We can revisit the past, be in the present, and even venture into the future

We can revisit the past, be in the present, and even venture into the future with our miraculous minds.

—Calm App Reflection

James Webb Telescope Image from NASA.com

The James Webb telescope is a miraculous piece of technology that cost ten billion dollars and took over 25 years to create. It is 100 times more powerful than the Hubble telescope, which has transformed our knowledge and understanding of the universe for decades.

These devices use various frequencies of light to examine the past, based on the distance of diverse objects. With the finite speed of light being 186,000 miles per second, we can view the moon 1.3 seconds ago, our sun 8 minutes ago, and even distant galaxies over 13.5 billion years ago. With our awareness of our ever expanding and accelerating universe, we can also use computer simulations to look way into the future.

EXERCISE:

What value have you gained through lessons from the past?

What moments are you currently experiencing that you don’t want to miss?

What potential opportunities do you see for yourself and others as the future unfolds?

Crisis is an unexpected jarring of our ways that brings us into contact with our attendant spirit

“Crisis is an unexpected jarring of our ways that brings us into contact with our attendant spirit.”

—Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakening

How have you and the world around you been jarred in unexpected ways these past few years?

How have these various events been both crises and opportunities at the same time?

Where and how have you been awakened and opened to your attendant spirit? How and in what ways can you move forward given this source of strength at your disposal?

EXERCISE:

How might you offer or seek assistance to and from others in your various communities?

How can we better tap into our collective attendant spirits to recover our footing and balance?

How can I begin anything new with all of my yesterday in me

“How can I begin anything new with all of my yesterday in me?”

—Leonard Cohen, late Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist

Image from Unsplash by Jaakko Kemppainen

How easy is it for you to begin each day with a clean slate? How often do you feel that mornings are filled with an abundance of opportunities and possibilities?

Most of us tend to hold on and drag around yesterdays filled with our worries and fears, or perhaps pine for the “good old days” when life seemed much better.

Cohen’s quote asks us to put a period at the end of our days with a “what is done is done” perspective.  Without letting go of the past how can we free our hands and hearts to grasp for today and our tomorrows?

EXERCISE:

With Spring around the corner, how and what can you do to clear and organize your yesterdays to more enthusiastically step into each new day?

“Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”

“Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”

—Sophocles, ancient Greek tragedian

COVID-19 moved our cheese. What was familiar and predictable months ago was suddenly no longer so, and we’ve all felt the loss.

Although these various forms of loss cause much pain, we can all take a lesson from the mouse in the classic business book, Who Moved My Cheese? Going through its maze one day, taking its traditional route, the mouse did not find the cheese he expected. Noticing this, the little guy fairly quickly changed his route to seek his reward elsewhere.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the new ways that you and others in your communities have adapted, adjusted, and expanded your cheese-finding efforts? What new opportunities and possibilities have you discovered and realized?

Feel free to reply to this post with some approaches that are working for you.

“Sometimes the door closes for us so we might turn and see an open gate to a wider opportunity.

“Sometimes the door closes for us so we might turn and see an open gate to a wider opportunity.”

—Brendon Burchard, NYT best-selling author & high-performance coach

Image from Unsplash by Shane Rounce

Countless doors are closing in response to the global pandemic. To what extent have these efforts to contain and combat this crisis impacted your professional world?

What obstacles are in the way of you living life and conducting business as usual?

In what ways have you and your communities been forced to find other means of pursuing and achieving the outcomes you desire? In what way are closed doors forcing you outside your comfort zone, to see alternative open gates of wider opportunity?

EXERCISE:

Consider discussing today’s quote with members of your work and personal communities, to discover what new gates you can open together.

Friday Review: Opportunity

FRIDAY REVIEW: OPPORTUNITY

How do you respond to opportunity? What opportunities have you passed up, or grabbed onto? Here are a few opportunity-related posts you may have missed.

 

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have one and not be prepared.”

 

 

 

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.”

 

 

 

 

“Doors don’t slam open.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Opportunities are seldom labeled.”

“Opportunities are seldom labeled.”

—John A. Shedd, 19th Century American author and professor

For most of my life, I have been fascinated by the subject of personal and professional success.

I’ve read hundreds of books, attended dozens of seminars and conferences, and can hardly count the number of blog posts, podcasts, and TED talks I’ve explored.

In his book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker digs into the science of success, to mess a bit with the conventional and unconventional wisdom on this subject.

One seemingly universal tenet of success does, however, point to the idea of taking massive action and trying many things along the way to stir up far more possibilities and opportunities to pursue.

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you waiting or being too passive, hoping for an opportunity to reveal itself?

Where would taking far more action and trying many more things help you bark up and climb the right trees for you?

opportunities take shape within the problems

“Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems.”

—Nelson Rockefeller

Image of Hans Gosling

Image of Hans Rosling from TED.com

Looking at anything and declaring it a problem is a very human thing to do. In many ways, this very characteristic is what makes us human.

In his fascinating book, Factfulness, professor of international health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling and his colleagues Anna and Ola, offer an amazing new explanation of why we see the state of the world as far worse than the facts reveal.

Rosling explains what he calls the “Ten instincts that Distort our Perspective.” Among them are:

  • Dividing the world into camps such as “Us and Them,” or developed and undeveloped countries.
  • The way we consume media in which fear rules.
  • How we perceive progress versus believing that things are getting worse wherever we look.

Rosling and his team of researchers are by no means blind to the significant challenges facing the world. He is, however, asking all of us to look closely and clearly at the objective facts to better enable us to tackle the very real problems facing humanity.

EXERCISE:

What is at least one significant opportunity in our world that you are committed to working on, given this clearer and objective perspective?

Please consider watching Hans Rosling’s TED Talks, and if you wish to learn more about his important work, read his book.

Constraints can unwittingly open doors

“Constraints can unwittingly open so many doors.”

—Lindsay Hunter, Chicago-based Fiction Writer

Image of the sky through shattered glass

Image from Tzedek-Tzedek

The Theory of constraints is an important management system that helps businesses achieve their goals. The concept has proven to be beneficial in areas such as manufacturing, where it has improved service, on-time delivery, and reduced the need for excessive inventory.

Identifying constraints, or what some call bottlenecks or the weakest link in a chain, can help all of us become more efficient and effective simply by removing them or by finding a way around them.

Where, however, could constraints on either your personal or professional worlds actually serve you to explore and discover new opportunities?

EXERCISE:

Try a few thought experiments to examine the potential benefits of the following list of constraints:

  • Time: having a finite lifespan
  • Your memory
  • Money
  • Your health and fitness
  • The natural resources of the earth
  • Your belief system
  • Experience and knowledge
  • Space: your physical environment

Feel free to reply to this post with any insights you have, and opportunities you discover.

Friday Review Opportunity

FRIDAY REVIEW: OPPORTUNITY

How often do opportunities come your way? How do you determine if they are right for you? Here are a few opportunity-related posts you may have missed:

 

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have one and not be prepared.”

 

 

 

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.”

 

 

 

 

“Doors don’t slam open.”