Life - Philosophy in a Capsule

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

The other day I went out-of-town to give a presentation to a group of corporate employees.  There was a mix-up regarding the time of my presentation, so I found a "free hour" that I didn't know I had.  To utilize my time I considered preparing a "life capsule" along the lines of a time capsule.   After all, we record the major events of our times and bury them as a time capsule, so our future generations by studying the content of it can get an idea of the times we lived in.  But what about the level of our thought, consciousness, and self-awareness?          

Our level of consciousness, regarding who we are, what we are doing to ourselves and others, and what should we be doing instead, has risen dramatically in this century.  We can call today the "age of consciousness."  So, I asked myself, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could put the major markers of our awareness together, as a "life-philosophy capsule" for the next generation to see?"  What I wrote during that hour is, of course, one man's view and not the consensus of a consciousness committee    Below, I have listed the twenty-one tenets of life- philosophy according to my personal bias.  

You can live happily ever after, but it has to be cashed on a daily basis.  You must work for happiness every day.  Happiness is dispensed to you on a daily basis, from moment to moment.  Live that moment fully and live in that moment.

You become what you think about all day long.  The moral of the Werewolf story is that anyone who thinks all day long about wolves eventually turns into a wolf.  Likewise, if one thinks of becoming a hero all day long, one eventually becomes a hero.  

Thoughts create outcomes.  By changing your thinking, you can change your life.

To be successful in life, take total responsibility for whatever happens in your life and blame no one, not even yourself.  

We waste too much time in wanting things or people to change.  For example, parents want children to change and children want parents to change.  Whatever you want to change, it's up to you.  The only person you can change is yourself.   

According to the "payback law," whatever goes around comes around.  Whatever we give out comes back to us.

Do unto others what you would like to be done unto you if you were them.  The old golden rule stopped short--"do unto others what you want to be done unto you."  The upgraded version is, "...if you were them."        

Golden rule of stress  management is, "Don't sweat over small stuff and 99.99 % is all small stuff."

Happiness is not an outcome, but the cause of good things that have happened in your life.  Happiness is not a mile away, it is only a smile away.

Our world is an image of us.  We don't see things as things are, we see things as we are.  So, we see people as we are.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.  It is not an idle activity.  Anything we create, we imagine it first.  Imagination creates everything.

According to the mind-body connection, a healthy mind needs a healthy body, and the latter needs the former.  The "food-mood" connection suggests that the way to our heart and brain is through our stomach and diaphragm.  Fresh air, sunshine, nutritious food, correct breathing and posture play an important part in the quality of our thoughts and emotions.  Exercise produces a remedy for mood--move your body to feel good,.

We are now more aware of the thought-feeling connection.  We feel what we think.  Our thoughts create our feelings. To produce positive feelings, produce positive thoughts. By the same principle, negative thoughts produce negative feelings. 

Life is the biggest twine ball, when you untwine it, you realize it is one long unbroken thread.  Everything connects with everything.  Doing good in just one area is not enough.  It won't do much good to be kind and sensitive in one department and ruthless and insensitive in another.  It will soon catch up with you.

Conscious awareness of one's own actions and thoughts is important.  An unexamined life is unworthy of living.  Life is what happens to us when we are busy doing something else - be conscious of the moment you are living now.  Past is back there, future way up there, but only present is here.  Give yourself the "present."  

We need a new kind of "self-centedness,"  that is, the only person I can change is me.  I can't change anyone else.

According to the psycho-neuroimmunology (PNI), positive emotions is the best defense.  Positive emotions, such as love, compassion, gratefulness, faith, and fellowship, raise the body's resistance against diseases.  Negative emotions, such as anger, hate, and envy, and stress lower the body's immune resistance.   

A sense of gratitude can instantly make you feel you are a lucky person.  There is so much to be grateful about.  Cover the longitude and latitude of life with the attitude of gratitude.

A "giant leap" is a series of baby steps. When we see a big accomplishment, a trophy, a medal, we don't get to see the small efforts of every day for many years.  Small is beautiful.  The journey of ten thousand miles start with the first step and the way to eat an elephant is bite by bite.  Inch by inch, it's a cinch.  

Nothing big is ever achieved by being small. So think big while you take small steps.  Be big.  It is tempting to get even, throw mud,  and wrestle to the ground the person with whom you are angry, but the bad news is that the other person also wants to do the same.  In that game, only one person can win.  The true victory is when both win.  Take the higher road because the higher road is "toll free." .       

You can't solve a problem by the same thinking that created it.  Identify the thinking that created the problem, then think differently to find solutions to the problem.  

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Copyright 1996, Mind Publications 



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