Living Philsophy, Overcoming the Resistance

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With philosophy there comes responsibility to live it.

Wisdom is knowledge in action.

Sometimes the distance in between knowledge and action is long, because we have internal resistance to overcome Seth Godin talks about this resistance in his book Linchpin. I revisited my notes and highlights of the book today as I was overcome with huge resistance to finish my company’s website.

Seth Godin writes that the purpose of beginning is to finish. It’s our job to deliver and it is often our fear of inadequacy that keeps us from delivering.

First version of the website is ready www.amorfati.fi/en

Most meaning we can get is through serving others, and to serve others we must begin and finish.

In writing these is this thing called “the first ugly draft.”

In life we are often afraid to be defined by this first ugly draft. Then the one draft becomes hundred, or a thousand and we have not published anything.

When I follow professional work I am often surprised at how high levels people are holding back.

At the same time I’ve great feeling of inadequacy with my own work, own writing, pretty much anything I d so I can understand: it’s easy to tell others what to do.

Mostly our life is a struggle against ourselves, our beliefs about ourselves what we can or cannot do.

I’ve just started on the path of entrepreneur. I’ve a long and rocky way ahead of me. I know this, because big part of me still would like to take the safe and comfortable path of employment, not failing, not starting and trying to do something different.

Yet I choose to try. I want to grow and keep growing.  I also don’t want to buy into the mass hypnosis of not good enough and to break out from that I need to do anything differently, even if it fails.

Must is a powerful reason for action. I believe, I do what I must when I must.

Until then I’ll try to do something different, because there is also part of me that thinks that asks maybe I am good enough and at least some of my work is as well.

From Taking to Giving

 

Mature men and women are givers. Immature people are takers.

Mature people seek to give value, where as immature people are looking what to take and gain.

For men, it is difference between boy and man psychology. For women, between girl and a woman psychology.

In the book series King, Warrior, Magician & Lover, Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette focus more on the mature masculine psychology and how that happens i.e. how a boy dies and becomes a man. Traditionally it has been through rituals in the guidance of elder wise men acquainted with the sufficient knowledge. Writers also point out that most modern societies have transformed many of these rituals into mere impotent ceremonies, which do not have sufficient energy to make the transition.

As example they use a scene described from the movie Emerald Forest where a boy dies during the ritual in the deep jungle and when the sun rises, is born anew as a man.

In the book series also work with the shadow forms are emphasized before starting deeper work. Each archetype has two shadows. So a hero boy could be a bully or a coward, which is then further transformed into a mature warrior archetype which has also it’s shadows the sadist and the masochist.

I’ve found the framework inspiring for my personal development and growth. Through my life I’ve been able to recognize moments where the thoughts, words/lines or actions have actually been categorized as shadow work versus being fully mature. These are exceptionally educative moments.

Sometimes shadow do take us over, and when that happens we have to be ready. Shadows are part of us, and in a healthy mind they become part of the whole. “Not too much, not too little.”

Healthy psychology and healthy giving is like that as well. When we give too much we make people weak. When we take too much, we become weak.

Giving should also be focused on more lasting giving.

When eating a fruit, how often do you thank the person who planted or nurtured the fruit tree? Or picked that fruit up?

Nature contains many blessings even without us. I live in Finland and Finnish forests are abundant of various berries during summertime. Having lived in countryside for my childhood, I’ve learned to respect everything in the nature. Few days ago I realized that I could be doing still much better work in my present life and condition and I should. Let this be my lesson and decision to start contributing more towards the nature from this day onwards.

What are value you going to give and how?

 

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.

Batching and Chunking Down the Work

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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.

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.

Finding What’s Really Important

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Past is past, we should accept that and move on.

Future has yet to come, we shouldn’t worry about it too much.

What we are left with is the present. Using the present moment in smart ways to do important things is the one key skill that we need in life. We need to have the capacity i.e. courage and social skills to have the difficult discussions for example.

Time flows. Experience is of the time is relative. We if we feel pleasure our focus is in that and the flow of time seems quicker. If we feel pain the experience of time slows down.

It’s our abilities to identify the critically important things, in smaller and smaller chunks and then do that which is most important and get that done that makes our time spent feel very meaningful.

In fact it doesn’t involve a lot of work, but a lot of prioritization skill. Also with prioritization it’s very easy to think that doing this or that. However, have you ever considered are these the actual tasks that need to be done? Skillful people learn to recognize and break down the tasks that actually need to be done, instead of just looking and retaining the status quo, they challenge it completely.

Often the tasks that are at hand can be broken down into further tasks that are actually important.

Tiny Action

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Action is over- and underappreciated word.

Overappreciated as in action without consideration, thought or end in mind.

Underappreciated as in thought without action. Action remains just a word, instead of verb in action.

There is the middle way: thinking, without thinking too much and doing, without doing too much.

My personal fault lies mostly in thinking too much and doing too little. Thus I see this quality in others as well emphasized. And it might be that I am too blind to my own actions that are mindless, so I cannot even name them yet. With a bit of thinking, I think there is indeed also this mindless action in play.

The more I’ve studied about habits and applied what I’ve learned to my life, I am amazed to discover these tiny pockets of time all around me. More efficient actions (=habits) create more time and space. What used require effort, do not any longer. Thus taking action becomes easier.

With habits also the cost of starting doing something (which I feel is immense). Have you tried to start a work out after a long work day? That’s only difficult if you do not already have the neural circuitry in your mind to fire of and start doing it. When you’ve the network however, it will automatically flare up and you will start the work out when you just find the right triggers for that.

The difference between habit and a separate action decision is huge. Habits have little to none starting cost, they trigger automatically. Decisions to do something have tremendous starting cost and when we are tired and hungry we are less likely going to make any good decisions.

Therefore life consists of making these tiny decisions right through the days, these will ensure sufficient energy when we need it the most.

We need tiny action everyday to start building momentum for the bigger decisions and challenges.

 

Random Thoughts: Humility and Potential Paradox  

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I need to remind myself to stay humble. The work I do is yet fairly insignificant what it could be.

Do you see your potential? Even as a collective human species we barely manage to make a dent in the universe. Space is vast and unknown.

This morning, I was listening a podcast where the theme was The Big Leap Book by Gay Hendricks. There are four levels of achievement: the zone of incompetence, zone of competence, zone of excellence and zone of genius. Where would you put yourself?

I mean that is pretty eye opening, because we often settle for competence or even excellence, where the genius would be where we would thrive. Surrendering to the genius is a wonderful idea, yet our egos are terrified by that very same idea.

Humility and the potential, what a paradox.

Life, an Incredible Opportunity

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Life is an opportunity that over 108 billion people before us have had and then as lost as is the nature of life: there is a beginning and an end. Therefore to be alive is wonderful opportunity to do something!

In addition to biological evolution, there is also the evolution of culture and spirit. Spiritual evolution means becoming more human. As G.K. Chesterton put it: “a dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” We are blessed with brains that create the human mind, which allows not only to go with the flow, but to go upstream or any other direction we wish.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

The difference and human blessing of life lies in our brain, which allows us not only to live, but to learn and live better as well. This means we are no longer bound only to progress through the biological evolution, but through cultural evolution.

Other animals certainly are social and therefore have the ability for cultural evolution as well. However, very few of them are able to stop and contemplate on life on such level as humans can. We learn comparatively fast and therefore our culture, way of doing things evolves as well.

On individual level, it’s our own decision to exercise this superpower of choice each day. Well actually thinking and deciding something new for each day would be possible, but not very convenient. Although we have the ability to contemplate, it is rather energy intensive. Therefore it’s useful to use both of the abilities, the ability to contemplate and the ability to do in a harmonious way.

Contemplate and discover your values and goals. Then work on these goals every day habitually.

Do not dream of life without work. Work is the opportunity, ability to create something greater than what you were given. What will then happen? According to the law of karma, if you do good things, good things will happen to you.

Put your priorities straight using the priority category method and then live your purpose and plan.

In life you will get more things done, if you are really good at prioritizing and deciding what is important and where you can add the most value. You will be able to create more value and well-being to your environment, which then again means that you will also receive more and then we all flourish.

* * *

I’ve taken it as my mission to help other people to realize the love for life. This comes from my personal experience with the meaninglessness of life, which led to depression and sickness.

Have a great evening!

Janne

Courage is the Key to Learning and Growth

 

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If we want to have something different than what we have now, we must be prepared to risk it. Without a risk position, nothing can be gained. All growth is based on taking a risk, accepting it and then working so that the risk will not ever come true.

Sometimes despite all the work, the position does not succeed. What does a wise person do? Learn.

It is through courageously taking risks, and then learning from each position that creates growth. Sometimes we fail, yet we always learn. Sometimes we succeed bigger than we ever imagined possible.

Risking to get no, is better than never trying. At least you know.

Where are you developing your courage?

What are you risking today?