Write the Other Way

“If they give you lined paper, write the other way.”

—William Carlos Williams, 20th-Century Puerto-Rican American Poet

Image of the 9 Dot Exercize

The “Nine Dot Exercise” is a classic. The objective, if you’ve never seen it before, is to connect all the dots with four straight lines without lifting your pen or pencil.  I’ve seen many people grow frustrated or give up in attempting to solve the puzzle.

I will not provide any of the possible solutions. You can Google it if you wish, but I will simply suggest that the solution is in approaching the exercise in a way that is not obvious at first glance.

EXERCISE:

Where would an alternative or even contrary approach be the way to solve one of your more pressing professional or personal problems?

If You Want to Be Free

“If you want to be free, learn to live simply.”

—John Heider, The Tao of Leadership

Image of a bird on a wire, with today's quote

In the last few months, I have posted several times regarding minimalism and essentialism, which point to the value and freedom associated with a simple life.

What areas of your world would benefit most by slowing down, paring back, downsizing, or even eliminating completely? Explore this list as possible places to start:

Relationships Career Media Consumption Diet
Wardrobe Living/Working Environments Schedule Health & Spiritual Practice

EXERCISE:

What one action can and will you take (or stop taking) to gain a bit more freedom in your life?

Consider making this exercise a daily practice and let me know what you discover.

Friday Review: Negativity

FRIDAY REVIEW:  NEGATIVITY

What role does negativity play in your life? Here are a few posts related to negativity you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

 

 

 

 

Complaining is Draining.

 

 

 

 

Life is like photography. You use the negatives to develop.

 

 

 

Don’t Be Discouraged

“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”

—Author Unknown

Image of keys in a circle

Image from Flickr by Hayley Mechelle

What current personal or professional issue has you upset, frustrated, and perhaps at a breaking point? Where are you ready to throw in the towel and give up on a matter of great importance?

You may even feel that you have tried everything possible and don’t have it in you to go on.

Beyond the RAH-RAH of the If at first you don’t succeed… stuff, how can you remain patient and persist in new and different actions to open the locks of opportunities you seek?

EXERCISE:

Seek out the support of a friend, mentor, family member, or coach to tackle this matter. They will likely help you find the inner strength to go on, and the added perspective to achieve what you desire.

The pause is as important as the note

“The pause is as important as the note.”

—Truman Fisher, American Composer

Image from Flickr by Ben Rogers

Do you enjoy music? If so, what types of music do you prefer?

Prioritize this list from high to low based on your preferences:

Pop Hip-Hop Holiday Electronic
Swing Classical Rock Folk
Rap Reggae Disco Jazz
Blues Chamber Country Bluegrass
Alternative Show Tunes Baroque Dance

Although the instruments used in these various forms of music can be different, it is perhaps the pauses, or rests, as much as the notes that are played that give each genre its own special sound.

EXERCISE:

Consider your life as a form of personal symphony. Where would paying even more attention to the pauses, to resting between your life notes enhance the melodies in your world?

The worst thing about new books

“The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.”

—Joseph Joubert, 19th Century French Essayist

Image of a large library

Image from Flickr by Saimad

Because I am heavily invested in personal and professional development, I am always on the lookout for the next ground-breaking book. I thrive on new ideas and the concept of finding a better way to improve the world.

If you are like me, you sometimes find new books a bit of a letdown in that they often repackage old ideas in ways that fall short of the originals.

EXERCISE:

Consider a Google search on this phrase:

The greatest ___________ books of all time. Fill in the blank with whatever types of books you value and enjoy most.

 

Every Cell is a Citizen

“BODY: A cell state in which every cell is a citizen.”

—Rudolf Virchow, 19th Century German Biologist

Image of Human Brain Dendrites

Human Brain Dendrites. Image from The Gallery of Neuroscience.

According to Rose Eveleth’s 2013 article at smithsonian.com, there are 37.2 trillion cells in your body. Other studies give a range between 15 and 70 trillion. Whatever the actual number, it’s a bunch!

Given my interest in health, I ask you to consider the idea of cellular health as a way of enhancing your overall health. It’s similar to each individual doing their part as global citizens to make the entire world a healthier and happier place.

EXERCISE:

Consider purchasing a copy of On Target Living by Chris Johnson, in which you will find new and optimal actions to make your 37 trillion cells healthier and happier citizens of your body.

Friday Review: Intention

FRIDAY REVIEW: INTENTION

What intentions have you set for your day, your week, or your life? Here are a few intention-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the message.

 

“A lot can happen in a year.”

 

 

 

“Follow that Dream!”

 

 

 

 

 

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”
 

 

If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”

—David Allen, Author of Getting Things Done

When was the last time you sat down to watch TV, search the web, or venture into your inbox, then found that somehow, hours of your life were stolen?

Our frenetically-paced world has more time thieves than ever, and if we are not careful we can all fall victim to it.

Fortunately, more of us are becoming aware of these time heists, and are learning to set up our own security systems and keep the intruders at bay.

EXERCISE:

Today’s quote coaches us to exercise our own attention/mindfulness muscles and better allocate our time to more deserving pursuits.

One strategy I often pursue with my coaching clients is to create a time log or journal that tracks where time goes when it “flies.”

Unless you plan on Eating it

“Unless you plan on eating it, please don’t bring your phone to our dinner table.”

—Author Unknown

No Phone Zone Image

Digital distraction is at epidemic levels. It is so out of hand that we now hear of multiple people committing suicide because they are unable to get their “digital fix.”

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you draw the line and establish boundaries that cannot be crossed, to prevent this heads-down world from infecting your life and the lives of those you love?

Please consider the dinner table as a place to begin and then expand further to regain the peace and sanity you seek.