Our awareness is like an open sky with clouds passing by

“Our awareness is like an open sky with clouds passing by. Take your time to let things float by at their own pace and appreciate the view.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Philipp Potocnik

Being productive has always been a high priority for me. I’ve always considered a day with little or no evidence of accomplishment something to avoid at all cost. The more points I put on the board the better.

The idea of laying back and letting the world float by just seemed way too passive. How else was I to scale life’s mountains without breaking a sweat?

With a few more decades under my belt, I can now see more clearly that learning to take in the wondrous views of life are indeed active and productive things to do.


How can you more actively examine the open skies of your awareness?

What new sights might you see by taking a much closer look at things coming into view?

“When you spend serious time and effort on transcendental things, it puts your little world into…

“When you spend serious time and effort on transcendental things, it puts your little world into proper context and takes the focus off yourself.”

Arthur C. Brooks, American author and speaker

Image from Unsplash by Chang Duong

The few months we recently spent in Florida have been revealing in two significant ways:

The first is how often we design our lives from the outside in.

The second is that we have even more opportunities to design our lives from the inside out.

The warmer climate definitely offers us greater freedom from the choice of clothes we wore to the time we spent outdoors. Both increased the likelihood of daily exercise and the enjoyment of nature.

Spending time in our senior community also helped me see how people’s priorities shift as they age.

Although there is always a bit of gossip and the focus on little things, most people seemed far more interested in what was most significant and meaningful given the finite nature of their lives.


How and where are you spending your precious time as the days and years go by?

Where and how could more transcendental things fit into this picture?

“The more I love my wife, the more I love my life.”

“The more I love my wife, the more I love my life.”

Jon Gordon, American author and speaker

Barry (Many Years Ago)


Who hasn’t heard the phrase Happy Wife, Happy Life?

If our lives are a reflection of the five people with whom we spend the most time, this idea is worth a bit more pondering for us married folk.

Wendy and I are coming up on our 45th anniversary. Like most marriages that stand the test of time, we’ve been through a lot.

if you were to look at our wedding album you would see me with a full head of hair! If you knew us well, you might also note that none of the other couples in our wedding party are still together.

Living our vows and prioritizing each other on a daily basis keeps our relationship solid.

Being each other’s “person” is a key to all the smiles that create the happy wrinkles that come along for the ride.


Where and how often do you make your significant other your top priority?

What can you do today to demonstrate your love and live happily ever after?

I am a citizen of the world

“I am a citizen of the world.”

Diogenes, Ancient Greek Philosopher

Image from Unsplash by NASA

When was the last time you voted?

During these opportunities to select our preferred candidates, there are often chances to weigh in on proposals that affect our communities. These decision points give us a chance to influence our world, based on what we value and prioritize.

What would it be like to have a global election in which various proposals to better planet earth were on the ballot?

How might we all exercise our vote to take on and tackle the critical issues that affect all of us as global citizens?


What top priority proposals would you expect to find on a global ballot?

How can and do you exercise your vote with your daily efforts to improve things for yourself and your neighbors around the world?

Friday Review: Priorities

Friday Review: Priorities

What are your priorities in life? How do you prioritize your priorities? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our to-do-list.”




“Innovation is born from the interaction between constraint and vision.”





“Leave no stone unturned.”





If you can go to bed late, you can also get up early

“If you can go to bed late, you can also get up early.”

Niklas Göke’s grandmother

Image from Unsplash by mostafa mahmoud

Are you an early bird of a night owl? How would you describe your current circadian rhythm?

What are the personal and professional benefits and pitfalls of operating this way?

As an early bird myself, I find it easy to make my case of why the early bird gets the worm.

On the down side, I’ve been labeled a party-pooper by a number of folks over the years as they point out all the excitement I often miss by turning in early.


Seek out people in your life who operate best at different points in their days.

Have them share all the ups and down they have discovered over the years.

What priority commitment do you have that might benefit from swapping out when your head hits and rises from your pillow?

How can you prioritize the accumulated wisdom

“How can you prioritize the accumulated wisdom of humanity over the impulses of the past 24 hours?”

David Perell, writer, podcaster, and writing instructor

Image from Unsplash by Igor Mike

How healthy is your diet? How about your mental diet? How much fast food and fast information have you consumed in the past 24 hours?

To get your daily fix, what percent of incoming sources included tweets, texts, email, podcasts, or other sources of media?

Where and how often do you also consume nutritious sources of wisdom? To what degree do each of these sources help you to lead a more productive and meaningful life?


How would applying more sources of wisdom to your daily efforts act as guiding lights to illuminate your life?

A classic sign of addictive behavior is when

“A classic sign of addictive behavior is when something not human starts to supplant human relationships.”

—Arthur C. Brooks, faculty member of the Harvard Business School

Image from Unsplash by Unsplash

Over the 4th of July holiday we attended a family pool party. The weather and water temperature were perfect. It was extra special because everyone focused on each other the entire day without a cell phone in sight — except for one individual.

When not swimming or eating, this person was head down in his device, even when his bathing-suit-clad children were seeking his attention to talk or play.


Where do you or others in your life prioritize things over people? What addictive behaviors need some adjustment to demonstrate that the best things in life are not things?

Check in with yourself. Schedule a ME-Ting

Check in with yourself. Schedule a ME-Ting.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Jordan McQueen

How many meetings did you attend last week? How many are scheduled for this week? What percentage of them are you looking forward to, and serve an important purpose?

How much time do you carve out of your days for “Me Time”?  How often can you guarantee that you will have the time to work on your top priorities or simply relax and recharge after a day of attending other’s meetings?


Block out time on your schedule today for a ME-Ting with yourself to do whatever you want. Experiment with different amounts of time and different times of the day to see what works best. Try this exercise on both weekdays and weekends to both check in and check out when needed.

A brain dump may be just what the doctor ordered

A brain dump may be just what the doctor ordered.

—Barry Demp

Image from Unsplash by XPS

How we carry our load of responsibilities when we are overwhelmed is very important to keeping our balance and not being crushed by the weight of things.

Breaking things down into smaller bites can help us to tackle even big challenges.

Steps I’ve found helpful include:

  1. Write down everything on your personal and professional To Do lists. This may take many sheets of paper. Keep asking “what else?” until you get it all.
  2. Estimate how many minutes each activity will take to complete.
  3. Prioritize the items that are both highly important and highly urgent. Be rigorous here, and consider discussing this list with others.
  4. Using your calendar, insert enough priority items to offer you a doable level of challenge, based on the time available.
  5. Share your intentions and plans with key individuals to establish agreed upon expectations, and to avoid upsets.


Schedule 15-60 minutes today to dump your brain and go through the steps above.
Be prepared to have this process take a number of days until you make this exercise a habit.
Share this exercise with a colleague, friend, family member, or a coach, to help you regain you momentum and the traction you desire.