Category: Blog

The Power Trio (aka The Absolute Basics)

I’ve been doing some thinking about the fundamentals of achievement, success and living well. I’ve come up with three basics.

I’m interested in what you think. Of course, there are many other aspects to success and living well, but I believe these sum up the foundation.

(The first stands alone and the second are on a tier just below.)

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Mindfulness: the ability to notice and effectively manage your thoughts and emotions, in each moment, is the foundational skill of life.

Responsibility: when you embrace the Truth that your life is up to you and what you have, and don’t have, is a function of what you do, and don’t do, everything changes (for the amazing).

Gratitude: when you appreciate what you have (external) and who you are (internal) – consciously and intentionally – more will come to you.

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What do you think? Do I have it right?

The Choice We Have

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King

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“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

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“There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.” – Josh Billings

The Dynamic Nature of Trust

Trust is not static.

It’s either growing or dying.

It’s true for our relationship with our Self or others.

I had a realization (it’s what prompted this post… ) that it’s not enough to be kind to those we know and “neutral” to others.

Because rationing our kindness – even if its not conscious – creates doubt on the minds of others. They may wonder (again, not necessarily consciously) that there may come a time when we might be less-than-kind to them.

(I know that last paragraph reeks of “woo-woo New Age-ey” stuff, but I do believe there are powerful energetic connections between people. Think of the “gut feelings” you have… it’s that sort of thing.)

My point: be kind whenever possible.

To yourself, to those you know and to those you have yet to meet.

Why?

1) You’ll know; 2) those who know you and see you being kind (without qualification) will know and 3) it will matter.

A (Surprising) Truth

It’s easier to forego temptation than it is to stop after only a bit.

For example, it’s easier to not have any ice cream at all, than it is to eat just the “recommended portion.”

In these situations inertia serves us.

If we’re standing still in relation to something  (for example, the ice cream in the freezer), then it’s easier to not have some than it is to stop eating after one spoonful.

At least it is for me . . . .

Nice Weather and the Power of Subjective Language

It’s raining today. When I went outside, even with an umbrella, I got wet (or at least my shoes and lower pant legs got wet).

I love nice weather, whether or not it includes rain.*

Many people equate sunny skies and dry feet with nice weather. If it’s raining (or snowing . . . ) it’s “bad” weather. It’s “crappy out” (or whatever your local language uses for the word “crap”).

This all wouldn’t be notable, and certainly not fodder for a post on this blog, if it weren’t for the power of language and the (seeming) complete widespread ignorance of subjectivity (and its power).

The weather isn’t nice or crap. It just is. Without getting too crazy about it, we’re much better off just describing the weather in (at least somewhat) objective terms.

Let’s say it is 75 degrees (Fahrenheit), relative humidity is 40% and the sky is sunny and mostly cloudless. Most people would say that’s nice weather. If forced to characterize it, I would say it’s nice** too, but I’m a golfer. A skier likely wouldn’t call that nice weather (or at least not ideal). They’d likely say it’s “okay,” but they’d much rather the temperature was 30 degrees – that way they could be skiing.

Weather, and the subjective terms people use to describe it is really just a proxy for my real point: we make decisions about what things mean and we use language to do it.

When we use subjective language – that is non-resourceful – to describe, understand and label something objective like weather, we strengthen a muscle that is only used to wield a club whose sole purpose is to beat us down. The better we can get at seeing and describing and understanding things clearly and objectively, the better our experience of, and facility with, life.

Where do you use subjective language, with a resultant decrease in quality-of-life? In other words, where do you label things – that you really don’t know the truth of – and end up feeling worse as a result?

How can you be more accurate, and objective, about those sorts of situations and phenomena? Your emotions, and life, will be much better if you can see and understand things better.

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* Rainy weather is nice, even beautiful weather, in that rain is a natural and necessary part of our Earth’s cycle. Rain brings life to plants, crops and livestock and fills our reservoirs and aquifers. Without rain (and snow) we would perish. That wouldn’t be nice at all, would it?

** I will grant you that, as a human, that sort of weather is objectively “nice” in that it well-supports my physical existence. Besides needing to shield my skin from excessive sun exposure, that’s pretty good weather for a being with a human body.