A Parable on Peace: “This too will pass”

According to an ancient Sufi story, there lived a king in some Middle Eastern land who was continuously torn between happiness and despondency. The slightest thing would cause him great upset or provoke an intense reaction, and his happiness would quickly turn into disappointment and despair.

A time came when the king finally got tired of himself and of life, and he began to seek a way out. He sent for a wise man who lived in his kingdom and who was reputed to be enlightened. When the wise man came, the king said to him, “I want to be like you. Can you give me something that will bring balance, serenity, and wisdom into my life? I will pay back any price you ask.”

The wise man said, “I may be able to help you. But the price is so great that your entire kingdom would not be sufficient to pay for it. Therefore it will be a gift to you if you honor it.” The king gave his assurances and the wise man left.

A few weeks later, he returned and handed the king an ornate box carved in jade. The king opened the box and found a simple gold ring inside. Some letters were inscribed on the ring. The inscription read. This too will pass. “What is the meaning of this?” asked the king. The wise man said, “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch this ring and read the inscription. That way you will always be at peace.”

This too will pass. What is it about this simple words that makes them so powerful? Looking at it superficially, it would seem while those words may provide some comfort in a bad situation, they would also diminish the enjoyment of the good things in life. 

“Don’t be too happy, because it won’t last.” This seems to be what they are saying when applied in a situation that is perceived as good.

…this story points to the fact of impermanence which, when recognized, leads to non-attachment. Non-resistance, non-judgment, and non-attachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.

Those words inscribed on the ring are not telling you that you should not enjoy the good in your life, nor are they merely meant to provide some comfort in times of suffering. They have a deeper purpose: to make you aware of the fleetingness of every situation, which is due to the transience of all forms- good or bad. When you become aware of the transience of all forms, your attachment to them lessens, and you dis-identify with them to some extent. Being detached does not mean you cannot enjoy the good that the world has to offer. In fact, you enjoy it more. Once you see the transience of all things and the inevitability of change, you can enjoy the pleasures about the future. When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them.

I first heard this story from Eckhart Tolle.

30 Marcus Aurelius Quotes on Other People and Why You Should Focus on Yourself

1) “Don’t pay attention to other people’s minds. Look straight ahead, where nature is leading you, through the things that happen to you through your own actions.”

2) “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and unfriendly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil.”

3) “Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”

4) “God did not intend my happiness to rest with someone else.”

5) “Welcoming wholeheartedly whatever comes- whatever were assigned—not worrying too often, or with any selfish motive, about what other people say, or do, or think.”

6) “Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people—unless it affects the common good.  It will keep you from doing anything useful.  You’ll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.”

7) “You want praise from people who kick themselves every 15 minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves…why do you want approval from people who don’t know where or who they are on this planet?”

8) “The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say, or think, or do. Only what you do. Asking yourself: Is this fair? Is this the right thing to do?”

9) “Why do unskilled and untrained souls disturb souls with skill and understanding?”

10) “So other people hurt me? That’s their problem. Their character and actions are not mine.”

11) “So remember this principle when someone threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.”

12) “When someone seems to have injured you: ‘But how can I be sure?’ And in any case, keep in mind: —That he’s already been tried and convicted-by himself, like scratching your own eyes out.—That to expect a bad person not to harm others is like expecting fig trees not to secrete juice, babies not to cry, horses not to neigh—the inevitable not to happen.”

13) “When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger.”

14) “If they’ve injured you, then they’re the ones who suffer for it.”

15) “People do things that upset you, but it can’t harm your mind. People do boorish things, what’s strange or unheard of about that?? Isn’t it yourself you should reproach—for not anticipating that they’d act this way??—It was you who did wrong by assuming that someone with those traits deserved your trust.”

16) “Other people’s mistakes? Leave them to their makers.”

17) “Leave other peoples mistakes where they lie.”

18) “If anyone can refute me-show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective—I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.”

19) “People out for posthumous fame forget that the Generations To Come will be the same annoying people they know now. And just as mortal. What does it matter to you if they say x about you, or think y?”

20) “When faced with people’s bad behavior, turn around and ask when you have acted like that. When you saw money as good, or pleasure, or social position. Your anger will subside as soon as you recognize that they acted under compulsion.”

21) “If someone despises me—that’s their problem. Mine—not to do or say anything despicable. If someone hates me—that’s their problem. Mine—to be patient and cheerful with everyone, including them. Ready to show them their mistake. Not spitefully, or to show off my own self-control, but in an honest, upright way. That’s the way we should be like inside, and never let the gods catch us feeling anger or resentment.”

22) “That kindness is invincible, provided it’s sincere—not ironic or an act. What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating him with kindness and gently set him straight—if you get the chance—correcting him cheerfully at the exact moment that he’s trying to do you harm..
‘No, no my friend. That isn’t what we’re here for. It isn’t me who’s harmed by that. It’s you.’ And show him gently without pointing fingers that it’s so.”

23) “That it’s not what they do that bothers us: that’s a problem for their minds, not ours. It’s our own misperceptions. Discard them. Be willing to give up thinking of this as a catastrophe…and your anger is gone. How do you do that? By recognizing that you’ve suffered no disgrace.”

24) “That you don’t know for sure it is a mistake. A lot of things are means to some other end. You have to know an awful lot before you can judge other people’s actions with real understanding.”

25) “It never ceases to amaze me: We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”

26) “The despicable phoniness of people who say, ‘listen, I’m going to level with you here.’ What does that mean?? It shouldn’t even need to be said. It should be obvious—written in block letters on your forehead. It should be audible in your voice, visible in your eyes, like a lover who looks into your face, and takes in the whole story at a glance. A straightforward honest person should be like someone who stinks: when you’re in the same room with him, you know it.  But false straightforwardness is like a knife in the back. False friendship is the worst. Avoid it at all costs. If you’re honest and straightforward and mean well, it should show in your eyes. It should be unmistakable.”

27) “Or is it your reputation thats bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us-how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space-and most of it uninhabited.”

28) “To live life in peace, immune to all compulsion…Let them scream whatever they want.”

29) “Not to be distracted by their darkness.  To run straight for the finish line, unswerving.”

30) “Don’t be put off by other people’s comments and criticism.”

17 Quotes That Will Inspire You to Live Your Dream

1) If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.
Bishop T.D. Jakes

2) Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
— Steve Jobs

3) I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.
— Georgia O’Keefe

4) If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.
— Nora Roberts

5) A year from now you may wish you had started today. 
Karen Lamb

6) How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
— Anne Frank

7) Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
— Mark Twain

8) You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
— C.S. Lewis

9) Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
— Joseph Campbell

10) When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
— Helen Keller

11) Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
—Arthur Ashe

12) There are those who work all day. Those who dream all day. And those who spend an hour dreaming before setting to work to fulfill those dreams. Go into the third category because there’s virtually no competition.
— Steven J. Ross

13) The Man Who Has Confidence In Himself Gains The Confidence Of Others.
— Hasidic Proverb

14) The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
— Amelia Earhart

15) Follow your own passion—not your parents’, not your teachers’—yours. 
Robert Ballard

16) All progress takes place outside of your comfort zone.
Michael Bobak

17) The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. 
Lao Tzu

A John Lennon Song for Dreamers & Doers

“Watching The Wheels” by John Lennon

Lyrics beneath the video! Enjoy!! :))

 

Full Lyrics:

People say I’m crazy
Doing what I’m doing
Well, they give me all kinds of warnings
To save me from ruin
When I say that I’m okay, well they look at me kinda strange
“Surely, you’re not happy now, you no longer play the gaaaammeeeeeeee”

People say I’m lazy
Dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice
Designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall
“Don’t you miss the big time boy, you’re no longer on the ballllllllll?”

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

Ah, people askin questions
Lost in confusion
Well I tell them there’s no problem
Only solutions
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind
I tell them there’s no hurry, I’m just sitting here doing timeeeeeeeeee
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go
I just had tooo let it go
I just had toooooooo let it gooooooo

Well, there it is. Love this song. What’s your favorite part of this song?

 

Why It’s ESSENTIAL for you to Define Success

Why is it important for you to define success?

  1. It will determine everything you do
  2. Everything you do determines the quality of your future
  3. Your future always comes in the form of ‘today’

Defining success gives you an anchor to what is true to you. It helps you stay focused and puts you on a path toward your success.

what-is-success-to-you-300x234.png


“Where focus goes, energy flows.”

Tony Robbins

The term “success” has often been related to having a lot of money, but a more accurate definition of success comes from Oxford Dictionary: “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”

If success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose then success must mean something different to each person.

Maybe success to one person is taking care of their needs while success to someone else is earning $1,000,000 dollars.

The person who defines success as taking care of their needs prioritizes that first in their life, whereas the person who wants to make $1,000,000 dollars may prioritize making money first. Someone who sees success as balancing work with passion will prioritize work with their passion, but in all scenarios each person is guided by what success means to them.

So instead of debating the question “what is real success?” Ask yourself “what does success mean to me?”

When you know what success is for you you automatically put yourself on a path toward that success, but there are distractions all around us. If you don’t have an anchor of what success means to you, to focus on, you’ll get pushed and pulled and never achieve success. Some people spend their entire lives wandering around this Earth questioning why they were never able to achieve success.

Don’t let that be you.

Write down what success means to you on a notecard.
Put it somewhere that you’ll be able to see it everyday.
Let your definition of success guide you to it.

this-is-the-real-secret-of-life-alan-wilson-watts

 

2 Acting Strategies to Improve Work & Life


Acting strategies can be used as tools to improve your work environment as well as your life.

If these strategies have enlightened Jim Carrey, in which you can read about below, they might be able to do the same for you. Give them a try and use what works for you!

coacht.blog Jim Carrey

Acting Strategies To Try At Work

1) Act “As If” 

The HuffPost has a good article on Acting “As If”. Click here to read it. The article looks at both sides of this exercise and discusses its benefits. Here is an encapsulating quote from the article:

“When we choose to live with a strong faith in things not seen, not proven, and not guaranteed – we tap into the power of the possible and we supersede the literal and predicable.”

 

Another good quote from article:

 

The question for us to ask ourselves is, ‘What am I acting as if will happen in the most important areas of my life right now?’”

 


So what do you want to act “as if”? 

Think about specific qualities you admire and/or think about one of your role models or a leader in your industry. What would they do in this situation?

Then try it out! Don’t give up after 3 minutes, take time to really dwell in an “as if” situation.

This leads to something similar…

 

2) Create, then don’t leave your “Stage”

This is another type of method acting.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
Shakespeare

gettyimages-51241288-56fdbf0f5f9b586195e1001c

Every day people are waking up and playing a role; some do it intentionally and some don’t.


The following strategy can be used in any occupation:

Let’s say that you are a pharmacist. In this exercise this is also your “acting role”. Try going into your job pretending that you are an actor, acting as a pharmacist. View everyone you see as fellow actors, acting out their roles! 

^This idea can be a trip but I love it.

Related to this strategy is the article about Jim Carrey when he used Method Acting in portraying Andy Kaufman. Check it out here.

la-1510974727-g9efkfahig-snap-image-e1542481942187

Seeing others as fellow actors can help you understand that each “actor” has a role, they have tasks, they are focused on an end goal. This can help you understand peoples’ wants:

“One of the most important keys to acting is that every single person at every single moment of their life has an objective (a want) as well as an action to get what they want. In acting, if you can identify what your character wants at any given time, then you will add a vital element of truth and direction in your work. The same applies to life.”
Dominic Zhai

 
Knowing that each “actor” has an objective can help you react less and respond more. Reactions are quick and usually without thought whereas Responses are calm and calculated. Reactions are emotional and typically ego-based. Responses are reasonable.


“When egos act defensively (e.g. when we insist that the other person is “wrong”), our judgement becomes clouded. When we focus too much on defending ourselves, we become blocked in our own self-development.”
Dominic Zhai

d7qemzv-f179b655-089a-46f7-8ce9-8a2a54a7de27

One of the best qualities an actor can have is active listening. Active listening lets go of the ego to completely engage and focus on the present moment, open to all possibilities(trusting improv), which is where real Joy is experienced, and isn’t that what it’s about?

Joy is contagious. Try the first method to Act “As If” joyful wherever you are and observe the people in your surroundings become more joyful too!

“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.”
Carlos Santana

 

Actions become habits if repeated long enough, but remember that progress is the goal, not perfection. Every day won’t shine as you’d like but you can work on shining every day.

“Joy is increased by spreading it to others.” 
Robert Murray McCheyne

 

“Let your joy be in your journey—not in some distant goal.” 
Tim Cook

 

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”
Kahlil Gibran

 

LPCspGa

 

 

It’s okay to fail

Failure…

It can be defined in a number of different ways.

The first definition of failure in the dictionary is “lack of success.”

The second definition of failure in the dictionary is “the omission of expected or required action.”

There are more definitions of failure in the dictionary and although they have close meanings, just a few different words can change the meaning of a word completely.

Looking at the first two definitions of failure it seems to me that those two definitions are quite different.

Personally I don’t believe “lack of success” is an accurate definition of failure because success can also be defined in countless ways. A lot of people consider having lots of money equals success but many people are born into wealth…Are they successful?

For me, the second definition of failure seems more accurate: “The omission of expected or required action.” This definition is more accurate because it tells me that failure is not doing what one knows they should do in order to achieve something. This definition is accurate to me even though successful people fail from time to time. The one thing they don’t do is fail for good. They persist through failure. They see failure as a lesson to learn from instead of a barrier.

It really is okay to fail. And it’s okay to give up too. It’s all okay. But can you accept giving up in pursuit of something you haven’t achieved yet? 

Pursuing a dream will involve failures. You choose if they are temporary or fatal failures. Your real choices show up in your actions.

It truly is okay either way. The world will go on with or without us. The real question is, will you go on with or without your dream?

Ken Thompson coacht.blog fail