Thursday, January 6, 2011

Simple Guide To Personal Self-Development!

It may be exciting to have begun your journey of self-development and you may see that as one of your New Year resolution for 2011. The point is, how many times have we started a new resolution and failed half way or three quarter of the way! I am not trying to be a bearer of bad news but it can happen. One way to make sure that you follow the path and not stray too much or give up altogether is to go slowly, or rather ease into it. Self-development will be a unique experience for every one of us. Some people have been practicing their way to self-development for many years and it has become a habit while for others, it will be a totally strange and different experience depending on what kind of upbringing they had and the lifestyle they have decided to follow.

You may be wondering, is there a goal to be accomplished in the end? What if your self-development is totally different than mine? That would be perfectly fine! The point of going through self-development is to develop self to your full potential and become a symbol of goodness, loyalty, honesty, righteousness, humility and more. To become as close to a complete man or woman as the creator intended. It will never be easy to be 100 % loyal or righteous all the time that is why it is a journey to learn about self and improve on self. It will not be like a journey where you go on a vacation to some exotic place then at the end of your vacation you come back satisfied then proceed to show pictures and videos to family and friends. Personal self-development can take years to a lifetime to accomplish, you do a little bit everyday in order to become a better person. Don’t think that nobody will notice the changes happening in your life! Your relative and friends will see that you have changed for the better and will want to become like you. That’s a good enough reason to carry on every day and make it a routine.

In one of my earlier articles, I mentioned that you should write down, every positive things that you want to achieve and make it part of your self-development. If for instance you want to be more assertive, write it down. If you wanted to learn to play the piano or the guitar, to have more self-confidence or whatever, write them down. There is no limit to what you can do during your journey of self-development. The sky is the limit. Developing self is in a way self-enrichment and self-enlightenment, seeking knowledge and guidance. I for instance am adding new things to my own list. I want to become a better speaker, a better swimmer. I want to learn many languages, etc.

I was going through the daily news when I noticed the sad and also inspiring news of the passing of actor Pete Postlethwaite. He could have stayed in teaching as his parents wanted but he aspired to greater things, as in becoming an actor where good looks such as the likes of Robert Redfords and George Clooneys are an asset.. Pete did it his way, even with working class-roots and a face few would describe as handsome. He made it with sheer talent and perseverance. That’s and inspiring article for all of us to see and draw from. That kind of story can definitely help in our quest for self-development. Even though we may not all want to become actors. For the one among us who are aspiring actors, you should study such a man and make it a part of your list of people to study in order to get where you want to be.

There are things that we are naturally good at, a God-given talent. Not everybody can sing like Barbara Streisand or play the piano like Mozart in the musical field. In the sport scene, people like Magic Jordan showed great talent for basketball and he even quoted Thomas Edison with the saying, success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. All that to show that we have to do some work and success will come at the end of the tunnel. We don’t know how long the tunnel will be, but if we keep working long enough, our self-development will grow by leaps and bounds.

People with goals are generally self-made. People like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, The Walton family, etc. They started with a goal in mind. That goal has allowed them to have friend in all walks of life, fame and fortune. With the immense wealth that they have accumulated, they started charity foundation to help others. Isn’t that wonderful? I don’t know what your goal in life is, I don’t know what you are trying to accomplish in your quest of self-development, but I thing that I know is once you have reached the pinnacle of your self-development you will have attained the nirvana. Don’t forget to come back and tell us about it!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking For Supreme Wisdom of Self-Development!

I was scouring the Internet looking for some news articles that may be a tad related to self-development, self-enlightenment or any of the self-titled articles that may have something to do with someone reaching to get in touch with his/her inner soul. What did I find? The usual suspects, a lot of news about the stars of Hollywood, some sad news about a 19 year old woman allegedly raped by a 15 year old in a train station, the second Royal Wedding, a possible promotional boxing match between Will Smith and Mark Wahlberg for $1 million each, a comparison study that puts Canada in the top three countries for cancer survival rates alongside Australia and Sweden. Not all bad news except for the raping of that young woman, that is totally unacceptable. Why would teenagers think that they could get away with such crimes? Our councilors have to come up with a plan to stop such horrible crimes. Obviously throwing people in jail is a solution but not the best solution. We need much more than that!

You may at times think that you are alone in the pursuit of self-development but you have the power of the universe with you every second of your journey. Mind you, it is always advisable to seek like-minded people seeking self-development so that you can share your knowledge, talk and walk together. The journey is easier when you take someone else along the way. If you can bring your children to the path of self-development and enlightenment do so. A child with a purpose in life will not sit idle; he/she will want to be involved. More youth program should be developed for the sole purpose of bringing teenagers and young adults to learn about how to develop self. The role models that we have these days are not doing their jobs completely. Be it teenagers as model/actor or singers, they are not really reaching out to our children to communicate a positive message. There is too much emphasis on improving the self-image and not enough emphasis on improving the mind of our children. We have to bring more spiritual teachers into the equation, we need to bring real councilors and teachers that can get to the mass and spread the self-development and enlightenment message.

We have grown accustomed to entertainment and fun. When we sit down to watch television we expect to get entertainment, sports and play and if we don’t get it, we switch the channel. We have to be fair to our children and let them know that life is not all about entertainment. We have to let our teenagers know that it is the parent’s responsibility to guide them and nurture them. If we are not doing our jobs as guardian of our planet, how do we expect our children to be responsible and carry on in our path? Actually that is exactly what they will do if we do not change, they will continue in our path and we will be seeing more of the same madness. Any TV shows nowadays that get too serious get canned after a few weeks since we are used to be entertained, anything that get us thinking scare the heck of us because we don’t always want to face reality. There are still some good TV shows about nature, science, etc. There are some paid educational TV channels but we would have to shift our focus and bring them out more into the mainstream, make them the focal point of enlightenment and self-development of our society. The point is, everything revolves around the almighty dollar and that is the price we have to pay.

On my way home the other day, I was listening to CBC radio dispatches and they had a program about the sworn virgins of Albania. That was my enlightenment for the day.
The “burnesh” of the Balkans as they are called; women who live their lives as men as a symbol of pride. The sworn virgins decide to live in the manner of the opposite sex, which give them the privileges that regular women don’t have. The Albanian women are oppressed while the sworn virgin can smoke, attend male-only events, participate in male-only activities, use men's tools like guns and certain musical instruments, and generally obtain the respect of their born-male peers like any other man. They play the man role in the family and they are very family oriented looking for the well being of the household.

As I listened to the program and interviews, I got to think that a woman is willing to abstain from sex and live as someone that she wasn’t intended to be is a big sacrifice. That woman becomes the role model of her close relatives and of the community as well. It must not be easy since that woman may have to take the part of a real man in battle, which her body wasn’t designed to do. We must look at such examples and study them as we ourselves look for personal development and enlightenment. We should always search for knowledge and ask for forgiveness of our wrongdoings and deviation from the correct path. Some of you will ask, what is the correct path? Well it is the path of love and understanding, tolerance and compassion. If we follow the Ten Commandments, we are already on the path of light and understanding.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Year Resolution: Self-Development Goal!

How are you going to start the New Year? Have you given a thought on how you are going to contribute? Are you planning on changing yourself for the better to make a difference in the world? Every year we say this and that about new resolution, how to make a difference then half way through the year we realize that we haven’t made a darn thing. Of course you can have many things on your list. Things such as losing weight, contribute to your circle of friends by convincing one or some of them (who seem to need to lose), to join you. The easiest way is to bring forth the advantage of losing weight and how much more beautiful that person will become.

On the subject of weight loss, I think that we should be at our optimal weight at all time. In these days of uncertain economy, job is not as easy to keep as 20 years ago. Anyone can lose his/her job at any moment, for that reason, we should keep a comfortable weight in order to be able to sell ourselves at a moment’s notice. In fact, studies have shown that stress can have a big impact on our weight and if you are stressed beyond measure, you will do things that you wouldn’t normally do that can be a factor in gaining weight. By pursuing a goal of self-development, you’ll be able to manage your life and help out people in your immediate circle.

While we are writing our list of things to do, don’t stop at weight loss, you can add stop smoking, stop gambling, stop drinking etc. since most of us know someone who have succumbed to one or two of these vices. My paternal grandmother was a heavy smoker and an alcoholic, she died of liver cirrhosis. The good thing with self- development is that the minute you start talking to your friends about it, they will throw new ideas at you and you can pick it up and go with it. I was talking to a lady friend at work about self-development and all, we discussed various things then the subject came to meditation and that when she told me that she does some kind of a pilgrimage every year to purge herself. When I asked her what she does, she said that she goes to a meditation camp to be among other like minded individuals pursuing the same goal of meditation for self-development and happiness.

What is interesting about the meditation camp is that it is available to anyone, it is a non profit organization where you go and learn about meditation and volunteer some of your time. I am registering for a few day sessions in 2011 and I think you should too. There are centers throughout the world. The name is Vipassana meditation. It is a method of mental purification which allows one to face life's tensions and problems in a calm, balanced way. It is also an art of living that one can use to make positive contribution to society. Vipassana meditation aims at the highest spiritual goals of total liberation and full enlightenment.

Why are we not where we wanted to be? I said in one of the previous articles, we can take our journey to self-development with as many burdens as we may have but we have to drop them one by one in order to feel free at the end. One way to do that is through various techniques such as prayers, meditation, forgiveness, compassion, love, humility and so on. We have to re-invent ourselves so to speak. If you have only known hate and how to hate, now is the time to learn how to love, if you have been abused and became an abuser yourself, now is the time to free yourself from all of that. There will come a time when you’ll wish that you had changed for the better, don’t wait for that time to come. Do it now! Do it today! If you have been blessed with love and compassion, share that love and compassion with others. You’ll be blessed with more love and compassion in abundance. You reap what you sow, or what goes around comes around, Karma, it is all about that natural law of the universe, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

As the Holidays approach, we will be with family and enjoying the moment. I wish that young adults will behave as young adults and not as young thugs, drunkards, gangsters and thieves. We don’t want to read in the news about people killed by drunk drivers, we don’t want to read about people being scammed of their credit cards, we don’t want to hear about home invasion, break and entering and all. The sad reality is, a lot of that will happen! What are you going to do about it? What am I going to do about it? Well the power that is wants our kids to become thugs by promoting gangster music and lifestyle as acceptable, the power that is wants our daughters to become prostitutes by gyrating half nude on TV in the name of self promotion. Well we all want to make it big and become rich and famous don’t we. That’s the price we have to pay! Is it not what they call to sell your soul to the devil? So what can we do to help our community during the Holiday Season? We can give to charity in the form of food donation, clothing or gift certificates to less fortunate family. We can become mentors to younger ones. We can become mothers and fathers to the orphans, etc. That alone will move us forward in our quest for self- development. The thing though, let’s not do it only during the Holidays but throughout the year! Remember that great movie, the blind side with Sandra Bullock, she did her part. Doing your part in your community will be a rewarding experience and something that will truly make a difference.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gaining Power Through Self-Development!

Let's look at the subject matter for a second and think about it! Gaining power... who doesn't want to gain power in a world where so often we feel powerless. We feel powerless because we are not able to change our present condition. With the current economy, we may be about to lose our jobs and there is nothing we can do about it. We may be suffering from a deadly disease, such as cancer and there is nothing we can do about it. Our children may have moved outside of our lives and there is nothing we can do about it. There is a huge amount of books on the market about "self help" and yet millions of people are still looking for answers. Where should we look to find answers to our current problems? What are our leaders going to do to remedy to the numerous problems that we are facing?

We encourage parents to teach their children self confidence. A child who grows up with good values, good self confidence, etc. does better in life according to studies. There should not be a black sheep in the family. You should not give preferential treatment to a particular child, that will foster resentment among the siblings and eventually destroy their lives in adulthood. As adult, we have to learn to show love and respect to the environment and our fellow earth dwellers regardless of their race, religion and culture. We also have to teach our children to do the same. Only then we may be able to live in harmony with the earth as the creator intended. If we insist on carrying on the way we are now, that is to say showing little to no love nor respect for the earth and our fellow citizen then we can only expect more and more of what we are seeing today!

Who should we love and who should we hate!

The power of love is a very powerful force that can unite and create harmony. Some people would rather hate than love. If your neighbor come to your house and tells you that he/she hates such and such person, you should not be too fast in joining the bandwagon. Ask him/her why. Hatred is a very powerful force and that too can destroy lives, as we can see and hear in the news everyday how lives are being destroyed by lunatics who have decided to use their guns to take the lives of innocent people and ultimately their own. It may not be hate per se, but it is a condition that has been brewing for a time then finally reached the boiling point. Anyway it's not love! Hate can destroy from the inside out. The hate will burn the hater from the inside and make him/her look ugly then ultimately kill them.

You may think that if you had more knowledge, you would be richer! You may think that if you had more money that would make you more powerful! In essence that true, more knowledge can be put forth to acquiring more wealth. We have grown to believe that gaining wealth should be our ultimate goal in life. There is nothing wrong in wanting more money to get rid of financial problems. There is nothing wrong in wanting more money to live a more comfortable life. The only problem is if you only seek wealth in life and not try to improve other aspects of your life, like learning to be tolerant, learning to love, learning to be compassionate, learning to be humble then you may only become a greedy wealthy and selfish man or woman. More money can make you more powerful indeed, but you have to use the money wisely and constructively. Being wealthy and being at peace with yourself can make for a better world.

Our journey toward self development

Self development is something that everyone of us should look forward to. Learn all you can about yourself and see what part of yourself needs developing. If you need self confidence, before you go and buy every course out there on self confidence, search deeply within yourself and see what's causing you to lack self confidence in the first place. Once you have narrowed down the real cause of your lack of confidence, start investing in yourself towards finding a solution to the problem and your self confidence will start to soar. Try and surround yourself with loving people like your family and avoid negative, conceited and people full of themselves.

How can you love a movie star whom you have only seen on TV or in the movies while you ignore your neighbor which you see every day. Don't forget that Hollywood is the land of make believe, you get your two hours worth of fantasy at the movie theater then you go home later empty and depressed. The Master created us to live with one another and be happy! Not to be alone and living in fear of one another. The media tend to bring much news about crimes and desperation, the little bit of news that bring comfort is quite rare. Fear and desperation create paranoia, which in turns create hate and delusion.

A journey toward self development and self confidence should be a journey about learning about oneself and in the end make the world a better place. How can that be you ask? If each of us take the time to learn to become a better person through self development, that will make us a more tolerant, more caring and more giving person and that would make us more appreciative of our fellow citizens. The question is, is it too late for us to start our journey of self development before the hatred that creates more hatred consumes us all.

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to Begin Your Journey To Self-Development!

The journey to self- development should be fun and should also be a learning experience. It is the time to get rid of any heavy burden that has been weighing on you for a long time. If you have any guilt, remorse, etc. it is now the time to face the music and deal with it. You may have to go to a professional counselor, if you can't do it on your own. But it's worth it initially to get the hump off your back! There are many free online services that can help you with any personal problems. Another thing that may be one of the greatest challenges of today, addiction. Addiction comes in many shapes and forms and people are developing new addictions each and every day. Your journey to self-development should be a journey where you start will all kind of heavy luggages that you'll be dropping one by one to finally be a much better person toward the end of your journey. There should not be any confusion over mind body and soul as stated by the great guru Deepak Chopra.

I don't need to tell you about addiction because everyone of us have suffered through some kind of it. It could be an addiction to food, alcohol, gambling, playing the lottery, sex and you name it. Many time an addict will recover to slowly slide back to the very same addiction and then some. It may be easy to say, let's get rid of our addiction but it is easier said that done. When you have been doing something for years, it becomes part of you and it is not easy to cast it away just like that. It takes time and commitment. Well then, we'll have to find time and commit ourselves and get everything straight, won't we?

Some people may seem to get rid of an addiction just like that, as they say, cold turkey. In reality it may have been years in preparation to that final day where you say enough is enough. Kind of like an overnight success. A person may have been working on his gig his whole life then finally it happens, then they say he or she is an overnight success. The saying "no pain no gain" is true for whatever you want to accomplish and self-improvement is no different.

Why would someone want to go to the journey of self-development anyway? Well, a journey to self-development is a journey of enlightenment, where you learn about yourself and the world around you and good things like, the effect of cheerfulness upon the health as the Holy Book says " A merry heart doeth good like a medecine". The Master want us to seek knowledge from the crib until we depart from this world. Self-improvement will guide us to the answers of many great problems of life and give us a life of integrity, faith and happiness.

We have to stay grounded all the time because there will still be problems such as sickness of every kind and some sickness that will culminate into full-fledged craziness which will have impacts on all of us. The news that we hear about everyday bear witness to the fact that some person are committing vicious, heinous and insane acts and we have to assume that person must have suffered some form of mental illness. We still have to do our contribution to the world by improving ourselves and guide our fellow citizen to do the same. We have to guide by example as we like to be guided. You will not take advice from 300 pounds individual trying to sell you on the latest diet would you? Your fellow citizen will listen to you if you live by example. That's a good feeling.

As a child, I used to love watching the kung fu series with David Carradine, pbuh, as Caine. The series shows how Caine goes through self-development and enlighentment as an orphan and follows the path of righteousness and justice throughout the show. Can you imagine for a moment that we lived in a world where every human being struggled to be on the right path by pursuing self-development and spiritual enlightenment? The world would be a better one, won't it! Too many of us are not trying to follow in the path of righteousness and justice but rather the pursuit of wealth and happiness. There is nothing wrong in wanting some wealth for yourself and your family but not at the expense of others. The Bernard Madoff saga is a sad one. It is the pursuit of happiness by being dishonest and unscrupulous which ultimately brought much sufferings and will have a very big impact on many people's lives for years to come.

Would you like to live dishonestly in opulence with fame and fake friends or choose the path of self-development with just enough money to live but being gladly remembered in the end as someone who did his part to help his community and the less fortunate. We have to make a choice in life and we choose to be what we are, but is it the best that we can do? Our parents raise us a certain way, then as we become adults we can either used some of that education to guide us through life or we can totally reject it and become someone else entirely. People with good and caring parents usually turns out to be good people as well but sometimes they can be influenced by others and become the bad apple of society. What if your parents didn't like you and you grew up with very low self-esteem? Will you use that excuse and become a burden on society? Some people where abandon at birth grew up with foster parents and turn out to be great people! It's all about your own self-development and what you want to accomplish in life.

What is the duty of a civilized person? Do you see yourself as doing your duty as a civilized citizen? We want to do our part to contribute to the avancement of society. We don't want to be a burden or a social outcast who is using valuable resources but don't give anything in return. By improving ourselves with self- righteousness and by following the path of self-development and self-enlightenment we become a beacon of hope, life and happiness in our society and we become the measure by which anyone who has deviated from the path can correct himself to regain the rank of the straight and narrow. Do you want to be remembered as someone who has contributed to the destruction of this present world or someone who has tried to bring light and guidance into the world?