“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.
“The oldest, shortest words – Yes and No – are those which require the most thought.”
—Pythagoras, ancient Greek philosopher
We can learn a lot from babies and toddlers as they begin taking in the world through their senses. They begin their ability to use language even before their first Yes or No. Their cries and coos let us know what they do and don’t want in their lives.
As we age, our Yes’s and No’s are two of the most critical influences on how we spend our lives and who we spend them with. This is especially so when we are launched into the world beyond parental and social influences such as school.
How much thought do you give your current Yes’s and No’s? What criteria or inner compass do you use to influence and guide these life-altering choices?
How can and will you be even more discerning with these two little words, now and in the future?
“The secret of prolonging life consists of not shortening it.”
—Ernst, Baron von Feuchtersleben, 19th Century Austrian physican/philosopher
Image from Amazon.com
Undo it: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Disease by Dean and Anne Ornish is a worthy read for anyone wishing to live a longer and healthier life.
As pioneers of lifestyle medicine, Dean and Anne demonstrate – with substantial scientific evidence – that diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even the aging process itself can be impacted.
His 72-hour program, which includes exercise, nutrition, stress-reduction, and what he refers to as loving more, has been so successful that it is now covered by Medicare and other major insurance companies.
Please watch this short video by Dr. Des Harrington, and consider upgrading your own efforts to put more years in your life and life in your years.
“Consumers don’t just want to understand the story. Increasingly they want to be part of it.”
—Robert Fabricant, Co-Founder/Partner, Dalberg Design
Image from Unsplash by freestocks.org
Storytelling is big business—very, very big business.
Consider all the products and services you use every day, and ask yourself: What’s their story? Or What is their Brand Message?
Perhaps what their story says about you is just as important, because you buy, consume, or use what they are selling.
Given the vast number of choices, most people want to make those that resonate with their personal beliefs and values.
Consider the choices you make that support being intelligent, popular, and having high status. Perhaps your choices are also healthy and good for the environment.
What is your story or brand? How would communicating your authentic life message attract more people who would like to be part of it?
“Is the work people pay for the work you want to do?”
—Bernadette Jiwa, global authority on business philosophy
Image of Bernadette Jiwa from thestoryoftelling.com
Today’s quote comes from a blog post Bernadette Jiwa wrote on August 21, titled “The Value Shift.” Check out her insightful work and website.
What is your answer to the question posed in today’s quote?
Are you a yes, a no, or a sometimes? What would it take to be a Hell Yes!?
Yes, we all have our responsibilities and commitments we sometimes feel we have to do, instead of want to do. But overall, to what degree is the work you actually do what you want to do?
What bold, courageous, and creative actions would it take to move the “no” or “sometimes” far closer to the “yes” you deeply desire?
Feel free to reply to this post with the actions you will take to have a far more rewarding life.
“Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.”
Image from Unsplash by Mehluli Hikwa
Far too many of us are living in overdrive, trying to squeeze in one or more “to-do’s” in our days. Of course, our vehicles as well as our bodies need periodic refueling, so that we have the energy to get where we are going.
Over the last few decades, smart marketers took advantage of these overdrive trends and created the mini-mart that sells fuel along with all sorts of junk food with the shelf life of radioactive carbon.
Who hasn’t found themselves sometimes using their car as a dinner table, producing an occasional stained shirt, or at least crumbs on the seat?
What would be the benefit to your waistline and your overall health if you developed the habit of packing your own foods for most if not all of your road trips?
What tasty and healthier choices will go into your portable cooler, to enjoy a break in your day?
“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?