A common misunderstanding about martial arts: Many people think martial arts is about fighting, but it is really about improving your wisdom and intelligence.
Any ability resulting from practice and improvement could embody kung fu for example. There is a kung fu of dancing, painting, cooking, writing, dealing with people, and even governing. The broad understanding of kung fu is one key to understanding traditional Chinese philosophy.
The chief orientation of traditional Chinese philosophy is about how to live one's life instead of finding out the truth about reality.
The well-known question posed by Zhuangzi in the 4th century B.C. - was he Zhuangzi who had dreamt of being a butterfly, or was he a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi? - was an epistemological question. Zhuangzi realised that he had perceived the "transformation of things", meaning one should go along with this transformation, not search for what is real.
Confucius's call for "rectification of names" - using words appropriately - is a kung fu method for securing sociopolitical order, as "names" are placeholders for expectations of how the bearer of the names should behave and be treated.
Mencius and Xunzi's views about human nature are recommendations of how one should view oneself to become a better person, not metaphysical assertions about whether humans are by nature good or bad.
According to the Buddhist doctrine, the no-self doctrine aims to free one from suffering since suffering comes from attachment to the self.
Buddhist meditations are kung fu practices to leave one's attachment behind.
Western philosophers such as Socrates, the Stoics and the Epicurians mainly were concerned with virtue to live a good life. Similarly, classic Chinese philosophy calls our attention to a dimension that transcends the obsession with searching for eternal, universal truth and practising it through rational arguments.
The kung fu perspective adds a clear emphasis on the cultivation and transformation of the person. A good action must be rooted in the entire person, and goodness is shown through its consequences and artistic style.
Aristotelian virtue ethics focuses on the cultivation of the agent instead of the making of rules of conduct. The kung fu approach shares this view, but the process of ethics does not rely on any metaphysics for justification.
The person who follows the Aristotelian metaphysics will put more effort into cultivating her intelligence, where a person who follows the Confucian relational metaphysics will focus on learning rituals that harmonize with interpersonal relations. This view allows for multiple competing visions of excellence.
Simply talking about making a change doesn’t do any good. One has to combine positive experiences along with the learning and create better understanding using associations.
NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming), a technique that syncs our linguistic abilities with our mind has a concept called anchoring, where specific life situations are associated with certain psychological outcomes.
Anchoring can be observed in the following ways:
Most of us work with our energy in a random way, where our mood and mindset are anchored to life situations that are not explicitly programmed by us. One can hack one’s mindset by anchoring specific life situations to our mood and energy in a deliberate manner.
Creating positive anchors helps our ‘mental maps’ where we start to mint happiness, eventually energizing other areas of our lives.
It means overanalyzing something that happened, regretting an action, or worrying about the future of something.
It's when you can't think about anything else, and it's affecting your life in a negative way.
If you're overthinking an idea you can actually do something about, the best thing you can do is take action now.
This doesn't mean you have to suddenly run off to make something, it just means you start taking a step forward. We tend to overthink because we fear failure, but if we just start working, that dissipates quickly
Our world today is more connected than ever. And one pitfall in our hyper-connected world as it intersects with our business relationships and networking is a state of continuous partial attention. It is a state where people give half attention to what they do - all the time.
When attending a function of any type, it is increasingly common to find people paying attention to their mobile devices instead of effectively connecting with others.
While our desire to connect and be connected is a strength, we can lose the connection with the person in front of us when we simultaneously pay attention to our phone.
Most of us work at our computers with notifications switched on: email, social media and different streaming services.
It is very easy to lose track of what you were last doing. Continuous partial attention keeps you from being alert, attentive, and focused. Social media is great to stay in touch, but we need to know when to focus on face-to-face interactions and put notifications on Do Not Disturb.
There are four things that are very useful for people who have big expectations of themselves and life that will help you stop pressuring yourself.
Goals are great as they clarify your direction and inspire you. But there are lots of successful people that don't deliberately set and achieve big goals.
Goals elevate your life to higher levels, but it is not clear what success means. Success could mean being a good human being and doing things that make you happy. Define what success means to you, then follow that.
Relationships are core to our life journey. But you don't need lots of amazing friends and a big community of like-minded people to be happy.
You can have a small handful of people who are meaningful to you and with whom you feel connected.
Many human beings don't really know their life purpose, but they have a fulfilling life.
Instead of getting stressed out because you're not sure what your purpose is, focus on what inspires you, what life puts right in front of you. Lean into what feels joyful and intuitively aligned for you, and you will have a fulfilling life.
Happiness is a choice. But happiness in some situations is not possible nor appropriate - for example, the diagnosis of a serious health condition, losing a loved one, relationship breakdown, grief, injury, job loss, or a financial problem.
However, you can have inner PEACE in any situation, no matter what is happening.
In a constant pursuit to get work done, much of our work is focused on output and measured in terms of quantity.
In our endeavor to maximize our output, we turn everything into a joyless activity to be finished as soon as possible. Everything seems rushed, mediocre and uninspired.
With the whole world focused on success, instead of excellence, or happiness or personal growth, one has no choice but to strive to be successful.
While success is easy to define, as it has set metrics that are measurable, excellence is much harder to define because it is rare, difficult to scale, and ambiguous.
Excellence does not measure the size of your ego, your income or your fan following.
It means defining one's self-worth pursuing an activity for its own sake, deriving happiness and satisfaction from the work itself.
The visual cortex region of the brain, which is responsible for processing visual information came millions of years before reading and writing was invented.
Our brain has the ability to respond to certain patterns and try to make sense of them, using the visual perceptions known as Gestalt Principles, helping early scribblers to construct basic formations that stimulated the higher-order visual cortex regions of the brain.
Our brain's response to geometry and patterns started taking shape in creation of symmetrical tools known as Acheulean Tools, about 700,000 years ago.
Sudoku has been identified as a classic meme - a mental virus that spreads from person to person across national boundaries. The puzzle is using our brains to multiply across the world.
Sudoku consists of 81 squares, divided into nine blocks of nine squares each. Some squares contain a number. The goal is to fill in the empty squares so that the figures 1 to 9 appear just once in every row, column, and individual block. The puzzle does not require general knowledge or mathematical skill.
In 1997, Wayne Gould, a man from New Zealand, was visiting Tokyo. While he was browsing a bookstore, he saw the squares and felt tempted to fill them in. Over the next six years, he developed a computer program that instantly makes up Sudoku puzzles.
Gould's wife published one of his puzzles in the local newspaper. It spread to Britain and was published in the Times, where it took off.
We all have unique abilities and skills that are unlike others. Instead of ignoring our strengths and pursuing stuff which may not be right for us but is what others are doing, we do injustice to our key skill or gift.
We need to find a purpose that aligns with our skills.
Focusing on our strengths, understanding them and finding true purpose is a two-step exercise:
Write down what insights come to you in a journal. With time, introspection and humility you will find your true purpose by this self-assessment.