“Make the most of what comes and the least of what goes.”
Image from psdgraphics.com
Nothing last forever.
We tell ourselves this all the time, yet we often go about our lives as if, through some form of sheer will power, we can alter this “Law of Impermanence.”
Rather than struggling to prevent things from being lost or drifting away with time, we can perceive them in an empowering and grateful manner.
We can further our engagement and delight in life by also making the most of the people and events that enter our lives, no matter how brief the time.
How can you exercise your maximizing and minimizing abilities where it counts the most? Sharing your intentions to use these strategies with others will increase your ability, and likely benefit them as well.
A book that may support your effort is Essentialism by Greg McKeown
“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
Image from crosswalk.com
What do the first President of the United States, Jiminy Cricket from Disney’s Pinocchio, and Marvin Gay of Motown fame have in common?
Washington’s quote may give it away, with his coaching to always let your conscience be your guide. Jiminy Cricket is the voice of conscience for Pinocchio. And for Marvin Gaye fans, it was the debut single released from his first album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye.
How often do you recognize the inner voice, or the sense of what is right or wrong in your actions, or the actions of others? Where do the issues of ethics or moral principles influence, guide, or control your thoughts and actions? You may even hear the voices of a parent, teacher, or spiritual guide from years ago.
How and in what ways can you use the celestial fires of conscience to make important personal or professional decisions today, and in the future?
“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.”
Image of SS Edmund Fitzgerald by NewsMax.com
As a citizen of Michigan, I greatly appreciate our five Great Lakes, the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. The lakes have been traversed by native people since the dawn of time, and by western man since the 17th century.
Thousands of ships have sunk in these waters, and an estimated 30,000 people have lost their lives as a result. The most famous was the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in a Lake Superior storm in November, 1975, with the loss of the entire 29-member crew.
What personal and professional waters are you navigating these days? What stormy or rocky events are causing you to take on water and giving you that sinking feeling?
How and in what ways can you bail any water that has entered your worlds, and begin sailing toward calmer, more prosperous seas?
“Choices are the hinges of destiny.”
⏤Edwin Markham, 20th Century American Poet
Image from Flickr by Fred Faulkner
In the book The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz warns us that more is less, and that our abundance-based culture often robs us of our satisfaction in life.
Imagine yourself in a room with a few dozen doors. You are told that some will lead to great opportunities, others to places far less desirable, maybe even dead ends.
All too often, we are looking outside ourselves to what others or society tells us are the best choices. And yet, we are frequently dissatisfied, because by comparison there is always something better⏤or at least we think so.
How might you use your most deeply held values and beliefs to design and open the doors you are meant to open? Your destiny hinges on it.
“Make decisions by design, rather than default.”
⏤Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism
Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors. He has been blogging longer than almost anyone, and has written somewhere around 20 books. I particularly enjoy his provocative and edgy thinking on a large number of diverse subjects, especially when it come to being the leader in our own lives.
His recent book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn, points out that it is always our turn if, as today’s quote suggests, we make our own life decisions by design, not defaulting to the decisions of those around us.
Examine the degree to which you make your own important life decisions by design rather than default. How can you “choose yourself” more often, and decide that it is your turn to lead the life you were meant to live?
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
—Isaac Asimov, Science Fiction Writer
Have you every read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz? If not, please order a copy today.
The third agreement in this masterpiece is “Don’t Make Assumptions.”
Unfortunately, we all tend to make assumptions about everything and everybody. This is often the root of much dysfunction, chaos, and general unhappiness in our world.
Where would greater openness and clarification of issues, personally or professionally, let more light in so you could lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life?
“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
Image from Flickr
Where are you today in regard to some of your most ambitious personal or professional goals for the new year? Are you in full stride, ahead of schedule?
Perhaps you are stalled, have lowered your sights considerably, or have stopped completely.
Today’s quote points to the small, consistent efforts we can all make on a daily basis to begin again, make progress, and eventually move mountains.
What are the “small stones” you will move today, to make progress toward your most desired personal or professional objectives?
“If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.”
-Michael Pollan, Professor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Image from Harmless Harvest
A few weeks ago, at the turn of the new year, millions of people committed for the umpteenth time to live healthier lives. Among the keys to success is the focus on optimal, high-quality nutrition.
In general, the fewer ingredients on the label, the better the choice. Or, choose only those made by Mother Nature herself. A simple way to decrease poor choices is to do the majority of your shopping around the periphery of your market, and avoid the aisles full of items produced in a plant.
Consider turning your next shopping trip into a food safari. Bring more tasty, naturally grown foods into your home and body. Reducing or purging many of the packaged items already in your cupboards and fridge will reduce the chances of making poor choices.
“Most look up and admire the stars. A champion climbs a mountain and grabs one.”
Image from CDP Safe
What stars are you reaching for these days? To what degree do you leap out of bed each morning, eager to jump into your personal or professional quest?
Perhaps you, like many, simply examine and admire the efforts or accomplishments of others through social media, or more traditional methods.
You may also compare yourself to others and get excited to summon your own “Go For It!” perspective.
What personal or professional mountains will you begin or continue to climb today, to grab your own star with the heart of a champion?