“The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.”
—Henry Kissinger, Former U.S. Secretary of State
Image from Unsplash by Victoriano Izquierdo
Over the past several years I’ve been fascinated by people who live a sustainable lifestyle. Many live in remote parts of the world, spending the majority of their days focused on providing the essentials of water, shelter, and food.
These hunter-gathers take whatever nature offers, or they go to bed hungry. On many a day they go to bed hungry anyway because nature’s food isles are empty.
Somehow these rugged individuals remain remarkably happy with their lives and limited alternatives. It is also very common that they thank some higher power for providing them sustenance for another day.
Where has a life with far too many alternatives cluttered up your mind and caused you distress?
Consider eating a very simple meal with only a few ingredients for one or more of your meals today to see how this might clear your mind a bit.
How might dramatically reducing your choices in other areas of your life offer you greater peace of mind?
What shifts do you want to make to your relationship with food?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by The BlackRabbit
The intention of the Quotable Coach blog is to provoke and challenge you to improve your mind, body, and soul.
Pursuing personal and professional excellence to have a gold medal life was my primary inspiration to become a coach back in 1992.
Over the past 18+ months the majority of people I speak with have put on at least a few Covid pounds and seem less energetic and vital.
Beyond our shifts in our exercise routines such as sports and going to the gym, many of us have sought out a bit too much comfort from less-than-optimal foods choices and portions.
Working from home may have reduced our commute but may also have had the unfortunate impact of adding a few inches to our waistlines. Consider how much of your previous wardrobe is still sitting on hangers with the same dry-cleaning tags.
Please download a copy of the food target chart from On Target Living website to help you shift food strategies for the better at the following link.
“I am the me I choose to be.”
—Sidney Pottier, first black male to win the Best Actor Academy Award
Image from Unsplash by Pierre Bamin
Today’s quote seems like a modern version of Shakespeare’s famous line, To thine own self be true.
To what degree are you the “thee” you choose to be?
With all the pushing and pulling on us by outside forces, many of us have exchanged followers and likes for a bit of our souls.
Being a chameleon and constantly trying to please others almost always moves us away from our authentic selves.
In what ways have you or others close to you given away the power to choose and lost your way?
On what issues is it time to more courageously choose your most genuine self to receive the only essential “like” worth pursuing?
“Every morning you have two choices: Continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.”
—Carmelo Anthony, American professional basketball player
Image form Unsplash by Oladimeji Ajegil
What time do you get up in the morning on weekdays and weekends?
How often do you find yourself hitting the snooze button rather than leaping out of bed to pursue your day with intention and excitement?
Fast forward a few hours to the time you crawl under the covers. Recount your day to see if it was a good one or not.
What are the factors that have you give an “A” for your efforts and progress?
How frequently do you actually chase your dream and not just contemplate them?
How do your efforts correlate to a far more satisfying sense of engagement and fulfillment?
“The sooner you make a choice, the sooner you can make an adjustment.”
—James Clear, America author, entrepreneur, and photographer
Image from Unsplash by Brendan Church
Consider these activities:
||Billiards / Pool
How many have you tried over the years, and how masterful were you, at your best?
How many shots were required to hit your target or better yet, the bullseye?
How did a ready, shoot, adjust, repeat process increase your eventual accuracy?
Where are you waiting to launch into action for fear of missing your target?
How would taking far more courageous shots at your personal and professional goals, making the necessary adjustments, help any misses become great hits in the future?
“When making choices in life, combine cognitive, emotional, spiritual, intuitive, and social intelligence.”
Image from Unsplash by Matthew Henry
When you examine your humanness, what do you notice? Look again at your first answer and keep digging through your crust, your mantle, your outer core, and your inner core.
Where have you only glimpsed the precious resources within? Where are there new sources of heat, pressure, and magnetism within, waiting to be captured or released?
How would you rate yourself in relationship to your IQ and EQ? Instead of the old paradigms of intelligence, let’s simply determine our capacity to live better by embracing all aspects described in today’s quote.
Examine a few of the significant choices you have made this past year. How can the further development of your head, heart, and gut intelligence support you in making even wiser choices today and in the future?
“If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.”
—Stephen Covey, 20th Century American writer & educator
Image from Unsplash by Debby Hudson
What did you want to be when you were little?
Who did you look up to and admire and what was it about those special people that inspired you?
How energized and excited did you feel, given the anticipation of one day climbing a similar life ladder to reach your own pinnacles of success?
What ladders are you currently climbing in your vocational efforts? How confident and sure are you that it is absolutely leaning against the right wall, the one that aligns with your vision and values?
This past year full of economic and social upheaval has caused vast amounts of unemployment. Many people face significant challenges in adequately providing for their families. The transition process has caused many to reconsider if they truly want to get back to climbing the same ladder, leaning against the same or a similar wall.
If that scenario resonates with you or someone you know, please consider picking up a copy of the 2020 edition of What Color is your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles.
“The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearnings, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent.”
Image from Unsplash by Robina Weermeijer
In today’s quote, Epictetus suggests there are seven clear functions of the mind.
Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman break each of them down in the following manner in their book, The Daily Stoic:
Choice: to do and think right
Refusal: of temptation
Yearning: to be better
Repulsion: of negativity, of bad influences, and what isn’t true
Preparation: for what lies ahead or whatever might happen
Purpose: our guiding principles and highest priorities
Assent: to be free of deception about what is inside and outside our control (and be ready to accept the latter)
Consider printing this post out to work on and think through one of these functions of the mind each day. This exercise could be a crash course in Stoicism in itself.
“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke, 19th Century Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist
Image from Unsplash by Age Barros
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.
How do you measure? Measure a year?
The Broadway show Rent was ahead of it’s time when it premiered in 1996. The cast contained characters who were black, white, brown straight, gay, bisexual and transgender.
What would be possible if we all believed in the five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes that is given to us, new and untouched each year, full of things that have never been?
Listen to Seasons of Love
“Run your own race.”
image from Unsplash by Andy Beales
What is the pace of your life these days? What time do you get up on weekdays, and on weekends?
Which days do you look forward to the most?
How much freedom and how much choice do you experience in your professional and personal pursuits?
To what degree are you running your own race versus being run around by others without fully realizing it?
Take a few minutes to look at your life through the magic words of MORE — LESS — START — STOP.
What would be different and far better in your world if you applied these to your current race?
What would that journey be like, and what destinations would you visit?
Consider who you want to join you on your amazing race. They say that if you want to go fast, go alone… but if you want to go far, go with others.