Happy Friday – July 18, 2014

Happy Friday!

“Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.” ~Thomas A. Edison

I talk a lot about whether events are positive or negative, but that these are just labels we place on events. This quote really hits upon what I mean by that. Most of the time we consider events that don’t meet our expectations, or worse – our hopes, of success, are most often classified as failures. Failure carries its own connotation of negativity, since we’re taught our whole lives that results that don’t achieve success are considered undesirable.  It is not until much later in life that we realize that everything is a potential success. We see end goals, and consider nothing to be a success until we cross those proverbial finish lines to reach them. Along the way, we ignore the incremental success we achieved. We also ignore the often serendipitous bits of learning we gained that might be used later to determine an even more successful path along some tangential line we never considered, and ‘would have’ never considered without that brief diversion from the original intention.

As we get older, we spend a great deal of effort to establish neural pathways that equate failure with bad. It is not our intention, and even less our fault. We’re taught this by the world around us. We learn it ourselves through the process of envy, or even ostracizing treatment by others (or our own self esteem), or even the vicarious goals of our mentors in their genuine desire for our overall success in life and their altruistic desire to spare us from the negativity they felt when they had those same experiences. What ends up happening, is they attempt to teach us their experience.  To both them, and us, we get so focused on the goal that we forget the journey. We forget that each step along the way is another experience that will give us tools to build a future that is guided along a vast array of pathways to successes. In fact, it could be argued that the better we get at things, the fewer mistakes or failures we experience, which then makes us less of learners than those who are younger.

We should all learn to embrace mistakes, and failures. Failures teach us far more than successes. By learning to accept these things as normal, and in no way negative, we keep a broad range of experiences happening in our lives. Over time we learn to expect the unexpected, and not to fear it, because we have not equated it with negativity. Ultimately our horizons become far more broad as well, with unlimited depth. Impossibility becomes a foreign term, with no meaning or impact on our lives. It ceases to exist, because every path leads somewhere, and often to places we never considered. Whether we want to be there or not is pretty much irrelevant. However, having been there is a critical component of adding to our understanding of all other experiences.  In this way, we create a full and robust life for ourselves and, by adopting this as a foundation for a purely positive existence, it becomes the nature of (gaining) experience that we pass along to our children, which one would argue can’t happen early enough in their youth.

Well, I’m off to meet and greet my day! Will I make any mistakes, or fail at anything? Who knows? But I do know one thing… I don’t care if I do or not. :)

Have a fantastic day! I’m guaranteed to do the same!

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Embrace the thought process…

Happy Monday folks!

“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin — more even than death…. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.” ~Bertrand Russell

Did you ever notice how much people are afraid of the thought process? Some are afraid to think for themselves, while others are afraid of whatever it is that you yourself are thinking. Still others are so committed to their own thoughts, embracing and coddling them like they were children, that they will go to the point of protecting those thoughts at all cost, often to the point of either damaging a friendship, or foiling a potential one. In fact I think we’ve all seen people so involved in their own thought process, and mired so deeply in the muck of their own minds, that they seemingly might never free themselves from the world in which they have decided they live, beyond their control. It makes me scratch my head at times.

Personally, I find it necessary to be as open minded as possible. I don’t mean just saying I’m open minded, but actually practicing a method of consciousness that churns my own thinking in a way that lets other thoughts be blended in, much like the folding of ingredients into a tasty baked good. For, without this blending of additional thoughts, how can I possibly grow? As far as I can tell, I can never grow in such a condition.

In keeping with the theme of baked goods, let’s take for example a leavened bread dough. We add yeast to the flour and some sugar and water to feed that yeast. By doing this we get a sponge that is capable of absorbing other flavors and colors to give us a wide variety of tastes and textures. Even more exciting are sourdough cultures, where a portion of the dough is removed, and fed more sugar and water, to literally create a living dough. In sourdoughs, we also allow bacteria to cultivate. While we routinely think of bacteria as undesirable, in this case it actually provides us with a richer, heartier, product.  Then, with the repetition of that division and re-feeding process, the dough can live for centuries. In fact the oldest commercially marketed sourdough culture has been alive and in use for nearly 200 years!

So what has this to do with thought? Well thought is the same way. We’re constantly evolving each as individuals and as cultures, not to mention both individually as cultures and collectively as a planetary culture. Without each culture purposefully experiencing a separation of thought processes (i.e. the dough we already have), and the infusion of new thought processes (i.e. the sugar and water for food), those thought processes begin to feed on themselves. Without the nourishment of fresh and evolved thoughts, our ways and means will begin to feed upon themselves. It is even necessary to involve thoughts that we might consider undesirable (i.e. the bacteria), lest we end up with tastes and textures that are redundantly less and less desirable intraculturally. Without these methods of nurturing thought, our methods for adaptation and survival become existential, or even isolationist. In the end, our world becomes vulnerable to implosion, and our ways of life, or overall existences, become anachronisms.

I’m not saying we have to all get along, though that’s entirely possible. I’m not even saying that we have to like what others are thinking. But I ‘am’ saying that we have to be open to the thoughts of others, no matter how diverse, or even contradictory to our own. Whether we accept them or reject them, is of little consequence. Just being open to hearing or reading them is enough to allow them to insinuate themselves into our world. From that insinuation we can glean all sorts of new perspectives. From those perspectives we gain new understanding or many things, both old and new in their natures. From that understanding, we are presented with new choices for ourselves. And, from those new choices, we evolve into better human beings, because we necessarily allow ourselves a deeper integration into humanity as a whole. This makes us better, each and every one of us.

Why are we then better?

Because we weren’t afraid of what someone else thought.

Hope you have a happy and productive Monday!!!  I’m having a fantastic day, just like every other day… because I refuse to allow my days to be anything but awesome!

 

 

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Working together…

Happy Thursday!

“The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but hold hands.” ~Alexander Penney

The famous quote by Rodney King that goes something like “Why can’t we all just get along?” is somewhat profound. An interesting truth is that we can, and not just in relationships of love. This is true in any form of interaction. When we don’t get along, it is because one person, or both (or all) find(s) it impossible to allow consensus. Or, even worse, they are unable to find compromise. So often, all too often, we get so mired in what we want that we cannot see the forest for the trees. Every person has their own path. Everyone marches to the proverbial beat of their own drum. Whether we walk alone, or walk together, is entirely based on our willingness to search for either consensus or compromise. Of course, these things are not always possible, and it is because of those paths and internal drummers. Ultimately, then, it isn’t about rightor wrong… it’s about happiness.

So, getting back to Mr. Penney up there, I don’t believe that the challenge is to keep a relationship together. The challenge is to objectively identify what the issue is based upon… ‘while holding hands.’ Identify what are all of the possibilities, and work toward decisions… ‘unselfishly,’ rooted in consensus and compromise, for the mutual happiness of all parties involved. If this path can be walked side by side, with the warm and inviting clasp of hands that guide each other, then a relationship of any sort will remain strong. However, it also will allow a clear understanding of when relationships have achieved all that they can, and provide an amicable path to independence, or even multiple paths to the same goal.

Hope you have a great day today! I’m off to work, where I’m bound to have a fantastic day! There’s absolutely no chance that I won’t, because I won’t allow it to be anything but that.

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The value of an opinion…

Originally posted on 11/12/2013…

“I’m not sure I want popular opinion on my side — I’ve noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts.” ~Bethania McKenstry

Simple message today folks… You be you! Don’t give a $hit what anybody thinks about you or your opinions. Of course you should accept their thoughts as their opinion, but nothing beyond that. Searching those opinions for fact and synthesizing those facts with which you agree into your own thoughts is still being yourself. That’s called growth, or evolution. However, in the final analysis, if you change your rationale on things simply because you’re not in agreement with the masses, then you have ceased to be you… you become them. Don’t do that.

Have a fantastic day! I’m about to go and do exactly that. I know it for a fact. Today is going to be AMAZING… because I have already decided that it will be. 

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Let’s try again…

I deleted all of my old posts. Why? Well, aside from my not posting in nearly 18 months, life is different for me now. Back when I first started this blog, I was in a different place in my thought processes. I griped about a lot, and kept things in my head while wondering why something did or did not occur in the world. Today that’s just not the case.

A few years ago, I watched a movie called “The Secret.” Without going into some precis of the movie, and the subsequent pontificating of how it helped me, suffice it to say that the movie clued me in to many things about life. They were things I already understood as parts of my own past, but did not understand from a fundamental standpoint which truly allowed me to comprehend them. Today, they guide most parts of my life.

That brings me to this post, and the deletion of about 20 posts from the past. Today I’m a positive thinker, and the gripes and moans from the past don’t really matter to me anymore. I’ve been practicing positive thinking, clear thoughts, and living in gratitude for even the smallest of things in my life for a bit over two years now. While I am far from mastering these techniques, they have nonetheless changed my outlook on life and the world in which I exist.

So, with my focus on the universe, and the opportunities it presents, I’ve decided to resume this blog. Who knows with what diligence I’ll populate the content here. Though, whatever diligence that may be, it will be positive in nature.

Here we go…

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A Poem

It’s been awhile since I threw down a poem:

“We Are More”

We live like kings in a relative way, while we scrape out our day, and find time to play.
We work like pigs in similar fashion, mindlessly thrashing as we search for some ration of hope or prosperity to stop our teeth gnashing.
We love like animals in ultimate glory, looking for more egotistical mooring, to imprint ourselves in a perpetual story.
We die like dogs relatively the same, all losers of the game, regardless of obscurity or fame.
We’re remembered again like all said before. relative, similar, ultimate, relatively, …more.

(This appeared on Facebook on 10/3/2011 – original work by Steven N. Burns (c) 2011).

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