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Archive for the ‘Perspective’ Category

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.

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miWisdom today… The vast majority of people have a natural tendency to overestimate their time, work, energy, decisions and actions. This is known as the Jellybean principle, which is the act of being incapable of estimating correctly how many colored Jellybeans are in the jar.  

Back in high school there was always someone organizing a Jellybean counting competition of some sorts each year. They would get hold of the largest glass jar or container they could find, and would “stuff” it with as many jellybeans as was humanly possible. Then, one-by-one each student would attempt to guess how many Jellybeans were enclosed within the jar. I was intrigued as to how students would go about estimating the number of Jellybeans that were in the jar. 

  • Would they try to calculate it mathematically based on the size of each jellybean and the dimensions of the glass jar?
  • Would they just attempt to “guestimate” how many jellybeans would fit in a jar of that size?
  • Or would they go to extra lengths and attempt to replicate my jellybean competition by purchasing their own jellybeans and jar?

The methods and ways these students used were as varying as their jellybean estimates. Yet, one interesting factor came out of this competition. This one factor in many ways explains how people think and how they go about their daily lives and decisions.

What I found was that 77% of entries that I received overestimated the jellybean count within the jar, and only 23% underestimated it. Given these results; what do they teach us about human nature?

People naturally have a tendency to overestimate their daily decisions and actions. They overestimate:

  • Time – the time it will take them to complete a task or project
  • Energy – the energy they have to undertake a certain activity
  • Work – the amount of work they have to do within a specific time frame
  • Decisions – the impact that their decisions will have on others, themselves and life
  • Actions – the impact that their actions will have on others, themselves and life

Of course, not everyone overestimates the above points. Yet, based on the Jellybean Principle most people do have a habit and tendency towards making these kinds of decision and actions – and this is what leads to much hardship and disappointment in life.

People naturally tend to overestimate because they simply do not have enough information or experience within a specific field or area to make a more accurate estimate of what it would take to accomplish a certain task. They will look at a task and will only see it from the surface, from an outsider’s perspective. And it’s from this perspective that they will base their decisions. 

It’s much like looking at a box that has wrapping all over it. On the surface, everyone knows that it’s a box, and that to open a box it takes certain actions and tools. However, what many of us fail to understand is that what we see on the surface may not be quite what we will experience during the process and act of opening the box. We simply fail to ask ourselves the right questions, or fail to garner the necessary foresight in order to fully understand and comprehend the time, energy, and work it will take to accomplish each task. This lack of foresight is what leads to disappointment and potentially low levels of self-esteem.

Before you begin a new and unfamiliar task, you might like to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What aspects of this task am I confident I can accomplish successfully without any outside assistance?
  • What aspects of this task am I not familiar with?
  • How can I go about becoming familiar and confident with these aspects?
  • What if what I thought I knew wasn’t true at all? How can I verify that my knowledge and experience is adequate in accomplishing this task successfully?
  • Do I understand that what might have worked in the past may not in fact work as planned today? How can I prepare for this possibility?
  • What questions must I ask myself throughout this task to ensure that I stay on track and within the timeframe I have allocated?

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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miWisdom today… When perceptively negative circumstances befall people, they will usually tend to think the very worst of their predicament. Even if this person talks positively and optimistically about their situation to others, internally, they are expecting and preparing themselves mentally for the very worst end result. Since our expectations guide our decisions, direction and actions, we will therefore tend to realize our expectations in the real world more often than not.

How is it that our expectations tend to create our reality?

It has to do with our thought patterns and the emotions that we experience on a daily basis. Simply put; the direction of your thoughts influences what you are or are not able to perceive within your present environment. If you are thinking negatively you will tend to see negative people, events, problems and circumstances around you. On the other hand, if you are thinking positively, you will tend to see opportunities abound, that may well assist you in moving past your present reality of problems and obstacles. From here we come to understand that what we perceive externally will directly influence the decisions that we will make in the present moment. These decisions are obviously based on our perceptive filters which come directly from our thoughts and emotions.

Finally, we undertake our plan of action based on these filtered decisions, which will more times than not lead us in the direction of our original thoughts – or in other words, lead us in the direction of our expectations.

To avoid the Expectations Trap, you may find it helpful to ask yourself the following set of questions:

  • What is the real issue here?
  • How best can I define the challenges, obstacles or problems I am currently facing?
  • As I do an internal check of my thoughts and emotions, what future expectations am I currently in the process of creating within the recesses of my mind?
  • Based on these expectations, how am I currently filtering my reality?
  • If my end goal is to look for solutions and opportunities; does my current filter of reality help or hinder me in this process?
  • How must I begin to process my thoughts in order to allow myself to begin opening up my perceptive channels to potential solutions and opportunities?

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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miWisdom today… When people become obsessed with something to the extent that it overwhelms them emotionally, they naturally become disillusioned by their circumstances. This naturally effects the person’s decision making process to the extent that they are simply unable to comprehend the validity of their decisions in the moment. They are simply unable to logically understand the consequences of their decisions towards themselves, others and the world around them.

Acting only through emotion can lead to much anguish and disappointment in life. Our emotions can either make things appear light or dark, good or bad, right or wrong, yet they are only a perspective that we hold in the moment, a perspective that was influenced by something internal or external in our environment. If we fail to see our emotions for what they really are, than we will simply fail to make sense of the possible consequences of the decisions we are about to make.

It is important to note that our emotions are not our feelings. They are simply representations of one of many possible realities based on the array of emotions we experience at any time.

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions for better or worse, you may find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions before making any hurried decisions:

  • Based on my current emotional state, what decision am I about to make?
  • Is this how reality is, or is it just a representation of the emotions I am experiencing at this very moment?
  • If I was to experience a contradictory emotion opposite to what I feel at the moment, how would I interpret this situation differently? Would I make a different decision?
  • Do I have the entire picture of the situation, or do my emotions filter out logical evidence to the contrary?
  • If I was to logically think about this situation from an outsiders perspective, what would I see? How would I interpret the people, circumstances and events?
  • What are the potential short and long-term consequences of the decision I am about to make?
  • What impact could this decision have on myself, others and the world around me?
  • The decision I am about to make may feel good, however is it in actuality good for me, and does it serve the greater good of all?
  • Does my original decision make sense given what I now know, or is there a better alternative?

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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