“The world is full of good people. If you can’t find one be one.”
My dad, Martin Demp
In mid-December we had the unveiling of my father’s headstone. With the frigid temperatures at this time of year it was heartwarming to see the family and friends who showed up to honor this wonderful man.
As a person of few words, my dad let his actions set an example for the rest of us. By simply watching him in his roles of loyal son, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend we were all coached on how we, too, could lead a meaningful life.
Who are the good people in your personal and professional communities? In what ways are you living true to their good examples to be on their list if asked?
“We are more like a breathing puzzle, a living bag of pieces, and each day shows us what a piece or two is for, where it might go, how it might fit.”
Image from Unsplash by Ross Sneddon
I used to believe that puzzles were something you only did to pass the time on vacation or on a rainy day where there was seemingly nothing to do. These days puzzles are an almost daily activity with my grandson Weston. He keeps graduating to increasingly more challenging images with more and more pieces. Matching colors, finding the straight edges, and of course securing those all-important corners are all part of his increased mastery.
Take the metaphoric leap to view your own life as an 80,000-piece effort. How can you be more focused and intentional about flipping, sorting, and placing your living, breathing pieces to build your own less puzzling masterpiece?
What parts of your personal and professional puzzles are you piecing together? Who are the people sitting around the tables of your life that can help and support your efforts?
“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.”
—Seneca The Younger, ancient Roman Stoic philosopher and statesman
Image from Unsplash by Erik Karits
How old are you? If you have a dog or cat, how old are they? How would you live your life if you knew that each day would cost you seven?
What would life look like if each and every day were lived as if it were a lifetime?
The mayfly has the shortest lifespan on earth — 24 hours or less. They probably don’t waste a single second.
365.1825. 3650. 7300. These are the number of days in one, five, ten, and twenty years.
What can and will you do with each of those daily lifetimes ahead?
“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 19th Century German Writer & Statesman
Image from wordandspiritministries
What is it to live a good life?
How does one measure a life well lived?
What intrinsic and extrinsic factors are your gyroscopic guides on this great adventure?
Many people are giving more thought to this, particularly as they look in the mirror and see the aging process in effect, or pine on what they were once able to do years earlier.
Many experts, happiness gurus, and people who live “in the moment” encourage all of us to explore our emotions and feelings in order to tap into these trustworthy cornerstones of how to live.
Where and how can you more fully tap into your thoughts, emotions, and feelings to assure yourself that you are indeed on the right life path?
“The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.”
Image from The Queen of Small Things
Over the six year life of The Quotable Coach, we’ve shared hundreds of posts exploring the concept of living longer and happier lives.
This Tibetan proverb could replace all of them with its simple wisdom.
Put forth an extra effort to practice the following ideas:
- Pay particular attention to the portion sizes and the quality of the foods you eat. Consider reducing your servings to 2/3 or 1/2 what you normally take, just to see what happens over a period of time.
- Our sedentary lifestyle is killing us! Where and in what ways can you expand your level of physical activity in this new year?
- Milton Berle used to say that laughter was a mini-vacation. How can and will you bring more chuckles and belly laughs into your life?
- Where and with whom would an abundance of love and affection brighten your world?
“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.”
—John Wooden, former UCLA Basketball Coach
Image from quoteaddicts.com
Who do you know in your professional circle who has a great deal of regret because they did what today’s quote warned us against?
Over 30 years ago I had dinner with Frank, the Senior Vice President of the pharmaceutical company where I was a rookie sales representative. He had a huge job running the U.S. sales for what was then a four billion dollar Fortune 500 organization with more than 1,200 sales people in 20 regions spread across The United States.
On the surface, he exuded great success and accomplishment. Yet at the end of our dinner, he confided in me that his marriage, his relationship with his children, and even his health had suffered due to his job. His coaching for me was to not make the same mistake.
How can and will you change yourself so that making a life and making a living can be part of the same great journey?
“We must reclaim our life agenda once more.”
-Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author
Image from Flickr by Roland Urbanek
One of the most fundamental elements of people leading full and satisfying lives is autonomy, or as some might say, the ability to guide and direct our own lives.
For many, the ability to chart our own life course has been taken over, or at least overshadowed, by the professional and personal communities within which we operate.
One simple self-test to see if this is true for you is to examine how often your inner voice says, “I don’t want to…” when you are asked to do something.
How and in what small or big ways can you reclaim your own life agenda, to lead a fuller, more satisfying life?
“Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.”
—John Lennon, co-founder of the Beatles
Image from storypic.com
I am currently coaching an attorney who wishes to make a career transition to something far more in line with his vision and values. Ask him about what he finds distasteful about his current career and his response is clear: he does not enjoy all the fussing and fighting.
Examine your professional and personal worlds to determine just how much of your time you and others spend fussing and fighting. If the amount is unacceptable, examine the cost to your health, happiness, and overall life satisfaction.
What steps can and will you take to neither initiate nor participate in fussing and fighting? Lennon’s coaching and life is for all of us to appreciate and be reminded of just how short and precious a life can be.
“Forever – is composed of nows.”
– Emily Dickinson, American poet
A few weeks ago, we had a new member of our family join us on our vacation in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania: my daughter’s 11-month-old puppy named Honey (see photo).
Our time together playing with our “grand-puppy” was the highlight of our week. Whenever we returned from one of our many adventures, meals, excursions, and activities, Honey was ready in each “now” moment to engage and delight us with her playful enthusiasm, energy, and loving nature.
If you happen to be lucky enough to have a pet you love dearly, take a bit of coaching from them regarding their uncanny ability to forever delight you and make your world a better place.
“The reality of the building does not consist in the roof and walls but in the space within to be lived in.”
– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism
Image from Flickr by jillyspoon.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated the wedding of my son Dan to his beautiful bride Carla. I am not a wedding planner, thank goodness, and I was amazed at how many venues it took to pull off this celebration.
- A restaurant to host the rehearsal dinner
- The rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art for the ceremony
- The ballroom of a wonderful, supportive hotel
- A breakout room for a Sunday morning brunch
- And even a local dance studio where the family and guests got to learn swing dancing
In each case, loving, joyous spaces were created by everyone who attended.
How can you, and those you care about, make the spaces within the buildings you live and work in even more special?