Saturday, January 28, 2017

I Wonder #9 Why Do Introverts Find Social Situations So Tiring?

Apart from the simple fact that introverts prefer to have plenty of time to themselves, and that being denied this can be draining, there’s also evidence that, at a physiological level, introverts response more strongly to stimulation, such as loud noises, than extroverts do. This means socialising is more likely to leave them exhausted and needing a rest afterwards. On the introvert, Dear blog, contributor Shawna Courter even argues that there’s such a thing as an “introvert hangover,” which she describes as “an actual physical reaction to [social] stimulation. Your ears might ring, your eyes start to blur, and you feel like you’re going to hyperventilate.”*

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

*Taken from BBC Earth Vol 9, Issue 1. Page 82 by Dr Christian Jarrett

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Essential Thinkers #19 Isaac Newton, the Man Who Discovered Gravity

This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
(Isaac Newton)

A mathematician and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) produced work – philosophical to a degree – which served mainly as an impetus and basis for many of the philosophers of his and succeeding generations, including John Locke and Immanuel Kant, who both owed much to him. Newton’s principal work, the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica contains his theory of gravity and laws of motion. His later work, the Opticks, is primarily concerned with optical physics but also contains speculations on mechanics, religion and morals. He was to be involved in a series of disagreements with Gottfried von Leibniz, initially over which of them was the first to invent the calculus, and later over the issue of the status of space and time.

The insight behind Newton’s physics was that the universe runs according to law-governed mechanical principles. This idea was to have a profound influence on John Locke, whose philosophy may be seen as the philosophical working out of Newton’s physical principles. Locke was determined to make sense of human understanding in a way consistent with Newtonian mechanics. As a result, he argued for a causal theory of perception and for a distinction between primary and secondary qualities of objects.

Emmanuel Kant, in similar fashion, recognized that everything in the phenomenal world had to conform to Newton’s principles, but that this order was for the most part imposed by the psychological apparatus of the mind. Kant’s philosophy gave support to Newton in the quarrel with Leibniz over whether space and time should be conceived of as absolute or merely as relations between objects. The debate seemed to have been won hands down by the Newtonians until the advent of Einstein’s relativistic physics.

Claiming that his method was empirical and inductive, rather than rationalist and deductive, Newton was also fond of criticizing Rene Descartes. It is thanks to Newton that empiricism began to enjoy a period of dominance over rationalist philosophy. However, Newton owed much to Descartes’ thought, and it is likely his own speculations could not have begun but for the work already undertaken by his rationalist predecessor.

Undoubtedly, Newton’s greatest achievement was his theory of gravity, from which he was able to explain the motions of all the planets, including the moon. Newton proved that every planet in the solar system at all times accelerates towards the sun. The acceleration of a body toward the sun is at a rate inversely proportional to the square of its distance from it. This led to Newton’s law of universal gravity: “every body attracts every other with a force directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.” The law of universal gravity allowed Newton to predict all of the planetary motions, the tides, the movements of the moon and of the comets.

It was a striking achievement that would not be superseded until Albert Einstein, although even with the advent of Einsteinian relativity, Newton’s mechanics still holds good – and indeed is still used, on account of its simplicity, for predicting the movement of so-called ‘medium-sized’ objects – anything that is neither bigger than the solar system nor smaller than the eye can see. Newton’s work is profound and remarkable achievement in the history of human thought.
[Summarized from Philosophy 100 Essential Thinkers by Philip Stokes, 2012.]

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

As A Man Thinketh #3 Don't Dwell Upon the Mistakes of Yesterday (Move On)

Do not dwell upon the sins and mistakes of yesterday so exclusively as to have no energy and mind left for living rightly today, and do not think that the sins of yesterday can prevent you from living purely today
(James Allen)

It’s been said that the majority of conversations by men over forty are about the past. Sometime it’s about the ‘good old days’ and sometimes it’s about the deals gone bad, the ‘if I only had’ stories, the missed opportunities, etc.

Letting our “sins and mistakes of yesterday” dominate our thinking today robs us of our present joy and our future happiness. It causes us to miss the opportunity of today! John C. Maxwell, in his outstanding best-seller Failing Forward, gives some great practical advice: “To move forward today, you must learn to say goodbye to yesterday’s hurts, tragedies and baggage. You can’t build a monument to past problems and fail forward.

Take time right now to list the negative events from your past that may still be holding you hostage. For each item you list, go through the following exercise:

1)    Acknowledge the pain
2)    Grieve the loss
3)    Forgive the person
4)    Forgive yourself
5)    Determine to release the event and move on

Your best days are definitely ahead of you if you treat your “mistakes” as necessary lessons to be learned. If you understand that each lesson brings with it a certain amount of wisdom, you can understand how truly enhanced your life is becoming. Many people can’t achieve the success of their dreams because they won’t leave their past behind. They won’t tear down the monuments they’ve built to their old hurts and problems. “Don’t dwell upon the sins and mistakes of yesterday.”

Think about it!

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Leader Who Earn My Respect: When I Think of Tok Nan (1944 - 2017) I Think of King Cyrus

Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Adenan bin Satem (27 January 1944 – 11 January 2017) or as the people called him, Tok Nan, was the fifth Chief Minister of Sarawak. He officially took the oath of office in a ceremony held at Astana on 28 February 2014. He was born in Kuching, Sarawak during its occupation by Japan in World War II. He received his early education at St. Joseph's Primary School, and later at St. Joseph's Secondary School. He once worked as a journalist and teacher before pursuing his studies in law at the University of Adelaide, Australia. I like what The Coverage writes about him, “Talk about Malaysia’s Barisan National (BN) political party and most will reply with an endless barrage of hate and disapproval. In Sarawak however, one BN man is apparently doing all the right things to capture the heart of Sarawakians.” Yes, I wish Tok Nan doesn’t represent BN at all, but like it or not, we all love him as a person and leader of Sarawak!

When I think of Tok Nan, I think of King Cyrus the Great (600 or 576 – 530 BC). This pagan king is important in Jewish history because it was under his rule that Jews were first allowed to return to Israel after 70 years of captivity. Before Cyrus issued a decree to free the Jews, prophet Isaiah already prophesied about him 150 years before Cyrus lived (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1, 4; see also 41:2-25; 42:6). King Cyrus also very active in assisted the Jews in rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem under Ezra and Zerubbabel. Cyrus restored the temple treasures to Jerusalem and allowed building expenses to be paid from the royal treasury (Ezra 1:4–11; 6:4–5). Besides his dealings with the Jews, Cyrus is known for his advancement of human rights, his brilliant military strategy, and his bridging of Eastern and Western cultures. He was a king of tremendous influence and God used him mightily.

Tok Nan was a Malay and a devoted Muslim as far as I know. These facts doesn’t stop us from respecting and loving him as a person and leader. Sarawakians love for him doesn’t affect by his race or religion, we love him because he genuinely love the people. As YB Baru Bian writes in his Facebook account: “We have lost a CM (chief minister) who truly cared about Sarawak and Sarawakians of all races, ethnicity and religions. He chose to carry on with his role as CM even though his health was declining. He did his best for Sarawak and I had the greatest respect for him.” That’s why when I think of Tok Nan I think of King Cyrus.

Let me explain. The Jews honoured Cyrus as a dignified and righteous king even though he was a pagan king; people from different races and religious honoured Tok Nan as caring and chief minister berjiwa rakyat even though he was a devoted Muslim. In history, King Cyrus was thought of as a ‘messiah’ and liberator; Tok Nan was our answered prayer when we asked for leader who fear God and ruled people justly. King Cyrus unites his conquered nations; Tok Nan represents the true spirit of 1Malaysia. God’s use of Cyrus as a “shepherd” (Isaiah 44:28) for His people illustrates the truth of Proverbs 21:1, “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases”; no doubt God raised up godly leaders such as Tok Nan in the midst of our corrupt government. I personally believe Tok Nan’s heart is in the hand of the Lord too.

When I think of Tok Nan I think of King Cyrus. But then again, they are totally different. Tok Nan doesn’t rule on his ‘throne’ like Cyrus. Tok Nan loves to be with the people. He walks among us. He eat moderately and he speaks our language. He was not power-hungry leader like many leaders today (read 10 Reasons Why Adenan Satem Is Winning The Hearts Of Sarawakians). I don’t know much about politics or about his personal life, but what I do know is that Tok Nan have my respect. I will remember him as champion of Sarawak rights and model for righteous leader. Thank you Tok Nan for everything and may God have mercy on Sarawak. Lord, raise up leaders like him! Amen.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

As A Man Thinketh #2 You Are Today Due to the Books that You (or Don't) Read

People are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound
(James Allen, As A Man Thinketh)

We spend hundreds of ringgit a year for clothing, cosmetics, body products and other items to change or improve our outward appearance but very little money or time to change our inward condition. Many people easily spend hours a day online, going to gym, playing games, watching series and movies but find every reason in the world not to spend even a few minutes a day to improving their minds.

Since it is our thoughts that determine the life we will have, you must focus on doing those things that will change your thoughts, and nothing is more effective at changing your thoughts than reading the right books. Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones writes, “You are today the same you’ll be in five years from now, except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read. The people you meet can’t always be with you, but what you read in books can remain with you a lifetime. How often we hear of individuals who began a new era in their lives from the reading of a single book.”

Are you a book reader? Why not start a new habit today? Spend just 15 minutes every day in the morning or before going to bed or whenever you’re most concentrate and focus. Read from a personal development book or biography of someone you admire (ask me if you want my book suggestions on both topics). At the end of a year you will have read about 12 books – at the end of a five years about 60 books! Through your changed thoughts you will have become much more like the “vision you enthrone in your heart.”

As English writer Aldous Huxley observed, “Every person who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting.”

Think about it!

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1.      As A Man Thinketh (1903) by James Allen
2.      Day by Day with James Allen (2003) by Vic Johnson

Sunday, January 1, 2017

As A Man Thinketh #1 Don't Limit Your Mind

A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
(James Allen, As A Man Thinketh)

You are not limited to the life you now live. It has been accepted by you as the best you can do at this moment. Any time you’re ready to go beyond the limitations currently in your life, you’re capable of doing that by choosing different thoughts. Don’t limit yourself.

Cynthia Kersey author of Unstoppable writes about this amazing story of George Dantzig. As a college student, George studied very hard and always late into the night. So late that he overslept one morning, arriving 20 minutes late for class. He quickly copied the two math problems on the board, assuming they were the homework assignment. It took him several days to work through the two problems, but finally he had a breakthrough and dropped the homework on the professor's desk the next day.

Later, on a Sunday morning, George was awakened at 6 a.m. by his excited professor. Since George was late for class, he hadn't heard the professor announce that the two unsolvable equations on the board were mathematical mind teasers that even Albert Einstein hadn't been able to answer.  But George Dantzig, working without any thoughts of limitation, had solved not one, but two problems that had stumped mathematicians for thousands of years. Simply put, George solved the problems because he didn't know he couldn't.

Bob Proctor tells us to “keep reminding yourself that you have tremendous reservoirs of potential within you, and therefore you are quite capable of doing anything you set your mind to. All you must do is figure out how you can do it, not whether or not you can. And once you have made your mind up to do it, it’s amazing how your mind begins to figure out how.”

Think about it!

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

1.      As A Man Thinketh (1903) by James Allen
2.      Day by Day with James Allen (2003) by Vic Johnson

3.      Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You (1998) by Cynthia Kersey

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