Julian Treasure talks about listening. Enjoy this short Ted Talk about the art of listening and hopefully, you’ll begin to truly hear again.
Until next time…
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” Walter Elliot
Want to learn a secret? Here’s a secret that will change your life.
You will accomplish whatever you set out to do if you do not quit trying to accomplish it.
I don’t care if you are trying to lose weight, stop smoking, read more, write more, learn more. Say you want to learn a new language. Learning a new language is hard. Quitting a bad habit is hard. Learning how to do something you’ve never done before is hard.
Learn incrementally and continuously. Take a little bit of new information, study it, read it, do something with it in little bite-size chunks on a daily basis and before you know it you’ll own that new knowledge. You’ll build the skill. The challenge with this type of learning is consistency. You have to keep doing it over and over and over and never stop. You must really want the new knowledge or skill.
If you keep pushing forward, keep digging in consistently, keep pushing the envelope, you’ll see some dramatic results over time. Stick with it and you’ll achieve your goal over time. It’s really that simple.
Here’s what I’m up to this week:
Well, that’s it for today, folks. I hope all of you are keep pushing forward with your goals.
Have a great week!
Until next time…
Every problem contains a solution. The key is self-discipline and surrender of the mental habits to the Holy Spirit.—Harold Klemp The Language of Soul
Do you remember any problems in your past that took a while to solve? What solved the issue? Did you change something? Did you realize that the “problem” wasn’t really a problem? Did the problem resolve itself or did you have to do something to solve it?
Problems come in all shapes and sizes. Some of our problems arise because of a mistake in our thinking. Some problems arise because of personal neglect. Some of our problems involve people. Some of our problems involve things.
We have problems with our health. We have problems at work. We have problems with the stuff we own. We have problems with other people. How do we solve these issues?
I have solved problems by changing my mindset. This is what Harold refers to with mental habits. Some of our problems are literally caused because we want our world to be a certain way. These problems tend to fade when we look at our life and world differently.
I used to have a lot of focus on money. When I realized that I had more than enough to survive and thrive, my money issues disappeared overnight. I have also had problems with people in my life. When I realized that other people’s problems were none of my business, they faded from view.
Self-discipline can eliminate a lot of problems in life. If you exercise, eat in accordance with your body’s needs, and get enough sleep, many of the ailments that we suffer from will disappear. When we detach ourselves from material things, outcomes, and our egos, many of our problems fade away. When you adopt the belief that everything is in its rightful place in the worlds of God, our expectations no longer cause us problems because we begin to accept things as they are.
People are a source of problems. You may have a disagreement with a loved one. We are all human and these problems will arise. When we realize that everyone has problems they need to work through and that these problems are theirs not ours, life smooths out quite a bit.
Problems can also cause a lot of worry, particularly those problems we do not see a solution for. When we realize that problems are given to us to solve and grow and learn from, they tend to evolve into lessons. There is a solution to every problem we face. What I have discovered is once we solve a problem or a set of related problems they tend to stay away.
We all have problems. They arise, we change, we take action, we adjust. Problems are a reality. None of us will exist without problems arising in our lives or the lives of our loved ones. Problems arise for us to solve. They are not done to us. Be confident that problems have a solution, they will go away just as easily as they arose, and that you will be a better person when they are gone.
Cherish the problems in your life. They are what make life interesting and exciting. Problems are not really problems in the end. They are merely communications from God to alter our way of thinking and doing. Nothing more. They are teaching us how to become more patient, loving, and spiritual.
Until next time…
“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” – Reba McEntire
What a great quote! A wishbone equates to hope, a backbone equates to steadfastness, and the funny bone equates to a sense of humor. All of these are quite necessary to live a great life.
We all need a sense of humor. Humor can help us deal with harsh circumstances. Humor helps us accept and address the past. I think of my days in basic training or Ranger School. When I was going through these things it wasn’t that funny, but now that I think of all of the things that happened, I can’t help but laugh. Laughter is what gets us through the tough times.
A backbone is necessary to stand up for one’s self. We have to have a backbone to stand up to bullies. We need a backbone to do the things that scare us but are necessary. We need a backbone to push through self-imposed limits.
Finally, a wishbone. Hope is what all of us use when things aren’t going so great. We hope for a better future. We hope for a better life. Hope is another coping mechanism we can use to deal with tough times.
This quote also made me think about all of the people who are worse off than me. I imagine the hope, the strength, and the humor they use to envision a better life or future for themselves and their loved ones. This quote also made me think about those people who are so overwhelmed and broken that these things fail to work. They have fallen so deep into depression that nothing will help them out of the “pit”. I truly empathize with people who have had such a bad time of it that they are forever broken.
We have all experienced bad times. This is part of our life. Life, even a good one, involves suffering. We all suffer in one way or another. We all want better than we have. We all want to achieve. We all want to be listened to and heard. We all want to be loved. Unfortunately, we rarely get what we want. Subsequently, we have to make the best we can out of a bad situation.
We are all going to die. Our lives are finite. If we are only here for a short while, why not make it the best we can? Love one another. Contribute. Improve. Be grateful for what you have. There are answers to our questions. There are solutions to our problems. They are all out there, if we take the time to look.
I hope each of you has a great weekend!
Until next time…
“Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living.” – Travis Barker
I am grateful for this life. A life filled with adventure, love, learning, and interacting with others. I am grateful for the problems, challenges, sorrows, and mistakes. I am grateful for the teachers and mentors I have benefited from. I am grateful for everything this life has provided to me. Without the challenges, life would be boring.
Think about your life for a moment. How can you be happy without the ability to be sad? How can you be healthy without the ability to be sick? How can you be bored without the ability to be engaged?
We live in a world that is composed of opposites and paradoxes. These opposites are necessary for our existence. Without the valleys there would be no mountains. Without heat there would not be cold. Without problems there would be no solutions.
I am grateful for change. Without change life would be static. There would be no growth, no learning, no experiences worth our while. The changes that come in our lives make life interesting. They keep us on our toes. They spurn learning, particularly when life tosses us an unpleasant surprise.
Think about the last time you were sick. When you get better you cherish the health that returns. Think about the last time you lost a loved one. When you find a new partner, pet, or friend you cherish that relationship more because you have felt loneliness, emptiness, and sorrow.
Think about when you learned the most. It is likely a time of stress, peril, and uncertainty. Without the opposites that are ever-present in our lives, we would have nothing to compare the good times with. They would all just be. This would cause problems because our minds could not grasp good or bad, up or down, light or dark. We need change. We need the opposites. We need the ups and downs of life.
Each year around this time, I contemplate my life. I look at past mistakes. I look at past victories. I look at my experiences. Some of these experiences have been unpleasant. Some of these experiences have been wonderful. Some of these experiences have been horrible. Some of these experiences have been healing. With each experience we go through we come out of them stronger, wiser, and more loving.
Why is the world set up this way? Why are we here? We are here to learn how to give love and receive love. We are here to become stronger spiritually. We are here to contribute to one another and participate in life. Your life is about learning, teaching, communicating, and contributing. Right now, you are the strongest and best you have ever been.
I invite you to do the same thing I am doing. Contemplate your life. Find those time periods where you had great success. Find the times your life was turned inside out. Look for patterns. You’ll be amazed when you see how each problem or challenge you faced made you stronger and put you in a situation that was better than the situation you were in previously.
Once you have completed this exercise, write down the things you have learned. Write down the things you have done. Write down the things you would like to do. Then get around to doing them. Live a life of meaning, purpose, and achievement. What else do you have to do?
I hope you are having a great time this year. I hope you have some goals you are committed to. I hope you are laying the plans for a great 2019. I wish all of you well on your journey this year.
Until next time…
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman
As many of you know, I love to learn. I ran across this great video series on YouTube, called: Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. In this series, Dr. Peterson teaches us how human beings have used stories to communicate to one another and map out the key features of our belief systems. The lecture series is composed of 12 lectures that last about 2 ½ hours each. This is a fascinating series filled with lots of ideas and things to think about. I’ve provided a link below if you are interested in checking it out.
This year, we are all going to experience new things. We are going to learn new things. When we are truly learning something new, we make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process as our brains rewire themselves to a new way of doing things. Make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. Build on your mistakes. Do not be afraid of making mistakes.
I’m also reading a great book called: The One Thing by Gary Keller. It’s a book that describes a process for focusing on the very best action we can take to improve our lives. He also provides a great way to categorize our lives into areas of focus that I found to be quite fascinating. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in self-help books. It adds to the books I have read in the past and fits in nicely to the way I am rewriting my life daily. I think you’ll find it to be yet another book you can add to your yearly lexicon of reading.
We are what we focus on. If we focus on the right things daily, we will build a life of meaning. We will build a life that is exciting and filled with learning, building new skills, and increasing our marketability so that we can live a life that is fresh, ripe with variety, and productive. Isn’t this what all of us want?
Gary’s way of speaking is down-to-earth and easy to understand. He provides a way of pursuing a balance in life so that we can tackle all facets of our existence each day and build our relationships, maintain ourselves physically and financially, pursue our spiritual interests, and develop an individual curriculum of learning that adds to our skills and continuously pushes us to greater heights.
I hope each of you is having a great week so far! Take a look at The One Thing and Dr. Peterson’s lecture series. I think you’ll enjoy both.
Until next time…
For those of you who are authors in my readership, enjoy this Ted Talk by Amy Tan, who describes her process of finding the story in her books and the processes she goes through to flesh it out. This was a really interesting one for me. I hope it is for you as well.
Until next time…
“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.” – Charles Kettering
I’m finally over this bug and got back to the gym this morning! It felt good to get in there and get moving. Today was a full body workout with weights. We had some snow come in last night and it was nice looking at the white covering everything as I drove to the gym.
I’ve recently signed up to the Poetry Foundation. You can find this at: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/ It’s a great site and if you sign up (it’s free), they’ll send you a daily poem to read. I really enjoy the random poems they send because it exposes me to people I would have never found on my own. Try it out if you’re interested.
We’re in the part of the year when we reexamine our lives and look forward to the new year. Some of you may have already set your New Year’s resolutions, while others may still be looking at what you are going to accomplish this year. As today’s quote states, set your goals so that you pursue something meaningful. What do you want to do? What have you always wanted to do but decided not to pursue because you’ve convinced yourself you can’t do it? Take the can’t out of that sentence and go for it. It is really liberating to pursue something you might have to work really hard to achieve. Imagine how you will feel if you accomplish something you didn’t think you could?
Goals should stretch you. Why set up something you know you could accomplish? Is that really a goal? Failure? You can’t fail if you keep moving toward your goal, regardless if you crawl, walk, or run. You can’t fail if you don’t quit. Get at it!
My decision to learn how to write computer programs has been exhilarating. Yeah, there are times I get stuck and frustrated. That’s normal when you’re learning new things. Imagine how much impact this new skill would have on your ability to make money or just create useful programs for yourself and your family?
I wish all of you the best of luck this year! I hope all of you achieve what you have set out to do. Persist. Adapt. Continue. You’ll get where you want to if you keep walking.
Until next time…
It’s been a great week for Daily Ramblings! Any week I add a new follower is a great week in my book. Thank you to all of you who have begun following Daily Ramblings. I really appreciate it.
I’ve been a little off this week because of a cold I contracted a day after New Years. I have been able to keep up my reading, writing, and learning, but the exercise routine has taken a hit. When I get sick, my workouts are the first thing I put on hold because they tend to drag sickness out. I think by tomorrow I’ll be over this thing.
I’m currently at 484 followers. I need 16 more to hit my 2018 goal of 500 followers. This year I am setting a goal of 1000 followers. I’ll be reaching out to a lot more folks this year to achieve that goal.
For those of you who are new, here’s my posting schedule:
If you know of anyone in your blogging sphere that you think will benefit from my words, send them my way. Thanks again, everyone for following me!
Until next time…
“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry
Teachers come in all shapes and sizes. Our pets can teach us. Our children can teach us. Our parents can teach us. Our brothers, sisters, and friends can teach us. I think our learning is limited when we have to seek out someone who calls themselves a teacher and we limit our learning to one source.
I love to read. I love to read stories, I love to learn new things, I love to experience other places in different time periods. I love to gain perspective by experiencing what others have experienced. Dialogue is an important aspect of learning. We can have a dialogue with other people, not just by talking to them but also by reading what they write.
This is why blogging is so important. When we post something to our blog, we are initiating a conversation. We are telling others what we think. To tell someone what we think we have to have a dialogue with ourselves. I was watching a YouTube video that addressed how each of us changes every time we have a dialogue with another person. Each time you read something that causes you to rethink what your view of the world is, a part of you dies so that new perspective can add itself to who you are. I find this one fact to be startling.
Currently, I have a goal to read some of the world’s great philosophers. I am currently reading Nietzsche. Some of his ideas are really out there. Nonetheless, his thoughts are a great way to witness how an individual takes the philosophy of his time and questions it. He interjects what he believes to be true and refutes some of the thinking of his time. I think it is important to read the works of these people because they show us how to think, not what to think necessarily.
One of the character traits I continue to work on is tolerance. One of the aspects of tolerance is the ability to keep an open mind. Open mindedness requires us to weigh what we think against what we take in. If we are close-minded, we will never learn anything new. Sometimes we have to come face-to-face with someone’s point of view that is opposite of ours. How did they come to their conclusions? What are they proposing? Do these things make sense or are these points just drivel?
Besides literature, I am always interested in reading self-improvement or self-help books. Interestingly, some of these books are worthless. They are merely regurgitating the same ideas that someone else has already claimed. Interestingly, if you read enough of them, you do come across a novel idea from time to time that is really helpful.
Mini-habits is a book I read every year. It is a book that was created by Stephen Guise. Mini-habits is a novel idea, but some folks will not benefit from the wisdom in his book, particularly if they only do the bare minimum. The purpose of mini-habits is to develop a habit by doing something so ridiculously small that a person’s internal resistance to change will not pose a factor. The challenge, however, is when a person merely does the bare minimum and never increases their capability to do more. This is where mini-habits fail. But is it failure?
Mini-habits help us do something. That something can result in more if we keep doing them. Where I think they fail is when there is no motivation to do more than just the mini-habit over time. Take writing for example. Let’s say a person obligates themselves to write one word a day. It is obvious how ridiculous this mini-habit is. Subsequently, for mini-habits to truly be effective, the person has to set a standard where some progress can be made.
The premise of mini-habits is to do something that will edge you forward in a meaningful way to achieve some end. That end could be related to fitness, eating, reading, writing, or any other number of activities that would benefit the individual that wants to improve some area of their life. There has to be some drive to improve something. This leads us to a discussion about the two types of motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is the motivation we have internally. This motivation drives us to do something because we truly want to do something. The other type of motivation is extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside. This type of motivation is a boss at work, a social pressure if you will. When we are motivated by outside circumstances or forces, it only works as long as those outer pressures exist. Subsequently, intrinsic motivation is more beneficial to us over the long term. If we are intrinsically motivated to do something, we have a greater chance at success because this internal drive will never leave us.
We have a lot of intrinsic motivation when it comes to survival. If we are hungry, we are motivated to eat. If we are tired, we are motivated to sleep. Unfortunately, the things that can provide real meaning in our lives are those that are not necessarily related to our intrinsic motivations of survival. These have to be cultivated. We have to draw on others for these motivations.
Why is it a good thing to take care of ourselves physically? Why is it important to learn new things? Why is it important to interact socially with other people? Why is it important to create things? Why is it important to be charitable? These are the things that can make our lives meaningful but also require that we do something about them to truly benefit from them.
We can learn about these things by reading. We can read about people who show us the benefits of physical health. We can read about people who failed miserably at life. We can read about people who overcame great challenges and still ended up on top. When we read, we get inside of the author’s head. We learn how things were at a particular place and time. We learn what to do and what not to do. More importantly, we learn a set of standards by which we can live by.
Reading can be entertaining, informative, and challenging. When we read, we reflect on what we think we know and then, decide whether that thinking was right or whether it was wrong. This is where the growth occurs. The moment we discover a particular belief or value fails, and replace it with something new, we grow.
Read. Read for the enjoyment of reading. Read to learn. Read to experience things through the lens of someone else’s mind. The adventures that await you are endless.
Have a great Saturday everyone!
Until next time…