“Turn in the direction of the skid.”
—Driving School adage
Image from Unsplash by Meghan Schiereck
Having lived in Michigan over half my life, I’ve experienced my share of icy roads! Before front or four-wheel drive, traction control, and the latest in snow tire technology, today’s quote was the best advice and coaching to avoid or minimize accidents.
How do you try to control the many aspects of your life? How fast are you going these days? How many icy patches are you experiencing on your personal and professional roads through life?
It turns out the more we slam on the brakes and over-steer, the worse things become.
Where is it appropriate for you to fully embrace an icy patch or two in your world? How can you calmly turn into these skids to get back on the road to a better life?
“Do not plan for ventures before finishing what is at hand.”
—Euripides, Ancient Greek Tragedian
Where are you getting ahead of yourself these days? Where might your impatience, a shiny object or the next interesting diversion cause you to take your eyes off the people, projects, or other priorities of the moment?
There is a wise saying that goes: “If you try to chase two rabbits, both will get away.” How many rabbits are you chasing in your professional and personal worlds? How many new ones come into view on what seems like a daily basis?
Where would taking the “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” approach help you tackle a significant priority before you venture forth toward other matters?
“You should not decide until you have heard what both sides have to say.”
—Aristophanes, 4th Century BC Greek Playwright
Image from Unsplash by Ehimetalor Unuabono
Do you ever say — aloud or perhaps even more often to yourself — “My mind is made up” or “I know!”? How often do you get the impression that others in your personal or professional communities express similar thoughts?
If these scenarios sound familiar, you are probably dealing with what I call “Shortcut Listening.” This happens when an individual or group gathers just enough information to fill in the rest of the word puzzles based on their own opinions, experiences, and biases.
Where and with whom would taking the long road of listening help you and others make far better decisions at work and at home?
“The rising sun blesses my mind with joy. The setting sun blesses my heart with peace.”
—Sri Chinmoy, 20th Century Indian Spiritual Leader
Image from Unsplash by John Towner
Before electricity and the light bulb, our sun and perhaps the occasional fire influenced every aspect of life.
Sunlight was man’s alarm clock to rise and go about the day, to survive and be productive.
When the sun went down, it was time to relinquish our efforts and find safety in our homes with our family. It was time, hopefully, to settle into a peaceful and safe slumber until the sun woke us again.
How has the world — and particularly your life — changed from this simpler time? Consider the fact that we live in a world where the lights never seem to go out, even if its the dim light of your smart phone or the numbers on your alarm clock.
How much additional joy and peace might you experience if you more fully embraced a life guided further by the rising and setting of the sun?
Consider reading Waking up to the Dark – Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, by Clark Strand.
“The man who runs may fight again.”
—Menander, 2nd Century BC Greek dramatist
Image from Unsplash by Raul Cacho Oses
From an early age, we are repeatedly exposed to messages such as: “Be brave!”, “Never Give Up!”, “Winners never quit and quitters never win!”. There are countless stories, shows, and movies that play off the “feel good” tale of victory and coming out on top.
I’m all for being an optimist on most occasions, however, many times a far more realistic and objective perspective may be the wiser way to go.
What fights and battles are occurring in your professional and personal worlds? Where do you see progress and have a sense of hope that you will prevail? In what situation do you feel and know deep down that it’s time to “fold’em,” like a losing poker hand?
How would using your head, heart, and gut help you know when it is time to run versus stand your ground, so that you may fight another day?
“Enjoy life to the fullest — it has an expiration date.”
Image from SupermarketNews
When was the last time you went grocery shopping?
What strategies do you use to select the freshest and healthiest foods for yourself and your loved ones? If you are like me, you check the expiration dates or “best if used by” dates on items such as meats, dairy products, and other packaged goods.
Master shoppers, of course, always dig a bit further back or down on the shelves, knowing all stores rotate their newest shipments toward the rear and place foods that are sooner to expire up front.
Given your current life expiration date extending strategies, and the wonders of modern medicine, how can you improve your efforts to add many more years to your life, and of course, far more life to your years?
“My job is to protect and to serve.”
Image from LAPD
Did you know the phrase “to protect and to serve” became the motto of the Los Angeles Police Department Academy in the mid-50s as the result of a contest? Its acceptance eventually expanded to the entire department, and it has been placed alongside the City Seal on all patrol cars.
Police protect and serve us by helping with emergencies such as car accidents, fires, illnesses, and rescues. Police can often be seen patrolling our streets and neighborhoods to prevent and solve crimes. When many of us would be paralyzed by fear or even run from such events, these brave men and women are often the first on the scene.
Who are the people you are committed to protecting and serving so they can live a happier and safer life?
Please make a point of including yourself on the list, and perhaps go a bit farther to lend the men and women in blue a hand from time to time.
“Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent.”
—Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
Image from wordpress
Imagine you are Aladdin with a magic lamp and three wishes to dramatically enhance your life. How many of your wishes would be extrinsic rather than intrinsic in nature?
What internal qualities and personal characteristics would you seek to more fully realize your vision of a brighter, more fulfilling future?
Consider that you already have your own internal magic lamp within you. Where will you begin, today, to use it to rethink, reinvigorate, and reinvent whatever aspect of your world you choose?