I am a computer programmer by day and philosopher by night. I post once or twice a week. I aim to prevent blogging from taking to much time, while allowing time to develop each idea before posting it. Each has some reference to human, universal, or societal truths, while presented in an organized, understandable & consise way -- this is the plan anyway. Results may very as what rings true for one may seem false to another. Also becuase sometimes I get things wrong.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Happiness Part 2 - Letting Yourself Be

Think Feel for a moment the feelings that you are carrying with you. What are you feeling right now? Take a moment to pay attention to this...

What types of emotions come to you on a given day. For most of you I suspect that some of them are unpleasant. These unpleasant emotions are the product of your thinking. Accept these emotions without resistance. Later on you may be able to change your thinking in order to have different emotions, but once the emotion begins it will be around for some period of time. Just accept this, let it be.

Next have a look at your feelings about yourself; self-image if you will. We all have a number of opinions and feelings about ourselves, both positive and negative. Let this be as well. You may not like some parts of yourself, but you won't be able to change these overnight. This is why acceptance of these perceived flaws is important.

Now that I've covered your feelings about yourself what's left? Oh yeah, the rest of the universe i.e. everything else. We have much less control over the "everything else" then we have over our own self. This means that are thoughts about 'other stuff' can be incredibly frustrating. For the vast majority of people our ability to change each other is extremely limited, and even when we have the rare opportunity to be a catalyst, we can not direct the change. We can provide only a nudge. The acceptance of the world is important, perhaps essential to lasting happiness no matter how ugly it is.

Accepting ourselves, our feelings and everything else is not mutually exclusive to working for change. This reminds me of the Serenity Prayer, which I'll include here. (Thanks to Gary for reminding me that the prayer is more then the first 4 lines, which are generally the only ones I hear.)

As with anything the standard disclaimer applies. I am tempted to try and less authoritative tone to my writing, but I feel that this tone is most effective and succinct. I just hope I am making the right choice in publishing this post at 1:40 am...


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Response to Layla's "Top Ten Qualities in a Mate"

Layla shared with us the things she was looking for in a man.

The more formal process is this: create a list of 10 things that you want in a mate and 10 things that you could not tolerate. The idea is that given this list of well thought out traits you will be less likely to settle for someone who you won't be happy with, and more effective at seeking out someone you will be happy with. It can really be hard narrowing down to just 10!

Here are my current lists. Subject to change without notice! (I still need to do some narrowing down as I have 11 items in the 'must haves.')

Must have:

Accepting of self and others
Considerate/Open minded - Tolerant
Interested in solutions not victories - Conflict Revolver
Strong Character - Honest
Verbal Intimacy (sharing of thoughts and feelings)

Can't stand:

Cheating (manipulative or taking advantage of other people)
Holds grudges (resentment, revenge)

BTW, I've done some work on the second in a series of happiness posts, but it has required more thought then I originally believed.

BTW, I love Firefox's new built in spell checking!