The universe and the human brain have something important in common. The inner workings of both are invisible. At this moment you have no perception of what’s happening in your brain; neural activity is unknown to the mind of the person to whom the neurons belong without the invention of brain scans to reveal that activity, and then only crudely. Imagine, being a master of a house and not knowing or seeing what is inside the house.
Happy Wallpaper Wednesday everyone! This week’s Wallpaper was a perfect way to inspire and set the tone for a wonderful day. See my thoughts below the image:
Regardless of what you thought about the movie, Achilles in Troy is making a very good point. Gods are immortal. They live forever. Nothing can kill them. But at the same time, they lack the contrast of life and death to help motivate them to really appreciate the world around them.
True, that the beauty of something is not measured by the fact that it ends, but a subtle reminder that not all things are forever (life included) can act as a motivation not to waste the few precious moments that we have on this planet.
Here we are, this moment, right here…and there is so much beauty to appreciate, to love, to embrace in. Close your eyes…what do you hear? Look around…what do you see? What do you touch? What do you feel? Take a few seconds to really appreciate the beauty around you…and this moment. Because this moment is going to end in the blink of an eye, replaced with another. So take advantage and be mindful of the here and now.
It is fleeing. It is already disappearing. But you can appreciate it, and life, before it does.
“Got time? Spend it!”
An important insight into some of the things you can do when you have all the time in the world.
To spend time with loved ones is to maintain a sense of continuity, of simply living. Think of the stories from their lives and your own, stories you’ll pass on to others. If money is essential to subsist in a material world, then these precious moments are the foundations of a more humane world.
One precious thing about not being employed is, like what every employed person tells me, that you can do anything that you want, given that it doesn’t require much money in the process. So, having internalized that message while always on the look-out for job opportunities, I have pursued activities that I relished then and that I still love doing now. Apart from reading as if there’s no tomorrow, applying for a volunteer position at a local library, visiting local places that I’ve always wanted to go, or just simply driving around the city, one great…
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“Feed your brain.”
Different things can inspire us, motivate us, or make us think. The act of thinking alone is an exercise that allows our mind to explore alternative viewpoints, and gather new knowledge. Much like our bodies need nutrients, our minds also need stimulation. Think back to the last time you really stimulated your mind. What did you do?
I was fortunate enough to meet up with a few friends yesterday and meet someone who was a physicist. When I was younger, I used to love astronomy but I slowly let it fade into the background of life. Meeting this man was an opportunity to open my mind and have him try and fill it with what he knew. Our conversation turned to life, the universe and everything, and one of my friends asked him a complicated question: “What came before the big bang then?”
As a physicist who was used to some of these very complicated ideas, he tried to explain. “‘What came before?’ may not necessarily be the right question to ask.” And he proceeded to explain why. His reply was complicated, but he used many examples to eventually help us understand his reasoning. In the end, we were left with an image of our universe that was breathtaking, beautiful, and horrific at the same time.
Grasping these complex concepts took a bit of work. Occasionally we would ask him to give us a pause to process. But at the end of our discussion, all of us were left thinking. There was a kind of peaceful tranquility about having learned something new, and I could see it in his eyes too since he had just helped us all learn it (which had no doubt helped him process and articulate some otherwise very complication concepts).
Happiness can come from stimulation. But the feeling of “newness” doesn’t have to come from material possessions. It can come from new ideas, new perspectives, new experiences. Seek them out. A jolt of happiness and inspiration can be only one new idea away.
“Productivity can be its own reward.”
Our world is centered around productivity. At work, many of us are told to cram in as much work as we can into our hours to get as much done, so the cogs and wheels keep turning. Deadlines and timelines hang overhead ensuring that we stay on top of things and remain as productive as possible.
Recently, I’ve been noticing that productivity isn’t simply about avoiding missed deadlines, or getting things done. It can be a feeling of accomplishment as well. On days where I find myself less productive, I am sometimes left wishing I’d done more…but not because I will have more to do the next day, or because something was missed. I find myself wishing I’d done more simply because the feeling of making the most of every day can be a rewarding feeling on its own (there are a ton of entries about “letting go” and “taking it easy”, so on these days, that is how I should be approaching it).
Productivity isn’t just about how much work we fit into our work day. Its mostly about maximizing the things that you do in every minute of every day of your life. If you’re working, don’t be distracted by other more tempting things. If you’re relaxing, don’t be distracted by guilt, or work you COULD be doing.
That wonderful feeling of productivity stems from the fact that you can look back on a day and say: “I did my best”. THAT is the true definition of productivity, and that has its own rewards that can be isolated from the actual fruits of your labours. Meeting deadlines and getting things done is great, but looking back and knowing you were the best possible self and that you made the most of as many moments in the day, is an even greater reward.