Are you doing what matters

“Are you doing what matters, or just reacting to the noise?”

—Brendon Burchard, American motivational author

Image of a man holding his ears to block out noise

Image from Unsplash by chairulfajar

It is a rainy Sunday as I write this. I am at home in my designated writing and reading chair, where I am rarely interrupted. Reading and writing are two activities that matter a lot in my life, so I proactively carve out time – especially on weekends – for both.

Rest, recharging, and renewal efforts on these days have also had me limit my cell phone use, primarily to family and friends. I’ve also cut back on virtually all forms of noisy media, to about 20% of what it was a year ago.

EXERCISE:

Consider taking five or ten minutes to create two lists. Label the first “What Matters Most in My Life?” and the second “What Represents the Noise in My Life?”

Once you have a solid list for each category, please apply the More/Less, Start/Stop Strategy to enhance your happiness and life satisfaction.

Friday Review of Posts On Virtue

Friday Review: Virtue

Who are the virtuous people in your life? Here are a few virtue-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

“Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.”

 

 

 

 

“Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practice it will have neighbors.”

 

 

 

“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.”

 

 

 

 

It is greed to do all the talking

“It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all.”

—Democritus of Abdera, Ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosopher

Cartoon of a Vampire

Image from Canva

Vampires really do exist.

Consider the individuals in your life who talk incessantly and rarely take a breath to allow others to express themselves.

In such situations, many people experience a draining feeling as if much of their energy was stolen.

Who are some of the greedy energy vampires in your world? Who among your family, friends, and colleagues, might place you on their list?

EXERCISE:

Where would far more generous listening and far less greedy talking make the biggest difference in your world? What action can and will you take today to make this possibility a reality?

Before You Speak

“Before you speak, ask if what you’re about to say is kind, necessary, true, and better than silence.”

—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self Meditation

Image of a smiley face zippered

Image from DLKT Kids

Filters can be very helpful things.

Consider water filters over the centuries. They have improved the sanitation of our towns and cities. They have helped us all live longer, healthier lives by removing all types of bacteria and other substances.

These days, our airways are filled with toxins through various forms of communications and include our daily conversations. It’s actually a form of communication pollution, which can also make us sick.

EXERCISE:

What would be the benefit in your personal or professional worlds if, beyond silence, we all filtered out all the unkind and unnecessary statements before they left our lips?

What would be possible if all people took this coaching?

Will you look back on life and say

“Will you look back on life and say, ’I wish I had,’ or ‘I’m glad I did’?”

—Zig Ziglar, late American author, salesman, and motivational speaker

What percent of the day does the average person seem content, happy, or even joyful? Alternatively, what percent of the day do they go through the motions, feel stuck, or experience regret?

Where do you fit on this spectrum of feelings, day-to-day, week-to-week, or even year-to-year?

Someone once shared the thought that life is a bit like a toilet paper roll. The more life sheets you use, the faster it spins.

EXERCISE:

What steps can and will you take at this point in your life to have many more “I’m glad I did” moments in the years ahead?

My daughter Rachel suggested a wonderful book related to this topic, titled A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – How I Learned to Live a Better Story, by Donald Miller.

Progress is a nice word

“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator, and change has its enemies.”

—Robert F. Kennedy, 64th Attorney General of the United States of America

Immunity to Change book cover

Image from Amazon

Change or die.

What if you were given that choice?

For real.

What if it weren’t just rhetoric that confuses corporate performance, or life success in general, with life or death?

What if your physician said you had to make tough changes to the way you think and act, or your time would end soon?

Could you change?

The scientific studies in Alan Deutschman’s 2005 Fast Company article puts the odds at nine-to-one. That’s nine-to-one against you.

Progress involves leaving where you are to go to a better place ahead. It is a nice word, and does not appear to have much drama. It does, however, still involve change, and there are forces/enemies that slow it down or stop it on many occasions.

EXERCISE:

Consider checking out the Fast Company article, or look into the book Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Kaskow Lahey for greater insights into this fascinating topic.

Friday Review of Ambition

FRIDAY REVIEW: Ambition

How ambitious are you? Here are a few ambition-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

“If there is something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ask.”

 

 

 

 

“Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy.”

 

 

 

“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

 

 

 

 

There is just as much beauty visible to us

“There is just as much beauty visible to us in the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate – not a grain more.”

—Henry David Thoreau, 19th Century American essayist, poet, and philosopher

Image of a zebra on the African tundra

Image from Unsplash by Ron Dauphin

We have all heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” For whatever reason, I and perhaps many of you simply glance at this phrase and give only a passing nod of acknowledgement.

In August, my wife Wendy and I took the trip of a lifetime to Africa, Iceland, and Ireland with two good friends. Three weeks and thousands of mouth-gaping experiences and photographs gave us a new and expanded appreciation of the beauty of our planet and its people.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you enhance your capacity to see and appreciate the beauty all around you by looking more deeply into your own communities – and of course, booking your next bucket list adventure?

The one thing I love most

“Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want.”

—Ryan Gosling, Canadian Actor and Musician

Image of a bowl of Halloween candy

mage from Flickr by Sean Freese

 

Looking back to my childhood, Halloween was perhaps my favorite holiday. The process of selecting our costumes to be hand-made by mom, and the pillow cases we used to collect our booty, still brings a fond smile.

In those years, we went out early and stayed out pretty late, and it was common to head home to drop off a load of the sweet stuff and head back out for more. That night, and for a few short weeks after, we had the freedom to eat our fill and not hear “No!” too often.

This freedom to choose our actions was something I cherished and it has been a core value of mine ever since.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you experience even more of the sweetness of life by embracing and exercising the personal freedoms we sometimes take for granted?

A prosperity of kindness

“As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.”

—Caroline Kennedy, American author, attorney, and diplomat

Image of a large church towering over a city

Image from Unsplash by Matthew Feeney

In ancient times, and even into the 1800s, the tallest buildings almost anywhere in the world were usually churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other spiritual centers.

In his book, The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell explains that making these buildings the tallest pointed to the society’s priorities and core values, which included fundamental human decency and kindness.

Today, the tallest buildings across the world are almost always business buildings, demonstrating the economic priorities of wealth and material achievement.

EXERCISE:

What does leading a prosperous life mean to you? How would infusing even more kindness and decency benefit you and your personal and professional communities?