Friday, July 31, 2009

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

IDEAS WORTH SHARING

Every once in a while, we all experience something so wonderful that it becomes really hard not to share.

Well, for a while, I have been reading a most wonderful document. Yeah, it is really short (only 24 pages). It's quite a deep piece, trust you me.

It is a report by Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence. A note titled Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.



Following are excerpts from this document:

INTRODUCTION
This note is designed to help you rise above your instincts and urges to begin a search for the life you were meant to live. Once you have abandoned a foolish quest for the ephemeral rewards of happiness, wealth and power, you can begin to look for your true calling on this earth – a Hero’s Journey. To do this, you must first learn to lose yourself.

CONTENTS

The following are discussed:
  • Understanding the Difference between Happiness, Satisfaction and Fulfillment
  • Pursuing Sensual Pleasures and Material Success for the Wrong Reasons
  • A Twisted Sense of Perspective: Misjudging the Present’s Impact on the Future
  • Sliding From Self Interest to Self Centeredness to Self Delusion
  • Losing Yourself in a Hero’s Journey
  • Spirituality: Losing Yourself Through a Connection with the Transcendental
  • Getting Started on Your Quest

A little deeper into the note, you find the following piece, that underscores our need for others.
Love: Losing Yourself in Relationship

Long-term studies of satisfaction and fulfillment show that relationships are critical to satisfaction and fulfillment. We live in relationship with others and we need to belong. We need others to complete us.

People who place a high priority in caring for others have more fulfilling lives. “There are few stronger predictors of happiness than a close, nurturing, equitable, intimate and lifelong companionship with one’s best friend.” Long-term studies on aging show that a lack of true friends would be one’s biggest crisis later in life. People get depressed when they are alone too long. They revive when with others.

Much of your long-term satisfaction and fulfillment will come from a relatively small group of family members and friends with whom we create the memories of a lifetime. Developing such relationships takes time, energy and courage.

You start with small steps. Beginning a relationship simply requires a little curiosity about others. Relationships grow by give and take. You ask about the other person’s goals, affirm them, and offer to help in some way. (Starting with people who have compatible goals makes it easier to invest attention).

Then something magical happens. You actually become more interested in others than yourself. You forget your own problems. Horizons open. Perspective broadens.

Favors, attention and self disclosure lead to trust. Obligations and constraints add more structure and meaning to life. You learn that giving is more satisfying than getting. Over time, a web of healthy relationships blossoms into a support system. Then you develop a reputation for helping others, a fragile treasure. Extraordinary opportunities follow.

Consciously choosing who to invest in relationships with makes a difference. Want to be a better person? Surround yourself with good people. Close friends have the most positive effect on fulfillment (families have only an average effect). Develop relationships with all ages. Always have friends from three generations: the generation below to add freshness and energy, your generation for understanding and companionship, and a generation older for perspective and wisdom.

SHARING

Download this report in full (24 pages, PDF 345KB) here.

I very strongly believe in learning and sharing useful information. This report is highly recommended.

Learn, share and achieve true Happiness, Satisfaction and Fulfillment in your life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All is Not Lost... It's Gonna Be Alright

"The only thing worth trying when all else fails is again."



Sweet words, but I dare admit, very hard to implement.

fail-try-again-all-not-lost



We all find ourselves in situations that look hopeless, where we feel damned and exploring our options, we find ourselves, much against our will, in 'Catch 22' situations.

The good news is that a way out ultimately exists. Only that we either cannot see it, are unwilling to go the extra mile and try, or are just overwhelmed by the gravity of whatever predicament we find ourselves in.

This post is dedicated to that close friend who shared with me their recent distress and anguish yesternight. I hope this post will be of help to my friend, and the rest of you in seemingly insurmountable and dire situations.

Following are lyrics to a very deep song (I think it's by Tramaine Hawkings). If you can, be sure to listen to it and you will surely be both uplifted and inspired.
ALL IS NOT LOST

"All is not lost when you lose a friend
All is not lost when it isn't your will
All is not lost when you can begin
to start all over again
All is not lost when you look around
All is not lost when God can be found
All is not lost when faith abounds
you can reach above the clouds
to Heaven's ground

It's gonna be alright
We walk by faith and not by sight
Receive the power of His might
For God is on your side
It's gonna be alright...
(mmmhhh yes it will)

All is not lost when you try to do good
All is not lost when you've done all you could
when He said that He would fight your battle
Trust Him, yes you should
All is not lost for Jesus is there
All is not lost He knows what went on
No no no one can compare
To the mercy and grace that He shares
(Oh yes) He knows He knows how much we can bear

It's gonna be alright
We walk by faith and not by sight
Receive the power of His might
For God is on your side
It's gonna be alright...
(mmmhh yes it will)

Thank you Lord
Yes it will, I know it will
Alright, alright, alright, alright
All is not lost with God on your side
Alright, alright, alright, alright
All is not lost with God on your side
Don't you worry no more, alright
It's gonna be alright, alright
Yeah, all is not lost, trust God in your life
Wipe all tears from your eyes, alright
Alright, alright, it's gonna be alright
All is not lost, I got faith by my side
Lift your hands, alright
It's gonna be alright, alright
All is not lost, trust God in your life
Just give it to Jesus
Alright, I know He's gonna work it out
Alright, All is not lost, with God by your side."

Never give up. It ain't over till it's truly over.

Learn, share and purpose to believe that it'll be alright eventually.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Critical Thinking: Tools For Taking Charge Of Your Professional AndPersonal Life

Critical Thinking is a vital part of development and cognition. Every action is predicated on one's thought process, it's therefore imperative that the thinking itself be healthy and forward-looking.



Critical Thinking: Tools For Taking Charge Of Your Professional And Personal Life, was published in 2002 by the Financial Times Prentice Hall. It's written by Richard Paul and Linda Elder.

At CriticalThinking.org, this book is introduced thus:
You are what you think…
Everything you do in life is determined by the quality of your thinking. If you aren't thinking clearly, you're at the mercy of everyone else-from dishonest politicians to aggressive, stop-at-nothing ad agencies. Unfortunately, many people never give any thought to how they think. No wonder they're susceptible to the frustration, pain, ineffectiveness, and financial loss that result directly from poorly considered thinking. Critical Thinking is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of your life-as a professional, as a consumer, citizen, friend, parent, and even as a lover.

This book explores the six stages of thinking, and challenges readers to find out what kind of thinker they are. These are:
  • Stage 1 The Unreflective Thinker (we are unaware of significant problems in our thinking)
  • Stage 2 The Challenged Thinker (we become aware of problems in our thinking)
  • Stage 3 The Beginning Thinker (we try to improve, but without regular practice)
  • Stage 4 The Practicing Thinker (we recognize the necessity of regular practice)
  • Stage 5 The Advanced Thinker (we advance in accordance with our practice)
  • Stage 6 The Master Thinker (skilled and insightful thinking becomes second nature)

CONTENTS

Acknowledgment Preface
Ch. 1:    Thinking in a World of Accelerating Change and Intensifying Danger
Ch. 2:    Becoming a Critic of Your Thinking
Ch. 3:    Becoming a Fair-Minded Thinker
Ch. 4:    Self-Understanding
Ch. 5:    The First Four Stages of Development: What Level Thinker are You?
Ch. 6:    The Parts of Thinking
Ch. 7:    The Standards for Thinking
Ch. 8:    Design Your Life
Ch. 9:    The Art of Making Intelligent Decisions
Ch. 10: Taking Charge of Your Irrational Tendencies
Ch. 11:  Monitoring Your Sociocentric Tendencies
Ch. 12:  Developing as an Ethical Reasoner
Ch. 13:  Analyzing and Evaluating Thinking in Corporate and Organizational Life
Ch. 14:  The Power and Limits of Professional Knowledge (And of the Disciplines that Underlie Them)
Ch. 15:  Strategic Thinking Part One
Ch. 16:  Strategic Thinking Part Two
Glossary: A Guide to Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts References

This book is high recommended for anyone who wishes to become better in both their personal and professional lives. It helps you exercise more informed and effective thinking. This will definitely improve your life.

Get Your FREE Copy 
If you need a copy of this book in PDF format, just Email me [info<at>peternjenga<dot>com] and I'll Email you one.

Learn, share and think more critically.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lost in translation . . .

Guest post by PinkM

Well, Pete honored me by asking me to guest post on here. No idea what wisdom is expected, but I’ll do my best to be me.

A couple of days ago, I did this post on giving and uplifting others in all I do, and a couple of comments prompted this post.

sunset-and-couple




See, we have the tendency to use English translations in relationships, and from my observation, they don’t always hold true. For example:

Giving / Receiving - According to the dictionary definition, these two are opposites right? Well, in relationships, they’re not. People have the tendency to believe that one has to be a giver or a receiver; you cannot be a perennial giver, and a receiver. If one is building themselves into being a giver, it’s taken to mean that that person will not receive. That’s not true.
The opposite of giving is not giving. The opposite of receiving is not receiving.

My saying I want to be ever generous means, I want to move from the position of not giving (all the time), to giving (all the time). Receiving comes in another context. Basically, giving and receiving IMO are not mutually exclusive.

Making Others Shine – Again, the opposite of this isn’t dimming my light. It just means that external approval will cease to be so important to me, and instead, I’ll channel that light onto someone who need it more to build their confidence.
Case in point. You have an important project to deliver, but instead of working on it and taking all the glory (which will mean less time, and more efficiency for the company), you help your junior do the work, and let him take the glory.

IMO, in that case, I haven’t dimmed my light one bit. See, I know I can do it and do it well, but the person beside me needs to learn. He needs to build his confidence in whatever task. He’s still growing.
Letting those beside you take the glory is a sign of growth and security in who you are, and as such, outside affirmation doesn’t mean that much (nose in the air self righteousness)

Character vs Personality – I was watching this episode of Desperate  Housewives that they talk about why you should probably love the rude neighbor who will speak their mind, and not trust so much, the polite neighbor, who has nothing but kind words for you, and nothing else (this was in reference to Susan, the rude neighbor and Orson, the ever so polite guy, who was stealing from everyone).

I get this feeling that society is emphasizing so much on people developing perfect personalities, without advocating for fundamental character issues.
We’re taught to say the right thing, the right words and everything to keep the peace.

As long as you’re 'correct' you’re accepted. Something is fundamentally wrong with that. Let us work on character development and sincerity, and at the end of the day, we’ll be a better people.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Unexpected Changes Our Lives

"The expected is just what keeps us steady, standing, still
The expected is just the beginning
The unexpected is what changes our lives."

- Meredith Grey (in Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Episode 13)

Have you ever had very great expectations, only to have them nipped in the bud at the eleventh hour? Have you ever had something you highly valued and looked forward to taken away right before your eyes?



Well, it happened to me in October 2008 and I now proceed to share the invaluable lesson I learnt and the insight acquired from that experience.

October 3, 2008 wasn't a good day for me at all. I was quite disappointed upon receiving information that something I had been looking forward to all of September would actually not materialize. For a moment, I felt like someone gave me a 'Shattered Dreams' low blow kick like Goldust used to do in the WWE.

Coincidentally, I had watched "Great Expectations", the 13th episode in the 3rd season of Grey's Anatomy, just a week before this incident. Whereas I am not that bad at accepting reality, letting go and moving on, I found it difficult to embrace the fact that the other party (a large, well respected media house) in the aforementioned situation had not bothered to inform me of the change in plans before the due date. Clearly, courtesy was wanting here, but c'est la vie, that's life.

Thinking of the effect many 'great expectations' do have in our lives, I now realize that these expectations can sometimes hold us back and therefore limit our ability to expand our horizons.

We so badly cling to these 'great' expectations that we are blinded from other opportunities that lie ahead of us. To make matters worse, these expectations do cloud our judgment and hamper our ability to face challenges.

The worst that can happen when we just focus on getting what we already expect is that we become myopic and overlook the long term.

Once again, I found a possible solution to problems occasioned by unmet 'great expectations' in Grey's Anatomy. (If you still haven't watched this show, I strongly recommend that you do. It is funny, and full of wisdom).

Consider the following:
GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Words by Meredith Grey

No one believes their life will turn out just 'kind of okay'
We all think we're going to be great
And from the day we decide to (be surgeons)
We are filled, with expectation...
Expectations of the trails we will blaze
The people we will help
The difference we will make
Great expectations of who we will be
Where we will go
And then... we get there.

We all think we're going to be great
And we feel a little bit robbed when our expectations aren't met
But sometimes, our expectations sell us short
Sometimes, the expected simply pales in comparison, to the unexpected
You gotta wonder why we cling to our expectations
Because the expected is just what keeps us steady, standing, still
The expected is just the beginning
The unexpected is what changes our lives.

- Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Episode 13)

You can watch the entire 'Great Expectations' episode here.

In life, you've got to expect the unexpected. Do not be limited by the familiar. Broaden your view. Cover new ground.


Learn, share and purpose to free yourself from the old, familiar, and 'well known' expectations.
Have the courage to realize that PLAN and REALITY are seldom, if ever, synonymous.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The End of Something. The Beginning, of Everything

"It was the end of something.
It was the beginning, of everything."

-Nokia N Series (The Fourth Screen) TV ad


I once read somewhere that every sundown is a challenge. It marks the end of yet another day. The end of something.

Unfortunately, that is all we see sometimes. We fail to realize that the end of any day paves the way for a brand new day, a new beginning.

Endings are necessary for beginnings to make any sense. The good news is that the end of something can actually be the beginning of everything.

This is because any new beginning can be predicated on what just ended. The lesson has already been learnt. The mistakes can now be avoided. Improvement is now inevitable. Growth and progress is only natural.

Armed with knowledge gained from experience, we can now do all that is required to get to the finish line. We can even go the extra mile. We can go the distance to realize our goals.

Following is the Nokia 4th Screen TV advert video. Be edified:







From now on, purpose to acknowledge that many endings signify brand new beginnings. That the old must pave way for the new. That each sunset heralds a new day. A new beginning. The beginning, of everything.
Now do the needful.

Learn, share, and realize that your best days are ahead of you. It's time to move on.

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