Archive for the 'Life' Category

Can we consider plants as sentient creatures?

According to various sources on the Web, there are over 300,000 registered species of plants on Earth. Based on that statement alone, we can safely say that through evolution or clever design, their instinct for survival has helped them prosper. Even though you can draw the argument that some of their features resemble human senses, can you really say that plants can actually think for themselves? As we all know, plants are stationary organisms, which you must agree is an overwhelming disadvantage. Even with that, they make up a cumulative mass which is a thousand times higher than that of all animal species. This is where the adaptive skills of plants come into play.

Clever Senses

Just like humans, plants have a distinct sense of smell and can react rather quickly to chemical changes in their surroundings. When the fruit starts to ripen and release ethylene, neighboring plants begin to ripen faster. Here is another one: certain plants give off scents to attract insects for the purpose of pollination. Plants like the carrion flowers go to such extremes as to grow tiny hairs, become warmer and emit a smell similar to the smell of rotting flesh in an attempt to draw flies and beetles to expedite the process.

Passive reaction and teamwork

Furthermore, when pests, animals or pathogens attack plants, they react. The acacia tree, when grazed by passing animals, starts producing a chemical compound called Tannin, which makes their leaves extremely hard to digest. Some acacia plants were even known to produce enough of this chemical to actually kill an animal.

Plants are also known to work in symbiosis. Fungi, with their underground webs, can make a pathway between tree roots, which in turn allows the plants to exchange nutrients and information about their surroundings. Larger specimens of trees are known to nurture younger or shaded trees by sharing water and nutrients. This is especially prevalent in the exchange between evergreen and deciduous species. The evergreen species share their nutrients with the plants that lose their leaves during the winter, and this is reciprocated over the summer season.

Active reaction and memory

We left the most shocking examples of sentient behavior in plants for last. The Mimosa Pudica, commonly known as the Shame plant, closes its leaves when it receives an outside stimulus. This was developed to scare away insects that land on them. A scientific experiment was conducted, during which the leaves would be dropped from the height of 15cm and they would close when they hit the ground. After the scientists repeated the experiment for four or five times, some of the plants would stop closing. This effect would last for weeks at a time, proving that plants, in fact, could form concrete memories.  This was further affirmed when those same plants, during the period when they would not close when dropped, would close their leaves when being shaken, proving they react differently to a different kind of stimulate.

Now, not to get ahead of ourselves, plants are still missing key parts to be considered sentient beings. They do not have organs a brain or other similar organs deemed necessary by scientists for a creature to be considered sentient. And although they are missing an organ that would serve as a brain, plants still somehow manage to survive being eaten and overcome the fact that they are immobile without much effort. Plant sentience comes down to your definition of intelligence. If teamwork, environmental interaction and strong survival instincts are something you rank highly, then there is a strong case to be made for plants being intelligent. This is something to keep in mind when next time you get into a debate with a vegan about animal cruelty.

-Marko Lipozencic

Kicking the laziness

Hello, fellow procrastinators. How many of you sit around talking about the things you want to do or you’re going to do, just to never do them. I am talking about the people who are fully aware that they are burdened by laziness, but they just wallow in their own self-pity for not being as successful as they want to be. If that’s you, I have something to say that could change your life: don’t ever trust yourself. Actually, don’t trust your future self.

The procrastination fallacy

How often do you look at a problem and say I’ll just do it tomorrow? From things as simple as doing the dishes to going to the gym. How many times have you convinced yourself that your future self will have more motivation? It is plainly wrong! Here is why: if you don’t do it today, you won’t do it tomorrow. It is a cycle where you put off stuff for the next day only to get to tomorrow and utter the same words: I’ll start tomorrow. But the sooner you actually realize that your future self is even lazier than you are today, the sooner you can get stuff done.

The core of the problem

Getting things done and being productive depends directly on motivation. If you can acknowledge that you won’t suddenly, magically have more motivation tomorrow than you do today, which let’s be honest we know you won’t, you’ll start to do one of two things:

  • You’ll realize that the responsibility is left on your today self and get it done.
  • You’ll accept that you’re not gonna do that thing

And the second option can be okay too because realizing you’re not going to do something liberates you from the stress of not doing it. Then, you can move on and focus on other things.

How to break the cycle

There are a couple of methods that can help you out with this. Here is the simplest one I figured out so far. When you start searching for excuses not to start working out, don’t allow yourself to think: “I don’t have time”, because when you do, you are simply saying that your health isn’t a priority. As a matter of fact, literally say this out loud and it will start to affect the way you behave: my health isn’t a priority, so I’m not gonna go to the gym. Here is another example: my friend’s event isn’t a priority, so I’m not going.

If those things sit ok with you, then maybe it’s time to start thinking about what things are important to you. When you become lazy, the only way you can change this behavior is by acknowledging that things won’t change on their own tomorrow. The next time you’re going to have to overcome the exact same laziness all over again. Seriously, you have to start getting used to overcoming your laziness.

Here is another interesting fact: Productive people aren’t any less lazy, they just realized they had to overcome the problem in order to achieve the things they want.

This is a tough habit to get rid of. Being motivated and keeping busy takes practice and it’s a skill that you have to do over and over to get better at it. Think about when you were a kid, your attention span was literally measured in seconds. As you aged and spent time developing skills by sitting in classes, engaging in conversations, your attention span increased. The same thing can be said about motivation: practice makes you better at it.

So if not being lazy would make you happier just remember this simple rule: Never trust your future self and if you don’t do it today, you won’t do it tomorrow.

-Marko Lipozencic

 

Are The Answers Really Out There?

Do You TRUST That The Answers Are Out There?

ready to challenge your own perceptions? I was thinking about my post yesterday on running into brick walls in life this morning.   I think there is more to say on this topic.

The question is:  Do You Believe The Answers For You Are Out There?

Easy To Say,  Hard To Do

This question sounds very simple on the surface, but it is actually a very complicated question.   Your personally answer to this question is likely to be more complicated than you might want to initially believe as well.

A belief is not something you can just decide on once.  As soon as you say you want to believe something, there will often be doubts that spring up.  They will keep springing up over and over again too.

You can’t just squash them once.  You have to monitor your thoughts and alter your thinking over and over again.

If you don’t run into the problem that I just mentioned, it could be that you are believing in the wrong things.  This last sentence belongs in the ‘difficult to explain’ category.   But some people will immediately understand what I am talking about.   Just think about it more and you may see it.

Changing our thinking is indeed very important.  However, changing it in the right direction is infinitely more important.   If you alter your mind to accept wrong principles and you hurt people as a result, the consequences end up being severe.  Perhaps the even go beyond, fines,  incarceration and loss of liberty?

There Is Enough Anecdotal Evidence

There is plenty of evidence that you mind can affect your life in major ways.   The experiences of many people, both personal and from the perspective of an observer have been well documented.

One notable example that come to mind are the work of Dr. Bernie Siegel.   He was a surgeon who discovered that what his patients thought had a LOT to do regarding whether their cancer would go into remission or not.

He found that more self centered people, when they changed their mindset to a more compassionate loving one, would often find their cancer disappeared. (remission).    That is truly amazing.  He has written several books on the topic and you can read as many of them as you want.

Many similar stories from other sources exist.   There are remarkable stories that document the influence of our state of mind and our thoughts on our bodies and even our lives.

There are also stories that show the opposite effect.   Perhaps you have heard of a story about someone being told they had cancer when they actually did not.   Upon death,  an autopsy shows that there is not cancer.  So, what did the person die of then?   Bad thoughts?

Is Positive Thinking The Answer?

I’m not a big proponent of ‘positive thinking’.   I am certainly against negative thinking though, as it does little good.   The only time that type of  thinking is helpful is when you need critical thinking skills.

However, negative thinking in general, at best, does not help.   On the other hand, it is easy to see that it can do a great deal of harm.    So you might as well nix the negative garbage now.

If you are going to talk about ‘positive thinking’ it needs to be the long term kind.  Not the superficial kind that is easy to lose site of.

As  Voltaire alluded to in his literary work, Candide, You MUST weed the garden of your mind.   Failure to do so can be disastrous.

As I mentioned above, it appears to me, and I hope you agree by now, that simple positive thinking is not the right answer.  You must work on your thoughts and alter your ‘state of mind’.  That can take work and time to really do.   You have to be on your guard against the negative all of the time!

About That Brick Wall

As I talked about before.  You have to trust that the answers are out there.  Otherwise, how can you ever find them?

We are so tiny when you think about the size of our planet, our solar system, our galaxy and finally: the Universe.   Despite all of the evidence right in front of your eyes, are you able to believe that the Universe is a fundamentally good and intelligent?

Do you trust that as you focus on good that you can find your way through the darkness and around your personal brick walls?    I suggest reading Zhuan Falun.   It’s a book that I have read many times.   Perhaps it is just what you need to view the Universe in a different way?


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The Twentieth Century Man

Today’s Guest Post is From :

William Veasley is the author of Be Weird & Be Different where he blogs about inspiration, being different and how to find happiness in our daily lives. Need to clear your mind? Share your story here or tweet w/ me here!

The Twentieth Century Man

“Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever; no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself; no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

At the beginning all the way until the end of the day we are human beings. As human beings we have our wants, but most importantly our needs. At times, many times it is hard to separate needs from wants, but what must be done, must be done! The ever changing world makes separating the two extremely difficult, but we must not be blinded by what shines. The things that shine bright are never what’s needed, but always what’s wanted.

I see some people with a brand new IPhone, but I see those same people living under their parent’s roof as grown-ups or walking to the store when they’re way too old to have only their feet as a reliable source of transportation. Life is hard, but we make it harder when there’s no separation between our needs and wants. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Remain focused and keep rising up the elevator of life until you reach the top floor!

Preeminence of the Mind

I feel sorry for some people because they let money control them and totally destroy their values. These people focus on their next dollar and have no awareness of the world around them. Dollar signs cover their eyes making it impossible to perceive reality. These are people that take steps, but end up going in circles and never get anywhere.

Take a few minutes to reflect on your current situation. Is it any better than the one you were in last year? What about five years ago, how was your situation then? Dare I say, maybe it’s time to stop living off your parents, sitting around sucking up all their air, clean yourself up, get on your two feet and figure out what’s most important.

Mind Games

Every wonder why you have no money and when you do get a little, it never stays in your pocket for more than a day? Well, as honestly as I can say, I believe you are being played like a fool because you live your life to keep up with the latest trends. For example, instead of buying a nice car (Actually owning something), you rent the fanciest ones you can afford for half your life so that you look “cool” and or important. Instead of waiting until your phone contract expires you buy the newest version for full price might I add and they come out with a new one every year!

In reality, most companies plan out how to make their product line withstand the test of time. The new phone you bought probably could’ve been released five years ago, but the cell phone companies tricked you and got more of your hard earned money.

Everlasting Happiness

Deception is everywhere. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s going on and most probably will never figure out anything, but life will go on.

Happiness starts from within and if it doesn’t start from there then it’ll never be obtained or only temporally. You can trick yourself into thinking you are someone that you aren’t and buy material objects as a way to cover up empty holes in your heart, but the only one being fooled will be yourself.

If you desire an abundance of happiness in your life then forget about the outside and start searching from within because that’s where real happiness lies.

Last Words

Be smart, be strong! Most importantly do what’s best for your current situation. When you see something you feel is needed, at least wait twenty-four hours in order to see if you feel the same about it being a need. More times than none, you’ll realize what you thought you needed was simply a want. What’s needed isn’t always what’s wanted, but in those times you must do what’s most important if you want to survive on your own two feet. Life’s full of choices. Will you make a smart or, well, you know.

Author:   William Veasley is the author of Be Weird & Be Different where he blogs about inspiration, being different and how to find happiness in our daily lives. Need to clear your mind? Share your story here or tweet w/ me here!

They Cannot Understand Your Answers Until They Have The Right Questions…

They Cannot Understand Your Answers Until They Have The Right Questions

answers to questionsIf you have ever had important information that you know can help people, then you may have run into a situation where this applies.

Tell me what you think about that statement and what it means to you?

Ever had this exact feeling?   What situation where you in?

Is it impossible to help someone who is not ready for that help?

Leave your comments below.

 

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