One Hour More

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

Charles Darwin

What if you workout one hour more?

What if you sleep one hour more?

What if you work one hour more?

What if you do what your love one hour more?

What if you connect with you loved ones one hour more?

What if you take actions towards your dreams one hour more?

@the_miloist

“Imagine what a difference one hour more each day would make.” ~ The Miloist

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

See Both Sides

Two weeks ago, inspired by the movie Don’t Look Up, a good friend of mine, Michelle Ashen, started a #LookUp campaign to encourage people to live a more present life. Yesterday, I wrote about ‘looking back.’ And today, at a first ‘live’ concert I have attended since the onset of the pandemic two years ago, I can’t help pondering about ‘looking from up and down.’

Although the evening was primarily a performance of original compositions by singer-songwriter Michelle SgP, she serendipitously opened with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides, Now.’

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It’s cloud illusions I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all …

I’ve looked at love from both sides now

From give and take and still somehow

It’s love’s illusions that I recall

I really don’t know love …

I’ve looked at life from both sides now

From win and lose and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all.

There are several interpretations of this song. For me, it’s akin to the journey of maturation, from naïve idealism to realistic optimism, from seeing only from one perspective to seeing from the opposite side or even multiple alternative vantage points. A gradual evolution from a monistic to a pluralistic view of the world.

For a start, it’s probably helpful to see both sides. That which brings joy can also be a source of hurt. Good and evil, light and darkness, give and take, winning and losing, novelty and familiarity, change and stability, idealism and realism, joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness, success and failures, stillness and movement, reality and illusion – they are two sides of the same coin.

Let’s learn to see both sides, now.

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.