“There is no tomorrow, only a string of todays.”
Image from Unsplash by xandtor
A few weeks ago, I spent three days at Sea World in Orlando with my wife Wendy, our daughter Rachel, and our two grandchildren.
With a double stroller as our base of operations, we adults got in far more than our 10,000 steps as we took in all the sun and sights!
Peak experiences — including our hands-on interactions with dolphins and Beluga whales — kept our full attention, with plenty of opportunities for photos to save these moments for posterity.
How would living your life as a string of todays help you squeeze more satisfaction from all the todays and tomorrows to come?
“When you are young, you have raw smarts; when you are old, you have wisdom.”
—Arthur C. Brooks, Harvard professor, PhD social scientist, bestselling author
Image from Unsplash by Jordan Whitt
I agree with today’s quote in most cases, especially for individuals with a growth mindset and a propensity toward lifelong learning.
The pursuit of knowledge and experience takes time.
Raw smarts and wisdom build at different rates.
Consider a heavy rain as it fills a puddle versus years of rain carving a river’s path.
How has your growth and development journey evolved over the years?
Where and how have you stepped beyond acquiring raw smarts to embracing the gift of wisdom?
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”
—Matsuso Basho, 15th Century Japanese Haiku Master
Image from Unsplash by James Lee
There’s no place like home is a saying of great comfort for most of us. It was Dorothy’s famous statement upon her return from visiting the land of OZ.
We all know about her journey to see the wizard and all the characters and experiences she had along the way. Perhaps she—and we—missed a lot along our journeys by holding on to an I’m not there yet perspective at the many places we found ourselves on our paths.
What if, instead, we saw each of our journeys as one of many homes, and experienced each moment of our life as the perfect place to be?
Where and when do you feel most at home?
How would expanding this view to include all your everyday journeys to have an even more richly rewarding life?
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”
—John Muir, 18th Century Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher
Wendy, Ella, Barry, and Weston
For most of my life, my family has spent at least one week in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It’s a place I experienced as an infant and camper — each summer until I was eleven — when the camp was purchased by a development company.
This year our daughter Rachel and her two children — Weston and Ella — came along.
Our week included plenty of swimming, walks, playground adventures and even a snake and animal farm.
Sharing the star-filled skies, hearing crickets chirping, and the sounds and smells of fresh air after a rainstorm are some of my happiest moments.
Where and when have you traveled dirt paths in your life?
Where and how can you bring even more of the natural world into your life?
“The over-trained intellect becomes a buffer from experience.”
— Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening
Image from Unsplash by Alex Block
Who do you know named Sheldon? If you are like me, this list is either small or without any members. I do, however, have a Sheldon that I’ve grown fond of over the years from the TV shows The Big Bang Theory, and more recently the spin off Young Sheldon.
What I find so endearing is how both young and older Sheldon wrestle with their over-trained intellects to dip their inexperienced toes into the waters of everyday life. Their awkward efforts and reluctant “lessons learned” ring amusingly true as we, too, look at our own uncomfortable and often clumsy missteps in life.
Where have you withdrawn a bit from the world of experience into the relative safety of intellectual pursuits? What other activities are you using to buffer yourself from living a larger and perhaps louder life?
“An expert is someone who, over many years, manages to remain confident enough to keep trying and humble enough to keep learning.”
Image of Pablo Casals from britannica.com
When asked why he continued to practice the cello three hours a day at the age of 93, Pablo Casals answered: “I’m beginning to notice some improvement.”
My dad, who passed away last March at the age of 94, loved golf. He took up this pastime at the age of 69 and played three days a week in almost any weather. Although he was not what others would call an expert, you could find him on most days swinging a dinged-up yardstick and putting on his carpet during commercial breaks of the golf channel or a televised tournament.
Where in your personal or professional life are you still passionate about enhancing your expertise and mastery? Where do you remain confident to keep trying and humble enough to keep learning?
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”
Image from Unsplash by Deanna Ritchie
Did you know that this holiday season, about 45% of Americans—114 million people—plan to travel to a vacation site or to visit friends and family?
Each, statistically, is expected to shell out an average of $1,393 on flights and/or hotels.
Clearly, this level of investment is placing considerable value on either escaping their current life, or perhaps making sure life does not escape them.
Who are the special people you will travel with or visit this year?
What unique and extraordinary experiences are you planning?
Consider discussing these questions and others with those close to you, to make these traveling moments and their memories even more wonderful.
“When you decide to collect experiences rather than things, you never run out of storage space.”
—Joshua Becker, Founder and editor of Becoming Minimalist
Image from Unsplash by Chuttersnap
Did you know that the self-storage industry generates revenue of 38 billion dollars annually and that almost 10 percent of households use them? Many also have basements and garages full of stored items.
The volume of self-storage units in the United States alone could fill the Hoover Dam with old clothes, skis, and keepsakes more than 26 times.
Beyond the costs, consider the maintenance and generalized stress caused by the clutter and junk most of us would never pay for again if given the chance.
What are some strategies to lighten your load to live a simpler and perhaps more minimalist lifestyle? At the same time, what are a few life experiences you wish to collect that may only take up space on your camera or computer hard drive? What actions will you take today to make progress in both areas?
“Make today so awesome that yesterday is jealous.”
Most mornings when I work out, if I’m not chatting with one of my fitness friends, I find myself watching ESPN’s Sports Center. I particularly look forward to the show’s Top 10 Plays of the Day, to see the awesome feats of athletic excellence.
Consider your life a sport. What awesome events and experiences would make your Top Ten list for this week, this month, and this year?
If your list is not quite as awesome as you would like, you are not alone. On a day-to-day basis, we all get caught up in our routines and habits. One day seems to run into the next, with few, if any, highlights.
How can and will you step up the level of awesomeness today, and perhaps make this effort a new habit, to make all of your yesterdays jealous?
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
—Voltaire, 16th Century French Writer
Image of Voltaire from Wikiquote
Voltaire lived to be eighty-four years old. Considering he was born in 1694, that is practically a miracle, given the poor sanitation levels and lack of healthcare available in Europe at the time.
Perhaps it was his considerable appreciation for the world around him that had him experience life with a sense of greater abundance and awe. With such a healthy and robust view of life, who wouldn’t keep reaching for one more day, and then another?
How might you experience and more fully appreciate everything and everyone around you in the coming days? How would such a mindful practice lead you to a richer, more fulfilling life?