We can only be said to be alive

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

—Thornton Wilder, 20th Century American Playwright and Novelist

Image of Phil Colllins in a suit

Image from StubHub

In 1989, Phil Collins, the multi-talented musician and singer, released his popular and catchy song “Another Day in Paradise.” If you have 4 or 5 minutes, watch this video.

Unfortunately for me, I’ve been humming this tune and tapping my hand on the steering wheel of my car for all these years, without really listening to the lyrics.

The key phrase of the song is “Oh, think twice – it’s another day for you and me in paradise.”

Perhaps it was my meditation on gratitude this morning that had me think twice and be far more conscious of the abundance of daily treasures I often overlook.

EXERCISE:

How can you think twice and be far more conscious of your daily treasures, to be more alive and fully appreciative of the paradise around you?

Let us not look back in anger

“Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”

—James Thurber, 20th Century American Author

Image of an enlightened brain

Image from Wonderfest

On an episode of Space’s Deepest Secrets on the possibility of time travel, a wide variety of scientists from prestigious institutions around the world shared their theories.

Among the hot topics were worm holes, black holes, dark energy, and moving faster than the speed of light.

You don’t have to be a theoretical physicist to know that we all travel in time in our minds. We sometimes visit the past and the future with anger, fear, and other emotions that can often have negative impact on our lives.

EXERCISE:

What would be the benefit of focusing far more of your time in the present, to more fully allow this heightened awareness to improve your world?

Its Got to Happen Inside First

“It’s got to happen inside first.”

—Jim Morrison, Late leader of The Doors

Image of a forest reflected in a lake

Image from Unsplash by Johannes Plenio

Over the last year or two you may have noticed a higher percentage of Quotable Coach posts related to self-awareness and general mindfulness.

The inner worlds of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions are fundamental to what occurs or potentially can occur in our outer worlds.

Observing your outer personal and professional communities can also clue you in to what those around you are thinking and feeling. It’s much like having super powers of x-ray vision and the ability to read minds.

EXERCISE:

How can you become far more masterful at navigating and exploring your own and others inner worlds as a first step to manifesting your most desirable outer realities?

All in the same boat

“We didn’t all come over on the same ship, but we’re all in the same boat.”

—Bernard M. Baruch, 20th Century American Philanthropist

Have you ever watched the procession of countries an the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games? Summer or Winter, you will definitely see thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries, each with their own languages, cultures, and traditions. This makes it appear that we are separate and distinct from one another.

With technology, we are in a hyper-connected world, with increasing evidence that through economic, social and environmental factors, we are all in the same boat. We sink or swim together.

EXERCISE:

Consider reading the latest edition of The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, or his latest book, Thank You for Being Late, to explore your own place in this global boat.

The Tree of our Thinking Minds

“We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”

—Ram Dass, American Spiritual Leader

Image of a person sitting in the shade under a tree

Image from Flickr by Kat Northern Lights Man

On a hot, sunny day we all enjoy being in the shade, perhaps with a frosty beverage. It’s cooler, and just more comfortable.

Our own thinking often plays the role of a shade tree in that we are literally blocking out new, more creative or innovative input, which might enlighten us.

If, for some reason, you feel stalled, stuck or plateaued in your growth and development, take a hard look at how often and how much you are sitting under your limited thinking canopy.

EXERCISE:

How can you let in more bright ideas and alternative perspectives by welcoming the light of other people’s input, personally or professionally?

The Knowledge of the World

“The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.”

-Lord Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Image of Milford Sound in New Zealand

Image of Milford Sound from Flickr by Bernard Spragg

What do the following places have in common?

  • Bay of Islands
  • Milford Sound
  • Auckland
  • Dunedin
  • Tauranga
  • Wellington
  • Akaroa

For those who wish to travel more, these are wondrous destinations in New Zealand.

I visited these amazing places as part of my 60th birthday adventure. Getting out into the world can be transformational! In just a few weeks, I felt I took a quantum leap in my awareness and knowledge of geography, history, culture, plants, animals, and many other subjects.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you investigate and explore your world more fully to add and expand to you awareness and knowledge?  Consider scheduling one of your most exciting “Bucket List” travel adventures soon.

Guests see more in an hour

“A guest sees more in an hour than the host in a year.”

-Polish Proverb

Image of Barry on the bridge overlooking the Sydney Opera House

Barry and the Sydney Opera House

For my 60th birthday, my wonderful wife Wendy surprised me with a “Bucket List” vacation to Australia and New Zealand. I take adventures such as this with my senses wide open, even though they can be exhausting.

The sights, sounds, tastes, and feelings make experiences like this magical!

Surprisingly, a good number of the people we met who live and work in Australia and New Zealand saw their worlds as “normal,” with only reasonable pleasure and satisfaction in what we, as tourists, experienced as amazingly beautiful and extra-special.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you more fully explore and take greater delight in the world right around you? You may wish to invite a guest, friend, or colleague to visit your home and express what they see and appreciate about your world.

We never do anything well

“We never do anything well till we cease to think about the manner of doing it.”

—William Hazlitt, 19th Century British Social Commentator

Meme of today's quoteHow many activities in the following list have you engaged in over the past year?

  • Giving a speech or major presentation
  • Writing a book or significant article for publication
  • Interviewing for a new job or promotion
  • Playing golf, poker, or a game of chess
  • Building a piece of furniture or other handy-person activity

If at least one of these activities occurred this past year, how well did you do? How competent, skilled, or masterful were you? How much effort, struggle, or ease and flow did you experience?

Hazlitt’s quote points to the fact that when we are so focused on doing things correctly we often diminish our own ability to do things well because of our preoccupation with our potential to make mistakes.

EXERCISE:

How and on what activity might a more playful approach, without much thought about doing things perfectly, help you enjoy the process and perhaps do far better than you might have imagined?

Your Awakening

“I awake each day thinking of your awakening.”

—Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author

Image of sunrise

Image from psychicsvideokline

What percentage of people go through their lives half asleep, or awaken only for special occasions and weekends?

How bright-eyed and bushy-tailed are you in the morning? How much do you look forward to each new day?

I deeply desire my own daily awakening and have pursued my career as a coach to support others to do the same. With a “pay it forward” approach and attitude, many of my clients do the same in their communities. Most would say that is one of the most satisfying parts of the coaching process.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you enhance and improve your world, to wake each day with greater enthusiasm and vitality?

Where and with whom can you awaken the lives of others, so they can do the same?

Climate vs Weather

“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.”

—Mark Twain, American Author and Humorist

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A few months ago I had a wonderful family vacation in the San Diego area, purported to have one of the best climates in the world. We spent a rainy evening with a few of my son-in-law’s friends, who were a bit upset with the weather. Coming from Michigan, we were more than OK with a bit of cool temperatures and precipitation.

EXERCISE:

How can greater awareness and perspective regarding your professional and personal expectations help you embrace whatever the weather brings into your world?