IMAGI-NATION

Have you ever wondered how children can sit through replay after replay of their favorite Lion King or Little Mermaid video? It amazes me that they’ll voluntarily watch the same show every day without a single complaint or request for something new.

What’s more amazing, though, is that adults do the very same thing with their days.

The majority of men and women play “movies” in their heads again and again, relentlessly focusing on the review of past events, most of which are unpleasant and disturbing experiences that have come their way.

If they’re actually able to stop their contemplation of past events, they allow impressions of their current surroundings and results to govern their lives. And, once in a while for variety’s sake, they’ll contemplate the future by either worrying about it, or daydreaming and wishing that something better might come along. And then they wonder why bad things keep happening to them, or why they never rise above the issues and obstacles in their lives.

Frankly, they would be better off watching The Lion King 40 times a day – because at least then, they’d be immersed in a creative and upbeat, positive process. See, most people have never learned how to “program” creative and upbeat “movies” in their heads because they’ve never been taught the value of creative visioning and purposeful thinking.

If you doubt me, listen to the varied conversations going on around you. Sadly enough, I can readily predict that you’ll hear a Dante’s nightmare of disconnected thoughts with very little effort put forth in carrying on a purposeful (much less positively-minded) conversation. While it is true that people are free to think anything they please, as long as they remain set in their ways, there is very little that can be done to change the unpleasant experiences that keep cropping up in their lives.

There is, however, a strong movement that is stirring the multitudes into a new conception of living. The study of the mind – and its veritable unearthly power – is at last taking its proper place in modern civilization. Proper use of the mind and its various faculties will give you anything you choose – but the emphasis here is on the word “proper.” To move in this favored direction requires study and focused, consistent effort … with a good measure of creative juices stirred in.

In the classic movie, Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle tells young Susie Walker she can become whatever she chooses through the aid of her imagination. Kris went on to explain, the “Imagi-Nation” is a place we can all go … just like the British nation or the French Nation.

Although this may seem a cute line from a movie, it’s also a very healthy way to view the imagination.

Your mind is a place you can purposely go to. And FREE WILL is your passport. No one is ever refused entry. There are no borders or limits put on the size of what can be built. And best of all, it’s a universal nation that allows all of us citizenry!

Just as the oak tree develops from the gene that lies within the acorn, and a bird develops from the gene that lies asleep in the egg, so too will your achievements grow from the organized plans that first begin with your imagination. An image in your mind is the first stage of the creative process in life. From your imagination your visions and plans arise.

In his bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill wrote, “You will never have a definite purpose in life; you will never have self-confidence; you will never have initiative and leadership unless you first create these qualities in your imagination and see yourself in possession of them.” He went on to say that, “… imagination is the most marvelous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force the world has ever known.”

Now, let’s use our imagination and start to build a picture. I want to introduce you to an interesting concept that I have taught in my seminars for years. If you grasp this concept to the fullest, you can BE, HAVE or DO anything your heart desires … and I mean anything.

I want to talk about Fantasy – Theory – Fact. The premise underlying this concept is that everything has its origination in the form of Fantasy, which some adventurous soul dared turn into a theory and then became bold enough to turn into a fact. The entire transition, of course, is the result of the highest form of positive thinking, concentration and what could very easily be construed as erratic behavior.

Give this serious thought for a moment. The idea of moon landings, communicating by email, traveling on jets, cellular phones or wearing synthetic garments was, a very short time ago, sheer fantasy. Today, they are considered commonplace. How did that happen? Well let’s take a few moments and give it some thought.

This entire cosmos is filled with thought stuff – a creative form of energy. Your marvelous mind has factors that you can, with little effort, develop to use to improve the quality of life, not just for yourself, but for human kind. Imagination is one of those creative faculties.

The individuals who were responsible for the conception and creation of the email, cell phones and any of the thousands of modern conveniences we enjoy today had a highly developed imagination. Furthermore, they were not easily influenced by the opinions of the masses, the naysayers who historically have criticized and ridiculed anything they do not understand. These pioneers used their mental faculties to fantasize, to build wild and wonderful pictures in their mind. Then, holding their thought with their will, they began to watch their fantasy unfold into a theory and then into fact. They seemed to have an innate awareness that if they could visualize it, they could do it.

Hence, the fantasy was turned into a theory followed by thoughts of how they could, not why they couldn’t. That is how we got out of the cave and into the condominium.

Let your mind play. Fantasize a much better form of life than you presently enjoy. Try it – you’ll like it! Draft your future with imagination, ponder and calculate with intelligence and awareness, then knit it carefully with care.

Your mental growth or development will determine what the future holds for you. Go to your mental nation and build a beautiful picture of where you want to find yourself one year from today. Then, devise paths and find tools to help get you there.

A few ideas:

  • Design an effective program for your own personal development.
  • Build a worthwhile library.
  • Make a list of 12 good books you will read and refer to – one each month.
  • Select programs that will help you understand the awesome powers you possess and how to utilize those powers in practical ways to improve the quality of your life.
  • Commit to reaching new goals. The only barrier separating you from your goal is ignorance – ignorance of how simple … and simply powerful … your mind really is.
  • Replace the ignorance with knowledge. And replace your old movies with the movies you’ve always wanted to write – they’re there, just waiting for you in your Imagi-Nation.

Use your imagination.

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Rafting through life

Have you ever had one of those days, or weeks, or months, or years, where everything you do seems to not work out as you expected? You lay your plans and try to implement them, and for some reason, no matter where you turn, it all falls apart.

I’ve had a few months like that, where it seemed that all the things I was carefully putting together were unraveling. As annoying as it’s been, it’s reminded me that control is just an illusion and that regardless of the best-laid plans, life will do what it wants.

I like to think of life as similar to riding down a river in a raft without a paddle! When things are good my raft is in the middle of the river, floating quickly and smoothly towards my destination. However, for no apparent reason the river may suddenly push it towards the edge, where the trees overhang and the rocks are plentiful.

As my raft continues to move, the low-hanging branches knock me around, we bang into rocks, and all I can do is hang on and try to stay in the boat. At other times my raft and I may end up in an eddy, where we go around in circles and I feel quite stuck. Occasionally the raft and I may actually go over the falls and I might be thrown into the water. When this happens my job is to remember to breathe as I attempt to get to the surface and climb back into the raft.

Whether my raft is floating effortlessly down the middle of the river, or headed for the falls, is often out of my control. My job is to continue to hang on, make sure I’ve done all I can (like wear a life jacket and tie everything down), stay with the raft at all costs, and know that eventually the situation will change.

This is what I’ve been focusing on these past several days, and as I move into a new week I can already feel my raft coming out of the eddy and once again moving smoothly down the river.

As much as I’d like to think things happen in my time, I‘m reminded once again that everything has its own time. So I have faith that the eventual outcome will be what I need, and persistence and tenacity are what will get me there.

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Not Seeing What’s Right in Front of Your Eyes

It all started this morning , when I started my search for my i-phone. I searched for almost 30 minutes and then I realised that it had camouflaged itself on the bed-sheet, the same bed where I was sitting , and I came to realise that we at time do not use our “real eyes” and are often blindfolded from the truth where what’s in front of us is not seen due to lack of perception.

Some things are too sensitive to be discussed. No wants to talk about the eight-hundred pound gorilla in the room, as the saying goes. The ‘gorilla’ could be a problem that causes defensiveness or embarrassment or something so potent that to acknowledge its presence is dangerous to yourself or the group. So there is the looking away, the pretending that it isn’t there. No one talks about the real problem, the eight-hundred pound gorilla. It is the unspoken presence.

The phrase “eight hundred pound gorilla” (or the six hundred and nine hundred pound variations) refers to something that everyone knows about and refuses to comment upon. But what if it weren’t figurative but a real gorilla in the room? Is it possible that while in the room it won’t be seen?

For example, if you are the beach and someone is drowning nearby, if you have your earbuds in and are engrossed in your book so that you don’t either hear or see the person, you can’t be judged immoral for not responding to the cries for help.

There was an experiment done by a professor in a psychology class

“So let’s end the class with something fun,” He said. He then showed them the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo

What they watched was the Chabris and Simons demonstration in which two teams, one in white shirts and the other in black shirts, pass a basketball back and forth. Viewers are instructed to count the number of passes made by the white-shirt team. My students, mostly working adults taking the nighttime class, diligently counted the passes and reported the results. Nearly all were right.

“Did you notice anything else?” He asked.

About half said they saw a gorilla walk across the court. The other half was incredulous, including one who was a surgeon and chief of a volunteer fire department. He then showed them the rest of the video. And sure enough there was a woman dressed in a gorilla suit who walks amongst the teams, thumps her chest and walks off camera, in view for 10 seconds.

That’s right, a gorilla in front of their eyes and half the class didn’t see it! This was consistent with other findings. Thousands have watched this video and about half don’t notice the gorilla.

In summarising the Chambris and Simons findings, Daniel Kahneman, in Thinking, Fast and Slow, says that those who fail to see the gorilla are initially sure it wasn’t there—as were my students. “The gorilla study illustrates two important facts about our minds: we can be blind to the obvious, and we also blind to our blindness.”

When we focus intently on one thing, we don’t see other things. This helps get the immediate task done but can also be a severe limitation. Real gorillas in real rooms are dangerous.

 

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Dalai Lama Quote

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”

 

“Fate is how your life unfolds when you let fear determine your choices. A path of destiny reveals itself to you, however, when you confront your fear and make conscious choices.” 

 

“I am convinced that the deepest desire within each of us is to be liberated from the controlling influences of our own psychic madness or patterns of fear. All other things—the disdain of ordinary life, the need to control others rather than be controlled, the craving for material goods as a means of security and protection against the winds of chaos—are external props that serve as substitutes for the real battle, which is the one waged within the individual soul.” 

 

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What happens to information in a black hole?

Inside a black hole, gravity is so intense that neither matter nor energy can escape. But in 1975, Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking said that something does escape: random particles now known as “Hawking radiation.” So if black holes eat organized matter – chock-full of information – and then spit out random noise, where does the information go?

Hawking said it gets locked up inside as the black hole eventually evaporates, destroying the information in the process. Which creates a paradox. Because the rules of physics say information, like matter and energy, can’t be destroyed.

Hawking was confident. He convinced his super-genius counterpart at Caltech, physicist Kip Thorne, that he was right – but Thorne’s colleague John Preskill remained skeptical. So they made a bet: Hawking and Thorne said the singularity at the heart of a black hole destroyed information; Preskill said “nuh-uh.” Then, in 2004, Hawking reversed his position and decided that things that fall into a singularity aren’t lost; their information does leak out, though no one, except maybe Hawking himself, can explain why or how.

He presented Preskill with a baseball encyclopedia from which, presumably, information can be retrieved at will. Preskill accepted only grudgingly. “Even if you’re Stephen Hawking, it’s possible to be wrong twice,” he says.

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