“The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe, but the change in the present they engender.”
—David Allen, American Productivity Consultant
Image from Unslpash by RawPixel
I hope you had a very happy holiday season, and that your new year is off to an outstanding start. Perhaps you are like most of us in that you set about to revisit your visions for the new year, and establish “stretch” goals for where you see yourself professionally and personally.
What progress, skills, habits, and achievements will put a big smile on your face? Perhaps most importantly, what daily changes will be required to realize what you deeply desire?
David Allen suggests, in today’s quote, that our visions and goals provide the leverage of our commitment to changing our present actions that will have us realize the futures we desire.
Consider displaying the following quote by Tuli Kupferberg in your personal or professional environment as a daily reminder to tap into one of the secrets to a better future:
“When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge.”
Also consider writing it with the second part first:
“New worlds will emerge when patterns are broken.”
“There’s a bigger picture. Just step back from the canvas.”
—attributed to Ilona Simone
One of my favorite Netflix Original Series is called Tales by Light.
Each episode highlights a specific masterful photographer, examining their world in great detail. The techniques they use to capture our world include a wide variety of lenses, and viewing their subjects from multiple levels.
From ground level to the top of a ladder, or a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon or drone, their images reveal more of their canvas, and a far more interesting and beautiful perspective on their subject.
Where in either your personal or professional world are you simply too close to a particular subject? Where would stepping back to gain greater objectivity and perspective shed more and better light on your view of your world?
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
—Og Mandino, 20th Century American Author
Image from Flickr by Kristopher Roller
Every summer when I was young my entire family headed to Camp Indian Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Back then, our trusty flashlights were essential tools for nighttime navigation in finding our way back to our cabins.
On clear nights with virtually no ambient light for miles, we would often turn off our torches to enjoy the spectacle of the night sky, filled with what must have been millions of stars.
The flash lights were only helpful in seeing 50 or so feet ahead. The darkness allowed us to see the light of stars, and perhaps galaxies many light years away.
Where would a greater appreciation for both the light and the darkness of life reveal even greater insight into yourself and the world?
“There are glimpses of Heaven to us in every act or thought or word, that raises us above ourselves.”
—A.P. Stanley, 19th Century Dean of Westminster
Thor’s Helmet Emission Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona
I love the idea that if we shoot for the moon and miss our mark, we will still land among the stars. How often do your eyes rise to the heavens to explore and pursue the possibilities of life? How often do you navigate your world looking down or only at your next step?
With the right lens or perceptional filter, today’s quote suggests we can use every action, thought, or word as a catalyst, to become a better versions of ourselves.
Ask and answer these three questions, to open up the heavens even further:
• What did I learn from the action that I just took, to improve my current situation?
• How can my current thinking be more hopeful, optimistic, and creative?
• What do I hear or read that can inspire me toward a new level of excellence?
Consider creating a question or two for yourself that, once answered, can raise your life to new levels of success and life satisfaction.
“It’s hard to see a halo when you’re looking for horns.”
—Cullen Hightower, late American quip writer
Image from VG24
Are you a good person?
Most of us like to think we are – and could even prove it through the kind and generous gestures we make throughout the day.
Take a moment to look at the variety of people in your personal and professional worlds. How many have the same size halo you see above your own head? Perhaps more disturbingly, how often do you see their not-so-pleasant horns, because you are focusing on their faults and shortcomings?
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I don’t like that man. I need to get to know him better.”
How can you, too, rise above your own fault-finding perceptions and discover far more halos in those around you?
“Examine everything as though you had just taken off blinders.”
—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self-Meditation
Image from The Bittersweet Score
Imagine losing your sight for 24 hours. Perhaps you had a surgical procedure and were required to wear blinders to protect those sensitive windows into the world.
What would that be like? What would be the impact on your other senses? Perhaps most interestingly, what would you observe and appreciate even more when you removed the blinders?
Although this is an extreme example, consider that fact that we all wear blinders or at least perceptual lenses by which we view the world. Some are particularly dark and negative, doing a number on our happiness and overall life satisfaction.
Take off your blinders or at least your perceptual sunglasses today and look deeper and completely at the people and things around you.
Feel free to reply to this post to share what new, brighter, and surprisingly different things you observe.
“See the good all around you even if you have to squint.”
Image from lasikmd.com
If you are like me, your eyesight is not what it used to be. Perhaps you need glasses to drive at night, or to read. You may even need longer arms as you “trombone” food labels in order to read the ingredient list.
Having 20/20 vision has great benefits, but when we look at the world, including the folks in our lives that are taking this journey with us, it may not always serve us to have clear and complete objectivity. As an example, as we look at the weaknesses and faults in others, we know full well we have our own share.
Where would a bit of squinting help you overlook some of the unimportant things around you, and help you see a lot more good available in your world?