Never mistake a clear view for a short distance

“Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.”

—Mark Spain, top Real Estate Broker

illustration of the distance between earth and Mars

Image from SpaceNews

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and seen Mars without a telescope?

If you have, you were viewing the red planet – which won’t appear red – at a distance of about 34 million miles, when at its closest to Earth.

Although the math is complicated, and there is no way to travel to Mars in a straight line – which, if you could, would take 39 days – here is a list of a few missions and the time it took for the journey:

  • Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit Mars (1971): 168 days
  • Viking 1, the first U.S. craft to land on Mars (1995): 304 days
  • Mars Science Laboratory (2011): 254 days

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you fully prepared to go the distance on one or more personal or professional goals, that you can clearly see ahead?

All rising to great place is by a winding stair

“All rising to great place is by a winding stair.”

—Sir Francis Bacon, 16th Century Lord Chancellor of England

Image of a winding staircase

Image from MTM

When I was a young boy, my family took a trip to New York City to see some sights and take in a show at Radio City Music Hall. We also had a fancy meal that included chocolate mousse in an edible chocolate shell. This was a very big deal even though we lived nearby in Philadelphia.

A highlight of our visit was walking up the winding staircase to the crown of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, to view the harbor and the New York City skyline.

I distinctly remember the aching and burning in my legs as we climbed to this extraordinary vantage point.

EXERCISE:

What current or future staircases are you climbing – or will you climb – to reach the great places you intend to go? What will make the considerable effort worth the winding journey?

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.

“A journey is best measured in…”

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”

—Tim Cahill, travel writer

QC #787

In early May, my wife Wendy and I celebrated forty years together and 36 years of marriage by taking a river cruise along the Danube between Passau, Germany and Budapest, the capital of Hungary. We’ve taken many other cruises over the years. What made this one special—beyond each other’s company—was that there were only 136 other passengers, and about 40 crew members.

One of the most pleasant surprises was the number of friendships we made with this  intimate group of fascinating people from around the globe.

EXERCISE:

Who are the friends in your world that have made your life journey meaningful and rewarding? How can you continue your journey with a greater emphasis on using the development of close, caring friendships as a measure of a meaningful life?

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”

– Wayne Dyer, self-help author and motivational speaker

553Image from Flickr by cwwycoff1.

We live in a society that is addicted to results. We measure almost everything. The majority of business leaders would agree that “what gets measured gets done”. Even the world of dance has gotten into the act through reality TV shows such as “Dancing with the Stars” or “So You Think You can Dance”.

On the other hand, dance, especially celebratory dance, has no goal or objective except for the experience of joy and self-expression. You’ll never see a judge with a paddle indicating that a bride and groom got 8/10 for their first dance as husband and wife!

Exercise:

What are some other “life dances” where you more fully enjoy the steps along the way and are not simply looking to finish or reach some destination or outcome?

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

– H. Jackson Brown, Jr., American author

525Image from Flickr by squeaks2569.

The quote above makes me think of the phrase “different strokes for different folks.” If we all thought the same things and liked the same things, we wouldn’t have so many choices in our world.

Consider the following list and notice your own preferences:

  • Your favorite food
  • Your favorite ice-cream
  • Your favorite color
  • Your favorite style of music
  • Your favorite TV show
  • Your favorite sport
  • Your favorite type of vacation
  • Your favorite hobby
  • Your favorite way to spend the weekend

Exercise:

Go out of your way today to discover various roads that people in your professional and personal lives take toward their own fulfillment and happiness.

Perhaps you can take their example, choose your own path, and take the road less travelled by. It just may make all the difference. (You may also want to read Robert Frost’s Poem “The Road Not Taken.”)

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

 “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

– Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa

Over the past few weeks, the world has celebrated the long and remarkable life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

If he were a mountain climber, he would perhaps have scaled more summits than almost anyone in history, and he taught us the important life lesson that it’s all about climbing.

Exercise:

What hills and mountains have you already climbed, where you have stood at the summit with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment?

What new hills are before you to challenge your strength and resolve, to further your life journey and your contribution to the world?

“The journey of a thousand miles begins and ends with one step.”

 “The journey of a thousand miles begins and ends with one step.”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

We have all heard this famous quote a thousand times.  What about all those steps in between?

Of course we would all acknowledge the important of taking the initiative with the first step toward our goals. Once we have done so, we are at a new beginning point, ready to take the next first step.

In the beginning, it may be difficult to move toward our goals – however, with persistence and the development of this habit to act, we will be much more likely to find ourselves taking that last step to reach our desired destinations.

Exercise:

Identify at least one professional or personal goal that you deeply desire, where you find yourself procrastinating or simply stopped in your tracks.

Brainstorm alone or with others the first, second, etc. steps toward its achievement.

Before you know it, you will have arrived.

Please reply to this message and let me know the goals you choose to pursue – and what happens.

Who looks outside dreams. who looks inside awakens.

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

– Carl G.Jung, psychotherapist and psychiatrist

Image of man in contemplation

Image from Unsplash by Ben White

As a former science teacher and professed watcher of the Discovery Channel (and TV shows from my youth such as Mr. Wizard), I have always been fascinated by exploring new worlds beyond my reach.

During my childhood, I even dreamed of one day being an astronaut and visiting the moon and the planets. As I aged and pursued adventure, personal growth and my career in coaching, I found a new excitement in taking more frequent journeys within my mind and my heart – all without the assistance of a rocket.

Exercise:

Consider engaging in your own inner journey daily, through a practice of your choice such as meditation, prayer, journal writing, and the reading of insightful or thought-provoking books or blogs.

Feel free to reply to this message and let me know what practices you use to awaken and clarify your vision.

#114: “Success is a journey, not a destination.”

– Arthur Ashe, professional tennis player

To reach the end of our lives, at the very least, is to leave our physical world and perhaps enter a new level of existence. To some, the end of our lives is a more definitive end – death, with nothing beyond.

Life is one game I am not in a big hurry to finish. Taking pleasure in each step along this journey seems like a very good strategy.

How many people do you know who wish their lives away, by skipping steps in their journeys, by looking forward to the end of the work week, the end of the school year, or the opportunity to retire from a dead-end job?

Exercise:

How can you either change the game of your life, or shift your perspective, to make the most of each moment?

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