Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Happiness Is A State of Mind

Happiness is a state of mind, and it is all in the mind.

We all pursue happiness in our lives. However, happiness always seems elusive, evasive, and unattainable. The word "happiness" is a term difficult to define because it is very much individualized. But genuine human happiness has to be holistic in that the body, the mind, and the soul all feel some sense of satisfaction. 

Happiness is a state of mind. The mind controls your thoughts: how you act and react to any event or circumstance. The mind records all your mental perceptions and interpretations. and stores them at the back of your subconscious mind, where they become your memories, and hence the fabrics with which you weave the "realities" of your life. In short, it is your mind that decides whether you are happy or unhappy.

In addition, your mind makes your life choices, such as what you eat and your lifestyle. Again, they may positively or negatively affect your body and your health. Given the close connection between body and mind, your physical health has a direct impact on your mental wellness, and hence your mental happiness. 

Your soul oversees your body and your mind, which affect your soul with respect to its supervision. It is the interconnection between the body, the mind, and the soul that is ultimately responsible for your overall wellness and ultimately your perception of happiness. Happiness is always a glass half-empty or a glass half-full. Remember, life is always a bed of roses with thorns -- we all have our good fortunes and misfortunes. It is all in the mind, which can make "a heaven out of hell" or "a hell out of heaven."

In order to empower the mind to create your own happiness, you need true human wisdom to understand what genuine human happiness is. With that wisdom, you know who you really are, as well as your needs, and not your wants. With that awareness, you become a better person and more connected with others. Human goodness is the foundation upon which genuine human happiness is built.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Spiritual Wisdom Is Daily Living Wisdom


Spiritual Wisdom Is Daily Living Wisdom

You have a body living in a physical world. Your body is controlled by your mind, which is supervised by your soul. Everyday living in balance and harmony requires the alignment of the body, the mind, and the soul. To have this perfect alignment, the help of spiritual wisdom is necessary.

Where does spiritual wisdom come from?

The Bible is the Word of God. Through the Bible, God speaks to each and every one of us. But God's wisdom is often beyond the understanding of man. Jesus often uses parables to explain Biblical truths because it is not readily available to the human mind; God's wisdom is always profound and unfathomable to many.

To pursue God's wisdom in the Bible, understanding human wisdom is the "first" step. 

It is true that if we diligently and fervently pursue God's wisdom, such as reading the Bible, God will use the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and our minds. However, we may require human wisdom to overcome our disbelief first before there is further understanding.

To seek God's wisdom, first and foremost, we need to know who we really are. Unfortunately, many of us do not really know who we are, let alone what we want in our lives. 

Why is that? It is because human thinking is imperfect. According to the famous statement "I think, and therefore I am" of Descartes, the great French philosopher, we think and therefore we become what we think we are, that is, the product of our thoughts. However, that statement is only partially true: due to flawed human thinking, we may not be the sum of our thoughts, because our thoughts are only partially true. Therefore, we are not really  who and what we think we are.

"True" human wisdom is an endeavor to understand who we are and what we need. Understanding the self helps us understand the true nature of things, or the laws of nature. Without understanding the natural laws of this world, human sufferings and ordeals in life often become stumbling blocks to understanding spiritual wisdom. Indeed, many of us find ourselves often asking the questions: Why me? Where is God?

Lao Tzu's immortal classic Tao Te Ching explains the essentials of human wisdom, which involve "reverse" thinking from the "conditioned" mindset of conventional wisdom. He explains how to acquire "true" human wisdom, without which there is little or no intent to seek God's wisdom, let alone understanding the wisdom of God expressed in the Bible.

Understanding human wisdom begins with the mind -- an empty and inquisitive mind with the intent to ask questions to find out who we are and what we want. Asking questions enhance awareness, which is an important ingredient of human wisdom. With acute awareness, we develop clarity of mind. Heroes in movies often know the right thing to do because they have clarity of mind. In life, no amount of training can compensate for clarity of mind, which enables you to separate the truths from the half-truths or myths.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, April 16, 2018

Believing in Yourself Despite Your Imperfections

Believing in yourself is self-efficacy. Believing in yourself is confidence in your own ability, knowing what you have to do to win or simply to get what you want in life.

Diane Sawyer once said: “Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.” 

Believing in yourself is one of the first steps to success in doing anything that becomes the very substance of your confidence. To have confidence, you must set goals, and achieving your goals helps you build more confidence.

But believing in yourself is not easy, especially if you are getting older. You look back and there are so many goals you have not accomplish. Looking back in the past may create negativity in the form of victimization. In other words, you may find you are a victim of circumstances; this may also lead to bitterness, despair, or even anger.

One of the reasons why sometimes you don’t have self-efficacy is your obsession with your past. You could have been haunted by your past failures that generated regrets, bitterness, and disappointments that you have not been able to let go of. Attachment to the past is always a stumbling block to moving ahead. 

In addition, you may also be comparing yourself with others. Remember, nobody is perfect. Others may also have their failures that you are unaware of. You see only their successes but not their failures. Surprisingly, seeing your own imperfections may be the pathway to future success.

The Wisdom of Letting Go

The wisdom of letting go shows you how to use the ancient Tao wisdom from China to live in the present moment, and, more importantly, to let go of the past. With both  human wisdom and spiritual wisdom from the Bible, you may start believing in yourself again. With self-efficacy, you can do anything at any stage of your life, and the sky is the limit. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Control Your Emotions

Your mind is the generator of your emotions because it perceives, interprets, generalizes your thoughts, which then become your assumptions that affect how you act or react in the physical world. Your mind affects your body; as a matter of fact, there is a close connection between the body and the mind.     

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), human emotions are the major underlying causes of disease because Chinese physicians believe that certain body organs are related to emotional activities; for example, the heart is related to joy, the liver to anger, the spleen to obsessive thoughts, the lungs to anxiety, and the kidneys to fear. Therefore, excessive emotions disrupt the free flow of qi, the life-giving energy that flows through the body, and thus causing imbalance and disharmony that may lead to disease and disorder.   

In addition, human behaviors—often a byproduct of human emotions—affect the mind, just as emotions of the mind affect the body. According to a study at Ohio State University in 2003, physical behavior, such as enhanced body language of nodding in agreement or shaking head in disagreement, may significantly affect how we think without our knowing it. According to that study, even posture, such as sitting up straight, may be conducive to remembering positive memories or thinking positively, because posture changes the production of human hormones.   

The interconnection between the body and the mind is further evidenced by the indisputable notion that a healthy heart produces a healthy brain by pumping sufficient oxygen and nutrients to nourish the brain through its bloodstream.   

With enlightenment, you will become a better, happier, and healthier you. With enlightenment, you will live a stress-fee life. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self. No Ego No Stress!   

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Not A Death Sentence


Diagnosed with cancer is devastating and depressing. But a cancer diagnosis is also life-changing. Learn how to turn a traumatic experience into a blessing. Get your book on cancer: Congratulations! You've Got Cancer!

This 132-page book is about what to do when one is diagnosed with cancer. The author is neither a doctor nor an oncologist. He is simply showing the power of the mind not only in coping with the traumatic experience of cancer but also in overcoming the disease itself. In addition, he presents detailed information on what an individual must do on the cancer journey of cure and recovery. A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Rather, it is an opportunity for growth and development. Harness mind power to combat cancer and live your life as if everything is a miracle. Remember, stress is the underlying cause of many diseases and disorders, especially autoimmune diseases. Stress stems from your ego: No Ego No Stress.
Remember, a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018  by Stephen Lau


Friday, April 13, 2018

Money and Super-Aging

Growing older sucks, especially when you don't have a lot of money. Your aging and longevity may be impacted by your spending, which has to do with the value of money, which plays a pivotal role as you continue to age. 

No matter how much money you have, make the best and the most of your remaining years; turn them into the golden years of your life in spite of any financial difficulty you may be facing, Remember, life is a task-master: it teaches you not only how to survive in any challenging circumstance but also how to live well, especially in your golden years.

The senior years are most challenging in that all seniors have to come to grips with the changes and challenges they may be facing. On the one hand, they may make them more appreciative of life as well as more proactive to live a meaningful and purposeful life; on the other hand, these challenges and problems may also make them want to give up on life, and thus drifting and deteriorating rapidly.

Money plays a major role in your retirement. You need money to retire, as well as to continue a similar lifestyle that you lead while you are working. Even if you decide to modify or simplify your lifestyle, you still need money.

Yes, money plays a pivotal role in aging and longevity, as well as how you are going to live the rest of your life. Given the importance of money, you need to know what money is all about.

With that goal in mind, you need to estimate the amount of money you need throughout the rest of your years. The amount is also influenced by when you want to retire. That is, retiring at the age of 55 is not the same as retiring at the age of 70, because life expectancy affects your retirement savings. You need to know your assets and liabilities: assets are the things you possess that have value when you exchange them for cash; liabilities are the debts you owe. Your net worth is all your assets minus all your liabilities, and it changes over time because your assets, expenses, and liabilities change too. Therefore, you need to review your financial situation and re-calculate your net worth annually or on a regular basis.

Your aging and longevity are impacted by your spending, which has to do with the value of money, which plays a pivotal role as you continue to age. 

In the past, people could enjoy the blessings of life without spending real money. Nowadays, to many people, enjoyment of life requires money — and lots of it! According to Buddha, craving or desire for material things is the source of all human miseries. Jesus also has this to say about money: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven.” (Luke 18:25)

So, what is the value of money? More importantly, what does money mean to you? Your perceptions of the value of money determine two of the most important things in the rest of your life: how you are going to live the rest of your life; how you are going to spend your money

The value of money should be based on your core values in life, such as integrity, which has little to do with money, and which is an important value that our Creator has bestowed on each one of us. Essentially, integrity is the value of what life has to offer, not the value of things purchased with money. Your core values affect your attitudes towards how you are going to live the rest of your life, irrespective of how much money you have.

The bottom line: spend money wisely according to your needs, and not your wants; be grateful for what you have, and be generous to those who are less fortunate than you age.

The Wisdom of Letting Go shows you how to let go of your attachments to the material world and live happily in your golden years. Also, You Just Don't Die! may provide a blueprint for living the rest of your life, if you just don't die, whether you have or do not have money.

The bottom line: Money may not make you happy; it's all in your mind. Look at some real life examples from The Happiness Wisdom.

Stephen Lauttom
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Simple Lifestyle


Super-aging means you may live to a ripe old age, ifyou just don’t die. Is this really a blessing? Well, that depends on your state of mind, which is essentially your own perception of your life experiences. As aging continues, everything in your life begins to disintegrate and disappear, whether you like it or not. The reality is that you must learn to let go of everything. Take the example of Ann Russell Miller.

Ann Russell Miller was a celebrated socialite from San Francisco, also known as Sister Mary Joseph, She, who had ten children and nineteen grandchildren, had grown up in luxury and privilege, and had been living a life of incredible wealth. Instead of shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue, and decorating herself with jewelry from Tiffany, she suddenly and surprisingly decided to give up everything, and became a nun devoted to living in poverty for the rest of her life.

That unbelievable event happened more than two decades ago, and was then widely reported in the media across the country. Why did she make such a drastic and incredible change in her life? She said she had a calling, a true vocation that was hard to understand for the general public, even for the close members of her family.

Ann Russell Miller just wanted to live a simple lifestyle, deleting all the trimmings of life and living, as well as all the attachments that she wanted to let go ot.

Do you have a lot of attachments to the material world you are living in right now? Take a look at your garage and basement. If they are packed full and loaded with many disposables, then probably you still have many attachments you are unwilling to let go of. Attachments are clutters that bring memories you are unwilling to let go of—memories that are reminiscent of your past accomplishments.

If you wish to be happy in your golden years, just live a simple lifestyle.  

Epicurus, the famous Greek philosopher, had this advice on how to lead a happy life: avoiding luxuries, and living simply. The explanation is that luxurious living may make you into a “needy” person whose happiness always depends on things that are impermanent and easily lost. When they are lost —because nothing is permanent—you naturally become unhappy and even depressed.

Stephen Lau      
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Happiness Is A State of Mind

Happiness is a state of mind, and it is all in the mind. We all pursue happiness in our lives. However, happiness always seems elusive, e...