Work for love

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I heard this cliche “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”

And then I began to think: Work is the ability to get the desired results.

Why not to work for love instead? If you work for love, you’ll find what results the world needs and are able to give it.

Life is about giving after all.

Work to love.

“You can’t burn out as a giver, as long as you see the impact you create.” – Adam Grant

Remember though that you cannot give what you do not have. You’ve to take care of yourself first. It’s your own well being that limits your giving. The more you take care of yourself, the more you are able to give.

Work on yourself also to give more.

The more you give, the more you’ll receive in the end.

However, do not give to receive. Do not attach to the fruits of your labor. Attachment causes suffering.

Practice to give without an attachment. That is unconditional love. You’ll learn to love the process of giving, giving is joy in itself. And if something comes back that is joy as well.

Then life will be a pleasant surprise.

Work for (unconditional) love.

Be the Awesome Person Who You Would Like to Know

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Have you heard the adage that you are the average of five people you spend most time with?

Aren’t you with yourself first and foremost, so shouldn’t you include yourself there, what kind of person are you for those people?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

First relationship that comes, is the relationship with ourselves. We have to start with ourselves: we have to define our what it means to be awesome for ourselves and for others.

There is the golden rule of treating others as you would like to be treated. Keyword there is the treating, it’s a verb that requires action. We are defined by our actions, we become what we do.

Change then means taking more virtuous actions than before. Define what do you value and take action, make the values as verbs, as virtues.

Personally I’ve defined seven values from which I think the truth, love and courage are in the core. The other four: aspiration, responsibility, gratitude and humility are fine tuning for what kind of person I really want to be.

Value Virtue (value in action)
Love Kindness, compassion, metta, forgiveness, mercy
Aspiration Excellence, purpose, openness, curiosity, courage
Responsibility Sustainability, effort, courage
Courage Positive action despite of fear, growth, rightfulness, effort
Truth Seeing the world as it is, open mind and learning.
Gratitude Awareness, meditation, metta
Humility Service, gratitude

 

In the right column there are thoughts, what the value would look like as action. I’ve done this table two years ago. As an advice it could be helpful to write even specific examples such as:

  • Gratitude: give one written positive feedback a day.
  • Love: apologize if you notice yourself swearing and make yourself socially accountable so you could use kinder words in the future.
  • Truth: when you catch yourself exaggerating, stop, apologize and correct yourself immediately.
  • Responsibility & courage: when you see opportunity to take responsibility take action despite your fears and worries.
    • Example how I applied this on yesterday was in a rather small restaurant where there wasn’t any table for four. Waiter was young man whose solution to find the table was rather burdensome for the whole restaurant (to move the tables in tiny space). I quickly figured out a couple better solutions, from which the best in my judgement was to ask a other customer who had just before ordered to move to a smaller table. I did this this as kindly as I could and he did it gladly.

Fears and social behavior is contagious, therefore it is important to notice the that when do you need to rise above the surroundings and take the initiative.

Personal growth is all about initiative to do things differently.

Now take a moment to write down your values and write next to it how you could apply it as a virtue. Make at least one action for each virtue. You may add more actions to this list as you live on more days and weeks. By continuous practice of values and virtues, you will become the awesome person that you would like to know.

You are awesome!

Janne

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.

POEM: Wave and Island

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Man like a wave,

Coming and going away,

She’s an island,

Mostly so distant.

 

Once they got near,

During a day so clear.

They met during with one gush,

Then it was all over like a flush.

 

There was fear,

And some tears.

Memories felt unreal,

What is there left to feel?

 

Island full of denied mystery and beauty,

How to get to the hidden booty?

Wave trapped in something deep and complex,

Will wave find a way to get out of the vortex?

 

With a little help from the friend wind,

Wave finds the strength to unbind,

Now focusing what waves do the best,

Sailing seas and forgetting about the rest.

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.

Love What You Have

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Loving the present moment makes life magical.

No more clinging to the past.

No more desiring for the future.

Focusing and enjoying the present releases energy to be happy. When we are happy we tend to be more cheerful and creative. This translates to productivity and social likability as well.

We can work from the present to increase the odds of good things happening in the future. However whatever happens, our life experience is limited to the present.

Loving what you have is easier said than done. Personally I find it easy to accept present and love it after 16th Karmapa meditation.

Whose Glass Do You Fill and In What Order?

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Even the best of intentions can do harm. Altruistic giver who gives always first away from even what little they have with all their energy and might will not end up serving any sustainable good cause.

To make the world flourish, we need to think in terms of sustainable giving. Sustainable giving starts with our selves: correct understanding, intention and speech. We need to learn to treat ourselves with compassion in order to benefit others with our actions.

I am not saying you cannot be beneficial to others before you have acquired such enlightenment, I am saying you should start each day by developing such understanding and mindfulness from where you are first aware of yourself, your limitations and capabilities.

Develop mindfulness and compassion towards life. Or as Ajahm Brahm says, develop kindfulness.

Start with yourself. Love yourself first, that’s the most important relationship you have.

Love is a verb.

Dr. Scott M. Peck defines love as “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”

Love is about spiritual growth and we need to start from ourselves before we can start benefitting others. In practical terms this would mean every day we would need to prioritize ourselves first, in order to ensure the sustainability of our love for others as well.

When we ensure in the morning that our own spiritual growth needs are being taken care of, we can truly start benefiting others. That’s from where flourishing relationships and societies rise from: love which is spiritual growth.

What Does It Mean When You Not Ask Questions?

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Lack of questions signals that there is no interest. When I understood this a few days ago I felt shocked as indeed it’s in many cases easier not to ask anything than it is to ask. Sometimes I’ve also passed asking questions even though I’ve been curious about something, however I still haven’t bothered to open up my mouth.

Often the questions are more valuable than the actual answers.

Questions show that we are thinking.

Questions show that we care.

Questions are essential for learning.

Questions connect people.

When you do not ask questions you are not moving towards people, you are drifting apart.

Asking questions means building understanding, building happiness, building love and all that good stuff.

Remember to Be True To Yourself

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Yesterday’s decision making process put some interesting energy on the move. It’s the kind of energy where I remembered who I am and decided to live true to that.

We need to remember to be true to ourselves, and then we will find the energy to do the things that matter.

To be to oneself requires decision making based on self-understanding. Self-understanding requires listening and accepting that which is evident.

We get to be only ourselves in this life. Although what makes life fun is that we get to play many roles during our lifetimes. Still some roles fit us better than others and here the listening part comes crucial.

Listen, understand and say no to what isn’t you. Stay true to you.

Love yourself as you are. We need to love ourselves first, because not necessary there will be no-one else to do so either. We need to learn to be by ourselves first.

When we are able to with ourselves, it’s much easier to be with others and be of value to other.

Therefore remember to be true to yourself.