Which simple things in life do you appreciate?
—Calm app Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Maarten Deckers
We often complicate our lives with a multiplicity of stimulating things, only to realize that we have lost much of our sense of peace and well-being.
Keeping things simple will bring back the calm and serenity you hope to have fully present in your life.
Appreciate the simple elements of life. Look to natural things versus man-made things for lessons.
Simplicity is a source of peace and well-being.
Seek it, and remove the complexities of the world where you can.
What are some areas in which you can reduce or eliminate the complexities of life?
Where would simplifying your personal or professional life provide you the peace and greater well-being you seek?
Where will you begin, and what will be your first few steps?
“Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it.”
—Marguerite De Angeli, 20th Century American writer/book illustrator
Image from Amazon
Being persistent and staying the course is a solid approach to discovery and achieving excellence, offered to us all. These days it seems fewer and fewer of us take this approach. It appears that the pursuit of/grasping for pleasure and comfort and the avoidance of discomfort and pain has softened many of us to far more frequently pursue the paths of least resistance.
Over the years I’ve been repeatedly introduced to the Japanese concept of IKIGAI, which is defined as a central purpose or reason for being. Two of the most common perspectives on this topic relate to either a societal or personal view of life that can drive our daily pursuits.
What is your personal or societal IKIGAI? How has or can it fuel you to follow more of the long and difficult walls of life until you discover and open the doors to your destiny?
“If there were dreams to sell, what would you buy?”
—Thomas Lovell Beddoes, 19th Century English poet and physician
Image from Unsplash by SpaceX
Commercial flights into space! For those of us who once envisioned ourselves as astronauts, it seems this dream has an actual price.
Many people today have an increased hunger to explore the edges of life and websites such as www.xperiencedays.com offer all sorts of flying, travel, driving, and other out-of-this-world adventures to those folks with deep pockets.
Since the super-rich are a relatively small group, the rest of us may need to use alternative currencies to realized many of our dreams. Think back to the beginnings of our space program and the currency the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts needed to pay for their seat on the rockets to realize their dreams.
What are your current dreams? What price are you willing to pay to realized them? What are some of the non-monetary methods available to all of us to secure our seats and realize these futures?
“A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.”
—Peter Marshall, 20th Century Scottish-American Chaplain of the U.S. Senate
Image from Unsplash by Maria Teneva
What do you care about?
What are the issues and who are the people of greatest importance in your various communities? Where do you and others demonstrate genuine interest, concern, and effort to improve things?
Alternatively, where do you and others demonstrate indifference to others and the world around you?
Where do you see a lack of concern or interest, perhaps even apathy, relative to the struggles and difficulties around you?
Given the magnitude of the challenges we all face, where can we begin and continue to offer our best efforts to better our world, without turning away?
How and where can you make an extra effort to look more directly at the people you meet today?
Put forth greater attention to show sincere interest and support the full expression of their thoughts and feelings.
Listening with both heart and head—one person at a time—can make a tremendous difference.
“What can you smile about today?”
—Calm app Reflection
Barry and Weston
In late August, Wendy and I had the opportunity to watch our three-year-old grandson Weston for four days. We found it pretty hard to believe that we actually raised two adults—now 36 and 34—given our frequent need to nap when Weston did!
Along with puzzles, toys cars, reading books, and finding clever ways to avoid going to bed, Weston’s favorite toy is Play Doh. Over the years, he has assembled quite a collection of colors, and the other day he had the great idea of mixing them all together.
Being a serious guy, I was sure this was not appropriate. I insisted that he keep the colors separate, which made both Weston and my wife pretty upset.
Upon reflection, I realized that what mattered was the big smile this process brought to his little face, and not the grumpy, rigid method I was holding on to.
What brings a smile to your face?
Take a look at the grins of those you love and consider those smiles even more important than your own.
What can and will you do to bring even more miles of smiles to your world?
“Approach every task as though it were the moment that will define you.”
—Jol Dantzig, one of the founders of Hamer Guitars
Image from dantzig.com
What’s your brand? How do you represent yourself to the world through your various efforts?
Jol Dantzig designs and build guitars. Over the course of his career, he has designed instruments for many of the biggest names in music including John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles, three of the Rolling Stones, and members of the Pretenders, Def Leppard, and the Police.
His famous orange five-neck guitar—built in 1981 for Rick Nielsen of the band Cheap Trick—was exhibited at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and some of his other designs have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute.
What are some of your most important tasks? How can and will you more fully express your very best work at this moment to make the impact you desire?
A place to start may be to examine how pleased you are with your efforts. Seeking constructive feedback from trusted friends, colleagues, and family before you deliver can also help you stay on brand and provide remarkable, defining work.
“Let us keep our silent sanctuaries, for in them the eternal perspectives are preserved.”
—Etienne Pivert de Senancour, 19th Century French essayist and philosopher
Image from Unsplash by David Edelstein
Where do you go to do a little soul searching? Where are the silent sanctuaries in which you can reflect on the most important aspects of your life? How often and how much time do you commit to these inner journeys?
Our new home in Pennsylvania has a loft that, with a set of two doors closed, provides for the silence and solitude I seek to do some of my most valuable reflective work. I’ve also found that walking in the very early morning hours makes most places a silent sanctuary to examine one’s eternal perspectives.
What are some of your own silence-seeking strategies and tactics that you preserve and protect to recharge and do your most important work? Please reply to this post with the approaches that work best for you.
“A penny will hide the biggest star in the universe if you hold it close enough to your eye.”
—Samuel Grafton, 20th Century American Journalist
Image from Unsplash by Daniil Kuželev
We all experience hyper-focus from time to time. Some top priority grabs our complete attention and the rest of the world just disappears.
What are the benefits and costs to you personally and professionally in such situations? What is one such priority that comes to mind today or in the recent past where this was an opportunity or an issue?
Where in your life is keeping things too close blocking your view of other stars that need your attention?