CHANGE is neither a three nor a four letter word

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Change is an amazingly powerful and often times emotionally-charged word. Change can be a word that seems like such a great idea when directed toward someone else; i.e. how “they” can change in a way that will make your life better. At the other end of the spectrum, the word “change” can trigger fear and resistance in a split-second if someone says you need to do it. Or, it can be embraced and welcomed by choosing to move forward with an attitude of gratitude and appreciation for the opportunities change can bring to the quality of your life.

My whole life, I have been presented to a single element called change. Change occurs in many different forms and is carried out in many different ways. However, just recently, I have come to the realization that change can be the deepest of all subjects. I always assumed that change occurred when you moved to a new town or when you lost someone close to you. Those are elements to change, yes, but change doesn’t have to occur over a single dramatic event. It can just happen overnight when your brain determines it’s time to do something different.

For obvious reasons, people reject change. Especially people who are close to each other because they feel that this change is going to separate them and make them not as close as they used to be. They fight change until they force the person to change. It’s sad how this works, but in reality, it’s probably the single most reason why people change. The people we love, love us so much that they want us to remain the way we are forever. Forever is a long time and not one person can always stay the same. Sometimes if the people we love would just accept the change and go with it, they would understand where the change was originally coming from.

It’s dangerous to try to stop change and argue against it, especially if the person wants to change so much. The reason that somebody wants to change is usually not their choice, but a feeling that the person feels inside their head and heart. It’s almost like a celestial force is making you change and you have no say in the matter but you know you have to because your mental and physical attributes are commanding you to. Maybe the change isn’t the best change, but if you dig deeper, the person that you love and know isn’t really changing, they are just trying to find themselves and the one thing they need the most is the support of the people who they care about the most. When the people they care about the most dismiss their change as something unimportant and try to guard down everything by rules and regulations, the person they loved begins to change out of sadness that the one group of people he or she thought would understand, really has no clue. Maybe change isn’t always good or bad, as I was implying here earlier, but it could be looked at as something to help you grow. So just remember, if someone is changing, be there for them, offer your opinion but help them go through whatever they need to go through because they will do what they need to do regardless of the people that they really do love.

Letting go of your dreams

Like most people, I often confuse myself between my wishes and my dreams — a wish is usually only a passing thought that most people never act on but a dream is something that captures your heart and spirit. It ignites your imagination and fills you with an unquenchable hope. It becomes something you can’t easily set aside.

Dreams consume your thinking and fuel your excitement and passion. It can happen in a single moment, or it can captivate your thoughts for years. Sometimes when the dream is really big, you embrace it, and somehow it feels like the dream embraces you.

Our dreams are often about experiencing a better life, about achieving greater things … they are pictures we have of the future that reveal a part of our lives that will be greater than the past.

But here’s an important point to consider – it takes courage to dream. Any time you dare to dream, there are risks involved. What if it never happens? What if it costs too much? What if people laugh at you?

Do you remember when you were a child and no dream seemed too big? Some of us thought we would walk on the moon; some dreamed of riding with Roy Rogers; others imagined stepping to the plate in a big-league game. Every one of us, when we were young, had a common trait – we were dreamers. The world hadn’t gotten to us yet to show us that we couldn’t possibly achieve what our hearts longed for. And we were yet still years from realizing that in some cases we weren’t built for achieving our dream.

Eventually we started to let our dreams die. People began to tell us that we couldn’t do the things we wanted. It was impossible. Responsible people don’t pursue their dreams. Settle down, get a job, be dependable. Take care of business, live the mundane, be content.

Is that it? Is that the way things work?

Dreams are worthy pursuits as long as they’re consistent with what matters most to us now. Our values evolve over time, and it’s OK to change our dreams to keep up with this evolution.

When you’re young, you want excitement and adventure. You want to prove yourself and make your loved ones proud. You dream big and work hard. As you age, you’ll probably desire more stability. You’ll seek quiet hours and relaxation. You’ll have a greater need for balance and have more concern for your health. You may also trade in some of your own ambition to support the success of your kids or family members.

These generalizations may not describe how your values will change. Change itself, however, is part of maturing. When you embrace it, you’ll open up to a world of new goals and possibilities.

So don’t be afraid to give up on old dreams to make room for new ones. You may not have the life you dreamed of as a child, but you might end up with one you can enjoy as an adult.

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

Continue reading “Letting go of your dreams”

What my dogs taught me

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Animals of all kinds can bring us so much joy, not only when things are going well, but also when we feel pain and are suffering.

Are you an animal lover? I know I am. And although a penguin (and definitely a cute one indeed) is on my featured quote, I am and will always remain a dog lover at heart! Since I was a little child, these amiable canines which we knowingly call “man’s best friend” always have a special place in my heart. They’ve been part of my family and receive the same amount of love and affection as I give each of my human family members.  

Having said that, I would also want to stress that not just dogs but actually any of our beloved pets can be called “Man’s best friend”. Why? Because they remain true and faithful companions through thick and thin. We look to our pets when we are ready to play and laugh, and they instinctively know when we need their support. We all have struggles and challenges in life, and it’s during those times that our pets can really come in handy to help us find our joy.

I’ve had a dog most of my life. From purebreds to mutts, I’ve loved them all. It has always felt comforting to me to have a dog around. The joy dogs provide is well worth the effort you give to feed, groom and care for them.

As I’ve said earlier, we all experience struggles and challenges in our life, at times leaving us confused and disoriented, and at worst, dysfunctional. And when the challenges become really stressful for us to handle, we resort to professional help to find and regain our balance. And oftentimes we tend to forget that our counterpart “best friends” were just there, literally at our side, willing and happy to serve their purpose – to keep us company or be our companion.

Looking at my dog (named Yellow) and pondering at the memories of all the many others that came before her, and prompted by this Animal Series tag (special thanks to Liz C for the nomination to participate on this) I’ve realized three important life lessons from my relationships with them.

  1. Connect with others.

Our relationships with others nurture our soul. We may neglect our family and friends because of our work or other interests. We may just get busy and forget to stay in touch.

When we look to our dogs, they need our connection on a daily basis. They need our love, time, and attention. When we stay connected with others, it feeds our soul and helps to lead us to a strong and happy life.

  1. Live for today.

We can spend time regretting the past and worrying about the future, but I have learned that the solution will not be found that way. Spending my precious time thinking about things that I cannot change is not productive.

Dogs live for today—and so can we. We can appreciate every moment as it comes and be grateful for what we have. Like all animals, when we live in the present, we can have more enthusiasm, joy for life, and less worry.

  1. Make every day special.

Sometimes we can let days go by and get swallowed up in our routine. Every day is the same and our excitement is lacking.

Have you ever noticed how a dog finds everyday life exciting? They can’t wait to eat, go for their walk, see you come home, or greet a visitor. We can learn so much by observing how our pets have enthusiasm for the simple joys of everyday life.

Everyday can be special for us as well. When we take the time to look, we may find our joy is still there waiting to be rediscovered.

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To my awesome fellow bloggers!

Once again, I would like to thank the awesome Liz C for nominating me for the Animal Series tag-made me look at and see my Yellow in a different way -not just as a source of joy but also of inspiration! Here are pictures of her (my apologies, she’s so playful that’s why it’s so hard to get a good angle for a photo haha):

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Nominations:

  1. Pranitha
  2. Clarissa
  3. Nina
  4. Dee Gratitude
  5. Jown/Joan

The Rules Are

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Pick an animal and explain why they are a source of inspiration to you, and how their character can be used to motivate.
  3. Nominate at least 3 other bloggers, to share the positivity!

 

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

 

 

Thoughts and Quotes (#SuccessMustBeSustained)

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Why do so many people reach success and then fail? One of the big reasons is, we think success is a one-way street. So we do everything that leads up to success. But when we get there, we figure we’ve made it, we sit back in our comfort zone, and we actually stop doing everything that made us successful. And it doesn’t take long before we realize that we’re going downhill.

In most things in life, success is a continuous journey, and must be sustained.

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

We are stealing nature from our children

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We are stealing nature from our children. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean that we are destroying nature that they will have wanted us to preserve, although that is unfortunately also the case. What I mean here is that we’ve started to define nature in a way that’s so purist and so strict that under the definition we’re creating for ourselves, there won’t be any nature left for our children when they’re adults. But there’s a fix for this. So let me explain.

Right now, humans use half of the world to live, to grow their crops and their timber, to pasture their animals. If you added up all the human beings, we would weigh way much as all the wild mammals put together. We cut roads through the forest. We have added little plastic particles to the sand on ocean beaches. We’ve changed the chemistry of the soil with our artificial fertilizers. And of course, we’ve changed the chemistry of the air. So when you take your next breath, you’ll be breathing in 42% more carbon dioxide than if you were breathing in the 1816. So all of these changes, and many others, clearly show the magnitude of human influence on our planet.

So where does this put nature? What counts as nature in a world where everything is influenced by humans?

To my opinion, nature is not that which is untouched by humanity, man or woman. I think that nature is anywhere where life thrives, anywhere where there are multiple species together, anywhere that’s green and blue and thriving and filled with life and growing. And under that definition, things look a little bit different.

Let me walk you through it. There are certain parts of this nature that speak to us in a special way. Places like Yellowstone, or the Mongolian steppe, or the Great Barrier Reef or the Serengeti. Places that we think of as kind of Edenic representations of a nature before we screwed everything up. And in a way, they are less impacted by our day to day activities. Many of these places have no roads or few roads, so on, like such. But ultimately, even these Edens are deeply influenced by humans. Humans have just been involved in nature in a very influential way for a very long time. Since the creation of the world through all the changes that took place with this planet. National Geographic, Discovery Channel and other like TV shows reveal to us that even the remotest places we could ever think of – the Amazon, for one, is vastly inhabited by humans. Same is true with the other tropical rainforests. Humans have influenced ecosystems in the past, and they continue to influence them in the present, even in places where they’re harder to notice.

So, if all of the definitions of nature that we might want to use that involve it being untouched by humanity or not having people in it, if all of those actually give us a result where we don’t have any nature, then maybe they’re the wrong definitions. Maybe we should define it by the presence of multiple species, by the presence of a thriving life.

Now, if we do it that way, what do we get? Well, it’s this kind of amazing, in a way. All of a sudden, there’s nature all around us. All of a sudden, we begin to notice the tiny caterpillar munching on a leaf of a plant right under our porch.

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Or we begin to notice and see an empty lot with, probably, a dozen, minimum, plant species growing there, supporting all kinds of insect life, and it is a completely unmanaged space, a completely wild space.

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This is a kind of wild nature right under our nose, that we don’t give much care and attention, less even notice.

And there’s an interesting little paradox, too. So this nature, this kind of wild, untended part of our urban, peri-urban, suburban agricultural existence that flies under the radar, it’s arguably more wild than a national park, because national parks are very carefully managed in the 21st century. National parks are heavily managed. The wildlife is kept to a certain population size and structure. Fires are suppressed. Fires are started. Non-native species are removed. Native species are reintroduced so on and so forth. It takes a lot of work to make these places look untouched.

And in a further irony, these places that we love the most are the places that we love a little too hard, sometimes. A lot of us like to go there, and because we’re managing them to be stable in the face of a changing planet, they often are becoming more fragile over time.

Which means that they’re the absolute worst places to take your children on vacation, because you can’t do anything there. You can’t climb the trees. You can’t fish the fish. You can’t make a campfire out in the middle of nowhere. You can’t take home the pinecones. There are so many rules and restrictions that from a child’s point of view, this is, like, the worst nature ever. Because children don’t want to hike through a beautiful landscape for five hours and then look at a beautiful view. That’s maybe what we want to do as adults, but what kids want to do is hunker down in one spot and just tinker with it, just work with it, just pick it up, build a house, build a fort, do something like that.

In a world where everything is changing, we need to be very careful about how we define nature.

In order not to steal it from our children, we have to do two things. First, we cannot define nature as that which is untouched. This never made any sense anyway. Nature has not been untouched for thousands of years. And the second thing is that we have to let children touch nature, because that which is untouched is unloved.

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We face some pretty grim environmental challenges on this planet. Climate change is among them. There’s others too. But in order to solve them, we need people — smart, dedicated people — who care about nature. And the only way we’re going to raise up a generation of people who care about nature is by letting them touch nature.

 

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

Thoughts and Quotes (#chaseyourDreams)

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“Do not just follow your dreams. Chase them like there is no tomorrow and that they will never return” -Andrei

Making the decision to chase your dreams can be a frightening one. Making large changes to your life and how you live it is never easy, but by breaking the path to your dreams down into manageable goals, you can make the transition a much easier one. Achieving your dreams is possible, you just need a good plan and all the strength and determination to run like hell in your pursuit of them.

In retrospect, as I’ve written in one of my posts here:  (https://viewpointsofandrei.com/2016/10/14/letting-go-of-your-dreams) that dreams are worthy pursuits as long as they’re consistent with what matters most to us now. Our values evolve over time, and so our dreams also changes to keep up with this evolution.

 (c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com