Monday, September 26, 2016

Happiness Is a State of Mind

Happiness is a state of mind, and it is all in the mind.

We all pursue happiness in our lives. However, happiness always seems elusive, evasive, and unattainable. The word "happiness" is a term difficult to define because it is very much individualized. But genuine human happiness has to be holistic in that the body, the mind, and the soul all feel some sense of satisfaction. 

Happiness is a state of mind. The mind controls your thoughts: how you act and react to any event or circumstance. The mind records all your mental perceptions and interpretations. and stores them at the back of your subconscious mind, where they become your memories, and hence the fabrics with which you weave the "realities" of your life. In short, it is your mind that decides whether you are happy or unhappy.

In addition, your mind makes your life choices, such as what you eat and your lifestyle. Again, they may positively or negatively affect your body and your health. Given the close connection between body and mind, your physical health has a direct impact on your mental wellness, and hence your mental happiness. 

Your soul oversees your body and your mind, which affect your soul with respect to its supervision. It is the interconnection between the body, the mind, and the soul that is ultimately responsible for your overall wellness and ultimately your perception of happiness. Happiness is always a glass half-empty or a glass half-full. Remember, life is always a bed of roses with thorns -- we all have our good fortunes and misfortunes. It is all in the mind, which can make "a heaven out of hell" or "a hell out of heaven."

In order to empower the mind to create your own happiness, you need true human wisdom to understand what genuine human happiness is. With that wisdom, you know who you really are, as well as your needs, and not your wants. With that awareness, you become a better person and more connected with others. Human goodness is the foundation upon which genuine human happiness is built.

Read my book Be A Better and Happier You With Tao Wisdom

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Your Stress and Your Ego

Stress comes from your mind, which originates from your ego. Stress is one of the many underlying causes of human diseases. If you have been diagnosed with an life-threatening disease, it is particularly important not to let stress worsen your disease symptoms or prognosis. Let go of your ego is let go of your stress. There is no other way.

Overcome stress with Tao wisdom, the ancient Chinese wisdom  of Lao Tzu,  the sage who authored the immortal classic "Tao Te Ching. "  This ancient classic has become one of the most translated books in world literature; its popularity is due to its  profound and unconventional wisdom, which is both intriguing and controversial. Tao wisdom may hold the key to stress relief for modern living.

"NO EGO NO STRESS" is a 134-page book on how to use the Tao wisdom to relieve stress. All stress-relief strategies of contemporary wisdom cannot totally eliminate everyday stress; they may only complement the ancient Tao wisdom in coping with stress. Live your life as if everything is a miracle.

NO EGO NO STRESS is available on Amazon (only $2.99).

PART ONE: An Introduction to Stress

It explains how and where stress comes from; the damage and devastation of stress to human health.

PART TWO: Conventional Wisdom

The major life stressors come from careermoneyrelationshipadversity, and time. Conventional wisdom offers many strategies for stress relief, such as exercise, herbs, medications, meditation, and psychotherapies, among others. Conventional wisdom may reduce stress levels, but it does not eradicate stress completely. Conventional wisdom only complements the ancient Tao wisdom for ultimate stress relief.

PART THREE: Tao Wisdom

This part not only explains what Tao wisdom is all about, but also contains the complete translation in simple English of all the 81 short chapters of “Tao Te Ching.” Going through the whole script, interpreted and translated by the author, will enable you to understand better the essentials of Tao wisdom for stress-free contemporary living.

PART FOUR: No Ego No Stress

Stress originates from the human mind: how it perceives and processes life experiences. What is stress to one individual may not be stress to another. This part explains in detail how having no ego can eradicate stress related to career, relationship, money, adversity, and time.

Learn how to use the ancient Tao wisdom to overcome stress related to autoimmune disease.

NO EGO NO STRESS” points out how the human ego is formed by the subconscious mind through its perceptions and interpretations of life experiences. The author relates to the famous saying by Descartes, the great French philosopher: “I think, therefore I am.” It is a myth or misconception that you are “who” and “what” you think; you are not the products of your thoughts. “Who” and “what” you think you have become is just your ego-self, erroneously created by your thinking mind.

Tao wisdom focuses on the need of “emptying” and “reversing” the human mindset in order to see “who” and “what” you truly are, without any attachment to your ego. According to Lao Tzu, the ego is unreal, because it is based on past memories and projections of those memories into the future as desires and expectations. The past was gone, and the future is yet to come; only the present is real. Therefore, the ego-self that exists in the past or in the future is non-existing in the present, except in the mind. Without the ego, there is no need of protecting or sustaining it. Without fear and expectation, there is no need of judging, picking and choosing—they often result in making wrong choices and decisions, and thus creating stress. With no ego, there is no need of over-doing to fulfill the expectation. The problem with conventional wisdom is that the mind focuses on the past or the future, but seldom stays in the present. Only when the mind stays in the present can it see things as they really are and not as what they should be. Tao wisdom is essentially understanding of the true nature of things: that everything in life follows a natural order and pattern, such as life begets death, success is followed by failure, what goes up must come down. Tao wisdom is self-intuition to know and understand self and others, as well as the world around.

Get your download for your digital copy from Amazon, or get your paperback.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Which Is Stressful: Concentration or Mindfulness?


Many of us do not concentrate on one thing at a time because our minds are compulsive; that is to say, our minds are multitasking. Concentrating on multiple things at the same time is always stressful.

But is concentration itself stressful?

Concentration is forcing the mind to focus on one static point using willpower. For example, if you concentrate on writing an essay or studying a topic for an examination, you may put in so much of your attention or time that you even forget your dinner. Worse, if you are multi-tasking, trying to concentrate on doing several things at the same time.

Mindfulness is different from concentration in that in mindfulness you are noticing something in a relaxed manner. That is to say, your attention is naturally spontaneous without any undue distraction.

Practice mindful walking: walking while paying attention to your steps, the movements of your limbs or focusing your eyes on the sidewalk or a distant object or building. The objective of the attention is to shut off your mind to give it a meaningful break.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Your Mind -- Your Friend Or Your Enemy?

Is your mind your friend or your enemy? How does your mind become your enemy, instead of being your friend? How does it become an obstacle in your pathway to self-discovery and ultimate enlightenment?
Descartes, the great philosopher, made his famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” Accordingly, we think and we then become what we think we are—the products of our thoughts. Unfortunately, this famous statement by Descartes is only partially true: it is true that we identify ourselves with our thoughts projected into our minds; but it is not true that our identities thus created by our thoughts are our true selves. In that respect, your mind may become your enemy, because it gives you a false image of your true self, and you are not what and who that you think you really are. 
Reflective Thought
Your mind is doing you a disservice because it is not telling you the absolute truth about who and what you really are.
Case in Point
Negative thoughts create a negative image of self, but that negative image can be changed into a positive one through positive thinking, as proved by many scientific studies. So, your identity created by your thoughts is not a true reflection of who you really are. You think you are somebody, but, in fact, you are not!
If our perceptions of who we really are, or our true identities are affected by our distorted thinking and thoughts, then our minds have become our enemies, and not our friends.
The crucial question is: “How do we stop our minds from using or abusing us?”
Honestly, it is very difficult, because we are all compulsive thinkers; that is, we think continuously—even in our sleep in the form of dreams in our subconscious minds. Because our minds are thinking non-stop, we are constantly identifying ourselves with our thoughts in our subconscious minds, whether we want it or not. In order to stop our minds from controlling or using us to our disadvantage, we must be able to stop our thinking whenever we choose to. In other words, we would have to “switch off” our minds, just as we turn off our computers. That may be a little difficult, but not totally impossible.
Truly, we can never totally stop our minds from thinking for an indefinite length of time; after all, we all need our minds to think, don’t we? But we can give our minds a short, meaningful break every now and then, just as we switch off our computers when we are not using them.
The Book of Life and Living is a 190-page book on how to use your mind to your advantage and live your life as if everything is a miracle, The Wisdom of Letting Go shows you the importance of letting go to attain profound human and spiritual wisdom.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Clarity of Thinking to Seek God's Wisdom


The Bible is the Word of God. Through the Bible, God speaks to each and every one of us. But God's wisdom is often beyond the understanding of man. Jesus often uses parables to explain Biblical truths because it is not readily available to the human mind; God's wisdom is always profound and unfathomable to many.

To pursue God's wisdom in the Bible, understanding human wisdom is the "first" step. 

It is true that if we diligently and fervently pursue God's wisdom, such as reading the Bible, God will use the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and our minds. However, we may require human wisdom to overcome our disbelief first before there is further understanding.

To seek God's wisdom, first and foremost, we need to know who we really are. Unfortunately, many of us do not really know who we are, let alone what we want in our lives. 

Why is that? It is because human thinking is imperfect. According to the famous statement "I think, and therefore I am" of Descartes, the great French philosopher, we think and therefore we become what we think we are, that is, the product of our thoughts. However, that statement is only partially true: due to flawed human thinking, we may not be the sum of our thoughts, because our thoughts are only partially true. Therefore, we are not really  who and what we think we are.

"True" human wisdom is an endeavor to understand who we are and what we need. Understanding the self helps us understand the true nature of things, or the laws of nature. Without understanding the natural laws of this world, human sufferings and ordeals in life often become stumbling blocks to understanding spiritual wisdom. Indeed, many of us find ourselves often asking the questions: Why me? Where is God?

Lao Tzu's immortal classic Tao Te Ching explains the essentials of human wisdom, which involve "reverse" thinking from the "conditioned" mindset of conventional wisdom. He explains how to acquire "true" human wisdom, without which it there is little or no intent to seek God's wisdom, let alone understanding the wisdom of God expressed in the Bible.

Understanding human wisdom begins with the mind -- an empty and inquisitive mind with the intent to ask questions to find out who we are and what we want. Asking questions enhance awareness, which is an important ingredient of human wisdom. With acute awareness, we develop clarity of mind. Heroes in movies often know the right thing to do because they have clarity of mind. In life, no amount of training can compensate for clarity of mind, which enables you to separate the truths from the half-truths or myths

Stephen Lau


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Stop Your Mind From Aging

Your biological clock is ticking, whether you are conscious of it or not. Your mortality has been pre-programmed into your biological organisms and you body cells. Theoretically, you may have an indefinite lifespan through their division, rejuvenation, and regeneration—if they are still healthy and functional. Although your genes may have pre-determined the speed of your biological clock, you can still slow down the speed of aging—if you still have good health, especially your mental health. Stop your mind from aging!

.Whether you like it or not, your biological clock is ticking, and this will happen to various systems in your body: 
  • Your heart will pump less blood, and your arteries will become stiffer and less flexible, resulting in high blood pressure—a health problem that often increases with age.
  •  With less oxygen and nutrients from the heart, your lungs will become less efficient in distributing oxygen to different organs and membranes of your body.
  •  Your brain size will gradually reduce by approximately 10 percent between the age of 30 and 70. Loss of short-term memory will become more acute.
  •  Your bone mass will reduce, making it more brittle and fragile. Your body size will shrink as you lose your muscle mass.
As  you continue to age, your memory brain may be overloaded with past negative emotions, such as anger, hatred, and regret, and among others, that have a negative impact on your brain. Learn to let go of your attachments to the past. It is not easy, but is doable if you use Tao wisdom, the ancient wisdom from China to help you let go of your ego-self in order to let go of you attachments, not just emotional attachments, but also material attachments to the physical world you are living in. Let go to have a healthy mind.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Self-Efficacy Is Mind Power

Believing in yourself is self-efficacy. Believing in yourself is confidence in your own ability, knowing what you have to do to win or simply to get what you want in life.

Diane Sawyer once said: “Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.” 

Believing in yourself is one of the first steps to success in doing anything that becomes the very substance of your confidence. To have confidence, you must set goals, and achieving your goals helps you build more confidence.

The only stumbling block to believing in yourself is your inability to achieve: some of your goals at some points in your life. This stumbling block may create negativity in the form of victimization. In other words, you may find you are a victim of circumstances; this may also lead to bitterness, despair, or even anger.

One of the reasons why sometimes you don’t have self-efficacy is your past. You could have been haunted by your past failures that generated regrets, bitterness, and disappointments that you have not been able to let go of. Attachment to the past is always a stumbling block to moving ahead.
The Wisdom of Letting Go

The wisdom of letting go shows you how to use the ancient Tao wisdom from China to live in the present moment, and, more importantly, to let go of the past. With both  human wisdom and spiritual wisdom from the Bible, you may start believing in yourself again. With self-efficacy, you can do anything at any stage of your life, and the sky is the limit. 

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Elements of A Photographic Memory

Are you having problems with your memory? As you continue to age, your memory naturally deteriorates. But you can stop your memory loss. As a matter of fact, you can even increase your memory. After all, humans use only a small fraction of their brain cells. Use it or lose it! It’s just that simple! Develop a photographic memory at any age, even as you step into seniority.

Memory has everything to do with awareness and mental associations. You must be able to associate the information and input it in your brain, so that you can retrieve the information later. To facilitate the mental processing of the information, you need to do the following:

Concentration

Try not to do too many things too quickly at the same time. This not only creates time-stress but also disorients the mind. Forget about multi-tasking; most probably, by now, you have passed that age!

Visualization

Visualize the information in your mind's eye, which is essentially the process of remembering. Seeing is believing, and a picture is worth a thousand words. If you can vividly visualize something in your mind's eye, your memory of that becomes more vivid, and that memory will be retained much longer.

Creativity and Imagination

Being creative and imaginative is an indispensable asset in good memory. The explanation is that with a creative mind, you can come up with mental associations that are totally outrageous and therefore unforgetable. The more absurd your mental associations are, the longer they will stick in your memory. You can learn to become more creative and imaginative through more practice. If you can think of something extraordinary, you can create out-of-the-ordinary mental associations that you will not easily forget. For example, when you are introduced to someone by the name of “Dustin”, you can create the image of a dustbin, and associate the features of that person with a dustbin. The more ridiculous that image is, the more you will remember that person’s name.

Repetition

Give the information a sound so that you can hear it as well as see it. Repeat the information as much as possible. For example, if you are introduced to a person, repeat the name of that person several times to register it in your brain. However, the process of repeating and remembering may not be as simple and straightforward as you wish: there may be obstacles to hindering the process. These obstacles may include distraction, lack of focus, inadequate motivation, and a stressful environment.

Compartmentalization

Finally, you need to store the information in an organized and systematic way in a mental folder in your memory. The human mind has a great capacity for storage of information. In fact, you have probably used up only about ten percent of brain storage space. To help you remember all types of information as well as to retrieve  the stored information, you need to think logically and categorize systematically the information in your mind's eye. The brain is like a file cabinet, where you put different types of information according to different categories or headings

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How Your Emotions Affect Your Body

Your mind is the generator of your emotions because it perceives, interprets, generalizes your thoughts, which then become your assumptions that affect how you act or react in the physical world. Your mind affects your body; as a matter of fact, there is a close connection between the body and the mind.     

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), human emotions are the major underlying causes of disease because Chinese physicians believe that certain body organs are related to emotional activities; for example, the heart is related to joy, the liver to anger, the spleen to obsessive thoughts, the lungs to anxiety, and the kidneys to fear. Therefore, excessive emotions disrupt the free flow of qi, the life-giving energy that flows through the body, and thus causing imbalance and disharmony that may lead to disease and disorder.   

In addition, human behaviors—often a byproduct of human emotions—affect the mind, just as emotions of the mind affect the body. According to a study at Ohio State University in 2003, physical behavior, such as enhanced body language of nodding in agreement or shaking head in disagreement, may significantly affect how we think without our knowing it. According to that study, even posture, such as sitting up straight, may be conducive to remembering positive memories or thinking positively, because posture changes the production of human hormones.   

The interconnection between the body and the mind is further evidenced by the indisputable notion that a healthy heart produces a healthy brain by pumping sufficient oxygen and nutrients to nourish the brain through its bloodstream.   

As If Everything Is A Miracle   

This 125-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle, instead of as if nothing is a miracle. To do just that, you need wisdom to "rethink" your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to "renew" your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need spiritual wisdom to "reconnect" your soul, which is the essence of your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to "realign" your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the roadmap and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.   

With enlightenment, you will become a better, happier, and healthier you. With enlightenment, you will live a stress-fee life. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self. No Ego No Stress!  

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Letting Go Is Like Breathing Out

Letting go is wisdom in living. In this day and age, humans have a tendency to hold on to anything and everything they can get hold of. Just take a look at your basement: it may be cluttered with junks that you don’t have the time to sort out or to get rid of. It is human nature to attach to anything that identifies them or they can identify themselves with. Attachment can be material, such as the clothes you wear or the car you drive; it can also be mental and emotional, such as the feeling of being successful or the toxic emotion of regret and bitterness. Letting go is the key to living a happy life as if everything is a miracle.

Letting go is like breathing out, which has to be deep and complete. Learn how to breathe correctly; many people don’t breathe right because they are not conscious of their breathing. Breathe right to help you in your everyday life and living. Remember, a healthy mind always has an easy breath, giving a relaxed body. Humans tend to focus on breathing in—which is akin to holding on or refusing to let go of any attachment—to the extent that they may completely neglect what happens when they breathe out, as if it were not that important. This discrepancy needs to be corrected, in order to create a free-flowing breath. Concentrating on breathing in may fill up the lungs with air all the time, such that the breathing becomes quicker and shorter, and thus stressing both the body and the mind. This may, ironically enough, lead to “feeling out of breath.” The wisdom of correct breathing is, paradoxically, to empty the lungs of air so that it may be filled completely with air.

Remember, in optimal breathing, the breathing out should be longer than the breathing in; without emptying first through breathing out, there will be no room for filling in by way of breathing in. Likewise, you need to let go of any attachment before you can receive new things in your life. After all, life is forever changing, and nothing is permanent. So, just let go to let God

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau