Tag: advice

Great Time Magazine Article about Speaking

I haven’t posted in a while but I came across this Time magazine online article and hope it will be as beneficial to you guys out there as it was to me. God bless.

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A wise Arab proverb says, “Every war begins with words.”

In the teachings of Islamic spirituality there is much that is written about the importance of restraining the tongue. The tongue is called “the mirror of the heart.” In other words, what appears on our tongue is a chief indicator of what is in our hearts. And, this becomes even truer in those unguarded moments when anger, frustration, or stress gets the best of us and our tongues lose any sense of discipline.

This is, perhaps, why the Prophet Muhammad said that one of the ways of knowing if there is hypocrisy in our hearts is to examine what we say with our tongues when we become angry. If it is foul and vile words, then that is a measure of how much purification of the heart remains.

The masters of Islamic spirituality teach that the heart and the tongue have a two-way relationship. Even though the tongue is the mirror whereas the heart is the reality, if we work on polishing the mirror the reality also becomes polished with time and effort.

So, what does it mean to work on the tongue? It means struggling within ourselves to restrain the tongue from all that is corrupt and ugly, like one would pull back a wild horse, and to train the tongue in the speech of goodness and beauty.

The sages and scholars of Islamic spirituality warn that the tongue should be guarded from the following 8 types of speech: lying; breaking promises or oaths; speaking ill of others or slandering; wrangling, arguing and disputing with others without any clear benefit or when you fear it will get out of hand; self-justification or self-praise in a way that leads to arrogance; cursing or using foul language; invoking evil on creatures even if they are your worst enemies; jesting, ridiculing, and scoffing at people in a way that hurts people’s feelings or gives them a bad reputation – this is even worse when this type of speech is directed toward an entire community of people.

Each one of these has their specific descriptions and treatments, but in summary there are five steps that we can take to become more aware of our speech and to polish our tongues, according to the spiritual teachers:

1) Knowledge: Just be aware of the 8 types of speech that you should avoid. Knowledge leads to introspection and introspection leads to reform. When you notice any of these ailments on your tongue, take yourself to task and work to change you condition.

2) Silence: The Prophet Muhammad said that “anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should either speak well or remain silent.” Silence is golden, so goes the saying. Thinking before you speak is the key. One of the great sages of Islam and Caliph after the Prophet Muhammad would place a small stone underneath his tongue and move it to speak only after considering whether what he had to say was truly beneficial. This might be too difficult of a practice for many of us, but it goes to show how seriously silence was taken among the spiritual elite.

3) Fasting: Increase your days of fasting, for fasting by its nature teaches restraint.

4) Change your surrounding: Keeping good company and keeping yourself busy with good things so that your tongue finds very little opportunity to engage in baseless conversations.

5) Remembering the Divine: Cloaking your tongue with the beautiful names of God and the praise of those names will make your tongue to incline toward that which is beautiful and wholesome. Eventually, ugly speech will be completely antithetical and unnatural to a tongue that is used to beauty.

The remaining days of Ramadan are perfect days to intensify our practice of cultivating a disciplined tongue. These are not only the days of peak restraint but also of increasingly remembering God, seeking forgiveness and longing for salvation.

Original article at: http://time.com/3014362/ramadan-day-25-restraining-the-tongue/

Women’s test in life is material. Men’s test in life is women.

This message goes out to the women. If you want men to act more whatever, start looking for that in men. These days women (seem to) care about money, power, and good looks, so this is what men strive for. If women made it clear that instead they were looking for GREAT CHARACTER then trust me men would begin to develop great character. Men will develop what is necessary to attract their mate, that is how we are programmed.

On a personal level, women should figure out what they NEED from a guy, versus what they want. Of course you WANT your man to be wealthy, powerful and good looking, but don’t you NEED him to be respectful, loving, and courteous? (Or whatever personality traits that YOU personally need in a life partner?) I got this tidbit of philosophy from the awesome comedian Dave Chapelle. Check out this clip from his standup which is both funny AND enlightening.

 

Don’t reinvent the wheel, BUT DON’T STOP IMPROVING on it either

Imagine humans REALLY embraced the “don’t reinvent the wheel” mentality. What we’d have is a bunch or Ferraris and tanks with rickety wooden wagon wheels, or something equally PRIMITIVE and RIDICULOUS.

Use the proven technologies and techniques, but don’t forget to put your own touches on them. And remember, there’s ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.

God bless!

~Jones

CHOOSE your thoughts. Don’t leave them all WILLY-NILLY.

Easier said than done right? Well, yea, but it’s not that tough, if you EARNESTLY want to do it. Here’s a strategy to help you deal with all of those thoughts that bring you down. And it’s REALLY SIMPLE.

Next time you start to feel anything negative, TAKE NOTICE! This is the first and most crucial step. AGAIN, all you have to do is next time you start to feel anything negative is BE AWARE of it as soon as possible. The next step can be anything, but it involves CHOOSING something. You can choose not to believe the thought you have because it very well MAY NOT BE TRUE (Satan’s LIES!). Or it may be true, but you choose to REACT DIFFERENTLY. Even if you choose at that point to succumb to your negative impulse, then at least you did that much: CHOOSE. Maybe one day you’ll choose differently, but if you’re not even AWARE of your feelings (which turn into thoughts), then you stand no chance.

As always, I encourage you to QUESTION EVERYTHING!

God bless.

~Jones

WIERD REASONS why things happen (DON’T DISCOUNT THEM)

I got the idea for this post from my wife. We were talking about sexism in society and she brought up a study in which teachers were found to be more likely to pick on boys over girls to answer questions at a grade school level. So the obvious reason for that is just that OBVIOUS. They might be things like well they think boys should be smarter, or work harder, or be more active. And then it’s EASY TO GET mad right away. But I implore you too… think a little deeper…

WHAT IF it wasn’t any of those obvious reasons at all (or maybe it is, but stay with me now), what if it’s because boys are more likely to wave their hands around which catches the teachers attention. Or maybe we perceive girls to be more patient and understanding than boys, so they don’t need to be called on as much (still sexist, but in this case it puts females in a positive light instead of males). Maybe it’s because BOYS SMELL! and we subconciously pay attention to smellier people!’

I don’t know!

BUT, what I implore you to do is don’t always jump at the obvious conclusions. Just because they MAKE SENSE, doesn’t mean they’re the TRUTH.

~Jones

FOCUS = REALITY

This is something I learned from my good friend Tony Robbins.

I seem to talk a lot in this blog about BELIEFS, and for good reason, they DEFINE OUR REALITY. But why do they define our reality? It is because they define our FOCUS. For every situation there are COUNTLESS interpretations of how that situation could be significant or insignificant, or anything in between. How do we decide how to interpret something? Well, IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT WE FOCUS ON.

In a relationship with any other human being, do you focus on the BAD or the GOOD? That will drastically effect how to perceive and feel about that person. When you go to a job interview do you focus on how NERVOUS you are or how EXCITED you are? The EXACT SAME STUATION can look differently to the EXACT SAME PERSON, depending on where they hone their focus. When it comes to eating do you focus on your HEALTH or the TASTE? Different focus can lead to different physical realities.

Control your focus, and you control your life.

~Jones