“Don’t swing at every pitch. Wait for the right ones and then knock them out of the park.”
Image from Unsplash by Josh Hemsley
I recently had the opportunity to observe two different sporting events on the same weekend.
One—as you might guess from today’s quote—was baseball. The other was tennis.
When I compared the two, I noticed a significant difference.
In tennis, the receiving player tries to return every serve that makes it into the service area, no matter how fast or how much spin it may have.
In baseball, the batter has a number of chances to be more selective on when to swing at what’s being offered by the pitcher.
Where do you find yourself swinging at every pitch coming your way?
How often do you strike out or get on base, given your ability to discern which pitches are right for you?
How would more practice increase your batting average and add more home runs to your stats?
See the humanity in others. We are all wrestling with our own stuff that is making life messy and difficult.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Bud Helisson
To a certain degree we are all narcissists. We can’t help but look through the lenses of our own trials and challenges each day. Doing this can often create a separation between ourselves and others in our communities. We can come to think that the burdens we carry are somehow unique to us and are of far greater magnitude.
I recently watched the National Geographic series 9/11 One Day in America. and got a big wake up call at how our troubles pale in comparison. I’ve also realized in the past few years since Covid the wrestling done by most people is far more than I ever imagined.
To what degree do you take the time to fully embrace the humanity in others? Take a few extra moments today to be interested rather than interesting and see what you discover.
We aren’t stuck with our factory settings.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Mika Baumeister
What are your favorite digital distractions?
How much time do you spend on your computer, TV, or cell phone?
To what degree do you accept the factory settings installed on your devices? In what ways have you taken the time to customize the settings to your preferences?
Looking beyond technology, where else might there be “factory settings” within your world?
Consider all the programing installed without your knowledge throughout your personal world, including family dynamics and your schooling.
What about your work life including its culture, organizational rules and guidelines—not to mention the good old job description?
In what ways can you take a closer look at the factory settings established in your personal and professional communities?
What adjustments can you make to help you lead a more colorful and vibrant life?
The slogan, “Have It Your Way” is not only for burgers.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Jacky Watt
Burger King’s Whopper was launched the year I was born (1957). The food chain’s initial positioning — “Have it Your Way” — lasted 40 years.
Their new slogan —”Be Your Way” — is designed to remind people that no matter who they are, they can order how they want, and they can and should live how they want anytime.
To what degree do you experience a life of autonomy and freedom, to be and have what you desire?
What other slogans have you embraced over the years to live the life you love?
“So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
—Jorge Luis Borges, 20th Century Argentine essayist, poet and translator
Image from Unsplash by Markus Spike
Today’s quote reminds me of Stephen Covey’s habit of being proactive. These days, it has become increasingly easy to have things come our way with little effort. With the click of a few buttons on our phones we can order a meal, get a ride, and have virtually anything delivered in minutes or days.
The caveat here is that we still need to do a bit of searching and actively click a button or two for our flowers to arrive.
Where in your world are you waiting for things to happen with little or no effort on your part? Where would proactively planting your own garden and decorating your soul add more beauty and abundance to your life?
Although the best coaching may be offered by good examples the next best may be found in bad examples. It is up to each of us to discover the lessons in both.
—Calm App Reflection
Who are the people in your life that set a wonderful example of living a rich and meaningful life?
How would you describe their character and best qualities?
How has their example impacted and influenced your personal and professional efforts?
Where in your world do you see terrible examples of how to live?
Where do you see people acting in ways that are contrary to what you value and believe?
How have their bad examples taught you valuable lessons that led you on a far better path?
Take an extra close look at the good and bad examples exemplified by people in your various communities.
What new or different choices and actions will you make and take from these observations?
“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly.”
—Marcus Aurelius, ancient Roman emperor & Stoic philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Usman Yousaf
What does it mean to live a “proper” life?
At the end of your life what would you like people to say about you?
How would you have answered these questions 10 or 20 years ago?
As we age, many of us notice changes occurring in our minds and bodies.
Usually, this a gradual process and most of us come to terms with the finite nature of our lives.
We usually strive to do better and make the most of it.
What if instead of a more gradual process your life was coming to an abrupt end? How satisfied and complete would you feel and what regrets would you experience?
The movies Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Groundhog Day with Bill Murray offer many laughs and some good examples to consider.
“Intentions have a shelf life.”
Image from Unsplash by Maria Lin Kim
When was the last time you went shopping for groceries?
What are the factors that have you select a particular item and place it in your cart?
How often do you examine the expiration dates and perhaps look to the back of each shelf to select the items with the best dates to limit spoilage and waste?
Our intentions are not like Twinkies! They don’t have an indefinite shelf life in which they stay forever soft and fresh.
Just examine the practice of making New Year’s resolutions and see how many fall by the wayside in weeks or a few months.
What are your most important intentions?
How can and will you act on them with urgency in the coming days so that they have the greatest chance of being realized?
“Don’t ever work for someone you don’t want to become.”
Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine
Image from Unsplash by Christina Victoria Craft
How have you been influenced by the great resignation? What is it that makes large numbers of people leave their jobs to pursue other ventures, given the need many of us have for safety and security?
More and more people these days are insisting on thriving, not just surviving. Life is short and we only have one. Experiencing current regrets and projecting them into the future is not acceptable. Observing those around us in distress — and perhaps feeling our own — has many people throw more caution to the wind to chart a new and better course.
How good a fit is your current job? To what degree do you admire and respect the leadership within your organization? How proud would you be to see yourself in their shoes down the road? If the shoe doesn’t fit, what then?
To be. To do. To have. Take life in this order.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Paico Official
The CALM app I use each morning recently added a new seven-minute morning meditation/guided journey called The Daily Jay with Jay Shetty. Jay is an English author, a former Hindu monk, and a life coach. Prior to joining the CALM team, he was perhaps best known as the host of the podcast On Purpose which included many famous guests and has received over 60 million downloads.
In a recent offering, he suggested the idea of a To-Be list to go along with our often-crammed To-Do lists.
Considering how we currently behave, and then shifting and choosing how we would prefer to be as we do the things we need and want to do, can make a remarkable difference. Consider the following word list and expand it for yourself as you do your chores, go to work, listen to your children, and relate to others in your various communities.
Add an extra To Be column next to your To-Do list today. Please reply to this post about the kind of day you have. What other words of being did you add to your list?