Motivation Mondays: POSSIBILITIES
“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.” Shunryu Suzuki
A professor once visited a Japanese master to inquire about Zen. The master served tea. When the visitor’s cup was full, the master kept pouring. Tea spilled out of the cup and over the table.
“The cup is full!” said the professor. “No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” said the master, “You are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?” Zen Story via Rider Univ
Is Possibility the same as Probability? What do you think? According to scientists, The sun, moon and planets rise mainly due east and set due west; that’s a verifiable, probable fact. The chance that the earth will be hit by a gigantic meteorite this year is possible but not probable. Clearly, they are not the same but we need and experience both in our daily lives. We go through life grappling with probable and possible events that keep us on our toes and make us strive harder to merge them into one. When our probable and possible efforts mesh, we reach = Accomplishment of goals. But as an article in PsychologyToday points out, just because something is possible does not mean that it is probable. So what? If we lived life only for things that are probable, we’d make no effort to achieve our goals and dreams. That is why we need to adopt a Beginner’s Mind and learn to stay open to new ways of understanding life and its endless possibilities.
“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.” George Bernard Shaw
Time To Learn: A young but earnest Zen student approached his teacher, and asked the Zen Master:
“If I work very hard and diligent how long will it take for me to find Zen.”
The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.”
The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then ?”
Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.”
“But, if I really, really work at it. How long then ?” asked the student.
“Thirty years,” replied the Master.
“But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that ?”
Replied the Master,” When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.” via spiritual-minds
Why bother encouraging people to get motivated over a term that comes with no guarantees? If we knew every outcome and every answer, the growth and drive to achieve would be diminished. Where does the motivation to perform come from? Think about it and read the advice the Master gave the Student above again. We know there is night and day and we expect it to happen without any effort on our part. Sure, if you live in areas that experience Northern Lights, there is a shift as to when night/day occur but they do, and we can go about our lives and do nothing to prompt the shift. By the same token, if we knew for certain that every action we take will produce an exact outcome, we would probably skip all the extra effort, mega steps, and life adventures that often take us from point A to B. We need the spirit of possibility to keep us fresh, open and adventurous… our motivation to act every day depends on it.
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” Gloria Steinem
Stay Open To Possibilities: One day, Huangbo went up to the lecture hall and said to his monks. “What are all you people seeking”?” He took his staff and swung it around to chase them out of the hall, but they didn’t leave.
He said. “You people are all slurpers of dregs. if you go on like this, how will you have today? Don’t you know that in all of China there are no teachers of Zen?”
Then a monk came forward and said, “What about those who guide followers and lead groups in various places?”
Huangbo said, “I don’t say there’s no Zen, just that there are no teachers.”
Interpretation: Before you first hear about Zen, you have no fixed ideas and know nothing about it. When you first enter the practice, you are quite open-minded and innocent. The practice seems like a wonderful, fresh-flowing stream of new possibilities. … Little by little, the practice may lose its flowing freshness and become somewhat stale. In other words, some sediments may begin to form, and you may become the kind of student Huangbo called a dreg-slurper. You may come, like Huangbo’s monks, to hold some position in the hall and not be able to adapt or move when the teacher swings his staff… via Being Upright by Reb Anderson
Why hold unto the Possibility of Dreams? Why is it Important to let go of Rigidity? If we lived our lives like an automated machine in a factory, we would leave no room for exploration, adventure, and the possibility of accomplishing goals beyond our limited perspective of what is feasible in our world. We dream, not just because it feels good, but also because it awakens our minds to the infinite opportunities out there. When we allow ourselves to move forward like the fresh-flowing stream mentioned above, we do not stagnate, we flourish and bloom in new ways and places. Sticking rigidly to the same thing over and over again is limiting and myopic. Even those with mastery add to their skill set by pushing the boundaries beyond the familiar and dreaming/imagining new areas of growth. We can develop skills that improve with practice and, while at it, we must let go of controlling every facet of our mastery… A beginner’s Mind opens new vistas that make our skills sharper and unique.
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for May and June are:
05/04 – APPRECIATION
05/11 – HAPPINESS
05/18 – FITNESS
05/25 – SERVICE
06/01 – SIMPLICITY
06/08 – POSSIBILITIES
06/15 – AWARENESS/SACRIFICE
06/22 – DETERMINATION
06/29 – TRUST
Always More Below!
“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” Jean Houston
Worse than a Clown: There was a young monk in China who was a very serious practitioner of the Dharma.
Once, this monk came across something he did not understand, so he went to ask the master. When the master heard the question, he started laughing. The master then stood up and walked away, still laughing.
The young monk was very disturbed by the master’s reaction. For the next 3 days, he could not eat, sleep nor think properly. At the end of 3 days, he went back to the master and told the master how disturbed he had felt.
When the master heard this, he said, “Monk, do you know what your problem is? Your problem is that YOU ARE WORSE THAN A CLOWN!”
The monk was shocked to hear that, “Venerable Sir, how can you say such a thing?! How can I be worse than a clown?”
The master explained, “A clown enjoys seeing people laugh. You? You feel disturbed because another person laughed. Tell me, are you not worse than a clown?”
When the monk heard this, he began to laugh. He was enlightened. via spiritual-minds
Laughter is a powerful antidote to rigidity and sameness. If you’ve ever found yourself feeling uptight and disturbed by things that seem so out of sync with your familiar way of being, try laughter. Laughter releases the same sort of endorphins that give us a sense of well being when we exercise. In the same way, staying open to possibilities puts us on the road to success, and opens the door to the sort of adventure that becomes fodder for life. We gain wisdom from our varied experiences and without such variety, we have little to share. We gain such experiences by taking chances, exploring possibilities and just going with the flow. When we imagine the world, we need to see the world beyond our small neighborhoods and open our minds to how much more we can learn and grown.
Lately, people are on the “Branding” bandwagon and some have a misconstrued idea of what branding truly means. They think it means some small, rigid label that represents who/what they are, and they work to limit their exposure by being exclusionary. Please let go of that nonsense. Think of Coca Cola and the biggest brands out there. They created a product and marketed it to everyone they could connect with globally. They didn’t limit it to a chosen few and that is how their brand grew. Some people get so hung up on their Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, and other Social Media accounts that they stop thinking… Your brand will grow when you grow! Think about this folks. Open the door to the possibilities out there. Until we stop being rigid, we’ll never know where our light will shine brightest. As Albert Einstein once said, “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” … and marks real advance in life too. I concur.
Positive Motivation Tip: To grow, we need to be able to raise new questions, explore new possibilities and look at the old with new eyes… creativity and imagination live there.
Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for end of November and all of December below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.
Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
- Motivation Mondays: SIMPLICITY (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Honoring SERVICE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: WHAT’S A WELLNESS, FITNESS, HEALTHY LIFESTYLE? (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: HAPPINESS (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: APPRECIATION (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: GROWTH (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: MISTAKES (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: PERFECTION (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: STRENGTH (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: HEALTH (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Responsibility (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Patience Is A Virtue (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: READ – Honoring Dr.Seuss (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: CELEBRATION (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Presidents Day & Leadership (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: LOVE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: ATTITUDE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Comfort Zone (mirthandmotivation.com)
- Motivation Mondays: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Most Inspired Quotes(mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Perspective (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: SILENCE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Regrets (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Joy! (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Compassion (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: The Busy Busy Trap (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Forgiveness (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Acceptance (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: GRATITUDE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Forgiveness (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Courage (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Dream (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: CHANGE (mirthandmotivation)
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- RIP Zig Ziglar: King of Motivation… (mirthandmotivation)
- Reflections: Be The Change… (mirthandmotivation)