A Great Perhaps

“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”

—François Rabelais, 16th Century French Writer

Image of sky with quote in the clouds

Throughout recorded history, man has inquired into his own existence and humanity’s place and purpose on this earth.

Having a reason to get up each morning to explore and realize the possibilities of life seems fundamental, but all to often, some of us get stuck or stalled in a daily rut in which our lives feel less inspired and engaging.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you intentionally and proactively seek your next personal or professional “perhaps”?

Feel free to reply to this post with any insights you have had, and actions you plan to pursue.

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die

“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die, and the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”

⏤Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India

Image of a man sleeping on the sofa with his bulldog

Image from Flickr by Andrew Roberts

When I first read this quote, I felt pretty down at the thought of dying each evening, with a sense of finality that something⏤in this case, my day⏤was over.

Many of us experience similar feelings when our weekends, vacations, or other happy times come to an end.

Consider that the same is true for bad times, and uncomfortable events we may want to wish away.

To wake up and be reborn each new day excites me with the possibilities of new and wondrous things I can intentionally do, with a fresh perspective and a fresh canvas to draw upon.

EXERCISE:

How can you interpret today’s quote to make the very best of each new day you are fortunate enough to experience?

what is possible

“What is possible for you is dictated by your hunger, not your history.”

-Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author

Image from playbuzz.com

Image from playbuzz.com

A few weeks ago, I had an engaging breakfast meeting with a friend who is applying for a new, high profile position. He expects to be vying for this job with a good number of other people.

Through our discussion and inquiry, we fueled the flame of his hunger for this position. He was clear that, based on his history and experience, he was highly qualified for the role. He also saw this position as the role of a lifetime, and that attaining it was his professional destiny.

EXERCISE:

How likely do you think it is that the interviewers will sense his genuine hunger and passion for the position and put him at or near the top of the list?

Where can you use your own insatiable hunger – not just your history – to achieve your deeply held desires?

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
-Maya Angelou, African-American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer.

Photo from Flickr by Kinl Straf

Photo from Flickr by Kinl Straf

Have you ever visited Niagara Falls on a sunny day? If so, I guarantee you saw a rainbow, due to the combination of sunlight and the mist that rises from the falls and acts as a thousand prisms of light.

Clouds, too, are collections of water vapor that often block the light and cast a shadow on whatever is beneath them.

As we enter the fall and winter months, some people experience a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which diminishes their energy and life satisfaction, due to a lack of sunlight.

EXERCISE:

How can you shine your own internal light through the clouds of those around you, to create more rainbows and greater possibilities – and help yourself and others live a more vibrant, colorful life?

#72: “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.”

– Danny Kaye

Many of us were given a box of crayons or set of watercolor paints as children. As we began drawing or painting, we often made a mess, and went beyond the workbook or the canvas. Our teachers and parents, with the best of intentions, taught us to paint by numbers and draw within the boundaries.

How does this idea relate to the lives that we live today: following the rules, sticking to established procedures, conforming?

Exercise:

What if you are simply a brilliant artist and your life is your masterpiece? How big a canvas, and how much paint, will you need? Consider doubling it.

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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?

#51: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

– Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

As humans, we have a unique capacity to think and to interpret our world. In this regard, we are also time travelers: we can envision the beginning of time and the Big Bang all the way to, perhaps, the end of our universe.

Let’s get real for a moment. This is not what we actually do on a daily basis – except for theoretical physicists. We do, however, visit the past often and fortunately or unfortunately, relive it. We often live in the future of possibility and “what if” and lose what’s right in front of us and the “now.”

Exercise:

How can you use the lessons of the past to live a more fulfilling life today?

How can your hopes and dreams for the future help you take action today to realize your tomorrows?

How can you savor each and every moment of today as a glorious bridge between the past and the future?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

When I let go of what I am

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

We all love to be right, to have the correct answer, to know the truth. We think we will then find clarity, stability, and even peace of mind. But what if in being “right” about ourselves we have defined ourselves into a safe and limited box?

Defining something limits it. Perhaps, instead, we could distinguish ourselves and open up the possibility of who we could be.

Exercise:

How and in what ways can you rediscover yourself, by releasing yourself from self-limiting beliefs?

If you find this difficult, ask a family member or a close friend for their perspective.