What is this blog about?

There is no such thing as an expert on the topic of Life. We all have had our battles, our suffering, and our questions. Despite the uniqueness of our personal obstacles, we have endured them. We have endured them well enough to advise those behind us as to how to do the same. I have done the research on your behalf regarding the multitude of reasons why wisdom exists. My mission is to utilize the voices of the world's greatest thinkers and heroes to compose a guideline of life's wisdom so that you don't have to experience those trials alone.

If you have any questions, please tweet them to me @JoeSielski or email me at JJSielskiJr@comcast.net

(Please title your email with the word "Wisdom" so I know it will be for this blog.)

I will do my best to try and answer every question as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thanks.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Day for Passion

Happy Valentine's Day!

On February 14th, we celebrate St. Valentine.  This was a man who dedicated his life to releasing captives from Roman prisons which later cost him his own life.   He did this because he understood that they were wrongfully imprisoned and he valued the love they shared with their families.  For this reason, we celebrate his calling. 

Over time, St. Valentines Day became the holiday we know it as today: a day for love, for friendship, for romance, and for passion.   I have chosen to forego an essay on Love because I want to take a less-expected route.   As the title implies, this is an essay for Passion.  But what is Passion?  What is that latent element that makes people proclaim: "That's my passion."? What is it that excites children to become baseball players and ballerinas?  What is that fire; what is that that madness that can make a perfectly sane human melt so intently for another?  What is that joy of the journey?  Many people are looking to find their passions, or any passion at all.  But what is it?

Passion is something you enjoy.
Passion is something you love.
Passion is something that excites you.
Passion is something that gives you a sense of purpose.

Let's take a step back and examine passion at its core.  Passion, the word itself, stems from Latin.  In Latin, "passus" is a word to mean "to have suffered/endured."  This implies that one has endured various hardships to achieve one's passion.  Therefore, it is agreeable to infer that one should also anticipate these hardships before embarking on one's passion.  At times, I feel reluctant to use the word "suffering," as the definition alludes, because I don't want it to be misperceived as synonymous with agony, or heartache, or a broken bone.  Yet in some instances, these are all part of the joy of the journey.

The journey, the pursuit of one's passion can be frustrating.   And yet, for the sake of one's passion, the frustration becomes moot.   Obstacles and hardships are embraced, rather than feared.  For this reason, there is a strong element of determination.  In reference to how determination and persistence work,  I could give you the chorus of "Never give up," "You've got this," "Don't stop," or Winston Churchill's famous line: "If you're going through Hell, keep going."  However, these simply become redundant.  It is understood that to embrace one's Passion is to also embrace any and all obstacles it would entail.  For athletes or musicians, it's the hours upon hours dedicated for practice and rehearsing.  It's all part of the program.   And yet, even in practice, there's still a happiness simply because you're taking part of it.  For that reason, there is purpose in the dedication.   This all stems from the simple understanding that passion begins as a belief.  Because this belief persists, the quest for happiness also persists.  Also, because the quest for happiness persists, the willingness to endure various obstacles also persists.  And for this reason alone, this introduces the value of patience into the journey.  There is a value to patience to continue the journey.   

This might seem like a simple coincidence, but in the grand scheme of things, it's much larger than it appears.  There's a really special connection that doesn't get mentioned often.  This is the association between determination and patience.  Patience is an unspoken attribute required to pursue one's passion.  Regarding many circumstances, achieving one's passion can take quite some time.   It's usually inferred that pursuing a passion is supposed to take time.  Therefore patience is required.

What is patience?

Patience finds its roots in forgiveness.   Forgiveness allows us to let go of various events and expectations.   Along the course of the journey, there can be a series of multiple small events for which forgiveness is required.  For these collective, continuous events, forgiveness bears patience.  Patience is that ability to forgive small hassles.  For all the falls and failures, patience is ready.  Patience is the talent to endure these faults.  Patience is the act of withstanding whatever amount of time is required to near one's passion.  Persistence requires patience; therefore passion also requires patience.  

Here's where it gets fun!

The etymological root of the word Patience is the Latin word "patior," meaning "to suffer/endure."

Sound familiar?
It should.

The words Patience and Passion both stem from the same Latin root.   This is to imply that there is an element of patience within the definition of passion.   They are etymological cousins.  Patience means to suffer/endure, and Passion means to have suffered/endured.  Because the journey toward a passion can take such an amount of time, this endurance of time is dubbed as suffering.   This endurance of time includes the various falls, faults, failures, and hardships experienced along the way.   If you love what you do, and do what you love, it doesn't matter what gets in the way.   Like love, true passion is unconditional.

Passion is the will to endure that which leads to your desires.
Passion is a belief.  Passion is desire.  Passion is determination.  Passion is courage.

It's not my responsibility to define anyone's passion for them.  That is relevant to you and you personally.   However, with the definition of passion now explained and expanded, ponder for a moment what it can mean to have a passion for life.  What is a passion for living?  What is passion for another person?  All the obstacles, all the hardships, all the faults become part of the journey.  They are to be expected.  They are simply a part of living.  To live is to endure.  A patient heart sees the journey as a series of milestones and is ready to celebrate every one along the way.   As St.Valentine found his calling by transforming a desire into a mission, and a mission into a passion, we are all meant to do the same.  Let us all be aware of what guides our hearts.  Now... Go!

Thank you for your time.
Happy Valentine's Day.


Love is:

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Day for Positive Thinking

The subject matter of this essay is quite simple:  it's a paradigm shift.   In brief, I'm here to present a new way of viewing positive and negative circumstances.

We all have good days and bad days. We're allowed to have days that are better or worse than others.  In that light, we are allowed to have thoughts that are better or worse than others.  However, when they are negative, we don't have to allow them to dominate our thinking.

I acknowledge that positive and negative thoughts occur, but one does not need to think about them equally.   In other words, the way you focus on a negative thought does not have to be the same way you focus on a positive one.    The mind with which you process negative thoughts needs to be a different mind than the one who processes positive thoughts.  Using the positive mind's logic on negative thoughts could result in anxiety.  To do this, it's really quite simple. This comes down to the addition of two words into one's phrasing.  That it; just remember two words. 

When pondering your positive thoughts, be sure to award it the word: because.

"I had a great day today... because..."
"She is a very nice person... because..."
"I finally finished this blog post... because..."
Adding "because" to a phrase implies causality.  When something good happens,  it's recommended to identify from where that goodness originates.

"I had a great day today... because...  I enjoyed how things transpired.  Also, because I am grateful."
"She is a very nice person... because... she is compassionate, she is humble, she understands me."
"I finally finished this blog post... because... the right motivation and block of time finally coincided."

The mindset that addresses the origin of positivity is one of gratitude.
A grateful mind will also understand how to process those pesky negative thoughts.

When pondering negative thoughts, follow the phrase with the word:  but.

"I had a bad day today... but..."
"She is rude...but..."
"I don't have enough money... but..."

Adding "but" implies the presence of an opposing perspective.  When something negative occurs, it is beneficial to not dwell on it and to offer a counterargument.   The word "but" allows for a wonderful transition toward a more positive light.  Negative thinking can become quite a cage.  Therefore, adding the word "but" to the end of a negative statement opens the door for hope. 

"I had a bad day today... but... I am well.  I am safe. I can get rest and wish for a better tomorrow."
"She is rude...but... maybe she had a bad day.  Maybe I don't know her well enough.  Maybe I can help."
"I don't have enough money... but... the money will come.  I cannot predict the future.  Also, I have plenty of love and support."

This mindset to counter-argue your own negative rationality is one of the most empowering mindsets around.  Imagine how many negative thoughts can be given light with the proper turn of the phrase.  Negative self-doubt, negative opinions, negative worrying can all become far more easily managed when one maintains the appropriate mind.