Thoughts and Feelings

Here are my thoughts and feelings about the second day of my online Stoic Philosophy course. I introduced this in What is in our Power?

Part of the course is to reflect each day on certain ideas. The course structure promotes the use of technology to reinforce learning, and I am using this blog to explore how what I learn about Stoicism might improve my Quality Of Life.

I actually had a problem starting this article today. I could not see how the ideas I learned about formed anything coherent enough to form an article. Specifically, there were three questions to discuss in the evening roundup. I became quite anxious wondering how I could write my article for the day before bedtime. I decided simply to tackle the first question, and write as much as possible. As you will see, the ideas all came together in my view of thoughts and feelings in Stoic Philosophy. What follows, between the lines, is my article as written, with no real plan. I’ve since added this introduction, and a closing paragraph. An appropriate illustration will have to wait.

continue reading Thoughts and Feelings

Beyond My Control photo

Indifferent Beyond Control

Continuing from What is in our Power, I want to introduce an easier maxim than the one I used in yesterday’s photo.

Short maxims, or affirmations, are a great way to remind ourselves of simple thoughts that make a difference. In that first experience of Stoic Philosophy, I explained the importance of distinguishing events that are within our control, and those that are outside our control.

Often, this is obvious, but many times it is unclear. With practice, we can learn to improve those things that we can control. We can learn to accept those things that we cannot control. These are two very different actions, so it is important to train ourselves to distinguish between them.

Short maxims that we say every day help us do this. The foundation for my introduction was:

Continue reading Indifferent Beyond Control

False Belief to Control Other People Photo

What is in our Power?

This week, I am trying to improve my quality of life by studying philosophy.

I found an online course that teaches modern Stoicism. The course seems to be presented in a very professional manner, yet is available without charge. If you missed out on this year, be sure to enroll for 2015.

This week, I will share some of the ideas about Stoicism, and also share some of my Stoic experiences.

What is in our Power?

The course begins today, with an introduction to a central idea in Stoicism – differentiating between what we can control, and what is outside our control.

The Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, teaches that some things are under our control, while others are not under our control.

Continue reading What is in our Power?

I Have Lost My Smile: Dandelion Photo

The Dandelion Has My Smile

I’ll restart some inspirational thoughts about life with an extract from ‘Peace is Every Step’ by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the opening of his book which not only inspires us to improve our quality of life, but also shows us how.

The Dandelion Has My Smile

If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.

Continue reading The Dandelion Has My Smile

QOL True Beauty

The final photograph in metamorph’s Inspirational Thoughts series shows us how to find, and appreciate, True Beauty.

Beauty means many things to many people. If we talk of True Beauty, we implicitly acknowledge the existence of False Beauty. But QOL is no place for such negative thoughts so let me talk of recognizing beauty, or learning to recognize beauty. As usual, we will be helped by some inspirational words, but in my usual way, let me first ponder the nature of beauty.

Beauty is the qualities that give pleasure to the senses. That raises the question of why our Quality Of Life is not enhanced by True Beauty. Are we failing to see the qualities? Or are we missing the sense?

More on that once we have seen the QOL True Beauty Photograph.

See the QOL True Beauty Photograph

QOL Rainbow

The twelfth photograph in metamorph’s Inspirational Thoughts series takes us to the end of the rainbow.

Or does it?

As with all these thoughts, the photograph, as we will see in a moment, shows breathtaking natural beauty. As with all the inspirational words, we can see different meanings.

Folklore, especially Irish folklore, is full of fables about what we can hope to find at the end of the rainbow. When we see a rainbow, we automatically want to go to it’s end, yet we know that is impossible.

Though our mind tells us our rainbow is simply refraction of the sun’s rays, our hearts always see more. This leads to chasing rainbows, as a common meaning of the rainbow as an illusory hope.

Let’s think more on that after we have seen the QOL Rainbow photograph.

See the QOL Rainbow Photograph

QOL Brighter Sides Of Life

The eleventh photograph in metamorph’s Inspirational Thoughts series continues the positive trend of opportunity with encouragement to focus on brighter sides of life.

“Brighter Sides” is a clear indication that life has many aspects. As you will see shortly, the Brighter Sides Of Life is a wonderful contrast between dull and bright aspects of nature. As natural beings, our Quality Of Life (QOL) also has bright and dull aspects. Which will you focus on?

Intriguingly, even the choice of word, “brighter,” has a lot to tell us about quality of life. Bright has several meanings, and is closely linked to many positive, inspiring words. Hopeful, promising, brilliant, vivid, smart, or my favorite: glorious.

I love inspirational words like brighter, but before I look at how we can make QOL brighter, let’s look at the Brighter Sides Of Life Photograph.

See the QOL Brighter Sides Of Life Photograph

The Golden Apple by Kathy Aaronson

Following yesterday’s Inspirational thoughts about Golden Opportunities, I’m inspired to share The Golden Apple with you.

To give it it’s full title, Kathy Aaronson’s book is: The Golden Apple: How to Grow Opportunity and Harvest Success.

Golden Opportunities Introduction

At first sight, The Golden Apple is a business book designed to motivate managers. It certainly does that, but it goes much further.

The background story is business based, but it is on a very human scale. It is based around Kathy Aaronson’s history of success when she started a roadside business, as an eight year old, selling misshapen produce from the family farm. Kathy’s early recognition that business is built on personal abilities and forming relationships affects all aspects of our lives.

Building on personal strengths, and creating opportunities to capitalize on them is the essence of my Golden Opportunities article. It is also the essence of The Golden Apple, and we can learn much from the inspirational stories within it.

As Tatiana Platt puts it:

Think fast, be creative, and know how to come up with your own speed bumps in life that get people to stop and pay attention. Kathy Aaronson reminds us of that “kid courage” that got us what we wanted as children. Are you applying it to your life today?

Read about the Golden Opportunities book

QOL Golden Opportunities

The tenth photograph in metamorph’s Inspirational Thoughts series continues a positive outlook with making the most of golden opportunities.

Opportunity is a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances. Therefore golden opportunities are very favorable, but depend on chance. The implication is that we cannot manufacture these favorable circumstances. However, if we follow the previous advice, we should spot golden opportunities with our open eyes. We should explore those opportunities with an open mind.

Now, we need to learn to make the most of the golden opportunities as we find them. But first let’s look at metamorph’s inspirational Golden Opportunities photograph.

See the Golden Opportunities photograph

Inspirational Thoughts Of Life Improve Quality Of Life

Do you think inspirational thoughts of life can improve Quality Of Life (QOL)?

I was a skeptic, but now I prefer to keep an open mind.

In Change Your Life!: A Little Book of Big Ideas by Allen Klein and Jack Canfield, we see how inspirational thoughts can change your life.

Inspirational Thoughts Of Life Introduction

I used to be skeptical of the notion that a collection of quotes could ever be inspirational, let alone change your life. Then out of the blue, I received metamorph’s gift of his Inspirational Thoughts photographs.

At first they were a pleasant set of holiday photos with a few well-chosen words. Then I was struck by the added value of combining dramatic natural photography with thoughts designed to inspire improvements to quality of life.

They inspired me to start this QOL website, and in a small, but positive way, that has improved my Quality Of Life. It continues to improve my QOL every time I write.

See how inspirational thoughts of life can improve your QOL