Precious Resources

But let there be spaces in your togetherness

and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but

make not a bond of love:

let it rather be a moving sea

between

the shores of your souls.

Khalil Gibran

Order, routine and predictability foster creativity; “This is true on so many levels. Children need emotional and physical order so they can go off and explore. A parent’s main job is to provide daily predictability and emotional security.”

In yogic tradition the lotus flower represents rising above the murk to achieve enlightenment and success.  It offers several lessons.  One is to realize that perseverance during dark times can yield fantastic results. Also, just like the lotus flower closes each night and sinks below the water, and yet resurfaces each day as lovely as before, we too can re-emerge from the depths of chaos and darkness with renewed strength and beauty. Finally, the lotus flower symbolizes the ability to live in muddy water yet remain unsoiled.

The lotus flower provides insight in it’s ability to grow best in even the murkiest of water. In life we are continually presented with filth and hardship, but we can use our discretion and make good choices such that everything that occurs in our lives can enrich us.  With a sense of awareness and purpose we can use the unpleasantness and pain in our lives to help us grow and blossom. If we can develop the ability to maintain our beauty and fragrance even in the darkest of situations, we will be better able to float through life. If not, life will easily and perpetually bring us down.  

We all have the potential and ability to be like a beautiful lotus flower.

In yogic tradition the lotus flower represents rising above the murk to achieve enlightenment and success. It offers several lessons. One is to realize that perseverance during dark times can yield fantastic results. Also, just like the lotus flower closes each night and sinks below the water, and yet resurfaces each day as lovely as before, we too can re-emerge from the depths of chaos and darkness with renewed strength and beauty. Finally, the lotus flower symbolizes the ability to live in muddy water yet remain unsoiled.

The lotus flower provides insight in it’s ability to grow best in even the murkiest of water. In life we are continually presented with filth and hardship, but we can use our discretion and make good choices such that everything that occurs in our lives can enrich us. With a sense of awareness and purpose we can use the unpleasantness and pain in our lives to help us grow and blossom. If we can develop the ability to maintain our beauty and fragrance even in the darkest of situations, we will be better able to float through life. If not, life will easily and perpetually bring us down.

We all have the potential and ability to be like a beautiful lotus flower.

Headspace is a delightful tool for beginning or maintaining a daily practice of meditation. Particularly fun and insightful are the animations. Be sure to check out the Day 5 one on Effort and the Day 7 one on Blue Skies. You get the first10 days for free so try it out!

“If you change how you think about it, its impact on what you feel and do changes,” Mr. Mischel writes.

He explains that there are two warring parts of the brain: a hot part demanding immediate gratification (the limbic system), and a cool, goal-oriented part (the prefrontal cortex). The secret of self-control, he says, is to train the prefrontal cortex to kick in first.

To do this, use specific if-then plans, like “If it’s before noon, I won’t check email” or “If I feel angry, I will count backward from 10.” Done repeatedly, this buys a few seconds to at least consider your options. The point isn’t to be robotic and never eat chocolate mousse again. It’s to summon self-control when you want it, and be able to carry out long-term plans.

Stick With It

This book, by Peter Brown, presents current research in cognitive science and provides worthwhile insights and strategies for better memorization and learning. Some examples:

1. The tried and true “reread and highlight” method to try and absorb content works, but even better is utilizing information retrieval because retrieving helps to build stronger connections in the brain that will better lock the information into memory. The more effortful the retrieval the stronger the benefit, (quiz rather than reread).

2. There is no evidence that shows that how one receives information substantially affects how well it is learned; e.g., oral or written. A review of the literature indicates that what is more important is whether you are an “example learner” or a “rule learner.” Those that see and practice a math problem and are able to see the rules behind the example and memorize the rule, rather than the example, will tend to learn better. 

3. Mindset is a significant factor affecting how well one learns. Those who learn for performance (so they can prove how good they are) tend to tackle new information with trepidation whereas those who learn for mastery aspire to acquire new skills more openly and without regard to whether they will fail before mastering; and, therefore, learn better.

4.  Effort and praising effort are huge in promoting learning. “Although the brain is not a muscle that gets stronger with exercise, (the) neural pathways that make up a body of learning do get stronger when the memory is retrieved and the learning is practiced.”  When learning is harder, it’s stronger and lasts longer.  

As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.
Steve Maraboli