2015 is knocking at our doors and we have to be sure to be ready to open the doors with an open mindset and high spirits. As Arianna Huffington wrote in her most recent book Thrive: "the third metric to redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom and wonder" restoring our personal sense of wonder is key to developing one selves, getting to know our limits and trying to overcome them by being flexible and more compassionate. Volunteering, as well as engaging in outside activities that divert our attention from ourselves, our own material properties and our only close family, can truly change our life perceptions and improve our behaviors in society. The sense of wonder is restored by awakening the child that is within ourselves.
I am a fan of lists and bullet points, so here's my list for you, which I compiled by referring to philosophers and explorers who can truly give a sense of direction and humor in our day-to-day activities and endeavors:
1. Take walks: it is good for your health and you will never know where you end up if you have some time to wander around your city. As when Socrates used to question market-goers on their understanding of the meaning of life in the Greek agora, I suggest you read Answers, Discussions with Western Buddhists by the Dalai Lama and José Ignacio Cabezón and in our post modern era.
2. Take different roads and public transportation lines: it is a good way of practicing patience and the art of slowness. If we get too used to cars and fast transportation we become too impatient and stressed out and we become unable of dealing with day-to-day stress and work burnouts. While on the bus, speak to strangers or read a passage of The Map of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander.
3. Be an explorer: imagine if Marco Polo or Christopher Columbus did not exist, what if we did not have the imagination to dream the impossible? While on the sofa dreaming to travel or to plan the next trip, take a look at the fabulous Lonely Planet 500 façons de voyager dans son canapé, a complete guide of books, movies and music to discover the world by joyfully sitting on your home sofa while sipping a coffee.
4. Practice compassion: being compassionate is a mix of empathy and suffering. When you feel the suffering of another person, you put yourself in her/his situation and you feel the deep urge to help out and relieve the person from that suffering. It is an effort of viewing yourself from the outside and practice it each day. Reading The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope by Austen Ivereigh can help.
5. Never stop learning: remember the Pillars of Hercules, the limit of the known world and the desire of Ulysses to go beyond them to discover Atlantis? Well, if we strive to learn and teach, we can discover and create great things. Check The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson and get inspired!
And as Socrates teaches us: Know thyself. This is always the key to open the door of wisdom and of our hearts. Best wishes and a Joyful and Peaceful new year to all Huffington Post community and readers!!
See you in 2015!
Soundtracks : Breathe- Midge Ure
Pillars of Hercules, Ceuta-Spain