Category: Inspirational

The Rewards of Reading

Learning

What have you been reading lately?

When was the last time you read a book?

Are you a wide reader?

Everyone can tell

In a gathering, you can tell who the wide readers are. Wide readers think and speak well. They win the admiration, respect, and good opinion of others.

Reading expands the mind. In fact, many people consider it as one of the satisfying pleasures of humans. For it involves physical as well as mental activities.

Reading is primarily a mental activity

After all, you read with your mind and use your imagination. And you paint the setting of the detective thriller you are reading.

You use your mind to imagine the pain that the main character experiences as the story unfolds. You bring into play the different arguments and ideas brought up by the author in the book you are holding.

Develops a wide vocabulary

To read effectively, reading helps you develop a wide vocabulary through extensive reading. A skillful reader has a wide recognition vocabulary.

He may not know exactly what every word means. But he will have a good general idea of the meaning of the sentence. Reading makes you alert and curious about new words.

Other readers develop the dictionary habit. Every time they come across a strange word, they try to figure out what it can possibly mean by the context. If they cannot do this, they refer to the dictionary.

It develops intellectual curiosity

Likewise, reading develops intellectual curiosity by exposing you to a variety of materials. You learn to read by reading books of increasing difficulty and variety. As in other forms of activity, you learn by actually doing.

Reading trains you to have an active and open mind

Merely grasping the writer’s idea is not enough. You must make a positive response to what you read. Be an active, not a passive, reader. Develop the habit of drawing your own conclusions, the habit of active thinking, of agreeing or disagreeing with the author.

Keep your mind open; understand and weigh the ideas that you read. A practical part of active reading is the drawing of conclusions.

The four basic rules for effective reading and better comprehension

  • Try to read more and more. Remember the saying that practice makes perfect. Practicing in the correct way makes perfect.
  • Develop the habit of reading for main ideas. Look for the subject and predicate. Do not waste time on details or little words.
  • Learn to read with focus and concentration. Think of what you are reading. Do not let your attention wander somewhere else. Good readers read with understanding.
  • Learn to budget your time. Experiment with your reading time. Try purposely to read faster. Give yourself a time limit on specific material that you read.

A mental stimulation

Reading is a stimulating mental activity. It expands your reality and capability. You have so much to gain in discovering the joys of reading. Go ahead; grab a book right now!

 

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Look Up! – The Power Of Expectations (Part 2 of 3)

Keep looking up! Read the recent article:

Look Up! – The Power Of Expectations (Part 1 of 3)

 

Continuation:

 

Sure enough, the next day, they call into work. Sounding just awful announcing that there is no possible way they could work today.

You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them

Michael Jordan

 

Who Cares?

Who cares enough about us to impose expectations upon us? The obvious answer is friends and family. Often, these expectations are normal and positive.

For example, if our spouse expects us to be home to have dinner, this could be a wonderful norm. We care about our friends and family. They have more power than anyone else to influence our own opinion of our ability.

Frequently, well-meaning relatives will deter someone from pursuing their true life purpose.

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact

William James

 

One of the ways that this happens is by planting doubt

Let’s say we truly believe that we have an ability to write. We also have a desire to pursue writing as a career. In subtle ways, some of our friends and family begin to plant doubts about our skills or the opportunities in this career path.

They may think that they are protecting us; however, sometimes, the result is that we choose another path that we perceive to be less risky.

What About Me?

That’s right, we are the most important person in our lives in determining our place in this world. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others. We hear our own voice more than any other.

So, what are we saying to ourselves? If we are saying that we can do it, we are much more likely to dismiss evidence to the contrary. Take one of the most famous historical examples. How successful would David have been against Goliath if he were talking defeat to himself?

It’s possible that he would have been unsuccessful if he had not been rehearsing his past successes in killing the lion and the bear with his bare hands.

Others also have the ability to set expectations for us

Aside from the people in our inner circle of influence, there are others that have the ability to set expectations for us, if we give them the power. We just need to be aware that this occurs.

 

Continue reading:

Look Up! – The Power Of Expectations (Part 3 of 3)

Look Up! – The Power Of Expectations (Part 1 of 3)

The Power of Expectations

 

We will always tend to fulfill our own expectation of ourselves

Brian Tracy

Going Up is a Direction

As we know, UP is a direction. More importantly, it is a direction that we want to go. The first step in moving UP is to set our sights beyond our current circumstances.

Inherent in the definition of UP is that it never stops. There is always one more rung on the ladder and one more battle to fight. One more person to help, and one more analogy to make. So, wherever we are today, we have room to improve.

The thing that holds us back

What’s holding us back? Our expectations are set too low. That is one of the main things keeping us from achieving more.

When an expectation is set, our minds are so powerful and complex. Our actions immediately begin to line up with that expectation.

Robert K. Merton coined the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy” to describe this phenomenon in his 1957 book Social Theory and Social Structure. Wikipedia defines a self-fulfilling prophecy as “a prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to become true”.

My Fair Lady

In George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, Eliza Doolittle is transformed from a Cockney flower girl to a lady.

What made the difference? The image that she had of herself changed when others treated her differently. Colonel Pickering called her “Miss Doolittle,” which Liza says began to teach her self-respect.

She explained to Colonel Pickering, “The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treated me as a flower girl, and always will, but I know I can be a lady to you because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.”

We See It Every Day

Most of us have observed the power of expectations with a familiar example. A co-worker mentions to us late in the day that they think that they’re coming down with a cold.

We may respond with something like, “I’ve heard there’s something going around”. We could even say, “You look all right to me”. It really doesn’t matter what we say at that point as the person really expects to get sick.

 

Continue looking up. Read the next article by clicking the link below:

Look Up! – The Power Of Expectations (Part 2 of 3)

Look Up! – The Power Of Expectations (Part 3 of 3)

An Old Message For A New Age (Part 3 of 3)

Got the message? Do not dare to miss them. Read below:

An Old Message For A New Age (Part 1 of 3)

An Old Message For A New Age (Part 2 of 3)

 

Continuation:

 

What we seek is within us

And so, it is not something beyond my grasp that constantly beckons me. It is not a place, or thing, a job or person, a philosophy, idea or fragment of knowledge. You cannot find it in books or buildings.

The Divine reflection is within my own being, that same reflection alive within yours and in everything else. The dwelling place of the holy lives no farther than the beat of our own hearts.

For those of us who have been on this quest for a while, this idea is nothing new. I realize that. We read books about getting to know and love and be ourselves.

We take classes and workshops in the hopes of prying open the door to that illusive hallowed ground we’re after. At the end of every yoga class we say, “Namaste,” the Hindu recognition of the Divine spark within us all.

I, like you, know where I’m supposed to look; I can think and speak about it; but it is the experience that I am after – that which cannot be spoken of or written about in whole.

That which absolutely cannot be taught or bought. That which is secret and private and can only be known in the silent places of one’s own soul.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. Go seek first the Divine within. Seek first your own truth.

And then we read on…

…and His Righteousness…

Final thoughts

Now, here is a phrase for contemplation. For some it is instantly understood and revered; for others, it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It is a loaded word; one that can scare with its asking.

If it is the knowing of our highest selves, a re-union with our own Divinity and, I suspect, with the greater Divinity of all life that we seek, and if we hold faith that the source of Divinity is indwelling, then how do we define this righteousness?

I believe that the answer will lie in your own definition, image and knowing of God.

 

— end —

An Old Message For A New Age (Part 2 of 3)

Seek for the old message. Do not miss out, read the first article below:

An Old Message For A New Age (Part 1 of 3)

 

Continuation:

 

Well, I am someone who does not take things in vain. I believe that everything that happens is a perfect set-up for our growth and learning. So, I went home and looked up the verse. Upon reading it I had one of those “pilgrim” moments.

 

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you as well

Matthew 6:33

The perfect message

The perfect message for a true seeker. But, of course, the question follows…what does it mean? I know that some will have a very clear-cut answer.

But for me it has taken years of touching upon, moving away from, and coming back to the message. To find for myself the meaning.

The day I received the verse I typed it up and put it in my meditation space. I have looked upon it every day since. But lately it has begun to call for my attention more fervently, demanding from me a clearer understanding.

Ultimately, I have come to realize this one sentence as the most basic ingredient for living. And the word that has always stood out to me is “first.” Here, the order of things.

What drives us

The desire to obtain is what drives our society. Material possessions, personal achievement, physical perfection. We strive first and we strive hard. But in this verse we are asked not to “do” first, but to seek. We are told where to begin.

I would like to go slowly, go back and explore this simple message, piece by piece…

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…

Is this the answer to the interminable question, “What do I seek?”? If so, then I ask, “What exactly is this ‘Kingdom of God’ that I am after?” My mind immediately travels to another verse:

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you

Luke 17:21

Continue reading the message:

An Old Message For A New Age (Part 3 of 3)