“The more neatly you fit in society, the less free you actually are.”
—Naval Ravikant, American Entrepreneur and Investor
Image from Unsplash by Noah Näff
For as long as I can remember, fitting in was one of my top priorities.
Looking back at my school years, friendships, and careers, doing what was expected always seemed like the best way to go. Standing out seemed dangerous, and would almost certainly incur considerable judgement from others.
Where in your personal and professional world is fitting in a high priority?
How much freedom and wiggle room do you experience when you simply go along to get along? What aspects of yourself must you suppress in these situations, and what has it cost you over the years?
Much like in the game of Monopoly, give yourself a “Get Out of Jail” card to use whenever you feel imprisoned by society.
What new possibilities and freedoms could you realize by stepping out instead of fitting in?
“Beauty is a free spirit and will not be trapped within the grid of intentionality.”
—John O’Donohue, late Irish poet, author, priest, and philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema
Have you ever tried to be intentionally creative?
Putting your head down and trying to focus on new possibilities is like trying to create breakthrough ideas in a group brainstorming session — it rarely works!
Alternatively, when we relax and have access to a lighter touch and a freer spirit, beautiful things often emerge.
Where has the power of intention held you back and limited your creative efforts?
Where might an unfocused or less rigorous approach act as a catalyst for new and wonderful things to occur?
“A firm commitment to do something today will always best an exuberant promise to act tomorrow.”
Image from Amazon
Most of us enter our days with good intentions. We have much to do and we set out to be highly productive, serve others, and leave things better than how we found them.
Benjamin Zender, who co-authored The Art of Possibility, uses an exercise with his musical prodigies when they work with him.
Since virtually everyone he works with has first chair talent, he asks them to write an essay titled How I Got My “A”. Through this exercise, students focused on their own efforts and the actions they took, rather than their hopeful efforts and intent. The element of comparing their own efforts against themselves versus others also let them set their own bar of excellence.
What promises do you make to yourself and others that sometimes fall by the wayside?
What commitments will you keep today to deserve the “A” you desire?
Consider reading The Art of Possibility to discover more nuggets of wisdom to achieve and be your very best!
Set sail! You’ll never know unless you go. Explore the possibilities of today.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Andrew Ridley
Where are you headed today, this week, in the new year? Where are you planning to go, and what are you going to do along the way and once you get there?
Like Christopher Columbus and Magellan, how can and will you find new possibilities and potential by embracing the explorer within?
This all sounds exciting! However, many of us are anchored in our seemingly safe and comfortable harbors and rarely set sail toward new horizons.
One of my favorite TV shows is The Amazing Race, in which 12 teams of two travel the globe to experience new places and explore different cultures.
Although many roadblocks are built into their adventures, virtually all participants acknowledge the significant impact of going beyond their own limitations to realize far more of their potential.
In what ways can and will you set sail in this new year? What amazing adventures and opportunities might you discover beyond your own personal horizons?
“I’ve got to accept limitations before I can discover my possibilities.”
—James Baldwin, 20th Century American Writer
Image from Unsplash by Guillaume de Germain
I played a good bit of tennis in grade school and high school. I was very steady, and consistent in my ability to run down and return most shots. My primary strategy was to keep a rally going until my opponent either got frustrated and beat themselves, or crushed me by hitting winners.
Fast forward a few decades and add some pounds and a bit of arthritis and knee pain.
These days my racket endeavors to keep the blood flowing and my competitive spirit engaged are focused on ping pong. With a little more rehab, I’m pretty sure the possibilities of pickle ball are in my future!
Where have you recently discovered some of your own limitations?
What new possibilities and potential are you discovering to pivot and keep the pep in your step?
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this—You haven’t.”
—Thomas Edison, American inventor and businessman
Image from Unsplash by Brett Jordan
A few months ago, we had technical difficulties with our television and our fire alarm system. The Darth Vader sound from the set and the beeping every 40 seconds were driving us crazy!
Turning off the set and wearing noise cancelling headphones didn’t make things better so I called upon U-Tube, a few friends, and an electrician for support.
To my delight, after many hours of Thomas Edison-ing, trying this, that, and other things, we embraced success with a considerable sense of pride and satisfaction.
Where would a bit of Thomas Edison’s persistence and tenacity help you in your current efforts?
What new possibilities have you yet to explore to realize the outcomes you desire?
Stop and look up. Ask yourself, is this the mountain I wish to climb?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Netflix.com
In the world of mountain climbing, Nirmal Purja stands in rarified air.
In the recent Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible, he and his team attempt to climb the world’s 14 highest peaks with an altitude greater than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) within a 7-month time frame. The previous record was seven years.
Project Possible, as it is called, tackles numerous personal, social, cultural, and financial obstacles that only add to the monumental physical, mental, and emotional achievements. Insights into Purja’s unstoppable drive and resolve is an inspiration for all of us looking up and within ourselves, to reach for our own personal and professional summits.
What are your most mountainous goals and objectives?
How can you engage your own supportive communities to realize your own project possible?
Please watch this inspirational movie and let me know what lessons you take away.
Tap into a sense of pure possibility. What are your hopes and dreams?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by J. Balla Photography
Over the past several months, I’ve been finding it more difficult sleeping through the night. I usually wake between 4 and 5 a.m., still tired but with an active mind that makes falling back to sleep difficult.
After about 20 minutes of tossing and turning, a visit to the facilities, a drink of water, and maybe a visit to the kitchen for a nibble to calm my growling stomach, I try again.
One sleep strategy that often works is listening to the sleep stories on my Calm app. These guided journeys take me on a variety of adventures and back to dreamland, well before the stories are ended. Upon rising refreshed, I do my best to keep this hopeful state of possibilities throughout my day.
What hopes and dreams do you want to realize today?
What possibilities can and will you turn into reality with your imagination and creative intentions?
“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?
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?
“Discover the magic of searching for the ‘Second Right Answer.’”
—Roger von Oech, author, inventor, and speaker
Image from Slideshare
Do you remember the game played by teachers and students when you were young? You know — the game where the teacher asks a question and immediately all the over-zealous students wave their hands in excitement — maybe with a few verbalizing to be called on to share their knowledge and show off a bit.
Certain subjects and topics in school play nicely into this game, where there is a single correct answer — and being quick on the draw with these single bullets of wisdom is usually rewarded. Consider all the game shows on TV that play into reward or punishment for the right or wrong answer.
As we enter the world beyond our traditional educational upbringing many of us notice that there are often a variety of right answers that can lead to numerous iterative versions of success. We are now encouraged to be far more creative and agile, thinking outside the box to discover new and perhaps even better answers just beyond the horizon of our knee-jerk thinking.
Where and on what personal or professional issues would digging deeper and longer to search for the second right answer magically provide even greater possibilities and opportunities in your life?