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5 Confucius Quotes To Guide Your Life

5 Confucius Quotes To Guide Your Life

Confucius was an important influential teacher and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.
Confucius works emphasized not only the significance of intellectual development and belief, but also how to lead a moral, happy, and peaceful life.

This practical approach is one of the reasons why his quotes and teachings widely resonate with the people of the modern world.
You may well have come across Confucius words in inspirational books, pictures, and motivational quotes shared on the internet.

Let’s take a look at some of Confucius’ most famous quotes and how they can help us today – right here, right now. When we read inspirational quotes it can be quite easy to simply flick through thirty or forty and feel briefly inspired, only to then move onto the next thing. Here, we are going to look in detail and reflect on five so they can resonate, move us, and help us gain experience in our life.

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1) “Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”

Our stress and anxiety arise because we spend much of the time thinking about what could happen in the future or what has happened in the past. This makes it very challenging to appreciate the present moment. Our life is passing us by so quickly, so in this fast-paced world we multitask to keep up. Mindfulness practice helps to draw us into the present moment to appreciate where we are. This quote perfectly leads us to the present moment. Listening to the sounds around us, experiencing being in our body, and observing our breathing can help us to discover, that here we truly are.

If we are truly present in each moment we can extract the greatest meaning from our life.

2) “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Is life as complicated as we feel it is? It is, when we have a myriad of conflicting thoughts flying through our mind, with health, financial, and relationship worries troubling us. To have a simple life it may seem as though we need to leave or abandon our complications. However, if we recognize that the complications in are life are arising from our mind, then we are empowered to lead a simple life by changing our mind. In particular, by doing one thing at a time. When we eat, we eat; when we walk, we walk; when we talk, we talk; and when we listen, we listen.

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Pacifying the multitasking approach to the activities in our life can start to bring simplicity to our existence.

3) “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”

Learning to cultivate silence in our mind is one of the most important skills that we can learn. There are many different types of silence. When our mind is silent and peaceful then we can be content in any situation. It’s easy to blame a situation for the way that we are feeling; however, it’s our mind that is responsible for our experience. If we can cultivate a peaceful mind then we can continually feel good and positive within. If we know how to silence the mind then we have a very strong ally. Sometimes our friends don’t help when things are challenging, simply because they don’t have the wisdom to know what to say or how to say it. Whereas, if we know how to cultivate a silent mind then this can keep us strong during life’s difficulties.

4) “It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.”

Of course, it can be disappointing if we feel under appreciated by others or criticized. It can even bring our confidence levels down.
One approach is to follow this advice from Confucius. Instead of focusing on what others should be thinking about us, we change our view and start to focus on how we think about them. We should take time each day to appreciate how others are helping and assisting us in our life. If we are feeling adventurous, we can even appreciate those who challenge us in someway.

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Instead, we need to adopt the thinking of ‘this person is helping me to practice patience and grow as an individual.’

5) “The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.”

This is one of Confucius most well-known quotes and has almost become so used it has nearly lost its meaning. However, it’s so well known for a reason. For example, I teach Meditation and one element of the training that I am continuously emphasizing is to simply make a start. Rather than feeling that we can only can start practicing when we have a free thirty minutes each day to train, we can think instead, “Today I will do a short practice, even if it’s just for a few minutes.”

Make that first step. Begin the process and start to establish the habit. If we keep making those short steps, then gradually overtime we start to make progress. This approach can be applied to any form of learning – just make that first step!

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So, a big thank you to Confucius for offering his inspirational words to our world, which are still just as relevant, being used and appreciated several thousand years later!

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jiazi/ via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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