May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person into a win-win situation. ~Bo Bennett
“Procrastination is like a credit card; it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” ~Christopher Parker
“There are two kinds of perfect: The one you can never achieve, and the other, by just being yourself.” ~Lauren King
“The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.” ~Michael Jackson
“Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.” ~Yiddish Proverb
Everything that is started as an idea. Ideas are the offspring of our mind’s imaginative powers. Without imagination nothing can come into existence, so it is there where realization starts. After that it will take time and continuous effort to manifest those ideas into the physical world. Those who fail to manifest their ideas either lack focus or imagination; both are just as necessary.
When we are children there is nothing that can keep us from imagining what we want. Often it happens throughout life that people lose their ability to think in possibilities and start to think in boundaries, limitations and impossibilities. The imaginative powers of a child are not to be labeled as naive fantasies as a cynic would do, but in fact they are the cradle of creation. Whether you believe that God created the universe or that it was conceived by a totally coincidental event through the coming together of many different factors, both can be considered as wonders.
When we can start to comprehend the amazingness of all existence then why would there be any logic in limiting the spectrum of possibilities inside of our own minds? How can it be impossible to realize our ambitions when our existence alone is so marvelous? Once again, it really doesn’t matter what you believe in to be able to stand in awe of the fact of matter. How we perceive the world around us is determined by the way we think. If our experience of the world around us starts with thoughts then that must be the place to start in our journey towards self-realization.
The bigger we allow ourselves to think the more limitless we become. Unfortunately people tend to inhibit self-limiting beliefs as they’re confronted with failure throughout their lives. The irony is that everyone – especially successful people – has been confronted with failure. It is not failure nor success that determines what one can or cannot do, but rather one’s attitude. Very often you’ll hear from those who made their fantasies come true that it happened past the point of giving up. When you allow yourself to think big it will be much easier to overcome the inevitable obstacles that are put in your way. One way to look at it is that the universe just wants to make sure that you’re worth it; there is no value in achieving that which you weren’t willing to fight for.
Most people have very limited minds; their perception of the array of possibilities is narrow and the worst thing they can do is convincing others of the same boundaries. Our minds are all connected and because of this we’ll always get influenced by the people we deal with to some degree. It is for this reason that you should choose the people you want to spend your time with carefully. I myself have witnessed mutually destructive relationships which will do way more harm than good. Nobody wants to hang out with the misfortunate just so they can feel better about their own failures. It is much better to spend time with those who inspire you to do great things and surpass yourself in the process. When this happens we can speak of an expansion of consciousness.
At the same time thinking big can be very misleading. As much as it is important to draw upon our infinite sources of imagination it is equally important to firmly stay on the ground with both feet and to observe reality as it is. If not then we’ll lose ourselves in an imaginary world which will never be more than that; a fantasy. In order to achieve the big things we have to start small and appreciate every step we take into that direction no matter how insignificant it may seem. Something is better than nothing and if we can’t see the big inside of the small then there is no reason to expect the big is going to happen any time soon.
Next to that small things are relatively easy to achieve and these minor successes will serve as a great motivational power to thrust ourselves even further. With each success we grow more confident which will enhance our ability to realize the next idea even more. The gap towards the big goal becomes smaller and you’ll build up a momentum with every step you take, much like an athlete who builds up force for the long jump as he runs and gains speed to perform the best jump he can.
When we can combine our imaginative power together with a hands-on approach in order to start taking small steps then reaching our goals becomes just a matter of time. The realization of ideas is simply inevitable as long as the focus remains consistent. In the process you’ll attract people with similar mindsets who will support you even more. Realism and idealism are not separate things, but rather two sides of the same coin that is called success. Negative thinking is unhealthy, but so is sticking your head in the sand. Don’t be afraid to dream and know that we never have to fear reality.
Of course it is important that you know what you want, but it doesn’t have to be as big as a life’s purpose; just think of something small you would like to do and make it happen. The most important thing is that we move forward and develop ourselves as human beings so we can add value to the world. When the mind dies, life flies.
Taking responsibility is a choice; nobody can do it for you, and nobody can force you to do it. It is always a conscious choice, because at that moment you take conscious control of a specific part of your life, increasing your sphere of influence.
The amount of influence is directly linked to control and power. Maybe all those words could even be considered as one thing, but for the argument it doesn’t matter; I find it more important that you know what I mean. It’s most unfortunate that what I’m about to talk about are things that we don’t learn in school. We have to learn it from life and some people don’t learn it at all. Most people use it to a certain extend, but don’t understand how it actually works which keeps them from unlocking its true potential.
However, there’s a difference between mental knowledge and actual knowledge. Mental knowledge is what you have in your head, actual knowledge is what you are putting into practice. Needless to say mental knowledge is not worth anything other than being a source of inspiration to get to actual knowledge. It is also something that takes conscious effort and doesn’t happen automatically. In fact there’s nothing that happens automatically, even though at times there seems to be. Everything starts with conscious attitude and anything that happens automatically is a result of that. So for the sake of being in power and taking control, it’s important to realize that there’s nothing until we decide to create something.
So how do we empower ourselves and take control of our lives? By taking responsibility for whatever you want be in charge of. The majority of the people you see walking up and down the street every day take responsibility to a certain degree, like taking a job to be financially independant. But there are very few who take responsibility for their feelings, their relationships, their health in the broadest sense of the word and most importantly: Their happiness.
We live in a matrix in which we project our minds to create the world around us. This is important to understand, because as long as we see ourselves and the world as seperate entities, we won’t be able to have any sort of control over our lives. Perhaps in some moments, but most of the time it’ll be chaos which leaves us to be playball of fate by surrendering ourselves to the mercy of others. That is definitely a situation anyone would rather avoid. To feel alive we have to make our own decisions and be the creators of our dreams.
What you see outside is what is happening inside. So all change starts from within and not the other way around. The outside can definitely help us to become aware of the inside when we realize that the world is but a mirror of who we are. Everything happens for a reason and when we hold our environment responsible for what we experience then we’re putting ourselves out of power to change our experience of life. When we take responsibility everything will feel as if it’s supposed to be, because we’re the ones who made it that.
However, a lot people blame the world for all the things that they’d rather not have in their lives. They blame their environment for their feelings, the quality of their relationships and their state of mind. How often do you hear people complain about others? But who is really responsible for their complaints? And who has the power to take control and change it? That’s right. You’ll know that you’re on the path of empowerment when you meet people who also take responsiblity for their lives, because we attract what we are.
Apart from sheer ignorance, a lot of people don’t want to accept this as truth on a subconscious level, because taking responsibility takes effort; they don’t want to believe that it works like this because it would no longer justify their lazy attitudes. This way of life leaves one out of control and obviously leads to misery. The irony is that it is the mind alone that creates misery, but when one decides to take responsibility and goes into action the mind will no longer be the source of agony because it’ll be engaged in the moment itself.
I’ve been there and done that, so I know all about it. One effective way to deal with a miserable mind is to roll up your sleeves and get busy. Like they said in Art of Living: “Hands busy, head empty, heart full.” When we make the transition from thinking to acting all problems will be replaced with solutions; it’s the path from mental knowledge to actual knowledge. It is in the moment itself that we have the power and resources to act and change, but when we don’t live up to that our mind will be torn between that what is and that what it wants.
We are responsible for everything that happens in our lives and we have the potential to control every part of it. Nobody is looking for sympathy especially not from oneself. Real love is about strength and real support is about strength. Never support weakness such as self-limiting beliefs for they can only contract your world, limit your possibilities and keep you from realizing your full potential. Don’t listen to those who have those limiting beliefs themselves are projecting them onto you.
Know what you want and do something about it. The creativity and inventiveness of the mind shows in the many different forms and types of excuses that people come up with, but that ability is far better used in doing something that is actually in your best interest. There are so many out there who feel sorry for themselves and it doesn’t amount to anything. It’s an attitude that puts us out of power while waiting for someone else to do something about it. This is the reason why most people are docile and obedient towards their governments; they trade their power for comfort.
Happiness is not something we are born with as a child. What makes children special is that they don’t carry as much emotional luggage as much adults, their minds are open and limitless annd are constantly in the moment. They don’t get stuck in emotional states, but other than that their lives are a mix of pain and pleasure like with everyone else. It takes time and effort to go beyond those emotional states and to train the subconscious to remain equanimous by being like that on a conscious level.
But that’s another story which you can find more about right here. The point is that real happiness is consciously created before it becomes an automated state of mind. Our subconscious mind has enormous capacity to process information; from memorizing and categorizing everything that’s happening in every moment to regulating most of our bodily functions on a macro and micro level. It just needs to be trained, and this is where the conscious mind comes into play. The conscious mind is the master of life and it gets its authority by taking responsibility.
This is why some people seem to have easy lives, because it looks like everything happens automatically. However, behind that is serious effort. Nobody ever got anything for free and everything you get that you didn’t earn is going to be paid for by you eventually. So there’s no choice but to step up and I believe that’s a good thing. One’s capacity to take responsibility is limitless and so is the amount of happiness that comes along with it. It was Siddharta who wanted to solve the problem of suffering for humanity as a whole and one day he awoke under a tree as Buddha.
Another source of inspiration is the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Basically it is an essay that was put together by studying the mindsets and attitudes of the wealthiest individuals in the US in order to uncover the secret behind success so that everyone could have access to that information. It’s definitely worth reading and to me personally it made a lot of sense. Like I said before nothing happens automatically and conscious creation requires constant effort. Obstacles will be there, but I think it’s just a way for the universe to check if you’re determined enough to get it.
The most important in order to gain control over our lives is to realize that we are responsible for every part of our experience, from the smallest to the largest. It is the only way to draw that power onto ourselves that we need to manifest what we want.
One of the hardest questions in life is to ask yourself what you want. Sometimes you think you know, but then later that doesn’t turn out to be true. We are being raised as if our decision making regarding education will have a permanent effect on our lives, so this creates a lot of stress in teenagers who have no idea about who they are, let alone what they want.
So before I go on about the search for your life’s passion, I first want to make clear that education should be seen as nothing more than obtaining knowledge. I also believe that’s the only reason why one should study, and not because it will get you a nice job. Papers don’t get you jobs, only you do; papers may help in getting you into an interview, but in the end it’s all about how you present what you have that really tells your future employer something about who you are and why he would want you.
Everyone needs money to sustain a living, so unless you’re really into making a career in the field of your expertise, it doesn’t really matter what kind of job you take as long as it pays reasonable and it doesn’t drive you crazy. In your spare time you can work on the things that you’re passionate about, but aren’t at the point yet that you can make money off of it. This is what I do with this website and my music. I know that these are things that I really want, because I would still do it even if I knew I was never gonna make a dime from either of those hobbies.
However, at the same time I know that nothing is impossible, yet it’s important to be realistic about realizing your dreams. As I was running from my education because it drove me insane, I was experiencing a year of real fulfillment while I was organizing and leading empowerment seminars that really uplifted people. It was then that I also got deeper into music making, and this really gave me a sense of purpose as to what I want to work on the coming years.
But when I came back home I saw that my old problems had just been waiting for me to return, and I realized that you can’t skip lessons in life. The things that bother you most will keep on doing so until you find a way to deal with them; what you resist persists. I understand now that my little adventure in between was not a solution to any of my problems at that time, but it did serve as an eye opener, which is also very valuable. In principle I think it’s perfectly fine to make these kind of choices, as long as you’re honest with yourself instead of making excuses. In this example I mean that what drove me to abandon my study in favor of the Art of Living experience is that I really felt that I would be eternally sorry if I didn’t take this opportunity, and not so much the fact that I felt so out of my element at the university.
It was because of society and my parents that I thought that going to university was something that I was obliged to do, but I really disliked the whole atmosphere. This created a lot of bad energy, and I felt really bad about myself for a while. I guess this is what happens when you make decisions based on emotions which are not coming from a deep inspiration in your heart. Sometimes I ask people what they do, and how they see themselves 5 years from now. The way I see it is that the latter question is an extension of the former, but most people have no idea about how to answer the second question. Even worse is that they’re actually looking up to even thinking about it, because they feel that when studying is over, life will no longer be an existence about freedom and happiness, but rather about settling down hoping they made the right decision.
And I can totally imagine why that’s frightening, because who wouldn’t have a doubt about being stuck in an office for the rest of your life in order to make a career, be successful, get married, and have children? Giving up your liberty isn’t worth any of that. It’s those people who make that decision anyway, who then get into the infamous mid-life crisis in which they start to wonder if that’s really what they want. It takes a very strong will to be able to break through everything that ties you to your current situation at that point, and more often than not it just ends up in yet another person feeling depressed and unfulfilled.
What I’m saying is that the sooner you know what you want, the easier it will be to realize that. Every step that you take without a sense of purpose is a step you have to take back when you realize the goal is elsewhere. At the same time everything happens for a reason, and certain steps may have been necessary to get yourself to the next level, even when they seem to have been counter productive at first glance. So what I mean with taking steps with a sense of purpose is that you’re fully conscious of why you’re taking those steps, and to never take steps when you feel that isn’t the right thing to do.
In the world of today it’s very important that you know exactly what you want and what you stand for, else nobody is gonna want to do business with you. I think this is a positive development, because it forces you to refine yourself and your sense of purpose. By all means please do go out and do some crazy stuff if you have no idea what you want to do in life; enrich yourself with new experiences to get a clearer idea of what you want. The most powerful thing that you can communicate to others is vision, and this is what has to be the core of your product, of yourself, and how you present it.
Having a vision is the way to inspire others, and that is what people want. Anything with a lack of vision is not gonna cut it anymore. People become interesting to me when they share their vision, and that’s how I like to connect to others. I want to be around those people, and I tend to forget about those who don’t have this inspiration. The intensity with which one lives creates such a high and vibrant energy that it attracts people. Of course this also gives one a great sense of purpose and fulfillment, freedom and happiness.
The other day I saw a flash of a show on this music channel where they went into one of the most prestigious fashion designing schools, I believe located in London. Now I don’t really care that much about fashion, but the way that the students talked about it there made it interesting. Basically they said that the most important thing they learn there is to create a personal vision which they have to implement in their art. Immediately I felt interested in what they make and what their vision is about, even though I have no personal connection to the fashion industry at all.
So let is be clear that vision is the most powerful force in the universe, inspiring those around you. It’s vision that will give you the greatest sense of purpose and identity, so don’t be afraid to chase your dreams.