10 January 2017      

Hello, and welcome to our newest week!  We're well into our
new year already, and we hope that you've been able to start
this year in many very positive ways so far!

 Ask Someone Who Can Give It to You!
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

New Year's Requirements
W.R. Hunt

Dealing with Division
tom walsh

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Your dream might change our planet.

 Edward Lindaman

The way to free your feelings is to simply feel them.

Shaeri Richards

Everything on earth gives cause for fear,
and the only freedom from fear is to be found
in the renunciation of all desire.

Bharti-hari

  

Ask Someone Who Can Give It to You!
an excerpt
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Before you ask someone for something, make an assessment of whether or not they will be able to give it to you.  If you're looking for people to invest money in your project, ask them if they are in a position to make an investment before you spend an hour sharing your business plan with others.

If you are asking someone to listen to your problem and help you solve it, make sure they have the emotional maturity and the ability to help you.

If you are asking someone to love you unconditionally, make sure they have the capacity to do that before you demand the impossible of them.  Otherwise, you may end up wasting many years of your life pushing someone to give you what they are unable to give.

It would be stupid to ask the receptionist at a major corporation to make a hundred-thousand-dollar buying decision.  It would be equally futile to ask your three-year-old to always remember to pick up after herself.  It may also be just as futile to ask your parents to love you and accept you just the way you are.

In our workshops we will sometimes illustrate this principle by having someone stand up and yell the following sentence at the wall:  "I want you to become a car!"  After a few minutes they get that they can yell at the wall all day long, and it is never going to become a car.  There is nothing they can do to make that wall into a car.  It is always going to be a wall.

Sometimes it is the same with people.  They are simply not going to change and give you what you want.  It simply isn't in them to do it.  They have no desire to do it.  They are not skilled enough to do it, or they are too wounded to do it.  Now you come up against some tough choices.  You may need to leave the company, team, unit or relationship in order to get what you want.  That is not always an easy thing to admit.  It may require taking some very uncomfortable actions and risks.  But it is better than continuing to hope for something that is impossible to get from the person you've been asking for it.

There is a big difference between being unreasonable and unrealistic.  For instance, it is not unreasonable to want your husband to understand your feelings, but if your husband is an engineer who has never ventured into his right hemisphere or emotions his entire life, it is just unrealistic, meaning it is unlikely.
    It's not that your feelings are not worth being understood.  It's just that he doesn't have the capacity.  He's strong in some other area.  So part of what you need to do is to direct those needs to the people and the places that can satisfy them, as opposed to just expecting one person or one situation to take care of every need.    -Mark Goulstein

  
  

Anything is possible...if you dare to ask!
Personal happiness. Creative fulfillment. Professional success. Freedom from fear--and a new promise of joy that's yours for the asking.
We have the ability at our fingertips to achieve these things. It's the Aladdin Factor: the magical wellspring of confidence, desire--and the willingness to ask--that allows us to make wishes come true. Now bestselling motivational authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen introduce us to the Aladdin Factor--and help us put it into effect in our own lives.

   

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New Year's Requirements
W.R. Hunt

The sun is just rising on the morning of another day, one of the first of a new year.  What can I wish that this day, this year, may bring to me?  Nothing that shall make the world of others poorer, nothing at the expense of others; but just those things which in their coming do not stop with me, but touch me rather, as they pass and gather strength:

A few friends who understand me, and yet remain my friends.

A work to do which has real value without which the world would feel the poorer.

A return for such work small enough not to tax unduly anyone who pays.

A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed.

An understanding heart.

A sight of the eternal hills and unresting sea, and of something beautiful the hand of humans has made.

A sense of humor and the power to laugh.

A few moments of quiet, silent meditation.  The sense of the presence of God.

. . . and the patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to know them when they come.
   

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If all my pain and all my tears,
And all that I have learned throughout the years
Could make one perfect song
To lift some fallen head
To light some darkened mind,
I should feel that not in vain
I served mankind.

Marguerite Few

   

 

Dealing with Division

Like it or not, we're living in a world divided right now.  Nothing that we do as individuals can change that fact, so it's important that we come up with some strategies for dealing with this reality if we're not going to let it overwhelm us.  It's a difficult reality to come to terms with, for it requires us to be accepting and even to encourage others who believe things that we not only don't believe ourselves, but that we can't imagine how anyone could believe them.

And our division is mostly based on beliefs, as divisions have been for probably as long as people have been around.  I believe that the government should support Program A, while you believe that the program is a waste of money and the government shouldn't be involved in it.  Even knowing facts and figures doesn't seem to help our division--knowing that the government spends so much on the program makes me say that it's enough or it should be more, while you say it's too much or it should be much less.  Knowing that so many people were helped by the program makes me say that it's working and should continue, but it makes you say that those people are being taught to depend on the government and should instead be given the chance to improve their situations themselves.

And here's the very hard part:  usually, both of our arguments are right, while both of our arguments are wrong.  Both of us see just the side of the picture that makes sense to us, while leaving us blind to the picture as a whole.  Both of our perspectives have elements of truth to them, and elements of falsehood.  Both of us make sense, while neither of us make sense, no matter how clear the picture may seem to us from our perspective.

   

The only thing which has to heal 
is the illusion of being separate.

Wilfried Fink

   
And therein lies the challenge:  being able to accept the fact that people on the "other side" also have perspectives that make complete sense to them, and the fact that no matter what the issue, there will always be people on both sides of that issue--or even on four or five different sides.  Our first major task in dealing with a world that's divided so strongly is to accept the fact that other people see an issue differently than we do and not to feel that they're "wrong" for seeing it differently.  It's when we ourselves put people on the other side of the fence that the division grows deeper and cooperation or even reconciliation becomes much, much more difficult.

Don't get me wrong--there are definitely times and situations in which I want to say something like, "You're completely wrong!"  But I realize that once I say that, I'm invalidating the other person's ability to think and reason, and I'm not looking for any common ground at all.

Besides, how can I cooperate with you if I see you as being completely wrong?  How can we work together to accomplish something important if I tell you that your thinking is nothing but flawed?  The answer, of course, is that I can't cooperate with you--it will take some apologizing first, and even then, the relationship has been damaged.  Chances are that you'll be defensive, just waiting for the next time that I insult you.

We need to be bridge-builders, not wall-builders.  We need to look for the commonalities that all humans share--fears and hopes and dreams and insecurities and loves--and build our bridges using those, even if that bridge does pass over an abyss of fear and anger and disagreement.  When those bridges are built, then we can work on reconciliation and moving forward, but not before.
    

If we could but recognize our common humanity,
that we do belong together,
that our destinies are bound up in one another's,
that we can be free only together,
that we can be human only together,
then a glorious world would come into being
where all of us lived harmoniously together
as members of one family, the human family.

Desmond Tutu

    
The division that we're experiencing are not unprecedented, nor are the impossible to overcome.  One of the problems that we're facing, though, is that so few people are willing to try to understand the other side anymore, and therefore the division keeps growing with fewer and fewer bridges being built to help to repair it.  If we don't have any more peacekeepers or any more bridge-builders, then the divides will keep growing greater and more difficult to mend.

We must remember that mending a divide does not mean that we get the other person to see the world as we see it or to think in the ways that we think.  That would be simple manipulation.  We can--and we must--cooperate with people who disagree with us and who think differently than we do, because we can be sure that there are plenty of people out there who think in the same ways as this other person.  Our cooperation to "fix" problems always should fix them to benefit the greatest number of people, not just the people who agree with us.

Sometimes, of course, it's painful to take this course.  Sometimes the people who think differently are unable to see the long-term problems with a certain course of action, and therefore they don't see any reason not to pursue that course.  Voting for a certain action may save $1,000 in the first week, but actually cost $500 every week after that.  If your opponent can see only the $1,000 in savings, then rather than insulting that person by telling them how wrong they are, perhaps it's time to educate them on the true cost of that action.  Education goes much, much further than insults or belittling.
   

He drew a circle that shut me out--
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flaunt.
But love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle and took him in.

Edward Markham

   
And of course, there will be those people who are so insecure that they'll never change their minds, no matter how much you try to educate them.  In those cases, it's important to move on to different actions rather than continuing to beat your head against that brick wall--the wall isn't going to give, no matter how many times you smash your head into it!  So it's time to develop another strategy or take another course to try to heal divisions, and that's going to take creativity and energy--but it's definitely possible.  It may be an unfortunate truth, though, that a person you wanted to be a part of the healing refuses to budge, and then you'll have to leave that person behind as you move on to more positive actions.

The illusion of division is an extremely strong one, an illusion that threatens to ruin all that we've accomplished together and to sabotage our futures with its focus on the negative and the impossible.  We have unlimited potential as human beings, but only if we can work together, and only if we can learn from people with perspectives that are quite different from our own.

And if we want to deal effectively with the division in our world, it must start with us.  We cannot be the people who say "You first!"  If we do that, it's never going to happen.  We know this from experience and from history.  It seems that everyone is waiting for everyone else to cooperate and try to unify others, but if we keep on waiting we can be sure that it will never happen.  Even though we may feel intimidated or unsure of ourselves, we really do need to be the ones who cause cooperation and working together to start with us; we must be the people who put aside our pride and egos in order to work with people who disagree with us and who see the world in completely different ways from us.

   
More on oneness.

   

One of the most important elements
of living life fully is awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively. In the twelve years of livinglifefully.com's existence, this essay series has been a mainstay of the weekly e-zine--a series that has explored not just the things that exist and that happen around us, but also our reactions to those things. The first five years of the column are now available exclusively on Kindle.

   

  

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It's important to give yourself a gold star.  Recognizing your achievements--big and small--is an important part of honoring who you are.  Gold stars have the powerful effect of undermining and dethroning all the critical stuff you've heard about yourself.

Leslie Levine

  

There was a man who wanted to transcend his suffering so he went to a Buddhist temple to find a Master to help him.  He went to the Master and asked, "Master, if I meditate for four hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?"

The Master looked at him and said, "If you meditate four hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in ten years."

Thinking he could do better, the man then said, "Oh, Master, what if I meditated eight hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?"

The Master looked at him and said, "If you meditate eight hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in twenty years."

"But why will it take me longer if I meditate more?" the man asked.

The Master replied, "You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life.  You are here to live, to be happy, and to love.  If you can do your best in two hours of meditation, but you spend eight hours instead, you will only grow tired, miss the point, and you won't enjoy your life.  Do your best, and perhaps you will learn that no matter how long you meditate, you can live, love, and be happy."

Don Miguel Ruiz

   
  

Doing is a quantum leap from imagining.  Thinking about swimming
isnít much like actually getting in the water.  Actually getting in
the water can take your breath away.  The defense force inside
us wants us to be cautious, to stay away from anything as intense
as a new kind of action.  Its job is to protect us, and it categorically
avoids anything resembling danger.  But itís often wrong.
Anything worth doing is worth doing too soon.

Barbara Sher

    

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