Innovation is one hell of a hot buzz word these days. Everyday we  hear a lot of talk about technological, social or business  innovation. There is this felt need of innovating our social and  organizational practices together with our technology and business  processes so as to meet the demands of a fast-changing world. Not  less pressing is the continuous struggle to narrow the void of an  increasingly uncertain future.

Innovation is really about changing and tweaking something to make  it behave or work in a different new way. It involves the input of  creative thinking since it’s about looking at old things in new  perspectives. It requires getting out of the old mold and break  patterns of habitual thinking so as to reveal a fresh new outlook  on everyday things.

Sometimes we are stuck into looking at something in a set way. It  can be the way we go about a particular task or problem. It  becomes a ‘given’ that we unquestionably assume it’s just the way  things are. A fresh new perspective can give it a whole new  meaning and to our own amazement we realize there is a better way of dealing with it we never imagined could be possible.

Yet we always tend to think about innovation in terms of changing  something in the world around us. How about innovating ourselves?  Would that be a teasing thought? I think so.

I have a gut feeling that women can be more receptive to this. The  reason is that women tend to have more self-motivation to go  through regular ‘make-overs’ like changing their hairstyle and general look, revamp their wardrobe, re-decorate their living space and re-design other things in their immediate physical and social environment. On the other hand we men tend to go through such ‘make-overs’ as frequent as celestial alignments of an inter-galactic scale.

Truth being said, it however remains doubtful whether change in appearance can count as genuine innovation – although it’s a start nonetheless.

Here are a few of my own ideas on how we can truly innovate ourselves and keep a fresh stand on our ever-changing lives. (more…)

How to Innovate Yourself

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Ancient Eastern Philosophy has taught a lot about the concept of non-resistance. This view has been deeply rooted as a cultural way of life as can be most popularly seen in the martial arts for example.

Most internal martial arts such as Tai Chi, for instance, are built on this principle of non-resistance and ‘action without action’ (Wei Wu Wei) or effortless doing. The idea behind this principle of effortless action is that when you don’t resist or work against the energies around you but actually work or flow with them, you become aligned and in equilibrium in such a way as to obtain a ‘soft and invisible power’.

The adept martial artist knows how to use the power and momentum of his opponent to overcome him with out exerting any force or power.

Non-resistance is like the nature of water. The strength of water lies in its ability to flow around obstacles and in its suppleness. Its force is soft yet powerful.

On the other hand, resistance is friction, an act of opposing, blocking or impeding something. It generally implies working against natural forces as opposed to working with them. (more…)

The Strength of Non-Resistance

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There are many factors that play a determining role in success. The most commonly identified are qualities such as passion, determination, perseverance, good planning, intuition and creativity amongst a few others.

It is to be said, however, that not all success comes from the heart or leads to happiness.

There is success which comes from taking smart decisions, hard work and perseverance together with a pinch of good luck. But this type of success does not necessarily lead to a happy fulfilled life. It might be the type of success that comes from striking the right six figure business deal or from having your name become big in your area of expertise.

This is obviously a great thing but does not necessarily entail what you really want deep inside.

Authenticity and inner purpose

Heart driven success is the ultimate form of success because it goes beyond limited beliefs about cause and effect, desire for money, fear and expectations and most of all, it is guided from the heart.

When you have stripped off the socially induced values of what is good, bad and ugly and listen more to what your heart is saying, you thrive towards your inner purpose. You would have found your authentic self. (more…)

Heart Driven Success

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Photo by Josefe aka Hipnosapo
Photo by Josefe aka Hipnosapo

We all have those moments when we feel everything is falling apart or when suddenly too many problems seem to come our way all at the same time. They end up overwhelming us and we find it hard to tackle them all at once. Our mind gets stressed, our body gets fatigued and our problem-solving skills and creativity fails us when we need it most.

The thing to understand is that crisis is not a situation. It’s a reaction to a situation, or rather an impaired reaction to a given situation.

In moments of crisis, emotions run high and this, together with increasing stress, makes it very difficult to have a clear head. This is of course counter-productive as having murky thoughts, if not outright panic attacks, will keep you further away from functioning properly and lucidly finding the much needed solution to the problems at hand.

The solution:

So what can you do when you are in those moments of crisis? How can you keep a clear head and stay focused on finding solutions?

I suggest the following: (more…)

How to keep a clear head in moments of crisis

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I have never done writing for a living yet. My writing has always been mostly for study or passion.

Yet even though I haven’t been under the pressure of having my monthly income depending on the flow and quality of my writing as any paid writer would, my own experiences still brought to my conscious awareness two important and closely linked notions: Inspiration and its dreaded enemy writer’s block.

Writer’s Block

This concept notoriously gained an iconic status having been so widely referred to in the media and arts. We all have collective unconscious images from the movie classics of some writer at a desk in front of an old-style typewriter, an ashtray full of half-snuffed cigarette butts and a paper bin overflowing with balled up papers of unfinished sentences.

Conventionally, writer’s block is understood as that part in a writer’s career where her creative process comes to a halt and her inspiration runs dry due to some psychological blockage or emotional distress. Less dramatically, it is when we are doing a writing job and words and ideas stop coming to our heads. We stop for hours trying to get the thing started again sometimes with no success.

There are two main views on writer’s block. Both views see it as some block in the overall creative process but while one view sees creativity as predominantly or even exclusively a generative process the other sees it as a receptive process. (more…)

Overcome writer’s block: Understanding the Yin and Yang nature of the creative process

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Awareness is fundamental to all human activity. It is the basis of all our mental states and processes, creativity, perception, knowledge and culture. Everything starts from awareness. It is the portal between consciousness and the world around us.

The more I learn about awareness, the more I realize how it pervades everything we do and that by learning to focus it, expand it or redirect it consciously, we can transform ourselves by gigantic positive leaps. It’s the key to greater inner peace, happiness and self-mastery.  In fact there is no possible way one can walk on the path of self-mastery without learning to direct his awareness. (more…)

Developing Awareness – Part 1

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I think one of the most fundamental questions we come to ask in our lives is “what is the purpose of my life?” which can be transcribed into “How meaningful is the life I am living at the moment?” This is a personalization of the more general and philosophical question “What is the meaning of life and everything?”

These questions often arise when we are going through major life transitions or y-points in our lives where crucial decisions and drastic changes have to be made. When we go through big changes our reality bends and shifts because we are breaking away from our old worldview and leaping into a new one. Big changes and moments of temporary crisis often bring with them deep questions about the meaning of life and our role and identity with the changing world around us.

It is not easy to answer such questions for the simple reasons that the answer to such questions lie exclusively within us and not outside of us. Things and situations in our lives have meaning because we attribute meaning to them. They do not have meaning by themselves but depend on our perspective, reality and system of beliefs. The same thing may have deep meaning for me but can be meaningless to you or it may have different meaning to one person at different times in her life depending on her experiences, motivations, beliefs and perspectives.

But how can we give more meaning to our lives? I’m sure we all asked ourselves this question at one point whether explicitly or otherwise.

Happiness and self-realization depend on how much our lives are enriched with meaning and purpose. A meaningless existence is certainly not a wholesome and happy one.

Unfolding the bigger picture

Very often meaning is equated with knowing our true purpose, our mission and goals in life. This is true at some level. By knowing and embracing our role in the big picture of life, we find a lot of what we experience as more meaningful.

Our purpose however is not always clear to us at all times because it is sometimes cluttered and hindered by negative emotions, misconceptions and wrong sorts of habits and beliefs.

Here are a few approaches that help us deepen and enrich our connections with ourselves and with others, align ourselves with our inner purpose and open our hearts for the joys of living a meaningful and happy life: (more…)

The art of creating meaning into your life

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Mindfulness MeditationThere is a lot of literature to read about the subject of Meditation, its spiritual and practical aspects or the different ways it is practiced throughout different traditions and for different ends. There are tonnes of information and I feel that I would be adding little value if I add more of what is already available and write articles about the subject per se.

I think it is more suitable in this context for me to write about Meditation through my own experiences and point of view on the subject. After all, there are no strict objective rules and know how on the matter. It is much more like a personal journey that one enters or walks along in his own particular path.

Of course there are general guidelines and valuable clues one has to pick up and learn. For example, one introductory book which I’d always suggest is ‘Meditation for Dummies’ – which I think the title betrays the fact that it is a very comprehensive and well written guide which has lots of valuable information for both beginners and even seasoned Meditators. Those of you who have read some of the ‘For Dummies’ series know that most of them have very good editorial quality.

There are also genuine and highly experienced teachers and Masters and it is always highly recommended to be guided by them.  I am not a student of any Meditation teacher. I have chosen to go out for the path on my own. It’s not that I disagree or dislike the idea, it’s just the way I set it out to be. This is my account of it. (more…)

Mindfulness Meditation: My Path

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Music for the SoulI always wondered about the deep connection between humans and music. The origin of music is unknown or at least we only have a very vague idea as to how far its stretches back in time, mainly through the findings of rudimental bone-made musical instruments found in early cave dwellings.

It would also be interesting to know at which stage of the human evolutionary process the appreciation of music emerged. Although we know that other creatures such as higher mammals can respond positively to sounds and music, it is a distinctive mark in humans to really have an aesthetic affinity to it. This is mainly because of our higher and more complex cognitive makeup.

The brain being an intricate pattern-matching organ can recognize subtle sequences and variations in sound waves which are then consolidated and matched to a broader pattern or rhythm, eventually giving rise to that subjective feeling of aesthetic beauty, joy, elation or whatever emotion matches the musical style or our present mood. (more…)

Music for the Soul

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