Stop, jot, and share. Use the superpower of reflection

Stop, jot, and share. Use the superpower of reflection to cement the value of the information you take in.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Gardie Design & Social Media Marketing

What types of information are you taking in these days? What are your strategies to not have the most valuable information go in one ear and out the other?

Consider the concept of eating and digestion. How do you select the most healthy and appetizing items to consume?

How do you chew on these ideas and mix this mash with the saliva and digestive juices of your past experiences and existing wisdom?

How do you discern and absorb the best nutrients and discard any waste products not meant for you?

EXERCISE:

How would jotting in a notebook or journal aid in your reflective skills to squeeze out even more nuggets of wisdom from your information diet?

Wisdom is like the rain. Its source is limitless, but it comes down according to the season

“Wisdom is like the rain. Its source is limitless, but it comes down according to the season.”

—Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet

Image from Unsplash by Alejandro

When do you receive the most rain where you live?

Just as water is essential to life, Rumi suggests that wisdom is water for our spirits. Unfortunately, we do not always receive rain when we need it throughout the year.

What season of life are you in? Look back over the years to see how you have benefited from the wisdom of others and become the reservoir for members of your communities who thirst for its refreshing and renewing properties.

EXERCISE:

Where in your world are people experiencing a drought of wisdom and a thirst for growth?

How can we tap the aquifers and sprinkler systems that are often out of sight to soak and refresh our souls?

“But what difference does it make who spoke the words? They were uttered for the world.”

“But what difference does it make who spoke the words? They were uttered for the world.”

—Seneca, ancient Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, and dramatist

Image from Unsplash by Shakti Rajpurohit

The Quotable Coach blog recently surpassed its 2500th post. The vast majority of the quotes that inspire these posts are not mine. They represent nuggets of wisdom offered to the world from many brilliant individuals, including Seneca. I do my best to offer the correct attribution whenever possible.

I admire and appreciate Seneca’s sincere words and generosity of spirit intending to support others without seeking credit.

When we interpret and share our views of these lessons and come up with some of our own, we too can release our own generous efforts to serve and support others.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom do you pay forward words of wisdom from others in your communities? How does this deepen the value and impact these lessons have had on your life?

 

“Wisdom is a living stream, not an icon preserved in a museum

“Wisdom is a living stream, not an icon preserved in a museum. Only when we find the spring of wisdom in our own life can it flow to future generations.”

—Thich Nhat Hahn, Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk and peace activist

Image from Unsplash by Brett Jordan

For most of my life I’ve been a seeker of wisdom from many sources.

It is one of my daily practices that delights and fills my soul, especially when I can be a conduit for others that also wish to jump into this living stream.

For the past decade, I’ve included thought-provoking and motivational quotes as a significant component of my personal excellence journey.

These nuggets of wisdom really satisfy my appetite and passion for personal growth and development.

EXERCISE:

Where do you look to discover your own sources of wisdom? How are you paying forward some of your lessons learned to future generations?

Please consider sharing The Quotable Coach with others who may benefit.

My book, The Quotable Coach—Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom, might also make an appropriate gift for yourself or others this holiday season.

“Open your eyes to the beauty around you. Open your mind to the wonders of life. Open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself.”

“Open your eyes to the beauty around you. Open your mind to the wonders of life. Open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself.”

—Maya Angelou, late American poet, memoirist, civil rights activist

Only four presidents — John F. Kennedy in 1961, Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1997, Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013, and Joe Biden in 2021 — have included poets in their inaugurations. Maya Angelou was one of those six poets. I hope her nuggets of wisdom in today’s quote resonates for you.

EXERCISE:

Please take a look and explore the work of these six poets, and the messages for their time in history:

2021: Amanda Gorman, “The Hill We Climb”
2013: Richard Blanco, “One Today”
2009: Elizabeth Alexander, “Praise Song for the Day”
1997: Miller Williams, “Of History and Hope”
1993: Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning”
1961: Robert Frost, “The Gift Outright”

“Wisdom is a living stream, not an icon preserved in a museum. Only when we…”

“Wisdom is a living stream, not an icon preserved in a museum. Only when we find the spring of wisdom in our own life can it flow to future generations.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk & peace activist

Image from Unsplash by Pickawood

I am often asked by colleagues and clients for a list of my all-time favorite books. Many fellow bloggers create such lists and provide them readily on a yearly basis.

You are most welcome to review the past decade of The Quotable Coach posts to explore the books I reference, but on this occasion, I have an alternative suggestion:

Create your own list of books and other resources that have made the greatest impact in your life. Re-read and review these sources of wisdom and timely advice with your new eyes and greater life experience. If you are like me, you will find these deeper dives to be a treat and discover greater brilliance you missed on your previous readings.

EXERCISE:

Select one book each month this year and make the added effort to discuss and share its wisdom and relevancy with someone of a younger generation. Feel free to reply to this post with the books or resources you select.

“Help the punch move past you.”

“Help the punch move past you.”

—Aikido Saying

Image from Unsplash by That Le Hoang

Do you remember the TV show Kung Fu from the 70s, with David Carradine?

If you do, it might have been both his martial arts mastery as well as his wisdom about life that made the program so popular.

I particularly enjoyed his masterful dance-like moves as he avoided the aggressive punches of his adversaries.

Not getting hit in the first place is a good way to keep standing and step forward into tomorrow.

EXERCISE:

How many punches did you take in 2020?
How many were unavoidable?
How many could you have allowed to move past you, so you could step forward?

“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

—Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet and scholar

Image from Unsplash by Nick Fewings

Over the past seven months, I’ve filled my gas tank once, and have driven less than 500 miles. With limited ventures out for only essential resources and services and some retooling to work exclusively from my home office, my long journeys in the outer world have stopped.

With numerous shifts in my daily routine, I have added far more inner journeys through quiet walks, meditation, reading, and writing. In many ways my passion and pursuit of my own growth and development have expanded and deepened more than at any other time in my life.

Taking this time to journey further within has been more rewarding than I ever expected.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the ways you have begun to journey within?

What have you discovered about yourself and your world?

In what way do you intend to go further, to tap your own inner wisdom?

Feel free to reply to this post to share your own efforts and progress in this area.

“Seek council, not opinion.”

“Seek council, not opinion.”

—Greg Reid, Motivational Speaker, Author & Entrepreneur

Image from Unsplash by Ryoji Iwata

Where are you at a crossroad in life or at a point where you need to make an important decision?

Who are the most trusted advisors that have “been there, done that,” who can council you based on their knowledge, experience, and wisdom?

Opinions on most subjects are everywhere, and everyone has one. Many people offering their opinions—although well intended—are not well vetted by sufficient background and objectivity.

How wary are you of the opinionated people in your life?

EXERCISE:

On what personal or professional issue would seeking out experts and following the science be the wisest council to seek?

“The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

“The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

—Lin Yutang, 20th Century Chinese inventor, novelist, and philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Faye Cornish

To what degree are you a wisdom seeker?

Would you also describe yourself as an explorer and life-long learner, looking to grasp and understand what makes us and everything around us work?

Given the considerable challenges facing all of us and the world, it is natural to see the need to work harder than ever to hold our ground and not regress and be defeated.

Perhaps instead of life being a series of adding more and more in order to feel better, it may be time for a bit of selective editing in which less is more.

EXERCISE:

Where would limiting or eliminating some of the non-essentials in your life lead you toward greater wisdom?

Feel free to reply to this post with the actions you intend to take.