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Do We Really Create Our Own Reality? (The Myths and Dangers of New Age Belief)

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Do We Really Create Our Own Reality? The Myths and Dangers of New Age Belief

Some believe that we are responsible for creating our own reality, for regulating and determining our experience. I think this is only partially true, and if you look closely at your own life, you might also notice the fallacies in this New Age meme. And Do We Really Create Our Own Reality? The Myths and Dangers of New Age Belief.

We unconsciously choose experiences by way of the neural circuits laid down in our brains from past learning (conditioning). This is why we attract situations that allow us to recreate old patterns — the circuitry from prior learning experiences is already laid down in our nervous system and we act on it. However, we also are capable of making choices that are not conditioned responses, especially if we recognize our habitual responses — habits that are comfortable, however unhealthy and limiting.

 

Making new, positive, pattern-breaking choices often causes fear, even though these choices allow us to grow and live better lives. We fear what is unknown, what is foreign to us, even if it is healthier than what is known and unhealthy. It takes consciously recognizing this dynamic, or we are likely to remain comfortably numb or simply recoil in fear when presented with new, life-affirming choices. Do We Really Create Our Own Reality?

If we believe that we create our own reality, when life inevitably falls apart, we can then easily blame ourselves for “failing,” not being good enough, strong enough, or whatever-enough, to have prevented these downturns — because, the logic goes, we create our own reality. But what if we recognize that we don’t always create our own reality, that we are only partially in control (and sometimes never), that bad things happen to us beyond our control (just examine your life), and that events can affect us beyond our ability to cope? Well, then we wouldn’t have to blame ourselves for all that goes wrong; we would also be more in touch with reality, and make room and allowance to be kinder to ourselves, and others.

Finally, when we recognize that we can only fail at things we have control over, this frees us up for more self-compassion and compassion for others. Do We Really Create Our Own Reality?

Shame and Blame

Shame and Blame

“The belief that our thoughts create our reality is as seductive as it is misleading. It would be nice if we had unlimited power to change things, but we don’t have total control over life. Other people have free will and make decisions based upon their own needs and predilections. We delude ourselves if we think we can control others’ choices and all the environmental forces that inevitably affect us.” ~ John Amodeo, PhD 


A good article to read about Positive Attitudes that you should Possess in your Daily Life


A black-and-white belief that we create our own reality can lead to shame, self-blame, and excess stress. Ironically, and in reality, this is a misperception. Just look around you: how many healthy, compassionate, connected people do you know that are not (strongly) affected by external circumstances and others’ actions? Narcissists and sociopaths are some of the only exceptions I can think of. Receiving information from, and being affected by, our environment is to be human and important to every level of our wellness. In a sense, to cut off this feedback loop so that we can try to be in control (and usually happy) is to isolate ourselves and, in a sense, become sociopathic because we are dumbing down challenging inputs that also make possible our vulnerability, compassion, and passion.

When we boil it down, it seems that the desire to “create our own reality” most often stems from our fear of feeling pain. Sure, we can minimize the negative experiences we have. But, have you considered that doing so is itself a form of pain, a passive pain perhaps, for all the juicy humanness and heartfelt psycho-spiritual qualities we don’t get when we ostracize failure, falling apart, and disappointment from our experience?

Most of us experience some level of upset, or even breakdown, if someone we love is hurt or dies, if we lose a job we need or like, if we lose our money, or are betrayed by someone else. To think that we are responsible for, and can avoid, our sorrow when we lose someone we love (there are so many beliefs to try to do just this, rather than feel the pain of it) is to miss out on grief. And to avoid on grief is to store pain in our body-mind, to preclude living deeply and authentically, and to miss out on the large-heartedness that comes from passing through challenging emotions. This does not mean that certain cognitive work — such as remembering that everything is impermanent, that better times might be ahead, and even that it’s okay to be sad — isn’t helpful. It is, but not as a wholesale attempt to dismiss and avoid feeling pain.

It does mean that we affect one another. In his article, “Finding Purpose,” psychologist Steven Stosny writes:

“Human beings are social animals, hard-wired to react emotionally to one another. In fact, our emotions are far more contagious than any known virus. This means that every one of our interactions with other people changes us and them a tiny bit, for better or worse … Due to the vast contagion of emotions, even our most subtle interactions with other people help determine whether they treat their loved ones well, ignore them, or hurt them.”

We are not in full control, and in many cases not even largely so, over how we respond. Nor should we be. Neuroscience, for example, has shown that we react involuntarily to many threats because if we were able to pause and consciously evaluate our response (think lion leaping out of the bush to eat you), we would in effect be able to choose to endanger our survival more than is evolutionarily advantageous.

The psychiatrist, author, and Nazi war camp hero and survivor Victor Frankl said:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

This recognition — that how we perceive and react or respond to situations, especially tough ones, determines (part of?) our experience — is wisdom. I notice that I can mitigate some of the drama and trauma in my life by regulating how I respond. And, while I am no one to contend with Dr. Frankl, I don’t think Dr. Frankl meant that we are unaffected by our environments, or even that we can always internally regulate ourselves in a way that doesn’t cause us pain. Anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and sadness all happen. And, we can catch ourselves when we overreact to these feelings, assume false conclusions from them, or act out in reaction to them and thereby worsen our suffering. Ironically, embracing and accepting these difficult feelings helps prevent these pitfalls.

To some degree, we can choose our responses. This can better our lives. Often, we must respond counter-intuitively to how we feel. The less we exercise our bodies, for example, the lazier we can become and the less we feel like moving. If we were to just listen and obey how we feel — like not moving — the worse we will feel (though, of course, not exercising is appropriate at times like during illness). Moving, even though part of us would prefer not to, usually is what we need to do to feel better, and to shift how we feel about moving again!

Unless our feelings give us accurate signals that truly protect and benefit us, we should be careful not to make automatic conclusions based on how we feel. Often our feelings don’t truly protect us, but are overreactions to evolutionarily programmed stimuli. An example is our evolutionarily coded ability, and proclivity, to detect snakes on the ground, to which our visual centers, according to psychologist Jordan Peterson, have become genetically coded to pay extra attention.

Trauma is Real

Trauma is Real

Being verbally assaulted, physically injured, or emotionally abused take their toll and affect, often profoundly, even when we are adults and fully conscious of the circumstances and design of the injury. And even when we choose how we respond, which can help to mitigate some of the damage and not pile self-induced suffering on top of damage already done. Do We Really Create Our Own Reality?

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is such an example. We develop fear and anxiety from situations that once hurt us; this hurt and fear caused neural pathways to code for these responses in our brain and extended nervous system. So that, when presented with a similar future situation that reminds us of the same or similar danger, we will have a mechanism in place to elicit fear so that we can better protect ourselves. What happens, unfortunately, is that the more primitive parts of our brain — especially the midbrain and its emotional centers — can overreact to threatening situations and our involuntary response is similarly excessive and out of control, causing us pain, a desire to avoid triggering situations, and dysregulation of our nervous system.

The gap between stimulus and response is our freedom to practice how we respond. And practice doesn’t make perfect; it makes progress. In the end, we are affected by our environment in ways we can and can’t control. We are affected by circumstances that are not our own choosing. Random things happen in life that we will may never understand. We can’t control everything, not even our own responses. Nor should we. And, again, we can only fail at things we have control over. Embracing the mystery of beneficent and brutal experience, as well as the ordinary magic of self-control and self-regulation, we live in a constant, shape-shifting interplay in relation to our environment and perception of our experiences.

So, give yourself a break. Acknowledge reality. Yes, we can minimize and even shrug off some insults and suffer less by using our good minds. We can employ mindfulness, self-help techniques, behavior modification, and other healing tools. But many insults — most in fact — we cannot entirely shrug off. Trauma is real and gets under our skin and into us, to some degree. And this creates an opportunity into humanness, into the heart of being fully here. More significant heart-hurts allow us to discover our own shadow and woundedness, the opportunity to foster compassion instead of defensiveness and violence. These injuries affect us in ways we might not even want to admit. Others are merely abusive insults we don’t need and should seek to avoid. And, being able to keenly and humbly admit what is ours and what is someone else’s is a constant learning process.

But to hold the belief that we are responsible for creating our own reality at every turn is a form of self-harm, a recipe for toxic shame and blame. Just as we can soothe another, we can injure another. We affect each other; we matter to one another. We are one — we need each other, and we matter to one another. And we are alone, but never entirely so. Accepting life’s inevitable suffering helps us accept these truths. If we are afraid of and deny life’s suffering, we might be tempted to adopt black and white beliefs that end up causing us more suffering — because they’re untrue, if we are honest about them. And this is why emotional and intellectual honesty are so important.


This may interest you as well – Self Esteem Improvement; Start Now Before It Is Too Late


Violence in Disguise

Violence in Disguise

The flip side of believing that we entirely create our own reality is that it might give us the unconscious belief that it’s okay to treat others poorly. After all, the (unconscious) logic follows, what we do to others doesn’t matter because they are solely responsible for how they perceive and experience our actions — how they create their own reality. We can’t really hurt them because they are responsible and can control how they respond, right?

No.

On this note, and parallel to the create your own reality meme, another New Age nonsense slogan is that “We aren’t responsible for other people’s feelings.” Who believes this can justify any action, just as someone who believes we create our own realities, for the people whom they trigger (read: violate and hurt) are at fault for reacting the way they do … because those that hurt create their own reality. In other words, the insidious belief goes: people only hurt because they react or respond incorrectly and irresponsibly. As if there were always some way to respond that would prevent us from feeling hurt by others’ cruelty. As Michael Stipe of REM says, “Everybody hurts”, and many of us hurt in excess and needlessly at the behest of abusive and unconscious others.

I have known several people who believe in creating their own reality that don’t take responsibility for their cruel and unfair actions. I once knew a couple that would not apologize for anything they did or said because they thought that “everything happens for a reason.” One day in the midst of another unconscious incident, I said to them, “Well, what if the reason for this event is to feel empathy for another human being and compassionately apologize, and thereby create more healing and intimacy?” Sometimes the reason is something simple, human, and vulnerable we don’t want to see beneath our high-minded dogma.

Perhaps, as I surmise, apologizing and admitting fault triggers the perpetrator to feel shame and to self-blame for what they did. And somehow this is not okay for them; in other words, it’s not okay to make mistakes or be wrong. This in itself is a false belief and, along with self-shame, we don’t forever have to feel the effects of this self-deprecation. This is a temporary reality that can change, ironically, by relearning through mindful and cathartic self-healing.

False beliefs — and their attendant cascade of neuroendocrine effects — are often left over from past experience, often from other people’s defensiveness and imposing their own defensive false beliefs and violent acts upon us. This is how abuse and bad thinking are passed down generation to generation, generating core love wounds. Maybe our forebears were shamed for doing wrong once upon a time, or were never apologized to. And now in order not to feel that old wound, perhaps continue the violence, and silently justify it, by taking on beliefs such as “we create our own reality” and that “we are not responsible for others’ feelings.”

The truth is: not everything happens for a reason that we can know, or know entirely. By adopting superficial, defense-in-disguise New Age beliefs we may in fact only be unconsciously perpetuating the wound and its hurtful effects. This is how denying our old wounds in the name of self-righteousness and supposed virtue creates more shadow and more violence. To some degree, we all adopt twisted ideas and false beliefs to prevent from feeling pain — the rub is the shade of grey and the degree of conscious, willful denial we engage and perpetuate. Do We Really Create Our Own Reality?


Dealing with The 10 Rules of Change


In Sum

In Sum

In sum, we don’t entirely create our own realities and, to some degree, we are responsible for how others feel in response to our actions. Believing otherwise easily leads to more shame, blame, self-deflation, and violence.

We do, however, get to practice how we respond to situations. One way we can respond is through our actions. This allows our physiology to calm down, which in turn helps change our thinking and making the situation worse. We can, for example, choose to walk away from an argument in which we are no longer thinking clearly. Another is to breathe deeply to reduce the adrenaline flows of anger, anxiety, and fear.

Beliefs create actions, which create effects in our world and influence how we feel about ourselves, all of which create reactions in return, back upon us. Examining our beliefs, and noticing the painful associations we have with them, can help us unwind this learning. If we can’t face our pain, we can’t deepen and find more integrity. Instead, we tend to develop compensatory defensive beliefs, which remove us one step further from baseline truth, creating more mess upon an already faulty foundation of falsity.

Perhaps it is humanity’s collective fear of feeling emotional pain, and our lack of interconnected support to accept these difficult realities, that has led us to an equally complex system of defenses and resultant violence upon one another and the Earth. Hitler, for example, was beaten in childhood and lost his mother and father by the time he was eighteen. And four of his five siblings did not survive past childhood.

Are the horrible results of war and other grotesque abuses big and small the effects, the outward expressions, the out-picturing, the displacements, of our denied emotional pain and the beliefs we take on (consciously or not) to avoid facing and mitigating the roots of violence in our own psyches? Is our denial of emotional pain one of the drivers, if not the primary cause, beneath greed, corruption, everyday meanness, and violence of all kinds? And is this denial unconsciously behind the tidy black-and-white, false belief that we always “create our reality” and are “not responsible for other people’s feelings” — which beliefs, ironically, foster self-harm, harm of others, and harm to the planet?

About the author:

Jack Adam Weber

Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac. is a Chinese medicine physician, author, celebrated poet, organic farmer, and activist for body-centered spirituality. He is also the creator of The Nourish Practice, an Earth-based rejuvenation meditation, and Healing from Heartbreak, the first installment in his “Emotional Transformation” series.

 

You can connect with Jack at:

Originally Published: wakeup-world.com

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Motivation

The Warren Buffett Way – 83 Reasons We Love Warren Buffett

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The Warren Buffett Way 83 Reasons We Love Warren Buffett

When all of this Corona Virus troubles has settled down and the world is returning back to normal.  There will be new opportunities for fast moving and entrepreneurial folks.  The Warren Buffett way may provide you with the right answers.

If you are interested in opening a business then, you should probably be be modelling the success of those who have achieved success in their businesses. As we all know, starting up any kind of business can be very difficult, especially if you don’t have enough knowledge in handling and even operating a business.

the warren buffett wayAsking help from professional and successful business owners or just modelling other successful entrepreneurs can be a great help. Warren Buffet is arguably one of the most successful investors ever. If you are going to model anyone it should be the Warren Buffett way.

Below are 83 reasons to love Warren Buffet, which I found from www.Fool.com

There are many reasons why we should love Warren Buffett. Warren Buffet is one of the most ideal person that businessmen look up to. Not everyone knows how much he has done in helping people improve their business.

1. Intricate, occasionally contradictory complexity hides beneath the “Aw, shucks” folksy charm. As a Forbes writer once put it, “Buffett is not a simple person, but he has simple tastes.”

2. Many people talk about avoiding the madding crowd, but Buffett actually does it by living 1,250 miles away from Wall Street.

3. He has a fortress-like internal scorecard on all things investing, yet a vulnerable, endearing external scorecard on many aspects of his personal life. See his penchant for seeking mother figures.

4. His perspective: “In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”

5. He is that guy in school who tells you he may have failed the test — only to bust the top of the curve.

6. His time frame for the long run consistently exceeds his life span.

7. He says it better: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

8. He’s human. He fears nuclear war and his own mortality. He’s frequently more adept at business relationships than personal ones. He can hold a grudge. His hero is his daddy.

9. Classic line: “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.”

10. Once branded a stingy miser (rightly or wrongly), Buffett has evolved (assuming it wasn’t his intention from the start) into one of the most effective philanthropists I know. After growing his potential givings at a 20% compounded rate per year, he set a plan to give most of it away.

 

Read the only investing book that Warren Buffett recommends:

The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham

The Warren Buffett Way

 

11. Perhaps as importantly, he put ego aside and outsourced his charitable decision-making to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Circle of competence at its finest.

12. “I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.” Contrast that with computer algorithm-based trading, day trading, and some of the moves you’ve made in your own account.

13. Buffett’s smarter than you and I, but he’s kind enough to let us feel otherwise.

14. David Sokol was once an heir apparent and arguably Buffett’s most trusted operations guy. But when Sokolgate emerged, Buffett stayed true to his word: “We can afford to lose money — even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation — even a shred of reputation.”

15. “Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.” He said it early, and we are reminded of it often.

16. In a glimpse of the nuance that some commentators call hypocrisy, Buffett uses derivatives himself. But he does so in a way that doesn’t threaten the entire financial system and explains exactly why in his annual shareholder letters.

17. He doomed himself from ever holding public office: “A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”

18. I like juxtaposing these two quotes: 1) “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” 2) “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”

19. “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”

20. He has the ability to resist the allure of the quick fix or quick buck when longer-term dynamics are at play.

21. Not sure if this quote came before or after the Internet: “Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.”

22. For those hoping to become famous and respected, he’s a testament that the challenges and doubts keep coming regardless of the length of the track record. He has publicly prevailed so far.

23. An investing truism: “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

24. The business side of that investing truism: “Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.”

25. He uses colorful language and analogies when drab jargon could do the trick.

26. Boring example: moat vs. competitive advantage.

27. Not-so-boring example: sex.

28. “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.”

29. Classic line: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

30. He backs up his saying, “Our favorite holding period is forever,” by keeping past-their-prime subsidiaries that others would “spin off to unlock value.”

31. His Robin (Charlie Munger) can kick your Batman’s butt.

32. He makes loophole-free handshake deals.

33. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”

34. Quote No. 1 on keeping it simple, stupid: “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.”

35. Quote No. 2 on keeping it simple, stupid: “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

36. The Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) annual meeting is an unrivaled spectacle in investing, truly living up to its billing as the Woodstock for Capitalists.

37. One of the most concise summations of why America is great: “There are 339 million people out there that are trying to improve their lot in life. And we’ve got a system that allows them to do it.”

38. Trash-bin-diving caution No. 1: “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

39. Trash-bin-diving caution No. 2: “Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.”

40. He’s an eternal optimist in a sound-bite culture that often rewards pessimistsThe Warren Buffett way

41. His shareholder letters reveal an artisan-like craftsmanship only seen when the proprietor cares deeply about his creation.

42. The contrarian credo: “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

43. He recognizes that genius fails: “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.”

44. Like so many great thinkers, Buffett is able to ignore noise and whittle a decision down to its core variables. After he explains those variables, the decision sounds elementary.

45. Why banking can be dangerous: “When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.”

46. He allows me to see the name Buffett without thinking of Jimmy.

47. Buffett maintains a high thought-to-speech ratio.

48. Buffett’s librarian fantasy: “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”

49. He converts a deadly sin into a virtue: “You do things when the opportunities come along. I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something. If not, I won’t do a damn thing.”

50. Averaging 20% returns for almost half a century results in beating the S&P 500 78-to-1!

51. Even though he has fewer and fewer meaningful investing options because of the size of Berkshire Hathaway, he continues to wow us.

52. On a chili-dog-and-onion-ring-flavored note, Berkshire Hathaway owns Dairy Queen, my favorite fast-food chain.

53. Many of Buffett’s managers were wildly successful entrepreneurs before selling out to Berkshire. Convincing successful, headstrong, boss-less superstars to subjugate themselves, and keeping those people motivated and happy, is quite a feat.

54. On a related note, Buffett doesn’t micromanage — good thing, with an empire this large.

55. He gets doubted again and again and again and proves the doubters wrong most of the time. Yet you never hear him say, “I told you so.”

56. Well, maybe sometimes he gloats. Harvard Business School rejected him, which led him to study under his mentors Benjamin Graham and David Dodd at Columbia. His “How do you like me now?” statement: “Harvard did me a big favor by turning me down. But I haven’t made any contributions to them in thanks for that.”

57. He has become America’s de facto investing teacher. And he has done so willingly.

58. Perhaps my favorite Buffett line: “We like things that you don’t have to carry out to three decimal places. If you have to carry them out to three decimal places, they’re not good ideas.”

59. Not that he can’t be ruthless, but Buffett tends to look for win-win situations where possible. Contrast that with the Wall Street art of “ripping the face off” of clients.

60. He’s often described as a “learning machine,” extending his natural abilities and allowing him to make behemoth investing decisions over the span of just hours.

61. He added to Ben Graham’s teachings with the help of that learning ability and Munger’s counsel.

62. Now is a good time to point out that companies’ annual reports, which are available to all, are the primary fuel in his learning machine. He reads them voraciously to compare and contrast companies and build his business knowledge base. See the next point.

63. When asked what the most important key to his success was, Buffett answered, “focus.” His biographer Alice Schroeder elaborates: He has “focus like you have never seen on anybody else.” For good or ill, Buffett’s entire life has been dedicated to investing. It’s much harder than he lets on.

64. There are plenty of business fish in the sea: “There are all kinds of businesses that I don’t understand, but that doesn’t cause me to stay up at night. It just means I go on to the next one, and that’s what the individual investor should do.”

65. How many people can pull off being a contrarian by buying shares of Coca-Cola?

66. Even in an investing world full of Buffett students and imitators, he manages to surprise.

67. He takes every legal, ethical advantage available in the current system, but he lobbies for a better system. For example, he supports higher taxes for the rich, more severe estate taxes, and a level playing field. As he puts it, “I don’t like anything where the bottom 20% keep getting a poorer and poorer deal.”

68. He is grateful for the advantages he has had in life — like many of us, he won the “ovarian lottery.”


Grandpa’s Rules – 7 Rules for Success in Life and Business …. more great ideas


69. When he talks, E. F. Hutton listens.

70. Like many geniuses, he is frequently the confounding exception to the rule. For example, Berkshire Hathaway has never paid a dividend and only started share repurchases recently. It also doesn’t split the chairman and CEO roles. And we shareholders thank him for it.

71. Buffett buys what he knows (and frequently loves), but he doesn’t overpay out of affection. He has the discipline to wait decades for the right opportunity.

72. He gives credit to his direct reports.

73. Not only is Buffett a great investor and manager, but he’s one hell of a writer. My jealousy grows.

74. He once picked up a date in a hearse he co-owned.

75. Before making his money work for him, he worked for his money early on with a series of jobs, schemes, and ventures. These included a paper route, selling chewing gum door to door, a pinball business, a sales job at J.C. Penney’s, caddying, marking up refurbished golf balls, and founding a horse-racing tip sheet.

76. He’s a permabull — on women.

77. It’s very possible that the house you live in is worth more than the house Buffett lives in — the house in Omaha he bought in 1958.

78. Over the years, he has relied on a similar set of answers to oft-asked questions. That his philosophy has stayed stable throughout that time is remarkable.

79. His wealth has bought him the ultimate trophy: He does whatever he wants to do just about every single day.

80. He’s the outsized calming influence a lot of us need. From his biography Snowball: “If a tornado were barreling straight toward Kiewit Plaza [where his office is], Buffett would say that things were ‘never better’ before mentioning the twister.”

81. Anyone who can make the hyper-opinionated Charlie Munger regularly utter “I have nothing to add” must be saying something impressive.

82. When his time to step down finally comes, it will take a village (a CEO, a chairman, and multiple portfolio investors) to perform his current responsibilities.

83. That said, he fully expects this list to one day reach well into the triple digits. And I look forward to adding those lines. Happy birthday, Mr. Buffett!

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Personal Growth

One Very Special Seed!

Sheila J. Highland

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One Very Special Seed

One Very Special Seed!

An emperor in the far east was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing his assistant or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day and said ” It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you”.The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”.One Very Special Seed

One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story.

She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks.. 4weeks.. 5weeks.. went by. Still, nothing, By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however, he just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling’s mother told him to bring the empty pot and be honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all sizes and shapes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the others laughed at him, a few felt sorry for him and just said: “Hey nice try”.

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide at the back. ” What a great plant. trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front, Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”.

When Ling got to the front, the emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling, ” He replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, ” Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?! Then the emperor said, ” One year ago, I gave everyone here a seed, I told you to take the seed, plant it water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling. have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one  who will be the new emperor!”…

 


Our Very Special Seed is a story of courage and honesty. Never Stop Being You is a poem of motivation.


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Motivation

Parable of the Pencil

Sheila J. Highland

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Parable of the Pencil

Parable of the Pencil

Pencil will become the best pencil it can be.. only if ..

1. It allows itself to be held in someone’s hand, then it will be able to do many great things.
2. It willing to experience a painful sharpening from time to time, then it will become a better pencil.
3. It can manage to correct any mistakes it made.Parable of the pencil
4. It be able to leave a mark and continue writes on any surface and at any condition
5. And the best part of the pencil is always what’s inside it.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you would make you the best person you can be..

1. you will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. and allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time by going through various problems in life, but you will need it to become a stronger person.
3. You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
4. On every surface you walk through you must leave your mark. No matter what the situations, you must continue to do your duties.
5. The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.

Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make change.

Parable of the Pencil is a motivating story. One Very Special Seed! is another refreshing story of courage honesty.


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Enlightenment

True Wealth

Sheila J. Highland

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True Wealth

True Wealth

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the purpose of showing his son how the poor people live so he could be thankful for his wealth. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.” “Did you see how poor people can be?” theTrue Wealth father asked. “Oh yeah,” said the son. “So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.”
“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.” “Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.” “We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.” “We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.” “We buy our food, but they grow theirs.” “We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”With this the boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Moral: True wealth can’t be touched by hand or calculated by numbers, it only can be measured by a heart that lived!

True Wealth is a touching story.  The Caged Bird’s Escape is another refreshing story.


 

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Personal Growth

What is A Family?

Sheila J. Highland

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What is a Family

What Is A Family?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

DAD: “Yeah sure, what is it?” replied the man.

SON: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”What is a Family

DAD: “That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

SON: “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”

DAD: “If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said,

“Daddy, may I please borrow $10?”

The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior.” The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep, son?” He asked. “No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $10 you asked for.” The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you, daddy!” He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. “Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled. “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.” Share this story with someone you like…. But even better, share $20 worth of time with someone you love. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family. An unwise investment indeed!

Moral: In our busy lives in this world, we should not neglect our family. Let us spend more quality time with our loved ones especially our family.

 


What is a Family? is a motivating story of more quality time with family. Another moving story is True Wealth.


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Personal Growth

Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival

Sheila J. Highland

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Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival

Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival!

Maggie was a partner in her husband’s business. They both had a different set of duties which kept everything in balance. One day a devastating blow came to her husband’s business, and over a three year period, the business dropped out of sight. Her husband had to totally reinvent himself and was yearning to fulfil a dream with a new vocation. She was happy for him and supported him fully, but still, the money was not coming in.

Maggie began to feel guilty that she wasn’t contributing to any kind of income. It had been a long time since she had worked outside the home and had to work for someone else. Needless to say, she was scared but still had faith that everything would be okay. She began job hunting and found filling out applications somewhat difficult, especially the part asking for job references. Keep in mind that she was self-employed with her husband for almost 20 years. It felt as though that didn’t count for anything as she was never called for an interview.Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival

At the time she was job hunting her mom became more ill than she had been and ended up in the hospital for a week. Once Maggie’s mom returned home she became her mom’s helper one day a week. She did the shopping, changed sheets, vacuumed and did other things that her mother was not able to do anymore. Of course, her mom would pay her for her time and labor but she still felt she needed to find another source of income.

One of the first applications she had filled out finally came through. She passed the interview with flying colors and was told she was “exactly” what they were looking for.

Although it was only part-time it was exactly what she wanted. It was important for her to be home when her daughter arrived home from school. She was told they would be in touch when the schedule was ready. Knowing she had the job made her feel contented and productive again.

Within a few weeks though, she received an e-mail saying that the company had changed the job into a full-time position and she was not qualified. Maggie was devastated. She felt betrayed and felt she had been lied to. That evening she was alone as her husband and daughter had gone out for the night. She welcomed the loneliness and wanted to drown her sorrows in a hot tub of bubbles.

As she knew she would, she began to cry, softly at first just from the sheer pain of being rejected. Three long years of struggle had finally caught up with her. Then she became angry; angry at everything from the circumstances that got her there, to God himself. She cried harder and yelled, “What do you want me to do?” She really felt that God had abandoned her.

When she was able to cry no more, she became exhausted and gave up. It was at that moment that a silent idea came to her to offer other elderly people home care assistance.

Using another talent for computers she printed off some flyers and cards and distributed them to, grocery stores and even placed a small ad in the newspaper. Within a week she had procured two new clients.

Now, even though she’s not a CEO of a major company or a power player she feels happy and productive again. So, had God really abandoned her? Let’s look at nature for the lessons and the answer.

Before a butterfly can emerge out of its chrysalis it has to go through a lot of struggling. Yes, struggling. Each time it lunges out to escape, acids are being removed from its wings. If someone were to come along and break the chrysalis open for it, then the butterfly would die from those acids. In essence, the struggle is necessary for the butterfly to survive. Then in the stillness, when the struggle is over, the butterfly can come out and share its beauty with the world. Indeed, Change is inevitable, Changes for survival.

Moral: We as humans are not any different. There are times that we need to struggle, to rid ourselves of the acids that make up sadness, fear, and anger. It is only at this time when we are exhausted and still that we begin to hear the Universe whisper to us.


Change is Inevitable, Changes for Survival. It is an exhilarating story of courage and perseverance. The Sense of A Goose is another story of support, unity, and compassion.


 

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