The Wonders We See Around Us

“We carry within us the wonders we see around us.”

—Sir Thomas Browne, 17th Century English Polymath

What does it mean to you to live an extraordinary life? Where do travel and adventure fit into your plans?

Years ago, I picked up a copy of 1000 Places to See Before you Die, and realized I was woefully behind making even a modest dent in the list.

Today’s quote points to the wonderland that is always available to each of us without ever getting into a car, train, boat, or plane.

EXERCISE:

Consider exploring your own inner wonders of creativity, love, spirit, faith, wisdom, kindness, and inner peace.
What other areas could you explore as you view other wonders in the world around you?

Unmapped Country Within Us

“There is a great deal of unmapped country within us.”

—George Elliot, pen name of Mary Anne Evans, Victorian-era British author

Image of an ancient map

ancient map for crossing the ocean, from Pinterest

Have you ever met a map-maker?

It’s a profession not likely to be in the top-ten career tracks at our universities!

If you were to meet one today, they would most likely be mapping the unchartered parts of our world, including the depths of the seas, or the planets and moons of our solar system and beyond.

What if all of us were actually map-makers at heart, somewhat untrained, but still able to explore and discover worlds within us?

What possible adventures and new or interesting territories might lie ahead if you put on your “explorer” hat?

EXERCISE:

What actions and efforts can you take to become your own Magellan, Columbus, or Captain Kirk to better map out your inner world?

How You Climb A Mountain

“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.”

—Yvon Chouinard, American rock climber and founder of Patigonia

Image of climber facing a mountain

Image from Unsplash by Daniel Burka

Are you an explorer? How often do you venture out on a quest or journey, to scale life’s mountains?

What are the factors that inspire you to put on your hiking boots and venture outside your comfort zone, personally or professionally?

How critical or important is it to arrive and actually reach the summit? How much attention do you usually pay to your individual steps? How often do you take in the scenery and the people you meet along the way?

EXERCISE:

Examine your level of excitement, anticipation, inspiration, curiosity, and passion relative to the mountains you are climbing. How can you discover far more rich rewards through the way you climb the mountain, whether or not you reach the top?

A Great Perhaps

“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”

—François Rabelais, 16th Century French Writer

Image of sky with quote in the clouds

Throughout recorded history, man has inquired into his own existence and humanity’s place and purpose on this earth.

Having a reason to get up each morning to explore and realize the possibilities of life seems fundamental, but all to often, some of us get stuck or stalled in a daily rut in which our lives feel less inspired and engaging.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you intentionally and proactively seek your next personal or professional “perhaps”?

Feel free to reply to this post with any insights you have had, and actions you plan to pursue.

a slogan for an interesting life

“‘Why not?’ is a slogan for an interesting life.”

-Mason Cooley, late American educator and aphorist

image of "Why Not? in a circle

Image from whynotdumaguete.com

Regret is a terrible thing. When questioned about their lives, virtually all elderly people indicate that they most regret the things they did not do, rather than what they did.

In my coaching, I encourage my clients to have a “Try it On” attitude, in which they intentionally explore ideas and strategies that may not exactly fit within their comfort zones. In some cases, these ideas fit better than they think, or need only a bit of tailoring.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways could you lead a more interesting and rewarding life by asking yourself, “Why Not?”

Give more experiences and ideas a try today and in the days ahead. Feel free to reply to this post and let me know what happens.

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.

Friday Review: Exploration

FRIDAY REVIEW:  EXPLORATION

Are you willing to be an explorer in some aspect of your life? Here are a few Exploration-related posts you may have missed. Click on the link to read the full message.

Image of Double Helix

 

“We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released.”

 

 

 

Image of a man on a mountain, taking a photo of the sunrise

 

“People don’t take trips. Trips take people.”

 

 

 

 

Image of Mr. Wizard's World

 

“Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.”

 

 

 

 

Who Looks Outside

“Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.”

—Carl Gustav Jung, founder of analytic psychology

Image from zdnet.com

Image from zdnet.com

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of exploring new worlds. I was a fan of Mr. Wizard as a child, and dreamed of being an astronaut. The Discovery Channel is one of my favorites, and my first career was as a science teacher.

As I aged and pursued adventure, personal growth, and my current career in coaching, I found new excitement in taking frequent journeys into the land inside of my mind and heart – without the assistance of a rocket or a space suit.

EXERCISE:

Chose a practice such as meditation, prayer, journaling, or reading insightful, thought-provoking books and blogs to explore the worlds inside of you, and engage in new journeys of self-discovery.

“People don’t take trips. Trips take people.”

“People don’t take trips. Trips take people.”

—John Steinbeck, American author

Photo from Flickr by EBImagery

Photo from Flickr by EBImagery

The calm riverboat cruise my wife Wendy and I took down the Danube was a trip of a lifetime, providing us lots of time to reflect on our lives. Of particular interest was how this journey took us back in time to visit the lives of people who lived hundreds and even thousands of years ago.

We were accompanied by 136 fellow passengers from around the world, who generously shared their friendship and bits of their lives with us as we toured a number of cities, sharing good food and conversation.

EXERCISE:

As you enter the summer months, how can you more fully embrace the places you visit? What can you do to look beyond the surface and experience these adventures more completely?

“Life is like a camera. Focus on…”

“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.”

—Author Unknown

Photo from Flickr by Martijn van Exel

Photo from Flickr by Martijn van Exel

I like this quote so much as it is that I’m going to skip right to the exercise!

EXERCISE:

  1. What is of such importance today that you will give it your fullest attention and focus?
  2. How can you pace yourself today to fully capture all the good you experience?
  3. How can you embrace the “lessons learned” from any negatives or setbacks that may occur during the day?
  4. Finally, should your picture of things not turn out as you wish, determine how you will refocus your life lenses, add the light of a positive attitude, and take another shot in the direction of your choosing?