The Problem of Individual Choice & Why We Should Care About Social Choices
Fear is a cruel tyrant and we all know it. It debilitates us and immobilizes us, by restricting our possible responses to life and thus severely limiting it.
It effectively sabotages us from succeeding in reaching a goal or achieving happiness and peace of mind.
Fear can make us reject an opportunity to make a public speech, hold us from applying for that perfect job, keep us back from making that fantastic trip or keep us awake at night worrying what might happen to our loved ones when they are out of our sight. The examples are endless and I don’t need to illustrate further – I’m sure you get the gist of it.
Some people live in constant fear; some others face fear from time to time when it creeps out from some hidden corner and surfaces to haunt their days and nights.
The fact is that fear is a form of feedback about potential or real danger in our environment. Physically it is associated with a part of our brain called the ‘amygdala’ situated at the tip of the temporal lobe.
It is the part of our brain responsible for the flight, fight or freeze response to dangerous situations. No doubt, such instinctive responses were greatly helpful to the survival of our ancestors in the past. Yet as societies grew increasingly more complex and human lifestyles changed radically, this primordial survival instinct started sometimes coming at odds with everyday life situations that do not require such drastic responses.
The effect of that was an embedded sense of fear that manifests itself in many forms such as anxiety, worry, lack of sleep, nervousness and uneasiness, etc. (more…)
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…)
[GARD align=left]No matter how different people’s goals, inclinations and social conditions might be, there is always one thing that is common to all humans – the desire for inner peace.
Some might not be consciously aware of this all the time or their life experiences have completely closed their heart to this possibility. Others might think that their highest goals are nothing like inner peace but more like material success and gratification.
Still, whether we admit it or not, we all seek happiness and inner peace. Nobody will ever feel complete with loads of material rewards but a spiritual void. So many life stories are a witness to this.
If you are listening to your heart’s calling for inner peace and happiness, there are a few rules you can embrace and follow in your life. These rules helped many people over many centuries acquire inner peace, reconciliation with their heart’s desires and happiness.
Here they go: (more…)
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…)
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…)
What if you know that 8 minutes a day or even less can change your life drastically for the better? What if you know that in less time that you buy and drink a latte you can practice yourself into a life of better mental performance, more serenity & happiness and more control over your life?
I know it sounds like a cheesy sales page of some ‘get empowered and conquer the universe in 7 days’ self-help program. I myself am totally unimpressed and disapproving of certain ‘quick simple techniques’ to master this or achieve that. However it’s not ‘techniques’ I am talking about here but practices or ‘good habits’ as simple and short as brushing your teeth or clipping your toe nails. The difference is that they are not that brain-numbingly mundane and of course they are ‘life-changing practices’ as against mere ‘grooming practices’.
Can 2 minute long practices change a person’s life drastically? Well the short answer to that is definitely “Yes”. The longer answer is that these practices are accessible and user-friendly tools that routinely program the mind to develop new positive habits which then become engrained over a time period and before you know it a big inner change has happened!
Have you ever been grateful about something small or big that happened unexpectedly but has made a difference to your day, your mood or your life in general?
Go back to it with your mind and remember how it feels. How would you define it? For me it’s a warm comforting feeling of love, reward, appreciation and happiness. You know those moments in our lives where we count our blessings and feel happy to be in the knowledge that life has been kind and good to us no matter how small or large that blessing was.
Just the awareness and recognition of it confers a moment of serenity and pleasure that brightens up our day and enlivens our souls. It is like a brief opening in our hearts where for a moment we stop and peep outside of ourselves and realize that life is abundantly blissful and generous but we often obscure this fact with our everyday hectic routines, by giving more attention to negative thoughts and by being too sucked by our needs and wanting. (more…)
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” Aristotle
Every living being in this world seeks happiness whether s/he is aware of it or not. It is the meaning and purpose of life as Aristotle had noted.
“Isn’t it obvious?” I hear you say. Yet is it really that obvious I dare ask again?
If it were that obvious why aren’t billion of dollars being spent in researching the ‘Science of Happiness’? Why aren’t political systems based on the pursuit, achievement and safeguarding of Happiness? Why aren’t there too many religions that instead of attaching themselves to Dogma and authority reorient their beliefs on the basic Human need of Happiness? Why isn’t Happiness a shared point of reference between political, ideological and International transactions?
Something is not that obviously straight forward to me. (more…)