Posted in movies

Mind Games and Game of Thrones

HBO has no parallel. HBO is the best at what it does- provide high quality cable TV entertainment… think Sex and the City, Sopranos, Game of Thrones. All other channels bite the dust. Why HBO is so successful? They are smart, they make good decisions.

It is not surprising Game of Thrones won numerous Emmy Awards and have us enthralled. We can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the final Season 8, in the last six episodes of the Game of Thrones! And then… we will definitely miss this TV Series. Can HBO come up with a better movie?

We are addicted to Game of Thrones. We enjoy the drama, we watch the decision making process and the consequences of the actions taken. We transgress our ordinary lives and merge with the lives of kings, queens and knights. We taste vicariously a more exciting life. Who is going to outsmart whom? Who is the strongest? What is the right thing to do?

Our fascination with the fictional characters is promptly translated into the number of award nominations and wins. The biggest winner of them all – Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), nominated 40 times, won 7 awards. That makes Tyrion Lannister, albeit not a king, the smartest and the strongest of them all.

Out of all the fictional characters: handsome, tall, strong, smart, powerful we chose Tyrion. He is far from perfect, but we see his good heart, his loyalty, his quick wit, his perpetual desire to help others and he has our vote.

Posted in Spirituality and well-being

Forgive Others, Forgive Yourself or Pay the Price

When we are strong, when we are happy we make others around us happy and give them our support. When we make ourselves vulnerable, weak we are miserable, we can’t even help ourselves. Anger, resentment, thoughts of revenge make us weak.

Humans are social creatures we work together to do great things, it is inevitable in our interactions with others we will get offended, the question is- what do we do next. Do we get damaged to the point that we can’t meaningfully contribute to our growth, benefit our families, communities, our country…? If we don’t forgive and let go we are the one who pays most dearly.

We are as strong as our weakest part. We may have strong body, but if our mind is not equally strong, if we lose our cool every time someone cuts us in traffic, we are weak.

When we forgive, we let go, we don’t care anymore, our body and mind relax, heal. We begin to understand the other person, perhaps see where we made mistake. We feel compassion. We move forward in our personal growth. Forgiving doesn’t mean we justify the wrong done. It is a way to achieve peace of mind.

First, we have a negative thought, then we become hurt. The more we entertain the negative thoughts the more resentful we become. Nip it in the bud. Stop the first negative thought. Stop the bitterness from taking a root in your mind.

Forgiving someone does not mean you automatically become friends. You just don’t care. You are cool, you are in peace. Making another person change their behavior is outside of scope of forgiveness.

Let’s be smart. Let’s pursue activities and recreations that make us stronger that enhance the quality of our life and those around us.

Posted in humor

More Restrictions on Guns, Anybody?

Let’s talk about guns. I love guns, they look like a lot of fun! Before taking a side, I like to think and investigate the matter thoroughly. Gun control seems to be a big debate these days. Here is my question – should children under the age of 18 be allowed to carry a gun? I don’t see why not, some of them are more intelligent and responsible than adults!

I keep hearing from gun enthusiasts on the news- gun is just a tool. I agree. Fork is also a tool; we use it to put food in our mouth. For what purpose gun is a tool?

Gun is a tool to hunt and kill wild animals for fun! Hungry poor people usually don’t have money or qualify to purchase a gun.

Gun is also a tool to protect ourselves, our family and anybody who may appear to be under attack. Being a police officer is a tough proposition these days with everybody armed to the teeth. It is not surprising at times police overreacts and shoots some good folks along with the bad.

There is another argument – bad people will always get guns. With restrictions on guns, we only leave good people who follow the law defenseless. The good news- we don’t live in wild west anymore, we have police to protect us. We take the responsibility and liability of owning a gun, also making a mistake out of our lives. We can always use our good judgement to protect ourselves.

Posted in humor

Should We Blame The Victim? Who Is to Blame For Our Misfortunes?

Our potential is limited only by our intelligence. We must protect the vulnerable: children and elderly. When things go wrong in our lives we often look for culprits other than ourselves. We live in a place prone to natural disasters and expect not to see any devastation. We get on a plane and expect to land in the city of our choosing, not in the Hudson River. We chose to have a surgery and expect medical team not to make any mistakes. We go to Afghanistan and expect NOT to be kidnapped even once! We go to a party, get drunk, maybe even pass out, still expecting to be safe and well protected. We take chances. That is what makes things interesting.

According to researchers Laura Niemi (Harvard University) and Liane Young (Boston College) our value system determines whether or not we blame the victim for the misfortune. People who value caring and justice will put the blame on the perpetrator. People who value loyalty, obedience, social binding, and conservatism will also blame the victim for their misfortune.

Carl Jung (1875-1961), a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology, maintained that our inner reality creates the physical world and circumstances we live in. Our thoughts attract events. If we want to change our circumstances, we need to change our thinking habits. We have the power to create our own heaven or hell.

Posted in humor

North Korea, Iran… Why Do We Need to Annihilate Each Other?

Why does North Korea, Iran and some other countries need to parade their nuclear missiles and launch test strikes? To understand the behavior of countries around the world, first, we must understand behavior of individuals.

Here is an example. You are driving a car, minding your own business. Suddenly, someone rudely, and for no apparent reason cuts you off. You are pissed; you may even want to kill the other person! You are chasing the other person for miles and miles just to show them how angry you are, to teach them a lesson, provided, of course, you don’t have anything better to do with your time.

Soon enough you catch up with the offender and scream all the offensive words, but, to your surprise, the other person pulls out a gun and aims at you. Your rage subsides instantaneously, because you realize you don’t have a gun to wave back. Guns work only when one party has them, and the other doesn’t.

What is the lesson you learned from the incident? You need to get yourself a gun! The problem with getting a gun – it may not help you solve the problem. Instead, in most cases, it will escalate the problem. Where you may have driven away pissed and alive, now you have a shooting and people will die, maybe even you!

U.S. for a long time was the person with the gun.

Posted in happiness

Laughter Makes Things Better

Faced with a problem we frown. The mind immediately programs our physical state: we are tense, stress hormones are overflowing, we are upset. But what if, faced with a difficult situation, we smiled instead?

Fake it, until you live it. When times are tough, put a smile on your face. Laughter is a medicine. It draws people in, strengthens relationships. Laughter has been proven to reduce stress, combat anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure and heart rate, boost circulation to organs. Laughter increases white blood cells, improves our resistance to disease. Laughter triggers release of endorphins promoting sense of well-being and relieving pain.

Don’t worry, be happy! Children laugh hundred times a day; they have less responsibilities in life. Adults tend to take everything too seriously. Life doesn’t have to feel like a battle each day. Have your goals, but enjoy life each day too. We can plan all we want, but we can’t even predict what will happen to us tomorrow. Everything is in God’s hands.

Don’t attach yourself too much to things and beliefs, rather keep an open mind. Learn the lessons life teaches, widen your horizons.

Cultivate a sense of humor. Laugh! Be around people who make you laugh. Watch funny videos and movies, anything that brings a smile to your face.

When we don’t take ourselves seriously, when we see humor in situations, we can navigate through ups and downs of life much easier and enjoy life so much more. Of course, laughter should not be used to deflect or avoid dealing with tough situation, just to make the situation more manageable and keep things in perspective.

Posted in happiness

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Being patient does not mean we let others take unfair advantage of us. Being patient means we solved the problem; we are implementing the solution of which others may never be aware.

Our skills (our tools) determine who we are, what we will achieve, whether or not we will change the world for the better. Everyone has many skills and talents. Some skills/tools are more valuable and should be nurtured above all others. Patience is one of those precious skills. Practice sharpens all skills.

It is easy to be impatient, it requires no skills; it is easy to be stupid, it requires no knowledge.

We easily get frustrated; as soon as we get behind the wheel, we are feeling it! People drive too slow or too fast. They don’t follow the rules or they follow the rules too closely… We are frustrated with our friends and family…

We have a problem – a feeling of agitation and intolerance because our desires are not instantaneously gratified.

The solution to this problem – let’s stop worry ourselves to death, it is not productive. If you engage with others while you are in aggressive, intolerant state, you will only make others defensive and aggressive, no resolution will be gained.

Bible preaches detachment (“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2)) because it sets us free, and so does the patience. Patience is a way to know God, it draws us inward towards wisdom.

Patience means you control your feelings, you take a break, you have a plan, you relax, you wait for the opportunity to make your next move. The more we practice patience the better we will get at it. So next time you go to the grocery store don’t rush to the fastest line, instead pick the longest line. Observe your feelings, let it be a meditative, relaxing experience. Get in the habit of being patient.