Saturday, 21 July 2012

Nothing stays the same!

In life, there will always be someone who will try to encourage us to ignore the dark cloud, look for the silver lining, and focus on that. There will always be someone who will try to convince us that the glass is not half empty, but half full. They will urge us to think positively and then leave us with the cliché: You are what you constantly think!

We are motivated to try and be flexible in life. The paradigm shift theory is thrown in our direction. We have to change the way we think about things because in the end “everything flows and nothing abides, everything gives way and nothing stays fixed” (Heraclitus). Nothing stays the same.

It’s that simple: Change the way you think and think positively. The written message may be simple, but in reality, it’s not. The extent to which our mind will be open to change and optimistic thoughts are determined by our personality.

If nothing stays the same and we’re expected to change the way we think, how does it affect our personality? Can we change who we are?

When we are born, we are born with inherited characteristics – genetic characteristics. From the time we are born until the day we go to school, our parents or guardians are our role models. When we go to school, we change. Throughout life, we acquire characteristics through our family environment, culture, religious background, education, association, and experiences (both good and bad). Even television programmes and movies we watch, the music we listen to and other forms of entertainment leave their mark. When we recognize things that exercise positive or negative influences on our personality, we have the choice of whether we want to increase or minimize their effect. In the end, all these factors and influences affect the way our personality develops.

Our personalities can be changed. We are transformed according to what we think and feel. We have strengths and weaknesses, and we should learn to identify them. We have the power to develop our strengths and correct our flaws. The question we need to ask ourselves is: "What kind of person do I want to be?" The answer to that question leaves us with a choice. We can either dream about being a better person or we can make it a reality by steering ourselves in the direction of changing into a better person. 

While we cannot change our personalities overnight, we can improve over time. It’s not an easy task, but if we persevere we can achieve anything we decide to do. A secret to success is to be thankful for the opportunity to be able to change. If we hem our blessings with thankfulness, they won't unravel.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Go with all your heart!

There's a Chinese saying that reads: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart". This may seem to refer to a place, a destination, but, in essence, it really defines life: forward motion.

This in itself is very profound because you can never go back in time. You can only move forward. What passes can never be experienced again.

Each day is filled with moments that are either good or bad. Life unfolds in these moments. The good moments become memories and the bad moments build character. In each moment there is a simple duty to be fulfilled. If you are lazy, you will neglect the duty. If you are wise, you will put your heart into it.

You can go forward with all your heart if you are true to yourself, but you will never make progress or find joy if you are trying to do something you don’t believe in. Go out and find yourself. Discover your passion and make this your duty.

You may not be able to control the moments as you journey through each day, but you can make choices regarding the simple duties in these moments with which you keep busy.

When I look at myself ...

  The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that yo...