Spark the Flame Podcast 26

A Talk on Having Both Happiness and Meaning

I ran into this very nice talk, and included some great quotes below:

“…for a life to be meaningful, you cant keep looking at the life. You have to see how that life is placed in larger, broader context.”

“…a life that is rich in happiness and rich in meaning….theologian Frederick Buechner I think would label that: finding your calling.”

“Your calling, Buechner says, is that place where your deep gladness, and the world’s deep hunger, meets. Your deep gladness is about you, about what makes you engaged and alive.”

“Finding your calling is discovering what it is that makes you feel alive. And then taking those gifts and skills and moving them out into the world to feed the world’s hunger.”

“…the tension we feel between what we want and what the world needs, is in fact something we don’t want to eliminate, but instead we want to encourage and cultivate.”

“When the world pushes and presses and prods and occasionally pummels you, it is in those moments that you can begin to imagine something different. You need the world and all its adversity, just as desperately as the world needs you.”

“To lead a happy and meaningful life, is to understand the tension that exists between what we want and what the world needs, and to recognize that tension as the gift that it is.”

-Mark Hébert

This Is Your Life – 2009 Draft

This is an old draft of the first part of Spark The Flame. It looks different than the way the first part looks today. Enjoy 🙂

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This is Your Life

There is no other

You are a unique individual, and there is beauty in the unique. When people or things stand out, it is because of their difference. They stand out when they refuse to be like the others, when they allow themselves to shine.

 

Growth

Growth is a law by which you can choose to participate or not. Apparently this law is connected with happiness and satisfaction, for if you are not growing you are dying, and you will gain the corresponding feelings.

People need to grow, it is a need that not everyone realizes. If you are not bettering yourself in something…learning something, building something you care about, working towards a purpose important to you – if you are not growing in some way, you will experience the consequences thru your feelings. Your feelings will reflect to you the stagnation that has become your life. These feelings come about in part to spur you into some form of forward movement. If you are not growing, you are dying.

 

Potential

Your ability to do things, to accomplish, comes from nowhere else but you. If you look to others for your power, you will never find it. If you allow others to exert power over you, they will readily do so.

There is no limit, no cap on your potential. Limitations exist only when you believe in them. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way you’re right.” – Henry Ford

When you accept limitations placed on you by someone else, or by society, you are doing so voluntarily. Those limitations are completely false and fictitious…until you believe them.

No one can stop you. The world is yours. Only you can stop yourself, with a mindset full of false limitations. Failure does not occur unless you give up.

Human potential is unlimited, without boundaries, without borders. There is no end until you say so. The race is over when you stop running. Otherwise, there is only persistence, progress, and growth.

It’s up to you, it’s always up to you. You can accept all kinds of false limitations placed upon you by others, and you can even conjure them unto yourself. However, this results in nothing more than parlor tricks, because these limitations are not truly there – the illusion is created with smoke and mirrors, and dissipates as you move to conquer it. Suddenly, all that is left is a clear path to your ambitions and well beyond. Take it. Follow your heart and passion and realize you are in command of your life, no one else.

Every storm eventually ends. Every poison has an antithesis. Every problem has a solution.

You are unlimited by nature, and so is your potential.

 

Choice

Choice is all around you, every moment of life is comprised of choice. Even when there seems to be no choice, choice is all you have. Whether they are “good,” “bad,” or unacknowledged, choices and options will be your constant companion for all your days. The more you open up to the possibilities around you, the more choices you will begin to “see.” Whether you see them or not, they are there.

You are never closed in, you are never left without options. That is the opposite of life. Without choice there wouldn’t be life.

Only you can decide what your options are. Who is to say what is an option for you and what is not? Don’t let anyone dictate what your choices are. You will always have more options than you, or anybody else, can ever realize.

 

This is Your Life

This is Your Life. Take it. If you don’t exercise control over your life then someone else will. What gives them right to have control over the life that belongs to you? Find and select a purpose and run with it. Nothing is out of your league, nothing is unobtainable. Decide what you want, and make it so.

 

Power

The height of laziness is when you refuse to take responsibility over what happens to you. When you do not take responsibility you transform yourself into a victim. As long as something else made your life the way it is, then something else is in control. If you believe you are where you are because of other forces, you internalize the role of the victim. The victim, who holds no power. The victim, who does not wield control over his or her own circumstances. The victim, who cannot do anything about their situation because they are at the mercy of other people, culture, society. The role of the victim leaves you powerless, a broken vessel tossed by the chaos of a hurricane.

When you choose to be a victim, you relinquish your power. When you accept power, you cannot be a victim, because power means that you are in control. You are in control, and your world is your responsibility. You can be the captain of your ship, steering with purpose, direction, and control; or you can be the broken vessel, no captain, no leadership, no control, crashing about the rugged water – the victim who holds no sway over the circumstances of his or her life, but rather is at the behest of external forces.

As long as you are a victim you do not have power. Do you see that they cannot coexist? Being a victim means “I am not in control of what happens to me.” Power means “I am in control of what happens to me.” The choice is yours to make. The more power you want, the more responsibility you must accept for what happens to you. Those who wield the most inner power are never “victims,” they accept full responsibility for what they experience – good, bad or ugly.

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Victim                                                                                                                      Power

“Others are responsible for                                                              “I am responsible for  what happens to me”                                                                       what happens to me”

Choose.

 

Change

Things are meant to change. People are meant to change. Growth is change, so is death. When something outlives its usefulness and purpose, it must go. Empires that lasted hundreds of years have eventually fallen. Languages, customs, and artifacts have disappeared into history so that new ones may arise. Change is a part of life, and humans are agents of that change. Over hundreds of thousands of years we have affected and changed the outcomes of countless species of plants, animals, and earthly terrain. Dinosaurs roamed the planet for millions of years. Millions! And now those dinosaurs are gone.

Things change, people change. You cannot prevent yourself from affecting and changing the world. Just by living, you affect the entire planet.

Your power is the power of growth and change. You embody the agent of change. If you direct it onto the path of your ambition, change would occur with every single step. And when your path converges with others heading towards the same ambition, with the same direction of change, the results are amplified exponentially. Things cannot remain the same so long as you are discontent. Change is your right, your nature, your duty.

 

Journey

Any way you cut it, you are on a journey. And you are the only one who can decide what this journey will entail. This is similar to the journey of an RPG video game, except the video game exists in a world of limitation. You and I do not. Our world is without limitation, without boundary, and is awaiting your commands. You have the choices. You have the power to create change. You are living an entire lifetime of experiences exclusive to you. You are the captain, you are in control. Now you decide…what’s next?

SparkTheFlame2015

The aim is to publish the first edition of SparkTheFlame in paperback in 2015. Currently it’s shaping to be a small book of about 40 pages.

Here will be published the first few sections, which comprise much of the book. Enjoy!

This Is Your Life

  • Your Life has been entrusted to you. You have a sacred duty to your Life.
  • Your Life depends on you to live and thrive, to shine the world with its true expression.
  • You are the only custodian, the sole guardian of your Life. You can place this sacred responsibility in the hands of another, but that is your choice to make. If you do this, choose your surrogate wisely.
  • It is up to you to create your Life. It is your responsibility, your duty, your blessing.
  • Life is yours to enjoy if you please. Happiness is your choice, and when it occurs, it occurs Now.
  • If your Life is not going the direction you want, you must make changes and steer in a different direction. You are the one to do it.
  • If you believe, you will receive the help you need. It may come in unexpected space and time, but it will show.
  • Everyone has the right to direct their own Life.
  • Doing what you feel and know is best in your heart, even if painful to yourself or others, will assure positive return.
  • We are all learning. We are all students. Always give yourself room for mistakes, they help us grow.
  • Anything and Everything can be part of your good story, with good endings.
  • Love is a journey. Happiness, success, health, wealth…they are not destinations. They are all journeys. They all begin Now, and accompany you on the path.

Using The Brain

  • Every thought, word, action, and feeling you experience changes the physical shape of your brain and influences your behavioral inclinations. This physical altering of your brain is called neuroplasticity.
  • The more you repeat any thought, word, action, or feeling, the more likely you are to do it again. Each time you do so carves a deeper etching into your brain and being.
  • To create a habit of something, practice it. To break a habit, practice the opposite. Practice who you want to be, and your brain will transform accordingly, following your lead and instruction to become the person of your ideal.
  • The brain works very mysteriously. It connects with Life to produce situations and circumstances that represent, reflect, and reinforce the person who you are right Now.
  • Deliberately continue the experience “I am blessed,” and your mind will produce surrounding conditions and personal perspective to confirm this.
  • Your choice and your gift is to custom-tailor your brain to create a world dear to your heart.

Interconnectivity

  • Everything in the universe is connected and part of a Whole.
  • Everything you do affects everything else. Your thoughts, feelings, actions and words reach the world, touching and affecting everything everywhere.
  • For something to be truly done in your betterment, you must aim for the betterment of all.
  • When you help someone else, you help yourself.
  • It is sacred to fill yourself with positivity. This reflects back onto the world.
  • We are like waves of the ocean. Connected to everything in the ocean, through the ocean, but also having distinctive shape and form. The wave may crash and meld back into the larger ocean, but it can take shape and form again, all the while remaining ever connected and part of the all-encompassing ocean.
  • All contains All. Every portion of this universe contains the whole universe. All information in this universe is everywhere at the same time. All things have equal inherent value.
  • The outside world is a reflection of your inside world. To create change on the outside, make change on the inside.

This Is A Special Time

This is a special Time.

Are you afraid of losing it?

The adventure. Not knowing the recipe,

not knowing how.

This is special. But don’t be afraid

to lose it.

Don’t be afraid to move on.

We must all do that. We must all

progress.

There are more things to do.

Bigger. You must do this

first.

You must continue, you will

leave this time behind,

like you left all other times

behind.

And there will be more Times.

And more times.

And more times.

And more Times.

And more times. And more…

I cant do anything

Yes, you can. Humans are the most intelligent species known on this planet. You are limited only by your belief that you are limited.

Human history is full of individuals and groups overcoming obstacles that were thought to be insurmountable. Anything can be overcome. Any problem, issue, or obstacle can be overcome, because we have the ability to continually improve ourself. Humans can identify an obstacle, and working together or alone, (with Faith), can use the mind to find a solution, or suitable way forward.

Every ‘issue’ or problem you encounter, you have the capability to overcome. This means that you can do anything.

Addendum:

The answer you want may not be the answer you receive. But you will always have a way forward, somewhere in time and space…or elsewhere

Infinite choice at every moment

Even choices and options that dont seem like choices and options, are but a fraction of the choices and options you have

Every thought you have, every feeling you have, every action and movement you make, affects your life and your world

.

 

Critical Thinking

I accept and believe evaluate whatever I’m told and taught

The world is round…can you prove it? Antarctica is very cold…how do you know? You have trusted what has been taught to you. Why? Because we are taught to do so. We are taught to accept what we are told and not to question it.

The opposite of this is called “Critical Thinking“. This is when you evaluate things that you are exposed to, so that you do not just blindly believe, but have thought it thru and have questioned the information. When you are a critical thinker you make far less mistakes in Life, because you evaluate the information you encounter.

Things are meant to change. People are meant to change. Growth is change and so is death. When something outlives its usefulness and purpose, it must go. Empires lasting hundreds of years eventually fallen. Languages and cultures and lifestyles have gone so that new ones may arise. Change is a part of life, and humans are agents of that change. Over millennia we’ve affected and changed the outcomes of countless species of plants and animals, and terrain. Dinosaurs roamed the Earth for millions of years, millions! By comparison it’s estimated homo sapiens have been around for 200,000. Now the dinosaurs are gone.

Things change, people change. You cannot prevent yourself from affecting and changing the world. Just by living, you affect the entire planet

Your power is the power of growth and change. You embody the agent of change, if you were to but direct it on to your ambition, change occurs with every single step. And when your path converges on others with the same ambition with same direction of change, the results are amplified manyfold. Things canot remain the same so long as you are discontent. Change is your right, your nature, your duty.

Any way you cut it, you are on a journey. And you are the only one who can decide what this journey will entail. This is similar to the journey of a role playing game, except the game exists in a world of limitation, and you do not.

Our world is without limitation, without boundary, and is awaiting your commands. You have the choices; the power and the duty to create change. You are living an entire lifetime of experiences exclusive to you. You are the Captain, you are in control. Now you decide…what’s next?

What I Do Matters

You are always affecting yourself, and your surroundings. Everytime you do, or dont do something, you are directly causing the results you experience.

I’m not in control of my life

You are the decision maker. Whether you like it or not, that’s the deal. All decisions about your life fall ultimately square on your shoulders.

I dont have the right to do what I want to do

Hey, this is your ilfe. Nobody else can live it for you. Not your parents, not your teachers, not your friends, not your kids. Exclusive rights to do what you want, belongs to you. Your life, your rights.

I dont deserve to be happy.

You damn skippy you deserve to be happy. Why not? Why would someone else deserve happiness, and not you? As far as we can tell, every happy person on this planet is still a human being, just like you. They are the same species as you. If they can be happy, so can you. If they have the right, so do you.

I cant change things

Of course you can. People have been changing things throughout recorded human history. People have changed things about themselves, things about others, and things about the world. Society would still be living in caves, building fires every night, if humans couldn’t change. You are the same as everyone else in that respect, you can change things.

I can only do so much

Yes, you can. And you can do even more than that. There is no limit to what you can accomplish. The only limits that exist are the ones you accept. Every “limit” has its answer, its resolution. Its antidote.

Your Own Path

So you are born. That’s happened to us all. Well some say Jesus was ‘begotten,’ but you were most likely born.

Now what? You go thru life. You choose what to do, every second of everyday.

Some may think that they do not have a choice, but really ‘choice’ is a fundamental part of our existence.

You exercise choice all your life. we may think we have no choice in certain things, go to school, go to family gathering, sell drugs to make ends meet.

Who’s In Charge?

Who was born? You were born. You were born and put in charge of your body, and mind. Who is at the helm? Who controls the motor functions of your body? And the subject matter of your mental focus? You do. You are in charge of yourself. You decide how + when to move muscles, you decide what to put your mind onto.

Like it or not, you are in charge of your mind and body. I would hope you like it, because with such tools, the human mind and body, you can steer yourself any way you like.

You are in charge of these things, you have the potential to be in control of these things. We are born this way, so that those would become under our control. Does it make sense any other way? Are we meant to be in control of ourselves? Are you meant to be in control of yourself?

 

You are not going to make anybody else happy. Why? Only they can make themselves happy.You have to act on your own desires, your own wants. You could be doing great by everyone else’s standards and comments, but if you are not personally happy with what you’re doing, then what is the point?

Let’s say you’ve always wanted to be a star quarterback for the NFL, thati is your dream. Instead, you’ve ended up as the starting pitcher for the New York Yankees. Everyone is so proud, so admiring, and in awe, of your achievement. You make millions, and you are starting pitcher for the Yankees.

Yet, that is not what you want. That is what others may want; some may want it for themselves, some may want it for you. But that is not what you want for you. People congratulate you and say that you have succeeded in life, yet you are at a place where you do not want to be.

Therefore, if you are not aiming for what you want for yourself, for what you desire, then at least ask yourself why. Why are you aiming for something you do not want?

Maybe your reason(s) will satisfy you, maybe they wont. Maybe you cant think of any.

The decision is yours. Because this life is yours, you have the choice to do what you like with your life. And so you have a choice, do what you want, or do what you dont want.

Aim for what you want, or aim for what you dont want.

What do I mean by Life Is Yours?

You are given Life, you are the caretaker and commander of your life. you decide what you want, based on your feelings. You could do things, live you r life for others, but that is your decision.

When you live the way you choose, you are taking control.

What do I mean, Your Own Path?

You are here to go your own way. not that you can’t or shouldn’t follow a path thats been taken before, but you have been given the gift of choice and decision.

You’ve got your self.

Essentially, you are always going to have yourself to keep you company. You are the only person that is guaranteed to always follow you around.

You have choice.

Everyone makes decisions all the time, every moment of the day.

You have decided to sit down and drink a coffee. Every moment you are exercising choice. When you pick up the cup, when you sip, when the cup is sitting on the table and you stare blankly out the window, these are all choices that you make.

Choice is fundamental. You always have choice.

If you are in a class, and  you need to pass, you have a choice to do the work or not

  • You’ve got yourself.
  • You’ve got choice.
  • You are always deciding, whether you know it or not.

  • Every decision affects you.

  • You are always affecting your life.