The 10 Paradoxical Commandments to true happiness.

The 10 Paradoxical Commandments to true happiness.

reflections bench

I came across this quote recently and felt that I must share it with you. It is beautiful and thought provoking. I hope you enjoy it.

 

“The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
― Kent M. KeithThe Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council

THE SIMPLE GAINS OF EMOTIONAL CONTROL (A LESSON LEARNT).

THE SIMPLE GAINS OF EMOTIONAL CONTROL (A LESSON LEARNT).

 

I remember the very first time I came across Emotional intelligence. I was so fascinated by it as it tied in with the ideas I felt my life had been teaching me. It seemed like someone had taken my mistakes through wrong reactions and tested them and after doing that he came up with a theory. It was brilliant yet so simple. I had made so many mistakes and taken so many wrong turns.  I wished there would have been an easier journey to make this conclusions but I guess I learnt so someone else does not have to.

I should probably point out that these are just the opinions of one man and as such there is a high probability you might not agree in total. If you don’t then please by all means share with us all (in the comments section). After-all isn’t that the whole idea behind this site.

I guess before I start to talk about emotions and gaining control I should at the very least talk (even if ever so briefly) about emotional intelligence and what it really means.

Here it goes, please try not to fall asleep just yet. 🙂

Emotional intelligence is a form of intelligence rising to fame by Daniel Goleman in his 1995 book rightly called “Emotional Intelligence”. He defined it as Emotional intelligence is the innate potential to feel, use, communicate, recognize, remember, describe, identify, learn from, manage, understand and explain emotions.

Goleman identified the five ‘domains’ of EQ as:

Knowing your emotions.

Managing your own emotions.

Motivating yourself.

Recognising and understanding other people’s emotions.

Managing relationships, ie., managing the emotions of others.

Emotional Intelligence embraces and draws from numerous other branches of behavioural, emotional and communications theories, such as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Transactional Analysis, and empathy.

Goleman believed that IQ contributes about twenty percent to the factors that determine life success.

Whether you believe that emotional intelligence as an idea is real or that it determines success in life or not, the fact of the matter remains. Human beings have over 6,000 emotions and you either control your emotions or they control you. The way I see it, emotions must be controlled to avoid making potentially bad decisions. I learnt that this unfortunately is not a magical process that occurs as you grow up. It takes time and willingness to try to achieve this and nothing shows you just how much you lack this as a relationship that doesn’t go how you want it to.

To be able to control your emotions you must first of all truly get to

Know your emotions. There are probably over a million ways we feel, but scientists have classified human emotions into a few basics that everyone can recognize: disgust, joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, anger, and anticipation.

However according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association there are four major emotions that give us the most trouble, These are anger, fear, anxiety, and depression.

After knowing your emotions we must accept that that emotions don’t just appear mysteriously occur. In other words you were not born angry or in-love. Many times, we’re at the mercy of our emotions on a subconscious level but by bring them to consciousness we are better able to control them. I have never advised anyone to repress their feelings or ignore them as it always inevitably means that it gets worse and could lead to a psychotic break (in extreme cases). A simple exercise could be to try to keep a small diary of your emotions and what triggers them and rate your emotions on a scale.

Try to be aware of what was happening at that time and what was going through your mind. Find out what triggers that emotion. Sometimes it could be as simple as the look in someone’s eyes. Whichever way this will help you also determine if your emotions are irrational or provoked.

At this point I will have to trust that you have your best interest at heart and would like some help on this so I will need you to write down what evidence (proof) supports this emotion and to also write down what evidence supports that this might be incorrect or misplaced feelings.

Now we must move on to a little bit of introspection. Ask yourself if there is another way to look at the situation that is more rational and more balanced than the way you might have seen it before? Keep in mind first glance can be very deceiving and you just might be surprised at your own honesty and result.

Next I will need you to take time out to consider your options. There is always an alternative way to re-act even when someone tries to kill you so know that there is always an option. To be perfectly honest in most cases there are three main possible options. The first being react, second do not re-act and the third re-act in the opposite way of what you normally would have done.

After you have considered your options on how to re-act to the situation or feeling. You must make a choice. Your choice will usually be based on principles or logic. In other words what matters the most to you or what is the most rational way to re-act.

Finally, the above steps show how to not let your emotions control your behaviour, but not how to change the emotions themselves. If you want to control your emotion you must change the way you see the world.

I borrowed some of these quotes from a personality test I developed when at University and I believe that every item here is a lie

I must be perfect in all respects in order to be worthwhile. The simple fact is that not a single person can ever be perfect

Because things in my past controlled my life, they have to keep doing so now and in the future. We all know that change is possible and our past does not guarantee our future. People change and sometimes they are completely different from who they were. In thoughts and in actions. It’s simply the truth.

I must be loved and approved of by everyone who is important to me. A simple fact of life is that not everyone will love you at least not the way you might want them to; you either accept it or be destroyed by it.

 I can be as happy as possible by just doing nothing and enjoying myself, taking life as it comes. I think it is quite likely that nothing will drive you closer to despair and depression like doing absolutely nothing or why do rich people still work?

 Misery comes from outside forces which I can’t do very much to change. I accept that it isn’t always our fault when things don’t go according to what we want but we must learn that how we deal with it is ultimately our choice.

 When people treat me unfairly, it is because they are bad people. Let’s be honest everyone is a mixture of good and bad and that includes you, so don’t be a hypocrite as we all make mistakes.

 If something is dangerous or fearful, I have to worry about it. I learnt that worry adds nothing to you. Not a single thing so it surely does not help solve a problem.

 It is easier to avoid life’s difficulties and responsibilities than to face them. I agree that it is easier but the truth is that it is not wise as we are who we are because of what we have been through and sometimes we learn life-long lessons in some of our most painful times.

It is terrible when things do not work out exactly as I want them to. No one can predict with accuracy the course of their life so it cannot be terrible if it is not something peculiar to you;.

You see controlling your emotions can change your life and gaining a new view on life will dramatically redirect your life. The first time I noticed this was when I went to a church in Edinburgh and I was completely baffled at how the people in the church seemed to not have a care in the world when they sang praises to God. No-one spoke to me but I could see it in them that this was real unexplainable peace. Something I had longed for, for so long and was struggling to find. I was very certain that these people had the same anxieties I possessed but dint understand how it seemed to all dissolve and then it hit me. It dissolved away because their perspective on their life changed. Their problems did not magically disappear. Their life did not change but what they felt because they knew God was in control of their life affected their outward appearance and demeanour. This is what happens when broken relationships and marriages get mended. They simply got a new perspective and then they learn to appreciate what they thought was a failure. Sometimes this is all it takes to see what was there all along and what was obvious to everyone but you.

Surrounding yourself with positive things and looking at life form a different view will certainly help you live a happier life and review everything you once thought was a train wreck. It’s simply like someone with cataract getting a new pair of eyes.

I learnt that we can spend our whole life looking for something we felt was missing and return home to find it was always right beside us. I also learnt that irrational emotions is often the reason why we never see it.

I will end this post with a story I read as I think it best describes what I hope you (the reader) will get out of this

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, “With all your money you give me a Bible?” He then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realizing his father was very old, he thought perhaps he should go to see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make the arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he was reading, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words… “PAID IN FULL”.

How many times do we miss blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? Or love because they don’t look or act exactly as we felt the package would be? Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

Sometimes we don’t realize the good fortune we have or we could have because we expect “the packaging” to be different. What may appear as bad fortune may in fact be the door that is just waiting to be opened.

—— “Essay” China Daily

If you are lucky to have a job, work hard at it. If you are lucky to have friends, cherish them. If you are lucky to be loved unconditionally by someone embrace it and don’t look back, no one said life would be easy they only said it would be worth it. All you have to do is enjoy it.

I hope in some small way I helped make your life just a little bit better and give you a little more perspective than you began reading. I hope that after reading this you would look back at the number of times in life that you fell down and see it as the number of times you stood up and fought. Reading this was another step in that direction so take heart in the fact that you chose to try and not to lie down and drown.

MOTIVATION COMES IN SHORT BURSTS, ALWAYS ACT WHILE YOU STILL ARE

MOTIVATION COMES IN SHORT BURSTS, ALWAYS ACT WHILE YOU STILL ARE

Motivation comes in short bursts.  Always act while you still are, for motivations are only useful till they have been achieved.

I remember my very first job interview in the uk. It was a hot day (unusual for Scotland). I was as nervous as you can imagine. In the middle of the interview, I was asked a question that made me ponder for a while. Little did I know it would be the same question I would be asked in every single interview throughout my life. The question was what keeps you motivated now and what would be your motivation in five year’s? The question is quite simple to answer but I think it is one of the most pointless questions you can ask a person.

My reasons are simply that whatever keeps me motivated to work now and write would most likely not be my reasons for continuing in a few years and I have absolutely no idea what my motivations would be in five years. Or can we see the future? Nevertheless, I understood her point and what she really wanted to know.

When I was 15 years old all I lived for was to find a way to buy a car. I worked to buy a car, woke up with nothing but that thought in my head, even left my home country to go abroad and work a bit so I can afford my dream BMW. It seemed like I could do almost anything for that car. Three cars later as you can imagine I did not care about that anymore. Then there was University and I thought it was all about making good grades and towards the end of my first degree. I felt it was all about self-improvement so I can get a good job. During these period/ stages in my life nothing else was more important. Today it is all about achievements for me. Constantly working to make the lives of people that I care about better and believing I will get to a point where I can help much more than that. Improving my life and learning as much as I can. Teaching with whatever little wisdom I have, how to get on and do great things in life and hopefully transfer my knowledge to someone else who might need it.

Whatever it is you feel motivated to do, go ahead and do it. Do not waste time contemplating on how you would do it, grab the moment.

That little period of motivation could be the defining point of your life and what a tragedy if that day comes and we do nothing about it. If you are artistic use your arts. If you are creative, create something. Be bold and act.

During my masters years I worked as a carer for the elderly. I remember a conversation I had with a man named Steve. Steve was 78yrs old and he had been diagnosed with dementia. He had brief moments of lucidity and when they came he spoke about his life. Steve was a former farmer who later went on to serve in the army. He had spent his whole life on the farm and his parents had died when he was young and shortly after that he enlisted into the army. According to him, he had wanted nothing more than to be a song writer. Steve confided in me and told me that he often had some very beautiful song in his head but often found out that every time they came even when it was just a few lines. He was either knee deep in Animal leavings or in active battle. He felt that he never had a pen to write things out and never managed to complete a single song. This little tragedy had haunted him all his life that his last desire before he dies was to complete just one song. I cared for Steve for almost a year and watched his health deteriorate and watched him never complete a song. The world would never get to know if Steve was right. Maybe Steve was really the greatest song writer that could have been?

 

I promised myself that it would never be me. I would work when motivated, write when motivated and act when motivated. Life would never pass me by with such regret. What a catastrophe if we miss out on the one thing we are most suited for.

I think the point of this is really clear and simple so I won’t ramble on about it. It is a bit of a cliché to say never give up on your dream but I believe that we should never stop for as long as we are still motivated.  Aim with everything you are and work with everything you have, remember that whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

So don’t just be motivated, Work it till you have nothing left to offer.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom”. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (The Bible NIV)

AMBITION VS ACTUALISATION

AMBITION VS ACTUALISATION

 

journey to school

AMBITION VS ACTUALISATION

Competence gives confidence.

Ever wonder why all our lives we sometimes dream of what we want to be. We spend several years trying to form our ideas of what and why that role or position is all we want to be. music, business, money, art, God. We dedicate everything we have and will ever have to it, and it always seems like a struggle. Some of us make our dreams come true, while others struggle all their life and it never happens. This chapter is for those that have not made it. Trying everything to get to what we want.

If I asked you what you want to be? I am quite certain that the answer would rarely be I don’t know. So why haven’t you made it. Please note I did not ask you why you haven’t tried. I know you have tried; the fact that you are reading this chapter is another effort towards your goal.

Let’s try a simple exercise and see what point you fall off, obviously as you can imagine I need you to be honest with yourself, After all no-one is reading this but you.

When did you get your first feel the desire to aspire to your dream? How old were you? Have you reviewed your dream and your capabilities? Do they match? How did your first rejection feel? How did you re-act? What did you honestly learn from it? Was what you learnt of any use? Did you become better or worse after? Did you implement it or discard the lesson learnt? Did you try again? How old were you when you tried again? Did you fail again? Have you given yourself another review? How did you feel? Has your desire been completely drained from all the disappointments?

You are probably thinking at this point that if you did not do a single one of these things then there might be a chance that you did not recover from your first failure the way you ought to have. Recovering and pushing on through an ambition is the only way to self-actualise.

I remember on hot summer afternoon looking at myself through the window of a car glass on the street and asking myself. What happened to you? How did you get here? Where did it all go wrong?  The knowledge that I could not understand it at all was so overwhelming and so soul crushing that I don’t think my words can accurately describe it. I am quite sure that at some point some of you reading this book have felt that pain before. It could be with regards to weight gain, to facial changes, to love, even to career decision. When I felt it, it was a combination of career frustration and lost love.

I spent so long looking for what happened assuming that if I just knew how I screwed up what looked like a bright future I might find consolation in my present situation. Well, to be perfectly honest I never satisfactorily figured it out. At every point my idea of what took place was re-buffed. This was the breaking point for me. It hit me like a raging storm the day I realised that I had spent so much time waddling in my own questions ( or the proverbial pool of mud) that I had forgotten to get do something about my situation. Over a year had passed and I was not any better. The real question was not in the why. It was in the how and what. How do I get up from here? How do I move on? What do I do from here? What do I need to move on?

How do I actualise my ambition? Just this simple change in perspective led me on to great ideas. One of which is what you are reading. I had a new lease on life. I opened up my first company and I started out my long term business plan (no more short sporadic goals).

When you get to a point in your life that you genuinely do not care how you messed up or what you did wrong. The day you learn to stop condemning yourself for what has happened and for all the possibly poor decisions you have made. It is at this point that the really juicy ideas come out. It’s like your brain is on fire and ideas are the smoke. Not all of them will be guaranteed to be successful but just keep in mind you need only one to be successful to get your head start.

Like I said earlier this book is not to pretend like if you follow a few get rich ideas, you will make it as a success. I just want to guide you unto your own path and the only way to do so is to help you see what had always been in front of you. If life has taught me anything, it is that just about anyone with the right mind set a good opportunity and a significant amount of hard work can make it big in life. Why should you be any different? Or do you really believe that when you make it out of your situation anyone will ask you about your failures.

I know this to be true because after I got out of my career situation not one person I knew and I had over 600 friends (I mean actual friends) asked me about what it was like when I had no job or What anxieties I had. The problem was always my blind sight and refusal to not just see what I was but what I could still become.

 

 

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Abraham Lincoln