Analytic Vision

Posts Tagged ‘faith’

In Which Mirror Do You Prefer to Look?

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 11/08/2017

The Mirror of the Bible

To look in the mirror in a spiritual way is to live according to the Holy Scripture. The true esssence of listening to fragments of the Holy Scripture during the holy liturgy is to carry those to others. There are two ways of doing that. The first is to tell your friends what you learned, what was taught at the Church. This is called “the liturgy after the liturgy”. The other, more powerful way of carrying to others the message is to live by it, practice what is being taught.

First, about talking to others. How do your friends plan their meeting with Christ? This is a simple yet powerful question. Indeed, how do they do that? If they weren’t present at the liturgy, how do they practice what was taught? What stops them, if anything? How can they get counsciousness, if they choose so, of the options and the benefits of meeting Christ in the Church or through their deeds, following on the footsteps that lay on their path to redemption? How many friends do you have that bring you to Christ?

I do not preach to only have Christian friends. There is something to be learned from each person. Openness can be welcomed, in my opinion, as long as it doesn’t require accepting the relativism of truth. Such relativism is the claim that all or most spiritual or religious beliefs are correct, or that there are even are more which are correct. Relativism is in itself a religious frame. Keeping each person’s beliefs is something which can be done with firmness and gentleness, while sometimes exploring how do they apply to a particular life situation. I don’t believe the Bible teaches what our attitude should be about modifying the weather or genetically modified organisms in the food. But discussing about such topics keeping the balance of discernement in mind helps us explore the roots of each idea. Therefore, talking to people with different, even opposite beliefs shouldn’t be so scary. If you really believe what you believe, then you believe it enough that you may allow yourself to doubt it, still keeping enough arguments to return to your spiritual center.

Considering that one knows everything right even in the Orthodox Christianity is a dangerous temptation, therefore, one should keep an open mind, not to change the rightful faith beliefs, but to extend them in ways that make sense today, in this world, without posing a threat to the Christian tradition.

For example, if you share an idea through your behavior, an explanation or an answer and another person rejects it, you could feel ashamed. Either of what you said or of the fact that you wrongfully hoped the other person would cherish your idea. If you feel shame because of what you said, the case is that you didn’t really believe it so much (and you cherished your image more) and in the latter case it is discounting the reality that each of us is entitled to own beliefs, including rejecting other beliefs.

This is what freedom of expression means: that you allow and accept, and even fight for the right of another person saying something you don’t agree to. In their essence, both totalitarisms (such as communism, fascism) and political correctness (cultural marxism) admit no opposition and no middleground. Totalitarisms use propaganda and mass control and political corectness uses public relations, lobby and public policies. In essence, in a true democracy nobody should feel ashamed of saying what one thinks and believes out of fright of negative repercussions.

 

The Mirror of the Idols

What is the alternative to looking in the mirror by living your life according to Holy Scripture? It is looking at what you think you can become without God. You become the idols you serve.

For example, if you serve wrath, you become wrath. In its extreme, hateful wrath makes anyone so insignificant until it all becomes a dot, a target to fire at. Wrath can be alternatively directed at a behavior, if emotional intelligence is used. For example, a parent may tell to a child: “I love you, therefore I am angry at your wrong ways”, and by that a negative emotion can be used in such a manner that it doesn’t become an idol.

If you serve pride, you become pride. For example, if you congratulate someone because you want to be congratulated yourself or want some attention, you have not only taken that person’s right to be redempted by rewarding that person in the now (rather than the eternity), but you have also become the exponent of pride. The idol is what gets ahead of you. If a parent emotionally supports a child to do something positive, then it is not pride which is fed (unless the parent actually is proud of himself), but the child’s self-esteem and motivation for learning and repeating a useful behavior.

If you serve lust, then everything you might have gathered in life through planning and discipline is put at the altar of whmisical desires to be sacrificed. Lust is an enemy to wisdom and the clouding of the mind – not only in the sexual form. Within lust, one may become the most urgent urge that emobodies the indisciplined and uncontrolled human being.

If you serve greed, then your identity becomes attached to the things you posess and/or aspire to posess: your value becomes what you are worth in the eyes of others and what you see in the mirror when you look at what you use to cover yourself with.

If you serve gluttony, your body will likely take the shape that you give it by serving this god. Both greed and gluttony may embody the desire, the aspiration to have the own physical needs met, believing that if one doesn’t do that, nothing and nobody will, when in fact only serving others through our talents can truly establish a balance. Of course, one must know how to choose who to serve.

If you serve sloth, then abandoning reponsabilities and gifts is a spiritual suicide, giving up to pessimism and negativism, depression and despair. For example, taking a calculated break after hard work is something which can bring balance, but you cannot counteract an exaggeration, an extreme, with another extreme. Two wrongs d’t make a right.

If you serve envy, then you feel a certain inferiority which tells you whatever another one has that you value must be used to bring him or her down, instead of using admiration as a force to take learnings from a model.

Which Do You Choose?

There you have, in a nutshell, the two possible mirrors between which you life pendulates. When you stop and look, what do you see?

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My Personal Development Goals Evaluation For 2012

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 30/03/2013

About a year ago, I have stated here[en, blog] that I will change/improve some things with me, overall, based on the 360 degrees annual evaluation[en, blog]. Last year, in the fall, I have done the 360 degrees evaluation for 2012, so I now have a pretty good overall picture on what I have accomplished in the 8 months which have passed from March 2012 till November 2012. Although I did my homework and I completed the little research, I haven’t made time to share with you the results in such an organized fashion as I had done it for the 2011 evaluation here [en, pdf].

I have written this article due to the transparency that I preach – do what I say and say what I do. Therefore, let’s take my accomplishments and failures in terms of the year 2012, in rapport to what I’ve assumed as a target in front of everyone. I have marked in red the failures and with green the successes. This is NOT the top of my strengths and weaknesses. This article follows the results of my goals in the order declared last year. This is part one – how I’ve developed my strengths.

The 10 abilities (strong points) planned to enforce were:

1. Seriousness & reliability

People said about me in 2012: Professionalism, Seriousness, Maturity, Reliability , Corectness, Emotional self-control, Never complaining, Decisiveness, Independence in taking decisions, openness, honesty, niche, lots of info, Good specialist, preoccupied with things not on first hand, built façade, Word-keeper, Able to help, Healthy habits (Church, self-incentive, hard working, supporting a cause).

The problem is that this this considered quality is not the 3rd in the people’s eyes, but the 6th thing they think about, when they think about me. This is totally opposite to what I intended to obtain. This was one of the most important things for me for 2012 and I haven’t accomplished it.

Personal self-critic. I have abandoned some of my professional goals in 2012. How have I let down people in general in 2012?

I concentrated so much on writing for Discerne, my Romanian blog, and for Filme-carti.ro, that I completely abandoned my English blogs: Analytic Vision and Debug Your Mind. From this focus, in the same time resulted my winning two awards with Discerne. But, to my shame, I have not notified my readers that I’m going to take a long break.

I have announced that I was going to publish two books on negotiation and I have published just one. Basically, in 2012 I have published the revised edition of the e-book “Guide for the efficient learning” [ro, blog] and my first professional printed book on business, “Persuasion’s Paths to Negotiation” [ro, blog]. So that’s 2 out of 3 editorial projects finished. In 2013, I plan to have published 3 publishing projects. March has ended and I haven’t finished any of them yet. We’ll see how I handle.

I took a (too) long professional break in consulting & training, first until April 2012 and from August to October 2012, while I’ve been working on the book.

I also talked to some people about my plans of continuing my post-graduate studies in EU, but I have decided to postpone that opportunity for the moment. Still, last year I took from the faculties the original documents for the masters I graduated in 2011: the diploma, the supplement, the analytic programme, the authenticity attestation. In 2013, I have translated all of them and apostillated with the Hague apostille. 2012 was the first year for a long period when I haven’t been a student anywhere anymore.

2. Detachment

My enthusiasm has dropped 1 place in the top of strong points, according to the average opinion of 26 people I have asked in 2012 to tell me 4+, 4- [en, blog]. I am generally overenthusiastic and I get involved in too many things and finish just some of them. Detachment is a quality which allows you to lean back and react in balanced fashion, considering the bigger picture. I have succeeded that by taking time to work with me, to change some of the issues I was having. Detachment from my own emotions, from others’ opinions. For example, now I am in a period when I get myself involved in a lot of things and I strive for a little period of break-time, to take things into perspective. I learned to take breaks a little bit easier, which is useful, especially since I don’t want to fall into burnout or depression.

3. Faith

This strong point became more visible during 2012, probably also because of the fact that I’ve been writing pro-orthodoxy articles [ro, blog]. Actually, my best and oldest friend recommended me that I should write a book on this topic, because he thinks I write good about it. The fact is, this strong point went up from the 15th position (2011) in the top to the 9th (2012).

I think people consider this a quality even if they don’t share the same beliefs. Someone practicing a Christian confession is believed to have morality, therefore (s)he is more trustworthy. I do consider myself that some of my principles and rigorousness comes from following and practising orthodoxy.

4. Creativity

2011

2012

11th place in strengths

11th place in strengths

3.5 points

4 points

2 dissertation papers

2 books published

200+ articles published

125 + articles published

So, as you can observe in the table, although I have been more prolific in 2012, my peers actually considered me almost as much creative than in 2011. This is a blow for me, because creativity is my life, it’s one thing which should define my activity as a marketer. More is not better, and this actually seems to be the case. Especially since 4 points is even lower than what I got for creativity in 2010, when it was on the 13th place as strength. I have to admit that I haven’t come with ground-breaking ideas or discoveries in 2011 or 2012.

In the same time, I think people associate generally creativity with innovation, and this is not necessarily the case. I have a more pronounced correlative intelligence, rather than an innovative one. Considering I have made it a goal in 2012 to be more creative and I failed to do that, in the feed-back of 32+ people, it’s certainly something to think about.

5. Organisation

I haven’t accomplished this goal – I will write about it more in the article about the weaknesses.

6. Expressiveness

The number of points received by this strength has more than doubled spectacularly, making expressiveness one of my top 3 strengths. People said about me in 2012: Assertiveness, negotiation, Efficient communication, excellent verbal expression, Diplomacy, Understanding, Offering good feed-back, Relaxed presenting style, Good education, common sense, respect, Good man, Manners, good will, Nice guy, Write a lot, Easy to talk to, Nice looking, Sympathetic, Ability to have a dialogue.

So, even if I’m considered less creative in 2012 compared to 2011, I’m considered almost twice as expressive, which shows that I have seriously improved my communication abilities. I have also enriched and diversified my styles of writing. This is one of the goals I really nailed in 2012. Nobody can tell me you can’t succeed in planning with precision to affect other people’s opinion.

7. Optimism

More people from those who gave me complete, relevant feed-back, viewed me as optimist in 2012, compared to 2011. Probably since I became more expressive, people could perceive me more coherently and one of my strengths is my optimism, even if its corresponding weakness is idealism, which is much more visible.

8. Concision

The attribute analysis, as a strength, fell from the 5th to the 7th position in 2012. The attribute overanalysishas also dropped its position (from 11 to 12) and points (from 6 to 5,5) in the top of weaknesses. I’ve been complimented for the results of my work with Persuasion’s Paths to Negotiation” [ro, blog]. I published the book in December 2012, so after completing the 360º evaluation. I’ve been commended for the fact it is a very concentrated book which synthesizes excellently thousands of pages of speciality books.

For me, to develop the ability to synthesize, next to my great analytic talent is very important. People expect me at my age to make some conclusions and not to keep analysing alternatives.

9. Balance, calm

Although some people appreciated at me in 2010-2011 the balance, the calm, the objectivity, I confess of seeming to lose all of it in 2012. Actually, I was perceived as more in a rush than in 2011. My patience with me and with others seems to have ran out in 2012. Unfortunately, people see me rather as agitated than peaceful.

10. Data & rights security

This is actually not so related to my personal branding or my personal development, but it is a declared interest. I have been continuing my activity in password-protecting all the documents I sent. I have kept on removing from all unwanted places my writings (e.g. materials written by me and published by others on Scribd without permission – including a draft of book), I have registered my copyrights for all of the articles published in 2012. I have shared my work with less people.

I have participated to one security workshop.

I have kept on changing passwords to all my accounts and none of them got hijacked. I have been using virtual keybord when accesing sensitive accounts from wireless connections. I have installed a protection software for wireless connection, I have disabled google tracking in Chrome. I have been using an encrypted partition for my work.

I haven’t had a file data loss since 2011. My maintenance of computers, both the central unit and the laptop, both software and hardware, have spared me of any problems. I had my laptop cleaned from dust and I replaced its charger and battery.

I have been raising attention to the internet-rights as human rights [en, php] related issues by publishing posts on this topic and sharing initiatives such as accessnow.org .

Other positive things I have accomplished in the area of my strengths, based solely on the 360º evaluation:

I was considered in 2012 50% more intelligent and 2 times more emotionally intelligent  than in 2011, which is a radical and consistent improvement in my image.

People said about me in 2012:

  • Intelligence, Evolution, Competitiveness with self (perfectionism), Reasoning capacity, Self-taught, reading a lot, (thirst for) knowledge, Smartness, good memory, passion for study,

  • EQ (empathy + showing emotions), attention to others’ needs, good listener & confident, knowledge of people & questions, good advice, helpful, innocence, constructivism, will to do good, caring, thesaurus of wisdom, offering, generosity, remembering the names of people, nice guy. Practically, this attribute has gone from the 8th position straight to the 4thposition in 2012.

I will continue with an article where I will share with you what I have accomplished in working with my weaknesses.So far, 70% success from what I proposed as a goal from 2012 for 2012.

Posted in Analytic & Critic Vision Over... | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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