The Big Picture

Now imagine the pitter patter of little toddler feet bumbling down the hallway. A baby out on a journey! Everything about that journey is glittered by the newness and amazingness of everything around us. This carpet feels funny. That wall makes a sound when I touch it. But that feeling fades with time, unfailingly, as we begin to conquer the tasks that hadn’t once seemed so easy. To maintain that amazement state we crave to conquer more and more difficult tasks. And with time our mind aligns with the way we spend our time, climbing higher on the staircase than ever before or learning how to roll forward on the floor. A wonderful process blossoms as we make our way through a system designed to both challenge and represent our desire to continue learning. But for some reason this blossom’s loss of color begins when we decide in our minds to get a job. What is a job? Is it a socially decided upon way of converting human energy into economic energy? And economic energy for the sake of what? To provide us with more presents? Presents, we all know sometimes, just don’t cut it. What we’ve always been looking for lies behind the only place one would never consider looking for. The place behind the Irises is indicated by the entrance to the now. Only in the now do presents become presence, an all becomes a one.

 

What it Means to “Be There” for Someone…

Last week, I taught a lesson to my classes about American Dances… Needless to say, they got a bit rambunctious, but had a lot of fun. In one of the later classes on that day, one of the girls from my Student Mentoring class seemed a little blue. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but a midst the laughter of her classmates, her eyes remained fixated downward on the imaginary manifestation of her problem in front of her. I asked her what was wrong, but she brushed me off and said it was nothing. I persisted and asked her to stay after class for a moment so we could talk about it. Just one week before she had seemed quite happy.

After class, she was no where to be found, and I was a bit disheartened. So I moved on with business as usual and continued with my next class, which was a one-on-one session with one of the Non-English teachers at my school, Grace (her English name). As soon as she sat down, I could tell there was something wrong. So instead of talking about our lesson, I pushed the papers aside and said, “Today, let us just talk.” She went on to tell me that there was a problem with one of her students. “When my student have problem… my problem.” I could see the pain in her eyes. So I asked her to tell me about the student and she said, “Today, I ask her what wrong. She say… ‘Nothing. I’m fine. Today I realize I want to become artist.’ ” She knew that the student was avoiding her. Then it dawned on me, “Wait, is her English very very good. One of the best?” “Yes! That’s her!” It seems our empathies had converged.

As the bell rang I asked Grace if she could ask the girl to come speak with me during the next period. I felt like she may feel comfortable with me since she was in my mentoring class (we play games and talk about their future once a week). She agreed and five minutes later I was sitting with my student, asking her what was wrong. A couple minutes of silence and hmmm’s eventually gave way for the greater story to unfold. Her parents had recently split, and her father had killed himself. As I’m sure any child anywhere in the world would, she felt like this was her fault. I replied to her by assuring her that it wasn’t her fault.

She was afraid to tell her teachers, her friends, and her counselor because she thought they would judge her. In Korean culture it is common to speak your judgements about others very frankly. So why wouldn’t she be scared? But as fate would have it, I did not fit into that category, and the fact that I was an outcast gave her the comfort to open up. We talked about it for the rest of the class period, and came to the conclusion that the split was a result of his decisions in the past and that his final decision was his as well.

THE TAKEAWAY: She came into my office after school that day and said thank you with the slightest sparkle in her eye. Maybe it was a tear, maybe it was the freedom from her pain. But the misty sparkle that matched it in mine was one of joy. Joy that I was lucky enough to be in the right place, at the right time, for the right person. Had things gone any differently that day, she may very well have lived with that pain for a long time. Being there for someone does have a lot to do with the kind of person we are, but it has even more to do with timing. If we want to truly be there for someone, let’s not focus on what we are going to say. Rather, let’s focus on recognizing the times when those around us are in need. The rest is up to the Universe.

it's all about timing...

Live in the Moment: It’s All We Really Have

For a moment, forget about your past and your future. For the moment, what happened yesterday does not matter and what will happen tomorrow can wait until… well… tomorrow. Right now in this very moment, what do you have? How do you feel?

I recently started reading a book that has already changed the way I see the world around me. It is called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Fittingly so, it presents the reasons for focusing on the current moment, and nothing else, as much as possible. What I have taken from it so far I thought would be worthy of sharing here:

The Time is Now

You are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are the words on the whiteboard of your mind. They are in your view, not in you. Think about the last ten thoughts you’ve had. How many of them were about something that happened yesterday? Or something that will happen in the future? If you’d asked me this question last week, I would have said at least nine. Today, after some practice, I can say that its probably down to about five. But the difference is incredible. In moments of high stress, or negative emotion, I remind myself of one elloquently simple fact:

All I really have is this moment, and in this moment, everything is great.

The wind against my face reminds me that I am a part of the world around me. The lights on the buildings above me remind me how lucky I am to be in Korea, experiencing this new culture. The smiles of the children walking by me remind me  to smile. And in this moment, I just feel so alive.

It’s really just a slight shift in perspective. Rather than keeping your thoughts in front of you, like words overwritten on the picture of the world in front of you, they are in a book in your back pocket. They can be taken out when you need them, and used accordingly. Or they can stay there while you clear your view and truly soak in everything around you.

THE TAKEAWAY: Money, possessions, prestige, pride, hatred, “problems,” and stress… can all wait. If you think about it, there is really NEVER anything we have but this current moment. We can choose to cloud that view with our own thoughts about the things that are bothering us, but those are just distractions. They are distractions from the most beautiful thing our world has to offer us: itself. So the next time you find your self stressed about something, or feeling bad, remember, if there isn’t a problem right this very moment, then what do you have to worry about?

It's in our nature...

Artwork provided by my beautifully talented girlfriend. 

Be Unreasonable: The Boat Needs Some Rocking

In my last post I left you with one of my favorite quotes:

“The reasonable man spends all his time adapting to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”    

George Bernard ShawMan and Superman (1903) “Maxims for Revolutionists”

Today, I wanted to discuss it a bit more in depth. Maybe when you read the title you thought, “why would I want to be unreasonable?” And you’re right in thinking so, because the word UNreasonable has such a negative connotation in our society. But, thats precisely why I like it.

The negative connotation given to the word unreasonable comes from the basic idea that being reasonable is the best way to live. Think about it, from a young age we are told that we should go to school, get good grades, get into a good college, work hard, get a good job, settle down, and have a good family. But what if you want to live a GREAT life? I never once heard anyone say, “Work hard in school young man, so you can get a great job.” I hope that even in reading that you can hear how odd it sounds.

So why does society do this to us?

WHY CAN'T I JUST BE GREAT LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE???

Well, unfortunately, if they didn’t teach us to strive for good, all hell would break lose. This is because if everyone was “great,” then that would be the norm. And if that were the norm, then greatness would lose its meaning. This is an interesting paradox because greatness implies standing out, rejecting the status quo, and being abnormal. So how could we make being abnormal… normal? You guessed it… Its impossible.

THE TAKEAWAY: The next time someone tells you to be a bit more reasonable, maybe you should question their motivations. Are they trying to stifle you? Or are they just trying to make sure you don’t rock the boat? Perhaps deep down, they themselves were too afraid to rock the boat and want to see you do the same – misery does love company.

Every single one of you has greatness inside of you, so don’t be afraid to let it shine. For if you do, you will give those around you permission to do the same. The world needs you.

Questions Answered: Love, Slumps, Seasonal Depression, and Our Future

How about seasonal depression and ways to combat it? Do you think it really exists?

The concept of “seasonal depression,” or technically known as Season Affective Disorder (SAD), has been well studied in Pschology. However, rather than bore you with technical speak, I would put it this way:

Our moods are greatly influenced by our environment. The lighting in a room can often play a large role on one’s mood while inside it, or the color of the walls can even induce certain emotions on a subconscious level (red has shown to increase aggression). So, when the seasons change, so does the overall lighting and coloring of the world around us.

I often find myself feeling sad on rainy days and happy on sunny ones. Does this happen to you? If so, then you are human! The only problem with this is that you have to consciously decide to counteract the effects the environment has on you. How, you may ask? I believe that the best way is to start by being aware of it. As you notice that certain dreary days bring your mood down, you can try your best to do things that brighten your day – like call an old friend to see how they’re doing.

THE TAKEAWAY: As seasons change, so do the weather conditions. These conditions affect our moods subconsciously and leave it up to our conscious minds to battle their effects. When in doubt, don’t pout! Call a friend to help you out!

How do you put your heart back together after it’s been shattered?

It pains me to answer this question because I know that it must be rooted in some sad experiences, but for this reason I will do my best to answer your question as completely as possible. Healing a broken heart is like tending to a flesh cut:

When one is unfortunate enough to have the sharp edge of a knife cut into their skin, the immediate pain is usually the most intense. With love, it is much the same. As one dwells on the horror and pain that the incident is causing, they actually allow the pain to persist. By contrast, have you ever cut yourself while doing something active and hardly even noticed the pain until later?

The pains of the heart are usually made worse by the mind. In fact, actual emotions only last around 12 minutes – everything else after that is self perpetuated. So, this leads me to the first step in mending a broken heart: Try not to dwell on it.

Next, its time to get out the Neosporin and Band-Aids and take care of the wound. When it comes to the heart, this involves finding closure for the issue. This can take on many forms but often involves completely understanding why the relationship ended in the first place. A logical “Band-Aid” must be applied before the emotional cuts can begin to heal.

THE TAKEAWAY: Do your best not to dwell on it. Take the necessary actions to find closure and allow time to do the rest. Yes, time does heal all wounds, but it will leave a nasty scar if the would isn’t taken care of properly.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

This is quite a difficult question to answer since it is rather ambiguous and means something different to different people. I think that a personal philosophy would be best for you to come to an understanding of this issue:

Bad things happen to good and bad peoplegood things happen to good and bad people. The key here would be to ask yourself how you will approach the next unfair situation you see in the course your life in which a good person suffers. Some things to consider:

Did the person have any control over the issue?

Was there a chain of events that led to it?

Was the outcome justified in any way?

The reason I believe these questions are valuable to consider is because they will help you to better understand what has happened yourself. As with the broken heart question above, if you dwell on it too much it will only make the issue more prevalant in your mind. Understanding it, however, will allow you to dispell those sad thoughts it provokes and find the positive in the situation.

THE TAKEAWAY: When something bad happens to a good person, do your best to understand why that has happened. Is there any positive that has come out of it? In the end, try not to dwell on it. There is positivity everywhere… yet it is only visible to those who are looking for it.


How do we stop worrying about things we can’t control?

A very common issue for people is the ability to deal with uncertainty as it comes up. Worrying about things out of one’s control only serves to produce anxiety for that individual. So, I would refer you to my Anxiety preceding this one.

THE TAKEAWAY: Come to terms with why something is out of your control – Make peace with the fact that you are only responsible for that which you can control, everything else is up to fate.
How do we get ourselves out of a slump and think positive when things aren’t going the way we want?

I find myself dealing with this issue on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. Here is what works for me:

Remind yourself of ALL the reasons you have to think positive. These can be the loving relationships in your life, the past successes you’ve had, or the great things in the future you have to look forward to. All you need is that little motivation to start moving out of your slump and momentum will carry you the rest of the way.

THE TAKEAWAY: Everyone has something positive they can focus on – past, present, or future. So, when you find yourself in a slump, find a few positive things to focus on and let their brightness shed light on your gloomy days.

How does the knowledge worker of today prepare for the right brain trends that we see ahead? How will that affect our professional and personal lives?

This is a great question, however, it is difficult to prove with facts. I assume that when you refer to “brain trends,” you mean the ways in which our brains will adapt to the use of technology. These changes will greatly affect the way our world works.

Preparation for this change is simply a matter of learning what is available, how to use it, and what works for you personally. There will be an increasingly limitless number of tools and new technologies appearing in the next decade and we, as individuals, will have two options. Fight, flight, or assimilate. Since, as we already know, resistance seems to be futile, I’d say assimilate, assimilate, assimilate. It is no coincidence that the most machine-like of species in Star Trek’s portrayal of our future lived by such a motto. In our time, assimilation has become crucial for success.

Another key point is that we are humans. And, by nature, we are social beings. We will move in the way that society takes us. Much like the hands on a Ouija Board piece, there is no individual factor driving this change – only a combination of lots of small factors. I feel that the most important of those factors will be sociality and success. As social beings, we desire communication with others AND a desire to have enough success to be able to achieve high social value (money, business/life success).  We want to talk to others and talk about how great we are. The technological trends that allow us to do these things MORE will be the future.

THE TAKEAWAY: Our humanistic desire to be social and assert social dominance will be the strongest drivers for upcoming technological changes. All we can do to prepare is assimilate, assimilate, assimilate… Or, find a way to be better at it than everyone else. Which will you choose?

To those of you who submitted questions – I thank you. It warms my heart to know that there are people out there reading this stuff. Please feel free to comment in reference to any of the questions addressed in this post – whether you submitted a question or not.

With Love,

Chad

Mood Management: How to CONTROL Your Mood

So, I recently did some reading about emotions and thought of practical way to manage my mood which I would like to share with you all.

What I learned from the book, Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman, was that our moods are created by dense experiences. This is defined as a bunch of emotionally similar experiences occurring in a very short period of time. For instance, imagine you are walking out the door of your house on the way to your car; you are going to the grocery store. On the way out the door, your jacket pocket gets caught on the door handle and rips. Anger. Then, as you get in your car and turn the key, it doesn’t start. Anger. So, you go back in the house, grab a set of jumper cables only to realize that the person you live with has them in THEIR car. Anger. So you call them and they don’t answer. Angeram I making my point here? It is highly likely that for the rest of that day, or maybe even longer, you would be in a bad mood. I mean, I know I would.

Dense experiences like these can occur for any emotion, not just anger. In fact, think of moods simply as prolonged emotions. Emotions fluctuate but are drastically influenced by the mood that one is in at the time the emotions are experienced. To clarify this concept, take a look at the graph I have drawn here:

Mood vs. Emotion Graph: Happiness Over Time

Mood=BLUE Emotions=GREEN

The Mood-line in blue is gradually changing. This shows how our moods often last a long time and fluctuate over hours or days. The Emotion-line in green is centered around the Mood-line to show how our emotions go up an down depending on our mood. Have you ever snapped at someone when you shouldn’t have because you were in an angry mood? Or have you ever left a much larger tip than normal at a restaurant because you were in a happy mood? If so, then you have experienced this effect.

How to manage your mood?

Every time you are in a bad mood, this should be an indicator that you need to do something to turn it around. I know this may sound intuitive, but I can’t tell you how many times I have been caught up in an angry mood and let it go on for hours or even days, without doing anything about it.

Doing something about it is the first step toward changing your mood. But, you may ask, what should I do? Well, since we know that moods are generated by dense experiences, put yourself in a positive dense experience! Take some time to do a few things that make you happy. It doesn’t really matter how long or short it takes you to do this. For me, when I am pressed for time, I call someone in my family to see how they are doing, or I go see a friend that always makes me laugh. Then maybe I’ll watch an interesting video online or go play basketball. Before I know it, I’m in a better mood.

Please, give this a try in your daily life and leave me a comment letting me know how it goes! If you have trouble fitting it into your routine or can’t seem to grasp the concept, let me know and I’d be happy to discuss with you.

THE TAKEAWAY: Your mood is entirely under your control, if you know how to control it. Use the fact that moods are created by dense experiences to your advantage. Fill those “bad days” with good things. Life is what you make it, so make it what you want!

Simple Happiness: A Dog’s Life

happy dog

sometimes the happiest lives are the simplest

Do you ever wonder why a dog’s tail wags SOOO intensely every time they see you? Even if you’ve only been gone for 5 minutes, they act as if they haven’t seen you in weeks. I’ve been lucky enough to live with the dog to the left here for about a year, and here is what I’ve learned from her:

1. Finding Happiness is Simple:

Happiness is a state achieved when we satisfy our wants and needs. For dogs, they have so few.. and basic.. wants and needs that they are able to fulfill them just by walking up to you and getting you to pet them. They get the recognition, love, and attention they need to be happy in that moment.

2. What “need” is most important for us to be happy?

To illustrate this point, think back to your childhood days when watching your favorite cartoon was all you looked forward to and building a fort out of couch pillows meant you were a genius. The reason these things provided us with such happiness was because we hadn’t overcomplicated our lives yet with responsibilities and worries. As we grow older, we grow more intelligent, and complicate our lives with different responsibilities of our choosing. Those, in turn, take precedence over the smaller things in life that once made us happy as children. But why does everything have to be so complicated?

3. What do YOU need?

Please ask yourself the following questions:

-What do you really need to be happy?

-What holds you back?

-What do you want to make you happy in life?

-What do you want to hold you back?

The point I am trying to make here is that we have the choice to shift what we place value on in our lives.

For me, I place the highest value on personal contact. In my life, people make everything worth while. So, fittingly, when I find myself feeling blue I reach out to the people I care about and let their spirit bring me back. When I am happy, I make sure I share those times with people I care about. This has a profound effect on the way I remember the events of my life. It allows me to cherish the high’s; allowing them to have an even more positive influence on me. It also allows me to resolve the low’s; discussing the events that bring me down with other allows me to see them more clearly and to pull out as much positive as I can from them.

THE TAKEAWAY: Making yourself happy in everyday life is as simple as you want it to be. Dog’s have it best because their lives are so simple. All they need is some affection and attention… a little love. Why should we be any different? I mean, they are our best friend’s aren’t they? Seek out what you need to make yourself happy and maybe one day you’ll find your tail wagging without even knowing why.

Depression: Battling the Perfect Storm

This blog will be a bit longer than usual, but read on, and you’ll see why.

Brotherly Love

My Brother, whom I love very much, recently went through an 8 year stint of depression. He asked me to write this blog to share his experience so that anyone out there battling depression knows that there is a way out. First, our story. Second, the takeaway.

He is two years younger than me. Growing up, like all little boys, everyday was a competition to see who was better, faster, or smarter. I was outspoken, he was quiet. I had lots of friends, he had a few. Everything I did, he did the opposite. This was his way of winning the competition.

Years went by and we grew into adults. We had a “manageable” relationship with its fair share of good times and bad. But all the while, there lurked something darker. Deep down inside I knew he resented me for the things I did when we were children; for the ways I made him feel. But like they always say, time heals all wounds. Right? Wrong..

He always had this dark side to him — this deeply rooted anger toward the world. It didn’t really surface much until a couple of years ago, when it came time for him to decide what he wanted to do with his life. He was diagnosed with depression. And, being the intelligent problem solver he is, he tried his best to figure it out. “Well, the way I see it, I’m sad right now because my back is always hurting and I can’t get past it,” or “I think it’s because I can’t seem to find what I want to do with my life,” were things I often heard him say. He was trying to find a reason for the sadness, but to no end.

Then, about a month ago, we had a break through. He came to me and told me, in the most honest and matter-of-fact tone I’d ever heard from him, “You know, I DO NOT like you. We’re never going to be friends.” This was a devastating thought to me. I had futilely spent the past few years of our lives trying to develop our relationship into the brotherly one I had always longed for. And now, it seemed, that would never be.

I tried explaining myself to him as best I could — saying that I loved him and wanted nothing but the best for him. I wanted to help him figure things out as best as I could. None of that mattered to him. His mind was made up. Then, about an hour later, he came to me again and said the words I will never forget as long as I live, “You know what… You’re right.”

What had happened in that last hour?!?! I was flabbergasted. How could he have changed his mind so quickly? And then it all made sense: He had confronted the root of his problem. His resentment for me, that he had held onto all his life, had perpetuated his sadness. Every action I took to try to help him actually pushed him further down. He was so caught up in that competitive mindset that he was actually doing the opposite of what I wanted; he was subconsciously trying NOT to get better. And the worst part was, that he didn’t even realize it. He didn’t even see that he was doing that until he heard how absurd his own words sounded; “We… will… never… be… friends…” So, all the times that I had poured my heart into helping him see the light, he viewed as me selfishly trying to make myself feel better. He created the issue that was pushing him deeper.

Now here we are, talking everyday. He tells me that he cannot wait for each new day to begin and he can’t sleep at night. He asks me questions about life and love and tells me all about what he wants to be someday. He is, now, the person I had always hoped he would be.

Battling the Perfect Storm

Depression, on a neurological level, occurs when there is a lack of the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for motivation, self confidence, and energy. Quite fittingly, those that suffer from depression exhibit signs of excessive tiredness, low self confidence, and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Now you may ask, how can someone battle something if its caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain? Here’s the thing to remember: EVERYTHING we see, feel, and experience is caused by a rise or subsidence of a certain chemical in the brain. That is simply how we feel emotions. More precisely, that is what they are.

The worst part about depression is that the person usually forms logical explanations for the way they’re feeling, as we always do. Have you ever felt angry for no reason and asked yourself, “Why do I feel so angry right now?” only to realize that it was because you were still heated about some guy stealing your parking space 6 hours before? Thats how our minds work. We feel an emotion, then search for a reason for it until we find one. When this is applied to depression, it’s a downward spiral. Only it is one that gets stronger and more dangerous the more it swirls, much like a hurricane: the perfect storm.

the perfect storm of depression

the perfect storm: depression

While someone is depressed, they often dwell on the issues that seem to bother them the most. These are the things that they can’t change about themselves or their lives that make them sad. In my example above, he blamed his back problems and social inadequacies. The more one focuses on these reasons for being sad, the stronger they become. Similarly, the winds of a hurricane only make the storm bigger and stronger as they blow. But, just like a storm, it eventually breaks. What I want those of you reading this to know is that everyone can find this breaking point. They just need to get to the eye of the storm.

To clarify, the eye of a storm is the peaceful, calm center (shown at the center of the picture above) around which all turmoil circulates. If you were to stand at the eye of a storm, you may very well have NO IDEA that you were in a storm at all. It would appear to be sunny and mild like any other day. This relates perfectly to depression. At the center, amidst all the swirling thoughts of anger, sadness, and anxiety, exists a peaceful eye. If the affected person could get there, it likely that the storm would dissipate almost on its own. But what if they can’t?

Usually, the reason they can’t get there is because they haven’t confronted the root of their issues. In my situation, it was my brother admitting his concealed hatred for me, which was very hard for him to do. It was so hard in fact that he went on for years holding onto it, without even knowing what it was doing to him. It took him saying it out-loud, hearing his own words, and watching my reaction to see his error. And then, just like that, he found the eye of the storm. The clouds fell around him and the sun shone brighter than every before.

THE TAKEAWAY: Depression is a very serious matter. Those who suffer from it should seek help in whatever way they can (either personal or professional). What I hope to offer here is a mindset for viewing depression — a paradigm shift, if you will. If one is able to view their own negative thoughts as winds swirling around a singular, immovable issue, then maybe then can find their eye. And, if they are able to confront the root of that issue and stand in the eye of the storm, maybe then, they too can watch the clouds fall around them… and see the sun.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sun-shiny day.

-Johnny Nash

The Life of a Value-seeker

The Ultimate Value-seeker

As Highlander-esk the title of this Blog may sound, I assure you it is not. Becoming a Value-seeker is as simple as taking off the glasses you currently view the world through, and putting on a new pair; a paradigm shift in short.

This paradigm settled upon me a couple months ago when trying to make sense of some stressful things in my life. I have tried quite hard in recent years to see the best in everything that happens to me. “A failure is a chance to learn a lesson,” is something I would tell myself often. However, after a string of failures, I came to a greater realization: “Those who seek value in all things, are always most wealthy.”

So imagine that the life you live now has taken on the form of an RPG, Role-Playing Game, video game. As with the point of most video games, the goal is to advance through levels and set high scores. Well, as you advance through the various levels in your life (completion of a class, graduation from school, promotion in career, etc.), you are also scoring “points.” For example, if you have recently completed a course in Computer Engineering, your grade in that class would be your score. Or if you have recently been promoted to a higher position in your career, your pay increase would be your score. Make sense?

Throughout your life, your scores begin to add up. By age 41, someone may reach a score of say… 20,000 points (the actual value is not important for understanding). However, it is quite possible for a person at the age of 22 to reach the same 20,000 points if they had been more actively seeking them than the 41 year old. In the same respect, a person of age 85 is likely to have surpassed that 20,000 point mark long ago, and therefore can offer great insight to those still at that point total. These points equate to life experience. And in my eyes, life experience equates to something I’ll call universal wealth.

What I’m getting at here is this: as we go through life, we are faced with an array of situations that require us to make a decision. The extent to which we learn from the results of each of those decisions, is the universal wealth we possess. Therefore, the most universally wealthy people in the world are those who choose to learn as much as they can from every decision, from every person, and from every situation they come into contact with in their life.

Mahatma Gandhi’s hunger strike in the 1930’s was not just a method of sending a message to the world. For Gandhi, it was a life experience that would give him immense universal wealth. From that point on, he knew that his body’s cries for hunger were far less important than that of his people. He knew that the concept of his own death was miniscule in comparison to the concept of one race abusing another. For these reasons, he will always be regarded as one of the wealthiest beings in human history. No one remembers him for how much money he had, or for the amount of followers he had. Instead, he is remembered for the drastic and absolutely necessary changes he made to the societal continuum; something limitlessly more valuable than any paper currency.

THE TAKE AWAY: Anyone who spends their life searching for the value in everything they do will increase their understanding of the world much more rapidly than those around them. And, as I have said before, the first step toward solving any problem, is understanding it. So before you tear off your glasses, and put on the new pair, take the time to make sure the prescription is right, for the rest of your life will be seen through them.