Monday, November 15, 2010

The Need to Play Your Part

Only when we simultaneously play our respective roles do we collectively become a whole that's more than the sum of its parts.

Play Your Role for It begins with you

As I was reading Andrew Brown's piece titled 'Why life without faith is impossible' on the Guardian's Comment is Free yesterday, I was reminded of just how much we depend on one another for our lives to be complete.

We are highly interdependent, we simply cannot get everything done all by ourselves. Functional societies and communities exist when each member proceeds to his own duty with a trust that the other members will simultaneously do theirs.

Giiving it further thought, I asked myself how then, in spite of the roles others play to enhance our lives, we still fail to achieve common purpose.

How the Minority Defeats the Majority

Ironically, the few usually control the many. All over the world, a small minority controls the bulk of the wealth, a small band of thugs can terrorize an entire neighborhood, and most importantly, a very small number of politicians can run down an entire country.

Even when faced with a common danger, one person is still able to manipulate many others as happened in House of 9.

Imagine a hostage situation. A bus carrying over sixty passengers is hijacked by five thugs, armed with crude weapons.
How are these thugs able to control these passengers who outnumber them by a ratio that's greater than 1:12?
According to Andrew Brown, the passengers are easily defeated thanks to the following:
because the highwaymen [thugs] can count on one another, while each passenger fears that if he makes a movement of resistance, he will be shot before any one else backs him up.

The Magic of Teamwork

Teamwork, we all know, works by dividing the effort and multiplying the effect. In other words, when we each do a little more, we all do a lot more.

That said however, there are reasons why we do not fully exploit the spirit of teamwork:

  1. We are mostly self-seeking. With every person for himself, nobody does that which will benefit others. We are not altruistic.

  2. We refuse to stand in harm's way or take the fall, for the sake of others. Very few are unwilling to take one for the team. Nobody is willing to sacrifice anything for others.

  3. Unlike the thugs in the aforementioned example, we lack the assurance that others will watch our backs. There is no motivation to look out for others as well.

Playing Our Roles

The need to play our roles in life cannot be gainsaid. Whereas it may not be very clear to us, what we do invariably has an effect on others. Sometimes, this effect is both far reaching and long lasting.

The onus is therefore upon us to make sure that we do the needful in life, because only then can altruism and sacrifice have true meaning. Go ahead and play your role, no matter how irrelevant and insignificant it may seem. It all starts with you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Refusing to Stop Believing


Back in the day, I strongly believed that determination was inspired by, and predicated on a strong will.

Don't Stop Believing

Willpower, as my High School deputy School Captain often said, was what "enables a bird to fly even with a broken wing. Willpower is what makes an athlete take a rebound shot after failing on the first attempt."

Saying NO

With time however, I have come to realize that determination also depends, sometimes to a larger extent, on an even stronger won't.
This is where the self-discipline component of willpower kicks in.

The ability to unrelentingly say NO to temptations, failure, discouragement, rejection and innumerable other negative reinforcements is an enduring hallmark of a strong character.

Value Systems

Ou actions are mostly informed by our belief and value systems. We often do what we believe is the right thing.

In this regard, we should never stop believing... so long as what we believe is indeed what is right and worthwhile.

Finally, we take time to wind up this post with words from Journey's wildly popular hit song: 'Don't Stop Believing'.
Don't stop believing
Hold on to that feeling

Watch the video below:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heightened Awareness and Consciousness

This short post owes its credence in part, to the lifestyle I have lately adopted in a while trying to go green complitly.

The Green life is predicated on ethical utilization and management of natural resources, use of renewable energy, recycling, eating local and healthy foods, sticking to a healthy lifestyle among others.

After effecting far reaching changes in the way I live, I started observing changes that I am very happy about.
Part of these changes is improved response to stimuli, and sharper senses. Since I no longer consume sugar or excessive salt in my food, I noticed that my taste buds greatly improved.
So did my eyesight, hearing, sense of touch and most mportantly, the sense of smell.

Just the other day, I'd gone to visit my parents. While there, I asked my mom if she was cooking arrowroots.
Well, she wqas pleasantly surprised and asked me how I was able to smell a very small piece of arrowroot from a previous meal.
I simply confirmed that my sense of smell, and overall well being has improved significantly of late.

In a somewhat related experience, I remember watching the movie 'Next' starring Nicholas Cage. In the film, Cris Johnson (Nicholas Cage) is able to see into his future, albeit only two minutes ahead.

Well, I am in no way able to see into the future, but I surely acknowledge the new heightened sense of awareness that I now have.

All this is indicative of enhanced wellbeing when one embraces an all round healthy lifestyle. The results are are truly awesome! This has led me to a higher consciousness.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On Writing. A Memoir of the Craft

During my blogging hiatus, I took time to read a number of books. Ironic as this might sound, one of the books is actually about writing.

Stephen King is a world renown bestselling author, who has written dozens of books in the course of a writing career spanning decades. Many of his novels and short stories have been made into movies and mini TV series.

Stephen King's On Writing. A Memoir of the Craft

On Writing is a book that's essentially Stephen King's take on writing itself. He also tells the reader a bit about his early life, his writing career, culminating in the accident that nearly took his life. It is an invaluable book for anyone who seeks to become a writer.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Essence of Solitude

The conditions of a solitary bird are five:

The first, that it flies to the highest point;

the second, that it does not suffer for company, not even of its own kind;

the third, that it aims its beak to the skies;

the fourth, that it does not have a definite color;

the fifth, that it sings very softly.

- San Juan de la Cruz, Dichos de Luz y Amor (from Carlos Castaneda's Tales of Power)

Get Inspired in Solitude

Solitary Pete?

For a long time, many of my friends have taken issue with my insistence on being alone most of the time.

In my world, the best moments are those that I spend time alone, usually while taking a walk. That is when ideas come flooding into my ready mind, a time when I actually notice whatever it is I see, when I get to listen to whatever I hear.

Solitude vs Loneliness

While it is true that "People get depressed when they are alone too long" [page 11 of this document], I have taken care of this problem through virtual means - by listening to music, talk radio shows, having a network of people I chat with every day and most important, lovingly rearing four pets [two puppies and two kittens].

Back in 2008, Brian Tracy wrote 'The Magic of Solitude.' He opines that in silence and solitude, many have learned how to "still their minds, tap into their super-conscious power... a wonderful technique that improves the quality of one's inner and outer life."

Helter Skelter

Interestingly, many of us have never taken time to be all alone by ourselves. For such persons, every moment is inundated with friends, work and a myriad of other things seeking their immediate attention.

Life gradually becomes one long unending busy moment. This monotonous engagement often leaves one worn out, with no time to relax or rejuvenate. Sleep hours will in most cases be truncated to create time for even more activities.

So how do you actually get to relax?

In his article, Brian Tracy recommends that you do the following:

"sit quietly, perfectly still, back and head erect, eyes open, without cigarettes, candy, writing materials, music or any interruptions whatsoever for at least 30 minutes. An hour is better.

Become completely relaxed, and breathe deeply. Just let your mind flow. Don't deliberately try to think about anything. The harder you "don't try," the more powerfully it works. After 20 or 25 minutes, you'll begin to feel deeply relaxed. You'll begin to experience a flow of energy coming into your mind and body."

Idea Lab

In my experience, ideas flow really well and uninterrupted when we take time to relax and do away with all the clutter. As earlier mentioned, even the best ideas will need a ready mind for them to be implemented to full realization.

In view of the foregoing, take time to relax, to be in step with your inner self, and to harness the amazing power of solitude.

Take time to inspire yourself.


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