Thursday, July 12, 2018

Use Your Mind to Live Like Santa Claus


Your Golden Years and Santa Claus explains the wisdom of living in the present, the wisdom of letting go, and the wisdom of not picking and choosing -- they are the essentials for happy and successful aging in the golden years. Learn how to think and act like Santa Claus in your golden years.

Your future is always unknown and unknowable, but it is your readiness to get new information and to use your new experience to reassess your current situation that provides a light at the end of the tunnel.

Wake up from your nightmare and live a life that you rightly deserve in your golden years.

Growing older sucks. The alternative is to die younger.

So, make the best and the most of your remaining years; turn them into the golden years of your life in spite of any frailty and adversity you may be facing. Remember, life is a task-master: it teaches you not only how to survive in any challenging circumstance but also how to live as if everything is a miracle, especially in your golden years.

Use Santa Claus as your role model to start believing in yourself, developing the right mindset of successful aging, and acting appropriately and positively. Santa Claus may not be a magic-bullet solution to all your life problems and challenges, but he certainly may open unexpected doors for you in your golden years.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, July 9, 2018

Seek Not Immortality!


“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the final destination we all share.” Steve Job

“As no one has power over the wind to contain it,
    so no one has power over the time of their death.
As no one is discharged in time of war,
    so wickedness will not release those who practice it.” (Ecclesiastes 8: 8)

Human Existence

We all exist in this world. For the believers, their existence is a result of the Creator’s unfathomable plan for them; for the non-believers, their existence comes from their parents. No matter who we are, we don’t have much of a choice, except to continue to exist. According to a 2013 report of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly one in five American adults (43.8 millions) had some form of mental illness. Surprisingly, not too many of those who were depressed would want to commit suicide or end their lives prematurely; they just wanted to continue to live a life maybe that was different from what they were currently living. In other words, irrespective of our mental conditions or current situations, the majority of us would still want to continue to exist in this world—maybe just wishing we could continue living our lives in a happier and more contented way for a little longer.

The Unrealistic Quest

In ancient times, many individuals were in quest of immortality, especially those in power. For example, Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) (259 BC - 210 BC), the First Emperor of China, had made many futile attempts to discover and access legendary sources of immortality during his relatively short lifespan. Another example, the ancient pharaohs of Egypt might not have been on a quest for immortality because they earnestly believed that they were already immortal; nevertheless, they had spent an enormous amount of resources into retarding the decay of their physical bodies, as well as into building spectacular pyramids and grand tombs in which they could preserve their wealth and riches for their immortality.

The Realistic Realities

Nowadays, we all know the reality that all humans are mortal and that death is as inevitable as day becoming night.

“Is there anything we can do about our mortality?” This might be the question that many of us would like to ask ourselves.

First of all, man’s perceptions of mortality always change with age and time. If you ask a young adult if he or she would want to live long, probably the answer is “I don’t know” or “I just don’t want to grow too old and decrepit, like my grand-parents.” The young adult’s perspective of mortality also explains why many of the younger generation are living a reckless lifestyle as if there is no tomorrow.

Naturally, their perception of mortality would change over the years as they grow older with a family of children, or if they have a successful career with all the trimmings of a luxurious lifestyle that they would like to continue. A longer lifespan would then become an extension of their own legacy or continuation of their enjoyment of the fruits of their own accomplishments. The inscription on the tombstone of Bruce Lee (李小龍), the Hollywood actor, reads: “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” That says much about the hope of many to extend beyond the grave.

As aging continues, the fear of death or the unknown might also dawn on humans, driving some of the elderly into craving a longer lifespan in order to delay and defer the inevitable.

Indeed, many people may have different perspectives of their own mortality, depending on their upbringing, the life experiences they have gone though, their religious beliefs, as well as the meanings of death and dying to them. As a result of the differences, some may focus too much on death to the extent of creating death anxiety, while others may deliberately deny the existence of death, just like the ostrich burying its head in the sand.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the life expectancy of Americans has significantly increased from 47 to almost 80. How long do you wish to live, if you just don’t die? And what would you do with your life, if you just don’t die?

It is futile to seek immortality. The bottom line: Make the best and the most of what you have left, live in the present, and live as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Let Go to Let God

Human unhappiness comes from the human reluctance and refusal to let go—letting go of the past, which has become human attachment, and which is no more than a distraction of the human mind from living in the present, which is the only reality in life. Letting go requires human wisdom to see the reality of all things. Due to the human flaw of attachment, human wisdom is often inadequate, and has to be complemented with spiritual wisdom, which is Biblical wisdom.

God’s omnipresence is a manifestation of His creation. Seeking God means we see His presence in everything around us, both visible and invisible. God’s mystery, on the other hand, is manifested only in His wisdom, expressed in the Bible.

In the Bible, Jesus is the personification of God’s wisdom. Only through Jesus can man come to know God’s wisdom.

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way,  the truth,  and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)

The Bible is the Word of God, and therefore a source of God’s wisdom through reading its verses. Reading the Bible can provide spiritual wisdom to many, which is necessary for their spiritual growth in order to understand and appreciate God’s wisdom.

The human intent to seek God’s wisdom

First and foremost, the human mind must demonstrate its intent to seek God’s wisdom through specific knowledge of the Bible. In other words, the mind must be in a seeking-and-learning mode in order to grow in the knowledge of God.

"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)

How Tao wisdom may help seeking spiritual wisdom

Tao wisdom is the wisdom of Lao Tzu (born some 2,600 years ago), the ancient sage from China, who authored the ancient classic Tao Te Ching. one of the most translated books worldwide.

Lao Tzu believes the desire to seek the wisdom of the Creator begins with self-discovery, which s understanding true human nature.

“The ancient prophets follow the Way to the Creator,
the Way to re-discover our true nature,
which is being one with the Creator.”
(Chapter 21, Tao Te Ching)

“Living is but an expression of the life given by the Creator.
Our true nature is a reflection of that expression.
Those who are with the Creator, the Creator is also with them.”
(Chapter 23, Tao Te Ching)

Knowing the origin and the nature of things, we may begin to perceive the purpose-driven life God has created for each and every one of us.

“Seemingly intangible, and seemingly elusive,
the Way leads to the origin of all things,
both visible and invisible.
           Since the beginning of the beginning, 
           this has been the Way
to the life force of all things,
both past and present.”
(Chapter 21, Tao Te Ching)

Therefore, Lao Tzu urges us to remain faithful to our true nature, which is fundamental to seeking spiritual wisdom.  With spiritual wisdom, we just let go to let God.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, July 2, 2018

Letting Go to Live in the Present


Humans have wants and desires which generate expectations that necessitate judging, picking and choosing. Disappointments and frustrations are their byproducts. According to Lao Tzu, the author of Tao Te Ching, the ancient classic on human wisdom, everything in life is to be welcomed and embraced, but not avoided.


“Everything that happens to us is beneficial.
Everything that we experience is instructional.
Everyone that we meet, good or bad, becomes our teacher or student.

We learn from both the good and the bad.
So, stop picking and choosing.
Everything is a manifestation of the mysteries of creation.”
(Chapter 27, Tao Te Ching)

According to Tao wisdom, the root cause of all human miseries is pride, which is to satisfy the ego-self delusively created in the flawed human mind.

“The Creator is above,
and we are below
The Creator is in front,
and we are behind.
Because this is the nature of things,
humility is only natural to us.
Yet many are desirous of the top
fearful of lagging behind.
Humility is the Way.”
(Chapter 66, Tao Te Ching)

“Dependent on the Creator,
our horizons broaden and expand,
our souls inspire and nourish,
our relationships grow and flourish.
Everything around us becomes oneness with the Creator.

Dependent on ourselves,
our horizons contract and shrink,
our souls wither and die,
our relationships break and crumble.
Everything around us becomes depleted and damaged.”
(Chapter 39, Tao Te Ching)

Humility initiates the process of letting go of everything that distracts us from our pursuit of true human wisdom.

“Possessing little, we become content.
Having too much, we lose the Creator.
Having no ego, we become humbled, and our actions are enlightened.
Having no desire for perfection, our actions are welcome by all.
Having no expectation of result, our actions are selfless and non-judgmental.
Having no goal, our actions are under-doing and never over-doing.

Accepting what is, and finding it to be perfect is not easy.
But that is the only Way to the Creator.”
(Chapter 22, Tao Te Ching)

Indeed, distractions in modern life come in many different forms.

“Distractions are many,
in the form of riches and luxuries,
They allure us from the Way.
Accumulations are like extortions of the poor.
They bring only disaster and suffering.
Do not deviate from the Way.”
(Chapter 53, Tao Te Ching)

Letting go control, we no longer strain, strive, and struggle, and thus enabling us to live in the present moment—which is a luxury to many in this day and age.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau