Possibly, I am not be spiritual enough, just meeting the obligation to even know why, as Catholics, we had to accept as true in highest being who is afar human grasp. I was juvenile when I was told not to query God‘s reality or his teachings. If I got into a argument with a advocate who is so influenced that there is incredible ahead of his understanding, he’d always tell me to have confidence when my raison d’être fails to appreciate.
Sorry, I just can’t realize that. I say no to give in to disagreement that stress that I give up my human familiarity and perception, and to take a jump of confidence. Jump to what? It’s not that I don’t take risks or don’t appreciate what it means to take risks.
When there are no more alternative; or other choices are just as awful as not doing anything, then risk maybe the only choice. However, in the case of leap of faith, there are preferences; one of which is I decided not to give my accepted wisdom.
I don’t comprehend what it means to veneration. If worshiping stress that I give up my thinking, then I don’t want to have anything to do with veneration. I refuse to give up my uniqueness. I could be quiet incorrect about the accurate sense of worship. But, for many years, I see people give up their uniqueness when they worship some being that escapes intellectual capacity.
In fact, that’s all we know: what we experience, what can be knowledgeable, thinking, emotions—that is, all we know is what humans are competent of; and they can be implicit even if ‘mathematical’ or ‘logical’ way of thinking only cannot understand. We have that human capacity to comprehend the universal human conditions.
Yet, I have great respect Jesus, Mohammed, Lao Tzu, Confucius and other great ethical teachers as their teachings on how to live and how to care for other human beings. In fact, I came to appreciate them more deeply through the lessons I have learned from fellow human beings like my father, my teachers, sometimes from complete strangers like Emerson, Martin Luther King, and the people in the streets who enacted immense service to their fellow human beings. From them, I learned:
To reflect on my own
To be courageous
To be responsible for one’s actions
To respect others and their opinions
To believe that others have their own conduct of thinking and articulating themselves.
To let go of your loved ones for their sakes even though it pains to do so
As I spend more time comprehending teachings of these religious figures, the more these teachings become familiar. I soon appreciated that they were once taught to me; my father and other great human beings, in the course of their actions and words, lived by them.
They had uncovered to me that moral teachings found in religious texts were humanly attainable but, for what rationale? To wait on the High Almighty? The God or some ultimate being that is beyond my reach and absolutely unintelligible? No, it was the teaching of self liberation.
Self liberation is not an act of a egotistic ego that long all for himself. He heeds no one but himself. The egotistic has not yet untied itself from the dictate of his basic gut feelings, from gluttony.
On the converse, self emancipation is about liberation of the individual so he may free himself from the domination that so abate him that he would simply give up his self to a concept, a philosophy be it spiritual or political.
The self emancipating individual, through his words and actions, teaches the others self liberation. The self emancipated being has fine tuned his sense of distinctiveness, not egoism. With a heightened sense of distinctiveness, he identifies the significance of a community, not lawlessness or dictatorship that demands blind belief, blind loyalty.
The self emancipation is, I think, the exact instruction of the great religious figures.
Strengths of wisdom and knowledge denote cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge.
Creativity signifies originality, ingenuity that involves thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things.
Curiosity indicates interest; novelty-seeking, openness to experience necessitates taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; exploring and discovering.
Open-mindedness; judgment, critical thinking imply thinking things through and examining them from all sides; weighing all evidence fairly.
Love of learning furnish ability mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge whether on one’s own or formally.
Perspective or wisdom bring about being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people.
Strengths of courage are emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external and internal.
Bravery and valor means not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; acting on convictions even if unpopular.
Persistence and perseverance, industriousness is finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles.
Integrity, authenticity and honesty signify ability presenting oneself in a genuine way; taking responsibility for one’s feeling and actions.
Vitality, zest, enthusiasm and vigor involve approaching life with excitement and energy; feeling alive and activated.
Strengths of humanity ask for interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others.
Love means valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated.
Kindness signifies generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, and altruistic love and niceness incite doing favors and good deeds for others.
Social intelligence demands emotional intelligence, personal intelligence which is ability to being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself.
Strengths of justice implicate civic strengths that underlie healthy community life.
Citizenship demands social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork, and ability working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group.
Fairness is treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others.
Leadership encourages a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same maintain time and good relations within the group.
Strengths of temperance insist strengths that protect against excess.
Forgiveness and mercy is forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful.
Humility or modesty suggest letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.
Prudence is being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.
Self-regulation or self-control is regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions.
Strengths of transcendence are strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning.
Appreciation of beauty and excellence ask one to be in awe, wonder, elevation, appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life.
Gratitude is being aware of and thankful of the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.
Hope, optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation looks forward to the best in the future and working to achieve it.
Humor and playfulness is ability to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side.
Spirituality or religiousness, faith, purpose embarks coherent beliefs about the higher purpose, the meaning of life, and the meaning of the universe.
Love is valuing the joy and pain of another being like we value our own. We instinctively seek our own happiness and take action to relieve our own discomfort; love makes us instinctively do the same for others.
Love is not merely service (action) nor merely delights in the beloved (infatuation), though it can express itself in both of these. Loving someone means being able to choose what is best for them over what is best for us. Desire and possessiveness are false love because in both the focus is on us—our needs and wants. Sometimes love means letting go.
The emergence and blossoming of understanding, love, and intelligence has nothing to do with any tradition, no matter how ancient or impressive—it has nothing to do with time. It happens on its own when a human being questions, wonders, inquires, listens, and looks without getting stuck in fear, pleasure, and pain. When self-concern is quiet, in abeyance, heaven and earth are open.
There is no energy more powerful than love. Love creates miracles, heals all wounds, and purifies all lower energies. You cannot give love away, for the more you give, the more you will receive in return. When you choose love you bring about the highest good for yourself and others. With love you can transform or be transparent to people’s emotions and thoughts, neutralize “negative” energy, and harmonize with all life in the universe. Offering love is always the right choice.
The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
Love makes life rich by making us part of something bigger than ourselves.
Time Before Time
Envision glancing back in time—no, not flipping through old high school yearbooks—but really, studying the history of our universe as it was 13.7 billion years ago. Epic? No doubt. Possible? Absolutely.
In fact, Dr. John Mather, a senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics for seeing back almost all the way to the Big Bang itself.
John Mather says astronomers are the only professionals who really spend their lives looking back in time. We see the universe as it was when it sent light to us, and I think it’s a fascinating story because we really can see the history laid out in front of us. Just by looking at things that are far away you see them as they were when they sent light to you, and so you can look at things almost 13.7 billion light years away and see almost 13.7 billion light years back in time.
Cosmic microwave background radiation is actually thought to be the remnant of the heat of the primordial explosion of the universe. So it appears to us as 2.7 degrees Kelvin, 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, heat. So that doesn’t sound very hot to us but of course it’s the remnant of trillions of degrees that we imagine happened in the very earliest times of the universe. So we’re able to measure it because it comes to us from all directions in the sky, that’s how we know that it’s cosmic, and we have microwave equipment that’s been able to pick it up. It was discovered in 1965, and then of course everybody tried to measure it better. So we got our Nobel Prize in 2006 for measuring it really, really, really well.
We put up a satellite called the Cosmic Background Explorer. It was a satellite with three instruments to measure this primordial radiation. So one was to tell what color is the radiation, to spread it out in a spectrum and measure the brightness at each different wavelength. And one was to make a map, see if it’s equally bright in all directions. So it really is very close to equally bright in all directions but not quite. So that was the wonderful scientific discovery that we made, which was that there are a lot of, there are hot and cold spots in the big bang itself.
So, the big bang wasn’t uniform. The implications of this discovery are huge, hence the Nobel Prize.
Some of the material is a little denser than other material. And when we made our map that showed those hot and cold spots, Stephen Hawking said “that’s the most important scientific discovery of the century if not of all time.” I thought, “Well Stephen that’s really very nice of you to say so.” It took me awhile to absorb why he would say that. So now we know that those spots are responsible for our existence. If those spots had not been present in the big bang, we could not exist because there would not have been the gravitational forces necessary to cause stars and galaxies to form out of the primordial material. So now we have a map of the reasons for our own existence and I think that’s pretty cool.
Scientists can directly observe the universe as it existed 380,000 years after the big bang. But for those first 380,000 years, the universe was so hot; all of the matter it contained was ionized into plasma, which is opaque. It didn’t emit the radiation necessary for us to see it today. But through other techniques, scientists have a pretty good idea of what the universe looked like when it was only one year old and before that cosmic birth, which we call the big bang?
We can not measure the time before time. People very loosely talk about the time before time, but physics has not observed the time before time. We don’t even know if the words mean anything. All we’re able to do is see how material transforms and changes from one state into another. So we see this radiation, we see other evidence of the early universe. We do not see the time before time. So from my perspective, the universe has always existed. The only curious thing is the clock has only ticked 13.7 billion years so far. But we’re not able to see past the beginning. We don’t even know if there is past the beginning.
What we do know is that we are star stuff. The particles that make up our bodies were formed in cosmic furnaces of the earliest stars in the universe. And that very star stuff was recycled again and again until one day it organized to become the earth and all the life that inhabits it.
So the sun and the earth are only one-third as old as the whole universe. And so this is how we’re recycled. So not only is the material recycled, of course we’re also breathing dinosaur breath, drinking dinosaur piss, and everything on earth is completely recycled. And then of course that leads onto the question of what’s going to happen next, which is just as fascinating and just as challenging and perhaps impossible to know.
What do you think is going to happen next?
When you do what you love, work always feels like play. Follow whatever you are passionate about and you will find yourself always going above and beyond the call of duty, and the money will always follow. You will naturally and easily rise to the top of your field.
Money can be made, money can be lost, and money can be made again. What you can’t make more of is time. The only thing your life is made of is time. Don’t waste it. Make your loved ones your priority—always.
Work is always secondary, but unfortunately, so many people forget that. I have never known anyone who wants their tombstone to read “I wish I’d worked more.” What everyone wants on their tombstone, in their obituary or at their funeral is to know who loved them. Those are the people who matter in your life. Show them while you are young and vibrant and still alive how much they mean to you in thoughtful little ways every day.
Refuse to be a victim. Everyone in this life is handed a basket full of problems—we all just get a different basket with different problems. No one has it better and no one has it worse than you do. So don’t feel sorry for yourself or envious of the other guy. I find that adversity doesn’t build character—adversity REVEALS character. So choose to be a winner, not a whiner.
If you are hit with what appears to be an overwhelming problem, find a way to laugh at it first. That immediately takes away your fear, and makes the problem seem smaller. Then when you are done laughing, find a way to fix your problem!
If you find yourself feeling self-pity, toss that loser mentality out the window. Instead, make a list of everything and everyone you have to be grateful for in your life. Read that list daily, and you’ll be surprised how your attitude changes. The other best way to find happiness is by helping others. Nothing will fill your heart more. Happiness is a choice—choose it everyday.
Surround yourself with people you love, who share common interests and have good hearts. You will be amazed at the joy that sharing fun experiences brings you. In the end, all we have are our memories of fun times spent with loved ones. Happiness is not bought with money or with fancy toys. Happiness comes from being well loved. Chase happiness, not money!
The Psychology of Storytelling
Stories are a very vital piece of being convincing.
You’d feel that, as a guy who cares for inquiries and data, I’d be indisposed to storytelling in one piece.
As a vendor though, I can’t be: those in sales and marketing have recognized for a long time that stories win against data when it comes to influencing for the reason that stories are easier to appreciate and tie in to.
Are you slotting in stories into your copy? Are you using them on your blog?
If you’re fretful to appreciate and tap into the influence of storytelling, get prepared to jot down some notes!
Why You Need to add in Storytelling
But why should you have to add in this flowery technique into your writing?
A bunch of folks are reluctant to telling stories because they think that “the specifics” are the most influential pieces of substance they can bring.
It’s not, and here’s a revelation that assists to clarify why:
Am I telling you that it’s better to say nothing in a brilliant style?
No, of course not In its place, the point that I’d pretty make is that how you say something is just as essential as what you are saying.
If you reject to recognize this, you menace having your excellent information become lost in an ocean of less precious substance.
Here’s the thing,: While we are all frequently opposed to the idea of being told what to do, we are very vulnerable to approving with the “moral of the story” due to how it is accessed to us.
How Stories have an effect on the Mind
It would be polite to be able to justly sway people into fitting more flattering about your contribution, right?
The question then is this…
Do stories really hold that much sway?
According to research by psychologists Green & Brock, they do.
In fact, it’s probable that you greatly underrate how much stories influence you!
The cause that stories click so well on us is that we are vulnerable to getting “swept up” in both their significance and in the way of their telling.
Quite literally, stories are able to transport our mind to another place, and in this place we may hug things we’d likely ridicule at in the “cruel, genuine world”.
Think about this example: You’ll often see politicians create a “story” for their campaign, and focus much of their efforts speaking with the public in crafting and footing by these stories.
Creating the story of “tough guy who is cruel on crime and supports states rights” is easier to appreciate than discussing the intricacy of how the administration plans to actually tackle the crime rate.
You see this being utilized every day on platforms as big as TED talks to speeches by world leaders.
Instead of only discussing the “information”, they begin talks with phrases like, “Imagine if you will…”, and as we’ve seen, it’s with very good reason: stories help sell arguments of all types, from, “I believe that these liberal/conservative points of view are correct,” to, “I believe this product is suited for my goals.”
This information is useless, however, unless we address how to write better stories.
How to Create Better Stories
The #1 trait of a persuasive story is how “engaging” the story is.
There are a million writing blogs that will go on and on about how to craft amazing stories, but is any of that (potentially good) advice backed up by research?
In fact, there is an additional study conducted by Green & Brock that addresses just what makes a story engaging.
Here’s what they found:
1.) Suspense works just as well as you’d expect
The “cliffhanger” just may be the oldest trick in the writing book, especially writing for television, but there is a reason why it’s used so often…
Despite our numerous exposure to this method, our brain just can’t “get over” suspenseful moments: it’s a relationship that just won’t die, we will always want to know what happens next!
In fact, suspense works so well that the hotly debated Zeigarnik Effect would have you believe that it’s the best way to kill procrastination.
Research in that area seems to point to humans being much more inclined to finish something that has already been started (researchers interrupted people doing “brain buster” tasks before they could complete them… nearly 90% of people went on to finish the task anyway, despite being told they could stop).
Suspense in stories really allows you to create addictive content, as long as the suspense appears early enough in the post to activate the Zeigarnik Effect.
2) Creating detailed imagery helps craft the setting YOU want.
Want to get people swept up in your stories?
Tell them what they are receiving swept up in to, and they will respond.
Could any of us relate to the heroic deeds in tales like those of the Lord of the Rings without Tolkien’s elegantly comprehensive imagery of the dangers of Mordor or the perils faced by Frodo and Sam?
The imagery paints the picture of any good story, we could say that [Spoilers if you haven’t read/seen Lord of the Rings] “Frodo and Sam fight a massive spider,” but Tolkien spends an entire chapter on the ordeal, taking the time to help the reader picture, the fierce character of the enemy and the bravery of our heroes who persevere despite their many weaknesses (doubt, fear, dismay, etc.)
Implementing the “real” into a fantastic setting often helps create a better connection with the reader.
I don’t know the feeling of encounter a spider the size of a house, but I do know what terror feels like, and I also know how hard it can be to persevere in the face of immense doubt of your abilities.
These “all-too-real” elements of a fantastical story make it easier to relate to.
3.) Literary techniques (like metaphors or irony) are essential pieces of memorable stories
As with most high school kids in the United States, I was required to read a lot of the “staples” of high ch1ld literature.
By far my favorite work was Animal Farm, a story that serves as a great example of the power of the many literary techniques at your disposal.
In the beginning, the story in Animal Farm seems quirky at best: When the de-facto leader of the animals, Old Major, dies, two pigs called Snowball and Napoleon take over and see out his “vision”, which they interpret to be the driving out of Mr. Jones, the farm owner.
Snowball is eventually chased away by Napoleon, and Napoleon begins to enact new rules for the Animal Farm, which begin to become warped as Napoleon and the pigs become more like their previous masters, culminating with the memorable phrase revealing what the rules have truly become:
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
Needless to say, there is a lot at work under the surface of this story, as it is a metaphorical tale that relates the events of the rise of Stalin and the Soviet Union before the second World War II.
Suddenly, a book about pigs taking over a farm begins to serve as a cautionary tale on how political dogma can be turned into malleable propaganda.
There are many literary techniques and a countless amount of examples, I’m simply serving up this particular one to show you a singular instance of a writer using them to turn a seemingly simplistic story into a extraordinarily memorable and highly controversial work of art.
4.) Modeling works because change is easier with an example
If you want someone to change a conduct (or become more inclined to taking a desired action), then you can “model” it with a story.
The character in said story should go through the transformation that you would like the reader to go through.
The transportation effect is really evident here: people place themselves in the situation being told, reimagining themselves as the main character.
Oftentimes, they are made to see why the choices made were the right choices.
Strangely enough (or maybe it’s not so strange…), I often see web hosting providers showcase stories of customers past “cheap web-hosting nightmares” in which the customer describes a situation where they were freaking out from their site being down after receiving massive exposure, eventually “learning their lesson” and vowing to never again use anything but ______ [insert whoever is selling.
Positive stories are also used quite often, stories where individuals solve a huge menace in their life or get to where most people would like to be serve as transportation vehicles to recruiting new people to the cause.
If you run a fitness based business (as an example), highlighting a tale of triumph over the generalized disadvantages of being out-of-shape to accomplish what previously seemed like “impossible” fitness results is a great way to get people fired up up to become more interested in fitness.
6 ) Characteristics of Highly Influential Stories
Now, a post on Sparring Mind wouldn’t be complete without an additional study to compare things to (reliable information is the result of approving research).
I really enjoyed a recent investigation (and the actual research) discussed in a piece by Roger Dooley, author of Brainfluence (great book, that’s my aff link).
Dooley discusses what a difficult time lawyers have in influenced the jury during a tough case and the comparison he makes to your typical “car salesman” is spot on:
One of the difficulties of persuasion tasks is convincing a jury in a courtroom.
Car salespeople have it easy by comparison – they control the environment and have the complete concentration of the customer.
Envisage, if you were in a Lexus showroom listening to why you should buy one of their vehicles, and at your elbow was a BMW salesperson, once in a while objecting to the Lexus pitch and then delivering her own.
That’s the condition of affairs in a courtroom–arguments presented by one side will be directly (and mercilessly) attacked by the other side.