KIRAN ATMA

Meditation - Tibetan Buddhism - Why Do Buddhists Meditate?




    Emptiness As The Ultimate Mode Of Existence



    Emptiness is the ultimate mode of existence of all things, according to the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. 


    • Buddhapalita and Chandrakirti lucidly remarked on Nagarjuna's explanations in perfect line with his thinking, and Nagarjuna described the ways to that emptiness. 
    • Not only to achieve omniscience, but also to achieve freedom from cyclic life, it is essential to depend on the perfection of knowledge as these masters describe it. 
    • This perfection of knowledge is required for anybody who wants to become a Hearer Superior, Solitary Realizer Superior, or Bodhisattva Superior. 


    Subhuti, one who wants to achieve the enlightenment of a Hearer must study precisely this perfection of knowledge, according to the Eight Thousand Stanza Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Ashtasahasrikaprajnaparam it a). 


    • Subhuti, anybody desiring to attain the enlightenment of a Solitary Realizer must master this perfection of knowledge. 
    • This perfection of knowledge is also to be learned by the Bodhisattva, the Great Being who wants to achieve the supreme perfect full enlightenment. 
    • The awareness of the subtle emptiness of all things, according to Nagarjuna's writings, is a precondition for the path of liberation from cyclic existence. 

     



    Misconception Of An I



    According to his Precious Garland (ab), "as long as the aggregates are misconceived, so long is there misconception of an I. 


    The simple recognition of the person's crude selflessness is insufficient to liberate oneself from cyclic existence. 


    • The ultimate delicate suchness of the individual, as well as the mental and bodily aggregates, must be realized. 
    •  The inherent non-analytical mind that misunderstands the nature of people and other phenomena must be eradicated. 
    •  It is insufficient to just stop the mind from forming a self of people and phenomena, or to simply stop the attention from wandering to things, since they are not adequate to realize emptiness. 
    •  If they did, profound slumber and fainting would be accompanied with the ludicrous awareness of nothingness. 




    The Seeds Of Cyclical Life Are Eliminated



    The seeds of cyclic life are eliminated, according to Aryadeva, when selflessness is recognized in things. 


    [Extreme] ideas emerge with [the notion of fundamentally existing] things, according to Chandrakirti in his Supplement to (Nagarjuna'sj 'Treatise on the Middle Way'VIA ). 

     

    • When [the idea of an essentially existing] thing does not exist, these [extreme concepts] do not emerge, just as there is no fire when there is no fuel. 
    •  Wisdom examines in this manner, says Bhavaviveka, with the mind in meditative equilibrium. 
    •  The entities that cause these events Apprehended in a traditional manner. 
    •  Who wants and what is wanted, says Shantideva, when one has sought [for them] as realities. 
    •  It is difficult to renounce [misconception] without doubting the target of this [misconception], according to Dharmakirti. 


     All Mahayana teachers declare that the way to nirvana is via object examination, not just withdrawing the mind from them. 


    •  It is necessary to investigate whether or not the intrinsic existence of things, as perceived by the natural non-analytical mind, exists. 
    •  One must establish that things do not exist as thought and penetratingly comprehend the falsity of intrinsic existence via argument and biblical reference. 


     It is critical to evaluate with discerning knowledge on a regular basis. 


    According to the King of Meditative Stabilizations Sutra (Samadhiraja), analyzing and cultivating the selflessness of phenomena has the consequence of achieving nirvana. 


    •  Peace can be attained via no other means. 
    •  'Analyzing via unique insight and recognizing the absence of intrinsic existence comprise knowledge of the signless,' states the Cloud of Jewels Sutra (Ratnamegha). 
    •  'The clever are those who properly evaluate things separately,' states the Brahma Sutra (Brahmapariprchchha). 


    The great Mahayana teachers taught a variety of reasoning techniques aimed at determining suchness in order to reveal the road to liberation for the fortunate, rather than for the sake of debate. 

     

    'All of the analytical reasonings put out in Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Middle Way (Madhyamakashastra) are only for the purpose of sentient beings achieving freedom,' Dzong-ka-ba states. 


    •  The desire to be free of cyclic existence is the driving force behind studying phenomena and realizing emptiness. 
    •  Those of lower ability among Buddhist practitioners engage in religious practice in the hopes of achieving a joyful migration in a future existence. 
    •  They have seen the agony of bad migrations and want to escape it by pursuing virtue. 




    Being A Buddhist Practitioner



    To be called a Buddhist practitioner, one must put out effort in religious practice for the purpose of enhancing one's current lifetime; at the very least, a Buddhist's objective is to achieve a happy existence as a human or a deity in a future life. 


    • Others, with more ability, want to escape the cycle life entirely. 
    • They recognize that achieving a joyful migration in the next life is insufficient since they must still age, get sick, die, and be reincarnated in line with their previous actions. 
    • Their drive for practice stems from a desire to free themselves from circular life. 


    Others, with even more ability, see the depth of their own suffering, infer the pain of others, and practice in order to liberate themselves from cyclic existence and achieve Buddhahood in order to assist all sentient beings in doing so. 



    Thus, prior to meditation, it is critical to declare a motivation vocally and explicitly: 


    • I am meditating on emptiness and studying things in order to achieve freedom from cyclic existence and omniscience so that I may assist other sentient beings in doing the same. 
    • Another possibility is that I am contemplating emptiness and studying things in order to achieve freedom from cyclic existence. 
    • The former is much more powerful since it connects all sentient creatures via meditation. 
    • The power of meditation grows in proportion to the number of creatures with whom it is associated. 
    • Emptiness is a highly strong meditation object in and of itself. 



    According to Aryadeva, those with less merit would have no reservations about this concept [of emptiness]. 


    •  Even a hunch [that some things are empty] Wrecks cyclic existence's [seeds]. 
    •  Even the notion that emptiness—the absence of intrinsic existence—is the mode of being of things upsets the same reasons that generate the endless cycles of helpless pain. 
    •  Because when one has such suspicions, the real mode of being of things behaves as if it were a mental object. 


     According to Dzong-ka-ba, aspirational prayers should be offered for the ability to listen to treatises on the profound [emptiness], memorize them, think about their meaning, meditate on them, and have faith in them over the course of a lifetime, all without jeopardizing the determination of cause and effect's dependent-arising. 

     

    • Though the transfer of Buddhist instruction to Tibet was foretold in sutra, Jam-yang-shay-ba cautions that few would follow the perfection of knowledge all the way to meditation
    •  He claims that although many people remember the phrases and propound the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, only a few people really attain wisdom perfection. 
    •  He goes on to say that untold numbers of people refuse to concentrate on emptiness because of the five ruinations, but instead claim to focus on the 'natural mind,' or something other than emptiness that lacks the elaborations of dualism. 


    It is a mistake to believe that there is another ultimate goal of meditation since 'natural mind,' 'freedom from the elaborations of dualism,' and so on are none other than emptiness itself, and it is meditation on emptiness that puts an end to the elaborations of misunderstanding. 


    The numerous teachings that Buddha does not even abide in the middle way, or that Buddha eventually does not even teach emptiness, must be interpreted to mean that he does not abide in, or teach, an inherently existing middle way, or essentially existent emptiness. 


    Those who profess to concentrate on emptiness but do not really do so are wrong in believing that they may comprehend the suchness of things simply by removing the attention from objects and stopping thinking. 

    Instead, analysis is the fundamental basis of emptiness meditation. 



    List Of Research Sources 



    • Tenets as presented by Jang-gya. 
    • Oral teachings of Kensur Lekden. 
    • The Great Exposition of Tenets by Jam-yang-shay-ba. 






    Hinduism - What Is Ashvamedha?



    The  “horse sacrifice” or Ashvamedha - The purpose of such a Vedic sacrifice is to demonstrate and show royal authority.  



    • A particularly sanctified horse was allowed to wander as it pleased during this sacrifice, accompanied by an armed band of the king's attendants. 
    • When the horse strayed into the realm of a neighboring ruler, that ruler had two options: 
      • he could accept subservient status to the king who had unleashed it, 
      • or he might try to seize the horse and fight the king's servants. 

    • The horse was taken back to the royal capital after a year of roaming and sacrificed ritually by suffocation or strangling so that its blood would not be spilt. 
    • The chief queen would lay down next to the horse after it had been slaughtered, simulating sexual contact. 
    • Even though it was obviously a secondary element of the ceremony, when the directions for this rite were first translated in the nineteenth century, this simulated intercourse piqued the attention of European academics. 


    Because the monarch conducting the ritual was able to govern the area traveled in a year by a free-roaming horse, the rite's main focus was a celebration of royal authority. 


    • The queen's function, on the other hand, seems to be focused towards symbolically ensuring the land's fertility. 
    • According to historical sources, the ashvamedha was not conducted till the eleventh century C.E. 
    • Concerns about the karmic repercussions of killing a live creature, like in all other instances of animal sacrifice, were a major reason in its abolition. 



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    Hinduism - What Is Dashanami Ashrama?




    One of the ten divisions of the Dashanami Sanyasis, who are renouncers and Shiva worshippers (bhakta). 



    • Shankaracharya, a ninth-century philosopher, is said to have founded the Dashanamis in order to create a corps of educated men who might assist revive Hindu life. 
    • Each division is given a distinct name, such as ashrama (“hermitage”) in this instance. 
    • New members are given this name as a surname to their new ascetic names at the time of initiation, allowing for quick group identification. 
    • Aside from their individual identity, these ten “named” divisions are divided into four larger organizational groups. 
    • Each organization, as well as other religious groups, has its headquarters in one of the four monastic centers (maths) allegedly founded by Shankaracharya. 
    • The Ashrama Dashanamis are members of the Kitawara community, which is connected with the Sharada Math in Dwaraka, near the Arabian Sea. 
    • The Ashrama division is regarded as a prestigious organization since it is one of the few that will only initiate brahmins (the other such divisions are the Saraswati Dashanamis, Tirtha Dashanamis, and part of the Bharati Dashanamis.)


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    Hinduism - What Is The Significance Of The Ashoka Tree?




    The Ashoka Tree (Jonesia ashoka) is a flowering tree that has been linked with love and fertility for thousands of years. 



    • The Ashoka tree has crimson blooms that contrast with its green leaves when it is in bloom. 
      • Red is a color linked with passion. 

    • According to legend, the Ashoka tree will not blossom until it has been kicked by the foot of a young lady, indicating that her reproductive energy has been transferred to the tree. 

    • The Ramayana, the first of the two major Hindu epics, also mentions the Ashoka tree. 
      • When Sita is abducted by Ravana, Lanka's demon king, she is imprisoned in an Ashoka tree forest, where she pines away until her husband Rama rescues her.


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    Hinduism - Who Are The Ashtachap Surdas?



    The “eight seals” or Ashtachap Surdas, Krishnadas, Parmananddas, Kumbhadas, Nanddas, Chaturbhujdas, Chitswami, and Govindswami are a set of eight northern Indian bhakti (devotional) poets. 


    • All eight of these poets are identified as members of the Pushti Marg and companions of the Pushti Marg's early leaders in the sectarian literature of the Pushti Marg, a Vaishnava group whose members are devotees (bhakta) of Krishna. 
    • Surdas, Krishnadas, Parmananddas, and Kumbhadas are linked to Vallabhacharya (1479–1531), the Pushti Marg's founder; Nanddas, Chaturbhujdas, Chitswami, and Govindswami are linked to Vallabhacharya's son and successor, Vitthalnath (r. 1566–1585). 
    • For several of the poets, evidence of their membership can be discovered in their poetry, which supports this claim; but, for Surdas, this claim seems extremely improbable.


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    Hinduism - Who Is Ashutosh?



    Ashutosh ("immediately pleased") - The deity Shiva's epithet. 


    Shiva's connection with his followers (bhakta) as well as his ultimate essence are reflected in this name. 


    • When his worshippers approach him with sincerity, he does not require costly sacrifices or lengthy devotion, and he quickly grants his favor. 



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    Hinduism - Who Was Ashvalayana?



    Sage and author of one of the Grhya Sutras (household rituals manuals). 


    • As one of the first works to describe the numerous life-cycle rituals (samskaras), Ashvalayana's book is an essential source on these rites.


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    Hinduism - Who Is Ashtavakra?



    Ashtavakra means "eight bends" in Sanskrit. 


    Ashtavakra is a sage who is the son of Khagodara in the Mahabharata, the second of the two major Hindu epics. 

    • According to legend, Ashtavakra is a very clever kid, which leads him into a lot of trouble. 
    • Ashtavakra corrects his father's pronunciation of a mantra while still in his mother's womb. 
    • His father curses him to be bent in retaliation, and the kid is born with eight bends in his body. 
    • Despite his odd looks, Ashtavakra grows up to become a wise man and is generally regarded as the composer of the Ashtavakragita (“Song of Ashtavakra”). 


    This book explains the philosophical idea of monism, which is the view that the whole world is based on a single Supreme Reality (called Brahman), and that other things are just different expressions of this reality.


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    Hinduism - What Is Ashtanga?

     

    Yoga with eight limbs is known as Ashtanga. 



    • Patanjali (1st century C.E.?) is credited with developing the yoga (religious discipline) system. 
    • This author is thought to be distinct from Patanjali, the grammarian who penned the Mahabhashya commentary on Panini's Sanskrit grammar. 
    • The Yoga school of Indian philosophy, one of the six schools, is founded on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. 
    • The Yoga school has been associated with the Samkhya school during the early years of the common period (about 100–300 C.E.). 

    In this combination, Samkhya offered the theoretical and metaphysical reasons for the soul's bondage and liberation, while Yoga set forth the actual method for breaking free. 


    1. Restraints (yama),
    2.  observances (niyama), 
    3. physical postures (asana), 
    4. restriction of breath (pranayama), 
    5. withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), 
    6. concentration (dharana), 
    7. meditation (dhyana), 
    8. and trance are the eight limbs (anga) of Ashtanga yoga (samadhi). 


    Patanjali's method is an eight-step self-transformation program that starts with developing certain healthy behavioral habits (yama and niyama). 


    • The next step is to work on developing and controlling one's mind, which is a more delicate and internalized exercise. 
    • Because Samkhya is atheistic, it ends in a mystic revelation that leads to liberation, which is originally characterized as yogic aloneness (kaivalya). 
    • Patanjali's route resembles the Buddha's eightfold road, which is another well-known scheme for self-transformation. 


    Although both Patanjali and the Buddha are credited with inventing their own ways, it is probable that they relied on an existing yogic tradition and modified it to suit their own beliefs. 


    • Although the Samkhya theories have long been rejected, the Yoga school's methods remain essential in contemporary Hindu religious life. 
    • Yoga is emphasized in many contemporary Hindu organizations as a method of spiritual discipline, purification, and self-awareness. 



    A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, edited by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore, was published in 1957.


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    Hinduism - What Is Ashtalakshmi?



    Eight distinct manifestations of the goddess Lakshmi, symbolizing her many characteristics as a wealth and prosperity source. 


    The eight are often shown as a group, although they may also be seen separately: 


      1. Vijaya ("victory") Lakshmi, 
      2. Jaya ("conquest") Lakshmi, 
      3. Dhana ("wealth") Lakshmi, 
      4. Dhanya ("grain") Lakshmi, 
      5. Gaja ("elephant") Lakshmi, 
      6. Aishvarya ("divine power") Lakshmi, 
      7. Vina (musical instrument) Lakshmi, 
      8. Raja ("royal") Lakshmi.


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    Hinduism - What Is Ashtadhyayi?



    The “Eight Sections” or  Ashtadhyayi - The Sanskrit grammarian Panini (about 4th century B.C.E.) wrote this book, which is named for the eight parts it includes. 


    • The Ashtadhyayi was written by Panini as a descriptive account of current Sanskrit, but it was subsequently converted into a prescriptive standard for the language. 
    • Each of the Ashtadhyayi's eight parts is made up of a number of short aphorisms (sutras) that relate to a particular aspect of Sanskrit grammar and are typically just a few words long. 
    • Each sutra in a section builds on the sutras before it, providing the basis and context for comprehending the sutras that follow. 

    Panini started with the most basic linguistic characteristics of Sanskrit before moving on to more particular ones, as shown by this sequential description. 


    • Panini was able to give a comprehensive description of the Sanskrit language in as little time as possible using this technique, and the text's condensed shape made it easier to memorize. 
    • The Ashtadhyayi's terseness of language, like that of other sutra texts, necessitates a commentary, since the sutras are so short and pithy that they are simply enigmatic to the uninitiated. 
    • The Mahabhashya, authored by the grammarian Patanjali in the second century B.C.E., is the most renowned commentary of the Ashtadhyayi.



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    Hinduism - What Is An Ashram?

     

    An Ashram is an ascetic's or religious renunciant's home. 


    • The term comes from a variant of the verb "to struggle," and it has many meanings: 

      • On the one hand, an ashram is a location where one may give up traditional worldly objectives
      • On the other, it is a place where one can earnestly pursue spiritual aims that are frequently overlooked in the material world. 
      • The term may also refer to a wide variety of living arrangements in contemporary Hinduism (both in India and elsewhere), from a small hut or cave inhabited by one person to grandiose building complexes that can accommodate hundreds of people at a time.


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    Inspiration And Awakenings To Create A Meaningful Life

     




      Why I Consider Myself Fortunate:

       
      • In a world where conflict dominates the nightly news and words of despair are common, I consider myself fortunate to encounter people from all over the world on a daily basis whose lives remind me that there is an abundance of good among us. 
       
      • In a day and age when we hear so much about corporate scandals and ethical violations, I consider myself fortunate to work with leaders of countries, CEOs, and first-time supervisors who live lives marked by integrity and moral fortitude. 
       
      • In a time when crime, war, natural disasters, and illness are all too frequent, I consider myself fortunate to work alongside law enforcement officers, military specialists, civic administrators, and medical professionals who make significant sacrifices and have noble objectives. 
       
      •  In an era when parenting and family connections are being tested like never before, I consider myself fortunate to know strong dads and noble moms who work tirelessly to give nourishment and nurturing for their children at all hours of the day and night. 
       
      •  And, in an age when schools and adolescents are inundated with negativism and sensitive social issues, I consider myself fortunate to know devoted teachers and bright youngsters who are rich in character and determined to making a difference—each in their own way. 
       

      Indeed, I consider myself fortunate to meet individuals from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe who are really decent and who give so much to the world around them. 
       
       They motivate me.  There's a good chance you're one of these people. 

       
       Yes, I think that the majority of people in this world are good people doing good things, and that the cacophony of the bad minority should not drown out the constant sound of good that is all around us. 
       

      But allow me to add this. 
       
      While many of us are doing excellent things and deserve more credit than we give ourselves, most of us are aware that what we are doing is not always our best. 
       
      As a result, in our calmer times, we feel that there is still more we can receive out of life, and more we can give. 

      Isn't it the case for you as well? 



      My personal motto is,

       "Live life in crescendo," and I prefer to approach life with the idea that my most important job is always ahead of me, not behind me. 
       
      •  As a consequence, I have a constant urge to push myself in new areas, to search for worthwhile ways to make a difference. 
      •  And when I have a personal goal to improve my life, I find it helpful to have a resource like this body accessible for reading and contemplation. 
       
       
       

       
      Let's be honest.  Life isn't always easy.  The globe is in upheaval, and all signs point to greater turmoil ahead. 

       
       
      So much of what we hear and read these days is unsettling, if not downright alarming. 
       
      As a result, sitting down and enjoying an uplifting reading experience like this is becoming more uncommon. 
       
      May you find it to be a safe haven in the midst of the storm. 
       
      My hope is that part of what you read may give you with the push you need to go from doing good to achieving your best, both now and in the future. 


       

       I hope that you are instilled with a stronger desire to be a transition person.

       
      •  A transition person is someone who interrupts the flow of bad—bad traditions or harmful behaviors that are handed on from generation to generation or from circumstance to situation, whether in a family, a business, a community, or anywhere else. 
      •  Transition people go above their own wants and tap into human nature's deepest, noblest instincts. 
      •  They are lights, not judges, models, not critics, in times of darkness. 
      •  They are change catalysts, not victims, and healers, not carriers, in times of conflict. 
       

       More transition people are needed in today's society. 
       
       Allow yourself to develop into one of the greatest, and watch your impact increase. 
       


      EVERYDAY GREATNESS



      Every now and then, the world bears witness to a heroic deed or the discovery of a unique ability. 

      Every now and again, a scientist makes a significant breakthrough or an engineer creates a game-changing technology. 

      Every ten years or so, a pair of politicians sign a historic peace treaty. 


      Expensive events honor the greatest actresses, singers, sportsmen, and salesmen every year, while local festivals honor the guy who can eat the most chili peppers or yodel the best. 


      Such unique occurrences and achievements often emerge in scorching media headlines under the banner of "greatness," and they indeed, in most instances, reflect a kind of greatness worthy of notice and praise. 

      Many of them reflect important, progressive advancements in society, while others just bring some much-needed flavor and fun to life. 

      But most people are aware that there is a another kind of greatness, one that is more modest by nature and seldom makes the news. 

      However, it is a grandeur that, in my view, deserves more recognition and respect. 


      Everyday Greatness is what I've referred to as "primary greatness" in previous contexts. 

      It has to do with character and contribution, as opposed to "secondary greatness," which has to do with recognition, money, celebrity, status, or position. 


      Everyday Greatness is a manner of life, not a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. 

      It is represented more by the kindness that emanates from a face than the title on a business card, and it speaks more about who a person is than what he or she possesses. 

      It is more concerned with people's motivations than with their abilities; it is more concerned with modest and basic acts than with spectacular achievements. 


      It is modest. 


      When people are asked to explain Everyday Greatness, they usually provide examples of people they know, such as a farmer who weathers the storms of life year after year, provides for his family, and assists his neighbors. 

      Or a mother who recognizes she isn't perfect but strives to do her best every day to provide unconditional love to a difficult kid. 


      They define someone who is always reliable, honest, industrious, and considerate of others, such as a grandmother, a teacher, a coworker, a neighbor, or a friend. 

      Above all, they define someone who is emulation-worthy, knowing that they don't have to be the next Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, or Mother Teresa to demonstrate Everyday Greatness. 

      Yes, the individuals they describe when attempting to define Everyday Greatness are the same people I mentioned in the first few paragraphs of this Introduction—those who, despite the bad noise in the world, nevertheless find ways to stand up and contribute positively. 

      The important thing is that it's all a part of who they are on a daily basis. 




      THREE EVERYDAY CHOICES 



      What are the choices we all face that lead to Everyday Greatness? What is the source of the problem? I am sure that the solution resides in three everyday decisions, decisions that everyone of us makes on a daily basis, whether we are aware of them or not.



      Daily Choice #1 - THE CHOICE TO ACT



      The first decision we make each day is whether we will act on life or be acted upon. Obviously, we have no control over anything that occurs to us. 

      As one incident follows another, life slams against you like the waves of the ocean. Some occurrences happen by chance and have little or no effect on us. Others practically thrash us. 


      But we have a choice every day: will we remain like driftwood that drifts along with the tides and currents of the day, or will we take proactive control of our actions and destinations? 

      On the surface, the decision seems to be straightforward. 


      After all, who wouldn't want to take control of their lives rather than be controlled by them? 


      But, in the end, only our actions offer the most accurate answers. 

      Many individuals claim to desire control over their lives, but then hand over their evening plans to their televisions to decide when and what they will do. 

      Others claim to have high career ambitions, but then hand up control of their professional growth to their employers. Others claim to desire to uphold strong principles, but then let their integrity shrivel when confronted with resistance. 


      So, although many individuals claim to want to act on life, it seems that life is acting on them more often than not. 

      Every narrative of success, on the other hand, depicts a person who decides to act. 

      They are individuals who understand that, although we may not always have control over what occurs to us, we do have control over how we respond to it. 



      Some of the individuals are well-known by name, but the majority are not. 

      Some people make heroic decisions, but the majority do not. 

      Some people make decisions in public, but the majority do not. 


      The majority are ordinary individuals making ordinary decisions in their own lives. 

      I dare you to investigate their lives and decisions. 

      Check to see if you see the same pattern that I do: people that choose to act get the most out of life and contribute the most. 


      We have the ability and responsibility to be the creative force in our own lives—and in our own futures.

       



      Daily Choice #2 - THE PURPOSE SELECTION. 



      However, many of us have taken action only to discover that we made bad decisions—decisions that proved to be of little benefit to ourselves or others, and in some cases, even destructive. 

      As a result, just deciding to act is insufficient. 


      As a result, the second decision we make every day is very important: 

      What will be the consequences of our everyday decisions? 


      We all want to feel valuable, as if our lives matter. 


      We don't want to be busy for the sake of being busy; we want to be active for the sake of pursuing good goals. 

      • However, in today's fast-paced world, it's all too easy to hurry through each day without even considering the goals we're chasing, much less stopping long enough to consider the goals we'd most want to achieve. 
      • As a result, we see a lot of people hurrying from place to place, yet they're actually going nowhere. 
      • The select individuals, however, are not. From John Baker to Maya Angelou, Luba Gercak to Joe Paterno, a guy who manufactures wheelchairs to a family that rallies around a handicapped kid, all make proactive decisions to pursue important and noble goals—sometimes at considerable danger or personal sacrifice. 

      They chose to “help people help themselves” by filling each issue with stories, anecdotes, humor—a lot of humor—and practical insights that reinforced the principles of effective liason. 

      Similarly, those who thrive have to make decisions to pursue good goals, one by one, day by day. I hope you appreciate reading about the goals they set for themselves and that it inspires you to think about your own attempts to live a life of meaning and service.



      Daily Choice #3 - THE PRINCIPLES OF CHOICE. 



      But, of course, none of this is due to chance or magic. 


      • While I believe in the power of positive thinking, I don't believe that you or I can just think our way to success or happiness. 
      • Rather, we can only live a life full of purpose and progress—a life of Everyday Greatness—if we act in accordance with timeless, universal truths. 
      • As a result, the third decision we make every day is whether we will conduct our lives according to established principles or face the repercussions of not doing so. 



      Despite the fact that it is meant to be humorous, I think the tale below clearly shows the power of values and how they influence our lives and decisions. 


      On a misty night at sea, a ship's captain saw what seemed to be the lights of another ship approaching him. 

      He had his signalman make light touch with the othership. “Change your route 10 degrees to the south,” the message said. “Change your route 10 degrees to the north,” was the reply. “I am a captain, therefore you alter your course ten degrees to the south,” the captain said. “I am a first-class seaman—change your course 10 degrees to the north,” says the reply. 

      The captain was enraged by the previous discussion, so he signaled, “I am a battleship—change your course 10 degrees to the south.” “And I'm a lighthouse,” I respond. “Turn ten degrees north!” says the narrator. (Dan Bell contributed) Despite its playful tone, the message is clear: The size of the ship or the helmsman's status made no difference. 

      The lighthouse had no intention of altering its path. It was set in stone, unmovable.

      The captain was the only one who could decide whether or not to make a course correction. 

      The lighthouse functions similarly to a principle. 



      Principles are unchanging, ageless, and universal. 


      • They don't alter. They don't discriminate based on age, ethnicity, creed, gender, or social position; everyone is susceptible to them. 
      • Principles, like the lighthouse, offer enduring markers against which individuals may chart their course amid storms and calms, darkness and light. 
      • Many such principles, or natural laws, have been found in scientific fields thanks to the Einsteins and Newtons of the world. 


      The four principles of flight, for example, control pilots: gravity, lift, push, and drag. 

      • Farmers must understand similar concepts, often known as harvest laws. Gymnasts and engineers both deal with physics concepts, such as the laws of opposing forces. 
      • The principles, however, were not created by pilots, farmers, gymnasts, or engineers, and they cannot be changed. Instead, like the captain of a ship, they must choose whether or not to follow their orders, or face the consequences. 
      • Because, while values guide action, principles control the outcomes. I am sure that comparable lighthouse principles exist in the human world, and that many of them are gathered together in this body, just as they do in science. 

      Vision, inventiveness, humility, quality, empathy, magnanimity, persistence, and balance are examples of such principles. 


      • All of them are ideas that may help us become more successful and satisfied in our lives. 
      • If you don't believe me, think about how you live your life based on their polar opposites: lack of vision, laziness, vanity, sloppiness, narrow mindedness, vengeance, lack of determination, or unbalance. Those aren't exactly the elements for success. 
      • Some of the items in this collection were written many years ago.
      • However, the fact that they are founded on ideas makes them ageless and relevant—applicable now as well as twenty years from now. 
      • As you read the stories and observations of individuals, don't get too caught up in the time-frames or the names involved. Instead, concentrate on the ideas and how individuals applied them to their lives. 

      Consider how you might utilize the lighthouse principles as beacons to plan your route, evaluate your progress, and make course corrections in your own quest for Everyday Greatness.



      WHERE DO YOU FIND YOURSELF?



      So there you have it: the three options that will help you achieve Everyday Greatness. 

      The decision to act, in a way, symbolizes the energy we bring to life—our willpower. 

      Our destination—where we choose to go in life and what we choose to accomplish—is represented by our choice of purpose. 

      The method by which we will get there—how we will achieve our objectives—is determined by the principles we choose. 



      I think the individuals —those who demonstrate Everyday Greatness in today's world—distinguish themselves by how they respond to these three options. 

      I also think that such individuals have distinguished themselves at different times in their life by reacting favorably to the same three options. 

      This, on the other hand, is not about those individuals. 


      Everything comes down to you. In other words, it is meant to inspire you to reflect on your own life rather than highlighting what others have done or said. 


          • What you bring to the table on a daily basis. 
          • What you do with people. 
          • What you do with your time. 
          • Whether you're doing a good job or giving it your all.



      As a result, I pose the following question:


      • Is your life like driftwood being thrown about, or are you instead creating your own waves and heading in the places you want to go?

      • What are the goals or objectives of your everyday decisions? What goals or objectives would you want them to achieve?

      • Do you live your life according to timeless, universal principles?


      These are difficult questions to answer. I hope you take the time to determine your personal answers if you are uncertain or unhappy with any of your responses. 


      • Each reply serves as a reminder that your life matters, and that your days may be full of purpose and growth regardless of what happens in the world around you. 


       

      FINAL THOUGHTS.


      I am grateful for the vast amount of knowledge shared by the numerous writers, philosophers, and common heroes, many of whom I personally know and respect. 

      Each person is an inspiration in their own way. They, like the rest of us, aren't flawless, but they strive for noble acts, which helps to instill in us the belief that we, too, can make a difference. 


      Finally, I express my admiration for you as a person. 

      I think you are one of the individuals I mentioned earlier—someone who is already up to good deeds in a world that screams so much chaos; you have unique experiences and skills. 

      Have faith in them. Use them to improve on the body's numerous insights. 

      But, above all, choose one of the three options. Take action in your life. Make a commitment to causes that are important and inspiring to you. 


      Strive to incorporate and follow timeless, universal ideas in your daily life. 

      As you do, I am certain that you will experience more pleasure, peace of mind, and a higher sense of value as a result of living an Everyday Greatness existence.



      You may also want to read more Inspirational Words and Quotes here.