The Real Key to Success


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We need to understand how we can present ourselves to the best advantage and to know what role the ego plays in our life. Your unknown is God, and the self is otherwise considered to be the known. But when you want to know what you have yourself, do you really know your self? Do you want to know your self? Have you worked to know your self? My self is very important to me. Yet this is the only thing which I ignore in my life. I want to be known as a doctor, as an attorney, or I want to be known as a business manager. Because I have never worked on my self. I have never introduced my self. I have never cared to represent my self. I do not identify with my self. I do not proportionately appropriate my self. I do not proportionately understand and distribute my self.  And still, I want to be very successful, myself.

I’ll tell you the mystery of life: life is not a mystery at all. It is a simple mastery of the Self. For example, if a problem comes to me, then I look at that problem with these guidelines: I have to work through this problem, I don’t have to confront it. I have to solve it. Then I ask myself – how will I solve it as the Siri Singh Sahib? How will I solve it as Yogi Bhajan? How will I solve it as Har­bhajan Singh? From which area has the problem come from? If it is a problem of Dharma, I don’t have to care whether I benefit or I lose. I have to solve that problem as the Siri Singh Sahib.

If it is a problem in the emo­tional or mental realms, I have to solve it as Yogi Bhajan. I don’t have to solve it with Dharma. Dharma is a path of the human. Those with emotional or mental problems are not yet human. A person does not know what the path is. I have to make a person human and then deal with the human. Therefore I have to deal with it as Yogi Bhajan.

If someone has a relationship with me as a father, then I am Harbhajan Singh. But, I am using the same ego to solve these different kinds of problems.

The other alternative is that a problem comes to you and you con­front it. The moment you confront the problem, either you win or you lose. That is called self-destruction. You don’t need to confront anything. It is not worthwhile, because every­thing moves. The problem will move. (You won’t move because your ego gets hung up.) But you can’t solve a problem by confronting the problem. Then it becomes a hassle and the neighbors will know about it and people will hear about it.

realkey1 (1)What is the secret of success? OPI OPM: Other People’s Intelligence and Other People’s Money. Your own intelligence cannot solve every problem. Your own intelligence is how you employ and successfully deploy the environment, the sur­roundings. That is OPI. Employ and deploy the surroundings. When you employ the surroundings, don’t involve yourself in it. Because it is not you in the problem, rather it is your interest in the problem. You should see that you get the high­est rate of interest, but it is not you.

Once I was asked if I wanted to have a certain inspector working under me or not. I questioned why I was being given an additional in­spector. I was told that nobody wanted to have him working under them. I agreed that I would take him, but I asked that inspector why the other officers did not want to have him working under them. He told me that other officers were threatened be­cause he was so sharp and efficient that they felt that their own jobs might be taken over by him. I decided to take him. I just outlined to him my area of responsi­bility. I told him that I would give him a specific area of my duty and he could take total charge of that area and do whatever he wanted to do with it. I can tell you that I never bothered with that work at all, and he came out perfect. Because he was very intelligent, very righteous, very honest and very sincere. You may get a good worker but it is rare to get a sincere worker.

Another example I want to share with you. I had a pesonal servant named Ramu. His job was just to serve me and personally attend to me. One day while I was eating with my friends he just came and picked up my plate. Then he brought me some other kind of food and served me. I understood his habits, but after a while I just called him to explain to these people why he made me eat something different? He said:

“Baba, you are not to eat this food because yesterday you worked very hard and this food is very delicious and you would definitely overeat. You are to go on duty in half an hour and you won’t be in a position to digest it, therefore, I am sorry, I couldn’t give you that food.” I said, “But, you never gave it to me, someone else gave it to me!” He added, “Another person is another person. I am responsible for what you eat.”

Now, as Americans you cannot tol­erate this kind of situation. Whereas, I have been trained that when we give somebody a duty or a responsi­bility and we find that person is loyal and honest, we totally do not inter­fere with that person. That is the way to use other people’s intelli­gence. But if you insist on playing it according to your ego, then you’ll be stabbed in the back. It doesn’t matter who you are. Because there is no security for that person. When he gives all of his intelligence to you, puts all of his loyalty at stake, is will­ing to devote himself to you and you still have the ego to limit him, that means that you can turn him upside down right in the middle of his work.

No human mind can tolerate this. The way you Westerners have been trained, you have learned to achieve something, but you can never maintain that thing. You can learn to maintain the same situation with a simple attitude. You can discuss with your ego and then begin to consider when this person is giving you trouble or when this staff is giv­ing you trouble. How can you use them trouble-free? That is what your ego is for. Whereas those who live by a hire and fire policy, they always get fired in the end.

realkey3The mind can go through a lot of changes. And the last and worst of all changes is when you deny your teacher the privilege to poke you. It is the worst of all because when your ego is inflated like an elephant, you need that needle in you. When you throw it away, you go astray and when an elephant goes astray it meets death

You should keep your ego to serve you. You should use your ego and direct it to just behave as if it is a servant. Ego is the biggest disease! But it also has the solution in it. In India, it is a common practice to take mercury (which is known to be a deadly poison if you take it raw into your system) and in the science of Ayurvedic medicine, to use it in al­most 80% to 90% of the cures. It is very effective, and very well recog­nized. In this way, poison becomes the cure. In the same way, you can go out and burn your skin in the sun and you can have skin cancer, or you can tan yourself and look healthy. How you use your ego is a technol­ogy. When you start living in your ego, then you will not grow.

I was reading the life of a person who started his professional life with one thousand dollars. He was a sur­geon and today he is a person worth forty million dollars. He was asked how he became so successful, and he said that he believed in benefit sharing. He would offer his employ­ees the opportunity to work out a situation for him and whatever in­come that would bring, he would offer to give them one-third of it. He never signed any contract because his people knew his word was a con­tract. The result was that he gave one-third but they gave it to him totally. He earned 66% more!

How rich you are has to be considered from the expense point of view. Richness is not considered from the income point of view. If your monthly expense is a thousand dollars but my expense is fifteen thousand dollars, you are fourteen thousand dollars richer than me. An economic fool is a person who measures his richness from income. An economic wise man, or economic wizard is one who measures his rich­ness from expenses. That is what rich people do. They go on a fixed income expense and then they kill them­selves. They become victims of heart attacks and no doctor can cure them. Because what should they do, if they have to maintain a standard of thirty thousand per month?

realkey4I know of one organization where for the last nine years it has made three hundred to four hundred mil­lion dollars in a year. Their bud­get was fixed at seven hundred mil­lion a year. Then for the last two years, they were making only two hundred million a year. So there is a budget difference of five hundred million a year and they do not know what to do. They are selling their equipment, they are selling their land, selling this, selling that and they’re in bad shape. One of their employees who is my student called me and asked me how to man­age himself. I told him that it is very simple. If I make ten cents, I spend one. If I make one dollar, I spend ten cents. When I have ten dollars in my pocket, I only know that I have a dollar. I consider the other nine dol­lars as OPM, Other People’s Money. Out of every ten dollars, one dollar is mine, and nine dollars are to main­tain what is mine. For every one dol­lar you require nine dollar to main­tain the grace of one dollar. Do you know this law of economic expansion?

If you represent yourself with the image that you are ten dollars rich, somebody will ask to use it for one hour, and you’ll give it, and then you’ll stand at a bus stand and the driver will not let you on because you don’t have a penny. It’s called “showing off.”

In India, in economics we call it “balloon-talk”. Balloon talk is a con­versation where you present your account multiplied or exact. Even suppose you speak the truth, that you earn fifty thousand dollars a year. The fact is that you don’t make fifty thousand dollar a year, because in America, if you make one hundred thousand in California, you earn ex­actly thirty-nine thousand. Exactly.

realkey5Now you can wangle it, you can multiply it, you can play around, but when you’re dead, your estate will be found in the estate shop on Beverly Blvd. Why does that happen? Because the children are asked to pay the Estate Tax, and they don’t have it. So, they sell the estate and get rid of it. Or, they make a founda­tion. Paul Getty’s family cannot take a statue from his estate. You can in­vest in your self, or you can invest in your name. Paul Getty would have been very fine, if he had in­vested and made his own body a museum where at least he would have gone running on the beach once a week.

Just decide. Sit down and ask your self what you want to be. Do you want to be a healer? If you want to be a healer, let God heal through you. If you want to be a dealer, then go on, pushing this, pushing that, trying this button, trying that button. Every profession has buttons.

Your presentation, your art of presentation, your secret of presen­tation, lies in one fact: you must not confront the energy, you must circu­late the energy. What is God? Every­thing is circulated. Earth revolves. It revolves on its axis. The whole galaxy, the other stars, the sun moves around other suns. It’s far out and it’s nothing but movement! It keeps going! And your success is, keep going! Don’t stop anywhere, for any reason. Don’t say good-bye. The only good thing is to don’t say “good­bye.” Just say “bye.” Perhaps some­day you’ll need that person. Because what will keep the energy going? It is the movement of your thought form, and the movement of your mind and thought and the move­ment of your solving the problems, and your movement penetrating through the problem. How can you do it? If you know that you HAVE to do it.

Anything and everything, logical­ly, psychologically, socially, commo­tionally, emotionally, personally, collectively, individually, is nothing but you completing the circuit.

realkey6What is required to be learned by you is the Self. Because the Self is the solution of your environment. It’s the hub. It is the axle. It is everything. The fact is that you have to understand that you can’t fall in love with a girl, you can’t fall for anything, before knowing yourself, and knowing what you are fall­ing for! If you do not know how to swim, yourself, and you jump in eighteen feet of water, you will drown. But if you get into four feet of water and you are two feet above the water, you can make it. To become commotional, emo­tional, get into turmoil, and not care for things, not to listen to advice, and not to wait for truth, though it is bitter and it hurts, is to cause a problem. Multiple prob­lems are like multiple sclerosis. There’s no solution for it.

The law of diminishing return is that you can handle X amount of problems. There’s a relationship between play and work. Work and play have a relationship which is propor­tionate. For X amount of work, you need X amount of play. For X amount of play, you need X amount of work. If they are out of balance, then you are out of balance and you’ll never be a successful person.

Please remember that without Self consciousness you cannot properly present yourself. And without Self knowledge you cannot have Self consciousness.

Copyright The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan 

I have retired – What shall I do next?

2. Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire Managing Retirement in the Twenty First Century

So your time for retirement has come and you are wondering what to do next? Most of us do not plan for our retirement, putting off the difficult debate with oneself on the pretext that we will cross the bridge when we come to it.

Yet, inevitably, the time for superannuation arrives and we are ill prepared to face our life after. You have earned your leisure to enjoy the fruits of your work for the past 3 decades.

Yet you have to keep your mind and body active. Most people had started developing one interest or the other. Why should we be looking at any other options when so many already exist for us.

Write a book – It is generally believed that everyone has at least one book “inside” them. After I wrote my first book, dozens of friends and acquaintances told me that they too wanted to write but could not find the time. If you can think of nothing else to write, you have a lifetime of accumulated memories and experiences. Consider recording these memories in the form of a memoir that you can give to your grandchildren.

If you enjoy writing, now is the time to think of starting to write your book. There is no better way than writing a book to leave behind your legacy. Some people I know have started to record their life in video format. They record this on their smart phone and are building a library of their notes that can be left for posterity. Whatever the medium, remember that a lot of preparation is needed for this.

Learn a Language – Some friends have started to learn a language, an aspiration they have had since childhood but never found the time.

There is senior retired Brigadier I know who has made a post-retirement career in teaching Spanish. Not only is he keeping himself very busy but also he is interacting with a new group of people whom he would never have had an opportunity to in his earlier life. He now interprets from Spanish to English and travels to Spain as an interpreter.

Travel to places you have wanted to go to – I have met several couples who have decided to travel and see places that they were not able to visit during their working lives. The difference when they travel now is that they spend much more time in the city or country they wish to see. They read up much more about their destination and they try and take in as much of the local flavour instead of rushing through the visit and “ticking” off one more item on your list of countries to see.

While I was working, when we travelled on a vacation we were always in a hurry to see places since work pressures for both of us did not allow us to spend too much time in one city. Our standard excuse for rushing through was that we could always come back to see the places that we had seen and liked. Now when we travel, we spend at least one week in a country and try and take in as much as we can. Now our thinking is that we must see as much as we can because we will probably never come back again to this place.

There is a whole community of retired people in USA who have sold their homes and have decided to travel all over the world. They select a part of the world they want to see and then go and stay there for a few months. The amount of money they need is sent to them by their financial planner every month and varies based on which city they are living in. Of course, as US citizens, it is much easier for them to travel unlike us from India because of visa restrictions but we could do something similar in various parts of India that we have never visited. The prospect of living for a month in a city in some other part of India is very exciting.

Helping others – Becoming a Good Samaritan and helping people is usually not seen easily. It takes a lot of effort to reach out and help and most people see this help with a bit of cynicism.

Yet there are people who care, selflessly.

I met a retired General who had taken it upon himself to help the widows of deceased retired Army and other Defence services officers to sort out their paper work and to ensure that the documentation for pension and medical facilities was all proper. He was getting nothing in return but yet he felt he owed this to his “brother” officers after they passed away.

Back to college – There must be so many things that you aspired to learn through your college and you were never able to find the time. Did you ever think that you could do a research paper and get a PhD and add the title “Doctor” before your name? Now you can. If you want further education in any area of your choice, now is the opportunity because you have the time and you have the inclination. I met a person who had been passionate about mathematics but he had built a career in marketing. When he retired, he went back to university and obtained a doctorate in mathematics!

For most people so inclined, there is thrill in learning new things.

Become a Life / Executive Coach – You have developed many skills over your working life. This could range from excellence in sports or as an accountant or a lawyer to skills in music, arts, writing etc. you can easily start coaching classes for the adults and young adults in your home. Not only will this give you a sense of achievement and keep you busy, you may find that that you earn some money as well.

Learn to cook – I have been told that cooking can be a very therapeutic process as you create new dishes. Learn to cook.

Every conceivable recipe is now available on YouTube and if you want to surprise your spouse and family with some culinary delights, you no longer need to agonise on how to get started. Start with simple foods like making an omelet and gradually, as you understand the nuances of how long to simmer and how long to steam as well as how much spices will bring tears to your eyes and how much will be just right, you can start to invite your family and friends to sample your delights.

Planning your daily meals is a huge chore and if your spouse and you make this into a routine every morning, there will be communication between you and consensus on what you will eat at each meal!

Learn Music – Several people I know have started to learn a musical instrument. The piano, guitar and violin are generally some of the more popular instruments that people like to learn.

I too, had learned to play the Indian flute while I was in college but gave it up. I have now started playing the flute once again and this time, since I have more time, I am more determined to become proficient at playing my flute!

Read – I know a few friends who have taken to reading books, magazines, journals and newspapers with a passion. They have at least three books by their bedside and they are constantly reading and enriching themselves. They missed out on reading while they worked and I was pleasantly surprised to see that some of them actually finish several books every week. When they have time, they scour the bookshelves at the local book stores and buy whatever they like.

Get involved with Social Media and build your profile – There are many people who have started to engage with various social media platforms to share their experiences and to broadcast their views on diverse subjects. The freedom to be able to say what you wish to is empowering and exhilarating. This ability to express themselves on global public platforms keeps many individuals, engaged, occupied and busy.

At the same time I also met many retirees who categorically stated that they were afraid of using a computer so there was no question of using social media. When I tell them that my 87 year old father uses Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter all the time, they back off with a nod that seems to suggest that they too will make the effort.

Keep a Pet – Some couples who enjoy pets have kept a dog who almost becomes like the new baby in the household. All their waking energy is spent looking after the dog and it gives them a great conversation opportunity with similar and like-minded couples.

I have seen social circles in condominiums evolve around pets. So much time is spent in talking about pets that it almost feels like we are talking about our kids and their achievements all over again!

Watch Television – With over 100 television channels, there are literally dozens of serials and information based channels to follow on a regular basis. You could have a challenge with your spouse who may want to watch news channels while you want to watch something else and I know of several homes that have had to acquire two televisions to ensure peace at home!

Pull out your old Stamp and Coin collections – Most of us would have stored away an old coin collection and an old stamp collection. For the lucky few you may have inherited a collection from your father. And I am reasonably sure that your children would not have had any interest in these collections.

So now is the time to arrange those coins and stamps. Every item you own can be checked and verified on the internet. You can also get prices for these on eBay. You may be pleasantly surprised to find a rare stamp or a rare coin in your collection that may make you a very wealthy person.

Play Golf and other games – Sports is an important part of retirement. This also helps you to stay fit and to exercise your muscles regularly. If you have been a sportsperson then it would be easy for you to continue some of the less intensive sports throughout your life after retirement but if you have not been a sportsperson, this is a good time to start a regimen of daily activity. Several people have taken to playing tennis at their local club or their condominium. This gives them the exercise as well as the ability to socialize with new and old friends.

Play Bridge, other card games – Some retirees have decided to devote their time to play bridge. They do this at different clubs and with separate partners so that they keep having a change on scene. On Sunday, they rest! Some of these bridge players are now playing competitive bridge at a national level.

Do nothing and feel guilt free – I know that the habits built over a 30 year career will take some time to break. One person who I met was very candid in stating that he had chosen to “do nothing”. Reading, napping, and daydreaming will have all the time they need in my retired life” he said. He spends a lot of time at the neighbourhood coffee shop where he meets new friends and sits for hours surfing the net while sipping coffee!

Or a combination of several of the activities listed above. This list is by no means exhaustive and there must be so many other activities that you can undertake.

Plan on ridding yourself of that nagging feeling of guilt if you do not put every minute to productive use. If you decide to sit in the balcony with coffee in your hand for the better part of the morning, so be it.

Happy retirement!

The Art of the Good Life

Woman Wearing Red, Purple, and Pink Floral V-neck Cap-sleeved Dress Drinking Through Clear Wine Glass

Photo by nappy from Pexels

 

A person’s words often reflect the condition of their heart.


Since the days of yore, I’ve harrowed ad nauseam to lead a fulfilling life. Success formulas were embedded, healthy rituals ingrained and I even let some spontaneity run wild, yet — for reasons indistinguishable by my panoramic view— fulfillment eluded me. There was always somethingmissing.

I hurried through life, exacerbating what it means to acquire knowledge and experience —arming myself with weapons of cognition and recklessly catapulting myself into situations I had no business taking on, but knew others could bail me out of. I wanted the scars, the notches on the belt, the lapel pins, without any of the suffering. Essentially a drawn-out narrative with well-timed, strategic pivots right before shit hit the fan. I felt if I had a spellbinding story, I would be able to leverage it beyond the point of unremarkable existence.

But therein lies the problem. It wasn’t an unremarkable existence, but an unremarkable purpose. Swimming in an ocean of opinions, surmounted by tidal waves of judgment, I lost all sense of what I was even after in life — or why I wanted it.


Once I cut through the layers of my core identity, it became clear that self-worth reigned supreme. All of my efforts were fueled by this compensatory value. Which meant the zenith of my life, if realized, would be merely a sense of security.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with self-worth —it’s actually quite vital. However, given it was at the very top of my list of intrinsic values, it was bound to clash with something more fulfilling. And since I didn’t have any of it at the time, I was constantly acting out of a state of scarcity and fear.

The fear of loneliness — and inability to love myself — led to an anxious-preoccupied attachment style in my romantic relationships. The fear of judgment created dismissive avoidance with my friends. And to develop anything with your family requires you share what’s happening in your life, not just concisely report.

If a person’s heart is full of fear, they will act in an offensive or defensive way — like something’s out to get them.


Uninspired by the character arc within my life’s screenplay, I set out to uproot its formation. I invited my fears to have a drink at the bar. I surveyed the entire assortment of disguises they wore to preclude my awareness. Anger, jealousy, resentment, and bitterness then took a seat at the table.

These impulsive emotions sat in the holster for as long as I could remember. I knew their exact arrival, yet never dare step in front of them. This heightened state gave my life both justification and volition, representative of my life’s ambition to ward off the binary monsters known as insignificance and rejection. Barreling through the depths of the forest however, we cannot see. You cannot know who you really are until you know who you’re really not.

When we identify the purpose of our unwanted yet persisting feelings, the impact lessens. The emotion is not the issue — the ambiguity is. We fear what we don’t understand. Given that my emotional cocktail of choice consisted of mostly bottom-shelf liquor, I opted to level up my standards.

Fear, doubt and suffering are ubiquitous. No one is immune. Our response on the other hand, is very much in our control.

I had to recognize my unconscious flavor of coping — with loneliness, with impermanence, with disapproval, with nothingness. Only at this point did I take a deliberate step towards authenticity, towards who I really was — a vulnerable, hopeful, flawed, resilient human being. It’s here where I truly relates. Where I felt less alone. Where suffering was apportioned and value was contributed universally.

The more you presence yourself to your defensive defaults, the faster you can occlude them. Leaving you far more balanced and whole in your perspective — less and less irritated by things you know won’t matter in the long-run.

What you receive by virtue of this clearing is a quiet mind, where you can finally achieve peace.

A person who is at peace, and grounded within themselves, is left free torespond to life — instead of emotionally reacting to all things that come their way.

Not everyone will come along for the journey but many will find your sense of calm intoxicating. For they were looking for the same thing I was — security. You’ll exude safety, confidence, preparedness, faith, trust, hope, and all the good things.

The good things of the good life.

The Only Real Way to Acquire Wisdom

School of Athens by Raphael


It’s often been said that wisdom is the art of knowing that you are not wise.

The great philosopher Socrates famously denied being wise more than two thousand years ago, and since then, we have taken him at his word.

There is a truth there, but that definition isn’t very helpful. I mean, I’m all for respecting uncertainty, doubting oneself, and realizing the limitations of my mind, but I think we can do better. Maybe even take a few steps forward.

More importantly, I think we can create our own definition that separates it from just mere intelligence and then use that definition to illustrate why the distinction matters and how we can practically engage it in everyday life.

Intelligence is commonly associated with knowing something. Often, it also means that we can confidently apply what we know in a particular context.

Wisdom, to me, is different. It’s different because it has more dimensions. Wisdom not only knows, but it also understands. And the distinction between knowing and understanding is what makes things interesting.

Knowing is generally factual. You have learned a particular kind of knowledge and you know its truth as it applies to a particular problem.

Understanding, however, is more fluid. You have learned a particular kind of knowledge, but you don’t see it as a fact or a truth applied rigidly to one thing. Rather, you understand that knowledge’s essence and you can see how it relates to everything else, with nuances and contradictions included.

The difference is subtle but potent. While intelligence gives you specific utility, wisdom inspires flexible versatility. It provides a more textured lens for interacting with reality, very much changing how you think.

Building Relational Knowledge

Every time you have a perspective shift, big or small, you gain knowledge.

You learn something new that you maybe didn’t know before, and as a result, your mind then changes itself regarding whatever that knowledge pertains to in the future. Next time, there is an added clarity.

If the acquired knowledge is understood, rather than just known, however, there is another step that occurs every time your mind shifts.

If you’re a student, for example, and you’re writing an exam, and it’s a difficult one, let’s say you decide to cheat. Now, unfortunately, when you cheat, you get caught. It leads to a failing grade in the course.

The thing to learn from this experience that would add to your intelligence would be the fact that cheating on an exam has consequences, and those consequences, while improbable, have a disproportionately negative impact on your life. It’s simply not worth it in the future.

The extra step that would translate the intelligence in that particular scenario into broadly applicable wisdom would be to realize that not only is not worth cheating on an exam due to the harsh consequences, but that most things in the world that carry disproportionately costly risks should be approached cautiously, whether they be financial decisions or personal life choices.

This is, of course, a very simplified scenario, but the point is that knowledge is relational and the understanding of wisdom recognizes that rather than treating it simply as an isolated information point.

Instead of the lesson being that cheating is bad, you combine the essence of the knowledge learned from that experience with your existing latticework of previous knowledge to really hammer home the underlying principle.

This way, you understand how taking shortcuts may harm your personal relationships, how your new understanding of risk may inform your business practices, and how what you say matters beyond why you say it.

Knowledge is always best leveraged when it’s connected to other knowledge.

Creating an Information Network

In network science, there is a now-famous effect called Metcalfe’s law.

It was first used to describe the growth of telecommunication networks, but over time, the application has been extended beyond that. It essentially states that the value of a network rises with the number of connected users.

In any network, each thing of interest is a node and the connection between such things is a link. The number of nodes themselves don’t necessarily reflect the value of a network, but the number of links between those nodes do.

For example, ten independent phones by themselves aren’t really all that useful. What makes them useful is the connection that they have to other phones. And the more they are connected to other phones, the more useful they are because the more access they have to each other.

Metcalfe’s Law

Well, the relationship between different kinds of knowledge in our mind works the same way. The more connected they are to each other, the more valuable the information network that we have in our brain is.

Every time you gain knowledge, you are either isolating it within a narrow context where it’s addressing a particular problem, or you are breaking it down a litter further so that you can connect that knowledge to the already existing information you’ve accumulated so far.

In this scenario, intelligence is found within a pocket of information by itself. Wisdom, however, is accumulated in the process of creating new links.

Each node of knowledge in your mind is a mental model of some aspect of reality, but that mental model isn’t fully complete until it’s been stripped down and re-contextualized in light of the information contained in the other mental models of knowledge around it.

The only way to acquire wisdom is to think in terms of the whole information network rather than the individual nodes that it contains.

That’s where nuance is considered; that’s where the respect for complexity comes in; and that’s how specialized information finds it flexibility.

The strength of your mind depends on the value of your information network.

The Takeaway

The quest for wisdom is an age-old effort. It’s one many have recommended.

It’s been said to be as useful for finding inner contentment as it for fueling external successes. It’s a more prudent way of interacting with reality.

While not everyone’s definition of wisdom is the same, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to distinguish it by a mode of deeper understanding. One that goes beyond just the knowing we commonly associate with intelligence.

When we think of the acquisition of intelligence, we think of new information inspired by a perspective-shift that tells us a truth about one aspect of reality.

Wisdom goes further than that. It strips that same information down to its essence so that it can relate the underlying principle of that knowledge to the existing information network that exists in the mind.

It’s the connectedness of this network that separates it from mere intelligence.

The more links between each pocket of information, the more valuable the whole network will be when tackling any other problem. It adds an extra dimension to each mental model contained in the mind.

Simply knowing this doesn’t make a person more equipped to soak in wisdom, but with awareness and practice, new thinking patterns can be created.

The way you do this shapes everything else. It’s worth working on.

Why Silence is the Think Tank of the Soul

Why Silence is the Think Tank of the Soul

Mental noise is destroying your mind

Silence is an endangered species — Pic by Kalen Emsley

Upon meeting a Zen master at a social event, a psychiatrist decided to ask him a question that had been on his mind for a long time.

“Exactly how do you help people?” — the man inquired.

“I get them where they can’t ask any more questions.” — the master replied.

Mental noise is hurting our minds — we are continually asking questions that create busyness, not knowledge. We are in ‘reacting mode,’ leaving no room for reflection. To regain perspective in life, you need to pause. Silence is fertile ground.

When was the last time you push the pause button in your life?

Silence is not just lack of noise. It’s an empty space for your mind to recover clarity. And to protect it from mental noise.

Many people believe silence is isolation. However, it’s busyness what detaches us from reality. You need to take distance and reflect. As Lao-Tzu said: “Just remain in the center, watching. And then forget that you are there.”

Silence is not about the absence of sound — it invites the presence of everything else.

Silence is an endangered species

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” — G.K. Chesterton

Noise keeps us busy.

Our brain is continually exposed to internal and external stimuli. Silence feels impossible, like emptying our spirit.

What creates noise in your life?

Social media notifications, Netflix binging, overthinking, constantly being surrounded by others, and overloading our calendars are just many of the infinite ways to avoid silence. We’ve turned noise into entertainment — it provides a temporary distraction so you can’t pay attention.

Gordon Hempton believes that silence is an endangered species.

He’s an acoustic ecologist — a collector of sound all over the world. For Hempton, real quietness is being present — silence is not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth is a ‘solar-powered jukebox.’ He believes that we take in the world through its ears.

Noise is contaminating our minds.

The World Health Organization in a 2011 report called noise pollution a “modern plague,” concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”

Noise is not just a modern disease. It has been hurting our minds since the 19th century. Back then, a British nurse and social activist, Florence Nightingale, wrote that “Unnecessary noise is the cruelest absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” Nightingale argued that needless sounds could cause distress, sleep loss and alarm for recovering patients.

Permanent silence is not always good either. Animals must listen to survive — that’s how we anticipate danger before it happens.

The problem is when noise becomes escapism.

Psychologist Carl Jung noted that we naturally seek out noise because it suggests human company — we used to need the comfort and safety of the group to survive. Nonetheless, our lives are not under constant attack as they were many centuries ago. Detaching from our environment for a couple of hours won’t put your life in danger.

When you step back from an issue, you can spend more time on solving the right problem.

The paradox of sound

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” — Elbert Hubbard

Silence is not about the absence of sound but the presence of something else. Your mind is like a canvas — if it’s full of noise, you can’t paint anything new on it. When we are in silence, we make room for everything else.

Gordon Hempton wants your help in recovering the value of silence. “Not too long ago it was assumed that clean water’s not important, that seeing the stars is not that important. But now it is. I think we’re realizing quiet is important, and we need silence. That silence is not a luxury, but it’s essential.” — the acoustic ecologist said.

When you remove the noise, the essential speaks up. However, though it’s a magnificent revelatory experience, it can backfire if you don’t prepare adequately. The voices we hear in silence can create worrying noises.

Our constant social connectivity keeps us busy. What’s even worse, we let our social identity to speak louder than our true-self. The fear of missing out keeps you away from your reality — you stop paying attention. Without self-reflection, there’s no understanding. Silence lets your inner voice become present.

If the brain is actively processing noise it can’t turn off — it’s impossible to rest and reset when you are always asking questions or reacting to external stimuli.

Getting rid of the noise is more an aspiration than a reality. That’s the paradox of silence: we wish we could have quiet time, but it’s not easy to pull off. Removing other voices means we need to start listening to our true thoughts and words.

Being in front of white canvas or blank page can be intimidating. That’s why most of us run away from silence.

Silence has many meanings

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Is silence just the absence of noise? Or is there a deeper reason for you to invite sound into your life?

Silence is cultural. For the Japanese, silence is more positive than it is for other populations.

Japanese people highly value silence as an essential form of non-verbal communication — it conveys information, emotions and it’s a sign of respect and personal distance.

In his 2007 paper “The Cultural Significance of Silence in Japanese Communication,” Takie Sugiyama Lebra identifies four dimensions of silence: Truthfulness, Social Discretion, Embarrassment, and Defiance. The first three dimensions are helpful to maintain positive relations while the last one has a negative connotation.

In the Western world, silence is associated with doubt, loneliness or pain. If you tell your friends that you need silence, they might understand the feeling. But if you don’t answer their messages for 12 hours because you opted to stay silent, they will assume something is wrong with you.

Silence is always ambiguous. It’s difficult to understand its true meaning.

Rather than trying to define silence, think of it as an experience. Silence is the real sound of music. Empty spaces play a meaningful role in building the right atmosphere in architecture and space design. The white space is the most crucial element in visual design.

There are two types of silence: outer and inner. Getting rid of external distractions is not enough; you want to avoid your thoughts from eating you alive.

Why silence is the think tank of the mind

When you pause, you don’t just stop talking. You also choose not to listen to external distractions. Everything is within you.

Silence enables something else to emerge. Perspective, reflection, distance, ideas, and solutions, all show up unexpectedly when you silence the mind. It’s a whole ‘team’ that comes to help you. Gordon Hempton said: “Quiet is a think tank of the soul. We take the world through its ears.”

Lao-Tzu believed that “Silence is the great revelation.” He said that we turn to books for revelation, but their authors found the interlude of silence as their source of inspiration. Silence can bring you directly to the original source of knowledge.

Silence adds intentionality and rhythm to your life.

The same happens with music. Without silence, the various notes would all feel the same. Utilizing silence for very brief — less than a few beats — or for longer periods, creates a different impact on the listener.

Silence is more than a beautiful state of mind; it positively benefits your health:

  • It helps grow new brain cells. A 2013 study found that two hours of silence could create new cells in the hippocampus region, a brain area linked to learning, remembering, and emotions.
  • It decreases stress by lowering blood cortisol levels and adrenaline. A 2006 study in Heart, showed that two minutes of silence relieves tension in the body and brain — it’s more relaxing than listening to music.

How to recover the power of silence

Practicing silence is not easy.

Going for a walk outside in nature, taking a deliberate break or practicing deep breathing exercises are easy ways to get you started.

Try the following exercises and see which works best for you. Start in small doses. Being silent can backfire at the beginning. It takes time to enjoy the benefits of not being distracted by noise.

1. The Silence Exercise

David Swartz, a history professor, uses this exercise as a transition after one of his courses. He invites students to write a short paper on silence. During 90 minutes, everyone focuses on the task without speaking.

Students are instructed to put away their smartphones and leave the presence of other people. The paper is a reflection on the experience and includes a historical perspective too. What does it feel like to be silent? What happens when we don’t have constant access to a smartphone? How is our lifestyle different to premodern times ones?

2. Beyond the word

This exercise is based on an ancient Indian prescription: if you read for one hour, write for two hours and meditate for three hours. The purpose of such proportion is to avoid being blind recorders of other people’s words or ideas. You can stick to the ratio but start with a shorter duration for each part.

The exercise encourages a personal dialogue and self-reflection. It’s a nice transition: from being in the company of someone else’s words to being surrounded by your ideas as you write, and, finally, focusing on silencing your mind.

3. The Silence Game

This Montessori Exercise builds on the concept that, deeper awareness and sensitivity to noise, help us get into a “more refined and subtle world.” Constant noise can create irritability, frustration, confusion, and even sleepiness.

The purpose of this exercise is to make silence collectively. A board with the word “silence” and a picture of a tranquil place, reminds that every child might do its part. The silence is not only a positive outcome but is the byproduct of everyone’s effort.

4. The sound of one hand clapping

Our logic says that we need two hands to clap. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” is a Zen challenge that has several interpretations. Some say that it’s a way to help you listen to other sounds — your heart, the rhythm of your breathing or the awareness of your mind. Others believe it’s a metaphor how we see life with a dualistic approach: cause and effect.

I use this question when coaching teams to invite them to reflect on the power of silence. Sometimes to inspire creative ways to make sound with just one hand. Other times, simply to challenge logical thinking; by putting our rationality aside, we let the think tank of the mind show up.

5. Meditation: The Silence That is Listening

This guided meditation by Tara Brach emphasizes the anchor of listening; it guides us to relax through our body and let sounds wash our thoughts out. You don’t need any previous meditation experience to benefit from it.

Listening to sounds is powerful to quiet the thinking mind. It will help you connect with the natural openness of awareness. By becoming more receptive, you can welcome your full presence and the peace of quietness.

6. Building a tower with a constraint

Imposing constraints challenges individuals and those who interact with them alike — everyone must adjust their behaviors. A set of teams are challenged to build the tallest tower using Jenga blocks. It seems simple until most team members are assigned a specific constraint: one cannot speak, another is blindfolded, one cannot use the hands, etc.

Not being able to speak reframes the interaction. The person who’s silent pays more attention. The rest of the team becomes more attentive to the quiet person’s feedback. It dramatically increases both collaboration and self-awareness.

7. Become silent for a day

This exercise is about cutting the chord literally and metaphorically without attending a silent retreat. You can define what ‘a day’ means for you. I would suggest that you aim for, at least, 4–6 hours. And then gradually increase it.

Becoming silence is about unplugging from social media, emails, phone calls, and every other form of communication — including face-to-face dialogue. You need to set up some grounding rules to those close to you.

What You Truly Believe About Yourself Determines Who You Become

What You Truly Believe About Yourself Determines Who You Become

“As a man , so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen

Do you believe you’ll soon become 100% financially independent?

Do you believe you’ll never get divorced?

Are you positive you’ll ever travel the world?

What you believe determines what you become. You see what you look for; you attract what you are.

Most people don’t realize their beliefs determine the rest of their life; what you believe today has real effects on tomorrow. Your income, success, health, and who you ultimately become are based entirely on what you believe will happen.

As Michael Jordan once said:

“You have to expect things of yourself before you cando them.”

If you believe you can can, odds are you probably will.

But the opposite is also true — if you know you can’t, you’re probably right.

Bruce Lee put it this way: “One will never get any more than he thinks he can get.” What you truly, deeply believe is true about yourself and your future is most likely what will happen.

What do you believe?

The problem is, most people don’t have powerful self-belief in themselves. Most people think this is about as good as it gets. For the most part, most people believe the best they can be is merely “good.”

Why? Because it’s easier to stay in mediocrity than undertake the difficult process of upgrading your belief system. It’s easier to relax in “good” instead of busting your ass towards greatness.

If you want to have an incredible, successful life, you need to begin believing success is the only possible option.

“One of the greatest turning points in my life occurred when I stopped casually waiting for success and started to approach it as a duty, obligation, and responsibility.” -Grant Cardone

It’s Easier to Stay Mediocre Than Evolve

“It is easier to be mediocre than it is to confront reality and quit.” -Seth Godin

It’s not that most people wake up every day and declare, “Today is going to suck!

Most people have tried to evolve in some way. The problem is, once they fail, they quickly give up and settle into their mediocrity. They tried improving, it didn’t go as planned, so they gave up.

It’s easier to stay mediocre than face the pain of attempting and failing.

Said motivational speaker Les Brown:

“Most people knock on the door of their dreams once, then run away before anyone has a chance to the open the door. But if you keep knocking, persistently and endlessly, eventually the door will open.”

It’s easier to quit. It’s what most people do.

But here’s a secret most people stewing in mediocrity don’t realize:

It’s actually harder to live in mediocrity than work towards greatness.

Waking up every day knowing today is going to be average-at-best is exhausting. It’s depressing. It sucks all your energy out before you even get out the door.

It might seem easier to simply stay where you are; it’s not great, but why rock the boat, right?

Wrong. Remaining in mediocrity is more exhausting than working towards success. It takes energy either way — why not get what you want in the process?

“If you keep on living like the way you are now, you will continue to produce the same life you already have.” -Jim Rohn

Warren Wong on Unsplash

If You Want to Upgrade Your Life, Upgrade Your Mindset First

“If you want to have more success, you need to become more.” -Jim Rohn

If you want to upgrade every area of your life — your income, your health, your relationships, your potential — you must become more.

How do you become more?

By upgrading your mindset first.

Prolific author Napoleon Hill once wrote:

Success comes to those who are success-conscious.”

If you have a mindset that is always looking for success and improvement, you’ll find it.

I blogged for 4 years, and after 4 years I had accomplished…nothing. I had no followers, no views, and no income. Frankly, I eventually began believing I couldn’t succeed. I didn’t think my writing was good enough for the big leagues…and it wasn’t.

But last year, I finally got serious. I believed I was going to be one of the best writers on the Internet. As a result, I invested heavily in myself. My confidence grew. I built momentum, reinforcing my belief. After years of failed pitches, suddenly CNBC and Business Insider came to me. I’ve gained 20,000+ new email subscribers. I just signed a book deal!

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Hal Elrod

Strong belief attracts success.

But no belief guarantees failure.

Richard Wiseman, a former street magician turned researcher and author, conducted a study with two groups — one group of people who thought of themselves as lucky, the other self-proclaimed they were “unlucky.”

For one study, Wiseman placed a $20 dollar bill on the street. The group that believed they were lucky spotted the bill almost every time; the “unlucky” group almost always ignored it and walked right past!

Success, in all its forms, isn’t something you seize so much as it is something that is attracted to you. The most effective, productive method of becoming a more successful person is believing you already are one.

Wrote best-selling motivational author Dr. David Schwartz:

“Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figure out ways and means how to.”

Most people don’t truly believe they can achieve greatness. They don’t believe they can actually live an extraordinary life.

As a result, this becomes true; they aren’t successful. They don’t attract opportunities. In fact, they actively miss them — even if it’s right at their feet!

But if you believe — truly believe — in your ability to succeed, you will. Your mind will figure out the means how.

“Whatever the conscious, reasoning mind of man believes’ the subconscious mind will accept and act upon.”

-Joseph Murphy, The Power of the Subconscious Mind

If You Always Let Others Think For You, You’ll Never Become Who You Want to Be

“Do not let others do your thinking for you.” -Joseph Murphy

The fact is, it’s easier to let others think for you.

It’s so convenient. If others are calling the shots, you bear none of the responsibility! If you try and fail, it’s not your fault — it’s theirs.

Grammy-award winning artist Kendrick Lamar once wrote, “I want the credit if I’m losing or I’m winning.” This is an uncommon mindset, one always found with highly successful people, and almost never found with unsuccessful individuals.

Most people aren’t willing to take full responsibility of their life; they might want the credit for the successes, but hate having to own up to the failures.

The result? Most people let others do their thinking for them.

This may save you from experiencing unpleasant responsibilities — admitting you haven’t made any progress after all this time while you could have, but didn’t — but you suffer far more in the long run.

When you are not your true self, that part of you begins acting out. As best-selling author David Kadavy wrote:

“When our true self doesn’t get a chance to follow its desires, it acts out in strange ways.”

The more you let others do your thinking for you, the farther you drift away from what you want.

Don’t let others do your thinking for you. It’s easier, more convenient, and hassle-free, but every day your future grows more boring and mediocre.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

-Steve Jobs

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Acting “As If” Becomes Acting As Is

“What you think, feel, and do is what you see, hear, and attract.” -James Altucher

There are powerful mental, physiological, and emotional shifts that happen when you begin believing you’re the best.

The only way you become a leading man is by treating yourself like a leading man and working your ass off,” wrote Arnold Schwarzenegger is his autobiography.

Author Darren Hardy put it this way: “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass!

Tony Robbins once made the point that you get what you tolerate. If you tolerate mediocre, that’s exactly what you’ll get. If you act as if mediocrity is OK, then you’ll begin molding your beliefs to fit this reality.

But the opposite is true, too. If you act like the best, you’ll begin making choices and behaving in ways to make that a reality.

  • Why do you keep tolerating mediocrity?
  • Why do you keep believing you’re second-class?
  • When are you going to finally get serious?

The world’s top performers don’t tolerate anything below extraordinary. They are tireless in their quest for progression, learning, focusing, and growth. They become addicted to becoming better every day.

In the words of Darren Hardy:

“The key to becoming world-class in your endeavors is to build your performance around world-class routines.”

If you begin acting like the best, that’s what you’ll become.

Every day, your conscious mind takes orders from your belief system. Every choice you make, every word you say is based on these beliefs.

In his book, The Power of the Subconscious Mind, Joseph Murphy explained, “As you sow in your subconscious mind, so shall you reap in your body and environment.” What this means is simple: what you tell yourself is what you become.

If you act “as if” you are what you want to be — a professional athlete, a CEO of a $10M startup, a loving husband and father — you’ll eventually begin acting as these individuals actually act.

But if you continue to act in the ways you always have, you’ll never have anything more than what you already have.

“If you want to get to the next level of whatever you’re doing, you must think and act in a wildly different way than you previously have been.” -Grant Cardone

In Conclusion

“You cannot see what you don’t look for, and you cannot look for what you don’t believe in.” -Darren Hardy

If you have more than 2 close friends, you’re part of the minority.

Over half of Americans are on track to retire with less than $10,000.

There are actually more Americans that are obese than simply overweight!

Why are so many people living in mediocrity? Why don’t people have the lives they want?

A fundamental reason is because they simply don’t believe their ideal life is even possible.

You cannot gain what you don’t look for. Whatever you believe about yourself becomes true. Your belief system is incredibly powerful — it determines how successful (or unsuccessful) you’ll ultimately become.

Your thoughts are the reason you are where you are right now. If you’re not where you want to be, ask yourself: how are my thoughts limiting me? What beliefs are holding me back?

If you want more, then start with upgrading your mindset. Because what you believe about yourself determines who you become.

The Meaning of Life

Photo by Erii Gutierrez on Unsplash

The Meaning of Life

A tiny answer to a massive question.


God could very well exist. However, the burden of proof is on the believers to produce and provide evidence of her presence. I am not one of those believers. It doesn’t define my life; I don’t think about religion much. I do, however, think about something religion thinks about quite often, which is What It All Means. I found it, curiously, in the slightly-above-average mainstream American comedy City Slickers. Really.

“You’ve got to find that one thing,” says cowboy Curly, played by Jack Palance — who was nominated for a fucking Oscar for that performance! — before riding off into the actual sunset. Billy Crystal asks, “What’s the one thing?”


So, what is the one thing? What is the meaning of life? I turn back to various cultural institutions and systems of rule, including religion: capitalism, feudalism, socialism, democracy, military, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, sports, communism, imperialism, on and on … We can debate the merits and validity of each of these until we’re blue in the face — but I keep coming back to the one overlapping idea that crops up in everything: Service.

Bob Dylan once sang, “Gotta serve somebody.” And although he was specifically talking about god (or the devil), there are plenty of other definitions for service, largely qualified by exactly whom you are serving. In capitalism, it’s the market. In feudalism, it’s the lord. In democracy, it’s the electorate. In the military, it’s your country. In religion, it’s god. In sports, it’s your team. But, distilled to its essence, life — and the ways in which we attempt to organize it — is largely about serving other people. Where we tend to disagree — liberals, conservatives, Buddhists, Christians, imperialists, liberators — is on the “how.” And the “how” is very important.


Remember that one thing? That’s the how. It’s your own tiny way of impacting the world through the service of others, your own behaviors which ripple across society. If I could lay a few ground rules down for how to serve, I would propose the following:

  1. When possible, err on the side of kindness.
  2. When possible, err on the side of empathy.
  3. When possible, err on the side of justice.
  4. When possible, err on the side of flexibility.

A society that does not openly encourage kindness, empathy, justice and flexibility is a rigid, intolerant one — one that forces servitude upon its people in the name of greater good, while creating miserable lives for most with the exceptions of a select, privileged few. There is a net-increase in suffering.

A person who does not openly embody kindness, empathy, justice or flexibility is a tyrant — an authoritarian who believes others should exist only in service of this select, privileged few or face punitive measures. There is, again, a net-increase in suffering. No matter where you live, you’re probably thinking of someone in particular right now.

You can easily ask yourself if a society, culture, institution, humanity itself or the individuals it’s comprised of serve properly by answering this simple question: Do the people (and the environment!) they touch suffer less today than they did before?


And, couched within that question, is the meaning of life. To ease the burden of suffering of others. That is humanity’s greatest challenge. We address this challenge through service. It’s how we connect, aid, empathize, love, raise a family, save lives, enrich lives, cure disease, cultivate, create and fight. We do it to ease the burden of suffering. To lessen it. To divide it. To, hopefully, vanquish it. All service, no matter the name nor the god it is performed in the name of, must be done with this north star in mind. The meaning of life is to serve others with the purpose of easing the burden of suffering. That’s it. That’s the one thing. Your one thing, well, that’s still something you gotta figure out for yourself.


I — and perhaps you, too — often wrestle with the question of what constitutes “enough?” Namely, enough as it pertains to “how much should I do to ease the suffering of others?” The obvious answer is “as much as you possibly can,” but then the follow-up question is, “how much is that?”

After mulling over, I think we can frame the answer thusly: For as long as there is suffering in the world — and there will always be suffering somewhere — the answer is “it will never be enough.” I think what we were all put here to do, rather, is to gravitate a little closer to what “enough” could be, as long as we recognize that we are all enough in our little way. We all die eventually, often alone and with little fanfare, but what we do within our brief period of time spent as living, breathing humans, will have some measure of impact. I think it is our mission — neigh, our duty — to ensure that impact is kind, empathetic, just and flexible to change, able to bend ever closer to where humanity finds itself tomorrow and long after we’re gone.

Our lives serve something greater, and whether you believe that’s a god, or a country, or a city, or a team, or a business, or whatever, remember this: When you strip all that away, we serve humanity and Earth as a whole. We are cogs in the great universal machine. Where we find our freedom is in the way in which we turn, and in the way we help others find freedom for themselves. That’s What It All Means. Well, it’s one thing it could all mean, anyway.

Best Love Quotations Of All Time

What I have been savoring in the pages of my personal diary!

You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.

— Albert Einstein

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Quotations, other than being read for pleasure and the ‘this feels so true’ factor, can also help you escalate your relationship!

Just run your eyes down this list, sort out the best one that fits your relationship status and send it to your ‘Special Someone’!

When we come across some quotes that best fits our situation, we often resonate so well that we instantly feel at peace!

So….Get Set Go!

1. The higher you build walls around your heart, the harder you fall when someone tears them down.

— Unknown

2. Nobody is perfect until you fall in love with them.

— Unknown

3. She wasn’t exactly sure when it happened. All she knew for sure was that right here and now, she was falling hard and she could only pray that he was feeling the same way.

— Nicholas Sparks

4. In life, you have to take the pace that love goes. You don’t force falling in love, you don’t force being in love — you just become. I don’t know how to say that in English, but you just feel it.

— Juan Pablo Galavis

5. A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

— Mignon McLaughlin

6. The saddest thing about falling in love is that sooner or later something will go wrong.

— Unknown


“Woman`s hand with a ring on a man`s hand at Nunggalan Beach Nyang Nyang” by Andrew Avdeev on Unsplash

7. Sometimes the person you fall for isn’t ready to catch you.

— Unknown


8. Love does not appear with any warning signs. You fall into it as if pushed from a high diving board. No time to think about what’s happening. A crazy, heart-stopping, roller-coaster ride.

— Jackie Collins

9. Falling for him would be like cliff diving. It would be either the most exhilarating thing that ever happened to me or the stupidest mistake I’d ever make.

— Hussein Nishah


10. The bottom line is that we never fall for the person we’re supposed to.

— Jodi Picoult


11. If you’re afraid of getting hurt and feeling severe pain, then avoid falling in love.

— Unknown


12. I was falling. Falling through time and space and stars and sky and everything in between. I feel for days and weeks and what felt like lifetime across lifetimes. I fell until I forgot I was falling.

— Jess Rothenberg


13. I think falling in love is always a surprise, right?

— Josh Dallas


14. Each day my love grows deeper, deeper than I never thought before.

— Unknown


15. No one ever fell in love gracefully.

— Connie Brockway


16. Love is a feeling, a feeling of happiness. Love is powerful, too powerful to play with. This feeling is strange and hard to describe, but when you fall in love, you will know it inside.

— Unknown


17. It is better to lock up your heart with a merciless padlock, than to fall in love with someone who doesn’t know what they mean to you.

— Michael Bassey Johnson


18. A priceless moment is when the person that you have fallen in love with, looks you right in the eyes to tells you that they have fallen in love with you.

— Unknown


19. Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense.

— Helen Rowland


“A white flower called “Love in the mist” blooms against a black background” by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

20. “Falling in love is easy. Falling in love with the same person repeatedly is extraordinary.

— Crystal Woods


21. Love is like a hole; once you fall in, it’s hard to get out.

— Unknown


22. Falling in love doesn’t fall by itself. There is always a desire to take the plunge. Just make sure that love sticks around, to pick you up when you fall.

— Unknown


23. “All I’m saying is that I don’t want to sort of fall in love with fifty different people. I’d rather find one person and fall completely, deeply in over my head.

— Anna White


24. When we’re falling in love or out of it, that’s when we most need a song that says how we feel. Yeah, I write a lot of songs about boys. And I’m very happy to do that.

— Taylor Swift


25. Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves

— Unknown


26. Don’t fall in love; rise with it.

— Amit Abraham


27. We never get enough of falling in love and believing in love.

— Shemar Moore


28. I’m not just falling in love with you, I’m falling into you. You’re an ocean, and I’m falling in, drowning in the depths of who you are.

— Unknown


29. Have you ever watched a leaf leave a tree? It falls upward first, and then it drifts toward the ground, just as I find myself drifting towards you.

— Beth Kephart


“A scene prepared for a wedding with flower bouquets, empty chairs, and an altar” by Shardayyy Photography on Unsplash

30. When two people fall in love, all they can think about is how to build a perfect world around them.

— Unknown


31. There is that awful moment when you realize that you’re falling in love. That should be the most joyful moment, and actually it’s not. It’s always a moment that’s full of fear because you know, as night follows day, the joy is going to rapidly be followed by some pain or other. All the angst of a relationship.

— Helen Mirren


32. The mark of a real man, is a man who can allow himself to fall deeply in love with a woman

— Unknown


33. Isn’t that how falling in love so often works? Some stranger appears out of nowhere and becomes a fixed star in your universe.

— Kate Bolick


34. The greatest wonderful feeling is falling in love.

— Lailah Gifty Akita


35. No one believes in love at first sight until that special person comes along and steals your heart.

— Unknown


36. When you fall head over heels for someone, you’re not falling in love with who they are as a person; you’re falling in love with your idea of love.

— Elisabeth Rohm


37. Don’t try to stop your heart from falling in love, because in the end it may be worth it.

— Fad Ibra


38. She wonders if this is what people call falling in love, the desire to be with someone for every minute of the rest of her life so strong that sometimes she is frightened of herself.

— Yiyun Li


39. Love is like falling down…in the end you’re left hurt, scared, and with a memory of it forever.

— Unknown


40. When you love, you get hurt. When you get hurt, you hate. When you hate, you try to forget. When you try to forget, you start missing. And when you start missing, you’ll eventually fall in love again.

— Vinay Sharma


41. The scary thing about falling for someone is you don’t know whether they will stay or just leave at any given time.

— Emily Tilley


42. When you’re falling in love, you never notice it until you’ve already hit the ground.

— Terry Mark


“Two colorful floral arrangements in tin pails, with cut roses nearby” by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

43. Once you tell someone you love them, you automatically give that person the right to hurt you, and yet you place a trust in them that they won’t tear you apart.

— Abhishek Tiwari


44. Falling in love is a wonderfully terrifying sensation.

— Steve Maraboli


45. If ever you remember me, I will be thankful. If ever yours lips meets mine, I will be grateful. If ever we fall in love, I will be happy. If ever we fall apart, I will be sorry.

— Unknown


46. How can one fall in love? For me, love can only be uplifting…

— Ashok Kallarakkal


47. No one ever fell in love without being a little bit brave.

— Mario Tomasello


48. How is it that mankind can engineer condoms to prevent pregnancy and STDs and not be able to invent some sort of emotional safeguard? Is it even possible to abstain from falling in love?

— Daria Snadowsky


49. When you fall in love, the natural thing to do is give yourself to it.

— Unknown


50. I loved him desperately, completely, and he wasn’t threatening to consume me anymore. He already had. Everything that was me was him. My heart, mind and soul all were as much a part of him as they were me.

— Cassandra Giovanni


51. Be careful while falling in love, see that the fall doesn’t kill You.

— Steve Relane


52. Then he kissed her so deeply and so completely that she felt like she was falling, floating, spiraling down, down, down, like Alice in Wonderland.

— Liane Moriarty


53. If you fall in a river, There is a Boat, If you fall in well, There is Rope, But if you fall in LOVE, There is no HOPE.

— Unknown


54. You can’t help who you fall in love with.

— E.L. Montes


55. Falling in love is like jumping off a really tall building; your head tells you, ‘Idiot you’re gonna die’ but your heart tells you ‘Don’t worry pretty girl you can fly.’

— Unknown


56. God is such a cruel god
for making you so wonderful,
and for making me so weak.

— Sade Andria Zabala


“Man and woman kissing in a field at La Fresneda, partially obscured by long waving grasses” by Montse Monmo on Unsplash

57. You know you’re falling in love when the feeling of falling actually feels like you’re floating.

— Rashida Rowe


58. Many people do not fall in love; they fall in love with the idea of themselves being in love.

— C. JoyBell


59. To fall in love is very easy, Staying in love is a challenge, Letting go is the hardest part, And moving on is a damn suicide.

— Nishan Panwar


60. There is no greater feeling than falling in love, and no greater pain than when you lose it.

— Unknown


61. When your stomach turns somersaults every time you see your love interest, when you can go without eating for half a day because you can’t think of anything else, and when the sound of her voice blocks out every possible distraction each time you hear it…then logic’s role becomes a very minor one.

— Erik Tomblin


62. I never fall in love, because everything that falls breaks.

— Unknown


63. You know you’re in love the moment you can touch the stars without reaching. -Morgan

— Melisa M. Hamling


64. People should fall in love with their eyes closed.

— Hussein Nishah


65. Today’s problem is that people are quickly falling in love and falling out of it just as quickly.

— Moffat Machingura


67. Love is simple. You just gotta let yourself fall and have faith that someone will be there to catch you.

— Chelsea M. Cameron


68. Only fools fall in love and I guess I’m one of them.

— Unknown


69. Falling in love not only brings excitement and fulfillment; it also creates anxiety and fears of rejection and potential loss.

— Kumar Anupam


Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

70. Because before the time when you’re heartbroken, you get to be in love, and that’s worth it.

— Leila Sales


71. I fell in love with you because there was a mischief in your eyes.

— Michka Assayas


72. You can run away from love but it’ll find you and make you fall into it.

— Unknown


73. I loved you before I even knew the name for it. Everyday I’d sit beside you, inhaling your scent, looking at your beautiful face. Every night, dreaming about you. You eclipsed everything else. It was you. Always you.

— Heather Anastasiu


74. Falling in love doesn’t hurt; it’s the sudden STOP that hurts so much.

— Unknown


75. Falling in love doesn’t always lead to heartbreak, honey. With the right man, it can be a one-way ticket to paradise.

— Catherine Anderson

Refresh Your Brain to Restore High-Level Thinking

How to Immediately Refresh Your Brain to Restore High-Level Thinking

Photo by Felipe P. Lima Rizo on Unsplash

Mental clarity can escape anyone.

Surely even Einstein and Shakespeare had their moments. It happens.

It’s your ability to recover that matters.

You can impact your brain function and cognitive abilities by making simple tweaks here and there to your daily routine.

If you are looking to improve your concentration to perform better at work, or simply to make everyday life easier, you will find these ideas useful.

It only takes a few minutes to completely clear your head and restore higher-level thinking.

Recognise and name your state of mind

At our best, we feel calm, confident, focused, enthusiastic, and optimistic.That’s when we’re most productive and get along best with others.

At our worst, we typically experience self-doubt, impatience, irritability, defensiveness, and pessimism and we tend to lose focus.

Most of us move along the spectrum between our best and our worst all day long, depending on what’s going on around us.

To maximise your output and make the most of your brain energy, it’s important to recognize your state of mind at any point in time.

Naming your emotions tends to lessen the burden of being at your worst.

The physician ans psychiatrist Dan Siegel refers to this practice as “name itto tame it.”

David Rock argues that when you are experiencing significant internal tension and anxiety, you can reduce stress by up to 50 percent by noticing and naming your state.

In “Your Brain at Work, David Rock says, “Without this ability to stand outside your experience, without self-awareness, you would have little ability to moderate and direct your behavior moment to moment.”

He writes, “You need this capacity to free yourself from the automatic flow of experience and to choose where to direct your attention. Without a director, you are a mere automaton, driven by greed, fear, or habit.”

Schedule blocks of time for different modes of thinking

Our brains have two modes. When you are doing creative work, learning something new, or working on your most important tasks, you are in the “focused” mode.

Your brain assumes “diffuse” mode when you are relaxed, taking a walk, or day dreaming. Studies have shown that activity in many regions of the brain increases when your minds wander. Your brain solves its difficult problems while you daydream.

Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman argues that “mind wandering serves multiple adaptive functions, such as future planning, sorting out current concerns, cycling through different information streams, distributed learning (versus cramming), and creativity.”

According to engineering professor Barbara Oakley, author of “A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra),” inaddition to this “focused mode” — which relies on your brain’s prefrontal cortex — we also learn through a “diffuse mode,” rooted in the operations of a variety of different brain regions.

In fact, the brain switches back and forth between these modes regularly.

Barbara explains “When you’re focusing, you’re actually blocking your access to the diffuse mode. And the diffuse mode, it turns out, is what you often need to be able to solve a very difficult, new problem.”

Schedule purposeful breaks

According to research, the brain gradually stops registering a sight, sound or feeling if that stimulus remains constant over time. You lose your focus and your performance on the task declines.

Studies have shown that workers are most focused and productive when following the rhythm of a work/rest ratio.

When faced with a long creative problem, it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task and improve your idea generation approach. A structured downtime can help you do your best work.

We tend to generate redundant ideas when we don’t take regular breaks. If you’re hesitant to break away because you feel that you’re on a roll, be mindful that it might be a false impression. Your brain needs downtime to remain industrious and generate better ideas.

Your brain needs downtime to remain creative and generate its most innovative ideas.

A growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves creativity and that skipping breaks can lead to stress, exhaustion, and creative block.

Idleness is not a vice, it is indispensable for making those unexpected connections in the brain you crave and necessary to getting creative work done.

If you are struggling to solve complicated problems might be better off switching to “diffuse” mode and letting their mind wander.

Take proper breaks, often. Sometimes you just need a break — a chance to reboot the system.

Take a walk. A few minutes stroll can increase blood flow to the brain, which can boost creative thought. Charles Darwin took long walks around London.

Dickens wrote his novels between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. After that, he would go out for a long walk. He once said, “If I couldn’t walk fast and far, I should just explode and perish.”

Find time to doodle. Let your mind wander as you embrace pen and paper, again. Research shows that doodling can stimulate new ideas and help us stay focused. Make time to exercise. Exercise can give you more energy and help you gain focus. Try this 7-minute workout.

Embrace meditation. Meditation lowers stress levels and improves overall health as well as creativity. Take a nap. A number of studies have established that naps sharpen concentration and improve the performance.

Completely clear your mind and begin again. Your next big idea depends on it.

How To Be Mindful Of The Ego’s Control

Attention To The Darkness

“It is the nature of the ego to take, and the nature of the spirit to share.” — Proverb

Being mindful of the ego’s control could be the single factor that leads to your salvation.

Alternative medicine advocate and author Deepak Chopra affirmed, “If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.”

Many people are asleep to the vice-like grip the ego has and fall victim to it because they are unaware of its influence.

The ego is the wounded and scorned child that poses a threat to a person’s self-esteem. It manipulates you into the belief of separation, which is nothing more than an impulse intended to reinforce its position.

The ego thrives on dividing you from the wholeness of your authentic self and conspires to lure you into its ways.

It is the splintered part of the soul serving to admonish you of your limitations.

The ego takes its power from identifying with the “I” of your being. Every time you affirm, “I am lazy”, “I am hopeless/incompetent”, etc., it reinforces its influence.

When this voice becomes overwhelming, it leads you further away from your soul nature.

The ego undertakes to prove your unworthiness by bringing attention to the damaged aspects of your character.

“All ego really is, is our opinions, which we take to be solid, real, and the absolute truth about how things are,” states Buddhist nun Pema Chodron.

You are complete beings, embodied in the duality of light and dark — yin and yang. The ego, however, prefers to bring attention to the darkness by reminding you of the concealed self, replete with faults and vulnerabilities. However, this is not who you are but merely a snapshot of your being.

It seeks to be heard to ensure its survival, since focusing attention on your soul nature diminishes the ego.

The Authentic Self

“Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego and develop the spirit of surrender. You will then experience Bliss.” — Sri Sathya Sai Baba

To find harmony, acknowledge your unconscious or suppressed thoughts and transform them into empowering states.

Author Mario Martinez states in The MindBody Code, “The solution to all your impasses and suffering is not to kill your ego or detach from your negative emotions. You need your ego to deal with the practical aspects of life, and all emotions are essential biological information that tells you how your body is responding to the interpretations you make about your circumstances.”

To draw attention to your authentic self, realise that underneath your tangled story lies your core essence which is love and light. For the ego is merely a facade masquerading as a Venetian mask to conceal the real self.

Consider this, why do you identify with the egoic voice instead of the expression of the soul? Maybe it reminds you of the parent who criticised you, in contrast to the nurturing parent. Naturally, you are drawn to the negative parent to appease them and justify your self-worth.

The ego is the worn-out script that plays out in your head to convince you of your unworthiness. This is coupled with recalling negative thoughts that have you believe you are less than perfect.

To transform the voice of the ego, become conscious of your limiting self-talk and examine your hurt and pain for what it actually is — a smoke screen.

Undertake this by going into silence which allows you to connect with the stillness of the inner self. Meditation practice is an effective means to connect with your soul, because it drowns out the mental chatter in place of connecting with your authentic self.

“The authentic self will never lead you to believe that you have anything to defend, prove, or be puffed up about, because your true identity is not determined by what your ego or the world has to say about you,” affirms author Dennis Merritt Jones.

Regretfully, many people distract themselves with extraneous noise that isolates them from associating with their core self. If they retreat into silence long enough, they discover beneath their thoughts is someone they don’t like.

The Principle Of Wholeness

“Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.” ― Chögyam Trungpa

There is a vast undercurrent of longing to be noticed within. This pure awareness is known when you shift your attention away from incessant thoughts and focus on the stillness.

It was during meditation practice one day that I reached deep into my being and experienced this breath-taking stillness. I sensed returning home and yearned to associate with this pure silence. The clue to developing a relationship with this aspect of your being is to turn down the narrative of the egoic voice.

You shouldn’t try to destroy the ego, rather integrate it into the wholeness of your being so you are not a servant to it.

Meditation teacher and psychotherapist Loch Kelly validates this position in his book, Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. “What we let go of is our ego-identification. Our ego functions and ego personality become less stressed, defensive, and constricted; ego-identification is no longer experienced as the centre of who we are.”

Avoid supporting the ego’s view of separateness, and instead highlight the principle of wholeness.

Disempowering thoughts linked to fear is your soul calling you to reconnect with your authentic nature. Accordingly, fear is a signpost pointing you to the quietness within.

So, when a disempowering thought appears, simply notice it through pure awareness. I am reminded of the phrase my six-year-old nephew learned at kindergarten — “stop, look and listen.”

So, stop what you are doing, look within and listen attentively to the voice calling your attention. As you practice this, the less the ego will reinforce its control, so in time it rescinds into the background.

Afterall, if you seek to attain a state of bliss as Deepak Chopra affirms, you must reach beyond the ego while being attentive to its control.