Thursday, February 16, 2006

Accumulating Knowledge

I have always been a great fan of knowledge. Being a life-long student fascinates me! I have the knack for learning things, figuring things out and also to put two and two together. I have always wanted to know things; be it about the latest developments, news or politics. I just wanted to know. My curiosity always took the best of me. But I used to focus my attention on one subject for a while and once I figure it out, I tend to lose my interest or focus my attention on a new topic or a subject.

My introduction to the internet was a blessing. I have learned more on the web than I have learned from all other mediums combined. The ability to find information on any subject under the sun, in an instant, on demand, is a facility I wish I had while I was in school. The net is perfect for my learning pattern to learn about short topics, in resolving problems, in finding information on topics, where the knowledge can be absorbed fast.

When it comes to learning entirely new subjects in more detail, where the time investment required is significant and knowledge area is quite new to me, I tend to prefer the more traditional medium of printed books. Books have been and still are a big fascination for me. I was used to getting books as presents when I did well in an exam. My father, an avid reader, instilled the habit of learning from and loving books in us from a very early stage. Up to this date, both I and my brother are keen readers and book lovers. I still make it a habit to buy at least a new book every month. And I also delve into my personal library, where there are books that I inherited from my father, which I have not read so far. Once I pick up the basic foundation of a new knowledge area from books, I supplement, upgrade and enhance this knowledge from the web.

Another thing that I noticed while in the process of writing this post is how my learning pattern has evolved over time. When I was in junior school, till I was about 17, I was never a fan of self-learning. I was more of an absorber of knowledge when I was being taught. I tend to digest what I was taught, and went with this first digestion. I turned to books or self learning only when the first digestion was unclear or forgotten.

Gradually, this pattern changed towards self learning when I moved on to higher studies. Specially after high school, while in university, I picked up the habit of self learning. I was more comfortable to learn from books. I completed two professional diplomas mostly by self study. And in one of those exams, The British Computer Society Diploma examinations, I became the Best Worldwide Candidate. And this exam was done completely by studying on my own. That too was mostly just reading the recommended texts. This achievement instilled great confidence in me on my ability to learn on my own. And this confidence still serves me well to this day. Even when I go for training programs now, I tend concentrate on the books rather than the trainer. I am more confident in reading the book and understanding it rather than learning from the trainer.

Also, keeping abreast with the political and environmental changes is a great quest. What we term as general knowledge is being aware of what’s going around us. Knowing the happenings around us help us to better respond to changes, opportunities and threats.

One last thing. I have seen many people who are great in accumulating knowledge but are very poor in practical application. Knowledge is the tools that equip us in day to day life, in solving problems and finding solutions. Knowledge that is not applied is useless. To my eternal quest is to apply the knowledge that I have accumulated. One great way of applying it is by sharing it with others. Knowledge sharing allows innovative ways of applying the knowledge, simply because, different people apply it differently. As I have said in my personal mission statement, I look forward to share my knowledge freely and willingly!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Deciding What to Do With Your Life

There is a post with the above title in Steve Pavlina’s blog. This is a very interesting article. Also, this article re-iterates the points I have made based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Steve’s article is like a summary of these three habits: Be Proactive, Begin With the End In Mind, and First Things First.

Steve starts off by making the point that if we do not make a conscious decision on what we do with our lives, we will end up living a life that is handed over to us. This is exactly the same point that Covey makes to drive the importance of being proactive and to begin with the end in mind. Basically, Covey’s first two habits drive the points: I am the creator, and I write the script of my life.

In Steve’s post he says that as we grow in consciousness we will ask ourselves the question, “what the heck am I going to do with my life?”. In Covey’s literature, Covey encourages the reader to find the answer to this question by practicing the habit of beginning with the end in mind. If you have come to the stage of asking yourself this question, after reading Steve’s posts I suggest you pick up 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and read it thorough.

As a first step Steve suggests that we try to understand the reality as accurately as possible. This is very similar to Covey’s habit of being proactive. The idea that Steve presents is very similar to the idea presented by Covey on Principles, values and beliefs.

In his post Steve questions us whether we are passionate about our lives right now? This is a very important question that we must get right. I have seen too many people who living thier lives for a moment that is to come in the future. They have put away their passion, happiness and content to the future. They are sacrificing their present for an unseen future. It is essential that what ever that you are doing right now, you are passionate about it. Live each day and each moment passionately. Whatever your purpose in life, it has to make sense to your life, right NOW!

Then comes the question: does your purpose make sense in the long run. This is the very question Covey asks his readers at the start of begin with the end in mind chapter in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you think at the end of your life and think, where you want to be, what you would want to achieve and the purpose of life that would make sense to you, then at the actual end of your life, you would not regret a living your life, the way you did. It is essential that we evaluate each action we take, each response, with the end in mind. By doing so, your actions will be congruent with your values and principles. So at the end, you will look back at your life and get a feeling of “I did my best!”, and leaves you at peace with yourself.

So if you see yourself coming to an end, then it is better for you to get out of it as early as possible and change directions. If your current job is not heading towards the future that you want to have, then change it now. AS Steve says, if you are happy even if your life end this moments, if you don’t have any regrets of things that you should have done, then you are on the right track. If not, work on eliminating those disappointments as early as possible.

The third question that Steve poses is whether our purpose makes sense at different levels of consciousness. This is the rational behind Coveys suggestion to base our center of principles. Because, as we develop our consciousness, we may change our beliefs and our values. But the correct principles are changeless. So, if our purpose is based on principles, then as our conscience grow, our core will remain unchanged, because they were based on the correct principles from the beginning. Because our values and beliefs were based on a changeless, solid foundation.

Finally Steve asks the question what happens to our purpose after our death? It is an interesting questions because very rarely that we think of existence of our purpose after our existence ceases. But if our purpose exceeds our physical existance, then we have given our purpose an immortal standing. If there are people who are willing to carry forward our purpose, after our death, and they are doing it through tier own convictions and free-will, then our purpose has exceeded human potential and has reached noble dimensions. If your legacy survives after your extinction, then your life has reached immortal dimensions.

Read this post. It is a very thought provoking post. And it will actually simulate your mind to seek the purpose of your life.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Personal Mission Satement - Ver 1.0

Okey, I have come up with a personal mission statement. If I keep this till I prefect this, I may never publish it. So I thought about just going ahead and putting it on here. So if I do make changes, I will add a new version. Anyway, I think publishing it is like officially adopting this as my creed! So, I am making a commitment to it.

Personal Mission Statement of Sampath Dassanayake:

  • I will be a light, not a judge.
  • Succeed at home first - I will love my family unconditionally and will be available.
  • Excel at work - I will give 100% to the job at hand, without worrying about the next promotion or the job.
  • Be proactive - I will act before being acted upon. I will be my own creator.
  • I will create my own destinity (Begin with the end in mind)
  • I will organize my life around deepest priorities. (First things first)
  • I will seek a win/win solution at all times.
  • I will seek to understand and then be understood.
  • I will look for Synergy in life.
  • I will work on balanced renewal of physical, mental, spriritual and social dimentions of my life.
  • I will develop at least one onew proficiency a year.
  • I will not fear mistakes nor failures. But I shall never forget the lesson.
  • I will work towards becoming financially independent.
  • I will keep my expenses within my earnings. I shall not get into debt beyond my earning capacity.

I have also created another mission statement around the current roles that I play. Here it is:

Roles and Goals:

  • Individual - Myself is my greatest asset. I will seek balanced renewal of my spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and social dimentions of my life.
  • Husband - My wife is my companion and best friend. I will be honest and true to her and will love her unconditionally and will accept her for who she is.
  • Son - I will love and care for my parents to the best of my ability.
  • Brother -I will be there for him as a friend whenever he needs me.
  • Employee - I will give my best to the job at hand without worrying about the next job or promotion.
  • Entreprenuer - I will work towards achieving my entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Teacher - I wil share my knowledge freely and willingly.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Intention - Manifestation - Why I have been failing so far

One of my posts have recieved a comment from Steve Pavlina!!! I am a great fan of Steve’s Blog and I have written a few posts based on Steve’s posts. And today, Steve has left a comment on one of my posts. I decided to write this post as a response to Steve’s comment. I actually started off writing this as a comment, but in doing so, I realized that it will be better posting it as a new post.

Yes, I understood that the model of Intention-Manifestation was focusing on the intention part alone. I read Steve’s posts on Intention-Manifestation and I understood his basis. I actually, understand it better than at the time that I wrote this post.

To be honest, I have not been successful so far on this model of goal achievement. I think the main reason behind it is, i still have not been able to come to terms with the fact that I can manifest something, just by intending it. I think my mind is standing on my way. It is not conditioned to think that this is possible. The years of reasoning and scripts handed over to me have taught me otherwise and I am trying very hard to breakaway from those scripts.

But I do not think that this model is false either. Because, this model is very close to the philosophy of Buddhism. According to the teachings of Buddha, it the Mind that is the supreme element that rules everything else. All buddhist teachings are geared towards achieving control over mind. Meditation is all about controlling the mind. The supreme bliss of Nibbana is achieved, when one gains full control over the mind. So this model is true. But years and years of conditioning has taught me things like “No guts, no glory” or “No pain, no gain”.

I have been reading since I wrote this last post and I have become a bit more convinced. But I still have a long way to go. I still have to master the art of Intending. I think that is where I am failing. I am still nt getting the intention pasrt quite right. So, natuarally, the manifestation is not happenning. Witha little bit of help from people like Steve, and from the reading that I have been dong lately I hope I can gain a little bit more control over my mind. And then, hopefully, I can also simplify my method of achieving goals!

Thanks Steve, for leaving a comment. The fact that you commented on a post of mine is enough o keep me motivated in continuing with this blog!