MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “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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In search of treasures

http://www.treasure-hunt-ideas.co.uk/site/siteImages/bg.jpgSantiago was in search of a treasure. Like all people, he was trying to find his place in this world. He read a lot and tried to travel even more. He longed to find where he belonged and what his purpose was. He was certain he had something exceptional to do.

But not every treasure is silver and gold. It took him a while to realise it.

For after travelling for years alone through sun, rain and snow, in lands that where not so welcoming, meeting all sorts of persons and seeing things he never even dreamt of, all he finally looked forward to was returning home. To a home that would be surrounded by the person who had stolen his heart from the very first time they set eyes on each other. Because life has a strange way of sending us signs for things that should happen. Falling in love is one of the strongest ones. And if you’re strong enough to fight for it, you are bound to find something amazing.

Santiago acknowledged after years of searching that his treasure was not material things. It was the knowledge and experience he had accumulated during his travels. It was the way his mind opened up and his spirit liberated. It was the push he felt inside him to constantly evolve, to want to become better for himself and those around him. It was the urge to become the exceptional person he believed he could be.

Treasures are first and foremost located in our hearts. We just need to first open our minds and souls to realise it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Exceptional

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.

The sound of rain on a tin roof

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©J Hardy Carroll

Since they moved, they hadn’t been to their old neighbourhood. It had already been three years. They found themselves on their old street by chance, having taken a wrong turn.

It was still there, only seeming abandoned.

Their old studio. The one where they first met and became intimate. Where they shared their dreams and learnt about one another.

The one where they would crawl into each other’s arms to sleep on nights when their lullaby was the patter of rain on the tin roof.

Some sounds will always be associated to certain memories no matter how much time passes.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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”.

Journalism Under Fire

https://static.kent.ac.uk/nexus/ems/116.jpgJournalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations”. George Orwell’s quote, today more than ever, remains relevant, at a time when media and control over them has become a highly controversial issue, mainly due to the ethics involved. Because, while journalism should, ideally, be objective and free of political affiliations, nowadays, the newsroom is dominated by the ominous shadow of advertising revenue. In a period when almost everything has been affected by the financial crisis, media – the people’s source of information – are searching for sources of income, while at the same time competing against social media and the plurality of free news.

How then can we distinguish the truth in what we read? And how can we dismiss ‘fake news’?

This was the topic of a very interesting discussion held in Athens in the context of the New York Times Athens Democracy Forum, hosted by the journalistic platforms Oikomedia and Hostwriter. The aim was to examine why Media have come under Suspicion and how journalism can regain public faith. Five guest speakers from international media participated: Serge Schmemann (New York Times), Philip Faigle (#D17, Zeit online), Simon Wilson (BBC Brussels), Prune Antoine (freelance journalist) and Tasos Telloglou (Skai TV/ Kathimerini).

The prevailing view, shared by many journalists and citizens alike, is that the observation of how real life unfolds is absent from many media reports today, mainly because of the rising trend of ‘opinionated journalism’. This trends sees the inclusion of a commentary, with the reporter him/herself often expressing a view on the story reported. But that is not what the role of the journalist is supposed to be, nor what the point of journalism is. It is supposed to be about the clear, undeterred, fair and objective presentation of facts that have been thoroughly researched and presented as is. Journalism is the means to make heard as many voices involved in a story as possible, and to cause, through that, the audience’s critical thought, so that citizens themselves may launch a public debate on the matter. In an era of rapid technological evolution, media outlets are perfectly positioned to become platforms promoting such active public discussion.

Instead, citizens increasingly turn against media, viewing them with suspicion and distrust and accusing them of transmitting ‘fake news’ and siding with any one political group. As such, it is not strange that, especially in Greece, citizens do not trust the media, and in fact increasingly tend to avoid the news. The 2017 annual Digital News Report by the Reuters Institute for Journalism revealed that Greeks have the lowest rate globally in trusting media with only 23% (compared to, for example, 62% recorded in Finland, the highest rate). Greece is also the only country in the world that believes social media do a better job in separating fact from fiction than traditional news media (28% vs 19%). In addition, over half the respondents (57%) in Greece and Turkey are avoiding the news, compared with fewer than one in ten in Japan (6%). One of the main reasons for this ‘media avoidance’ may very well be all the ‘negative’ news constantly broadcast, regarding the economy, politics, corruption, accidents, war, bloody conflicts and terrorism attacks around the world. News that not only contribute to increasing fear and agony for a future that is already blurred, but also result in further dampening an already low morale and bad psychological state. Consequently, people prefer not to know, endorsing that ‘ignorance is bliss’.

But in all this, how much are the journalists themselves to blame? Are they not asking the right questions? Are they presenting news out of context, indeed causing misinformation? Is the need for higher revenue placing at risk not only the independence of the organism but also its credibility as a source of objective and truthful facts? Press freedom is not only about the pluralism of views, but also about their presentation as facts, without editorialisation.

Journalism should be about opening questions not answering them. The journalist’s view has no place in the story they are reporting.

Today’s need to ‘sell more copies’ and ‘record more online views’ has irreparably also affected the quality of journalism. We need to go back to basics, to remember that in order for a fact to be reported correctly, you need to experience and (re)search it as best as possible to make it easier for the reader to comprehend. And most of all, to realise that people want to read about things that concern their lives and that affect them.

There will always be a need for stories. This was broadly acknowledged at the discussion. The main issue, however, is that journalists should never stop striving for their fundamental element: objectivity. And to step away from the uniformity and unanimity that so often characterises news stories today. After all, the mind opens up when it tries to do, see and think something differently. Otherwise, it is not even worth it.

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

A road to a different view

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©Danny Bowman

They told him the difficult, winding roads, the ones less travelled are the ones that would lead him to the most beautiful destinations. To places he had never seen before, never even imagined. He decided to take the risk because he wanted some peace of mind.

It was cloudy, perhaps even preparing for rain. And the gravel was rough; he could feel his car panting. But he was determined to go on.

He could see it up ahead. Tranquility was expecting him.

It was as if an entire mountain was waiting for his arrival to show him a different perspective.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

What a heart sounds like from the inside

http://mosafernameh.com/UploadImage/lz6.jpgShe is the one who knows you better than you (admit you) know yourself. She has learnt to do so ever since you arrived. To interpret what your every frown, tear, smile means. She is the one who stays awake so you can sleep. Who goes over and beyond her abilities at times, simply to please you. Who places you above all else, even herself. She is the one who carries you inside for three quarters of a year and then outside for a lifetime. Who holds you up and teaches you how to survive, although you can’t imagine doing it without her. Who watches you often prioritise your father who may love you equally as much but did not go through the same to bring you into the world. She is the one who will help you even when you don’t ask or when you think you can manage on your own. Who always knows what to say and is somehow always right even if you don’t realise it at the time and acknowledge it in retrospect. Who no matter how much you scream at, yell at or push away, always comes back because she doesn’t know how not to. Who shows you you are never alone because her love is unconditional and endless. Who hurts twice as much when she sees you suffering and is unable to do something to relieve your pain. Who can feel you just as you can feel her too. She is the one who personifies what Mother Theresa had once said, that “in this life we can not do great things; but we can do small things with great love”. Who makes sacrifices for you but speaks nothing of them. Who you hold as a model of strength, kindness, elegance and grace. Whose shoes you tried to fill ever since you learnt how to walk on your own. Who makes you feel (helpless) like a child again when you acknowledge how much you miss her, regardless of how independent and strong you (think you) are. Who, no matter how old you are, will always be the one you call to at any time for whatever reason and she will always respond. Whose hug and smile makes every problem disappear. Who you love to surprise and shower with gifts because you know she would do the same and more for you. She is the one who is not appreciated enough but never stops caring or trying any less.

A mother’s love is the most powerful cure in the world and the greatest gift we receive. It is priceless.

Tell her you love her. It is not said often enough. Remember you’re the only one who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside.

 

* Mummy, I love you.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Priceless

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.

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