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Posts Tagged ‘self improvement’

“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
Albert Einstein, On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms

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Something went slightly awry today and my routine changed. As a result of that I went into my reader before I did my post. It spawned a changed of topic.

There has been much debate about the proliferation of self-development courses, which I am differentiating from professional development and Spiritual development. All have elements in common but I don’t wish to get embroiled in the necessity for or against professional or spiritual development. Suffice it to say that there seems to be a consensus that there is no need for self-development courses other than those which are followed ad hoc via free online tutorials. They have their place, but are they fulfilling the needs of society?

When I read through the posts in my reader I found some of the posts I expected, the poetry which I enjoy, including the various themes from spiritual to mythical and love. There were the inspirational image quotes and just straight forward quotes, always something a little different.

There were my usual posters who talk about various struggles with illness and how to cope with different aspects of them. Obviously I’m following these people because they know their subject, are very helpful and supportive and have become good friends. In a mutual supportive environment it is gratifying to find people who are altruistic enough to share their triumphs and failures and help each other out.

In other topical pieces I found references to posts which were basically a running commentary on the applause for self-gratification in one’s own sexploits.  Again, I have no problem with this as I can read it or not since it is reader beware.

Then there were a number of reblogged articles. Reblogs are helpful because you learn about a far wider audience than you might hope to cover alone.

There was:

  • an article about a young African American still in prison after 3 years because she defended herself from domestic violence;
  • the harrowing open letter by Dylan Farrow about her sexual abuse by Woody Allen
  • the pollution of the Dan River in Eden, N.C after an aged pipeline burst, sending poisonous grey ash into the river
  • the FBI sting which rescued 16 child sex slaves and 45 “pimps” at the time of the Superbowl, which the FBI have asserted is common practice for these groups when any major event is on
  • Suicide Prevention week in Canada coincides with Love Yourself month, an indictment on some of the most famous originators of self-development such as Nathaniel Brandon, Virginia Satir and Wayne Dyer, who made improving oneself big business and forgot about really helping people to improve their self-esteem
  • The US allegedly using Weather Warfare against the Philippines
  • Top Black History Month Scholarships – a great idea unless it is balanced against the abysmal treatment of African American students elsewhere in the school system
  • The ABC reveals the scam claims by Big Pharma that the anti-Cholesterol lowering drug Statin reduces cholesterol. Big Pharma pushing medicine which does not work, again
  • Judging Philip Seymour Hoffman, a lovely article which does not seek to criticise or condemn but simply regrets the passing, too soon, of a good man with a problem
  • Black History Month in Canada where artists were acknowledged
  • Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday with a ‘movie of your life’ day. I didn’t know it was 10 years old which speaks volumes
  • A young woman in Scotland who cannot get decent treatment for Fibro or other ailments after leaving the UK
  • More from Sochi, first they are killing all the dogs near the stadium, now the facilities are falling apart and repairs are impossible, and finally
  • How there are 7 things from High School repeated later in life

From the posts I have briefly mentioned, and I hasten to add I am in no way passing any criticism on these blogs, they are all excellent posts and have valid stories, but this is my point. Of those listed above, of the fourteen stories (14) there are ten (10) which are bad/depressing/just plain wrong news plus one which rates 50:50.  They are wrong in the sense that they are a poor indictment on society.

#Enough or Nor Enough

image from ceslava.com

What are we doing accepting wrongful imprisonment of a woman defending herself from domestic violence? When did it become alright to arrange child sex slaves for big events? How did we let Big Pharma con us with all their nasty pills and potions which are making us more ill and not less? Why did we applaud a paedophile for making big money making films and ignoring his deplorable behaviour? Child sex abuse is an offence and it doesn’t matter who the hell you are, you do the crime, you do the time. What you don’t do is haul the child, now grown, over the coals for being unable to see the case through to the court stage where she would have been blamed for the events anyway.

This brings me back to my first point. We may have lost faith in the big names of the personal development arena that have become rich telling us how to act, but if the above is a representation of the norm for behaviour then self-improvement is still needed, and it doesn’t matter what you call it.   We are supposed to evolve to become better people as time goes by, not revert to base animal behaviour and not against children and the ill.

Society, in general needs to take a hard look at itself and take the steps to improve. Unless, of course, they are trying to tell us that the behaviour of the day is stupendously wonderful. I pray not.

“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?”
Bill Hicks

Blessings and prayers, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of teachers, elders, or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason, and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it.”      Buddha

Creative Direction: It’s a valuable insight at this time of year, it empowers people. We have just taken our first really deep breath after the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving (for those in the US), and Christmas for everyone else. Many of us managed a gulp or two as we were swept between Christmas and New Year before the celebratory madness had its final fling with us.

Now we are into our first week of January and still taking stock, looking for that Creative Direction. Many of us have returned to work or are juggling work and children. Some are fortunate to be on vacation, a wonderful chance to take stock if you are single, but those shops, bistros, clubs, all calling to have more fun whilst we can. Well, thoughts of the year ahead will fall into line when we become more organised; when that Creative Direction is called for to empower us.

Creative Direction

image from siobhanb.blogspot.com

For some this can be barely a second thought, and if you can wing it in this way and have a successful year, then all power to you! There are others who have different methods of preparing themselves for the year ahead, meditation, asking or seeking direction from a Higher Power, or another way they have found after years of trial and error which works for them. Empowerment comes from many sources.

As with any varied group of people, you find as many opinions and ways to do things as there are differences between the people in the group. With the best will in the world many people acknowledge that without a ‘plan’ they find themselves drifting along and at the end of the year they haven’t really achieved any of their goals, hopes or dreams. They need to be empowered in order to succeed. It’s one of the reasons journals have become popular again. People realise that keeping a journal imparts a degree of accountability.  It is the same encouragement which holds people to keeping to a limited period challenge, such as a Gratitude challenge, a fitness challenge, weight loss challenge and a self-development challenge or a Creative Direction.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs – ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” 
Harold Thurman Whitman : Philosopher and Theologian

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The thing that keeps people motivated is that they have mini goals to reach and rewards to recognise they have made an improvement in some way. The program teaches them that they need to do this, then, this followed by that, in order to end up so. By no means are they molly coddled or have their hands held, but the guarantee of a reward of some kind as they reach towards their goals is ….. empowering.

I understand that. Some people need to understand each step of the journey and a simple one line instruction or advice is insufficient to get them to stay the course.  They need a structured plan, a Creative Direction, which helps them to see what they need to do and can measure the changes as they occur.  It’s wonderful there are people who have been at the self-improvement ‘game’ long enough that a simple piece of encouragement is all that they need. We need these people so that there is room for those who need the extra motivation.

Anyone who embarks on a weight loss challenge knows it will not be easy. They acknowledge that they may slip up and there are little ‘tricks’ to get them through the special dinners and breakfasts they cannot avoid. Once they are learned and implemented then they can navigate through the smorgasbord of life with more finesse.

Creative Direcion

image from ffffound.com

The same thing applies with self-development, self-improvement, personal development and even business development. Sometimes coaches or plans are needed to hit the mark. I don’t need a New Year Resolution. The statistics for their success are woeful, almost as bad as a successful marriage. I don’t need those bad vibes dogging my footsteps.

So I’ll stick with a plan, or program which I can keep a record with, so that I know if I’m going astray anywhere. If I make my goal early I can add something else to my plan. Fantastic! From working in various fields I know that a plan which is professionally drawn up, proven and I pay for will keep me motivated to achieve the right ends. My ends!

It’s all too simple. I asked for some help with achieving my health goals, business, family, and so on this year. I asked my Guide and meditated on it. The answer was beautifully simple.

 “Follow the plan Susan, the one you helped create; Life Change 90. You know it works.”

That’s one of the things which can happen when you try too hard to keep business and personal separate… I forgot to think. I had my Creative Direction there all along.  Then again, that damned brain fog has been pretty rugged recently.

 “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”    Alan Cohen
Creative Direction
image from supersomebody.com –  The Perfect Example

 That’s it… now I’m putting it all to work.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson  2014

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