Stop Following the Herd and Lead

Stop following the herd

Malala – photo by Photopin

It only takes one person to stop following the herd to change the whole world.

Like a schoolgirl in Pakistan.

Malala Yousefzai used her intellect to fight for a girl’s right to an education.

She was not afraid of anyone, because going to school was not a crime.

Then the Taliban tried to assassinate her and shot her in the face.

Intimidation did not stop her. It had the opposite effect.

It inspired her fight harder for girls to have an education.

After many surgeries in America, she recovered.

The whole world began to notice the bravery of the teenage girl.

She won The Nobel Peace Prize.

She used her power of reasoning to ask WHY we do things the way we do.

Intellectuals don’t follow the herd, they lead it.

The ability to reason is what distinguishes us from other living creatures.

The herd instinct isn’t in Malala.

She doesn’t guard the status quo, she uses her intellect and questions it.

All art and music and social development stem from our power to reason, or our intellect.

When we go beyond instinctual behavior, our desires turn into goals that with benefits beyond ourselves.

Then we gain understanding and co-operate with others to reach the goal.

In Sanskrit ‘Vedanta’ means an “absolute knowledge”, which includes experience and karma.

Life is a series of experiences.

Our badge of recognition that we are alive is the action that we take.

If our actions or karma are to heal the world, they return benefits to us; if they are to harm the world, they return consequences.

Instead of blindly accepting our reality, we can view it with critical eyes, and change it.

Like Malala.

She knows that acting the same way as everyone around her and expecting a different result doesn’t solve herd problems.

Curiosity, Not Ignorance, Is Bliss By: Ann Hoy


“Curiosity seeks to annihilate itself; there is no curiosity that does not want an answer” Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

We are naturally curious, and eager to exchange our ignorance for knowledge, and our naivety for understanding.

There is intense curiosity, like the stalking paparazzi type, or mild curiosity, like wanting to know the weather forecast, but most of us have moderate curiosity.

Like Newton’s apple that fell and inspired the theory of gravity, our Eureka! Moment comes unexpectedly. We don’t seek out something to be curious about, we stumble upon it, like an oddity in a Dickens’ Curiosity Shop; it draws our attention to it, and we desire to know more about it.

Sometimes our curiosity draws us to a person. We are like the ‘Curiosity’ rover on Mars, zooming in closer to attempt to understand someone better. Curiosity engages our senses – we feel the energy in a person’s voice, or the firmness in their handshake.

Our curiosity also draws us inward to ask ourselves questions like, who am I? Why am I here? We may have never fully answered the call to “Know Thyself” since it was inscribed outside The Temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece, but our curiosity helps us understand ourselves and others better.

Curiosity is like a muscle that we develop by questioning, seeking new experiences, and viewing old experiences with fresh eyes. It stretches us, teaches us, and changes us.
We may even contradict our former views, change our minds, and cross the floor, as it washes away outmoded ideas.

Albert Einstein’s curiosity led him to expand on Galileo’s theories. Einstein looked at Galileo’s findings and asked different questions, which led to his discovery of the theory of relativity.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious”. – Albert Einstein

Curiosity is Bliss

Curiosity is Bliss


Neurologists have found that asking new questions helps us form new neural pathways in our brains. An active curiosity slows down the aging process, encourages openness and inquisitiveness in social relationships, reduces boredom, and increases happiness, according to an article in Experiencelife.com.

It is also crucial to rational thinking. Of the 12 Virtues of Rational Thinking, curiosity is the number one according, to The Rationality Institute:

“The first virtue is curiosity. A burning itch to know is higher than a solemn vow to pursue truth. To feel the burning itch of curiosity requires both that you be ignorant, and that you desire to relinquish your ignorance. If in your heart you believe you already know, or if in your heart you do not wish to know, then your questioning will be purposeless and your skills without direction. Curiosity seeks to annihilate itself; there is no curiosity that does not want an answer. The glory of glorious mystery is to be solved, after which it ceases to be mystery. Be wary of those who speak of being open-minded and modestly confess their ignorance. There is a time to confess your ignorance and a time to relinquish your ignorance.”

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky – The Twelve Virtues of Rationality

In order to cultivate your curiosity, you need to be open to new information, so you can leave your comfort zone and discover what could be. The key is to ask questions, and the first question to ask is – how can I be more curious?

Sources:
http://experiencelife.com/article/the-power-of-curiosity/, brainy quote,
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky – The Twelve Virtues of Rationality,www.brainpickings.org

photo credit: Russ Allison Loar via photopin cc

The Solution to Your Problems is Within You

Solutions are Within You

Solutions are Within You

 

Most of our problems exist in our minds, and are self-created. When we obsess about them, we allow them to rent space in our heads,where they germinate, and spring up in our words and actions. Here are some ways to uproot the weeds of problems before they take over your contentment:

Live in The Present:
It’s not so much the problem, but our thoughts about the problem that hurt us. Everything is fine in the present moment, but if we dwell on the past, or feel anxious about the future, we sow the seeds of unhappiness. When an issue arises, our memory automatically calls up information that is relevant to it, and we see it the same way again, according to Psychology Today. Reset your brain to the present, and describe the issue in a different way, and you will find a new solution.

“Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.”
John F. Kennedy

Maintain a Positive CAN Do outlook:
Problems are small leaks that you can quickly patch and forgive, and return to steering the ship towards your dream life. Focus on what you CAN change in life, and change it. Often it’s when you’re in the shower, or doing something that doesn’t require too much mental activity, and your mind is relaxed, that a brilliant and creative solution comes to you.

Change Your Attitude:

Framing an issue as good or bad depends on your attitude about it. If a problem occurs, instead of reacting emotionally, look for the cause, as that’s where the solution lies. Many problems arise from a misunderstanding on both sides, including yours. Saying things out of emotion can destroy a friendship of many years. Emotions are felt in your body – jealousy shows up in your stomach as a burning sensation; anger makes your head feel hot. Detach from your thoughts, and return to positive energy and respond from love.

Sleep on It:
A problem seems worse if you are in a bad state of mind. If you are tired, or in a low mood, step back, go for a walk in nature, take a nap, or get a good sleep, and respond with care once you feel rested. If you look for the good in a situation, you will find it; and it’s impossible to feel miserable when you focus on your blessings.

A problem may be a blessing in disguise if there is a lesson to learn, or if you learn to work around problems. You may learn that you are taking yourself too seriously. In hindsight, some of your biggest laughs will come from things you once considered as problems.

John Lennon said: “There are no problems, only solutions.”


Seek the Solution:
Seeking a solution attracts a solution to you. You deserve happiness, and solutions, not problems. You are responsible for your happiness, and instead of dwelling on problems in your mind, get out of your mind, and feel the love and forgiveness in your soul. You are bigger than any problem that exists, because problems are temporary, and you can make a habit of identifying with the lasting happiness that is within you, rather than your problems.
Ann.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulbrigham/8712854918/”>One Way Stock</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

Finding, Enjoying and Sharing Your Purpose

Pursue your dreams

Pursue your Dreams

                                            There are two great days in a person’s life –

                                     the day we are born, and the day we discover why.

                                      William Barkley

 

We are born with a purpose in life, and part of our journey is to find out what it is. We find it by looking inside, and listening to the voice that tells us why we are here, and we will no longer need to search for it – it will find us.

 

It will find us when:

We are doing what we enjoy,

And doing what we are good at,

And what empowers us,

Uplifts us,

inspires us,

and makes us feel alive.

Some people don’t pursue what they were born to do – life happens to them; and they get discouraged by it and put their dreams aside, or they put other’s expectations of them first, or seek fulfillment with distractions – overeating, or working too much, but these activities aren’t meaningful so they don’t find lasting fulfillment.

Much has been written about finding your purpose:

Tony Robbins says:  “you have to decide what’s important to you, and put that first, and create a vision for yourself.  He says being too busy means ‘managing your pain’, but the real way out of pain is giving.  That is when your life matters to more than yourself.  He says the best time to give is when you have nothing.  It’s like planting a seed when you have very little left, and something starts to grow.”

“What will put life in perspective is to constantly do something as a ritual, to serve somebody in worse shape than you are; there is no greater way to put perspective in your life. I call it ‘I have no problems day’.   It’s about doing something for someone who is worse off than you.” – TR

The Dalai Lama says:  “the purpose of life is to be happy” and that caring for others has the added benefit of increasing our own wellbeing and bringing us inner peace.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The crowning fortune of a man (or woman*) is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.”

Joseph Campbell called it “finding your bliss”.  To fulfill your purpose in life requires persistence on your part.  When you face setbacks, you must have faith in yourself, and not listen to other people tell you that you  cannot do something when you know you can.  Only you know what your purpose is, it comes from inside you, so you are the expert on this one.

Some people recognize their purpose early in life, and a beautiful flame is lit inside them, which fuels their inner peace and purpose.  Their talent continues to develop and expands from helping themselves to helping others.

You are here for a reason

You are here for a reason

When I was young, I dreamed of being a writer and someone told me writing was for middle aged men with a lot of life experience.  I”m glad I didn’t listen to him or I wouldn’t have had articles published, or ran a resume writing business, or worked for a newspaper writing ads and articles, or taught essay writing, or written this blog, which I enjoy.

Following your dreams takes persistence.  Circumstances and people don’t always support you, and every artist creating their path has faced setbacks.  The Beatles pursued their purpose with persistence, despite every record company that they approached at first turning them down.  Once they signed a recording contract, they went on to become one of the best bands of all time.  Likewise, JK Rowling was initially rejected by all the publishing houses she took her Harry Potter books to.  But once a publisher signed her on, those books became one of the best- selling series of books of all time.  Both The Beatles and Joanne Rowling had faith in their ability and persistently pursued their goals.

The moment you decide to take the first step towards your dreams, then take a step to start creating your unique path, you are on your way.  Doors open for you, your fears recede, and your doubts evaporate.   You no longer feel that you don’t have enough talent or time to pursue your dreams, because time will disappear when you are having fun.

We think we are physical beings, and look outside ourselves to find our purpose, but we are actually spiritual beings who can look inside ourselves to find what is right for us, as unique individuals.

Eckhart Tolle says: “awakening to your life’s purpose involves serving yourself and others in some way.  When you use your special talents and gifts to contribute to the world, the power will come through you like a light, that only you know is shining through you, and you will feel great presence with what you are doing and will really enjoy it.”

Eckhart says: “it is not based on desire, or the ego, but it is based on enjoyment” and you are totally present when doing it.

 

*woman added for the purposes of this blog

photo credits: both flickr <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/9689105659/”>symphony of love</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

My 4 Tips To Make Your Dreams Come True

My 4 Tips to Making Your Dreams Come True

Make your dreams come true

“The future is made in your mind”

John Lennon

We all dream of living lives where we are excited to get out of bed in the morning, where our needs for love and self- expression are fulfilled, and we are growing into our full potential as human beings.

This week I have been studying how to attract more of what I want into my life.  I usually look forward to my day, but there are times when I am not progressing, and need some help to get back on track to joy.  I know what I want, but fears and doubts get in the way and prevent me from believing in it, or contradictory thoughts about what I want cloud my mind.

A dream life comes to you when: you see it – as if in a movie imaging in your mind, believe it – as if you already have it, ask for it – and be crystal clear about what you want, and take action to receive it, says Rhonda Byrne, author of “The Secret”.

She says ‘The Law of Attraction’ on which the book is based, occurs when we attract back to us the energy that we are sending out.  So, if we’re not getting what we want, we have to change our frequency.

 

My 4 Tips to Make Your Dreams Come True:

 

1)      Be GRATEFUL for who you are now, and what you have already attracted.

Improving on who you are and what you want to do, depends on being grateful for the good  that you have attracted in your life to this point.  That feeling of peace and contentment will bring more abundance to you.

 

2)      DECIDE who we want to become

 

To change your journey in life, decide who you are now, and think about who you want to be in the future, not who you were in the past  Make room for who you are now and who you are becoming.

Tony Robbins, life coach and motivational speaker says: we have an identity that we carry around with us about who we are, that we need to update if it no longer fits.  Then we can focus on where we want to go now.

He says:  Ask yourself :  How Does it make you feel?   The power to get whatever you want is in you – in your mind, you have the power – Tony Robbins

 

3)      UTILIZE Your Gifts

 

Focusing on what YOU want to do and what gifts you have to contribute connects you to something bigger than yourself.  Ask for your gifts to work through you. First you have to know yourself, love yourself, and know what you want, or what motivates you.  What do you feel passionate about? This is not what someone else wants.  You have unique gifts to share. It’s about you.

Growing as a person and offering your unique contribution to the world as only you can, is what  truly fulfills us.   Michael Bernard Beckwith, a contributor to the Secret says:  “If you feel a pull towards doing something different to realize your potential , say YES. God does not call the qualified, he qualifies you through your yes “

 

4)      PROGRESSION not PERFECTION

 

Your dream doesn’t have to be perfect:   People feel happiest when they are making progress in what they are trying to do.  Attaining perfection is not what is important, but in each day moving toward the direction they want to go, and becoming who they want to be and fulfilling their destiny.

When we align with our higher purpose, and feel passionate about our lives, our needs get fulfilled.  We become who we want to become by believing it in our minds and taking action to make it happen, then start  realizing our unlimited potential as human beings.  The magnetic fields of energy that surround us will be filled with our positive energy and attract what we want to us.

Celebrate your progress on making your dreams come true!   Ann Hoy

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/artsylens/5341044327/”>peggyhr</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

thesecret.tv/

Water For Everyone

As I slowed down the pace this week, my attention turned to the precious things in my life, like water. Water keeps me alive, and I am grateful for it.
I turn on the faucet and the miracle of readily available clean water flows out.

There is plenty of water on earth, yet 780 million people lack access to clean water (2½ times the population of the United States)
3.4 million die needlessly each year from water related diseases that are preventable with sanitation equipment* (water.org)

As I treasure each sip of water this week, and as I praise it, I cook with it, bathe in it, wash clothes in it, water flowers and trees with it, and wash my hands with it. It is essential to my life, although it doesn’t strive to be useful, or ask me for anything in return.

I can’t possibly explain my love affair with water without leaving out 1,000 more ways it benefits me, but besides sustaining my life, I love it because:

It makes clouds – [puffy white ones in a sunny sky, and dark black ones that announce a storm in a grey sky).

It co-operates with air and fire as essential resources on our planet.

I swim and boat and ski and skate on various forms of it.

This fact surprised me: “in 2007, more than 11,300 readers of the British Medical Journal chose the introduction of clean water and sewage disposal—“the sanitary revolution”—as the most important medical milestone since 1840, when the BMJ was first published. Readers were given 10 days to vote on a shortlist of 15 milestones, and sanitation topped the poll, followed closely by the discovery of antibiotics and the development of anaesthesia, according to the US National Centre for Biotechnology.

To learn more about this, visit www.thewaterproject.org

Do You Live on The “Someday I’Il” Philosophy?

We all do it – put off a responsibility until later because we don’t feel like doing it now.

But when we avoid paying the utility bill, for example, we receive an overdue notice, and eventually a disconnection notice, which increases our stress.

“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.” –Denis Waitley,  (Author of The Psychology of Winning)

Mark Kennedy says these four tips will help you overcome the habit of putting things off:

1)        Say “I choose” rather than “I have to” when referring to duties, so it doesn’t sound like you are being forced to do something.

2)        Focus on STARTING a project, not FINISHING a project, because it sounds like it will take too long to complete it.

3)        Focus on repeatedly starting something. This revs up your motivation, and finishing creates stress.  “When can I start?” is what you ask yourself, and break the project down into
smaller pieces so it’s not overwhelming.

4)        Schedule in your playtime first, before you tackle your duties and then it  gives you something to look forward to.  This helps you avoid burnout, and lets you manage your work time.

source: www.beyondthemargin.com