‘The Altruism Revolution’ and why you should explore ‘Altruism’

Altruism – disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

Before discovering this documentary on Amazon Prime I had no idea what Altruism was or what the Altruism movement or ‘revolution’ was. As you read above, Altruism is the disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. It is common belief that humans are naturally programmed to progress by being selfish in a world where ‘dog-eat-dog’ is the believed motto of success; This documentary explains why and how humans are wired to actually feel empathy, cooperate and work to help one another when it matters.

If you are interested in Neuroscience, Psychology, Sociology, evolution or Mindfulness I strongly recommend giving it a watch as it is fascinating. I personally watched it because I have become increasingly interested and fascinated by psychology in particular recently, I have also been growingly curious on the concept and practice of Mindfulness so the series as well as its five-star review seemed appealing to me.

The documentary explores the ways in which scientists, psychologists and other field experts are experimenting and researching the way in which humans are wired to help one another and feel empathy, as opposed to the previous theories where it was believed that humans embraced a more ‘dog-eat-dog’ approach to life and success. They begin by experimenting on babies and children then move on to apes to see results from beings that won’t or are least likely to have any other form of motive to their actions.
The documentary then delves into how this natural instinct of empathy and helping one another could be implemented into day-to-day life, showing that meditation and mindfulness practices help bring people forward into a new age of helpful, empathizing and cooperative nature. It shows current studies, experiments and real implementation of this in areas such as primary education in troubled neighbourhoods and high stress jobs where it is essential that all of these traits exist for the future of our children and for a better functioning society.

As I was watching the documentary I started to think about how this could be such a massive step into a brighter future for mankind.
As you know anti-bullying campaigns have existed in schools and workplaces for years, it wouldn’t have always been this way. This would have been thought up, researched and implemented for optimum results, allowing for learning to take place more efficiently and for the workplace to be a more positive and cooperative environment.
What if Altruism eventually became just as mainstream and widespread?

If and when (I think personally) this happens, we will be entering into a new society which could potentially cooperate more, empathise with one another better and deal with our own individual problems and others’ problems better allowing mankind to progress profoundly. In my opinion, If this is taught regularly and correctly in schools and workplaces it genuinely could revolutionise the way in which we think and work as a  species.

If you’re interested in watching the documentary I will provide a link below, I cannot recommend it enough.

https://amzn.to/2UBbxpN

 

Bettering yourself through Reading

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We all know that from a young age we’re taught in one way or another in the early years of education that we should be reading to improve our basic reading and writing skills along with our capacity to take in information. The benefits of reading increase furthermore as we grow older too.

Reading allows you to relax and become invested in a story that is different from your own, maybe one you could never experience in your lifetime or one that you’re just curious about. It also allows you to see different parts of life from many different perspectives, allowing you to make sound judgements of past and present events. This skill is then transferable to everyday life, by using an array of skills just through reading you are training your mind to think in a higher gear for whatever else life throws at you.

It’s not just the skills gained through the act of reading that are gained however. When you read informative books, such books as those filed under the genre of ‘self help’ you will learn a wealth of knowledge, skills and essentially tools for life. You may be thinking however; “I don’t need help, my life is fine”.
I wasn’t in need of help when I began reading these types of books either, I just thought the worst result of me reading this book is that I don’t learn anything. This has not been the case. I have read a number of ‘self help’ books and I have learnt a great deal from dealing with life’s problems when they arise with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques, to learning how to best judge new and present people in life for what their true intentions are whether that be good or bad.

The wealth of knowledge through books is endless, especially nowadays where we live in a time where we can order a book and get it next day or even download a book instantly online to a smart device. By gaining this knowledge we acquire skills and therefore we improve ourselves significantly, we can look at this a little deeper however.
I read an interesting fact which was “You are an average of the top 5 people you socialise with”. Going by this logic, you are an accumulation of your top 5 friends’ personality traits and you convey that to the outside world, this is I’m assuming due to the information and the feelings you receive through communicating with these people. Communicating with people is literally just the transferal of information to one another, therefore by reading regularly from genres and topics of a wide variety we receive information and feelings the same way we would from someone talking to us (quite literally if we’re talking about an audiobook or podcast). So if you’re not too keen on the idea of being an average of your top 5 people; educate yourself and expand your skills in other ways.

The ease of reading in the modern age can’t be exaggerated enough either. You literally don’t even have to read anymore! If you’re on the move you can play an audiobook in the car or on the train eliminating the need for you to even look at a page or screen so really, there’s no excuse!

 

If you’re interested in some of the subjects I mentioned in this post these are two of the books I was referring to:

 

The Power of… Boredom

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The thought of being ‘bored’ is something that a lot of people will feel strongly against, the idea that you have nothing to do and nothing to think about is often associated with being a negative feeling. Some people also feel very negative about boredom due to problems they’re facing in their lives, meaning boredom allows their brain to wander over to those negative problems and emotions that are present in their lives.

Boredom can however be used to your advantage, no matter who you are and what is going on in your life. In an age where being bored is near impossible due to all of the distractions and devices we now have in our lives it could actually be difficult to imagine being bored for some people. However, to ensure you can you will need to set aside all forms of electronics such as phones and laptops, take off a smart watch if you wear one and don’t allow them to distract you. Then you have that time to be ‘bored’.

Why would I want to be bored?

That is probably the question that’s arising to anyone reading this, I get it. The reason you want to be what people call ‘bored’ is because that time where you have no distractions can be used as a huge advantage to your life.
Linking back to my previous post, if you have goals in life (which of course you should have!) this allows some recalibration time where you direct all of your thoughts towards what progress you are making towards those goals. Thinking about how much you have progressed, what your next step forward will be and setting up your plan of action to best attack the time you have into forming the future you want. Allow yourself to be completely ‘bored’, sit still, either eyes open looking out on the scenery around you or closed taking in all your thoughts. Your mind will wander but you can always just accept it’s happened and dial your thoughts back to what it is you want to be thinking your way through.

This ‘boredom’ doesn’t just have to be used to focus on your goals either. If you are facing some adversity in your life and you’re being faced with problems, this is perfect reflection time again for you to process what is happening rather than distracting yourself from those problems. Thinking about what has actually happened, asking yourself what is the best way to deal with this problem? Can this problem actually be dealt with? If not, you can think about the most positive way to move forward from this issue and accept what has happened.

I believe that this is valuable time to have. Mental health problems are rising or at least they seem to be far more common than they used to be and part of this I believe is due to the fact the majority of people face adversity and problems in their lives but they don’t have the time to reflect and process the emotions that come along with it. Instead they are distracted from them through the modern rush of work and social networking where everything is quick and instant, therefore providing instant distractions and also instant problems in some cases. By taking this time to reflect and recalibrate you allow your mind to return to a calm state and to actually process what’s going on in that moment, allowing you to progress and grow as an individual.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
–  Søren Kierkegaard

 

 

Living for the weekend? Or for the future?

Living for the weekend - JayBeaVisionI’m beginning this blog with a very common method in which people live their lives in modern society.

Living for the weekend.

In many ways this kind of lifestyle is brilliant! You work all week doing what you need to do to gain the freedom you need to enjoy yourself at the weekend, whether that be hitting the bars with your friends, travelling to a seaside location nearby to appreciate the scenery you don’t have at home or simply just lying on the sofa eating junk food and watching TV.

However, if you read the way in which the above section is written, it has a very short glance at the working part of someone’s life (typically Monday – Friday). Yet in more detail are the more exciting weekend activities in which the vast majority of people spend their lives looking forward to, often saying things such as “I can’t wait for this week to be over” or “Is it Friday yet?”.

This is the point I am making, a huge amount of people in modern society spend their whole lives skipping over their Monday – Friday or working week period looking forward to the weekend, with all their mental focus and excitement aimed towards a Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday of freedom. The majority of people are therefore barely even acknowledging the larger portion of their week (and therefore their life) because they are spending all of their positive thoughts and excitement on the smaller two-and-a-bit portion of their week.

For the vast majority of us there are:

261 Working Days in a Year
1,305 Working Days in 5 Years
2,610 Working Days in 10 Years
13,050 Working Days in 50 Years

Those numbers, if you’re ‘Living for the weekend’ are the days spent thinking ‘I can’t wait to be doing what I’m not doing right now’. Let’s say you’re reading this blog at age 20, can you imagine the scary thought you would have if at age 70 you know full well that due to the way you fast forwarded through life; you’ve missed out on 13,050 days.

This isn’t a post saying quit your job and party 24/7 by the way, that’s not quite what I’m getting at. What I am saying is this; Why spend your whole life fast forwarding and looking forward when you can be in the here and now. Decide your goals for life, starting from the bottom up, first of all the weeks goals. Then move onto your goals for the month. Then your year and so on. Your goals may even be to not be in your current Monday – Friday 9-5 job, then make it so. Rather than looking forward, work forward.
You will still have to go about your daily business of dealing with school, college, university or your job with the larger amount of free time to yourself at the weekends of course. However, with that free time make your goals come to life. Spend a portion of your free time every day working towards your goals, whether that be going to the gym to become fitter and healthier, or using that time to reconnect with a loved one who you’ve grown distant from.

Whatever your goal and time frame may be, work towards it one step at a time every day wherever you can, You may even be able to do it during work or your studies just by applying yourself that bit more because you know at the end you’re going to get that effort out of the other side in the form of the goals you have set and that you’ve strived towards.

Once you’ve adopted a way of life of being in the moment, working towards the future you feel positive in that moment. As human beings we feel great when we’re accomplishing things and progressing, therefore by broadening your vision past the weekend and into what really does matter to you years and years down the line, the moments here and now become evermore satisfying.

Live for the Future.
Continue reading “Living for the weekend? Or for the future?”