Category Archives: spiritual awakening

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 tensionless 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 fulfilment 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 fulfilment 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.”


The Truth About Lie

A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.

If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.

We all know how difficult it is to trust someone again, who has lied to you before.  Trust is an important part of every relationship; and when we lie, even if we think others will never find out, we will create a barrier of hurt in our relationship. Unfortunately, when the other person finds out about our lie, and it usually is the case, it’s nearly impossible to trust again. And the damage that is done to our relationship may be irreparable.
Once we have told one lie, we may need a second lie to protect the first one, a third to protect the other two and so on. After a while our lies become so extreme that even we may have trouble keeping track of them, especially if we say a different set of lies for each person we encounter. Although most of us know this, but we still do it anyway.
Lies may appear to help us in the short term, but they harm us and others over the long haul. No matter how we might be adept at deception but we cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Fear of exposure leads us even more to self-protection, which becomes a vicious cycle. Just as our first cell duplicates itself to protect it from enemies, our ego covers up by producing more lies.  When the truth is our only solution, many of us are unable to make that transition.
Lying may seem simple and harmless at first, but just like any addiction, you’ll soon find yourself trapped and entangled more than you could have ever imagined.
Most people who lie daily have little or no awareness of how they can harm others, and they will likely keep doing it regardless. Their egos believe that their needs are more important than other’s needs, despite the fact that they are the same.
Honesty and dishonesty are learned in the home. And like everything else, children learn to lie from the people around them. Children get a lot of messages from their parents saying that lying is always bad, but at the same time they see their parents telling ‘white’ lies to make life easier.

A parent should lead by example and never lie. And when they are caught in a lie, they have to express remorse and regret for making a conscious decision to tell a lie.   Clear, understandable consequences for lying should be discussed with the child early on.
Parents are the most important role models for their children. When a child or adolescent lies, parents should take some time to have a serious talk and discuss the difference between make believe and reality, and lying and telling the truth. They should open an honest line of communication to find out exactly why the child chose to tell a lie, and to discuss alternatives to lying.
Young children often make up stories and tell tall tales. This is a normal activity because they enjoy hearing stories and making up stories for fun. These young children may blur the distinction between reality and fantasy.  This is probably more a result of an active imagination than an attempt to deliberately lie about something.
But an older child or adolescent may tell a lie to be self-serving, such as denying responsibility or to try and get out of a chore or task. This is when parents should respond to isolated instances of lying by talking with the youngster about the importance of truthfulness, honesty and trust.
There are some people who consider a lie to be acceptable in certain situations such as not telling a boyfriend or girlfriend the real reasons for breaking up because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. But this is deceiving other people because they think it serves their purposes in some way.
The big problem with lying is that it often drives one to continue his/her deceptions, and the result is that trust is shattered, reputations are damaged, and suspicion rules the day.
People lie because of countless reasons. They lie to make themselves look better. They lie to take the credit, to conceal their poor performances and mistakes, to divert the blame, to protect their reputations, and to deceive and manipulate others.
Regardless of the intention, the final results are the same.  “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Dishonesty and lies come in different ways and forms. There may be some people who tell lie by mistake without knowing the fact and they really believe in whatever they say. But there may be others who say lies showing no guilt or shame, knowing full well that they are deceiving others. Yet there may be others who say white lies, wishing to protect themselves or other people from the truth. Although some of these folks may have good intention, but it is all lying just the same.
As a general principle, people are always looking to see who they can trust and who they can’t. And if we refuse to lie at any circumstances, then we will be able to create lasting relationships of trust. This rule applies to all of our relationships whether it’s family, friends, or at work.
To be honest means that we do what we say we are going to do. It means that we believe in ourselves and in everything we perform. It means that we value ourselves enough not to ever live a lie. As the saying goes, “It’s simple. Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you.”
When we operate with complete integrity, what we say will be taken at face value, our intentions will be assumed honourable, and our handshake will be as good as a contract. Most importantly, we can take great pride in the standards that we have set for ourselves and sleep well at night knowing that our conscience is clear. As for others . . . just when they think they’re fooling the world, they’ll realize that they’re only fooling themselves. A promise is a promise after all!


Finding Inner Peace

Finding inner peace is the path of letting go, even though, the path could be as hard or simple as a person makes the journey of self acceptance.

 “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe” ~ Marcus Aurelius

There are always many ups and downs in every one’s life. Sometimes we get stuck in a world of confusion, wondering how we find a constant inner peace in our hearts and lives, when there is always something wrong in our lives or the lives of those we love.

What happens when we start to feel down or stressed?

First of all some kind of negative thought comes into our mind that gets us discouraged and anxious. The next thing that happens, is that we start believing in that thought. And feeding it with more arguments, which in turn gets us into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing we know, we find ourselves, there in that deep mud hole. We look around and all is doom and gloom.

What can we do so that this does not even happen?

  • Accept what is: Life is unpredictable. Nothing is permanent, everything changes; and of course, a lot of things can happen that will transform who we are and have an impact on our life. The problem is that we need to be prepared to truly accept whatever comes and embrace it. This is what I have noticed with so many people, in that we focus and linger on things which we have no control over. Why worry about something that all the worrying in the world will not change? Why care about what other people think of us when we’re not even sure what it is they are actually thinking? Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice nonetheless. By practicing acceptance we learn to live in this changing world, where we never know what’s going to happen next. Acceptance is like protecting ourselves with our own shields.” You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Meditate: Meditation makes us mentally strong, and emotionally resilient. It reduces the tendency to react, increases the tendency to respond and is an effective way to de-stress our minds. If you are not meditating yet then, you are missing out on a very important activity that can change your  When you have a lot on your mind and you feel like your thoughts are driving you crazy, meditation can help you find peace, calmness and more self acceptance. Meditation helps turning one’s life into a more beautiful, harmonious and happy one. When mind, body and spirit are in harmony, then everything seems right with the world.Through concentration and meditation you become the boss of your mind, and gain the ability to tell it when to be active and when to stay silent” ~ Remez Sasson
  • Spend time in nature: Nature calls you back to reality. We can’t stop it from raining. We can’t delay the setting sun. We can’t set the temperature to a comfortable degree. When we are climbing a mountain, our muscles are going to burn. But with this surrender comes such relief! We awake from a dream and realize how little control we really have. We remember that hardship and lack of control are part of life, and accepting this reality makes it not only bearable, but possible to feel the joy of being alive. By being in nature we feel comfortable in our own skin, we experience our own quiet peace and strength, we sense the inner us that is the true us. The mask we present to the outer world is irrelevant for a time, and put in its proper place. Nature helps us to connect with this powerful, loving presence, whether we call it GOD, Earth Mother, the Great Mystery or any another name. Nature brings us closer to GOD, our own spirit and helps us to live lives of meaning and joy. “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” ~ Anne Frank
  • Learn the power of a smile: A smile is a powerful key to living happy from the inside out. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. Smiles are powerful and contagious. Don’t hesitate to smile warmly at friends, family, colleagues and even strangers. Never stop smiling! God smiles on us each and every day. His love has no depth, his mercy no end. His arms are open wide, just step into them. “Smile and the world will smile with you.” 
  • Choose to help others: Care for others genuinely around you. What you put out, you really get back in life. Being caring allows us to have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for the people around us. When we make a positive impact in someone else’s life, we also make a positive impact in our own lives. Any act of kindness and goodwill eases our way towards inner peace. When we start helping others, we stop thinking about our so-called problems and then we realize that our life is not so bad after all. Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dicken
  • Never lose hope: Never give up. Never lose hope. Always have faith, it allows you to cope better during the trying times. Having hope is a personal decision, a bold conviction—a choice, and with hope we always have a path towards peace. Having hope is an active, decisive mindset etched into every single moment. No matter the haze and fog that clouds our vision, hope’s laser cuts through, and never losing sight of her shimmering stars. Hope is something we can never afford to lose  Who we really are is based on values we choose to live by, such as believing in the possible, believing in the goodness of others, and believing in the power of love and hope. When we decide to passionately pursue our greatest purpose, then we become the hope in our lives and manifest her greatest dreams, because we refuse to consider any other possibility. As Henry James put it, “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
  • Embrace your beliefs: I am not here to favour any belief system over another, but whatever it is that you are believing in, hold it closely in your arms, accept it willingly and enthusiastically, as by being within your faith, peace will find its way into your heart. We all might have different opinion in regards to our belief systems, but one thing that we all have to acknowledge is that without a healthy and solid belief system, we won’t be able to find a fair conscience which could show us the way towards peace and wisdom. “Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. In the   end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.” ~ Dan Brown 
  • Live in the present moment: When we live fully in the present moment, our awareness becomes completely centred on the here and now. We won’t worry about the future or thinking about the past. How often have you been worrying about things that have yet to come, or how often have you been beating yourself for mistakes that you’ve made, no matter how much time has passed? Too much time, I believe. Not only living in present moment has a significant effect on our emotional health, but also it has a great impact on our physical wellbeing. By living in present moment we live in acceptance; we accept life the way it is, not the way we wish, it should have been. And when we live in acceptance, we realize that everything is complete as it is. We can forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made, and we can have peace in our hearts knowing that everything that should happen will. “If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.”

Finding inner peace is not a simple or short path, but it is a process that we can all learn. It is a journey which needs to be appreciated every step of the way. We have to be willing to let go and step outside the box that we have accepted ourselves to be put into, in the first place and start from scratch. We have to be ready getting to know ourselves all over again and be willing to make mistakes. And most importantly, we have to realize that only we have control over our emotional responses and reactions and they can be changed for the better. And finally when serenity and unconditional love fill our hearts, we will accept that we cannot go back, and will not give up what we have now found, that peace that we seem to have been searching for our whole lives. “Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.” ~ Rumi

 

 


Self Image

Self image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. ~ Maxwell Maltz

“Uncertainty” is the key word in our lives. We must live with uncertainty and lead our ship through life’s rugged path, or retreat from life into a womb, an illusion since there are few guarantees to reassure us. We must learn to master these dangers to the best of our ability, and still live contentedly.

“Life Is Like Riding a Bicycle. To Keep Your Balance You Must Keep Moving” ~ Albert Einstein

After the “traumatic” process of our birth, we live the uncertain, minute-by-minute moments of infants in which a tolerant smile is followed by an indignant roar of rage and a howl of laughter, all within the space of thirty seconds.

Then it come the uncertainties of childhood, in which we depend on our parents, where destinies fluctuate according to complex economic, emotional, and sociological factors which we cannot yet understand.

The period of adolescence that follows is even more uncertain. Are we children or adults, or what we are? How should we behave toward adults? What is this called sex; is it good or bad and whose opinion do we ask and what do you do about it? Why do my parents still treat me as a child? Am I grown up, or am I?

Adulthood brings with it new problems, new uncertainties. The choice of vocations, the decisions to be made about marriage, marriage partner, and children, about business commitments and political views, insurance protection and community participations, or non-involvement, gambling or non-gambling strategies. I could write pages and pages on the conflicts a responsible adult must face and the uncertainties surrounding his decisions and the outcomes of his considered choices.

Throughout their lives most people worry about tragedy striking, the breadwinner losing their jobs, a fire that wipes out one’s home, an automobile accident in which a loved one is crippled, and these are real possibilities that one must learn to live without burying his head in the sand.

What is the answer to this dilemmas of life? It is simple, really, more life, reaffirmation of life, while there is life – life, with the help of a healthy self image that will give you the sense of certainty you need.

Some day we will all die, that is GOD’s law of life and there is nothing we can do about it. But while we lived, did we truly live?

Did we really live or just occupy space while we went through motions of living? Did we enjoy every year, every month, every week, and every day – or did we manage to passively endure the dull moments? Did we see the green trees, smell the beautiful flowers, share with our friends, taste our lamb chops, love our work – or were we so obsessed with worry that life could not enter into our troubled minds?

“Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it” ~ Leo Buscaglia

As babies, we are born with smile coming through the first howl of pain, while we live, we must live constructively so that time and again a smile might break through the pain.

Now what about friendship – one of the chief ingredients of a rich life? There is a saying to the effect that “dog is a man’s best friend,” but I do not automatically fall in this silly sayings like this. I am fond of dogs, but if my observations are correct, a dog will be far from your best friend if you do not take care of him in the style to which he is accustomed.

Man’s best friend – any man’s best friend, is his self image. If he sees himself as a good guy, he is on the road to contentment; if he doesn’t, he will cause his own downfall.

“Love yourself and treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. You deserve the same love you give others”

John or Mary or Tom may be your friend and may be a valued friend, but your best friend is your self image. Another person may like you, may even go out of his way to help you in a crisis, but he cannot participate completely in your joys and  heartaches; more he cannot give you the capacity for success or failure, for self-acceptance or self-esteem. Your self image can give you this capacity and a sense of certainty as you live. If you see yourself as agreeable, if your picture of yourself is satisfying, you live with marvellous form of certainty; the conviction that when uncontrollable factors go against you and events temporarily oppose your desires, you will support yourself.

There will always be moment of adversity hitting you from the external world, as well as self doubts plaguing you from within. The real test of friendship for yourself is whether you rally to your own aid when you need the consoling sustenance of your best friend – YOU.

When you are sure of this internal cushion in crisis, then you know how to be certain in this uncertain world.

“We can learn to be our own best friend.  If we do, we have a friend for life.  We can buoy ourselves up, give ourselves comfort and sustenance the times when there is no one else” ~ Mildred Newman & Bernard Berkowitz

You can say to yourself “But the uncertainty is real; how can I relax?” You may protest that my point of view is not realistic. But I assure you that it is. And I assure you that I, too, know of life’s dangers as I have experienced them a lot in my life. We all go through grief, loss, shock, horror, and misfortune at some stage of our lives. There may be times in our lives that we feel tired, depressed and even walking sometimes seems an effort. Our thoughts may be incoherent and we lose contact with reality and retreat from the world of people and pain. But finally we realize that we have to continue with our life. We begin to see friends again. We learn to laugh again, and pick up the pieces and put them together. This is the way you must live your life. You must survive struggles, survive uncertainty, pick yourself off the floor, and go back to a creative living. But you need a friend at times like this, your self image, for a proper self image is the powerhouse within you that enables you to stand up under stress. Indeed, the power of your self image, intangible as it is, can outdistance the uncertainties with which you may wrestle.

Life holds many surprises for us, not all pleasant, and the person who would live creatively in today’s world must develop a strong self image. You cannot rely on luck and you cannot base your life on the opinion of other people. You must do it yourself and do it in a world full of frustrations and dangers. You must constantly work to improve your mental image of yourself, to feel better about yourself. You can do this if you are willing to work hard, without preconceptions of magical solutions, following these suggestions:

  • Every day you have many occasions to look into mirror; when you brush your teeth, when you wash your face, when you shave, when you powder your nose, or comb your hair. Go beyond these simple functions and use the mirror to help you, to become reacquainted with the outer image of a self you may have lost sight of in the rushing pace of life today.
  • Learn to accept this physical image of yourself and the inner self behind it.
  • You must recover your sense of self. Many people have lost this sense and do not understand that they have lost it or the sorrowful consequences of this loss.

You have to understand this: You can have expensive house. Two cars, a sizable bank account, and real estate, and still feel poor, if you have lost touch with a wholesome self image of yourself.

If you feel poor, then uncertainties will frighten you, and you will find them all around you.

Pliny the Elder, the famous Roman writer, once commented that “the only certainty is that nothing is certain”.  But the life insecurities need not worry you; they need not keep you from full living. Not if you feel that you are a worthwhile person. You must be able to allow yourself joy. You must feel at one with yourself. Then a sense of security will replace worry, and you will be able to live happily with a minimum of uncertainty.

 


How to Stop Worrying

How to Stop Worrying – “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Worries are those nagging thoughts about something you fear might happen. They are kind of thoughts which come into your mind and make you feel discouraged and anxious. The next thing happens, you actually start believing in those thoughts and feeding them with more arguments. Which in turn get you into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing you know, you find yourself there in that deep mud hole. You look around and all is doom and gloom. As Arthur Somers Roche said:  “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”

How to break the worry habit before it breaks you:

  • Block all negative thoughts from coming into your mind in the first place by keeping busy. If for some reason they do come in- address them right away. “What are the odds against this thing’s happening at all? What can I do to prove that this is not true? Be a lawyer arguing against that negativity. You can write all your thoughts down and counter argue them on paper or you can talk them out with someone you trust.
  • Co-operate with the inevitable. When Sir Henry Fawcett was a young man of twenty-five, he was blinded in a hunting accident. He had just graduated from Cambridge University as one of its most brilliant students and the world seemed like an apple rip for the picking. His own comments on the accident are: “Before twenty seconds had passed, I decided that not even this would hinder me from achieving the highest for which I was intended.” But he went on to become a professor in Cambridge. This man of faith refused to use this incident to build a tower of fear.

By fighting against the inevitable, you are using up a lot of  the energy you require for the more important areas of your life, and by not allowing yourself to let some things go, you will end up constantly tense and stressed out.

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Dwell on positive things, and positive ways of happy living. We spend hours and hours dwelling and ruminating on the negative and fearful things in our lives. We worry about what could go wrong, instead of focusing and paying attention to the rational, the positive and the good. If you study and relive your past experiences, analysing them, and “getting in touch with your feelings”, you will only reinforce those feelings. If you want to get away from a problem, you should not focus on it.  Focus on what is rational, the positive, the beautiful, and the nice. When you got worries out of your system you can feel the quiet tranquillity. You can see the beauty, the wonder.

“Your life will follow your expectations. What you expect is what you will get. If you dwell on positive thoughts, you will move in that direction; if you continually think negative thoughts, you will live a negative life” ~ Joel Osteen

Ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness:

  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, for “our life is what our thoughts make it.”
  • Get past your enemies instead of getting Even with them. “Let’s never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them” ~ Dale CarnegieRegardless of how you have been wronged by others in your life, and how justified you might believe you are in seeking revenge, it’s important to remember that life isn’t a game and simply getting even doesn’t mean you’ve won the battle; it just means you’ve lost your self-respect. As Martin Luther King Jr said in one of his quotes: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
  • Don’t expect gratitude. If you go around expecting gratitude, you are headed for a lot of heartaches. There are thousands of people who are ill from neglect, ingratitude and loneliness. They longed to be loved but the only way that they can ever hope to be loved is, to stop asking for it and to start pouring out love without hope of return. If you want to find happiness, let’s stop thinking about gratitude or ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving. “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting”
  • Find yourself and do not imitate others. As it says: “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide”, you need to find your true self, and be yourself. We all have a built in set of personal values. If we lose touch with those values we lose touch with our authentic self. When we violate those values we violate our relationship with the person we really are. In order to be yourself, you have to identify those values and make every effort to live by them. We can only be the person we were meant to be, by connecting with our true self and by feeling comfortable with who we are.
  • Forget our own unhappiness, by trying to create a little happiness for others. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” ~ Buddha

Doing things for others, whether small, unplanned acts of kindness or regular volunteering – is a powerful way to boost your own happiness as well of those around you. Kindness and caring also seem to be contagious. When you see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or you are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires you to be kinder yourself. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to the next, influencing the behaviour of people who never saw the original act. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier life. “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”

“Life laughs at you when you are unhappy. Life smiles at you when you are happy. But, Life salutes you when you make others happy” ~ Charlie Chaplin

  • Count your blessings, not your troubles. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” ~ Melodie Beattie

Counting your blessings, acknowledging and appreciating all that you already have in your life is a powerful technique that works as an antidote to worries. Noticing what is right in your life instead of worrying about what could go wrong in your life, make you feel happier and in peace with yourself. Always be satisfied with what you have and be determined to get what you want. Life has many ups and downs, but in any given situation if we analyse what we possess instead of what we have lost, we realize that God loves us and HIS blessings are always with us.

“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar

 


How to Get Motivated

How to get motivated – One of the most important factors that lead one to their goals is the drive. This drive is known as motivation. It is a zest and determination with a kind of excitement that leads one to persevere to reach greater achievements, in no matter what avenue of their life; be it – personal or professional. The factors that motivate an individual keep changing as one climbs the ladder of age and maturity. And also, achievement of one goal sets the ball rolling for another one to be achieved. “Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another” – John Dewey

There are times when one faces a period of de-motivation and everything seems bleak. It is then that they need to find what would motivate them back into action.

People who appear to be motivated in everything, are successful in understanding how to motivate themselves in a variety of settings and tasks. Two things contribute to your motivation for any task: what you expect from yourself and what value you place on achieving a goal. The key to motivation is understanding that you have the power to change both your expectations of yourself and the value placed on a task.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.” – Vince Lombardi

Now let us look at the tips which can help you to get motivated:

  1. Rise for reason: Find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Most people state that their reason to getting out of bed in the morning is to go to bathroom! Certainly there is something more motivating you can use to get yourself going. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for you is good too, but you should do it for something that you really want to happen, for really good reasons. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it” – Lou Holtz
  2. Energize yourself: Exercise dramatically affects mood and attitude. You might think working out is about your physical wellbeing, which it is, but it is also about your mental wellbeing as well. Moderate and reasonable exercise will do amazing things to create and keep your motivation high.
  3. Set achievable goals: It is difficult to sustain your motivation if you do not find meanings in your work. Goals can provide you with directions and nurture your motivation. Indeed, long-term goals are like road maps: they can help you envision your paths and give you good targets to achieve. Short-term goals are like checkpoints: they can give you affirmations that you are making efforts and moving forward to your long-term goals. The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain” – Kahlil Gibran
  4. Reward yourself: Everyone likes to be rewarded for completing a good job. Rewards can be motivating and give us the additional push to carry on. Whenever you have accomplished a task or a target you set, give yourself a decent reward. Take time out to recognize what did get done and celebrate the accomplishments.
  5. Be action-oriented: Over thinking give you a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. Paralysis by analysis is a very real hazard for people who simply can’t get enough information. Learn what you need to learn, and then get moving. Keep your energy high by jumping in and getting started. As Ian Percy said, “Business needs fewer mission statements and more missions”
  6. See opportunities instead of obligations: Instead of something you have to do, approach tasks, as something you want to do because of what you have to gain from it. Remind yourself that by completing a task or a target you set, you will be one step closer to achieving your goal.
  7. Spend time with people who share your goals and interests: Enthusiasm is contagious. Just talking about something you love can stir up motivation in yourself and the people around you. The people you meet might have new ideas and interesting perspectives that can reignite your passion. Passion is caught, not taught.
  8. Talk to someone who has already achieved what you want: Nothing is more inspiring than seeing that your goals truly become reality. When you want to give up because your goals seem impossible to reach, find someone whose success will inspire you. Ask them about how their success feels and the personal fulfilment they experienced. “Determination – it’s the key to all human success”.

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there” – Zig Ziglar

  1. Be happy: Happiness is largely a choice. As Abraham Lincoln said: “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. If you love life and you love what you do, you will tackle every task with energy and enthusiasm. If you are a “glass half-empty” person chances are that nothing will ever seem good to you. Spend time every day doing something that makes you truly happy.
  2. Visualize: See yourself achieving your goal. View it like a movie in your mind, but make it a complete sensory experience. When we visualize our desired outcome, we begin to “see” the possibility of achieving it. Through visualization, we catch a glimpse of what is, in the words of one writer, our “preferred future.” When this happens, we are motivated and prepared to pursue our goal.
  3. Recognize your accomplishments: Acknowledging your achievements, even in a small way, increases positive emotions such as self-respect, happiness, and confidence. Always take a moment to reflect on what you have achieved and be proud. Of course achievements come in all shapes and sizes and while they are all worth acknowledging, some will be more meaningful to you than others. I’d like to suggest that you find ways to create memories around your most important successes, then in the future if you should have moments of self-doubt or find yourself facing a particularly difficult obstacle you will have some tangible reinforcement of what you can do when you set your mind to it and how far you’ve already come.
  4. Set meaningful goals: Meaningful goals are those that are within reach, but force you to work hard. Make sure your goals are measurable within a set time period, for maximum value. Goals that are vague, or that don’t have a deadline, aren’t very satisfying even if you manage to complete them. Accomplishing a valuable goals really means something, because it is a reflection of hard work. As a result you will feel much more motivated to pursue them. “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” – Andrew Carnegie

Having enumerated all these tips and tricks to attain self-motivation, but still you seem to feel lacking that much needed drive, there is one last thing that you must try. Whatever it is that you have been meaning to do, or wanting to achieve, JUST DO IT! Keep on aiming high and go for it! Actually getting your hands dirty best solves the problem of motivation. By “forcing” yourself to just do it, your momentum will pick up gradually as you go along and before you know it you have finished the task or have finally achieved your goal. Divide and conquer is the key.


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”

 


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


Search for your creative power

Search for your creative power depends on how much energy you put into reading and what you read. Certain books on thinking can make you better able to understand your mind and through such understanding enable you to make more intelligent use of your creative power. Creative power is about having the ability and power to manifest a creative idea. In particular it is about the power to cause something to come into existence which did not previously exist. Creative power is about consciousness directing a flow of creative life energy by how it focuses its attention and awareness.

Our mind is ours, and with it, we can create. We have created automobile, skyscrapers, airplanes, air conditions, television, satellite, and with it, we can create contentment, contentment in a joyful world in which we can harness machines to eliminate most of the dangers and hardships. Not only is it our potential to create a meaningful life, it is also our obligations to ourselves. And yet the quest for happiness is, to so many people, a grotesque traffic jam. The motor keeps running, but the car can’t move.

Too many people have renounced happiness; too many think that living has lost its kick for them; too many find no purpose in their lives. Why is this? Why people give up on life? Why do they give up on themselves?

“Individuality is dead”, some say. “The pace is too fast” others say. They talk about the hustle-bustle of city life, the speed with which people move around on working days. They criticize the changes in our ideas; about sex, about art, about dress. Who can keep up with these revolutions in thought?

All right, there is some truth to the criticisms of today’s world, but people have always lived with imperfection. Down through history we find people coping with problems; some lived richly, some were afraid to live. And so is today; there are people who live, and there are people who use rationalizations to keep them from living fully.

Criticisms of the modern world serve only as stumbling blocks if they lead people to turn away from life. There is no excuse for negative thinking which wastes human life. When a person drowns himself in such a pattern of thinking, he is committing an unspeakable crime against himself.

Yet in our complex civilization people too often live with boredom and anxiety rather than adventure. While I am writing this article on creative living, I would like to communicate to you my ideas on the meaning of life, about a good life which you can make reality. I want to share with you that zestful, optimistic living can be a reality for people today. So many people do not see this truth, yet it is as real as the table at which you eat; it is as real as you are male or female.

Contrary to what many think, truth can be pleasant:

  • Operating on your mind: There is more to life than a good physical image. There is another force which can sustain you amid the demands of living. It is a force that can remove scars of the mind. It is a force that can bring you a sense of security, even when events in your world go wrong, and that is your self-image.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, “To take arms against a sea of troubles.”

To live creatively, you must “take arms”. You must arm yourself with powerful weapons which will not fire blanks when you need their support.

“The self-concept is a factual description of how you perceive yourself. If your perception is distorted, this description may not be an accurate depiction of you, but it IS an accurate statement of what you believe about yourself.”

  • Don’t let worries get you down: It is completely unacceptable how negative thinking can take hold of you, dragging you down into despair. When you substitute worry for living, you must take responsibility for it. Because it is really up to you. You can make your days thrilling, or you can make them miserable.

“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” ~Dale Carnegie

  • The source of your strength: To bring health into your life, you need healthy self-image. You need to see yourself as a worthwhile human being; you must give acceptance to yourself. The image you have of yourself, the way you see yourself deep down, is fundamental in your adjustment to yourself and to the world you live in.

“Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.”  ~ Robert Collier

  • Sharpening your image of yourself: Deeply ingrained negative attitudes permeate our culture, and every day people we know may try to submerge us in them. You must not allow to be railroaded into adopting stereotyped, humiliating attitudes toward yourself. You must, to live creatively, redouble your efforts to support yourself, to give yourself credit for your accomplishments, your positive feelings, your positive actions, and your life building qualities. You must redouble your efforts to accept your shortcomings and to look humanely upon your blunders. Moreover you must examine yourself as you are, realistically, without falling prey to negative ideas which short-changes your estimate of yourself. If your self-image was never strong, you must work long and hard to strengthen it. If it was once strong but has deteriorated, you must eliminate self-destructive ideas from your mind and build it again, a logical continuation of what it used to be. You will encounter roadblocks from many sources, but you can overcome them if you adopt positive attitudes toward yourself, and if you see yourself as someone you like, as someone with whom you’d like to be friends. You must understand, first the incredible power of your mind, for good or evil. It is the simple concepts and images in your mind that can make you happy or miserable. Your thoughts, your concepts, your images, these are your most precious assets. You can buy a mink coat, or an expensive house, and yet be unhappy. You can travel around the globe a hundred times and make a million dollars, too, and still be miserable. You can strengthen your image of yourself and be content.

“To live happily is an inward power of the soul.” ~ Aristotle

  • Real meaning in your life: Life is something different for each person. Sad to say, some people hide, afraid to come out into the daylight. Others may both take refuge in safe, dull activities which will protect them from both punishment and real human experience. But life should be adventure for you today. Life should be exciting for you today. Life should be purposeful for you today. You must understand that, though we seem to hear mostly the negative, there is always two sides to the coin. Even within the many confines of civilization, the human being may still be free and joyous.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “The life of man is the true romance, which, when it is valiantly conducted, will yield the imagination a higher joy than fiction.This is written in nineteenth century, but it is still accurate—if one’s life “valiantly conducted”.

Preparation for rich living cannot start too soon. NOW, now is the time. NOW is the time to reappraise yourself—who you are. Where you are going. NOW is the time to see what you can do to improve your life.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” ~ Bob Proctor

 


Change your thoughts and you change your world

Change your thoughts and you change your world.  / Norman Vincent Peale

In life, you are always filled with choices. You may opt to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may decide to take the optimist’s route and take a challenging and fulfilling life.

So why nurture an optimist’s point of view? And why now?

Optimism is an outlook in which we view the world as a positive place. In doing so, we realize that a wonderful life is worth loving. Optimism has been linked to positive mood and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma. Sometimes, we get caught up in the trap of negativity and we may feel that everything is working against us, we might feel overwhelmed and out of control, but it doesn’t mean that we have to let them control our feelings. It is all a matter of choice whether we want to make optimism a habit of our life.

Here’s how optimists are in action and researches that back up why it really pays to be an optimist:

  • Optimists always expect the best, they believe that bad events, which will last a long time and undermine everything they do, are their own fault. The truth is that optimists are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world too. What differs them is the way they explain their misfortune. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case.
  • Optimists tend to focus on and plan for the ‘problem’ at hand. They view negative experience in a way that can help them to learn and grow. Such people don’t get frazzled by bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder. They won’t say “things will never get better,” or “If I failed once, it will happen again”. Positive expectancies of optimists also predict better reactions during transitions to a new environment, a sudden tragedy and an unlikely turn of event. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.
  • People respond positively to optimists. Optimists tend to make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen. They are less dependent on others for their happiness. They don’t find need to control or manipulate people. They usually attract people towards them. Their optimistic point of view towards the world can be contagious and influence others around them.
  • Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well-being during times of stress than others who are less optimistic. In contrast, pessimists are likely to react to stressful events by denying that they exist or by avoiding dealing with problems. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.
  • Optimists have Perseverance, which is the key to success. They just don’t give up easily, they just keep on keeping on, as they are committed to their goals. This ability leads them to unexpected discoveries and expands their knowledge, both about themselves and about the field of their endeavour. They are also known for their patience. Inching their way one step at a time closer to their goal or elusive dream.
  • Optimists are healthier and live longer. Numerous studies support the belief that people with positive perspective tend to be healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are generally gloomy and cynical about the future and always expecting the worst in every situation. As having a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body’s ability to fight disease, an optimist tend to age well and get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.

So why not be an optimist today? And think positively towards a more fulfilled life. Why not look forward to success in all our endeavours? Why not be resilient? Like everybody else we are bound to hit lows sometimes but we don’t have to just stay there. We can carry ourselves out of the mud and improve our chances of getting back on the right track. And why not inspire others to remove their dark-coloured glasses and see life in the bright side?

Our thoughts not only create our reality, they also influence the reality of those around us. Let the currents that flow through us be those of positivity and love. Choose thoughts that reflect of what we want to see and experience in the world. Be the reflection of our dream life and watch it manifest before our very eyes.

“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny”