Sunday, December 7, 2014

Why do families end up living so far away from each other?

False goals ... independence, career, busyness

Our culture, the media, and society have led us to believe in some interesting concepts that often drive us to forget what is really important in this life.

Independence: Is being independent really the ultimate goal? Why? Is it when you ultimately end up alone and away from those who love you? Why are we so reluctant to offer or ask for help from our family when in need? Why do parents work so hard to not be a burden to their children and vice versa? Being there for each other, sharing, hugging ... in person ... it cannot get better than that.

Careers: An abstract concept that we have been taught to value over many important things like family. Is it better to make a long-term move to another city/country in the name of a career and/or money and away from our loved ones? What are we really leaving behind?

Busyness: Is keeping oneself busy all the time better than thinking, loving, or just plain chilling? Why do we feel that we need to be busy all the time (and tell everybody about it)? Is it good to burn our short life span with infinite tasks, errands, and meaningless jobs and not with the people that we love? In person?

One last thing ... lets not forget that traveling and exploring the world is one of life's greatest joys ... but instead of moving permanently away from loved ones and family, lets do it knowing that when we are done with our adventures, there is a place that you can go back, where our loved ones are! Home!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What is the key to creating your own good luck?

Attitude, good will, and energy

The first ingredient is to be able to generate opportunities for "good luck" to happen. Getting out there to meet people, get involved, network, write something, play, exercise. Once we stir the pot, then it is all up to us.

The key is how we will deal and process this onslaught of opportunities - our attitude, our outlook, how we embrace risk, how we handle unknown situations, how we handle success, adversity, and, sometimes, failure. And, more importantly how we can make sure that we are having fun through the process, always!

Finally, the best predictor of good luck is good will. Doing good things for others just because there is chance to do it ... without expecting anything in return ... teach somebody something, help somebody with a difficult situation, put your arm around somebody when they feel down, love everybody.

For some unknown reason, the universe likes this : )

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What are some self-evident high-level truths that we often have a hard time believing?

The fact that nobody knows why we are here, where we come from, and what is in the afterlife.

I read a quote a while back that said that "any thought that defines the transcendent is one thought too many" ... because nobody knows. Traditionally, religions have attempted to fill this vacuum by creating interesting depictions. The reality is that religion is at its best when it focuses on human problems and not in trying to depict what is before or after life on this earth. Religion is at its best when it builds a sense of belonging in people, when it disseminates important values (e.g., help others). Religion fails when speculations about the afterlife distracts from important human issues.

The question about why we are here also boils down to the fact that nobody knows. At the end of the day, it is all up to each of us to live our lives every day the best way know how. To find purpose and fulfillment as we best see fit. Family seems to be a good source of purpose for many people. Anything related to people also seems important for many - helping, loving, etc.

So, lets not worry about the before or the after ... lets realize that nobody knows. Lets focus on the here and now ... on what makes us happy, fulfilled ... and enjoy it!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What is the key to self-improvement?

Quiet time.

When was the last time you had the chance to stop and think about the "why" of things? It seems that modern society is making us live our lives as an endless string of short, reactive actions ... emails, texts, internet, TV, errands, shopping.

What happened to the times when we would sit down with friends in a cafe, or a plaza, or a porch to simply socialize, philosophize, or to try to fix the world? What happened to the times when we would look forward to being alone in our rooms, or in a park, to simply think, or to write something interesting we just realized, or to observe the world around us?

They say that very few people have what it takes to become "enlightened" ... to rise above our human condition and to better understand the why of things. Most of us are too caught up in the day to day that we forget to slow down and to think about why things things are happening the way they are happening ... why people do what they do, why we feel what we feel.

Are we afraid to have free time because we do not want to get to know ourselves better? Do we fear having to think about deeper things? About the world? Why are we trying to fill every minute of the day with something to do?

Time to slow down and think a bit ... a side benefit? The passage of time slows down too. Weird : )

Friday, February 7, 2014

What is the main purpose of marriage?

Children.

Marriage is a well defined and mature institution that has become a key building block of most societies around the world.

Marriage is not only about love ... it is also about work, responsibility, and commitment ... it is about building something bigger than oneself with somebody we love.

Having children in a well structured, safe, and supportive environment is the ultimate test of two people's love for each other. The institution of marriage supports the creation of such an environment.

We do not need to marry somebody we love just because we love them. Marriage does not add anything to this situation (other than perhaps meeting some norms imposed by society.)

Marriage is the ultimate step in selflessness of two people in love ... for the sake of somebody else, their future children!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Will we be able to preserve privacy as technology develops?

Unlikely.

It is hard to believe that we will always be able to control the flow of information when it all becomes digital. When you consider that one small hiccup in security can yield incredibly vast amounts of data, why would we ever think that in the future we will be able to successfully control access and/or distribution of anything electronic all the time?

The real question is, what will happen when information about everything and about everybody is readily accessible? Your location and movements, your purchases, your personal information, your intellectual property, etc. Will it be too much that it will loose its allure? Will we develop some sort of apathy knowing that everything is available at our fingertips whenever we want it? Most likely.

Another important and real effect of all this transparency will be its impact on "questionable" practices - scams, crime, espionage, corruption, fraud ... no place to hide anymore!

Monday, February 3, 2014

How do you become more energetic?

By just doing.

Energy in our body is sort of an infinite resource. We can create mental energy by just having a plan, a goal. We can awaken all our senses and be energized about life and things by simply engaging the mind in the pursuit of a new and exciting objective. This is also a simple way to get out of a sad, lethargic, bored, or depressed state of mind.

Physical energy can also be created ... by just moving. The hardest thing is to take the first step. Have you ever hesitated to join your family and/or friends in some sort of activity that does not sound exciting at the moment ... but later you are grateful to have joined them because of all the fun you had with them? Where did all that energy, that you thought you did not have, come from?

Once engaged, physically or mentally, energy seems to come from nowhere and the amount of it often surprises us. Time seems to slow down, life seems to be brighter and fuller when doing something absorbing. At these times, we are in tune with who we are, with what we are doing, with achieving something ... reaching the top of a mountain, completing a trip, finishing a report.

So, yes, it is all about taking that first step ... and just doing it.