Archive for the ‘Wisdom’ Category
“A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can’t make up his mind about anything”. James 1:8
Whenever I am going through tough times in my life which I do not know what to do, I always take things to God in prayer.
Many times our own intelligence will just not suffice. True wisdom comes with union with God. God makes us wise and complete. God knows what we need and what we want to ask Him. He will bring forth the answer which we need to receive.
Don’t worry! The Lord will not mock, taunt, ridicule or reproach us when we ask Him for wisdom. Actually, he gives it generously. God will not disapprove us for asking nor laugh at us. He will give us the answer; you just need to ask without any doubt.
The waves of doubt will keep knocking us if we let them in, so if you continue to let them, we will often become agitated or confused. Not approaching God when we know we need Him can cause sadness, sometimes even a loss of direction.
The devil will beat us up. So, as you can see, doubt will give the devil a foothold. It gives him permission to beat us up if we follow its path.
We don’t really get anywhere when we doubt as it can crush us repeatedly. It is agonizing to be carried away with doubt..
A double minded man is unstable, he is unable to settle down his mind, live his life in faith and cannot stand by himself. Therefore, confidence in making desisions is not gained, the same as taking risks when he needs.
Learn to believe in your own decisions. If you ask God for wisdom, then he will give you.
“Therefore I say unto you, what things you ever desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.” Mark 11:24
Source: The Bible
My friend’s grandparents are about to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in a couple of months. Through the years, they have shown good example of couples as lifetime partners.I asked them to give some points for a harmonious, lasting, and happy relationship:
1. Appreciate his/her work.
Saying a simple “thank you” does not require a lot of energy.
2. Make time for each other
Make it a point to often spend time together but leave a little space to breathe. Also spend time alone with each other, so that at the end of the day you could both share your experiences. This way, you’ll stay interesting with your partner.
3. Be faithful
Fidelity is the word needed here. Though he/she doesn’t see you all the time, make sure that your partner is the only one in your heart. Learn to satisfy with him/her.
4. Keep it hot
You can do it by traveling to different places. As environment changes, moods change as well.Â Always have physical contact – as simple as holding hands, a massage or just plain leg rubbing.
5. Honesty is the best policy
Don’t lie or hide things. The problem will only get bigger. Don’t even hesitate to tell him/her the truth. If you got any problem, be opened.
6. Never prolong untoward issues.
If both of you are experiencing awkward things in your everyday life together, as early as possible, talk about it.
7. Look good
Stay fit & healthy for each other. Better if you’ll do exercise together. Afterall, who wants an unattractive partner?
8. Remove uncertainties
Doubt is the number one termites in a relationship. Trust can never be earned if doubt hinders your love. If you really love the person, believe in his actions.
9. Say “SORRY”
Say sorry when you’re wrong; even when pride prohibits
Support each other’s dream. Be willing to follow your passions, support your partner in their decisions & create new ones together. Two heads are better than one.
This sad story of Jay Hendrickson is both memorable, touching, and inspiring.
Jay is just a young boy when he finished his treatment for osteosarcoma, a common form of bone cancer in children. His family grasped for his recovery â€“ hoping that he will get well forever. He was just 11 that time, but inside of him is an already matured man. When he talks, meaningful words come out in his mouth; words of determination and bravery to survive his fight. Unfortunately, the cancer came back and weakened his already frail body which eventually took his life.
One day, Jay’s mother found a poem in his journal.Â She recognized that is was made by her son as it is signed by him.Â It reads:
â€œLife is like a day, the sun goes up, then down, and I figure, life is like that, you go up, and you go down; don’t give up though, for you’ll make it. Remember, sun up, sun down.â€
During his burial, his family made his poem the final prayer and his epitaph. It will serve as a reminder to everyone, to keep striving for life is short.
The real source of happiness is inner peace.
According to Buddhist traditions, all living things in this world desire to be happy and without any suffering. Though very few are knowledgeable of the causes of happiness and suffering That’s why most people resort to obtain happiness from material things. But if we will understand it logically, these things causes the sufferings and problems and not the happiness we are pursuing.
Buddhists believe that we cannot find the causes of suffering in external sources as our mind controls it. Therefore, we must get happiness from inner peace, the peaceful state of our mind. With inner peace, we are not disturbed by external conditions and our tolerance to be unhappy decreases tremendously. But external conditions are not necessarily the culprit.
The teachings always implies that when one have inner peace, the peaceful mind can literally filter the external conditions and absorb only the things which can make us happy. It is something like having an optimistic attitude, when one thinks positively, everything will be positive to him even though some causes feelings of extreme pain or suffering.
According to Dhammapada 1,
“Mind precedes all things; mind is their chief, mind is their maker. If one speaks or does a deed with a mind that is pure within, happiness then follows along like a never departing shadow.”
But how can we achieve inner peace?
Buddha says meditation. It is a method where we will bombard our minds with thoughts and feelings that causes happiness. It is also the time wherein we will just let our mind do the job and talk to us. With this, our mind becomes peaceful, when our mind is peaceful, worries or any suffering are taken aside, paving the way for the happiness to fill our minds.
Scientifically, meditation can be done almost everywhere. One of the most convenient and practical is the breathing meditation. This kind of meditation just takes the pleasure of breathing as the subject of meditation.
But take note that meditation is not the only way to be happy. Meditation can only help us gain not only inner peace but to overcome delusions, anger, ignorance and attachment to earthly things which leads us to nirvana, or the extinction of desire and sufferings: eternal happiness which no external condition can destroy!
Sources: www.parami.org, www.aboutbuddhist.org
Countless studies show happiness is more than just the feeling of satisfaction, that happiness is not bought, and that happiness is from within.One of the factors that influences happiness is pleasure. Pleasure is a fundamental feeling that people desire to experience. But many people disagree. Some say pleasure is just temporary, that happiness from pleasure just lasts for a short time and the feeling comes back to normal. According to Meetu Kumar from ICFAI National College in India, pleasure is short lived while happiness is eternal.
So, what can people do to attain happiness in the long-run?
The logical answer maybe when people do what they love to. Because along the process, they gain happiness. But this is not a good way as exhaustion will happen. A good example by Dr. Margaret Paul, a famed author and speaker, is a situation in a night club. People who frequent night clubs intend to drink, dance and stay up late at night. Although the experience gives them pleasure, doing it often will make then sick and fatigue. It can also take a toll in their personal and working life.
You might pursue momentary pleasure, believing that your happiness is the same as pleasure. When this is your belief, you might pursue happiness through substances such as alcohol, drugs, nicotine, or food. Or you might pursue happiness through activities such as sex, spending or gambling.
This does not mean we should abandon having pleasure. Epicurus said that happiness is eliminating the pains and sufferings and accentuating on the pleasure.
If we want to experience happiness in its truest sense, the we need to look into ourselves, into our hearts and minds. As what I’ve written in the past articles, everything is in the mind.
Start by pinpointing first the problem, then look for the necessary procedures or steps to attain happiness. After all, we are responsible for our own feelings.
Sources: www.ezinearticles.com, www.msnbc.msn.com
Recent technological advancements in medicine include drugs that can alter mood, emotion and sometimes thinking. As many people nowadays get depressed, having an instantaneous way out of melancholy is desired to cope with the fast paced world of today.Ativan, Prozac, Serafem: just few of the popular antidepressants and tranquilizers prescribed to patients with severe cases that cannot be treated anymore with counseling and coaching. Research shows that these medicines may cause addiction and dependence that can sometimes interfere with normal life once medication is stopped.
Alternatively, most psychologists believe that feelings of intense sadness can be controlled by proper coaching and counseling and that everything is just “in the mind.”
One effective treatment is by tricking the brain with the use of placebos. Placebos are pills disguised to look like a real drug. It is typically made from sugar or starch and technically does not cause any kind of effect to the patient. It can also refer to a fake surgery or therapy. Once taken, the patient will feel assured that the ‘pill’ or ’surgery’ is healing him, in effect, making him feel good.
Placebos are commonly used to people who think they need to take prescription drugs to aid their depression but in reality they don’t as the doctors think so.
Professor Michael Jospe from the California School of Professional Psychology has been studying this subject matter for 20 years now. He said:
“The placebo effect is part of the human potential to react positively to a healer. You can reduce a patient’s distress by doing something which might not be medically effective.”
He also put it in another way. He cited an example between a kid and a Band-aid. The child feels better when the Band-aid has comics or graphics in it. It gives a soothing effect to the kid even though there’s no scientific evidence to prove it.
Practically, the placebo effect can help people feel better and avoid the consequences of a medication’s side effect. This is less costly, safer and this may be all they need.
But ancient wisdom gives us a completely different view.
According to the Buddhist teachings, everyone has the the ability to understand and control their minds and when one has completely understood himself, control comes naturally. But the problem is many are lacking awareness of themselves or the consciousness of being.
Achieving awareness of the mind takes a lot of ways but if we will follow the Buddhist way, meditation is the way to go. Meditation is an act of shielding ourselves from outside forces such as thoughts, feelings, physical pain or pleasure. It is like talking to no one while trying to reach out to someone, in this case, we are reaching for our mind.
Meditation is not just concentrating on ourselves, it is the way of being unconscious about our mind. In our daily lives, we talk, breathe, walk and move unconsciously. This is what meditation is all about, just letting our mind to speak to ourselves in a way we cannot interfere.
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.”
When one can understand their minds, they can also understand what is bothering them. For example, people suffering from depression can pinpoint the problem which causes them suffering.
After the problem is pinpointed, it is up to the person to change or alter the events that will eventually lead to recovery. No more tricking of the brain, all one needs is a little patience and self understanding.
Sources: www.mayo-clinic.org, www.fda.gov and www.associatedcontent.com
What do you always see everyday?To be fair, I will answer first. I go to work everyday, I always see the pollution emitted by the motorcycles and the jeepneys. There were new buildings built everywhere and I thought what will happen when there’s suddenly a shortage of cement. I bet Manila will be uglier than before as it will be filled with gray, empty shells of concrete.
It is quite easy to ignore the simple things in life. Big things are definitely bigger and are noticeable. Or am I just too busy thinking about something else?
I admit, I can only see the big things and in a negative way. Manila is now fast becoming a world-class city, thanks to the improvement of the infrastructures yet I think about cement shortage. Poor me, I never even considered that before a building is built, materials need to be secured.
I need to look at life differently.
Wayne Syer said “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
He’s right, things around me cannot adjust according to my preference. They are lifeless, or if they have, like people, surely, I am not that important to adapt to my wants. I am the one who needs to change.
I think this can be applied when looking for happiness. Happiness cannot adjust for me, I need to look for it.
Maybe, smoke belching isn’t too bad, it adds color to the wonderful Manila skyline. After all, Manila loses its identity without the gray cloud hovering on top of it. I love Manila. Loving this city means loving who she really is.
As for the buildings, cement is abundant anyway. No need to worry. Someday, I may live in one of those buildings, so the more buildings there is, the more choices I have.
Who is your friend?There is a very wonderful yet simple Jewish saying I always keep in my heart: “Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure.”
My mother used to tell me that a person is not complete without the company of true friends. “True friends?” I asked myself. I can’t really understand what she said as I am still a child that time and my sense of thinking has not yet developed.
Here comes high school. This is when I finally understand what she meant. Because of the pressures at school, I finally took notice who are really caring for me from those who didn’t. True friends helps us lead a very happy and fulfilling life.
But how can one build a good friends’ base? It is simple. True friends are not chosen, they will just grow with us. I can remember the time I am still a university student and I really want to be friends with this particular
classmate. I tried to know his interests and adjusted from there. One day, I happened to ask my seat mate about his opinion to this classmate I want to befriend. We talked and talked and shared each other’s story. The next thing I know, he is one of my dearest friends and the good thing about it? I never made the effort to know him.
Exposing weaknesses and vulnerabilities to one another causes a pact that is hard to remove. Through time, intimacy will flow in, like a glue that as it dries, leaves a clear surface and a bonds two things together.
Although showing our real self poses problems. Some people might not accept us and will eventually reject us. But this situation can segregate between the good and the bad friends, the true from the plain acquaintance. A word from Elbert Hubbard fits exactly in this:
“Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.”
As one gets older, making friends is a priority. Good friends are also humans and will naturally expire. Through the years, friends will eventually be gone one at a time, leaving us sad and lonely, that’s why a constant stream of friends is important.
Friends can help us cope with the amazingly twisted world we call life.
This May 20, Florence Hasegawa will celebrate her birthday. But it will not be any kind of birthday as she will be celebrating her 100th.Unlike any other centenarian, Mrs. Hasegawa is full of energy. She always laughs, tells funny anecdotes and always smiles.
Her day starts by doing aerobics before getting off the bed. After this, she will take an half-hour walk twice a week. At home, she reads the newspapers and health magazines. In fact, she is is a diligent follower of the latest advances in health technology as she was a former practical nurse in the local hospital.
She is also proud to say she does not take any drugs or medications as she seldom gets sick. “I take doctor’s prescriptions only when I’m sick,” she said.
Almost everyone in her hometown of Lahaina, Maui know her as the person with a cheery disposition who brings good luck to couples planning to get married. This is so as she has been working in the State Health
Department as a marriage license issuer for 70 years already. Could she be the oldest employee in the world?
Currently, she is an active committee member of their local senior citizen’s club and the lead soprano in their methodist church choir.
With the advent of technology and widespread use of the internet. Information in now in our fingertips. No more queing in the library to borrow books to read, we just need to sit back and relax in front of our computers or even mobile phones and get the information, on demand.
It is certainly beneficial and very useful for us who live in a fast paced, result-oriented world. Things we can’t do five years ago is now a matter of minutes to finish.Â But as with all good things come the opposite effect. Technology brought us to think factually. It is something that we live in a world that needs constant confirmation in science. We learned not to listen to our hearts. We lost our instinct.
Science is attacking itself!
There were numerous scientific studies that show not believing in scientific facts makes for better happiness!
Here are some examples that further illustrates why science do not mix with happiness:
Believing in God is very different in the factual and truthful world of science. While science is very specific, religion is very vague and is open to interpretations. That’s why different kinds of religious denominations exists today. But even so, it is proven ’scientifically’ that having a faithful trust in the creator of heaven and earth is much happier than their religion less counterparts.
United Kingdom’s Royal Economic Society has done a research on this, they found out that Christians have significantly higher levels of happiness in the areas of life satisfaction and quality of living. Meanwhile, their faith serves as a cushion, absorbing the letdowns in life.
Let us consider the happiest country on earth, Israel. This predominantly Jewish country, sandwiched between Muslim nations has a different, positive way of thinking. Their religion made them optimistic as they do not believe they will die and suffer the eternal flames of hell.
The Buddhist believes that everything is controlled by the mind. Whatever sufferings we inflict in our lives is the effect of our actions, choices which are subliminally created by our minds.
Today, psychological assessment of patient is necessary when taking medicines. The reason? Many patients just wanted what they think will make them better without going through the facts. It may be the because of the influence that pharmaceutical drugs causes instant relief – because the doctors told them so.
Most of these patients – who wishes to get ‘cured’ instantly – just needed some advice that can make them feel better. Unfortunately, many of them do not believe as they prioritize the scientific facts than the doctors diagnosis.
Here comes the Placebo effect, a treatment for patients who does not really need medications. What this treatment does is by giving the patient what they want, albeit it really has no effect on them. For example, a person who believes he has migraine may want to take medications and will insist on a doctor to give him. The doctor – who knew that he is not really suffering from migraine – will give him fake medicines that looks like the real thing but without any effect whatsoever. The outcome? A better patient and a happier life.
Harvard Medical School professor Ted Kaptchuck has a word in this:
“Scientific perspective is so rational that it forgets that the passion and foibles of human beings are part of the dialogue and discourse of all ages. I don’t mean to say science is bad, but there’s a hubris there that science has all the answers and you’ve just got to get rid of all the superstitious stuff and then we’d have a great world.”
On the other hand, science is still important to us. We cannot discover the importance of happiness without the help of the largely organized and specific science.