Archives for September 2017

How I see the world the year 2067 A.D

“To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, we are embarking on a publishing milestone: collecting the visions of the 100 greatest innovators, artists, scientists and visionaries of our time in the world’s first 3D-printed book – Genius: 100 Visions of the Future.”

Early in 2017 I got an invitation that really moved me: together with 99 of the most outstanding scientists, politicians, philosophers, artists (you can see their names here), I was invited by the Einstein Foundation  to write a 250-word essay on how I see the future. I could choose any time frame and any subject I feel confortable with.

The book, printed in 3-D and, as far as I know, has only one copy, was finally released. Below you find how I see the world the year 2067…

1] BOOKS

  • National Libraries will become museums. No more local libraries.
  • Bookstores will continue to exist, but as we see art galleries today – limited to the elite. Printed books will be very, very expensive, and normally printed on demand.
  • Philosophy will go back to its original pre-Socratic form – aphorisms.

2] WALLS

  • Countries will erect electronic walls to control immigration.
  • Affluent people will leave cities, moving to the countryside to live in protected (walled) condos.
  • Artificial Intelligence will have a major role in everything – hiring, procreating, supplying, medicine, enforcing law, etc.
  • Significant decrease of birth rate.

3] THE END OF NUCLEAR TABOO

  • A major world war starts in SE Asia before 2020 that will see the use of nuclear bombs. From this moment on, every major –or rich – country will go nuclear.
  • Cities will become obsolete as they are easy targets, occupied by homeless people and controlled by the Government, as they will become a hub of drug distribution.
  • Wars will be first used as a geopolitical expansion, but as the price will be exorbitant, countries who win will abandon this expansion and retreat to their walled territories.
  • Cyber armies will be the hard power. Conventional armies will shrink and used only against poor countries and riot control.
  • The UN will cease to exist, and no other mechanism will substitute it.

4] THE CALIPHATE

  • Artificial borders created after WWI will disappear,  and a common religion (Islam) will give birth to the biggest “country” in the world.
  • Significant increase of birth rate

(NOTE: due to space limitation, I could not cover all the issues I consider important- like global warming and local genocides, for example. AND I SINCERELY HOPE THAT I AM WRONG, but I’m afraid I’m not. )

 

 

40 Paulo Coelho quotes

A keen user of electronic media, in 2014 he uploaded his personal papers online to create a virtual Paulo Coelho Foundation. May his quotes inspire you to believe in yourself and chase your dreams (selected by Asad Meah)

 

1. “It takes huge effort to free yourself from memory.” Paulo Coelho

2. “No one can lie, no one can hide anything when he looks directly into someone’s eyes.” Paulo Coelho

3. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Paulo Coelho

4. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Paulo Coelho

5“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” Paulo Coelho

6. “If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule: never lie to yourself.” Paulo Coelho

7. “When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” Paulo Coelho

8. “People want to change everything and, at the same time, want it all to remain the same.” Paulo Coelho

9. “Don’t waste your time with explanations, people only hear what they want to hear.” Paulo Coelho

10. “People are capable at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” Paulo Coelho

11. “All you have to do is pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready.” Paulo Coelho

12. “What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give their best in order to discover what they already know.” Paulo Coelho

13. “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” Paulo Coelho

14. “Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near.” Paulo Coelho

15. “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” Paulo Coelho

16. “Don’t give in to your fears, if you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.” Paulo Coelho

17. “Live truly and forgive quickly.” Paulo Coelho

18. “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” Paulo Coelho

19. “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say.” Paulo Coelho

20. “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” Paulo Coelho

21. “Don’t forget: temporary insanity moments spice up your life.” Paulo Coelho

22. “Never miss an opportunity to show your love.” Paulo Coelho

23. “Your eyes show the strength of your soul.” Paulo Coelho

24. “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Do it now.” Paulo Coelho

25. “You are what you believe yourself to be.” Paulo Coelho

26. “Happiness is something that multiplies when it is divided.” Paulo Coelho

27. “Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.” Paulo Coelho

28. “Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.” Paulo Coelho

29. “Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily.” Paulo Coelho

30. “Miracles only happen if you believe in miracles.” Paulo Coelho

31. “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” Paulo Coelho

32. “Never give up.” Paulo Coelho

33. “Fortunate are those who take the first steps.” Paulo Coelho

34. “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.” Paulo Coelho

35. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” Paulo Coelho

36. “Fight for your dreams and your dreams will fight for you.” Paulo Coelho

37. “A life without cause is a life without effect.” Paulo Coelho

38. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine: it is lethal.” Paulo Coelho

39. “Close some doors today, not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.” Paulo Coelho

40. “We need to forget what we think we are so that we can really become what we are.” Paulo Coelho

Life explained

On the first day God created the dog. God said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years.” The dog said, “That’s too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten.”
So God agreed.

On the second day God created the monkey. God said, “Entertain people, do monkey tricks and make them laugh. I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.” The monkey said, “Monkey tricks for twenty years? I don’t think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that’s what I’ll do too, okay?”
And God agreed.

On the third day God created the cow. “You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves, and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years.”
The cow said, “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty and I’ll give back the other forty.”
And God agreed again.

On the fourth day God created man. God said, “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I’ll give you twenty years.”
Man said, “What? Only twenty years? Tell you what, I’ll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back, and the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back, that makes eighty, okay?”

Okay,” said God, “You’ve got a deal.”

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves; the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

When Generosity Means Saying “No”

Saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue.” – Paulo Coelho

To follow up on an earlier post, I wanted to take the time to address one of the most common myths surrounding generosity: that being generous means saying yes to people.

As I see it, the opposite is often true. This is true in several different contexts:

1. Sometimes giving people what they want is not what they need/ is not what is in their best intererests.

We’ve all likely been in situations where people ask us to help them with something or do something for them that we do not believe to be in their best interests. This can include, but is certainly no limited to, people struggling with addictive behaviors or codependency. It can be particularly challenging to say no in these situations, especially when there is an emotional investment in the other person or when the other person responds with threats, intimidation, passive aggressiveness, or any other type of manipulation. The two most important things to remember in these situations are 1) to not take the other person’s request/ behavior/ communication personally and 2) to uphold your boundaries. I will write more about how to say no specifically in my next post.

2. Saying yes to too often causes us to be spread too thin. This can lead to stressed inputs, medicore outputs, and commitments left undone. 

It is important to remember that when we say yes to everything, we are actually allowing the things that we will end up not finishing/ not doing well up to chance. The way I see it, it much more preferable to prioritize and decide for ourselves what we wish to devote our time, attention, and energy on. In the words of Suzette Hinton, ““We must say “no” to what, in our heart, we don’t want. We must say “no” to doing things out of obligation, thereby cheating those important to us of the purest expression of our love. We must say “no” to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else’s.” Until we learn how to say NO to the many things that are constantly vying for our attention, we will always say YES to so many things. One all too common cause of a regretful life is a life that failed to balance YES and NO. A life that did not recognize when to courageously say NO and when to confidently say YES!

3. Saying Yes when we mean No cheapens our word, diminishes our sense of self-respect, and compromises our integrity. 

Saying Yes out of a sense of duty, guilt, obligation, insecurity, inadequacy, a desire to be liked, or a desire to maintain the peace is a recipe for diminished self-esteem and self-worth. People pleasers often struggle to say no, even if saying yes makes them feel uncomfortable. What we don’t recognize in the moment is that saying Yes is only a temporary band-aid solution for our underlying insecurities, inadequacies, and other feelings that we will have to address at some point. Saying yes under the pretense of saving a relationship is only a front for a crumbling relationship foundation that must be addressed.

Remember that what you do not do determines what you do. You can be just as proud of the things you have not done as the things you have done. It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that really matter.

30 SEC READ: A story by Kahlil Gibran

I was strolling in the gardens of an insane asylum when I met a young man who was reading a philosophy book.

His behavior and his evident good health made him stand out from the other inmates.

I sat down beside him and asked:

‘What are you doing here?’

He looked at me, surprised. But seeing that I was not one of the doctors, he replied:

‘It’s very simple. My father, a brilliant lawyer, wanted me to be like him. My uncle, who owns a large emporium, hoped I would follow his example. My mother wanted me to be the image of her beloved father. My sister always set her husband before me as an example of the successful man. My brother tried to train me up to be a fine athlete like himself.

And the same thing happened at school, with the piano teacher and the English teacher – they were all convinced and determined that they were the best possible example to follow. None of them looked at me as one should look at a man, but as if they were looking in a mirror.

So I decided to enter this asylum. At least here I can be myself.’

From “The book of the five rings”

by Miyamoto Musashi

 

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way

Agenda 2018

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I can’t wait for the day when life finally makes sense

 

by Rania Naim

 

I can’t wait for the day that we understand why we met the right people at the wrong time or the wrong people at the right time and why our lives didn’t align to bring us together.

I wonder if it’s because they’re the wrong ones for us or because we still have a lot of growing up to do and we’re meant to be with someone who understand who we’re becoming not who we were.

I can’t wait for the day that we understand the lesson behind every struggle. Why we struggled to be successful, why we struggled to find love, why we struggled to reach our dreams and why we lost people who meant the world to us. I wonder if we needed these lessons to learn how to appreciate life and feel the pain of others or we just needed to learn that there is no living without suffering.

I can’t wait for the day that we understand why we had to hate ourselves to love ourselves, why we had to destroy ourselves to build ourselves up again and why we had to start over just before we got to the finish line. I wonder who saved us or who inspired us to save ourselves.

I wonder if we are meant to be reborn a few times so we can learn how to truly live. I want to know what triggered us to change and how we can no longer recognize who we used to be.

I can’t wait for the day that we understand why we keep falling for the wrong ones over and over again, why we can’t forget those who hurt us and why we sometimes can still forgive them and take them back. I want to understand how our hearts operate, how they function, how they move us to do things we would never do and lead us to places that we know we shouldn’t go to.

I’m curious to know why we listen to it, why we follow it blindly like it never got us lost before, why we trust it even though it left us broken and why do we always go back to it for questions when it keeps giving us the wrong answers. I wonder if there will come a day when we stop listening to it and if we’ll ever be truly alive without it.

They say everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that, but I also want to know what this reason is and why it chose us. Why some reasons keep recurring and why some reasons leave us even more perplexed. I want to understand why we go through certain things, what’s the message behind it and what if we never respond to this message, what if we just ignore it and keep living, what will happen then? Will our lives get lost in translation? 

I can’t wait for the day that life makes sense – some days I understand why certain things happened and others I’m not so sure, but all I know is that somehow we’ll connect the dots and someday we’ll complete the puzzle, until then, we have to learn how to live our lives without trying to understand it and we have to learn how to be comfortable with the irony and uncertainty of life; otherwise we’ll lose our common sense trying to make sense of the life we’re living.

Seven quick questions/answers on ALEPH

EN FRANçAIS ICI>>> Sept questions sur ‘Aleph’
__________________

In his most personal novel to date, internationally best-selling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, he decides to begin again: to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him.

How did your latest ‘pilgrimage’ and writing Aleph come about?

Everybody must leave his/her comfort zone from time to time. Spirituality is not only praying and meditating. You need to act.

The idea of a second chance is a welcome thought to many. What made you take yours?

Small decisions may hold significant consequences. As a writer, I must take a second, a third, an eleventh chance till I arrive where I am planning to go.

What would you say to someone who wanted to take their second chance but lacked the confidence to do so?

Remember: you can sell your time, but you cannot buy it back.

One of the messages in Aleph is that what we do now affects our future. Was there a pivotal moment when you knew that the way you chose to act would determine the course of your future?

Every single moment in life is a pivotal moment. Every day has a moment where you can change everything–the problem is that we are scared to recognise this moment.

Can you explain the concept of the “Aleph”?

Aleph is NOW. The present moment, holding all the past and the future consequences.

In Aleph your routine was diminishing your sense of purpose. For most people routine is unavoidable. How can they prevent their routine from consuming their destiny?

Routine is not unavoidable. When we are enthusiastic about life, we strive to become better than we are. And so we become.

You are a great advocate for online and digital publishing. Do you think this will have a positive effect in bringing new readers to your message?

Not only that. It allows, for example, that a Brazilian reader in US can have Aleph or any of my books in Portuguese. However, writers must be aware that online and digital publishing is changing the way we write.


Interview for Amazon.com

20 sec read : A poem by Tagore

 

What is anxiety playmate?

What is anxiety playmate? Playmate, what is agony?
You all say day and night ‘love, love’-
Tell me, playmate, what is love! Is it only torment?
It is only shedding tears? Is that only sorrow’s breathing?
Why then in what expectation of joy
People hopefully embrace such sorrow?

In my eyes all is handsome,
All fresh, all spotless, blue sky, darkgreen wood
Liberal moonlight, soft flower-every thing like me.
They only smile, only sing, wish to die after a sportive game-
knows no pain, knows no crying, above all kinds of agony.
Flowers laugh while they get shed, moonlight smilingly disappears,
In the sea of light the star, all smiles, does his form abandon.

Who is happy like me? Come playmate, come near to me-
The joyous song of a happy heart will feed your mind with solace.
If everyday you cry, why not laugh for a single day-
Forget all sadness for at least a day, let all of us sing together.

Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.

Are you Stubborn Enough About Your Creativity?

by Anna Verasai

We are all told that compromise is a good virtue to keep everyone happy and maintain balanced relationships. But will you be happy compromising on your talent and creativity? Will you reach your goals if you keep on compromising? If your answer to any of these questions is a no; then stop compromising right away. It is not a merry world and you won’t excel in your work if we keep compromising our creativity

Compromise is a good virtue, agreed. But when it comes to anything related to your creativity and talent, do not compromise. Do not accept anything less than what you can offer. If you are confident about your work do not give in to the pressures from seniors. Rather, you can prove your worth by not settling in for the obvious route.

People always take the path most traveled; and creative people often tread on the less traveled. This is what makes them different from the rest of the world. They know that they can change norms of everyday life by just being themselves.

There are times at work place when you want to do a project in a certain way, but the top management asks you to follow the traditional method. At times when you have your specific tone of work; your seniors want to tamper with it. During such phases in your career you have to stand up for your own unique identity; your creativity and talent.

Creativity and Talent is Not for Compromise

Rod Judkins, in his book ‘The Art of Creative Thinking’; has given a beautiful example of Paulo Coelho and how he did not compromise given the external pressure. Coelho knew since his teenage days that he wanted to become a writer; which was brushed off as madness by his family. His parents wanted him to have a secure and more respectable profession; like a lawyer. They were so much opposed to his dreams that they went to an extent of admitting him to a mental institute for 3 times; to arguably ‘save’ him from writing.

Coelho refused to compromise. He was confident in his talent and he made a point not to compromise on it. Once sure about the path; Paulo Coelho went on to become the most famous writer of his generation. His book ‘The Alchemist’ is reportedly translated into eighty languages, and has sold 65 million copies globally. By remaining stubborn and not giving in to family pressures, Coelho achieved his dream and became an international inspiration.

Be Flexible Enough

As creative people, everyone has their own set of ideals and visions. It is necessary that you respect your own creativity and vision rather than settling in for the obvious. Of course, do not be stubborn if you have to be a little flexible for co-workers or if you have to put in extra efforts for outputs. Be available whenever people need your help. Also try to follow the work place rules of your organization when it comes to your habits and work styles.

Note that you need to be stubborn only about the quality of work you deliver, your goals, and your creativity and talent. For everything else – Compromise is genuinely a good virtue!!