Tag Archive | value of life

THE GOLDEN WINDOWS

 

All day long the little boy had worked hard, in field and barn and shed, for his people were poor farmers, and could not pay a workman; but at sunset there came an hour that was all his own, for his father had given it to him. Then the boy would go up to the top of a hill and look across at another hill that rose some miles away. On this far hill stood a house with windows of clear gold and diamonds. They shone and blazed so that it made the boy wink to look at them: but after a while the people in the house put up shutters, as it seemed, and then it looked like any common farm-  house. The boy supposed they did this because it was supper-time; and then he would go into the house and have his supper of bread and milk, and so to bed.

One day the boy’s father called him and said: “You have been a good boy, and have earned a holiday. Take this day for your own; but remember that God gave it, and try to learn some good thing.”

The boy thanked his father and kissed his mother; then he put a piece of bread in his pocket, and started off to find the house with the golden windows.

It was pleasant walking. His bare feet made marks in the white dust, and when he looked back, the footprints seemed to be following him, and making company for him. His shadow, too, kept beside him, and would dance or run with him as he pleased; so it was very cheerful.

By and by he felt hungry; and he sat down by a brown brook that ran through the alder hedge by the roadside, and ate his bread, and drank the clear water. Then he scattered the crumbs for the birds, as his mother had taught him to do, and went on his way.

 After a long time he came to a high green hill; and when he had climbed the hill, there was the house on the top; but it seemed that the shutters were up, for he could not see the golden windows. He came up to the house, and then he could well have wept, for the windows were of clear glass, like any others, and there was no gold anywhere about them.

A woman came to the door, and looked kindly at the boy, and asked him what he wanted.

“I saw the golden windows from our hilltop,” he said, “and I came to see them, but now they are only glass.”

The woman shook her head and laughed.

“We are poor farming people,” she said, “and are not likely to have gold about our windows; but glass is better to see through.”

She bade the boy sit down on the broad stone step at the door, and brought him a cup of milk and a cake, and bade him rest; then she called her daughter, a child of his own age, and nodded kindly at the two, and went back to her work.

 The little girl was barefooted like himself, and wore a brown cotton gown, but her hair was golden like the windows he had seen, and her eyes were blue like the sky at noon. She led the boy about the farm, and showed him her black calf with the white star on its forehead, and he told her about his own at home, which was red like a chestnut, with four white feet. Then when they had eaten an apple together, and so had become friends, the boy asked her about the golden windows. The little girl nodded, and said she knew all about them, only he had mistaken the house.

“You have come quite the wrong way!” she said. “Come with me, and I will show you the house with the golden windows, and then you will see for yourself.”

They went to a knoll that rose behind the farmhouse, and as they went the little girl told him that the golden windows could only be seen at a certain hour, about sunset.

“Yes, I know that!” said the boy.

When they reached the top of the knoll, the girl turned and pointed; and there on a hill far away stood a house with windows of clear gold and diamond, just as he had seen them. And when they looked again, the boy saw that it was his own home.

Then he told the little girl that he must go; and he gave her his best pebble, the white one with the red band, that he had carried for a year in his pocket; and she gave him three horse-chestnuts, one red like satin, one spotted, and one white like milk. He kissed her, and promised to come again, but he did not tell her what he had learned; and so he went back down the hill, and the little girl stood in the sunset light and watched him.

The way home was long, and it was dark before the boy reached his father’s house; but the lamplight and firelight shone through the windows, making them almost as bright as he had seen them from the hilltop; and when he opened the door, his mother came to kiss him, and his little sister ran to throw her arms about his neck, and his father looked up and smiled from his seat by the fire.

“Have you had a good day?” asked his mother.

 Yes, the boy had had a very good day.

“And have you learned anything?” asked his father.

“Yes!” said the boy. “I have learned that our house has windows of gold and diamond.”

 http://www.mainlesson.com

6 tips to Improving our self-esteem

 

This morning I am very glad and willing to share one aspect of our life. Self -esteem. Self-esteem simply means appreciating yourself for who you are — faults, foibles and all. It seems like other cultures don’t grapple with self-esteem as much as Americans do, perhaps because of the emphasis we seem to put on materialistic indicators of self-worth (like what kind of car you drive, what school your kids attend, what your grades are, how big a house you have, or what your title is at work).

The following is an article about improving our self-esteem that I use as a training material in my company where I work.  There are 6 important tips that we can practice in order to improve our self-esteem. I hope these tips can be useful for everyone. Improving self-esteem mean better life.

1. Take a Self-Esteem Inventory.

You can’t fix what you don’t know. This is one of the core components of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Before you get to work on putting CBT to work, you have to spend a fair amount of time identifying irrational thoughts and what-not.

The same is true for your self-esteem. To simply generalize and say, “I suck. I’m a bad person. I can’t do anything.” is to tell yourself a simple but often convincing lie. I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. We all suck from time to time. The solution isn’t to wallow in suck-age as the core of your identity, but to acknowledge it and move on.

Get a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle of it. On the right-hand side, write: “Strengths” and on the left-hand side, write: “Weaknesses.” List 10 of each. Yes, 10. That may seem like a lot of the Strengths side if you suffer from poor self-esteem, but force yourself to find all 10.

If you’re having difficulty coming up with a whole 10, think about what others have said to you over the years. “Thanks for listening to me the other night when all I did was talk your ear off!” “You did a great job at work with that project, thanks for pitching in.” “I’ve never seen someone who enjoyed housework as much as you do.” “You seem to have a real knack for telling a story.” Even if you think the Strength is stupid or too small to list, list it anyway. You may be surprised at how easy it is to come up with all 10 when you approach it from this perspective.

This is your Self-Esteem Inventory. It lets you know all the things you already tell yourself about how much you suck, as well as showing you that there are just as many things you don’t suck at. Some of the weaknesses you may also be able to change, if only you worked at them, one at a time, over the course of a month or even a year. Remember, nobody changes things overnight, so don’t set an unrealistic expectation that you can change anything in just a week’s time.

2. Set Realistic Expectations.

Nothing can kill our self-esteem more than setting unrealistic expectations. I remember when I was in my 20s, I had thought, “I need to be a millionaire by the time I’m 30 or I’m going to be a failure.” (Don’t even get me started about how many things are wrong with that statement.) Needless to say, 30 came and I was nowhere close to being a millionaire. I was more in debt than ever, and owning a home was still a distant dream. My expectation was unrealistic, and my self-esteem took a blow when I turned 30 and saw how far away such a goal was.

Sometimes our expectations are so much smaller, but still unrealistic. For instance, “I wish my mom (or dad) would stop criticizing me.” Guess what? They never will! But that’s no reason to let their criticism affect your own view of yourself, or your own self-worth. Check your expectations if they keep disappointing you. Your self-esteem will thank you.

This may also help you to stop the cycle of negative thinking about yourself that reinforce our negative self-esteem. When we make set realistic expectations in our life, we can stop berating ourselves for not meeting some idealistic goal.

3. Set Aside Perfection and Grab a Hold of Accomplishments… and Mistakes.

Perfection is simply unattainable for any of us. Let it go. You’re never going to be perfect. You’re never going to have the perfect body, the perfect life, the perfect relationship, the perfect children, or the perfect home. We revel in the idea of perfection, because we see so much of it in the media. But that is simply an artificial creation of society. It doesn’t exist.

Instead, grab a hold of your accomplishments as you achieve them. Acknowledge them to yourself for their actual value (don’t de-value them by saying, “Oh, that? That’s just so easy for me, no big deal.”). It may even help to keep a little journal or list of things you accomplish. Some people might even do this on a day-by-day basis, while others might feel more comfortable just noting them once a week or even once a month. The key is to get to your smaller goals and move on from each one, like a connect-the-dots game of life.

It’s just as important to take something away from the mistakes you make in life. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it simply means you made a mistake (like everyone does). Mistakes are an opportunity for learning and for growth, if only we push ourselves out of the self-pity or negative self-talk we wallow in after one, and try and see it from someone else’s eyes.

4. Explore Yourself.

“Know thyself” is an old saying passed down through the ages, to encourage us to engage in self-exploration. Usually the most well-adjusted and happiest people I meet are people who have gone through this exercise. It isn’t just about knowing your strengths and weaknesses, but also opening yourself up to new opportunities, new thoughts, trying out something new, new viewpoints, and new friendships.

Sometimes when we’re down on ourselves and our self-esteem has taken a big hit, we feel like we have nothing to offer the world or others. It may be that we simply haven’t found everything that we do have to offer — things we haven’t even considered or thought of yet. Learning what these are is simply a matter of trial and error. It’s how people become the people they’ve always wanted to become, by taking risks and trying things they wouldn’t ordinarily do.

5. Be Willing to Adjust Your Own Self-Image.

Self-esteem is useless if it’s based upon an older version of you that no longer exists. I used to be good at many things I’m no longer good at. I excelled in math while in high school, but couldn’t do a calculus problem today to save my life. I used to think I was pretty smart, until I learned just how little I knew. I could play trombone pretty well at one point, but no longer.

But all of that’s okay. I’ve adjusted my own beliefs about my self and my strengths as I go along. I’ve become a better writer, and learned more about business than I ever knew before. I don’t sit around and say, “Geez, I really wish I could play trombone like I used to!” (And if I cared enough to really think that, I would go and take some lessons to get good at it again.) Instead, I evaluate myself based upon what’s going on in my life right now, not some distant past version of me.

Keep adjusting your self-image and self-esteem to match your current abilities and skills, not those of your past.

6. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.

Nothing can hurt our self-esteem more than unfair comparisons. Joe has 3,000 Facebook friends while I only have 300. Mary can outrun me on the field when we play ball. Elizabeth has a bigger house and a nice car than I do. You can see how this might impact our feelings about ourselves, the more we do this sort of thing.

I know it’s tough, but you need to stop comparing yourself to others. The only person you should be competing against is yourself. These comparisons are unfair because you don’t know as much as you think you do about these other people’s lives, or what it’s really like to be them. You think it’s better, but it may be 100 times worse than you can imagine. (For instance, Joe paid for that many friends; Mary’s parents have had her in sports training since she was 3; and Elizabeth is in a loveless marriage that only appears to be ideal.)

From John M. Grohol, PsyD article about improving your self-esteem. psychcentral.com

Summarized by Karina Susanto