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Adjust Your Sails to the WindmiWisdom today… “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Another thought provoking James Dean quote that shows us how important it is to be flexible in our daily undertakings.

Change is a Process of Transformation

So many times throughout our day we try and fight off circumstances, people and events. We do everything within our power to try and resist the changes that confront us, and yet we continue to struggle fighting against a powerful force that will simply not letup.

Do we ever stop to think about the actual process of change?

The world as we know it today will not be as we will know it tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. The people that we know today are not going to be the same people tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. Nor will we be the same tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.

The simple fact of the matter is that change continues to evolve and expand on every level each second throughout our day.  Change is like the wind blowing a sail boat through the open ocean. To resist change is to fight against the inevitable and all powerful forces of life. On the other hand, to harness the power of change will take one on a path of unexpected transformation that can bring many blessings and the potential for abundant opportunities.

The Quickest Path Isn’t Always the Right or Best Path to Take

Most of us have a deep fixation in our minds that there is only one way, one path towards a desired destination. We are so fixed and locked upon this journey that we will rarely accept a different opinion or perspective. We know the path that we must take and we will do whatever it takes to reach that destination no matter what difficulties may lie in our way.

“Inflexibility has killed a great many people over the course of human history.”

The funny thing about life is that it presents us with a constant array of clues that are somewhat forced upon us when we least expect them. The great sailors of days gone by picked up on this very quickly. They knew that the wind blows and directs with a purpose. They realized that through the act of harnessing this powerful force that they could redirect themselves along paths that offered less resistance and greater potential for success. Yes, indeed for them these journeys might have taken longer, however life always has a means and a purpose for everything that it throws our way.

Learn from the Winds as they are our Teachers

Life has an interesting way of teaching us lessons that prepare us for the journey ahead. We all have goals, dreams and ambitions that we would like to one day successfully bring to physical reality. Yet from our very limited perspective we fail to realize or understand how unworthy and undeserving we actually are of these experiences.

Every goal, every dream, every deep intense purpose that we conjure up within the recesses of our minds is not so much a destination but rather a journey of experiences filled with lessons, hardships, and challenges that must be confronted and overcome in order to experience the pleasures of the destinations that we envision within our minds.

No man or woman EVER accomplished their goals, dreams or visions without first experiencing the hardships of the journey that led them to their final destination. When the winds came they understood that they had a choice. They could either resist and try to fight over the top of the winds of change, or they could harness the power of these winds and propel themselves forward towards their destination in potentially unforeseen ways. They realized that life is in a constant process of motion and change that adapts to our shifting thoughts, actions, emotions and goals. What we consciously think we want, may indeed not be what we unconsciously desire. Yet, the shifting wind knows and realizes these internal desires and progressively adjusts our course towards our true intentions.

Will this course bring about a smoother journey of experiences, or will it bring further hardships and lessons?

As our course changes, the winds become our teachers, they help us to understand what it will take to deserve to experience our dreams in physical reality. Without these experiences it would be impossible to accomplish what we seek. Ask the most successful people in the world if they would have become who they are today if not for those challenges, problems, or ill-fated circumstances that constantly stood in their way. They learned throughout this process that life will always throw you curve balls, and that unless we adjust, adapt and alter our course to match the changes that we are experiencing, we will suffer the consequences of ill-fated decisions that may leave us guilt ridden for the remainder of our lives.

We simply can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails to reach our ultimate destination.

Transformational Questions

To keep you on track with this way of thinking, you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where am I currently experiencing the most resistance in life? With people? Events? Circumstances?
  • What is this resistance trying to tell me? What underlying meaning does it have for my ultimate goals and objectives?
  • Am I sabotaging myself through the act of continuing to fight through this resistance?
  • What am I really learning from this experience that I hadn’t noticed before?
  • Is there another way to deal with this person or situation that I hadn’t thought of before?
  • How have the winds changed course, and what new and unexpected opportunities are they presenting me with when it comes to dealing with this person or situation?
  • How can I adjust my sails to ensure that I stay on track towards the bigger picture, yet remain flexible  enough to adapt to the changing world that’s confronting me in the moment?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

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Reaper 1miWisdom today… “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” James Dean was no doubt onto something very special indeed when he said this now famous quote.  However, how many of us can truly say that we live with this type of awareness and understanding?

Children Dream as if they were to Live Forever

When we are children we tend to “Dream as if we’ll live forever”. I child has no boundaries and in many ways they haven’t as yet developed a strong concept of reality, life or death. All they know is that they live, and that because of this fact, anything is possible. And so they dream, yes they dream as if they were to live forever; and this is indeed what brings much happiness and joy into their daily existence. They have a deep seated understanding that life is meant to be lived as a dream on a deeply profound level. They understand that life is meant to be filled with passion, with enthusiasm, with creativity and with a spiritual abundance that all dreams can and will come to fruition. Yes kids are quite ignorant of reality, aren’t they?

The Dream Reapers will Cut Dreams Away

The world is a dangerous place, and the moment you begin to dream, you can be certain that someone will be there to set you right back in your place. Yes, the world is full of Dream Reapers who will take your dreams away from you if you give them half a chance. That kids don’t understand this, is not their fault. They are simply unaware of the Dream Reapers that hide around every corner waiting to sabotage their deepest passions. The most frightening thing is that the Dream Reapers are US! Yes, that’s right, WE unknowingly harm the younger generations by helping them to become realists and pessimists. We also show our support by helping them to think practically about their dreams, goals, visions and passions.

I’m afraid to say that many dreams are not and have not been practical, and yet they are being brought forth into our reality by someone each and every day.

Bringing the Impossible Dream into Physical Reality

  • Didn’t a high school teacher inform Einstein that he had a learning disability? If Einstein had taken this to heart, what on earth would he have achieved?
  • Didn’t Sylvester Stallone get rejected by dozens of managers who told him that he couldn’t act? Did he let this stop him from achieving his dreams?
  • Didn’t Kernel Sanders receive over 1,000 No’s before receiving a single Yes for his homemade chicken recipe? His persistence resulted in KFC.
  • Didn’t Thomas Edison receive criticism for his ongoing efforts in the development of the light-bulb? If he had listened to them, would you be enjoying light today?

Examples are abound, yet the most important lesson that can be learned from all the above cases is that we should never doubt another person’s dreams, especially when it comes to children. On top of this we should never doubt or deny our own dreams. Only you, that’s right only you have the right to say whether or not you can bring your dreams into reality. So start thinking like a kid and “Dream as if you’ll live forever”.

As a side note, Kernel Sanders only began his journey towards his dreams as a senior citizen. I suppose he thought he would live forever?

If you smiled a little at the last statement, that’s fine. However, I was reading an article not too long ago in a science journal that brought to light a number of scientific studies that are on the frontier of breaking boundaries in terms of human longevity. It was predicted that within the next 25 to 50 years the average human lifespan would be extended to well over 100 years in 1st world countries. The 50 years that followed, would see human life extended to over 300. After that science predicts that a few more breakthroughs in unlocking the genetic code may extend human life indefinitely.

I hope that this awareness can open your mind that “forever” is a lot closer than you might imagine.

Live as if you’ll die today

It seems that the older we get, the more profoundly we begin to live by this statement. The only difference is, is that for most people they also live with the thought  of regret that keeps buzzing around their head like an annoying fly that just won’t go away. Yes, that Buzz of regret is difficult to swallow, isn’t it? However, it is ironic to think that the only reason we have regrets in the first place is because we DON’T live as if we’ll die today our entire lifetimes. We only seem to work it out when it’s too late to do the things that would make life really worth living.

By “living as if you’ll die today” doesn’t mean crying and feeling sorry for yourself, it rather means going out into the world, doing the things you have been delaying, saying the things you haven’t been saying, and experiencing the life you haven’t been living. I suppose that this is the formula for swatting away that annoying Buzz that tends to build up over a lifetime of regrets.

So don’t wait another moment, and “Dream as if you’ll live forever, while living as if you’ll die today”.

Transformational Questions

To keep you on track with this way of thinking, you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What dreams did I have as a child that the Dream Reapers took away? How can I reignite these dreams and passions once again?
  • Based on the scientific research, if I was to actually live forever, what dreams would I start to pursue today, this week, next month, next year?
  • What small dream could I pursue today that I could bring to fruition in very quick succession?
  • If I was to die later today, what would I do now that would bring me great joy and pleasure in the moment?
  • If I was to die later today, what would I say to the ones I love about my feelings towards them?
  • How would my life change from this moment on if “I dreamed as if I’d live forever, and lived as if I’d die today”?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

Broken HeartmiWisdom today… Pain makes people do cruel things, even when they are intrinsically good.

Our lives are filled with constant ups and downs. The happiest of moments come and go, and over time they have a tendency to balance out the sadness that some of us continue to hold within our hearts. Because we are such emotional creatures we tend to easily get carried away and lost within the moments where we have much at stake and plenty to lose. Within these moments, suddenly everything could be lost in the blink of an eye, and as a result an awe encompassing and overwhelming pain explodes from within and paralyses us externally. Unable to think rationally, unable to make educated decisions, and unable to take actions that are consistent and congruent with our highest values and morals; we fall into the pits of a selfish misunderstanding of our predicament, where everything we do from this moment forth comes from a survival reactionary state that came ingrained within the software recesses of our minds.

  • It is within these moments that life tends to get the better of us.
  • It is within these moments that uncharacteristic habits, decisions and actions can begin to dominate our reactions to circumstances.
  • It is within these moments that good people end up undertaking regrettably evil acts.

Take the pain of a broken heart. Once so full of life, so full of love, and so full of giving; today it rests there within the safety of its cage, restless, yet pained by the cuts and wounds of its battles with an enemy it once adored and would sacrifice its life for. This heart has suddenly been changed. Once full of love, today that love has been replaced by anguish and a saddened feeling of emptiness, a void that this heart longs to fill no matter what it takes.

A heart so suddenly hurt with these emotional disabilities, now evolves and mutates into something that once had no presence. Suddenly a new irrational attitude is born and the heart seeks to right the wrongs, to bring justice to the empty space it feels expanding from within. In order to hold back and shun these feelings of emptiness and weakness, it fights back by taking over the emotional centers of the brain and urging the body into physical action that it otherwise wouldn’t have taken on its own accord. It becomes irrational and unjustly, feeling only of its own void and self-pride that was once filled with a radiant energy, and now rests empty like a dried up well.

Can you blame this heart for the actions it is about to take?

We are emotional creatures… that we are, and we all have cruelty lying hidden deep within the recesses of our souls. It just takes the right (or wrong) trigger to unleash this beast out of its slumber and onto an unsuspecting world. Yes… pain makes people do cruel things, even when they are intrinsically good. Yet pain is only a response, an interpretation so to speak about external events and circumstances that overwhelm and bring much sorrow and unhappiness to our lives. It is not so much the pain that we suffer that changes us, but rather our own interpretation of the pain that determines how we will proceed from this moment on. Our hearts are reactionary, and will bend and flow in accordance to our perceptions of the events that unfold within the presence of our senses. How we interpret our perceptions will either weaken or strengthen our beating heart.

The moment you find yourself being ruled by an unforgiving heart, you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How is it exactly that I am feeling this way? Can I describe these emotions clearly and concisely?
  • Is it rational for me to be feeling this way about this situation?
  • Could I be misreading this situation based on my limited and biased perspective? Could my emotions be filtering out my reasoning?
  • Even the worst of circumstances have a silver lining if only I look for it. What could the silver lining be here? – Today and into the future.
  • Would everyone I know react and feel this way about this situation? If not, than how different would their reactions and feelings be?
  • If I was to separate myself emotionally from this situation what would I see, and how would I feel? Are things any different?
  • How can I proceed forward in accordance to my highest and most important values?
  • If all of a sudden this event or situation was completely eradicated from my memory, how would I proceed with my life from this moment on?
  • Do I understand that a little time, separation and nurturing can mend and in many instances repair the wounds of a broken heart?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

imagemiWisdom today… Life doesn’t give you what you ask for, it rather provides you with the opportunities to potentially receive these things.

No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, one thing is certain; God / The Universe does not play favorites. Why should God give one man a life of luxury, health and success while another suffers from poverty and illness? The bottom line is that we are what we are based on how and what we think about throughout our daily lives. The hard fact is that what we ask or wish for on a daily basis will not come to fruition if we do nothing about it.

There are so many of us out there who rely on God or an Infinite Power to heal them, to make them rich, and to make their dreams come true. What these people fail to understand is that God will not fulfill their desires. It is rather up to the person asking for these things to keep an eye out for opportunities coming their way that may possibly enable them to fulfill their needs and wants.

There is an old tale about a man caught in a flood asking God for help.

A nearby river’s banks overflow and an old man finds himself caught in a flood. In order to avoid the water he climbs up to the roof of his home and prays for God to rescue him in his time of need. Shortly after his prayer, a lady in a row boat comes across the man sitting on his roof. She asks him to come aboard so that she can take him to safety. However, the old man insists that he will be fine, and that God will save him and keep him from harm.

Less than an hour later the rising water has almost reached the rooftop of the old man’s home. At this time a rescue boat approaches the old man and asks him to come on board so that they can take him to safety. The stubborn old man reassures the life rescue team that he will be fine as God will surely save him. The boat leaves, leaving the old man sitting and praying on his rooftop once again.

Less than a half hour later the old man’s feet are now standing in a stream of water that continues to rise rapidly. All of a sudden a helicopter comes out of nowhere and hurtles down a folding ladder to the old man below. However, the old man rejects this final rescue attempt saying that God will save him. The rescue team doesn’t have time to argue with the stubborn old man and politely inform him bluntly that if he doesn’t grab hold of the rescue ladder that he will be swept away by the rising current and will likely drown. The old man looks up at the helicopter, thanks them for their help and kneels down to pray.

Moments later the old man is swept away by the current and meets his untimely death.

The old man is brought to the pearly gates of heaven where God welcomes him with open arms. Although glad to be in heaven, the old man is perplexed and confused as to why God did not help him in his time of need. And so he approaches and asks God for an explanation.

“Why did you not save me in my greatest time of need?” says the old man.

God looks down upon him with kind eyes and says, “My dear child, whatever you have asked for have I not given to you? You asked to be taken to safety and so I obliged by sending you 2 boats and a helicopter. What you do with what I provide is not in my hands. I can only provide you with the opportunities to fulfill your wants and desires. What you do with those opportunities when they come your way is completely up to you.”

The old man looked down upon his feet, a little ashamed of these hasty decisions. However, he finally understood the true and real power of prayer.

It is also important to consider that opportunities can and do at times come disguised as problems. And it is because we perceive them as being problems that we fail to take advantage of the good things that come our way everyday. In fact problems are there to help us grow, and to assist us to expand our awareness allowing for the fulfillment of our ever growing and expanding potential.

When it comes to so called problems; what you see isn’t always what you get.

There is an old saying which reminds us that we don’t get what we ask for but rather what we deserve. It simply guides us to an understanding that no matter what problems or opportunities we are faced with, we will end up getting what we deserve based on the decisions made in the moment.

Finally, opportunities / problems are like boomerangs that will tend to come back again and again in different ways, shapes and forms up until the moment we learn, grow and make use of them, thusly allowing us to fulfill the deepest wants and desires we have been longing for all this time.

The next time you are faced with a problem (disguised as an opportunity), you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following sets of questions:

  • How can I see this problem as an opportunity that will move me forward and past my current predicament?
  • What does this problem have to teach me about my life, myself and others?
  • How can I best take advantage of this problem and turn it into an opportunity to move me forward?
  • What is it exactly that this problem is hinting at? What is it revealing to me that I initially did not see?
  • If all my problems suddenly became opportunities, what new empowering decisions would I make today?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

Fred_and_Barney miWisdom today… One must always take care to learn from other people’s experiences, mistakes, actions and decisions. If one is to ignore this important principle, one will find themselves on the treadmill of life – moving consistently and rapidly, yet making no progress at all.

It has taken humanity hundreds of thousands of years to reach our current level of knowledge and understanding. This progress didn’t happen by chance, nor did it happen through planned intervention. We became what we are today through nothing more than the act of making and learning from our mistakes.

It is said that Fred Flintstone developed the wheel not by accident but rather through a process of mistakes that lead to a better and more effective way of thinking about his situation. Dragging big rocks along the ground all day or lifting them above his head, surely cost Fred a great amount of energy and strain. He even had the habit of dropping a rock or two every now and then on his hairy foot causing a great amount of anguish, injury and pain. Yet if Fred wasn’t the sensible character we all know he is, he wouldn’t have taken the time to learn from these mistakes; from these inefficiencies in his strategy. Therefore we may well still be hauling rocks and bricks above our heads in today’s day and age. However, thanks to Fred, that is now history.

So here was Fred Flintstone searching for a better way to do something that was so critical to his survival. And so he observed others in his Clan (including his Bestest of friends Barney Rubble) dropping these huge boulders over and over again on his foot (Ouch the pain! – Fred thought to himself). Well, after several weeks of this intense observation, he finally came up with a concept that he called the Wheel. Can you just imagine how different our life would be today if this young Fred Flintstone hadn’t taken the time to learn from his observations of others? Just imagine.

If we look at any great accomplishment in life over the history of human evolution and change, we will come to the same never ending conclusion. We as a human race are mistakaholics – meaning that we produce an endless amount of mistakes each and every day of our existence, which in effect creates the perfect learning environment. It is after all those who watch and carefully observe other’s experiences, decisions and actions and then learn from their observations that have an advantage as they progress through life.

  • Was the car built over night?
  • Were the advances of medicine discovered after one try?
  • Was the Internet created in the blink of an eye?

The answer to all the above is a resounding NO.

Everything we have before us today, is simply a creation out of a succession of mistakes that have been collated and collected over time by people who initially had little to no idea what they were doing. However, through trial and error, through the process of asking the right kinds of questions and through their observations of others, they learnt, gaining a greater sense of wisdom and understanding which lead to a higher level of knowledge and awareness about improvements that could be made to enhance their life experience.

Learning from another’s experience could be the most important factor towards achieving any kind of success in life. You will not only save time and energy by utilizing this method, but also gain insights and understandings that you may never have come across through your own undertakings.

Let’s quickly take a look at a metaphor to explain the importance of the Fred Flintstone principle:

Imagine you have been suddenly flung back through time and you now find yourself on the periphery of a jungle in a land that has no familiarity. There you are asked to save a village from a deadly virus by journeying to retrieve a medicine deep within the jungle. Obviously you have very little understanding of the land, the people and the journey that awaits you. Hence, you can do one of two things: attempt to GOOF your way towards retrieving the medicine, or you could learn from the experience of other village people who have made the journey before you.

Indeed you would first begin by asking for directions. You could even ask them about the mistakes that they made and what you should look out for at every stage of your journey. Maybe even ask for shortcuts you could take, supplies you should carry, or even things that you should be wary… of. The more information you have the better prepared you will be, and the more likely you are to succeed along your journey to retrieve the medicine.

It is said that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. And it’s within this single step that lessons are learnt, directions are given, and mistakes are already made a thousand times over. It is within this single step, that one has an opportunity to learn from all who came before them; to learn from the mistakes that others made along their way. A wonderful opportunity, that will allow for a far more effortless journey towards one’s destination.

If you are about to begin your journey, you might find it helpful to first take a single step and ask yourself the following set of questions:

  • What is it that I know with certainty about this journey I am about to take?
  • What is it that I think I know that may in fact be a handful of assumptions that I am just holding onto?
  • What is it that I need to find more information about; which will help me to progress along my journey?
  • Where will I need to gather further research, and whom must I speak with who can provide me with the guidance I seek?
  • What mistakes have others made along this journey that I must learn from?
  • Are there any shortcuts I could take that could save me time, energy, money and effort?
  • What important things should I be most careful and wary about as I progress along my journey?
  • What if what I thought I knew wasn’t in fact the truth? How can I gather further evidence and proof that could put my mind at ease?
  • Given everything that I have learnt from others, what mistakes could I still potentially make along my journey? How can I best prepare for them?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

miCroWisdom learning experiences of the day…

  • Instead of providing people with instructions or orders, one must instead make them feel as through they are making these decisions themselves.
  • In business as well as in life, one must never seem to pose a threat to another’s ongoing happiness.
  • Momentum will still take you in the opposite direction that you want to go when you have just changed your course or direction. It takes a little time and adjustment for the momentum to swing in the direction of your choosing.
  • One must not make fun of something one does not understand.
  • People tend to disrespect those who whine and complain about their predicament.

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.

miWisdom today… When people go through periods of great difficulty in their lives, we naturally have a tendency to try and assist them through their problems by providing them with techniques and strategies that we believe will help them overcome their challenges. Is this really the right and just way to go about assisting a person in need?

First of all, what may appear to be the right way around a problem to us may not in fact be the most ideal solution for the other person. Yes, we may well have gone through a similar experience, or we may have heard or read about others overcoming this sort of challenge in their life. Yet, can we rightly justify the act of providing helpful advice without first truly understanding the other person and their experience from absolutely every angle imaginable? Because this is exactly what it will take to provide this person with the right and suitable answers they are after.

When we freely help others, do we even consider the repercussions of our good nature? Is what we are doing for them helping them in the long-term? Is this empowering the other person to overcome other similar challenges in their life without your ongoing support or influence? Or is your act of helping them through this problem actually making them dependent on you now and in the future? There is an old saying which identifies this principle clearly:

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”

There is also another saying which states:

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you can sell him fishing equipment.” – However, let’s leave that for another time 🙂

When people are in great difficulty they only seek one single “thing” to begin with. This one “thing” is so powerful that it may well be the trigger that will empower them to take the necessary steps and actions to overcome their challenge single-handedly. So what is this one “thing” they seek? It is assurance from someone who can show that they understand their problems and challenges. They are looking to connect with a person who will be there for them as a satellite bouncing ideas back and forth.

Once this person feels comfortable that someone understands them; that they have the support of someone who is supportive of their plight – now you can move onto the next step, which is all about empowering the person from within. To do this, one must learn to lead a conversation by asking the right questions that will allow the other person to think independently and reflect upon their life and circumstances.

Giving advice is much like the act of giving a man a fish. You will feed the person with a solution for today, but what will they have left for tomorrow and the uncertain future that awaits them. However, by asking insightful questions that encourages the other person to think in unique and creative ways, is very much like teaching them to fish.

By guiding the other person to seek their own answers within, is one of the greatest gifts one is able to give to a child, a family member, stranger or friend; because it is one of those gifts that just keeps on giving whether you are in this person’s life or not.

Next time someone is in difficulty, you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following set of questions:

  • How can I provide this person with reassurance that I am there for them in their time of need?
  • How can I show them that I understand them and their situation wholeheartedly?
  • What insightful questions can I ask that will encourage them to think in a unique and creative way about their problems and predicament?
  • What sorts of questions could I ask that may well empower this person to take immediate and positive action today?
  • How else can I show them that I am supportive of their difficulties, problems or challenges without giving advice?

If you have a similar learning experience or would like to add to the list of questions, you may do so by commenting below.