When the heart is afire

“When the heart is afire, some sparks will fly out of the mouth.”

—Thomas Fuller, 15th Century British historian

Image from Unsplash by Jamie Street

Today’s quote is about leadership. Take a moment to consider the sparks flying out of people’s mouths these days. Gun control, global warming, nuclear proliferation, politics, and the economy are just a few of the hotly debated subjects.

What topics have your heart afire? To what degree do you share your own thoughts and opinions on those topics with others?

EXERCISE:

Where is the status quo unacceptable in your personal or professional worlds? Where can and will you play a greater leadership role and let a few more sparks fly out of your mouth, sharing your heartfelt beliefs?

As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 19th Century German Writer & Statesman

Image from wordandspiritministries

What is it to live a good life?

How does one measure a life well lived?

What intrinsic and extrinsic factors are your gyroscopic guides on this great adventure?

Many people are giving more thought to this, particularly as they look in the mirror and see the aging process in effect, or pine on what they were once able to do years earlier.

Many experts, happiness gurus, and people who live “in the moment” encourage all of us to explore our emotions and feelings in order to tap into these trustworthy cornerstones of how to live.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you more fully tap into your thoughts, emotions, and feelings to assure yourself that you are indeed on the right life path?

Nurture Your Mind With Great Thoughts

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.”

—Benjamin Disraeli, British Statesman

Image of a psychedelic tree

Image from Twitter @HighestThinking

How often do you eat junk food? How often do manufactured foods with excessive sugar, fat, or mystery ingredients find their way through your lips?

When you do, what are the results on your physical, mental, and emotional vitality and well being?

How many junk messages enter your mind from news, social media, books, or even the people with whom you associate? What impact do these factors have on your abilities to better yourself?

EXERCISE:

How can you make more efforts to ingest and digest more nurturing ideas and thoughts, to take your life higher?

How can you reduce or stop detrimental thoughts and influences that hold you back in order to  make room for empowering and uplifting ideas?

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?

Words are Thoughts with Wings

“Our words are our thoughts with wings. We open our mouths, our minds fly out.”

—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self-Meditation

Image of a flag reading "Watch your words"

Image from A Place to be Encouraged

We humans have a superpower not shared with any other creatures on Earth.

Given today’s quote, you would be correct in labeling language as our superpower.

With it, mankind has literally shaped and manifested all kinds of wondrous things, and some horrid things as well.

I’ve been watching a National Geographic Channel series called Origins: The Journey of Humankind, which points to a wide variety of moments that have shaped our society. Consider the impact of language on technology, medicine, government, monetary systems, and even war and terrorism on our world today.

EXERCISE:

Consider your inner voice and the words you choose to let fly into your personal and professional worlds. Be sure you are giving only your best when you decide to give others a piece of your mind.

If you check out the Origins series, let me know your thoughts!

Want to Forget

“To want to forget something is to think of it.”

—French Proverb

Image of pink elephant with glasses

Image from Flickr by Eric Wilcox

Did you know that there is a perpetual motion machine? Not necessarily in the physical world, since energy is always required, but in terms of our minds.

Consider past events and memories of negative or bad things that have happened in your life. What happens when you make the effort to forget these events and leave these thoughts in the past? You might even say to yourself, “Don’t think about X,” and in doing so, X is all you think about.

A common example of this is when we try to fall asleep, when our active minds keep us from getting the rest we need and crave. Sadly, this is the norm for many people.

EXERCISE:

Rather than trying to forget something you don’t wish to think about, consider how you can replace those thoughts with more desirable and intentionally relaxing ideas.

The mind is like a garden

“The mind is like a garden. Plant flowers, you get flowers. Plant weeds, you get weeds. Plant nothing, you get weeds.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a greenhouse full of weeds

Image from Unsplash by Sandis Helvigs

The garden metaphor has been overused in describing the fertility of our minds to grow whatever is planted there. Today’s quote provides a special twist in the event we decide to take a “bench-sitter” or laissez-faire approach to life.

Imaging driving through an area in which no lawn service or landscaper has been seen for years. What do you see when you examine the grounds surrounding the buildings in this area?

Although I prefer to see the beauty of all living things, sometimes the winds of change bring unwanted forms of growth, things which we would prefer to live without.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you take an ongoing, proactive approach to planting only the most beautiful thoughts in your head?  What do you think will bloom?

Don’t Stumble

“Don’t stumble over something behind you.”

-Seneca, Roman Stoic Philosopher

Image from lovethispic.com

Image from lovethispic.com

Where do you live? Regardless of city, state, or country, we all live first and foremost in our thoughts.

How often do you think of past events or experiences that were negative or upsetting? We have the ability and tendency to travel back in time to revisit – and yes, stumble over – the same events and all their limiting feelings.

EXERCISE:

Image you were born with a factory-installed time machine with three settings: past, present, and future.

How would you use your current level of self-awareness and intentionality to limit your negative journeys to the past in order to maximize your experience of the present?

Seminar in a Sentence

“A quote can be a seminar in a sentence.”

-Author Unknown

QC #921

About a year ago, I published my first book, based on the Quotable Coach series. It was subtitled “daily nuggets of practical wisdom,” based on the votes and recommendations of our loyal readers.

In our time-crunched lives, the idea of getting a seminar in a sentence has a great deal of appeal to many. I am pleased to report that we now receive over 6,000 monthly hits on the Quotable Coach website, and have well over 1,500 daily subscribers worldwide, because of kind readers like you.

EXERCISE:

Please reply to this post with your favorite “seminar in a sentence,” and feel free to share its value and importance in your life.

Consider purchasing a copy of The Quotable Coach book for yourself or as a holiday gift to others. Thank You!

Shelf Life

“Ideas have a short shelf life. You must act on them before the expiration date.”

-John Maxwell, American author and speaker

Image from michellelianna.wordpress.com

Image from michellelianna.wordpress.com

When you visit the grocery store to purchase food for yourself and your family, do you have a particular strategy? Do you make a comprehensive list, or just have a general idea of what you need? Do you walk down each aisle to see what is on sale, or fill your cart with what appeals to you in the moment, especially when you’re hungry as you shop?

One strategy I employ is to examine the expiration date on all packaged food.  On numerous occasions, I find myself looking toward the back of the shelf to select those items that will stay freshest longest.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the best ideas sitting on the shelves of your mind? Which one will you act upon today and not let it expire?