“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

—Emma Goldman, 20th Century Russian-American political activist

Image from Unsplash by César Abner Martínez Aguilar

Did you know that there are planets in our universe that are made of diamond?

These rocky worlds are composed primarily of carbon and the atmospheric pressure is so great, diamonds result.

Although fascinating – and one might consider a future occupation as a space miner – the more prominent focus of planetary scientists and astronomers is the search for life.

For this group, the inspirational possibility and beauty of life takes on far greater importance than any inanimate object, no matter how much it may sparkle.

EXERCISE:

What are the roses in your world? How can and will you more fully appreciate their value and beauty, to live an even more richly rewarding life?

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.”

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.”

—Leonardo Da Vinci

Image from Unsplash by Gary Tresize

One of my clients is a master fisherman. Last year, he kindly took me out on his boat to share his joy and the artistry of his passion. Over the course of our six-hour adventure, he coached me to catch a single fish – meanwhile, through his mastery of the skill, he brought in many.

Think of the times in your life you experienced a sense of flow, or a feeling of complete engagement.

Examine your personal and professional worlds for examples of times in which there is great satisfaction in the doing, and significant anticipation of upcoming activities.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you more fully engage your spirit in your personal and professional pursuits? How might this bring you a more beautiful and artistic life?

“He who knows best knows how little he knows.”

“He who knows best knows how little he knows.”

—Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father & 3rd President of the United States

Thomas Jefferson

Who are the “know it alls” in your personal and professional communities? Who are those who insist on showing everyone that they are the human version of Google?

How do you feel when you are around them? To what degree might you be on someone else’s “know it all” list?

Being interesting versus interested can only take us so far, and it almost always backfires. Wanting to be understood versus seeking to understand with more of a beginner’s mind seems like a wiser path to take.

EXERCISE:

Click on this link to explore more of Jefferson’s wisdom and learn more about his brilliance.

“Time is how you spend your love.”

“Time is how you spend your love.”

—Zadie Adeline Smith, Creative Writing Professor, New York University

The Serenity Prayer

So much has changed in our personal and professional lives over the past months.

How we spend our time has dramatically changed, and the normal routines and momentum we previously expected have been thwarted.

How are these events impacting you and those you love?

What aspects of your world can you control and influence? Which can you not?

Revisiting the Serenity Prayer might prove useful as a mindful exercise. How you are spending your time with your head, hand, and heart?

Despite the hard realities presented by this global crisis, I am delighted to see the outpouring of love within and between communities at all levels around the world.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can and will you spend your life and time today to make a difference in your communities?

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

—Albert Einstein

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?

EXERCISE:

How can and will you conduct some of your own expanded thought experiments to realize a less common and more extraordinary life?

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

—Samuel Smiles, 19th Century Scottish government reformer

Image from Unsplash by Martino Pietropoli

Given our turbulent times, it is clearer than ever that hope is not a good strategy to right our world.

Wishful thinking and turning a blind eye to the objective truth has delayed the full mobilization of our world to come together as one.

Hope is, however, very powerful in that it can and will inspire our individual and collective efforts to cast the shadows of our challenges behind us.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you mobilize your most hopeful energies and committed actions as we journey together to better our world?

“The secret of prolonging life consists of not shortening it.”

“The secret of prolonging life consists of not shortening it.”

—Ernst, Baron von Feuchtersleben, 19th Century Austrian physican/philosopher

Image from Amazon.com

Undo it: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Disease by Dean and Anne Ornish is a worthy read for anyone wishing to live a longer and healthier life.

As pioneers of lifestyle medicine, Dean and Anne demonstrate – with substantial scientific evidence – that diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even the aging process itself can be impacted.

His 72-hour program, which includes exercise, nutrition, stress-reduction, and what he refers to as loving more, has been so successful that it is now covered by Medicare and other major insurance companies.

EXERCISE:

Please watch this short video by Dr. Des Harrington, and consider upgrading your own efforts to put more years in your life and life in your years.

“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: Adaptation 4/10/20

FRIDAY REVIEW: ADAPTATION

How good are you at adapting to change? Here are a few adaption-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.”

 

 

 

“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”

 

 

 

“Things do not necessarily happen for the best, but I can choose to make the best of things that happen.”