Redefining Success

February 5, 2011 by  
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Excellent post by Douglas LaBier on today’s Huffington Post.

It talks about a movement of change and transformation taking place today.  A shift of values in the midst of wars and instability.  It is a significant time in human history where we have the chance to find more fulfilling ways to spend our lives.  We are talking about meaning.  And we are all participating in this moment either passively or actively.

The values bought by our society of personal power and success as being the goals to achieve are being debunked.  We now know being rich and powerful alone does not bring personal satisfaction and meaning to anyone.

As our world becomes intimately interconnected we become more aware of different cultures and ways of living. We realize living just for ourselves is a path to hollowness and dissatisfaction.  So much to do and so much to learn that involves only our interest and curiosity without the chains that keeps us searching for the next step up on the ladder.

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Viktor Frankl – Meaning Of Life

May 24, 2010 by  
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If you never read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, I highly recommend.  Dr. Frankl was a concentration camp survivor who credits his search for meaning under any circumstances as the key factor in surviving hunger, loss, violence and despair.  In the video below he says we have limited freedom in what happens in our lives but unlimited freedom in how we deal with pain.  He says so beautifully that if we can find meaning in all aspects of life we can turn even our loss and suffering into our personal success.  Watch the video.

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Working Hard At Being My Own Best Friend

January 16, 2010 by  
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Why and what are the most thought of words in my brain these days.  Why do we struggle?  Why all the effort? What is it all for?  And just plainly why and what.

To try to come up with any kind of possible answer I have been spending more time than usual hanging with myself.  Checking in and finding out more about this person I live with.  It’s a bit of an odd concept, get to know oneself, as if we are two separate individuals; one that just is and the other who works at getting to know the first one.

But how many of us really know ourselves?  And how many of us spend enough time with ourselves?  I’m not talking about time in front of our computers or TV.  I’m talking about time to listen to our thoughts, frustrations, hurts and pleasures.

We drive, we work, we eat, we are on our iPods, cell phones, chat-rooms but do we ever sit quietly and ask ourselves: how are we?  What’s bugging us?  What’s making us happy?

As philosophy is the cousin of existentialism and self reflection, I went digging through the Greek philosophers and found an interesting answer Antisthenes gave when asked what philosophy meant to him; he said the ability to hold converse with myself.

Now philosophy’s cousin – meditation – aims at giving ourselves time to be quiet and reflect.  It also works at making us present.  We are so often thinking of the past and of the future, that the present is almost never truly experienced.

Living requires us being in touch with ours senses and not just locked up in our heads.  Try washing your hands in water but truly being present in the moment.  Try making love and really feeling all the sensations.  Try eating an apple and getting lost in its crunches. Being present makes life be a completely different experience.

Being my own best friend also requires that I do something fulfilling for myself on a daily basis.  For me it means; a nice meal, a glass of outstanding wine, playing with my dogs or just sitting outside in the yard.

The bottom line is: in this world where we are bombarded with information and are asked to run and make decisions every minute of our lives, so it becomes easy to lose our sense of self.  And the only way of having any balance is by checking in.  So I for one want to be my friend.  No, I actually want to be my best friend.  Because I am the only one that knows every place and every person I ever met.  And I am the only one who no matter what will always be with me.  So I better be my own best friend.

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