Building Positive Momentum

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When life goes well, let it be that way.

Change is such a buzzword. Change happens all the time. If you think about it in our experiences we tend to think change either as a) good b) bad.

Depending in the culture you are living in, you might have more or less bias towards action. Some cultures prefer a lot of action right away where are others are more of the ‘wait and see’ types.

There is no right or wrong.

When it comes to living a life where you feel good because of your actions, you’ll need to learn to recognize what is desirable and focus your limited actions to reinforcing that good. Often times no action is required: when things are well – let them be.

Too often we sabotage our own wellbeing.

Action is not always the best solution. Sometimes inaction is good solution too.

Do not confuse inaction with laziness, that’s a different breed. You’ll need to learn to recognize what kind of action creates waste and what kind of action creates value.

Either you need to focus on building more and more value, or find someone to who your waste is value. These both are rather good options.

You have limited time and focus. Use these limited time and focus to build something meaning, something positive and reinforce that positive momentum.

Once you’ve the positive momentum going, do not touch. Just seek to build on it. Build on every success you’ve, one brick at a time.

Values: connection & disconnection

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For what you value, you must sacrifice.

I’ve made changes in my values in the past six months. Due to this decision I begin to experience the price, and the sacrifice in my social life: the feeling of value with some people have begun to feel less meaningful and less valuable.

I’ve found different meaning and it’s no longer in the same direction.

Decision have to be made.

Values are meaningful. Shared values help us to work toward common goal.

If perception to the previously shared values changes, then the relationship changes as well.

What I thought was very positive change for me, has caused quite a bit of suffering. Is a positive change then a desirable? Is this temporary pain worth it?

I’ve comforted myself with the thought that nothing great is born without pain.

Besides I’ve chosen to update my values because I want something better. Yet in so called short term this feels surprisingly painful.

Long term or short term perspective?

Even from pain one seeks relief. At least hope. Is there hope?

Higher levels values, create higher level order.

Lower level values create chaos.

So by embracing and determining my values again, I’ve set out to feel the suffering now in order to create something greater. Example of great people have shown that the higher level values might not even be appreciated by the present state society. Only the future generation may grow to that level of maturity to appreciate.

About such greatness I do not know nothing. All I know, that I hope I must find and to create order I must continue.


Thank you for reading!

For greater context I can recommend Jordan B. Petersons 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote Against Chaos –book. It’s a book that I’ve read three times now in the past five months. I’ve found several ideas from that book to put in the practice and I believe I continue to discover so.

Now lately I feel like I want to connect with as many people as possible, globally so therefore I’ve chosen to continue my blog in English.

Janne

Short term solutions for a long term problems

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 Job.

Job won’t solve your financial problems.

Robert Kiyosaki defined job as acronym for “just over broke.”

In the same way there are many other problems in your life that are really short term solutions. Friday after work perhaps?

Instant or delayed gratification? Instant is enticing because it’s instant.

Delayed gratification does not have any guarantees and it’s difficult to see the feedback between action now and results later. If you want to see, you have to do and act.

We gravitate towards short term solutions because they bring pleasure now.

Why do we seek results instead of learning the means of production for the results?

For the long term, what are the results you would like to consistently produce? How you could do it?

Could you do it without actually doing it?

From Insignificance to Meaning

 

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As I stopped today to contemplate, I realized I live very much in the present and my days are filled with things I’ve chosen to do. This hasn’t been always so. Even today, yesterday and probably tomorrow there will be things that come to me that ‘I have to do’ -these are called obligations. Sure enough I’ve enough attitude and competence to get these obligations done, then comes the real test: what I do focus next.

What I’ve past few weeks learned is to focus more and more to the work that is not urgent, but brings the fulfillment. By work I do not only mean professional work, but personal & inner work as well. It’s something that I’ve contemplated upon for several years now and only recently I’ve begun to understand.

What it really means to give 100% to something and feel the sense of progress towards something. Getting really the results that I and the world needs to get.

There is limited time in the day, on earth 24 hours per day and on Mars 24 hours and 37 minutes. Yet what really determines life, is our life span. Life is full of uncertainty.

Stoics tend to say memento mori, remember you are mortal. This together with amor fati, love your fate: what ever present moment you are living – love your fate.

These thoughts are powerful and time tested wisdom that I try to remind myself of every day. In the most recent Daily Stoic newsletter also I learned about third phrase that seems equally powerful – a lesson from Seneca: premeditation malorum. Prepare for the worst.

Stoics are hard to disappoint, because they spend their lives preparing for what ever fate or fortune throws at them.

Especially good stoics are at focusing on what matters and why. There is a lot of things that happens and that are out of our control: weather, law, market, you name it. Then there are other people, who we can influence, but cannot control. Stoics do not really put much of their energy to other peoples’ behaviors either. Instead they focus on what they can control: their attitudes, responses and actions. What can I do?

We can control our conscious parts of the mind and that’s about it. In actuality this does not even contain fully control of our body, because there is so much unconscious processes in the background. Therefore, we there is only a level of thinking and response that is in our conscious control.

We can consciously decide what actions to take. At best life is piling upon meaningful action upon a meaningful action each subsequent moment.

I’ve noticed that meaningful life is fulfilling life. It takes conscious effort. It’s about prioritizing: real life versus online. Books versus television or news. Pleasure now versus pleasure later.

Life is full of choices and reasons and they are all connected. We can map the connections and see the causalities, if we so wish to do. In fact if we do it, we can start to move from insignificant towards meaningful. What I find most fascinating is that as our understanding grows, the map gets more accurate and we might revise it entirely at times.

Happy and fulfilling evening!

Janne

Belief Check

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Our beliefs are not necessarily based on facts or understanding, which is problematic for our and the sake of others. What are your beliefs based on?

Most of how and what we do in the world are based on our current beliefs. Therefore checking what our beliefs are based on is rather ongoing project. A good place to start is in parts of life where we are most dissatisfied with. There is probably bunch of beliefs that are not helping our cause.

I prefer checking my beliefs through writing, it’s somehow easier to objectively just question through my thoughts.

By questioning and testing beliefs happens to create a more accurate sense of the world. We may get more complete each day, yet no number of days is enough to get complete. Our quality of life is determined by our beliefs about life.

We get surprisingly lot of our beliefs from our environment. Because we are part of our environment, if we start to do the conscious work of seeing what beliefs serve us and what do not, we already improve the environment as well as our own quality of life.

Meaning is Life Force

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The more I think about it, the more convinced I am about the necessity for meaning in our lives.

Meaning given by others is ever fading and does not feel meaningful.

Meaning understood by ourselves, is ever strengthening.

The difference in here comes in our belief system. In latter example we are connected to the meaning through our own thought and cognitive processes: we’ve asked the necessary questions to understand and connect the meaning of this moment to the next and previous moments.

In the first example on the other hand, we adopt the meaning given by others without many questions. Because we have skipped this vital phase we tend to forget what we did in the first place and why. Moreover, even when we remember the why we are still at the surface level, although we should dig at least five times with why to get somewhere.

What is your meaning of life and what can you do about it today?

I think feeling fulfillment today about the meaning of life is a key. We can teach ourselves to find it in the moment. When we are doing this, we are all good: meaning gives us energy to work and through work we put energy back to it.

Success, Goals and Achievement

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How do you know you are successful without any metric, a goal?

Goals matter, because they put us to think. We need two kinds of goals: goals that push for incremental improvement as well as stretch goals, which push us to think in entirely new ways.

Goals do not need to be set in stone. In fact, when and once your understanding deepens the goals get more accurate and you start to realize what you really need to do.

Common denominator for your goal and the “success”, is you. You are always there, you are the vehicle that goes from being something, to being something else. This is why the ancient wisdom to ‘know thyself’ works so well.

Greatest achievement you can achieve, is that of self. Then you can go where ever you want.

All the goals you pursue teach you valuable skills on the way to self-mastery.

Self-mastery is abundant state, you are able to give more out of yourself than you have to take. Because of this abundant state, it means you are able to generate more good karma than bad. You reach a state of sustainable fulfilment. You understand that it is your actions that have causality and you choose to take action that have more positive causalities than negativities.

Thus the highest form of achievement, is that of self.

Ask yourself: what kind of goals you have set for yourself? Why? And what you will learn on the way towards these goals.

What would be your ideal life? What are you lacking? How can you practice virtues?

Power of Positive Visions and Language

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There are some unskillful words in business, productivity and self-help books. I.e. uncomfort zone is such word. I’ve been using it, but to stop and contemplate it’s not really helpful word at all. Why would anyone spend time in their uncomfort zone? The intention to face the uncomfort and grow through that experience is good, however the word when detachment from the context is awful. Perhaps a better word could be curiosity zone or perhaps growth zone?

Words somatize, meaning they affect our thinking, then our speaking, then our physical and emotional states and that does not turn out very well.

After realizing the somatizing effect that the words have, I’ve decided to refrain from as many unskillful words as possible. Such words are for example swearing, words that are directly borrowed from war such as deadline.

It’s good to be mindful about the words we choose. The people who we are with, determine much of the language we use. It’s the surrounding culture that determines what words we do use, however by being mindful we can reduce the effects and bring more skillful practices into use.

Overall, mentioned words: uncomfort zone, deadline are good examples that the language has interesting words that are charged with kind of bad karma, although the intentions are good. Why cannot we have the growth zone and completion date? These kind of words carry more positive, uplifting tone about the whole thing.

When this kind of positive vision thinking is applied a little bit more broadly, you start to see that much of our stories we believe in are stories of loss or fear of loss. We are not taking action from the positive stories: what we all could gain if we succeed for example.

It all starts with the tiny word choices, and makes up the more positive and uplifting vision that energizes us all.

Life Direction

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We have the ability to look forward, just as much we have the ability to look back or be present in the moment. Contentment of life depends quite a bit how much attention we fix on any of the states.

A year ago, I was browsing through a book of strategy at my friend’s place and there was this rough division of attention 70/20/10. 70 % in the present, 20% in the future 10% in the past. These figures have stuck with me ever since then and I think it’s rather applicable.

We feel most alive when we are doing things, and this requires us to be present most of the time and taking action.  What justifies more of the time spent on future, rather than in the past is simply that we cannot change the past, but we can create the future by taking action in the present. Therefore, it is necessary to remember a little bit more of the time what do we want to achieve and why.

Then once we have done our thing, we can sit back and reflect on what we did, how did it turn out and what did we learn from it.

Past is a place to learn and to be satisfied with the present, this line summarizes it very well: “Remember the days you prayed for the things you have now.”

Epicurus put even some more advice in to the similar thought: “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

If we keep trying, it’s almost inevitable that we will succeed eventually. Our present comes therefore the utopia that we once dreamed of.

Start with Inner Joy

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Being present and joyful is within conscious control. We can choose where to focus our attention and how. Over the long run this choice of attention becomes our emotional habit and life.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

You’ve control over what kind of conscious thoughts you focus on. You can decide what you say and do. Therefore your happiness is in your control.

All the good start with being happy with yourself: the inner joy. Joy attracts joy and people are happy to work with you. Nobody wants more unhappiness to their lives.

Start taking responsibility of your happiness.

I am not saying you will achieve eternal state of bliss, however once you learn to focus your attention to the right things, it’s not that far from it. You do not need any artificial or outer sources for your happiness, instead you can discover it internally.

Next you’ll start to understand that through your own happiness, you can make other people happy too!