Hear Instruction, Heed Correction

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
- Marcus Aurelius

In this month in the past weeks, I have been following the Proverbs each day and found out one particular theme that jumps out at me as if it were the only thing written in the book: How the wise deal with rebuke as opposed to the fool.

In the Proverbs the fool comes in two parts, firstly as the person who is a rebel, any act against God, His laws or even those that the general public follow but are established by God; secondly as someone that is genuinely void of any wisdom, knowledge or understanding. Now depending on the context the word (fool) is used, it is either the one or the other.

During moments every now and then spent with my dad, arguments about trivial things came up. Sadly it would all break into, in my opinion, a very unnecessary lecture. Why was it unnecessary? It may contain nuggets of true, precious and valuable wisdom but the thing is, I pay more attention to body language than statements. I would make my choice to heed his counsel or not depending on what (I felt) his motive was. If he spoke in love, I could easily sense that in the tone of voice and the look in his eyes, however, most times neither would indicate so, hence, the more likelihood of me forgetting what he said.

The other reason of course is the number of times he repeated himself after making his point. As I said in my earlier post, being lectured (or corrected/rebuked) is something I experienced a lot last year. Extremely little information was of great value to me because it was not spoken in love. Even sincere and intense anger fuelled out of concern and love is something easy to sense as well. I realize how effective using body language passively is, that is, paying more attention to how someone communicates than what they actually communicate. Is there unity between words and facial expression?

Proverbs 19:20

Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.

I remember in primary school I often got reproved on the right to treat women, how to behave around the White guys, how to address those in authority as far as my culture is concerned and the list goes on. Reading all that one would think that I basically did everything wrong. All my life it felt that way. I have to the harsh whip of constant correction by different people from different places. Up to a certain point in life I realized that I am not only too easily misunderstood, to which I am still to find the reason why, but I basically am in position where the best thing to do is to not only conclude that some, not all, people have a general hesitant disliking towards me, but also fight my way through any misconceptions anyone may have about me. Some times I do think about the accusations, no matter how small, but most times I disregard them.

Proverbs 9:9

Give instruction to a wise man and he will be yet wiser; teach a righteous man (one upright and in right standing with God) and he will increase in learning.

Matter Of Choice

Someone said something that is quite interesting: It’s easier to advise than be advised. Now I will be the first to admit that I have been on the other side of the coin on this (the giving advice). There have been successful results with the recipients giving positive feedback and still remembering the advice! Quality does not come better than that. I have been, however, stuck with the giving-at-the-expense-of-following habit. Some characters in movies and TV shows portray this (Francis Underwood- House of Cards). Slowly but surely I am beginning to take note of the whole practice what you preach thing. Thanks to that I keep it mind when I am being given advice too. Now I realize that the choice to take the advice makes all the difference. Just like general information, advice is simply information given to you from someone else’s perspective of your situation. This means I can decide which part of the advice to follow and also see whether or not someone else agrees with what the previous person said without prior info on what they said, although that applies more to me seeking advice. More often than not I split up auto-advice simply because I am deprived the opportunity to choose the necessity of receiving the advice. In the end I believe becoming wiser when you are rebuked and corrected is a matter of choice. Choice made from an intellectual perspective rather than emotional.

The  Counter-Intuitive Aspects Of Life

Reorganizing the paradoxical and oxymoronic

I have been going through the most awkward of experiences in the recent years. They are not so easy to describe. They also come as often as the moon does to the earth and as the cumulonimbus cloud makes its appearance amongst the others. In the recent weeks such experiences have caused me to bring to mind things in life that appear to be normal and common sense calculable but, in essence, turn out to be contrary to what one would perceive to be believable and yet makes itself true in every sense. Cryptic at this point may be a word you are inclined to connect with concerning what I have said thus far.

In case that is so, part of the experiences have to do with the regularly unnecessary lectures my dad and a few of my workmates and friends would give me on philosophical and existential matters. Some are sound and others are to me, as loud as an empty room. Either way their very presence makes me less obligated to follow through with them because I feel they are motivated by frustration rather than love.

One example is when I am asked to do something for someone, I do it even when I really do not want to or feel like it. That’s something I have a huge problem with, however slowly but surely, I am developing the courage and self-respect to not do things at my expense if I see that it is not worth it. When I do the deed, at later times, when I ask the same person to do something for me, they refuse, give an excuse, justify themselves with a logical explanation or insult my abilities to act on my request. The thing that is exasperating is that Acts of Service is my love language so it does feel like an arrow pierced deep inside when I have to face an argument or denial.

Even when I successfully fulfil the task it still feels like a failure because I would not have wanted to do it in the first place. It’s counterproductive because I do what does not make me feel loved and indirectly accept refusal for what does! That is an example of the negative sides of the counter- intuitive parts of life. I then get lectured on working together with others and teamwork-based pieces of advice.

Thoughts on things that seem upside down but should be or are downside up

a) someone who does you a favour after you hurt them emotionally, physically or occupationally.

b) putting on a vest/spaghetti-top with shorts and slippers on a cold, windy overcast day.

c) receiving a “yes” when you expected a “no”

d) teaching youth to obey authority even when they (authority figures-principally) don’t do what they are asking of you.

e) making an offensive statement (intentionally) about religion, race, politics, equality, sex or any other (seemingly taboo) topic, and not being heard or being misunderstood when you qualify yourself (justify why you made the statement).

f) when you comment and most of your assertion is rearranged to mean either something other than what you (actually) intended by it or opposes it altogether.

g) when an unbeliever fulfils the fruit of the Spirit better than a Christian

h) when an employee still works as hard as they can for their boss despite being ill-treated, shamed, embarrassed and possibly exploited.

i) when a wife still chooses to accept and love her husband regardless of the disrespect and dishonour being dealt to both her and the children.

j) figuring out whether accepting that someone else is right is the same as admitting that you are wrong.

k) when you give without expecting anything in return

l) when you choose to love even when it hurts and sometimes to the point it hurts

m) when you take a risk knowing that under normal circumstances it is the last thing you will do

n) when someone’s life has taken an unexpected turn and that has heavily impacted your life when you only (and initially) thought it would affect them.

0) when something doesn’t make sense but makes a perfect sense of everything else around you, especially when someone does it.

Conclusion

Think about the things you go through in your day-to-day life and see whether or not some of the things I’ve mentioned, or other things that come to mind, happen either to you or someone else.  Everything I have listed is there as food for thought. If you have any more things to add to the list, please feel free.

Saving: A Lesson In Frugality

I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.” John Stuart Mill

He who does not economize will have to agonize.” 
Confucius

Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.” 
Samuel Johnson

Proverbs 13:7

One man considers himself rich, yet has nothing [to keep permanently]: another man considers himself poor, yet has great [and indestructible] riches.

Ever since that day 7 years ago (it is 2014 at the time of this writing) when I read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad 3: What The Rich Invest In That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not,” that I started to think incessantly and considerably about the concept of saving. I looked at so many articles on About.com on the matter and watched plenty of Youtube videos as well. I tried to learn as much as I could. 

I found out how saving coincided with investing. That was an interesting and irritating discovery. Interesting because both have to do with the discipline of waiting in order to grow, and suppressing the desire to consume the money in any way. Irritating because it meant understanding as much as possible about investing (which feels like studying for a one-and-a-half to two-year college degree), and finding out which avenue I am most intrigued with and most likely to be skilled at.That would mean learning through trial and error and finding the balance  between the amount to be saved, the amount to be invested and thus leaving me with the amount to be spent. All this obviously cannot take place without the most crucial part: budgeting

My 5 stage process

The discipline required to follow through with this is very heavy. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted. For one to claim they can, or at the least, have the means and/or ability to apply them, must surely be put to the test. It is something I am doing my best to apply as well and I admit that sacrifices have been made in the process but are necessary for further financial development so as to reduce the amount of sacrifices in the future. 

Stage 1: Tithe

My ultimate tithing goal is to get from 10% of my income to 90% of my income. Essentially the first thing I do is to set aside 10% and tithe that only as often as I receive the pay check. In other words if you receive it weekly then you tithe weekly. If you receive it monthly then you do it monthly too. I currently do a single tithe (10%). I want to get to a point where I give double tithe, then triple, four-fold, 50% all the way up to 90%.. Giving that much to me is the greatest evidence of financial success. Yes there are a lot of people talking about financial freedom which is awesome, and if that is to be obtained, then I believe in addition to doing homework as to how and deciding how badly you want it and how hard you’re willing to work for it, you go at it with all your heart and give just as you have received.

Stage 2: Budgeting

NB: A budget is telling your money what to do instead of wondering where it went.

The main rule for this is Every dollar/rand (your currency) has a name. What does that mean?  I love the session on Wealth, Wisdom and the World that Dave Ramsey gave. He basically talked about how important it is to literally name the assignment every penny has. Spendthrifts have a good attitude in this department. They are constantly thinking about what assignment their next wage, salary, pocket money and allowance is going to get. The only problem is their application of it. They plan this mentally but not practically. In other words, it is not written down. I know motivational speakers on goal-setting talk about how the writing down is half the goal being fulfilled. I have sections (in my budget) for why the money is being used in that area not just where.

Stage 3: Saving

After finding out where and why the money goes to where it goes, I decide how much of the remainder will be saved. This is where the sacrifice comes to play. It is in the making absolute certain that there is always something to be saved. That would mean telling someone that you do not have cash (to spare) for them at that point in time. You would be reducing the number of people and times you say that the bigger your savings gets. Another sacrifice is shortening the Personal category in the budget list. Eating out, going to arcades/theme parks, spas, concerts and so on may need to be done fewer times in the month, just to start off. As time goes by you will find that you will be able to do all those things more often and still save money. How awesome is that!

I tax myself the amount that should be saved from every purchase. I begin with 5% then as my budget for anything and/or everything increases, so does my tax for saving. It helps a lot.

Why Save?

A few reasons:

  1. It’s for a rainy day. Emergencies (which you should have a separate account for); helping family members or friends out of a real pinch; unexpected pregnancy. I don’t even know how that makes sense. A job lay off.
  2. Spending with cash. I hate credit cards unless I have absolutely no other choice. There is nothing like “buy now and pay later” unless you have a plan for reconciling the debt you incur on that purchase. It is so much work finding out how you’re going to get out of debt knowing that you will get into it, when it can be avoided altogether.
  3. For a long term investment so that you can retire with dignity and you can send your kids to college.

Stage 4: Investing

After setting aside the amount to be saved for the month, I find out how much from the savings is to be invested. If I see that I can save $500 then I decide that $250 is to be invested then that is what I go for. Of course there may be months where the investing plans work out in such a way that you will have to take all the savings (from the budget you form not the savings account) and invest that. When faced with such a decision I then plan how much of the R.O.I (returns on investment) will be saved. Basically the roles are reversed. The best thing with this strategy is that you have money growing for you while you earn some too.

Stage 5: Spending

This is where stage 2 comes in handy. Everything in the budget takes priority. That may sound like a common sense statement but the term, “Spendthrifts,” would not exist if it was. Tick off everything that you have chosen to spend cash on and then the remainder is essentially Pocket Money. You can either have a separate account just for pocket money or you have two parts for your savings account: General and Pocket Money. However you do it, make sure you know that it is your pocket money at the end of the day and not confuse it with anything else. The fun part comes when you get to include the items in the Personal part of the budget. It is a whole different feeling when you spend money on something you like after having planned on paper/screen for it. 

Conclusion

I don’t know why but I love being frugal, even the idea of being frugal is exciting. Some people would be like, “What? What does that even mean?” I believe it is the lesson in these passages:

Better is he who is lightly esteemed but works for his own support than he who assumes honour for himself and lacks bread. Proverbs 12:9

It is all about taking it one step at a time:

Wealth [not earned but] won in haste or unjustly or from the production of things for vain or detrimental use [such riches] will dwindle away, but he who gathers little by little will increase [his riches]. Proverbs 13:11

Work as hard as you can, as much as you can:

He who tills his land shall be satisfied with bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits is lacking in sense and is without understanding. Proverbs 12:11

Plan your recovery from disaster i.e debt

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender Proverbs 22:7

Save what you can, then save more than you can:

There are precious treasures and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a self-confident and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it Proverbs 21:20

Remember to budget well and include a reconciliation plan in case you spend more than you budgeted for:

A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. Proverbs 16:9

Know your investments and be skilled in your vehicle of choice ([a]stocks, which includes bonds, mutual funds, ETF’s [exchange trade fund], shares etc, [b] real estate which includes, houses, apartments, flats etc, [c], businesses which includes clothing stores, shopping centres, food courts, jewellery stores, hardware stores, computer stores etc, [d] commodities like crops and other items):

Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.

Heaping Coals Of Fire

Courtesy of 1.bp.blogspot.com

I recently read this passage on how to make amends with your enemy and thought it was quite interesting. It actually has a lot to do with the counterintuitive aspects of life. I will talk more about that in a later post. I believe this scripture is so easy to misunderstand because of taking it literally as it is. Let’s check it out:

Proverbs 25:21-22
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;

For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.

Paul referenced this passage when encouraging the Romans to live a life that exemplifies peace and godliness. Starting from verse 17 we read:

Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.

18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.

20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his headRomans 12:17-20

Breaking Down Verse 20
God wanted His saints’ minds to be so far from revengeful thinking that He lays down one prior condition: Vengeance is Mine. This means that at the actual moment we harbour the thought of paying back the enemy for what they have done, we are first of all to remember that revenge is not our place. Revenge implies that we think of ourselves as more important than our enemies, I would go as far as including those who hurt us but are not necessarily (regarded by us as) our enemies. This is because the principle applies in that situation as well. The reason I say that revenge suggests we think of ourselves as more valuable is because we believe in that moment that being right (meaning justified) is more significant than maintaining our relationship, but Paul said, “I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance].” Romans 12:3

Chapter 12 of Romans begins with Paul asking us to give our bodies to the Lord as a living (and holy) sacrifice, and then goes on to discourage us from patterning ourselves after the ways of the world; an attitude that begins in and with the mind. Therefore in order to preserve the holiness of our bodies we are not to entertain any thoughts that desecrate that holiness, particularly to the extent of multiplying the damage dealt to us. That is what revenge is all about. You slap me, and I will crush you with a bat.

This word of encouragement from Paul, as well as Hezekiah (he wrote chapters 25 through 30 of Proverbs), may be difficult to apply but bears enormous importance. It is almost as if everything that happens to us and “our enemy” hinges on that split-second choice on whether or not to deal eye-for-an-eye, which has huge ramifications.

Taking this word of exhortation literally, means as you do good to those who do bad to you, the idea in that case is to shame and embarrass your enemy. I know some people think that when God says, “Vengeance is Mine, ” He is to bring His wrath all the more fiercely on your enemy so as to justify you (especially if that is the whole purpose behind you acting kindly towards him in the first place). That could not be further from the truth! Here is one extremely substantial reason why:

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them. Proverbs 24:17-18

That is a consequence you do not want befalling you. The idea behind doing good to your enemy, even in a literal sense, giving him food when he’s hungry and drink when he’s thirsty (including any other necessity), is so that he feels so ashamed for what he has done that it leads him to repentance, loves the person he once hated and is careful not to both repeat the wrong he has done, and also not do any further wrong in the future.
Think about this statement:

“When he remembers the food and drink thou hast given him, thou shall burn him, as if thou puttest coals upon his head to burn him, and “he will take care of doing thee any ill. This matter will be hard unto him, as if thou heapest coals on his head to burn him, because of the greatness of his shame”, on account of the good that he shall receive from thee, for the evil which he hath rendered to thee.”

How amazing would life be on earth if we understood that so far should the saints be from meditating revenge upon their enemies, that they should do good unto them, as Christ directs, (Matthew 5:44 ) , by feeding them when hungry, and giving drink unto them when thirsty.

NB: The results from such an act of faith can possibly take a long time flourish. Patience is vital before, throughout and after the action has been implemented. It is the consequential process, one that tests the heart to see if diligence in seeking to please God, is the order of the day. Hebrews 11:6

Self-esteem part 3: Connecting The Love Languages

 

Courtesy of urbanbushbabes.com

Speaking The Right Language
Lately I had been thinking about my experience at film school, both when I was a student and a facilitator. I spent a lot of time with as many of the students as possible trying to find out what each person’s love language was. The interesting thing was that those that had physical touch had not really given it that much, compared to those with the other languages. I later found out that it had something to do with comfort.

When it came to speaking the native language, people were generally loose cannons because of the level of comfort they had, especially knowing that someone else who was not a native of the country, in  this case South Africa, was able to speak it too, however, when it came to speaking the love language the level of comfort decreased.  Meaning that they were not sure how everyone would respond to their very eager and excited nature to just touch anytime they felt like it! Of course that is a more than reasonable justification.

My languages are Service and Time. Often times those two can be very difficult because having to get people to do stuff for you can be really hard. When the really cool ones are not there to help willingly, you have to deal with the ones that can be reluctant too regularly. That was the challenge I often had, but I managed to handle it quite well. Discovering leverage was a lot of people’s language, that helped spark an idea for getting people to speak my language.

Give and Receive- Find The Balance
After recognizing your language, which could be done either through taking a test or paying close attention to what excites you or frustrates you when someone does or says something to you; the next thing is to find out how you give and receive love. I used to be taught that you receive the same language that you give, so for a long time, I thought that Service was how I gave love seeing that it was how received it. I later found out that Words and Time were how I gave love. That took a very long time to discover. I realized, mostly during moments when someone was sad that I listened well and was very encouraging. I also learned that I was generally uplifting anyways.

Time is a strange one because I seldom do the talking unless it is about the film industry, movies, TV Shows and related things, mainly with someone who is also from or in the industry. However, the way I understand it is that being understanding and listening are key components when it comes to Time. Since I give it (and receive it), that means I listen quite easily, depending on my mood. In essence choosing the right time to go out for coffee, even as a casual thing, matters too.

Living The Languages
On a practical note, is it necessary to go to everyone asking them what their love language is? From what I have seen, I am not so sure that most people even know what their love language is. It is actually one of those questions that need to be really thought about if the person does not know. For me, I say that spending time with the person and just being yourself around them, helps with finding out how they feel loved. Being observant is the whole idea. You do not have to plan girls night out to find out if your friend appreciates your company, or buy them something randomly,  just think carefully at the moments you have received heartfelt gratitude and the events that led to them.

Courtesy of pastorblog.cumcdebary.org

Words of affirmation- can be a very difficult language to give. How so? You will have to ask yourself where to draw the line. How far is too far? How often do you express complimentary terms before it appears as though something else is happening, such as ulterior motives? How does a man give words to another man without seeming too forward? I think the same can go for woman to man and man to woman. If “words” was  my language then I would focus heavily on body language. The tone of voice. The look on the face. Whether or not they look me in the eye or are at least facing me the whole time as they speak. All that plays a huge role and safeguards against any suspicious and uncomfortable behaviour.

Gift receiving- can be fairly evaluated. It obviously helps if you are the kind of person who loves giving gifts anyway. If you are not then spend time with someone who is or ask them how they know what to get the person. The straightforward alternative is to ask the person the kind of gifts they normally like receiving. The hardest way to discover this language is by being complained at about not getting things for them. Every now and then a small card with a note wrapped in an envelope on top of box of chocolates will do the trick. If it is a woman, all that next to some appropriately selected flowers will do too. They say It’s the thought that counts. Let it be well planned and well timed.

Acts of Service- is a tough one because in my experience it depends on the level of relationship you have with the person. With me there are some people I would not mind making tea or coffee for, help put the office in order and fulfilling some of their tasks if I can. Those people essentially do stuff for me as well. At times I cringe at the thought of getting some people something. The worst is when I absolutely have to. It is torture at its highest degree! One of the best is when someone does something out of thoughtfulness and care, especially when it concerns an errand that you needed to get done later.
It is amazing when a person offers to help you with something you need help with so badly and all the people you were certain were able to assist, are not in a position to do so, but the right person, with the right thing, the right contacts, comes at just the right time!

Physical Touch- in some ways can be complicated. The setting in which you communicate this language matters. One cannot put arms around another’s shoulder during a meeting! From what I have learned, there are few different kinds of touch:

a) Social Touch: this is simply the touch that is socially acceptable. No one will give you a second look or regard you as guilty of anything if you shake hands, gently rub the upper back (something I personally love doing) or pat it, pat the forehead, high fives (and lows and side-fives), fist pumps, and cheek-hugs.

b) Friendly Touch: this is the kind of touch that only a friend can give. Normal hugs, arms around shoulders during walks, stroking of hair and my favourite, back massage. I really love giving those.

c) Romantic Touch: this one goes deep. Prolonged stroking of hair, holding hands, body strokes, cheeks being slowly massaged, hands on thighs, kissing, love bites and sitting and/or lying on the other person.

Again, depending on the depth of the relationship, the necessary type of touch is to be implemented. I will make a very important point: Everyone Is Different. That means that some people, usually extroverts, are comfortable with prolonged stroking of hair and sitting on the other person’s lap, especially during movies when the relationship goes no further than deep platonic friendship. What all that generally means is that as long as you understand the person’s language and how they like being communicated, you can do so anyway you like. I must say that the last point is subject to a few things:
Mood, Timing, Personality (are they short-tempered? Do they easily have mood-swings?) and Environment.

Quality Time-is a very nice language, particularly when spent with the right person. I remember meeting a girl for the first time at outreach. I believe the total time we spent in the first two days was 30 minutes. On the third day I decided to do something crazy. I asked her to take a walk with me and have a very deep and intense conversation. Now I just wanted to see how she was going to respond, and it turns out, that she was very cooperative. Looking back at it, it was the first time I ever did such a thing and it feels great! The one aspect that made it worthwhile was being at the right place, with the right person, saying the right things, all at the right time. That is the key.

Speak Wisely
I think the smartest thing to do is to see how well you can mix up the languages. If you give Words to someone who gives you Time, that makes for a meaningful conversation. Think about giving Gifts to someone who gives you Service, as far as actions speaking louder than words is concerned, it does not get better than that! Time and Touch can happen more regularly than any of the other combinations, even more so with close relationships. Words and Gifts work very well too as long as there is good understanding when they are communicated, as does Time and Service.

The Right Language At The Right Time
The more difficult combinations are Touch and Gifts. If you receive touch and your best friend receives gifts, it can be hard to naturally weave those two together unless you plan it well. This leads me to the next part:

Secondary Langage
The primary language must always be the main focus no matter what because it is easy to make the mistake of thinking that the primary has changed to the secondary one. The other mistake is forgetting, neglecting or intentionally diverting from the primary one which is the obvious consequence from the first point I made.
Even if you know the first two languages, it is still important to make the most of the first one, but if it does prove to be difficult, then yes move on to the second one. If you do not know what it is then just assume that it is Words then Time. If any of those are first then use the other as the second. If you discover that it is neither then Touch is the next best bet. The reason I chose those is because they are the three “easiest” languages to communicate in terms of effort. It is much harder to give Service and Gifts since they require the most amount of effort to execute, at least compared to the others.

Conclusion
When it is all said and done understanding how a person feels loved is really important for all aspects of life, but mostly, work and family. Do your best to come up with clever strategies for fulfilling the other person’s love language and see if you can include creating an environment where yours can be fulfilled at the same time. That is all it comes down to. Think about your best or closest friend. How is it that you two operate so well together, aside from experiences growing up if you are childhood friends? What about the coworker you are closest to? Why is that the case?

I firmly believe that understanding each other’s love language can be a key component in conflict resolution.

Self Esteem part 2: Understanding Learning Styles

Looking at what each style entails
I wanted to put this together to line it up with my last post on a similar subject. Since humans really are very complex in how they are developed, not necessarily referring to the physical appearance but rather to all other aspects of them, it does makes sense as to why you get different levels of success in the process. What I mean is that you get successful musicians, engineers, C.P.A’s and so on, not only because of the level of intelligence required for those positions and others, but also because of each individual’s ability to gather information, that is, their learning style.  There are numerous ways to learn anything but the challenge comes when schools confine individuals to linguistic and logical methods, simply because teaching techniques require-to a certain extent-those particular styles.  This leaves one to ask, “How is an audible and visual learner supposed receive and retain information?”

The fortunate thing with learning styles is that each and every one of them can be learned. Individuals with dominant learning styles use those as their preferred type but does not really reflect on their inability to learn others. Some people may find that they have a primary style of learning, with far less use of the other styles. Others may find that they use different styles in different circumstances. There is no right mix. Nor are your styles fixed. You can develop your ability in less dominant styles, as well as further develop styles that you already use well. On that note let us take a look at what they are:

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Visual (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. You mostly focus on the visual elements of what you are learning or you at least try to visualize the material in one way or another.

  • Often times you would colour when you take notes. This can be hard if your notes are being done electronically. Presentation is key, so being creative in the layout of the notes helps as well. For example, putting the subheading at the other side of the page then drawing an arrow leading to the point mentioned. That can also serve as the parent point. From there the next two or three points can be brought out.
  • Another thing is using mind-maps. Now this is something I have done very few times before. I seldom do so with regards to goal setting, instead with that, I use a regular spiral notepad, draw tables and label each one accordingly, however, mind-maps are very useful especially when brainstorming.
  • In primary school my motivation for actually reading my notes were pictures I tore from magazines and put in place of words. Other times I drew them.

Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music. This is more of a comparison type learning style. You would think about what sound or musical element relates to the topic at hand. For example history information can be related to trumpet sounds put together with a grand piano and violin, all playing at individual moments and eventually together. It is possible that the music score for the historical events required for aid in visualization is assembled using those instruments.

a) Aural learners use sound recordings to provide a background to help them get into visualizations. For example, use a recording of an aircraft engine running normally, playing loudly via a headset, to practice flight procedures. Use a recording of the sound of wind and water when visualizing sailing manoeuvres. You could piece both of these together in sequence or in their appropriate places if they both come in a story.

b) When creating mnemonics or acrostics, make the most of rhythm and rhyme, or set them to a jingle or part of a song. I know of some people who actually do this in order to memorize Bible verses!

Courteys of patientsafetyauthority.org

Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing. Sometimes I would use some rhythm to the words to make it interesting enough to remember. With me, I kind of think in patterns, meaning, the tone and melodic effect the words produce is what would help me remember them. It is how I crammed info too. That method is very abstract so it is immensely difficult to explain. Think about how these words are arranged:

Due to the catastrophic effect of the flood, many animals lost their homes.

Try not to be a news anchor when you read those words. If you did not notice it, that is alright. The thrust comes from the third, fourth and fifth word.

1) Verbal learners use speaking and writing techniques to remember what they learn. For instance talking themselves through info as if practicing a speech, or recording the info and playing it back for content repetition, are effective methods.

2)  Acronym mnemonics use words, focusing on the first letter of the word to make up another word or memorable sequence. You can also make up phrases using the items you want to memorize. I used to do this more often than not. I think I did it for spelling words in addition to simply cramming.

3) Similar to the first point reading aloud is very helpful. When you read content aloud, make it dramatic and varied. Instead of using a monotone voice to go over details, turn it into a lively and energetic speech worthy of the theatre.

Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch. This is more of a sensory style of learning. It is about how you can feel what is happening. As you visualize the material you include the physical aspects in the details of the image and how that affects the characters or even inanimate objects!
Other times you would be vivid enough to embrace the sensation the visualized image emits.

-If you are visualizing a tack (turn) on a sailboat, focus on physical sensations. Feel the pressure against your hand as you turn the rudder, and the tension lessening on the ropes.

-Use physical objects as much as possible. Physically touch objects as you learn about what they do. Flashcards can help you memorize information because you can touch and move them around.

-Writing and drawing are physical activities too. The most effective thing to do in this case would be to use big sheets of paper to prolong the time it takes to write and draw, thereby, making as much use of the physicality as possible.

-Being calm helps the process too. Breathing and relaxing takes the strain out of learning with some materials.

Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems. If you have Logical-Mathematical intelligence then by nature you would ingest information the same way. Of course not all the time but it would be the principal method for learning.

* While you study, create and use lists by extracting key points from your material. You may also want to use statistics and other analysis to help you identify areas you may want to concentrate on.
I used to do this but over the years I have a grown more accepting of just headlines and usually omit sweating the details. The good thing with that is I avoid over-rationalizing which may lead to either missing the point completely or misunderstanding it.

*Another strategic thing to do is using association, it often works well when it is illogical and irrational. It doesn’t matter how logical two items are together. You have a better chance of recalling them later if you have make the association illogical. Your brain may protest at first!

*If you find you are overanalyzing which school to start with, or you are over-planning your course maps, stop and refocus on activities that move you forward. Measure your activities by your speed towards your goal. Planning exactly how much time to spend on each chapter of theory doesn’t help learn it anywhere near as fast as starting on the theory!

Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people. Depending on the subject, this often helped. Bouncing ideas off other people and receiving information you had not even considered was the best. The only thing that was not fun was balancing the minds. People who were academically and/or logic-mathematically intelligent got the ball rolling real fast! Some of us had a hard time keeping up, but thankfully there were moments where I experienced the other side of the coin.

  • As a social learner it is more beneficial to recite statements to yourself, try sharing your key statements with others. By doing so, you are almost signing a social contract that your statement is what you do. This strengthens your statements.
  • Share your reviews, review checklists and ‘perfect performance’ writings with those in your group as well. By listening to how others solve their issues, you may get further ideas on how to solve your own issues.
  • Others often have different perspectives and creative styles, and so the group may come up with more varied and imaginative associations compared to the ones you might create yourself. Which is why sharing them will prove beneficial regardless of humbling you may feel if what you have is not as intelligible.

Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study

1) When you associate and visualize, highlight what you would be thinking and feeling at the time. When it comes to research, this is best done in private, completely void of all distractions.

2) Your thoughts have a large influence on your performance and often safety. Your thoughts are just as much part of a system as is the physical equipment you are using, such as an aircraft, car or boat.

3) Keep a journal but one that is different from your personal one. Include extra information about your thoughts and feelings. Outline your challenges, ideas on how to overcome them, and what worked. Write down what works well and doesn’t work well for you. While you are studying, be aware of thoughts or concerns that arise. Write them down and come back to them. You can then bounce your results off other people and see what conclusions you come up with.

Conclusions
In the end what matters is understanding how you learn best and also how others learn as well. When each of you embrace the other’s learning style, it strengthens the relationship that much more. Imagine the impact it can have when you know each other’s level of intelligence?
Next I will focus on how communicating the right love language makes that much of a difference in relating to others, as well as knowing yourself better.

Self Esteem part 1: Levels Of Intelligence

intelligence

The problem with I.Q
A very long time ago, I believe it ranges around 9 or so years ago, I convinced myself that I was not smart. Everyone went crazy about each person’s I.Q. When I took the test I did not understand the result. A friend explained that it was the kind of score that proved that one had an average level of intelligence. This meant I was not smart but also not dumb. The challenge with this thought was that I believed that it was how every aspect of my entire life was. I measured it against everything I did. It was until out of boredom I saw Dr. Phil each day for about a week. Interesting enough when I saw a particular episode, if I can call it that, that I felt very comforted.

It featured a man who had challenges relating with his one year old child. You see, he would ask him to remain in his cot otherwise he would hurt himself badly. The boy never listened. After a few attempts, he decided on a different approach. He explained the scientific consequences, the danger of the laws of physics and the threat to his psychological development as a result of his seemingly intentional disobedience! It got me wondering how such a smart person was unable to relate well with a small child. On the show they discussed his background. He was an average scoring student who was mocked by his above average classmates. This was a constant, nonstop everyday thing. Might as well be a tradition. One day he determined in his heart that he would succeed them at an exponential rate.  This is exactly what he achieved.
They listed a few different kinds of intelligences: Emotional intelligence, Quantitive intelligence and Qualitative intelligence. That confirmed something I was speculating regarding the reason why someone with such a high I.Q could not relate to his child.

This also reminded me of the scene in The Social Network where the main character eats out with his friend and he openly mocks her for not tackling her situation from a logical and mathematical point of view! All this made me feel better and after researching the types of intelligences, I found out that Howard Gardner had come up with different kinds of intelligences after noticing that people are a lot more complex than we think, and may be too much so to confine them to one kind of intelligence.

Why the craze about I.Q?
As I nearly finished the 12th grade I found out that there was a connection between I.Q tests or measurements and school. No one ever talked about them any other time or anywhere else. It was almost as if you could tell the kind of life a person was going to live based on their I.Q. Taking some long deep thoughts about this, it simply did not make sense. Why and how could one govern their life based on how smart they are? When I found out that those with enormously high I.Q’s had relatively to very low Interpersonal skills, I remembered my friends at school. Now being someone who was very good friends with people who had a decent balance between Logic Mathematical and Interpersonal Intelligence, I was smart enough to know that generalizing my discovery would be imbecilic, however, it would also not leave me too far off. In both instances I would be correct. In other words it may be safe to say that most people who have high cognitive skills have a reasonably low social skills and a small percentage have a high rate of cognitive and social skills. Bear in mind this discovery was a long time ago and it may have changed today.

What I.Q really does
I have learned that the main thing, if not the only thing, that I.Q does is  measure your general ability to solve problems and understand concepts. Now being a slow learner, listening to a fast-talking lecturer was hard. My favourite part was dictation. Going back and rereading what I wrote down was helpful. I do believe that subvocalizing (reading “allowed” in your mind) caused me to try and understand what I was reading as I was reading it. Your I.Q includes measuring reasoning ability, problem-solving ability, ability to perceive relationships between things and ability to store and retrieve information. That last one what I had the biggest problem with. My subvocalizing did more damage than good so that I was basically left more confused about a subject after reading it. The few ways your I.Q is measured is by:

  • spatial ability: the ability to visualize manipulation of shapes
  • mathematical ability: the ability to solve problems and use logic
  • language ability: This could include the ability to complete sentences or recognize words when letters have been rearranged or removed.
  • memory ability: the ability to recall things presented either visually or aurally

My strongest point out of all these is the language ability. The limiting thing with I.Q tests is that they measure your ability to understand ideas and not the quantity of your knowledge, thus  learning new information does not automatically increase your I.Q. Your score is therefore stable throughout your adult years. You can maintain it by solving puzzles and learning new skills but to increase your intelligence as a whole, you need to do more than just that. Let us take a look at what that might be.

The Types Of Intelligences

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”). This is basically the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). In essence conservationists, botanists, florists and I think zoologists fall under this.

Courtesy of studio3music.com

2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”). This is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.  This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.

I loved it when I learned about this because it meant that I did not have to worry about not being above average in every area of my life. I used to be a recording artist, but that was just for fun. Understanding the beat and the effect it had on the emotions played a big part in the way I wrote songs. My friend who is an audio engineer pays very close attention to the pace, tone, pitch, rhythm, flow and other components of any piece of music he listens to. He does this by nature and I believe anyone else with the level of musical knowledge he has or intelligence in general may do the same.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart). This is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations.  It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.

I have friends who are straight-A-students (well who doesn’t?) telling me that they have reasoning and problem solving skills but no math skills. That raised a huge eyebrow for me. I thought about that for a few days and I came to the conclusion that the more they claimed that the less true it was. Why? They would simply cease to fall under, “straight-A-student,” if that were the case. They not be exceptional at math but they have to be good enough to not only at least score an “A” but also formulate possibilities and consider variables, in certain situations, from a mathematical perspective. In other words think in a calculable manner.

4. Existential Intelligence. 
Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here. I am not going to lie, I do not think I have met such a person in real life. I have attempted to answer the question of the meaning of life but not the point of reaching a confident conclusion, neither did I know such a type of intelligence existed.

Couresty of blog.lib.umn.edu

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”). This is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others.  It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.  Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.

This intelligence is the one I first learned about. The only thing was that I could not appropriately name it. Social jobs can be quite hard to get but are very fulfilling for those who have this kind of intelligence. In primary school I recommended becoming a talk show host or doing their own show and often referenced Tyra Banks and Oprah Winfrey.

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”). This is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills.  This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.  Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.
I am a runner and I thoroughly enjoy that. I have a fair amount of knowledge concerning that but not to the point where I can coach someone on a big scale. I know a lot, but I still have even more to learn.

7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart). This is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings.  Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.  Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

As I mentioned earlier that the language ability was my strongest in the four ways that I.Q is measured. Anyone who keeps a diary or journal extensively, along with everyone on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger Technorati, and other blogging platforms fall  under this, especially if they express themselves best in writing, which includes poems, stories and even letters and cards. I have often been told that I am good with words. Maybe because I say the right things at the right times. Who knows?

8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”). This is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one’s life.  Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition.  It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.  These young adults may be shy.  They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

This is the second one I learned about, obviously because it  goes in direct contrast to interpersonal intelligence. To some degree for a long time I thought that I had this kind of intelligence, but I realized that there is so much about the human condition I do not know, although I have begun to understand a lot about the frailty of humans, which focuses on how predictable a person’s behaviour is based on the info you have provided and how easy it is to be misunderstood. Other factors include making the wrong choices, in the wrong places, at the wrong times with the wrong people. I have also learned about the counter-intuitive aspect of life which suggests that in most cases, not all, you are to do the opposite of what the seemingly common-sense thing to do is in order to achieve the positive result. I may write about these in future posts.

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9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”). This is the ability to think in three dimensions.  Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.  Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.

Of course visual learners to a certain extent have this. There may not always be a direct correlation between spatial intelligence and visual learning. I have a friend who has linguistic intelligence and can draw. It is actually how she processes information, she needs to draw it out. Get it? In contrast I have another friend who also has linguistic intelligence but cannot draw. Both are novelists and one is an infrequent blogger.

 

The Other Kinds Of Intelligences

1. Emotional Intelligence. This  is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. It actually comes in four parts:

a) Perceiving Emotions: The first step in understanding emotions is to accurately perceive them. In many cases, this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.
Many people do not know that I focus more on body language than anything else. It is almost always easy for me to see how a person feels.

b) Reasoning With Emotions: The next step involves using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention.

c) Understanding Emotions: The emotions that we perceive can carry a wide variety of meanings. If someone is expressing angry emotions, the observer must interpret the cause of their anger and what it might mean. For example, if your boss is acting angry, it might mean that he is dissatisfied with your work; or it could be because he got a speeding ticket on his way to work that morning or that he’s been fighting with his wife.

Anger can be very difficult to deal with because it is so easy to misinterpret. I do know that anger does not get aroused by the immediate situation. A similar experience in one way or another, a long time before, would trigger the emotion at the present moment. In other words anger lays dormant until someone or something unleashes it. The person has to deal either with the past or come up with countermeasures for the person or situation that springs it up, in order to gain self-control in this area. More so if they are short-tempered.

d) Managing Emotions: The ability to manage emotions effectively is a key part of emotional intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.

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2) Creative Intelligence. This is the vital dimension for the capacity of knowing and learning. The creative is unconventional, anarchic, flexible and open. It is fostered through understanding how the creative process works in human beings and how to apply it. Human creativity is activated through processes of intention and attention. When we are aware of these processes, we can learn how to direct them into creative flow ( a state in which you are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter, like being in the zone).

At its core, creativity is all about knowing what is meaningful to people. Successful mining of meaningful knowledge reveals important patterns and shows you possible paths to the new. It is all about connecting the dots, for example, connect ‘looking for friends’, ‘sharing’ and ‘social media’ and you get Facebook, and connect ‘cheap’, ‘shoes’ and ‘social media’, you get Zappos.
The other thing is frame. A frame basically means, how you interpret the world and make sense of it. We construct a frame for a given scenario by applying meaning and understanding to what we see. This is a powerful tool for innovation, because understanding how we frame things also enables us to re-frame that narrative, or to change how we see and interpret something. This ability lies at the very core of creativity.

Symtoms of creativity. 
When individuals do not understand why they have certain difficulties in their lives; and even those who are aware of their creativity often experience it, alternately, as a gift and a burden.
Having luminous insights, a prolific flow of ideas and the ability to make meaningful connections.
The experience of feeling overwhelmed by numerous ideas and projects, the sensory trials and emotional pains that accompany acute sensitivity, and the sense of feeling ‘different,’ than most others.

How to identify your creative intelligence
a) You would recognize the relationship with your own creative process as the No 1 relationship in your life, the one that defines all the others.

b) You would allow yourself to observe and express the truth of your unique character and experience
.
c) You would be awake to life through seven senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, overall perception and intuition).

d) You would know how to summon stillness, awareness and presence and do so regularly.

e) You would see that you are not separate from the rest of creative life, that the same process that creates one thing creates all things.

f) You would allow challenging relationships and events in your life to teach you what you need to know.

g) You would understand that creative intelligence is not acquired so much as accessed. It is alway there for us though we are not always there for it.

h) You would feel confident of your ability to create because you would know how to tune into your creative potential.

How to increase creative intelligence

A good first step is to stop and reflect on what you are good at. Most of us aren’t aware of our own capabilities and even when we are, we don’t see how to connect the skills from one area to another. For instance, you might be great at reading body language, or organizing family trips; by framing these skills differently, you can utilize them in countless creative ways.

Another way to become more aware of your creative potential is to start keeping a portfolio. It might begin as a journal containing your ideas, notes, sketches and work. Over time, it will show the many ‘dots’ you’ve collected over time, and this will encourage you to think about connecting some of them.

3) Academic Intelligence. This is having cognitive abilities that are regarded as being highly imperative to achieve academic success. It  refers to the skills that typify our examinations of general intelligence: math reasoning and language among them. It is actually used to find out what one’s I.Q is. These people have a high level of general knowledge or tend to know more things about a subject at hand than the info provided by an average or below average person. It is closely related to Logical-Mathematical Intelligence but not completely. One can easily grasp the concept of any subject and apply it fairly quickly but not tackle all situations or challenges from a reasoning and numbering perspective.

4) Financial Intelligence. is the knowledge and skills gained from understanding finance and accounting principles in the business world. Although a fairly new term, financial intelligence has its roots in organizational development research,  mostly in the field of employee participation. There are four areas of understanding that make up financial intelligence:

Understanding the foundation. Financial intelligence requires an understanding of the basics of financial measurement including the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement. It also requires knowing the difference between cash and profit and why a balance sheet balances.

Understanding the art. Finance and accounting are an art as well as a science. The two disciplines must try to quantify what can’t always be quantified, and so must rely on rules, estimates, and assumptions. Financial intelligence ensures people are able to identify where the artful aspects of finance have been applied to the numbers, and know how applying them differently might lead to different conclusions.

Understanding analysis. Financial intelligence includes the ability to analyze the numbers in greater depth. This includes being able to calculate profitability, leverage, liquidity and efficiency ratios and understanding the meaning of the results. Conducting ROI (Return On Investment) analysis and interpreting the results are also part of financial intelligence.

Understanding the big picture. Financial intelligence also means being able to understand a business’s financial results in context – that is, within the framework of the big picture. Factors such as the economy, the competitive environment, regulations and changing customer needs and expectations as well as new technologies all affect how the numbers are interpreted.

It is very sad that classes related to accounting and business in schools are the only ones that best prepare students for the world outside school. It needs to be put in the education system that all syllabi must have some form of financial education in it, especially high school and college students.

5) Qualitative Intelligence. This is an area of research within Artificial Intelligence (AI) that automates reasoning about continuous aspects of the physical world, such as space, time, and quantity, for the purpose of problem solving and planning. Numerical values are avoided and qualitative values are used instead (e.g., high, low, zero, rising, falling, etc.). Qualitative reasoning creates non-numerical descriptions of physical systems and their behavior. An example is observing pouring rain and the steadily rising water level of a river, which is sufficient information to take action against possible flooding without knowing the exact water level, the rate of change, or the time the river might flood.

6) Quantitative Intelligence. This is the breadth and depth of a person’s quantitative or numerical knowledge. Gq is largely acquired through the investment of other abilities primarily during formal educational experiences. Gq represents an individual’s store of acquired mathematical knowledge. It is safe to say that someone with mathematical knowledge also has quantitative intelligence.

Conclusion
I realize that the beauty of God’s creation can be further appreciated after understanding how everyone operates at their best, particularly when it comes to working together. To truly increase your intelligence I believe acquiring at least one or more of another kind of intelligence in addition to the one you already have will help in that regard. The most of effective way to do that is by finding out which one goes together with the one you have. Spatial intelligence can link well with Creative intelligence and so does Linguistic Intelligence since they are all in the art department. In part 2 I will talk about how understanding our learning styles plays a part in knowing we are. At the end of the day, it does make a big difference in how we value ourselves when we know each other’s intelligences. They must never be limited to only Logic-Mathematical Intelligence.

Time & Its Expressions

The Time Difference 

First there are 2 Greek words for time, Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is the sequential or chronological time. The clock that passes as the earth continues to spin on its axis. Then Kairos is more a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time where everything happens. It’s like an opportune time, seasonal, in the sense that events occur in your life in different patterns and moments.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven.

 A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,

A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

 A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,

A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,

A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

All this is the kairos time because it speaks of moments in time. In other words a moment to be born and a moment to die. Those moments will transpire as chronos, the chronological time, takes place. As you begin to think about events you plan and attend, also think about how each small moment in your life affects you as it leads up to that event.  One more thing before I discuss some expressions.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither is bread to the wise nor riches to men of intelligence and understanding nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

Another version says, “By being at the right place at the right time.”

Expressions about time

Money expressions.
“Buy me some time” This one is often used in movies in situations where the enemy may need to be distracted so that the hero and his team can infiltrate the premises and achieve the main goal, or at least the means to the main goal. People use it today as if it’s a commodity or product. Can anyone sell time?

The thing I don’t get is, people some times or often waste time because they don’t take time to carefully think about and plan how they are going to spend their time. This means they don’t invest time in the small things so that they won’t have to worry about losing time through being unable to control their emotions, which puts them in a position where they may not be able to get that time back, especially when it matters most.

The other thing is people spend too much time doing trivial things that they think are important; are unable to make time  (or make up for it) for the really important things (friends and family); burn themselves out and end up having no time for the especially important things (meetings, talent shows, time out with friends and the intimate relationships and so on).

My favourite one, “I don’t have the time,” or “When I have the time.” Some of these expressions really are funny. It is not as if there is ever going to be a moment where time will not exist for anyone. The people who use those particularly phrases correctly say, “I don’t have time for that.” Of course some would go on to add, “Right now.” I must confess, I very often have the habit of saying that I don’t have time for that, this would usually be because I refuse to do something or prefer not to do it.

Now the show that popularised the phrase, “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” Sweet Brown, really got my friend saying that a lot. Anyone who has seen that will react that way the very second I mention that I don’t have time for that. That is the key point to mention, “Time for something.” It is completely different to simply stating that you don’t have time.

This next one is so true in the TV And Film industry, “Time is money.” When we say that we mean it in a very literal sense. The more time you waste the more money you waste, because it means whatever could not be done has to be either be redone, or the particular items, props, vehicles and so on used, need to be purchased again. Not to mention the production costs for rehiring the room, the length of the scene and so on.
People use it (the expression) nowadays either to make a point (such as a lecture against asking for money to argue for working for it) or to hurry someone up.

Uncomfortable terms
Here’s one, “I need to kill time.” Now that I think about it, it is actually quite funny if you look at it from literal perspective. Doing things that will help you pass the time should be useful for a time. Now there is one thing I do not really agree with that much:

Time heals all wounds
That simply is not true, at least, I do not think so. Some relationship break ups can be very hard, and it can definitely take some years to get over someone or recover from the break up. Those who have been verbally and sexually abused-whether as children or adults-have a really difficult time dealing with both the thought and reality of the experience. The only kind of wounds time can heal are physical ones.

Some awkward ones
I’m running short on time. Time to confess. How often have you said this?

Living on borrowed time. Meaning to live beyond your life expectancy. How many times have you heard this being said? How many people do you know can relate to this?
Anyone who has been in a situation where they survived when they otherwise would not have, had it not been for the miracle of God, can relate to this.

I’m pressed for time. I used to say this a lot. More often than not it was to make myself appear busy so that the task that someone wanted me to do, that I did not want to do, would be less important simply because I would not have time for it. There were more times where that was genuine than those that were not.

Let’s split the time. I said this a lot when it came to group activities where some individuals had more time to do a certain activity than others.

Find the time. Something quite a big majority of people have a hard time doing. All they have to do is look for it in their schedule or sacrifice time from something else. I know it is not easy, but it can be done. Interesting enough, though, you can’t find what you already have.

Conclusion
At the end of the day life is short:
James 4:14

 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]

Psalm 103:15-16

As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place shall know it no more

Though we may not be able to make up for lost time, we can make the most of the time that we have now.

For it is up to us to decide what to do with the time that is given to us, Gandalf the Grey: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

As every second passes we grow to realize that we will never get it back and I believe it starts with our words because it all comes from the heart. If we can guard our heart with all vigilance, above all that we guard, for out of it springs the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23), then I believe we have lived the life, that at the foundation and heart of every human’s existence, that is the life meant to be lived.
We grow in time, we learn in time, we flow with time and wait in time. When time is lost for one thing, we find it in another. Time is often traded for an experience. Which would you choose: A walk in the park with your beautiful/handsome friend or a free whole day pass in a theme park where you can have the time of your life?

Most things, if not everything, in time happen for a reason. Now that reason may not be easily understood at the current moment in time, however, there are some things that are meant to be known and revealed in due time. Therefore it is important to know the contrary effect of time. Where there is light, there are always shadows. Where there is victor, the defeated also exist. A desire for peace (in one area) can give rise to war (in another). Hatred (towards something) is born in order to protect love (for something else).  Time unveils these things as it goes by, and so all we can do is be prepared for them when they come. Of course our choices affect how these things come to be. All time does is give us the result of the choices we make. If we are disappointed with the outcome of what has taken place, we have to look back and locate the source of the choice made.

These are things that are in our control. The other things such as natural disasters, are beyond our control. All the crime in the world, the riots, the decisions politicians make at the expense of the citizens they lead, are all things that time allows us to understand when the right one comes. Our responsibility-in order to change that which we do not like-is to take the time to understand why the events have taken place the way they have up to a point where we can agree that there is nothing more that can be understood, then,  use our own personal time to the best of our abilities to improve ourselves so that we can lead a life that improves others. I am certain that the meaning of life lies in those two things.

Time is the best teacher

Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.
Delmore Schwartz

Use your time wisely

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Check your priorities

If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.
Lee Iacocca

Small things matter

You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time.
Doc Childre and Howard Martin

Do only a few things

One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
Chinese Proverb

Focus on the present

It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.
Marcia Wieder

Lost time gone forever

One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.
Author Unknown

The importance of time

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
M. Scott Peck

Don’t procrastinate

A wise person does at once, what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times.
Baltasar Gracian

Don’t excuse, you are in control

In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.
Sir John Lubbock

The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: “I did not have time.”
Franklin Field

 

6 Reasons Why The Mind Is Hard To Clean

Disclaimer: This post contains some images that are bit graphic but not the point of vileness. The content contains slightly more explicit material than I would normally put together. It is generally a PG13 kind of post. Now because of the world we live in, I state things just as it is. Some of it maybe offensive but that is to illustrate what the world thinks of and is doing to Christians. I do this in order to drive the point home effectively. Being euphemistic dilutes the impact that the content is supposed to give. How else can you be real in a world like this?

Various suggestions
Now I am not saying that these are the actual reasons, but rather some possibilities as to why it is that out of all things in this world to clean, the mind is the most difficult.

I remember in my film shoot last year (during Nov-Dec 2013) our main character, who was a female lead together with our male lead because she played the wife, often wore short dresses and skirts. It was set in the ’70s through to the early 2000s. The thing that I found interesting about that was the fact that I knew that our actress was not the kind of person who normally wore such clothes. In fact I would go on further to say that if she never could, she never would!

I mentioned my observation to our supporting character who played the daughter in the story. This was on a day when she was not on set. When I said, “I like how she is putting on mostly dresses and skirts because I know she would not normally have them on. She looks great in them,” she replies, “Because their short!”
I knew that she was thinking what she thought I was thinking, but it was far from it. If anything she is the one who put the unnecessary thought in my head. I responded by saying, “The mind is the hardest thing to clean.”

Some observations based on possible conclusions people may come up with

I have not actually done a survey but this what I believe people would think.
1) Some blame it on sin- Gen 6:5

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually

True that we are generally born into sinful nature and therefore because of our fallen state we would naturally be drawn towards fleshly thoughts and desires. However, even without the forgiveness of sin, moral and ethical living can still be taught to an individual, most of which will be principles from the Bible except those pertaining to self-development and improvement. Through that, one can, as much as possible, control unclean thoughts and develop the habit of right thinking.

2) Some blame it on the corrupt world- 1 John 2:16

For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]

Now I do agree that most things, if not everything the world offers is instantaneously gratifying and self-fulfilling. Furthermore it is about taking control of one’s own destiny the idea that the most important thing above all is to do whatever you like. It is sad that most wars arise as a result of this unquenchable thirst and desire for more accompanied by a territorial mindset. In other words, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.”
To remedy this one’s mind must be filled with life lessons on being interdependent and good morals (lessons about good behaviour) and ethics (the good behaviour being practiced).

3) Some blame it on themselves- Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings

This one is very closely linked to the first one. It is arguable that your background and “mentors” so-to-speak have a huge effect on your worldview and life in general. One may justify your actions by saying that you don’t know any better. However that does not make it excusable, you still have to face the consequences of your choice. Now there is one thing even in situations like that, I believe serve as saving aid for the individual: The Conscience. Deep down inside, because everyone gets taught good principles of earthly living at some point early on in their life, though they may be deceived by some people, feeling bad about certain actions taken at first is a starting point for a turn-around and acceptance for proper living. One needs not blame their status, background, sphere of influence (people around you that impact you and you impact), or anything else for the choices they make.

4) Some blame it on others- Matther 7:3-5 

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye

Yes some would love the comfort of knowing that the choice they made was highly influenced by someone else and therefore the responsibility rests on someone else’s shoulders instead of their own. The teacher, the friends, girl/boyfriends, wives/husbands, boss, coworker, siblings and worst of all the parents. I have noticed especially from a lot of movies (meet the parents, meet the fockers, little fockers, definitely-maybe, cheaper by the dozen among others) and songs and/or music videos (Cleaning out my Closet-Eminem, Words are weapons D-12, If You Seek Amy-Britney Spears) that if not directly then indirectly or subliminally cause youth mostly to eventually rebel against their parents. Perhaps peer-pressure, wanting to fit in, dangerous board games or innocent card games with twisted rules that may have a truth or dare feel to it, heavily influence young minds. The emotive feel of music and movies is not be underestimated. I stress parents because of the greatest commandment relating to humankind:

Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12

5) Some blame it on circumstances- Not just the ones relating to background or the past but even the current ones and the future. How do you think pessimists become that way? Life does not treat everyone fairly and neither does everyone have the privilege of being taught how to overcome tough situations with a clear mind, focusing on the main goal and not the immediate obstacle. Being shaped by negative content and material plays a huge role in an individual’s life, as does being shaped by people.

6) Some blame it on work, politics and schools- those three make up the core aspects of any nation: business, government and education. It’s always the system’s fault! The truth is we cannot do anything about the things that happen to us, but we do have a say and choice on how it affects us. Now that is the key. Working with or for companies that do not have just dealings or being ruled by unfair politicians and national leaders, or being mistreated, cheated, or deceived by either the school or friends or anyone in any a learning environment, is in an unfortunate situation. Are such experiences (meant) to change your worldview? Are they to affect how you see and do life? Do they impact who you are and who you want to be?
These are things worth thinking about.

Let’s look at Mark 7:21-23

For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery,

 Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness).

All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed.

The solution to it all
Now that we know or at least have any idea where the unclean mind comes from, the most important thing to do would be to:

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

When we do this it becomes easier when we are told:

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect Romans 12:2

Something interesting to think about
I have observed that self-control is the most important thing that humankind has to deal with. The greatest thing given to all mankind was the freedom of choice. Second to that is the easiest and hardest way to live life: self-control.
I am convinced that if humankind has self-control in these three areas of life then they cannot be tempted at all.

1) Self-control with words. Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]

James 3:2
For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.

2) Self-control with food.
Proverbs 23:21
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags

1 Corinthians 6:13
 Food [is intended] for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will finally end [the functions of] both and bring them to nothing. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but [is intended] for the Lord, and the Lord [is intended] for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again].

3) Self-control with sex. Now because the Bible deals specifically with one aspect of sex, we should look deeper into that and learn more about what it truly entails: Sexual Immorality.

What is sexual immorality?
The definition of immoral is deliberately
violating accepted principles of right and wrong.

The sexually immoral includes:  prostitution,
pornography, having sex outside of marriage,
homosexuality, and adultery.

It seems as though sexual immorality comes in different ways. We will take a look at each of these:

Adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse.

You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14

If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10

Fornication: sexual intercourse between people not married to each other.
Pop culture: freedom to have sexual intercourse with anyone not married regardless of number, gender and age in order to gain and maintain a high social status.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4

According to the cited biblical verse, those who commit adultery defile through this their future marriage and the marriage bed, that is their sexual relation. No one will be able to rejoice of a defiled sexual relation, but it will transform his/her future wife or husband in an unguilty victim.

Masturbation: stimulate one’s genitals with one’s hand for sexual pleasure.
2) stimulate the genitals of (someone) to give them sexual pleasure.
Mutual masturbation: is a sexual act where two or more people stimulate themselves or one another sexually, usually with the hands.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

Prostitution: the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.

None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, and none of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the Lord your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 23:17-18

Pornography: printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.

There are two kinds of pornography:

Softcore pornography: generally contains nudity or partial nudity in sexually suggestive situations, but not explicit sexual activity, sexual penetration or “extreme” fetishism (sexual arousal a person receives from a physical object, or from a specific situation).

Hardcore pornography: Hardcore pornography contains graphic sexual activity and visible penetration.

I would like to think it counts as well when visible penetration is obvious even when the genitals are not in the frame.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body 1 Corinthians 6:18

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality. Galatians 5:19

Sexual Perversions

This practice is an aberrant (departing from an accepted standard) sexual practice.

This world becomes more and more evil and it becomes harder to believe that things will get any better. The world makes the things of great disgust seem normal and even calls it, “untraditional sexual orientation,” but God calls it, “an abomination,” and “defiled.”

None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am the LORD. Leviticus 18:6  

In continuation, the text defines clearly who are considered blood relatives, with which the marriage is banned. These are the parents, the step parents, the sister, the brother, the nephew, the niece, the aunt, the sister of the brother, the aunt from the uncle, the daughter-in-law, etc. All these sexual relations are incest. After that, the list continues with other things that are defined as perversions:

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. Leveticus 18:22–24

The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1:10

Immorality of the mind

What does immorality of the mind mean? Lord Jesus defines it in this way:

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  Matthew 5:28

Self-control in these three areas, even in a corrupt world like this one, will help humankind get closer to freedom from mind abuse. I leave you with this:

For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” William Blake