“The purpose of education is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.”
—James Baldwin, 20th Century American author
Image from Unsplash by Kyle Glenn
It’s pretty common at this point in the year for people to continue wishing each other a happy new year. I feel comfortable doing so even into early February.
As the days after the winter solstice become slightly longer and we pine for an early spring, many of us hope that 2023 will be a better and brighter year.
What were some of the most significant decisions you made in 2022?
How did they influence where you are today and the trajectory of the months ahead?
Perhaps it may be time to head back to school and expand your educational opportunities.
Instead of—or in additional to—formal schooling, please be sure to enroll in the “university of you.”
Consider creating your own personal and professional curriculum.
What would you like to learn? Who will be your teachers?
How might the lessons learned help you look more closely at the world and make even better decisions moving forward?
“In the game of life, there’s no high score list, but you never want to languish on level one.”
—Jay Shetty, life coach and former Hindu monk
Image from Unsplash by Erik Mclean
I’ve never been a big fan of video games. Except for space invaders and PAC Man many years ago, I never seemed to get the rush of leveling up in the multitude of games and systems that came after.
I have, however, always been interested in the game of life and the pursuit of growth and achievement. Tackling some worthy objective that filled my desire to learn and feel purposeful always had me want to take the next steps in my capabilities and impact.
Where do you have a keen desire to level up and build on your current abilities?
How can you measure your progress in these areas with your own inner scoreboard?
“If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?”
Image from Unsplash by Kenny Eliason
We are all works in progress if we choose to be.
From the day we are born, we have the capacity to take in all types of inputs and mix them with our previous experiences. This ongoing journey helps us become a better version of ourselves.
When it comes to our prized abilities and qualities, we all likely have some level of competency.
What qualities and personal characteristics do you value most?
How would you rate yourself in these areas?
Where can and will you choose to focus your attention and efforts today?
“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.”
—Roy L. Smith, 20th Century American Clergyman
Image from Unsplash by Samuel Giacomelli
Heat treatment is the process of heating and cooling metals to change their micro-structure and to bring out the physical and mechanical characteristics that make them more desirable.
Before modern metalworking techniques were invented, blacksmiths used heat to make metal more workable in forming them into the shapes they desired and in making them stronger.
Where can and will you apply the fires of greater personal and professional discipline to expand your talents into more masterful abilities?
“We learn by pushing ourselves and finding out what lies at the outer reaches of our abilities.”
—Josh Waitzkin, American chess prodigy and author
Image from Unsplash by JanFillem
Did you know that only about one in five people meet the total recommended amount of exercise?
Of particular relevance is renewed interest in strength and resistance training. The stretching and stresses on our muscles cause micro-tears in the tissue, which then actually heals and grows even stronger.
This growth and increase in muscle mass has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism by up to 15%. That helps with weight loss, or at least a reduction in body fat.
In what areas of interest would a few more cerebral push-ups help you stretch and grow beyond your current perceived abilities?
“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
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?
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?
“Like an oyster cultivating a pearl, cultivate something that is special to you.”
Image from Prettywomanbeauty.gr
I recently watched a National Geographic special explaining 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 that make us who we are. These special qualities bring 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.
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
“We are capable of greater things than we realize.”
–Norman Vincent Peale, 20th Century author of The Power of Positive Thinking
Image from Unsplash by
Sure, we have all heard similar thoughts from our teachers, parents, colleagues and friends. We even believe them to some extent. The question to consider here is “How much more are we actually capable of that is beyond our ability to truly believe?”
If thoughts become things, what must we do with our own thoughts, opinions, judgments, mental models and yes, personal paradigms, to free us from our own limiting beliefs?
As you think about and create plans for the coming year, ask the following questions of yourself and of those who know you best:
- What am I capable of through the use of my mind in the coming year?
- What am I capable of through the development and use of my body in the coming year?
- What new spiritual developmental opportunities will I take in the coming year?
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