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Yes lives in the land of no (DW #865)

Another distinction between owners and victims, according to Steve Chandler, is how they deal with NO: being rejected, refused or confronting failure.
 
"An owner is not afraid to make a request. That’s why owners do so well in sales and courtship.
 
Victims fear the word no and will do amazing things to avoid ever hearing it. To a victim, ‘no’ means rejection. Total, devastating rejection. ‘No’ doesn’t just sound like ‘no’ to the victim, it sounds like, ‘No, no, NO, you are NOT WORTH ANYTHING!’
 
But to an owner, ‘no’ is simply the other side of ‘yes.’ ‘No’ and ‘yes’ live together. Every human being has a perfect right to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and this does not bother an owner. An owner honors that right. Therefore, when owners hear ‘no,’ they don’t think something is wrong with the universe. They don’t...
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Weight lifting (DW #864)

In Reinventing Yourself, How to Become the Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be, Steve Chandler makes many distinctions between "owners" (who are at cause in their lives) and victims (who believe themselves to be the victims of circumstances).
 
One of the distinctions is how they approach problems or challenges in life.
 
Owners, he writes, see problems as bodybuilders see weight: more resistance to build a life with. It’s resistance training, and it feels good.
 
Victims, on the other hand, don’t want to lift that weight. They look at weights with horror, and they look at problems as betrayals.
 
The sad tragedy is that the same energy that could be going into problem-solving is used by the victim for problem-avoidance. It takes an ongoing mental effort to push problems out of the mind. It is real work to constantly redirect the spotlight of consciousness away from life so that it shines only on distractions.
 
Do you ever find...
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Are you aiming for an enlightened state of being? (DW #863)

Do you think that once you get it, that once you understand victim thinking and ownership thinking, you are home free? That you can flip the magic switch into enlightenment?
 
Oh dear
I have some bad news for you.
There are no enlightened beings. (none that I know of anyway).
 
There are only enlightened moments.
 
But here is the really good news: every one of us, no matter where we find ourselves in life right now, can have enlightened moments. Moments when we act in a way that makes ourselves proud.
 
And the choice to act in accordance with our highest values is available to us in the very next moment. And the next. And the next one as well.
 
And so although there are no enlightened beings, all of us can string together enlightened moments.

One choice at a time.
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The first step in reinventing yourself (DW #862)

The first step in reinventing yourself and becoming the person you want to be, according to Steve Chandler, is to take ownership of our agency –and accept that we can choose to act differently.

Here is how he puts it:

 "As you look back on your life so far, you will see that you always had two basic ways of being. At any given time, you were either one way, or you were the other; you were either an owner of the human spirit, or you were a victim of circumstances.
 
One way, the ownership way, reinvents you as you go. It reinvents you outward, in an ever- expanding circle of compassion, vision, and courage. The other way (the victim way) shrinks you down. Just as your muscles shrink when they are not moving, so do your heart and soul when you are in victim mode. ... "
 
OUCH – that image hit hard. As we age, we know how easy it is for our muscles to atrophy and shrink when we don’t use them. Can you imagine our heart and soul atrophying the same...
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Are you happy with who you are? (DW #861)

Here is your daily dose of Wisdom for Living Your Best Self!

Daily Wisdom is back! Sorry about the longer than intended break – life got in the way somewhat! Back now alhamdullilah.
 
Let us start the new series by talking about our self-image, about what we think of ourselves.
 
Over the next few days, we will explore wisdom from Steve Chandler.
 
If you need a boost of down-to-earth, empowering wisdom, you might want to check out Steve Chandler.
 
In his book, Reinventing Yourself, How to Become the Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be, he writes that many of us are victims of  a story that we tell about ourselves.
 
"Most of us live in a cocoon of personality—the made-up story of who we are.
 
It seems dark and dusty inside this little cocoon, and we think we can’t get out. We tell ourselves stories about our personality, but these stories aren’t reality. Deep down, we know we’re more than this...
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A prayer to greet the new year (DW #860)

As we start this new year, I would like to share an excerpt from a beautiful supplication:
 
A new day
 
This is a fresh, new day,
over us a ready witness.
If we do good, it will take leave from us with praise,
and if we do evil, it will part from us in blame.

O God,
provide us with the day’s good companionship
and preserve us against ill-parting from it caused by doing a misdeed
or committing a sin, whether small or great!

Make our good deeds within it plentiful,
empty us therein of evil deeds,
and fill what lies between its two sides for us with praise and thanksgiving,
bounty and beneficence!

O God,
make this
the most fortunate day we have known,
the most excellent companion we have accompanied,
and the best time in which we have lingered!

Place us amongst the most satisfied of all Your creatures
whom night and day have passed by,
the most thankful of them
for the favours that You have bestowed
 
Excerpt from Dua of Imam Zainul Abedin (as)
 
May this new year bring to...
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Why you need to end the year with gratitude (DW #859)

Before we finish and complete the end of year reflections, there is one more essential component of completing the past. And that is gratitude.
 
By now we are all familiar with the power of gratitude to transform our lives. We have discussed it at length several times.
 
What we need to remind ourselves at this point is that gratitude can be key to goal achievement in the new year.
 
A leading authority on the science of gratitude, Robert A. Emmons, along with Anjali Mishra crafted a study comparing grateful and non grateful goal striving. They had participants keep a gratitude journal, as well as provide a list of goals they hoped to reach over a two-month period.
 
Ten weeks later Emmons and Mishra checked back and found the participants who kept a gratitude journal were significantly closer than others to achieving their goals. Unlike what we are sometimes led to believe, focusing on what we have does not make us complacent. They found instead that gratitude...
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What needs to be cleaned up in relationships? (DW #858)

As we continue with end of year reflections, let us remind ourselves that incompleteness in relationships takes up a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth in our lives and saps our creative energy. 
 
The end of the year is a great chance to clean these up and move forward.
 
So let us tackle some:
  • What are some commitments that you did not end up keeping to others
  • Who do you need to apologize to? (hard one, this!) 
  • Who do you need to forgive in order to move on to the next year with renewed energy and love? 
  • Who do you need to thank for their role in your life this year?
  • What important things need to be said? (What are you waiting for?)
  • Who needs to know that you love them despite everything?
  • Who have you missed being more connected to this year? Do they know this?
  • What ego trait has stopped you from being more connected to your loved ones? (How is that working out for you? Are you ready to let this go yet?)
 Of course, these reflections are...
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The opportunity principle (DW #857)

Continuing with our discussion on regret from yesterday, let us explore this a little more.
 
Some years ago, researchers from the University studied people’s biggest regrets in life. They found that the six biggest regrets people expressed (in the USA) had to do with education, career, romance, parenting, self- improvement, and leisure.
 
After ranking the regrets, the researchers Roese and Summerville went about dissecting the mechanism of regret and mapped a three-stage process of action, outcome, and recall.
 
Here is the summary:
 
The action stage is where we take steps toward a goal.
 
The outcome stage is where we experience the result of our effort. If there is failure to act, or if the action is unsuccessful, it can often trigger regret in the recall stage, which is the third stage. Recall is when we look back on the event and consider whether we are happy with the outcome or not.
 
What was interesting was that the researchers found...
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What do you regret? (DW #856)

While doing the end of year review feelings of regret can show up about missed opportunities, and near wins. And since these can be intense, painful and include self-blame, it is tempting to try and distance ourselves from them.
 
Regret is an uncomfortable and sometimes toxic emotion. Experts find, however, that there can be an upside of regret. Regret can teach us valuable lessons if we are brave enough to pause and reflect on what is causing the regret.
 
Janet Landman, a University of Michigan psychologist suggests that regret has several benefits.
 
Firstly, regret teaches us what not to do in the future. Reflecting on our missteps and mistakes is critical to avoiding these missteps in the future.
 
Secondly, facing regret and acknowledging where we fell short can act as motivation to change. Landman says, "Regret may not only tell us that something is wrong, but it can also move us to do something about it."
 
Thirdly, regret acts like a moral compass,...
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