When we investigate and anticipate the exciting and enjoyable aspects of the future, we enhance our happiness
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Rachael Gorjestani
How do you usually feel on Friday compared to Monday? If you have engaging plans for the weekend or have a career you enjoy, your answer is usually very positive for both scenarios.
What happens to many working folks on Sunday evenings if their jobs don’t exactly light them up?
The situations above are examples of positive and negative “Creative Tension,” where the nature of the future has a significant effect on our moods and overall satisfaction with life.
In what ways can you be more intentional with your life to use the power of “creative tension” to envision and realize more of your hopes and dreams?
“You should have something to show for each day you were lucky enough to live.”
—Ryan Holiday, American marketer, podcaster, Stoic philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Guille Álvarez
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that the new year is off to a great start!
Beyond the gifts you received—and perhaps a few extra pounds—what else do you have to show for these days?
How lucky and grateful do you feel each day you roll, step, or leap out of bed?
In the year ahead, how will you bring greater intention and purpose to your days to contribute even more within your various communities?
Consider setting up a show-and tell time with family and friends.
How can your individual and collective efforts help everyone to feel even luckier to be alive?
“I try to be available for life to happen to me.”
Image from Unsplash by Alexander Grey
What does it mean to be available to life?
What qualities would you possess if life entered and soaked you, body and soul?
Consider all the experiences we have with our five senses. How fully do we use them?
What if we had super senses like certain animals or plants, and how they magically take in water, minerals, and mix it with sunshine to make food.
How alive might we feel?
Where are you even more active as you happen to life?
Where do your intentionality and efforts infuse the world with your special gifts?
What are you bringing to the party?
“Beauty is a free spirit and will not be trapped within the grid of intentionality.”
—John O’Donohue, late Irish poet, author, priest, and philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema
Have you ever tried to be intentionally creative?
Putting your head down and trying to focus on new possibilities is like trying to create breakthrough ideas in a group brainstorming session — it rarely works!
Alternatively, when we relax and have access to a lighter touch and a freer spirit, beautiful things often emerge.
Where has the power of intention held you back and limited your creative efforts?
Where might an unfocused or less rigorous approach act as a catalyst for new and wonderful things to occur?
Ring the bells of your days and sit in their reverberations.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Manga Vitriolic
The days go by in a blur for most of us. Whether we’re rushing around like chickens without their heads or the world around us is speeding by, it’s all a bit dizzying.
Living with greater mindfulness and intention slows things down so that we actually notice our surroundings and reflect on what is going on, moment-to-moment.
With our best focused efforts, we take in and appreciate the bells we ring and the whistles we blow to signal the marks we make in our communities.
Take some extra time throughout your day — or just at day’s end —to feel the reverberations of your efforts and the impact you’ve had on the world around you.
Consider giving yourself a quiet celebratory high five to acknowledge the good you’ve done before you head to bed.
“Life is like skiing. The goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill. It’s to have a bunch of good runs before the sun sets.”
—Seth Godin, American author and former dot com business executive
Image from Unsplash by Banff Sunshine Village
Do you or have you participated in winter activities such as skiing or sledding? Although I tried my hand at skiing in my late teens and made it down a few bunny slopes, sledding was my thing as a kid.
When our wintry prayers were answered for snow days, I was out the door with my friends to visit venues we named Suicide Hill and Dead Man’s Drop.
As fast as we would race down each run, we would immediately dart right back up each incline again and again, holding on tight to our flexible flyers, snowboards, and toboggans.
We couldn’t get enough and only frozen toes, growling stomachs, and looming darkness would have us head home.
How many good runs have you had in your life? What intentions and actions are you planning and taking to make the most of every day you wake up to see the sun?
“A day is a perfect span of time to dedicate to a different intention—to focus in prayer or meditation on the good of another.”
—Arthur C. Brooks, American author, public speaker, and academic
Image from Unsplash by Lucian Alexe
1440 is one of my daily reads to keep informed about what’s going on in the world. I have found its content impartial, allowing me to draw my own conclusions. 1440 also happens to be the number of minutes in a day.
Reading this curated source of information usually takes me about five minutes, leaving me 1,435 to direct my attentions and intentions to matters I consider important.
How do you fill up your typical day? How many of your 1440 minutes are used purposely, to better yourself and do good within your various communities?
How can you dedicate the coming rotation of the earth to some new or different intention? What will be your focus and who do you plan to serve?
“The pleasure of doing a thing in the same way at the same time every day and savoring it should be noted.”
—Arnold Bennett, 20th Century English novelist
Image from Unsplash by Prophsee Journals
To what degree are you a creature of habit? What are the routines and rituals you repeat each day in the same way and time? How many of these behaviors support your health and well-being? How many would you describe as simple pleasures or bring you a sense of pride?
Consider when and why your first developed these habits.
How much discipline and intentionality did it take for you to become the person who acts in this manner?
After savoring this list, examine what new or different habits you’d like to incorporate into the melodies and harmonies of your days.
Feel free to reply to this post with what you discover.
“Fill each day with things to learn, launch, and love.”
—Jay Shetty, English author, former Hindu monk, and life coach
Image from Unsplash by jeshoots.com
Recently I had a day with absolutely nothing on my calendar.
Instead of jumping into my default activities to pass the time, I looked to today’s quote to guide my efforts.
Rather than sharing my specific activities, I ask you to consider what you learn, launch, and love throughout your days.
Take a look at the correlation between these activities and having a sense of fulfillment when it’s time to rest.
How can and will you be more intentional to actually plan and schedule things to learn, launch, and love in the days ahead?
“We are more like a breathing puzzle, a living bag of pieces, and each day shows us what a piece or two is for, where it might go, how it might fit.”
Image from Unsplash by Ross Sneddon
I used to believe that puzzles were something you only did to pass the time on vacation or on a rainy day where there was seemingly nothing to do. These days puzzles are an almost daily activity with my grandson Weston. He keeps graduating to increasingly more challenging images with more and more pieces. Matching colors, finding the straight edges, and of course securing those all-important corners are all part of his increased mastery.
Take the metaphoric leap to view your own life as an 80,000-piece effort. How can you be more focused and intentional about flipping, sorting, and placing your living, breathing pieces to build your own less puzzling masterpiece?
What parts of your personal and professional puzzles are you piecing together? Who are the people sitting around the tables of your life that can help and support your efforts?