Every Wall Is A Door

This saying is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, a brilliant and inspirational American essayist, philosopher, and mystic.

We all have obstacles and difficult situations in our lives. And all of them have a reason.

No matter what the reason is, we also have a choice to either move on or surrender when facing a challenge.

I believe brick walls are one of the biggest blessings. For they can teach us self-awareness, perseverance, and patience.

It may happen that a wall will never be broken – no matter how hard you try.

Perhaps it was never meant to be.

Yet even in these cases we are granted an opportunity to try. And this is a door in such a case – a rewarding experience of realizing that trying is much better when compared to regretful thoughts of not having done so.

The truth is simple.

No matter how hard our days might be, there will always be a crystal of a precious learning experience in the end. We therefore need to accept with an open heart and joy any challenges that our destines throw at us.

This is, in fact, a mindset of a warrior.

Change what you cannot accept, and accept what you can’t change.

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My Favourite Day Of The Week

48769-Get-Off-Facebook-Its-SaturdayIf it exists, then it’s Monday, or Thursday, or Saturday, but not Friday, like for many people.

I rarely have this common feeling in the office “It’s Friday again!”. I believe living from Friday to Friday is one of the worst things you can do. What about the rest of the days? Gone? Deleted? Doesn’t matter?

I really like Monday, for example (not always, but in most cases). And also Tuesday. Wednesday can be hard sometimes, so Thursday feels better.

And Friday … somehow I’m a bit sad on this day though glad too. Perhaps because I feel time flies so fast that another week is gone in the blink of an eye.

So when everybody around says “Friday again!”, I may say the same to myself – but rather with puzzlement than excitement.

The real excitement comes on Saturday which is in between the working weeks.

I guess whether you are an office employee with a 5/2 shift, a freelancer, or an entrepreneur also counts. Yet in any case it’s worth finding positive moments in every single day.

But for now – Saturday is here :).

A Cubic Centimeter Of Chance

They say whatever is said today was already said by someone in the past. This may be true. Yet this does not mean we should refrain from pieces of wisdom and inspiration that life gives us every day. The “opportunity-chance” story is very characteristic in this regard. And it is one of my favorite ones.

The fans of Carlos Castaneda for sure know this by heart. In one of his teachings Don Juan claims we all have a cubic centimeter of chance once in a while:

All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess, to pick it up.

Now, the fans of Mark Twain may recognize a similar refrain in his quote about fortune:

Fortune knocks at every man’s door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her.

And the last one (in this post, but not in reality) is Thomas A. Edison with his idea about opportunities disguised in overalls:

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

I respect and admire all of these people. And no wonder they have a similar thought that we all have a chance to boost our life engines. Well, Mark Twain says “once in a life”. I do believe, though, that he rather meant ‘rarely’ or ‘once in a while’ than just ‘once’.

The bottom line is – what all of them are saying is true. Looking back, I am confident I did experience the same at least a few times. I also remember my uncle once telling me this in his own words – that we all have an opportunity once and then, and we gotta grab it.

The question is, however, how do we do it?

Carlos Castaneda (Don Juan) gives a hint here – you need to be aware and alert, “deliberately waiting”. I agree with this on the one hand. On the other hand, however, waiting can be too tiring, and one simply can lose the state of awareness too easily.

So my approach is two-fold (in addition to staying alert). First, you need to ACT, and not simply wait. Or, to be more precise, you need to ACT and then PATIENTLY WAIT. I don’t know which is harder, it differs for me all the time, and I guess it’ll be different for each person.

And second, you need to embrace CHANGE. Because change is opportunity! This can be hard too. This can be extremely hard, in fact. Human beings resist change by nature. But let’s be honest – this is the only way to grow. Perhaps Yes Man with Jim Carrey can be an inspiring start here. 🙂

To sum up, grabbing your cubic centimeter of chance can be achieved as follows:

  • BE AWARE it may comment any moment
  • ACT to make this moment happen as soon as possible
  • BE OPEN to any change

P.S. When preparing this post I realized there is only a one-letter difference between ‘change’ and ‘chance’.

This isn’t by chance, is it? 🙂

 

 

It’s a New Day

I love Mondays.

Every Monday is a like a chance to start from the beginning. “From beginning” meaning not doing the same thing over and over again, but having an opportunity to hit a new week with fresh energy and clear mind.Especially if the weekend before was amazing :).

Monday is like opening a blank page on the week-book. Everyone can write whatever he wants on it, no matter what the previous pages contained. Everyone is a writer in this respect. And this is what freedom of will is – doing what you want with your life regardless of what had happened or will happen.

So, we gotta care for just one single day.

It’s not easy.

Too often we live in the past re-digesting our problems, or fly into the future constricting plans or daydreaming. Reflecting over the past things and actions is important, as planning ahead is. Yet the idea is to focus on today as much as possible, with your bigger goals in the back of your mind.

And this is where Monday is perfect :).

Wake up! Good morning! It’s Monday time! Don’t be afraid of Monday, let Monday be afraid of you :).

There is no bad weather

Looking at the title, I have to admit I don’t like when it rains. Or let’s say, I like to sit in a warm cozy place sipping hot tea when it rains, looking at the drops falling on window glass. Yet I’d hate to be outside in a thunderstorm.

Still when this type of weather happens, I try to change my attitude and find some positive moments. As the Chinese wisdom goes: “Always look at the bright side of things, and if you don’t find any – polish the dark ones until they start shining.”

So there is no bad weather indeed, as every weather is a blessing. Some add to this: “There is no bad weather, there are bad clothes”. Another stronger version goes like: “There is no bad weather – just soft people.” (This is is great for motivation in sports).

What struck me just this weekend though, is that ‘weather’ can be understood not only literally, but interpreted in a figurative sense too. From such a perspective things indeed appear in a brighter way:

– Mistakes lead to experience.

– Failure as the key to success.

– Every cloud has a silver lining (this one is close to nature too).

– The more you fail, the faster you’ll succeed. (As noted by the famous Michael Jordan).

– Opportunity comes in the overalls (As highlighted by the genius Thomas A. Edison).

And so and so forth.

To sum, all of us experience rainy moments, or even earthquakes and tornadoes in our lives from now and then. Yes after this the sun shines even brighter, the air smells even fresher, and the horizons ahead look more clear.

Rainbows come up in the sky only after the rain.

Don’t be afraid of the storm – be afraid of the calm.

Do you have a hobby?

A hobby is an activity that a person does with pleasure. As we are entering the era of the information society, and our lives are getting more and more busy and complex, a hobby can be an essential tool to maintain the work-life balance.

This sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? At first thought, if you spend time on hobbies, the balance will be twisted. However, if you consider the benefits of having a hobby, they outweigh any potential losses drastically.

Here are at least 7 reasons how hobbies changes our lives for the better. 

1. Hobbies bring pleasure. If you sincerely enjoy what your doing, you will keep on doing it again, as the pleasure and positive emotions are invaluable.

2. Hobbies reduce stress. This is connected with the point above. Pleasure and positive feeling remove negative thoughts and stress endured during the working day.

3. Hobbies make you be “here and now”. I bet everyone experiences this – once you’re into something you truly like, you get carried away and forget about anything else. Time flies like a rocket. This is known as the “state of flow”.

4. Hobbies contain potential opportunities. A hobby can become a life-time occupation. In fact, this can be a perfect situation when doing a job that you love. As Confucius once said: “Find the work you truly enjoy, and you won’t have to work a single day in your life”.

5. Hobbies help make new friends. Doing the same pleasant activity triggers new connections and attachments between one another, or at least an eternal topic for conversation and exchanging ideas on. 

6. Hobbies help you realize what you really want. In the world of consumerism and never-ending marketing, your hobbies guide you and help distinguish between true wishes and imposed ones.  

And finally, through hobbies and interests you develop yourself. What is even better, such development goes with pleasure, as already mentioned in point one :).

So if you haven’t done so yet, go find yourself a hobby!

Inspiration from Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

– Steve Jobs