The King’s Ring.

kings ringAn ancient legend says that a famous king decided to gather his leading wise men and scholars in a conclave to request a favor.

I just brought a large ring from my latest conquest” – said the king – “It is very valuable and it gives me the possibility to save something even more valuable, inside. I need you, at the end of the day to give me a phrase that is the wisest of all. I want to arrive at a conclusion of wisdom and then write it on a tiny roll. Then, I want to keep that phrase in my ring. And if one day, misfortune happened and I’m in the middle of a deep crisis, I will open my ring, and I’m sure that sentence would help me at the worst time of my life.”

So the wise men spent the day discussing which phrase can sum up all the knowledge that no human had ever heard. When the night fell, one of the wise men of the kingdom, on behalf of all others, approached the king with a sentence written on a small scroll.

Here it is, your Majesty. Simply store it in your ring and read when a crisis hits your life and your kingdom. This is what we have decided.

The king kept the paper in his ring and forgot all about it.

Within a few years, the kingdom was ransacked by his enemies, and the palace turned to rubble. The king managed to escape from the shadows and hidden among some rocks outside the devastated court. There, watching at a cliff, he considered the possibility of suicide by jumping, before falling into enemy hands. It was when he remembered he still retained the ring. The king decided to open it, unrolled the small paper and it read: “This too shall pass.” The king quietly smiled, and he mustered all the encouragement to hide in a cave, in the dark, until he was no longer in danger.

The legend says that twenty years after the king had recovered all its glory, by way of new battles and conquests, the bitter spell was left behind. Now, the king was returning triumphant from the war, amid cheers and claps from a multitude that gave him an ovation.

One of the ancient sages who walked alongside the royal carriage, an old man, whispered to the king: “Your Majesty, I think today should also look again inside your ring. – Now? What for? I’m not in the middle of a crisis, but rather the opposite”  -replied the king.

The sentence was written not only for the tough times but also when you think that everything good seems to be last for eternity. The king, amidst applause, opened the ring and he read: “This too shall pass”, and discovered at that moment, that he felt the same peace which he had when he was about to kill himself. The same calm, the same restraint completely overwhelmed him.

One day he discovered that the phrase that had been delivered was wise to read on defeat and above all, in times of victory.

I would have given anything for someone to tell me this fantastic story when I was much younger. I always imagined I had a time machine (like Spielberg saga “Back to the Future”) I wanted to travel to the past to find myself when I was about … ten or eleven. I would go to the past and tried to locate that child I once was. Look at him face-to-face and say something like: “Do not ask me who I am, because in any case, you are not going to believe me. I just came to give you a phrase I want you to keep forever: “This too shall pass.” Enjoy the adolescence that lies ahead, enjoy every moment you can, do not miss the now, just to be worried about the future. Everything will be fine, I promise. Someday, your own fears, complex and low self-esteem will be history. In a few years, you will laugh off your problems today. Your life will be resolved sooner than you think. Relax, there’s nothing wrong.”

I was tempted to do the same. Whenever I tell this story, a tear escapes from listening to myself, mainly because most of us have some form of pity for that child we once were.

Somehow, it is a sort of paraphrase of many biblical promises. The Lord tells us not to be anxious for tomorrow, not to worry about what will come, to enjoy God’s new mercies every morning. But for some reason, the anxiety we had, played a prank on us and accidentally, stole some valuable bits of wisdom that we were meant to have.

In these years, I’ve been despondent, have experienced moments of great distress, and on the other hand, encountered great moments and experienced awesome memories. Good or bad times passed. Now I think differently, I do not like to anchor myself to crises or victories. I do not dwell on harboring criticism or applause. For that reason, this phrase is my daily review.

In a way,  I decided that I will not dwell on spending the rest of my life thinking about what will I do in the future to the point where I become anxious about it. I do not want to live thinking that last year was the brightest moment in my life. Or that my bliss will be in the summer or spring. I do not want to think that the highlight of my life will be once I graduate or when I’m traveling to this or that country. Or when I retire or when my kids grow up. Happiness is not a destination, Happiness is a journey. It is an ideal place where one gets a good day, but we’re traveling a path little by little, with small fragments of today.

When I was young, I used to get anxious about what career I was going to have, what wife was I going to have? Where was I going to live? One day with tears in my eyes I opened my heart to my father about this, and he said: “Drew, imagine you are a car, and you are traveling to the beach at night. Imagine you have your lights on and you can see the road a few meters away from you. You have enough vision to dodge the holes in the street and continue your journey to where you want to go. In the same way is the vision that God gives you, you only can see ahead just barely enough to keep moving, because those lights will not reach ALL the way to the beach, so as long as you keep on moving, your vision will continue to guide you.

At every place where God leads me, I try to dedicate a message to motivate people to enjoy the ever-present now. But above all things, that anxiety of what we still do not have or the memories of what we have lived, not steal the thunder of what we already have in our hands, which is never little nor insignificant.

For my part, I am more than happy with what God has given me over the years. But I have very clear, above all things that even “This too shall pass”.

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When was the last time that you truly connected with someone?

 

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Here is some advice out of the readings I had been doing from different books:

  1. Give people your full attention. Your presence can be a healing agent for someone. Be fully present.
  2. Have an open body language. What is your body communicating to others? Does your body match yourwords?
  3. Be genuinely interested. I think being genuine and honest in everything you do is key.  We complain about “fake” people, don’t be one of them. Be congruent.
  4. We love connecting with people who are most like us. With other people whom you are trying to connect, seek common ground.
  5. Ask deep questions. You can talk about the weather if you like, but deep down, everyone is wanting to connect. See #3.
  6. Completely listen with your heart and mind. Sometimes it is difficult to listen intently because there is too much noise, mental noise and otherwise. I must admit that I am a guy and that “y-chromosome” to want to fix things get in the way. However, this is something that I’m getting better at the more I practice.
  7. Don’t be afraid to initiate contact and conversation. What do you have to lose? Think about the last time someone reached out to you and you thanked them for it. You can also do it for others. Reach out.
  8. Be an open book. I was reading that generosity is emotional generosity towards others.  Don’t confuse emotional generosity with being co-dependent, but rather to be open to others and to experiences. This is critical to be in authentic relationships.
  9. Suspend judgment. Put your perspectives on hold. If you want to show others that you care about them, don’t jump to conclusions. Feel and Be with them.
  10. Be mindful of others. What do others like/dislike? What do they need/want? Whats priority/not priority? Sometimes its easy to forget those things, especially those things that we don’t really care about or like, but by being interested in what others are interested, is demonstrating your gift of love towards them.
  11. Exude love, warmth & empathy. You may wonder how?
  12. Being close to the source of love, God.  Love emanates from God for God is love. Our best effort is to be Christ-Like. See all points above.

Staying true to yourself

I am not watching the news anymore. I have heard this expression over and over again. The reason? Too much negativity out there: wars, unemployment in mass scale, drugs & violence going rampant in the world, people mistreating animals, children, women & elderly, and countless more negativity going on.

All of this negativity can make it challenging for us to remain positive towards life. In fact, when people approach us, we respond somewhat negative wondering what are peoples’ true motivations. We can become quite cynical about life and only choosing to open ourselves to specific individuals.

Furthermore, you can walk into a mall, a store a café place, open your Internet and pretend nobody is around you. If you see something that is funny or interesting you try to play it nice and nonchalant you M(r)(s). cool you.

I am going so far as to say, some of you may be asking back: what’s the purpose of being nice just for being nice? It’s not going to pay my bills, it’s not going to land me a better job, and it’s not going to give me a nice award. I am going to let you answer yourself that one question. However, I want to take you on a journey so pack your bags and come with me.

Most of us are in search of genuine and trusting relationships. When was the last time you made a new friend? People are so concerned about their fragile egos that they can’t simply open up either for fear of embarrassment or just because they are too good for other people.

Burning question: Aren’t you tired of superficial relationships where all you talk is about the whether and “safe” topics with people? Do you want to communicate with other people in more honest and intimate levels with people that could be total strangers?

We are simply too busy fostering materialism in our life, wanting to have the latest fashion, toys and other commodities and we are forgetting communicating with people at a level that is beneath the surface. Beneath talking about sports and weather. You might say: You don’t understand, I am naturally shy or simply I am NOT interested in people anymore. I am so disappointed at the human race right now and sometimes I want to take a space jet and move to Mars.

Before you start packing your bags there is another solution, you can begin to form good relationships with people. Who knows? You might find your new best friend in a complete stranger! With a few exceptions, most everybody is like you and me.

In my humble opinion, I have found people who are shy, very interesting. I am not going to give you a list of 5 things you can do to build rapport, win friends and influence people. Just be your wonderful self. Don’t be interesting, just be interested, materialism is not going to improve your quality of life, but people will.

Unless you work for a secret government facility, a good secret to succeed at work is improving your communication skills. You can treat people like they were your friends and not some strangers from a faraway land. It is funny to me that a stranger to you might be someone else’s best friend. Staying true to yourself can be challenging at times, but at the end of the day, its all going to be worth it.

Mind Hacking

You are a successful {insert your profession/social status here}. As such, people admire you for your good grades; business ventures, heroic last-minute victories and they can see the result of your creativity plastered in music, art or life. You feel motivated, on top of the world and invincible. “Life happens” you know what that means, the work of your hands fail, you put your reputation on the line and now your name is not worth much, at least to those who despise you and chose to believe the lies about you.

You keep re-living the embarrassing moment, over and over again and yet you keep coming with the same question. What are some places where I can attach conditions of self-worth?  Where is my self-worth in light of my flaws, my shortcomings, and perhaps mistakes of others that ended up costing my precious name, realizations and victories?

Sometimes we can become discouraged, and perhaps function ineffectively in life because of our mistaken beliefs, our faulty values and our goals that we never achieved. Stop for a minute and think self-love equals self-worth. Love yourself! You are totally worth it.

As a computer guy a term comes to memory “hacking”. Your mind is the control center where you process the events that happen in real life, your feelings and your interpretations of the event. By the way, here is a secret. Do you happen to know why women (in general) remember more than men? It is because it is scientifically proven that when you attach a memory to an emotion, you can forever sear it in your memory.

So you need to hack the control center and remove the self-defeating programming. This program runs in the background with all the other programs and it keeps updating as the day goes by. When this program is successful you end up believing that nobody really cares about you. You end up being too critical of yourself expecting absolute perfection and therefore you reject people before they have a chance to reject you. Sound familiar?

Here is the worst part. If you don’t counter-attack this program your new behavior will shape your perception. Therefore you need to change your behavior. Engage in actions that will directly deal with your problem: for instance, do things that feel good like sports, go shopping, go dancing, snap out of it.

The most important thing is that you can set up goals that are clear, concrete and that makes sense in order to be successful. Talking about it may feel good, but doing something about it is even better. A hallmark of true success is when you reach your goals, whichever they are, as long as they lead you in a positive direction.

Now don’t be a noob and give me a comment will ya? 😉