Tag Archive - Improving my life

How Late Do Our Computers Stay Up?!

If you’d like to waste two or three hours feeling busy, but doing nothing, get a computer and an internet connection!

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Well, you might watch some informative videos and read some interesting news. The question is: How do you feel once you disconnect? Do you feel full of the energy of knowledge, and fulfilled? Or do you feel exausted and put your computer away with a headache? The latter state is a sign that your computer time is draining energy rather than energizing your mind. Not good!

How much of our computer (now that really or mostly means: internet) time is really useful to our physical and spiritual well-being? We need to step back and think about that.

Do we really know how much time we spend online? If we  know, we might be surprised!

I come back from work, have my dinner, and connect to the world! Or so I think!

Is the world really contained online? Aren’t we just selecting very small and limited views or pieces of the world when we choose one web site or one news story over all (millions) the others?

Do we connect to the Internet to disconnect from ourselves? Our heart and our intellect? Reading an external story is always much easier than reading the real, internal stories! Language has some words for it: Introspection. Meditation. Prayer. Thinking!

As I put my laptop away at the end of the day, I feel exhausted. Time passes by so quickly online. I move from one blog to the other, I try to look at the videos titles on Youtube and select a few. I don’t have time to watch all those stories and documentaries that will reveal to me some more pieces of our World truths! I feel exausted by what I didn’t have time to read and watch!

We have to come to clear terms with our human limitations. We will NEVER be able to be gods, able to take, read, know, see everything that is out there. We have to be selective. We have to understand that all the world happens within!

So I decided to tame my Internet time. The way we try to discipline a child. Time for bed baby! I now try to put my computer/Internet to sleep at a particular time. 9:30 PM? Time to disconnect!

This way I actually get to sleep earlier, wake up for work naturally, without turning off the persistent alarm 3 times before I can make it out of bed!

Tame your Internet time. Don’t let it stay up too late. When Internet bed time comes, put it to sleep!

We Should, But We Don’t Like To!

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We usually know what we should do. Many things that we’re not doing, or not consistently. If exercise is good, exercising once every two or three months will not be of any real benefit. If we exercise once a week, every week, then we’re up to something. We increase it to twice a week, every week, that’s really good for us. If we eat healthy once a month, our health will not change much. If we have one healthy meal every day, we’re on the road to real change.

We should do many things, but we don’t. There is only one problem with all of them: We just don’t like to do any of them! As long as we don’t like to do something, we will struggle with it. We will do it, then quit, and feel bad because we quit so fast, and blame our fragile willpower.

Our willpower is not to blame.  We’re humans, we need to understand how we work. We’re not a machine with an on and off button! Our “power switch” is more subtle than a simple, visible button.

I tried to run many times. It was the “once every 3 or 4 months” thing. It never lasted. I just didn’t like running! Last Sunday I tried something different: speed walking. I like walking, so I decided to try and walk as fast as I could, but without running. When I tried to run, I’d get tired one or two minutes into the run. If I pushed myself, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in my chest. With speed walking, nothing of that happened. I could sustain a fast pace for a much longer time, and it was enjoyable. Eureka!

Whatever habit we see benefit in introducing into our life, we won’t be able to sustain it if we don’t like it. Our chance is to find ways or variations of the action to make it enjoyable, and therefore consistent.

If I Was Free, I Would…

What if I didn’t have to work? What if I had enough money right now to quit my job and do what I want? That’s fun to imagine :) So I though I should enjoy some fun written visualization!

I sometimes wonder how we made life so complicated! Our society is designed in a way to make sure many people will be stuck doing things they hate in order to survive!

Our needs are really simple. We need food, cloths and shelter. Once we have them, we’re good to go, and good to live!

“If you wake up free of illness, safe in your community, with enough food for the day ahead, then you can say good buy to any other needs from this World!” Prophet Muhammad

Why in the world did food become hard to find for millions of people?!

Why, when land is immensly vast, did it become expensive to get a piece of land and have your home in it? Why build those crazy skyscrapers, they’re complicated and maintaining them requires much more work and resources than a normal building! Did we already use every piece of land that we have to build up and high?!

Why would a house cost hundreds of thousands after all? It really doesn’t have to be this way.

People designed a labyrinth and they got lost in it. Then they designed tools and maps and jobs to try to make life easier inside the labyrinth! How about we just get out of the labyrinth?!!!

Well, most people are already stuck in it! We have governments designing our lives, we can’t just go out there and redesign our life. It’s not even about redesigning life, it’s about getting out of the sophisticated traps and get back to normal!

We even have countries, boundaries, visas, citizenships! Someone living in a poor country has to use tunnels to come into a richer one, they wouldn’t be granted a visa anyway!

Oh, politics! Politics is the proof that we gave up our life to the greedy, the heartless, the self-centered to take care of our needs and communities! Let’s get out of there or frustration will knock down my mind!

See where my though chain took me, I started by a fun idea and ended up into a depressing look at reality!

Back to my fun visualization :)

Now if I had enough money to pay off all my debt – car loan and some other debt :( – and be free from the need to work for money, what would I do?

I will not quit my job on the spot. I hope I can give a one month notice and make sure I hand my duties over smoothly, while working on the transition:

1. I would donate/give away all the stuff that I don’t need and don’t use. I’ll go through my cloths (which I’ve been already doing, slowly) and keep only the pieces that I really love. Dealing with my books will be harder! I won’t rush into giving them away (I’m already working on a plan to deal with my bigger-than-I-need library).

2. I will get a storage in Chicago where I will keep all the stuff that I didn’t give away, end my rent, get in the car and go on a road trip! The point is to visit the places that I think I want to move to.

3. Now I need to move somewhere warm and sunny. Lots of greenery and nature required! Ideally somewhere in or close to the mountains. I will look for an apartment with a balcony, looking to an open horizon!

Once I moved into my new place. How would I spend my all-free time?

- Lots of walking, hiking and biking!

- Now that I’m relaxed, no energy wasted in going to and back from work, no energy drained sitting in a dark room staring at the computer, I can engage in the kind of slow, focused writing that I really like. This type of writing is more of an introspection. No rush to finish anything. Just listening to my inner self and bringing it out in words. The kind of writing that is like taking a bath in the light of Spirit!

- I can also breath the fresh intellectual air of focused reading! I want to read about religions, history, get back to reading great fiction (haven’t done it in almost a decade!), philosophy, biographies, and the subjects relating to our present day problems and challenges, especially poverty and the environmental crisis. I’d like to gain a deeper understanding and make my own conclusions of what we can REALLY do to REALLY make a difference. It doesn’t matter how much we will change history. What matters is do what we have to, what we really can do to end the shameful injustice and humiliation that tens of millions of our brothers and sisters in humanity are enduring this very same moment! :(

- I will read and write out in nature.

- A great lifestyle change that I will now introduce is waking up early enough, every day, to witness the powerful everyday re-begining that is Sunrise!

 

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- Now I can also feed my body the things that I love most in nature: green and sunlight! You must already know how connected these two are, no mystery here! I have time to actually touch my vegetables, cut and prepare them slowly and mindfully, and smell them in the process! :)

Now, wouldn’t you love to do the same?!

Ok, and once you do it like I just did, what’s the point? Are we then to get depressed to the immense gap between hope and reality?

The point is to look at this vision, and start doing what can be done already. No waiting intended! Surely some, if not  many, of its components can already be started today.

I can, and already started to, exercise getting rid of unnecessary stuff and spending, in order to lose all the heavy weight that’s holding me down!

I can plan more walking and hiking during the week-end, during the summer. Indeed, the freezing northern winters have nothing to do with this vision. The trees take off their greenery. Being outdoors when it’s 15 F and colder is not too much fun! But while doing more of it in the summer, I can bring the vision to the center of my plans, instead of burying it under depression and hopelessness. With the vision energizing the hope, I can make a long-term plan for moving to the Sun!

I used to post in this blog once a month. Now I’m writing more even though I have more blogs in English and Arabic. I’m also trying to improve my reading. Both will not be as focused as the above vision would like to, but they can be gradually improved and increased.

Why don’t you write down your own vision? Why don’t you start today, little by little, to introduce pieces of it into your life NOW? I just wrote a draft of my own vision. I will build on it. That’s the way out of frustration into inspiration, from surviving into meaning.

Meaning is the food of the soul. We can’t be happy carrying around a soul in a coma in a polluted vehicle – the junk food bodies of modern times!

Waiting for the Now!

The following is not a breakthrough: many people spend their lives waiting. When young, we wait for when we’re grown up. When we’re single, we wait for when we’re married. When we’re married, we wait for when we’re divorced (sometimes, sadly!), When we’re in college, we wait for when we’re “free” and having a good job. When we have a job, we wait for when we have a better job! When we have a better job, we discover it’s not really what we were hoping for, so we wait for yet another job that’s even better. We get that one, then we wait for having our own business and being our own boss! We have our own business, we wait for it to pick up! It picks up, we work too much and wait for our retirement!

If we’re constantly waiting, it’s not that we’re really waiting for anything. It’s not an illusion either, we’re indeed waiting. What we’re really waiting for is ourselves! We’re waiting for something that’s within, but we seek for it outside, so we never find it. That’s where the illusion resides. We’re just heading in the wrong direction, that’s why we never seem to get to our destination.

Waiting for a change means that we did something wrong in the past, we’re still doing it in the present, which promises that it will continue into the future! Unless we take our rightful ownership of the Now, turn our faces to the right direction/destination, and embark on the joyful journey!

BECAUSE,

Waiting is a sure symptom that something is missing.

Waiting is a state of lack and poverty and incapability.

Waiting is ungrateful to all what we already have, which in many cases is a dream and a luxury for hundreds of millions of fellow humans.

Waiting is a pessimist! Don’t confuse it with the (good) expectations that come with optimism.

Waiting is an infidel! It’s an accusation to God that He is not treating us right! Because the truth is, it’s a sign that we’re the one doing, or more accurately, THINKING wrong!

Waiting is a virus, it disrupts our system and our perception of reality; it damages our to-do-list; it causes the loss of our old files, therefore keeps us from building on it; it causes our mind to suddenly shut and stare into a blank screen, as in a state of sleep-waking

SO,

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We need to stop attacking this poor Wait, right now! And focus on the real problem: Ourselves! Our Thinking, and our Focus.

We will never get what we want as long as we think it’s somewhere else, be it another time (future) or another place.

I recently wrote about my desire to get out of working for money and being stuck doing something that I don’t enjoy. That’s impatience. Impatience is counterproductive because it keeps us stuck in negative refusal of our current state, instead of focusing our energy on what we can do to improve our life.

I’m now shifting my focus in another direction: how to do what I want to do when I’m not working (week-ends, evenings), and how to embrace the challenge of making the best of my current situation. The wait can end, right now. We just need to start doing what we really want to do. We don’t need to do it full-time, we start part-time. We do it in the week-end, instead of spending it shopping or seeking distractions as if to compensate for the work week behind, and the work week ahead! Instead of renewing our energy and build something that is meaningful to us, we just destroy this time off, then here comes a sad Monday and we feel even more tired than when the week end started!

Doing something meaningful is the only sure way to renew our energy during our time free of work. Simply doing the things that we think we want to do full-time. At least this way we can make sure that we really want to do it full-time, so we don’t one day come to actually do it full-time, then discover that it’s not really what we were hoping for, and wait for when we can do something we like for a living!

Why Write to No One?

I wish I could make a living by reading and writing! Oh why not add walking in nature and taking pictures too! :) Because making a living by doing something we don’t really enjoy (working for money) is not actually making a living, it’s making a dying!

I literally feel suffocated by doing work that I don’t enjoy or believe in. I start the job, feel ok or, at times, excited during the learning and exploring stages, then once things get down to repeating what I’ve learned, I start loosing my mind for boredom! And all jobs I had stop growing after a few short months! I thought I needed to look for that good job that keeps me excited, learning, exploring and growing. I’m sure there could be such job somewhere out there. But what if I can’t find it and it can’t find me?!

In a recent post by simple living blogger Tammy Strobel where she interviewed a minimalism pioneer, Leo Babauta, he described his early stages in simplifying his life toward freedom like this:

“So I sat down, and made a list of the 4 things that were most important to me — that gave me joy. Then I started eliminating everything in my life that didn’t match these priorities, slowly getting out of commitments.”

 

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As I was read these words, I thought of the things that I enjoy, simple things. I can summarize them all in one word: BEAUTY! Reading a good book is beautiful. My love for walking is about looking around at the beauties of this world. Taking pictures is an attempt to capture Beauty as we see it through our own eyes and perspective. Having coffee with a good friend is about experiencing the beauty of genuine connection. Meditating or praying is about feeling the beauty of feeling the presence of the Source of Beauty (“God is Beautiful and He loves Beauty” Prophet Muhammad).

 But instead of spending time with Beauty, I spend 40 hours a week in a dark office room, away from the beauty of sunshine, doing things that aren’t necessarily beautiful, adding beauty to the world or eliminating ugliness. Obviously this lifestyle is unsustainable for me. You can’t sustain an action that you don’t like and keep your sanity! I mean, we will be sane and normal and all, but we will live disconnected from our best human capabilities and potential to lead a beautiful life and to create beauty and meaning around us. That’s why we must seriously make our plan and get on the road toward Beauty!

We have to start small. As long as we don’t have a fortune and we have to work to survive, we have to build a reasonable plan in order to set our life free. That’s where simple living comes in as an absolute MUST. We have to stop wasting our money on adding just more stuff that we don’t need or enjoy. This will just keep us into the vicious cycle: working for money, spending this money on stuff, running out of money at the end of the month, having to keep working for the next paycheck, etc.

So I’m starting by trying to eliminate all unnecessary spending. Then I started to do more of the things that matter to me, reading and writing. Then I thought of what the title of this post is about: why write in a blog that is being read by a handful of people? This thought is so wrong. Because our focus should be on doing what we want to do, regardless of the outcome. Or to put it more accurately, regardless of the immediate outcome.  I’ll have all those blogs, experiment with writing, and work on being disattached from the outcome. That’s what real focus is about. I might wonder how is this improving my life. But the truth is, even while keeping my job and working for money, I’m already very slowly trying to do more of what I like to do. It’s not about getting out of my job right now. Because being in this situation is by itself a challenge. We just need to change how we perceive our circumstances.

Instead of hating where we are now, we better enjoy it as part of a marvelous journey toward our dreams!

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