In awe of your creative abilities

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Where is the greatness but in you?

Life as an experience is miracle if we look at the odds.

Then at our present we may not feel that way. Feeling certain way is, because of the evolutionary advantages of conserving strength among other reasons and complexities.

Life is a result of complex process. At least it is complex in comparison what our conscious mind is at times able to handle. At our best even our conscious mind is a miracle. However, hungry, exhausted, stressed and worried? Not quite so.

It takes another almost miracle to create environment where we are at our best. To create that we need other people who understand this.

Of course societies at large are becoming better and better at this, despite of everything. That’s why there is over 7 billion of us today,  more than ever before.

It is illusion that work is over. There is plenty of work for those of us willing to pick up slice of that responsibility which does not belong to them.

To solve problems which have not yet been clearly defined, requires wide range of different skills and above all the one elusive quality that makes us human: creativity.

Creativity is awesome.

What will you create today and how will you share it?

Creativity does not have to wait until tomorrow.

Creativity does not call for perfection.

You might start as a child like level, however do not be embarrassed of that. Think of Picasso, who tried lifetime to reach that state again. That is the cycle, irony and cosmic joke of life. We are afraid to begin, yet once we have got up to a speed we desire to return to that state. And it might take decades of masterful effort to be able to call oneself beginner again.

In order to figure out your strengths and creative tendencies, think of something that interests you. Start doing it with low barrier and commit to it for thousand repetitions. Do not judge yourself until you have thousand repetitions behind you. Then start to ask yourself if this is something you would like to continue in longer term.

Committing to something for thousand repetitions is under three years if you do it daily. It might seem like a lot, or a few, depending on your perspective. How about just be present and do something today?

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Have an awesome day!

Janne

Adversity Builds Strength

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If you are facing adversity in life, think of it as a training regimen ordered by life just for you.

Adversity feels like adversity as long as you remain weaker than the challenge. Once you’ve faced similar challenge once, twice or few times and especially if you’ve learned from it, adversity starts to lose it’s feeling as uncomfortable. In fact, the better you get at it, the less adversity feels like it used to.

Road to mastery can in fact feels at times satisfying. Once you’ve certain degree of confidence and competence over the things, you might even enjoy some sorts of adversity.

Life with the attitude of growth is great: there are no “good” or “bad events”, there is just opportunities to practice virtues.

With the habit of loving what you have and then practicing virtues in those moment you’ll grow strong.

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” ― Bruce Lee

There is wisdom in Bruce Lee’s words. Pray for strength. And I would change even the praying to acquire strength, because life offers plenty of changes to develop strength.

By strength I do not only mean the physical kind, but also, spiritual, intellectual, emotional and social strength. We all have the strength potential in different degrees, however what doesn’t change is that we can train all of these through adversities that are presented upon us.

Adversity builds the strength and often the adversity is tailored exactly for you, it’s what you need to overcome, in order to acquire strength.

Embrace the adversity, love your fate and build your strength.

Learn the Inner Joy

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Joy is not very permanent thing as is not happiness either. Actually closest thing to a permanent it’s when we accept our fate and learn to be happy with it.

From my past suffering I’ve learned not to escape the present suffering. Often I still do wrong decisions that actually cause more suffering. Best response towards the present suffering is to accept it and learn to love the fate. Amor fati.

So with this in mind, if I do not feel joy it’s sign for me to still work on myself. Solution is not to seek joy from other people, or substances. What I’ve found is that mostly takes some rest, quiet meditation and clarification of priorities.

Nature of suffering arises something that we did or didn’t do and then we start to feel helpless. However, once we regain the sense of control and are able to do something the joy starts to come back.

Start from the inner joy. Drink only to celebration so to speak. Strengthen that which is right with the world focus less on everything else.

Don’t Let the Limits Bother You

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Creativity blossoms out of limits.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

Excuses are form of our own thoughts limiting our own actions. Let go of excuses.

Beliefs what is or is not possible is a form of limitation. Do not let beliefs hold you back, look to open up possibilities.

What we have achieved before, does not mean something is impossible. It has just merely been done before. Do not let past, history limit you.

What others think you can or cannot do, is not necessarily accurate judgement. Do not let others determine what you can or cannot do. You know yourself best and if you think you have a chance, try it out.

Do not let the limits bother you, even if there are limits, seek to build bridges in between. You will find more strength and are able to summon unexpected strength and creativity. Limits are the construction material for greatness.

Do not listen (too much)

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For long time I used to think that listening is my strength.

Then I read a book[1]  and there was a note that perhaps listening too much is not so good idea. Not a good idea because there is a lots of all kinds of stories that we are playing over and over again and most of these stories we are playing unconsciously to others and to ourselves. Mostly we are unconscious about this, until either we or someone else makes us aware of this.

In everyday life our minds are too busy to become aware of ourselves, unless we set out to do deliberately through practices such as mindfulness, yoga or meditation.

The constant playback of the stories means we are being influenced and also influencing our environment in unexpected ways. To others listening, it means we are rather boring.

And to listen others too intently means also to allow those same stories to begin to play in our heads. That’s why it is better not to listen (too) seriously and too much.

 

[1] Sisäinen tuli by Jari Sarasvuo

Why Easier Life?

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”This or that would make my life easier and that would be nice…”

This kind of comments are not so rare. Yet I do not understand why people wish easier life. Life already tends to make itself easier, people are working at it every day. Human beings are lazy by nature, so our environment gets “easier” for sure.

Question is, should we desire easier life?

As Bruce Lee put it, we shouldn’t wish for an easy life, but the strength to live a difficult one.

Instead of wishing to play on easy mode, be grateful of what you have and then ask what it is you can develop today to get better at it.

What We Focus on Grows

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What we focus on grows, this is such a powerful thought! Essentially anything that we give our attention to strengthens. Anything we put our conscious thoughts, will grow stronger.

I.e. if we feed our thoughts about tiredness, those thoughts will strengthen. In the same way, if we focus to what has gone well, we positive feelings that come through it amplify and will last longer.

Applying this to the real world: how much positive feedback do you give? Precise actions and numbers please! I noticed some weeks back, how easy it is for us to think the feedback as something mainly negative to give when something goes wrong. I met some other passengers on the bus that only intended to give complaints.

Woken up by the thought I thought I must also try to give more positive feedback on every possible occasion. Positive feedback strengthens and grows that which works. Naturally strengthening what works is a far better approach than nagging about what doesn’t work.

In fact a good tip that I just picked up from the How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Caernegie is to always praise first. Of course the point is to find genuine praise, which is possible by learning to find things that are genuinely praise worthy.

That which we focus on strengthens. We will find more positive if we direct our attention through the positive.

Super Productivity of a Team

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We do not achieve anything worthwhile just by ourselves. Life is a team work, and human being is a social being.

Recently I have been pondering what is the determining factor on how well we work with each other?

We are unique human beings with different strengths and qualities. Yet if we are given X and Y, why is the end result sometime 0,8, sometimes 1 and sometime more than one i.e. 1,2? I am talking about super productivity and what is behind that.

If our neutral state is one, what could be our enthusiastic, open, kind and cooperative state? I would say that would be 1,2. Then again when we are a reluctant, tired and selfish we our input in a group regresses to 0,8.

What factors of our own input are in our own control?

  • We cannot choose our feelings, we can choose how to respond to them. By choosing how to respond to emotions we can set our emotional state which is far more than just the whims of single emotions
  • We cannot choose our circumstances, however we can choose our attitude
  • We may not always decide who we are with, yet we can decide to be present and mindful

Great results are always the result of your best input: you can choose if your attunement , i.e. do you bring something to the table or take something from it.

The Climb

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Getting a thing done is easy: do until its’ done.

It requires patience, persistence and determination and even collaboration depending on the size of the project. If we are however long enough persistent, anything can be accomplished.

Today I asked myself a question: what keeps us from persisting? This question I couldn’t answer.

However slightly more personal “what keeps me from persisting?” I could.

Answer was suffering.

I would rather not suffer, I would rather be comfortable and feel nice than to get the something done, from which is no guarantee to be completed.

While the slow climb up might be tough, at least I am moving up. Falling down might feel comfortable for a while, until I hit the rock bottom.

 “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one”― Bruce Lee

In my life the both professional work and creative efforts are challenging me, sometimes I feel adversity, even suffering. I try to think of it as bliss, because adversity and challenge makes me stronger. Through adversity, we become conditioned to the difficult climb and eventually as we reach top, we forget how strong we’ve become on the way. Gravity has crushed many on the way, but only those we are willing to endure the difficult long enough persisted.

The climb is not easy, air gets thinner, slope gets icy, winds grow strong and climb gets slower.

Yet what does remain? The process: process of moving up, no matter how slow. I know as long as this process is going on, I will be climbing up.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
― Calvin Coolidge