“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.”
—Carl Gustav Jung, 20th Century Swiss founder of analytical psychology
I recently watched the Netflix documentary, Genius of the Ancient World. The three-part series focused on The Buddha, Socrates, and Confucius.
Surprisingly, they all lived about 2,500 years ago, but worlds apart geographically. Many of their teachings and influences are still very apparent in our world today.
Who are the brilliant and soul-touching teachers from your past? Who are the current teachers and mentors that continue to make a meaningful difference in your life?
Where have you, and are you, that brilliant and perhaps more importantly, soul-touching teacher for others, personally or professionally?
Reflect on the questions above, and determine some meaningful way to show your gratitude for the teachers who influenced your world.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
—Thornton Wilder, 20th Century American Playwright and Novelist
Image from StubHub
In 1989, Phil Collins, the multi-talented musician and singer, released his popular and catchy song “Another Day in Paradise.” If you have 4 or 5 minutes, watch this video.
Unfortunately for me, I’ve been humming this tune and tapping my hand on the steering wheel of my car for all these years, without really listening to the lyrics.
The key phrase of the song is “Oh, think twice – it’s another day for you and me in paradise.”
Perhaps it was my meditation on gratitude this morning that had me think twice and be far more conscious of the abundance of daily treasures I often overlook.
How can you think twice and be far more conscious of your daily treasures, to be more alive and fully appreciative of the paradise around you?
“He who receives a benefit with gratitude repays the first installment on his debt.”
—Seneca, ancient Roman Philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Courtney Hedger
On this special day of Thanksgiving in the United States, I hope you are spending time with family and friends.
Throughout the day, consider all the riches you have in your life. Consider, too, the benefits you’ve received from those around you.
Take this time to fully and generously thank those in the kitchen, at the dinner table, and watching the football game, as a small installment on this debt.
How can and will you take this attitude of gratitude with you throughout the holiday season and new year to generate a surplus in your account?
“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”
-Gladys Bronwyn Stern, 20th Century British Novelist
Image from Flickr by kluge
If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?
In much the same way, silent gratitude or appreciation without some form of overt acknowledgement seems to miss the mark of making any tangible impact.
In many respects, words of acknowledgement, praise, and gratitude are forms of love. They support the growth and development of enhanced relationships in many aspects of our lives.
Where and with whom will you put your silent gratitude on a loud external speaker as a foundation for improved relationships and results in your world?
“Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and gratitude.”
—Nigel Hamilton, British Biographer/Broadcaster
Who are those special people that make your life so wonderful? Make an extra special effort today, and every day, to show them and tell them.
THANK YOU so much for being a part of The Quotable Coach Project!
“You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”
-E.E. Cummings, American poet, painter, essayist & playwright
Image from ark.ie
The sun, the moon, and the stars emit or reflect light. When light shines upon and around us, we can see and better understand things.
The people closest to us that care the most offer us this opportunity every day, particularly when our eyes are wide open with receptivity and gratitude. It is at these times we discover more about ourselves and can become even more of what is possible for us.
Who are the sun, moon, and stars that have made and continue to make a difference in your life? How will you thank them, illuminate their lives, or the lives of others in the same way?
“Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles. Notice them.”
Image from Flickr by JOPHIELsmiles
In late February, my wife Wendy took a week to visit her friends in Florida and I stayed back here in Michigan to hold down the fort. Although I missed her dearly and we talked often, I became very aware of a different life rhythm, and other experiences not previously observed in our normal routines.
Miracles I noticed and am grateful for include:
- The wonders of medicine and our healthcare system in improving the quality and quantity of life.
- The electronic and technological capacities that our smartphones, the internet, and a host of other devices provide.
- The miracle of our living planet and the huge diversity of living creatures that share it.
- The miracle of our minds and bodies that allow us to design and impact our world.
- The miracle of community and family in which we can share our journey with those we love and care about.
Feel free to reply to this post regarding some of the small and not so small miracles you observe today.
“Some people cross your path and change your whole direction.”
Image from timemachine.wikia.com
Those who have been following The Quotable Coach for some time already have a mental “time machine,” and have taken various trips into the past and future. If you have not yet built your imaginary time machine, take a moment to do so now.
Today’s trip takes you back in time to visit the friends, family, teachers, mentors, and coaches who have made a positive and lasting difference in your life.
Examine the way in which they were “there for you,” guiding, supporting, and even providing tough love to help you discover and pursue your destiny.
Should any of these people still be around, find a way to acknowledge and thank them for the difference they made in your life.
Where can you play a similar role to support a special person in your personal or professional world?
“Some of the best gifts come wrapped in sandpaper.”
-Lisa Nichols, Motivational Speaker
Image from diy.stackexchange.com
Take a moment to look back over your life to examine some of the most significant lessons you have learned.
Who were the people who influenced or participated in these experiences? Some were probably parents, teachers, or bosses with a bit of an abrasive nature that “smoothed” a few of your edges.
What challenging experiences are grating on you these days? Which of them may simply be a gift in disguise, because of its sandpaper packaging?
“I get by with a little help from my friends.”
—Lennon & McCartney, co-founders of The Beatles
image from crwi.wordpress.com
About a month ago, my wife Wendy and I had an opportunity to attend a Beatles tribute concert. As members of the Baby Boom Generation, it definitely took us on a trip down memory lane.
Of particular note were some of the quote-worthy lyrics by the Beatles, including today’s message. In a way, I think they were actually understating the extraordinary value provided by our most cherished and genuine friends.
How can you do far more than simply “get by” with a little help from your friends? In what ways can you return this gesture in kind?