The Greatest Thing About Man

“The greatest thing about man is the ability to transcend himself, his ancestry, and his environment, and to become what he dreams of being.”

—Tully C. Knoles, early president of the College of the Pacific

Meme of Today's quote

Do me a favor. Please read today’s quote four more times.

Read it slowly.

Savor each word like a fine wine or choice morsel of an extraordinary meal. Let its full meaning sink into your bones to see how it does, or could, apply to your life today and as you move forward.

Where is your past or ancestry somehow holding you back and placing limits on what is possible?

Where is your current personal or professional environment blocking your progress and thwarting your efforts?

EXERCISE:

How can you summon the wondrous and extraordinary capacities within you to transcend your current self? How might this help you realize far more of your most inspired and compelling dreams?

Walking with Giants

“A man has dreams of walking with giants. To carve his niche in the edifice of time.”

—Mr. Banks, in Disney’s Mary Poppins

Image of Mary Poppins flying over the city

I first saw Mary Poppins in 1964. I was seven years old. It was a cold, snowy day. Mom and I took several buses into downtown Philadelphia, to stand in line for the big event.

This technicolor miracle of Disney magic had people buzzing for weeks. Beyond the special effects was a heartfelt story of exceptional characters. Today’s quote by George Banks, the family patriarch in the film, is powerful coaching for young boys and girls, as well as the older generation.

EXERCISE:

What are your dreams? What niches are you carving? What giants do you walk with? How will you leave your mark on the edifice of time?

What efforts can and will you make in the years ahead to make an even bigger impact on the edifice of time?

“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.”

“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.”

—Akira Kurosawa, 20th Century Japanese Filmmaker

Image from amazon.com

Image from amazon.com

I am currently reading The Big Idea – How Breakthroughs of the Past Shape the Future, compiled by National Geographic. This visually stunning and well-organized manuscript explores some of the big ideas and big thinkers of the past and the present, who are shaping our present and future.

If you have an interest in health and medicine, transportation and space exploration, information and communication, biology and the environment, chemistry and material, physics, or the cosmos, this book is a gem!

EXERCISE:

What are your dreams for your professional or personal life, or for that matter, the world? How can you realize these dreams by tapping into the big ideas of others and capturing more of your inner genius?

“I get a chance to be anyone I want to be.”

“I get a chance to be anyone I want to be.”

– Johnnetta McSwain, author of Rising Above the Scars

As many people know, Oprah has had a phenomenal career of over 25 years, living by the motto “Live your best life.” McSwain’s quote points us to the opportunity to be whoever we wish. One way to explore the possibility of your best future self is to identify people who you respect and begin to practice and express their most admirable skills and qualities.

Exercise:

Develop a list of three to five people in both your professional and personal life, and capture the admirable qualities about each of these individuals. Consider sharing your intentions with each of these people so that they can support your development.

A bonus to this exercise will be an improved relationship with these individuals, due to the acknowledgement they will likely experience.

Nothing happens unless first a dream

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.”

– Carl Sandburg, 20th Century Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet

Close up image of a blue eye

Image from Unsplash by Daniil Kuželev

A dream, a vision, a goal, an objective: Words that convey a view of the future. When we envision the future, a magical attractive power begins to pull us towards its realization.

Without this first thought of what we want to see, we are left exactly where we are – with something neither good nor bad unless we make it so. However, the moment we think about, imagine, and envision a future, we find the ability to reach our destiny.

Exercise:

What are your personal and professional dreams?
How can you exercise your personal and professional capacity to envision your future, and use this capacity to enhance your world?