Only Different Kinds of Good Weather

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A retired weatherman was once questioned by a friend, “What kind of weather is it going to be tomorrow?”

“The kind of weather I am going to love,” was the instant response with a gentle smile on his wrinkled face. “How do you know that it will be the weather you will love?” the friend was curious.

The weatherman went on to explain, my years in weather department has taught me just one thing:

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
— John Ruskin, Victorian art critic and big time weather optimist

To make the most of everything that doesn’t go as planned is an attitude thing.

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Rule Number 6 – The Practice of Lightening Up

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.”  – Oscar Wilderule_number_6

Two prime ministers sitting in a room, and suddenly the door bursts open, and a man came in and he was extremely upset and shouting and carrying on. The resident prime minister said, “Peter, Peter, please remember Rule #6.” And immediately Peter was restored to complete calm.

And a young woman came in. She was hysterical. Hair was flying all over the place.

Shouting and carrying on. He said, “Maria, please remember Rule #6!” And immediately

Maria said, “Oh, I’m so sorry,” and she apologized and walked out.

And then it happened a third time. You know how it always happens a third time.

And the visiting prime minister said, “My dear colleague, I’ve seen three people come into the room in a state of uncontrollable fury, and they walked out completely calmly. Would you be willing to share this Rule #6, what that is?”

And he said, “Oh yes, Rule #6, very simple. Don’t take yourself so damned seriously.”

And so he said, “Oh, that’s a wonderful rule. What may I ask are the other rules?”

And he says, “There aren’t any.”

A simple shift in the way we think can help us distinguish the part of ourselves that is forced to live in the competitive business world obsessed with measurement. When we practice Rule Number 6, we help our “calculating self” to lighten up. By doing so, we break its hold on us.

You can read more about Rule Number 6 in Zander’s book, The Art of Possibility.

Destination Disease

The formula is clear: work harder, then you’ll be successful, then you’ll be happier.

A lot of us unknowingly suffer from a disease known as “destination disease”, the most common symptom is the belief that when we achieve a goal, meet the right person, pay off their loans, graduate from school, make a certain amount of money, etc., we will be happy.

“When our happiness is based on a destination or lack there of, we put ourselves in a position where we can never be happy until we “arrive”. – KC Cupp

This disease which disguises itself as the ever tantalizing “bigger, better, and faster” trap, is a tragic way to live. Why? Because bigger, better, and faster are constantly moving.

It actually undermines the development potential because it manipulates you into thinking that you’ll only grow and gain when you arrive at a certain place. Yet the things that add the greatest value to your life and develop the richness of both your personality and potential are found in the process of life.

Well known American novelist, Ursula K Le Guin makes this statement, “It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

In the book The Happiness Advantage” author Shawn Achor explains how he spent over a decade researching at Harvard University, on one of the largest studies of happiness ever completed.

  • One of the key findings in Shawn Achor’s research was that happiness fuels success, not the other way around.
  • This study shows when we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, resilient, and productive at work and in life.
  • So our level of happiness and the key to living our best life today comes down to how we internalize our external circumstances.

It’s the old glass half full or half empty syndrome.

The things that add the greatest value to you are found in the process of life.

Read more:

Attitude can turn problems into blessings

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There is very little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big positive difference is weather it is positive or negative.

Long time ago I read the story of two shoe salesman, who were send to an island to sell shoes. The first sales man was shocked to realize that no one wore shoes. Immediately he sent a telegraph to his home office saying, “will return home tomorrow, no one wears shoes.”

The second sales man was thrilled by the same realization. Immediately we wired his home office saying, “please send me 10,000 pairs, everyone here needs them.”

In Awake, My Heart, J Sidlow Baxter wrote, “What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty and every difficulty has an opportunity.” [Source]

Similarly in the story of David and Goliath, when Goliath came to fight all of the soldiers thought, “He is so big, we can never kill him.” But when David looked at the same giant he said, “”He is so big, I can not miss him.”

Many times we see the challenges as the sunset of life rather than the sunrise of bright new opportunity.

Some quotes on attitude

When things aren’t working the way you want them to, or you feel you’re surrounded by problems, it can be tempting to look outward and try to change the things that you feel are causing issues. Chances are the issues you’re facing aren’t so cut and dry. The solution to the problem might just be your attitude.

I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself. -Walter Anderson

The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.

You always have a choice of how you are going to respond to what the world offers you. Do not let something dictate the way you react to things. You need to look within yourself and realize that you have the power to make things happen. We are a sum of all of our life’s experiences, so use these past lessons to help better your present situation.

 

 

 

Life acts, you react

Much of our lives is spent in reaction to others and to events around us. The problem is that these reactions might not always be the best course of action, and as a result, they can make others unhappy, make things worse for us, make the situation worse.

We often react without thinking. It’s a gut reaction, often based on fear and insecurities, and it’s not the most rational or appropriate way to act. Responding, on the other hand, is taking the situation in, and deciding the best course of action based on values such as reason, compassion, cooperation, etc.

Let’s see whether or not you agree with the following statement.

“You are responsible for all of your experiences of life.”

There is a trick in this statement, it does not say “in life” but “of life.” You are not responsible for everything that happens to you, but you are responsible for how you react to what does happen to you. The formula is that, “Life acts. You react.” Your reaction is under your control.

In any life situation you are always responsible for at least one thing. You are always responsible for the attitude towards the situation in which you find yourself. Your attitude is your reaction to what life hands you. You can have either a more positive or a more negative attitude. Your attitude is under your control and can be changed. With the right attitude you can be a resilient person.

‘Do you have the patience to wait, till your mud settles and the water is clear?
~Lao Tzu

 

[Socratic paradox] I know one thing: that I know nothing

The Greek philosopher Socrates is considered to be one of the wisest person, he was one of the founders of Western philosophy. He however used to say: “I know one thing: that I know nothing”. (Source)

On the contrary, when we see the debates on electronic media or the posts of most people on social networking sites like Facebook, we find that these people are so sure of ‘what they know’ that they are not even willing to listen an alternative point of view.

We, therefore, wonder how a person who is treated by the world as the wisest person says that ‘he knows nothing’ while so many ordinary folks claim to have all the knowledge of the world.

Was Socrates lying; or was he just trying to be humble; or was he actually speaking the truth?

A lot of what we are ‘know’ may actually be useless for us unless we apply the triple filter test.

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You can easily see that most of what is believed to be ‘knowledge’ is actually neither true, nor good nor even useful.  Yet people are so proud having such knowledge that are busy convincing others that they have solutions of all the problems of the world.

Only an ignorant person can give a categorical reply to all questions of life.  Most people believe that they can answer any question of life. It requires the wisdom of highest order to accept that you don’t know much about anything. Hence only a wise man can say these words “I don’t know”, while fools are answering all questions of life.