Duty to Love

Duty is such a great word. It implies that whatever that person is talking about is an obligation. Duty is something you must do or risk harm to your reputation or lose your job or lose respect or some other very undesirable consequence. As such it’s not a word to be used lightly but this particular meme is using it appropriately, Love, in whatever for from that is, is most definitely everyone’s duty.
Image result for there are more things to admire.

Advertisements

Journal August 9th, 2017: Future Planning

I have started laying out a plan for generating funds to support the site and coincidentally found this relevant meme while browsing Instagram. I will soon be adding a donate button and possibly adding product sales. Too many good websites start great and end up cluttered and their content changes, often for the worst, out of fear of advertisers pulling their support. They become bogged down with ads, products and annoying popups. I have made a promise to myself not to let that happen. So I hope I can draw a balance between monetizing the site and keeping it informative and interesting. I also have to be careful to make sure information stays free from bias, is factual and gathered from scientific research as much as possible.

Hopefully through social media, networking, reader support and a few ads the site can generate enough to at least break even and maybe make enough to support charities and do some great things. Most of these changes start happening in October, very exciting indeed.

 

Acceptance and Action Part 2: Assessing the Possible

In part one of this series we discussed two possible approaches to a given situation: acceptance and action. The first and most important is action. Action is literally the only way to change anything, this is true on a physical and psychological level. As soon we have made a decision to act we have taken the first step in improving our situation. To take action we must first know what we can and can’t do and that is different for everyone but there are some universal rules to this:

What can you action and what can’t you?

  1. The Impossible: Some things really are impossible. Inspirational speakers and other motivators have been shouting ‘anything is possible!’ from the rooftops for decades. It is hard to go on the web these days and not see some variation of this somewhere. However, it’s not entirely true.  There are at least three things we can not do:
    1. We can not defy the laws of physics: This is common sense but warrants mentioning. There is no point wasting your time trying to invent a time machine if time travel is not possible according to the laws of physics.
    2. Human Law: Laws exist to help create a safe and peaceful environment. We can defy the law if we want to but we must be ready to face the consequences both legally and with our conscience.
    3. Ethics: Another we can defy but shouldn’t. This is listed as impossible because in ideal circumstances we would never defy our own moral code.
  2. Nearly Impossible: Even though we can not fly to the moon unassisted we could follow a career path that makes going to the moon a possibility. We could go to university, we could become a pilot or an astrophysicist and then we could apply to NASA, we could get accepted for a manned flight to the moon and achieve the goal of going to the moon. This is a good example of a nearly impossible goal. It is seemingly impossible but not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
  3. Very Unlikely: The first stage within the scale of possibilities in which an idea, action or goal becomes achievable. When something is very unlikely the odds are very against a person trying to change a situation or achieve a goal but this can still become a reality with proper strategies and perseverance.
  4. Unlikely: This is the stage in the realm of possibilities in which have a very real opportunity to make something happen despite the odds being against it.
  5. Likely: At this stage there is no apparent reason to believe something won’t happen. We, generally speaking, don’t need to do anything to bring about the event or goal we desire.
  6. Very Likely: At this stage of possibility an action or circumstance has strong outside factors helping it become even a reality.
  7. Certain: Even external factors are unlikely to prevent this from happening. The sun rising or babies being born are good examples of things that are certain to happen everyday.

It can be difficult trying to determine how possible goal or action is but when that goal or action is important we really need to understand how possible it is. Once we know this we can use

goal setting

strategies to achieve our desired ends. The most basic strategy is to simply list obstacles

and use our critical thinking skills to determine whether or not those obstacles can be bypassed.  It’s also important to remember that time and circumstance can change how possible something is so even if it is impossible now we can always reassess later and so have no reason to give up something completely. That fact will keep us motivated and a little bit more hopeful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acceptance and Action Part 1

Determinism has it’s fair of supporters and deniers but what they all have in common is a desire to have a solid answer to the philosophical question of fate’s existence. Supporters say that everything, even our choices, are the result of some other cause or causes such as natural laws or our biology.  These causes can be explained or unexplained, understood or not understood but there is always a cause. In the extreme case fatalists believe that these causes are entirely out of our control, that our lives are at the mercy of the Gods or some other supernatural force.

Indeterminism or freewill rejects the idea of fate and predictability, especially so with our choices. Supporters of free will say that our choices are ours to make and that we have a moral responsibility to make the right choices as much as possible. Even in circumstances beyond our control such illness or the death of a loved one we can still choose how we handle whatever our circumstances are in some way (i.e. instead of mourning the death of our lost loved one we can choose to remember how lucky we were to have them in our life).

Most people accept that our lives are some combination of determinism and free will. What degree of determinism and/or freewill we have is a debate as old philosophy itself. There exists two ways of handling each situation we find ourselves in:

Action: The first and most important step in shaping our lives. This is what we do when we use our power to make things better. Even by deciding to take action we reject determinism and take responsibility for our own lives. This has three parts:

  • Knowledge: We use our cumulative knowledge to asses our situation.
  • Experience: Drawing on past circumstances to help us determine the best course.
  • Morals: Doing our best to be sure the decision we have made falls within our boundaries of what’s right.

Acceptance: When circumstances are out of control there is always one option: acceptance. Acceptance takes back our power even in the most unpreventable of circumstances because we can always choose to accept our situation. We must be careful with acceptance because it’s a dangerous slippery slope to apathy and so acceptance is a last resort but it is always a feeling that we can choose to have.

Free will most certainly exists when we understand that acceptance is always an option. Some things are extremely hard or impossible for us to accept for many reason but the choice is, at least fundamentally, ours. So we therefore always have some power to control how we feel. Choosing what to accept and when to take action is a complicated matter but will be covered in future articles. Just  remember you can always choose acceptance and take back your power to be content no matter what situation you find yourself in.

 

Journal July 22nd, 2018: Potential for Greatness

Another bit of a hiatus is over. Time to start thinking of moving the site to the greatness it could become. Work and family obligations have made it difficult to be as serious as I need to be in order for the site to reach as many people as I like. There are two great things that could come out of reaching more people:

  1. Giving Hope to People: At the very least providing a start to finding meaning in life and showing how it is possible to be a happy, productive person without the need for religion or superstition, a happiness based on the humanities. Sharing of information of all types is extremely important, especially when the information has so much penitential to positively impact people.
  2. Financial: The reality is websites aren’t free. I don’t mind paying because I enjoy doing it and I am lucky to be able to share something positive with the world, that makes me feel pretty good. The ideal situation would be to be making a profit and start giving to charity or be able to dedicate more time to the blog.

My personal situation changes in the fall so more regular posting should be possible, I hope so because there is so much potential for greatness.

 

Image result for there is no heavier burden than a unfulfilled potential

 

 

Purpose worksheet: A Start To A More Meaningful Life

There are almost as many different kinds of purpose in life as there people on the planet but finding the one that makes us happy and content is not always easy.  Everyone is in a different set of psychological and environmental circumstances and so it’s impossible to list all of the reasons someone might not have found their purpose yet but there are some common obstacles:

Psychological: Some types personality traits are ‘hard-wired’ into a person’s brain and they may be unable to find the happiness or satisfaction that comes with purpose even if they found something they are good at and/or enjoy doing. Mental illnesses, personality disorders and brain injuries can compound this issue.

Social: Feeling pressured into a certain lifestyle or career choice by friends and/or family. For example some people feel obligated to follow in their family’s footsteps or carry on a tradition for some reason.

Cultural: Socio-economic circumstances can force people into certain jobs and/or lifestyles. Such as being conscripted into the military or caring for a sick loved one because no other care is available.

There billions of people in billions of different circumstances and so sometimes people do not find their purpose. However if you don’t know your purpose or can’t find it professionals have developed ways to help. Like the following worksheet created by unstuck.com

 

It has 4 parts:

  1. Pinpoint Your Values: It really does start there. You need to understand what is important to you.
  2. Consider Your options: This is always a good thing to do. We don’t often enough stop to think about what our options are.
  3. Make Room For What You Love: Need I say more?
  4. Filter By Purpose: Do your decisions tie in with your purpose in life?

The worksheet is fantastic, the folks at Unstuck.com did a  great job. It’s a great first step to leading more fulfilling life. The full worksheet.

Some more reading:

Why It’s So Hard to Find Your Life’s Purpose

Why It’s Hard To Find Your “Life Purpose” In Today’s World

 

 

 

Nature’s Power To Make Us Happy

Most of us know the relaxing feeling of being in nature. Being in a natural setting can be empowering, calming and can make us more focused and energized. Even a simple stroll in the neighborhood park can have this affect. These affects are well documented:

‘ Urban public greenspaces form the arena of many people’s daily contact with nature and such contact has measurable physical and psychological benefits.’

This study reveals a pathway by which nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world.

The reasons for this effect are unclear; but scientists believe that we evolved to be more relaxed in natural spaces. A few studies have, however, looked into the root cause and all of them have suggested that nature triggers the parts of your brain responsible for relaxation and calm. In one study for example scientists used fMRI technology to measure the affects of nature of rumination (repetitive thought focused on negative aspects of the self), a known risk factor for mental illness. They measured participants before and after a 90 minute walk in a natural or urban setting

“Even so, participants who walked in a natural setting versus an urban setting reported decreased rumination after the walk, and they showed increased activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain whose deactivation is affiliated with depression and anxiety—a finding that suggests nature may have important impacts on mood.”

A 2013 study using an EEG  ‘showed evidence of lower frustration, engagement and arousal, and higher meditation when moving into the green space zone; and higher engagement when moving out of it. (Source)

We don’t even necessarily need to be in nature. Videos, pictures and audio can also have this affect. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that

“Viewing green scenes may thus be particularly effective in supporting relaxation and recovery after experiencing a stressful period, and thereby could serve as an opportunity for micro-restorative experiences and a promising tool in preventing chronic stress and stress-related diseases.”

So even when we are busy taking a few minutes to enjoy some pictures, audio and/or video can help us stay relaxed and focused. Thanks to the internet these things are widely available. Here are five ways to easily keep nature in your life:

  • Get outside:  Even in big cities there are nearly always parks and trails nearby most homes and all you need is a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths and you you will feel much better.
  • Decorate your home: You don’t need to be extravagant but a couple of plants or nice pictures on your wall can help you stay in touch with nature.
  • Set your device background: Most of us has access to a cell phone, tablet or computer. Set your background to something nice.
  • Watch: YouTube and other video sources have plenty of great, relaxing nature videos.
  • Listen: Nature sounds are  available in all forms of audio from dvds to mp3s. Some are set to calming music to help you relax.

Best of all this kind of relaxation is free. The planet has given of us plenty of free nature to enjoy and relax in. No matter what you do keep nature part of your life and you will always be, at least a little bit, healthier and happier.

Here are some good free sources online:

YouTube Channels

Johnnie Lawson

Somerset Entertainment Home of Nature Sounds pioneer Dan Gibson’s Solitudes

Soothing Relaxation

Audio:

https://www.calmsound.com/

http://meditationroom.org/free-nature-sounds/

 

 

Journal May 20th, 2018: A new look

A new look and a title change. The look is likely to change to over time until it is perfected. I was also able to overcome the technical problem by choosing a different theme and making only the most recent ten posts available without clicking the plus button at the bottom of the page. Seven years of content was just too much for the old theme to load. In the mean time some words of wisdom and back to regular posting after a break.

The Little Things:

I was going through a not so nice split from my wife, working a job I hate and living somewhere I didn’t want to. On top of life’s normal problems with bills and relationships it was getting to be too much to handle. I made a coffee and sat in my lazy-boy chair , looked out the window and I noticed the leaves on the trees. They are pretty complex organisms onto themselves. The BBC has 5 webpages explaining the complex science of photosynthesis and that one tree is full of them. It’s a very calming affect to realize how amazing life is, if a single leaf is that complex imagine how sophisticated we are. Even on molecular level a single cell is an entire universe of atoms and particles…etc. We are very lucky to get to observe things like this. Remembering how amazing it is that we exist and how much has to be right for even a single leaf to function is a humbling reminder that our day to day problems are pretty insignificant against how much of a natural miracle life is.

I’m happy to be back after a long break and some technical problems and look forward to regular posts again.

 

 

 

Journal April 16, 2018

Looks like a new theme might be in order for the website because the homepage is not loading for me. It doesn’t work in any browser or on mobile. I contacted support and they said (with proof) that it’s working fine for them but I asked a couple of friends and it’s not loading for them either. So posts are going to be a bit infrequent until I decide on an appropriate theme.

The name ‘Never Thought To Question’ is the last remnant of a blog that was once so much more negative and aggressive in it’s approach. The title comes from a song (Judith by a Perfect Circle). It was the perfect match for two main reasons:

1. The song is very anti-religion: So was the blog. At one point the blog was specifically anti-theist. I told myself it was about the religion and not the people following it. I soon realised this wasn’t always true and began to give serious thought to how unproductive that kind of talk is. It helps no one to constantly criticize, make fun  of and belittle anything or anyone. So I changed my approach and it honestly feels a lot better. As such if I change the theme I will be changing the name to Happiness is Free. I will also add a new tagline that I haven’t decided on yet.

2. People not questioning their beliefs is the root of religion and superstition: Not entirely but true but a fairly common reason. I felt that if I could just get people to question their beliefs even for a moment then maybe I can rid the world of religion and superstition. This aggressive and negative attitude hung around for far too long. It made sense to me at the time though.

So with a change of heart, a more positive and helpful approach and a much clearer conscience a name change seems appropriate and with technical problems a new theme too. I look forward to many more positive changes.

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: