MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the category “Reflections”

A monk’s enlightenment

Monk-who-sold-his-Ferrari-cover CROPImagine if one of the most successful people you knew suddenly disappeared. Now imagine that months, maybe even years, later he showed up at your door completely changed. Imagine if he told you that he had sold all of his material possessions and had sought a life of passion, purpose and peace among the most enlightened monks of our time. Wouldn’t you be intrigued to listen to what he had to say?

Robin Sharma manages to grasp your attention in The Monk who sold his Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny”. It is a book that makes you think, makes you re-consider certain things in life and above all inspires you to do things differently.

It makes you realise that the time to live is now, that we need to simplify our lives, to clear our minds of negative thoughts, to focus on the positive, and take risks in order to be able to truly fulfil the potential that is dormant inside of us.

Here are some of the most noteworthy quotes:

  • A person’s life can be summarised in certain key moments, which for everyone are the most important and crucial, the ones that mark their very existence.
  • Everyone has inside them reserves of life, more than we ever dreamt of.
  • Everything is created twice; first in the mind and then in reality. 
  • We are the creators of our thoughts.
  • During a normal day, around 60,000 thoughts pass through the mind of an average person; 95% of these are the same ones that troubled his/her mind the previous day. Most of them are negative. Instead of focusing on all the good we enjoy in life and all the positive we can aspire to do, we cling on to things that happened in the past, trying to find justifications and reasons to explain our actions. We wither in our thoughts and hinder our mind from fulfilling its true potential of creating magic and realising all the things we dream of. Being able to properly manage your thoughts is key in managing your entire life.
  • You truly cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought – not even one.
  • When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.
  • The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.
  • You need to empty your mind of negative thoughts to allow the positive ones to enter. You can’t fill a glass if it is already full.
  • The images you create in your fantasy affect the very image you have of yourself. 
  • You need not change your world in a day. Start off small. The thousand-mile journey begins by taking that first step. We grow great by degrees. Small daily steps lead to stunning results over time.
  • Develop a lust for learning. Read regularly. Reading for 30 minutes a day will do wonders for you. Do not read just anything. Be very selective about what you put into the garden of your mind. It must be immensely nourishing. Make it something that will improve both you and the quality of your life. Something that will inspire and elevate you.
  • It’s not what you will get out of the books that is so enriching – it is what the books will get out of you that will ultimately change your life…Books will allow you to see what is already inside of you. 
  • A burning sense of passion is the most potent fuel for your dreams.
  • Failure is not having the courage to try, nothing more and nothing less.
  • Fear is nothing more than a mental monster you have created, a negative stream of consciousness.
  • The only limits on your life are the ones you set yourself.
  • All progress comes from unreasonable people, people who follow their hearts and the instructions of their consciences rather than the commands of the crowd. All progress has come from risk-takers and men and women who were willing to visit the places that scared them. Greatness arrives once you refuse to buy into what others see as impossible.
  • There are no mistakes in life; only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery. 
  • Being able to master your time means that you are able to master your life.
  • In order to awaken your best life, it’s important that you “die while you are alive.” Most people live as if they have all the time in the world. They wish they had more time in their days and yet they waste the time they have. They put off living until some event in the future occurs. In order to awaken to your best life, every day should be lived as if it were your last day on the planet.
  • It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is what are you so busy about?
  • Never postpone the life you can live today.
     
  • We live in an age when we have forgotten what life is all about.
  • The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
  • Decide to be brilliant at what you do. And in how you live.
  • Life has bigger plans for you than you can possibly know. 
  • Never forget the importance of living with unbridled exhilaration. Never neglect to see the exquisite beauty in all living things. Today, and this very moment, is a gift. Stay focused on your purpose. The Universe will take care of everything else.
  • Be patient and live with the knowledge that all you are searching for is certain to come if you prepare for it and expect it.
  • Life doesn’t always give you what you ask for, but it always gives you what you need.
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Take a breath of life

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BuY3ZuxIEAAVFHC.jpgTake a deep breath. Slowly. Inhale and feel the air enter your lungs and fill your insides. Close your eyes. Now exhale. Free your mind of your thoughts. Allow yourself to be conscious of what you’re doing: you’re not just breathing. You are being alive.

Now do something more. Don’t just exist. Try to live.

You don’t need to worry so much about everything. Life has a way of making everything work out. Some way or another everything will fall into place.

And remember, smile. It’s the prettiest thing you can wear, and it’s contagious.

You’ll always be hit by negativity – from the people surrounding you to events that affect you. But you need to train your mind to see the positive behind it all, or rather despite it all. Don’t allow a little negativity to stop you from seeing all the good that’s around you.

Happiness, they say, comes from inside you. You just need to find the motive to bring it out.

It’s all a matter of choice. Just like the quality of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

So breathe.

Believe that better things are coming.

Breathe.

Everything will be all right.

If each day was our last

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©MCD

“What would you do if it was your last day on Earth?”

Psychologists often use the question to calm you down. To make you realise what is truly worth your attention and the degree of stress you devote to an issue. It helps you prioritise your problems and makes you see how small most of them are. Because we aren’t going to live forever. But we should make every minute of that existence count.

So what would he do if it was his last day? Alfie let his eyes gaze beyond the horizon as he pondered this life-existence question.

For starters, he would want to spend this last day – and most of his days actually – with the people he loved. He wanted to be happy. To leave, remembering what that feels like. That irreplaceable sentiment of feeling your heart full of love, laughter and happiness. Of feeling complete and of having everyone you want to spend your life with right next to you.

Then, he would like to go on a road trip; to drive through a forest, to feel the breeze whistling through the leaves, to take a deep breath and feel his lungs fill up with oxygen. To feel that you are inhaling life.

And he would want the day to end at the beach. To listen to the waves slowly caressing the golden sand. To watch as the sun set into the ocean, painting the sky shades of yellow, orange and red.

He would want to live his last day as fully as possible. With no regrets. Nothing that would alter or in any way affect a good mood.

“You know, Alfie,” said his psychologist with a wisdom grin on his face, “you can fill your life with days and moments such as these you described. All you have to do is pretend every day would be your last. And you’ll cherish every single minute of the time that is given to you”.

When things go wrong

cat-tigerThings are bound to get rough. It’s a fact of life. Nothing is perfect all the time. There comes a moment when things will go wrong. And sometimes, too many things go wrong for too long. But like Charles R. Swindoll said, “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it”.

There are days when you won’t want to get out of bed, out of fear that something (even more) terrible will happen. Days when you’re overcome by negative thoughts, when you’re convinced that someone cast a spell on you – the neighbour, the person who competes with you for a parking spot, those others who are always jealous of you but hypocritically act as if they’re happy for you. And somehow, your mood drops, you don’t feel like doing anything, seeing anyone or even getting out of the house. Because you know that when one thing goes wrong, a whole lot of others will follow. And they usually do. Something breaks that you can’t fix; your computer gives up on you; you lose your lucky charm that you’ve had for years.

They say there is a reason things happen. You just never find out what it is.

But what you need to force yourself to do is to abandon the negative thoughts. Being negative attracts negativity. And in the same sense, being positive will turn things around. Try to smile and the sun will shine a little brighter. But most of all, surround yourself people who offer more than sympathy. People who will embrace you, look out for you and persuade you that there are things in life worth being grateful for. And if something goes wrong now, it’s because something even better is on its way.

You just have to believe.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Sympathy

Life is a journey not a destination

http://www.wns.com/Portals/0/Images/HeaderBanner/desktop/1087/53/travel_HD.jpgIn an interview, renowned architect Renzo Piano said, “when you are born in a city surrounded by water, the only thing you think about is that the water will become a path to take you away, to explore the world”. It is true. As children, we all have that feeling of wanting to discover what more is out there. You feel that your surroundings constrain you and you need to leave, to meet other places. As adults, we try to find the time and money to travel. But what we often forget is that “travel is not a reward for working; it is education for living”.

There is a saying that “we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us” and it is certainly true that “travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer”.

We travel to grow. To allow our mind to grow and expand at all the new things we learn while in a different place. We find out that the world we live in is more vast that we acknowledge and that it is impossible to see it all in a lifetime.

We travel to get away. To discover new places, new people, different customs and other mentalities; but at the same time to (re)discover ourselves. We change places in the hope of finding serenity, calm and understanding when we lack it at home. With the optimism that we will rethink certain aspects and manage to find peace in a surrounding that is different to the one we see every day.  We travel to make ourselves better, in every way.

We travel to reinvent ourselves and ultimately to become richer – particularly, in the mind and soul. It is indeed better to “fill your heart with adventure not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.  Because one thing is for sure, when you return, you are never the same person you left.

High bars

https://www.metalmulisha.com/2016/05/26/matt-buyten-trains-moto-x-step/

©Chris Tedesco

She stepped out of the train and slowly walked up to the escalator. For some reason she didn’t really want to rush like she always did. The thoughts had flooded her mind. Scenarios that may never be fulfilled. Wouldn’t it be great, she thought, if he was already there, waiting for her? But that wouldn’t happen. She already dismissed it from her mind. She walked out hurriedly heading towards the traffic lights, crossed the street, lost in her thoughts. And then she heard someone talking to her, a familiar voice that said “Honey, I’m calling you, but you won’t listen”. She turned and there he was, smiling as if nothing had been broken. He was there, waiting for her.

Now she was expecting the door to open and see him walking in. She turned her head every time a sound was heard, her heart beating faster. But it was always some stranger. Then the time came, the bells rang and she had to leave.

He didn’t come. And reality hit her hard.

Because things like that only happen in movies, not in real life.

The problem with setting the bar too high is that the higher up it is, the more it hurts when it falls.

It happens in an instance. Like the tremours of a violent earthquake during a vicious storm devastating everything in its passage.

As with everything in life, we all have expectations of how things will turn out to be. We dream and hope that it will all be realised in that idyllic way we have formulated in our head.

But they don’t always. Hardly ever. Rarely so.

Our expectations become illusions. Unfulfilled dreams of what could have been.

They say things happen for a reason. But you never truly get to find out what the reason is. You are only granted a glimpse of it when it no longer matters.

And your love becomes hate, but deep down it’s actually sorrow of time lost spent not being happy.

You end up disappointed when you realise that people don’t do for you what you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as yours.

We set the bars high because we want people to prove us wrong, that there can be those who care enough to try harder and persist. We raise our expectations in the hope of finding the people who will intensify their performance to meet them, who will do what best they can to make them a reality.  In the end, you shouldn’t be sorry for having high standards; people who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark” – Michelangelo Buonarroti

Roots and wings

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/99/a8/52/99a85230057e9941cb6b01a6ba3711e3--black-tree-art-prints.jpgThere is a saying, “if you don’t like where you are, move; you are not a tree”. People were meant to move around, to explore, to evolve. Instead, with the passing of time, we have become so afraid of change that we fear the slightest disturbance of our known environment. We become rooted in one place, often because we don’t have the courage to risk and see what more is out there.

And as such, we close our minds to everything around us. We refuse to accept anything different to our own perceptions, or consider something further from our beliefs.

We become so accustomed to routine, that any turbulence to it is considered lethal; when in fact, it is the other way around.

We encage ourselves in a life that shrinks us and diminishes us instead of helping us grow and develop. We aren’t making ourselves better, rather, we persevere in a mediocrity and preserve a life unchanged, with the same mentality and the same lens on life.

But what we fail to see, is that as we grow, our surroundings change, our needs become different, and so do our characters. We have a different perspective on life when we are young, springing into the world, compared to when we are mature, looking back at it.

After all, we are supposed to receive and pass on two gifts: roots to remind you where you are from, and wings to show what you can become. It is only when you use the latter that you discover where you can go.

Five Whispers

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/number-five-birthday-candle-12979894.jpghttps://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/number-five-birthday-candle-12979894.jpgFive is a milestone. Especially when it comes to time, and most specifically years. Five years of writing on this blog, I have come to realise that the more you manage to express, the free-er you eventually feel, and the more you want to write.

But, there is more.

You realise how quickly time passes and how much your life can change in the span of (just) a year. How many things can happen in 12 months that have the power to change your life, your mood, your perspective.

You come to understand that knowledge is truly power, no matter where it comes from. And you witness for yourself that the more you expand your reading, the more it embellishes your writing. A creative mind has no rest; it needs its outlets of expression.

When you start considering the passing of time, however, you conclude this very fact: “Life is about making an impact, not making an income” (Kevin Kruse).

Life will never be perfect. But we can choose to make it work.

And in the end we only need a few things to survive. But most importantly, when you love what you have, you have everything you need.

A blink in time

http://bereadytovote.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ElectionDays.jpgWhen you start counting your past in two-digit numbered-years, you know you’ve lived a lot. But you never cease to be amazed by how rapidly time really rushes by. It’s only when you think of what has been that you begin to realise the magnitude of the things you’ve experienced and all the things you’ve managed to do and survive. Yet you’ll always sadden at the thought that many of those things and people that accompanied you in your earlier years don’t exist anymore. And you tremble at the frightening thought that the same fate awaits you sometime in your future. All you can hope is that it will be far away.

As children we believe that the people around as are immortal. And that our surroundings will endure forever, surviving every disaster, natural or manmade. It is as we grow up that this innocence and lack of realism is lost. As is our ability to dream.

We live in a world that is both terrifying and wonderful. One in which time passes by so fast that if you blink you’ll miss the moments you have to live.

Our lives are but a swish in this vast universe and all we can do is take as much out of them as we possible can. Make a reality out of your dreams; do the things that scare you but will make you stronger; spend more time with the people you love; demonstrate your appreciation and gratitude to those that matter; and help those that can’t help themselves. A life well-lived is one that is full to the brim with experiences, with as least regrets as possible, with memories you cherish, and with the satisfaction that you took advantage to the utmost of all the time that was given to you.

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives” – Lemony Snicket

 

Waking a sleeping fire

http://6iee.com/373250.htmlThere are some feelings, which are dormant until they are sparked into life. Like jealousy and fear. You don’t realise they are so intense until they’re awake. Because then it feels that you’ve set a match on fire inside your veins.

It is said no to “do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you”. To treat people as you would like to be treated, because even the nicest people have their limits. And we are raised to understand how people of different classes, backgrounds or even gender are so unlike yet so similar.

Women, for example, want men to cherish them as special and exclusive, just as men want their girl to bedazzle everyone but have eyes only for them. But at various points in time, each need to enter each other’s shoes to understand and to consider how they would act had they been on the other side.

Trust, just as love, is a two-way street. And it is earned through time, experience and mutual respect. Trust is what you convince others to be true, it is what allays their fears and combats the dragons that rise when one part of the pair is away. Love is how you show you care, so much that it is reciprocated.

And to harmonise it all into a healthy relationship requires that you also rid of any signs of selfishness that infect the invisible chain that binds a couple. It entails that communication is so strong that their eyes can speak straight to their heart. It needs love to roar louder than the demons.

All it really takes is a small act of kindness once in a while that will go a long way. One that will put the demons asleep and waken the heart. Because remember, the heart is a tiny organ that, however, sustains your entire being and it is on this that your very existence relies.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Dormant

Also part of Daily Prompt: Harmonize

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