Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Perseverance

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Perseverance is the difference between a fleeting notion and the pursuit of an idea.  Our ability to persevere is another self-made wonder of the wondrous world.

Perseverance is not simply having an idea, it is moving forward in making the intangible idea into a tangible thing.  It is a part of the means to the ends.

Dictionary.com defines perseverance thus:

noun

1.steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

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Perseverance is the course of action, the purpose – for example, choosing your own way.  Making your own decisions and choices in regards to pursuing the destiny you most want to find.

I do not want to sit back and let my life just happen…I want to make it happen.  I do not want others choosing for me…I want to make the choices.  I do not want my emotions to be a result of the influences of the world around me…I want to choose how I will feel.  I want, ultimately, to be content with my life, and happy with the choices I am making for it.

Yes, there will be bad days. You get doubtful, and frustrated when progress is not what you might desire it to be.  But this is just a part of human nature.  Even the happiest, most satisfied people in the world are not in that state absolutely all the time.

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That is why you persevere.  That is why you make the efforts you make, you strive for the journey and the ultimate goal.  Ultimately, you want to be happy and satisfied, and that is worth striving for.

I look at the world in the way I have always wanted to.  It is not a nightmare place filled with terrible people, tragedies and horrors…it is a world of endless possibilities, of good people, of possibilities and beauty and wonders.  Yes, it is imperfect, yes there ARE all the bad things out there as well as the good, but I can see the world for all its positives more than its negatives.

Turning a blind eye to the adversities of the world?  Wearing rose-colored glasses?  NO.  I see that there are horrid people and awful things in the world perfectly clearly.  But I am not giving them my focus, not giving them my energies, not giving them my attentions and intentions.  I am persevering instead to look at the good people and wonderful things in the world.  And frankly, without those negatives, we would be incapable of seeing the positives.

I am persevering still.  Are you?

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(Note to the reader:  If you also visit my blog, you will see that this week’s Pathwalking is a variation of this same post.  I believe the topic of the self is so important, I wanted to spread it to a wider audience.)

 

 

Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart,  “Wednesday’s Wondrous World” author and photographer (these shots are the progression of the hike up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona).  Every week I share a magical wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Living in the Now

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Life is meant to be lived in the here and now.

One of the great wonders of our wondrous world is our ability to know past, present, and future.  But it is the ability to live in the now that I want to explore today.

How do you live in the here and now?

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If you cannot live in the past, or live for the future, but need to live in the here and now – and most people seem to not be capable of doing this – how is it done?  Well, from my own experience, these are the things I have done/am doing/am working to do more regularly that let me live in the present.

Ask yourself questions.  We ask a lot of questions daily, but how often do we ask ourselves important questions?  Sure, we are constantly saying “How are you” and “What are you thinking” and “Are you feeling ok”, but how often do we ask that of ourselves?  How am I?  What am I thinking?  Am I feeling ok?  It is amazing how asking these simple questions we frequently pose to others can immediately bring us to the present moment.

We have become so concerned with appearing selfish, that we take selfless to the extreme, and truly become less of the self.  This point is why, frankly, I drive at the incredible need to live more in the here-and-now than either past or future.  There is no reason NOT to ask questions of ourselves, in order to be in the moment, in the here and now.

This can be a silent question – but I often find that if I ask it out loud, I am utterly drawn to the moment, to the present, in order to know the answer.  The simplest questions of the self, in the moment, can help us live in the here and now.

Be aware of distractions.  I find that I get distracted by outside influences and shiny things and my environment, which I know that everyone does from time to time.  But if I am aware of them, I can take my focus AWAY from them, and return to the here-and-now, to be where I want to be and do what I intend to do.

Yes, sometimes we NEED distractions.  I am not advocating avoiding distractions, nor ignoring them entirely – I am suggesting awareness of them.

Savor food and drink.  No, really, this is VERY hard to do, in especial when you are on the internet or reading a book or even interacting with people while eating.  This is a reason why many of us overeat or never feel fully satisfied by our sustenance.  But really paying attention to what you are eating, and enjoying the texture and flavor puts you very much in the present.  Also, really, you will be amazed how much better everything tastes.

It very much ties into being aware of distractions, but is still a separate idea.

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Be more observant.  How many times while you travel between points ‘a’ and ‘b’, whether you are driving or riding in a vehicle or walking, does everything between the points simply blur?  How frequently can you visit a room and not notice the sounds within?  How many times can you see a person, and have no means to describe their facial features, the color of their eyes, and so on?  That is a lack of observation, and in our high-speed, disconnected society, we become less and less observant of things around us.

Sherlock Holmes may be been a fictional character, but the lesson one may take away from him was that he was the master of observation.  He saw the most minute details of every person he encountered, and always astounded the uninitiated with what he could tell you about them.  This was no super power, or other inexplicable capacity – it was extreme, detailed observation.

It doesn’t take that much to do this, really.  If you start small, you will find that it gets easier to change your focus.  For example, when you are driving somewhere, don’t just pay attention to the road and the speedometer and other cars on the road – see the sky, look at the trees and buildings lining the road.  NOT, obviously, to the point of being distracted from driving – but so that you experience more from it.

Walking between places?  Note the atmosphere around you.  Listen to sounds, look at your surroundings, smell the air, feel breezes and changes in temperature on your skin, and so forth.  Don’t let where you came from or where you are going to be your focus, be where you are NOW.

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Asking yourself questions, awareness of distractions, enjoying sustenance and being more observant are just a few examples of ways to better place yourself in the present.  There are other ways and means to do this, but these are, I think, relatively simple, and can be done by anyone, anytime, unassisted.  And this ability is a real wonder of our wondrous world.

Did you ask of yourself today “How am I?”

(Note to the reader:  If you also visit my blog, you will see that a previous Pathwalking is a variation of this same post.  I believe the topic is so important, I wanted to spread it to a wider audience.)

 

Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, philosopher and author of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a magical wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

Wednesday’s Wondrous World: The Self

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Truly an amazing wonder of our wondrous world is our knowledge of the self.  But do you care for and love your self as you ought to?

In today’s society, we have become so focused on our jobs, our families, our friends, our coworkers, our education, our finances, our possessions, our weekends, and so on and so forth – that we have become utterly negligent of the self.

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We have become indoctrinated in the idea that this is selfishness.  Too much focus on the self leads automatically to selfishness, arrogance, greed, corruption…and as such we become uncaring, socially unacceptable creatures unfit to walk amongst the rest of humankind.

But this is a lie that prevents us from getting to know ourselves.  We are taught from an early age to share, and to think about others, and to consider the feelings of those around us.  I am not saying that this is a bad thing in any way – but what we neglect to explore is the connection between the self and the person we are sharing with, how we think about ourselves, and considering our own feelings.

I must iterate here that there is nothing wrong with selflessness – except when it involves the utter lack of attention and energy to the self.  When all you do is give, and sacrifice, and disregard your own needs and desires, you create an immense imbalance in your own energies.  Balance is utterly necessary in life.

We have become creatures of extremes.  Society places tremendous attention and focus on the opposites: male versus female, Republican versus Democrat, heterosexual versus homosexual, rich versus poor, fat versus thin, and so forth.  But life is very seldom defined by the extreme opposites; most is balanced somewhere in the middle.

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When it comes to time on the self and time for others, we cannot neglect the self and have balance.  But because we are so acutely aware of these opposite extremes, we forget that there is a line between self care and selfishness, and that we cannot ignore the one because of fear of the other.

Self care, self love, and self talk are NOT selfish.  They are utterly necessary.  If we neglect the self and sacrifice our wellbeing, our happiness, and our desires just to be selfless, we are only hurting ourselves.

Selfishness on the one hand, sacrifice on the other are the extremes in regards to the self.  The question is – where is the middle?  That would be Compromise.

It is surprisingly easy to mistake compromise for sacrifice.  The difference with regards to the self is simple – compromise is striking a balance between giving OF, taking FOR and holding FOR the self; whereas sacrifice is unbalanced with giving FROM, holding NOTHING and taking FROM the self.

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If you do not find balance in giving to and taking for the self, then you might find you really do not know who you are.  And our ability to really KNOW our self is truly a wonder of our wondrous world.

How do you feel about yourself?

 

(Note to the reader:  If you also visit my blog, you will see that this week’s Pathwalking is a variation of this same post.  I believe the topic of the self is so important, I wanted to spread it to a wider audience.)

 

Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, deep thinker and author of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a magical wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!