When it is hard…

I am generally a positive and happy person. I have a very good life. Nothing to complain about.It was not always like that. In the past I went through some difficult times as well.

I have seen low and I have seen high…

What I learned is that life has cycles or as Jim Rohn used to say: seasons. We all go through Springs, Summers, Autumns and Winters in our lives.
What I also learned is that no matter where you are in this specific point of life, low or high, you will go cyclically through similar emotions.
Sometimes you will feel down, sometimes you will feel up. Sometimes you will be afraid and then at times, you will not feel the fear at all. I noticed that similar cyclic feelings will be known to the poor and the rich, to the wise and the not so wise.

It seems that this is the nature of life. This is how we are.

What is the function of these fluctuations? Wouldn’t it be nice to only have positive, powerful and uplifting feelings? Wouldn’t it be great to live in a never-ending Summer season?

I don’t think so. I think that our moments of being low do have an important role in our life. Moments of difficulties are there to remind us about the never-ending contest between good and bad, between light and darkness, between health and sickness. These moments are necessary for us to fully appreciate life.

Would we appreciate light if we would not experience darkness? Would we appreciate health if we would not be aware of sickness? Would we appreciate company if we would never be lonely?

It doesn’t seem to me that we would.

I used to hate these moments. I used to be angry with myself and with the circumstances for getting me into such an unfortunate position. But now I understand that life, from time to time, wants to show me how fortunate I am. Life wants me to be aware of all good things that are happening to me by presenting me a contrast. It is like a message: don’t take all the good things for granted.

Therefore now, when these difficult moments come, I am not angry anymore. I am calming down and I am looking at all the good and positive in my life from the perspective of the contrast that life presents to me.

By doing that I am actually feeling better. My attitude is not going down so deep. In the old times I could be down for days now it seldom take longer than an hour or two.

So when you are down, when life is throwing some negativity, some opposition at you, try to use it for appreciating all good and positive things in your life more clearly. Try to see them from the right perspective. I am sure when you will be able to learn this and you will practice it, the difficult times will actually have a positive function in your life and it will help you to go through…..

Who am I?

A few days ago I read a book by Bert Jukes “The Successful Mindset”. The first chapter is all about discovery “who am I”. I love this approach as it stimulates us to think about maybe the most important aspect of our existence – about ourselves.

Of course when you start to think about “who am I”, you want to come to some conclusions, you want to have some answers.

It proofs to be easier to say than to do, at least for me. The first question that came to my mind is: what defines who we actually are?

Is it true what Buddha teaches that “The mind is everything. What you think you become”? Or maybe we are what we do? Or maybe we are the product of the results we produce? Or maybe it is all the same? As what we think should impact what we do and what we produce?

I think that I agree with Buddha who said that “What you think you become…” but I like Jim Rohn’s explanation better. He said that what we conclude based on our knowledge and experience defines our life philosophy. For me the life philosophy is my view of life and my attitude towards it. It is the sum of conclusions based on believes, knowledge and experiences. My life philosophy determines my attitude and the way I am acting. Both attitude and activities will create the results that are directly connected to my life philosophy.

Generally I can say that I am what I think is good or bad, what I think is important or not so important, what I believe is valuable or not so valuable, what I believe is true or false. As these believes, conclusions and knowledge will determine my attitude and activities. It will make me the person whom you know.

Now comes the difficult part. If my attitude and actions are directly connected to my life philosophy can I say that I am what I do? I don’t think so… I think that although the way we perform different activities is directly connected to our life philosophy, we can only know if our actions were aligned with what we are when we look at the results. As what we think and what we produce does not have to be the same. In the end we are only humans and we can make mistakes, we can choose the wrong way, thinking that it will produce different results.

The beautiful part of this approach is that even if we do not produce what we want, we can analyze it and adjust our attitude and our activities, we can change what we do to be better align with what we think, to be better align with what we are. In the end this is what the “Good change” is all about.

Again I liked the way Bert Jukes describes in his book a conversation with his best self. This kind of conversation can help us to make better choices and shows us that what we are busy with, is actually a never-ending process of aligning our attitude and activities with our thoughts.

This is good stuff, isn’t? I am exited thinking and talking about it! So what are my conclusions? What do I believe and know? I do not want to bore you with my life philosophy. The fun stuff is to discover your own! But for now I would like to give you just a few examples.

I know that we come to the Earth with 2 great gifts: time and genetic information. I believe that it is our responsibility to use both gifts to the best of our abilities.

I believe that the most important freedom we have is the freedom of choice. I know that with this freedom comes, equally important, the responsibility for our choices.

I believe that every dream has its price. I know that people who go for their dreams, humbly accept the price or quit.

I believe that we need “all of us” to make the best of our gifts, to make the best choices and to go for the biggest dreams. I know that the best way to achieve something big and long-lasting is to cooperate with each other based on a win – win principle.

What are your believes and conclusions? Are you thinking about your life philosophy? Are you working on your personal development?

Well there are for sure lots of questions coming to my mind right now and I think that this very well may be the biggest value I got from the book of Bert Jukes. Bert, thank you for challenging me to think!

 

 

In our best self-interest

Do you remember situations when you asked yourself, which action will work best in my self-interest?

I am sure you do, we all try to navigate life the way that it will benefit our interest, don’t we?

We are not pain seekers. We want to live a good life!

But, you could also imagine a situation when getting a short-term win can bring long-term lost, couldn’t you?

We are living now in a world that is full of the voices playing on our self-interest instinct.

Do it now, do it quickly, it is good for you, you will feel great and you will be happy…

But is this really true?

Let’s look at some examples.

The most clear to me is an example of consumptive loan.

Take the money now, use your credit card and buy whatever you desire! You will feel good, you will be happy, you will have better status…

Another example is entertainment.

Come and enjoy, don’t work too hard, you deserve some fun, you deserve to have a life…

What about food and drinks? Alcohol, sugared drinks, ice-cream all shown as cool, sporty and healthy…

Please, understand me correctly. I am not starting a crusade against loans, against entertainment or against comfort food or drinks. Not at all. One of my teachers during my study used to say that everything in the world can be used as medication or as a deadly poison, it is all a question of timing and quantity…

I just want to trigger our thinking. Could it be that what we think at first to be in our self-interest in the long run could turn against us?

What if I will tell you that sharing is in your best self-interest? Or doing more than you are paid for? Or investing instead of spending? Doesn’t it feel contra intuitive?

If I share I will have less… Why should I work more than I am paid for? I can’t invest, I do not have money to do so…

It sure does…

But please trust me! If you want to live a good life, if you want to be respected, healthy, financially free and fulfilled you will need to rethink short-term gains versus long-term results. You will need to learn to see yourself in the future!

One could say that life is short and unpredictable so why should we care? Well, it might be true for some individuals, but in general it is not true.

Life is short, but it is long enough! Average life expectation is growing rapidly and in many places around the world it will reach an average of 90 years in the near future…

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

The definition of learning is to acquire knowledge through study, experience, or being taught. The good question is: “being taught by whom?” By marketing specialists? By politicians?

Therefore my advice is to become a good student. To collect knowledge, experience and lessons from all sources and to ponder about it, to analyze it and in the end to come to your own conclusions about what is truly in your best self-interest.

Don’t let short-term gains ruin your long-term results.

In our best self-interest I would like to finish with the words of Jim Rohn: “We should learn not to spend major time on minor things as well as we should learn not to spend major money on the minor things”.

Wishing you fantastic week!

About success…

I read a small article where the author used a definition of success as the attainment of fame, wealth and social status.

I never had much with “authority” trying to push me in a specific way of thinking and acting.

Why should I accept this definition of success? Why can’t I look at success from a different perspective? Well, I can!

I prefer to look at success from within the person rather than from a public point of view. For me success is very personal. It is the result of personal values, goals and possibilities.

Too often I see people who look at success from a public point of view and deny themselves the pleasure of being successful. Personal success can be very powerful. It can motivate and it can inspire. Therefore I prefer to use a different definition of success.

My definition is: to act upon and to achieve goals that are in harmony with one’s personal values (personal philosophy).

In short for me it is a massive success when you live in modesty helping homeless animals, if this is what is truly valuable to you. The same way as it is a massive success if you help millions of people in their personal development when this is truly valuable to you!

There is one problem with this definition. From the public point of view we cannot see who is and who is not successful. But, is this really so important? Must personal success become a marketing product owned by the public?

For me, this is not the main point of personal success. The main point of personal success is that I can become more by achieving it.

Am I learning anything?

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

How come we are often repeating the same error? We want to achieve different results by doing the same over and over again?

Les Brown in today’s “Daily Motivation” speech ask the same question.

Are you learning anything?

I know I am. But am I learning all I can? Am I learning the right things? Will the things I learn help me to become better? These questions can only be answer by measuring the results.

But aren’t results relative? For one person losing 10 pounds could be a huge success, for another one it could be a huge disaster…

So how do I know if I do well? Till I will figure it out let me use wisdom of Jim Rohn:

Life asks us to make measurable progress in reasonable time. That’s why they make those fourth grade chairs so small – so you won’t fit in them at age twenty-five!

🙂