The Moth’s Mistake

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This is about the deceptive nature of comfort. We are all searching for happiness and we often seek it through forms of comfort. Off course for each of us comfort looks different. For some it is found in food,  alcohol or intimacy, for others it is found in work, shopping or entertainment and when we reach for these remedies there is often instant relief but pleasure is fleeting and the lure of comfort can deceive us.

Consider  the way Moths tend to fly towards a flame. To the moth the flame represents the captivating sensation of light so they fly to the flickering glow. But this is clearly not a good choice. The moth seeks comfort but the flame actually causes suffering. And this is what we do. We are pulled towards what appears comforting but it is in fact harmful. We go an a alcohol binge and it feels enjoyable at first but the next day we pay the price. When we are angry at someone we begin to yell at them.  This too might feel good momentarily but it creates a wider rift and deeper hurt.

So it is up to us to use the skills of mindfulness and pay attention to how we respond to this comfort or agitation. We must ask ourselves what do we reach for as comfort and then notice, does our habit actually brings us comfort?  And if so, for how long?  Does that comfort comes at a price of long term suffering?

As Jeff Olson said “your habits operate at the unconscious level. You are not normally aware of them. It’s only by bringing habit into your conscious awareness that you can observe what it is doing. How it empowers and serves you or doesn’t”.

Ultimately we want to bring awareness to the impulses and urges that accompany unease and discomfort. so rather than unconsciously reaching for that old comfort or vice, we can consciously choose actions that serve our deeper happiness and well being.

 

Manual for Climbing Mountains

 

A] Choose the mountain you want to climb: don’t pay attention to what other people say, such as “that one’s more beautiful” or “this one’s easier”. You’ll be spending lots of energy and enthusiasm to reach your objective, so you’re the only one responsible and you should be sure of what you’re doing.

B] Know how to get close to it: mountains are often seen from far off – beautiful, interesting, full of challenges. But what happens when we try to draw closer? Roads run all around them, flowers grow between you and your objective, what seemed so clear on the map is tough in real life. So try all the paths and all the tracks until eventually one day you’re standing in front of the top that you yearn to reach.

C] Learn from someone who has already been up there: no matter how unique you feel, there is always someone who has had the same dream before you and ended up leaving marks that can make your journey easier; places to hang the rope, trails, broken branches to make the walking easier. The climb is yours, so is the responsibility, but don’t forget that the experience of others can help a lot.

D] When seen up close, dangers are controllable: when you begin to climb the mountain of your dreams, pay attention to the surroundings. There are cliffs, of course. There are almost imperceptible cracks in the mountain rock. There are stones so polished by storms that they have become as slippery as ice. But if you know where you are placing each footstep, you will notice the traps and how to get around them.

E] The landscape changes, so enjoy it: of course, you have to have an objective in mind – to reach the top. But as you are going up, more things can be seen, and it’s no bother to stop now and again and enjoy the panorama around you. At every meter conquered, you can see a little further, so use this to discover things that you still had not noticed.

F] Respect your body: you can only climb a mountain if you give your body the attention it deserves. You have all the time that life grants you, as long as you walk without demanding what can’t be granted. If you go too fast you will grow tired and give up half way there. If you go too slow, night will fall and you will be lost. Enjoy the scenery, take delight in the cool spring water and the fruit that nature generously offers you, but keep on walking.

G] Respect your soul: don’t keep repeating “I’m going to make it”. Your soul already knows that, what it needs is to use the long journey to be able to grow, stretch along the horizon, touch the sky. An obsession does not help you at all to reach your objective, and even ends up taking the pleasure out of the climb. But pay attention: also, don’t keep saying “it’s harder than I thought”, because that will make you lose your inner strength.

H] Be prepared to climb one kilometer more: the way up to the top of the mountain is always longer than you think. Don’t fool yourself, the moment will arrive when what seemed so near is still very far. But since you were prepared to go beyond, this is not really a problem.

I] Be happy when you reach the top: cry, clap your hands, shout to the four winds that you did it, let the wind – the wind is always blowing up there – purify your mind, refresh your tired and sweaty feet, open your eyes, clean the dust from your heart. It feels so good, what was just a dream before, a distant vision, is now part of your life, you did it!

J] Make a promise: now that you have discovered a force that you were not even aware of, tell yourself that from now on you will use this force for the rest of your days. Preferably, also promise to discover another mountain, and set off on another adventure.

K ] Tell your story: yes, tell your story! Give your example. Tell everyone that it’s possible, and other people will then have the courage to face their own mountains.

IN “LIKE A FLOWING RIVER” (EBOOK) by Paulo Coelho

 

The importance of perspective and intelligent analysis…

During World War II, numerous fighter planes were getting hit by anti-aircraft guns.

Air Force officers wanted to add some protective armor/shield to the planes. The question was “where”?

The planes could only support few more kilos of weight. A group of mathematicians and engineers were called for a short consulting project.

Fighter planes returning from missions were analysed for bullet holes per square foot. They found 1.93 bullet holes/sq. foot near the tail of the planes whereas only 1.11 bullet holes/sq. foot close to the engine.

The Air Force officers thought that since the tail portion had the greatest density of bullets, that would be the logical location for putting an anti-bullet shield.

A mathematician named Abraham Wald said exactly the opposite; more protection is needed where the bullet holes aren’t – that is -around the engines.

His judgement surprised everyone. He said “We are counting the planes that returned from a mission. Planes with lots of bullet holes in the engine did not return at all.”

Debrief

If you go to the recovery room at the hospital, you’ll see a lot more people with bullet holes in their legs than people with bullet holes in their chests. That’s not because people don’t get shot in the chest; it’s because the people who get shot in the chest don’t recover.

Remember the words of Einstein – “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.”

 

Story source

From the book – “How Not To Be Wrong” by Jordan Ellenberg

Human Pschylogy

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A Professor started his class on a very serious Topic. The moment he turned towards the blackboard, one of the students whistled. He turned, looked at the class and asked the Whistler’s name. No one answered.

The Professor peacefully kept the Pen in his pocket saying: “Lecture ends here. I’ll tell you a story to utilise the remaining time”.

Everyone became interested.

“Yesterday night I tried hard to sleep, but it was miles away from my eyes, so I thought I’d better get petrol in my car, which will save my time next morning and might induce sleep. After having my tank full, I started roaming in that area, enjoying the peace of a traffic free ride.

Suddenly, on the corner I saw a girl who was as young and beautiful as the clothes she was wearing. Must have been returning from a party. Out of courtesy, I turned my car towards her and asked if I may be of any help. She asked me if I could drop her to her home, she’ll be very obliged, to which I agreed.

She sat in the front seat with me. We started talking, and to my amazement she was very intelligent, had control on many topics which many youngsters don’t.

When we reached her address, she admitted my courteous nature and behavior and accepted that she had fallen in love with me.

I also admitted her intelligence and beauty and that I’ve also started liking her. I told her about my job as a professor in the university.

The girl asked my number, which I gave her willingly. Then she asked me a favor, to which i couldn’t have denied naturally.

She said that her brother is a student in the same university, and asked me to take care of him, since we’ll be in a long relationship now.

I asked the name of the student. She said that I’ll recognise him with one of his very prominent quality, He whistles a lot!

All eyes in the classroom turned towards the boy who had whistled.

The professor said: *”I didn’t buy my Ph. D in Psychology.. I earned it”

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Key to Happiness

“ I am rich, fit, and I have mastered almost everything I wanted to master. Why am I still not happy and still not satisfied?” – posted in Quora by Anonymous

Answer by Karim Elsheikh:

“Human happiness (as we know it) is caused by 4 basic chemicals:

Dopamine
Endorphins
Serotonin
Oxytocin

# On your journey to become fit, your body released endorphins to cope with the pain of physical exercise. You probably began to enjoy exercise as you got into it, and the endorphins made you happy – temporarily.

# On your journey to become rich, you probably completed many tasks and goals. You probably bought all the things you’ve ever wanted. Nice cars, beautiful clothes, and a perfect home. This released dopamine in your brain when you achieved your goals and bought these things, which once again contributed to your happiness – temporarily.

So what about the other two chemicals?

It turns out that human happiness is incomplete without all 4 chemicals constantly being released in the brain.

So now you need to work on releasing serotonin and oxytocin.

“How do I do that, Buddy?”

# Serotonin is released when we act in a way that benefits others. When we give to causes beyond ourselves and our own benefit. When we connect with people on a deep, human level. Writing this Quora answer is releasing serotonin in my brain right now because I’m using my precious time on the weekend to give back to others for free. Hopefully I’m providing useful information that can help other people, like yourself.

That’s why you often see billionaires turning to charity when they have already bought everything they wanted to, and experienced everything they wanted to in life. They’ve had enough dopamine from material pleasures, now they need the serotonin.

# Oxytocin on the other hand, is released when we become close to another human being. When we hug a friend, or shake someone’s hand, oxytocin is released in varying amounts.

Oxytocin is easy to release. It’s all about becoming more social!

Share your wealth with your friends and family to create amazing experiences.

Laugh, love, cooperate, and play with others.
That’s it my friend!

I think it all comes down to the likelihood that you are missing two things: contribution and social connection”

 

Joy of Living

I was jogging this morning and I noticed a person about half a km ahead. I could guess he was running a little slower than me and I felt good, I said to myself I will try catch up with him.

I had about a km before I needed to turn off. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him just a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 feet behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. I was determined to catch up with him.

Finally, I did it! I caught up and passed him. Inwardly I felt very good. “I beat him”.

Of course, he didn’t even know we were racing.

After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him that I had missed my turn to my house,. I had missed the focus on my inner peace, I missed to see the beauty of greenery around, I missed to do my inner Namasarmarna, and in the needless hurry stumbled and slipped twice or thrice and might have hit the footpath and broken a limb.

It then dawned on me, isn’t that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbours, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important and in the bargain we miss on our happiness within our own surroundings?

We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths to our given destination. The problem with unhealthy competition is that it’s a never ending cycle.

There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with a better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, better circumstances and better conditions etc.

But one important realisation is that ‘You can be the best that you can be, when you are not competing with anyone.’

Some people are insecure because they pay too much attention to what others are, where others are going, wearing and driving. Take whatever you have, the height, weight and personality. Accept it and realize, that you are blessed. Stay focused and live a healthy life. There is no competition in Destiny. Each has his own.

Comparison AND Competition is the thief of JOY. It kills the Joy of Living your Own Life.

Run your own Race that leads to Peace.

 

Friends

I never sat on a sofa with my father & after my marriage, I had already left him…….
“Many years ago, after I got married I was sitting on a couch on a hot, humid day, sipping frozen juice during a visit to my father.

As I talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, my father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look at me.

“Never forget your friends,” he advised, “they will become more important as you get older.”

“Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends.

Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them …”

“What strange advice!” I thought. “I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life.”

Yet I obeyed him; kept in touch with my friends and annually increased their number. Over the years, I became aware that my father knew what he was talking about!

In as much as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a man, friends are the bulwarks of his life.

After 50 years of life, here is what I learned:

Time passes.
Life goes on.
The distances increase
Children grow up & and become independent and although it breaks the parents’ heart but they are often separated from them.

Jobs come and go.

Illusions, desires, attractions, sex … weaken.

People do what they should not do.

The parents die.

Colleagues forget the favors.

The races are over.

But, true friends are always there, no matter how long or how many miles they are.

A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need, reaching out to you intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or with blessings for your life.

When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead.

We did not know how much we would need from one another.
Love your parents, take care of your children, but keep a group of good friends

Dedicated to all Friends.

Author : Unknown

Source: Online Magazine

25 Principles of Adult Behavior

Be patient, No matter what. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, never blame. Say nothing behind another’s back you’d be unwilling to say, in exactly the same tone and language, to his face. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you. Expand your sense of the possible. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change. Expect no more of anyone than you yourself can deliver. Tolerate ambiguity. Laugh at yourself frequently. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong. Give up blood sports. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Do not endanger it frivolously. And never endanger the life of another. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.) Learn the needs of those around you and respect them. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun. Praise at least as often as you disparage. Never let your errors pass without admission. Become less suspicious of joy. Understand humility. Forgive. Foster dignity. Live memorably. Love yourself. Endure.

–  By John Perry Barlow , 1977

The Zebra Puzzle

The Zebra Puzzle

 

The Zebra Puzzle is a logic puzzle said to be invented by Albert Einstein (but who

knows), and Wikipedia says that only 2% of the world population is able to solve it (also who knows, but it really made me want to solve it). Here’s how it goes:

The puzzle consists of five different-colored houses in a row, each lived in by a resident of a different nationality. Each resident owns a different pet, prefers a different drink, and smokes a different brand of cigarettes than the others.

You’re given 15 other facts:

  1. There are five houses.
  2. The Englishman lives in the red house.
  3. The Spaniard owns the dog.
  4. Coffee is drunk in the green house.
  5. The Ukrainian drinks tea.
  6. The green house is immediately to the right of the ivory house (to your right as you stand facing the row of five houses).
  7. The Old Gold smoker owns snails.
  8. Kools are smoked in the yellow house.
  9. Milk is drunk in the middle house.
  10. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
  11. The man who smokes Chesterfields lives in the house next to the man with the fox.
  12. Kools are smoked in a house next to the house where the horse is kept.
  13. The Lucky Strike smoker drinks orange juice.
  14. The Japanese smokes Parliaments.
  15. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

To solve the puzzle, tell me:

1) Which man likes to drink water

2) Which man owns a zebra

And for those who got it, how did you do it?

Share your answers or subscribe/email us to get the answer

Quote

When I look back over the last 25 years, in some ways what seems most precious is not what we have made but how we have made it and what we have learned as a consequence of that. I always think that there are two products at the end of a programme; there is the physical product or the service, the thing that you have managed to make, and then there is all that you have learned. The power of what you have learned enables you to do the next thing and it enables you to do the next thing better. — Jony Ive

From the Wallpaper article on the new Apple campus.