Posted in Self- improvement

If You Missed Church on Sunday, No Worries. Here is My Recap

I go to the church regularly; I like my Naples church. But I think father needs a little help motivating his congregation to keep us behaving until we see him again the next Sunday morning. So here it comes!

***

Luke 4. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ’Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

***

We are born good. Numerous studies have shown that babies can discern between good and bad when watching the behavior and interaction of the “good” puppet with a “bad” puppet showing preference and affection for the good puppet. So if we are inherently good where all the bad behavior comes from?

Mental illness and addiction are few reasons why good people turn into bad. Good people are tempted daily by passing “naughty” thoughts. Usually we can shrug those thoughts off without being influenced by them until the moment of weakness. When we are hungry, when we are tired, when we are angry, when we are desperate for something we are in the danger zone.

Bad attracts more bad things into our lives. Nip it in the bud while you can. Avoid states of weakness. Make sure you eat healthy, exercise. Don’t drive yourself too hard, have plenty of rest. Remind yourself of all the wonderful things in your life so you are not desperate to fill the gap that may not even be there in first place. Each one of us is a complete, wonderful human being.

Posted in Self- improvement

Risk, Reward and Stupidity

Higher-level of reasoning vs. lower level of reasoning, how do we make decisions? Every day we make thousands of decisions both major and minor. Sometimes we make decisions without even realizing it. When facing a choice our brain determines the overall reward and risk, then our feelings get a vote (depending on how much power we give it, it may have a bigger sway) and for better or worse, we make a decision.

Think last time you were at the grocery store with a firm determination to buy only healthy food. At home, you were firm. Once in the grocery store, surrounded by the temptations and distractions of the most delicious junk foods, you made a new decision and you sealed it with the action – you bought a shopping cart full of unhealthy stuff. So what happened?

Our brain assigns everything a value based on that value we make decisions. Depressed people have difficulty assigning value, everything seems unappealing, the resulting decision – better stay in bed. Hoarding is caused by overvaluation of certain possessions. We have to make sure we assign right value to things. Things that are good for us should always have a higher value.

Why do we engage in reckless/dangerous behaviors? At some point of our lives, we all engage in behaviors that are risky or unwise. We do it because these behaviors bring pleasure, excitement and are temporarily rewarding. Maybe we want to spoil ourselves just this once. The problem is these behaviors can very quickly become addictive to the point that one day we lose any conscious control over the behavior.

Human beings are different from any other animal in that we are able to think and control our behavior.

Posted in Self- improvement

About Life Satisfaction, Happiness

What does everybody want? Happiness. More than simply positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.

If we want to be happy, we have to work for it. If we are unhappy, we have ourselves to blame.

To do list (to find that elusive, everlasting happiness):

  1. Have a peace of mind. Whatever drives you nuts – get rid of it, or distance yourself from it.
  2. Think positive thoughts and you will have positive attitude.
  3. Find your passion/interesting challenge in life.
  4. Start using your brain. Learn to think. Solve the problems yourself.
  5. Be the master of your emotions.
  6. Keep the body healthy. Healthy foods consumed in moderation will maintain a balanced chemical level in the brain and the whole body. Good food and exercise will ward off mental issues like depression, attention deficit disorders and myriad of other physical and mental ailments.
  7. Stay away from addictive substances.
  8. Have strong, good relationships.
  9. Make sure you have enough money. Money buys freedom from worry about the basics in life—housing, food, clothing.
  10. Be helpful!
Posted in Self- improvement

Embracing Minimalism

When we are happy, we make people around us happy as well. We have one life and we should live it to the fullest. Why shouldn’t we take the most expansive vacation, why shouldn’t we have the most expensive “toys”? 20170603_210406

The U.S. is one of the richest countries in the world. Americans are the most depressed people in the world, according to the World Health Organization. About one in five adults in the U.S. experiences some form of mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

If piles of money could buy happiness, Tiger Woods would be the happiest man alive. We constantly buy stuff, if we don’t buy stuff we buy “experiences”. We work hard; we never have time for ourselves, our families and friends. If we don’t have the money, we borrow, and spend the money we don’t have on the things we don’t need.

When you look around the poker table and you can’t tell who is the sucker – it is you. As soon as you open the magazine, or start watching a blockbuster movie you see the product marketing at its best. Corporations are making record profits, but the salaries of the workers remained stagnant since 2000 and many well-paying jobs are disappearing.

The most expensive vacation will not make you happy if you are stressed about other things, if you are angry or dissatisfied. Spend the money you have wisely. Be free. Get out of the consumerist lifestyle. Fill your life with what really matters: peace of mind, good relationships, the work you love, exercise…

What about the peer pressure? We admire rich, we follow famous. We deserve what we get. We have the power to change our lives: find better peers, better friends, better work. It is not easy, but we can do it! The problem is sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to see where the problem is coming from, we don’t trust our friends and family with a good advice they give. We think they don’t understand, we get upset.

My advice- give a benefit of a doubt to your friends and family- cut the problem thing or person out of your life for 4-6 months and see what happens. Pay attention. Are you a better, more fulfilled person without it? See if the quality of your life improves, then make a decision if you want that “trouble” thing back in your life.

Posted in Self- improvement

Is Institution of Marriage Obsolete?

A new study came out to challenge our deep-seated belief that marriage will make us healthier and happier. In the article, “The Ambiguous Link Between Marriage and Health”, published online in the journal Social Forces, sociologist Matthijs Kalmijn cites a 16-year survey of a nationally representative sample of more than 11,000 Swiss adults to make a point that there are no significant health benefits to being married. Many enthusiasts and promoters of single lifestyle ran wild with the idea that the institution of marriage is obsolete. Gays and lesbians seem to miss the memo and still cannot wait to tie the knot!

You are not alone. Love is all you need! We all agree it is important to have quality relationships. Good relationships affect positively our health and well being. Marriage is the ultimate quality relationship. You may be useless to the society, but you will always be important to your family. Good relationship and marriage inspires us to be a better person. Our government realizes the importance of marriage and a family unit. Married people enjoy many legal and financial benefits.

According to Pew Research Center marriage rates have declined since 1970. Overall, married adults have made greater economic gains over the past four decades than unmarried adults. The decline in marriage rates has been steepest for the least educated adults. Thus, college educated Americans who already have the largest incomes and who have had the largest gains in earnings since 1970 have fortified their financial advantage over less educated Americans because of their tendency to be married.

Posted in Self- improvement

Healthy lifestyle and Spirituality

A good comedian once said: “Our fight today is not against Islam, it is against religion. No one’s head has ever been cut off in the name of atheism.” For me, spirituality is just another tool to take advantage of to enhance the quality of life. Like any tool, it can be misused.

Spiritual life should always reflect the progress of the society, advances in science and technology, in the same time it should help people to get in touch with the universal goodness and inner divine self. Spiritual life helps person to be a part of the community, a part of the family.

Spiritualism is a search for something sacred. People approach spirituality through religion, meditation, yoga, or personal reflection. Atheist is a person who does not believe in God. Agnostic is a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God. A religious person is someone who believes in God and follows the rules of the particular religion. There are estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide. Here are few reasons why throughout the centuries we embraced spirituality:

Spiritual people are kind. Many studies demonstrated that expressing gratitude is associated with positive emotions like optimism, generosity and compassion.

Spiritual people flourish. Spiritual people have positive relationships, high self-esteem and generally have meaningful lives. Spiritual people consider personal growth and fulfillment as a central goal; they focus on the internal values and work on becoming a better person.

Spirituality can provide clarity, gives you the ability to see and understand the bigger picture.

Spiritual practices help to focus attention and center yourself. Emotional storms, unpredictable circumstance and fears about the future will have less influence on you.

Spiritual practices improve the mood and fill you with joy.

Spiritual practice will help you live in the moment, enjoy the blessings you have right now. It will help to establish a much deeper relationship with the internal, divine you.

Posted in Self- improvement

Get That Job, Date, and Contract with Good Communication Skills

The best job, date or contract gets the person with the best communication skills, not necessarily the most qualified and knowledgeable applicant. The ability to communicate effectively with family, friends, colleagues, superiors, subordinates is essential. Let’s explore together the top communications skills that will make the biggest positive impact in our lives.

The ability to listen. The ability to listen and pay attention to what is being said is critical. We all want to feel relevant, important. We tend to interrupt and insert our opinions and facts. Let’s take the time to practice active listening: pay attention, ask clarifying questions to better understand the other person. When we fully understand the other person and the situation, it is easier to make the right decision, take an appropriate action.

The ability to correctly interpret the body language. The tone of voice, the posture, the eye contact will tell a story and sometimes quite different from the one you are hearing. We must take it all into account before we make a decision.

The ability to be clear and concise. Good communication means saying just enough. Talking too much does not make us clearer it makes us appear insecure. It is a good idea to prepare in advance what we are going to say.

The ability to connect and be friendly. Through a friendly tone, smile and positive disposition we will encourage people to like us and to open up. People will not buy from us or hire us unless they like and trust us.

We must be confident. It is important to be confident in all our interactions with others. It will make us appear knowledgeable and dependable.

We must have empathy. When we disagree with another person it is important to show that we understand the other person’s position or point of view.

We must have an open mind. We must enter the conversation with a flexible mind. It is possible we made a mistake. The goal is always to benefit from the right decision even if it means changing our position.

Treat people with respect. People will like us more and will be more willing to work with us if we are respectful.

The ability to give and receive feedback. The feedback must always be constructive. Telling somebody they suck will not help the other person to improve.