About social enjoyment

About social enjoyment
(1 December 2019)

The world has evolved to a point where, in many developed societies, people have a surplus of resources, such as time, money, energy, etc. It has become a cultural norm to spend this surplus on various social activities. This gives us a sense of well-being, abundance and enjoyment of our lives as human beings. Parties and celebrations are seen as a necessity for our social identity.

This symbol of pleasure has been created with a price that we usually don’t notice or simply forget. It has created a split between the activities that are expected to be enjoyable and those that are not. Even more, the pleasure is now expected to come easily or with little effort. We accomplished this by distributing our duties and it worked well for the physical ones, but when it comes to the social part, it is far from perfect.

We are expecting our casual social interactions to bring us enjoyment with little or no effort required. This expectation can sometimes be hard to meet. When we take the responsibility of organizing or moderating such social gatherings, we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation, trying to satisfy various preferences of other people. Can we see the toxicity of having expectations without personal involvement?

Many of us are under the impression that our physical presence in a social gathering is enough to create the enjoyment we are seeking. We prefer to consider ourselves introverts or without ideas and to delegate this responsibility to an organizer or to some more extroverted or funny peers. Would it be too hard for us to acknowledge that we all share the responsibility of our well-being? Are we even aware of this issue? Or are we too attached to the status quo?

We can start by releasing ourselves from the self-imposed pressure and anxiety of failing to meet the expectations of our peers. It requires a great deal of courage to ask for new and healthier kinds of social interactions. When we try to do this, we will notice that, firstly, it requires several attempts to get it right, and secondly, it can bring a much greater satisfaction for everyone involved. In time, we can reshape the whole structure of our society in a way that our parties and celebrations are not just enjoyable, but also purposeful.


The more socially intelligent you are, the happier and more robust and more enjoyable your relationships will be.

— Daniel Goleman

About energy and importance

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(30 November 2019)

From our emotional perspective, and not only, life can be seen as a flow of energy. We, humans, want to live. We want to feel energetic and enthusiastic. This is more than a desire, it is a necessity. Everything we do requires energy. It can be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or of any other kind. Our lives depend on the ability to generate and transform our energy.

In order to manipulate such energy, we should first understand how it flows. We know when we have it and we know how it feels, but can we also see where it comes from?
When we observe ourselves carefully and quietly, we notice that our energy is closely related to our thoughts and beliefs. We can see that how we feel leads to what we think and what we think leads to what we feel, in an endless cycle.

Being aware of this connection between our energy and our mind, lets look at the things we consider to be important. Lets start by understanding what importance means in relationship to our energy. When we consider something to be meaningful, how do we feel about it? Does it feel valuable? Are we attracted to it? Do we feel energetic towards it? If so, can we define importance as a source of great energy? Lets take this path and see where it leads.

We live in complex societies, with many people, many perspectives, many opinions and many beliefs. Therefore there are many important things, but not all of them with the same importance for everyone. We can notice that the energy we get from something depends very much on the amount of importance it receives, not just from ourselves, but from everyone else. In this case, it should come as no surprise that we wish for our meaningful things to receive utmost attention and consideration. We wish to feel energetic. We wish to feel alive.

If we understand all this, the question becomes: Can we all feel as much energy as possible, for as long as possible, together and at the same time? Or do we have to compete for this energy? Do some of us have to be sacrificed? Or do we have to isolate ourselves in groups based on what we consider as important? We should answer carefully.
If what we are looking for is energy, do we consider this aspect to be important? And if we do consider it, what can we do about this?
We could look for other ways of creating energy and free ourselves from the limitations of importance. It is definitely worth the effort.


It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.

— Dalai Lama

About struggling with toxic needs

About struggling with toxic needs.jpg
(29 November 2019)

We, as humans, seek to understand our life. Not always, but most of the time. We have this desire to make sense of what is happening to us or around us. Sometimes, understanding doesn’t come easily, especially when the focus of our enquiry is what we consider to be outside of us. We might want to understand how certain things work, or how decisions are made. Most often, when we try to understand something, we do it in a pretty logical way, based on steps and consequences. This works well with objects, but not as well with people.

One of the most common struggles of understanding is when it comes to our toxic habits.
Why do we have them? Why can we not change them? Why do we continue like this even when we know it is toxic? Why do we lack the power to change ourselves?
Answering these questions can be even harder if we are enquiring about other people, since we don’t know what they are thinking or feeling. Understanding, in such cases, seems impossible.

So why do people stick to toxic habits, even when they are completely aware of them?
Lets start by asking a different question: What exactly are we aware of when we say we are aware of our toxic needs?
We can be aware of the pain we feel, we can be aware of some previous accidents, we can be aware of the culture and what other people think about this topic. We can even be aware of our previous attempts to stop. If we go deeper, we can even realize the causes of our toxic habits.
And yet, this seems to not be enough. We are still stuck with them. Why?

Can we, maybe as an exercise, stop for a moment and not see our needs as toxic, but rather as a weird way of solving certain problems?
If we do this, then the next question would be: What kind of problems are we trying to solve?
What kind of problems would require such solutions that also destroy ourselves in the process?
While we are enquiry into this, there is something else happening in the background. We have assumptions about what solutions someone has available, assumptions that we hardly see.

And there is something else that is also happening. There is a negative attitude towards the whole situation. We want to avoid it, so solve it, to get rid of it. This attitude towards the problem is actually part of the problem we are trying to solve. Can we see this?
Can we bring a new perspective, one that will generate a new kind of energy, an energy that is able to move us beyond our current needs and struggles?
Lets start our enquiry from this point forward!


Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.

— Albert Einstein

About lacking direction and giving advice

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(21 July 2019)

Our world has reached a point where we, as individuals, have an abundance of options to choose from when it comes to living our lives. The Internet has given us enormous power over what information we have access to. We are now a global society, we can create and reach solutions like never before. But being able to do that doesn’t mean we are actually doing it. Just having all this power is not enough if we don’t know how to use it properly.

For an increasing number of us, this access to collective knowledge and wisdom is becoming more of a burden than a blessing. We have the tools, but we are lacking the practical wisdom for using them. And even though this great power came without any manual or instructions, we are expecting ourselves to already know how to use it. We are expecting the individual to connect to this collective knowledge and figure out by himself the right choices for his life. And when that inevitably fails, sooner or later, we consider that to be due to an individual fault, a mistake of some sort, instead of understanding the whole context in which that failure took place. We seem to be unable to realize that we have the wrong expectations from our tools and ourselves.

If we look deeper into the nature of this problem, we find ourselves in a weird situation, one dominated by confusion. We have access to so much information and diversity of opinions that we perceive our life as too vague and impossible to understand. Most of the time, we feel that no one has the right or true answer for how to live. Therefore, giving advice on life issues is now considered intrusive or even aggressive. We, as a collective, seem to lack a clear direction in which we can move and evolve together.

Realizing all this, what can we do ? We probably agree that blame or shame are not part of the solution. When we look at the issue, we see a collective movement. When we look at ourselves, we see individual actions. Each collective force starts as an individual force that gets more and more momentum until it becomes big enough to create an entire environment in which to propagate itself. We can choose to get involved in building this new force or choose to maintain the existing status quo. Standing on the side or not choosing anything is not a real option. What is not against the status quo becomes part of it and therefore enhances it.

The real challenge is choosing the right direction in which to move together. Both our collective knowledge and the way we use it has to reflect this direction. But first of all, we need to find such a direction for ourselves, as individuals. Only then, we can meet others on the way.


There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.

— Nelson Mandela

About toxic parenting and control

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(18 July 2019)

The idea of family has always been a central part of humanity. Over time, it took many forms and, even today, it continues to evolve. One of the main factors of this evolution is the perception we have of the relationship between parents and children. We, both as individuals and as a society, are becoming more aware of the different aspects of such a relationship and we are able to make a distinction between what is healthy and what is not, what creates abundance and what destroys it.

When we realize this distinction, we usually find ourselves in one of the two sides, either as parents or as children. Most often, it is the latter. In all cases, we have to face both the good and the bad aspects of the relationship, while being unable to choose between them. Unless the awareness of both sides reach a similar altitude, a proper communication cannot be established. Our best and probably only option is to bring into discussion this distinction between healthy and toxic interactions and help the other side become aware of it.

By looking deeper into the nature of what we perceive as negative behaviors, such as emotional blackmail, unfair judgement or victimization, we realize that all of them are actually emotional strategies that have been used effectively over the course of our history. We could even consider them to be emotional technologies. And as with any technology, once a new one is invented, the old one becomes obsolete. Today, we are in the process of replacing the old emotional technology, which we consider toxic, with a next-generation one, which we consider healthy. This change is not easy, especially for those who have lived their entire life based on tradition.

Apart from that, there seems to be another factor at play that drives this toxic relationship between parents and children. In the past, one of the few sources of self-esteem has been our family, especially our children. We learned to define ourselves in terms of them. This aspect is changing rapidly, since more sources of self-esteem are now available, such as work, friends, life experiences and more. Unfortunately, some of us are having problems transforming ourselves.

When our self-image depends mainly on our children, we are forced to ensure control over them, in order to avoid the fear of losing our self-esteem. This seems to be one of the biggest causes of the toxic relationships we are facing. To overcome this problem, we need to learn how to reimagine ourselves in today’s world, for the sake of our well-being and that of our children.


What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.

— Abraham Maslow


About living with uncertainty

About living with uncertainty
(16 July 2019)

At some point in our lives, we find ourselves in periods of uncertainty, in which we do not know which actions to take or which direction to choose. We are unable to continue our life as before. Uncertainty can come in many forms. It could be financial uncertainty, lacking an income, or it could be medical uncertainty, dealing with a disease or simply old age. Or it could be related to unstable relationships. Whatever the nature of uncertainty, in such situations, we fear that we might lose our life as we know it. It is both painful and scary.

In such situations, our emotional state is dominated by confusion. We do not know which actions to take in order to escape from the bad outcomes that we anticipate. Sometimes it feels easier to be in a desperate situation, than in an uncertain one, since there are fewer options to choose from. Having to make a decision can cause greater stress than just accepting a bad outcome.

When we look deeply at the cause of fear and stress that comes from uncertainty, we discover the same mechanism that is part of our daily life: the ability to imagine and predict the future. Moreover, we realize that, in such situations, this idea of prevention, a strategy that normally protects us from harm, can backfire on us. This ability that we have as human beings can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on circumstances. The more we try to avoid certain future outcomes, the more stress and confusion we create to ourselves. This can sometimes become a downward spiral from which we cannot escape.

It seems that our only solution is to temporarily give up our commitment to the future, whichever that is, and simply focus on the present. We can decide to not imagine anything and just observe what we already have in the present moment, without judging or even wanting to change it. We can decide to not use our imagination when it doesn’t help us, while causing us stress, fear and pain. We can decide to not prevent any future outcome and just accept whatever happens to us. When we do this, we discover that our mind becomes clear and quiet, and with that comes new energy and freedom to act.

If we really want to learn how to cope with uncertainty, then we must include it into our own lifestyle. We must not only consider uncertainty, but actually build our entire way of living based on it. Moreover, if we want to really succeed in this direction, we must look at death itself, in all its forms, from the death of our body, to the death of our dreams and desires. If we want to be capable of living with uncertainty, then we must make death an integral part of our life.


The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.

— Eckhart Tolle

About teamwork and duties

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(15 July 2019)

Teamwork and social interactions have always been part of our evolution as human beings. From survival to well-being, we depend on each other, as we are deeply interconnected. Today, this is more obvious than ever. Not only that, but our interactions, as well as our lives, are increasing in complexity. Our work environment is a reflection of this change.

It seems that our cooperation methods and skills are lagging behind. Our projects and duties are rapidly becoming more and more complex, while the ways in which we relate as humans are changing slowly. We logically understand the roles of our team, but we seem to lack the ability to connect with our team members in ways that enhance our creativity and results. When this happens, we end up judging and blaming each other for not accomplishing our duties.

If we pay close attention to our work environments, we see that most of them are designed in an old and simplistic way, such that they do not reflect the complexity of our current life. We tend to focus on just a few indicators to measure our work, while ignoring the real context in which those indicators are used, which is our entire life. In such conditions, it’s no wonder that our work becomes a cause of stress and our colleagues sometimes become our opponents.

If we want to solve this problem, we must first realize that forcing ourselves to be strong and deal with the situation is not a real solution, but just a way of hiding our pain. Once we are aware of this, we can start looking for solutions that address the main issue: our superficial approach towards our work environment. We need to start looking at our team as being made of not just roles, but humans with roles. Once we start integrating more and more aspects of ourselves, our teamwork will take new forms, which will reflect the true complexity of our lives.

Such a process of transformation can only start with individuals. We need to reimagine our team dynamics and get involved in reshaping them. The process can be slow and tedious, and full of mistakes, but it will be worthwhile. It will require courage and effort, as well as patience. Whether we find ourselves in a managerial position or any other role, it matters less. Our challenge is to increase our awareness of which aspects of life are involved in our work and then imagine solutions to capture and integrate them. The results can be exciting.


If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.

— Eckhart Tolle

About awareness and communication

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(9 July 2019)

We live in a world that is becoming more and more interconnected thanks to our advancements in technology. Now, we are able to observe and interact with large numbers of people. This gives us a greater awareness over our entire life, like never before. It allows us not only to include a greater variety of perspectives, but also to observe their interplay from a deeper level. We are able to create new interpretations of the world and find new ways in which we can improve it.

One aspect that becomes clear is the way we interact as human beings. We realize that many problems that arise in our lives are due to our faulty communication and our attachment to the identity we have created, both as individuals and collectives. Our emotions and thoughts seem to betray us, they keep us captive in a loop of bad habits. When we become aware of this, we desire to change not only ourselves, but also those around us. We desire a better world.

As our awareness increases, we become aware of the problems that our egos create, we become aware of how they work deep inside ourselves. Sometimes, we are able to find solutions that transform ourselves and our lives. We then desire to share these solutions with everyone around us. When they work, we become confident. When they fail, we become frustrated.
First, we need to acknowledge the complexity of the situations we want to address. Then, we need to avoid getting attached to our solutions. Failing to do so will only enhance our frustration.

So, what are we supposed to do ? What can we do ? What should we do ?
We could look for new and better solutions. We can definitely do that. At the same time, we need to realize that we are part of this world and that every aspect of ourselves comes from the world and goes back into the world. We need to see that we, as a whole, are a continuous flux of life, which includes our faulty situation, our awareness of it and our desire to change. From the situation arises our awareness of it and from that awareness arises our desire. And all this becomes our new situation. Our frustration is part of this flux of life, but is it of good use ?

If we are to select a direction in which we should move together, we must also realize that such a direction arises from what we already are. Sometimes, that direction might not correspond with our desire. We can choose frustration or we can choose tranquility. The more awareness we bring into this flux of life, the more it changes. In the end, our awareness will choose tranquility.


Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.

— Joseph Campbell

About desires and relationships

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(7 July 2019)

We live in a world in which the social interactions receive enormous importance. Our entire life and identity depends on the people with whom we communicate, live and form relationships. With so many aspects of ourselves at stake, we should not be surprised if we find ourselves wanting to have close connections with resourceful people, to ensure both our security and prosperity. Nowadays, being resourceful can mean various things: being wealthy, being popular, being powerful, being intelligent, being sexually attractive, being wise etc.

Our current society seems to promote the idea that we should follow our desires and create the best life for ourselves. This will inevitably include creating or acquiring relationships that serve us. We seem to invest a lot of attention into love relationships, probably because they give us the strongest emotions and sense of importance. That makes us react more strongly to any event or story that happens around us and that involves a love relationship. We try to learn from them and decide our actions based on the experience of other people.

Sometimes, we come to the conclusion that it is better to remain alone or just postpone. Other times, we conclude that we must to do whatever it takes to achieve the relationship we desire. Whatever our decision is, once we believe it, our thought process changes in order to justify it. We take into consideration only or mostly the aspects that serve our purpose. Most often, we don’t even realize we are doing this. We use our emotions to guide us towards that purpose.

If we look inside ourselves, we can see that, whatever we do, we must be able to justify our actions and feel good about ourselves. We must feel that we have the right to be the way we are, regardless of how other people might perceive us. Sometimes, we have to build laborious stories about what happens to us and why we make specific decisions. We must believe our stories, even when the situation seems crazy. We must feel that our stories are justified. How we feel depends on how well our inner stories match the outer reality.

We observe the experience of other people, we judge them and we learn from them. This process of learning is a process in which we create or update our own stories, not just about other people, but also about ourselves. The more clearly we are able to understand this, the more accurate our stories will become. And that will bring us a peace of mind.


Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story.

— Don Miguel Ruiz

About helping street beggars

About helping street beggars
(6 July 2019)

Most of us live in a society with an abundance of social roles and situations, as well as an abundance of economic levels, from very poor to very rich. Most of us see ourselves as normal people with limited time and resources. If we happen to consider ourselves middle class, we are probably frustrated with those who are rich and we pity those who are poor. If we have such feelings, how are we supposed to act ?

Most of the time, we don’t do anything, unless we are directly involved with either of such people. Street beggars are probably the most representative symbol that we have in mind when we think of those living in poverty. At the same time they are also considered a symbol of lying and deceiving. If we encounter them, we are faced with an emotional dilemma: to follow our desire to help or our fear of being fooled. Most of the time, the fear is stronger.

There are at least two questions we need to ask: what to do as individuals and what to do as a society ? Do we want to help those people integrate in the bigger group or just ignore them ?
If we are to choose the first option, we must acknowledge that such a goal can rarely be accomplished by simple individuals. Instead, we need to build organizations to manage this issue. If we really want to help those people, then we need to become more active in supporting such organizations, in any way we can. This requires more effort than just offering a few coins.

We have to ask ourselves: what do we want to accomplish ? Do we really want to make a significant change for a person or do we just want to feel a temporary human connection ?
Most of the time, the first option seems too complicated for us, so we become content with a simple and temporary act of charity. Such acts maintain the image of good people we have about ourselves.

Is this all we want ? We must be truly sincere with ourselves. We might realize that we don’t really want to be involved in anything more than that, which is perfectly ok. We might also realize that we want to make a significant change for those people, in which case we can look for better solutions. Whichever desire we have, we must understand that the choice is ours and we must take full responsibility for it.


True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.

— Daniel Goleman