Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘Albert Einstein’

Determine Your Patterns!

‘What has become clearer to you since we last met?’ Albert Einstein was known for asking friends and acquaintances this question when greeting them. The beauty and depth of the question cannot be overstated. Everyday we have the opportunity to expand our awareness and experience base in the physical, mental, emotional or spiritually area. We can discover more about ourselves and others through observation and personal reflection. But, you might asked, ‘What’s the purpose? Why go through those gyrations – I have enough to think about just getting through the day.’ Ahh yes…and our life dramas continue.

The ‘why’ is quite simple really. The more you learn about yourself and those you are close to – the easier and more meaningful the journey. For those who work at developing greater self awareness throughout their lives they become more empowered to handle what ever comes their way.

The more we know about ourselves the better equipped we are to handle life’s ups and downs. We begin to accept that each of us is challenged by a range of different things – relationships, feelings of insecurity, fear of risk taking – just to name a few. One thing’s for sure, everyone experiences challenges as part of the human condition – life it is an equal opportunity employer! Some have just figured out how to maximize their learning and minimize the time involved in the pursuit. They have done this by determining their own unique patterns of behavioral response and plan accordingly.

On going self reflection allows us to better understand why we react in certain ways. We all have hot buttons that can send us into orbit. Later we often blame ourselves for ‘losing it.’ The question then is once we realize our pattern of response to a typical circumstance what do we plan to do differently the next time a similar thing happens? If we simply react the same way as in the past that’s self defeating – basically we haven’t learned a thing from the challenge. True to form then, the Universe will continue to present the same basic lesson to us, albeit in a different context, until we get it. It is said that the Universe first whispers, then talks and eventually shouts to get our attention.

Doesn’t it just make sense to work at knowing ourselves deeply enough that we can recognize an upcoming touchy situation for what it is and proactively develop a plan to respond to it? Once we change our previous emotional response to something more productive the rest is history. We feel more in control and more confident to face the challenges of tomorrow.

The response then to Einstein question would be ‘I learned — about myself and this deeper understanding will enable me to respond more confidently in the future.

Have a great few days!

What If Thinking

When we are very young children we are naturally self-centered. We feel that everything in the world revolves around us. After all, we are fed, changed and often entertained by the adults in our lives. We have not yet developed an extensive vocabulary or life experiences which allow us to conceptually understand events such as grief, loss, or even nuances in the behavior of others. Our abstract thinking skills take years – into late adolescence – to develop. In some people these skills, in fact, never develop for various reasons. As young children when something happens – pleasant or unpleasant – we usually internalize it as something we have caused because we are still, by nature, egocentric.

As we grow into adolescence and adulthood, sometimes the self-centered or egocentric thought pattern of early childhood continues and we may develop dysfunctional behaviors such as the ‘what if syndrome’ which can stop us from expanding our world and enjoying life.

If the ‘what if’s’ in our lives can be controlled they can cause us to analyze our choices more fully which leads to better decision making. Thinking through the possible outcomes of our choices can be healthy. If, however, we allow this type of thinking to become a syndrome which controls our lives we can become so fearful of simple everyday occurrences that we are rendered helpless – afraid of what the next moment or tomorrow may bring. Obsessing about all the possible ‘what ifs’ of an event or decision can result in panic attacks that may start to control our lives necessitating professional intervention.

We hear the word moderation so often that sometimes it loses its meaning. Yet, it is very important in this context. A little goes a long way with the ‘what if’ type of thinking. Only you – or someone you trust – can observe if you have taken the fear involved in ‘what if’ thinking to an art form level which is preventing you from truly living.

Expanding our life through sound decision making and occasional risk taking experiences will allow us to more fully enjoy our life journey. As Albert Einstein said, “A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.”

Have a great few days!