This article is from the book “Meditation and the book of Time and Life Management (version 1.01) -by Norbert Szentkereszti (2015)” (To read the whole book online visit book1.vr2b1.org or subscribe here and get the pdf edition for free.)
When it comes to giving advices I’m always in trouble. Not because I don’t have ideas, but because of how people treat advices. The problem with advices is that it’s easy to forget them especially if we did not come to those conclusions through our experiences.
For example I always had trouble with learning (although I was considered as a good student), setting up goals, and especially taking real actions to achieve them even though I read some great books about how to do it, and how to be effective. The fact that you are reading this book means that I finally achieved something from my important goals and not only that: I advertised something which is not perfect which is for a perfectionist like I am, is a hard thing to do. But there is a very important reason why I decided to publish a not perfect book, and this is practicing acceptance. (I have to accept more critique and you have to have more patience and you need to concentrate more.)
So why do I bother writing a book which is full of advices, if there’s not much chance for people keeping those advices? Because in reality, finally I also managed to keep some of those advices and I developed useful habits even though I wasted 10-15 years of my life (although those non-productive and hard years were necessary to see the world the way I see now) and additionally you might be different then I was and you might be able to instantly apply the ideas of this book and maybe reading these thoughts will trigger you to finally finish some of your non-violent projects and start spending more time with the most important people of your life while doing those non-violent things that give you the most satisfaction possible and which you enjoy doing, or which are necessary to achieve your major goals.
I had many time-consuming addictions myself like TV, video games, internet, collecting stuffs… I still have moments when I watch videos or play some old strategic games for a few hours a month but now I am in control. I was never a smoker, a drug user, or an alcoholic. My whole alcohol consumption is around 5-10 liter in 34 years, so I have no experience with such addictions; I rather believed the negative effects of those addictions… (Well I suck in a cigarette once at the age of 5-6 and than I was happily convinced that, that was not my thing…) One thing is common though in every addiction. We are doing them because at some point something is missing from our life, so our goal should be to find out what these things are, and than to go after them non-violently.
One important thing that I found out after those unfruitful years (full of time-consuming addictions) that the less advices you have to deal with, the less goals you have the more effective you can be. Too much advice can overwhelm you, because there will be too much to be remembered, especially if you did not understand really the point of those advices, because as I said earlier you did not come to those conclusions through your experiences. So the solution to better remember to those advices is to select first those supportive ones that are natural for you, because your heart agrees with them, because you had some similar experiences in your life the advice might be based on, and thus it is easier for you to imagine the significance of those ideas.
Many advices impose certain restrictions upon us (which is usually directed to our automated reactions) or require some action from our part. –And as I found the more we have to consciously remember (whenever we want to make a step) the less we can express our past selves (which is actually good if it’s something violent against non-violent people and animals) but if we cannot act the way we used to act, we might temporarily lose some of our confidence, and this can slow down our progression a little bit (in the beginning of the transformation), because of the negativities we experience due to the various restrictions. And this is how advices work: Don’t do this and don’t do that while some people offer you a convincing (and more comfortable (and in case you’re about to break a negative habit also something useless)) counter argument, just to make your selection harder and to divert you from your chosen path… If you can create a lifestyle out of an advice later the “execution” will be automatic, and this is what we need to achieve to get comfortable with the new way of conduct: it should be part of our daily routine. So I would say, start with one or two advices, than create a habit out of them and if that works, select an other one or two (especially if it is about moral values and being able to effectively dealing with situations)… Making a habit out of an advice is necessary because if you don’t do that it will quickly fade away.
I know that changing is hard, and usually long term inner change cannot happen if it is not from the heart (or if there is no pressing circumstance that will not tolerate any delay.) Some will learn the hard way by never paying attention to any advices, others rely on others’ opinion all the time and never experiencing real life situations. Naturally advices can also create bad habits, and negative point of views e.g.: regarding races, genders…, that are hard to correct (and in such cases it is better never hearing about those ideas), but if you miss a good advice, you surely will walk the harder way… But an advice without practices and actions, is not much of a worth, so if we just read about things we will have only knowledge without any practical, real life experiences and even if we became a good thinker, philosopher in real life situations we would be just as vulnerable as others, although if we can calm down our mind in critical circumstances, and if we can remember those articles and methods we read (and if we are in situations which allows us to have such time delays, while we’re experimenting with never used ideas), we have greater chance to come up with workable solutions. If you don’t have real life experience about a situation you are only repeating what others said and experienced, and it might be all right, but it can be completely wrong. E.g.: It’s easy to glorify war if you are not in the first line of the war field. Would you still find it beautiful if you were there and e.g.: after 20-30 minutes a grenade would take off one of your finger nails? I dare say probably not, especially if the goal of fighting is something pointless. In general it is very good if you can test those advices, before praising them because only through experiments can you prove the rightness of the different advices, although even if you found something right, it doesn’t mean universal rightness! It was right in your situation and with your past experience, but it might be not right in others’ situations, surroundings and experiences. So even if you find that an advice is not workable it might work for others in different situations…
There are certain ideas, methods that worked for you in the past but don’t serve your interest in the present moment, and there are the ones, that never worked for you because e.g.: you did not have the expertise to really master those advices, but somehow in some of your situation, with some additional experience and knowledge they can be the ones that are the most suitable for that situation. And it is so – If the method no longer works drop it (maybe later in your life you will go back to it since you will find that it is not that bad after all, it was just not applicable in your past situation e.g.: in your emotional state). Every advice is just an option, some of them worthy of consideration, some of them not, and if they don’t work for you (after giving some months of a try) look for other ones, but even if you feel that you wasted some month and years, at least you gained some experiences that might come handy in one of your future situation.
I know that sometimes advices can make us even angrier than we are especially if we want a quick solution to our problems, or if they talk about ideas such as love your enemies, while you are boiling with hate and anger, but still (after throwing those books away) accept them since they are just ideas, and if yours had not worked you can experiment with those new ones as well, once you’ve calmed down (and return to them a few years later). In general whenever you look for a solution try to see the situation without biases, try to be present, consider point of views, options, read some books and articles and if you find something that sounds like the right thing to do, start working on it, come up with plans, and do the action.
I tried to give you different methods, ideas and point of views, in case some of the ideas won’t work for you. If nothing works try different books, since there are thousands and thousands of other books and articles out there (and some are even for free like this one) or have a real life experience, drop all of your books and rely on healthy morals and ethics. So don’t complicate too much and don’t just read and plan and re-plan and re-plan the re-planned plan which was re-planned previously and previously and previously (without trying them out)… Planning is OK, but planning without any future action is in reality something that is good for nothing. If you wait too much it might be that your plan is not applicable any more, since situations changed, and you have to consider further restrictions and/or opportunities. But if you just delay the action, if you procrastinate, if you don’t apply those ideas in practice if you never follow your plans and if you never follow your non violent desires you are not getting anywhere, you will remain where you are, and if that place is something you cannot stand, you will probably not going to enjoy some of the upcoming years of your life. Always remember that you have to do the action, I mean say now: “I have to do the action” so not the others, and never wait for the others if it is about something that is important for you because in that case you have to be proactive! Take the steps you have to take today, because who knows, tomorrow may never come, or if it comes, it might be different the way you imagined, and even though it can be better, it can also be worse. And if your life stagnates for a longer time, to think that it will be better without doing anything is something that probably never going to happen, and it is something you don’t really believe.
So I would say, stop talking and start doing, that is to say, start doing something that you’ve learned so far, throw away all your non supportive habits and time-wasters and in the same time develop new supportive ones, try to reduce the time that you have to spend around negative people (and idiots) to the minimum, read some helpful books, shift your emotions, have some real life experience, and start working on your non-violent desires. And if you finally decide to take an action, consider the “way of the true vegan” article in this book, for some moral guidance.
To help you to quickly review and navigate through the book I highlighted the main points by using bold face characters and/or also underlining. Don’t be frustrated if I repeat some idea many times, especially if you start to recognize the repetition, because actually if you start to recognize the repetition, I achieved the goal that you will actually remember something from this book.
In order to get the best out of this book and also from other books and articles it is recommended to thoroughly understand the instructions and all the paragraphs, even if it takes to read them many times, because those repetitions are essential to be able to use them in real life situations, while we do the planning and also the action (if it is about the time-management section of the book). It is like learning a movement in martial arts. E.g.: You practice the different kicks for thousands of times, without opponents, but those movements will be so deeply engraved in your being, that in actual situations you will instinctively use the move (and this is especially true for the defending movements). And this repetitive method is also applied by soldiers, when they teach them to do stupid orders without thinking. If you say them go right, they will go right, if you say them stop, they will stop, and if they repeated such pointless and stupid orders for many thousands of times and for years, when you say them to shoot, they will shoot, and when you say them to shoot that man (because he’s a terrorist, even if he is just a simple father), they will usually shoot that man, or at least a few from the many, because some of them would rather aim for the ground…
So if you found something interesting, that you think you can apply in your life, read those sections, articles or your notes about those ideas many times in the following few weeks, and also in the upcoming months and years, to keep those ideas fresh in your mind.
From a certain point of view, my book is very dense, detailed and because of the conditions (in the form of “if”-s) certain ideas are very complicated. So regarding those ideas you might need to have a bit more patience to reach full comprehension and especially in such cases repetition is recommended with the goal of really understanding the meaning of the sentences (so not just saying the words many times without knowing really what you are saying, because that would be like singing a stupid English song if you don’t know English…). Please note that if something is hard for you to remember or to understand, probably it is because you cannot recall something in your life that can support that idea (if it is not about the complicated wordings), an in reality even if you have some experience if you don’t focus on them, they will fade away (which can be a good thing if it is about something negative…) If you keep the information and thoughts fresh in your mind by reading them many times and to imagine situations where they can be applicable (please avoid too negative imaginations) you will remember them in critical situations, and you have better chance of applying them whenever you have to make an action…
So e.g.: if you read “the way of the true vegan”, but also any other article only once, it will pretty soon fade away (probably within hours especially if there are many points and if there is not much story line attached to those ideas), and if you read 2-3 times you will remember for some parts maybe for a few days, but if you read it many times (10-20 times) and you repeat those thoughts in every months probably you’re going to remember those thoughts for a longer time and there is a chance of applying them also in action. (Yes there are some people with extremely good memory, but even for them it can be useful to read some articles many times and repeat them, since there are so many information and events that we have to face in most of our days, that those happenings can easily push useful advices (if they are just seeds) out of focus, and even if you could apply them theoretically whenever you need them, chances are that without practice, in crucial situations you will not be able to apply them.)
(If you have problem by learning and understanding please start this book with the “How to read and learn” article.)
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