An Easy Life?

Lottery Winner

Lottery Winner!

He sits on the balcony surveying his domain. He takes a sip from his glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As the sweetness of the wine touches his throat, he thinks about how shitty life was for him, before winning the lottery.

Earlier he’d been watching the Cycling Road World Championship in Austria, feeling dumbfounded. Six and a half hours of hard racing to culminate in a 28% mountain climb stated as being “worse than hell.” Absolutely extraordinary. None of that for him, he preferred, an easy life.

Into his second bottle of wine now he was feeling pleasantly drunk. He burped and felt the familiar acid reflux he’d become accustomed to. He’d also noticed his jeans had become a little tight around the waist of late, no problem, larger jeans would sort that. A quick swig of antacid medication, before the pizza delivery, would also be wise.

The Belief in The Lottery

If you play the lottery you might be a little surprised by the following revelation; yet you might also, be thankful. There are approximately 1,700 people killed on British roads each year. With there being approximately 31,000,000 registered UK cars, we can be reasonably assured, the chances of being killed whilst driving, are quite slim.

In the 23 years the lottery has been running it’s made 5,000 millionaires. During the same period of time, 39,100 people have lost their lives, in motoring related accidents. In the UK just over 31,000,000 people play the lottery every week. Put simply, if you believe in the lottery, it’s probably time to get off the roads.

Selling Illusions and Dreams

Selling illusions has become a very popular game. In fact we’re sold illusions by the bucket load every single day. Oh yes, bucket loads of nonsense, stuffed up us, in lots and lots of differing ways.

The selling power of the lottery is of course based on the erroneous belief money buys happiness. An illusion. It also works through the belief becoming rich is difficult. Some find becoming rich a byproduct of being happy! Have you ever wondered how?

Money is a great facilitator to experiences that might enhance life, but it will never buy happiness, per se. How we find happiness is a state of mind and a belief in itself. What to ponder here, is the paradoxical nature, of how playing the lottery, actually reduces happiness.

The Facts

Each week millions of people lose at the lottery. We could say playing the lottery is a losers game. The reality is, each week, people who believe money buys happiness, are spending what they can ill afford, on an illusion fuelled by dreams.

Twitter

I follow Richard Branson’s twitter account and noticed his most recent endeavour in this tweet. I can tell you for a fact, you don’t need to be a millionaire, to afford a bottle to piss in! Or for it to save your life. As Mr Branson will surly tell you, happiness lies in creativity, success, and living life to the full. Although, he’s also very good at selling the general public, what they believe in. Or perhaps that’s just the girl taking advantage. Here’s the story, make up your own mind.

Easy Life?

Suffice to say, stop spending money on illusions, and find happiness the easy way. If we do nothing about them, dreams remain in the world of fantasy. Live well and start climbing mountains. It’s the only real way to gain respect.

Working Class Clever

Working Class Clever

There are numerous examples of working class clever. It’s the romantic rags to riches story. Be it comedians or businessmen, we’re able to hear or read all about desires for change. We’re often told stories of poverty and hardship. How suffering and pain in their past acted as the driving force behind their current success. We read about their need to escape the past.

“There are driving forces from the past, other than poverty and hardship, we can read about too”

It’s very useful to see cleverness as being something of a two tier arrangement. The first cleverness is recognition. We must be able to see something outside of the existence our upbringing taught us. Most of the working classes unfortunately remain ignorant to their potential. The second cleverness is the ability to seize that thing we’re good at and put it to work.   

“There will have been a seed planted that grew into ambition and passion”

At some stage in the history of our working class clever, there will have been  the kind of feedback, that enlightened them to their cleverness. I believe we all have this cleverness but just lack the necessary feedback. It’s the: “if it were good enough for me it’s good enough for him” mentality in childhood that scuppers us. It’s this limiting mentality – bounced off children by parents – that really does us in. They use it to justify their continued ignorance. Mothers and fathers are often blind to the potential of children.

“Without recognition and feedback it’s difficult to make headway”  

The solution to this lack in childhood is to seek it once we’re older. The working class man, who feels trapped into his situation, can always do something about it. What’s needed is someone to recognise his potential who then shows him how to change through example. What’s needed is self belief.

If we want to find example of working class clever – and the rags to riches story – we never have to look too far. And the thing is, if we look a little deeper at these examples, we will see the seed that was sown long ago. The seed of love.

In order to make headway, take some time to think about how to find this dormant seed, within yourself. It’s the essential ingredient that brings the working class clever to light. Often, all that’s needed, is to spend time in the company of people who believe in themselves.

Working Class Clever

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Reaching for Ideals

Ideal:

noun

  1. a conception of something in its perfection.
  2. a standard of perfection or excellence.
  3. a person or thing conceived as embodying such a conception, or conforming to such a standard, and taken as a model for imitation.

Should we seek the ideal? Is being an idealist different to being a perfectionist? The English dictionary defines the idealist as this:

  • Someone who believes that very good things can be achieved often when this does not seem likely to others.

We’re told that perfectionism is a negative

We’re told that wanting perfection, and only settling for this, is something to be avoided. If we believe there’s no such thing as perfect, yet at the same time seek it, we’re certainly going to be wasting a lot of energy.

Alternatively, when we understand perfection – as simply an ideal to strive for – we’re able to achieve our best in any given moment of time. Our efforts may not have been perfect, yet we can be comfortable in the knowledge, we did our best. In this respect we must have a ‘benchmark’ to reach for. There must always be a gold standard.

So whether we like it or not, perfection, is always going to be something strived for. The perfect body, the perfect house, life, car, job, child, marriage, we could go on. The downside of this, will be the negative feelings we’re left with, when we inevitably fall short. We’ll feel frustrated, dissatisfied and unfulfilled when we fail to reach perfection. Eventually we may give up altogether.

With this in mind, only reaching for the ideal, is the objective

Being the best we can be without achieving perfection is the plan. After all, to be perfect would leave us with nowhere else to go; a very dangerous situation indeed. And so in this respect, it’s very sensible for us to see perfection, as unachievable. Thankfully there will always be better to strive for. Seeing this for what it is, gives us room to work harder, even when we know we’ve done our very best.

It’s the knowledge that there is always more that keeps humans striving to move forward. We can always do better. There is always more. A very reassuring fact. This brings me on to the key understanding we must strive for.

At The Freedman College we believe it makes perfect sense for us to be striving for a better understanding of one key element in our lives.

“When we focus our attention on this one key element all other things are found”

If we come back to the examples given of what we seek perfection in for a moment (be it lives, bodies, marriages or houses), all of these things are easily achieved, when we have a clear understanding of this key element. Here it is: The Ideal of Love.

Once we cease – in our misunderstandings and misinterpretations of love – we will stop striving for an unachievable ideal. Because we’re confused about love, we don’t actually know, what we are in fact striving for. For example, we’re told that love is many things. The nonsense of this definition is the very thing causing confusion. If we don’t even know what it is, how can we strive to find it?

When young we often think we’re in love

We confuse the feelings we may have for someone as love. We may feel that we need someone, or that we feel lost without them; that we pander for them, or pine for their attention. We mistake lust and infatuation for love. We must make ourselves aware: Emotions of craving have nothing to do with love. Further to this, we mistake many aspects of fear, for love. We think because we fear losing them that we must love them. Fear of loss is fear of pain. Love is completely devoid of this.

We really only need ask ourselves one thing to know whether we’re in love or not. Here it is: Do I want to empower this person? The true emotion of love is something we’re awarded when we witness the freedom of our loved ones. Anything other than this will never be love and only a poor imitation and illusion of it. 

“To know if our version of love is reciprocal, all we need do, is turn the question around like this: Is this person empowering me?”  

At this stage be sure to have a clear understanding of the word empower. It is not empowerment to need a person and neither is it empowerment to give yourself up to another. Empowerment is when we’re able to lift a person to be a free individual standing on their own two feet who is the best version of themselves they can possibly be at that moment in time.

At the same time – as your empowerment of them – this power sets you free. The more people who have a clear understanding of this the better.

Here is the definition of an ideal love that we believe to be A Basic Human Right:

“Love and the ability to teach it, is wanting and needing to empower your partner and children to evolve into whole human beings who are free of fear, because that process gives you pleasure, freedom from your own fear, and brings you closer to wholeness”

Create Beautiful Partnerships

Wholeness is a calm acceptance of this version of love and that of yourself as a near perfect example of a human being.

Strive for this ideal and all other things will come.

Teach Me Passion – Award Me A Beautiful Life

“Prompted by an earlier conversation I feel it’s time to talk about passion once again”

How would a Buddhist describe his beautiful life? A Buddhist would no doubt go into talking about Buddhist philosophies and beliefs. He would assert that beauty is found through following his beliefs and philosophies. The Buddhists believe they have the answers. Because they believe this, they have.

I believe, when we take matters down to their grass roots, we’re awarded a much clearer understanding of things. At this level, we can see the reason why Buddhists believe they have beautiful lives. We clearly see it’s because of their passion for Buddhism. The same goes for anyone who’s successful in fully believing their own useful and positive beliefs and philosophies. And this is the case no matter what they may be. 

To further explain, let’s say we asked Elon Musk or Richard Branson whether their life was beautiful, and if so, how they’ve achieved it. It’s quite possible they’d also go into the realms of their beliefs and philosophies. Once again though, we can nail this on the head by recognising something very important about wealth and success: it’s passion that brings it.

“Whether Buddhist or businessman, happiness, and the prospect of living a beautiful life, comes as a byproduct of passion”

Both of the above examples highlight what lies at the root to happiness, wellbeing, and beauty. Never get strung up on the detail of why people are living beautiful lives. It’s all relative to their particular philosophies and beliefs, and they’ll no doubt be happy to fill you in, on all the details. The thing to remember is this: In the example of Buddhist, or wealthy businessman, both believe they’re living beautiful lives. And this is even though they live at opposite ends of the spectrum.

 

And so, it comes as no surprise to say, once you find a useful and positive philosophy to believe in – and be deeply passionate about – you’ll be on the path toward finding a beautiful life. It has nothing to do with status, wealth or standing, and has everything to do with passion.

“In whatever you choose to do with life, learn how to be passionate, about it”

This brings me neatly to a gentle reminder of what lies beneath passion. Oh yes. For just as with quantum mechanics, we’re also able to reduce human drivings down many levels. What lies beneath passion is love. Once you’ve learnt what love really is, you will effortlessly, Create, A Beautiful, Life.

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successful

The Hairy Successful

“It’s a question I’m continually asked: How exactly do successful people achieve their success?”

When you think of it, this particular post could be a very long, boring drawn out affair, however, with my particular penchant being for simplification, I reckon I can keep it interesting and relatively short.

During their childhood (bear with me) the majority of successful people have been shown some very simple principles. One, and potentially the most important, is the principle of how we all learn through example. Put simply, during childhood, successful people have been shown powerful examples.

These examples are from the adults around them. Of course, the most influential examples, are going to be from those closest to us. This is not to say that positive – or negative – examples, of how to succeed or survive (respectively) in life, have all been from parents. On the contrary, children are influenced in many ways, from many people.

“Predominantly negative examples are likely to lead us to surviving rather than thriving in life. If we see examples of lackadaisical, unimaginative people around us, there’s a strong likelihood, we’ll follow suit.”

Alternatively, experiencing positive examples from loving, imaginative and emotionally mature parents, leads us on to live lives full of love and creativity. You might think this obvious, yet surprisingly, poor parenting, from unenthusiastic adult-children, is not necessarily seen as the precursor to a miserable life; be assured, it is.

And so, there is one of the most important provisos for success: a happy childhood. Those of us raised by emotionally mature parents will always have the advantage over others. Let’s take the example of two very popular cooks here in the UK: The Hairy Bikers.

Straight away we can know that one of the main reasons The Hairy Bikers are popular, is because they’re cooks, and good ones at that. In addition to being good at dealing with food, they also come over as being two extremely grounded, and genuine people. They’re genuinely interested and love cooking good food. This is reflected in their jovial, light hearted manner and proficient cooking skills. They also exude love. They are social people. They are interested and passionate about what they do.

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Another example of a genuine, passionate, social and loving cook, who adores what he does, is Jamie Oliver.

“Successful people are adult people, so much so, they often come over as children’s entertainers. The antics of The Hairy Bikers, for example, wouldn’t go amiss at a children’s party. You can be rest assured though, when it comes to business, they’re very grown up indeed.”

You simply cannot become a millionaire in childhood. When our thinking is still based on the poor examples we were shown in childhood, we’ll never be successful in the way we wish. We’ll be successful, but we’ll only be succeeding, at being the example of a human being, we were shown during childhood. Parents raise replicas of themselves, in fact, they make a point of it.

Once we know and understand this we can change. We can change through learning from the examples we see around us from successful adults. Many successful adults are merely exploiting a fact: we children need entertaining.

Be successful and entertain the children yourself, with good examples, by becoming an adult. Look around you: are the people you see emotionally mature, fully grown adults? If not, move on, and find some better examples. You may not have had any choice as a child, yet now you are grown, you can put away the things of childhood.

the key is parents who teach empathy

Where’s The Fun in That?

Golden key and puzzle

You’re crouched behind a low wall, your heart is beating fast, you’re anxious, you’re scared you have a rifle in your hands, the gun is sighted, you pull the trigger. Bang! He’s dead. So where’s the fun in that?

The plan is laid, the bomb is strapped around your torso. Now walking, as calmly as you possibly can, headed to the crowded market. You pick your moment, you’re sweating profusely, yet you know this is the only way. Bang! You’re dead.  So where’s the fun in that?

You’ve had a drink too many, you’re feeling happy, he’s asked you back to his room. You’re having sex it’s exciting, you’re drunk, and now his friend is at it too. Bang! You’re mind is dead. So where’s the fun in that?

“Whether it be shooting at your enemies, choosing martyrdom, from the self-detonated bomb, or having exciting sex taken much too far, we’re all able to find a way to make a complete mess of our own little world, aren’t we?”

You might wonder what it is that compels us humans to be so damned self-destructive. It’s not as if we plan it this way is it? The plan is usually survival of one form or another. A belief in the afterlife, one much better than this, is obviously very appealing when you live in abject misery. Especially when the corrupted teachers of hate and fear get hold of your mind when young. What underdeveloped countries lack is all too obvious: good leadership.

And what about the night out turned sour? Or playing war games with real guns and bombs, ships and tanks? We didn’t plan on getting raped. We didn’t plan on getting shot or being the shooter, destroying our lives with the guilt and shame of taking life.

Looked at from afar, we can see the games we play as simply that: games that have gone too far. Games where the rules of proper sportsmanship have become confused and overly complicated. Games of fear that we play out in reality making our lives, and that of others, a hellish misery.

When young, if we’re lucky, we’re asked to ‘play nicely.’ To play our games in a way that is controlled and based on simple rules. We’re asked by our parents: “if you hit Johnny like that, how do you imagine he feels?” We’re asked to be gentle and loving, we’re shown how to play nicely. We’re taught empathy. It’s as if we’re lacking these lessons in how to think. It’s as if we’re missing the lessons of how to love and build compassion for our fellow man.

How do the people left behind feel when you blow yourself up? How do the loved ones, of the man you’ve just shot, feel, when picking up the pieces of your violent act? If you take this woman when she’s drunk – with little control over her mind – how will she feel in the morning? Will you feel like a man or a coward? Would you feel ashamed? A real, courageous, strong man, doesn’t overpower a woman, to get what he needs, he respects her needs first. Where have all these men gone? Where are all the gentle-men?

“Truly courageous men and women don’t take up the gun or the bomb in the belief it will get the job done. True courage is displayed by those who seek, the more challenging and difficult job, of finding peaceful solutions. Where have all the peace-keepers gone?”

We can carry on failing and flailing, in an unthinking way, or we can plan to succeed. We succeed, not through destruction, but by the construction of loving bonds and lasting resolutions to the lazy solution of fuelling violence, anger and hatred. It starts with understanding how we fail. We fail through failing to plan with empathy and love for each other in our hearts. We fail by failing to plan.

blackboard6

When it comes to planning, and specifically how we plan on finding the correct people to lead us, it’s seems we’ve still to learn from our mistakes. We humans, don’t necessarily always learn from our mistakes, only sometimes.

So what about leadership? Those who are drawn to politics are not necessarily the correct calibre of people to lead us. We need a rethink. At the end of the day, it’s us that’re electing people who border on – or are completely full blown – psychopaths. Loving, powerful leaders with the skill of empathy, are rare, how do we find them? We find them in their childhood.

We must teach our children empathy and how to be effective leaders in their childhood. Only then will we have a pool of potentials, who, as adults, can lead us all on to greatness. Sound crazy? Think about it. We really do need a rethink, or perhaps just a reminder, of how and why certain leaders, from our distant past, became so great.