Nobody, I’m sure, is living a perfect life. I’m not. But I’m working all the time on improving my life a lot and I think that’s something we should all be doing. It’s NEVER too late to improve things!
I read a marvelous story of a guy who graduated Oxford University at the age of 91! Bertie Gladwin left school aged 14 with no interest in academia. He’d been put in the duffers class by teachers and promptly lost interest in schooling (what does that tell you about teachers, eh?)
Today he has a total of three degrees and is even considering doing a PhD (what does that tell you about Bertie Gladwin?) I would argue he actually had far more ability than any of his teachers!
If you didn’t know it already, here are some remarkable people who were abject school failures: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Sir Winston Churchill. None of them graduated college and yet each left a considerable mark on the world.
What that tells me is that a typical school education—teachers—actually destroy ability, instead of nurturing it.
But I’m really talking about living to the max, rather than worldly success. Most of us, if shown a path to critical acclaim or power, would choose something closer to our heart anyway. It’s simply that, with those individuals in particular, what they were really passionate about was computers, records (Virgin Records) and the British Empire. Continue reading
The problem is that people are going about it the wrong way: they are working on an incorrect model, to use scientific phraseology.
Most people think that happiness is derived from possessions or surroundings. If I had more of this or that… Or if I was in that certain place, or with those certain people… If he/she would only marry me… I would really be happy. That’s the common perception, heavily reinforced by abusive commercial advertising that tries to promulgate this illusion, solely for the purpose of selling people goods.
In fact some ads are so cruel and twisted that they promote the idea that without the right car (or perfume, or whatever) you are a nobody; no member of the opposite sex would even give you the time of day, never mind allow themselves to love you. Sneering women, with pretend smirks, and the puzzled, exasperated men who are depicted in typical TV advertisements create a picture of a world in which only the unemotional cynic can survive and be “happy”.
Left unanswered is the question which is obvious to me: who would want to even meet—never mind have a relationship with—a woman who would throw your car keys down the drain before walking away without pity? Continue reading
Here’s a short video with an important life message. Love yourself by creating the future you really want!
There’s a great saying by the Dalai Lama: happiness is the journey, not the destination. It rightly emphasizes that happiness can never be postponed; you don’t wait for something to happen, in order to become happy.
In fact people who think only: “I’ll be happy if she changes her ways,” or “I’ll be happy once I’m rich,” are never going to be happy. Fact.
Relying on outside sources to be happy is a sure way to postpone happiness forever!
Real happiness, real contentment, is enjoying your journey towards some desired goal.
I love riding steam trains (it’s a thing I’ve had since I was a kid, OK?). But I couldn’t care less where we are going to! I love the sound of the engine, the smell of steam and hot oil, the rumble of the trucks and carriages… It’s the journey that inspires me! That’s my idea of steam happiness.
But of course, the train has to be going somewhere. So the destination comes into it. It’s the same in life. Continue reading
Experiments at the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin used MRI to map the brain of monk Matthieu Ricard while he was engaged in what Buddhists call compassion meditation. The pictures showed activity mainly in the left prefrontal cortex (just inside the forehead) of Ricard’s brain.
Generally people with happy temperaments exhibit a high ratio of activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area associated with happiness, joy and enthusiasm. Those who are prone to anxiety, fear and depression exhibit a higher ratio of activity in the right prefrontal cortex.
But the degree to which the left side of Ricard’s brain lit up far surpassed 150 other subjects studied in this trial. He had 30 years of experience at meditation but, unfortunately, we don’t have the control knowledge of whether Ricard might have exhibited the same results before he became a monk. His off-the-chart results may the result of his meditation skills or because he is an exceptional individual.
Buddhists have long maintained that meditation offers great benefits to their minds and bodies, but science demands measurements. Continue reading