Category: Blog

Things Are What We Say They Are

Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat – Napoleon Hill

At the risk of sounding like a ranting Dennis Green, things are what we say they are, and when we say they are things that serve us, that’s what they become.

When confronted with a set-back, challenge, problem, issue, or whatever, we decide (consciously, or otherwise) what it means. What follows from that decision (whether conscious and constructive or not) makes all the difference.

As Jack Canfield says: there’s an Event, we have a Response and there is an Outcome.

We can’t control the Event, but we can choose/control our Response.

The Outcome follows from the our Response.

We create the Outcome, at least in our perception, if not in the (physical) World.

So, when we say things are for our benefit (even if we don’t enjoy them in-the-moment), we can use them for our development and growth.

I’m not being a Pollyanna here… sometimes Events kick us in the gut and leave us gasping for “air.” In those cases, we need to catch our breath before deciding what something means, and what our Response will be to it.

But most of our lives are tiny little things – good, bad and indifferent – that we process and respond (or react) to. Living well is developing first the awareness of this process and then the skill of choosing positive, constructive Responses.

What You Say, You Become

The words you speak become the house you live in. – Hafiz

This is going to be a short post.

Language is a tool of meaning.

Human beings are meaning-seeking and meaning-creating creatures.

With meaning we create and understand our Worlds.

If we choose our words carefully and well, we create an amazing life.

If we choose our words haphazardly and poorly, we create a dismal life.

Choose your words well.

A Useful View of “Independence”

A great rock is not disturbed by the wind; the mind of a wise man is not disturbed by either honor or abuse. – Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama)

I heard someone say that one of the hallmarks of a good life is to be immune from both the good and bad opinion of others.

The ol’ Dalai Lama knows this too.

It’s easy enough to say “Yeah, I don’t worry about the negative things people say about me. I know who Iam.”

Having it be true is another thing entirely.

It’s just as problematic, I believe, to only be concerned with the bad things people say. In that pursuing the approbation of others takes us just as swiftly and surely from our well-being as anything.

The cure is to remember – and know – that at our core we are goodness and well-being. The only reference point we need is the barometer of our soul.

Whether we chase after complements, or avoid criticism, we’re still running. We’re running from ourselves towards something, that while it may feel real, is false.

Practice being still and calm and listen for the still, silent voice within. It is the voice of truth.

What Do You Believe?

Belief creates the actual fact. – William James

What you believe you create.

How?

Simple.

You act in accordance with your beliefs.

Your beliefs are the thoughts you no longer question. They are unlike the myriad thoughts you have forgotten or dismissed.

Your beliefs are the thoughts that have hooked your attention, are sufficiently congenial with your values and – somehow, someway – serve your goals.

Unfortunately, all that most people are able to let themselves want is to be safe and secure. To be “happy.*”

This “happiness” is really just a not-quite-miserable; a sort of neither well or sick. A way of existing that keeps you small, and, I suppose, safe.**

So many people mistake quiet and calm for happiness.

Sometimes though, it’s when nothing seems to be happening that we need to pay the most attention.

It is then that we need to pay attention to what we believe: is what we believe in harmony with the dynamic, sometimes challenging, nature-of-things, or are we merely clinging to what was, wishing we can make it stay that way forever?

***

* Most people, in reality, consider “being happy” merely the absence of acute pain or suffering… there’s so much more to happiness though.

** Not really safe though, because life, and change, continues (always and forever). Eventually disruption happens – disruption is just large-scale change that happens quickly and, often, painfully. Another way to think about it is: you can either wade through a swift moving stream, about up to your knees, making progress in small steady increments, or you can walk up a dry river bed, only to face a wall of water when the water behind a dam is released.