Set sail! You’ll never know unless you go

Set sail! You’ll never know unless you go. Explore the possibilities of today.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Andrew Ridley

Where are you headed today, this week, in the new year? Where are you planning to go, and what are you going to do along the way and once you get there?

Like Christopher Columbus and Magellan, how can and will you find new possibilities and potential by embracing the explorer within?

This all sounds exciting! However, many of us are anchored in our seemingly safe and comfortable harbors and rarely set sail toward new horizons.

One of my favorite TV shows is The Amazing Race, in which 12 teams of two travel the globe to experience new places and explore different cultures.

Although many roadblocks are built into their adventures, virtually all participants acknowledge the significant impact of going beyond their own limitations to realize far more of their potential.

EXERCISE:

In what ways can and will you set sail in this new year? What amazing adventures and opportunities might you discover beyond your own personal horizons?

I’ve got to accept limitations

“I’ve got to accept limitations before I can discover my possibilities.”

James Baldwin, 20th Century American Writer

Image from Unsplash by Guillaume de Germain

I played a good bit of tennis in grade school and high school. I was very steady, and consistent in my ability to run down and return most shots. My primary strategy was to keep a rally going until my opponent either got frustrated and beat themselves, or crushed me by hitting winners.

Fast forward a few decades and add some pounds and a bit of arthritis and knee pain.

These days my racket endeavors to keep the blood flowing and my competitive spirit engaged are focused on ping pong. With a little more rehab, I’m pretty sure the possibilities of pickle ball are in my future!

EXERCISE:

Where have you recently discovered some of your own limitations?

What new possibilities and potential are you discovering to pivot and keep the pep in your step?

 

“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?

Stop and look up. Ask yourself, is this the mountain I wish to climb

Stop and look up. Ask yourself, is this the mountain I wish to climb?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Netflix.com

In the world of mountain climbing, Nirmal Purja stands in rarified air.

In the recent Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible, he and his team attempt to climb the world’s 14 highest peaks with an altitude greater than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet) within a 7-month time frame. The previous record was seven years.

Project Possible, as it is called, tackles numerous personal, social, cultural, and financial obstacles that only add to the monumental physical, mental, and emotional achievements. Insights into Purja’s unstoppable drive and resolve is an inspiration for all of us looking up and within ourselves, to reach for our own personal and professional summits.

EXERCISE:

What are your most mountainous goals and objectives?

How can you engage your own supportive communities to realize your own project possible?

Please watch this inspirational movie and let me know what lessons you take away.

Tap into a sense of pure possibility

Tap into a sense of pure possibility. What are your hopes and dreams?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by J. Balla Photography

Over the past several months, I’ve been finding it more difficult sleeping through the night. I usually wake between 4 and 5 a.m., still tired but with an active mind that makes falling back to sleep difficult.

After about 20 minutes of tossing and turning, a visit to the facilities, a drink of water, and maybe a visit to the kitchen for a nibble to calm my growling stomach, I try again.

One sleep strategy that often works is listening to the sleep stories on my Calm app. These guided journeys take me on a variety of adventures and back to dreamland, well before the stories are ended. Upon rising refreshed, I do my best to keep this hopeful state of possibilities throughout my day.

EXERCISE:

What hopes and dreams do you want to realize today?

What possibilities can and will you turn into reality with your imagination and creative intentions?

How can I begin anything new with all of my yesterday in me

“How can I begin anything new with all of my yesterday in me?”

—Leonard Cohen, late Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist

Image from Unsplash by Jaakko Kemppainen

How easy is it for you to begin each day with a clean slate? How often do you feel that mornings are filled with an abundance of opportunities and possibilities?

Most of us tend to hold on and drag around yesterdays filled with our worries and fears, or perhaps pine for the “good old days” when life seemed much better.

Cohen’s quote asks us to put a period at the end of our days with a “what is done is done” perspective.  Without letting go of the past how can we free our hands and hearts to grasp for today and our tomorrows?

EXERCISE:

With Spring around the corner, how and what can you do to clear and organize your yesterdays to more enthusiastically step into each new day?

“Discover the magic of searching for the ‘Second Right Answer.’”

“Discover the magic of searching for the ‘Second Right Answer.’”

—Roger von Oech, author, inventor, and speaker

Image from Slideshare

Do you remember the game played by teachers and students when you were young? You know — the game where the teacher asks a question and immediately all the over-zealous students wave their hands in excitement — maybe with a few verbalizing to be called on to share their knowledge and show off a bit.

Certain subjects and topics in school play nicely into this game, where there is a single correct answer — and being quick on the draw with these single bullets of wisdom is usually rewarded. Consider all the game shows on TV that play into reward or punishment for the right or wrong answer.

As we enter the world beyond our traditional educational upbringing many of us notice that there are often a variety of right answers that can lead to numerous iterative versions of success. We are now encouraged to be far more creative and agile, thinking outside the box to discover new and perhaps even better answers just beyond the horizon of our knee-jerk thinking.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional issues would digging deeper and longer to search for the second right answer magically provide even greater possibilities and opportunities in your life?

“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.”

“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.”

—Harry Emerson Fosdick, 20th Century American Pastor/Author

Image from Unsplash by Element5 Digital

I hope you voted early.

If you exercise this right in person today, please do so safely.

EXERCISE:

Consider having a few significant conversations today with friends and family about the extraordinary possibilities you envision and intend to be part of in the years ahead.

“Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”

“Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”

—Sophocles, ancient Greek tragedian

COVID-19 moved our cheese. What was familiar and predictable months ago was suddenly no longer so, and we’ve all felt the loss.

Although these various forms of loss cause much pain, we can all take a lesson from the mouse in the classic business book, Who Moved My Cheese? Going through its maze one day, taking its traditional route, the mouse did not find the cheese he expected. Noticing this, the little guy fairly quickly changed his route to seek his reward elsewhere.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the new ways that you and others in your communities have adapted, adjusted, and expanded your cheese-finding efforts? What new opportunities and possibilities have you discovered and realized?

Feel free to reply to this post with some approaches that are working for you.

“Did you ever wonder why no one ever tries softer?”

“Did you ever wonder why no one ever tries softer?”

—Lily Tomlin, American actress and comedian

Image from Unsplash by Max van den Oetelaar

If you keep up with books on personal and professional achievements, you will likely have seen an emphasis on deep work, drive, grit, leaning in, and discovering your strengths.

There is no question that hard work, persistence, the power of habit, and putting in those 10,000 hours is correlated with considerable progress and achievement.

EXERCISE:

What would trying softer look like?

How could this be an access point to a more successful and rewarding life?

Where would quieter behaviors and approaches to your relationships with yourself and others, and the general way you move through life, provide access to new personal and professional possibilities?