Six Honest Serving Men

“I had six honest serving men: (They taught me all I knew) Their names were Where and What and When and Why and How and Who.”

—Rudyard Kipling, 20th Century English Journalist & Poet

Begin a conversation with any of the Six Honest Serving Men from Kipling’s quote and you’re off to a great start in learning something new. You may even develop or nurture a new or existing relationship.

Powerful open-ended questions beginning with one of the Six Honest Serving Men open doors to new knowledge. They also demonstrate a genuine interest in others, which we all relish.

For today, I suggest you direct these probing and door-opening words toward yourself, to see what new worlds of discovery lie within.

EXERCISE:

Ask and answer some of your most important and pressing questions of the day. Then consider asking “What Else?” to see what you can learn by probing deeper than your surface answers.

We are like islands in the sea

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”

—William James, 19th Century American Philosopher/Physician

Image of Human Planet TV Show

One of my favorite forms of entertainment and education is watching documentaries, especially when they relate to our natural world. In the BBC series Human Planet, the filmmakers take us on a journey to many fascinating places around the world, including diverse island communities.

To my delight and fascination, many deeply held common bonds are shared by each society, such as the importance of family, community, contribution, and the desire to serve a higher purpose.

EXERCISE:

How can you look below the surface of your current professional and personal relationships to see more of what connects versus separates us from one another?

Happier Days

“Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.”

—Ritu Ghatourey, East Indian Author

Image of Wayne Dyer

Image from Awaken.com

Wayne Dyer, who passed away on August 29, 2015, was an American philosopher, self-help author, and motivational speaker.

His life was a testament to his own journey of personal, professional, and spiritual growth. In many ways he was a true seeker of wisdom, and did more than many others in his field to pay forward his own lesson to millions of people, through various talk shows, countless speeches, and PBS specials.

One of his key teachings is that we are all connected to a divine source. By tapping into that divinity we can all live better and more richly rewarding lives.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom would giving more of your heart instead of your mind become the source of greater happiness, and perhaps make Wayne Dyer smile in his ongoing divine journey?

find a better connection

“There is no WiFi in the forest but I promise you will find a better connection.”

-Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Radu Emanuel

Image from Unsplash by Radu Emanuel

Remember when you played outside until your mother called you in for dinner? Today’s children probably won’t. The National Wildlife Foundation reports that the average American child spends as few as 30 minutes in outdoor activities each day, and more than seven hours in front of some form of electronic screen. Our kids are out of shape, stressed out, and truly tuned out due to their lack of connection to the natural world so essential to their health and development.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you, your children, and others you care about spend far more time in the green and natural beauty of the outdoors? Imagine all the benefits to your body, mind, and spirit!

“A friend is a loved one…”

“A friend is a loved one who awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.”

– John O’Donohue, poet, philosopher and Catholic priest

QC #1016a

Someone once told me that friends are the family we choose for ourselves. That puts friendships in a very special category of relationships.

One of the key attributes of our friends is that they are tuned into our personal life frequencies. We are far better together than apart.

Exercise:

What are two to three areas of your life that need to be awakened? What would you consider to be a wild possibility in these areas?

Who are the friends that bring this special spark to your life, and how can you be this kind of friend for others?

#8: “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

– Sir Isaac Newton

Walls separate and protect; bridges join and connect. What walls have you built around yourself, your family, or your organization to seemingly protect yourself? You may have found that they actually separate you from others, to the point of disconnection, loneliness, and seclusion.

We live best in community, and bridges help us come together to create more than we could manage on our own.

Exercise:

What are the bridges you need to build or repair?

What are the walls in your life that need to be removed or torn down? (If you can’t do that, can you at least put a window or door into them?)

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