Archive for the ‘Attitude’ category

What Are Your Big Black Things?

January 17, 2010

The great Big Black Things that have loomed against the horizon of my life, threatening to devour me, simply loomed and nothing more. The things that have really made me miss my train have always been sweet, soft, pretty, pleasant things of which I was not in the least afraid.

~ Elbert Hubbard

How much of your precious thought energy do you waste on the Big Black Things that never happen?  If most of what we fear or worry about never actually happens, why on earth do we spend so much time fearing them?  When you look at it like this, you realise that the Big Black Things are merely whispers of shadows, figments of our imagination, and that it makes as much sense to fear them as it does to fear the boogeyman or any other fiction created by the mind with no basis in reality.

Real life – the life that exists right now in this moment, rather than at some projected point in time imagined in your mind – is filled with beauty and simple miracles.  You can either fear what will probably never come to be, or you can look around you at all the loveliness that already is.  Your choice.

Why not miss your train for a sweet, soft, pretty, pleasant thing today?

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Go On – Make a Mistake or Two

December 28, 2009

If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.

~ Tallulah Bankhead

Ah yes, “mistake”, that misleading word.  It has the connotation of something you would rather not happen, or have happened.  Things that shouldn’t, or shouldn’t have, happened.

Mistakes are the spice of life.  Mistakes make life interesting.  All our “wrong” turns can end up leading us somewhere we had no idea could be so right.

If there’s a mistake you’ve been avoiding – why not just make it now and see where it leads?

The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.

~ Helen Rowland

What Miracles Did You Witness Today?

December 27, 2009

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves… All is a miracle.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Just Do It

December 23, 2009

A weak man has doubts before a decision; a strong man has them afterwards.

~ Karl Kraus

I love this, mostly because it both reflects my approach to life and because it makes me feel better about my track record to date! 😛

At some point, you have to just make a decision.  Are you going to stay where you are, or are you going to take a risk?  You could sit and analyse the pros and cons forever.  The truth is, no matter what path you take, you will probably have doubts about it.  I think there is value to be found in the odd spot of well-calculated, conscious recklessness.

Life is for living!

A person can stand for the rest of his days facing one of the many doors he should go through, but he must understand that he has only truly lived up to that point. He may continue to breathe, walk, sleep and eat – but with less and less pleasure, because he is already spiritually dead and does not know it.

Until one day when, as well as his spiritual death, physical death appears; at that moment God will ask: “what did you do with your life?” We must all answer this question, and woe betide those who answer: “I remained standing at the door.”

~ Paulo Coelho

It’s All In The ‘-ing’

December 19, 2009

True happiness is not made in getting something. True happiness is becoming something. This can be done by being committed to lofty goals. We cannot become something without commitment.

~ Marvin J. Ashton

This quote can seem initially to be at odds with my new-found perspective of living in the now, embracing the present moment.  I have ostensibly renounced that sense of always ‘striving’ for something, of thinking that your happiness lies at some point in the future, and yet I find myself drawn to this quote about commitment to lofty goals.

However, on closer reading of it, I discover that it is in fact entirely compatible with the concept of living meaningfully in the present moment.  The key is in the use of the present continuous tense – the ‘ing’.

This quote points out that happiness lies in the becoming, in the being committed.  It doesn’t say you will be happy once you have become something, or once you have achieved your goals.  It says that your happiness lies in the very process of the becoming and in the committment inherent in the process of achieving.

Happiness does not lie at some point in the future when you have become or done.  Happiness lies right now, in believing in something enough to engage in the process of becoming and doing.  True happiness is more about satisfaction than having arrived at any point – and there is nothing more satisfying than being committed to something worthy and being in the process of contributing to it.

Be Like A Child

December 14, 2009

Dov Beer de Mezeritch was asked:
“Which example should one follow? That of pious men, who devote their lives to God? That of scholars, who seek to understand the will of the Almighty?
“The best example is that of the child,” he answered.
“A child knows nothing. It hasn’t yet learned what reality is,” people commented.
“You are all quite wrong, for a child possesses three qualities we should never forget,” said Dov Beer. “They are always joyful without reason. They are always busy. And when they want something, they know how to demand it firmly and with determination.”

~ Paulo Coelho

Know what you want and how to get it.  Be busy and make use of your life.  Be joyful without reason.

Not only are they rules to live by – they are three very good reasons why growing up is overrated 😛

I think we could all learn a thing or two by watching how children approach life and the world – as if everyone is interesting and everything is a miracle.

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.

~ Kahlil Gibran

Persistent or Just Plain Stubborn?

June 11, 2009

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.

~ W.C. Fields

I love this quote, not just because of its irreverent, no-nonsense nature, but also because it highlights an important distinction and a very tricky fine line.  How do you know when to keep pushing at something and when it is time to let something go?  It reminds me of another quote I read on a blog recently:

The Universe has only 3 answers to our wishes:

1. Yes!

2. Not yet!

3. I have something better for you!

~ Uli Feichtinger

I think the trick is knowing the difference between numbers 2 and 3.  How do we tell the difference between necessary obstacles and challenges on the path to our dream or goal, versus signs that we are on the wrong path or are aiming for the wrong goal?  When should we persevere and when should we give in to the flow of life and let go?

I think maybe Paulo Coelho had the best answer I’ve come across so far:

If your wish is deep-rooted in your soul, persist.  If not – the Universe is simply echoing your inner turmoil.

~ Paulo Coelho

In other words – in your heart of hearts, you will know whether this is an obstacle to be overcome or a sign to change track.  The trick is being able to be still enough to hear the answer you already contain.