All posts by vica

My favorite story collections

I read many story collections in my life. Many of them were very good and enjoyable to read. But there are only two I could name by their titles and which are the first to pop into my mind when speaking of inspiring stories. These are Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment and Being Here…Too: Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment by Ariel & Shya Kane.

In fact, reading of the first book ignited a turn in my life I have never thought would be possible. I might not have dared to write books or anything else as daring, have I not read that book and all other books by Ariel and Shya Kane, listened to their radio shows and participated in their live seminars.

I first saw Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment when an online retailer generated a recommendation based on my previous orders of self-help and motivational books. I read many self-help books before and still felt lost. So after buying and receiving Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment, I resisted reading it for almost two years. But my sight kept being captured by the beautiful butterfly on its cover, and even by its spine when I tucked it between the other books on one of my bookshelves.

At some point, I surrendered and read it. I learned about a unique approach called Instantaneous Transformation developed by Ariel and Shya Kane. And with time, I learned and experienced the three revealing principles of this approach.

First, I realized that if I resisted something or tried to get rid of something – a thought, a habit, a person, a task, a book (see above 🙂 ) or anything else – I didn’t get rid of it at all. This person or thing just kept on sticking around, dominated my life and often became overwhelming.

Then, I learned that I couldn’t be anywhere else or anyone else at any given moment – I could only be who and how I was (or wasn’t), whether I liked it or not. And whether I judged my situation or not.

Finally, there was the Kanes’ third principle – anything that I allowed to be exactly as it was without judging or trying to change it, completed itself in an instant.

As I read Ariel and Shya’s books and articles, listened to their Being Here internet radio show, and participated in their live seminars, I experienced what it meant to let myself and others be just as we were. I discovered how to breathe and savor my life moment by moment, completely and freely. I came to understand what I truly wanted, what was my heart’s desire.

Yes, reading Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment was the moment when this beautiful journey I am now on began. It was a journey of curiosity about what was happening at any given moment of now and what could happen if I surrendered to my wishes and did what my heart called me to do, instead of what I thought others wanted me to do.

As I practiced transformation, being in the moment, I discovered again and again that kindness and honesty were mutually inclusive, not exclusive. That allowed me to start observing myself non-judgmentally, in my life and also in the process of writing, teaching, and consulting.

I was delighted when I heard of the successor of one of my all time favorite books and of its concept. Being Here…Too: Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment is unique because the stories in it relate the magic of being here. These true stories were written by fantastic people of various walks of life, background and beliefs.

If I try to summarize the new book in three words, then these will be: Inspiring, empowering, brilliant. (You can read my full review of this book here.)

I strongly recommend reading and re-reading both books. You will laugh, smile, feel inspired, uplifted, utterly well in yourself and discover each time some new aspect of every story, which you didn’t notice during the previous read. They are that multidimensional!

#transformationmadeeasy #arielandshyakane #shortstory #truestories #inspiration #motivation #compassion #beinghere

Inspiration for Perseverance

To be playing a game you need both to want to play it and start playing it. This component of games is called voluntary participation. I discovered that is true for anything you want to pursue to take place: you need both to want to do that right now and start playing it.

Yesterday I had an epiphany when I took the second picture of the snowman in our garden (I made the first one a couple of days before). When you want to be resilient and keep on persevering, you can draw the inspiration for that just from anywhere, only by looking around.

This snowman “suffered” a little from the warming weather (when you compare to the first picture) but he still stands surrounded by the green grass. My children and I had big smiles on our faces when we noticed him and drew inspiration to persevere in whatever each of us was up to.

#perseverance #inspiration #motivation #snowman #meltingsnow #games #selfgamification #gamification #OptimistWriter

P.S. If you are looking to turn your life into fun games, then click on the link or the figure below and enroll in the online video course Motivate Yourself by Turning Your Life into Fun Games.

P.P.S. If you would like to motivate yourself or someone else to persevere through a task or activity then read 5 Minute Perseverance Game: Play Daily for a Month and Become the Ultimate Procrastination Breaker.

Give yourself points for looking out of the window

When I share self-gamification with others, I sometimes meet with the concern of being too ambitious and working too much to earn more points. But here is the beauty of self-gamification. You are both the designer and the player. So you observe your player (yourself) non-judgmentally and create the best game for yourself. In that way, you could give yourself points for relaxing and looking out of the window.

For example, in my current game design, which I call “The Balance Game,” every 10 minutes gets me a point. That corresponds to 6 points for each hour and 144 points for every 24 hours. I record each batch of these points in different “fields/activity areas” of my day. These are:

  1. creative projects (writing, online courses, and my website),
  2. all the other things I do on computer and smartphone (consulting and other work (except those listed in (1)), home-banking, social media, e-mails, etc.),
  3. anything I do away from my computer,
  4. sleep.

So, on working days I give myself a star if I earn more than ten points (corresponding to about 1,5 hours) in the area (1) and (2), and on the weekends I give myself in each of these a star if I earn LESS than ten points in those areas.

So, in each day I make 144 points and maximum five stars. One for each area and one extra star if I get all the four stars that day. My ambition to get all four stars (and then the fifth as well) helps me to be away from my computer and smartphone (as well as my work) for most of the weekend. I must tell you that it is utterly recharging.

I get the stars in areas (3) and (4) for attending enough to my health (including the daily workout) and enough sleep correspondingly.

It’s fantastic to be aware, that if at some point this self-motivational game design will stop being balanced for me, then I will redesign it. It is such a brilliant way of life to be both the designer and the player. I am immensely grateful to those who created and shared the approaches I bring together in self-gamification.

#arielandshyakane #instantaneoustransformation #transformation #robertmaurer #kaizen #gamification #dolcefarniente #hygge #inspiration #motivation #selfgamification #OptimistWriter

Being of Value

One of my works-in-progress now is the book on self-gamification. The second principal component of self-gamification after awareness is making small, effortless steps forward in whatever you do. I am working on the chapters about kaizen and quoting Robert Maurer, and his brilliant book One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way many times. While diving into the book again today, I found this quote by Albert Einstein there and realized that the people who developed the three approaches I bring together in self-gamification often speak of being of service instead of striving for success. I remember how as a beginning writer or entrepreneur I was wondering whether I would have success. Today I realize that success is a bonus, a by-product and maybe a little (but not always) an indicator of being of value. Do you agree?

#beingofservice #beingofvalue #success #beingofvalueissuccess #successisnotagoal #empathy #awareness #transformation #kaizen #microprogression #inspiration #motivation #selfgamification #gamification #OptimistWriter


I must say my 4-year-old daughter is right: pink is a great color. 😍💖 It looks so cheerful on the two ballpoint pens I use right now and in my two (to-do-list and feedback) game-books.

P.S. If you are curious what all these stars in the picture are about, then stay tuned and watch out for posts on self-gamification. I am writing a book, where I will share my current (and all the other I tried so far) self-motivational game design.

#pink #selfgamification #motivation #inspiration #optimism #todolist #ballpointpen #gamification #OptimistWriter