Tag Archives: featured

o ganho de produtividade em ser capaz de não fazer nada

Tradução e actualização do artigo em inglês “The productive experience of being able to do nothing” publicado a 2 de Maio.

Devido a algumas conversas que surgiram num workshop de GTD recente, lembrei-me de uma experiência psicológica muito interessante que foi realizada nos EUA há alguns anos. Achei interessante partilha-la aqui também e desenvolver um pouco o tema.

De uma forma resumida, esta experiência consistia em mostrar a diferentes pessoas uma galeria de arte com quadros. Depois era apresentado um falso sorteio em que cada pessoa poderia sair “vencedora” (não sabendo, claro, que todas outras também tinham tido a mesma sorte). O “vencedor” podia então escolher um dos quadros em exposição e levá-lo consigo para casa. No entanto, antes de apresentarem o sorteio aos visitantes, os organizadores dividiram-nos aleatoriamente por três grupos diferentes: Continue reading o ganho de produtividade em ser capaz de não fazer nada


just follow your heart… wait, don’t!

How many times have you heard this? Seems like it’s the quick-way-out of any difficult decision that has to be made: “just follow your heart”.

I’m all for it! There’s nothing better than following your heart as a guidance to the most difficult moments in your life, to the paths you have to take, things to do etc… or is there? Actually, this post is just to clear up what this idea of “following your heart” means – for me, that is :) It’s important that we are clear on what these words mean, so we are all in the same ground of understanding when we speak.

First, consider this: we are – in general – extremely emotional beings. Varies from person to person, of course, but our emotional body (physic and psychically speaking) is very complex. Emotions: E-motions, energy in motion. An emotion is always a movement of a certain kind of energy around our physical body, which can have a psychic root, or not. On the physical arena of our being, this is supported by a complex system of nerves cells, nerve fibers, glands and their specific chemicals called hormones. The stimulation of such organs in our body triggers these so called “emotions”, which are felt in a multitude of ways and physical locations. That is why fear and anxiety is felt around the stomach area (kids don’t lie when they have to take tests ;)), hope and love in the chest area, etc etc..

The funny side of it, is that it always depends on the mind. No matter if there is some external event, sighting, physical stimulation, or if it is just an internal image, idea, desire – in both cases, the mind is responsible for processing that information and sending the relevant information to our nerve centers and glands. That means that the “filters”, or the pre-conceived ideas, the attraction or repulsion for something, that exists in your mind will always affect the emotional response you give. So, your “emotions” are always dependent on the state of your mind, and its attitude towards specific things.

So, getting back to the topic: following the heart or not following the heart, that is the question :)

The problem I see when people try to get in this “follow your heart mode” is that they try to stop listening to their logic/conscious mind, and see what’s beyond it. That’s all great, except for the fact that the first thing you’ll now pay attention to, is your emotional body. So, if a situation is provoking fear emotions in you, or giving emotional comfort or hope, then you’ll see that as the best response you can get – because it’s not your mind thinking about it, right?  But like I said before, all those emotions you are now paying attention to, are just a mixture of all your desires, needs, fears, etc.. at a very basic/low/instinctive level. Between that and your rational mind, I say: follow your mind!

When I say “follow your heart” I mean something totally different. Of course, words can be deceiving, and there lies the danger of using this kind of affirmations :) Following your heart doesn’t mean following your emotions, doesn’t mean following that which apparently gives you an instant “good feeling” or gratification.

Following your heart means listening to something higher than your rational mind and your instinctive emotions. Means being in close connection with your true Self, a much higher layer of your mind, beyond the influence of our thinking and emotional aspects. Means listening to your intuition, knowing what is the best thing to do even if it doesn’t sound totally pleasant or rewarding. Many times, means leaving your comfort zone, means getting in touch with the harder aspects of your own life, fighting against your own weaknesses for the good of something higher. Means going to where your true “heart” wants you to go, towards its total self-development and growth, until the so-called self-realization.

In listening to your heart there is very little of ‘I’-ness and ego, in listening to your emotions there is a lot of it!

Know the difference :)

“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad” ~Rumi

on motivation, inspiration, et al…

“People say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bath, and that’s why it’s recommended daily”

This has got to be on my favourite quotes ever on the topic of motivation. Some people get the idea that some of us have some kind of intrinsic motivational power, or that it’s genetic, or whatever. Its partially true that each one of us is born with certain “characteristics” which set us apart from everybody else, including – maybe – a more motivational/optimistic personality. Still, even for such a person, motivation is a constant effort, there is no such thing as being at that stage and remaining there with no effort.

The mind is in a permanent movement. Either it’s going up, towards a more subtle, inspired, connected state, or it’s going down to feel more lethargic and lost. It won’t stay put where we want it, it has to move – always. So, either we are doing an effort to make it move up, or it will more naturally move down as we get affected by the negativity of other people, events, and sometimes life itself.

I particularly like to observe my own mind during these “down times”, it is so interesting to be aware of the differences on how I feel towards certain issues, how I act or react, or my capacity to “resist” to some things. The past few weeks were like that. Probably not only the past few weeks, but the past months too… a very subtle but constant draining of my energy to external life things, a disconnection from the inside, which bit by bit starts to dilute a very special energy I like to feel and be connected with.

This is where our memory plays an important role. As I can remember the state where I used to be in before, I can make that state to be my aim again and start moving towards it. It seems like a big task, because there are no clear instructions on how to do it, but applying some GTD here: don’t think about the big thing, think about the small steps you can make to start moving towards the goal.

Our body is the most external layer of our mind, and as such, our physical existence plays an important part on our psyche too. Not only our body, but our surroundings, everything physical we have to deal with, listen to, see, touch and eat. Probably, that makes it the easiest way to start working on our own mind state, as dealing with physical things seems easier and not so abstract. For me, that involves recovering my early sleep cycles, following some more strict physical practices, and getting my environment to a more clean, organized and pleasant state. Got very happy to be able to wake up today at 5am and do spiritual practices like I used to :)

All the small things have an impact on how we feel. And our motivation or inspiration really needs to be worked on if it is to be maintained. So what made me act on this now and not before?
Don’t know for sure, but I think it’s lots of things at the same time. Like I said before, memory plays an important role. I can recall very well how I used to feel, and that makes me miss that state and wanting to get back to it. Other thing is the demands that life has been putting on me. The harder it gets, the better you have to be. I was getting to a point where I was feeling that the demands were too much for my current  state of mind. So, either I change the state of mind and I’m able to power-up in order to meet those demands (which I want to), or I would just fail and let it slip away.

So, I guess I’m happy that life got hard and demanding on me, as that made me act on it in a positive way :) But this is no happy ending, the struggle continues. It’s still a continuous effort to get better and better, to bring the mind to a subtle place and make it go up and up and up… or at least not letting it go down again :) The most important: having fun in the process! Life is too precious to be worried too much with it ;)

I had some “life update” things to write, but this is getting too long already, so I’ll leave it for the next post (teaser: it involves astrology and moving house again – no, not related ;))

“Spend a happy day”