Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life

“Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.”

—Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and writer

Image from Unsplash by Robert Tjalondo

Next August Wendy and I are planning an extended vacation to Alaska and northern Canada with some close friends. Among our various excursions is a dog-sled outing which has gotten rave reviews.

Getting around these areas in winter usually involves snow machines, dog sleds, or snow shoes — especially if you live outside a city. Even with all of their modern shock absorbing technology, snow machines with their many plastic and metal parts seem to have a good many mechanical problems compared to the softer, more yielding materials made by nature.


Where in your life has being soft and yielding versus hard and stiff helped you prevail?  What does being a disciple of life mean to you?

Please reply to this post with your thoughts.

“All learning is state dependent.”

“All learning is state dependent.”

—Jim Kwik, Author of Limitless

Image from Unsplash by Matthew T. Rader

Over the past months, many of us have become increasingly aware of our biases, whether conscious or unconscious. We have learned, through countless examples in our personal and professional worlds, which doors to open, and which to keep closed.

How often do you close the door on others, or worse yet, never open them to peek at what’s inside? To what degree do you live in a state of judgement and protection of the status quo?

What past lessons have been ingrained and habitualized?


Where would a state of greater openness, curiosity, and acceptance of other ways of thinking and acting create new learning and opportunities for a fuller and better life?

“Draw strength from others.”

“Draw strength from others.”

—Cheryl Strayed, Author of Tiny Beautiful Things

Image from Unsplash by Neil Thomas

To what degree do you consider yourself the rock in your family or community?

How often are you the one to come to the rescue or lend that helping hand in your personal and professional worlds?

About 20 years ago, I overextended myself through a rigorous workout, resulting in a significant case of sciatica. It caused severe back and leg pain, and I missed many days of work.

Beyond the physical pain, I took a very unfamiliar emotional ride, which included frustration, anger, and even a sense of worthlessness. My normal optimistic view on life was flipped, and I did a fair job of playing the “Why Me” victim card.

Surprisingly, letting others serve and support me through it was very difficult. Frequent thoughts of “That’s my job,” or “I’m supposed to do that,” ran through my head.

Eventually, someone must have turned on my gratitude switch, allowing me to more fully accept and embrace many acts of kindness and generosity from family and friends.


When in the past, or recently, have you been reluctant to seek the support of others?

How and in what ways may you more fully seek and draw on the strengths of others in your personal and professional communities?

Friday Review: Acceptance


What is the hardest part of acceptance for you? Here are a few posts related to acceptance you may have missed.


“Accept this moment as if you had chosen it.”





“Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.”




“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”

“Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.”

“Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.”

—Ric Ocasek, late vocalist, guitarist and songwriter

Image from Unsplash by Zan

There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman.

From the day we are born, our parents, family members, friends, teachers, counselors, mentors, and coaches have helped us along the way. If you look closely at these moments, you will likely see considerable happiness and smiles on their individual faces.

As we get older and gain more independence, many of us become reluctant, even resistant, to the assistance of others, because we don’t wish to impose or put them out.

How often have you stood proudly in your stubborn, I can do it myself shoes?


Where and with whom could you request assistance on an important matter to demonstrate how much you value them, and providing them the pleasure of being helpful?

Who in your world may be reluctant to ask you for a helping hand?

“Accept this moment as if you had chosen it.”

“Accept this moment as if you had chosen it.”

—Eckart Tolle, Author of The Power of Now

Image from Unsplash by Luke Chesser

What percentage of your day do you find yourself irritated, upset, or even angry about how things are going?

Consider your thwarted intentions and unfulfilled expectations as precursors to such feelings.

What benefit might you experience if you stopped resisting how things are and chose instead to accept and allow them to be as they are?


What people and events are occurring in your life in which acceptance would provide you the greatest value?

Patience is the calm acceptance

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”

—David G. Allen, Author of Getting Things Done

image of Getting Things Done book cover

In my very early years as a coach, I learned a variety of reasons why people get upset, such as unfulfilled expectations, and thwarted intentions.

Given the realization that many things can and do happen in different orders, or at different times, Allen coaches us to exercise greater patience, resulting in fewer upsets in our days.


How and in what ways can greater patience and acceptance of life’s upsetting moments bring greater peace of mind and calmness to your world?

Friday Review Acceptance


What is the hardest part of acceptance for you? Here are a few posts related to acceptance you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.


“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”





“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”





“To thine own self be nice.”




What Seemed Best Each Day

“I have simply tried to do what seemed best each day, as each day came.”

—Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

image of the ocean with today's quote superimposed

A state of calm centeredness came over me when I read today’s quote. My first thought was “I can do that!”

Many of us experience overwhelm in the enormity of all that must be done in our lives. Far too often we are exhausted by the end of the day, and frustrated by not having achieved what we intended. We then add insult to injury by throwing in our own negative commentary.

Alternatively, being satisfied with our best, which can differ from day to day, grants a peaceful and accepting sense of our humanity, and what Brené Brown would call the “Gifts of Imperfection.”


How would taking your life one day at a time, doing your best regardless of what happens, be the source of a happier and more fulfilling life?

Some books are undeservingly forgotten

“Some books are undeservingly forgotten. None are undeservingly remembered.”

-W.H. Auden, 20th Century English Poet

image of books on a shelf

Image from Flickr by UNCG Research

Do you love books, as I do? Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? Regardless of your choice, take a moment to recall the books that told a great story or taught a profound lesson that has stayed with you to this day.

What percentage of the books you’ve read have you forgotten completely – perhaps undeservedly – due to a less than optimally open and receptive mind?


How would a far more open mind and receptive attitude toward seeking value and benefit from the books you read support you in living a fuller and more prosperous life?