Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Sunny Side of Your Golden Years


The Sunny Side of the Golden Years

Santa Claus is a testimony of what the sunny side of golden years would be like—full of fun and adventures never experienced before. If having your birthdays is no longer appealing to you, maybe you should start looking at the sunny side of your golden years.

In your golden years, you have become older but wiser—wiser being a process of becoming more of what you have been.

In your golden year, you have become more confident due to the benefits of accumulated life experiences. You should not be experiencing any identify crisis because by now you know who you are and what you want out of your life. In addition, life has taught you not to take any rejection by anyone as personal; you have come to believe that the way people treat you is no more than a reflection of their own inadequacy and insecurity.

In your golden years, you may have by now become more proactive, instead of procrastinating, because you are fully aware that your clock is ticking. An increasing awareness of how precious time is and a desire to utilize it more effectively is self-motivation not to procrastinate any more.

In your golden years, you have become more patient and less impulsive; maybe by now you have more time to yourself. With more tolerance and less impulse, you have become more rational in your thinking as well as in your behavior.

In your golden years, after decades of pushing, striving, and struggling, you have finally cooled down and attained inner tranquility without the need to excel or to shine any more.

In your golden years, you have grown mellow. Instead of looking only at the bigger picture, you have begun to shift your focus on the little fine things in life that now afford you pleasure and satisfaction of a different kind, rather than on your quest or pursuit for success in your younger years. You have learned that it is better to take things in stride, especially the bigger ones, such as life challenges. Most importantly, you have acquired the wisdom of having no need for you to be right all the time, let alone championing your beliefs and standpoints.

In your golden years, you have more free time to develop a network of both old and new friends.  Getting involved not on a career level often broadens your horizon and extends your perceptions of life.

In your golden years, you may have become more spiritual, not necessarily being connected to a specific belief system or religion; your inner spirit is simply awakened to the people and the world around you.

In your golden years, you have learned to accept the unalterable; this acceptance teaches you to live in the now, as well as to appreciate what you still have, not what you are going to lose.

To sum up, look at your golden years as your rewards and blessings, and perceive yourself as desirable and deserving.
  

Positive Facts about Aging

 

If you are over 65, you belong to the 10 percent of the U.S. population heading towards longevity. If you are one of them, continue to forge ahead with your healthy lifestyle to remain younger and healthier for longer!

Only 5 percent of individuals over 65 are confined to an institution. Being healthier for longer assures you will not be one of them!

About 95  percent  of individuals  over 65 are still healthy without chronic health problems. If you are one of them, good for you! Continue your healthy lifestyle!

Cognitive function does not decline dramatically with age. The majority of seniors are still capable of learning new skills and acquiring new information. In general, your ability to learn new things is affected not so much by your age as by your desire to learn them. Keep up with your desire, and don’t lag behind the world of information and technology! This will keep you mentally fit for longer.

Your physical strength is maintained from your biological maturity until around age 60. But physical strength and body mass are more related to disease and health than to your number of years. Continue to exercise to maintain your muscles. Use it or lose it! Be physically active and mobile to keep you younger for longer. Also, keep your good posture, which is important not only in preventing falls and improving muscular strength, but also in maintaining your youthful image and physique.

 

A Life of Leisure

 

Santa Claus is having a life of leisure: traveling and giving presents. The golden years often become a life of leisure for many seniors: traveling and playing golf. Your leisure is what you like to do because you want to do it, you look forward to doing it, you feel good about doing it, and you simply enjoy doing it.

But your life is more than just a life of leisure. Your leisure has to satisfy your inner soul or spirit as well—it needs to give you a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Man does not live by bread alone, nor does he thrive on only personal enjoyment. Your life has to be meaningful and rewarding, such that it provides you with an incentive to go on even against all odds, to make the most and the best of what has been given to you, or maybe what is left of you. It is this incentive that makes your golden years meaningful and rewarding. Always make your life purposeful, irrespective of the different phases in you life, and savor the rewards of  all your accomplishments, no matter how insignificant they may be. If you are about to retire or have already retired, do not make your retirement only a perpetual holiday. Do something about your golden years!

Myths and Truths about Aging

 

You inevitably feel much older as you advance in years. Quite the contrary, according to a 2009 Pew Research survey, many seniors feel they are as many as 10 to19 years younger, not older, than their chronological age.

Dementia is inevitable in life. But dementia is only one of the many symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. If you don’t have the disease, you may only have senior moments, which are just momentary memory lapses. Use it or lose it. If you regularly use and exercise your brain, you will have fewer senior moments. Of course, if you do have the Alzheimer’s disease, then it is something else.

You can no longer exercise your body and mind in your 50s, 60s, and beyond.  Nothing is further from the truth than this. It is never too late to exercise, despite your aches and pains. As a matter of fact, immobility only aggravates muscle weakness and inflexibility, and thus creating a vicious circle of inactivity and pain.

If you think you are too old to give up your nicotine, think again! Research studies have indicated that most seniors are able to give up their lifelong habit of smoking in their golden years.

You can never teach an old dog new tricks. Scientists have found that the cognitive reserve in the human brain enables learning new things in the latter half of life. Whether you wish to continue to empower yourself with new knowledge in your golden years is your personal choice, and it has little to do with your mind power or your age.

Women in senior years are more likely to develop depression than men. According to National Women’s Health Resources, women in their golden years become more adventurous and more ready to look for new opportunities in life than men do. It is also a myth that depression will impair an aging body and mind. The truth of the matter is that depression is a treatable medical condition. Don’t stigmatize yourself!

Western cultures perpetuate the perception and the negative stereotypes of the elderly. Do not buy into all the negative and erroneous beliefs about growing old. If you can only remove all your negative stereotypes and myths of aging, you are well on the way to the sunny side of your golden years.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Money Fantasies and Money Miseries


If money really matters to you, then earn more.

To earn more, capitalize on the skills you already have, enhance and improve them, and look for better and richer employment. In addition, there are likely many other skills you may possess that cannot be or have not been fully maximized or utilized wherever you are working. Then, harness those skills and capitalize on them through doing some freelance work on the side to maximize your current income.

If, on the other hand, you do not have the basic skills, and you do not want to learn and acquire them, and yet you always crave money and wealth, then your cravings are only your money fantasies.

What are money fantasies?

Only your money wisdom can separate your money fantasies from the money realities.

There was the story of a beautiful and sophisticated woman in her mid-twenties who wrote to an investment counseling company looking for a list of eligible bachelors with earnings of at least $600,000 a year. That woman had money fantasies in her mind.

According to experts, using marriage as an investment is a money fantasy, and no more than a bad investment bargain—just like investing into a shrinking currency. Imagine, the beauty of that woman will shrink over the years, while the $600,000 may grow over the long haul.

So, marrying into money, buying the lottery, and winning at the casino are all money fantasies.

What are money miseries?

Money miseries are also the realities for many, who always feel dissatisfied, frustrated, insecure, and insolvent. This mental condition suffered by many is often a result of constant exposure to media news of the rich and the famous, as well as their own perceptions of “possessions equal satisfaction.” It is your own mental interpretation of what you see verses who you really are.

You have money miseries if you have a job with a modest income but still living from paycheck to paycheck. If you are struggling with money miseries, you need your money wisdom to change your belief system, to stop comparing yourself with others around you, as well as to identify all the whys of your emotional feelings about and around your money miseries.

Why so many are broke?

According to The Wall Street Journal, many consumers (nearly 70 percent) are living from paycheck to paycheck. More than 50 percent consumers worry a lot about money, such as retirement. Once they lose their jobs or encounter any financial crisis, they become broke.

Even wealthy celebrities, such as Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson, go broke.

Mike Tyson, a boxing champion with several heavyweight titles, earning over $300 million dollars during his successful boxing career, ended up in bankruptcy in 2003.

Michael Jackson, recording artist, dancer, singer and songwriter, earning more than $500 million dollars, was heavily in debt when he died in 2009.

Of course, you might say: “If I had those millions of dollars, I wouldn’t become broke?” But if you cannot change your current spending habits, it would be a lot more difficult to change them when you have become a wealthy celebrity, such as Mike Tyson or Michael Jackson.

So, going broke is no respecter of persons, whether you are poor or rich.

The bottom line: Everyone needs to have the money wisdom to know how to earn, invest, and spend money to avoid going broke.



Click here to ge your paperback, and click here to get your ebook.

NORA WISE
Copyright © Nora Wise

Monday, January 18, 2021

Depression and Personalities


Depression and Personalities

Your ego-self, which is formed by your thoughts, often become your attachments. Too many attachments to your ego-self may become problematic, leading to depression.

The Unhappy Personality

There are those who are forever unhappy due to an unhappy childhood, an unfulfilled adult life, and many unhappy life experiences throughout their life journey. They have made indelible imprints on their minds, making them see only the problems, instead of the potentials ahead of them. They do not want to live, but they just do not die. Not wanting or knowing how to purposely end their lives, they just drift on, or simply live a reckless life in hope of an early demise.
They have suffered and gone through too much in their lives. They do not know how to cope with their life problems and how to deal with their life challenges. They have despaired and become helpless, and depression is their only escape from the realities they strive to avoid. They are forever the unhappy ones because unhappiness has become their brain chemicals.

The Neither-Happy-Nor-Unhappy Personality

There are those who have always been only spectators, instead of participants, of life; they are forever sitting on the sidelines of life, observing others and never thinking that they could be a part of it. They always believe that life is not worth taking chances because their minds have been filled with many assumptions that they are not competent enough to get involved. Inactivity and passivity play a major role in their lives. They may not like their current situations, but they do not know how and where to start to change them. Even if they have the know-how, they do not want to do it, or unless someone else would do it for them. Life is too much for them; they just stay back and stay put, not taking any chance or exerting any effort, while they try to get by with whatever they have. They never see the need to take the initiative to create a better life for themselves.
If they just do not die, they just carry on with their lives with different episodes of high and low, always wondering why they do not have what they wish they had, or why others are always having what they are not having.

The To-Be-Happy Personality

There are those who are always in quest of happiness. They have the problematic mindset of “better” and “more” in their endless quest for careers, relationships, and material comforts that have become the sole objectives of their personal happiness. Their to-be-happiness just keeps them always wanting “better” and “more” in order to feel happy or happier.

The Happy Personality

There are those who have the wisdom to understand that true happiness requires both action and effort, that happiness is only a moment-to-moment feeling, and that happiness never lasts.
Indeed, happiness is feeling good about oneself, and it requires one to take some actions in order to feel good about oneself. It should be pointed out that elated feelings, such as happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment, are not the natural and normal resting states of the human mind; therefore, one must take a deliberate action in order to achieve and activate those innate mental states. The only explanation is that our ancestors in the Stone Age did not naturally or instinctively feel comfortable, secure, and satisfied with their status quo. They certainly did not pass those genes on to us. They had to fight to survive; by the same token, we all must make a conscious effort to take some actions in order to feel good, happy, and satisfied.
Remember, true human happiness is a process, a way of living, involving some actions to change the consciousness of thinking. It is no more than the ability to experience joy when good things happen; the ability to feel satisfaction when goals are achieved; the ability to cope with problems, the ability to adapt to changes, and the ability to give meaning and purpose to life.

The conclusion

In general, the above four different happiness mindsets are responsible for the creation of different personalities. Not only the characteristics of one type of mindset may overlap those of another, but also one type of mindset may become another; it is all in the consciousness of an individual’s thinking mind.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Importance of Money Wisdom


You are living in a world wanting wisdom. The majority of people experience the lack and not the abundance, while only a small number of people feel both the affluence and the wealth. Surviving and navigating in this world of money disparity require profound wisdom—the perspectives of human wisdom, Biblical wisdom, and the TAO wisdom from ancient China.

So, always ask yourself many questions regarding your money wisdom, given that money always plays a pivotal role in this world of both abundance and lack.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a German-born American mathematician and electrical engineer, once said: “There are no foolish questions and no one becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.”

So, continue your life journey asking yourself many self-intuitive questions with respect to your money wisdom. The spirit of wisdom demands you to ask as many questions as possible on how you view the world today based on your past and present life experiences. Your money wisdom is your individual need to think more about your money. Do not bury your head in the sand! Just be wise on all your money matters!

Asking-questions-and-seeking-answers may give you your money wisdom. Your own life experiences are often responsible for your judgmental attitudes, your bias prejudices, and your assumptive presumptions—they may prevent you from knowing your real self, as well as from separating the truths from the half-truths or the myths about your money wisdom.

The truth of the matter is that your money wisdom is all based on your own perceptions and interpretations of your life experiences. That is why your money wisdom is uniquely yours.

Your money journey in this world is forever filled with missteps and detours, irrespective of your abundance or lack. Even if it may seem to be a bed of roses to you because of your abundance, it is always filled with some thorns. So, you need your spiritual wisdom to give you hope and guidance on your money journey.

To attain that spiritual wisdom, you need your faith—which is your trust and obedience to your Creator. According to Saint Augustine, faith is to believe in what you do not see, and you will then see what you believe. So, if you believe in your money wisdom, you will then see your security in every aspect of your life, whether you have abundance or lack..

To apply your money wisdom in the material world you are living in, you need the wisdom of the TAO—which is the humility to detach yourself from all attachments that you think define who you are. With no ego, you may then become self-enlightened: perceiving the “nothingness” of all things, as well as self-intuiting your “connectedness” to anything and everyone in the world. So, you are in balance and harmony with anyone and everyone, and you are no longer at war within yourself with your fear of insecurity—that is ultimately your money wisdom.

Click here to ge your paperback, and click here to get your ebook.

NORA WISE
Copyright © Nora Wise






Saturday, January 16, 2021

How to Pray


How to Pray

Praying is never easy: often complicated, and even paradoxical.

You’ve got to know what you want so that you can ask what you want in order to get what you want.

So, before you pray, you must know your true self: who and what you really are, and not who and what you wish you were.

Praying is talking to God through your heart, and not your words; repeating a right set of words isn’t as important as your heart talking to Him.

Prayer is God’s gift to anyone who prays for that free gift.

So, to pray for that free gift, you must show your desire to feel God’s presence, which is in anyone and everyone, as well as in anything and everything.

Several decades ago, a former colleague of mine had the opportunity to meet and dine with Gladys Aylward, a British missionary to China, whose amazing story was made into a Hollywood film in 1958: “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”, starring Ingrid Bergman.

My former colleague told me that at the dinner with Gladys she found it very “odd” that Gladys had repeated almost non-stop “Praise the Lord!” throughout the dinner—when someone passed her a dish, some bread, even salt and pepper, or when someone made a comment. It might not have looked “odd” to someone who’d like to feel the presence of God in every moment of his or her life.

So, from now on, whenever you say “Thank you” aloud, maybe you should also try to say in silence “Praise the Lord!” so that you may feel His presence in your heart.

To feel His omnipresence,  you must also still your thoughts with mindfulness, and live in the now.

Prayer is how you react and respond to His presence in your daily life.

Always begin your prayer with God, and not yourself.

Asking for your needs is self-delusional: God already knows your needs.

Asking for your wants is self-sabotaging: trying to make God change His mind about what He has already wanted for you.

So, don’t pray for “be happy”, “be healthy”, and “be wealthy.”

If you’re blessed with His presence, you’ll still feel your happiness even in your adversities. Depression is humans’ refusal of letting go to receive His presence.

If you’re blessed with His wisdom, you’ll know how to take care of your body, even when you’re sick.

If  you’re blessed  with His grace,  you’ll learn
to let go of your greed and covetousness for your wealth.

Always pray for your trust and obedience: trust that God will give you the power to “respond positively” to any life challenge you may face; obedience that God will give you the wisdom to embrace anything and every-thing to let go of your control of your own destiny.

Remember, your prayers are always answered, but not your own expectations.

The TAO wisdom (the ancient wisdom from China, based on the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the author of the ancient classic TAO Te Ching) shows you how to live your daily life, and how your prayers may be answered.

“An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us letting go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace.
With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 3

Li Ching-Yuan was probably the longest-living Chinese in history, who died on May 6, 1933 at the age of over 200 years.

This is one of his thought-provoking sayings regarding Zen, an Eastern philosophy about being and a way of thinking:

“Before I had studied Zen for thirty years,
I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters.
When I arrived with a more intimate knowledge,
I saw that mountains are not mountains,
and waters are not waters.
But now that I have got its very substance,
I am at rest.
For it is just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.”
Li Ching-Yuan

Li Ching-Yuan was talking about awakening or self-enlightenment, which is always effortless and spontaneous. So, if you strive to know and understand anything and everything, the awakening may never come.
You may like to pray, but your prayers are seldom answered; then you’ll see “mountains as mountains, and waters as waters.”

Your desire in seeking God may somehow change your perspectives; then you may see “mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters.”

But finding God, and living in His presence, you’ll just see that “mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters”—in other words, “prayers are seldom answered or not answered at all” is not only irrelevant but also inexplicable. What really matters is that you’ve found the spiritual wisdom to live your life as if everything is a miracle.

So, don’t use your pre-programmed causal reasoning to make sense out of the senseless in life. Instead, express your trust and obedience to your Creator and fully live in His presence.

Click here to get Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered.



Click here to get The Complete Tao Te Ching in Plain English.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau




Friday, January 15, 2021

The Meaning of "Prayers Not Answered"


The Meaning of “Prayers Not Answered”

Prayers not answered” simply means “expectations not fulfilled.”

But what’re your “expectations”? And where do they come from?

You experience your own life experiences through your five senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling) as a result of the choices of your actions, inactions, and reactions in your everyday life.

Your sensations often become your own perceptions, which then form your own assumptions and predictions; for example, a good education will lead to a successful career, and bring about a happy relationship.

All your “expectations” are only the personal and the subjective perceptions of your mind. But your “expectations” are often unreal and even self-delusive.

Even what you think you see with your own eyes may not necessarily be the reality.

To illustrate, in 1997, Richard Alexander from Indiana was convicted as a serial rapist, because one of the victims and her fiancé insisted that he was the perpetrator based on what the victim and her fiancé claimed that “they saw with their own eyes.”

But the convicted man was later exonerated and subsequently released in 2001, based on the new DNA science and other forensic evidence. Experts explained that a traumatic emotional experience, such as a rape, could “distort” the perception of an individual. That explains why the woman and her fiancé “swore” that Richard Alexander was the rapist, but evidently he wasn’t.

To illustrate “unreal expectations”: Helen Keller, celebrated author, political activist, and philanthropist, was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree; she became deaf and blind at an early age of less than two.

Imagine you were Helen’s parents: would you have “darkened expectations” of the future of Helen when she suddenly became deaf and blind?

Another illustration of “unreal expectations”: Shon Robert Hopwood, a young American convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to prison, became well-known as a jailhouse lawyer. While serving time in prison, Shon started spending time in the law library, became a jailhouse lawyer for the inmates, and ultimately a very accomplished United States Supreme Court practitioner by the time he left prison in 2009. Currently, he is professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center.

If you were the parents of Shon, would your own expectations of your son have fallen short after his conviction of 12 years of imprisonment?

The truth of the matter

Your perceptionswhether true or untruebecome your realities, and are then stored in your subconscious mind as your memories.

Whenever you want to make a choice or decision, it’s your subconscious mind that provides your conscious mind with your many attitudes, beliefs, and predictions—all based on your memories of your past experiences. Your thinking mind then begins to process and project them into the future as your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Points to Remember

Perceptions may easily become distorted and unreal. So, don’t let your own perceptions become your assumptive predictions.

Expectations are in the future, and their timeline is indefinite. So, don’t jump to any conclusion yet.

The past was gone; the future is yet to come; only the present is real. So, don’t use the past to predict the future as “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Click here to get Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © Stephen Lau



Thursday, January 14, 2021

Why Prayers Are Not Answered?


Why Your Prayers Are Seldom Answered?

Albert Einstein once said, “Thinking is difficult; that’s why so few people do it.”

Thinking is a process of self-intuition through asking relevant questions to create self-awareness and self-reflection. It’s the natural habit of the human mind to try to solve all problems by asking questions. Through the process of solving problems, the human mind may then make things happen.

So, asking all relevant questions is self-empowerment of the human mind to increase wisdom because it initiates the intent to learn, to discover, and then to change for the better.

Here are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself concerning why your prayers are seldom answered or not answered at all:

What’s a prayer?

Jesus said: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Is a prayer just your way of asking for something that you want?

Is it a personal request to the Creator to make something happen or not to happen in your life?

Is it a conversation or communication with the Creator to further develop your relationship with Him?

Is it a way of seeking advice from the Creator to help you deal with your own life’s problems and challenges?

Is it a means of asking the Creator for His blessings you think you may be entitled to?

Or is it none of the above?

How often is a prayer said or offered?

Before you getting up, and before you going to bed?

Several times throughout the day, such as before your meals?

While attending a religious service?

Seldom, if ever, unless expressing with your condolences to someone you feel sorry for?

There’s an old proverb that says: “He who cannot ask cannot live.” Life is all about asking questions, and seeking answers from all the questions asked.

By answering all of the above questions, you may be able to self-intuit why your prayers are answered or not answered at all.

Your self-intuition requires not only your spiritual wisdom, but also your human wisdom, in particular, the TAO wisdom of the ancient sage Lao Tzu from China, who was the author of Tao Te Ching, the ancient classic on human wisdom.

Click here to get Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered.

Click here to get The Complete Tao Te Ching in Plain English.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© Stephen Lau

The Sunny Side of Your Golden Years

The Sunny Side of the Golden Years S anta Claus is a testimony of what the sunny side of golden years would be like—full of fun and ad...