“So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
—Jorge Luis Borges, 20th Century Argentine essayist, poet and translator
Image from Unsplash by Markus Spike
Today’s quote reminds me of Stephen Covey’s habit of being proactive. These days, it has become increasingly easy to have things come our way with little effort. With the click of a few buttons on our phones we can order a meal, get a ride, and have virtually anything delivered in minutes or days.
The caveat here is that we still need to do a bit of searching and actively click a button or two for our flowers to arrive.
Where in your world are you waiting for things to happen with little or no effort on your part? Where would proactively planting your own garden and decorating your soul add more beauty and abundance to your life?
To be. To do. To have. Take life in this order.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Paico Official
The CALM app I use each morning recently added a new seven-minute morning meditation/guided journey called The Daily Jay with Jay Shetty. Jay is an English author, a former Hindu monk, and a life coach. Prior to joining the CALM team, he was perhaps best known as the host of the podcast On Purpose which included many famous guests and has received over 60 million downloads.
In a recent offering, he suggested the idea of a To-Be list to go along with our often-crammed To-Do lists.
Considering how we currently behave, and then shifting and choosing how we would prefer to be as we do the things we need and want to do, can make a remarkable difference. Consider the following word list and expand it for yourself as you do your chores, go to work, listen to your children, and relate to others in your various communities.
Add an extra To Be column next to your To-Do list today. Please reply to this post about the kind of day you have. What other words of being did you add to your list?
“I am the me I choose to be.”
—Sidney Pottier, first black male to win the Best Actor Academy Award
Image from Unsplash by Pierre Bamin
Today’s quote seems like a modern version of Shakespeare’s famous line, To thine own self be true.
To what degree are you the “thee” you choose to be?
With all the pushing and pulling on us by outside forces, many of us have exchanged followers and likes for a bit of our souls.
Being a chameleon and constantly trying to please others almost always moves us away from our authentic selves.
In what ways have you or others close to you given away the power to choose and lost your way?
On what issues is it time to more courageously choose your most genuine self to receive the only essential “like” worth pursuing?
“The sooner you make a choice, the sooner you can make an adjustment.”
—James Clear, America author, entrepreneur, and photographer
Image from Unsplash by Brendan Church
Consider these activities:
||Billiards / Pool
How many have you tried over the years, and how masterful were you, at your best?
How many shots were required to hit your target or better yet, the bullseye?
How did a ready, shoot, adjust, repeat process increase your eventual accuracy?
Where are you waiting to launch into action for fear of missing your target?
How would taking far more courageous shots at your personal and professional goals, making the necessary adjustments, help any misses become great hits in the future?
“The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearnings, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent.”
Image from Unsplash by Robina Weermeijer
In today’s quote, Epictetus suggests there are seven clear functions of the mind.
Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman break each of them down in the following manner in their book, The Daily Stoic:
Choice: to do and think right
Refusal: of temptation
Yearning: to be better
Repulsion: of negativity, of bad influences, and what isn’t true
Preparation: for what lies ahead or whatever might happen
Purpose: our guiding principles and highest priorities
Assent: to be free of deception about what is inside and outside our control (and be ready to accept the latter)
Consider printing this post out to work on and think through one of these functions of the mind each day. This exercise could be a crash course in Stoicism in itself.
“Accept this moment as if you had chosen it.”
—Eckart Tolle, Author of The Power of Now
Image from Unsplash by Luke Chesser
What percentage of your day do you find yourself irritated, upset, or even angry about how things are going?
Consider your thwarted intentions and unfulfilled expectations as precursors to such feelings.
What benefit might you experience if you stopped resisting how things are and chose instead to accept and allow them to be as they are?
What people and events are occurring in your life in which acceptance would provide you the greatest value?
“Play the tiles you get.”
Image from Flickr by Joe King
In her book, 365 Days of Wonder, R.J. Palacio shares a charming story of her grandparents. Both avid Scrabble players, they played every day for more than 50 years.
Her grandfather, known as being the “intellectual,” almost always lost to his wife, who was primarily a homemaker, not the lawyer who graduated from Columbia.
Grandma Nelly was quite smart in her own right. She loved crossword puzzles. She had a miraculous ability to make the most of the tiles she was given rather than waiting to use the highest value tiles on double or triple word spaces. That was grandpa’s strategy.
In what areas of life are you waiting to get better tiles? What would be the value and benefit of learning to play the ones you currently have, and those you receive each day?
“It’s when you run away that you’re most liable to stumble.”
—Casey Robinson, Screenwriter/Producer
Image from findapsychologist
I’m not completely sure if today’s quote is always true, but watching action films and TV shows, I see the main characters often fall when they run away from their pursuers. Perhaps in film and TV land this is to create more suspense. Invariably, though, they stop, turn around, and summons the courage to take on the bad guys and win the day.
Where are you currently in retreat mode? What is causing you to stumble? What attitude shift or other resources are required to turn things around so you can move forward professionally or personally?
“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
Image from Flickr
Where are you today in regard to some of your most ambitious personal or professional goals for the new year? Are you in full stride, ahead of schedule?
Perhaps you are stalled, have lowered your sights considerably, or have stopped completely.
Today’s quote points to the small, consistent efforts we can all make on a daily basis to begin again, make progress, and eventually move mountains.
What are the “small stones” you will move today, to make progress toward your most desired personal or professional objectives?
“I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.”
-Louise Hay, American Motivational Author
Image from acelebrationofwomen.org
Louise Hay is an American Motivational Author and the founder of Hay House. Through her healing techniques and positive philosophy, millions have learned to create more of what they want in their lives.
Hay House has published about 300 books and 350 audio programs by authors who align with Louise’s positive self-help perspective, and are supportive of healing our planet.
What actions will you choose to take today, and in the future, to make the rest of your life the best of your life?
How can you support and inspire others in your personal and professional communities to do the same?
As a small gesture, please consider forwarding this post to at least one person who would most appreciate its message.