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365 Paths to Love

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Be Your Dream

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Transform Your Life: 730 Inspirations

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Daily inspirational quotes about life from the book Transform your life - 730 Inspirations

Cosmic Synchronicity

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This book helps your recognise challenges and overcome fear

Self-Disclosure: Changes from Within

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145 inspirational quotes to motivate your to be honset with yourself and solve your problems.

  

 

 

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Friday
Jan192007

Strategy

"I'm always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso

Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them were afraid to be laughed at. How often have you avoided taking a risk because you were afraid to fail? I like to learn to play with various parts of a situation. This enables me to reframe the risks, measure the pros and cons if you will. I imagine that I add, remove, combine and simplify aspects of the overall situation. I also find humor in my circumstances, even if I'm about to float up into the air in a precarious hot air balloon with a clausterphobic friend who's afraid of heights.

Theodore Roosevelt said, "No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause."

Throughout our lives, we all face uncertainty and risk at every turn. Yet, we differ greatly in how we perceive and react to our circumstances. Some of us plan ahead, and have the ability to see the larger picture. Others among us lash out or react impulsively, which can get us into trouble or have disastrous results. We all define strategy, some openly in the form of goals and plans, and some covertly or subconsciously, without thinking. When should we take risks? That is the question. We can calculate the probability of worthwhile results. Sometimes we may simply follow instincts. 

Sun Tzu's Art of War implies that each level of conflict represents increasing cost (mental, physical, emotional), as well as increasing resources (such as time). The longer you're at odds with yourself about a choice, or the longer you contemplate taking a risk, the more likely you won't wish to act or you'll change your plan. When have you changed your mind about taking risks?

Friday
Jan192007

Ethical Dilemma for Yellow Emporer

Today, I thought I would share a fable.  Since success is often linked to balance, I invite you to consider a discussion between the Yellow Emporer, Shih Huang Ti, and his Chief Minister, Qi Bo.

"Why is it that people nowadays (2700 BC) do not live as long as they used to and what can be done about it?"

Qi Bo replied, "This is in part because in the past, people practised the Tao, which is the way of life.  They appreciated the principle of balance in all things, of the flow of yin and yang, of the ceaseless, eternal transformation of the universe." 

"I see," said the Yellow Emporer.

"But 'these days," continued Qi Bo, in one of the earliest pieces of medical advice recorded, "people have changed their way of life.  They drink wine as though it were water, indulge in destructive activities, drain their jing [the body's essence, centered on the kidneys] and they deplete their qi [life energy].  They do not know the secret of conserving their qi or their vitality.  Seeking emotional excitement and monetary pleasures, people disregard the natural rhythm and order of the universe.  They fail to regulate their lifestyle and diet and sleep improperly.  So its not surprising that instead of living well over a hundred years they look old at fifty and die soon after."

The Yellow Emporer was left to think about this.  He pondered the problem concerning life experience.  He felt this was something he rarely had before he needed to reflect back on it.

Friday
Jan192007

Free will

When you meet people, you learn that no two people are alike. That's amazing! In principle, I like to think difference is a good thing. I mean, we can all learn from each other, right? 

Wait a minute! Humans have the freedom to choose. What about those close-minded people who think they already know everything? The same people who always tell you they know more than you do.  These are the people who tell you your plans will get you nowhere, that their way is better. And, they may not be motivated to do anything at all, at least anything like you would choose to do.

Life experience shows us tolerance and gratitude enable us to deal with the free will of others. We can learn to accept that people will differ from us, that we do not need to aspire to be like them.  We can be grateful for petty annoyances because we can choose to be bothered or not.  Free will is a distinctly human trait which enables us to reflect on what we would or wouldn't do, and why choose to exercise choices and why we may impose our own limits.

Thursday
Jan182007

Grace

Grace comes free of charge to those who don't deserve it.  It comes in the form of goodwill or a generous disposition.  It can seem like indulgence or mercy when we're resentful or full of negative energy.  If you have a spiritual side, and believe in God, then you believe that God's love comes free of charge with no strings attached, no matter what you do.  Whether your friends and family react the same way is debatable. I think many people have been conditioned to accept their lot in life without realizing there is always light at the end of the tunnel, something positive within reach. 

 For example, I read about a woman in Boston who surprised a lot of homeless people in the early 1990s.  When her fiance backed out on their wedding and she couldn't get the deposit back on the banquet, she thought back to her time 10years before spent in a homeless shelter.  Rather than be upset about a lack of refund, she send banquet invitations to shelters and gave homeless people a champagne and chicken cordon bleu banquet.  Imagine their sense of a pleasant surprise! Those strangers who look out for us in unexpected ways are like guardian angels.  That's grace.

Consider forgiveness can be an unnatural act for people who struggle not to form grudges.   It's human instict to desire to 'get even'  when someone does you wrong.  If a date stands you up, you may secretly hope someone returns the favor in the future.  If your boss fails to respect you or treat you with respect, you may secretly hope the boss gets what he deserves.  If an adversary takes advantage of you while you're down, you may hope Forces beyond you even the score.   

Yet, people enter our lives to remind us success and peace of mind can't be founded on revenge.  In the story of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, Jean Valjean stole bread when he was starving and was sent to prison,  When he was released, he was given the chance to stay overnight with a clergyman. During the night, Valjean stole the church silver and fled.  When the police brought him back the next morning, climing Valjean said the silver was a gift, the clergyman lied and said it was. He told Valjean to use the silver to make himself an honest man. For the first time in his life, he felt touched by an angel. He went out into the world and never saw the clergyman again.

Valjean is transformed by forgiveness and detective Javert spends his life trying to persecute him for past wrongs.  When Valjean shows grace to Javert, the detective is unable to cope and can find no corresponding forgiveness.  Valjean teaches me to do for others what they're unable to do for themselves.  Troubled people have a hard time with forgiveness because they've never learned.  You may grow to act as a saving grace.  Then, someone will oneday return the favor.

Personally, forgiveness isn't always easy for me.  Letting someone get away with dishonesty, malicious or harmful deeds without reprimand isn't exactly satisfying.  Injustice bugs me yet, then I remind myself that when I forgive, the negative energy loses its grip on me.  Whether or not earthly or Higher authorities deal with a situation as I would like, its not for me to decide.  When I let the burden of acting as judge disappear, I rethink scales of justice and mercy.  That's another kind of grace.  Perhaps guradian angels instill positive thoughts in our hearts and minds in order to influence our will and attitude toward good.

Thursday
Jan182007

Who sees you as you are?

How might I take steps to better myself? Too many projects ongoing? What about you? I suppose my desire to learn what I can about myself and the world prompts me to act in the time I've been given.

Today, I was thinking about the book, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom. Now, this isn't because I hope I die soon.  Though I admit the concept of heaven is uplifting for me. Some people think death and dying is a rather morbid subject, but this book is actually quite surprising. The writing style and concepts raised expanded on my view of the after-life.  I open my eyes to new possibilities about the significance of the 'here and now' and what events have yet to be. 

In the book, on Eddie's 83rd birthday, he dies unexpectedly in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart in an amusement park. With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his, and then nothing. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns heaven is no lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or strangers. Each of them changed your path forever.

What did I learn from Eddy's story? Don't give up. Whatever happens to you right now, it prepares you for a future. This is the way of the earthly world. People you know and don't know are helping you along all the time with their choices.  Everything is linked. You're loved.  You're being heard.  Your sense of time doesn't run the show.  Life unfolds whether or not we think we're ready.

I remember a story of a old monk who was mentoring a younger monk. The owise monk's peers repeatedly asked him why he was wasting time on his charge. After all, the young monk was openly obnoxious, negative, lazy and demonstrated the exact opposite of desirable monk traits.  The old monk replied "I could never turn him away. He is God's greatest gift to me.  As the result of his presence, I'm developing deeper patience, understanding and resourcefulness than I've ever had." 

The older monk reminds me every problem I encounter introduces me to another side of myself.  People who enter our lives mirror some part of us that we may not initially see or understand.  How we react teaches about our desires, needs and ego.  How I perceive my own difficulties is itself enlightening.  Issues don't just go away.  I learn to think differently to better understand and work through . Each one is an opportunity to develop my insight and ingenuity.  As the result, I raise awareness of the power within myself and encourage people to know benefits in the following:

1) seek experience dealing with problems rather than avoiding them

2) spend time to discover the real underlying issue;

3) actively explore several possible solutions;

4) consult individuals with relevant experience.