image by elycefeliz
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me, what I wanted to be when I grew up I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
– John Lennon
Think back to your childhood, and whether your parents told you anything about the purpose of life. If you are a parent, think about the message you are sending to your children. Have you ever spoken to them about the key to life? Probably not. Most parents don’t use such phrase with their children. So Lennon, in my opinion, was lucky to receive that message from his mother. (It’s irrelevant if he’s paraphrasing his mother for the purpose of this article.)
Most parents – especially the majority who are made up of working-class, hard-working people – teach their children to work hard, get good grades, don’t do anyone harm, achieve a measure of tangible success that can be viewed by the society as success, and settle down with a family. That is how the meaning of life is described to us in a roundabout way, because that’s what we are taught to do with life. Majority of us are not told: your life’s purpose is to be happy.
It’s not the parents’ fault, or anyone’s fault. Happiness is relative. One can’t remain in the state of happiness 24/7. Happiness won’t put food on the table, or cloth your kids. So parents, being the well-meaning specie they are, arm us with tools for our survival with as much comfort as possible.
However, as an adult, having been through some ups and downs, having made mistakes and learnt lessons, and having wasted time life that could have been better spent, I think we should take Lennon’s mother’s advice – but not too literally.
Happiness is the key to life, which means we should pursue things that make us happy. It is not the fleeting joy we should chase, but permanent contentment. Happiness doesn’t mean we should be laughing or even smiling all the time. Sorrows and loss are inevitable part of life. The happiness that we should be pursuing is the kind that should make us feel content with our place in life, even when we are down in the dumps. This happiness is in knowing that we are doing what we are meant to be doing, diligently working to fulfil the purpose of our life, contributing to this great universe in our own way, and striving to be the best that we can be.
What do you think? What is the message that you will pass onto your children now?
First of all, my sincere apologies for the delay in announcing the winner. I have had some personal crisis, which prevented me from spending time here. Due to the same crisis, the EPIC 2014 course will start two days late – on 17th January. Again, I apologize.
The winner from the contest to get the FREE PLACE is Carolyn. Congratulations, Carolyn.
For the rest of you, the registration is still open for the course, so join in now.
image by h_k_d
Today’s exercise is not for the lazy. It’s not for the people who are afraid to face their own thoughts and views. It’s not for people who are scared to spread their wings for the fear of falling. But if you are not afraid or lazy, if you are open to knowing yourself a little better, and closer to being your authentic self then do this exercise.
It is invisible. It is intangible. But it is.
What is faith? Faith is belief – in something or someone without needing any evidence or promises.
You could have faith in God, in religion, or in nature. You could have faith in your spouse, in your parents, or in your children. You could faith in your friends. What does this faith tell you? Usually, when we have faith, we believe that wherever we’ve placed our faith, in whoever or whatever, wishes the best for us.
But how do we come to this faith? Is this simply a matter of love, or it is a matter of previous evidence? Or perhaps the case of faithful until proven unfaithful?
What about divine faith? Is that a case of religious upbringing, or a result of personal experiences?
It is the question of faith I want you pounder in your journal today. Who or what do you have faith in?
Do you have faith in God? In religion? How did you come about this faith? Does your faith waver?
Do you have faith in people? Which people? Why these people?
Have you lost faith in someone that you previously believed in? What happened? Does this weaken your faith in others?
Share your answers in the comments section below.
It’s difficult enough to set precise goals, and even harder to follow them. A lot of the times, what you need is just some support and encouragement, or a new way of thinking. At other times, you need someone to guide you and show you way to get you started on your journey. EPIC 2014 from Kaizen Journaling Academy provides both.
Now is your chance to enter in the contest to win a place for this year’s EPIC 2014 course. The course starts on January 15th, and you can read all the details about it here.
TO WIN: leave a comment BELOW THIS POST as to why you want to win this course, and how committed you are to doing the work.
Good luck, and I hope to see you on your EPIC journey.
PS: For those of you who have already signed up, you can still enter. If you win the place, you can either gift it to someone else or get your fee refunded.
image by blackbeltjones
If you are a beginner journal keeper, I have done an in-depth article about what to write in your journal, which I recommend you read first. The purpose of this exercise is slightly different. Whether you are new at journaling or an old hand at it, this exercise is for you to figure out what exactly you use your journal for, and how else can you use it.
Start with a free-writing list. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and quickly make a bullet-point list of how you currently use your journal. This list could include:
- To vent
- To develop ideas
- To make project notes
- To write down family history
- To write poetry
- To set goals
Whatever it is that you do with your journal, write it down. Use the free-writing format, write as fast as possible without pausing to think, until your 5 minutes or more are up, so that you can capture any uses of your journal your subconscious thinks you have.
Once you’ve made that list, review it. Now look at it analytically. Is your journal serving you as well as it could? Just sit quietly without distractions for 10 to 15 minutes, looking at it, and think about how else you could use your journal.
Then, set timer for 7 to 10 minutes. Now make another free-writing list for more uses for your journal. Don’t try to think now. Just let your pen flow, and keep writing whatever comes into your mind. Your mind will direct you as to how to use your journal more efficiently. Don’t worry if you end up repeating the same answer more than once. Just keep writing.
After your time has run out, look at your list. Read and carefully ponder over the suggestions your subconscious has made. Then consider which of these suggestions you can implement, and how they will enhance your life to include those various things in your journaling. Don’t get overzealous, but at the same time don’t be too cautious. If you are unsure about the benefit, try it. You can always stop if it doesn’t work.
I recommend a 30-day trial for any suggestion. 30 days, if used regularly and properly, is a sufficient amount of time to figure out whether something works or not.
Your journal is potentially an incredibly powerful tool, but its power comes from what you put in it. Therefore, it is essential that you are consciously thinking about how you are using this tool. That is the only way to do Kaizen Journaling, as opposed to just journaling.
It’s January 1st, the beginning of a New Year – the time when millions of resolutions are made. Every year people make resolutions. One of the most benefited institutions of these resolutions are gyms. Every January, gym memberships go up. People sign up for the whole year as they get excited about their new resolution. Gyms get the year’s fee, and more than half the members stop showing up by the end of the month.
It’s not just the fitness resolutions that suffer this fate. This scenario can be applied to almost every type of resolution.
Why do New Year’s resolutions fail? And if they keep failing so spectacularly, why do we insist on making a new resolution every year?
The answer lies in our psychology. When we make a resolution, we are making a decision. Making a decision gives you a sense of control. It gives you an emotional rush for doing something positive, making a change, taking a stand. This euphoric feeling is what entices us to keep making resolutions.
The resolutions fail because we then fail to take action that will keep giving us that euphoric feeling. Once the decision is made, the high of it can last from a few hours to a few days, depending on the importance of that decision. But then the high fades away, because taking action becomes a chore. You might try hard for a few days, but then there is no progress to see, and so the resolution is slowly forgotten.
Another reason the resolutions fail is because they are spur-of-the-moment ideas. If you make a resolution because your friends are doing it, or because it’s fashionable, then you are unlikely to keep it. A resolution should be a change you truly you want in life, or something you want to achieve. It should be suitable for you, for your lifestyle, and for your aspirations. If you make a resolutions with these considerations then you are more likely to succeed.
For many people, just the simple of act of deciding goals can be overwhelming. But even if you have solid goals, it is then hard to decide how to go about completing them. That’s where EPIC 2014 course can help. In this two weeks course, you will find step-by-step guidance, and you will learn how to come up with right goals, and then how to create action plans that will assist you in completing those goals. EPIC 2014 course starts on January 15th. Register today, and get your new year started with a very productive BANG!