It can intensify our feelings of connection with that person. Although to give to someone who we don’t know may be less immediately rewarding, yet it expresses our awareness that other human lives matter, and the extent to which they matter is not determined by their closeness or usefulness to us.

The most intellectual healthy individuals in every community are those who are able to give without feeling diminished by generosity. They are less imprisoned by the illusion that to give something away freely leaves us with any less. They are least likely to live as slaves, protecting their own private multitude of treasures. And they may also be least mislead by the illusion that the material possessions are something that we can own on permanent basis, and to regard for safety.

The notion to give is an expression of freedom and abundance. It is a celebration of sufficiency. When done with love, it is connective, enriching and uplifting.

The ability to give is built and conveyed through the most mundane moments as well as the most profound. It is the recognition of our common humanity, an acceptance that we are all part of humankind.

The willingness to give arises out of an intention to care way beyond the limits of our own self or the group to which we are immediately attached. It is expressed in these and a thousand other ways.

Keeping our capacity for loving relationship alive demands us to be willing to give, to be generous, to be flexible and to be tolerant.

When we engage with another person, whether this is at work, a love relationship, with a member of our immediate family or a neighbour, we hardly promise to be generous. Yet the ability to give within that relationship, or the absence of it, can actually determine the quality and durability of the connection.

Sometimes the money or time are given but they are given for the sake of the donor, and not because they are what the recipient wants. That is only too easy to understand, but it doesn’t support a loving relationship and often it’s not rewarding either. To give involves two parties, at least, and flows two ways. It is often subtle, and demands that the donor has the capacity to pay close and mindful attention to whoever else is involved in the interaction.

The rich and workaholic businessman who breaks down and weeps when his wife leaves him, and cries out ‘but I gave her everything she wanted!’ is not different from the rest of us. We all learn early on to replace things for time, and praise for close attention; to build up serve-serving excuses as to why we can rarely be available and attentive even to those we declare to love best. Yet what others require from us is what we ourselves can feel most starved of: To give and to get time in which love can be cherished, nurtured and conveyed.

To give freely doesn’t begin or end with the act of giving. What precede the act of giving is at least some awareness that generosity is an expression of love. And what needs to follow is a sense of letting the act go, detaching from it, moving on into the next moment, not hanging around for a reward, a prize, or even thanks. This flow of loving, to give freely, to move on, is difficult for most of us to live out. But to give without expectation of a reward or establishing a debt that the other person will then owe us, is painfully compromised from generosity. In the face of such a demand we could even question whether this is generosity at all. Surely the only authentic expression of being generous is to act, or to be present for someone, and not expect to make them pay?

To give to others, or emptying out our own needs for the sake of others, can be an addiction, a means to avoid facing our own fear of loneliness or emptiness. But each one of us deserve better than that. The experience to give and to receive can teach us so much subtlety and discernment, about the interplay of light with darkness, and darkness with light. If to give and to receive become severely out of balance, and giving continually wear us down, it is time to ask ourselves: What do I need? How can I replenish myself? In what way am I showing love to myself also? It could be also time to ask ourselves: How to give to others generously without feeling that I am creating a sense of burden, debt, or obligation? Could I give with less attachment to the object or the outcome, and perhaps receive with less attachment in return?

When it comes to helping others, we have to be especially careful. We have to reflect on our motives and our interests. Are we willing to give because it is gratifying to us, or because there is a reward of some kind? Or are we ready to give because we really want to help others? We have to do a great deal of self-inquiry to be able to tell; we have to contemplate every ripple of thought that goes through our mind. To be compassionate, we must learn to think well of ourselves and others. Therefore a bleeding heart, which sees other people as helpless, is not a sign of compassion.