Useful Powers

Our duty is to be USEFUL,

NOT according to our desires,

BUT according to our POWERS.

Henri Frederic Amiel

 

We all want to feel like our lives matter, to be USEFUL; but what are our POWERS?

I believe our POWERS are our “Signature Strengths”.

“Signature Strengths” refers to those character strengths that are most essential to who we are. In addition, they are strengths that usually (but not always) appear toward the top of one’s profile of results after taking the free VIA Survey.

http://www.viacharacter.org/www/Character-Strengths-Survey

Dr. Martin Seligman’s book “Authentic Happiness” gives a great in-depth explanation of “Signature Strengths”.

I do not believe it is in our best interests to work on our weaknesses.

I do believe it is in our best interests to work on our “Signature Strengths”.

Just found this link and it adds to this essay very well, go to the home page and explore:

http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/martin-seligman-positive-psychology/

It is by using your “Signature Strengths” every opportunity that you can you built a lasting feeling good in your life; GRATIFICATION.

Review the following:

Pleasure vs Gratification (self vs outside of self)

http://www.wholenessofliving.com/philosophy-spirituality/why-do-we-have-emotions/

 

I have given you a lot to think about and hopefully some ways you can build The Good Life.

ENDINGS are the most important things

ENDINGS are the most important things

“In your own life, you should take particular care with endings, for their color will forever tinge your memory of the entire relationship and your willingness to reenter it.” Authentic Happiness by Martin E. Seligman, Ph.D.

A lot of us spend much of our lives just drifting along; not consciously living. We only engage our Conscious Minds deliberately when we meet doubts, problems, or troubles.

The Conscious Mind is where we make our choices, develop our beliefs, and begin our imagination (visualization) by choosing to set our Subconscious Mind free to dream.

We choose what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell with our Conscious Mind, but we perceive what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell with our Subconscious Mind.

What we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell with our Conscious Mind are only happenings; they become experiences to the Subconscious Mind when our Conscious Mind assigns a value (objective or subjective) to them.  It is at the ENDING of the experience with the assigning of a value that the experience is imbued with power.

You are so wonderfully made that if you are not happy with an experience you can just with your imagination alone change the ENDING. That’s right just by envisioning an experience it is just as valid as an experience made with your five senses. Just ask the Buddha! The most important tool you have for adding value to an experience is your paradigm (your way of viewing reality).

http://www.wholenessofliving.com/philosophy-spirituality/paradigm-shift/

One purpose in life is to view things rightly, not to set things right. You will experience things rightly if you view things rightly. This viewing is a spiritual/imagination process.

Just think of the experiences that you could have if you had a paradigm that concentrated on POSITIVE ENDINGS!

These experiences become filters to our perception. Just because modern man spends most of his time drifting in the Conscious Mind doesn’t mean that the Subconscious Mind isn’t active. On the contrary, it is always looking for input. If we do not make a deliberate conscious choice to control the input, it will go into automatic mode and accept input from outside as valid.

We free a past experience (especially a guilty one) by forgiving it and habituating the Subconscious Mind to receive a NEW ENDING to the experience in place of the OLD ENDING.

You keep your future free by not letting your present-self put your future-self into binding, limiting, or negative restrictions. Do not make choices in the present moment for how you will be in the future, but leave your future choice making free. I am not talking about the give and take of our normal lives, but the internalizing of binding, limiting, or negative restrictions. Statements such as “I am not good at math” “I am clumsy”, etc. Especially beware of using the term “I AM” to habitually place binding, limiting, or negative restrictions on the way you experience yourself in the Subconscious Mind. Here again if you are not happy with the way you have defined yourself; train the Subconscious Mind to receive a NEW ENDING to the way you experience yourself in place of the OLD ENDING.

Your paradigm is the operating system of your mind; your operating system determines how your internal programs; display, run, store data, and handle crashes.

I hope you are starting to see the possibilities of installing a new operating system of your mind.

I have given you many ideas in various essays on this blog on features that you can program into the operating system of your mind.

I never told you it would be easy!

Paradigm Shift

PARADIGM SHIFT

(A SHIFT IN YOUR WAY OF VIEWING REALITY)

PARADIGM

Function: noun

1: example, pattern; especially: an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype

2: one that serves as a pattern or model.

3: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind

4: A SET OF ASSUMPTIONS, CONCEPTS, VALUES, AND PRACTICES that constitutes A WAY OF VIEWING REALITY for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

Why is a paradigm shift desirable or necessary?

I believe the only thing that we can truly control with our conscious will is our behavior (actions and reactions). We can influence our feelings, thoughts, and emotions but not control them.

If you want to make small changes in your life change one behavior at a time.

If you want to make large changes in your life change your PARADIGM (YOUR WAY OF VIEWING REALITY).

 But how do you view things correctly? You have heard the saying “seeing is believing”; I think we have it backwards “believing is seeing”. When you first enter this world “seeing is believing”, but after you have built up your own set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices then “believing is seeing”.

First you build your beliefs, and then you filter what you see through them. You have programmed the way you view reality and have allowed others to program the way you view reality.

In order to view things correctly you need to change your paradigm, your way of viewing reality.

Let’s say you view reality from the ego’s point of view. You will view everything as separate from you and conflict improves your standing. It’s a small fearful world.

Now let’s say you view reality from a more holistic point of view. You will view everything as interconnected and cooperation improves your standing. It’s a large loving world.

Your paradigm is your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that have been imprinted on your subconscious mind.

Let’s take a quick look at some opposing filters of perception:

interconnected…………separate

objective…………………..subjective

tolerance………………….dominance

acceptance………………..judgment

cosmic-centered……….self-centered

love…………………………fear

The more conviction behind the filter the more it changes what you perceive you see. These filters can also affect how you react to events that spring up in your life.

Let’s look again at Paradigm 4: A SET OF ASSUMPTIONS, CONCEPTS, VALUES, AND PRACTICES that constitutes A WAY OF VIEWING REALITY for the community that shares them.

 Choice (in every event in our lives there is a moment for choice to determine the direction that you will grow toward or that the event will shape you toward) simply put; choice is practice. If you do not consciously choose for yourself then you are allowing others to make the choice for you.

 I believe our PARADIGM is built by the habituation of our choices.

PARADIGM (heart/mind act [0r habit] of placing confidence and trust in our chosen direction)

Habituate To accustom by frequent repetition or prolonged exposure [choosing to practice].

Ancient Mystics believed that habituation should occur for at least 1 Lunar Cycle to make the paradigm shift permanent in the subconscious mind.

Can you see how changing your PARADIGM: YOUR WAY OF VIEWING REALITY would be more effective in changing your life than changing behaviors one at a time?

Can you see how changing your PARADIGM: YOUR WAY OF VIEWING REALITY can make life experiences more rewarding?

This is why we read good books, listen to good talks, discuss our discoveries with other free thinkers, and choose to practice good things that we discover.

Your paradigm is the operating system of your mind; your operating system determines how your internal programs; display, run, store data, and handle crashes.

I hope you are starting to see the possibilities of installing a new operating system of your mind.

I have given you many ideas in various essays on this blog on features that you can program into the operating system of your mind.

I never told you it would be easy!

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People “Quotes by Stephen Covey”:

  1. Be Proactive

“Taking initiative does not mean being pushy, obnoxious, or aggressive. It does mean recognizing our responsibility to make things happen.”

Responsibility – the ability to make a response.

Liberty  –  The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing. (physical level)

Freedom  –  The condition of being free of restraints. The capacity to exercise choice, belief, and faith; free will. (spiritual level)

 

  1. Begin with the End in Mind

“(This habit)…is based on imagination– the ability to envision, to see the potential, to create with our minds what we cannot at present see with our eyes…”

visualize –  To form a mental image of; envisage: tried to visualize the scene as it was described. To make visible.

envisage – To conceive an image or a picture of, especially as a future possibility: envisaged a world at peace. To consider or regard in a certain way.

envision – To picture in the mind; imagine.

 

  1. Put First Things First

“Create a clear, mutual understanding of what needs to be accomplished, focusing on what, not how; results not methods. Spend time. Be patient. Visualize the desired result.”

visualize –  To form a mental image of; envisage: tried to visualize the scene as it was described. To make visible.

 

  1. Think Win-Win

“Win-Win is a frame of mind that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-Win means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying.”

 

  1. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

“‘Seek First to Understand’ involves a very deep shift in paradigm. We typically seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives.”

 

  1. Synergize

“Synergy works; it’s a correct principle. It is the crowning achievement of all the previous habits. It is effectiveness in an interdependent reality– it is teamwork, team building, the development of unity and creativity with other human beings.”

synergy – The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.

 

  1. Sharpening the Saw

“This is the habit of renewal…It circles and embodies all the other habits. It is the habit of continuous improvement…that lifts you to new levels of understanding and living each of the habits.”

 

The following is the prayer of a person sharpening the saw:

 

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

…where there is injury, pardon;

…where there is doubt, faith;

…where there is despair, hope;

…where there is darkness, light;

…where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

…to be consoled as to console;

…to be understood as to understand;

…to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

…it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

…and it is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

LACK of Self

LACK of Self

We often hear that we need to sublimate the ego or self, but just what does that mean?

Take note of my acronym LACK!

There are two kingdoms within. The ephemeral flesh kingdom of I (self) and the eternal spirit kingdom of WE.

Here are two mind pictures:

The kingdom of I is like a lake or pond with a stiff breeze blowing and full of waves. We cannot see the reflection of the Cosmos on the surface while our self-centered thoughts clamor for our attention.

The kingdom of WE is like the same lake or pond at a still, calm moment. We have set our self-centered thoughts aside and we can now see the reflection of the Cosmos on the surface and commune with it.

The kingdom of WE is where Buddha Nature and the state of flow occur. It is where we experience awe and feel a part of something larger than ourselves. It is also called the inner child where our energy for life comes from.

To sublimate the ego or self we simply need to give from the eternal spirit kingdom of WE. These are things that WE do for others!

The gifts that WE can give are: Love Acceptance Compassion Kindness

Love

Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb. Author: Stephen Covey Source: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Take notice I am talking about love as an action, not simply as a feeling.

Acceptance

Stress occurs when the conscious mind resists what is (exists).

We need the awareness to see things as they really are; as they relate to all other things.

Compassion

Definition:  sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it

Origin and Etymology of com: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin, with, together, thoroughly

Origin and Etymology of compassion: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French, from Late Latin compassion-, compassio, from compati to sympathize, from Latin com- + pati to bear, suffer — more at patient

Origin and Etymology of patient: Middle English pacient, from Anglo-French, from Latin patient-, patiens, from present participle of pati to suffer; perhaps akin to Greek pēma suffering

My definition: to feel with, to suffer with, or to be thoroughly patient with.

Kindness

Definition: the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Kindness…is finding compassion and understanding for where others are at, while keeping your own boundaries and respecting your own needs.

…is accepting where other people are; not trying to change them. This might mean a bad relationship is over – because we can’t change other people.

…is helping someone; not to have some sort of debt owed, not to try and make ourselves look good, but genuine compassion for a fellow human-being.

…is giving without expectation of receiving; … an anonymous donation; … a surprise email with no expectation of a reply.

…is respecting other people’s boundaries. It trusts that person to know what’s best for them

Six Mistakes of Man

This started out just to post Six Mistakes of Man: Cicero, but my search lead me down parallel paths.

So I give you both:

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Cicero

Six Mistakes of Man: Cicero or The Seven Mistakes of Life: Bernard Meador?

Six Mistakes of Man

  1. The illusion that personal gain is made up of crushing others.
  2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
  3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
  4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
  5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and study.
  6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

The “Six Mistakes of Man” is spuriously attributed to Cicero. This list was part of a book written by Bernard Meador in 1914 entitled “Secrets of Personal Culture and Business Power”, and advertised in various labor and trade union journals in the 1910’s. It was published as a list of 7 items, and “The Seven Mistakes of Life” was one of the chapters in this book that looked at each point in detail

(see this advertisement from 1916 for reference). Click to enlarge.

sevenmistakesoflife

Journals, books, and editorials don’t start attributing this list to Cicero until the 1940’s. -HanClinto (talk)

The Seven Mistakes of Life

  1. The delusion that individual advancement is made by crushing others down.
  2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
  3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we ourselves cannot accomplish it.
  4. Attempting to compel other men to believe and live as we do.
  5. Neglect in developing and refining the mind by not acquiring the habit of reading fine literature.
  6. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences, in order that important things may be accomplished.
  7. The failure to establish the habit of saving money.

They are both good advice and show the danger of trying to personally own a set of thoughts.