Seeking Happiness Outside Ourselves

“Seeking happiness outside ourselves is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing north.”

—Tibetan Proverb

How would you like a 10% return on your investments year after year?

Most people would be pretty happy with those results, except, perhaps, for some venture capitalists!

How does that relate to today’s quote? 10% Happier by Dan Harris is a book I highly recommend. Working on himself through his meditation and mindfulness practice, Harris tamed the voice in his head, reduced stress, and still kept his edge.

Meditation has allowed me to create far more sunny skies, because I’ve realized that we create our own weather through mindful self-awareness.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up Dan’s book, or another resource on the value of daily meditation to help brighten your world.

I highly recommend the CALM app if you are just beginning this practice.

What Inspires You

FRIDAY REVIEW: INSPIRATION

What inspires you? Here are a few inspiration-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

“Your Greatness is measured by your horizons.”

 

 

 

 

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”

 

 

 

 

“Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.”

 

 

 

When You Take Your TIme, You Save Time

“When you take your time, you save time.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a watch in a glass bottle

Image from Stepping Stones

How are your investments doing these days? This past year? Since you began your personal investment plans?

What has been the return on your investments?

Given the tangibility and objectivity of money and its ability to be exchanged for products and services, you probably know this number reasonably well.

Time, on the other hand, is a bit more elusive, in that it is often far more difficult to determine exactly how well we spend it. One of my other favorite quotes on this topic is Time is the Coin of Life, suggesting its great importance to our overall success and satisfaction.

Today’s quote coaches us to be far more intentional and thoughtful in our decisions to allocate our time and energies. In doing so, it suggests, we will actually save time by not making poor decisions, false starts, or initiatives that may not optimally serve our visions and values.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can and will you slow down and spend your time more wisely, in order to save time for those most prized and valued activities in your life?

Your Work is to Discover Your Work

“Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.”

—Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism

Image from Unsplash

No quote captures my business and personal coaching work purpose better than this one!

A large percentage of people I work with in the business world rarely experience a perfect fit between who they are and what they do.

I see this most often when people seek coaching because they have a heightened awareness of this gap in their fulfillment and satisfaction, and choose to make an intentional transition with this huge chunk of their life.

EXERCISE:

To put you in closer touch to the work you are meant to do, consider reading these books:

Of course, you can always contact me to explore how I may assist you in this effort.

Cultivate Something Special

“Like an oyster cultivating a pearl, cultivate something that is special to you.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a peral in a shell

Image from Prettywomanbeauty.gr

I recently watched a National Geographic special titled The Secret Life of Pearls, which explains the process by which South Sea pearls are produced. The show demonstrates the massive lengths of time and even life threatening dangers involved in creating these beautiful and highly prized marine gems.

Each of us has abilities, talents, and characteristics the make us who we are. These special qualities bring us much pleasure and satisfaction when we express them and share them with others in our personal and professional communities.

The use, practice, and pursuit of excellence and even mastery in these areas can create a sense of flow and timeless engagement, which often produces even more fulfillment.

EXERCISE:

What special qualities, talents, and unique abilities can you emphasize and cultivate moving forward?  Who in your communities can help you identify these qualities and support your growth in the areas that are special to you?

Check out The Secret Life of Pearls on the National Geographic Channel or on YouTube

The Purpose of the Call

“Before picking up the phone, pause for a moment and think about the purpose of the call.”

—Author Unknown

Image of hand holding a smartphone

Image from Unsplash

How many business meetings do you attend on a daily basis? If you gave each a grade of A, B, or C, or rated them from 1-10 with 10 being outstanding, how would they score?

If you are like many professionals, dissatisfying meetings can be the bane of your work days. Books and other resources on this topic abound, many of which I encourage you to explore.

Consider, too, that we all have more meetings than we think—we call them phone calls. In many cases, we don’t prepare for them half as well as our sub-optimal face-to-face meetings.

EXERCISE:

Today, and in the weeks ahead, make a microresolution to use the phrase the reason for my call is… and see if the clarity of purpose improves the value and outcomes of your conversations.

Friday Review Silence

FRIDAY REVIEW: SILENCE

How long has it been since you’ve spent time in total silence? Here are a few silence-related posts you may have missed. Click to read the full message.

 

“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy. They come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest.”

 

 

 

“Silence is one of the great arts of communication.”

 

 

 

 

“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”

 

 

 

 

Make The Most of What Comes

“Make the most of what comes and the least of what goes.”

—Author Unknown

Image from psdgraphics.com

Nothing last forever.

We tell ourselves this all the time, yet we often go about our lives as if, through some form of sheer will power, we can alter this “Law of Impermanence.”

Rather than struggling to prevent things from being lost or drifting away with time, we can perceive them in an empowering and grateful manner.

We can further our engagement and delight in life by also making the most of the people and events that enter our lives, no matter how brief the time.

EXERCISE:

How can you exercise your maximizing and minimizing abilities where it counts the most? Sharing your intentions to use these strategies with others will increase your ability, and likely benefit them as well.

A book that may support your effort is Essentialism by Greg McKeown

The Most Important Thing You Wear

“Your expression is the most important thing you wear.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash

Putting our best foot forward, making a good first impression, and the general way we present ourselves to the world couldn’t be more important these days.

We know that people are judging us all the time. What you are wearing, literally? And what physical expressions are people observing about you?

Examining your current attitudes, moods, emotions, and feelings may provide some clues to how open and receptive people may be to you. This almost always impacts the success of our personal and professional relationships.

I tend to be a very serious person. My wife Wendy frequently asks me if I’m OK. When I say, “Yes, I am,” she often coaches me by saying, “Inform your face!”

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you become more aware of the expressions you wear in public? How can you use your expressions to enhance the personal and professional success you desire? A genuine smile is a great place to start.

Make Sense Out of Change

“Make sense out of change by plunging into it, moving with it, and joining in the dance.”

—Author Unknown

Image of boy diving from a boat

Image from Lakehouse Lifestyle

As we move through the stages of adult life, most of us become a bit more set in our ways. There is nothing particularly wrong with that. We often find comfort in our rituals, habits, and routines.

Without a direct invitation from us, however, the world increasingly knocks or, in some cases, pounds on our doors, bringing all kinds of change into our personal and professional worlds.

What if, instead of bolting our doors or barricading ourselves into our comfortable worlds, we opened ourselves to more opportunities and adventures by moving, plunging and dancing with these changes?

EXERCISE:

Where would a more open, welcoming, “try it on” approach to the changes around you make the biggest, most positive difference? Consider opening this door, or better yet, stepping right out there and joining the dance!