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KNOWING THE SIMPLE BASICS IN LIFE AND LIVING

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine!” Bruce Lee

“We only live once, but once is enough if we do it right.” Gary Ryan Blair

Living for life is simple if you know the simple basics in life; more precisely, if you can just simplify life’s complex problems by knowing how to process your experiences and expectations.

You are where you are in life today because of the choices you have made to date. Your experiences are simply the outcomes of the choices you made early on.

Thinking Questions

Has my life been simple so far?

Have I been overwhelmed by its complexity?

Do I have many expectations in life-of myself and of others, including my spouse, my children, and my parents?

Life experience is a good teacher. We all know that we can learn from our experiences, but most of us do not want to learn it the hard way through failures and misfortunes. Ideally, we can learn from the experiences of others-which are less painful, to say the least. But the life of any individual is uniquely his or hers, so what is applicable to the life of another may not be relevant to yours. In addition, where you are today is a result of your own choices, and nobody can make those choices for you. You have made your choices, and now you must learn how to process the experiences and expectations from those choices.

The happenings in your life are real to you, but how you process them in your mind creates thoughts about those experiences, and these thoughts may affect how you are going to live the rest of your life.

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” John Homer Miller                             

How you live your life depends on how you process your experiences in life, or how your mind thinks about what happens to you. Processing all those experience requires knowing the basics in life.

The Basics in Life

In addition to the basic human need for food, clothing, and shelter, there are some basics in life, which are fundamental to the art of living well.

Feeling Good About Oneself

In life, there are generally three things that most people want and desire: abundant wealth; good health; happy relationships.

Indeed, they become the life goals of many. Success in their pursuit of these goals makes them feel good about themselves, not to mention satisfying their basic need to feel self-important.

Thinking questions

What are the things I desire most in my life?

Why are they important to me?

Forming Good Life Habits

Living is about processing experiences in life. Living life to the fullest is contingent on how you process your experiences, which are the consequences of your choices in life, rather than due to your circumstances. Good life choices stem from good life habits. Your habits, good or bad, control you more than anything else does, in particular, your thinking mind. Given that your life is the sum of your thoughts, forming good life habits is critical because you tend to become a slave to your habits, once they are formed.

Thinking Question

What are some of the life habits that I must form to help me process my experiences in life?

Good life habits include: living in the present moment; developing body and mind awareness; embracing right conduct and positive thinking.

According to Aristotle, we are what we repeatedly do; therefore, excellence is also a habit that can be cultivated.

Being Who You Are

If you wish to create a better life for yourself, you must do it all by yourself; after all, it is your life and you must live it yourself. In other words, it is all up to you.

Be yourself: who you are, and not who you want to become. Being who you are means you must stop blaming others, who have nothing to do with who you are or what you have become for that matter.

Remember, no one else is to blame for your experiences, which are uniquely and totally yours.

THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING

THE TAO OF LIVING FOR LIFE

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau


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PROCESSING LIFE EXPERIENCES


We process our experiences in different ways in different phases of our lives. All our thoughts associated with these experiences are indelibly etched in our subconscious minds, and inevitably creating our different expectations in different phases in our lives.

Development Phase

Throughout the early phase of growth and development, young children are exposed to the world around them through their five senses. Their minds begin to process whatever they perceive, generalize it, and apply it whenever and wherever they think appropriate-it becomes the foundation of their experiences and perceptions, which subsequently create the expectations in their adult lives. For example, if properly taught, they begin to show appreciation, as demonstrated by their saying their first “thank you.”

During this critical first phase, their mental input is automatic and passive because their immature minds are unable to filter their mental input; their thoughts are merely a micro reflection of the minds of their parents. As they grow up, however, they begin to learn how to refuse processing any unpleasant experience, or interpret it in the way they choose according to its relevance to their lives. Their selectivity then begins to alter how they process their life experiences in the future.

In this learning phase, children and young adults are learning incessantly, trying to understand and make sense out of the complex world they are living in. In this intensive learning phase, they begin to discern their respective roles they are going to play in the world, always looking for inspiration and direction from people around them.

Even though every phase of a person’s life is important, none is more critical than the transitional phase from adolescence to adulthood. As young adults, the world around them becomes more complex and complicated. In addition, everything around them becomes increasingly exciting as experienced by the five senses, such as music and sex. But their self-delusions created by the way they process their experiences may make them see more of the excitement and less of the reality of their world. This is a critical phase for most of them because it defines not only who they are but also what they value; it sets the foundation for the way that the rest of their lives is likely to turn out because their thoughts are a preview of what their future lives would be like.

Consolidation Phase

As they turn into full-grown adults, they begin to think more than just about themselves: they begin to focus more on people around them. They may have their life callings: career, health, love, or family; in other words, what they are meant to do with their lives. With passion and bliss, they may begin to define who they are. Being strong physically and mentally, they are in the most productive phase in their lives. During this phase, they merely respond and react, either positively or negatively, to their experiences presented to them in the form of career, marriage, and parenting.

This is a phase in which they consolidate their past experiences, and continue to build their future lives on that foundation. If they avail themselves of the opportunity to accept others as they are, and to become appreciative of what life has to offer, they will develop the quality of acceptance, which will have lasting effects on their future life experiences.

Let-Go Phase

With advancement in age, and as age begins to take its toll on the body and the mind, most of the life habits that control how they should live have become well established. Their thoughts, based on decades of past experiences, now dominate their thinking, and hence control how they live their lives. At this point, it is difficult, if not impossible, to alter the way they process their experiences and perceptions, just as the saying goes: “It is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.”

In this final phase in their lives, unfortunately, they have to learn to let go, whether they like it or not. Everything begins to slip from their lives: their youth, their health, and inevitably their minds.

How the mind processes experiences and perceptions determines the type of person you will become. The happenings in your life are real, but the way you process them may positively or negatively affect your life because they are stored in your subconscious mind, which may give you valuable life lessons, or create delusions and self-deceptions that may not only confuse you but also lead you astray.

Reflective Thought

Processing a negative experience can have a positive result.

Case in Point

When he was a young lawyer in South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi was removed from a first class train seat because of the color of his skin. Instead of processing the humiliating incident with anger, Gandhi transformed it into a life lesson that he shared with others. In the end, he became a non-violence spiritual leader who was
responsible for the ultimate independence of India from the British colonial rule.

Therefore, it is important to know what is going on in the subconscious mind. To know that requires profound wisdom.

THE BOOK OF LIFE AND LIVING

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau



POSITIVE LIFE ATTITUDES


The art of living well is to develop positive life attitudes for positive living. To live well for the rest of your life, you need to know how to develop your positive life attitudes.

An attitude is no more than a thought powered by words and images. In life, every thought counts because your whole being is composed of thoughts. Research studies have indicated the importance of mind power: thoughts can even turn on or turn off a particular gene responsible for a particular disease or disorder; that is to say, your thoughts impact your health, and everything else in your life.

The art of living well is to utilize mind power to develop positive life attitudes for positive living. The key to dynamic living is having positive life attitudes, which can bring about physical and mental transformation, as well as emotional and spiritual unfolding.

There are seven positive life attitudes in the art of living well:

(1) Develop a positive attitude of change. Do not resist change because everything in life is changing. You cannot stay exactly where you are, even though it may be your comfort zone. Nothing is set in stone; life offers only few absolutes. A change may be positive or negative. The key to the art of living well is to embrace any change as it comes along, instead of resisting it.

(2) Develop a positive attitude of imitating the habits and behaviors of role models. Choose the ones you admire, and learn from them.
(3) Develop a positive attitude of seeing your future self in your mind’s eye. A picture is worth a thousand words. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. Harness the power of visualization to make it more “real” to you., and this gives you incentive to pursue your life goals.

(4) Develop a positive attitude of being in control. A positive attitude stems from an internal focus of control, which means you always act instead of reacting, and you are always the master of a situation, instead of the victim.

(5) Develop a positive attitude of doing the best you can do, and leaving the rest to God. A positive attitude focuses on the process and not the outcome of any endeavor you are undertaking.

(6) Develop a positive attitude of passion-passion for life, and enthusiasm for whatever you do, however insignificant it may seem. If you choose to do anything, however insignificant it may be, you do it well. Just as Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”

(7) Develop a positive attitude of choice. Life is full of choices in matters of work, relationships, or how you feel about yourself. You cannot control what people do to you or the circumstances you may find yourself in, but you can choose to react differently or to have different perspectives.

Developing positive life attitudes holds the key to the art of living well.

Instant Positive Attitude gives you strategies to adjust your attitude for massive success in life.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© Stephen Lau

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THE LAW OF ATTRACTION

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”  - Napoleon Hill

The wisdom is that an adversity may be a blessing in disguise. Worse, if one dwells on the adversity, one may attract more adversities.

The Law of Attraction is about energy attraction: positive energies attracting positive energies, and the same for negative energies. This revolutionary concept has been exponentially popularized by the film "The Secret" as well as by the bestseller book and other related publications across the Internet.

Is the Law of Attraction a myth of the mind or a reality in real life? Can the Law of Attraction really help your healing from diseases and disorders?

Say, when an individual is diagnosed with cancer, that individual often becomes obsessed with anxiety about its treatment options as well as the prognosis of the disease. Obsession with cancer may internalize it into self-doubt and even fear. If an individual is preoccupied with the thought that breast cancer runs in the family, that individual may have predominant thoughts of cancer. Even "positive" thoughts, such as "I am not going to get breast cancer like my mother, my grandmother, or my sister" will only attract negative energy into that individual's life, because the mind only sees the word "cancer" and the "cancer fear" and nothing else. Just as a person buying a lottery ticket will not be attracting energy of abundance, because the mind is focusing on the lack rather than on the abundance, and thus attracting negative and not positive energy.

Once you have decided on what you want: a clean bill of health, you proceed to changing your thoughts and feelings. This may not happen right away, it may take time and effort to shift your thoughts, language, and emotions. Develop positive affirmations and self-suggestions to help you day in and day out. Keep the end in mind, that is, the core values in your life. Live everyday of your life in alignment with what you believe in Hold in your mind the ideal of the condition you wish to realize, the ideal reality you want to experience. The affirmation "I am whole and healthy .....I am loving and compassionate.....I am strong and powerful" holds the key to attaining natural health wisdom.

Abundance in natural health will not come to you out of the sky; neither will it drop into your lap. You must focus on the Law of Attraction and how you will bring this law to attract positive health energies. Make a powerful statement of intent to regain your natural health at all costs. Hold in mind the ideal condition you desire. Use a powerful affirmation and mental imagery to affirm it as an already existing fact until it is absorbed by your subconscious mind to give you the internal life energy.

Congratulations. You've Got Cancer: Learn how to use your mind to overcome the anxiety of a cancer diagnosis. Empower your mind to cope with cancer.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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WALKING TO DE-STRESS

To be diagnosed with an autoimmune diseases is not only devastating but also stressful, especially if the doctor tells you that there is no cure, except controlling the disease symptoms with steroid medications.
The first and foremost thing to do is to de-stress yourself so that you will have clarity of mind to deal with the health issue and its related implications in your life.

Walk to de-stress
as if everything is a miracle. Yes, walking can de-stress you, provided you are mindful of how you walk.

Walking is one of the most common exercises because it is simple and easy to do-you just walk. You may walk to your workplace or any destination, or you simply walk as a physical exercise. But walking is more than a physical activity that promotes your physical health; walking can enhance your mind power to help you cope with your everyday stress-if you have the know-how.

Most of us just walk with our feet, but without fully utilizing the exercise of walking to benefit the mind, because walking is so automatic and mechanical that we no longer pay any attention to our walking. In other words, we don’t concentrate when we are walking or doing the exercise of walking. We are so caught up with our destination-such as attending a meeting, or going shopping-that we have no awareness of the process of walking. Many of us have put our feet on automatic pilot, and we just walk like robots.

The human brain is the hardware of your whole being. Your brain is responsible for your stress. It is all in your mind. You are what you think, and you have become what you think-or the realities you have created for yourself. Stress is all in your perceptions; what is stress to you may not be stress to others. Therefore, manage your stress through you mind. You control your own thinking, and your brain creates your own world: how you live your life, and how happy you are, and how you see your everyday stress. And you are responsible for how you feel-even the stresses in life.
This is what happens when stress occurs. You have a thought (usually a negative one) about the stressful event or situation. Your thought sends electrical signals to your brain, which releases chemicals, and you become aware of your own thinking. No matter what you think, your thought is real to you, and must be treated as real. The goal is not to discard that thought or to distract yourself from that thought, but to change your perception of that thought.

So, how to walk to de-stress?

When walking, first and foremost, pay attention to your breaths: your breathing in and breathing out, as well as the intensity of your breaths. Next, pay attention to the sensations of your body, such as the feelings of your soles and toes as your shoes touch the ground. Also, pay attention to the shifting of your body weight as you move from your right foot to the left foot. Just be mindful of what is happening to your body as you are walking. The objective of mindfulness walking is to stop your thinking mind for deep relaxation to de-stress yourself. It is like walking meditation.

To be able to change that thought, you must be aware of your body's reactions to the chemicals released by your brain as that thought occurs. For example, notice how your muscles tense up when you are distressed.
The next step is to talk back to that negative thought. Change your thought, and do not believe it. Learn how to train your mind to change your thought, and accordingly change your feeling about that thought. Reinforce your changed feeling by talking back to that thought which gives you the stress. Always use
positive affirmations.

Next time, when you are confronted by a stressful situation, think "STOP!" Take a deep breath. Do some mental reflection, such as asking yourself why you think you are distressed. Acknowledge any feeling of anxiety, and become aware of the subtle changes in your physical body. Talk back to any negative thought responsible for creating the stress. The final step is to take appropriate action. Make a list of possible solutions to the problem. If it requires tackling the problem immediately, take the action at once: procrastination only aggravates the situation. But defer taking action if you are able to deal with it more effectively later on. Relax, such as taking a deep meditation, or doing something enjoyable to calm yourself.

Use your mind to manage your daily stress. Your brain is like your body muscle: you need to exercise it to improve your memory, enhance your cognitive power, and increase your IQ.

All in all, use meditation to give clarity of mind, and use mindfulness to enhance your walking exercise.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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