“Desire is half of life. Indifference is half of death.”
—Kahlil Gibran, 19th Century Lebanese Poet
How do you feel when you are around enthusiastic, passionate, and excited people?
How do you feel when you are around people who lack energy, and pretty much don’t give a hoot about anything?
These groups of individuals act like booster shots or vampires in the way they create aliveness or deaden our worlds.
Where and in what ways can you build and fan the flames of desire to experience more of the aliveness you desire?
How can you lessen or completely eliminate the deadening quality of indifference from your world?
Consider partnering with a close friend, mentor, family member, or coach to support both of these intentions.
“There comes a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go.”
—Tennessee Williams, 20th Century American Playwright
Image from Flickr by Bruno Geiger
Take a few minutes to examine your personal and professional communities. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much do I look forward to participating in this community?
- How well do the people in this community share my vision and values?
- How much influence do I have on the goals and direction of this community?
- What learning and growth opportunities are possible in this group?
- How well does this group fulfill my desire for a purposeful life?
Where might you need to make changes – large or small – in how you spend your time, and who you spend it with, even if there is no clear alternative place to go?
“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”
—Robert Brault, American Freelance Writer
We all recognize that life can be difficult at times. Take a few moments and look into your past, to a time when someone wronged you, personally or professionally. Examine all the details of this event to see if it still has any grip on you, especially if you never received a proper apology.
For many people, reliving such events in their minds can be particularly upsetting and painful, even if the occurrence happened years or decades ago.
How could you make your life easier and travel lighter by developing the talent to accept apologies you never received?
“Keep out of the suction caused by those who drift backwards.”
—attributed to E. K. Piper
Image from Pinterest
When I was in my early teens, I hung out with friends at the local bowling alley. Beyond pursuing our mastery of bowling, we also rode bikes, played wall ball, stick ball, hand ball, wire ball, and a game called “Chink,” which also included a ball.
Back then, if you had a ball, you were guaranteed entertainment all day.
When some of the older friends started driving and hormones kicked in, things began to shift. Their behaviors and language became unacceptable to the values I was taught by my parents and teachers. I could actually feel the negative backward drifts whenever I was encouraged to behave in similar ways.
Where do you currently feel the suction of selected individuals in either your personal or professional communities?
What steps must you take to eliminate this backward draft so you can continue pursuing your best future self?
“Faith that the thing can be done is essential to any great achievement.”
—Thomas N. Carruthers, late bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina
Image from hbr.org
Over the past year, I have noticed a growing trend in many of my clients who work for large corporations. It has become increasingly apparent that the goals set for them go far beyond the usual “stretch” goals, to a level of the unreasonable and unbelievable.
What remains for many of these folks are feelings of upset, discouragement, hopelessness, and even anger.
Genuine faith that a goal is achievable is essential to empowering all of us to give our best to the task at hand.
Where can you collaborate and create shared goals, to maintain and encourage the faithful beliefs and actions that the goals will be fully realized?
“There are glimpses of Heaven to us in every act or thought or word, that raises us above ourselves.”
—A.P. Stanley, 19th Century Dean of Westminster
Thor’s Helmet Emission Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona
I love the idea that if we shoot for the moon and miss our mark, we will still land among the stars. How often do your eyes rise to the heavens to explore and pursue the possibilities of life? How often do you navigate your world looking down or only at your next step?
With the right lens or perceptional filter, today’s quote suggests we can use every action, thought, or word as a catalyst, to become a better versions of ourselves.
Ask and answer these three questions, to open up the heavens even further:
• What did I learn from the action that I just took, to improve my current situation?
• How can my current thinking be more hopeful, optimistic, and creative?
• What do I hear or read that can inspire me toward a new level of excellence?
Consider creating a question or two for yourself that, once answered, can raise your life to new levels of success and life satisfaction.
“Fame has only the span of a day, they say. But to live in the hearts of the people – that is worth something.”
—Ouida, pseudonym of the 19th Century English novelist, Maria Louise Ramé
Image from rcinet.ca
In the program for a 1968 exhibition of his work at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, Andy Warhol said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
Today, with our celebrity culture and social media mania, it seems a good percent of the world’s population seeks a day, 15 minutes, or even 15 seconds of fame.
Perhaps the short-lived nature of fame is that it tends to be self-centered, where people are much more focused on being interesting to others than being interested in others.
Where and with whom can and will you strive to be a person of significance versus merely a success? Where and how can you become more endearing in the hearts of the people around you?
“Starve Your Distractions. Feed Your Focus.”
You are what you eat.
In terms of today’s quote, I am not referring to kale, flax seeds, or salmon.
We are becoming an increasingly ADHD society, in which the “shiny object syndrome” is more prevalent than ever. Take a few moments right now for a careful look at the many things that seek your attention.
The payoff with the wide variety of distractions seems to be some form of pleasure, instant gratification, or an escape from life’s difficulties. Sometimes it’s for twenty seconds for a social media fix, or thirty minutes for a sitcom.
The cost for all of us is the lack or diminishment of our fullest potential on both the personal and professional fronts. Because everyone seems to be engaged in these activities, and we all want to fit in, we unfortunately accept this “dumbing down” of our focus as “normal.”
Consider using the More, Less, Start, Stop strategy today, to feed your focus and starve your distractions.
For those who wish to make this a habit, engage the support of others for at least the next month, so the benefits you desire will become sticky and sustainable.