Monthly Archives: January 2009

Discover Something You Knew Already

One of the great things about my new neighborhood is all the small local supermarkets which are filled with locally grown foods. I enjoy cooking, so naturally I enjoy shopping for different foods to cook. Like sometimes I’ll cook a big pot of something that I’ll eat for the next several days, and other times I’ll buy several different kinds of ingredients, and then figure out what to cook day by day, in smaller amounts.

The second thing I discovered about having so many supermarkets around is being able to discover what kinds of unique style each market has. Of course they all have the main ingredients, milk, eggs, peanuts. But different markets have different kinds of vegetables, and fish, and different kinds and cuts of meat. And I find it really easy to become curious about what this has, and what that has.

Like when you buy a new computer that has all kinds of pre loaded software. You can find it easy to develop a desire to want to know more. And the more you discover, the more it makes you realize how much there really is here. I bought a laptop a couple of years ago, and was in the unfortunate situation of having to be in the hospital for a few days. It wasn’t any big deal, I didn’t need surgery or anything, but being in the hospital sure is boring. And a friend brought my laptop for me to play with. And even though that at the time I had already been using it for almost a year, I was still able to get really curious about what I could find to help me have fun while I was laying in the hospital. And I found several games that I didn’t even know that I had, and they really helped me to pass the time.

It’s funny when that happens. You see something that you’ve seen before, and you think you already know everything there is to know about this. But the more you keep reading, the more you can really start to want to discover more and more. Like when you have a friend for a long time, and you discover something about them that you hadn’t know for a long time. I had a friend once, and we’d know each other for years before I realized she had a thing for Japanese Anime. Personally, I don’t really see the draw, but to each his own, right?

Of course because of all this, I’m going to need to go grocery shopping soon. I can’t wait to see how much I will become curious to see what I can discover something new, but I’m sure you’ve realized by now that that was something you knew already.


Increase Your Abundance of Perspective

This morning was another exploration into my new neighborhood. To those of you who haven’t read my previous articles, I’ve recently moved, and because I like to go for a walk every morning, I’ve been finding it a good opportunity to see what’s around me. Like when you are in some kind of environment, and you really don’t know what kind of things you have to you can use these things to your benefit. Just like that I find myself walking new paths every morning as I find new things of interest.

One thing that I found interesting was three different perspectives on my neighborhood from three different levels. And from each level, you can see different things, if you can open yourself to what is around you all the time.

The first level, of course, is ground level. On this level you can only see just what’s up ahead. And if you look behind you, you can see that as well. Only if something really big is on the horizon does it come into your conscious awareness. Like big buildings, or the Ferris Wheel that is on top of the department store downtown. Other things, which are big and important, you really can’t notice them until you are right on top of them. You need to be careful, because when you are out walking around, you have to make sure the path you are traveling on doesn’t end abruptly. Because then you’ll have to turn around and go back, and hopefully find your way on to where you were going in the first place.

The second level is up higher. I live on the fifth floor, so I’ve been stopping on stairwell landing just outside the hallway. From there you can see where you’ve been, and where I want to walk tomorrow morning. The long roads around the small rice fields look very neat and organized from higher up. And the things that seem so big up close, don’t really look that big when you compare them to other things, like the hills in the background, and the sea that you can’t see but you know is off in the distance somewhere, as they always are. Of course I only have a limited view, so I can only see one direction. I don’t really know what’s behind be.

The best view is the third one. This is if I only go up one flight of stairs higher. Normally, I wouldn’t go up any higher, because I live on the fifth. But when you increase your viewpoint just for the sake of looking rather than needing a reason, you really can see all around. I can see the Ferris Wheel downtown, the baseball stadium that is behind me, and a whole nother set of hills that I didn’t even know where there. And all this time I thought I was getting a good exploration simply by walking around on the ground level.

It’s really amazing what you can see when you raise yourself up so you aren’t blocked by things in your way. And it’s kind of silly to think that one can let themselves be blocked by something that can’t move. Because all you need to do is go around.


Feel Youthful Dreams At Any Age

So today I was hanging out with these four junior high school kids. Which isn’t really something I normally do, but sometimes when you find yourself in an odd situation that happens every once in a while, you can use this opportunity to learn something new that maybe you’d forgotten about. Like sometimes when you get older, you sort of forget what it’s like to be a kid, so when you talk to them, they seem to have a fresh and new perspective on things, until you realize that they are really looking at the world through eyes that you’d had before, and you’d neglected to look through for too long of a while.

So I was asking these kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. One kid said she wanted to be a nurse. Ok, sounds good. A job where you can help people, work in a hospital, wear a cool uniform. The next kid said he wanted to be a teacher. So far, so good. Help out kids to learn about life, help them to discover new things everyday. Next kid said he wanted to be a professional soccer player. Now we’re talking.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional baseball player. That was before you learned that you sort of had to be good at what you want to be when you grow up. Because I wasn’t all that great in baseball. In fact, when I was as old as these kids, I didn’t even make the junior high school team. Before you feel sympathy, realize that I was kind of relieved, because by that time, I’d learned that the baseball team was always the last to go home everyday.

Kind of strange how that works out. You develop these big dreams, then you sometimes realize that your dreams aren’t really based on anything other than a wish. You sort of make your goals based on what you see on TV, which really is just a bunch of imaginary stuff when you think about it. Not that watching baseball on TV is imaginary. It’s just that they only show the fun part, or at least what they think that you’ll think is the fun part. Who wants to watch the part where they stretch and practice and line the field? Unless you really enjoy that, which I guess professional baseball players do, which is why they are professionals, and I didn’t make the junior high school baseball team.

But as you go through life and learn new things, you start to really get a taste for what it is you want to spend your time doing something rewarding, right? I don’t suppose you could be a professional singer unless you really enjoyed band practice.

The thing that struck me the most, is that you can develop a realistic view of life as you grow and learn and experience, and still retain your youthful expectation that you always have the possibility of being able to become something greater than you are. I mean, who wants to stay a junior high school student your whole life?

And the fourth kid said that he wanted to be a taxi driver, which is actually my favorite answer of them all. Because instead of saying something that he thought other people might approve of, he said something he thought would be really cool, for whatever reason it was. And when you can combine your youthful expectation of greatness with saying what’s really on your mind, you got yourself a winning combination. 


The Road Is Better Than The Inn

I was having lunch with a friend of mine today, a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. He’s one of those people that even though you haven’t seen this person in a long time, when you meet up with them, you can just pick up where the two of you left off. Like when you learn something, like playing the piano, you can go for several years, but once you sit down, you can remember easily whatever it was that you learned so long ago. And it’s interesting how you can remember things, isn’t it?

So my friend was telling me about an addition he’s adding on to his house. He and his wife had been planning it for sometime, but they always think of a reason to not do it right away. Need money for this, have to buy that. You know how it is. And both are working full time, and trying their best to raise three kids. It’s no wonder they are so busy, they haven’t really been able to spend much quality time together. Which I think is a misnomer, because all time is really of the same quality, it’s how you can choose to spend your time is what really matters. Like you could spend time watching TV, or you could spend time working on a project that could make it easier for you to make money and improve yourself.

And he said that building the addition to the house was really turning into a special time for him and his wife. Both working together, on the same goal. Not that raising three kids isn’t working together on the same goal. I guess something happens when you spend time with somebody actually building something physical. It’s like you can stand back, and see the progress. You can look at your plans, and compare how you are doing with where you want to go. And my friend is actually not looking forward to finish the addition as much as he thought he would. He said he is really able to enjoy the process, rather than the expectation of an end result.

Like when I was a kid. I was in boy scouts, and every summer we’d go on these long hiking trips. Sometimes a week or longer. And although we went to some great, beautiful secluded spots with fantastic fishing, my fondest memories were hiking with my buddies, looking up at the mountain pass we were aiming for.

Some people look at life itself as a long process, ever changing, ever growing. The moment we begin to lose interest, or lose that spirit of wonder is when we fool ourselves into thinking that we have arrived. We get tricked into thinking that our everyday, day in, day out routine is what life is about.

One way you can jump start yourself off the same old same old routine is to look at experiences with fresh eyes. Ask yourself before falling to sleep every night, “What did I learn today?” And let the answers come in your dreams. You may be surprised to find that you knew the secret all along, you just needed to remember. 


Create New Traveling Paths For Success

First allow me to apologize to my readers who have been wondering where I’ve been the last couple of days. I moved to a new city this weekend, and in the hustle and bustle of moving I haven’t had time to write any new articles. Henceforth I shall be posing at my regular intervals, so those of you that have sent emails wondering what’s up, all is well. And thanks for the thoughts.

Moving to a new city is both exciting and sad. Exciting because you get to meet new people, introduce yourself to strangers, and explore new areas of a new neighborhood. One of my favorite parts of moving into a new neighborhood is finding all the local coffee shops and bookstores. It’s places like that where you can chill out and read something interesting that can perhaps expand your mind.

Another thing that is both exciting and sad is saying goodbye the old and creating a new morning walk. My previous walk in my old city took several iterations until it was just right. You know how you try something, and keep shifting it a little bit until you get it just right, right? Like when you order a coffee and you get the sugar and milk ratio just right. It’s as though you don’t really want the refill because you don’t want to mess up the perfect mix that you’ve created.

So I was on my first exploratory morning walk, going down this small side street, checking out this bridge, looking in the window of that shop. And it made me think of how the brain is able to create new memories. From a structural standpoint, it’s almost identical to creating a new traveling route.

Like for example, if somebody says ‘baseball,’ and you automatically think of ‘hotdog,’ that means there is a strong electrical/chemical/physical connection in your brain between the collection of neurons for all things ‘baseball’ and all things ‘hotdog.’ Mentioning one automatically makes you remember another.

So as I was walking I started wondering, as I usually do, which is one of the main reasons for my walks. What if you could engineer the connections in your brain, instead of letting them grow on their own? For example, what happens when you think of the following words:






What words did you come up with? Did you like them? Would you like to change them? One of the great things about human development is that you can learn to create associations in your brain, just like you create a new traveling route, as I was doing this morning. For example, when you think of the word ‘test,’ what if you automatically thought ‘a great opportunity for to show your knowledge?’ Or if somebody says ‘economy,’ how would you like to think ‘a fantastic complex structure where you can make incredible amounts of money?’

Of course, just as it will take time for me to create and settle into a new walking route, it won’t be automatic for you to create new connections, but don’t you think that it’s worth the effort?

I can’t wait until tomorrow morning. There is another street I saw that I hadn’t been down yet. How about you?


The Incredible Power of Importance

So I was talking my friend tonight, we went out to eat in a local restaurant that specialized in spicy food. In fact I think the restaurant name was Spicy Food, if you can imagine that. I guess the owner wasn’t able to feel really creative when he was designing the name of the restaurant. Which is kind of how some things go, you just kind of pick a name, and off you go. And I suppose that the name worked, because the place was fairly popular. We were lucky to get a table because it filled up rather quickly after we sat down. It’s not a big place, it’s actually on the third floor in a small building above a clothing boutique. Kind of like those weird shops that sell strange things that make you wonder how they manage to stay in business.

So anyways, my friend was telling me about his big plans to start up his own restaurant. He’d been checking out a lot of the local places, you know the way you do because you just feel it’s the right thing to do, right? And because you can realize this you can probably understand why my friend was making sure to go slow and make sure he was able to understand the process. Because nobody really wants to start a business and then have the business not make any money, right? Of course you realize that the most important part of a business is to make money. Or it probably should be up there on the list of important things, if indeed you are one of those people that keep lists of important things.

And it’s kind of interesting when you think about the whole concept of important things. Because what is at the top of the list of course is usually thought to be the most important thing, but what happens if stuff at the bottom is not met, how in the world can the stuff at the top important if the stuff underneath isn’t being taken care of?

For example, I was a at a lecture once given by a Buddhist Priest that was visiting from a different temple that the one we were. There were a lot of people there, and some had some from clear across the prefecture. There was one guy who took a day off work to visit this lecture, and another guy who had to bribe his wife with a day of shopping for the lecture.

And he started talking about things that we think are important, and it turns out that they really aren’t all that important, when you stop and think about it. And the things that we don’t think are important are the things that we neglect, but most of the time the things that we neglect turn out to be the most important of all. Unfortunately a lot of times we don’t realize important things until they are gone. It’s like we never learn to realize the significance of all that is around us. He said that we need to really understand that all of the big things in life are really made up of important little things. And without the little things, there are no big things. And one of the cool things about that, at least according to him, is that the first thing you’ll realize when you accept this simple idea is that you are literally surrounded with fantastic abundance just waiting for you to recognize it.

Like that table of really cute girls that came in to the restaurant midway through our dinner. We sure recognized them, and they sure recognized us. But I’ll leave that to another story.


The Wonderful Difference Between Girls and Boys

I was having lunch with a friend of mine the other day, when he started telling me about this weird internet radio show he was listening to. They were having some kind of a debate between a pastor of some church that neither me or my friend had ever heard of, and this biologist, or zoologist, or something. And they kept taking calls in, which was odd in and of itself, naturally because they show didn’t really seem to have any set parameters, it was just kind of a free for all.

For example this one caller called in and started saying that it was impossible that people came from monkeys, and another guy called in and said “yea, that’s exactly right, we didn’t come from monkeys, we evolved from Australopithecus africanus, which is totally different from monkeys, which proves that evolution is correct.”
Which I actually thought I remembered reading somewhere. Then they started talking about how some differences between men and woman can be attributed to differences in how we lived hundreds of thousands of years ago.

The guy was saying that our minds and bodies evolved for thousands of generations to live on the savanah in small groups of hunter/gathering tribes. And because we lived for so long like that, our bodies are still pretty much designed for that kind of life. Living in big groups in agricultural societies is relatively recent in human history.

For example, men were generally the hunters, and women were usually the gathers. So over the course of several hundred thousand years, men developed sight that was geared more for looking at possible game far off in the distance, and kind of not seeing what was on either side of him. (At least not in much detail.) Women, on the other hand, developed sight that was more for short range hunting for food. So women’s sight is naturally much stronger as far as peripheral vision goes, and men’s sight is much better as far as seeing points off in the distance.

So if you’re a guy, and you can’t find your keys, ask your wife or girlfriend. She is probably looking at them the whole time you’ve been searching. And if your a girl, don’t get too angry with your boyfriend or husband if he doesn’t mind clutter. He literally can’t see it.

Which kind of explains why guys have to turn their heads to look at the girls around them when you two are out and about. Otherwise, they literally can’t see them. And now we know the secret why girls don’t need to turn their heads to check out all the guys. Simply because they have such super sonic peripheral vision, they can check them out all day long and nobody is the wiser. Who knew.


Three Undisputable Powers of Humanity

Have you ever sat down and thought about what is really important in life? Really important to you? What kinds of things do you usually come up with? Love, Respect, Communication? Being recognized for a job well done? Freedom to create and express your life to others?

How about in your family? Have you ever sat down as a family and discussed what was important to you as a group? Or maybe your Mom or Dad ‘laid down the law’ so to speak. What was important then? Kids doing their homework? Coming home before curfew? A good education?

What about at work? I’m sure you’ve heard or read about or have been involved with creating a ‘mission statement’ for a company at one time or another.

“Our company shall strive to provide real time solutions to emerging problems in a timely manner with respect for the environment and the community.”

“Company XYZ envisions a future where everybody uses XYZ products for the enlightenment of man and the realization of life’s purpose.”

How about this one: “McDonald’s vision is to be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.” No kidding.

What about the mission statement for the leaders of your country?

What do you think the three most important values of the entire human race are? Well, let’s have a look, shall we?

One way to look at what’s important is what are the most widely spoken languages in the world today. Perhaps they can give us a clue.

The most spoken language today is Mandarin Chinese, with about a billion speakers. That’s a lot of people. How’d they get so numerous? Well, most of them live in China, so they didn’t invade surrounding countries to spread their language. So one conclusion is that they got to be number one in terms of language spoken by sheer reproductive success and effectiveness. So the most spoken language in the world is spoken by the people that made the most people.

How about the second most spoken language in the world? English. And how did English get to be so popular? Maybe it might have something to do with the fact that up until a couple hundred years ago, “the sun never set on the English empire.” So English, then, was spread around the world because the English themselves spread it around the world. For what purpose? Namely trade. Business. So the second most spoken language in the world was spread because of worldwide interest in commerce.

How about the third most spoken language in the world? Spanish. And who spread the Spanish language? Spain of course. And what was the underlying motivation for Spanish people in the old days roaming the planet and spreading their language? Religion. Generally speaking, first the priests would come, and then the conquistadors.

So there you have it. A quick study in how different languages were spread around the world yields a quick and dirty look into the three most important things that have generally been important to the human race over the last thousand years or so.






Easily Tap Into Abundant Prosperity

Prosperity. Abundance. The Law of Attraction. The Secret.

These concepts have been very popular in recent years. A check of “The Secret” on google yields over three hundred million pages. The other words yield similar results. What is it about these concepts that elicit such interest? Easy money? More of the good stuff in life? Happiness? The fact that these concepts have been around for ages tells there might be something deeper involved that just getting rich quick.

With literally hundreds of courses and seminars and webpages and blogs telling us how to make money quickly and easily, why are so many people still living a life of lack? I used to have a friend that was involved in the heavy lifting portion of buying and selling real estate. That is, he owned a carpeting company and was contracted out by the guys that would by foreclosures, fix them up, and then re sell them. One of the startling things he discovered was that sometimes in the houses, people would leave behind books on prosperity and abundance. If these books that were left in foreclosed houses don’t hold the answers, what does?

I think a lot of the material out there on abundance and law of attraction really only touches the surface. I believe that in order to truly attract abundance, you need to take a deep look at your beliefs. And this can take time and effort, which is what many people are trying to avoid when they buy into these seemingly ‘get rich quick’ ideas. Not that there’s anything wrong with getting rich quick. I also think you need to be internally prepared to accept abundance.

I remember reading a project Oprah did many years ago. She selected a group of down and out people, and gave them all houses, money, jobs, clothes, everything. What do you think happened? Yep. Twelve months later they were all back out on the street.

And we’ve all heard stories of sudden lottery winnings that have ruined peoples lives.

I think it’s clear from this that before being able to attract true abundance, you need to do some deep inner work to make sure you’re ready to receive.

One thing I’ve found that helps me tremendously, is the Prosperity Paraliminal CD from Learning Strategies Corporation. I’ve written about them before, as I own almost everything they produce. That’s one of their CD’s I’ve listened to several dozen times, and know I will several more. Like the Self Esteem Supercharger, it uses a variety of techniques to lower your conscious resistance to deep changework. It uses a dual induction method that will quickly bypass your conscious resistance to change, so that you can receive lasting benefits. In the left ear is a pretty cool metaphor, about two teachers, and in the right ear is some kind of visualization exercise. One of the interesting things is, is that the more you open yourself up to abundance on a deep level, the more you realize that it is so much more than just easy money.

One cool Jungian synchronicity that happened to me after a listening session was that I found a dollar bill in my laundry. Not a big deal until you consider I was living in Taiwan at the time, and really had no idea where that dollar bill came from. I did eventually find the source of the dollar bill (it wasn’t magic), but it was strange coincidence that it appeared when it did. The unconscious mind can work in strange ways sometimes.

If you are interested in exploring a fairly low cost way to increase your capacity for abundance, have a look over at Learning Strategies. You might find something interesting.


Use Two Simple Social Principles to Create Irresistible Charisma

How would you like to develop an almost psychic ability to determine if other people were attracted to you or not? How would you like to develop such irresistible powers of charisma that people of the opposite sex would melt whenever you showed up?

Not as far fetched as it sounds when you combine two simple but fascinating concepts. You’ll see why in a minute. But first I want to say thanks for all the positive responses I’ve received so far for other articles. It always feels good to get nice feedback.

The first concept involves a study that was done in a university class. The professor was doing an experiment to see if pair bonding in humans follows the rule that like generally attracts like. That is, high status people attract high status people, medium status people attract medium status people and so on. Keep in mind this is not any law of nature or anything set in stone. It was just a simple experiment to show a simple phenomenon.

What they did was give a bunch of students some Popsicle sticks (or something resembling Popsicle sticks) with a number written on them. The numbers ranged from one to thirty, as there were thirty members of the class. The goal was that they all had to pair up, but they each had to pair up with the highest number that they could. The trick was that nobody could see their own number. So the unfortunate folks that had low numbers kept going around trying to pair up with high numbers, and were rejected over and over again. The people that had high numbers suddenly found themselves surrounded by people begging for their attention. All they had to do was to pick the highest number of the group clamoring for their attention.

So then, here is concept number one: 

People tend to set their level of status, at least in part, based on how others treat them.

Now we move on to concept number two. The self fulfilling prophecy. Imagine you are going a party. You are in a bummed out mood, you don’t think anybody will talk to you. So you already have a belief that you are uninteresting. You don’t put on your favorite shirt, you don’t spend too much time getting dressed. When you walk into the party, since you’ve already determined that nobody wants to talk to you, you keep your eyes lowered, you mumble a lot. And guess what? Nobody wants to talk to you.

Have you ever experienced the opposite? You do something really well, and because you are in such a fantastic mood, people treat you like a king. Even people that have never met you before, and have no idea you’ve just done something really awesome.

So then, here is concept number two:

People will treat you, at least in part, based on the level of status you give yourself.

Now imagine if you have these two working against you. You think you are a terrible loser. You walk around, acting like a terrible loser. Because you are acing like a terrible loser, people treat you like a terrible loser. Which makes you feel even more like a terrible loser, which makes people…..  You get the idea.

Now imagine the opposite. Nobody knows you from Adam. But because you feel really good, you walk upright, straight posture, smile on your face, and people naturally treat you kindly and with respect. Which makes you feel better, so you act bolder, more outgoing, with more charisma. Which makes people even notice you even more, and so on and so on.

So if you notice yourself in situation number one, how do you bust out and move into situation number two? Give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt. Briefly turn your focus in on yourself, and cheer yourself up. Give yourself a pep talk. Say nice things to yourself. After a few minutes of this, go out into the world and give others the benefit of the doubt. You smile at somebody and they don’t smile back? No problem, they’re too busy. They’re worried about something. Feel kindness for them, and silently wish them luck. You sit down and somebody fidgets a little bit? That’s ok. That just means that you made them a little nervous because your charisma is naturally growing. Be kind to them.

The trick is once you start paying attention to other people, simply allow yourself to interpret their actions in a favorable light. Who really knows what’s going on in their mind. They more you look for and expect positive feedback from others, the more you’ll naturally be able to see it and appreciate it for what it is.

Proof that you are incredibly charismatic and irresistibly drawing the uncontrollable desire of all those around you.