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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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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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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Stress: A Catalyst for Change

Stress: A Catalyst for Change “People don’t like change.” I perhaps hear this statement at least once a week. Regrettably, it perpetuates the thinking that people will try to avoid change. The reality is quite the opposite.

Change is an essential part of our living experience. We change to live. But we don’t live to be changed. When you understand this difference, you can use the stress of change as a potential energy source.

Hans Seyle originally defined stress in the 1930s. He identified it as a biological and psychological response or condition brought on by events outside of the person, such as a marriage, a divorce, getting a new job or losing a job.

Stress is often characterized in terms of “good” (eustress) and “bad” (dis-stress). This view of stress limits its potential as a catalyst for enabling change in your organization. To unlock your organization’s change energy you need to shift your thinking away from stress as an end state toward stress as an energy source. As energy, stress is needed to ignite and propel your change forward.

Viewed from yet another angle, it can be a spur for personal growth and enlightenment. Stress can be used as a justification to play the victim card, and it can also be the force that thrusts you forward into a better existence. Stress can be used as the motivation you choose to become numb through drugs, medication or alcohol, and it can also be the reason you are led to education, exercise and nutrition.

Successful Change Needs Stress

'Thinking for a Change' by John C. Maxwell (ISBN 0446692883) In his book Thinking for a Change, John Maxwell notes that all change feels awkward and uncomfortable, and if it doesn’t it probably isn’t really a change. Organizational change can only happen when people feel a strong disconnect between where the organization wants to be and where it is now.

It is the tension between the current state and the desired state that creates the stress necessary for change. At this critical point where new meets old you have the chance to excite people with the prospect of the new opportunities or paralyze them with the fear of uncertainty. It all depends on the beliefs your organization holds about change and the actions you take based on those beliefs.

Being under stress truly is an absolute growth-opportunity—none better. Rather than numb it or suppress it with drugs and alcohol, or run from it in denial or as a victim, why not use it as a catalyst for learning and change. During my life, my moments of intelligibility as well as my biggest achievements, individually and in business, demonstrated themselves just after the most stressful and painful times in my life. No matter how bad it can get, something good can always come from it. You just have to be open enough to see it through all the pain, misunderstanding or upset.

Enabling organizational change requires you to create enough stress to allow people to act on the need to let go of their current state without generating so much stress that they are immobilized with dis-stress.

'The Tao of Personal Leadership' by Diane Dreher (ISBN 0887308376) Diane Dreher compared conflict to electricity in her book The Tao of Leadership. The same comparison could be made about change; like electricity, change can either light up your world or destroy it. It all depends on the appropriate and careful use of stress.

Here are a few tips to help you balance the stress to dis-stress continuum:

  1. Enable the time and opportunity for people to recognize the need for change.
  2. Encourage and guide people’s need to make the change meaningful for them.
  3. Enable active participation in the “creation of their destiny”.
  4. Talk about the change and its transition (especially) when you think you have nothing to talk about.
  5. Recognize and acknowledge the discomfort of the change process—support people’s journeys.

Using Stress as a Catalyst for Change

Profound organizational change unavoidably produces stress. Those who lead change often try to suppress stress in an effort to sustain positive energy and forward movement.

Nevertheless, attempting to squash stress is a mistake. Successful leaders actively use stress to help transform organizations. To turn stress into a catalyst for change, implement these four practices:

  1. Build a shared mission to hold the core group together;
  2. Leverage the power of dissident voices;
  3. Give the work back: let others resolve conflicts;
  4. Raise the heat to uncover conflicts that need to be addressed.

Recognizing that employee engagement can help build a deeper sense of purpose, your team can develop a one-of-a-kind strategy that encourages employees to spend four hours a month, during the business day, volunteering on creating change.

Stress may not be pleasurable, but it can be beneficial.

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Posted in Health and Fitness

Mighty in Deeds and Not in Words

The Wisdom of Deeds Will Be Necessary for the World to Come

Wisdom of Deeds Will Be Necessary The man sweeping the synagogue paused for a moment. He looked at die flowers lying about in disorder. “What waste!” he said to himself. Those roses had adorned the pulpit at a wedding an hour before. Now all was over and they were waiting to be discarded.

The attendant leaning on his sweeper was lost in thought when suddenly he heard a strange sound. One of the roses replied to him.

“Do you call this a waste?” the flower protested. “What is life anyway, yours or mine, but a means of service? My mission was to create some fragrance and beauty, and when I have fulfilled it, my life has not been wasted. And what greater privilege is there than to adorn a bride’s way to her beloved, what greater privilege than to help glorify the moment when a bride and groom seal their faith in each other by entering the covenant of marriage?”

Our listed flower paused for a moment to watch the man’s face, and then continued her discourse.

Roses are like people. They live in deeds, not in time.

My glory was but for a brief hour, but you should have seen the joy in the bride’s eye, “I like to believe that I had something to do with it, by creating a suitable setting for the moment of her supreme happiness. So do not grieve for me. My life has been worthwhile”

Having spoken her little piece, the rose was once more silent. The attendant, startled from his reverie and a little wiser, pushed the sweeper again and continued with his work.

If only the people who agonize about their financial obligation would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop troubling. Would you sell both your eyes for a one hundred thousand dollars … or your two legs … or your hands … or your hearing? Add up what you do have, and you will find that you will not sell them for all the gold in the planet. The best things in life are yours, if you can acknowledge the economic value of yourself.

Be Not Careless in Deeds

Be Not Careless in Deeds In all cases and constitutions, in all habits of body, at every point of life, and under possibly every circumstance, cool air, drinking cold water bountifully, and bathing the whole body, or at least the private parts with tepid or icy cold water, agrees absolutely well, and produces the happiest and most providential effects. Therefore, it is strongly connected with a detestation of oppression of every kind; and forms a taste for liberty and laws.

The great majority of psychiatrists not only hold that dementia consists in the constipation of such encompassing mental powers as memory, judgment, conception, etc., but also believe—in company with most psychologists—that an average mental test measures one of these powers. The Lebanese-American scholar, statistician, and essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in Antifragile,

While in the past people of rank or status were those and only those who took risks, who had the downside for their actions, and heroes were those who did so for the sake of others, today the exact reverse is taking place. We are witnessing the rise of a new class of inverse heroes, that is, bureaucrats, bankers, Davos-attending members of the I.A.N.D. (International Association of Name Droppers), and academics with too much power and no real downside and/or accountability. They game the system while citizens pay the price.

At no point in history have so many non-risk-takers, that is, those with no personal exposure, exerted so much control.

The chief ethical rule is the following: Thou shalt not have antifragility at the expense of the fragility of others.

In all matters of opinion and science, the case it diametrical: The divergence among men is there oftener found to lie in generals than in particulars; and to be less in reality than in appearance. The reliable harvest of my daily life is as impalpable and untellable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little stardust caught a section of the rainbow, which I have clutched. If the flash should reach so low as the earth, and a person should regrettably be in the place of its detonation, he is broadly struck dead in a moment, and feels the most instant of all kinds of death. Mighty in deeds and not in words.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

The Significance of Weeds in the Garden

Why God Made Weeds

Why God Made Weeds A farmer once sighed after he had finished weeding his garden. His back was bent; the perspiration ran down his face. “If not for those cursed weeds,” he said to himself, “gardening would be such a joy. Why God made weeds is really beyond me.”

The farmer mused a little as he contemplated the heap of weeds he had pulled out. Suddenly one of the weeds spoke up. Its face was already pale and wilting, but it mustered enough strength to speak in self-defense.

“You should not speak ill of any of God’s creatures,” the little weed said. “You have given us a bad name and decried our presence in the world. We render you a thousand uses you may not be aware of. We tend your soil when you are not there to cultivate it. We prevent your precious earth from being washed away by the rain. We do not allow it to be carried away by the wind as dust. Moreover, do we not justify our existence even in your carefully cultivated garden? Your flowers would never be able to stand the elements, to survive the blowing winds and lashing rains, if we did not toughen them. In their skirmishes with us, they gain strength. When you enjoy their spectacle, remember that we had a part in their growth.

If a great part of humanity had their eyes thus tinctured, each would see objects different from his fellow, yet none would be sensitive of the mistake.

If even those weak forms of religion, mixed with so much wrongdoing, were significant to society; how much more, that reasonable and true worship of God which the gospel teaches? True religious belief introduces the idea of regular subjugation, by accustoming humankind to the awe of super ordinate power, in the divinity, joined with the esteem of superior wisdom and goodness.

The weed made a marked impression, and then although almost exhausted it continued in a peroration, “The vegetation you cultivate is like the people in your own world. They need some opposition to be toughened for the formidable business of living.”

The weed resumed its silence. The farmer straightened his back as he wiped his brow. A smile of satisfaction came over his face. He looked out on the field that was yet to be weeded, but he knew that weeding would no longer be a disagreeable task. They are fixed in a frame, which can interpolate their focal distance at pleasure, so that the same machine, which throws the combined reflected rays to a distance of two hundred feet, may, by the turn of a handle, be made to throw their united force upon an object not distant above twenty.

We Value Medicine for the Role Can Play in Promoting a Return to Health

Promoting a Return to Health The level to which a signal would alter the lives of our descendants depends on whether we could decipher any attached message. The assortment of sounds is innumerous; but because the ear cannot compare two sounds so as promptly to differentiate their discriminations when they exceed the proportionality of one and seven, musicians have been contented to confine all concordance within that compass, and allowed but seven notes in musical composition. Mark Rowlands The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death and Happiness

According to many philosophers, happiness is intrinsically valuable. What they mean is that happiness is valuable for its own sake, not for the sake of anything else. Most of the things we value, we do so because of other things they can do for us. We value money, for example, only because of other things we can purchase with it: food, shelter, security, perhaps, some of us thing, even happiness. We value medicine not in itself but because of the role it can play in promoting a return to health. Money and medicine are instrumentally valuable, but they are not intrinsically valuable.

The honor and glory of the average man is that he is capable of following that enterprisingness; that he can respond internally to wise and noble things, and be led to them with his eyes open. He went from being a demanding boss to a very verbally opprobrious boss to a boss who would come in and throw things at you. In such moments, and in many early moments likewise, he reminds one of the approbatory spirits of Ronald Reagan and, like Reagan, reminds his listeners of the better angels of their nature. Various bitter wars were fought over the issue and the country changed hands a number of times, until 198 B.C.E., when by a decisive feat of arms, the Seleucid king added her to his kingdom.

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How to Build Up Your Confidence in Presentations

How to Build Up Your Confidence in Presentations

Confidence is the main component of a successful presentation. This premise is easy to state and accept—it is not so easy to work out how to build up your confidence. However, it is worth a try.

  • Knowledge. Know your material thoroughly and take time to check the facts and verify source. Do not agree to present subjects you only half know about, no matter how tempting and persuasive others are. Be clear about the one big issue you are going to present. Get the scope right so you are not sidetracked and go off on aimless tangents when researching and compiling likely material to support your ideas. It is not just knowledge, it’s ‘knowledge of what exactly?’ that you should be asking yourself at the outset.
  • Time. Put enough time into the task of preparing your material—“It always takes longer than you expect’ (Hofstadter’s Law)—and aim to complete your rough script/slides with a couple of days to spare. You need time to ‘sit on it’ without doing anything, to let it sink into your mind naturally. Remember how you used to cram for exams right up to the last minute and how you later felt?
  • Congruity. Make sure your words, tone of voice and body language are congruent, particularly if taking a strong position and expressing your own feelings and attitudes. According to Albert Mehrabian, professor emeritus of psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, people rely more on the combination of what they see and hear than on any text alone. They look at slides, so do not read your slides—the audience does that—refer them to the point you are making and talk them through it. Always aim for simple structures so listeners find it easy to follow. Reiterate points in a different form of words to reinforce your message.
  • 'How to Speak with Confidence in Public' by Edie Lush (ISBN 1509814531) Practice. Take an example from theatre actors who learn their lines and rehearse their actions. Although you don’t memories your lines, practicing them out loud nevertheless builds a familiarity, not only with the words and ideas themselves, but also with how each part links with the next. Good linking controls the pace of your performance. This constant working through also helps you measure the timing of the presentation—and being aware of these invisible clues leads you seamlessly through your mental script. Only Icarus was dumb enough to “wing it on the day.”
  • Attitude. You are not going out there to fail. You are not there by chance and you have not left anything to chance. Everyone in the audience wants to hear a good presentation, to be entertained and stimulated. Start from that premise and believe in your ability to deliver it. You have agreed to present in order to demonstrate that you can communicate your ideas clearly to others—allow this simple idea to lodge in your mind.
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Posted in Education and Career Life Hacks and Productivity

We Are What We Repeatedly Do

We Are What We Repeatedly Do

How do we come to be strong as people? How do we come to be brave, patient or persistent? Are we born that way?

Sayings such as “Practice makes perfect” exemplify the well-known fact that repetition improves learning. This was discussed by abundant ancient and medieval philosophers and was demonstrated empirically by Hermann Ebbinghaus, the first academic to carry out a protracted series of experiments on human memory. In a classic 1885 book, Ebbinghaus showed that retaining of information improves as a function of the number of times the information has been studied. Since the time of Ebbinghaus, innumerable investigators have used repetition to examine learning and memory.

Without any knowledge of how the brain works, about 2,500 years ago Greek philosopher-scientist Aristotle pretty much nailed it by using common sense to explain what he observed in human behavior:

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

It may sound a lot like the truism, “Practice makes perfect,” but Aristotle is accurate that being who we are comes from repetition of performance to form behavior patterns.

These days, neuroscientists explain that behavior patterns happen when the brain cells concerned in the behavior become physically connected to each other in a network called a neural pathway. We aren’t born with this efficient hard-wiring. More exactly, the separate brain cells involved in the behavior are stimulated by usage to grow tiny filaments called dendrites. By reiterating the behavior over and over, the dendrites ultimately connect the cells with each other into a network called a neural pathway. At this stage the behavior pattern is said to be entrenched, meaning the mental processing is so efficient it feels effortless and automatic. Indeed, the behavior may be implemented even without conscious thought.

We use words like skills, habits and personal strengths to describe these behavior patterns. We can learn bad habits as well as good habits—any kind of behavior pattern at all. All it takes is replication over time. We can develop addictions as well as character strengths. As Aristotle said it so well so long ago, “We are what we repeatedly do.”

Thus, repetition need not lead to enhanced learning. Rather, repetition leads to increased opportunities for learning to occur. Whether learning takes place will depend on the type of information that has to be recollected and the amount and nature of dispensation that a person carries out.

Because the brain cell connections are physical, the patterns they enable are hard-wired…and everlasting. So if you want to break a bad habit, your challenge is to grow a new substitute neural pathway. You don’t actually get rid of old, undesirable behavior patterns. You learn new ones that give you more satisfaction, which means you’ll use them more and the old ones less.

The good news is that once you learn how to swim or ride a bicycle, the skill will stay with you for the rest of your life, even without using the ability for years.

More good news for people practicing a learning journey: You can grow stronger by simply doing the right things constantly over time. The behavior may seem awkward and clumsy at first, but it becomes easier the more you do it.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Generousness Brings Enjoyment, and Discipline Happiness

The Prose of Everyday Life

Young couples occasionally look back with nostalgia on the romantic beginnings of their love. The bonds, which now link them to each other, are real and deep, yet they remember the earlier exhilaration, when each encounter was an adventure, long anticipated, and long remembered. They sometimes feel as though all the sparkle, all the poetry has gone out of their lives.

The Prose of Everyday Life Their complaint is in some sense true, but they do not fully understand the meaning of the change, which has taken place in their lives. The excitation was a necessary stimulant to courtship. It was necessary to overcome the resistance to the loss of independence, which is in some respects inevitable when two lives are to be merged into one. A tree, in the early stages of its transplantation needs special nurture, and so do young people at the time of the most radical change in their lives.

That stimulant recedes when it has accomplished its purpose. Indeed its persistence might become a hindrance, since some young people whose pursuit of each other has ended with the prize won; now have other things to do. They must begin the prose of everyday life. They must begin to share the rigors of living, to face common tasks, to help each other in their climb towards the new horizons opening in their life together.

The thin kindling wood gives off a brilliant flame, but that flame cannot last, and does not give out warmth. Its function is to ignite the heavy log, which will burn with less sparkle, less glitter, but with the most glowing steadiness. The fire of later years is not as brilliant as the blaze, which burned at the beginning, but it is firmer, surer, and warmer.

It was made of clay, effortlessly chipped, and coarsely painted. The universal arrangement is the time-honored one of a thoughtfulness of the anatomy of the cerebellum from a descriptive point of view, followed by a segment on experimentation, with, in the end, a detailed account of the diagnostic of affections of this portion of the brain, and a discourse of the relation of the brain to motility.

Happiness is Simple-minded Than Suffering

Happiness is Simple-minded Than Suffering Let us not permit the kindling wood to flare up and burn itself out in a beautiful but brief exhibit of flame, without being sure it ignites the thicker log for the more enduring fire.

Would not this require vast strength to effect? Pretty standardized is the force that the muscles of the arm exert in raising the whole length of the arm, and the weight of the hand beside. Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the mindset, we bring to life. An affirmative mental attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a medium, a spark that creates extraordinary results. Our reputation is an instrument, then-not, hopefully, for creating or maintaining our self-esteem but for pragmatic pilot age through daily life, a good one smoothing out the travel somewhat, a bad one causing doors to slam in our face and testing our self-confidence in ourselves. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche writes in Mastery,

Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted. They acquired greatness, became ‘geniuses’ (as we put it), through qualities the lack of which no one who knew what they were would boast of: they all possessed that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole; they allowed themselves time for it, because they took more pleasure in making the little, secondary things well than in the effect of a dazzling whole.

Given these and other benefits, I can think of very few grounds entrepreneurs would skip physical exercise to work on their business. The research says that exercise is working on their business. This is why happiness is simple-minded than suffering, which is incessantly working so hard. The unicorn of happiness is allergic to advice and Little Me’s elaborate schemes are not interesting to her. She is a free roamer with no fixed terminus or shape; her hooves are in the Tao.

Nonetheless, when the lights diffuse to the corporeal matter, then the light becomes seeable and is revealed to the senses because of the heaviness of the corporeal matter. Many people find this to be one of the most difficult aspects of the mindfulness practice. They were all grateful that he was the one who was hit by the bus and not them.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

A Life Frittered Away by Detail

'Walden' by Henry David Thoreau (ISBN 1505297729) From Henry David Thoreau’s Walden,

Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Lead with Your Presence by Animating and Engaging People

Lead with Your Presence by Animating and Engaging People

In the military, officer candidates are drilled on the power and practice of the manner of a leader-focused, attentive, and engaged. Command presence is not about control, it is about connection; it is not about power, it is about partnership. Leaders with command presence convey character.

Davy Crockett had command presence. “Crockett seemed to be the leading spirit. He was everywhere,” wrote Enrique Esparza, eyewitness to the Alamo, in a newspaper article following the legendary siege. Great leaders are all about spirit-being, not just doing. They focus on being there, everywhere, not in absentia. And, when they are there, they are all there-focused, attentive, engaged.

Great leaders hunt for genuine encounters. They upset the pristine and proper by inviting vocal customers to boardroom meetings. They spend time in the field and on the floor where the action is lively, not in carefully contrived meetings where the action is limp. They thrive on keeping things genuine and vibrant.

Leadership is being (Spirit)

Leadership is the act of influencing another to achieve important goals. It is not about rank or authority. Authority is the last resort of the inept. Leadership is about being-the conveyance of spirit. “You don’t have to know that Susan is the leader,” a manager said of his leader, “You can feel it the second she walks into the room. A warm connection reaches out of who she is and pulls you in. Some people might call it charisma, I call it caring.”

Spirit-full leaders let go of proving who they are in exchange for being who they are. They are givers whose curious interest in others drives them to be completely absorbed in whoever is on the other end of their conversations. They are patient listeners eager to learn, not anxious to make a point.

Great leaders are passion givers. They embrace the concept embedded in the word and pass it on to others. They show their excitement in the moment and optimism for the future, regardless of how much sleep they got the evening before or their worry over hiccups in the balance sheet. Great leaders are pathfinders who light the way with their positive faith. They would rather facilitate than challenge. They cultivate confidence rather than breed caution.

Leadership is Being There

Leaders are present. They don’t just lead by wandering around; they lead by staying engaged. They don’t just know the facts and figures; they know the stories and struggles. Because they make it their business to do their homework on customers and associates, they can affirm on sight without benefit of cue card or staff whispers. They call associates at home to congratulate them on something important to the associate. They thank customers for their business with sincerity and obvious gratitude. They hold meetings on other’s turf.

Great leaders bring perpetual energy and intensity to encounters. They are always wide awake. When it comes to their role, they are never lazy, disinterested, or indifferent. They care enough to bring their best. They show up in life with completed staff work.

At the annual managers meeting, Macy’s Director of Stores, Randy Scalise, gave out 15 awards to outstanding performers in the Northeast region. On the outside, the awards ceremony looked normal-applause, handshakes, an award presentation, and photos. What was unique was how many stories Randy told about his personal experiences with the award winners. He was an important customer for many of them—he had been there, up close and personal.

Great leaders are passion givers

Leadership is Being All There

The myth of leadership is that of a knight in shining armor without warts or clay feet rushing in to charismatically compel people to greatness through the sheer power of his persona. Real leaders are superior and inadequate, strong, and weak.

“He gives us so much courage,” a senior leader said of Doug Borror, CEO of Dominion Homes, and a large home-builder in Dublin, Ohio. “Doug is not perfect. But, he works hard to be the best he can be. When he makes a mistake, he owns it; he forgives himself so to speak. And he is willing to confess in public. That encourages us to reach for higher goals, knowing that if we fall short reaching for the moon, we’ll still end up among the stars.

Real leaders are real role models-not “be perfect like me” models. They are open about their struggles and invite followers to enlist. Positioning leaders as perfect models is unfair to leaders and disempowers associates. Real leaders stumble and blunder, just like normal people. Greatness comes through self-forgiveness as you “get back on the horse.” Real leaders serve as role models best when they reveal their vulnerability and demonstrate their humanity. When leaders own their mistakes, they signal to all that concealment and CYA antics are deviations from corporate custom.

Davy Crockett held no official position at the Battle of the Alamo. His command was expressed solely through his presence-one that cultivated confidence and promoted passion. Coronal Jim Bowie wrote, “David Crockett has been animating the men to do their duty.” Command presence is the embodiment of animation. And animation is what separates maintenance managers from truly great leaders.

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