Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 Ways To Raise Your Consciousness

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” -Lao Tzu

Becoming more conscious is the progressive realization of conscious mastery over your mind.
10 Ways To Raise Your Consciousness

1. Truth - Truth raises your consciousness. Falsehood lowers it.

First, accept the truth. Whatever you’re afraid to know lowers your consciousness.

Secondly, speak the truth. If honesty is a challenge for you, it’s because you aren’t being honest enough with yourself. Lies you tell others are shadowed by lies you tell yourself.

The more you’re able to accept and speak the truth, the more conscious you become. Raise your consciousness by uncovering and dumping all traces of falsehood from your life. Allow this to be a gradual process. As your consciousness increases, genuine honesty will come more easily to you.

Yes, there may be consequences when you switch from lies and half-truths to the full truth, but highly conscious people know that crossing that bridge is well worth the effect.

A short-term adjustment is nothing compared to the joys of living honestly and openly. It’s so much easier and less stressful to be yourself and allow others to do the same. Not everyone will appreciate the real you, especially if they’ve grown accustomed to a false version, but that won’t matter once you accept and appreciate yourself.


2. Courage - Courage raises your consciousness. Cowardice lowers it.

Courage is the gatekeeper between unconscious growth and conscious growth. As long as you remain on the unconscious side, life will keep throwing problems at you until you step up and take charge. When you face your fear, the fear vanishes, and problems transform into opportunities. But when you run from your problems, your fear only grows.

A powerful guiding principle to adopt is, “Whatever I fear, I must face.” The more fears you face down, the more conscious you become. As you master this lesson, eventually courage becomes less necessary.

Once you develop the courage to face any fear life throws at you, you stop attracting so many fear-based experiences into your life. This is why courage is the dividing line between unconscious growth and conscious growth.

The mastery of courage gives you the power to decide how you’ll grow instead of being a victim of the whims of fate.


3. Compassion - Compassion raises your consciousness. Cruelty lowers it.

A great way to become more conscious is to search for signs of unconscious cruelty and disconnection in your life. This can be very difficult to do since it also requires courage. We naturally resist facing our own cruelty, but it’s there just waiting to be uncovered.

Compassion is the root of unconditional love, a feeling of connectedness with everything that exists. Do you feel connected to yourself? To others? To animals? To all living things? To everything that exists? The more you develop this connection, the more conscious and aware you become.


4. Desire - Desire raises your consciousness. Apathy lowers it.

When you get clear about what you want, such as by setting a goal, you raise your consciousness. Clarity focuses your mind and gives you the power to think and act intelligently. You can feel this effect whenever you think about something you definitely want.

On the other hand, when your desire is unclear, your consciousness is muddled. Your thoughts lack focus and direction, and you merely spin your wheels.

Strive to become more clear about what you truly desire most, and your consciousness will expand.


5. Attention - Attention raises your consciousness. Distraction lowers it.

Improving your ability to concentrate will make you more conscious. Pick up a rock and give it your full and complete attention, and notice what happens. But allow your mind to be riddled with distractions, and your consciousness will sink. A distracted mind is a powerless mind.

Meditation is a great way to practice attention and concentration. Sit quietly, breathe deeply, and focus your mind as you do your best to tune out distracting thoughts. This is simple to learn, but it can take a lifetime to master.


6. Knowledge - Knowledge raises your consciousness. Ignorance lowers it.

First and foremost, know thyself. Think deeply about your life, and keep a journal to record your thoughts. Ask questions to which you don’t know the answer, and then search for those answers.

Look around you as well, and soak up knowledge like a sponge. Interact with your environment with a sense of curiosity and wonder. Study it. Learn from it. Experiment with it.

Strive to understand reality, including your role in it, as accurately as possible. The more accurate your beliefs about reality are, the more conscious you become.


7. Reason - Reason raises your consciousness. Irrationality lowers it.

Logic is a powerful tool of consciousness when used correctly. It lends structure and substance to thought.

However, the great challenge of logic is the avoidance of false assumptions. A single false assumption can throw off a lifetime of otherwise logical conclusions. So challenge all of your beliefs, and never have too much certainty about those that rest on clouds.


8. Conscious people - Conscious people raise your consciousness. Unconscious people lower it.

Seek out others you perceive to be at a higher level of consciousness than you are. Talk to them, ask questions, and enjoy their presence. Allow their ideas and awareness to infect you, and you’ll find yourself expanding in all directions. You’ll become more honest, more courageous, more compassionate, and so on.

But spend time with people at a lower level of consciousness, and you’ll gradually sink to their level. Their thoughts will infect you as well, causing you to become more dishonest, more fearful, more apathetic, etc.

Strive to find a balance between spending time with those who raise your consciousness vs. spending time with those you can help. Learn from those who are a little more conscious, and help those who are a little less conscious than you. In this manner you serve the highest good of all, expanding consciousness everywhere.


9. Energy - Energy raises your consciousness. Disease lowers it.

Take care of your physical body, for it is your primary means of interacting with the world. Energy gives you an ongoing flow of vital life experiences. But without energy you starve your consciousness.

Eat with an awareness of what you’re consuming. Exercise with an awareness of how you’re affecting your body and mind. Before putting anything in your body, consider its effect on your energy, not just in the short term but in the long term as well. Always ask yourself, “Will this produce energy or disease?”


10. Intention - The intention to raise your consciousness raises it. The intention to lower your consciousness lowers it.

Consciousness has the capacity to self-expand or self-contract, just as you have the capacity to grow or to commit suicide. In any given moment, you have the freedom of choice.

By genuinely voicing the intention (or by offering the prayer), “I intend to become more conscious and aware,” you will initiate the expansion of your consciousness. Holding the intention to improve in any of the previous nine areas will yield a similar effect.

Alternatively, you are perfectly free to lower your consciousness at any time. While it’s unlikely you would choose to do so directly, you can achieve the same effect indirectly by lowering your performance in any of the previous nine areas. By choosing to lie, to succumb to fear, to commit acts of cruelty, to remain ignorant, and so on, you put out the intention to lower your consciousness. And in so doing, you initiate a process that will attract more falsehood, fear, cruelty, ignorance, etc. into your life.


Every thought you hold serves to either expand or contract your consciousness. There is no neutral. So choose wisely!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Be Happier: 10 Things to Stop Doing Right Now

Be Happier: 10 Things to Stop Doing Right Now 

by Jeff Haden (from www.inc.com)

Sometimes the route to happiness depends more on what you don't do.
sad and happy smiley face cupcakes


 
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Happiness--in your business life and your personal life--is often a matter of subtraction, not addition.
Consider, for example, what happens when you stop doing the following 10 things:
1. Blaming.
People make mistakes. Employees don't meet your expectations. Vendors don't deliver on time.
So you blame them for your problems.
But you're also to blame. Maybe you didn't provide enough training. Maybe you didn't build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon.
Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn't masochistic, it's empowering--because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time.
And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.
2. Impressing.
No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all "things." People may like your things--but that doesn't mean they like you.
Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.
Genuine relationships make you happier, and you'll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.
3. Clinging.
When you're afraid or insecure, you hold on tightly to what you know, even if what you know isn't particularly good for you.
An absence of fear or insecurity isn't happiness: It's just an absence of fear or insecurity.
Holding on to what you think you need won't make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will.
Even if you don't succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.
4. Interrupting.
Interrupting isn't just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you're really saying is, "I'm not listening to you so I can understand what you're saying; I'm listening to you so I can decide what I want to say."
Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say.
They'll love you for it--and you'll love how that makes you feel.
5. Whining.
Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better.
If something is wrong, don't waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you'll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now.
Don't talk about what's wrong. Talk about how you'll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.
And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don't just be the shoulder they cry on.
Friends don't let friends whine--friends help friends make their lives better.
6. Controlling.
Yeah, you're the boss. Yeah, you're the titan of industry. Yeah, you're the small tail that wags a huge dog.
Still, the only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you've decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs.
Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure--none of those let you feel good about yourself.
Find people who want to go where you're going. They'll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships.
And all of you will be happier.
7. Criticizing.
Yeah, you're more educated. Yeah, you're more experienced. Yeah, you've been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons.
That doesn't make you smarter, or better, or more insightful.
That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind, but in the end, just you.
Just like everyone else--including your employees.
Everyone is different: not better, not worse, just different. Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you'll see people--and yourself--in a better light.
8. Preaching.
Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging.
The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything--and to tell people everything you think you know.
When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don't listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.
9. Dwelling.
The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.
Then let it go.
Easier said than done? It depends on your focus. When something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn't know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.
The past is just training; it doesn't define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.
10. Fearing.
We're all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can't change, or what we won't be able to do, or how other people might perceive us.
So it's easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.
Meanwhile days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.
And so do our dreams.
Don't let your fears hold you back. Whatever you've been planning, whatever you've imagined, whatever you've dreamed of, get started on it today.
If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or offer new products or services, take the first step.
Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.
Otherwise, today is gone. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever.
Today is the most precious asset you own--and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.