Do Not Bite at the Bait of Pleasure

“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.”

—Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Maria Cosway, October 1786)

Image of a brightly colored fish with an open mouth

Image from Unsplash by yu tang

Pleasure seeking and pain avoidance are two of the biggest drivers for most people.
Take a look for yourself at a typical day or maybe a full week to see just how true this may be for you.

Dig deep into your daily habits and rituals at home and work to explore your behaviors in the morning, mid-day, and into the evening. How do your habits and rituals differ heading into the weekend or even as you engage in the holidays and vacation time?

EXERCISE:

Generate a list of 5-10 behaviors or habits that have a considerable downside or hook beneath their initial pleasure. How would reducing or eliminating one or two make a meaningful difference in your life?

Go where you’re celebrated not where you’re tolerated

“Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.”

—Author Unknown

Image of confetti topped by a sign that says, "Yeah!"

Image from Unsplash by raw pixel

The journey and process of becoming the best version of yourself is one of the primary reasons people seek the support of a coach. If it is good enough for Olympians and professional athletes, why not the rest of us, who also desire gold medal lives?

As we have discovered through our self-awareness and mindfulness efforts over the years of The Quotable Coach blog, our internal environment, including our perceptions and beliefs, has a great deal to do with our success.

At the same time our external environment, including our personal and professional communities, also has a tremendous impact on our views, our efforts, and of course, our success and life satisfaction.

EXERCISE:

What strategies and approaches can you use to shift and improve your communities to environments that celebrate rather than tolerate you and others?

Friday Review of Courage

Friday Review: Courage

How do you define courage? Here are a few courage-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

“Hope awakens courage. He who can implant courage in the human soul is the best physician.”

 

 

 

“The Roller Coaster is my life…It’s mountaineering; It’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself.”

 

 

 

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

 

 

 

Optimist Someone who figures that taking a step backward

“Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a Cha-Cha.”

—Robert Brault, Freelance American Writer

Image of a couple doing latin dance

Image from Unsplash by Isaiah McClean

As an optimist, I see life as a dance in which we all play a part in the magnificent miracle of living.

If we slow down a bit to observe our surroundings, and even our inner worlds, we will note different rhythms and cycles of give and take, up and down, back and forth. Perhaps it is these cha-cha’s of life that keep things in balance and simply bring workability to our world.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you more fully recognize and appreciate the steps backwards in life as integral and important aspects of a happy life?

Stillness is where Creativity and Solutions to Problems are Found

“Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.”

—Echart Tolle, Author of A New Earth

Image of a pair of headphones

Image from Unsplash by Lee Campbell

One of my favorite books is Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo. How many ways can you think of to listen? The point to Nepo’s title is perhaps what Deepak Chopra describes as “Living the Questions of Life” and their ability to move you into the sacred answers of your authentic self.

With this in mind, the practice of being still, quiet, and more patient with life seems to be solid strategy to letting creativity blossom, and to let the answers to life’s questions and problems reveal themselves.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you bring greater stillness into your world? How could this boost your creative efforts? How could it solve a few of those pesky problems that present themselves as you rush through your day?

You Need Less Than You Think

“You need less than you think. Just enjoy the moment now.”

—Brendon Burchard, Author of High Performance Habits

Imaage of African people in colorful dress walking

Image from Unsplash by Piotr Usewicz

My trip to Africa last August was an eye-opener. Seeing the beautiful landscapes and fantastic animals was amazing.

An additional highlight was the opportunity to meet others in our group from all over the world, and of course, the people of Africa who live far differently and with far less than we do. Their diverse communities seem to be living more consistently with the idea of “The best things in life are not things.”

EXERCISE:

In what areas of your world and in what ways would a “less is more” and “Live in the moment” approach be the way to a happier and more fulfilling life?

Abundance is not Something we Acquire

“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.”

—Dr. Wayne Dyer, late American self-help author and motivational speaker

Image of a woman holding a fan of American money

Image from Unsplash by Sharon McCutcheon

Take a look at these two lists in their relationship to the concept of abundance:

Extrinsic

Intrinsic

Money Love & Joy
Professional Designations Balance
The Perfect Body Kindness
Fame Quality Relationships
Material Possessions Serenity
Achievements Gratitude

EXERCISE:

What level of enduring fulfillment and satisfaction do you experience when you acquire the extrinsic items? What feelings do you experience when you tune into the intrinsic items?

What is your personal definition of living an abundant life?

Consider reflecting of Jeff Foster’s Deeper Meaning of Abundance

Friday Review of posts on distraction

Friday Review: Distractions

Are you easily distracted? Here are a few distraction-related quotes you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save. They just stand there, shining.”

 

 

 

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

 

 

 

 

“Starve Your Distractions. Feed Your Focus.”

 

 

 

 

A man’s pride can be his downfall

“A man’s pride can be his downfall, and he needs to learn when to turn to others for support and guidance.”

—Bear Grylls, British Adventurer

Image of Bear Grylls

Image of Bear Grylls from DailyExpress

If you were to look up the phrase “rugged individual or adventurer” on the internet, you would likely see a photo and description of Bear Grylls.

He served in the British army, trained in unarmed combat, desert and winter warfare, survival, climbing, and parachuting. He is also noted for his numerous expeditions, including:

  • Climbing Mount Everest
  • Circumnavigating the United Kingdom on a jet ski
  • Crossing the North Atlantic in a rigid inflatable boat
  • Climbing remote and “unclimb-able” peaks in Antarctica

Although much personal attention has created his celebrity status, he points out most vividly, with today’s quote, that in virtually all cases, his successes involved and were dependent on the support and guidance of others.

EXERCISE:

Where in your personal or professional life have you been going it alone to achieve what you desire? Where and on what matters it is time to more fully embrace and yes, request the assistance of others in your various communities?

Check out Grylls’ Wikipedia page, and note how many of his accomplishments include many other people backing his efforts.

The Most Important Things are the Hardest to Say

“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.”

—Stephen King, American Author of horror, suspense, and science fiction

Image from Unsplash by Aaron Burden

Last August, my wife Wendy and I took an extraordinary vacation with two friends. We went to Africa, Ireland, and Iceland.

As I so often do, I took a journal to capture our daily adventures, but found that I had surprisingly little interest in detailing our many wonderful experiences through the written word.

When I did write something, it felt like a recounting or summary of the days, and had none of the emotions and deep feelings of awe we experienced. I did, however, find that taking pictures lived up to the “thousand words” motto – and we sure took a bunch!

EXERCISE:

Reflect on some of the most important things in your life and consider how you experience them beyond the limits of any words. Feel free to reply to this post with your best description of what you observe, even if it falls a bit short of the full experience.