Every Step Is Forward – No Going Back

DailyOM today is about Every Step Is Forward – No Going Back.

There are times when we feel that we are spinning our wheels in the mud in terms of our spiritual progress. This can be especially true following a period of major growth in which we feel as if we’ve gained a lot of ground. In fact, this is the way growth goes—periods of intense forward movement give way to periods of what seems like stagnation. In those moments when we feel discouraged, it’s helpful to remember that we don’t ever really go backward. It may be that we are at a standstill because there is a new obstacle in our paths, or a new layer to get through, but the hard work we have done cannot be undone.

Every step on the path is meaningful, and even one that seems to take us backward is a forward step in the sense that it is what we must do to move to the next level. In addition, an intense growth spurt requires that we rest for a time in order to fully integrate the new energies that have been liberated by our hard work. When we feel we are not making progress, we can encourage ourselves to take a moment to rest. We can meditate more, feed ourselves well, and get extra sleep. Before we know it, we will be spurred on to work toward the next level of our development, and this rest will make sense then as something we needed in order to continue.

Source: DailyOM.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Way Of The Peaceful Warrior

I was recommended to watch the Peaceful Warrior movie (IMDB) which has a site of its own at The Peaceful Warrior. The plot can be found at Wikipedia.

I decided to instead get the book the movie is based on, “Way Of The Peaceful Warrior”. The author Dan Millman is a former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor and college professor.

Blending fact and fiction, the story relates an odyssey into realms of light and shadow, romance, and mystery. Guided by an eccentric old warrior named Socrates, drawn to an elusive young woman called Joy, Dan moves toward a final confrontation that will deliver or destroy him.

This classic tale, told with heart and humor, speaks to the peaceful warrior in each of us, moving readers to laughter and tears — even to moments of illumination — as they rediscover life’s larger meaning and purpose. Join Dan on the peaceful warrior’s path. Find out why this book has changed lives.

I picked some quotes from the FAQ-section at Dan’s website that are relevant to my comments:

Life, literature and film overflow with such pairings (a struggling student and mysterious mentor): Arthur had Merlin, Frodo had Gandalf; Mitch had Morrie; Luke Skywalker had Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda. And I had my Socrates.

According to an old proverb, “Art is a lie that helps us see the truth.”

The student – mentor setup is great, the focus is on the life of Dan the student with Socrates the mentor there to help in the spiritual process. I like the book for its spiritual teachings, they are similar to what I have learned from my mentors. But I would have preferred less fiction, sometimes Socrates gets ‘superhero’ abilities and that is strange to me. Still, the book is well worth reading and gave me some new insights.

I have picked some quotes from the book, pieces that stuck with me.

  • Everything you’ll ever need to know is within you.
  • You do not see your prison because its bars are invisible.
  • To rid yourself of old patterns, focus all your energy not on struggling with the old but on building the new.
  • Once you make your choice, do it with all your spirit.
  • Responsibility means recognizing both pleasure and price, action and consequence, then making a choice.
  • You are rich if you have enough money to satisfy all your desires. (Get more money or simplify life.)
  • It does not matter what you do, only how well you do it.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Turning 2008 into 80-20

I know we are in the middle of December but with holidays coming up there are not that many workdays left of 2007. Which means I take a shoot at what I intend to do next year, and how.

Chris Garrett posted about The 80/20 Rule of Effort. It is about summing up 2007 and looking forward into 2008. Chris writes:

One conclusion I have to draw from this year that I will take into the next is how I have squandered my time.

Squander (waste; spend thoughtlessly; throw away) is a harsh word but I am guilty of the same with some of my time. It could have been used better and that is where the 80-20-rule comes in. The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule) states that, for many phenomena, 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the efforts. In other words, find the 20% of your work that really makes a difference and cut down on the other 80%.

Benjamin On WOWNDADI posts 10 Tips To Gain You a Better 08. That is a great list and I will comment on some of them.

1. Set good goals.
This is important and so is to follow up on them, are we heading in the right direction and in the desired speed?

2. Quit stuff.
This is where 80-20 can help us, we can quit more than we think and spend that time on our core issues instead.

6. Commit to learning something new.
I believe in life long learning so this is a must for me.

And what do I intend to focus on during 2008?
I recently finished a course and became a professional coach. Coaching is my baby for next year and where most of my efforts will be focused.

I will set off time for my blogging efforts with the intention to post regularly at my three main blogs. The fourth one, doodling, is for fun and requires no set schedule.

On a more personal level I intend to enjoy life, be in the here and now.

Additional reading about the Pareto principle:

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

Butterflies First Live In Cocoons

I found more interesting things to read at “Masterful Living Newsletter”. This post is about the importance of having periods of rest, to recharge and get ready for the next step in life. In “Butterflies First Live In Cocoons” Christen Murphy Resmo starts like this:

We all must have restful periods of incubation and calm. You’re meant to enjoy this time to relax and quietly grow, or simply catch your breath a while. Inactivity helps you gather energy so that you can take yourself to a whole new level in life. You’ll need these stores of energy so that, in the right time and place, you’ll be able to take off and fly high.

I agree that it is very important to take time outs, to rest a while and recharge.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

The Medici Effect

The Medici Effect is a book about creativity and innovation written by Frans Johansson. The name alludes to The Medici family that helped to spur the beginning of the Italian Renaissance.

The Medici Effect is about what happens at intersections, crossroads between different and often unrelated knowledge areas. Frans Johansson argues that innovations occur when people see beyond their expertise and approach situations actively, with an eye toward putting available materials together in new combinations. The book contains examples from different areas plus tips around how to achieve the intersectional effects.

Update on January 16, 2008.
Brian Clark at Copyblogger got inspired by this book and wrote The Content Crossroads: Supernatural Success at the Intersection of Ideas.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Dolphin Stress Test


The picture posted here has 2 identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress levels at Loma Linda Medical Center.

Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific study of a group revealed that in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical, a person under stress would find differences in the two dolphins. The number of differences observed matches closely to the amount of stress the observer is experiencing.

If you find more than one or two differences you may be experiencing stress. Look at the photograph.

The Hunger Project

The Hunger Project (THP) has the tagline: Effective Action to End World Hunger.

The Hunger Project uses low-cost, people-centered strategies for the sustainable end of hunger. I recently was at meetings were two persons from Bangladesh talked about how The Hunger Project works there. The country manager, professor Badiul Alam Majumdar, gave a more theoretical talk about why charity does not work. But the great part was a woman named Chandrika Banerjee who talked about how her life has changed radically for the better. It was impressive, touching and heartwarming.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

The monk who sold his Ferrari

The monk who sold his Ferrari is written by Robin Sharma. I stumbled upon this book in my favourite online bookstore, got curious and ordered it. Picked it up on Saturday and have finished the book this weekend. I love it!

To enjoy the book I think you need to have a desire to grow, on a mental and spiritual level. A wish to change your life to something better. The book is a mix of wisdom of the East and success principles of the West. You get dejavu feelings now and then when familiar principles and quotes turn up but the great thing about the book is that it is all connected.

The story evolves around a mystical fable from the Sages of Sivana. The fable includes a magnificent garden, a lighthouse, a sumo wrestler, a pink wire cable, a golden stopwatch, fragrant roses and a path of diamonds.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.