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The most important life resources

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

What are the most important resources?

I’m thinking, time and energy.

Time because it’s non-renewable.
Energy because it’s an enabler, it gives you the capacity to make use of time.

What if you do have time and energy but you’re in an unresourceful state?

State is also an enabler. I guess we can think of it as a resource as well.

What about meaning?

Energy and state give you the capacity to make use of time.
Meaning makes you want to make use of time to the fullest.

It can also make you not want to make use time to the fullest.

All resources take skill to manage properly.


On Mindfulness and Meditation

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I love Emily Fletcher’s definition of Mindfulness:

Mindfulness: the art of bringing your awareness into the present moment.

“Bringing your awareness into the present moment is easy. Keeping it there, that’s the hard part. I’d rephrase the definition to:

Mindfulness: the art of keeping your awareness in the present moment.

“What’s the practice?”

“I find it useful to compare it with Meditation.

Meditation is the practice of focused awareness. Focusing your attention on a point (anchor-point).

Mindfulness is the practice of diffuse awareness. Focusing your attention on the now, on the present experience, and engaging all senses (VAKOG).

The two practices are complementary.

It is possible to combine the practices into one. 

Mindfulness Meditation is the practice of both focused and diffuse awareness. While focusing your attention on a point, expanding your awareness to your entire peripheral field of vision, and engaging all senses. 

I know this practice from NLP. The practice originates from Hawaii where they call it Hakalau. In NLP it is also referred to as ‘the now state’, or ‘the learning state’.”

“You use the word ‘presence’ a lot. What’s the difference between mindfulness and presence?”

“The way I use them,
presence is the desired state,
mindfulness and meditation are the practice for reaching the state.”

The Better Share

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“You’re familiar with the idea of the ‘lion’s share’.” 

“The one who shares takes the largest piece. It’s the name of one of Aesop’s fables, isn’t it?”


I find it a good reference… to do the exact opposite of.

During our meals together, my parents have always given me and my brother the better share. Most of my life I was unable to appreciate it. As with so many other things, I took it for granted. 

Now, that I’ve gotten a little wiser, as a means of honoring it, I turned it into a life principle, which I expanded beyond the scope of my small family, to my big family that is mankind:

Always give the other the better share.

The Beautiful Path 4

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Make it the absolute priority of your life until you find the Beautiful Path, my dear.”

“How do you know I didn’t?”

“You wouldn’t have time to waste if you did.”

On Self-Mastery

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is Self-Mastery?”

“What does it make you think of?”

“It makes me think of Willpower and Self-Control.”

“We could say,

Self-Mastery is Discipline.

The capacity to do what needs to be done regardless of how you feel about it. (Positive Willpower)

The capacity to keep your impulses in check and delay gratification. (Negative Willpower)

Discipline is one essential aspect of it.

Now, think what happens when you’re facing a perceived threat in the environment.”

“Your sympathetic system kicks in, which shuts down your prefrontal cortex (cortical inhibition) and triggers the Fight-Flight-Freeze (FFF) mode.”

“To be able to function effectively in this situation requires the capacity to calm yourself down, relax, and regain control. 

Moreover, in the words of George Leonard,

Relaxation is essential for the full expression of power.

“Josh Waitkin has a similar one:

To turn it on, learn to turn it off.

“Same thing.

The better you can turn it off, the more powerfully you can turn in on.

So we could say, 

Self-Mastery is Relaxation Mastery.

This is another essential aspect of it.

And yet another essential aspect of it has to do with emotions.

Most of our failings are due to the incapacity to deal with emotional discomfort

Unpleasant feelings subtly shape the trajectory of your life. Certain things trigger unpleasant feelings, so you avoid them. What you avoid is not the things themselves – they’re neutral –, but dealing with those unpleasant feelings.

The outer obstacle is an illusion. The inner obstacle is all there is.

Your capacity to deal with unpleasant feelings narrows or expands your possibility-horizon.

We could say, 

Self-Mastery is Emotional Mastery.

“Reminds me of a quote by Karla McLaren from her book The Art of Empathy

When your emotional skills are poor, people won’t meet you. They will meet your emotional reactivity and your problems with whichever emotion has arisen.

“That’s my life story.

Only now that I’ve made Emotional Mastery the central focus of my life have I begun to understand it and get better at it. So many people never do.

I still have a very long way to go.”

Project Inventorying Habits 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“We are bundles of habits. The habits we form (and those we discard) shape the trajectory of our life.”

“They also reveal the trajectory of our life.

Habits are your history. As you inventory your habits [<link; medium length], make it a habit to arrange them chronologically, to make the trajectory visible.

All habits have a history. As you inventory your habits, make it a habit to reflect on how each habit came to be, and how they contributed to who you are today.”

Gratitude Practice 3

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the highest end of the Gratitude practice?”

Taking NOTHING for granted.

This is a practice in itself.

By default, we tend to take everything for granted. To counter this tendency, it takes deliberate directing of the attention, by constantly asking yourself:

What am I taking for granted?

As they come into your Awareness, savor their simple Beauty, and express Loving Gratitude for all these Gifts.”

The Art of Perception 6

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“When you look up what do you see?”

“I see the sky.

What do you see?”

I see the Cosmic Ocean.

Make it a habit to always cast your Mind’s Eye past the observable horizon, my dear, into the vast Universe of Possibility.”

Beautiful Models: High-Density Experiences

Train to live on the other side of pain. (Josh Waitzkin)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I had a beautiful experience watching a mosquito drink my blood. I’d never seen it happen.”

“Wasn’t it painful?”

“An essential aspect of my training is exposing myself to discomfort and pain. That’s what it started as, but ended up as a contemplation on the beautiful miracle that is Life.

This is what I call a high-density [<link; short length] experience. It lasted but a few moments, but it felt like so much happened in that brief time-span. I often get the same feeling during my 5-minute meditation sessions.”

On keeping impulses in check

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How can I keep this impulse in check?”

“First of all, create space [<link; medium length] for reflection by temporarily distancing yourself from the situation. Ideally, physically change location, or go for a walk.

Secondly, ask the meta-question:

Can I ask a better question?

The question you ask influences the kinds of answers you explore.


How can I keep this impulse in check?
How can I make keeping this impulse in check EFFORTLESS?

The two questions take you on very different paths.”

“How can I make it effortless?”

Remember WHY you want to keep it in check. 

If you have a compelling enough reason, you have your answer.

If don’t have a compelling reason, CREATE ONE. This means gaining clarity on who you want to be and what you want from life, and creating a deeply compelling vision for your life, one that will serve as your guide and as backdrop for your every action.”