Where there is awareness there is growth

Where there is awareness there is growth.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by olieman.eth

Today’s quote got me thinking about the definition of insanity which suggests that it is fruitless to expect different results when we do the same thing over and over.

I prefer to embrace the idea of “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge,” penned by Tuli Kupferberg.

Given the perspectives above, awareness seems to be a key to opening the doors to growth and new possibilities. Mindlessly trying the same keys that didn’t open the door initially seems to only keep us locked out of our fullest potential.


Where are you currently stalled or stopped in your efforts to grow?

How can you deepen or broaden your mindfulness efforts to unlock new doors and discover more of what’s inside?

Who can and will you ask for help you in your efforts?

Worry compounds the futility of being trapped on a dead-end street

“Worry compounds the futility of being trapped on a dead-end street. Thinking opens up new avenues.”

—Cullen Hightower, American quip writer

Image from Unsplash by Yellow I’m Nik

Over the past several weeks I’ve become increasingly aware and sensitive to the worries, complaints, and repeating gossip in the people around me. I am sure I must participate at some level, but I can’t stop wishing others would cease and desist with these ever-looping, dead-end conversations.

I wish I had a magic wand to shift other’s perspectives to open up new avenues to more empowering and productive paths in their discussions.


What are some of your best approaches when you and others in your communities are trapped on the dead-end streets of worry? What can you do to open yourself and others up to new avenues of thinking?

There is a vastness that quiets the soul, but sometimes we are so squarely in the midst of life’s forces that we can’t see what we’re a part of

“There is a vastness that quiets the soul, but sometimes we are so squarely in the midst of life’s forces that we can’t see what we’re a part of.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Sebastian Pichler

Wendy and I purchased our 3½ year-old grandson a junior planetarium as one of his holiday gifts. Weston loves anything to do with the planets, rocket ships, and learning new things.

Those first few weeks when his toy was a novelty, he often urged me into his room — complete with room darkening curtains — to swap out the numerous discs with multiple images like the old viewfinders from childhood.

Beyond the many beautiful images of the other planets, nebulae, and star fields, we always paused a bit longer when we saw the photo of the earth to see the big picture of where we all live.


Where and when do you take the time to zoom out far enough from your daily activities to see what you are part of? Try this zoom out technique and see if and how this wider view quiets your soul.

“The eyes experience less stress when they can look upon a wider horizon.”

“The eyes experience less stress when they can look upon a wider horizon.”

R. D. Chin, Feng Shui Master & Architect

Image from Unsplash by v2osk

Try reading a book held 4-6 inches from your eyes. Slowly move the text away an inch or two every few seconds until you can make out the words with some difficulty. Hold your gaze there and read one complete page — or even a single paragraph — and notice the strain.

Now move your arms away to the proper focal length and reread the same passage.

Sometimes we find ourselves far too close to a situation, in which we may lack the objectivity and perspective to see the whole picture. Zooming out to provide a wider view may be all that is required to see things more clearly.


Take a look at The View from Above with astronaut Terry Virts.

Sometimes a little distance is all you need to see things in a brand-new way.

“If peace comes from seeing the whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective.”

“If peace comes from seeing the whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Nadine Shaabana

How many of the following issues have you observed in the media and perhaps experienced in your own personal and professional communities over the past couple of years?

Misfortune Burden Adversity Ordeal
Trouble Hardship Pain Sorrow
Trial Catastrophe Disaster Affliction

As you zoom out to what the media shows you and zoom in to the world you objectively experience, how do these two views compare and contrast? Given these often considerably different views, how much has the loss of perspective or disinformation added to your misery? How does seeing the whole offer you a greater sense of peace?


Where and in what ways can you gain greater peace from seeing the objective whole of things?  How might greater perspective about your world and the world lessen the levels of misery you may be experiencing?

“To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.”

“To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.”

—Jean-Paul Sartre, 20th-century French philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Chris Lawton

With Labor Day behind us and the cooler days with less sunshine ahead, it can be useful to look at our perspective on the seasons.

What comes to mind when you think of the winter months versus summer?

In the animal kingdom various creatures traverse the globe to different climates to pursue food and other necessary resources. Others find ways to hibernate and hunker down for up to six months to ride out the chill.

How do you intend to enter this time of year to support your continued pursuit of personal and professional excellence?

What inner work can you explore to grow more reflective and soulful in the coming months when heading out for a walk may not always be your first inclination?


What are some of the poetic pursuits you intend to include in the days ahead to keep them as lovely as ever?

“The stars we are given. The constellations we make.”

“The stars we are given. The constellations we make.”

—Rebecca Solnit, American writer

Image from Unsplash by Robson Hatsukami Morgan

The night sky has been watched, enjoyed, studied and interpreted since the dawn of mankind. Today we look up into the sky less often — perhaps because there is less to see. The lights from our cities are easily seen from space, and our preoccupation with looking down at laptops and phones has stopped all but a small group of us from seeking and finding the constellations seen just generations ago.


Examine how and in what ways we may be limiting our own view and appreciation of the cosmos. How can we continue to seek, find, and even make our discoveries more meaningful for ourselves and for future generations?

“Attack issues, not people.”

“Attack issues, not people.”

—Liz Wiseman, Author of Multipliers

Image from Unsplash by Photos Hobby

With the U.S. elections only six weeks away, the frequency and intensity of personal attacks are at a fever pitch. We are clearly not united.

Through the media and in our own local communities we can observe many types of attacks, including those leading to serious injury and the loss of life.

Even when an attack is not specifically physical, harsh words and verbal assaults cause great harm. Take a minute to look specifically at your own world — examples you have observed over the past week or two.

Mother Teresa once stated that she would never attend an anti-war protest, but would gladly participate in a rally promoting peace.

Instead of attacking what we are against, perhaps a shift to what we stand for could be a critical pivot. We could all come together to solve our most significant collective issues.


Where in your life would attacking issues — not people — be the best approach to bettering our world?

“Don’t wait for inspiration.”

“Don’t wait for inspiration.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Alex Sheldon

Waking up this morning, I was not particularly inspired to leap out of my warm, cozy bed to meditate, take my daily walk, or for that matter, begin writing today’s Quotable Coach post.

I did all those things anyway.

Consider counting the times in the past week that you felt the urge to take on a particular task or activity.

Take this little test: On a one-to-ten scale, rate each of the activities on this list as “inspirational”:

  • Making your bed
  • Daily hygiene efforts
  • Preparing (hopefully healthy) meals
  • Household chores such as laundry
  • Mowing the lawn & other yard work
  • Paying bills
  • Daily exercise
  • Going to work

Given your responses, is it a wonder we ever get out of bed at all?

If you have children and ask them to help with some of those activities – or simply to do their homework and clean their rooms – what responses do you get? What seems to mobilize us to action is our commitments and not our comfort.


How might a shift from “I have to” to an “I get to” perspective help you achieve a more inspired life?

“Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.”

“Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.”

—Alan Kay, American computer scientist

What would be the value of adding 80 IQ points in your professional or personal life?

What would be the value of being more focused and creative in your thinking?

What benefits would occur if you could significantly improve your communication skills and decision making?

If you would like to progress in these areas, challenging our habitual ways of thinking, which often limits us, is a good place to begin. For new worlds to emerge, perspective-shifting exercises and tools can open up far more possibilities and progress.


One of my favorite perception-shifting resources is the book, Six Thinking Hats by Edward DeBono. If you reply to this post, I will happily provide you with a one-page document to help you add a few more IQ points.