True Contribution is About Helping Others

Personal development and growth is closely related to the constant evolution of the self. We aim to develop those qualities we consider important in a good human being. However, personal development is also about helping other people.

When we improve our character, our emotional intelligence or our intellectual capacity or when we figure out our purpose and how to express it through our passions, we become our own contribution to the world. By the simple act of not contributing in a negative manner and set an example to others around us, we become a positive factor.

There’s nothing wrong if this is as far as you want to go regarding the contribution you make to the world. But if we really want to contribute to improving not only ourselves, but the lives of those around us, our community and ultimately our world, can we say this is enough? I don’t think so.

Life is a Kitchen

Our way through this world is like being in a kitchen and achieving a purpose driven life is like baking the greatest pie.

Imagine yourself being in the best-stocked kitchen in the universe. Every single ingredient you could imagine is at the distance of your hands.

All you need to do is figure out what you want to put in your pie.

[Social] Contact Vs. [Emotional] Connection

Human relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives. Whether we are introverts, extroverts, or something in between, we all crave for some kind of connection with other human beings.

For most people the chances to connect with other individuals are relatively abundant. We are in contact with our parents, siblings and family in general. We are also in contact with others at school and at work.
So for most people, the supply of opportunities to connect is not a problem. Then why  human connection is so rare?

Two Rights Don’t Make a Wrong

We all perceive the world around us differently. What I have won and what I have lost is different from what you have won and what you have lost. My goals might be similar to yours, but the ultimate motivation behind them will likely differ.

We are all different and this is a fact we often ignore. We try to measure other people’s actions by our own set of rules and principles, without realizing that our rules and principles may have been born out of a common source of knowledge (usually our culture), but were heavily shaped by our own personal experiences and might not be applicable to other individuals’ circumstances.

This one-size-fits-all approach is not limited to ethic or moral behavior. We commonly assume how other people think, feel and wish, according to our own point of view, and when our assumptions do not match the real thoughts, feelings and wishes of that individual, we conclude there must be something wrong with them.

But there isn’t anything wrong with them. We simply failed to realize that our view of the world and everything inside it, including people, places and ideas, is fundamentally personal.

Our opinions are important to us because helps us to make sense of the world and slowly set the foundations of our character. Once we have a fully formed character we don’t need to analyze everything around us in detail. The subconscious in autopilot can quickly categorize the events we perceive and apply general rules based on our accepted opinions and beliefs. This is useful for self-assessment and in need of a quick response, but is a poor tool when dealing with relationships.

Beliefs, and therefore overall behavior, goals and opinions, are continually shaped by our experiences, and influencing future experiences equally.

Two individuals might hold completely opposite beliefs and be equally right.

The next time you feel inclined to tell somebody that their opinions, preferences or beliefs are wrong, hold on for a second and acknowledge that the fact that you are right doesn’t mean others’ have to be wrong.

You Will Lose Everything (And That is a Good Thing)

“Train yourself to let go… of everything you fear to lose.”

-Yoda

How to embrace change is not always easy to answer, yet change is inevitable.

We humans tend to cling to practically everything: things, places, people and emotions; and this is the reason why today has become so difficult to embrace change. Such a bad habit.

But we cannot avoid change. It will happen, whether we like it or not.