Sadhguru looks at the importance of the process of karma yoga, its role on the spiritual path, and how one can go about using action as a means to spiritual growth.
Question: What is the role of karma yoga in sadhana?
Sadhguru: It is not needed really. Yoga does not need karma. Yoga is to go beyond karma. Why karma yoga has been brought in is to bring about balance in a person. Whatever we call as our awareness, our love, our experience or our glimpses of our reality, if it has to be sustained, the path of non-doing is a very wonderful path, but it is very slippery. Extremely slippery. It is the simplest and the most difficult. It is not difficult but it is not at all easy, because it is simple – right now, here and now. But that here and now – how to get it? Whatever you do, it is not in your hands. It is never going to be in your hands. But your hands need something right now, you need to hold something. That is why the crutch of karma yoga.
Without the crutch, most people will not be able to walk. There are a few beings who can walk without the crutch from the first moment. They are very rare beings. Everyone else needs the crutch to manage your awareness. Without this, most people are incapable of remaining aware. So karma yoga is brought into your life to properly temper sadhana with the right kind of action.
Activity – liberating or entangling
Karma yoga has unfortunately been described as service, but it is not so. It is a way of undoing the impressions that you have gathered. If you can joyfully involve yourself in any activity, that is karma yoga. If you do it with great effort, only karma will come, noyoga will happen!
Generally it is through various activities that you perform that you get entangled and enmeshed with life. But if the activity becomes a process of liberation instead of entanglement, it is karma yoga. Whether it is work or walking on the street or talking to someone, the nature of the activity is not important. When you do something only because it is needed, where it does not mean anything to you but you are capable of involving yourself as if that is your life, it transforms you and action becomes liberating.
When we were building the Dhyanalinga, people thought, “This is it! He wants this to happen. Let us do it! Once this is done, we can relax.” They worked like their life depended on it. They went from house to house, raising funds and bringing the necessary support and made it happen. When it was done, before they said “Ooff…” I announced ten different projects. I will always keep it on because people need that kind of action. They need to do what is needed without worrying about their fulfillment and their likes and dislikes. Anyway we are doing something for our growth, so let us do something that is useful to everyone. Let us do sensible action.
There have been many masters who created action like this. When Gurdjieff started his centers in Europe, the European elite went to him. In the morning he would give them a shovel and a pickaxe and tell them, “Dig trenches.” In the hot sun, they stood and dug and dug. These were not people who are used to labor of any kind. By the time they had worked a few hours, they had blisters all over. He stood there and drove them on. By late evening, they were hungry but they worked and worked, digging trenches. Then he would look at the watch, “Okay, it is seven o‘clock. Looks like dinner time. All of you can close the trenches again before we go for dinner.” A whole day’s work!
Doing something that does not mean anything to you with total involvement is what breaks the karmic structure. Karma means action. If action has to become yoga, action should be liberating. If your activity has become a process of binding yourself, it is karma. So the question is not about how much activity you do. How you are performing the activity is what makes the difference. If you are crawling through your work, that is karma. If you are dancing through your work, that is karma yoga.
Introducing the most powerful diagnostic equipment in the world – The Limitless Brain!’
By Daniel Rechnitzer
It is the 1st of January 2017, New Year’s day. I sit and reflect on the year gone by. I am in awe of what has transpired around the world – industries have gone through major flux, having to reach new levels of accountability. But one industry stands tall… the coaching industry. It, too, has undergone massive transformation, like an adult becoming wiser and learning who they really are, learning what is true.
A grin stretches across my face, as I am reminded of my own journey, when I began to discover all that I am….
It was the time I first saw Whole-Brain Intelligence in action, when I learned what is truly possible for us. It was June 1997; I had just sat down to relax, when I was startled by the phone ringing. It was a dear friend with an invitation not to be missed. He had been telling me about a couple who had “abilities”: They could see things about a person, know who they were at their core. They were “amazing,” he said… and they were in town that night!
I decided to embark on this adventure and head out to meet them, to see what was behind these stories. I am so glad I did.
It was 7:00 p.m. – we had arrived on time. The room was filled with people. An electricity was in the air. Everyone was smiling. It was so contagious that I couldn’t help smiling, too.
I was invited by an older woman to experience a treatment. She was the one my friend had told me about. How could I refuse a firsthand glimpse of what these people were capable?
I lay down on the massage table, not knowing what to expect. She needed to calm me, as I was top-heavy with adrenalin and fear. She spoke softly and calmly, having me feel safe and, finally, at ease.
Seated behind me, she gently placed her hands upon my head. She then began talking, remarking about things that were incredibly familiar to me. We had only just met moments before, yet she began recounting my entire life story, revealing to me the reasons why I was feeling stuck in my life, why my back was aching and why I was avoiding a deeper commitment in my relationships. Incredibly, it was all true – every word she uttered.
I was flabbergasted. As I said, we had barely just met. So how could she be speaking to me, as though she had participated in every moment of my life – like she had been watching me since birth? How was she doing this? Was this even possible?
It was as if she had tapped into the truth about my life: who I was, how I was living, what my struggles were, all my key frustrations and – best of all – she provided the answers to resolving them.
She told me more about how I was feeling about my parents, about university, and how I was being particularly self-destructive in my life. She gave me radical insights, answers to questions that had bothered me for months. It all seemed to come so easily to her; I was amazed, to say the least. It felt like she knew more about me than I did.
But what was particularly startling for me was how she spoke. She wasn’t using her own words. They were, word-for-word, my words, my very precise sentence structure! And she verbalized my very thoughts, using my very own phrasing! Needless to say, a paradigm was collapsing.
Could it be that my thoughts were no longer under lock and key? How was she accessing my mind? All this time, I had thought my thoughts were private, hidden from view. Clearly, I was mistaken!
What I had just experienced was extraordinary. My father had often told me about a phenomenon called Universal Intelligence (Ui); but to be faced with it like this, out of the blue… what a mind-blowing experience! My back was healed. I had clarity and certainty about my life. I had received answers to all my questions; but, most importantly, something more expansive had occurred. I was shown the truth, a new paradigm, where answers on any topic could be accessed.
Everything changed from this point on. How could it not?!
I began a long and deep search into my very nature, our nature as human beings. My adventure took me to learning more about these skills, the truth about enlightenment, how our negative beliefs hold us back and what really creates illness in the body. My adventure also took me to learning and practicing these skills for myself – living them, walking the talk every step of the way.
Best of all, my adventure took me to meeting my wife Sonja – beautiful inside and out – and, together, we were able to take this realm of Whole-Brain Intelligence to a profound new level. We went through hardships and massive learning curves to eventually become experts in this field. We started teaching others this amazing gift. We ran workshops and mentored people. Everything was focused around attaining answers through the mind, using it like an antenna to reach Universal Intelligence. Our teachings later got titled “Becoming ALL-KNOWING.”
We learned so much about what is real and how our belief systems distort the truth like an opposite reality, bringing emptiness instead of fulfillment. We were shown through this space that Whole-Brain Intelligence is a unique configuration of the brain, currently quite rare and, in fact, the epitome of brain function. It is where both hemispheres of the brain begin resonating in unison to bring in information beyond what people already know. Like an antenna, the brain actually perceives frequencies of information – similar to a radio picking up signals – but from everything: people, places, situations and, most importantly, a sublime consciousness within, the SuperConscious.
Our “intuition,” as people call it – our sixth sense – turned out to be another way to describe Whole-Brain Intelligence. Where our five physical senses perceive our physical reality, it is our sixth sense, using Whole-Brain Intelligence, that perceives a more subtle reality, thought waves – an endless sea of limitless genius.
Inspiration, our greatest insights, our greatest ideas and wisdom, all enter via this space through a still mind. True genius is accessed via Whole-Brain Intelligence, not from us but through us.
We realized a profound misunderstanding had occurred across humanity – our brain was not stand-alone at all; rather, it can be compared to wireless Internet, connecting everyone and everything. It is just that we were not taught this in school. Thus, leading us to draw only upon a stand-alone brain – and our brain can only do what we expect of it.
We then discovered the reason so few people were accessing it at will. It was because they were not (yet) aware that there was a key – a secret ingredient to accessing Whole-Brain intelligence. It is still rare, difficult to find in today’s society; but, in truth, something we can all access when taught how. The key is pure self-belief. It unlocks the doorway to the mind, expanding beyond what is known to us, opening the mind to unlimited creativity and knowledge – infinity personified!
We have all had many experiences with Whole-Brain Intelligence: the times we walk into a room and feel the energy there, the waves of excitement we feel wash over us in a sports arena, the times we pick up on anger when entering a situation, and the very common experience of thinking of someone moments before they phone us. All of these occurrences are brought to us via Whole-Brain Intelligence. Just like breadcrumbs, these experiences are leading us to vital truths, to something powerful and undeniable.
It has been our belief at the subconscious level – including societal belief systems – that have hidden this Whole-Brain truth from us. Like a shroud cloaking the truth, our beliefs have served to maintain our identity, the non-truth. But underneath these beliefs, as you learn to pierce the veil, the universal truth awaits: that we in fact are ALL-KNOWING.
Our Whole-Brain Intelligence gives us the unique ability to pierce the veil of what seems real, giving us clarity as to what actually is real – to read between the lines and see the hidden truths. Life mimics our thought patterns. Our wellbeing reflects our innermost thoughts, our outer universe reflects our innermost universe, and so on. It is through Whole-Brain Intelligence that we get to see behind the scenes to the thoughts buried deep, the thoughts that are at the root cause of our life experiences. For example, our marriage breakdowns, our financial struggles, illness and disease, the success or failure of our business ventures, even who we are as a species.
So I delved deeper, discovering that underpinning our Whole-Brain Intelligence, essentially linking all human beings, is a field of frequencies… like a melting pot of knowledge and wisdom, of thoughts and intelligence – both, known and yet-to-be discovered. Like ripples over a still pond, this field relays information and insights to those using Whole-Brain Intelligence, gifting them with knowledge, wisdom and guidance.
Contained within this field are all the answers: how to experience an all-natural, pain-free birth, how to move someone from depression to being on purpose in life, how to grow people from living a mediocre life to experiencing their own greatness/full potential in every moment, etc. It is abundant in wisdom, truth and a myriad of ways to protect and grow our future.
The ability to draw on this field gives rise to helping people in a profound new way. The truth really does lie within; and we now know how to access it, share it and grow from it.
This field gives access to tapping into a person’s core being. The answers to entire life-journeys lay hidden beneath layers of self-doubt; but Whole-Brain Intelligence is the key to unearthing these answers. It spawns a new frontier of coaches and a new level of personal development, as we train people to Become ALL-KNOWING. Practitioners are no longer reliant merely on their thinking minds. Instead, they are receiving guidance from intelligence running through and connecting with all of us. They are using their SuperConscious mind to retrieve these answers. Some feel this information; others see pictures, colors or faces. Some hear the words coming through; others receive this guidance using all of their senses.
A profound level of communication occurs, multi-sensory and universal in nature.
A radical notion – a practitioner simply holds an intention to uncover the truth about a situation to uncover the perfect path forward. The answers arrive almost immediately. They do not need to be thought about or considered. They already exist, waiting to be accessed.
Coaching people in this way blew us away. The answers no longer come from us, but through us. One becomes a messenger speaking in the client’s language, using their words, their truth; bringing it from their SuperConscious self to their waking, conscious mind. It is somewhat like having Google as your brain, accessing anything – in this case, the client’s life story, belief systems and ultimate perfect path.
Whole-Brain Intelligence is part of our nature. We are all journeying towards it, over time. Exactly how long it takes is up to us. At first, it can be confronting to learn of something so advanced and effective, yet so simple. But when we see ourselves as deserving and worthy, as we let in this simple truth, we wonder how we ever did without it.
If you could see into a person’s heart, what holds them back and what sets them free, would you wait to access it, or would you move mountains to embrace it? We embraced it, and we have never looked back.
Walking your truth is the greatest gift you can ever give your clients… and yourself!
Daniel Rechnitzer is the Author of “The ALL KNOWING Diary” a treasure map to ALL KNOWING. Like an ancient manuscript, it reveals timeless wisdom and priceless truths, teaching you how to access your ALL KNOWING Brain
Karma is the Sanskrit word for action. It is equivalent to Newton’s law of ‘every action must have a reaction’. When we think, speak or act we initiate a force that will react accordingly.
This returning force maybe modified, changed or suspended, but most people will not be able eradicate it.
This law of cause and effect is not a punishment, but is wholly for the sake of education or learning.
A person may not escape the consequences of his actions, but he will suffer only if he himself has made the conditions ripe for his suffering. Ignorance of the law is no excuse whether the laws are man-made or universal.
To stop being afraid and to start being empowered in the worlds of karma and reincarnation, here is what you need to know about karmic laws.
1. THE GREAT LAW
– “As you sow, so shall you reap”. This is also known as the “Law of Cause and Effect”.
– Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us.
– If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Love, Friendship… Then we should BE Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a True Friend.
2. THE LAW OF CREATION
– Life doesn’t just HAPPEN, it requires our participation.
– We are one with the Universe, both inside and out. – Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
– BE yourself, and surround yourself with what you want to have present in your Life.
3. THE LAW OF HUMILITY
– What you refuse to accept, will continue for you.
– If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative, then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.
4. THE LAW OF GROWTH
– “Wherever you go, there you are”.
– For us to GROW in Spirit, it is we who must change – and not the people, places or things around us.
– The only given we have in our lives is OURSELVES and that is the only factor we have control over.
– When we change who and what we are within our heart our life follows suit and changes too. THE
5. LAW OF RESPONSIBILITY
– Whenever there is something wrong in my life, there is something wrong in me.
– We mirror what surrounds us – and what surrounds us mirrors us; this is a Universal Truth.
– We must take responsibility what is in our life.
6. THE LAW OF CONNECTION
– Even if something we do seems inconsequential, it is very important that it gets done as everything in the Universe is connected.
– Each step leads to the next step, and so forth and so on.
– Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
– Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance,
– As they were both needed to accomplish the task.
– Past-Present-Future they are all connected…
7. THE LAW OF FOCUS
– You can not think of two things at the same time.
– When our focus is on Spiritual Values, it is impossible for us to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.
8. THE LAW OF GIVING AND HOSPITALITY
– If you believe something to be true,then sometime in your life you will be called upon to demonstrate that particular truth.
– Here is where we put what we CLAIM that we have learned, into actual PRACTICE.
9. THE LAW OF HERE AND NOW
– Looking backward to examine what was, prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW.
– Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams…
– Prevent us from having new ones.
10. THE LAW OF CHANGE
– History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to change our path.
11. THE LAW OF PATIENCE AND REWARD
– All Rewards require initial toil.
– Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.
– True joy follows doing what we’re suppose to be doing, and waiting for the reward to come in on its own time.
12. THE LAW OF SIGNIFICANCE AND INSPIRATION
– You get back from something whatever YOU have put into it.
– The true value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.
– Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
– Lack luster contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it.
– Loving contributions bring life to, and inspire, the Whole.
The Ars Notoria is a rare ancient magical text that is said to perfect memory and master academia among other incredible things.
“…The Notory Art revealed by the Most High Creator to Solomon. In the Name of the Holy and undivided Trinity, beginneth this most Holy Art of Knowledge, revealed to Solomon, which the Most High Creator by his Holy Angels ministered to Solomon upon the Alter of the Temple; that thereby in short time he knew all Arts and Sciences, both Liberal and Mechanick, with all the Faculties and Properties thereof: He has suddenly infused into him, and also was filled with all wisdom, to utter the Sacred Mysteries of most Holy words…” – The Notory Art of Solomon.
The Ars Notoria – An Ancient Magical Book to Perfect Memory and Master Academia
Do you believe that there are ancient texts that help understand how humans function? Several sciences are known for avoiding many parts they cannot comprehend or explain, is it possible that this is one of them? Innumerable ancient books have been written in the past promising otherworldly powers to those who welcome its knowledge. People in the past firmly believed that ancient scripts offered magical powers and ways of altering the consciousness of those who read it.
But from where does this mysterious knowledge come from? In the distant past, not many people knew how to read, or interpret ancient (sacred) writings, which could have inherently, categorized some texts as mysterious and powerful.
“And know this; that if thou hast not the books in thy hands, or the faculty of looking into them is not given to thee; the effect of this work will not be the lesse therefore: but the Orations are twice then to be pronounced, where they were to be but once: And as to the knowledge of a vision, and the other virtues which these Holy Orations have; thou maist prove and try them, when and how thou wilt.” (source) –Ars Notoria The Notory Art of Solomon.
In the famous grimoire —a textbook of magic, with instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets and perform magical spells—called Lesser Key of Solomon, there is an ancient text called the Ars Notoria, or the Notory Art of Solomon. This ancient text can be traced back to the thirteenth century while some parts were written as early as the twelfth century.
While there were numerous ancient texts that promised otherworldly powers in the past, this one was different since it specifically focused on prayers, meditations and another oral exercise unlike other books, which focused exclusively on spells, potions, and rituals.
The oldest writings in the so-called Lesser Key of Solomon offer those who read and understand it, a silver tongue, perfect memory and unimaginable wisdom. However, since there has been numerous ‘unauthorized’ revision through the ages, its extremely difficult to evaluate its success and functionality.
The original texts were created in three different styles, including Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. It is said that King Solomon himself used the original writings of the Ars Notoria to become a wise, compassionate and talented rulers on Earth
Karma: that word that gets thrown around a lot.
People talk about “good” karma versus “bad” karma, or “your” karma versus “mine.”
But despite the term’s popularity, it seems like everybody has a different idea about what it actually means. If karma is truly one of the Buddha’s most important teachings, as he himself repeatedly emphasized, then to follow in his footsteps, we need to be clear about its definition.
The Problems with “Agricultural” Karma
Probably one of the most popular misunderstandings about Buddhist Karma is the idea that everything that happens to us is our karma. If we win the lottery or have an attractive partner, it’s because we performed good deeds in the past—we have “good” karma. If we get hit by a truck or our partner cheats on us, it’s because we misbehaved and have “bad” karma. And, of course, what we do now will determine our future results. Let’s just call this the agricultural view of karma: we reap what we sow.
So, what’s wrong with this idea? Well, whether we’re Buddhist or not, it creates lots of intellectual problems.
The first is that believing we reap what we sow simply seems to contradict a great deal of our experience. We act with kindness, maybe dropping a few coins into a homeless man’s can, only to have him call us a cheap yuppie. Or our chronically underperforming co-worker who spends most of the time surfing Facebook and pilfering office supplies gets a promotion.
In other words, the wicked very often seem to prosper, even thrive, while the good seem to get a goodly portion of crap.
Why, for example, do innocent infants die? They’ve barely had enough time to learn how to digest food properly, let alone perform some wicked deed. (Of course, we need to leave Stewie from Family Guy out of this equation, as well as the idea of the infant proposed by famous psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, who viewed it as a viscous and greedy succubus bent on completely draining the mother of her vital energy.)
I’m sure you’ve already come up with the answer: we must be dealing with more than one lifetime. In fact, the claim is that we have an infinite number of lives extending into the past. With this explanation, all the rewards and atrocities of life fit together like a skillful game of Tetris. We have an account for why infants die, or why we can be completely loving and faithful to our partner, only to end up alone; it’s just our karmic comeuppance from cheating in a previous life.
Sure, we still might feel unhappy because our partner is now dating a princess from Bhutan, but at least we can mourn with a sense of ease, knowing there is some order to events in the universe, and that these personal painful events are just the fruits of old, bad karma. We can also rest easy because in the future, we’ll also reap the rewards of our fidelity—it just might take time.
If we stop here, then all is well.
However, if we push a little further beyond this logical seal, then we confront what we call “the administrative nightmare.” How can all those good and bad deeds possibly be kept track of? And not just in one lifetime, but across infinite lifetimes? What conceivable cosmic ledger could account for all those transactions? It seems like an administrative impossibility to coordinate that vast amount of information and organize events so everything unfolds correctly, and justice gets served to the right people, at the right time, in just the right way. The organizational details are so complex that it leads people to say that karma is some infinitely subtle, ineffable cosmic order, inaccessible to even the most sophisticated minds.
An even bigger problem is that, with infinite lifetimes, absolutely everyone would have enough karma for nearly anything to happen to them. Put it this way: we all have everything coming.
The irony is that this view of karma ends up undermining its original purpose of explaining an individual’s unique, personal history.
Even if we manage to somehow dismiss these logical problems, we’re left with one that chafes at the heart of Buddhism. This view of karma presupposes an abiding self that’s responsible for these events, whereas the Buddha’s central message was the radical proposal that there is no self (anattā). The agricultural view of karma rests on there being some sort of enduring “you” (call it a self, soul, mind-stream, or whatever) who is responsible for what “you” did in the past, and a “you” who will benefit or be cursed in the future.
This view of karma contributes to acting in self-cherishing, ego-reinforcing ways. In other words, it supports the very self-illusion that the Buddha considered the root of our suffering.
Karma as Intention
What did the Buddha really mean by karma? The answer is simple: intention.
He said, “Intention, I tell you, is karma. Intending, one does karma by way of body, speech, and intellect.” Defining karma in this way, the Buddha departed radically from all previous thinking about karma.
In the traditional Brahmanical culture of India, karma generally referred to action. Do good deeds, and the universe will reward you in turn. But by redefining karma as the intentions behind one’s actions, the Buddha was pointing to a deeper truth: the kinds of intentions we habitually entertain—whether they’re generous and loving, or selfish and aversive—will determine the kind of mental space we inhabit. We can’t fully control whether our dog runs away, or whether our partner cheats on us, but we do have a say in what kind of person meets those events.
Karma as intention was the central message the Buddha emphasized over and over. The more any acts of body, speech, or mind are motivated by poisonous intentions such as greed and hatred, the more toxic we become, and the more we suffer, no matter what happens to us externally. The reverse is also true: intentions of compassion and wisdom shape us into beings with greater patience, who are less susceptible to suffering, no matter what happens to us externally.
To put it succinctly: Buddhist karma is not about what happens to you, but who it happens to.
Yes, the Wicked can Prosper
The Buddha’s focus on intention rather than actions and external circumstances allows us to fully acknowledge that the wicked can prosper, and that selfish behavior can bring a person great fortune and power. However, the mental state of such a person surrounded by luxury is a whole different matter. This also means that acting with compassionate intentions won’t magically prevent us from confronting the slings and arrows of life’s misfortune.
But acting out of wholesome intentions opens up the possibility of becoming a person who encounters these challenges with less grumpiness and greater ease. We have exemplars of this possibility in our great spiritual luminaries, such as the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn. The fruit of their karma was not the atrocities they were victims of, but the equanimity and active compassion they show in the face of such extreme oppression and violence.
So too, getting sick is not the result of one’s bad karma. People grow old, experience the pain of illness, and eventually die. The Buddha never said you could plant the right karmic seeds to avoid any of these. They’re simply not optional.
However, whether or not we suffer when confronted by them is entirely up to us.
Not Everything is your Karma
In a sense, it’s true that karma means we reap what we sow. The only difference is that we’re sowing in the furrows of the mind, and less so in actual fields in the physical world.
That’s not to say our actions don’t have consequences. If we go around smiling at people, we’ll likely be smiled at in return. If we go around slapping people, we’re sure to get slapped. Yet, the ultimate outcome of our behavior is somewhat unpredictable. We could smile at a stranger, only to have them beat us up in return.
This unpredictability happens because there are other levels of causality working in the universe.
Not everything is our karma.
The Buddha actually taught about these other levels of causality quite explicitly in what are called the five Niyāmas. It’s worth going through them briefly. Here, we give them a modern twist.
The first level of causality is called the Utu Niyāma, or the level of physics and chemistry.
The second level is known as Bīja Niyāma, or biological causality. This new level is necessary because living organisms are more complex than just their physical and chemical constituents.
Continuing up the ladder of emergent complexity, we see that some living organisms have nervous systems and minds, which can’t be fully understood by just looking at the previous two levels of Utu and Bija Niyāma. Therefore, the Buddha talked about the Citta Niyāma, or psychological causality.
Now, some minds have a more hard-wired relationship with the previous levels. Take a lizard, for example. It behaves fairly predictably, based on tight wiring between chemical signals and genetic codes. We will never train a lizard to fetch a newspaper. Other minds, such as those of dogs and horses, have greater flexibility. Yet, teaching a dog to fetch the newspaper depends on an outside stimulus—specifically, our persistent efforts. The behavior doesn’t come entirely from inside the dog’s mind. And in fact, there may be only one animal on this planet with “self-forming” minds: humans. For us, we have to identify another level of causality: karmic or intentional causality, known as the Kamma Niyāma.
Kamma Niyāma opens a space for reflexivity, self-organization, and changing ingrained habits of body, speech, and mind. The preciousness of human life rests in this potential. Karmic causality, in other words, is a whole new level of causality in the universe, allowing us the chance to awaken to the highest level, called Dhamma Niyāma, or Ultimate Reality.
Dhamma Niyāma describes the absolute, indivisible reality, the universe in its entirety. All divisions from these heights are products of a mind struggling to grasp the ultimate. We build conceptual models to try to understand this level, and some models are certainly better than others. If that weren’t the case, the Buddha wouldn’t have bothered teaching. But at this level, all models are equally empty.
To say that everything is our karma is to usurp this vast spectrum of causality into a singular, self-centered mind.
When we realize the complexity we’re dealing with, we no longer see events as a result of karma, but rather as the product of certain physical causes and conditions. We also no longer fall prey to magical thinking, believing, for example, that by giving away money and being nice, we will get money in return and be showered with niceness.
Instead, we realize that when we replace hatred with compassion, or greed with generosity, those intentions will shape the type of being we become, whether rich or poor.
Authors: Culadasa and Matthew Immergut
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Hartwig HKD/Flickr
Source: Elephant Journal
Did you know that just because you are a beautiful blonde size 2 today does not mean that you would be considered beautiful in times past? Much like fashion trends, the perception of beauty has consistently changed over the course of centuries, sometimes for the better, and unfortunately, sometimes for the worse. One thing, however, that will never change is the fact that we will all strive to fit in with what is considered attractive as this is part of human nature.
The art of fitting in has changed drastically from one decade to the next. Don’t believe us? Think back to a time when MC Hammer pants and mullets were all the rage. Trends change for a variety of reasons, most of which leave us looking back at our former selves with laughter. What exactly were we thinking with that floral pantsuit or sequined leotard?
Changes in beauty can be dramatic over time. How has the perception of beauty changed over the past 60 years? How has it changed over the past 600 years? Thanks to a lack of art to depict people’s fashion and features, there is little known about fashion prior to the Renaissance Era. However, we do know what has happened with trends ever since. Here’s a look at 10 ways our perception of beauty has changed over time starting with an era where plump was en vogue.
The Renaissance Era
The Renaissance Era lasted from the 1400′s well into the 1500′s and was a time in which people had a different view on beauty than most of the eras that followed it, especially in terms of the ideal body type. According to much of the artwork of the era, women that had extra fat and wider hips were considered to be the most beautiful. In most of these paintings from the era, fuller figured women were shown in settings where they were courted by dashing and handsome men.
Blonde hair also became a big trend during the Renaissance, as colors started to move away from darker hues, making lighter and brighter colors all the rage. Makeup during this era was extremely pale, but lips were meant to be bright red. Clothing was not very popular, at least according to the paintings of the time. Large dresses were trendy for those who did opt for fashionable clothes, and typically featured oversized shoulders and sleeves that looked like small puffy balloons.
#9 – The Victorian Era
The Victorian Era, between the mid 1800’s and the rest of the century, saw a complete reversal from the beauty standards of the Renaissance in terms of body types. In the Victorian Era, slim waists were all the rage, to the point where it became a danger. It was a contest to have the smallest waistline, with clothing that could help women reduce their waist down to 12 inches. The clothes were constricting to the point where breathing was a chore, causing some women to even break their ribs in the process.
In addition to small waists, women also wanted to make their behinds look larger than ever before, which was better accentuated by such small waists. Petticoats and bustles became popular, which made for an enhanced look in the rear. Colors were not as bright as they were in the Renaissance Era either, calling for bolder and darker colors. These trends in style went completely against the religious views at the time, which was said to be a work of evil.
#8 – The Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties came after the end of the First World War, and started a brand new trend in beauty that was a welcome change from the Victorian Era in terms of comfort. Women no longer had to have tiny waists and large posteriors to fit in anymore, as concealing womanly curves was more common. Short dresses in the flapper style were a lot more comfortable (and popular) than the long dresses from the Victorian Era.
Corsets were still popular, but were far from being as lethal as they were elastic with an extra give that was far from dangerous as it was used to conceal any bumps around the waist. The other big beauty trend was the bob hairstyle, which was combined with pale skin and thin eyebrows to achieve the perfect look at the time. Before the 1920’s, makeup styles were seen as low class, but everything changed during the Prohibition Era when everyone seemingly came together in stylized fashion to find illegal ways to drink together.
#7 – The Golden Age
The Golden Age was named as such for the fact that it was the Golden Age in Hollywood. This era spanned from the end of the Roaring Twenties to the end of the Second World War. The appearance of new celebrities on the screen made women more self-conscious than ever before with a strong desire to look like the stars they saw on the silver screen. Women took to the gym to work on their bodies, making muscles the new trend in body beauty.
Some of the most notable fashion designers of all time came to prominence in this era known for its padded bras to help enhance appearances for a starlet look. As long hair grew more popular, the bobs of the 20’s were grown out without preference to a single color of hair, as there were redhead, brunette and blonde stars. Makeup also became more feminine and didn’t have many layers, as natural beauty was more celebrated in this time.
#6 – Mid-Century
The 1950’s marked the middle of the century, a time where the World Wars were finally over and beauty changed yet again. The ideal body type was no longer a muscular one, but instead one with curves and feminine appeal. A lot of this had to do with the emergence of Marilyn Monroe; who would become the symbol of beauty in the era. Marilyn was the epitome of the hourglass figure which you can still see is popular today.
The ideals of the time were very conservative, so women dressed the part. It was a common belief in society that women should not leave the house without looking perfect from head to toe. Some of the fashion trends included button down sweaters and other long dresses that showed very little flesh. Short hair was back in style, but curly styles were trendier than the bob of the 20’s. The quest for perfect skin made makeup a must-have in the 1950’s.
#5 – The Hippie Era
Perhaps there was no bigger contrast between two consecutive eras than the one that happened between the 1950’s and the 1960’s. Modeling started to become almost as popular as acting in films. Because of the growing popularity, many of the models that we saw at the time were very thin. This thin body type was a popular one for non-hippies who, at the time, preferred to wear knee high boots, short skirts and tunics. For the hippie types, however, things were completely different.
For those who attended Woodstock, the look was completely natural. There was no ‘ideal body type’ for the culture, and makeup was completely ignored. Women did not feel forced to fit into beauty trends of the time, and uniqueness was widely accepted. Sunglasses, headbands, tie-dye shirts and bell bottom jeans were all the rage. As you can see and perhaps experienced firsthand, these were two completely different looks at the time, which is a rare occurrence on the list.
#4 – The Disco Era
For the last 100 years or so, music has had a lot of influence on what the ideal type of beauty is in society. Instead of the hard rocking late 1960’s, popular music shifted over into the Disco scene (albeit for a very brief period). Thin body types were still trendy during the Disco Era, but it was taken to an even farther extreme than we saw in the Hippie Era. Body types in the Disco Era were pronounced with high waist jeans for an even slimmer look and tight wrap dresses.
Perhaps the biggest trend we saw in the 1970’s that is still talked about today is the hairstyle, which was made popular by a poster featuring Farrah Fawcett. Long and blonde was how it started, but feathering was the vital addition that people needed in terms of hairstyles to fit in. One more trend that started in the 1970’s that we still see today is the addition of tanning beds for a look that is much easier than spending hours in the Sun.
#3 – The 80’s
One era that we will always look back on and wonder, “What were we thinking?” is the 1980’s. The 80’s saw the rise in VHS tapes that taught aerobic fitness as it made its way into the living rooms of millions. The body type of the instructors in the videos were ideal at the time. And, even worse, the instructor’s notorious spandex suits somehow became an acceptable outfit to wear in public. Maybe even worse than those outfits were the shoulder pads that made women look like NFL linebackers.
Hairstyles in the 80’s quickly ditched the feathered look and went straight to the hairspray department as bigger hair was an arms race, which is something we are forever glad is well documented in films and pictures. Makeup was also enlarged, as the more colors there were, the better it looked. Big blue eyeliner and bright lipstick made for a weird contrast, but it was ‘in’ at the time. Models also popularized thicker eyebrows, which was a big contrast to previous eras.
#2 – The 90’s
Flashy over the top looks had gone by the wayside by the end of the 1980’s only to be traded in for something that was beyond somber as the grunge era made its way into style. Flannel, lumberjack type looks were popular in parts of the country, while others wanted to look like models of the time. Heroin chic kicked off in the 1990’s, and looking thin hit critical (lack of) mass as looking as though you have been addicted to drugs for years became a trend.
The late 1990’s thankfully saw a shift towards normalcy, as shows like “Friends” helped to introduce new trends that were more conventional and even started the biggest hair trend of the decade, known as the ‘Rachel.’ Even guys became interested in hair trends in the late 1990’s thanks to Eminem and his bleach blonde hair, which other singers adopted to make it even more popular. Now, we can all look back at our yearbook photos from the era and have a nice laugh at ourselves.
#1 – The New Millennium
We can say that the trends of today are completely normal but, to be honest, we are already laughing about what we thought was trendy in the 1990’s and that seems like it was just yesterday. The pressure to look thin is still around and people continue to take it to dangerous measures as plastic surgery has become more common than ever. It still hasn’t been perfected, though, so the results can look terrible if done in the wrong way.
But what is the biggest trend in fashion today? It’s hard to say as everyone has taken a very unique approach to their fashion. Thanks to social media and a way of showing what we dress like, there is no universal way to look or dress. No matter what you want to do to yourself, there is a tutorial you can find online. This means that we are slowly starting to see the death of ‘fashion trends.’ We’ll see what the next decade looks like, but we’re sure it will be different.
I’ve been completely sober now for twelve months. People keep asking me how an earth I did it. They had questions like how do you be social, how do you relax, how do you have fun, etc. All you need to go twelve months without alcohol and come back a champion are these seven simple steps.
1. Chunk it down
Initially, I told myself I was giving up for one month; then it became three months, then twelve months, and now I have completed a year, and I know I can give it up forever. If you want to give up alcohol for at least twelve months, then you have to chunk down the milestones.
Starting at twelve months won’t work because it’s too long. You need to have a few quick wins along the way and then once the twelve months comes around, you’ll realise that excessive drinking is for retards who are going nowhere in life, and are trying to escape their current circumstances – that’s not you.
2. Have a higher purpose
Not something small but something that is revolutionary. Start saying no to drinking nights regularly even though your friends and colleagues might be upset. In the beginning, it will be hard and you will feel lonely. You will feel like an outcast with no friends who can’t have fun anymore.
When you finish your work at the end of the week, go home early, and then wake up early the next day. When your friend’s text you to say how good their night was last night, just put the phone down and start working on your dream straight away.
As Saturday night comes around, have dinner with your friends and then leave when they all head to the bar. Go home, and work on your dream. When you are absolutely exhausted from all the work that night, go outside for a moment, look up, and see the stars.
See the one that is shining the brightest and realise that is you. Get your mind to understand that not drinking is the way for you to achieve everything you have ever wanted. Tell yourself that cold winter’s night that you were destined to do bigger things.
Seek comfort in knowing that you are not missing out on anything, and you are doing what you have always wanted. On Sunday, go to the market and try buying some vegetables. Come home, and eat them or juice them. Notice how freaking good you feel.
Ask yourself the question, what if I could feel this all the time? For the rest of your day keep working on your dream even when those around you think you’re nuts. Just before it get’s dark, make some tea, go outside, and watch the sunset.
Reflect on how great your day has been and how you have turned your circumstances around. As the yellow and orange from the sun shines on your face, commit to being in greater control of your life and notice how you are starting to feel more powerful each day.
Notice the champion beginning to awaken within you. As your phone alarm clock goes off for the start of Monday morning, wake up full of energy and go to your income-producing activity with a smile on your face. Even if everyone around you has a negative look on their face, smile at them.
Once your computer has booted up, go somewhere quiet, and do five minutes of meditation with the Calm app. Realise how easy it is to bring yourself back to the present. Remember how your thoughts used to be before you began meditating.
At lunchtime, get off your ass and go for a walk to find a healthy option to have for lunch. Forget all the people trying to call your phone and just have some time for you. On the way home, stop to fill up with petrol.
When you see a heroin addict getting ready to rob the store, warn the nice lady who always tries to serve customers with a smile. When she asks why you care, just tell her that you do and smile again. Get back in your car and drive home with the latest personal development podcast that you downloaded the week before.
Think about what your life was like before you discovered Tony Robbins and just how miserable alcohol made you when you tried to forget about your current circumstances. Remember all the girls you hooked up with when you were drunk and how none of them actually cared about you, and it was just the fake effects of the alcohol that made it all happen.
Hone in your thoughts to focus on how your life has become nothing more than you, your dream, eating healthy, meditating, and giving to others.
On Monday night, check out your Instagram account and see the photo of the last time you had an alcoholic beverage and be proud of yourself. Know that it was your thoughts and your dream that created this new reality.
Before you go to bed, stay up an extra hour and write a blog post like this so you can share your experiences with the world to help them with their own struggle with alcohol. Picture that Tim Ferriss is reading your blog post and that he would be proud of who you’ve become.
Visualise other game-changing human beings also reading this same blog post and waiting for you to get better at your craft. Visualise how great it will be when the world discovers your true talent which has nothing to do with alcohol or the losers you meet at the bar who are still trying to escape.
At 9 pm, tell yourself it’s time for bed and then stop yourself, and go back to your computer so you can create a design contest online for the purpose of creating your new ebook cover. Be excited about how good the design is going to look and how your dream is to inspire millions of people.
Make the act of inspiring others more important than everything else you do. In the coming weeks, when times get tough, think of what it’s going to be like standing on stage and sharing your story with thousands of people.
Take your mind into the future and picture yourself watching a movie that has been made about your life because you didn’t let alcohol win and you became a champion that everyone will remember. When you wake up on Tuesday, turn on your computer and see the email you have been waiting for that makes all of those sober days worthwhile. See the email that is your dream coming to life.
Realise you have now come back a champion!
3. Stop suppressing your thoughts
Booze is used mostly as a form of escape. This need for an escape is caused by the suppression of negative thoughts and one’s current life circumstances. Come to terms with your reality and make it a must to grow every single day. Booze will quickly become boring – trust me.
Then, when you work on yourself every day and find ways to have more positive thoughts than negative ones, there’s nothing to suppress anymore. Alcohol becomes a way to suppress positive thoughts, and you’ll realise pretty quickly that’s the last thing you want.
4. Find other ways to reward yourself for hard work
Alcohol is often used as a reward for hard work. What I found, and what you’ll find, is there are other ways to reward yourself. During my hiatus from alcohol I took up eating at my favorite restaurant Vegie Bar, drankdelicious Chinese tea, and traveled the world.
These options are so much better than booze. Since quitting alcohol I have 10X’d my results further by giving up caffeine. Caffeine does us no favours, and I have since fell in love with “Caffeine Free Teas” that taste just as good as regular tea.
5. You’ll have more money
Booze is expensive nowadays. In Australia, it’s pretty easy for me to blow $150-$200 on alcohol with my eyes closed. It’s expensive and useless at the same time. A better use for the money is to put it into starting an online business or your next travel adventure (that’s what I did and you can too).
6. Think of the time you will get back
Boozy nights don’t just take up your time while you’re drinking. Drinking typically takes six hours or more to get into a dehydrated enough state that you feel drunk. At the end of the six hours, you will go on a downward spiral followed by either vomiting or sleep.
The next day you will try to wake up and probably decide to sleep a few extra hours because you feel strangely tired (I wonder why). When you do finally wake up your head will weigh more than those unused gym weights sitting in your garage that you swear you will regularly lift one day.
For the next few days, you will function, but you won’t feel overly productive – you’re basically doing a half-assed job at your work. Then, as if by magic, you will get a (insert illness here), and start taking medicine that makes you more sick.
Before you know it, two weeks will pass, and you will have got jack all done. That’s motivation to quit alcohol right there. Having all this time back in your life could completely change your circumstances and your success. I promise you booze is the problem for you right now.
7. Be a high performer
As I sped past those around me in terms of performance, I became motivated in a different way. High performers typically are not trying to escape life; they are trying to live life at the highest level. Most people that were around me when I gave up booze had no idea about my entrepreneurial background which gave me a taste of peak performance.
These same people didn’t know my one secret; personal development. That’s how you excel through the ranks and outperform everyone. Once you realise this, you will see that booze is the anchor that’s keeping you at the bottom of the ocean with the algae, where it’s dark and lonely.
Author: Tim Denning
Source: Addicted to success
We all experience certain moments in our lives where our whole life feels like one big procrastination. I’ve read articles on what the most effective ways are to deal with procrastination and how to get more productive by doing x amount of things. They helped, but they never really addressed the problem of procrastination itself.
So I searched for something that effectively dealt with the roots of procrastination and I found an intuitive approach on how to deal with procrastination. It’s called; structured procrastination. However, since this approach is very intuitive it won’t be something that fulfills the needs and desires for the mainstream.
Only the ‘out of the box’ thinkers will love this approach. So if you’re still with me, get ready for a unique perspective on how to deal with procrastination.
What is Structured Procrastination?
In a fancy way, structured procrastination is described as the fine art of doing less, but in a structured way. But in a more operational description; instead of doing that ‘very important thing’ that you keep postponing, you need to focus your attention on other things that are on your to-do list with the consequence that it becomes more alluring to do that ‘very important thing’.
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb
Requirements for structured procrastination
You need a certain amount of self-deception. Yes, you need to ‘lie’ to yourself or as I like to call it; you need to trick yourself. You need to trick your mind into thinking that the ‘very important thing’ is actually not that important and that the other tasks on your to-do list are more important.
Luckily, procrastinators are unconsciously an expert in self-deception. When we finally start working on the ‘very important thing’ that we kept postponing we often feel the need to reward ourselves for our good behavior. And although this may seem like a positive reinforcement of our behavior, the reward that we award ourselves is often excessive in relation with the amount of time we actually worked on that ‘very important thing’. But you deserved it, right?
How structured procrastination works
Start by tricking yourself about the priority level of the tasks you need to do. So you’re creating a situation in your mind where you lower the priority level of the ‘very Important thing’ (but in reality it’s still the same) and value the priority level of the other tasks on your to-do list as higher than the ‘very important thing’ (when in fact they’re also still the same).
When you act like the other things on your to-do list are more important then it’ll be much easier to take action on the important task. Besides that, our lives are dynamic, so every day or week, new tasks are being added to our to-do list with some even having a higher priority level.
This makes it also more tempting to get started on the important task, because it’s priority level lowers. Finally, when you’re doing all the other things on your to-do list, a momentum of execution is created which brings focus back to the most important task of all.
“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” – David Allen
The beauty of structured procrastination is that it’s not forcing you to learn anything new. Instead, structured procrastination goes with the flow and wants you to give in to the temptation of procrastinating. That’s why you should give it your very best shot, because finally there is a solution for procrastination that accepts you for who you are and still manages to make you more productive.
What are your own unique approaches to deal with procrastination? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
Author: Krishan Kalpoe
A book titled “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the Nature of the Universe“, published in the USA, has stirred up the Internet because of the notion that life does not end when the body dies and can last forever. The author of this publication, scientist Robert Lanza, has no doubts that this may be possible.
Beyond time and space
Lanza is an expert in regenerative medicine and scientific director at Advanced Cell Technology Company. While he is known for his extensive research on stem cells, he was also famous for several successful experiments on cloning endangered animal species.
The theory implies that death simply does not exist. It is an illusion which arises in the minds of people. It exists because people identify themselves with their body. They believe that the body is going to perish, sooner or later, thinking that their consciousness will disappear too. In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere: in the human body and outside of it. That fits well with the basic postulates of quantum mechanics, according to which a certain particle can be present anywhere and an event can happen in several, sometimes countless, ways.
Lanza believes that multiple universes can exist simultaneously. These universes contain multiple ways for possible scenarios to occur. In one universe, the body can be dead. And in another it continues to exist, absorbing consciousness which migrated to this universe.
This means that a dead person, while traveling through the ‘tunnel’, ends up in a similar worldhe or she once inhabited, but this time alive. And so on, infinitely.
This hope-instilling but extremely controversial theory by Lanza has many unwitting supporters – not just ‘mere mortals’ who want to live forever, but also some well-known scientists. These are physicists and astrophysicists who tend to agree with the existence of parallel worlds and who suggest the possibility of multiple universes, known as the Multiverse theory.
Science fiction writer H.G. Wells was the first to come up with this concept, which was proposed in his story “The Door in the Wall” in 1895. 62 years after it was published, the idea was developed byHugh Everett in his graduate thesis at the Princeton University. It basically states that at any given moment the universe divides into countless similar instances. And the next moment, these “newborn” universes split in a similar way. You may be present in some of these worlds – you may be reading this article in one universe or watching TV in another.
The triggering factor for these multiplying worlds is our actions, explained Everett. When we make certain choices, one universe instantly splits into two different versions of outcomes.
In the 1980s, Andrei Linde, scientist from the Lebedev Physical Institute in Russia developed the theory of multiple universes. He is now a professor at Stanford University.
Linde explained: “Space consists of many inflating spheres, which give rise to similar spheres, and those, in turn, produce spheres in even greater numbers, and so on to infinity. In the universe, they are spaced apart. They are not aware of each other’s existence. But they represent parts of the same physical universe.”
The fact that our universe is not alone is supported by data received from the Planck space telescope. Using the data, scientists created the most accurate map of the microwave background, the so-called cosmic microwave background radiation, which has remained since the inception of our universe. They also found that the universe has a lot of anomalies represented by black holes and extensive gaps.
Theoretical physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton from the North Carolina University argues that the anomalies of the microwave background exist due to the fact that our universe is influenced by other universes existing nearby. And holes and gaps are a direct result of attacks from neighboring universes.
So, there is abundance of places or other universes where our soul could migrate after death, according to the theory of neo-biocentrism. But does the soul exist?
Professor Stuart Hameroff from the University of Arizona has no doubts about the existence of eternal soul. Last year, he announced that he has found evidence that consciousness does not perish after death.
According to Hameroff, the human brain is the perfect quantum computer, and the soul, or consciousness, is simply information stored at the quantum level.It can be transferred, following the death of the body; quantum information carried by consciousness merges with our universe and exists infinitely. In his turn, Lanza proves that the soul migrates to another universe. That is the main difference his theory has from the similar ones.
Sir Roger Penrose, a well-known British physicist and expert in mathematics from Oxford,supports this theory and claims to have found traces of contact with other universes. Together, the scientists are developing a quantum theory to explain the phenomenon of consciousness.They believe that they have found carriers of consciousness, the elements that accumulate information during life and “drain” consciousness somewhere else after death. These elements are located inside protein-based microtubules (neuronal microtubules), which previously have been attributed a simple role of reinforcement and transport channeling inside a living cell. Based on their structure, microtubules are best suited to function as carriers of quantum properties inside the brain. That is mainly because they are able to retain quantum states for a long time, meaning they can function as elements of a quantum computer.
Source: The Learning Mind
Muhammad Ali is one of my modern heroes and I am saddened to hear of his passing away. He is considered one of the greatest athletes to ever live by many-and in my opinion he was. When a great mind and personality passes away, there is usually sadness and sorrow. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the lessons I learned as I grow into the man I want to be. Coincidently, Muhammad Ali and I share the same birthday, January 17, so in tribute; here are 17 lessons I learned from Muhammad Ali.
- Stick to your values: Muhammad Ali embodied true masculine energy by sticking to hi mission and purpose no matter what the consequences were. When he declined induction to the army to fight in the Vietnam he was banned from the sport of boxing. He lost some of the most important prime years (age 25-29) of his life away from the boxing ring. He did so believing in his core values and what he stood for as a man. In hindsight, everyone would agree that Muhammad Ali was right in his decision. Let your value system run your decision-making. Focus on the process of listening to your core and let the results be as it may. At the end of the day, by following your values, you can ensure no regrets.
- Be yourself : “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want to be.” You do not need validation from others. Be yourself. Feel comfortable under your skin and improve yourself. No need to apologize if you are a person of character. Be yourself and then you’ll attract the right people in your life.
- Have a purpose: “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them–a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster. They have to have the skill and the will, but the will must be stronger than the skill.” It is not what you do that makes you a champion, it is why you do it and how you do it. Muhammad Ali was a champion because his big goal was to help others. Therefore, he was the same person (of principle) in and outside the ring.
- Be great: “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”To be great you must know you are great. You must realize that your potential to be great exists within you and it’s just a matter of showing it. No one can see the potential that you have except you. Execute! You do not need validation from others.
- Focus on the positive: After getting Parkinson disease, he kept a positive attitude. “Parkinson’s is my toughest fight. No, it doesn’t hurt. It’s hard to explain. I’m being tested to see if I’ll keep praying, to see if I’ll keep my faith. All great people are tested by God.” Enough said! What would you do if you are faced with a calamity? How would your attitude change? For every hardship and failure there are opportunities that formulate. Can you see them? Can you capture the opportunities?
- Get back up when you fall down: “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.” If you fall, pick yourself back up. Let the opportunity of falling down be a lesson on how to get back up. Learn from your failures in order to grow as a person of character.
- No pain no gain: “I hated every minute of training, but I said don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Who ever said training was fun. Stick to the habits of practicing on your craft/skill and you will reap the rewards over time. Focus on one rep, one jump, one movement at a time.
- Believe in yourself: “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” If you don’t believe in your gift and your skills that you want to give to the world, then the world won’t believe in you. Show and tell. Don’t fool yourself. Listen to the voice in your head telling you of your potential to be great. Just follow it.
- Laugh and make others laugh: “Comedy is a funny way of being serious. My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.” People like others who who can make them laugh. Some studies even say that men who are funny are intelligent. In this world of violence and problems, humor can diffuse any situation. Laugh things off and make others smile. You have the power to be a magician by changing other people’s moods instantly. This is what Muhammad Ali did to people. A genius!
- Be a good friend: “friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” A friend is someone who is there for you when it counts. Someone who is there to pick you up when you’re down and stand up for you when you are not around. Be a good friend by your actions and not your words. Anyone can wine and dine you or flatter you, but not everyone can be there for you when you need him or her, unless they are your true friend. Be that friend who is always there for your friends.
- Use your time wisely: “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.” Your time is your life. Don’t waste it. Focus on your goals and keep on going. Take it one day at a time and win more days than you loose. This follows to point #12.
- What you think is what you become: “What you are thinking about, you are becoming.” Actions stem from thoughts. If you want to control your actions then develop positive thoughts. Great thoughts lead to great actions.
- Keep learning: “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Learning never ends. If you think you know it all then you don’t know anything. Growth happens overtime. Challenge yourself to learn what you do not know so that one day you will know and help others do the same.
- Take risks and speak up: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” Don’t just remain quite, take a risk and put yourself out there. Muhammad Ali was always an expressive person. He took a risk even by speaking-not fearing any judgments, but at the end of the day, we can all say he was an influential speaker because of it.
- Fake it till you make it: “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” Before you are good at something, embrace the attitude/ persona/ thought process you want to achieve. Overtime the acting will become a new habit and you will exemplify those qualities you desire. No one is born with every skill or attribute. If there is a quality you like and you don’t have it-yet, learn how to fake it till you make it. Go!
- Love others: “If we continue to think and live as if we belong only to different cultures and different religions, with separate missions and goals, we will always be in self-defeating competition with each other. Once we realize we are all members of humanity, we will want to compete in the spirit of love.” If you want to give to others you must first be able to love others.
- Inspire and give to others : “I wanted to use my fame and this face that everyone knows so well to help uplift and inspire people around the world. You have a gift that the world needs. “Service to others is the rent we pay for our room in heaven.”-Ali. Ali was known to help the poor on the streets and be part of multiple humanitarian organizations. He was awarded the “lifetime Achievement Award.” My Kofi Annan among others.
In one of Ali’s interviews he was asked
What would you like people to think about you when your gone?
Muhammad Ali replied,
“He took a few cups of love.
He took one table spoon of patience.
One table spoon, tea-spoon of generosity.
One pint of kindness.
He took one quart of laughter.
One pinch of concern.
And then he mixed willingness with happiness.
He added lots of faith.
And he stirred it up well.
Then he spread it over a span of a lifetime.
And he served it to each and every deserving person he met.”
In short, Muhammad Ali taught me to stick to my values and therefore be comfortable of who I am. I learned that if I am myself then I can sincerely be in a position to improve and be able to give my gift to people around me. If everyone can do this then the world would be a better place. We need everyone’s gifts to shine especially in the darkness.
Rest in peace, champ.