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Day 403: Directing Conflicts

The theme of my week has been conflicts, primarily in relation to money, however it has also touched other subjects. It has been interesting, because I have been both on the receiving end of criticism and complaints as well as on the giving end of criticism and complaints. Having had a taste of both worlds – it opened up some interesting realizations.

I realized that the normal way we tend to approach dissatisfaction with products/services is by anger/frustration. We feel harmed and unjustly treated – and we approach the other person in that state of anger/frustration and discontent. Oftentimes this results in more conflict, more irritation, more anger, and more confusion. We start to fight instead of coming up with solutions – and we believe that the other person is out to get us – instead of seeing that it could be a honest mistake – and that we could potentially have a mature, and stable discussion about what we are unsatisfied with and find a solution together.

A better way to approach conflicts is by being humble, being open to hearing the other perspective and being open to consider solutions that are mutually effective. Disputes where both parties decide to go full on for their own desired outcome with no quarters are really destructive. In a best-case scenario, one of the parties’ wins – in a worst-case scenario – both lose. Fighting, it always creates losers, which is why it is pretty fascinating to see how often we choose this route. And it is not because of reasons that we can explain rationally, it is because of how we feel – and we seek our perceived version of justice through the conflict. The problem is that we seldom see the problem, the area of conflict, with any clarity because everything is very much shrouded by our own self-interest – and having regard and empathy for our opponent can in such a case feel like a weakness. Though it is the ability to keep a cool head and place ourselves in the position of the other party that will allow us to find a solution that is going to work both for the other and us.

Another difficult emotional experience that can make conflicts hard to solve is idea that we have to stand by our feeling of being wronged because it is a matter of principle. The problem is that the ‘principled’ party is unable to consider anything else but their own principle, or rather, their own emotional experience. The ‘principled’ party will thus seldom be able to expand their seeing to take into consideration the other party as well – and will oftentimes stick to their demands stubbornly. And there will be a great fear of letting go of the emotional experience because of the belief, that if we do, then we have admitted defeat. That is obviously not the case. Defeat is subjective, and in the case of conflicts, defeat would be to not find a solution that is effective and works for both parties.

Conflicts are a natural, recurring and big part of social life. It comes through in nearly all type of relationships, whether with humans or animals. Learning to deal with conflicts is because of that an important skill to acquire. A basic component of dealing with conflicts effectively is communication. I would say that bad communication and the consequential misunderstandings are the prime reason for the creation and continuation of conflicts.

Recently I have watched a Danish TV series that is about a collective with young people that are brought together in order to research their personalities and behaviors. Naturally, many conflicts, emotional experiences and misunderstandings occur. For example, two people initiate a sexual relationship hurriedly. One of them does not see a future with the relationship, the other falls in love. Neither of them communicates their experiences. Thus the one that is not interested in continuing feels bogged down and stalked and the one feeling in love feels rejected and becomes increasingly sad and emotional. And the conflict is created because neither party communicates about how they feel, their intentions and their aspirations.

The reasons why we decide to not communicate in such situations probably differ from person to person. If it would be me, I would most likely hold back because of fear of being vulnerable. However others might not share their experience because they believe the other person already knows. Sometimes we become so lost in our thoughts, and they become such a big part of our life, that we believe that everyone else has access to them as well. However, that is not the case. In order to break through and find solutions we must dare to be vulnerable and also understand that we cannot expect anyone to understand unless we have communicated and clarified our position. It is basic common sense and still it is normal to lack such basic skills of communication.

Another example that read of in a book about learning how to negotiate is the following. Worker A is pissed off because his chief B always selects him to lead the one of the most physically exhausting undertakings. He thinks that B is singling him out and is punishing him. Thus A decides to contact his union and refuse to follow orders. B on the other hand reasons that because A is one of is best and most trusted workers, he chooses A to head the difficult undertaking, because then B knows that the job gets done. This is a clear-cut example of how the lack of communication creates conflicts. If A would have voiced himself and if B would have explained is reasoning, there would most likely not have been any issue between the two.

Thus, to summarize: To avoid conflicts, effective communication, empathy and openness are required. We must embrace the possibility that the other party is not necessarily evil, but that there might be a misunderstanding or a miss-match of expectations. Through communication we are able to find and resolve differences and establish solutions that work for both parties.


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Day 401: The Less Walked Path

My wife and I are in the process of arranging how we are going to move forwards with our daughter in terms of daycare. It is not a easy process – because the system is designed to facilitate a type of daycare that neither of us are satisfied with. And to do something different – a lot of effort is required. This is what I would like to explore in this blog – how the system as it currently functions has certain known paths that are a lot easier to move upon – and that there are alternative paths but that these are more difficult. And a weakness I have noticed in myself is that I will rather pick the easy path instead of picking the path I want – because the easier path is predictable and safe – while the difficult path requires effort, courage, determination and steadfastness.

I have several reasons why I tend to pick the easier path. One is that it makes me feel comfortable – I think that if everyone else does it – then it must be okay – because everyone else cannot be wrong, right? Though deep down I do understand that the mass is many, many times completely out of touch with reality. This is for example what happens in the creation of financial bubbles. A lot of people come together and form a belief that some form of asset is really valuable and that it will continue to raise in value infinitely. And then the price of this asset is pushed up until people start to question the value of the asset, or some other event occurs, that suddenly implodes the belief that the asset is infinitely going to raise in value. Then it drops, fast, and many lose their money in the process.

Thus far in my life I have made a couple of decision where I went against the grain and it has been difficult each time – primarily because I doubted myself. An interesting point however is that I am now very satisfied with these decisions and how they have played out. Because when I went against the grain I made sure that I did the research and that I knew what I was doing. That was something I needed to do as I could not rely on this feeling of safety that I am able to derive from seeing many others doing the same thing. Obviously that feeling of safety is irrational and deceptively reassuring. The only way of achieving real certainty with a decision is by doing my own independent research.

It is also not possible to trust the decisions that others make because many times they themselves do not know what they are doing. Outwardly they can present a cool, collected and rational facade – however internally – they can be driven by a variety of desires, fears, anxieties and or the deceptive feeling of safety that following the herd can create. Very few people make extensive research before committing. An example of this would be the current tendency to move to bigger cities and leave the smaller countryside cities. Many do this in the belief that it is going to provide them with a better quality of life. However – the facts in my country of origin indicate the opposite – which is way I decided to position myself in a smaller city. I doubted that decision a lot – though in retrospect I am able to see that my estimations were correct.

If we go back to the reasons as to why I tend to pick the easier path. A second of these is that it does not require much effort. When I go with the flow, there is already a system in place, I do not have do any creative work, as everything is already developed and streamlined – all I have to do is step into the stream and it will take me where I wish to go. Hence – I can sit back, relax, and not have to worry – and rest in the false belief that everything is taken care of. That is not how it works when I decide to go against the flow. Then I have to work to find solutions, I have to put in effort and move through physical and mental barriers to reach my goal. And many times I cannot be sure on the outcome. Even though I put in the hours – it does automatically imply that I will succeed. And that is also something that I fear. I do not want failure, mistakes and falling in my life – though that is what I am at risk of experiencing when I decide to travel upon the path least chosen. I will not be certain until I reach my destination – whereas when I chose the path of least resistance – I can rest in the comfortable feeling that everything will be all right.

I do understand that my reasons for wanting to pick the easier path are irrational and primarily based on desiring an easy life. Though what if I decide to be satisfied with an easy life and just following the path of least resistance – where is that going to leave me? Is it ever possible to be genuinely satisfied if I just do what comes naturally and easy for me? Will I ever feel as if I have created something if I go into an already established structure? I will have to say that I need challenges to grow and that there is no reason for me not to try to create the life I really want instead of settling for a mediocre existence that feels safe. The notion of safety is very deceptive as well – because even though I might feel safe, comfortable and secure with my decisions – everything can change in an instance. My house can burn down, war can erupt, nature catastrophes can strike – hence we are never really safe and secure – there is always a risk.

Thus – the path less walked will be my route of choice – challenging myself, doing new things, and venturing into new directions, that is what makes life exciting. And failures will be a part of a new direction – that is inevitable. And thus – we should never view failures as something negative and bad – it is simply part of the learning process, part of the expansion, and it shows where we are not yet mastering our new direction.


Day 400: Helping Out

This week I have been focusing on pushing through points of laziness/apathy in a particular set of situations – more specifically when I am asked to do something in a moment when I am not prepared to do it, or when I am busy and feel like I am interrupted. In such moments I have a tendency to react in resistance and exclaim that I do not have time, that I am busy with something else, or that I am too tired.

Pushing through these moments of resistance is a matter of real-time action – the moment when I get the question – that is when I have to be ready to move. It is not something that can be thought-up – I have to push and live the change physically in that moment. And for me – a big point of motivation has been that I do want to be of help and assistance to my family – and I want to be a part of creating a supportive environment that is best for all. And obviously – I would have wanted that another helped me if I asked – and thus I see it as common sense that I do what would I have wanted for others as well.

The challenge has been to physically push through – because that requires firm decisive action – and it requires giving up my self-interest – which is the hard part. Because it might sound rewarding, joyous and fulfilling to care for, tend to, and treat others the way you would like to be treated – however – it oftentimes means that you put your own needs last. It definitely requires discipline – and my modus operandi thus far is to simply do what I want to do – which in many cases is to not help out. The moments when I am successful and I manage to push – usually it is because I do not give myself the time to ‘feel’ whether I want to help out or not – I simply do it – I act in the moment without making it more or less.

I suspect that part of the reason as to why I sometimes react to being asked if I can help out or be of assistance is because these aspects of life were pretty traumatic in my childhood. Firstly – household tasks and responsibilities was by my parents on a overall basis approached with anger, irritation, frustration, stress and anxiety. It was never seen as enjoyable to clean or do some other chore – and the results were inspected with a detailed focus on potential mistakes. Thus when I was approached by my parents to assist and support with something in the household, it was usually done from a starting point of anger and blame – where I was accused of not helping sufficiently in the household and that I had to do more. Unfortunately this have caused me to develop resistance towards helping out especially in the household and helping out in general – and I am pretty sure I am not alone with having such experiences.

Part of the solution that I see is thus to change my relationship with cleaning, household chores, helping out and being of assistance – and instead of associating it with negative experiences – see, realize and understand that these points are actually of great support – and that I can approach them with gratefulness. For example – cleaning – instead of becoming stressed by it and feeling as if it is a waste of time – I can utilize it as a moment of interacting/checking up on all the various parts of my house. I approach cleaning my car similarly. It is an opportunity for me to show appreciation for the support my car provides – and also to tend to it properly and make sure it is supported in the best way.

Thus – moving back to the original problem – which is to push through points of laziness/apathy in a particular set of situation. I see, realize and understand that a solution is to place my focus and attention on the positive and beneficial outflows that I will create by pushing through – and understanding that by moving through my resistance – I will assist and support with bringing through a environment that is best for all – and hence – best for me as well. As such – I will not place attention on the emotions – rather I release them with a quick self-forgiveness statement – and then place my focus on CREATING an environment and life that is BEST – which among other things is done by assisting and supporting in taking care of household tasks – and in general – helping out when such is required. And here also understanding that when I do push myself to help out and assist and support – this will in turn impact me positively – because if my environment is healthy – then I am healthy.


 

Day 399: Directing Fear

Having a career can be pretty stressful. To me – the stress is primarily related to three aspects. One aspect is performance anxiety or in other words – the fear of making mistakes. The second aspect is the fear of not being successful. The third aspect is the responsibility that a position of influence/power entails. In my line of work – If or a moment take responsibility for important parts of someone else’s life – and hence – I can cause major consequences if I am not thorough and specific.

All three of these aspects are part of the anxiety I at times experience towards my work. And the fact is that I enjoy my work a lot – it fits my character and skill set perfectly. Thus – when I am able to let go of tensions and get into my happy-place – work is fun, challenging, stimulating and interesting. However – when I get caught in the mentioned fears – work becomes a weight on my shoulders. It is fascinating to see just how much perspective and my emotional participation in relation to a point in my world changes the way I experience that point. It is literally like two different worlds – even though it is the same kind of work.

My conclusion is that I have to let go of these three fears. And in this blog my aim is to design corrective solutions to each of these fears.

Fear of making mistakes

Finding a corrective statement to the fear of making mistakes is pretty easy to me. I already clearly see that unless you dare to make mistakes – you will not progress. Mistakes, failures, mishaps, difficulties, problems, that is fertile soil for growth, development, expansion and movement. If everything is just perfect all the time – we are either not sufficiently critical or – we do not challenge ourselves enough. Both are pretty bad. Thus – a healthy portion of mistakes is an indication that we are in a challenging position and that we have an opportunity to improve. Obviously though – making the same mistake 2-3 times might indicate something different – such as arrogance for example.

Thus – when I become anxious and worried that I am making, or I have made a mistake, I instead change into looking at how I am able to improve and expand. I look at what I can learn and become better at – and allow myself to be grateful that I have seen that there is something I have to practice and expand upon. And I dare myself to go for it – and understand that mistakes is a natural part of growth – and that what matters is that I learn from my mistakes and correct myself.

Fear of not being successful

The fear of not being successful is interesting. It is like the fear in itself hinders success – because what will that fear create? It will hesitation, doubt, worry, insecurity – characteristics that does not induce success. To be successful – I have to be bold. I move when see that there is an opportunity and do not hold myself back – and if failure strikes – no need to become emotional – I simply re-aim and yet again focus on what I want and where I want to get to.

Success requires me to be determined, patient and motivated – and I have to keep my focus on what I want to achieve. Each and every fear energy that comes up within me will only cause me to shift my attention and focus from what I want – to a pretty worthless experience that I simply do not need. And if I do not manage to reach success – well there is nothing to do about it. In all cases – I would not have achieved success if I was afraid of not achieving it. Hence – my corrective statement will be to go forward boldly – to move, act, walk, and direct – to grab the opportunities and keep the momentum – and keep in my vision the future I want to create.

Fear of responsibility

The fear of responsibility is an interesting one – because it is not necessarily the responsibility that I fear – it is rather what happens if I do not handle the responsibility in such a way that everyone involved are pleased. Thus – it is the fear of being the target of criticism later on. And not because I fear criticism from others – it is because I tend to judge myself harshly when I do not meet my own standards. Hence the real face of the fear is that of fearing my own judgment.

However – what I can see is that responsibility is a skill – it is something that I will learn, become more comfortable within, and get better at doing as I practice – and as is the case with so many other things – I will naturally fail sometimes as it is a part of the expansion. And it does not help anyone that I judge myself when I fail. I need to be able to stand and look at my mistakes objectively, learn from it and enhance my ability to take responsibility for the life’s of others – just as I must learn to expand this responsibility towards my own life.

Thus – what I will state to myself when this fear arises is that I am going to push myself to take responsibility – and I am going to learn from my mistakes and failures and expand. And I will stand and practice to stand as this responsibility naturally and comfortably – and understand that this is simply me extending my responsibility unto others. Hence – it is nothing to fear – nothing to judge – it is a learning process.

Conclusion

Fears are interesting – they always indicate a misalignment – a point where I have not sufficiently created and directed myself. Hence – fears are show us opportunities for expansion – where we exist in a state of being diminished and where we are able to go beyond our beliefs. It is problematic when we fear our fears – however easy to understand. Fear is an uncomfortable experience – and easily convinces us that something is TERRIBLY wrong. Though – if we would slow down, take a breath, and study the nature of the fear – there are definitely many gifts to be found.


Day 398: Eqafe – Probably the Best Self-Help Library That There Is

I have been a user of Eqafe since its inception and seen the self-help library grow, from a couple of interviews, to an impressive selection of several thousands of interviews covering a myriad of topics. And this is somewhat a hallmark of Eqafe – consistent and continuous growth. And even though the interviews are at this point ranging in their thousands, there has never been an interview that I have listened to, where I have felt as if it was becoming repetitive. There is such a variety, such a creativity, freedom and depth in the recordings – it is truly remarkable.

When I have faced difficulties, or questions has arisen, the Eqafe library has been my go-to resource. It has seldom failed to bring a new understanding or insight to what I have been walking through. Whether I have been looking into issues with regards to relationships and sex, or in relation to my career – the search function on the Eqafe site has supplied me with answers. And what truly makes Eqafe fascinating is that you do not get the normal lovey-dovey, fluffy, positive, new age advice. You get the hard facts. That might not necessarily be very nice – or what you want to hear. Though fact is that we are not the pleasant, sane, and cordial people we want ourselves and everyone else to believe. The truth is that we are all in some way fucked up. However – the truth is as well that we can change ourselves – and Eqafe supplies the PRACTICAL tools to make that transformation a reality. Here I want to emphasize PRACTICAL. You will not need to listen to advice that makes no sense – like for example – that you should ‘love yourself with all of your love-energy and then send that out into the world with a thought’. No, no – you will get a practical suggestion on how to deal with a point – a step-by-step method. I would say that this is what separates Eqafe from the other self-help gurus you are able to find on the web. In Eqafe – things are kept real, grounded,  accessible and applicable.

Eqafe has impacted many aspects of my life, though one of the most memorable is with regards to my studies and my career. Early on in my university studies I had difficulties creating relationships and get a hang of the social games that were being played. It frustrated me – and I noticed that I was usually paying more attention to these games – than to the studies at hand. Then I found a interview on Eqafe – where this behavioral pattern was addressed. It was explained that  relationships in school are not as valuable as we want to think. Most of them end after school. Very few remain – and still – we put SO MUCH energy into creating and maintaining them. And in-fact – the reason why so many of us dislike school is because we get so immersed in the social role-playing that we forget all about who we are, where we are and where it is that we are going. We forget that it is in school, with our grades, and our in-depth learning, that we are shaping our future. It is that productive time that is going to stick with us and help us get ahead. Not how many parties we went to or what friends we managed to acquire.

After I had listened to the recording I made some practical adjustments to the way I approached my studies and the social circles. I decided to put my focus and attention unto the courses at hand – that became my main priority. I decided to align with people that were as intently focused on their studies and on their future as I were. Thus I picked my friends because of our interest in the subjects, drive in school and our future. My relationship to friends and acquaintances changed to become a positive side-effect to my determination with my studies and something that enhanced my participation in school and it was not a goal in itself. And that made a huge difference to me – and it allowed me to move through my university studies, acquire effective marks and a deep as well as lasting understanding of the course materials. I sometimes surprise myself by having a detailed knowledge and understanding of a topic even though it has been several years since I finished school and studied the subject.

I can honestly say that without Eqafe – I would not be where I am today. It is the greatest self-help library on earth – and I would dearly recommend everyone to subscribe. You will not regret it – and you will have several years of investigation and studies ahead of you because the material is vast. It has been one of the best investment I have ever made and that will definitely be the case for you as well – because the investments we make in ourselves both in our formal and informal education – that is what is going to stand the test of time and last for life.


Day 397: Romanticism Fucked Up Love

Romanticism Fucked Up Love – it sounds pretty bold – however – it is true. For context I recommend listening to Alain de Bottons lectures on love, romanticism and sex – they are available on Youtube.

Love is actually a modern concept. It was birthed somewhere around the 18th century along with the ideas of romanticism and it came to impact the way we had up until that point understood marriage and relationships. Before love, marriage was an act of reason. We married a person on the basis of their wealth, family lineage, their skills, and compatibility. What was of main importance was the survival of ourselves and our genetic pedigree – love in the sense of finding our ultimate partner to satisfy our romantic needs – that did not exist. Marriage was a practical institution that granted stability, status and security.

Then love came about – and was forced unto the institution of marriage, naturally causing a lot of conflict. Suddenly, our life partner was not only supposed to stable, wealthy, bring security and be otherwise compatible – he or she was also supposed to make us feel whole, loved, excited, be good in bed, be mysterious, passionate, and fulfill our dreams and desires in all possible ways. It is pretty obvious to me that expecting such a range of experiences to be evoked by only one person is pretty unrealistic – especially considering that most of us are deeply flawed as persons and for the most part incapable of even fulfilling ourselves.

Today we still live in the remnants of the mentioned love/romanticism endemic – and our relationships are as a result more volatile than any time ever before. And my theory as to why is because we have been fed with completely unrealistic expectations as to what a marriage is and how and what our partner should be. The first mistake we make is that we believe that our partner will be able to fulfill our emotional needs and forever make us feel whole, content and satisfied. It will not happen. All of us are flawed – without extensive self-work we are not able to give anyone that deep and unconditional embrace that we expect to find in relationships. And still – that is an expectation we hold unto and walk into a marriage with. It is bound to bring problems.

Another problem is that marriages has become about self-realization. We want to realize ourselves – and our partner has become a form of product that we purchase because we feel pretty confident he or she will able to bring us those experiences. Marriage and relationships have as such become a form of consumerism. We want to consume an experience. The daily reality of practical survival – which will show its nasty face when the honeymoon-phase has come to its close – that is not considered in the initial decision – and is many times considered secondary to that which we call love – even though it is far more important practically speaking.

A more realistic starting point for a marriage instead of love and the hope for perfection is that our partner is an idiot. Not a idiot in the sense of someone that is deliberately mean and hurtful. Rather an idiot in the sense of somebody that just does not get it. He or she is simply a bit retarded, stupid, dumb. And we all know that we hold such a condition of being a idiot – in some area of our life – we might try to hide that we are flawed, weak and stupid – however our lifelong partner is bound to find out at some point. And when we do find out – it is important not to judge the flaw. Try instead to look at the person as if they are a child. Would we ever judge a toddler because of their weaknesses? No – we would look a what is causing their weakness and help them to strengthen that part of themselves.

Thus – our question should not be ‘Have I married the wrong person?’ – it should be ‘What is wrong with the person I married, and, how can I help them and myself to fix it?’. Hence – we will never marry or enter into a relationship with the ‘right person’. There is no such thing. What we can do is marry a ‘good enough person’ and then build on the relationship – support our partner and ourselves to develop the qualities and experiences we want to have. That is possible. It takes hard work and it is not remotely romantic – however it is rewarding because at some stage the changes are going to come through – and the relationship will be a lot stronger compared to if everything just worked out pretty okay from the beginning.

The way I see it – the future of love is to be found in self-created relationships. When we realize that there is no prince charming and no princess either – then we can step into our real potential and start creating the experiences we want instead of waiting for them to show up at our door step.


Day 396: Satisfaction and Success

As of late I have listened to a podcast with some highly successful Swedish entrepreneurs. It is both inspiring and fascinating to hear them speak – because just as much as they share relevant principles and understandings – they also share fear-based misconceptions of reality. Whenever I  find new information – the principle that I stand by is to take the information that makes sense to me – regardless of the source. I care about the content – not the persona. Hence there is a bit of sifting required.

I realized and was also reminded of a couple of points by listening to the interviews. One point I was reminded of is that there is no objective definition of success. For some people – success is to have a lot of money. For other people – success is to be able to live on the vegetables you have grown yourself. Success is not meant to be one thing – because we are all different. However – one important aspect that we tend to forget implementing into our definitions of SUCCESS is that of GIVING to others. Success is mainly seen through our own individual experiences – however – what kind of success is it when it only impacts ourselves? Real success is when that forward motion can be shared and help empower others as well. And that can be done regardless of our base definition of success. If our definition of success is to make money – then how about showing others how to make money – and make sure that all involved in your success gets a sufficient piece of the cake – SHARE the success with the world. And if our definition is to grow veggies – then how about SHARING the veggies, and showing others how veggies are grown and the pleasure and joy that can be found in such a simple act.

Thus – what has become clearer to me is that success in its limited individual definition is empty. And perhaps that is why many of those that have reached a significant monetary success never feel satisfied – they always strive for more. It is as if there is a deep hole that cannot be filled – and so to avoid seeing and experiencing that hole – they have to constantly move forwards – constant and continuous motion. The hole can then be filled – albeit momentarily – with adrenaline and other chemically induced experiences – such as dopamine. There is a constant and never ending chase for more. The reason for this – as I understand it currently – is because there is a lack of a higher purpose. Especially in the western world we live in tightly structured highly individual bubbles. We have ourselves and maybe a few other people that are really close to us. And our lives circle around gratifying the needs of those few people – and our compassion, our love, aspirations and meaning also many times exist in that isolated zone. And it makes sense that when we do not have any value or meaning to the world – and when the world does not have any value or meaning to us – that we are going to feel empty – because hey – we are actually leaving out the ENTIRE world from our lives.

In comparison – take a look at nature, or the lesser developed countries of Africa, or the clan societies of the middle east. What we can see there is that the individual acts in awareness of his context – and he is connected to that context. A bird for example lives in a balance, harmony and equality with its surroundings. It is specialized to its surroundings and perfectly created to relate, to take, and to give, in that particular environment. It exists in a greater context. And the same is true with lesser developed societies – where the family is still very important. Here the individual exists in the context of his family – and that is what is important. Your life is only as valuable as the value you are able to share with your family – and in turn you receive the same gifts. There is a balance, a equality, a receiving and a sharing – and that gives meaning, context, and equality.

Unfortunately, that type of relationships are mostly gone in the western world. What has replaced our close bonds, or dependency on the family and each other, is the state, the big governmental agencies – the impersonal , cold, bureaucratic  and distant treatment – or the monetary institutions – the corporations. And this kind of structure makes it possible for us westerners to create isolated lives where the our individual needs/wants/desires takes the front seat. We have the ability to cut off all relationships and still be able to survive and flourish. Both young and elderly are put into institutions so that our focus and intention can be placed on supporting the system – that in turn – supports us to retain our individual lifestyle. Because without the system – our immediate relationships would take on a completely different meaning. Here retaining the family and our close intimate relationships would become a matter of life and death – and hence our purpose, focus and intention would be to support the family unit – and not that of striving for our own individual success.

Giving oneself a purpose that is based on one’s context and especially as to how one is able to give and share with one’s society/world is however possible even though we in the western world for a long time has been phasing away the notion of contextual/relation-based living. And my experience is that giving oneself a purpose/direction that is based on an assessment as to what is best/needed in relation ALL is far more satisfying than living a isolated individual lifestyle. Actually – I will say that it is only from such a way of approaching life that we are able to experience lasting satisfaction and enjoyment. And this is what modern entrepreneurs and others trying to achieve success tend to forget. We put all our focus on OUR success – without making sure that our success is defined in the context of the world – in the context of what is BEST for everyone.