Tag Archive - Happiness

The World Happens Within!

Is the world ugly or beautiful? Is life exciting or boring? Are there enough interesting things to do out there or is living just meaningless?

Life is all that, all the time, and all in the very same moment! It just depends who’s looking at it? Who’s having the experience, and when!

For you and for me, we probably have experienced all those opposite views of life at some point. We’re depressed, and the whole world becomes dull and boring and empty! Then we’re happy, and we sing: It’s a beautiful life!

This has only one indication, life is neutral! It has all possibilities, and it can be beauty or ugliness. It’s our mirror, and will just reflect what we’re projecting into it.

There are as many worlds as there are people. And they don’t start far from us, the world is born in our heart and mind. It’s all those pieces that come our way, and we can make them into an ugly chaos or into a piece of art! The human inner world is the most powerful of all, and it’s the only that really exists, for every one of us, separately!

If the World happens within us, then we need to look inside when we look at life. If we say life is boring, we better realize that we really mean: We are boring! When we think it’s limited, then we better know that we should expand from within!

The World is just a decision of the heart!

The Best of All Habits!

I am not sure if this one was among Coveys’ 7 Habits of Highly Effective People! It is by far the one and single habit that, once properly acquired and maintained, will automatically fix everything else in our life.

We have all the wisdom we need, already stored within. All the self-help and self-improvement techniques essential for our current situation are already there. No one has them for us.. but us! Our past has all the experience we need for today, our present all the experience we need for tomorrow!

If we have all what we need, then we need not look further. We just need one thing: being able to do what we know we should do, and being able to stop doing what we know we should stop doing. This ability to go, straight and fast, from knowing to doing is what we seriously and urgently need to work on. Imagine that you need to drive your car from here to there, but your car isn’t starting, and once it starts it dies a few minutes down the road. And what are you doing now? You’re just worrying about there. The car is just a tool that doesn’t require much attention, it’s the destination that matters! It’s the destination that deserves time and effort! Ok, but you will just stay here, thinking about the destination, and frustrated that every time you think you’re getting closer, you wake up to the fact that you’re not really moving at all, and you always come back to the starting point!

You just need a shift of focus. Forget about any destination now. Just put your time and effort fixing your only tool that will get you there. Let’s take a famous example: losing weight. The ones carrying the extra pounds know that simple steps can take them a very long way out of fat and into fit! Yes, if they just change their diet and move more they will make a big difference in their body. But it’s never easy. What’s not easy, exactly? Not losing the weight, in all truth. What’s always hard is doing what we know we need to do to see the pounds melt away!

We will never get there, anywhere, until we focus all our attention on the one thing that we really need, the one habit that if we cultivate and make strong, will enable us to accomplish our goals. It’s the habit of “Doing What We Know We Should Do”. We should drop all other goals, forget about all desired destinations, and work on our vehicle. Fix it and make sure that once we know where we want to go, we can just start it and drive it there. It will just take us the time of getting there. No wasted time in dying and going back to where we started, no wasted time in waiting days, weeks and months until we can start the journey one more time. We will be reaslitic, we will know how far it is, and how long the drive usually takes. If traffic is good (which it actually is much of the time!) then we will get there on time, if not we’d only be a few hours or a few minutes late! How wonderful and powerful would that be?

Let’s forget about all our unaccomplished goals. They’ve been unable to come to life for a long time anyway, right?! Let’s focus on one muscle, one tool, one habit that has the power to take care of everything else. Let’s exercise our ability and flexibility to DO IT, as soon as WE KNOW IT.

Success NOW

Success is one of the most common goals and wishes for all people. What it means differs greatly from person to person, but this word remains the title for most hopes. What’s sad is that for most people who long for success, it seems only to be a thing of a hoped future, and rarely a fact of the lived reality of today. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

If we think we can be successful someday in the future, we’re wrong! The truth is, if we’re not successful now, we will never be successful anytime in the near or far future. Only when we feel and believe that we are successful now can we really be on the right path. Then we’ll do the actions of success, and we’ll have the thoughts and feelings of success, which will all lead to producing the outcomes we desire. Only actions done in this state have the ability to produce positive changes.

When we are failing, we do the actions of failure. When we’re successful, we do the actions of success. It can’t be the other way around. That’s why the first step on the road to success happens within, when we see in our heart that we already made it. Then the excitement of this success happening within will be the fuel inducing powerful actions and producing tangible prosperity.

Success can only happen now. Because now is all we have. Now is actually us. Our inner and true self that never fades, never goes away. And only those who are already successful can create success, it’s that simple!

Time, The Scary Gift!

It seems to me that we get a little scared when we face “time”. I mean free time. We might have many things in our life that we’re not happy about, that we’d love to change. In most cases, we know what kind of actions we need to take in order to create change. We also realize that for these actions to be taken, we do need time. Change needs time that is free from the very same things that we need to change. For example, when we need to change our job, we need time to go about finding a new one, but our old job is already taking a lot of our time. So our only chance is our time off work, which is time free of what we don’t like.

Then what happens when we get this free time, when we are living it here and now? Logic suggests that we should be excited and enthusiastic to go ahead and use it. But what happens is far from that. When we have it, the first thing we think about is: how to get rid of it! Think about it, just sitting and watching some random TV, going out with friends and spending hours talking about nothing of meaning, etc. All are things that we actually do to get rid of, instead of use our free time. We can have fun from time to time and do pointless, yet relaxing activities, but when we do have things in our life that need to be changed, and we don’t use much of our free time to do something about it, then there is something seriously wrong in our relationship with this gift that is free time.

The reason why this beautiful gift becomes scary, in my opinion, is due to lack of purpose and lack of plan, lack of destination and lack of directions to get there. If we only have a destination, but no directions to get there, we will be stuck in inaction. All ways will look alike. All roads will look like they lead nowhere we like to go. Then we will only wander and look for ways to get rid of our time, because we have nothing better to do. But if we don’t have a destination, a purpose, we’d be in way more trouble. No point in comparing routes and examining different directions, they all lead somewhere we don’t want to go, because basically we don’t want to go anywhere! And that’s usually the real problem of chronic time wasters.

Another reason why free time can be scary is guilt. When we know we have nothing worthy to do, our heart realizes that this is not how we’re meant to live. We have the time; we don’t know what to do with it, so we get rid of it. Getting rid of time means that whatever you did during that time will make no positive difference whatsoever. Sometimes it even drains your energy. How many times did you feel you had less energy at the end of your weekend than at the start? I bet you did, and not once! This means you used your time off in activities that took more than they gave you. You didn’t build; you just destroyed. When you feel drained at the end of your time-off, get the signal. Your heart and body are trying very hard to talk to you. They have a true message: you got rid of a one-time gift, which is free time you had. They are being more sensitive to the truth of life than our everyday awareness!

We should receive gifts with joy and excitement. It only happens when we know both their use and their value. When you get a very nicely rapped gift, and you develop some high expectations about it, then you open it only to find something you dislike or don’t care for, you’d be disappointed, or neutral at best. But when you get a gift that you know you love, something you really wanted, then you’ll honor it. That’s how it should work with time, free time. We should develop a clear understanding of its value and our use of it, and we’ll be excited every time we have it. You will welcome it with joy and appreciation. You will be confident of its value and what it will bring you, because you have a purpose and you had a plan for it. And at the end of your weekend, I am sure that you will have a lot more energy than you started.

When this happens, our whole world will be upgraded to full colors, after it had been black and white!

Build, Before You Spend!

That’s the golden, yet simple rule for financial freedom. It’s a principle that this great country lives by its exact opposite. We spend what we don’t have. We borrow money from others (banks) to buy stuff for ourselves. Just for a moment, think of this scenario as if the bank was your friend. You like a new shirt, or desire a yummy steak at your favorite restaurant, so you go “borrow” money from your friend to buy it. Can we see ourselves do that? I guess not, it sounds insane, even indecent and irresponsible, as long as we don’t do it out of necessity. Who will ever say that we can’t live without a brand new car, a fancy dinner every week, and new cloths every couple weeks! Well, only those who don’t have a clue what “real life” is will say so!

In the famous book “The Millionaire Next Door”, one of the noteworthy characteristics that the author found common in self-made, first generation millionaires is that they live “below their means”. Not only they don’t spend what they don’t have, they actually don’t even spend “all” that they have. And that’s how they could build real wealth that ends up liberating them from money. They might live a simpler life, and others, who heavily rely on their high incomes to qualify for big credit, live a more sparkling life, dwelling in more expensive homes and driving luxurious cars. But the first group lives a simpler, yet comfortable life that is “theirs”, while the latter lives a luminous life that doesn’t really belong to them. They are at risk of loosing it every month, even every day. If their big fat paycheck stops, their ill-founded life falls apart. This is indeed a sure prescription for stress and the inability to truly taste and enjoy what we “think” we own.

I recently heard from a friend about a pilot who committed suicide. He got laid off, and obviously couldn’t find another job with a similar income. He gave up on life once he was hit and paralyzed by his finances falling on his head. He must have relied too much on his big pay, borrowing heavily to buy a nice house and new cars, etc., the typical scenario. Had he waited and lived “within”, not even below, his real means, he wouldn’t have ended up in trouble. He could have rented a nice place to live, or bought a reasonable house, used his big pay to save money while living comfortably, and his life would look very different by now. He’d probably be having enough savings to cover all his expenses for a long time, until he figures something out. He was one of the millions of victims of the norm. I wish more of us humans were strong enough to go against the norm, when it’s not really normal, if we just use some common sense! When enough of us do that, soon we will change and restore the norm to a more normal and harmonious state.

I like this advice from Suze Orman, even though I myself am nowhere close to it at the time of writing this. She suggests that we should have enough savings to cover our expenses for 6 months. That’s the first financial foundation we should build on. If your paycheck brings you a decent sum every month, I’d even say it’s safer to start by building enough savings for one year in case you lose your job. Six months sounds good, but we all know that life is UNPREDICTABLE. Yes, in capital letters, because I want it to look you bigger in the eyes! It’s one of those obvious facts that we tend to forget.

Well, I do think that the system itself is not going the right direction. We have seen what happened in the last years in the US market, and how many people lost their homes. I don’t think it’s even fair that you make payments for your house, then lose everything once you can no longer afford to pay. Buyers make mistakes and buy things they can’t really afford long-term. Buying a house is really a long-term commitment, mortgages going for 15, 20 or 30 years. We need extra caution when committing to something this long. However there is something wrong with the system itself.

In Islam, interest is strictly forbidden. I do believe that the Islamic rules are divine and meant for the ultimate, long-term good of both individuals and societies. Interest is a passive and abusive profit. We need no proof; those who got caught in debt know it too well. It’s hard to get out, and it enslaves the borrower to his ever-increasing debt. I do think that we can use the rule of “no interest” with the lessons of modern economy, and we can come up with the best formula. We need a just economy and just profits. No one can go wrong with justice, because it’s a win-win. In the meantime, we individuals have to start by our own selves. You don’t have to believe that interest is evil, because you might not believe in the Islamic teachings as I do. But we can all believe that it’s always better to use what we have. We can easily believe that buying a house or a car that we’re not sure to afford over time is like living in the house with no roof over our heads. It will get damaged with the first storm, and we’d even loose what we already paid in the walls and the furniture, thinking that the storm will wait for us until we can get to that roof and build it!

Build the whole house first, then move in and enjoy it! Now it’s really yours.

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