“Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.”
—William Shakespeare, MacBeth, Act 1, Scene 3
Image from NoSweatShakespeare.com
William Shakespeare’s plays, poems, and sonnets have taught the world many life lessons that are still relevant today.
Through his works, he taught that love can conquer and destroy, that people trust what they cannot see, and that human ethics are easily manipulated.
In addition to the subject of love in his numerous works, he frequently included other common characteristics of society including greed, ambition, and the focus on power.
How would you imagine Shakespeare might view our current society, given that he lived during challenging times between 1564 and 1616 in England?
What are your thoughts and feelings about your own present fears versus your own imaginings?
Consider checking out the website NoSweatShakespeare.com to explore in greater depth his significant influences on our world.
“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
Image of Albert Einstein from Public Domain
When we think of great minds, few people top the list more often than Albert Einstein.
If you investigate his life through a wide variety of sources, you will see that he was fond of what he called “thought experiments.”
I guess you could say that he thought a lot about thinking!
What about your own mind?
How much do you think about your own thoughts and how they influence your view of others and life in general?
What prejudices, biases, mental models, and paradigms have you ingrained that support and in many cases limit what’s possible for you?
How can and will you conduct some of your own expanded thought experiments to realize a less common and more extraordinary life?
“We are the masters of our fate, the captains of our souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts.”
—Napoleon Hill, 20th Century American author of Think and Grow Rich
Image from Unsplash by Philippe Oursel
Perhaps one of the primary reasons for the rapid growth of the coaching industry is its ability to significantly increase our mindfulness and self-awareness. The phrase “Wherever you go, there you are” is poignant in that we always bring along our minds, which strongly influences and creates our worlds.
The majority of my work with clients focuses on executive leadership and business matters. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed considerable attention shifting to more personal and soulful issues and the idea of living a far more meaningful life.
If you, too, wish to dig deeper into being your own soulful captain of life, I strongly recommend the book Toward a Meaningful Life by Simon Jacobson.
“Not all things are to be discovered. Many are better concealed.”
—Sophocles, 4th Century BC Greek Writer
Image from Unsplash by Mohamadreza Ashdari
Before you speak: T.H.I.N.K.
T: Is what you are about to say TRUE?
H: Is what you plan to say HELPFUL?
I: Will what you say IMPROVE the situation?
N: Is saying it NECESSARY?
K: Is it KIND?
How would your professional and personal relationships improve if you did more thinking before you spoke? Where would more silence and concealing your inner voice be the best approach to take with selected individuals? What other aspects of your life would be better off concealed?
“The thought is father to the deed.”
—Sigmund Freud, 20th Century Austrian founder of psychoanalysis
Image from wisdomtoinspire.com
Sigmund Freud, who lived between 1856 and 1939, was the founder of psychoanalysis, a method used for treating mental illness, and a theory which explains human behavior.
Among his various contributions, he developed a topographical model of the mind. He proposed that the mind was analogous to an iceberg, with the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious minds representing different levels of awareness.
I suggest a bit of editing in today’s quote. Consider replacing the word “father” with “mother,” or at least adding it, given what is required for the conception and eventual birth of an idea, a person, and of course, their deeds.
How can you examine and explore your thinking on all levels to more fully conceive and give birth to your most meaningful and inspired actions, to better your world?
“When the heart is afire, some sparks will fly out of the mouth.”
—Thomas Fuller, 15th Century British historian
Image from Unsplash by Jamie Street
Today’s quote is about leadership. Take a moment to consider the sparks flying out of people’s mouths these days. Gun control, global warming, nuclear proliferation, politics, and the economy are just a few of the hotly debated subjects.
What topics have your heart afire? To what degree do you share your own thoughts and opinions on those topics with others?
Where is the status quo unacceptable in your personal or professional worlds? Where can and will you play a greater leadership role and let a few more sparks fly out of your mouth, sharing your heartfelt beliefs?
“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?
“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.”
—Benjamin Disraeli, British Statesman
Image from Twitter @HighestThinking
How often do you eat junk food? How often do manufactured foods with excessive sugar, fat, or mystery ingredients find their way through your lips?
When you do, what are the results on your physical, mental, and emotional vitality and well being?
How many junk messages enter your mind from news, social media, books, or even the people with whom you associate? What impact do these factors have on your abilities to better yourself?
How can you make more efforts to ingest and digest more nurturing ideas and thoughts, to take your life higher?
How can you reduce or stop detrimental thoughts and influences that hold you back in order to make room for empowering and uplifting ideas?
“We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”
—Ram Dass, American Spiritual Leader
Image from Flickr by Kat Northern Lights Man
On a hot, sunny day we all enjoy being in the shade, perhaps with a frosty beverage. It’s cooler, and just more comfortable.
Our own thinking often plays the role of a shade tree in that we are literally blocking out new, more creative or innovative input, which might enlighten us.
If, for some reason, you feel stalled, stuck or plateaued in your growth and development, take a hard look at how often and how much you are sitting under your limited thinking canopy.
How can you let in more bright ideas and alternative perspectives by welcoming the light of other people’s input, personally or professionally?