“When your past calls, don’t answer. It has nothing to say.”
Image from Unsplash by Hadija Saidi
Or maybe it does.
Most of us have had the experience of meeting with an old friend or former schoolmate, in which the stories and discussions reoccur like Groundhog Day. It’s like a record that keeps skipping back to play the same old tunes.
In such situations, we often tune things out and feel our lives wasting away because we’ve already been there and done that.
Alternatively, what if the lessons of the past were never fully learned and they present themselves again, hoping you have new lenses to see what you may have missed on the first, second, or third go-around?
Discovering what’s new might actually be more up to you than what appears frozen in time.
What would be the value of not always using your caller ID when you see a call from your past? How might you listen differently to discover new value in their messages?
“Love, like the ocean, continues beyond the horizon. And life, like the sun, shines where we cannot see.”
Image from Unsplash by Aaron Doucett
A friend and client named Doug sent me today’s quote in a condolence card upon the passing of my father, Marvin, in early March.
Since my dad’s passing after a remarkable 94 years, I have noticed many significant signs that it was only his body that died. His spirit and soul are still very present beyond the horizon we can see with our mortal capacities.
As I was preparing my breakfast the day after Dad died, I looked out the window and saw a cardinal.
I’ve been told that when God sends a cardinal, it’s a visitor from heaven. Cardinals appear when loved ones are near. When you keep seeing a certain type of bird, it is usually a heaven-sent messenger of love for you. `
Take some time today to reflect on some of the important people in your life who have passed away. Note examples of how they continue to shine and show their love in your life.
Please reply to this post if you wish to share your own perspective and experiences.
“Let the past be content with itself, for man needs forgetfulness as well as memory.”
—James Stephens, 20th Century Irish Novelist and Poet
My daughter shared an interesting observation in a recent conversation regarding the birth of our new grandson Weston. Although the experience of childbirth included the greatest pain she had ever experienced, the painful aspect of it was somehow fading, and only the wonderful moments remain.
Where would letting go of the past and a healthy dose of forgetfulness make the biggest difference in your life?
How can you also explore and enhance your memory-capturing abilities to also savor more of the moments of joy and delight?
“The faintest pencil is better than the strongest memory.”
⏤Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism
Image from Flickr by Chris
Sam Horn was one of the speakers/conversation starters at a coaching conference I attended last year. One of her favorite sayings is “Ink it when you think it.” She always has a notebook in her hand.
Productivity guru David Allen, who wrote Getting Things Done often advises his readers that brains were meant for thinking, not as a storage device for information of limited value.
How would an “Ink it when you think it” strategy foster less stress and far more productivity in your life?
“To want to forget something is to think of it.”
Image from Flickr by Eric Wilcox
Did you know that there is a perpetual motion machine? Not necessarily in the physical world, since energy is always required, but in terms of our minds.
Consider past events and memories of negative or bad things that have happened in your life. What happens when you make the effort to forget these events and leave these thoughts in the past? You might even say to yourself, “Don’t think about X,” and in doing so, X is all you think about.
A common example of this is when we try to fall asleep, when our active minds keep us from getting the rest we need and crave. Sadly, this is the norm for many people.
Rather than trying to forget something you don’t wish to think about, consider how you can replace those thoughts with more desirable and intentionally relaxing ideas.
Memorial Day 2016
Image from Flickr by Tim Evanson
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States, given to the memory of people who died while serving in the armed forces.
No matter where you live on this remarkable planet, please take a few moments today to honor the members of the military in your country.
“Things aren’t what they used to be and probably never were.”
-Will Rogers, American cowboy, vaudeville performer, and film actor
Image from notonthehighstreet.com
It is not uncommon for people to romanticize the good old days. Just take a look at the photo albums, yearbooks, and memory banks from which we cherry-pick the choice moments when all was right with the world.
We all share the experience of “selective memory,” in which we remember some things quite vividly, and others not at all. Take a look at the stories you continue to tell – often to the chagrin of your significant others – when you’re out on the town!
How can you make the very most of your life from this point forward, by living by the idea that these are the good old days, and the best is still to come?
“What would I be glad I did, even if I failed?”
-Brene Brown, American Author & Scholar
Image from Flickr by Classic Film
Many people celebrated Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday this past December. In his famous song, “My Way,” – written for him by Paul Anka – Sinatra sings the phrase “Regrets – I’ve had a few.”
For many of us, regret is a common occurrence, since they are almost always associated with things we didn’t do rather than the things we did.
It is amazing the feeling we experience by simply summoning the courage to try something, even if it doesn’t work out. Somehow it is in the attempting of something new that we bolster our own self confidence and self worth.
What are you going to try today or this week that will make you glad even if you fail? What might it be like if you continued trying until you succeed?
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
—David Allen, American productivity consultant & author
Among the books I recommend most often to clients who are challenged with managing their professional and personal time is Getting Things Done by David Allen.
One of the critical insights I derived from his work was the idea that too many people use their minds and memories to hold too much information. It turns out that doing so makes most of us far less productive and also causes overwhelming feelings and considerable stress. Perhaps that is why the subtitle of this valuable book is “the art of stress-free productivity.”
Please pick up and study Getting Things Done, and do whatever you can to “have” ideas, but “hold” them in memory-keeping or commitment-keeping technologies, where they will be available to you in the moments you plan to work on them.
“To teach is to learn twice.”
—Joseph Joubert, French Esssayist
Have you ever considered that learning is a multi-step process? Do you recall times in your education when you would read, re-read, and literally memorize information to prepare for a quiz or test?
What happened to this information when you tried to recall it even a few weeks later? If you are like most people, non-essential information is wiped clean from your “cerebral hard drive,” to make room for information that is essential, or critical, to your existence.
A simple yet powerful technique to deepen and sustain things you wish to learn and master is contained in these three steps:
- Watch others who are very skilled at some behavior.
- Try to practice those skills for yourself.
- Teaching this skill to others will cement and sustain the lesson.
Remember it this way: Watch One, Do One, Teach One.