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Wisdom for Busy People

  1. 'Wisdom for the Way' by Charles R. Swindoll (ISBN 1404113258) When improving a skill, your performance will deteriorate before it gets better. That’s because doing it the old way is easy, while you’ll make mistakes trying to do it better. Be persistent and endure while you learn from your experiences.
  2. After formal education, you begin a career by learning the business. If you’re really earnest about being successful, work on who you are. Never stop improving your people skills and personal strengths.
  3. For the day when you find yourself in charge of other people, here’s one of the secrets: If at all possible, don’t accept losers on your team. Try to surround yourself with talented people. Arrange for the weak links to get involved in other opportunities.
  4. You have limited time for personal development, and working on many things at once can be confusing. The key is to make your mind up which personal strength or people skill you need to work on most and then focus on it consistently until it becomes a habit.
  5. Practice self-encouragement. When bad things happen, take a day or so to let your disappointment fade into the background. Then deliberately weigh up the positives in your situation—strengths, advantages, solutions, and opportunities.
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Posted in Health and Fitness Philosophy and Wisdom

Consequences of the Blessings of Failure

Consequences of the Blessings of Failure

Triumphant Living

Triumphant Living To be healthy, wealthy, and wise is a wish frequently cherished by people. Nevertheless, did you ever consider that many who are blessed with these advantages often fail in making the most of their lives? In many instances, moreover, their failures are the direct consequences of their blessings.

Nothing is more dangerous to successful living than complacency, and people blessed with special advantages often become over-confident. They do not see the need for striving, because life’s goals appear to them already won. Nevertheless, happiness does not Him in cherishing goals already won. It is rather in the struggle to realize them, in pitting one’s strength against circumstances in order to forge something significant in ourselves, or in the world, that life takes on for us its vitality and interest.

There are deficiencies in all of us, and if the so-called “blessed” will only look deeper into themselves and their world, they will find the imperfections against which to turn their energies. In this combat, they will find the secret of triumphant living.

Tedium is Not a Product

Tedium is Not a Product It might be managed by instituting short allowance account in the following manner. Tedium is not a product, is relatively rather an early stage in life and art. You have to go by, past, or through boredom, as through a filter, before the clear product emerges. The essentials of the holy life do not comprise in the profits of gain, honor, and good name; nor even in the profits of observing moral rules; nor even in the profits of knowledge and insight, but the sure heart’s release, friends—that, friends, is the significance, that is the essence, that is the goal of living the holy life. Therefore, though light and heavy bodies meet an electrical resistance great or little, as their surfaces are large or small, yet the power that heavy bodies have of overcoming this resistance, is much greater than that of the light. The growth of imagination, insight, perceptual experience, and judiciousness. In the same way, without these teachings, people may know they are unrealized, but they do not know the cause of their sadness or the appropriate treatment. Talking about network effects in his best selling From Zero to One, venture capitalist Peter Thiel wrote,

Network effects can be powerful, but you’ll never reap them unless your product is valuable to its very first users when the network is necessarily small….Paradoxically, then, network effects businesses must start with especially small markets. Facebook started with just Harvard students—Mark Zuckerberg’s first product was designed to get all his classmates signed up, not to attract all people of Earth. This is why successful network businesses rarely get started by MBA-types: the initial markets are so small that they often don’t even appear to be business opportunities at all.

Elite students climb confidently until they reach a level of competition sufficiently intense to beat their dreams out of them. Higher education is the place where people who had big plans in high school get stuck in fierce rivalries with equally smart peers over conventional careers like management consulting and investment banking. For the privilege of being turned into conformists, students (or their families) pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in skyrocketing tuition that continues to outpace inflation. Why are we doing this to ourselves?

These questions are fundamental to meditative psychology. They concern an inner flourishing—sometimes willed, sometimes not—that occurs in the depth of our being. Whether it is present or absent can determine our mental attitude toward life.

No one knows how such a project could possibly be financed or even how long it would take—to say nothing of having to spend such a dismaying sum of money cleaning up the baneful relics of past wars when it could have been far better spent on educational activity, health care, housing, and food. By this appliance, the whole column of the bones acts straightaway against the load, and an immense weight is thus sustained. Nonetheless, not all life need be measured by a single rise and fall. True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Endeavor to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island. To find one real friend in a lifespan is good fortune; to keep him is a boon.

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Egocentric Space and Sympathies

Egocentric People are Troubled with a Deep Inner Unrest

Egocentric People are Troubled with a Deep Inner Unrest Those who find themselves cloistered in too narrow a space often suffer from an affliction known as claustrophobia. It is the morbid dread of being shut in.

There is another kind of claustrophobia, which occasionally afflicts people—a claustrophobia not of space but of sympathies. It is just as pernicious. Some people live only for themselves, all their thoughts, all their emotions are centered on their own egos. The house they live in may be a mansion of immense size, yet these people will suffer from the shut-in feeling.

A person expands or contracts the world to the dimensions of his own spirit. He whose sympathies reach out to other people finds his world enlarged to the measure of those sympathies. Through our broadened interests, we can make ourselves part of all humankind, and rejoice in its past triumphs, struggle in its present dilemmas, and anticipate its future hopes. People who do this are blessed; they live in the vast open spaces of the spirit.

Egocentric people are invariably troubled with a deep inner unrest. They feel that their lives are empty, as indeed they are. For they do not take enough of life into the circle of their interests. No one ego is sufficient to fill life with the meaning and purpose which is required to keep it going.

Egocentric people usually think they are being kind to themselves. They refuse to bestow themselves on others so that they may have more with which to serve themselves. However, this is one of life’s great illusions. For too much concentration on the self-begets a shadow that obscures the rest of the world, and when we live with the image of that shadow constantly in our eyes, our spirit rises in revolt against its confinement.

When you estimate the odds of being harmed by the flu shot and compare them to the odds of needing it and being helped by it, there’s no question that just about everyone should get it. Being unable to find your mind when you look for it might be thought of as a moment of massive incertitude, yet this is precisely what frees you. How much greater felicitousness must we enjoy, upon whom the sun of science shines so bright as at this day?

The Need to Be Loved

The Need to Be Loved Psychologists have called attention to a person’s need to be loved. This is a valid need. However, there is another truth, which is occasionally overlooked. A person must not only receive love, he must also give it A person who is concerned with himself alone will be truly miserable. Our interests must turn in both directions, out as well as in. Spoiled people are unhappy even though they are the recipients of love, because not enough of their love flows back into the world. A gift carries more blessing for the giver than for the recipient.

Our world is as big as our outlook. We crave to live in the larger world, not only of space but also of sympathies.

Open-mindedness, which is the fruit of mindfulness, forms the basis for the disciplines of insight. This open-mindedness produces the space in which our apprehension, our discriminating awareness, operates and can be active. The ten kinds of wholesome actions lead to the higher realms. The American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote in The Happiness Hypothesis,

Our life is the creation of our minds, and we do much of that creating with metaphor. We see new things in terms of things we already understand: Life is a journey, an argument is a war, the mind is a rider on an elephant. With the wrong metaphor we are deluded; with no metaphor we are blind.

Since sun-sensitive people are at a higher jeopardy of developing skin cancer and are prone to sunburn, they are more likely to weary sunscreen. The helplessness of their circulation makes them cold, and their faint and sluggish pulse knows this. Interesting thought process on optimizing for dissimilar things during dissimilar life stages. Were art to redeem man, it could do so only by saving him from the earnestness of life and restoring him to an unexpected boyishness. At the postsecondary degree, the student alone is responsible for self-identification as someone with a disablement, presenting documentation to support that arrogate and requesting post school accommodations from employers or education personnel.

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Posted in Faith and Religion Philosophy and Wisdom

Freedom is the Opportunity for Self-realization

“No Man is Free Who is Not Master of Himself.”

“It’s a free world!” our seven-year-old son cried out in a final effort to rationalize his tantrum. He did not want to go to sleep, and he cried out against his enforced bedtime as an invasion of his rights. His illusion is not uncommon even among grown-ups. We often define freedom as the right to do as we please, but this is an erroneous conception. Freedom is not the right to do as we please. No one can do just as he pleases, since we are all subject to pressure from sources beyond ourselves, which we cannot defy. If freedom consists of the right to that defiance under all circumstances, then none of us can be free. The laws of gravity, biology, geography; the laws of the road and of our home routines; die laws of the natural world and the laws of the man-made world—all these and countless other regulations limit our right to do as we please.

No Man is Free Who is Not Master of Himself The separation of time elapsing between the pronouncing of the stimulation word and the response is precisely measured. It is needless to say that this would not only be an object of human race, but a great monetary saving, considering how expensive it is to support invalids, and to interchange men; not to mention that it is upon the health and lives of men that all public exertions fundamentally depend.

Freedom is the opportunity for self-realization. In each of us lie dormant all kinds of powers which were meant to be developed in the course of our maturing. Moreover, once developed, they were meant to be employed in the give and take of life. We are free if our powers can develop to the fullness of their promise and if we are unimpeded in their use.

A rock that rests on the seed planted in the ground will prevent its growth, thereby denying its freedom. However, tying the tender plant to a garden stake—while limiting it from too much movement, rather than restricting—enlarges its freedom, because it is an aid to its growth. And a world in which little boys have to retire at a reasonable hour is indeed a world which holds the conditions of freedom, because it is in such a world that little boys can grow up to become wholesome and healthy adults.

Let us not fret because there are traffic laws by which we must travel on the highway of life. The laws of the road, if they make for safer driving, are a contribution to our freedom, not an infringement of it.

Becoming Afraid of Peace and Happiness

Becoming Afraid of Peace and Happiness As for the greater variety, having become afraid of peace and happiness, one goes to asylum for the welfare of others.

The flux seems indeed often to be a kind of alternate for fevers, as it prevails most in those ships that have brought from Europe an infective fever. While it is better to have no idea than have a false idea, it is also better to have a genuine idea than having a pretended idea or no idea. In addition, this being so, I think it a great erroneous belief to persist in attempting to ascertain in the Christian doctrine that thoroughgoing rule for our counsel which its author intended it to sanction and impose, but only partially to offer. Stoic Philosopher and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations,

Be not perturbed, for all things are according to the nature of the universal; and in a little time thou wilt be nobody and nowhere, like Hadrian and Augustus. In the next place having fixed thy eyes steadily on thy business look at it, and at the same time remembering that it is thy duty to be a good man, and what man’s nature demands, do that without turning aside; and speak as it seems to thee most just, only let it be with a good disposition and with modesty and without hypocrisy.

Nothing contributes more to wellness and long life than pure and good air: but by pure we are not to interpret bleak; nor are old men at any time to choose it. Conversely, representatives of scientific discipline have often attempted to arrive at all-important judgments with respect to values and ends based on scientific method, and in this way have set themselves in opposition to religion. It is well known, some who have reached a rare date of life, have perished at last by a sudden change in their food: and the air is scarcely of less effect.

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The Way to Happiness

“Live a Day at a Time.”

Live a Day at a Time We have often heard this bit of wisdom, but it represents only a partial truth. Life has continuity and we cannot live from day to day, without planning ahead.” The future is being formed in the womb of the present, and unless we weigh today’s actions in terms of tomorrow’s consequences, we shall expose our lives to anarchy and improvisation. No significant result will ever reward our work, because any important enterprise requires time and planning for its proper conception and execution.

It is however true that for the enjoyment of life long stretches of time must be broken up into smaller units. From every day’s labor, we must extract some measure of joy. We cannot defer our happiness to some spectacular fulfillment lying far away in time.

Life is a journey towards a constantly receding goal. We may succeed in grasping that for which we have reached, but we soon discover that something else beckons to us from the far horizon. We never reach a point where we may say, “Now the race is run. I have found the heart’s desire.” They who wait for these spectacular moments of realization are doomed to unending frustration. In addition, as the span of life is limited, we dare not put off to a far-away hour the rewards, which we have a right to seek for our labors.

We must find life’s fulfillment day by day. Every day has its own destination. Every day has its own struggles and attainments. Every day has its opportunities to taste from the sweet wine of life—by creative endeavor in work and play, by giving and receiving love, by serving God and man, by seeking after goodness and truth. Taste the wine when the cup is near. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Today’s sunset will never again appear on the horizon. Today’s opportunities for happiness will be gone when the day is done, and they will be gone beyond recall. Plan for tomorrow but do not forget to reap the harvest of this day.

Spend Time with Your Loved Ones

As long as there is recognition, longing, or investment in someone else’s happiness, we are not experiencing categorical love. Generousness, discipline, patience, effort, and meditation are like the oars of the boat. Thus, the forms of all things are in the gist of the simple substance. But flat-out rejecting someone’s friendly relationship feels to most people too unmanageable despite the bitterness we may feel toward others for jabbing themselves upon us as well as toward ourselves for our unfitness to express to them how we really feel. To disdain someone romantically is hard enough. American Psychologist Lorne Ladner writes in his The Lost Art of Compassion,

If you say that family is important but somehow don’ find much quality time with yours each week; if you say that spirituality is important but spend only a few hours a week actively engaged in spiritual practice; if you say that helping others is important but you can’t think easily of recent examples of your doing so; then there’s probably a significant gap between the beliefs you hold consciously and the unconscious ones that are running your life.

Spend Time with Your Loved Ones However, to reject someone’s friendship seems to bear with it an unambiguously harsh judgment, calling into question, as it may seem to, their value as a person. You are not a human being until you value something more than the life of your body. In addition, the greater the things you live and die for the greater you are. The happiness of a man in this life does not comprise in the absence, but in the subordination, of his passions. Suffering also refers to physical pain and discomfort, and to emotions and mind states that prevent coexisting happiness and well-being. Thus, the forms that the cosmopolitan form unites exist in the form of the soul. Spend time with your loved ones in the fellowship of other people.

This discipline was designed to investigate the relationship between statistical and subjective weightings of judgments of teaching potency. Worry was negatively related to sense of humor. The conductor comes in. Voting is irrational because it is a victor takes all result. By the nature and plain inclination of a thing, it is more sensible to gauge of it, than to lay the whole stress on observations drawn from a supposed experience, which frequently is narrow-minded in its compass, and deceitful in its conclusions.

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The Constant Giver is Not Properly Appreciated

The Gifts of the Constant Giver

The Gifts of the Constant Giver The constant giver is not properly appreciated. The very frequency of his gifts causes us to take him for granted. The child who receives a little trinket from his aunt will be profusely thankful, but his mother’s unending affection evokes no such enthusiastic response.

We are incapable of being permanently aware of our indebtedness. Our gifts have been too numerous and the work of recounting them all would be too great a burden; we therefore respond selectively. We only become aware of what we have when our possession of it has become precarious. After days of continual clouds and rain, we love the sunshine, and after days of continual sun, we long for a change, and bless the rain.

The gifts of the constant giver become so much a part of our pattern of life that we cannot imagine life without them, and therefore the privilege of living with them evokes no special emotion. It is only the very rare child who feels the immense gratitude he owes to his father or mother. Our emotions are awakened when our parents are ill, or when they are taken from us. When we stare at the corner made vacant by their passing, then we know… but it is then too late.

There is one giver whose constancy is never broken and whose beneficence is therefore unnoticed by many, and he is Almighty God. Long before we come into the world, He has begun the process of forming us, of endowing us with the powers of body and mind that will unfold to yield a rich harvest through the years. The world which is our home, the very love of those near and dear to us, the capacity to dream, hope, love, work, build—these and countless other blessings are His gifts. Yet how many go through life using all these rich gifts without ever saying in word or thought, “O Lord, I am grateful.”

Reverence is Submission in Identification

Reverence is Submission in Identification Blessed are those who know the hand that feeds them. The food is then twice as sweet, because it also becomes a token of the Giver’s love for man.

Nowadays, although some recommend it more powerfully and more frequently than others, people of do do nearly all beliefs and political persuasions can be heard arguing in favor of tolerance. Although some students take more than four years to complete their degrees, most juniors and seniors are relatively young compared with students in urban communities where working people take part-time loads and evening classes. English novelist D. H. Lawrence wrote in The Rainbow,

In religion there were the two great motives of fear and love. The motive of fear was as great as the motive of love. Christianity accepted crucifixion to escape from fear; “Do your worst to me, that I may have no more fear of the worst.” But hat which was feared was not necessarily all evil, and that which was loved was not necessarily all good. Fear shall become reverence, and reverence is submission in identification; love shall become triumph, and triumph is delight in identification.

This even happens when we are not waiting but working through with the projects, relationships, and events that make up ninety percent of our day-by-day lives. John Cowley a glazier, inhabitants of Dartmouth, is the persons to whom we are indebted for this surprising engine, which has been of more military service to humankind than the invention of algebra. Rather than smelling musty, like an infrequently used dwelling, the cabin smelled like pertly laundered linens. So if we want to be our best selves, the selves we ourselves like the most, we should for the first time aim to commit the best selves we can out of the people around us. If we want to be warm toward others, we should figure out what others do to trigger our warmth and trigger them to trigger it. If we want to be brave, we should figure out what other people do to make us feel audacious and trigger them to trigger that.

So that from hence we may justifiably derive, that every note whatsoever is but a succession of tones, and that those are most understandably heard, whose differences are most easily understandable. Interesting misunderstanding points straightaway to unhappiness, so true. He measured the warmth of the air, and found it several degrees greater than animal heat, yet the inhabitants bore its extremity with health and indifference.

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Happy People Learn That Happiness, Like Sweat, is a by-product of Activeness

Happiness is a By-product of Activeness

Happiness is a by-product of Activeness “You forgot something, Joanna. You didn’t say “goodnight.” I heard this call ring out across the street one evening. I do not know Joanna, nor the little girl who thus reminded her friend of a lapse from thoughtfulness. The call to Joanna has somehow lingered in my mind, as a symbol of a general failing in modern man.

Joanna presumably enjoyed her friend’s hospitality. She had been with her for some time, they had played together; they had lived together. Friendship is a privilege, which Joanna was blessed with. Is it not proper to express a thankfulness for this privilege? How then could she leave her friend without saying a word, not even a goodnight?

Is not this thoughtlessness the problem of man generally? We take for granted the love of our parents, their care and devotion, the anxious hours spent by them in seeing us through all kinds of hardship. We take for granted the kindness of our friends and neighbors. We take from the poets and the artists, the scientists and the men of affairs the blessings their genius has brought into the world. We take all of it without pausing to think of how much we owe them.

Natural factors, which at one time were apathetic for the animas activities, can develop in a very short time into mighty stimuli for the most crucial life-sustaining functions. Happy people learn that happiness, like sweat, is a by-product of activeness. You can only achieve happiness if you are too busy living your life to notice whether you are happy or not.

What, if not a sense of gratitude, is the object of religion? It seeks to awaken in us an awareness of the greatest privilege of all—the privilege of the blessings we receive from God. Most of us also take His blessings without due thought. We breathe the calm, clear air; we watch the stars in their majestic cadences in the sky; we enjoy the fragrance of flowers and the laughter of children; we draw upon the energies of our hands and brains to perform our tasks; we dream and hope; and we create in the image of our dreams and hopes. However, we take all as our due, without a word of appreciation. This is why modern man cannot pray. Prayer is our expression of thanks to God for the privilege of living. Most modern people take all life for granted, and they do not bother to say “thank you”

Joanna was only thoughtless. However, thoughtlessness is one of the greatest failings of character. When you leave your friends, say “good-night” When you are the recipient of blessings, whether from God or man, learn to say “thank you”

Intangibles of Warm-heartedness and Consideration

Self-knowledge is a slippery business. You might think the nature of your center mission in life would lie within easy reach for ready viewing, and sometimes it does. But frequently it lies buried under a pile of expectations we have for ourselves interlacing with those others have for us that make our mission appear to us to be one thing when in reality it’s something else completely-sometimes something we don’t even want to admit, not just to others, but to ourselves.

Intangibles of Warm-heartedness and Consideration The intangibles of warm-heartedness and consideration are every bit important.

The China-U.S. relationship has perpetually had elements of friendly relationship and cooperation and rivalry. Human beings are born into this short span of life of which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies … and yet they leave behind their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow, as they will by the wayside, expecting them to “keep” by pressure of mere inertia. American Psychologist Lorne Ladner writes in his The Lost Art of Compassion,

If we spend time dwelling on our desire, we gradually concrete a world driven by greed, advertising and compulsive consumerism. When we dwell in anger and fear, we concrete a world filled with weapons, conflicts and wars. To the extent that we dwell in love and compassion, we concrete a world characterized by peace, mercy, safety and inspiring beauty.

When we let go of our concepts of duality and separation, then love, which is connection, and compassion, which is kindness, arise as reflections of the mind’s natural state. Like all works that strike the imagination, it pleased while new; but, wanting the foundation of reason, the whole fabric has long since fallen to the ground.

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Sun Tzu’s The Art of War for Millennials

If you’re like most millennials in business, you haven’t read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. It perhaps never fascinated to you. In actual fact, if you’re like many smart and talented millennials I’ve met, you may believe it to be completely contrary to your nature.

There are certainly millennials who’ve read The Art of War and used it to their lives and their businesses. But if you’re like most, you may wonder how you can possibly familiarize the wisdom of a Chinese military strategist from 500 B.C. to your daily business encounters.

The answer is in an approach to business and life that is both time-tested and groundbreaking. Sun Tzu’s classic has had overwhelming influence the world over. It’s shaped Eastern military and business thinking, and in the West, its attractiveness continues to grow as managers and leaders apply its principles to their business challenges.

The book is about how to seize the advantage in all battles, including those you choose not to fight. While The Art of War is rather literally about warfare, presuming it’s about seeking combat as the best option is very far from the real Sun Tzu. In fact, a major theme of The Art of War is “He who knows when to fight and when not to fight will win.”

'The Art of War' by Ralph D. Sawyer (ISBN 081331951X) For most business readers, waging war doesn’t mean assembling forces to take a city. It means mobilizing ourselves or our teams to win a big contract, seize a market opportunity, control an industry, or reposition a company. Sun Tzu says a great deal about the traits and characteristics necessary for this type of victory. To be successful, Sun Tzu calls for vigilant strategy and proficient perception, superior subtlety and technique, and skillful application of your assets and attributes. He stresses that you understand yourself, your opponent and the conditions of the battleground, however you define that field. Below are just a few ways to apply Sun Tzu to business challenges that plague many millennials.

  • Ditch the Rules: Too many millennials fall into the trap of assuming that success will be found in following prearranged standards. This mistaken belief has its origin in childhood when most millennials are content with playing by rules and being patient and polite. While times have changed, you were probably habituated to be reactionary. There’s a time for patience and politeness, but in business, waiting your turn will often result in missed opportunities. Sun Tzu calls for the perception to move with intensity when the time is right: “An army superior in strength takes action like the bursting of pent up waters into a chasm of a thousand fathoms deep.”
  • Overcome Mistakes: Writing of ideals, Sun Tzu had no regard for mistakes. But the rest of us live in a very distinctive reality. Habituation often extends to how differently men and millennials regard mistakes. millennials, in general, have a more difficult time with mistakes, largely because we’re socialized to feel differently about mistakes. Mistakes are an opportunity to do better next time. But when millennials make mistakes, they’re solaced, emphasizing the idea that they should feel badly about making them.
  • Take the Right Risks: Risk taking is another area where millennials tend to function very differently, but where Sun Tzu delivers lucidity. A student of war, taking calculated risks is fundamental to him. He recognizes that we’re the architect of our victories, which means we need to define winning on our terms, and when necessary, change the game entirely. Sun Tzu writes repeatedly of manipulating circumstances. Many millennials find themselves on career paths or within organizations where their skills and strengths are painfully limited. Victory demands excellence and the only way to excel is to be positioned to achieve. If this doesn’t describe your circumstances, a game change is in order.

'Sun Tzu Machiavelli Leadership Secrets' by Anthony D. Jensen (ISBN 1530006619) So what’s in The Art of War for millennials? For one thing, it provides awareness into how to gain a decisive business advantage by leveraging your strengths and assets to craft and execute effective strategies. It will help you understand and develop the traits and obstinacy necessary to make major achievements. And significantly, the Chinese philosopher-general will show you to do it in ways least expected: “Take advantage of the enemy’s unpreparedness, make your way by unexpected routes.”

In a competitive world, the currency of the people, businesses, products and ideas that are winning is innovation. For Sun Tzu, and for you, winning requires careful preparation and the opportune launch of unexpected strategies and tactics.

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Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues

Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues

As a young adult, Ben Franklin identified 13 virtues he aspired to. To implement these virtues in his life, he devised a “Plan for Self Examination,” an agenda whereby he concentrated his attention, one virtue at a time, for one week at a time, rotating through the entire list four times a year. He kept a detailed log of the actions he took to develop the virtues in himself, along with his personal results.

He traced his development by using a little book of 13 charts. At the top of each chart was one of the virtues. The charts had a column for each day of the week and thirteen rows marked with the first letter of each of the 13 virtues. Every evening he would review the day and put a mark by the side of each virtue for each error committed with respect to that virtue for that day.

Unsurprisingly, his goal was to live his days and weeks without having to put any marks on his chart. At the start he found himself putting more marks on these pages than he ever anticipated, but in time he enjoyed seeing them diminish. Eventually he went through the series only once per year and then only once in several years until ultimately omitting them entirely. But he always carried the little book with him as a reminder.

  1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
  4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.
  6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
  11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
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The True Master of the Universe

The Lord Can Take What He Has Given

The Lord Can Take What He Has Given All life is a gift from the hand of the Creator. It is an ever-recurring miracle, which renews the wonder of creation. In addition, when life is withdrawn, we dare not fret, for its withdrawal is a reminder of die privilege we enjoyed during the time we were permitted to keep the gift.

The greatest grief comes to those who regard the world as their very own, for when deprived of something they feel that a great injustice has been committed. Happy are the enlightened who realize that we are here only by the invitation of the divine Host who is the true Master of the universe. A guest is conscious of being privileged by whatever token of recognition he receives from his host, though he knows that whatever is showered, on him will be withheld before long. The Lord only takes what He in the first place has given.

The withdrawal of the gift arouses a feeling of gratitude in a sensitive person for whatever time he was privileged to keep it. He will grieve because he misses what he has lost, but he will praise God as a righteous Judge. If in our casual life, we can smile, if we can be peaceable and happy, not only we, but also everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.

Our Triviality and Vulnerability

Our Triviality and Vulnerability All that we really know so far encourages me to conceive in the hypothesis of further important progress in this region. This is not genuine: the ocean is ten times as large as the earth; salt makes a fortieth part of the sea. The importance of spiritual knowledge to the cheerfulness of humanity. All such references are to be taken as no literal expressions. On impact, he moved his BlackBerry from his belt clip to the inwardly pocket of his blue-gray tweed blazer.

Nearly in the clouds, on a mountaintop resort that is making the modulation from the rust color of fall leaves to the rainbow apparel of skiers, the heavyweight-boxing champion of the world is in training for his first vindication of the title. The Swiss-born British author and philosopher Alain de Botton wrote in The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work,

Death is hard to keep in mind when there is work to be done. … Work does not by its nature permit us to do anything other than take it too seriously. It must destroy our sense of perspective, and we should be grateful to it for precisely this reason, for allowing us to mingle ourselves promiscuously with events, for letting us wear thoughts of our own death and the destruction of our enterprises with beautiful lightness, as mere intellectual propositions. … We function of the basis of a necessary myopia. Therein is the sheer energy of existence, a blind will no less impressive than that which we find in a moth arduously crossing a window ledge, … refusing to contemplate the broader scheme in which he will be dead by nightfall. The arguments for our triviality and vulnerability are too obvious, too well known and tedious to rehearse. What is interesting is that we may take it upon ourselves to approach tasks with utter determination and gravity even when their wider non-sense is clear. The impulse to exaggerate the significance of what we are doing, far from being an intellectual error, is really life itself coursing through us.

Life on board a pleasure steamer violates every moral and physical status of goodly life except fresh air. It is a guzzling, lounging, gambling, dog’s life. The sole interchange to excitement is peevishness. A great number of like experiences have made it seeming that in the cases only the cognizance of the patient does not see and does not hear, while the sense function is in the meantime intact. Like ice cream, this definition would enable one to analyze many forms of happiness. The heaviest hammer of ironwork could not do it the fortieth part so soon. If we concur that the bottom line of life is happiness, not success, then it makes consummate sense to say that it is the journey that counts, not reaching the goal. It may be the same with sounds; the tone may decrease by aloofness, and yet we may not be spiritualist of it without a nice comparison. However, to determine the universal ability is not sufficient.

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