The Impact of Saying Thank You

By Kevin Dee in attitude, Awareness, Happiness, Intuition, Stress Reduction, Success on November 17th, 2014 /  No Comments »

How often do you go out of your way to thank someone?

or is it a rote “thanks”? Is it delivered sincerely, or are you just going through the motions?

Do you actually recognize when you should thank people? Do you really appreciate the things that people do for you?

Do you know the power of a heartfelt thank you? Do you remember how it feels when someone really appreciates you?

“We must find time to thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F Kennedy

Today I got an email from a former colleague who reminded me of a time when I helped him. The help had not been tangible (he was looking for a job, and I did not find him a job), but the help was useful to him. I gave him advice, I took time from my schedule to talk with him and he thanked me for it at the time, because that is the kind of guy he is.

Ten years later he reminded me of that help, because it affected him in other ways. It made him more cognizant that he should help others when he could… not that he really needed that reminder.

I can tell you that to be thanked in such a sincere manner, ten years later, was powerful. It made my day.

We all experience times when people do things for us that are meaningful to us. Do we truly let them know how much we appreciate them?

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” G.B. Stern

If a thank you can have a big impact on a guy who has been running his own business for the last 18 years, just think how much it might affect a client, an employee, a boss, your parents, siblings or other relatives.

A sincere thank you should not be delivered with an ulterior motive, but rather in recognition of what someone did for you.

What about that store owner that brightens your day, or the friend who brings a smile to your face? Do you take time to let them know how much you appreciate them?

Do you thank your clients for their business, in a way that they know you really mean it?

Do you thank your parents for the million things they did for you growing up, and beyond.

Do you thank your mentors, your teachers, your role models… whether they do it consciously or not, you benefit from them.

“Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.” Alfred Painter

Any time that you can brighten somebody’s day by a sincere appreciation you should do it.

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Feelings: Do Our Feelings Always Reflect Reality?

By Oliver JR Cooper in Awareness, Beliefs, Evolution, Happiness, Management, Prosperity, Success on November 7th, 2014 /  No Comments »

If one was to watch a film that had no colour or sound, it is not going to be the same as a film that has colour and sound. It is unlikely to be as engaging or as entertaining, and one might soon lose interest and turn it off or walk away from what they’re watching.

And the same could be said about the impact that feelings have on one’s life. If one was unable to feel, their life would feel empty and without meaning. Through having the ability to feel, life is brought to life and given meaning.

Feelings are to one’s life what colour and sound is to a film; a film wouldn’t be the same without colour and sound and one’s life wouldn’t be the same without feelings. This is not to say that one always likes what they see or what they hear, just as one is not always going like how they feel.

Good And Bad

There are going to be times when one feels good and times when they feel bad. And if one was asked if they would like to feel good all the time, they might end up saying yes. They might believe that their life would be better if they could only feel good all the time.

Then there are going to be other people who realise that all feelings have a purpose. If one always felt good, it would soon lose its meaning; it is through having the ability to feel bad that one is able to appreciate feeling good.

Reality

One’s life will not always go to plan and there are going to be times when one needs to face reality head on. And this could be mildly painful or it could be extremely painful, but the sooner one faces what is taking place, the sooner their life can change.

Here, one is not going to feel good, but as a result of how they feel, one is able to become aware of what needs to change. The alternative would be for one to deny how they feel, and to pretend that everything is fine.

Short-Term Solution

In the short-term, one is going to feel better but as time passes, what they are denying could end up becoming far worse. The feelings that are there to inform them that something is wrong are not being given the chance to be heard.

And this is one thing that can happen when one has the need to always feel good and the inability to face their so-called ‘negative emotions’. If one was simply comparing them with emotions that make them feel good, then they would be negative, but if they saw them as feedback they might have a different outlook.

Caught Up

So while one approach would be for one to avoid their feelings, another approach would be for one to end up being consumed by them. Even though they are not avoiding them, it doesn’t mean they will be able to listen to them.

Instead, one could end up being caught up in them and unable to use them to their advantage. It is then not possible for one to use their feelings as information, as their feelings are causing them to feel paralysed.

The Ideal

To ignore them or to become consumed by them is not the ideal approach; what one needs to do is to be able to be aware of how they feel and to take the appropriate action. This will give one the ability to use their feelings as feedback, as opposed to trying to control how they feel or allowing their feelings to control them.

While ones feelings might reflect reality and give them the insight they need, they might not have anything to do with reality. But due to how powerful feelings are, it is easy for one to see them as a reflection of reality.

A Closer Look

So one could feel guilty and end up believing they have done something wrong, they might feel ashamed and believe that they’re bad, they could feel abandoned and end up believing that they’re alone or they could feel powerless and then come to believe that they have no control over their life.

When these or other feelings arise, there may be something taking peace externally that matches how they feel or there might not be. But just because there is something taking place externally, it doesn’t mean that one’s feelings are connected.

Triggered

There is the chance that these feelings have nothing to do with what is taking place and are simply being triggered from within. They might relate to an experience or a number of experiences that took place many years ago, but while what happened is in the past, the emotional experiences have remained trapped in one’s body.

What is taking place externally and how they are thinking is then bringing these feelings to the surface. If one is able to remember where these feelings came from they might be able to see what is taking place.

Awareness

These feelings could be due to what has happened during their adult years and their childhood years. One will need to release these trapped emotions and this can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

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The Self-Realization Instinct

By Shlomo Agami in Attention, attitude, Awareness, Happiness, Life Purpose, Success, Visualization on November 3rd, 2014 /  No Comments »

Every human being has an innate urge for self-realization.  At its most basic level, self-realization is manifest in the desire to reproduce and ensure the survival of the offsprings.   All living beings share the instinct of reproduction since, in its absence, they could have no continuity. Yet the instinct of reproduction is just a primary fundamental within the comprehensive Self- Realization Instinct (SRI).

For instance, it is the instinct of reproduction that impels salmon fish, swimming in the ocean, to take the difficult, exhausting and highly dangerous swim upstream the river, in order to reach their birth site where they spawn and fertilize their eggs.   They  protect the eggs as well as possible and then die. It is this instinct that sometimes compels animals to risk or sacrifice their lives for their future generation.

Among human beings, SRI has expanded to include further manifestations:  the desire to leave a mark in the world, the desire to stand out or be different in any manner, the desire to attain achievements, the quest for purpose, meaning or a reason for being and more.   Self-realization is also apparent  in adhering  to  and adopting beliefs and ideologies, that could be sometimes odd or extreme.  Actually,  any action intended to fill a void or any emptiness is included in the definition of self- realization such as, work, exposure to positive or negative stimuli, study, research, satisfying curiosity, sports, hobbies, satisfying needs and even entertainment.  Any action that satisfies us or makes us happy is included under the definition of self-realization,

SRI actually overlaps  the survival instinct to a certain extent, however it is a separate, independent instinct that could often  conflict with the survival instinct.  Both instincts originate from the same trunk and, at some point, the SRI branches out of it and stands alone.

We can learn about the intensity and independence of the SRI from those fanatics who, for a cause that they find sublime, are willing to join extremist organizations and even sacrifice their lives.  To  them, committing suicide for a cause that justifies their beliefs is the ultimate form of self-realization.  This example demonstrates that the SRI can even overpower the survival instinct.

Self-Realization and Happiness

Successfully progressing toward self-realization elevates the mood and fights depression.  Since the aim of this instinct is the attainment of happiness, SRI can  be interchangeable with pursuit of happiness. The more significant and important the act taken toward self-realization, the greater the satisfaction and happiness that we derive from it, if successful.

A person in the midst of a significant self-realization process has a higher endurance level and ability to sustain pain .  This is exemplified by the monks and fakirs, who abstain from the pleasures of life following their beliefs and expressing their uniqueness. A person suffering from a severe disease or handicap can be happy when doing something significant toward self-realization and the activity itself could prolong his life.  People suffering from terminal illnesses suffer less if they are allowed to engage in any activity that leads towards completing a process of significant self-realization, such as a research paper, doctoral thesis or any other activity that will leave a mark.

In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Viktor Frankl describes the life of concentration camp prisoners who are exploited as cheap labor, under terrible conditions until they die.  Viktor Frankl concludes that man’s main desire is to fulfill the meaning of life and implement his internal values. and that if he  is able to find the meaning and insight, it will also solve part of his emotional distress.  Apparently, even in the most horrible of conditions, SRI prevails and its activation could somewhat alleviate the suffering

Harming the self-realization process could lead to depression.  This  process is impaired when a person fails to reach his individual goals, or alternately if he has no objectives or purpose, or if such objectives have become insignificant to him, or if he feels that the goals before him are beyond his ability.  In the eyes of a person who has lost interest in life, all of the goals seem useless and pointless and he considers them mere chores that must be completed and not means for self-realization.

The vast majority of human beings consider childbirth and raising a child to be the uttermost expression of self-realization. Thus it is hard to understand women who suffer from postpartum depression.  This form ofdepression could be explained in that they might consider childbirth and childrearing to be too big a task for them and one that is beyond their abilities.

The Self-Realization Instinct and Evolution

SRI, in its most basic form, i.e. the urge to reproduce, must have been  generated together with the creation of life.  The mere creation of life without the primal urge to reproduce would not have enable Evolution to occur. The urge to reproduce, develop and constantly improve underlies SRI. The Self-Realization Instinct is actually Evolution’s hidden driving force, which led species to continuously develop and improve.  It is that instinct that has brought humankind to its current level and continues to propel it forward.  We are all programmed to strive toward happiness and to develop, even if it involves wars, injustice and dishonesty.  At the end of the day, progress prevails.

The mere creation of life is a mysterious wonder.  The fact that SRI was simultaneously created further enhances the intensity of this wonder.  Another question to be asked is whether such a  double wonder could have been created on its own or whether it was orchestrated by some intelligent design.

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Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

By Tony Fahkry in Abundance, Affirmation, attitude, Happiness, Inspiration, Manifesting Dreams, Success on October 24th, 2014 /  No Comments »

What Constitutes Talent?

I still recall my final year of university with restrained enthusiasm.

I wrote my final paper on a prominent figure whom I admired at the time. I firmly recall a passage from a book loaned to me, which was translated from Italian to English. It said of the person, “He was so talented that even the blind were aware of him.” I felt it was a fitting description for a person of great talent.

That passage has stuck with me for seventeen years, etched in to my mind as a measure of an individual’s influence on the world.

Someone who has explored talent and success in detail is author Cal Newport. In his wildly acclaimed book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Newport advocates that we acquire a skill through deliberate practice in order to gain career capital, rather than pursue our passions.

In the book he outlines cases of people who pursued their passion, yet regrettably failed pursuing business success. According to Newport, they fell short of possessing the necessary business skills to bring their product or service to market. He goes on to propose that passion alone is not sufficient to guarantee success – there needs to be supporting foundations to ensure a commercially viable venture.

In a different frame of reference, it was the comedy genius Steve Martin who coined the phrase, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” He was delivering advice to budding actors at the time, yet managed to strike at something more relevant than technical guidance – talent. Martin’s counsel to become the best at what you do is echoed in the sentiment that when you are great, the world has no option than to take note of your genius.

One needs look no further than the rising star of young musicians these days to observe how many go on to form notable musical careers. I have been fortunate to follow the rise of Bob Dylan in my time and his impact on music. Dylan brilliantly fused poetry and music, and in doing so created a new genre, therefore defining music as lyrical poetry.

The idiom “cream rises to the top” is used to show that a good idea or great person cannot go unnoticed, much the same way cream rises to the surface in coffee or tea.

As a new idea gives birth, it is lauded by reviewers and critics as exciting and fresh. Michael Jordan’s masterful and athletic display on the court earned him the privilege as one of the most talked about basketball players of all time. He is etched in the minds of sports enthusiasts alike, becoming the focal point upon which other athletes are measured nowadays.

Constant Improvement

It is widely known that athletes have an indomitable will to succeed. The countless hours of training and the accompanying discipline demands that they be primed to be their best on competition day.

In a similar vein, Olympic athletes are another breed of super-athlete whose training spans decades to compete at one event. Oftentimes their entire training hinges on a performance spanning no less than a ten-second event. They understand all too well the gap that separates success and failure. As unforgiving as it may seem, gold medals are never awarded for second place.

Which leads us to the question, how can you be inspired by the greatness of others? Well for starters, embrace the advice of Carol Dweck who wrote the book Mindset. She proposes that we make steady improvement in our chosen field, by developing a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. In essence, as you divert your attention away from attaining the prize, you make steady and gradual improvements, which eventually lead you to your intended goal.

For example if you are a musician, focus on continuous deliberate practice by honing your musical skills. Deliberate practice is characterised by spending quality time absorbed in your respective performance, while noting key areas which require improvement. A golfer who lacks strength at his putting game, would devote focussed attention perfecting his technique, with the purpose of making continued improvement over time.

Your goal should be orientated toward building on your performance via continuous improvement. Do notinvest your time unwisely with end results during the development phase. Strive for constant and steady improvement overtime. Trust in the compound effect, which affirms that the rewards will materialise once you have attained a level of mastery.

Allow the process of mastery to become your companion. Seek out experts, mentors, skilled technicians,masters and those who can help you improve in any number of ways. Small improvements over time combine to yield surprising results.

Complete Dedication

It might be stating the obvious that many of the athletes who compete on an international scene are technically equal to their rivals. So what differentiates the best from the best? Not talent since that is assumed at that level of competition.

The greatest performing athletes are committed in a number of ways – dedication, sleep, nutrition, mental and emotional resiliency, courage and determination to name a few key attributes. Whilst these characteristics may seem barely immeasurable, incorporated over time, they return a resounding level of world-class success.

As is often the case, you may devote countless hours to your pursuit, make necessary sacrifices and still not hit upon success. Remember life has a rhythm of its own, which means timing is everything. Perhaps you need to acquire additional skills in certain areas to take your gifts to the world – be patient and bide your time.

Give yourself to your passion by living it and embodying it. Let it consume you so you think about it day and night. Let it be the last thing you reflect upon and the first thing on your mind when daylight breaks.

Dream about it– let it become an extension of your soul and character, because we want you to be so good they can’t ignore you.

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