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.

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.

How Do You Like to Be Alone?

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We human beings are social animals. We simply cannot survive for long just by ourselves.

Yet the belonging and the other side of the belonging which is being alone is big part of our lives.

Stoics, the philosophy that concerns on how we can overcome our destructive emotions and focus on what we can control, has the concept of inner fortress. Inner fortress means preparing ourselves for what ever life will present us with.

Preparation in the present is all that we can do. It’s very closely intertwined with amor fati, the love of fate. To love what ever is right now and then work from there towards the desired goals.

What ever happens, that is the practice and preparation.

These are the thoughts I’ve lately noticed myself repeating to myself over and over again to make them instinctive. I’ve noticed that my personality is rather volatile. At parts in my life I’ve been fine being alone for extended periods of time, however then there are times I crave for company. Recently it has been so that I’ve been around so many people that I’ve forgotten how to be quiet by myself.

However, it is today that I realized it is exactly the amount happiness we have in our lives that we have no matter what the other people do. If we are happy by ourselves, in our inner citadel, that is the happiest we can be and nothing can take that away from us.

It’s the building of the inner citadel that we should put this time and then to enjoy it’s fruits. The more prepared your fortress is, the more you prepared you are for anything that the life will throw at you, the better you will be able to enjoy it, be it alone or with others.

The way you enjoy being by yourself is a good indicator thought, how well you are prepared.

Life is short, we better get ready.

When was the last time you listened to yourself, your mind, your body?

By listening here I mean just that listening if there is something to learn. Listening is different from taking action based on what you learned. Taking action based on impulse is animal behavior. Taking action based on considering all the relevant facts is considerate behavior.

We need to operate from our current state of affairs. For that we need to know in which kind of state our body and mind are. Sometimes even as adults we lack even the words to describe the feelings, states and thoughts and recognizing that is a good start.

Life is cyclical in nature. Our bodies to live through cycles and cycles within cycles.

Self-awareness helps us to be more forgiving and loving towards ourselves and others.

What Do You Do Matters

What happens to you, your circumstances they can either obstruct you or then you can accept them and work with them.

On 2014 I was living and studying in Porvoo, quite distant city from where I found a job opening that seemed like great learning opportunity for me. The thing was that I was dating this girl I really liked and then I pondered about ways to make it work. At that point wanted both things in my life and I figured out two ways to make it work, from which I chose the option to stay a bit longer in Porvoo and take the 1,5 hour commute twice a day.

The commute although long, not so troublesome, I decided to make most of it by either sleeping or reading. It was during this period in my life when I learned to read in focused manner and I adopted the habit of reading first 36 books a year. Now, I’ve read 39 books during 2018 in half a year. Reading hae become part of me through the habit that I formed during that time.

Later on relationship didn’t last, however the work and learning has turned out to be more than I had anticipated and the habit of reading had definitely supported me in that as well.

If I would’ve listened to my excuses or the terrified reactions of other while doing this or succumbed to the desire for comfort I wouldn’t be the man I am today.

Wherever you are, it’s what you do that matters. A good philosopher uses every opportunity to better oneself, because it’s within where our greatest enemy lies. Desire for comfort, fear, lust, addiction, obsession, envy, insecurity… I’ve seen it all and still do. It’s what we do with what we have that determines everything.

Example, I was falling prey for laziness and I didn’t know how or where I would write today’s blog. I’ve had plenty to do in my hands and social events I would like to be part of. How then? Well it turns out this social event wasn’t in easily accessible place and I do not want to pay for cab, therefore I end up waiting 15 minutes for a bus near my home ald doing what? Writing this very blog.

Obstacle becomes the way, world continuously provides opportunities for us to practice our virtue. It’s up to us to do.

Love is Actions; Action from Where We Learn is Growth

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Interesting and great things in life call for action, also known as work and love of that work. It’s everything from what we do, to who with we do.

Why to love?

Love is life itself, abundant, going against the law of entropy. Love takes energy, we have to give our all. However, energy what we have during our life will only increase during our lives through the action and work of loving the work and people in our life.

Energy consumed just changes form.

Once we use our energy, we build up the capacity for the energy.

The more of the energy we will use, the higher capacity for energy we will develop. In other words the more we love, the higher capacity to love we will develop.

And if we keep an open mind, we keep on learning from our endeavors we will grow. And as we will grow, we have more and more opportunities to teach others and share the love.

In this way the ideas get to ever larger audience, or reach even better those who really need it. Love and growth are deeply interconnected forces that create order and structure to life. They are what makes life exciting adventure.

With nature of love and growth are the obstacles, the entropy. Entropy is all around us. Even in us the entropy takes places. The can only retain so much of what we have learned. We are limited.

As limited we may be, but we need to consciously keep increasing our capacity to love (which equals action, which requires energy). We need to consciously put our energy to use every day for others, for ourselves.

Life rewards those who strive and in the end we all will die, and who knows what the universe has in store for us. May our atoms (and all the smaller bits) serve the universe well.

Focus on Big Priorities and Withstand Imperfection on Small Priorities

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In life there are almost no things that are absolutely good or bad it always depends on the context. Good can turn into bad where bad can turn into good.

The more clearly we know what we want, the more we can start increasing such opportunities. As the number of opportunities increases, we have to start prioritizing our present moments. Then we may have great opportunities going on and at the same time have a cost of imperfection: we cannot do everything perfectly.

Therefore the ability to withstand the imperfection within the plentiful opportunities is a key to keep increasing opportunities. Without a risk, there is no reward. We just have to be really mindful for what we want and why.

We can have more and better opportunities the more we are willing to withstand the imperfection and uncertainty in life. All the great rewards eventually come from maintaining the most important and critical priorities.

Often focusing to the critical and most important priorities means that you are going to miss on small priorities, this is the cause of the imperfection. Yet as you know, your focus is in creating more plentiful opportunities. Your gains will be much higher than your losses, so what will happen over time? You will grow rich in areas of life you are practicing.

 

 

Growing Young

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It’s fascinating thought that instead of growing old, one could grow to be young. Not in physical, but in mental sense. To learn to acknowledge the imperfections of oneself, and life and then to embrace everything in life regardless.

“It takes a long time to grow young.” ― Pablo Picasso

I think growing young is not a journey of irresponsibility or immaturity, but rather the art of retaining best of both worlds.

Growing young involves growth, curiosity, energy, cheerfulness and optimism.

Circle of Control: Attitude

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Out of everything that happens to us during life, attitude is what defines our life experience in all situations. Consciously choosing a mental attitude is a sort of pre-empting to whatever happens to us and how do we take that.

Positive mental attitude primes the mind to seek the good, while negative the bad.

And that which we focus in life grows stronger.

In fact positive attitude to life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When was the last time you checked your attitude towards life?

Positive Mental Attitude book by Napoleon Hill is recommended reading for anyone who is interested digging deeper in to the topic. Here are my top five picks from the book:

  • Think of your friends often and never of your enemies
  • Find and stick to a one reason why you can succeed in this rather than have many reasons not to succeed.
  • Thought can be just as effective as action.
  • Do you want to feel? Be enthusiastic. Act enthusiastic!
  • If the man is right, the world is right.

 

Have a great evening!

Janne

Imperfecting Life

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The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve realized how important it is to strive for imperfection. What is even more curious, as I strive for imperfection this can be misinterpreted easily by people who do not know me so well.

Yes, I am very interested in personal growth and learning. That doesn’t make me perfectionist, in the pursuit of something more and better. It makes me rather imperfectionist, trying to be a little more accepting of myself and others every day. It is through acceptance of imperfections that we can truly begin to make the journey anywhere. It is through imperfections that anything gets done!

In life there is no such thing as final version.

For what we need to do, we already have everything we need to get started. The result will never be final, yet we can do our best by doing our part in this project of life, then pass on the baton, light the fire of others and move on.

Living the life of imperfection is extremely satisfying.

Have a great day!

Janne