”Let Your Guilt Be Washed”

Buddha

”With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing so you will have no guilt.”

Zig Ziglar
You did something bad. And now you feel terrible. But the feeling won’t go away. It gnaws at you. Even worse, it makes you feel like you’re a bad person.

Nobody tells us how to deal with this, we all feel a wide range of emotions from time to time, but some feelings just don’t deserve to stick around — guilt being one of them. Unless you’ve done something terrible, you shouldn’t feel bad for your actions, and there are certain things you should never feel guilty doing, especially when they don’t hurt anyone. It’s easy to get caught up in pleasing others, but sometimes there are things we just need to do for ourselves without feeling bad about it.

A lot of the things I used to be upset about just don’t bother me anymore.  But one thing that does still bother me is the thought of people around the world suffering so much, and I feel guilty sometimes being so well-off when they’re not. How do we deal with that?

 

You should feel guilty only if you’re living in excess of what an individual life needs.  You need not to be guilty of your wellbeing.  It’s like, “I’m healthy, so I feel guilty because somebody is sick.”  No, I’m happy.  “I’m guilty because somebody is miserable.”  No.  If there are a lot of miserable people, the best thing you can do is at least you’re joyful.  That is the way the world happens.  “Everybody is miserable, so let me also become miserable” is not a solution, you’re adding to the problem.

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”Misery is not the solution”

So this is the choice that we have with every aspect of our life: either to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.  If you want to be a part of the solution, there’s a lot of misery on the planet.  A lot of misery is caused by one human being to another.  Naturally, there are a few things that happen, but most of it is caused by people – one set of people to another set of people.

So this is a simple example that, with very little, one can live joyfully.  Physical nourishment is needed – unfortunately, a lot of people don’t even have that.  They don’t have enough nourishment that is needed for human life to survive and flourish.  If that much is there, you’re alive, there’s no room for misery, you know?  The rest is only a game: how far you go.  How far you go or you do not go is just a game – all your four limbs intact and you’re alive.  And stomach is full!  Finished.

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What’s Your Problem?

In southern India, if you go to the villages when people meet each other – like here, you say how are they — “Saptingala,” that means, “Have you eaten?”  Because if you’ve eaten, what is the problem?   You can’t get that, you can eat and worry yourself to death.  No, no.  If you’ve eaten, what more problem can you have?  There’s really no other problem in life.  If you still have a problem…You don’t know where it begins, where it ends, you don’t know how the planet is spinning, you don’t know where it is floating, you don’t know how the universe happens – without knowing any of these things, you are enjoying the bounty of life.  If you cannot be grateful for that, I don’t know.  Something seriously wrong with you.

It’s a serious psychological ailment.  Because a lot of people have joined your club – or an asylum, whatever you want to call it – you think it’s normal to be miserable.  No.  Don’t feel guilty of your wellbeing.  Do the best that you can do with your life.  You are alive, you have youth on your side. What are you hesitating, man?  There are things to do!  If you don’t know what to do, ask me, I’ll tell you a thousand things I want to do.  I’ll set you up on one of those things.  My problem is time and energy, okay?  So if you have the time and energy, I’ll give you many things to do.  Please do it.  Let your guilt be washed.

”You Will Forever Remain Alive In My Heart And Memory”

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“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” 
― Haruki Murakami

If there is something for which life does not prepare us, it is death. Our hearts are used to breathing in gusts of energy, of vitality, of happy memories, and sometimes disappointment.

So, how can we accept the emptiness, the absence, the lack of company of those who no longer remain in our lives but are still so significant to us? It is something no one ever teaches us, something that almost nobody accepts as an inevitability.

Death is a void in the heart, an open wound in a day to day life. It bursts in unexpectedly and without time for good-byes. In reality, it should be like a peaceful parting on a train platform. It should allow one last conversation and one last comforting embrace.

We are sure that as we discuss this, there will be more than one absence on your mind. There is more than one space of emptiness in your soul that you long to fill every day. Is there one “right” way to accept the loss of a loved one?

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The answer is no. Each one of us, within our own distinctive characteristics, benefits from certain strategies that would not be useful for others. Nevertheless, there are a few essential guidelines that we invite you to consider with us.

We only hope that they serve to help you because remember: when someone leaves us, they never do completely. They remain alive in our memories and in our hearts. 

Ways to say goodbye in your heart, ways to accept the absence:-

Few experiences are like losing a loved one. It awakens within us so much emotional suffering. We feel so overwhelmed that the most common reaction is to feel paralyzed. The world insists on carrying on when, for us, everything has come to a screeching halt. 

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You will probably not be surprised to know that in moments of loss every dimension of our being, not only the emotional, are affected. There is physical suffering, cognitive disorientation, and even a crisis of values, especially if you follow some kind of philosophy or religion.

Death has entered our lives and, as such, we have had to accept it, and in a certain way “rebuild ourselves.” This process, as we already know, brings with it grief, that in general will last for a few months. Experiencing it and living with it is necessary. We will never forget our loved one, but we will learn to live with their absence.

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Let’s take a look at the most common phases of grief: 

  • Denial: We cannot accept what has happened. We struggle against reality and we deny it.
  • Anger: It is very common to feel mad at everyone and everything. We search for a “why,” a reason why we have lost this person. This is a normal progression of emotion and can last a few days or weeks.
  • Bargaining: This phase is essential in overcoming a loss. Through the failure to grasp and understand comes a small step towards reality. We now accept talking to other people, and to ourselves. We are able to see everything a little more calmly.
  • Emotional pain: Going through this phase is indispensable, cathartic, and vital. Each person will go through it in their own way. Some people will find relief in tears, others will seek out solitude to start taking steps forward, little by little… It is necessary.
  • Acceptance: Through rage, through that first glimpse of reality, and through the previous emotional solace, acceptance will come, slowly and calmly.

lost-memories-behind-my-longing-window-franziskus-pfleghart

Living through this grief and mourning is necessary to help us get through the loss:-He who does not accept it, he who does not learn to let go of a person and set them free, will remain paralyzed and possessed by a pain that will not let him move on with his life.

Lucy-Campbell-Painting-1

Accepting that there is no permanence, learning to let go:-

We could talk to you about the need to be prepared to face adversity, but in reality, it is something much simpler: accepting that our lives are not eternal, and life is full of moments that must be lived with passion. No one can live forever.

Accepting loss is not forgetting. Laughing and feeling happy does not mean we love the departed any less. It means we have made them part of our hearts, in harmony, and in peace. They form part of who we are, and are one with our thoughts and our actions. 

memories_by_art_is_my_oxygen-dadiq4c

We also know that for many people, some of these words will serve for nothing. There are unnatural losses. For example, a parent should never have to bury their child, and it is always painful to lose a significant other, a life partner that is part of our heart and that gives us life, strength, and courage.

It is not easy. Nobody warned us that life would bring these moments of pain. However, we must carry on, because this world is unrelenting. It flows on, rushing, almost without air, and requires us to keep breathing, and our hearts to keep beating.

fairy_tale_by_t1na-d8yy6eq

Don’t doubt that you must carry on. For those who no longer remain with you, and for yourself. To live is to honor the person you loved, carrying them with you every day, smiling for them, walking for them. Open your heart and allow yourself to move on, to shine for the one you lost but still love. 

 

”Re-Memory”

”The most beautiful things are not associated with money; they are memories and moments. If you don’t celebrate those, they can pass you by.”

Alek Wek
”Memories are stored in a region of the brain called the hippocampus.”

Memory is our past and future. To know who you are as a person, you need to have some idea of who you have been. And, for better or worse, your remembered life story is a pretty good guide to what you will do tomorrow. “Our memory is our coherence,” our reason, our feeling, even our action.” Lose your memory and you lose a basic connection with who you are.

”You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.”

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
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It’s no surprise, then, that there is a fascination with this quintessentially human ability. When I cast back to an event from my past – let’s say the first time I ever swam backstroke unaided in the sea – I don’t just conjure updates and times and places (what psychologists call “semantic memory”). I do much more than that. I am somehow able to reconstruct the moment in some of its sensory detail and relive it, as it were, from the inside. I am back there, amid the sights and sounds and seaside smells. I become a time traveler who can return to the present as soon as the demands of “now” intervene.

“Memory and forgetfulness are as life and death to one another. To live is to remember and to remember is to live. To die is to forget and to forget is to die.”

 

treasured-memory
This is quite a trick, psychologically speaking, and it has made cognitive scientists determined to find out how it is done. The sort of memory I have described is known as “autobiographical memory”, because it is about the narrative we make from the happenings of our own lives. It is distinguished from semantic memory, which is memory for facts, and other kinds of implicit long-term memory, such as your memory for complex actions such as riding a bike or playing a saxophone.

”Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”

Rosa Parks

quote-memory-and-forgetfulness-are-as-life-and-death-to-one-another-to-live-is-to-remember-and-to-samuel-butler-novelist-215515

When you ask people about their memories, they often talk as though they were material possessions, enduring representations of the past to be carefully guarded and deeply cherished. But this view of memory is quite wrong. Memories are not filed away in the brain like so many video cassettes, to be slotted in and played when it’s time to recall the past. Sci-fi and fantasy fictions might try to persuade us otherwise, but memories are not discrete entities that can be taken out of one person’s head, Dumbledore-style, and distilled for someone else’s viewing. They are mental reconstructions, nifty multimedia collages of how things were, that are shaped by how things are now. Autobiographical memories are stitched together as and when they are needed from information stored in many different neural systems. That makes them curiously susceptible to distortion, and often not nearly as reliable as we would like.

''Life Is A Beautiful Struggle''

”Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you think you’re wandering alone trying to raise your voice so everybody can hear you roaring, you’re damn wrong. In fact, you are surrounded by people who fight bloody combats in their minds between success and failure.

Whoever told you that life and success come easily is either pleasing you, or talk nonsense. Life is a balance of good and bad times along with picking out the best lessons out of both experiences. The theory of yin-yang shows life as one simple equation.

However, our main goal is to see ourselves happy being worth in a community. Unconsciously we want to be appreciated for what we do. It’s best to find your talent and spread it around the world. However easy it may sound, the previous sentence determines a lifespan of your whole life!

In the next top 10 signs that you’re succeeding in life, you will surely find at least couple of emotions with whom you fight the harsh battle.

”The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

why-is-life-such-a-constant-struggle1. You are determined more than ever.

The determination is the first thing you do consciously that will take you directly to your wishes. The determination means that you already have a clear goal and willing to sacrifice everything to grab that goal with both hands.

Emotions will rush through you to go back to the old habits. They will try to tuck in every negative thought to cut you off from your vision. Determination will determine (as the word says itself) that you will firmly stick to your future plan no matter the cost of the bill you have to pay.

If you ever feel this way, you are doing it right. Don’t flow away to your doubts for short-term satisfaction. GO FOR THE LONG RUN.

”Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

Oprah Winfrey

9-quotes-struggle

2. You feel like breaking down.

At the exact moment when you feel like the world falls down on you is the moment you have to decide two things: go down with it or elevate stronger than ever.

If you read books about self-determination, watch seminars and listen to audiobooks you will notice that all the knowledge is used to encourage us through harsh times – the ones where the world falls down on us. They remind us to see the beauty behind the thorns on the way.

Life is one big test where we have to see through all perspectives. The price we have to pay not to blur our dreams when encountering the weight of the world on our shoulders.

Know that giving up is going to take everything you wanted away (depending on your struggle.) So combine your energy and explode it out to raise yourself.

”Nothing is given to a man on earth – struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible – the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.

Andrew Bernstein
n-DEPRESSION-SHADOW-628x314

3. You firmly want to give up.

Following the sign of the hard struggle when you feel like breaking down, the mental state to give up will invade your mind. That’s really a sign that you are doing the right thing. I would state it as finding comfort in the discomfort.

Have in mind that you are encountering thousands of negative energies, angry drivers, wireless signals, toxic air, and what so not.

Rely on the side that you’ve been brave enough to get to this exact point after all the problems and circumstances, so don’t give up when you’re one step ahead of seeing the sun!

”The philosophy of life is this: Life is not a struggle, not a tension… Life is bliss. It is eternal wisdom, eternal existence.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

4. You choose to avoid night-out overwork.

pexels-photo-2050001

Everyone needs to hang out from time to time. We exchange thoughts, enjoy the time with our buddies, and have a fun time. But sometimes night-out needs to be avoided if we have crucial work to finish that might take us closer to the vision. And don’t get me wrong. I am no workaholic too.

We need to see from the perspective that we earn night-outs without having a hesitation in unfinished business at home (or work.) When we have all things done for that particular time, we can enjoy as much as we can, but not before that.

Free time needs to be earned through previous successful days of work. Believe me; the best memories are made when you have nothing left behind to occupy your mind.

”Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.”

Swami Vivekananda

life

5. You are less with wrong people.

First, I am no introvert, but quite the opposite. When I was having a tough, lonely period in my life I acknowledged the brightest lessons.

In those times you reveal your true friends and people who care about you the most.

While being lonely may seem like a dark period and something might be wrong with us, that period of our life is the enlightening. You are left alone with your experience to form your future.

Also, do not avoid people to reveal yourself, but when it comes to your future plans, take criticism seriously, but not personally. That’s what most people do. They criticize ideas and visions. You mustn’t let that touch yours.

”Ours is one continued struggle against degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the European, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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6. You are occupied with your success.

I think when being asked for occupation, we should answer with “success.” Emotions play with our mind when we determine to succeed in life. As I previously mentioned, we all have bad habits that have to be removed. That’s not easy at all.

Success should make us happy. It shouldn’t mean that “success” is endless money and one-mile houses. It means finishing consecutive small tasks every day. The big picture will come at the right time. Like a painter crafts his masterpiece. Piece by piece, Leonardo da Vinci made Mona Lisa.

If you are occupied with executing small tasks every day, you are walking the right, unique, authentic way of yours.

”Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.

Martin Luther King, Jr.”

life_is_a_beautiful_struggle_by_jeremyarts-d7v2ptz

7. You exchange life for something only you see.

First off, you sacrifice life with everything you do daily. You literally give up (something important and most valued) for the sake of your considerations. You exchange life for the picture in your head of rightfulness.

You see, when we imagine things EVERY DAY, we attract things we imagine. So when it comes to sacrificing we better do it for our perfect picture in our heads.

And no, you are giving up life for nothing. You switch every second and hand out struggle to your vision. The most interesting, frightening and motivational part is that you don’t know whether you will make it. But as we know, it’s all about perspective.

”The power of a person derives not from the office he occupies but from a clear sense of direction and aspiration and from a willingness to struggle for his ways and beliefs.”

Ariel Sharon

travel-quote-dare-to-live-your-life-482x7208. You know your goal as soon as you wake up.

Waking up may be the hardest part of the day for some people, but not for those who have the clear concise vision (of at least) how they should spend their day to be closer to a better tomorrow.

Every one of us can easily create a positive and creative way of thinking in a short period of time. If that time is in the morning, there’s a probability that the whole day will be spending positively.

Since the body falls asleep, “the machine” stops and rests until the morning. After that, the machine needs to be fed with an instant motivation to drive us around daily problems and obstacles on the road.

Imagine life differently. Find more comparisons, maybe funnier ones. You mustn’t look things as real as they are. The mind can expand as long as you’re willing to. Feed your mind with beauty in the morning.

”All of us, in a sense, struggle continuously all the time, because we never get what we want. The important thing which I’ve really learned is how do you not give up because you never succeed in the first attempt.”

Mukesh Ambani

life-is-a-struggle

9. You are struggling with every success.

When you walk the hard road, know that millions of people went through it. They even walked uglier roads to grasp success.

As billions of people passed the car tests and driving lessons, success means life is putting you to a test to see if you’re hard enough to endure it.

My thoughts were that you are not alone. If you were in somebody else’s shoes, you will see that your road is “piece of cake” according to theirs.

Know that people struggle through life to get things worth having.

“Nothing worth having comes easy.”

Life has to mean only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle!

Stevie Wonder

f7981cc68b8534a775c9e706456d6171

10. You are not alone.

Whoever reads this, you are not alone. You interact with the world. You attract the things you imagine. You are feeling exactly as you are now because of circumstances you made or attracted. Sometimes (even though very rarely) we are a victim of circumstance, but you have everything you need to change that.

It’s never too late to change your community, your life, your world. If you think you’re on the right foot, the world will get in accordance with it. If you want to change it’s never too late, either at an 8 or 98.

If you still think you’re not succeeding in life, one of the wealthiest people on earth succeeded when they taught they are lost in life.

”Life Is A Beautiful Struggle”

”Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you think you’re wandering alone trying to raise your voice so everybody can hear you roaring, you’re damn wrong. In fact, you are surrounded by people who fight bloody combats in their minds between success and failure.

Whoever told you that life and success come easily is either pleasing you, or talk nonsense. Life is a balance of good and bad times along with picking out the best lessons out of both experiences. The theory of yin-yang shows life as one simple equation.

However, our main goal is to see ourselves happy being worth in a community. Unconsciously we want to be appreciated for what we do. It’s best to find your talent and spread it around the world. However easy it may sound, the previous sentence determines a lifespan of your whole life!

In the next top 10 signs that you’re succeeding in life, you will surely find at least couple of emotions with whom you fight the harsh battle.

”The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

why-is-life-such-a-constant-struggle1. You are determined more than ever.

The determination is the first thing you do consciously that will take you directly to your wishes. The determination means that you already have a clear goal and willing to sacrifice everything to grab that goal with both hands.

Emotions will rush through you to go back to the old habits. They will try to tuck in every negative thought to cut you off from your vision. Determination will determine (as the word says itself) that you will firmly stick to your future plan no matter the cost of the bill you have to pay.

If you ever feel this way, you are doing it right. Don’t flow away to your doubts for short-term satisfaction. GO FOR THE LONG RUN.

”Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

Oprah Winfrey

9-quotes-struggle

2. You feel like breaking down.

At the exact moment when you feel like the world falls down on you is the moment you have to decide two things: go down with it or elevate stronger than ever.

If you read books about self-determination, watch seminars and listen to audiobooks you will notice that all the knowledge is used to encourage us through harsh times – the ones where the world falls down on us. They remind us to see the beauty behind the thorns on the way.

Life is one big test where we have to see through all perspectives. The price we have to pay not to blur our dreams when encountering the weight of the world on our shoulders.

Know that giving up is going to take everything you wanted away (depending on your struggle.) So combine your energy and explode it out to raise yourself.

”Nothing is given to a man on earth – struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible – the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.

Andrew Bernstein
n-DEPRESSION-SHADOW-628x314

3. You firmly want to give up.

Following the sign of the hard struggle when you feel like breaking down, the mental state to give up will invade your mind. That’s really a sign that you are doing the right thing. I would state it as finding comfort in the discomfort.

Have in mind that you are encountering thousands of negative energies, angry drivers, wireless signals, toxic air, and what so not.

Rely on the side that you’ve been brave enough to get to this exact point after all the problems and circumstances, so don’t give up when you’re one step ahead of seeing the sun!

”The philosophy of life is this: Life is not a struggle, not a tension… Life is bliss. It is eternal wisdom, eternal existence.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

4. You choose to avoid night-out overwork.

pexels-photo-2050001

Everyone needs to hang out from time to time. We exchange thoughts, enjoy the time with our buddies, and have a fun time. But sometimes night-out needs to be avoided if we have crucial work to finish that might take us closer to the vision. And don’t get me wrong. I am no workaholic too.

We need to see from the perspective that we earn night-outs without having a hesitation in unfinished business at home (or work.) When we have all things done for that particular time, we can enjoy as much as we can, but not before that.

Free time needs to be earned through previous successful days of work. Believe me; the best memories are made when you have nothing left behind to occupy your mind.

”Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.”

Swami Vivekananda

life

5. You are less with wrong people.

First, I am no introvert, but quite the opposite. When I was having a tough, lonely period in my life I acknowledged the brightest lessons.

In those times you reveal your true friends and people who care about you the most.

While being lonely may seem like a dark period and something might be wrong with us, that period of our life is the enlightening. You are left alone with your experience to form your future.

Also, do not avoid people to reveal yourself, but when it comes to your future plans, take criticism seriously, but not personally. That’s what most people do. They criticize ideas and visions. You mustn’t let that touch yours.

”Ours is one continued struggle against degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the European, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

Mahatma Gandhi

maxresdefault
6. You are occupied with your success.

I think when being asked for occupation, we should answer with “success.” Emotions play with our mind when we determine to succeed in life. As I previously mentioned, we all have bad habits that have to be removed. That’s not easy at all.

Success should make us happy. It shouldn’t mean that “success” is endless money and one-mile houses. It means finishing consecutive small tasks every day. The big picture will come at the right time. Like a painter crafts his masterpiece. Piece by piece, Leonardo da Vinci made Mona Lisa.

If you are occupied with executing small tasks every day, you are walking the right, unique, authentic way of yours.

”Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.

Martin Luther King, Jr.”

life_is_a_beautiful_struggle_by_jeremyarts-d7v2ptz

7. You exchange life for something only you see.

First off, you sacrifice life with everything you do daily. You literally give up (something important and most valued) for the sake of your considerations. You exchange life for the picture in your head of rightfulness.

You see, when we imagine things EVERY DAY, we attract things we imagine. So when it comes to sacrificing we better do it for our perfect picture in our heads.

And no, you are giving up life for nothing. You switch every second and hand out struggle to your vision. The most interesting, frightening and motivational part is that you don’t know whether you will make it. But as we know, it’s all about perspective.

”The power of a person derives not from the office he occupies but from a clear sense of direction and aspiration and from a willingness to struggle for his ways and beliefs.”

Ariel Sharon

travel-quote-dare-to-live-your-life-482x7208. You know your goal as soon as you wake up.

Waking up may be the hardest part of the day for some people, but not for those who have the clear concise vision (of at least) how they should spend their day to be closer to a better tomorrow.

Every one of us can easily create a positive and creative way of thinking in a short period of time. If that time is in the morning, there’s a probability that the whole day will be spending positively.

Since the body falls asleep, “the machine” stops and rests until the morning. After that, the machine needs to be fed with an instant motivation to drive us around daily problems and obstacles on the road.

Imagine life differently. Find more comparisons, maybe funnier ones. You mustn’t look things as real as they are. The mind can expand as long as you’re willing to. Feed your mind with beauty in the morning.

”All of us, in a sense, struggle continuously all the time, because we never get what we want. The important thing which I’ve really learned is how do you not give up because you never succeed in the first attempt.”

Mukesh Ambani

life-is-a-struggle

9. You are struggling with every success.

When you walk the hard road, know that millions of people went through it. They even walked uglier roads to grasp success.

As billions of people passed the car tests and driving lessons, success means life is putting you to a test to see if you’re hard enough to endure it.

My thoughts were that you are not alone. If you were in somebody else’s shoes, you will see that your road is “piece of cake” according to theirs.

Know that people struggle through life to get things worth having.

“Nothing worth having comes easy.”

Life has to mean only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle!

Stevie Wonder

f7981cc68b8534a775c9e706456d6171

10. You are not alone.

Whoever reads this, you are not alone. You interact with the world. You attract the things you imagine. You are feeling exactly as you are now because of circumstances you made or attracted. Sometimes (even though very rarely) we are a victim of circumstance, but you have everything you need to change that.

It’s never too late to change your community, your life, your world. If you think you’re on the right foot, the world will get in accordance with it. If you want to change it’s never too late, either at an 8 or 98.

If you still think you’re not succeeding in life, one of the wealthiest people on earth succeeded when they taught they are lost in life.

''Our Memories''

Our ability to remember forms the basis of who we are and is a psychological trick that fascinates cognitive scientists. But how reliable are our memories?

Memory is our past and future. To know who you are as a person, you need to have some idea of who you have been. And, for better or worse, your remembered life story is a pretty good guide to what you will do tomorrow. “Our memory is our coherence” our reason, our feeling, even our action.” Lose your memory and you lose a basic connection with who you are.

marcustulliuscicero1

It’s no surprise, then, that there is a fascination with this quintessentially human ability. When I cast back to an event from my past – let’s say the first time I ever swam backstroke unaided in the sea – I don’t just conjure updates and times and places (what psychologists call “semantic memory”). I do much more than that. I am somehow able to reconstruct the moment in some of its sensory detail and relive it, as it were, from the inside. I am back there, amid the sights and sounds and seaside smells. I become a time traveler who can return to the present as soon as the demands of “now” intervene.

This is quite a trick, psychologically speaking, and it has made cognitive scientists determined to find out how it is done. The sort of memory I have described is known as “autobiographical memory” because it is about the narrative we make from the happenings of our own lives. It is distinguished from semantic memory, which is a memory for facts, and other kinds of implicit long-term memory, such as your memory for complex actions such as riding a bike or playing a saxophone.

When you ask people about their memories, they often talk as though they were material possessions, enduring representations of the past to be carefully guarded and deeply cherished. But this view of memory is quite wrong. Memories are not filed away in the brain

1867004-Miguel-Ruiz-Quote-The-dream-of-life-is-really-an-illusion-and

like so many video cassettes, to be slotted in and played when it’s time to recall the past. Sci-fi and fantasy fictions might try to persuade us otherwise, but memories are not discrete entities that can be taken out of one person’s head, Dumbledore-style, and distilled for someone else’s viewing. They are mental reconstructions, nifty multimedia collages of how things were, that are shaped by how things are now. Autobiographical memories are stitched together as and when they are needed from information stored in many different neural systems. That makes them curiously susceptible to distortion, and often not nearly as reliable as we would like.

575x360-v-dpc-93555606

We know this from many different sources of evidence. Psychologists have conducted studies on eyewitness testimony, for example, showing how easy it is to change someone’s memories by asking misleading questions. If the experimental conditions are set up correctly, it turns out to be rather simple to give people memories of events that never actually happened. These recollections can often be very vivid, as in the case of a study by Kim Wade at the University of Warwick. She colluded with the parents of her student participants to get photos from the undergraduates’ childhoods, and to ascertain whether certain events, such as a ride in a hot-air balloon, had ever happened. She then doctored some of the images to show the participant’s children face in one of these never-experienced contexts, such as the basket of a hot-air balloon in flight. Two weeks after they were shown the pictures, about half of the participants “remembered” the childhood balloon ride, producing some strikingly vivid descriptions, and many showed surprise when they heard that the event had never occurred. In the realms of memory, the fact that it is vivid doesn’t guarantee that it really happened.

Even highly emotional memories are susceptible to distortion. The term “flashbulb memory” describes those exceptionally vivid memories of momentous events that seem burned in by the fierce emotions they invoke. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a consortium of researchers mobilized to gather people’s stories about how they heard the news. When followed up three years later, almost half of the testimonies had changed in at least one key detail. For example, people would remember hearing the news from the TV, when actually they initially told the researchers that they had heard it through word of mouth.

What accounts for this unreliability? One factor must be that remembering is always re-remembering. If I think back to how I heard the awful news about 9/11 (climbing out of a swimming pool in Spain), I know that I am not remembering the event so much as my last act of remembering it. Like a game of Chinese whispers, any small error is likely to be propagated along the chain of remembering. The sensory impressions that I took from the event are likely to be stored quite accurately. It is the assembly – the resulting edit – that might not bear much resemblance to how things actually were.

When we look at how memories are constructed by the brain, the unreliability of memory makes perfect sense. In storyboarding an autobiographical memory, the brain combines fragments of sensory memory with a more abstract knowledge about events and reassembles them according to the demands of the present. The memory researcher Martin Conway has described how two forces go head to head in remembering. The force of correspondence tries to keep memory true to what actually happened, while the force of coherence ensures that the emerging story fits in with the needs of the self, which often involves portraying the ego in the best possible light.

image-20160728-12089-138u97v

One of the most interesting writers on memory, Virginia Woolf, shows this process in action. In her autobiographical essay, A Sketch of the Past, she tells us that one of her earliest memories is of the pattern of flowers on her mother’s dress, seen close-up as she rested on her lap during a train journey to St Ive’s. She initially links the memory to the outward journey to Cornwall, noting that it is convenient to do so because it points to what was actually her earliest memory: lying in bed in her St Ives nursery listening to the sound of the sea. But Woolf also acknowledges an inconvenient fact. The quality of the light in the carriage suggests that it is evening, making it more likely that the event happened on the journey back from St Ives to London. The force of correspondence makes her want to stick to the facts; the force of coherence wants to tell a good story.

How many more of our memories are a story to suit the self? There can be no doubt that our current emotions and beliefs shape the memories that we create. It is hard to remember the political beliefs of our pasts, for example, when so much has changed in the world and in ourselves. How many of us can accurately recall the euphoria at Tony Blair’s election in 1997? When our present-day emotions change, so do our memories. Julian Barnes describes this beautifully in his Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending when a shift in his protagonist Tony’s feelings towards his former lover’s parents unlocks new memories of their relationship. “But what if, even at a late stage, your emotions relating to those long-ago events and people change? … I don’t know if there’s a scientific explanation for this … All I can say is that it happened and that it astonished me.”

Of all the memories we cherish, those from childhood are possibly the most special. Few of us will have reliable memories from before three or four years of age, and recollections from before that time need to be treated with skepticism. When you think about the special cognitive tricks involved in autobiographical memory, it’s perhaps no surprise that it takes a while for children to start doing it right. Many factors seem to be critical in children’s emergence from childhood amnesia, including language and narrative abilities. When we are able to encode our experience in words, it becomes much easier to put it together into a memory. Intriguingly, though, the boundary of childhood amnesia shifts as you get closer to it. As a couple of recent studies have shown, if you ask children about what they remember from infancy, they remember quite a bit further back than they are likely to do as adults.

There are implications to the unreliability of childhood memories. A recent report commissioned by the British Psychological Society warned professionals working in the legal system not to accept early memories (dating from before the age of three) without corroborating evidence. One particular difficulty with early memories is their susceptibility to contamination by visual images, such as photographs and video. I’m sure that several of my childhood memories are actually memories of seeing myself in photos. When we look back into the past, we are always doing so through a prism of intervening selves. That makes it all the more important for psychologists studying memory to look for confirming evidence when asking people to recall their pasts.

And yet these untrustworthy memories are among the most cherished we have. Memories of childhood are often made out to have a particular kind of authenticity; we think they must be pure because we were cognitively so simple back then. We don’t associate the slipperiness of memory with the guilelessness of youth. When you read descriptions of people’s very early memories, you see that they often function as myths of creation. Your first memory is special because it represents the point when you started being who you are. In Woolf’s case, that moment in her bed in the St Ives nursery was the moment she became a conscious being. “If life has a base that it stands upon,” she wrote, “if it is a bowl that one fills and fills and fills – then my bowl without a doubt stands upon this memory.”

Memory-hippocampus-brain-631

What should we do about this troublesome mental function? For one thing, I don’t think we should stop valuing it. Memory can lead us astray, but then it is a machine with many moving parts and consequently many things that can go awry. Perhaps even that is the wrong way of looking at it. The great pioneer of memory research, Daniel Schacter, has argued that, even when it is failing, memory is doing exactly the thing it is supposed to do. And that purpose is as much about looking into the future as it is about looking into the past. There is only a limited evolutionary advantage in being able to reminisce about what happened to you, but there is a huge payoff in being able to use that information to work out what is going to happen next. Similar neural systems seem to underpin past-related and future-related thinking. Memory is endlessly creative, and at one level it functions just as imagination does.

That’s how I think we should value memory: as a means for endlessly rewriting the self. It’s important not to push the analogy with storytelling too far, but it’s a valuable one. Writing about her novel, Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel has explained how she brought the protagonist Thomas Cromwell alive for the reader by giving him vivid memories. When writers create imaginary memories for their characters, they do a similar kind of thing to what we all do when we make a memory. They weave together bits of their own personal experience, emotions and sensory impressions and the minutiae of specific contexts, and tailor them into a story by hanging them on to a framework of historical fact. They do all that while making them fit the needs of the narrative, serving the story as much as they serve truth.

To emphasize its narrative nature is not to undermine memory’s value. It is simply to be realistic about this everyday psychological miracle. If we can be more honest about memory’s quirks, we can get along with it better. When I think back to my first attempt at solo swimming, it doesn’t bother me that I have probably got some of the details wrong. It might be a fiction, but it’s my fiction, and I treasure it. Memory is like that. It makes storytellers of us all.

”Our Memories”

Our ability to remember forms the basis of who we are and is a psychological trick that fascinates cognitive scientists. But how reliable are our memories?

Memory is our past and future. To know who you are as a person, you need to have some idea of who you have been. And, for better or worse, your remembered life story is a pretty good guide to what you will do tomorrow. “Our memory is our coherence” our reason, our feeling, even our action.” Lose your memory and you lose a basic connection with who you are.

marcustulliuscicero1

It’s no surprise, then, that there is a fascination with this quintessentially human ability. When I cast back to an event from my past – let’s say the first time I ever swam backstroke unaided in the sea – I don’t just conjure updates and times and places (what psychologists call “semantic memory”). I do much more than that. I am somehow able to reconstruct the moment in some of its sensory detail and relive it, as it were, from the inside. I am back there, amid the sights and sounds and seaside smells. I become a time traveler who can return to the present as soon as the demands of “now” intervene.

This is quite a trick, psychologically speaking, and it has made cognitive scientists determined to find out how it is done. The sort of memory I have described is known as “autobiographical memory” because it is about the narrative we make from the happenings of our own lives. It is distinguished from semantic memory, which is a memory for facts, and other kinds of implicit long-term memory, such as your memory for complex actions such as riding a bike or playing a saxophone.

When you ask people about their memories, they often talk as though they were material possessions, enduring representations of the past to be carefully guarded and deeply cherished. But this view of memory is quite wrong. Memories are not filed away in the brain

1867004-Miguel-Ruiz-Quote-The-dream-of-life-is-really-an-illusion-and

like so many video cassettes, to be slotted in and played when it’s time to recall the past. Sci-fi and fantasy fictions might try to persuade us otherwise, but memories are not discrete entities that can be taken out of one person’s head, Dumbledore-style, and distilled for someone else’s viewing. They are mental reconstructions, nifty multimedia collages of how things were, that are shaped by how things are now. Autobiographical memories are stitched together as and when they are needed from information stored in many different neural systems. That makes them curiously susceptible to distortion, and often not nearly as reliable as we would like.

575x360-v-dpc-93555606

We know this from many different sources of evidence. Psychologists have conducted studies on eyewitness testimony, for example, showing how easy it is to change someone’s memories by asking misleading questions. If the experimental conditions are set up correctly, it turns out to be rather simple to give people memories of events that never actually happened. These recollections can often be very vivid, as in the case of a study by Kim Wade at the University of Warwick. She colluded with the parents of her student participants to get photos from the undergraduates’ childhoods, and to ascertain whether certain events, such as a ride in a hot-air balloon, had ever happened. She then doctored some of the images to show the participant’s children face in one of these never-experienced contexts, such as the basket of a hot-air balloon in flight. Two weeks after they were shown the pictures, about half of the participants “remembered” the childhood balloon ride, producing some strikingly vivid descriptions, and many showed surprise when they heard that the event had never occurred. In the realms of memory, the fact that it is vivid doesn’t guarantee that it really happened.

Even highly emotional memories are susceptible to distortion. The term “flashbulb memory” describes those exceptionally vivid memories of momentous events that seem burned in by the fierce emotions they invoke. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a consortium of researchers mobilized to gather people’s stories about how they heard the news. When followed up three years later, almost half of the testimonies had changed in at least one key detail. For example, people would remember hearing the news from the TV, when actually they initially told the researchers that they had heard it through word of mouth.

What accounts for this unreliability? One factor must be that remembering is always re-remembering. If I think back to how I heard the awful news about 9/11 (climbing out of a swimming pool in Spain), I know that I am not remembering the event so much as my last act of remembering it. Like a game of Chinese whispers, any small error is likely to be propagated along the chain of remembering. The sensory impressions that I took from the event are likely to be stored quite accurately. It is the assembly – the resulting edit – that might not bear much resemblance to how things actually were.

When we look at how memories are constructed by the brain, the unreliability of memory makes perfect sense. In storyboarding an autobiographical memory, the brain combines fragments of sensory memory with a more abstract knowledge about events and reassembles them according to the demands of the present. The memory researcher Martin Conway has described how two forces go head to head in remembering. The force of correspondence tries to keep memory true to what actually happened, while the force of coherence ensures that the emerging story fits in with the needs of the self, which often involves portraying the ego in the best possible light.

image-20160728-12089-138u97v

One of the most interesting writers on memory, Virginia Woolf, shows this process in action. In her autobiographical essay, A Sketch of the Past, she tells us that one of her earliest memories is of the pattern of flowers on her mother’s dress, seen close-up as she rested on her lap during a train journey to St Ive’s. She initially links the memory to the outward journey to Cornwall, noting that it is convenient to do so because it points to what was actually her earliest memory: lying in bed in her St Ives nursery listening to the sound of the sea. But Woolf also acknowledges an inconvenient fact. The quality of the light in the carriage suggests that it is evening, making it more likely that the event happened on the journey back from St Ives to London. The force of correspondence makes her want to stick to the facts; the force of coherence wants to tell a good story.

How many more of our memories are a story to suit the self? There can be no doubt that our current emotions and beliefs shape the memories that we create. It is hard to remember the political beliefs of our pasts, for example, when so much has changed in the world and in ourselves. How many of us can accurately recall the euphoria at Tony Blair’s election in 1997? When our present-day emotions change, so do our memories. Julian Barnes describes this beautifully in his Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending when a shift in his protagonist Tony’s feelings towards his former lover’s parents unlocks new memories of their relationship. “But what if, even at a late stage, your emotions relating to those long-ago events and people change? … I don’t know if there’s a scientific explanation for this … All I can say is that it happened and that it astonished me.”

Of all the memories we cherish, those from childhood are possibly the most special. Few of us will have reliable memories from before three or four years of age, and recollections from before that time need to be treated with skepticism. When you think about the special cognitive tricks involved in autobiographical memory, it’s perhaps no surprise that it takes a while for children to start doing it right. Many factors seem to be critical in children’s emergence from childhood amnesia, including language and narrative abilities. When we are able to encode our experience in words, it becomes much easier to put it together into a memory. Intriguingly, though, the boundary of childhood amnesia shifts as you get closer to it. As a couple of recent studies have shown, if you ask children about what they remember from infancy, they remember quite a bit further back than they are likely to do as adults.

There are implications to the unreliability of childhood memories. A recent report commissioned by the British Psychological Society warned professionals working in the legal system not to accept early memories (dating from before the age of three) without corroborating evidence. One particular difficulty with early memories is their susceptibility to contamination by visual images, such as photographs and video. I’m sure that several of my childhood memories are actually memories of seeing myself in photos. When we look back into the past, we are always doing so through a prism of intervening selves. That makes it all the more important for psychologists studying memory to look for confirming evidence when asking people to recall their pasts.

And yet these untrustworthy memories are among the most cherished we have. Memories of childhood are often made out to have a particular kind of authenticity; we think they must be pure because we were cognitively so simple back then. We don’t associate the slipperiness of memory with the guilelessness of youth. When you read descriptions of people’s very early memories, you see that they often function as myths of creation. Your first memory is special because it represents the point when you started being who you are. In Woolf’s case, that moment in her bed in the St Ives nursery was the moment she became a conscious being. “If life has a base that it stands upon,” she wrote, “if it is a bowl that one fills and fills and fills – then my bowl without a doubt stands upon this memory.”

Memory-hippocampus-brain-631

What should we do about this troublesome mental function? For one thing, I don’t think we should stop valuing it. Memory can lead us astray, but then it is a machine with many moving parts and consequently many things that can go awry. Perhaps even that is the wrong way of looking at it. The great pioneer of memory research, Daniel Schacter, has argued that, even when it is failing, memory is doing exactly the thing it is supposed to do. And that purpose is as much about looking into the future as it is about looking into the past. There is only a limited evolutionary advantage in being able to reminisce about what happened to you, but there is a huge payoff in being able to use that information to work out what is going to happen next. Similar neural systems seem to underpin past-related and future-related thinking. Memory is endlessly creative, and at one level it functions just as imagination does.

That’s how I think we should value memory: as a means for endlessly rewriting the self. It’s important not to push the analogy with storytelling too far, but it’s a valuable one. Writing about her novel, Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel has explained how she brought the protagonist Thomas Cromwell alive for the reader by giving him vivid memories. When writers create imaginary memories for their characters, they do a similar kind of thing to what we all do when we make a memory. They weave together bits of their own personal experience, emotions and sensory impressions and the minutiae of specific contexts, and tailor them into a story by hanging them on to a framework of historical fact. They do all that while making them fit the needs of the narrative, serving the story as much as they serve truth.

To emphasize its narrative nature is not to undermine memory’s value. It is simply to be realistic about this everyday psychological miracle. If we can be more honest about memory’s quirks, we can get along with it better. When I think back to my first attempt at solo swimming, it doesn’t bother me that I have probably got some of the details wrong. It might be a fiction, but it’s my fiction, and I treasure it. Memory is like that. It makes storytellers of us all.