Rest to Rest

16 Jan 2022

I rest to rest, not in-order-to recharge for another work week. I rest simply for the sake of resting.

In the same vein, I work to work, not in-order-to earn a living or make a difference.   I work when I work, and I don’t work when I don’t work.

When I eat, play, read, learn, create, or do anything, let me do them simply for the sake of doing them, not in-order-to accomplish anything else.

Milo seems to be doing just that, naturally. Why wouldn’t I?

“Do what you do simply for the sake of doing it.”

The Miloist


Look Back Wisely

It’s often been said that looking back is pointless, as it isn’t going to change anything. Life has got be lived forward.  Although unchangeable, the past is a treasure trove of wisdom, resources, and experiences. Wouldn’t it be foolish to overlook these gems of life?  What if we looked back wisely?

Look back to connect the dots and make sense of the past, not to find the path for the future.

Look back to be glad of the path that has led you here, not to regret over missed opportunities.

Look back to learn from failures and mistakes, not to beat yourself up.

Look back to forgive yourself of wrong doings, not to drown in shame or guilt.

Look back to grateful for what is gained, not to lament over what is lost.

Look back to cherish your memories, not to hold onto them forever.

Look back to accept what has happened, not to wish that it was different.

Look back to celebrate how far you have come, not to worry about how for more you need to go.

Look back to count your blessings, not to cry over your misfortunes.

Look back to appreciate those who brought you comfort or joy, not to resent those who have caused you sorrow or pain.

“Looking back, we see with great clarity, and what once appeared as difficulties now reveal themselves as blessings.” ~ Dan Millman.

True, Necessary, Kind

I have done things I shouldn’t have done; I have said things I shouldn’t have said. 

What is done cannot be undone; what is said cannot be unsaid. 

The hurt I have caused needs time for healing; the regret I feel needs time for forgiving.

Meanwhile, I recall Rumi’s advice that is worth heeding: …

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: At the first gate, ask yourself, “Is it true?” At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?” At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?” ~ Rumi

Responsibility, Power, Freedom

With great power, comes great responsibility. With great responsibility, comes great power.

When we take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and actions, we access the inherent power to choose and create our experiences in life.

Life is not determined by what happened to us, but by the meaning we choose to make of what happened and the way we choose to respond.

The more we avoid responsibility, the more power we lose, the less free we become. The more we take responsibility, the more power we gain, the freer we become.

“Take full responsibility, reclaim your power, exercise your freedom.” ~ The Miloist

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl

Intention, Action, Impact

Intentions, intentions, intentions. Don’t we think we always act out of good intentions? 

“With mere good intentions hell is proverbially paved.” ~ William James

But having good intentions simply isn’t enough. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

We are judged by others not by our intentions, no matter how noble they might be, but by our actions and the impact of our actions.

Intention and action are equally important and inseparable partners in the dance of manifestation. Without action, intention remains a latent potential.  And without appropriate action, the impact is seldom as intended.

Let your intentions be pure and clear, your actions deliberate and appropriate, and the world gains from the impact of your existence.

“When your intention is clear, so is the way.” ~ Alan Cohen

Pessimist, Optimist, Pragmatist

The pessimist sees the glass half empty; the optimist sees the glass half full. Who is right?

Two halves make a whole. The realist would agree that the glass is both half empty and half full. Hence, the pessimist and optimist are both ‘right.’ The difference lies in what they pay attention to.

Should we focus on the good or the bad in people, the bright side or the dark side of a situation, the cloud or its silver lining?

Philosophizing might satisfy one’s intellectual hunger, but not quench one’s physical thirst.

Be it half empty or half full, the pragmatist would simply drink and refill the glass.

“It is astonishing to see how many philosophical disputes collapse into insignificance the moment you subject them to this simple test of tracing a concrete consequence.”

~ William James, Pragmatism

Beliefs, Walls, and Bridges

We are born without any hereditary beliefs. All the beliefs we possess now were acquired over time.  Beliefs are what we hold to be true. We see the world and make interpretations of what we see through the filters of our beliefs.

We cannot not have beliefs. Life wouldn’t work without them.  However, at times, our lives don’t work because of them too. 

Consider beliefs as ‘bricks’ that we pick up along our journey through life.  With each brick, we construct or expand a structure to make sense of and navigate the world. We can build a castle, a wall, a bridge, or anything imaginable. 

A ‘wall’ is used to separate what’s connected. It divides. Over time, that which began as one grows into distinct parts. A ‘bridge’ connects the separated. It provides access from one side to another, enables mutual exchange and shaping of shared understanding. It enables the discovery of a common ground that could pave the way for that which are separated to become somewhat whole again.

Walls and bridges are both necessary, and there will always new bricks.   How we use them has a profound impact on our lives.

At times, we need to loosen some of the bricks in our walls, hold some beliefs lightly, let in new ideas even if they contradict or challenge our existing beliefs, and build more bridges.

Love, Strength, Courage

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao-Tzu

Human beings are wired to crave for love.  And we are also born with the capacity to love, although it might a few lessons in life’s School of Hard Knocks to acquire the mindset and ability to express it.

To love and be loved is often said to be the greatest joy in life. 

We feel loved when are accepted for who we are, cared for, and supported. That gives us strength to learn, grow, and confidently face into the challenges that life throws at us.  Children who grow up in a loving environment typically develop a healthy self-esteem and confidence. 

Conversely, we love another by accepting who they are unconditionally, showing care and concern, and offering support when needed.  Loving another deeply gives us the courage to act boldly in service of our loved ones and making sacrifices for their well-being.  Parents often act selflessly to protect their children, even if it means putting themselves in danger.

Ideally, love is two-way, but it need not necessarily be so. We can love our children deeply without expecting them to love us back in the same way. However, mutuality and reciprocity between romantic lovers is vital to sustain a strong relationship or marriage. Through loving each other deeply, we give one another the strength and courage to weather life’s storms of difficulties as well as life’s greatest gift – JOY.

“Love is granting another the space to be the way they are and the way they are not.” ~ Werner Erhard

Simpler, Fewer, Better

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ~ Socrates

“Less is more” – three simple words of wisdom worth living by.  They underpin Minimalism, a movement which first began in art, and subsequently influenced many domains including product design, home design, and way of living.

More recently, Marie Kondo has taken the simple idea of “What sparks joy?” from decluttering homes to decluttering businesses and life – inspiring many to simplify their lives.

Consider apply the following questions to the various aspects of life, including possessions, relationships, clients, personal goals, pet projects, etc.

  1. Simpler – What is essential? What is non-essential?
  2. Fewer – What to keep? What to discard?
  3. Better – How to improve, make the best use of, or enjoy what is left?

“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are