THE MIDDLE PATH

Meditation image

The ability of thought and to have ideas are two of the many traits that help to contribute to making us human. The ability to express our thoughts and ideas in the forms of speech and writing are amongs’t our crowning achievements. However, being able to do so, does not necessarily mean that our words and writing are always filled with wisdom. With this in mind if any of the following thoughts and ideas are not to your liking, that is perfectly fine. The opinions expressed are simply my view of the world and how we may have a little more peaceful and rewarding journey through our life. Please feel free to leave any comments , positive, negative or neutral you may wish to make as they are very welcome.                             

Very best regards Neville.

I AM LOVING  I AM CARING

MAKE A SINCERE EFFORT TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH TECHNOLOGY

 I AM PATIENT I AM COMPASSINATE

I am very worried about our jobs in the near future. I heard the boss say he was fed up with all the new technology and that everything is far too complicated and if we went off line once more, he will close down the whole business for good.

MAKE A SINCERE EFFORT TO BECOME FRIENDS WITH TECHNOLOGY

I promised myself when I set out to write blogs, not to include too many stories about myself. However, for this blog, I will relate a short story which does qualify as about myself. I entered into the Insurance and Finance industry at a reasonably young age. Right from the beginning, I was self employed and operated my own business. Fortunately for me, my father-in-law was a very successful business man in the same industry and I thank him very much for his help and encouragement over many years, which without doubt, was substantially responsible for assisting me to stay in the industry for almost twenty-five years.

From the mid nineteen seventies to the late nineteen nineties I was able to successfully operate my business with a minimum of involvement in the ever growing world of new computer technology. However, it became increasingly difficult for me to ignore the need for accepting and indeed embracing the new technological world. Firstly, we were introduced to the marvels of the Lap Top. We were unable to conduct a large portion of our business activities any longer because much of the information required was only available through computer programs. Then it became necessary to have the you-beaut elaborate desk top computer as well to process and store all the different information required. Now, of course, it required the employment of a secretary and an office administrator to oversee the operations in the office. My business world was rapidly changing. More and more processes were only possible by computer and it became a dominant part of the daily operations.

Now, this brings me to the reason why I began the chapter with this story about myself. For the truth was, although I was physically embracing all these changes, emotionally and spiritually, I most definitely was not. My mind set was almost one hundred percent against all the changes. I enjoyed the way I had built my business, particularly as a person to person association with my clients, many, many of whom became my close friends over the years. Over time, I came to deeply resent the changes brought about by the technology and also the huge changes in Government legislation and corporate power. I allowed myself to become more and more isolated from the main stream flow of the industry and also from my business colleges and as a consequence became more and more unhappy with my business and my life. Sadly, I allowed this situation to come to a point in the late nineties, where it severely affected my health and I was forced to sell my business and leave the industry forever.

The important point I want to pass on from this tale is that I have been able, after many years, to finally realise and understand, that almost all of the unfortunate circumstances that occurred over this period were not brought about by the actual changes themselves, but because of my stubborn rejection and my unwillingness to accept and acknowledge that they were a perfectly acceptable and normal progression of the business world, and indeed the world in general. I am not foolish enough to suggest to you that all change is for the good. However, what I would suggest is that we all take a very hard look at all changes as they arise and consider the positive possibilities which open up to us from these changes and do not dwell on the past situation to much.

We need to open our minds to the future with enthusiasm and high expectations of it allowing us to have a more abundant and happy time ahead, instead of allowing the past to crush our spirits and destroy our passion for what lays in front of us. There is a saying. God, please give me the strength to change the things I can, to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to recognize the difference. Please think on all these things and consider seriously accepting change and in particular make technology your good friend. 

 

YOU LEARN MORE WHEN YOU LISTEN TO OTHERS THAN WHEN YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF

 I AM KIND  I AM BRAVE

I am not sure if it is right, but I have heard from other handsets that if we say a lot less, and listen a lot more, we will become ear phones. 

 

YOU LEARN MORE WHEN YOU LISTEN TO OTHERS THAN WHEN YOU ONLY LISTEN TO YOURSELF

We all have a great deal of confidence that what we think and say to others is very worthwhile and has positive value and generally this confidence is well placed. However, if we readily accept that this is true for ourselves, it stands to reason that it must also be true of almost everyone else.

So this leads us to two areas of knowledge and experience, the first being our own and the second being the knowledge and experience of everyone else we have interaction with.  Unfortunately, whether we like to admit it or not, many of us have not successfully learnt the very important skill of becoming good listeners.  We may believe that we do listen well to others. However, experience tells us that in reality we are much happier listening to ourselves talk than actually spending time listening too others.  Of course we all have a worthwhile contribution to make to any conversation in which we participate and we have every right to this expectation and to be able to interact verbally with others in any reasonable and polite manner we wish.

What we need to consider doing is to remember that we already know the things we are going to talk about; we do not really need to hear them ourselves over and over.  It is worthwhile to believe it is of value to us to hold back on our desire to impart our knowledge and wisdom and instead spend time to take a genuine interest, in not only listening to others in a superficial way but truly taking on board what the ideas, feelings and emotions they are expressing tell us about their concept of the world and their view and understanding of who they believe they are.  I believe that this is especially important in dealing with our family and good friends because it is in our relationships with these people that we build most of the love, trust, faith and respect that contributes such an enormous amount to whether we have a happy life or one filled with stress, worry and unhappiness.

At this point, some of you reading this may well be saying to yourself, I am not sure that I like this fellow suggesting that I am not good at listening to people I talk with.  It is very true that many of us definitely have good skills in this area.  However, there are very few of us who will not gain some benefit from trying to be more conscious of just holding back a little and allowing others to have a longer say.  I certainly have been guilty at times of wanting people to listen to what I have to say without showing them the same respect and opportunity. Fortunately over many years, my lovely wife, who I believe must have learnt this skill quite young, has managed to educate me to pay much more attention to others, in particular my daughter and son who I had a very bad habit of cutting short in their conversations as they were growing up, so I could impart my wisdom about whatever they were trying to discuss, very big mistake.  Please give them every opportunity to talk to you as it is the very best way to understand and accept who they are.  Now, I need to complete my education and stop interrupting my wife and I will really be popular at home. 

If you are still not convinced that you may have a few things to learn about what we are discussing, consider something as simple as when someone we know introduces us to a stranger.  We acknowledge them and usually exchange pleasantries.  However, even though we have just been told their name, how often does it happen that by the time we finish this normally short conversation, we cannot remember the name of this new person we have just interacted with. If we are honest with ourselves, we know it happens quite regularly but we should not try to sell ourselves the idea that we just have a poor memory and this is why, it is normally, simply that we did not truly listen when we were introduced.  If it is so easy not to concentrate on retaining something as simple as a Christian name, we are all going to have substantial difficulty remembering the substance of any longer conversation and this is a great pity as we may miss out on knowledge, wisdom or perhaps good humor that that may have been very worth while.  We may ask ourselves why then do we miss so much in a conversation.  In most instances it is probably simply because we are so busy working out in our own mind what we are going to say next that we do not hear a great deal of what is actually being said.

Listening well and retaining a greater amount of what we hear is one of many life skills which can easily be learned and indeed built upon by anyone willing to apply themselves to the task with a little extra effort and enthusiasm and a genuine willingness to believe that everyone has a worthwhile contribution to help make the world a much more interesting and indeed better place.

 

 

 

HEALTH FOR LIFE

I AM INTERESTED   I AM ENTHUASTIC

                                                                                 

 

 

WITH ALL THE NEW ADVANCES IN MEDICAL SCIENCE, I AM NOT GOING TO WORRY ABOUT STAYING FIT AND EATING HEALTHY FOOD. THE DOCTORS CAN ALWAYS FIX ME.

 

 

HEALTH FOR LIFE

 

Good health is the most important attribute we can possess. While it is true that we can suffer many reversals of our good health which are entirely out of our control, there are also many simple basic activities we can practice which will help to maintain and maximize the quality and abundance in our lives.

 

You have heard all them before. As simple as they are however, they are well worth repeating over and over.

 

                                                                   PLENTY OF EXERCISE

EAT HEALTHY FOODS

VERY MODERATE DRINKING

AVOID DRUGS

RESPECT YOUR MIND AND YOUR BODY

 

 

 

THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON I CAN BE AND THAT IS ME

 I AM HAPPY I AM POSITIVE

             

                                        THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON I CAN BE AND THAT IS ME

When we arrive into the world as new born babies, usually accompanied by great joy and happiness from our family and their friends, we come already fully equipped with a pre determined set of genetic material, in fact, the blue print for our body.  It has been created in us by the act of our biological parents mixing the ingredients of their genetic makeup at the time of our conception.  It goes without saying that this is true of all those people who have come before us.  We are simply the last in this long ever expanding line.

 We arrive as a unique, fully functioning individual, with almost all of who we are physically going to be in place.This includes as an example such features as our body shape, bone structure, eye color, hair color, skin structure and blood type.  Also of significant importance, we also carry part of the genetic script that will determine if we could develop certain types of ailments that can be caused by failed or altered genetic material.  These are commonly known as heredity illnesses.

Physically, we will grow and develop along a pattern that is for the most part set.  However, as we all recognize we are able to make substantial changes to this pattern in a number of various ways including such simple things as diet and exercise. There are also many other external influences which can and will have some significant effects, such as pollutants caused by natural carbon emissions and more recognizably by man made pollution of the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we consume.  One important factor to keep in the forefront of our minds is that, although it is true that we are destined to have to accept some predetermined conditions, we are also blessed with an ability which is unique to all other life on the planet. We have free will and this enables us to create, change and therefore alter the course of our lives, be it for better or for worse.

When we read or talk about that we are unique among all other creatures, it should also not be forgotten that there are no two humans the same, we are not just talking about all of us being different.  In every sense of the word we are indeed unique.  Out of all the millions and billions of people that have lived on the planet and are living now, there has never been two individual humans that are identical, there may well be many similarities in some physical features.  However, when we take account of such things as finger prints, iris markings, voice tone and modulation, there are no two human beings exactly alike.  It is absolutely remarkable and almost beyond understanding that from amongst all the billions of human beings there are or have ever been, no two have ever been totally replicated.

If you take a little time and are genuinely prepared to consider how truly individual you are, your efforts could well reward you with three very important revelations.  One: an acceptance of how unique you are. Two:  an appreciation of how fortunate you are to be unique, and Thirdly: a belief in the qualities that are unique to you   It is the third of these revelations, the belief in yourself which is the most important to you, the belief that you are special, belief that you have every right to be here in the world and that in spite of any failings you feel you may have, you are a good and kind person who has and will continue to have a great deal to offer throughout your life here.

Your spiritual being has not, in any way, been compromised by your genetic blue print and you have been quietly developing the person you are now by listening, watching, and experiencing all the many influences of both the human world and the natural world.  You were born with a pure spirit, an inner being, which you only have to nurse a new born child, to touch and smell their purity of spirit to sense their uniqueness. You are born exactly as you are meant to be.  You grow exactly as you are meant to grow and you mature into old age exactly as you are meant to mature.

All along the journey throughout your life, you are free to allow who you are to come to the fore.  This encompasses your love of life, your enthusiasm for life, your willingness to love other people and fellow creatures of the world.  You will also discover along through the journey that you do not always know the answers and that you do not always handle or cope well with many of the difficulties that come upon you.  Do not concern yourself or stress about this, it is absolutely normal and things in your life are still fine.  It is because of these challenges and hardships that you grow and learn and invariably become even more of who you are.

Learn as soon as you can that you are someone very, very special.  You are who you should be in your uniqueness and take joy in your individual beliefs and individual emotions.  Always be happy to say to yourself.

I do not want to be anyone else but me.

 

 

CONSIDER THE MIDDLE PATH

 I AM SHARING I AM HONEST

 

 

OK! now Joe, you take the rugged path over the mountains. Big red, you take the arid path through the sandy desert. I will take the shady path up the valley. We will all meet again where the three paths cross and see who’s had the best journey.

CONSIDER THE MIDDLE PATH.

If you stood at the beginning of a journey that you were about to undertake, and you were told of three roads you could travel that would all definitely take you to the destination you wanted to arrive at, and each of the three ways were described in the following manner.  The first road is through the mountain ranges, deep valleys, sheer sided mountain cliffs, constant rock falls and a narrow treacherous trail.  The second road is along the foothills of the ranges, easy rolling ridges to cross, shady trees covering the well defined road and an abundance of streams flowing with crystal clear water to be easily crossed. The third road heads out away from the mountains into the desert, nothing but sand, heat, dry winds and no water, plus a road that often completely disappears due to the constantly changing landscape, making it easy to loose your way.

With these choices to make, which of the roads do you think you would choose?  I would suggest that most of us would elect to journey the second road along the foothills of the mountains, in another term, the middle path.  Yet, every minute, hour, day and week we see  many of us choose the more difficult  roads to continue our life journey, making choices which cause us and others to suffer such things as fear, loss, jealousy, anger and many other feelings and emotions that either immediately or eventually mean will have a rather unhappy life.

Taking into account that there are many situations which arise in our lives that we believe we have no direct choice about, how do we make the right decision about the road to travel?  It is a huge question, and the first thing to keep in mind is that we will never be able to make the right choice every time.  It is impossible.  Does this mean we should not bother to try?  Absolutely not, because we have within us the power to make choices and we have a free will to journey our life road in our own way.  There is always going to be some cost no matter which decision we make.  However, if we choose to look more often for the good, or at the very least, some benefit that can come out of our adversity, we are using our common sense, and we are also using our desire for harmony in our life and an ability to believe we can stay in control of our life and all these attributes help us to look for potential dangers and conversely benefits we can create for ourselves, our loved ones and the whole of the world.

Remember that our life is not about the destination, it is only about the quality of the journey we make to bring us there, for we already know that the final destination of our earthly travels will see us leave this world.  What we do not know is what will be the quality and substance of the life journey we choose to help us arrive at this place. Whether you decide to believe or not to believe that you have a choice in which path you choose can only be left up to you to decide.  However, please be assured  that for very much of your life journey you are able to make free choices and if most of these choices are to always follow the middle path, you will create a life which for the most part is filled with love, happiness, satisfaction and achievement and most of all a sense of a valuable life well lived.

 

 

SOLID ROCK

I AM DYNAMIC  I AM ADVENTUROUS

About the new house, don’t worry dear, I have been discussing it with the engineer and he assured me there is nothing to be concerned about. He said, “It is perfectly safe and secure, it is built solid rock.”

SOLID ROCK

Many of the truly great structures of the ancient world, such as the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt, the great Maya cities of Tikal, Palenque, Chichenitza in the Yucatan Peninsula and the Temple City of Teotihuacan in Mexico, all have a number of similarities, many of which are very obvious to us.  Firstly, we see they are all very large and substantial structures.  Next, we may notice they are all built of stone, being the only permanent building material available in ancient times.  Thirdly, that they are all very old.  In some instances, they have stood for five thousand years. However, the most important characteristic they all have in common is not always so apparent and so obvious, and this singular feature that unites them all is the foundations upon which all these great structures are built.  Thousands and thousands of tonnes of rock, sand, soil, coral and coal, all of the building materials that mankind had discovered are suitable and reliable for this purpose, provide the basis upon which all these dramatic structures have been able to stand and continue to survive down through the ages to the present time.  The obvious lesson to be learnt from this knowledge is that the only way for anything we create to grow and become something of substance and permanence in our live, is if it is built on a rock solid base.

It is very important to realise that although we have, up to now been using the physical structure of ancient buildings as an example, the truth is that almost everything in our lives needs to have a strong base to build upon if it is to stand firm over the years and indeed to continue to grow and to flourish. Anything of longevity has to have a solid beginning.  Let us examine some situations where this is easily shown. Building a business requires us to firstly have a creative idea, visualize the progressive results, see potential obstacles to our success, then we begin to build the physical structures we need to power our new business.  Perhaps it is a good office building or enough factory space or machinery that will adequately accomplish producing our new clients orders.  It would also involve making sure we acquire the best staffing personnel to operate the business smoothly and with efficiency. The basic structure could be almost anything.  However it must be strong, solid and of excellent quality for its specific purpose and most of all well planned and executed in its application.

This now brings us to consider what is probably the most important application of all for this simple, basic idea of as olid foundation, and this is to apply it to our personal, individual lives.  Having a stable, well defined plan for how we would like to develop our lives and grow with the lives of those people around us whom we love and cherish is the key to a life filled with love and happiness, harmony and personal achievement.  It helps enable us to develop good ethics and life principals we can apply to ourselves and use as living examples to our children.  It creates stability in our work lives, enjoyment of our sporting and leisure activities and quality time spent with our life partner and children. Indeed, there is no facet of our life that will not be enhanced by good planning and earnest application. 

There is another important thing which should be considered when we discuss the principal of the solid base and that is, there will be times when we will find it necessary to consider some fundamental changes to your base.  Life is never stable enough and unchangeable that we will not have to consider making adjustments to our building plans at some times in our life.  This is completely normal and you should make every effort to effect  these changes in the most calm, organized and practical manner you are capable of.  Do not be afraid of the changes.  If you make them in an orderly and considered manner, they will cause very little disruption and indeed place you back on your path with ease. Remember our ancient buildings and consider the future results if builders and subsequent caretakers did not make adjustments to the foundations when structural or design errors were discovered.

Also, please do not forget the spiritual structure of your life, which ever form it takes for you.  It to can be greatly enhanced by planning and organization while you work upon your personal beliefs to build a spiritual path that will take you and indeed those people around you on a more happy, loving and contented journey through your life.

Consider this,                                         Build strong

                                                              Live well  Live long

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAD, WOULD YOU COME AND PLAY WITH ME PLEASE?

I AM PERCEPTIVE  I AM GENEROUS

DAD, COULD YOU COME AND PLAY WITH ME, PLEASE?

The red leather ball flew sweetly off my cricket bat, travelled through the air for about out eight meters before landing down on the short grass off to my right side. It then speedily rolled along the ground.  All this was happening while I ran towards the wooden packing case which stood in for the wickets at the other end of the pitch.  Next moment, the case flew over backwards after being hit by the red ball, and I was out.  This kind of surprised me because I had been watching the ball roll along the ground towards my father and when it was very close to him I noticed he had not begun to reach down to try to stop the ball, so I was thinking, this is great, I will make the run easily.  Then to my astonishment, Dad stamped his left foot down in front of the ball and it hit the outside edge of his work boot, flipped up into his waiting hand and he fired the ball into the case.  Out!  he said with a kind smile on his face.

At  this time I was about five or six years of age and I had never seen Dad do this, what I would call a trick with his foot before.  It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.  Dad must be the greatest cricketer in Australia, perhaps the whole world.  This is the most vivid memory of my father playing with me that I can recall.  The memory of our late afternoon cricket games are a time spent with Dad that I still treasure to this day.  They were always near dusk, as this was the time Dad came home after milking the cows. We normally did not have much time before it became dark, but to spend even this short time playing with Dad was wonderful.

Fortunately for me, when I was growing up, I was able to spend a lot of time with my father while he worked on the farm, helping him, or perhaps at times hindering him, although I must say, I do not remember him ever saying or doing anything to imply that I was being a nuisance.  We built fences, gates, cattle yards, we milked cows and fed calves and pigs, we irrigated  fodder crops.  There were so many activities we could do together, which I did enjoy.  However, the most memorable times were those when we were not working or not even important in the larger scheme of things, but were simply Mum or Dad or the three of us together.  I include my mother whole heartedly in these activities because where she possibly could, my Mum was very generous with her time spent with me.  Please do not think, because I happen to have used my father as a reference more often than my mother, that I value either of their contributions to my well being growing up, one less than the other.

However, with the large demographical population change which has occurred, most children are growing up in urban communities where almost all of the activities I would participate in with my Dad are no longer available to most young people. The opportunity to spend meaningful time together with Mum or Dad in a work environment is simply not available anymore.

In my business career, I spent the best part of twenty five years dealing, almost daily with a very large number of men and women on a reasonably close personal basis, and among many topics which we discussed, the one subject that frequently arose when reminiscing over their lives, was memories of the times spent playing with their mothers and fathers, and one of the regrets or sadness expressed was most often that they did not have memories of enough quality time playing with their parents.

This has made me very aware of how much importance, and how much all our children cherish the interest and respect they perceive we are showing them by taking genuine time out specifically for them.  Their self respect and self esteem are boosted enormously, and the simple joy and pleasure they receive from our time and company is so valuable to them that they will remember and indeed treasure that love and caring for the rest of their lives.

When we have our children, especially in their younger years, we definitely have a need to remember that we must create a fair balance between our career aspirations and desires for financial security, comfort and satisfaction for our future, which, of course are very important, against the boundless joy, enthusiasm and challenges our children deserve and remember, from us allocating even just a small amount of our quality time to them.

My advice would be to make sure you find  the time, do not find excuses for why you cannot commit yourself  to creating time to share with your children.  If you look genuinely at your time schedule, there is not one of us who cannot find quality time for the benefit of our children’s growth and happiness.  Indeed, what could be more important?  I have consistently referred to the term quality time, because this time is spent totally committed to sharing and teaching the skills to allow your children to have the best possible opportunity to face up to the challenges of life and come out successfully as happy, loving, well adjusted individuals. Please do not entrust this most valuable responsibility to just anyone.  Take it on yourself.

You must not confuse just being at home with the children while you mow the lawn or are working on your hobbies in the work shed out the back or perhaps doing maintenance on your car, as quality time with your children, believe me, it is not. Your children will not even have a meaningful memory of you doing these activities.  What they will remember is you putting these activities aside and actually placing that time into playing with them.  It does not matter what thegame is.  All that matters is that they will recognize and appreciate you love them and that you gain pleasure and joy also, from the time spent with them. Remember also, that even from the earliest ages, our children have an awareness and understanding that they too can contribute back to the pleasure and happiness of their mothers and fathers. If we recognize and give them this opportunity, and this opportunity is indeed precious, imagine the wealth of self esteem a child will gain from believing that they can offer you something in return for your love and care.

We must be prepared to open ourselves completely to our children, both in time and commitment, to allow them to experience this feeling of self worth as it flows back to us from them.  Our sons and daughters, whether they are infants, teenagers or adults, only want to believe that we love them, and in return, that we believe and have faith that they love us.  You will find that a great deal of this love and faith is created by the simple act of spending quality time with each other from the earliest opportunity.

So, the next time your children come to you and say, Daddy or Mummy, could you come and play with us, please?  Do not hesitate.  Put aside your other commitments for a short time as they will always still be there when you return to them.  However, the opportunity to spend that moment of time with your precious children may not be. Please say yes.