Zen Tools is all about learning 2 key skills:
Developing these skills matters because, over the long term, the outcomes that you experience are determined by how you respond to the events in your life.
Many of the things that happen in your life are random and beyond your control.
But, the one thing you can control is how you choose to respond to these events - and it is a choice.
The long term impact of these choices can have a major effect on your health, wealth and happiness.
The outcomes that you experience are determined by your responses to the events in your life.
This can be expressed as:
Outcome = Event x Response
The strength and quality of your response is determined by the skills and the experience you bring to it, and that is based on knowing how to think effectively.
The stronger your response - the better the outcome.
All of this is especially relevant as the world continues to emerge from post Covid-19 lockdowns and now, at time of writing, is coming to terms with the economic and financial consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Everything I share on this site is all based on real-life practical experience from my own personal experience.
To really learn how to think effectively we have to learn and master the art of not thinking.
A quiet mind is an insightful mind and a resourceful mind.
The most effective way of achieving this is with the zen practise of mindfulness.
Zen simply means: "direct experience in seeing things as they really are".
Your mind isn't going to stop thinking on demand.
The goal of mindfulness isn't to suppress thinking, but to surpass it and to experience that you are not your thoughts and to learn how to respond to your thoughts resourcefully.
Our brains process and organize information in a variety of ways.
We have a wide range of thinking processes that are built into our brains; we use them all the time and automatically.
But we don’t always use them efficiently.
We need to learn thinking skills.
Thinking critically, deliberately and systematically processing information enables you to make better decisions and generally understand things better.
Focusing on how to think not what to think, you know how to apply the most appropriate cognitive processes to the task in hand.
I have called this site "Zen Tools" for 4 reasons, because it:
In these tough times:
My name is Stephen Warrilow and I'm based in Singapore and the UK.
Everything that you read from here onwards is based entirely on my own direct, lived experience of how to think effectively, how to stop thinking and how to cope with tough times. All of the resources that I suggest or recommend are things that I have done (or still do) and that work for me.
I am NOT a therapist, priest, Zen master, psychotherapist, mullah, rabbi, teacher or counselor and I am no way qualified to offer any form of professional support or guidance on how to change your life - I am just a simple businessman.
If you are undergoing any form of counseling, professional treatment or support (or if you feel you need to be) please stick with what your professional expert is telling you – or seek professional help (if you need to.)
Nothing I share with you will harm you, quite the contrary, but experience has shown that it is far more beneficial to follow one path or line of treatment and stick to it for the duration of the treatment – and as I have already told you, I am not a professional!
It’s probably best to think of the material on this site as one fellow traveler sharing with others.
Why Am I Doing This?
The internationally renowned priest, author and respected professor Henri Nouwen once said that:
"What is most personal is most universal... by giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others."
Without trying to sound too pious, precious or up my own backside about
it, I feel that this is the energy behind where I’m now coming from now.
OK, more than enough said!
How To Think
These articles develop and support the main themes outlined above.