“It’s when we step back from a single brushstroke, that we can see the whole painting.”
—Tamara Levitt, Author and Mindfulness Instructor
Barry and Rachel at Hamilton
When was the last time you attended a concert, a major sporting event, or perhaps a Broadway play? Where were you seated in the theater or stadium? Were you up front practically on the field or stage, back in the bleachers, or up in the balcony?
Recently I had the opportunity to see the touring group of Hamilton, with my wonderful daughter Rachel, who came to Michigan with our grandson Weston.
Our seats were in the balcony section. Surprisingly, we enjoyed both the show and this particular vantage point, which gave us the opportunity to take in the show’s entire spectacle. In some moments, we chose to zoom in on certain scenes with a pair of binoculars.
Where in your personal or professional life would there be great value in stepping back from the daily brushstrokes of life and take in more of the painting of your entire world?
“If you see someone without a smile today, give them one of yours.”
—Dolly Parton, American singer, songwriter, and actress
Image from Amazon
How much time each day do you spend reading for enjoyment and personal growth? For many people the answer may be, “Not much,” with the add-on phrase, “Who has the time?”
If this is the case for you, or even if reading is a significant part of your daily routine, I suggest a wonderful smile-inducing book called, Be the Sun Not the Salt by Dr. Harry D. Cohen.
A key concept he shares is the idea of being heliotropic, which is the tendency for all living systems to be drawn to the energy that sustains its life. Throughout the 71 pages of this book, I hope you will find yourself nodding and smiling at its many nuggets of wisdom.
How and in what ways can you be more heliotropic and a more positive influence on others in your life?
Consider sharing a big genuine smile with others as a good place to start.
“Your Attitude… Reflects your Past, Describes your Present, and Predicts your Future.”
Image from Unsplash by Kate Joie
Take a few minutes to conduct two personal assessments.
The first pertains to your past:
What has your life been like up to this point, personally and professionally? Describe your efforts, accomplishments, and most importantly, your relationships.
The second pertains to your present:
Explore the same aspects of your life as they exist today. How satisfied and fulfilled are you? What areas delight you, and which disappoint?
Consider the idea that your attitude is similar to the purity of the air you breath, or the water you drink. What small – or large – changes can and will you make in your attitude to have an even more wonderful future?
Some of my favorite books you may wish to consider are:
Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist
Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking
Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich
Benjamin Zander’s The Art of Possibility
Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements
Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
“No one wants to hear everything that’s in your head. They just want you to live up to what comes out of your mouth.”
—Adam Grant, American psychologist and author
Image from Unsplash by Clem Onojeghuo
Who are the blabbermouths in your life? Who are the people who go on and on about their ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and never seem to take a breath? How do you feel around them?
To what degree might people in your world place you on their list of those who are more focused on being interesting rather than interested?
What makes these individuals even more troublesome is that on many, if not most, occasions, they appear to be all talk and very little action.
Who are the people in your life who are impeccable with their words? How would your life be enhanced if you and others lived up to what comes out of your mouth more often?
Consider reading or re-reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz for some added wisdom on this topic.
“Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon.”
How familiar are you with the difference between a finite and infinite game?
In his book, Finite and Infinite Games, author James P. Carse describes finite games – such as sports – as activities in which participants obey rules, recognize boundaries, and announce winners and losers.
Infinite games, on the other hand, can have known and unknown players, and a key objective is having the will and resources to keep the game going.
To what degree do you play the long game by being a giver within your various communities? If all people stopped keeping score and playing only to win, how might the world be a far kinder and richly abundant place?
Consider watching Simon Sinek’s video The Infinite Game, to explore how this concept might apply to your personal and professional worlds.
Also consider reading Sinek’s article titled, The Finite and Infinite Game in Work and Life
“Things do not necessarily happen for the best, but I can choose to make the best of things that happen.”
—Tal Ben-Shahar, Israeli-American Author/Lecturer
Image from Unsplash by Alan Meceanu
Take a few minutes to reflect on your day if it is evening, or on yesterday’s events if you are reading this in the morning. To what degree did everything go as planned, and work out exactly as you hoped?
If things did not work out for the best for whatever reason, what consequences did you experience?
How did you react or respond, and what emotions or feelings came up?
Consider the metaphor of a sailboat. How might you adjust your sails and rudders of mindfulness and adaptability to the sometime stormy seas of life?
Feel free to reply to this post to share the approaches you take on a daily basis to make the best of things that happen.
FRIDAY REVIEW: CONFIDENCE
How much confidence do you have in yourself and those around you? Here are a few confidence-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.
“Inhale confidence, exhale doubt.”
“What would an optimistic, confident person do?”
“Every small positive change we make in ourselves repays us in confidence in the future.”
“Don’t be smart, be helpful.”
Image created in Canva
How do you participate in your professional and personal communities? How often do you find yourself sharing your knowledge, life experiences, and wisdom with others? What is your talk-to-listen ratio?
What if a trusted colleague or significant other took a survey of ten people in each of your communities, asking exactly how helpful you were through your various interactions? How would you score?
Using big esoteric words to communicate a simple point just annoys people. Before you speak today, ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say just me trying to be smart, or is it actually helpful?”
It is, of course, OK to be both on occasion.
“Leave them with an afterglow, not an aftertaste.”
Dr. Harry Cohen, Co-Founder of Be the Sun, not the Salt
Image from Unsplash by Diego PH
Take a moment to reflect on the people in your life that always brighten your days. Look closely at all of their wonderful qualities, attitudes, and the genuine ways they share themselves and what they have with those around them.
On the other hand, who are the people in your personal and professional communities you avoid when possible, and who often leave a bitter aftertaste that lingers even after they are gone? What characteristics do they display that dampen, deplete, and darken the world around them?
Consider reading or re-reading the classic book, FISH, and focus on the concept of “making their day.” Perhaps take a quick read through Be the Sun and Not the Salt by Dr. Harry Cohen, for some extra “brighten their day” strategies, which I guarantee will improve your life as well.