Be What You Can Be

thinking-2725279_640.jpg

As human beings, we are both similar and different. Belonging is our basic need, so is being different, unique, ourselves! When both of these needs are being fulfilled, we can start to make most of what we can be.

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” ― P.T. Barnum

The latter need, of being unique is takes virtues such as courage. Rejection at point or another is inevitable.

What you experience, makes you stronger.

If you are willing to listen and learn from it, you’ll become wiser.

You will not be like everyone else, you’ll be different, and you will make a difference.

Observe and reflect, write your thoughts, feelings and experiences down. They will lift you up one day.

A lot of what you can be is determined by who do you lift up. We are not in this life alone, we are looking to belong to something greater than ourselves.

See the potential for good in others and treat them better than they deserve. Eventually you will find that it’s those people that will help you to become what you can be at your best.

Batching and Chunking Down the Work

meadow-2225250_640.jpg

Batch the similar tasks to a greater slots.

Chunk the difficult tasks into easier tasks.

Sounds simple, yet to masterfully do this through the day is what shows at the end of the day as productivity.

I’ve noticed that the essentially chunking and simplifying the work is one of the most important phases when dividing the work for others. Work has to be as simple as it gets, then it’s easier for the cognition. Usually the easier the work the faster it’s done.

Essential question to improve the work flow is to ask why this needs to be done. Five why’s drill into the core of the need and when we are at the core we chunk down effectively the tasks core purpose. When we have clear purpose in mind, we can effectively batch the most important works together as well.

Transforming the Energies and Identity to a More Mature Form

jellyfish-698521_640.jpg

Wow what an interesting topic! I am so excited about life. Recently I’ve been attracted to things which have very positive energy. Although I cannot see energy, I think everyone can feel or sense the energy of others somehow.

I believe we are attracted to the people that somehow have the energy level that we either desire or otherwise are in harmony with.

My knowledge is based on just a few different books and personal experiences. However, the topic of personal energies and the idea that our identity is somehow connected to the energy that we are projecting outwards is tremendously exciting topic to me.

There is energy all around us. When we do something (=work), we certainly use energy. However, energy does not disappear it just changes a form. Energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed. In the same way what we choose to do, our decisions, our personality, our very identity creates and transforms energy.

What makes this part very difficult is that we cannot really measure these changes is energy, so therefore from scientific point of view we are on a very thin ice. We cannot measure the mind either.

We cannot measure ourselves.

Yet we can have tremendous impact on the visible world. We can measure our own doing thought. And if we keep track of our own results, perhaps we can track what is “good” and what is “bad” for us from personal identity stand point as well. Although the problem here is the timeframe: often what is good in the short run, is not the same as longer time frame.

We are all born with infantile energies, and we must work to transform this energies into a more mature form. This could be called spiritual or intellectual evolution. Often the process of transformation requires a guide, a wise man or woman. These are the passages of the ancients.

In the modern world we have less and less such passages in order to transform the energies, so we are increasingly left to our own devices, our means to transform our personal identities to work to a higher level.

For as long as we live, I believe we either must work within ourselves, or when we achieve the maturity, we must start guiding others. First steps would be to identify what would be truly mature and skillful level of operation. Then we should accept our present state and start sublimating the energy.

A good book, I recommend starting out, written especially from the masculine point of view is: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine.

Today I began to read this book for a second time and picked out a few important ways to recognize the archetypes we are running in our minds and then to shape them into a more mature version. Here are some tools which you can use to transform your energies into a more mature:

  • Meditation
  • Psychotherapy
  • Active imagination

Full list is provided in the book for those further interested.

On the path of growth, perhaps most important abilities are the ability to read and think critically. In this way you will find better quality information for your personal transformation. So then you may transform your whole very being into a more mature, responsible adult, whose destiny is like that of all living beings. Yet our lives have a purpose and we may touch the lives of many before we perish!

Keep on sublimating!

Janne

What Do You Want to Be Known For?

chess-1709621_640.jpg

Life is complex. Making simplicity out of the complexity is the primary ability of the leaders and we all are the leaders of our own lives.

To proceed better towards our purpose, we ought to also tell others what we are up to.

Personally I’ve struggled with this communication and simplification aspect of my writing for example. It has been hard to say “what I am writing about.” This doesn’t make any sense, shouldn’t I be able to easily tell in one or few words tell what I am writing about? Conclusion is that yes this is exactly how it is.

Same simplicity rule of 1 – 3 words applies to whatever we want to do and achieve in life.

How well what you want to achieve matches with what you are known for?

For longer time and even still sometimes my extended family knows me as the guy who to call when something goes wrong with the IT. I see these people rarely, that they still connect me with an idea and identity that perhaps did better describe me about 10 – 12 years ago. And all the way to the this point I haven’t updated them with what is important to me at the moment and what I am up to in a simple way.

In professional life this is even more important, because meetings are short and memory is short. We need to simplify hard and get the right association. Therefore to be known for one thing that best describes you is the way to go.

What do you want to be known for?

Live Your Purpose and Plan

quest-1565522_640.jpg

Do you have a dream? Have you made the dream into a goal by setting some due dates?

My purpose is good karma, which means trying to live everyday virtuously according to my values so that the after the day I would’ve done more good than harm. This is a bit difficult to assess to be honest, because even with best intentions one can end up causing harm. Knowing this, I try my best to do good and mostly that starts with myself.

My purpose shows in daily actions as following the vegetarian diet, exercising, writing journal, reading books and meditating. I try to apply it to everything I do and work, this is described as “karma yoga” or yoga of action as described in Bhagavad Gita.

After the important daily actions which I mentioned, I still usually have quite a bit of energy left: this goes to work of serving other people. Usually most of my energy goes to my professional work. After my professional work has been done and the daily actions are done, I do not have much energy left for the day. Usually with the reminder depending on the day I spend with friends, family and finally try to write and publish a blog post. Then there is also perhaps a bit time during the week or perhaps weekend for reflecting and planning for the future and reflecting of the past. Especially life planning and financial planning are perhaps weekly themes that I check, if everything is going as I feel they should.

Even though I feel like I am living a purpose, I feel like I must still have some sort of action plan and vision for life. I’ve vision about better future, where we could succeed together in bigger and more audacious projects such as discovering the potential of the human mind, space travel and exploration.

This requires learning and that’s why I am big advocate of learning: I wish everyone would have the opportunities get the basic schooling to be able to read and write. Then get the access to knowledge through teachers, mentors, and coaches. Internet is important place to learn and share the learning,

Civilization, becoming civilized I think is the answer and that happens through learning. With learning there are few necessary skills such as critical thinking and learning and the abilities to learn and required. Then with reading and language skills, access to knowledge such as teachers, internet and libraries we are finally unlocking the vast potential of human curiosity. I value highly projects such as Wikipedia, Youtube and Khan Academy.

Planning and having this positive desire, does not need to mean to having to attach to this plan or the result. Life is prioritization all the time, it’s not skillful to get attached.

Karma yoga

Your work is your responsibility,
not its result.
Never let the fruits of your actions
be your motive.
Nor give in to inaction.

Set firmly in yourself, do your work,
not attached to anything.
Remain evenminded in success,
and in failure.
Evenmindedness is true yoga.

—Bhagavad Gita, 2.47-49

Yet having a plan, means that you’ve given a thought for the future and when the future meets present, you’ve ore options. At best you’ve a different plans plan a, plan b and so worth and then you can choose the closest options or the hybrid of these plans and continue with that. Planning is proactivity and probabilities. Planning means recognizing risks and working to minimize those risks.

Life is rather short and no one exactly knows how much time we have left. Thus living a mindful, present and happy life with a sense of purpose is a sound piece of advice. Yet what could be more inspiring reason to get up than inspiring vision, that today’s actions do good today, but perhaps tomorrow as well?

Because of the shortness of the life, we have to live the purpose every day. Where we spend most of our time we should stay focused there. Yet we should be aware of the future potentials, plan for different skenarios and be awake to take advantage of them. If we could be even greater service through planning, shouldn’t we take advantage of that?

That’s exactly what I had in my mind today as I broke down my previous cash flow calculations into a more actionable goals. About a year ago as a part of the real estate investment coaching I calculated the following cash flow requirements from assets per month to feel secure, wealthy and rich.

cash flow.png

It’s still holds true I feel. However, as I had these stages thought out, I didn’t have much plan to how to achieve them. I had a bunch of separate ideas hanging around, yet crystal clear action plan or scenarios thought out.

Three scenarios I did manage to write for the near future, that was rather rewarding. Then in regards to this stages, I also considered the potential vehicles. Mostly I’ve come to the conclusion that real estate investing is the way to go, the vehicle of the choice so to speak. What now made these stages now really feel achievable was that I was about to calculate with my conservative numbers how many apartments I would have to own in order to achieve these goals. First earned euro from real estate asset is of course the first step, however now I also know that the first milestone is 13 apartments. This feels very energizing and great to know that it is doable number, although there is a bit of how still remaining: planning helps us to visualize the potential outcomes.

Then it is just up to us to live the life mindfully in the present and enjoy whatever life brings without an attachment!

Problems or Suffering Are Never Going to Cease

river-2637194_640.jpg

Solving a problem leads to a multiplying amounts of tinier problems. We have the power to create happier problems.

Since problems are not going to cease, we just might pick one that is interesting and start chipping at it. If we just worthy problem, solving that just might become our purpose.

Like Schopenhauer said, our mind swings between boredom and suffering. Mind will always find a way to do one or another. I’ve found that it’s easy to suffer although things are very well. It’s unless we teach ourselves, what is real suffering and what is not, we will suffer no matter how well our life is.

Any suffering is tolerable with a right and just purpose. Our purpose may become our legacy and legacy is one form of immortality that is within our reach.

Doesn’t sound too bad does it?

 

Happy Way to Get What You Want In Life

positive-2257693_640.jpg

Think for a moment, what it is you want in life? Let’s say next three years. Set an audacious goal.

Isn’t it so that you probably have to face some kind of adversity in order to get that? If it was anything daring, out of your current level of competence, this is definitely case. Audacious goals are audacious and meaningful exactly because they are just beyond our current level of operating.  Does what you what bring happiness or just gratification to you? Make sure to pursue the kind of goal that brings something more lasting than the instant gratification.

Okay now we have an audacious goal in three years, what are you going to do now towards that? Crawling millimeter by millimeter towards the goal is the key to the success as I wrote in the Climb.

Also another trick towards being more productive and getting to your goal even more sure AND feeling happier now is being happy now. Well while of course that won’t happen just because I tell you so, here are some ideas to get a boost in your both present and long term happiness:

  • Giving
  • Sharing
  • Kindness
  • Gratitude
  • Going extra mile to smile

That which we focus upon grows. That’s why I am always looking opportunities to help, give and share. I’ve been writing gratitude’s to my journal, actually anything positive. My favorite addition to my routine this fall to start giving positive feedback, so now I try to use every opportunity to do that as well.

So now you have an audacious goal, that is probably connected to your bigger purpose. Give your daily tasks your everything, you are surely to develop very good at them. Crawl forward and remember to be happy first 🙂

Janne

Small Steps Taken Daily  

sand-768783_640.jpg

Wishful thinking about big changes is easy, yet not very realistic fantasy. At the same time human mind tends to underestimate the change that is capable by doing small things every day.

List your most important priorities. Okay now go through the list, what are you doing today for:

Health

Loved ones

Financial status

Purpose / career / dream..?

You need to know what is it you want to achieve, and then ask yourself what it is you can do for it today. Then simply start building the discipline to do it. Eventually that discipline becomes habit, your identity and your identity is the biggest leverage you can get. You’ll start doing things because you are the action, you are the verb, you are your own doing.

You are the master of your fate.

It’s not the achievement that matters, but the journey. It’s the sense of progress that brings lasting satisfaction, not the single achievement. Even when you happen to achieve the object of your desire, you do not last very long satisfied. At best it is about five seconds.

However, nothing expect yourself can take away the sense of progress and that you get from taking a step each day towards the grander horizons.

Only by trying out how far you can get, you’ll know how far you will get. You might surprise yourself, or the world might surprise you. However what won’t change is the satisfaction you’ll get from the journey and from each step.

Start valuing the small steps and the journey. Start walking now, because present is the only moment we really have control of.  Every day is like a new life, we can remember some of the lessons of yesterday and we do not know yet if we can make it until tomorrow. Place emphasis on the journey today and take the step!

Virtue is the Purpose of Life

justitia-2638601_640.png 

Doing good, doing the right thing in whatever position you are in life is the purpose of life according to the Stoics. Take responsibility of your soul, of what you can do, because that’s all you can do.

Do not judge, writes Marcus Aurelius.

Do not judge, always seek to praise were Abraham Lincolns words according to Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Virtue is doing the right thing when we have the freedom to choose otherwise. Marcus Aurelius is fascinating example of this, because he was the emperor of the known world, ruler with absolute power. Yet he was living in virtue.

Trying to put this to the scope of personal life: should I discard all my desires I ask myself again? Then I remember the difference between a desire, lust and a positive desire.

What causes us to be virtuous? What causes positive desires?

Sigmund Freud suggests that it may be sublimation. Something negative we have done earlier in life may cause to turn into something major positive later in life.

Reflecting on my own past, I certainly feel that the reason I contemplate so much on the virtues, what is right and best for everyone is because I feel that when I was younger I wasn’t very good example. Due to that earlier experience I certainly want to go to the opposite direction as fast as I can, which is a very positive.

We want to progress and above all we want to be something more than we were before. As stoics put it, at least we should try to be better than animals. And the way to do that is through civilizing ourselves and taking responsibility of our souls. By putting our values to work and working from where we are now.

 

Further info

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Wikipedia

Marcus Aurelius Lecture on Stoicism

Freud on: Sublimation

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Influencing with an Impact

jogging-2343558_640.jpg

Life feels meaningful when we have a purpose in mind and we are progressing towards the fulfillment of that purpose. On the way to the fulfillment, we already have to make choices: what to do and what not to do. If we do whatever we want to achieve that purpose, then it might feel meaningless, because we haven’t worked to sacrifice for it.

To have something so important, that we are willing to sacrifice something else for that purpose. Fulfillment of purpose feels meaningful because of our values and because we are willing to pay the price for our values both in emotional and real cost.

Meaningful life is despite of these costs, we are progressing towards our purpose. It’s our own choice.

Once we have thought of our values, we start to make these choices, and sacrificing other choices. We become a person of virtue. We should focus to our own doing, in that way we become the shining example for others, the greatest way to influence others is through prime example.