“Mystery reveals itself to those who maintain an openness of character.”

“Mystery reveals itself to those who maintain an openness of character.”

—Robert Grundin, Swedish Actor

Image from Unsplash by Diane Helentjaris

Most of us love a good mystery. We love good books, TV shows, or movies that take us on a ride with plot twists and surprises. We enjoy excitement and delight when we sleuth our way through these adventures. We are primed for openness to go down whatever path lies ahead.

When we close our books, turn off our sets, and clean up our popcorn and candy containers, how open do we remain when we return to our actual lives?

EXERCISE:

How can you expand your openness of character to more fully experience the many mysteries life has to offer?

“Sometimes the most meaningful service is simple, spontaneous, and closer to home.”

“Sometimes the most meaningful service is simple, spontaneous, and closer to home.”

Jay Shetty, life coach and former Hindu monk

Image from Unsplash by Rémi Walle

The desire to make a difference seems to be a universal calling for most people. The intention to live a meaningful life is a key driver from the moment we wake until it is time to rest.

When we look around at how others live, we tend to focus on the big stuff that seem more like quests and crusades. Having a major impact seems to be what counts or at least get noticed.

It is nice to be reminded that the simple and quiet acts of service are often the most meaningful.

EXERCISE:

Where and how will you contribute to those close to you today?

How can you incorporate note taking into your daily habits?

How can you incorporate note taking into your daily habits?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Cathryn Lavery

When I consider the topic of note taking my initial thoughts go back to my school days. Listening intently to my teachers in grade school and my professors in college was paramount to getting the “A’s” I was seeking. Capturing what was said and giving it back to them seemed to be the secret recipe for success.

Following my formal schooling the extent of my note taking focused on grocery shopping and the occasional list of questions for doctor visits. Like many others, I felt my note taking days were over. There didn’t seem to be much need to remember a bunch of stuff that wasn’t going to be on the test.

These days, getting ahead and staying ahead is as important as ever. Capturing new ideas and valuable insights and keeping them to use now or in the future is essential to progress in our increasingly complex and fast-moving lives.

EXERCISE:

Purchase a small notebook or use a note-taking app on your phone to capture more of the nuggets of wisdom that cross your path each day. My friend Sam Horn uses a catchy quote “Ink it when You think It” that can help you remember to apply this important skill.

Please let me know how this practice helps you ace your actual life.

Veterans Day 2022

Veterans Day 2022

Image from Unsplash by Sir Manuel

Who among you—or who do you know—who has served in the military? Today is Veteran’s day, a U.S. federal holiday honoring the veterans with us right now. Most of us have celebrated it our entire lives, but it was not originally so.

This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service in World War I, and was originally called Armistice Day—in honor of the official signing of the Armistice that ended “The War to End all Wars,” at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. In 1954, it was changed to Veterans Day to account for all veterans, in all wars.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has declared “honor” as the theme for the celebrations this year. Honor reflects the military value and tradition of answering the call to duty.

My family and I honor all those across this great land who have served our country, and ask that you will, as well.

EXERCISE:

Who can you reach out today to a friend, neighbor, or family member who has served? Let them know that today you are grateful for them and their service to the country.

Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly

“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly.”

—Marcus Aurelius, ancient Roman emperor & Stoic philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Usman Yousaf

What does it mean to live a “proper” life?

At the end of your life what would you like people to say about you?

How would you have answered these questions 10 or 20 years ago?

As we age, many of us notice changes occurring in our minds and bodies.

Usually, this a gradual process and most of us come to terms with the finite nature of our lives.

We usually strive to do better and make the most of it.

What if instead of a more gradual process your life was coming to an abrupt end? How satisfied and complete would you feel and what regrets would you experience?

EXERCISE:

The movies Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Groundhog Day with Bill Murray offer many laughs and some good examples to consider.

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this—You haven’t.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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?

To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears

“To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clinging and disappointments of the past that bind our spirits.”

Jack Kornfield, American author & Buddhist practitioner

Personal freedom is a core value many people cherish. In her book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson describes many tragic examples from the past that still spill over into our modern world.

Despite certain gains in personal freedom in parts of our world, many people often find themselves confined and bound in their inner worlds by aspect of their past.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the ways you can better release yourself from the past?

What difference would letting go of these burdens do to free your spirit?

Learning to adapt to the current circumstances is a key to being happy

“Learning to adapt to the current circumstances is a key to being happy. Right now, it’s like this.”

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema

Following the devastation caused by hurricane Ian in the southeast, the area where I live in Pennsylvania experienced a few days of constant rain. I was surprised that some people complained about our soggy situation.

They apparently internalized the rain and cloudiness, instead of adapting to things as they were. That’s why we have umbrellas and rain coats.

Learning to accept things as they are and working to change things where we can is a road to self-determination.

EXERCISE:

What do you need to accept that you cannot change?

How can you take things as they are and make the most of even the stormy days ahead?

Friday Review: Preparation

Friday Review: Preparation

Are you prepared? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

 

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”

 

 

 

“The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearnings, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent.”

 

 

 

“Now is the perfect time to prepare.”

 

 

 

 

If you fall in love with the imagination, you understand

“If you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything.”

Alice Walker, American writer and social activist

Image from Unsplash by Michelle Cassar

Imagine that you are a new Marvel superhero that can do anything and go anywhere in an instant.

What special powers would you demonstrate and how would you share them with your communities and the world?

How did this journey into your imagination feel? To what degree did your notice a new level of freedom and a lifting up of your spirits?

How did you feel when you shifted back from your right brain to your left to get on with your day?

In what ways might you have experienced a bit of heaviness from your current responsibilities and obligations?

EXERCISE:

Make some time today to exercise your imagination.

What could you do and where might you go as this practice spills over into some of your typical daily activities?