Tag Archive - Improving my life

The Wall Behind The Picture, or Why The Truth Matters!

Would you rather own a real size picture of a 2010 Mercedes, or a real 1985 Ford? How about the picture(s) of a million dollar, ocean front house, instead of a one-bedroom apartment? Well, the new Mercedes is no doubt better than the old Ford, and the house more enjoyable and heart lightening than the one bedroom. But it’s even more of a no-brainer that the real thing is way better than the picture. Well, it’s not even about better or worse. It’s simply that it “exists”! Pictures do exist also, I won’t argue. But in life, the car will get you around; the picture will –only- get your eyes round! The apartment will give you a real roof over your head; the picture a mere flat piece of paper that you can damage with a few drops of water or your bare hands. That’s the whole difference between truth and illusion, and what a huge difference!

Illusions do exist. That’s how they get to deceive us. They do have some type of existence. A flat existence, just like the picture. You try to go beyond the surface, and you either hit the wall, or, if you’re smarter than that, destroy the picture! When we are in less than smart states, we don’t learn from our mistakes, and we keep hitting the wall one time after the other. Our heads bleed, but we think that it’s just bad luck, and we try one more time. Then one more time. Oops! Then again just one more time! Ah! And we still can’t make the connection between the wall behind the picture, and our broken head!

Come on! I know we all realize the difference between pictures and real things, easily. I wish it were all that clear!

I will stop this post here. It’s too short, and may be I didn’t say all what I wanted to say. But that’s just how illusions are, frustrating. They give you the impression they hold something deep and real behind them, and you follow the road… to a dead-end!

That’s why the truth matters. And it’s worth looking for!

Expression vs. Depression

I once heard Dr Wayne Dyer say a very interesting definition of depression. The beautiful thing about this definition is that it reveals both the cause of depression and the possible cure for it. He simply put it this way: depression is the opposite of expression.

Expression here refers to expressing one’s self. Expression has various forms and tools. We express ourselves in words and in actions. Expression requires a clear understanding of ourselves, and a course of actions and a life style based on that understanding.

I know first hand, for one example, how depressing it is to do work that’s not expressive of who we are, our natural talents and our interests. Many people find themselves in this situation, mainly because sustaining life requires things that only money can buy, ranging from the very basic (food, shelter) to the less basic (paying your bills!).

Expression requires freedom. Financial freedom and freedom from other obstacles to expressing ourselves. That’s why we can also say that lack of freedom surely leads to depression. We don’t like feeling forced to do anything. If we feel unfree in too many areas of our life, we will inevitably be depressed.

A worthy pursuit is therefore to free ourselves, to try and create ways for us to do things we really believe in. When looking for a job, income shouldn’t be where we look first, but more important is how expressive the job is of our interests.

We also need to simplify our life, to lessen the clutter and the things that we don’t really need, which will free space, time and resources for the things that really express who we are. We’re not this extra shirt, this new car, that new piece of furniture that we want to add to our superficial experience of life. Those things can only limit our freedom, add financial burdens that won’t help liberate us or allow us to connect to our true purpose.

The Prophet Muhammad once said something that goes like this: everyone will find it easy to do what he was created for. We find resistance when we do things we don’t like. This resistance is the same depression that’s opposite of expression. When we do things we like, they happen easily. Time goes by light , and we have delight! It’s an indication that this is what we were “created for”. It’s in harmony with our purpose.

This is the path to happiness: make it a priority in choosing your life to express yourself, to do what you like and what interests you, what feels so easy that you’ll know it’s something you were created to do!

Falling a thousand times!

Wise people told us that it doesn’t matter how many times we fall in our way to success, as long as we get up again and continue. Honestly, I get discouraged every time I fall, then I resist getting up again, thinking to myself why bother when I am sure to fall again, because this is what happened the last thousand times or so! Who knows, it could be the last 2 thousand times, I never really kept track!
When we are on the ground, we feel tired. We can’t initiate movement when we are in such state. Movement needs energy. Especially when it’s moving up, against gravity. We need more energy then than what we need when we are already up and running. Getting up after falling is the most difficult task in the journey.
I do agree that we have to get up a thousand and one times, or two thousand and one, or whatever. The real problem is the time we waste laying on the ground after the fall. The question is how? How can we not spend too much time laying down. Because when we fall we will feel tired and discouraged. I wish we could avoid that, but this is what will happen. Hitting the ground after flying does hurt. It can even break a piece or two in our emotional being. Is there a way to heal faster, to get the energy to get up without wasting too much time? I am sure there is. Thinking about it right now!

Does self-help literature really help?

Self-help books easily make it to the top sellers’ lists. Self-help gurus are millionaires. Readers, including myself, jump from one best-selling self-help book to the other, from one form of self-improvement content to the other. We read it, we listen to it when driving, and we love watching the masters on TV. But after all that, did we really get the help we need? Did this great book change our life? Did that breakthrough program move us from under-achievers to super-achievers?

I once was having a conversation with a friend of mine, a fan of self-improvement books himself. I said but you know what, self-help books do have a problem. They bring us a great deal of pleasure while reading them. Then that’s it. The pleasure stops there, at the reading. Then in order to have this pleasure again, we pick a new book. While we read those brilliant ideas, we already get a psychological fulfillment. We get excited, imagining ourselves doing all what the book is suggesting. Then when the reading ends, and the excitement fades, we still don’t have the will to change. Doing those things didn’t look as exciting as it did during the reading. The theory was more compelling as a theory than it was in action.

Does that mean I am against reading and listening to those beautiful things? No. Repetition is good on the long term. If we keep reading and listening to this type of ideas every day, we will at least benefit from it by improving our mood and having some moments of hope. But in order to have this benefit, we need not to have gaps. We need not to listen to one audio book, get excited, then stop for a month. Because this gap will then create something worse. We will feel incapable and weak. Guilt will be born, subtle but persistent. The undone promising ideas will torture us, will leave us depressed because we failed to do what we ought to do.

We need to come up with a consistent method to make use of what we read. Because if we don’t, it could work against us, instead of working for us.

My 2008 Poem!

My life will change this year
I will be free!
I will have no fear,
I’ll have the world to see!

I won’t worry about money,
Life will be just great,
I will live somewhere sunny,
I will love my fate,

living will be fun and funny!

I will serve the truth,
With a heart free of hate,
living in eternal youth,
On a clear path, straight
And smooth.

I will live with power,
Serving my lord,
On top will be my tower,
Just will be my sword.

I will live in light,
That I will spread and show,
I will not lose sight,
Of how to make my world grow.

I will be the real Shedou,
I will be Mohamed The Great,
Helping you, be the real you,
For the poor and weak, opening the gate!

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