I believe that one of the valuable attributes of a good chess player is strategy; they are often wonderful strategists. Strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term goal or aim. In life, it can be a helpful thing to have strategies for the aims and goals we have, a kind of master plan of how to get what you want and to where you want. Self-made guiding principles that are followed through, in charting a way forward through the choppy sea of life. In doing so, nasty surprises may not be totally eliminated, but can be greatly reduced to negligible levels.
However, a word of caution is that in doing so, there has to be a healthy amount of strategic ambiguity. Yes, strategic ambiguity in a world of competition in almost everything; from studies to work/business is a helpful tool. I do not mean to be apocalyptic but, the realities of life seem to suggest that perhaps not everybody is charitable towards another. This is where strategic ambiguity can be helpful in protecting you from uncharitable groups and individuals along the way to achieving your goals. Reading and knowing situations and people at a given point in time and place can help to inform you if it is worth being clear or ambiguous.
You know your intentions well, but you may not know or be so sure of other people’s intentions. Make god use of your social intelligence skills. Just because you could be strategically ambiguous as and when necessary, you should maintain consistency regarding you/your organisation’s strategy. When you review situations and see where you have been, where you are at the moment and if your goal is within reach, is how you can tell whether you are making good or slow or no progress. Where re-calibration of particular aspects is necessary, do just that. Additionally, your wellness matters and should be maintained. Furthermore, where other professional expertise can be of help, mine inclusive; you can make your wise choices at your convenience.
I wish you well.
The recent herbal walk in East London on 26th November 2016 was a very worthwhile endeavour. Prior to the walk, the tea meditation was helpful in focusing and being in the present. Taking into account that we were in the winter season and it was a cold day, I was appreciative of the warmth derived from the tea. I was also appreciative of the spiritual and medicinal benefits of drinking the peppermint tea that I drank. Tea meditation entails mindfulness of the present moment in each step taken; from the preparatory process, sitting and drinking the tea.
Drinking one cup of tea could take almost an hour, while paying attention to your breathing and being mindful of each action including swallowing. Expression of thanks is pertinent to the tea meditation process. The relaxation, alertness and calmness derived from the tea meditation can help with stress and anxiety relief, while having a focused mind. The nexus of the steps in the meditation process from start to finish can facilitate a sense of gratitude for divine providence.
During the herbal walk several reminders resurfaced. There was acknowledgement that the herbs we were harvesting were helpful to us with regard to their medicinal and spiritual benefits, and the oxygen derived from them. Plants derive carbon dioxide from humans, a good example of the interdependency of living things in the ecosystem. Other living organisms derive benefit from the herbs we use, hence the need to share. There was also a reminder that when harvesting, uprooting the whole plant prevents re-grown coupled with deprivation of other creatures from benefiting from the herb.
Giving thanks or expression of gratitude immediately after harvests is a good gesture of appreciation. The herbal harvesting etiquette reminded me of the Sustainable Development Goals, premised on conservation and restoration. During the walk, a range of known herbs were identified; including Nettle, Yarrow, Hawthorne and many more. I was privileged to drink an infusion of Ginger, Apple and Hawthorne tea for the first time, and to derive benefits from that combination. My thanks to Rabiah Abdullah; the organizer, lead person and founder of the Herbal Blessing Clinic.
In our daily lives we exhort our family, friends and colleagues to be mindful of particular things in order not to be ruinous or be disadvantaged in some way. For example one may caution earnestly by saying: “Please be mindful of the small print in the contract.” However, mindfulness is broader than that; the term also encapsulates several aspects of being.
There are slight variances of definitions of mindfulness; in this written piece I will use one of the simplistic versions. Mindfulness is a mental state that is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
Mindfulness is used as a therapeutic technique in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in treating various disorders. MBCT is said to have the potential to improve one’s well-being, mindfulness, emotional regulation, positive mood and spiritual experience, while reducing stress anxiety and other problems.
However, from a proactive and not reactive approach to well-being, one can learn and practice mindfulness as per the definition in the second paragraph. Mindfulness meditation is a specific technique that one can use to help develop the capacity for mindfulness. Research shows that the physical health benefits of mindfulness include: an improved immune system, lower blood pressure, and better sleep.
The Mindfulness Meditation Institute informs us that you can also improve your self-esteem through mindfulness meditation. One can practice and be proficient at mindfulness meditation from the comfort of his/her home, and the benefits are worthwhile.