Are You Ready to Change?

Phew, the election is finally over. For awhile I felt like the news, rumors, absurdities, bashing, and Tina Fey would never end. We can now be relieved and start seeing and reading other things besides all things presidential and campaign related. By other things, I mean economic crisis news ONLY. Okay, enough sarcastic comments for the day.

Finally the president is decided. Now we can move on. I am glad. The biggest unknown and question now is, “Are the people ready to change?” Our future will result in two completely different ends depending on the answer. I wonder if people really mean it when they say change.

If they mean that they are ready to change and better themselves, this would be a good answer.

If they simply mean that they await for others and the world to change for them, this would be the disastrous answer.

Originally posted 2008-11-05 21:36:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Read Financial Materials with Skeptical Minds

I came across the MSN article today — Foreclosure ‘crisis’ is overblown — amidst all the doom-and-gloom financial news.

Excerpt with the main points to save you some reading time:

Though the national rate of foreclosure increased by a whopping 79% between December 2006 and December 2007, the rate was still only 1.033%. Because about 30% of all homes are owned mortgage-free, this means that for all the noise about a crisis, only seven-tenths of 1% of all homes were in foreclosure.

In the top 100 housing markets, the average foreclosure rate was somewhat higher — 1.38% — and it was up 78% over the previous year. But if you rank-ordered the list of the top 100 areas, only 34 had foreclosure rates above the group average. Fifty-one areas had rates of 1% or less.

Foreclosure rates actually fell in 14 of the 100 areas. More important, many of the areas with the highest increases in foreclosure rates were rising off rates that were tiny. The Bethesda, Md., area, to offer the most extreme case, saw foreclosures rise 1,288% — to a rate of 0.682%…

Does this mean we can stop worrying and planning and saving? No, it does not mean that we can overlook the entire real estate ordeal and what’s really happening. However, I think this demonstrate that we need to be skeptical and understand the bias of the authors of the materials we read, despite whatever useful information exist in them. Further more, we must understand the possibility of some financial writers/analysts who exaggerate and write with the agenda to destory/hike a stock for their affiliated short/long position.

This is definitely an emotional time as people’s livelihood may be on the line as the market rises and falls like roller coaster these days. Yet, it remains important to not get carried away by our own emotions and thoughts. Don’t just take other people’s words for granted. Go find out on your own. Keep reading. Keep learning.

Since I said what I did, shall I even trust the article? I’m stumped.

Originally posted 2008-04-01 23:49:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Impermanence of Things

Buddhism has a lot of good suggestions for us to conduct our life. Now, I would not call myself a Buddhist, but just that I learned and found many of their concepts practical.

Impermanence is one of the pillar concept in Buddhism.

Why do we worry? Because we expect things to be as we think they should be. And often, we expect things to be the same as they are now, that they will last forever (namely, the good things). Intuitively, we know that cannot be if we stop denying it. When we deny impermanence, we make thousands of plans and let worry take over our life.

The next moment can never be the same as this moment. Things are always changing, whether they are visible to the eyes (or scientific means) or not. Not just the outer world, even our cells are constantly dying and being remade every second.

Yet, we seem to think that we are changing only when things change according to our measures and parameters. It’s as if we consider time flows because the clocks we make is ticking. Rather than the other way around.

Change is inevitable. Therefore, the notion of “we need to change” is off the point. Rather, the question we should ask is, “How do we want to change?”, both on a personal level and on a wider, cultural, societal level.

Another good question to ask now is, “Are we trying to change the outter world just so that we don’t have to change?” I am suggesting that, could some of what we are doing now be a demonstration of resistance to change masqueraded as desire to change?

“Change the world around us for us, but we are not going to change.”

Food for thought.

Here’s the practicality of understanding a bit about impermanence… Just as the good things will come and go, like water brushing by a rock in a stream, so do the bad things come and go. With this realization, we can fully enjoy the moment with good things and not hold on, and we can learn from the moment with bad things and let go. As such, we can take things lightly and enjoy and be in the moments of life.

Ultimately on an individual level, the inevitable impermanence is death. Thus, it really sucks that death has become such a taboo topic in modern days. It is a good thing to contemplate about death. “How do I want to die?” Meaning, and the key is, “What inner state do I want to have when I am leaving this world?” When one is about to die, that’s probably the last and only thing that matters. So…

How do we change to achieve such the inner state we want to be in before death?

Whatever the answer you find, it is a good idea that whatever the answer is, is what dictates your action.

For me, it is peace. Can I find peace underlying everything that I do?

What do you think about impermanence?
What is your answer?

Originally posted 2009-08-17 00:28:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Stop Thinking and Start Doing

There’s something that I frequently hear people say:

I want to…
Wouldn’t it be nice if I can…
I think I’d like to try…

You get the idea. Just fill in the blank, for examples – get healthy, start running, learn an instrument, do a certain sports, make more money… You get the idea.

There’s always the saying, “We are what we think.” Are we what we think? Maybe people take that too seriously, or rather, too literally. I’m not sure but I’d like to think, “We are what we think AND do.” Thoughts are only thoughts without action. Nothing. Null. Oblivion. There can be plenty of thoughts, but without action, we cannot reap the fruits of our thoughts.

Everything starts with a thought, an idea. But that is JUST the beginning.

It frustrates me sometimes when I keep hearing someone repeat this kind of thoughts. If you are thinking so much about it, wanting so much to do it, then stop yelping and just go out and do it already.

If you just sit on your butt all day and think, you will remind the same! Even if you think HARD enough. That should be pretty obvious…

So let me ask you, “How often do you put those thoughts into actions?”

Obviously those are the things you want to do. Those are the things that enable you to become more of the character that you want to be. Thus you’ll feel better and happier for doing so. So why not give it a try?

Want to get healthy? Start running at your pace and gradually intensify the routine.
Want to learn an instrument? Go sign up for classes at local community college (ecnomomical), then later find private instructors.
Want to be make more money? Find a part-time, start selling things on ebay, etc.

Just some ideas.

Most importantly, find the desire within yourself and just go for it.

Originally posted 2007-08-05 01:40:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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