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Day 378: Are Our Values Misaligned?

The Soccer World Cup of 2018 gives rise to many questions and it also answers many of them. For example – I now know why we have difficulty creating healthy and sustainable living conditions for everyone on this planet. It is because we do not care. How do I know? I know because we would rather spend several billions of dollars on creating a soccer cup, which is nothing but pure entertainment. There is absolutely no need that justifies arranging a world cup in soccer – it is motivated by our desire. We should not be surprised that this world is a horrible place for many animals and humans. It is that way because we do not have the discipline to commit time, effort and resources to create solutions. We instead devote our resources to entertainment.

The world cup highlights what is problematic about the current human condition. We do not have the ability to use common sense, we do not have the ability to prioritize our resources and our time, we do not have the ability to be empathic and place ourselves in the shoes of another, and we do not have the ability to live by principles. That is what the world cup is showing us, that we would rather prioritize what we desire before that which be of benefit to everyone. Thus – when shit goes sour in our world – there is no point in complaining or wondering why things could not become better, why is there no politician or leader out there that can do something about this? There are none – we have decided that this is how we want things to be. If we would be serious about really fixing problems, we would have devoted the money going into the world cup, to for example, providing effective sanitation for everyone in the world.

Bringing water and sanitation to everyone in the world would cost $10 billion a year according to Richard Jolly, chairman of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, sponsored by the W.H.O. (see article here https://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/world/price-of-safe-water-for-all-10-billion-and-the-will-to-provide-it.html). The 2018 FIFA World Cup is estimated to cost $14.2 billion (see article here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_the_FIFA_World_Cup). Consequently, if we decided to miss out on one FIFA world cup and spend that money on providing water and sanitation – that would make a BIG difference for many. According to W.H.O. Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 280 000 diarrhoeal deaths annually and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Poor sanitation also contributes to malnutrition (http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sanitation).

When put on paper like this, it is obvious that it does not make any sense. No one in their right mind can justify spending 280 000 lives to watch world class soccer for a couple of weeks. Yet still, we do it.

There is no mystery to understanding why the world looks like it does. It is like this because we do not care. There is no mystery in understanding why there is not enough movement to change things. There is no such movement because we do not care. We simply do not care enough about ourselves, our neighbors, our environment, our country or our world – we care about – SOCCER, ALCOHOL, HOBBIES, ENJOYMENT, PLEASURE and ENTERTAINMENT.

It might feel overwhelming to look at the world and see the disarray. It might feel as if there is no point to attempting to do anything about it. However – the point is that someone must begin. Someone must be the first to step up and make the necessary changes. If we wait for the mass to change before we do, then expect that everyone else is waiting for the same thing. The consequence of such a waiting game is that nothing ever happens. Status quo exists because we have been waiting for someone else, a leader, a movement, a organization, an external push and drive – that will not happen. If we want things to change – we must make it happen – firstly – in our individual lives. Where are we spending money on entertainment and pleasure instead of tending to our own and our families basic needs? Where in our lives are we making decisions with money that does not make any sense? When our personal lives have been given direction – we can turn outwards to start dealing with the bigger system and the major flaws that exist there.


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Day 377: Forgetting What Is Important

Having money, having security and routine, having a meaningful job, it can create the illusion that everything is alright. When that happens it is easy to loose touch with what is of real importance. Life starts to circle around entertainment, various ways and methods to find enjoyment, and what is forgotten, is that there is a lot needed to be done in this world in order to create harmony, money, security, routine and meaning for everyone. I would say that this is one of the primary problems in the world and a reason as to why this world has not changed for the better. When we achieve a comfortable and stable position in the system, it is easy to forget the struggles and hardships that exist when there is no stability, no job, no money and no opportunities.

If all of us only place attention and focus unto building our own life’s without consideration and regard for the whole, that is going to have an negative impact on a global/existential level, and eventually that will also impact our personal life’s. That is how issues and problems in society breed. Only a select few takes time away from their own personal agendas to investigate how they are able support and give back on a level that extends beyond their own desires and wants. And I can understand why. To give up personal desires and wants is difficult. What makes it even more difficult is that the work done for a greater cause is seldom recognized or appreciated. Thus the drive and passion must come from within. It cannot be dependent upon external recognition and gratification. Because if we rely on the external reality to give us the necessary support and drive – eventually the decision will fade away and be forgotten.

And I do not want to make it sound as if the only way to contribute for me or anyone else is to quit our jobs, join a volunteer organization and move to a foreign country. Even though that might be a solution for some of us, it is not for everyone, and I know it is not something for me. What I have found is the contribution is something that can be made in the small, in that which we usually take for granted. Primarily, we have the opportunity to support ourselves to let go of all the bullshit that we know compromises us. By walking a personal process of change/transformation in our everyday life – we can bring through our genuine expression – and make our life something meaningful – and impact others around us by standing as an example of what is possible.

It is all about our starting point. Either our life can flow into a direction where we live to entertain ourselves, or we can live with principles and a purpose. Principle and purpose in the sense that we actively make decisions that we know will support the creation of a better world for ourselves and everyone else. We give up one lifetime of searching for entertainment and fulfillment to manifest a change that goes deep and extends far as within as without – that can ripple through existence and create waves of movement. And that is first and foremost done by who we are in the small, the apparently insignificant – our everyday decisions and choices. Who we are when we interact with our family, who we are when we interact with our colleagues, how we look at things, how we approach and proceed to create, how we form and maintain relationships – the devil is in the details. And the real cause of problems has and will always be our tendency to limit ourselves and live but a inkling of our real potential – our real expression.

It is fascinating to see how little attention we pay to the real issues in this world compared to how much effort, attention, time and money we place on things that are but entertainment. A timely example is the World Cup in Soccer. It is a enormous event and it generates billions in profit, it is prepared in in detail, and soccer players from all over the world train for months to be ready for match day. Does that not show us our potential to create? Yet – take a look at the real problems, like starvation, lack of medical care, lack of money and jobs, how come the same attention, drive and focus are not placed on these issues? It is because giving yourself to solving a real physical issue has no feeling-reward – it is not entertaining at all – rather it is boring, tedious, difficult, met with resistant and disbelief – it is not fun at all.

Do we really need entertainment to move ourselves forward? Do we really need a carrot on a stick to make a decision as to where we want to go and what we want to do? I say no – it is not necessary to have a stimuli. We can make a decision to move and then we move – that is enough – we do not need more. When we realize that and start to live this on a bigger scale – that is when things will start to happen.


Day 376: Routine and Structure

Routine and structure – it makes things easier – especially in a family where there are many life’s that must coordinated. It is something that I have resisted and also something that I have not been particularly good at. My main problem with structure is that it takes time and effort to create. Planning is a mental/intellectual task and it takes time – just like any other task. However – planning and structuring does not create any immediate results. Hence it feels as if there is no progress – I have just wasted an hour upon nothing. The value of planning/structuring instead becomes visible later on.

One thing that I have noticed when I have planned my week is that I become calmer and more grounded. There is also a defined sense of solidity and stability within me – as if I am standing on firm ground inside of myself. I know where I am going, I know what I am doing, and I know why. And I also know what to expect from myself and my family – because together we have decided upon how to structure our week.

This present week I have planned in terms of what we are going to have for dinner, when I am going to exercise, and what projects/points needs to be directed throughout the week. For those out there that like to be spontaneous and impulsive, it might sound boring. It would have sounded that way to me a couple of years ago. Being locked in a routine and a continuous schedule. However – now I find pleasure and support in having a structure and following it. And there is still room for changes to the structure – no freedom is ever lost. Rather – having a clear direction allows for informed decisions and directive spontaneity. Without a structure – it is easy things becomes haphazard and obfuscated. And it might be fun for a while – though it is not possible to run a smooth and functional life together with several different people that way.

I mentioned my misalignment with planning/structuring above, that I feel it takes too much time and effort and there is no result to show for it. When this experience/backchat comes up within me, to correct it, I look at the future support that my moment of planning will bring. I see, realize and understand that for every minute I put down into preparation, I receive stability and direction i many moments to come – I will make my life a lot more comfortable and easy. It will not happen in this instance – however it will come through as I continue to walk. That is how I realign my relationship to planning/structuring – so I can begin using this tool more in my life and not resist/suppress planning/structuring because of feeling like it is a waste of time.


Day 375: Opportunities

This past week I have been working with opportunities. A tendency I have is to compare my life to that of others. Naturally, it always seems as if I am worse off, which in turn can make me feel depressed. I will then stagnate and move my attention/focus unto what I should have done and what I have missed because I did not do it. This is problematic because it causes me to miss the life that is right in front of me.

That is why I have been practicing recognizing and moving on opportunities that come through. In can be small things. Still, if I am in my mind, I will miss them. For example, it can be that I meet someone that I have not seen in a long time. I then have the opportunity to do something more out of that interaction, which could be done by for example eating a lunch together. However the opportunity can be much more vague and difficult to spot. It can be a idea to do something that comes up while I drive my car. If I am not on my toes its easy to dismiss such things as daydreaming. Though it can be a worthwhile notion to move on. Who knows? That is why it is important to not worry about the life of others and compare myself and what I am doing with what others are doing.

The biggest issue that I have had with comparison have been in relation to my work. And this has been a reason as to why I have not dared to commit to any one direction or focus. I want to keep all roads free, because what if I make the wrong decision? What if I do not make the right choice, and then at the end of the day, I will compare my choice and realize that I was wrong? This fear inhibits my expression of moving on opportunities, interests, what fascinates and intrigues me, because I can never be sure where these will take me.

Where does comparison come from? From what I am able to see, comparison is a type of insecurity. It is cultivated with self-judgment, doubt, anxiety, and desires to be successful and famous. When I was a child I had no issues with comparison because all that existed was my life HERE. The decisions I made where fully my own. I did not care about whether someone else did the same or something different compared to me. My presence and enjoyment in the moment encompassed all of my inner reality – there was no room for comparison – every inch of me was needed HERE to express and live. And that is an important thing to take with me. That comparison cannot exist when I am FULLY engaged and present in the moment and in what I am doing.

The solution to be more awake and ready to move on the opportunities that present themselves is to be fully breathing – fully living – fully HERE. Comparing my life to that of others is really only a symptom of not living fully here – it shows me that I am accepting and allowing myself to do things halfheartedly, without intensity and passion – it shows me that I am thinking too much and not living. It is thus a opportunity in itself to investigate where it is that I am holding myself back and correct it.


Day 374: Some Reflections on Billions

I have recently been looking at the TV-series ‘Billions’ (see more on the Wiki-page). It is about a attorney that use all means necessary to reach his goal and a billionaire that is very much the same. A big part of the series has to do about money. Most decisions made by the characters are motivated by greed or desire for fame and reputation. What interested me was seeing how some of the characters relate to money, especially their personal economies.

All of the characters make a lot of money. An example would be the attorney and his wife. The attorney make about 200 000 dollars a year and the wife makes about 1 000 000 dollars a year. In my eyes that is a lot of money – not a salary that would leave anything else to wish for. In one episode the attorney and the wife are discussing changing their jobs and how that will influence their situation with money. Even though the wife is keen to get a new job, she says that they do not have the means to do it because she will have to accept a lower salary. Then they would not have the money to pay rent, tuition fees for their kids, etc.

This made me realize that money is always relative and that what tends to happen when we earn more money is that our expectations/desires/habits will change and soon match our new income. The same goes with our fears. They never disappear. When we earn more money, the fears will after a while alter and return in a different shape. It might not be that we fear being without food or a house. Instead the fear might be that we are not going to have the money to send our kids to the best private school, or that we will not have the money to invest our money in the best possible hedge fund.

When it comes to fear of money, the solution is not to earn more but to deal with the unconscious energies that moves deep down. If we do not deal with our unconscious mind – it does not matter what we do. We are going to recreate our patterns. They will look slightly different, however it will be the same energies, the same experiences, the same ideas.

Another realization that I have had while looking at this series is how bad we are at using our money. We are bad in the sense that, we use our money, only to further our own self-interest. Some money might go to charity, however our primary reserves will always be used on ourselves and those closest to us. We buy stuff that we do not need, we get new interests and hobbies, we travel, we spend and consume, and only a very small percentage if any is invested in solutions that will bring substantial change. How are we ever going to change anything in this world if we do not spend our money on fixing it? Is it possible to expect that things will change, without us investing any effort/energy/money? Thus, earning a lot of money is for most of us, in the big scale, meaningless, because we cannot use them effectively.

Correcting our relationship with money is an important point. Money is both the key to solving our problems on earth and the very thing that substantiates, moves and creates more issues. With money, our desires and wants can become realized. At the moment, our desires and wants are misaligned and without purpose – and that becomes what our money creates; meaningless entertainment and consumption. Imagine if our desires and wants would have been to change this world for the better and to give everyone a awesome life. What would happen? How would our lives change? What would we do with our money?

 


 

Day 373: Structure vs. Spontaneity

Being in a long term relationship can be really challenging and it can also be absolutely fantastic. One key ingredient in moving a relationship towards success is understanding the difference between the male and the female psyche. Many conflicts between partners arise due to not taking into account some of the basic female/male designs. Instead of considering the differences and learning from each-other – what tends to happen is misunderstanding, impatience and judgment.

An example is structure vs. spontaneity. Generally speaking, males tend to be more inclined to make decisions and move themselves with little planning. Decisions are made on the go, solutions are improvised, and changes are applied without much preparation. Women on the other hand, generally speaking, tends to better at planning, and also want to have a plan/structure. The conflict will then be about the man not structuring/taking his life, causing many ups and downs, which the woman becomes dissatisfied with. The man on the other hand will become dissatisfied with what he experiences as too much anxiety/worry/micromanaging and inflexibility from the woman.

How then to solve this problem?

Both the man and the woman must be willing to let go of their own preferences. Both structure and spontaneity have their positive and their negative traits. The solution is not to enforce a total and unchangeable structure, neither is the solution to live solely in the moment without any preparation. Balance is the best way to go – and – recognizing that being in a committed long term relationship is a great opportunity to learn and become a more well-rounded human being. Men can learn a lot from women, and women can learn a lot from men. We have our weaknesses and our strengths, and it is when we push ourselves to move beyond our own perception of the world that we are able to expand.

Myself for example, my challenge is to become more structured in my leisure time. At my work, structure has become a part of me. However, when I get home, I feel a need to let go of all plans/structures so that I can be free to do what I want to do in the moment. That does not work very well with family life. When there are several lives working together in a unit, structure is very important for everything to move smoothly. Without structure, each individual will move wherever and however he or she wants – and that will create conflict. A structure, an agreement, between the individuals in the unit, is thus vital for a effective movement.

Freedom is not limited by structure. It is possible to be free and express myself within a set structure, it is possible to enjoy myself within and as a structure, it is possible to expand myself within a structure – because it is about WHO I AM – and not about where I am. At the moment, structure is a necessary part of my life and something that I will have to keep practicing and that will make my life a lot easier when I master it.


Day 372: Bringing Life Here

When things get too much, then focus on the small. One thing at a time. That is how movement is accumulated – we do one thing – then we do the next thing. Sometimes it is not possible to have overview, it is not possible to be in control over a series of events – however – we are always in control in THIS moment. In this movement we can decide who we are – and we can decide to move ourselves into the direction that we want to go.

I cannot walk my life effectively trying holding a image/projection in-front of my eyes, believing that I need to manifest that projection into reality – moving with that picture as a target my decisions become inflexible. I miss what is HERE in-front of me and start to move with a erratic frenzy. Life is HERE and hence it must be DIRECTED here – it cannot be lived as a picture – because that is not the nature of LIFE.

Goals can be defined and plans can be scripted – though it will only remain a plan and a goal – not LIFE. It is important to not confuse a goal and a plan with life. The former is used to find direction – the latter is what it is all about and cannot be defined within the limited confines of a goal and a plan. Hence it is important to never have the plan and the goal supersede what is happening in this moment – because it can all change – in one breath.

Real stability, clarity and overview is in the moment – it is HERE – it cannot be placed on a paper – it cannot be constructed – it must be LIVED – one moment – HERE – I see. And this is cool – because whenever stability, clarity and overview is missing – it does not mean that we have to arduously walk a long process until these points can be brought here – rather we can bring stability, clarity and overview – HERE – by making a decision to do so. And sometimes it might not be possible – and we need the tools of support such as writing and self-forgiveness – other times it is possible.

Because my life is so busy, with things, responsibilities, points to handle and direct constantly, I do not have the time to bring stability and clarity here through writing – I have to live it in the moment. Why wait for these things to come to me when I can decide to live that now?