Archive for April, 2012

Inspired Life

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

“We all have been inspired in our life, whether it is through our own experiences or through those of others. Part of mindfulness practice is the capacity to remember that being inspired is part of our deepest humanity to feel life. And we all know what to do when we are inspired — we give it away. It is not ours to keep; there is no benefit to holding onto it. So, be an inspiration — pass it forward, share with your world how precious our world is. She can only return it back to you a thousand fold.”

Larry Yang, The Huffington Post, 14th April 2012

Source: Click here to read the full article

The School of Life in Australia

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

During an interview on ABC TV’s “One Plus One” programme, Alain de Botton has advised that he will be bringing “The School of Life” to Australia in late 2012, to a location in either Sydney or Melbourne.

The School of Life aims to bring Alain de Botton’s ideas to everyday life through relevant learning. Opened in 2008, the school in London offers psychotherapy and has courses that focus on careers, relationships, politics, travels, and families.

Alain went on to say that Australians are present in around one-third of the school’s classes. Alain commented that Australians are young intellectually in the sense that they are very receptive and open to trying out new ideas.

You can find out more about the existing school in London via this link – http://www.alaindebotton.com/pages/about/index.asp?PageID=199

ABC TV’s One Plus One site can be found here – ABC TV – One Plus One

The World Happiness Report

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

The United Nations recently released the World Happiness Report, edited by John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs.

The report states that for impoverished societies higher household income is associated with improved life conditions and well-being that increases life satisfaction for its members. For individuals in the high-income world, however, affluence beyond that required to survive results in minimal additional increases in happiness. In fact, the surplus income can reduce happiness due to afflictions such as obesity and addictions such as gambling and can lead to diminished social trust and community bonds.

The report looks at two measures of happiness: “affective happiness”, based on daily emotions, and “evaluative happiness”, based on overall life evaluation. It finds there are both external and personal factors that contribute to happiness – including for example income, values, community (external) and health, age, family experience (personal).

The report concludes with implications for development policy goals – economic stability, community cohesion, ethical standards, world climate, employment, work quality, mental and physical health, family life, and education.

You can find the World Happiness Report here – http://issuu.com/earthinstitute/docs/world-happiness-report

The Jar of Life

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full, and they agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open spaces between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full – they agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course the sand filled everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students replied with an exasperated “Yes!”

The professor produced a cup of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed!

“Now”, said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this represents your life”.

The golf balls are the large, the important things – your family, your children, your faith, your health, your friends and your favourite passions. Things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, would still leave you feeling your life was full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter – your job, your home, your car.

The sand is everything else-“the small stuff”. If you put sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life! If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18 holes.

There will always be time to clean the house – fix the cupboard- etc.!!!!

Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities… the rest is just sand!”

One of the students raised her hand and enquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. “I’m so glad you asked!”

“It just goes to show that no matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a cup of coffee with a friend!”

- Adapted from “Sam’s Letters to Jennifer” by James Patterson.

 

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