Posted: 09/20/2014 8:09 am EDT Updated: 09/20/2014 8:59 am EDT FINDING PURPOSE
Do you have a purpose-driven life? Or are you among the multitude of regular Joe's who have not identified or achieved their purpose? Because you are living without or in search of purpose, you are therefore inferior to those who are driven toward some great plan. Right?
Consider this: Why do we need a purpose? What if loving, living and learning is our only purpose? What if getting everything out of life that we ever wanted is our purpose? What if enjoying music, nurturing a child, or greeting everyone with a smile is our purpose? Is that wrong? Is it not enough?
When lack of purpose makes you feel empty and worthless, perhaps you are defeating the purpose. Change your perspective, and you will see that a goal of being happy now is much more satisfying and much more attainable than searching for some external mission or ideal. Take inventory of all the blessings you have now. From your body and all the things it does well to your home, your job, your family, your animals, or the beauty of nature, how many things do you have to be thankful for? How long can you make your list? Why do we focus on the things we should do or have -- like a purpose -- when we already do and have so much? The constant striving for more only detracts from our enjoyment of the here and now and it devalues what we have. It is not the "better" way to go.
Follow the current. According to Eastern philosophy, going with the flow will get you to your destination much more quickly than fighting the current. At times the current is slow and lazy. Other times it is fast and furious. Occasionally it flounders, and then we can use our oars or our strong arms to propel us along. We want to progress in life. Having dreams is wonderful. As long as your river takes you toward your dreams, you can have spectacular journeys along the way. If you take breaks along the way, enjoy the scenery, the company, and the moments, it will all be wonderful. But if you have a specific destination that you doggedly fight to get to, you run the risk of burning out, missing much along the way, or arriving and wondering if this is all there is.
Destinations are meant to change. Life doesn't stand still. If we choose to, it will continue living and changing and growing around us, and it will leave us behind. Be part of the change, and you can be involved in molding it into something you love. Flexibility and optimism will get you through any form of change with the least negative side effects. Continue to move toward your dreams, but be prepared to revise them from time to time.
View setbacks as re-sets. In the biorhythm of life, there are many ups and downs. The downs are not designed to hurt us. They are not outside forces out to get us. They are signals, warnings and signs. They are telling us it's time for change. Something is dead, it's time for something new, something different is on the horizon. Don't run, hide, get angry, or wallow in fear or sadness. Try to understand the message and move forward toward a new future. Change it up. Embrace the possibilities. Find the good in even the worst situations. It is there.
If you have decided that your purpose is to progress at your own pace, build dreams, live and love with all you've got, congratulations. You win the prize! You get to be happy today. You get to spread that joy and happiness to others. Your positive outlook will help them in their life journeys. And you will have a very promising tomorrow filled with whatever you want it to be filled with. Conversely, if you are doing things that create negative value in your life, do it consciously. Make the decision. Own it. If you do something "bad" for yourself, decide that you love yourself anyway. You are not a bad person. And perhaps you can also do something to offset or positively move you closer to your dreams. When you're ready and the current is strong, you will fly toward that only-imagined realty. You will do and be want you want to be. Just know it takes more than a dream. Taking actions toward that dream will get you there, no matter how small the steps may be. One day it will be yours, and then you can dream for something more.
Cindy Tansin is author of the book Lead With Your Heart and the Rest will Follow. Her expertise is in promoting personal and professional growth, addressing issues of mind, body, spirit, and financial soundness. Follow her at www.cindytansin.com
As we enter our third week of tai chi we have set an all time high of somewhere between 109-115 students in our combined 4 classes for our fall session.
It is wonderful that there is so much interest and enthusiasm in learning tai chi.
Lesson #3 has just been published and can be viewed several ways on our website:
1. Go to lucy’s BLOG
2. Go to Lesson of the Day
3. On the navigation bar select “everydaytaichi4U” and make your class selection for Fall 2014 Kilauea Park
Our everydaytaiahi t-shirts will be ready for you at the next class. You may pick up what you ordered. There are a few extra sizes that you can also choose for those of you who did not place an order.
Yoga shoes have also come in with a few extras also.
1. Warm Up Exercise, Yang 24 + Yang 10 including side and back views.
2. Yang 16 form includes side and back views
Last, but not least:
SAVE the date 1:
Saturday, November 22, 2014.
We have been invited to perform at the Mayor’s Annual Craft and Country Fair at the exhibition hall of the Blaisdell Center. It will be a morning event, and details are forthcoming. This event will help promote to our community that we all can “play” tai chi to keep healthy in mind and body.
SAVE the date 2:
Saturday, April 25, 2015 is our 2nd Annual World Tai Chi Day at Kahala Mall center stage.
everydaytaichi classes are now in session and we have just completed our first week of classes.
As always, it was very nice to see so many of our returnees so eager to learn along with many new faces coming from far and wide to experience our tai chi journey!
To view online lessons go to the "Lesson of the Day" or "everydaytaichi4U" tab on the navigation bar to make your selection to see various online videos from our collection of videos on our YouTube, everydaytaichi4U.
To read more about Yang Style tai chi, click here.
6 Ways Being Nice To Others Is Actually Good For You
The Huffington Post | By Lindsay Holmes
Posted: 09/10/2014 8:18 am EDT Updated: 09/10/2014 11:59 am EDT KINDNESS
There are exactly three ways to define the word "nice," according to the dictionary.
The first is the ability to "give pleasure or joy." The second is defined as "attractive or of good quality." The third is simple and straightforward -- someone who is nice is "kind, polite and friendly." Sounds pretty uplifting. So why does niceness get as much flack as it does praise?
What is technically a positive trait can also be seen as equally, well, negative. If you're too nice, you run the risk of coming off as disingenuous or insecure. You also may be appear to be a pushover (or worse, you might actually be a pushover). Not to mention, there's also that whole "finish last" cliché.
But before you write off those good-natured intentions, you might want to take a look at their benefits. Below are six things you should know about being nice:
It may be a natural behavior.
As we grow up, we learn values and morals that help us become nice people, whether it be proper manners, compassion, consideration or a combination of them all. But research from the University of Buffalo suggests that our capacity for goodness may also lie in our DNA. In the study, scientists found that some people may be born with certain genes that give you specific receptors to oxytocin and vasopressin -- two hormones in your body that are associated with feelings of love and generosity.
However, that's not to say that you're only a nice person if you possess the right genes. Researchers also found that genetics work in tandem with your upbringing and life experiences, and the combination of both can suggest how social you become, Live Science reported. Either way, whether we're wired for "niceness" or just brought up on it, our good nature is something that's ingrained in us from an early age.
It could help us live longer.
One hallmark of being nice is practicing charitable actions. When you're helping someone, you're not only bettering their lives, you may also be improving your own: Studies show that those who volunteer reap health benefits that may help you live longer, ABC News reported. Making the world a better place and increasing our longevity? Sign us up.
We're happier when we're kind.
The motive may be a little selfish, but being nice to others doesn't just benefit them, it clearly works in our favor, too, by instantly boosting our mood. You don't have to travel too far out of your way to be nice, either -- sometimes just a few kind words will do.
It may be the key to success.
It pays to be kind: Those who are compassionate and better in-tune with other people's emotions may be more successful at work. "People trust you more, they have better interactions with you, you even get paid better," Dacher Keltner, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley and co-director of the Greater Good Science Center, told ABC News. Not a bad trade-off.
It may bring you less stress.
There's a certain thrill that comes with fighting to be at the top, but it isn't without its own challenges. One of the costs? Your stress levels. One study on baboons found that "alpha males" experienced higher stress levels, suggesting that those "nice guys" may be healthier.
While the study isn't entirely conclusive on the health benefits niceness has for humans, it does offer some interesting insight on what it means to finish second. Additionally, practicing compassion through meditation has also been shown to reduce stress.
It just feels better.
When was the last time you heard someone lament over a little courtesy? Sure, being "too nice" can have its pitfalls, but practicing kindness also has a multitude of feel-good benefits, according to clinical psychologist Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D. "When we help others and do kind acts, it causes our brain to release endorphins, the chemicals that give us feelings of fervor and high spirits -- similar to a 'runner's high,'" she writes in a Psychology Today blog. "Doing something nice for someone also gives the brain a serotonin boost, the chemical that gives us that feeling of satisfaction and well-being."
Plus, studies show that having specific goals -- like setting out to make someone smile -- may boost our happiness. If being "nice" means feeling more joyful and better about ourselves in the long run, we'll gladly take the label.
5 Tips To Stay Curious From People Who Do It For A Living
The Huffington Post | By Catherine Pearson
Posted: 09/05/2014 8:17 am EDT Updated: 09/05/2014 10:59 am EDT CURIOUS
Employers tend to emphasize a lot of the same traits when considering potential employees. Experience is a big one, as are honesty, persistence, creativity and intelligence. But another, sometimes overlooked quality is curiosity -- and research has shown it is absolutely critical to on-the-job success.
A person's so-called "curiosity quotient" or "CQ" is all about whether he or she has a hungry mind, explains Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on the Harvard Business Review's blog. "People with higher CQ are more inquisitive and open to new experiences. They find novelty exciting and are quickly bored with routine. They tend to generate many original ideas and are counter-conformist." According to Psychology Today, a 2011 study found that curiosity and conscientiousness trumped intelligence when it came to predicting a person's success.
There are certain careers in which curiosity is a muscle that must be regularly flexed. Here, five masters in their fields share their thoughts on the qualities that help curious people remain curious, year after year.
They look outside their industry.
Dogfish Head is regularly held up as one of the world's most innovative, boundary-breaking breweries (a 2008 New Yorker profile called it the "mascot" for the "unruly" craft brewery movement), and curiosity is at its core, says Sam Calagione, founder and president.
"Our company's whole raison d'etre is this mission to explore and work outside of stylistic guidelines in an industry dominated by militantly defined categories -- German lagers, English pale ales," he told The Huffington Post. "We always try and approach every new recipe by saying, 'Let's do something that hasn't been done before.'"
One way Calagione has been able to maintain a sense of curiosity throughout a brewing career that has spanned two decades is looking beyond the world of beer. "I take inspiration from other industries and art forms that I care about that have nothing to do with beer," he said. "Getting outside of your industry and outside of thinking about what your competitors are doing is the best opportunity to innovate." Calagione is an avid reader, for example, but he eschews beer publications in favor of art, architecture, music and news magazines; he looks to the worlds of music, painting and sculpture for inspiration, or even artisinal cheese making and coffee roasting, he said.
They dive deep into their passions.
People who study information and library sciences go on to work in libraries, historical archives and museums -- fields and institutions that are founded upon and devoted to satiating intellectual curiosity. Craig MacDonald, an assistant professor at Pratt Institute's School of Information and Library Science believes an innate sense of inquisitiveness is what drives many students into the field in the first place, but there are strategies that help foster it.
"The common denominator seems to be finding things you're passionate about and doing a 'deep dive' into them until you think you've learned all you can possibly learn," he said. "That process can take a variety of forms -- reading, searching, traveling, talking to people, etc. -- but it always comes down to trying to satisfy a personal desire to learn something."
Much of what the program (and broader fields of library and information sciences) do is give students permission to indulge their passions for seemingly obscure topics, and encourages them to learn as much as they possibly can. That, in turn, whets their curiosity to explore even more.
They sharpen their critical thinking skills, every day.
Sanjay Goel -- director of research at the NYS Center for Information Forensics and Assurance and an expert in digital forensics who regularly focuses on issues like privacy, security and cybercrime -- likens the field to detective work, "digging deeper and deeper into data to be able to figure things out," he said.
"I think a lot of curiosity can be inculcated with problem solving," he explained. The programs Goel oversees often include critical thinking bootcamps, in which students are loaded up with problems and puzzles to solve, as well as cases to discuss and analyze in order to learn how to think about issues independently, systematically and analytically.
But anyone seeking to cultivate curiosity can do so by focusing on critical thinking skills, which can be honed through puzzles and games, Goel said. "There are so many puzzles on the Internet; try crosswords," he said. "These are things which stretch the mind in different ways [and] that make you think critically."
They change their angle ... literally.
The question of how a three-dimensional subject will look when rendered in two-dimensional form is the question that drives many photographers to do what they do, and also what moves them to look at the world around them from different perspectives, explained Steve Bliss, dean for the School of Fine Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design and a photographer himself.
"I'm curious to see how something looks photographed, but I'm also trying to be as original and creative as possible in terms of how I'm looking at things," he said of his own process. Changing one's angle and wondering how different the same thing will look when viewed in different light and through different lenses is rooted in a sense curiosity, and also helps to foster it.
But Bliss' strategy can be taken less literally as well. Feeling stuck or uninspired at work? Force yourself to look at the issue from totally different angles and see what happens. Bliss tends to be a project-oriented photographer who throws himself into a body of work for a period of time (say, landscapes), then moves onto something else, he said. Changing his genre, like changing the angle of his camera, helps him stay fresh, curious and inspired.
They are comfortable being uncomfortable.
"Curiosity, I would argue, is the principle drive for many of us in this field ... [it] is critical for what we do day-to-day as explorers," said Jekan Thanga, an assistant professor in space systems with ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration. It is essential in science and engineering, he added, and the force behind innovation, new research and development.
A key to maintaining a sense of curiosity is constantly learning new things, though the pursuit of knowledge does not guarantee one will find an answer, Thanga warned, let alone the answer. "A challenge for many is having to deal with a lot of unanswered questions," he said. "Many, I would say, get frustrated and don't bother to persist onwards. [But] I would argue that persistence is critical, against overwhelming odds."
Curious people, in other words, don't need all of the answers now. Instead, they learn how to live with, and even relish, the uncertainty that accompanies intellectual exploration.
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