It’s about the Journey, Not the Destination: Explained

You must have read by now the idea that having goals in life makes living meaningful. Meaningful means there is a purpose of life which is the goal. Purpose gives direction to one’s life.

Do you know why goals in life  are meaningful? Initially goals justify the effort they demand, but later it is the effort that justifies the goal as you start progressing towards the goal. No goal can have much value and meaning unless taken seriously. Each goal is made up of a set of action steps and consequences, and if one isn’t prepared to accept them and execute this steps, the goal becomes meaningless.

It is the effort to get to the  goal that makes the goal meaningful. It is the journey to the goal that matters. The efforts are the one which offers the opportunity to focus thoughts,  focus psychic energy, get feedback, improve one’s skill and learn new things, bringing happiness by keeping the mind and thoughts engaged without the mind running wild and thinking about what won’t work .

That said, in the current modern world, there are so many options to reach goals easier. When we see this goal we want is difficult , we find an easy option to get the same goal and hence reducing the effort to get the said goal. End results is getting the goal is not that satisfying.  Imagine climbing a mountain with your bare hands or getting a helicopter to fly you to the top of the mountain. Which you think is more satisfying ? The goal of climbing the mountain with your bare hands of course. It requires so much focus because a lapse in focus could get you killed.  Reaching the top gives you so much for satisfaction. Hence the journey is what makes the difference.

This applies to relationship too. One gets married because the spouse seems worthy of sharing one’s life with, but unless one then behaves as if this is true, the partnership will appear to lose value with time. There is effort to be put in place to make the marriage as what you perceived it to be. You cannot cut short the efforts and hope the spouse will be the same worthy you thought initially.

Personal experience has shown how a partner in a relationship walks out when things got tough. They wanted easier effort to the goal of  having a house, a man with no past, comforts and even without the crazy love. Love is not important to them . They gave up when things got tough.  The strongest couples are those who had taken the toughest of  journeys together. Walk thru things which would have usually torn others apart. Yet they come out stronger and satisfied with the end goals they achieve together in their lives.

Now you know why, it is not the destination that matters. It is the journey. We all want to get to the destination because that is what we only see at the beginning. How we make the journey to the destination is what makes the destination of value. Stay committed in all that you need to do for your goals. Goals become valuable because of the commitment you have.

As I wrote at the beginning, purpose gives direction to one’s effort in life. This are the efforts which require for achieving a goal. Having a purpose does not mean it makes life easier. Goals can lead to all kind of troubles, at which point one get’s tempted to give up goals and find something less demanding. The price one pays for changing goals whenever opposition threatens is that while one may achieve a more pleasant and comfortable life, it is likely that it will end up empty and void of meaning.
In summary, have a purpose in what ever you do.  To achieve the purpose / goal, there are actions to be taken. Follow thru with this actions. This actions are suppose to make you strive, learn new skills and improve on the one you have.  They let you focus your energies and thoughts. When your thought and energy are organized, your emotions also gets organized. When all of this are going in the same direction, you achieve harmony in your mind, body and soul. You life becomes a constant flow experience. You have access to peace.
 SS

Truth will liberate you from yourself.

Truth is very painful. God / Universe is always sending you opportunity to be truthful. This is the chance you are being given to liberate yourself. Yet you resist again and again because of your attachment to pleasure, wealth and all things of comfort in this world. I am not saying you should not have this things of comfort and pleasure and wealth. They are meant for the good of you and for you to do good upon others. If you make a lot of money, and you can help others in need and some charities you consider could benefit.

Another example is you would like to keep someone with yourself. You  know if they knew the truth, then she/he won’t stay.  If they did, then they love you and are true to you. If they don’t then, it is their choice. They are as scared as you are. Yet you should always speak the truth and carry out truthful actions.   You will lie to get money from someone so you can spend on things which provide comfort. The list goes on and on for not speaking the truth.

This is the one thing which is the most difficult for any one to handle.  To be truthful is to put yourself at risk of loosing someone, losing a job, losing trust, losing friends etc. Yes loosing this is merely an opportunity to allow more awareness of your self and yet we won’t let go.

The true realization of self happens when you face truth. It is the worst feeling yet it is the ultimate awakening of your Self. The identity you have of yourself, which is related to how you look, your attitude, your name, your job, your car, the address of your house and who you work for  and who you married to is not your real Self. All this are just an identity of you in this world. It is not your true self.

Speaking the truth is about being truthful to yourself. Truth to others is really meant for you. The benefit is for you. It begins your awakening and awareness of your Self.  You will experience the biggest lost once you speak the truth,  yet you would have found yourself the most.

 

What makes relationships lasts.

Just saw a short video of  Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of “Anatomy of Love,” put happy couples in long-term relationships into brain scanners. The results gave her an insight into what makes a relationship last.

She said the key to long happiness in a relationship is:

  1. Have empathy for the other person
  2. Control your stress and emotions
  3. Positive Illusions – The simple ability to overlook what you don’t like about somebody and focus on what you do like.

I would like emphasis on each one of these points based on my experiences.

In a relationship, one is always at the mercy of the other partner and vice versa. It is said “Those have most power to hurt you is the one you love”.

When one shows up in a relationship because he/she truly love the other person,  they have decided to surrender all of themselves. They have brought down their protective walls.  They decided they will be vulnerable and will risk everything. To truly know what the other person in the relationship is risking, walk in their shoes, see thru their eyes and feel thru their heart. Empathy is patiently and sincerely seeing the world thru the other person’s eyes. There would be times the other person is needy or looking for your presence or response. This is not about being insecure due to a past experience. This is about needing assurance because they are vulnerable. A person in a relationship has to create a secure and assuring environment for the other. This is where a partner’s empathy comes in to see what they see and live with.

Controlling one’s stress and emotions is critical to a relationship. Any emotions filled with negative chatter from the mind, creates bad emotions with a desire to take an action which is destructive.  This action could be speaking words which hurt or words of accusation or just doing something behind the other’s back.

We all have past experiences which are hurtful and not pleasant. Since these are the past experience, no doubt a mind will use these as a commentary when you feel any emotions. Let’s say you feel an emotion of missing your partner.  With added commentary from the mind , this could become a negative emotion of jealousy. Jealously is in essence, an emotional insecurity. With that, anger and distrust emotions follow. With that, you, the physical person, take on the role of the bad emotions and you then take actions of with maybe judging the other person.

Now why would the emotion of missing someone become something else?  You see the mind wants to justify every emotions that you feel. The mind only has the past and an assumed predictable future to make this justification. The mind never lives in the “NOW”. It is time based. So mind’s commentary could be “you are missing this person and he/she  is doing something bad. Remember the last time you were missing a person you loved, and he/she was with another person behind you”. Now you feel a new emotion, which is distrust and anger. Now the mind tells you to call him/her to ask interrogating questions and tell him/her  that he/she is doing something wrong. That would be a destructive action as I said earlier. Some people might say this is a protective instinct. The reason this instinct is coming, is already a bad sign. I had my partner tell me I am not home or I am with someone else whereas  I was completely doing something different. They are so sure what, that they believe in what their mind tells them. It is scary when the mind is in control.

Finally the simple ability to overlook what you don’t like about somebody and focus on what you do like. This is the simple fact of seeing the good in the person you are in a relationship with. Instead of thinking what is not there, appreciate what is there. You might not have the person who is best in reading the same book as you, but makes your happiness his/her priority.  Also you won’t see the good if not for the bad. Be thankful for the bad things in life. For they open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before. Remember to see the good in others, we must first learn to see the good in ourselves. People who teach themselves to see the good in others tend to be more positive and experience happiness more deeply.

At the end of the day you have to remember this: A relationship rarely has two strong people at the same time. It is two people in a relationship taking turns to be strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak. I always believed there is never two people loving each other equally at the same time. Some days one loves more then the other. Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most. One day you will need more of that love from the other.

Gill

 

 

Being happy and staying happy. Being in a flow

We all seek happiness. Every one of us. Here is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi had to say.

Quote/unquote:

“What he “discovered” was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”

Here is my own take based on my experience.

Here I was living my life doing what I am supposed to do: go to work, make sure there was food on the table, roof over our head and other comforts in life for the family. Happiness was there sometimes and sometimes not, but I thought that was life.  I thought happiness was about me controlling external events. Of course, the pleasures filled the gaps in between worktime such as travelling,  buying material things, and meeting and socializing with people. I went on like this thinking this is what life is.

As you know, the mind lacks order or predictability. This daily life’s activities gave the mind something to do but it had ample amount of time to be thinking of problems which kept me unhappy every now and then. To fix this unhappiness, the mind would carry out destructing activities like partying, drinking or enjoying more of worldly pleasure. The mind created this unhappiness and yet it is trying to fix it with more problem. What a crazy suicidal cycle. The full time job I had, did not seem to keep me happy as well. I was still going to work because I told myself i had to do it anyway, as i had no choice. So everyday I might have found something to do but it was completely useless for the long term happiness and personal growth.

The key was carrying out activities which added order to my mind. One thing that did that was my gym workouts which I got involved in my workplace. I started gym in 1.5 years ago and I noted I had to focus on what I was eating, during the workouts I was doing and also following schedules of my workout. Planning  all this ordered my mind. Same as with routines I had. Every morning what I had, at what time I took supplements and what time and how long I slept. Putting my mind into an ordered set of activities,  put my psychic energy into focus.  That made me happy. The side effect of this: I was achieving a better health by hitting the gym.

Going to the gym is a good example of an activity which puts the mind into order and provides you little time to think about bad stuff or negative thoughts or  bad thoughts. This then generates the happiness you need. I then quit my job knowing there was nothing engaging to my mind which would make me happy. I like engaging with customers and presenting and running workshop. My manager at the time failed to realize my potential and shoved me into preparing PowerPoint slides, which I hated.

I then started reading a lot and that also required a lot of focus to understand what I was reading. I added writing as another activity. Both of this kept my mind ordered. Both of this activity required attention from my mind. That means happiness.

Another key activity I found provided the mind with order is motoracing because of  the intense focus the activity required.  I remember getting out of a race car in Oct 2016 after a race which I won and I could not remember any thoughts I might have had during that one hour. My mind was quiet as I put in 100% focus in driving the race car to win. All I can remember is racing driving. I was a happiest one hour for me. I was in a state of ecstasy during the drive. I forgot how hot it was in the race suit in the hot weather. I forgot I was thirsty. I forgot my physical body. All my physical actions were just automatic.

Putting the mind into order by carrying out actions, which had feedback (immediate or short term or long term), which requires actions and which requires taking action,  is called a Flow activity. Remember that “flow” activities are not interchangeable with “leisure” activities.  For example, visiting with a friend is a healthy leisure activity, but does not induce flow.  That’s because a flow activity:

  • Is useful and challenging, which makes it intrinsically rewarding
  • Helps you progress toward a goal
  • Provides feedback to help gauge the effectiveness of your efforts

Of course gym and the related activities don’t take most of the day. For the rest of the day my mind wants to carry out psychic entropy. So finding more activities which were ordering the mind provided the mind little time to be on a destructive entropy trail. Remember that the mind can only focus on certain amount of data input in any given instance. It is the reason why you can’t listen 100% to two people talking to you at the same time. The key is to find activities which take that amount of focus, puts the mind into order and little resources left of the mind to think of bad thoughts or entropy activities or create problems and then trying to solve them. When I say bad thoughts the mind is trying to create a problem which it will then try to solve. Hence it is trying to keep busy. This is a also a destructive process.

For a lot of people, the worst of this mind entropy happens when they are in solitude. Yet it is the best time for you to finally put your mind into an order. It is not easy but it needs to be done to find happiness in everyday life. Imagine living in the wilderness alone in Alaska for months without seeing a single soul. Without an ordered mind with a set of activities, you will go crazy very quickly and be dead. Remember how solitary confinement is considered a punishment for a person ?  Do you remember the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks staring? He created an activity with the basketball by giving the ball a  name and a face. That kept him sane.

Gill

You are in automatic mode

I notice how we go thru life doing routine things. When I say routine things / tasks , I don’t mean how you go to work or how you work or run family errands or events. You function like an automized machine as you think you are pursuing happiness in for the future. So what you do now is for the your happiness in the future. Every now and then you move in the right direction when all the circumstances and parameters (which are a lot) are right and you get happiness. This happiness is short lived because within a short period of  time, you will encounter changes in your life, either in your personal self,  people around you or the environment you live in. This causes the happiness to cease. You then spiral in anxiety and worry and maybe even sadness. Then you work hard towards getting a piece of happiness again. Well you get that happiness and after a while I it goes away again. So your whole life becomes automized like a roller coaster in pursuit if of happiness. This happiness myth is made up by your mind and ego. 

For example, when you bought that new car….. The smell of your new car smell and all the events around the new car such as; kids wanted to ride in it, wife or girlfriend wanted to go out on a Saturday afternoon for a drive around. After a few weeks the new car sensation is gone. Mud and dirt accumulates in the car. You wash it to see this the car new once more. You feel happy again for a moment. Then the first puncture and the first dent and the first accident occur. Your happiness disappears. Then the first break down happens.  You then search for happiness again. You might by buy a set of rims or new parts or even repaint the car. You are happy again. 

The car analogy is the same if you are accumulating wealth or fame. You find happiness which then dissolves into sadness and then you pursue happiness again. You find happiness again for a short period of time and then comes anxiety and fear. Up and down you go, in an automized mode. 

So you see the mind with ego is doing nothing more but keeping you busy with this ups and down of happiness. This is then tied to a path of time to keep you focused on a better future, which is an unknown one. 

How do you get permanent happiness then?  You don’t! What you really need is to make peace with what you have happening now. No matter what it is. Don’t let your ego or thoughts (from the mind) decide what you should feel. Don’t become your thought. Don’t become your emotions. Peace within yourself is always there, no matter what is happening out there in your life or environment. 

So when you get a new car, you are at peace. When your car breaks down, you are at peace. Permanently. Does that mean you don’t care about this car and you drive recklessly? No you don’t. You just realize there are so many elements which define happiness that it is impossible to find permanent happiness. You then decide that these external parameters (people, events, environment, government, politics etc.)   are not going to be the ones which define your happiness. You are going to connect with the peace within yourself. It is always there no matter what. Even just before your death , lying in bed seconds away from the death, the peace is the same as you can connect to now. This means if you find that peace now way before your physical death, the fear and ego you have are already dead. How wonderful would that be.

 

 

Emotions and how to focus it to your advantage

Human emotions, have been the driving energy and force of humans for centuries. Feelings without emotions never account to anything beyond a realization of feelings. Without emotions, you would not take action, won’t go the full nine yards, you won’t push the envelope. Notice how a race car driver or Olympian, stand on the top of the podium is crying after a victory. Here is Rubens Barrichello on podium in tears. Barrichello started 18th in the grid, and won the race by driving on a wet surface with dry-weather tires for about 20 laps.

Let’s continue a bit more to talk about this emotion. There are negative emotions and positive emotions. Revenge, anger and jealousy being some of the negative emotions and love, faith, hope and sex (surprised?)  enthusiasm and romance being some of the positive emotions.

Let’s take for example you love someone so much and this person dies. You feel extreme emotions. You could use this emotion in a positive way or negative way depending on the emotions you feeling. You could also make sure you focus on the positive emotions.

I remember watching an episode on Air Crash Investigation on National Geographic where the partial fault of an air traffic controller caused the crash of an aircraft in which a father lost his wife and kids. The father eventually took revenge on the air traffic controller by stabbing him. This is how a negative emotion gets used.

Then there was, Robert Sanders carried his dying daughter from the minivan he had been driving when an air bag slammed her unconscious. Thanks, in no small measure to Sanders’ dogged, painful crusade to prevent such tragedies from happening to others, the Transportation Department plans announced a rule designed to ensure that air bags are safe for children as well as full-size adults. She was 7 when her father, tuning the radio, failed to stop in time for a red light and slid into another van. Their vehicle was traveling less than 10 mph. It had been Alison’s turn to sit in the front seat. Her two brothers, in the back, were unhurt. Sanders, who went on to organize Parents for Safer Air Bags, is living proof that no matter how remote the federal government seems, ordinary individuals can propel it into action. Not that that’s easy. Sanders had to leave a law practice in Baltimore and dip into his savings. He endures having to tell complete strangers how his daughter died in an accident for which he was responsible.

Sanders used his positive emotions for the love of his daughter to push ahead in a change to regulations. You must have seen Forest Gump’s running scene. Same thing. Used this emptions in a positive way, to run.

Then there was Fauja Singh. He is a world record holder in his age bracket. His current personal best time for the London Marathon (2003) is 6 hours 2 minutes, and his marathon record, for age 90-plus, is 5 hours 40 minutes at the age of 92, at the 2003 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. In 2004, he was featured in an advertising campaign for sportswear manufacturer Adidas alongside David Beckham and Muhammad Ali. Singh holds UK records for the 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, mile and 3000 m for his age group, records all set within a single 94 minute period.

How did he do all this? Emotions again. It was only after witnessing the death of his fifth son, Kuldip, in a construction accident in August 1994, that Fauja returned to his passion for running, in 1995. The deaths of his wife in 1992, and his eldest daughter who had died from complications after giving birth to his third granddaughter, gave him the determination for this new focus in life.

This determination to focus on joyful experiences in your life, can only become reality if it is emotionally driven. Nothing else comes close to making it happen. Fauja Singh could have been in depression and maybe turn to drinking and eventually die from complications. Yet he is doing even young people will not do.

This determination to focus on a new thing in your life, can only become reality if it is emotionally driven. Nothing else comes close to making it happen. Fauja Singh could have been in depression and maybe turn to drinking and eventually die. Yet he is doing what not even young people will do.

You might not know but sex is one of the most powerful emotion. Sex can be break you and bring you down over addiction of it. I am sure you have read about politicians losing it all over sex. In a common man losing a family, house, money and even life over sex.

Knowing how these emotions can make a person do extraordinary things, you can also take any emotion and make it work for you. How do you do it?

Focusing on positive emotions. See I am not saying you ignore the negative emotions or pretend they don’t exit.  Just don’t over indulge and be obsessed on the negative emotions. If you are in a relationship, focus on LOVE and ROMANCE and not jealousy and fear or revenge of the other person doing bad to you. Focus on sex, (yes, it is a positive emotion) and love and not sex as a physical activity. You will last for hours enjoying sex. Think of hope and faith (as I written before, faith is about submission, surrender, total trust).

For myself, it was in Jan 2016, with a life not going the way I wanted, there was a lot of emotions in me. I decided to focus all this emotions into my health and body. In 14 months, lost 17 kilograms, became lean and muscular and started developing a six pack. How? I started hitting the gym. I remember using 5kg dumb bells for biceps was hard work. Some friends were laughing at me seeing what is 48-year-old was starting to do. They thought I was having a mid-life crisis 😊.  Now I push 16kg on each arm for biceps press for my set of 16 reps and then 14 and 12.5 for the last set. My health improved vastly and a medical checkup in the later part of 2016 showed I was as if  10 years younger. In October 2016 won a 300KM race in Japan. I know one of the reason I was lean and fit.  Now imagine that to 14 months ago, fat, overweight and no directions. Emotions driven actions.