“We learn who we are in practice, not in theory.”

“We learn who we are in practice, not in theory.”

—David Epstein, author of Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Image from Unsplash by Giorgio Trovato

I just finished binge watching the Disney+ 6-part series Welcome to Earth with Will Smith. It reminded me a bit of the series Running Wild with Bear Grylls but on steroids.

Instead of each episode highlighting a different celebrity, Welcome to Earth took a deeper dive into our breathtaking natural world, and into the world of Smith’s fascinations and fears of exploring.

Watching from the safety of my recliner I felt his excitement in stretching beyond his physical and emotional limits. I too wanted to be an explorer and yet I realized it is hard to do that wearing fuzzy slippers!

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you learn a great deal about yourself by becoming more of an explorer? What opportunities present themselves to you each day that you have yet to embrace?

The truth is our finest moments are likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled

“The truth is our finest moments are likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled, for it is only such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways of truer answers.”

—M. Scott Peck, 20th Century American psychiatrist and author

Image from Unsplash by Nik Shuliahin

Most people have a relatively short attention span. Some say it is only around seven seconds before they move on to another shiny object.

It is for this reason I try, on most days, to select and share thought-provoking quotes of only one or two sentences. If the quotes I offer grab you, I do my best to keep my commentaries and exercises to a minute or less.

EXERCISE:

Your assignment is to simply re-read today’s quote to explore its wisdom. For extra credit, please reply to this post with your views and perspective on searching for different ways and truer answers.

“Many of life’s treasures remain hidden because we never search for them.”

“Many of life’s treasures remain hidden because we never search for them.”

—Andy Andrews, The Noticer

Image from Unsplash by Marten Newhall

Looking again and again at your everyday life is an interesting exercise. How much has it changed over the past year? Where has it gotten worse, stayed about the same, or improved? Where are you discovering lumps of coal, or finding diamonds?

Searching more carefully and deeply for the hidden treasures beyond our current outer and inner horizons is accessible to everyone. With the many challenges facing us over the past fifteen months, some have actually transformed their lives.

Just as an able sailor heads out to sea rather than remaining in the harbors of the past or perceived safety, we can all benefit from venturing beyond our current view of things.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you lead your own search party to discover even more of the hidden treasures life has to offer?

“When making choices in life, combine cognitive, emotional, spiritual, intuitive, and social intelligence.”

“When making choices in life, combine cognitive, emotional, spiritual, intuitive, and social intelligence.”

—Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, in Designing Your Life

Image from Unsplash by Matthew Henry

When you examine your humanness, what do you notice? Look again at your first answer and keep digging through your crust, your mantle, your outer core, and your inner core.

Where have you only glimpsed the precious resources within? Where are there new sources of heat, pressure, and magnetism within, waiting to be captured or released?

How would you rate yourself in relationship to your IQ and EQ? Instead of the old paradigms of intelligence, let’s simply determine our capacity to live better by embracing all aspects described in today’s quote.

EXERCISE:

Examine a few of the significant choices you have made this past year. How can the further development of your head, heart, and gut intelligence support you in making even wiser choices today and in the future?

“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

—Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet and scholar

Image from Unsplash by Nick Fewings

Over the past seven months, I’ve filled my gas tank once, and have driven less than 500 miles. With limited ventures out for only essential resources and services and some retooling to work exclusively from my home office, my long journeys in the outer world have stopped.

With numerous shifts in my daily routine, I have added far more inner journeys through quiet walks, meditation, reading, and writing. In many ways my passion and pursuit of my own growth and development have expanded and deepened more than at any other time in my life.

Taking this time to journey further within has been more rewarding than I ever expected.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the ways you have begun to journey within?

What have you discovered about yourself and your world?

In what way do you intend to go further, to tap your own inner wisdom?

Feel free to reply to this post to share your own efforts and progress in this area.

“When you edit your soul, no one wins.”

“When you edit your soul, no one wins.”

—Erin Loechner, Author of Chasing Slow

Image from Pinterest

To what degree have you done more than a bit of soul searching over the past several months?

What have you discovered about yourself, those you care about, your community, and the world?

It appears that many of us are reading deeper than at any other time in our lives, to a more soulful and sacred place in which passion, purpose, and our very best selves reside.

Another quote from Erin’s book is “Keep slowing down. You’ve got a race to lose.” This may be pointing us to the “rat race” many of us run unknowingly.

Consider your soul as a kind of Pulitzer Prize of Life, which requires no editing.  It need only be read and re-read, expressed and shared generously.

EXERCISE:

What are a few soul-searching activities you engage in on a daily basis?

How can and will you bring forth the very best of you so everyone wins?

“Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts.”

“Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts.”

—Albert Einstein

Image from Unsplash by Nathan Dumlao

How are you and the people in your personal and professional communities doing relative to today’s quote?

With far more time on our hands due to social and physical distancing, I’ve observed a lot of people thinking and feeling more deeply than ever before.

When – perhaps in the past – have you gone along with the crowd instead of trusting your own heart and head before making an important decision, or taking a significant action?

How has the world grinding to a halt versus the frenetic pace we usually keep given you greater clarity on life?

EXERCISE:

How can and will you use the lessons from these challenging times to help you count yourself among the “few more” people who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts?

Please reply to this post with whatever thoughts and feelings you care to share.

“We all have our limitations, but when we listen to our critics, we also have theirs.”

“We all have our limitations, but when we listen to our critics, we also have theirs.”

—Robert Brault, American freelance writer

Image from Unsplash by SEP

One of the very first personal development programs I attended in my early twenties was Dr. Wayne Dyer’s How to Be A No-Limit Person.

I had recently graduated from college, was just married and entering the working world with great anticipation and excitement. Dyer’s message of being a no-limit person was just the boost I needed to bring my full energy, enthusiasm, and drive to my efforts.

Along the way, I ran into numerous professional and personal speed bumps.

Doubts and discouragement definitely caused me to not shoot as often or as high as before.

Unfortunately, I also began listening to others who put a few more mental barriers in my way, based on their own self-imposed limitations and biases.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional matter are you being limited by your own views or the views of others?

What bold and courageous actions can and will you take to be the no-limit person you want to be?

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean in a drop.”

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean in a drop.”

—Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet & Sufi mystic

Image from Unsplash by Greg Rakozy

How often do you see yourself as small and insignificant? Depending on your perspective, you may see yourself as:

  • one vote among millions
  • one person among seven+ billion
  • one creature living on a tiny planet in a small solar system in one galaxy among trillions

If you are a fan of physics, you may also note that we live in one universe in a multiverse of infinite numbers.

Perhaps with those descriptions, you think I proved that we are even less than a drop in the ocean. But I suggest that instead you consider this:

Your body is composed of more cells than there are grains of sand on all the beaches in the world, and all the stars in our Milky Way galaxy, combined.

We are all made from star dust from super novas, and we possess the consciousness of knowing that is so.

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully embrace the miracle of you?

With this far bigger and more powerful perspective, how can and will you relate to your place in the world and from the world within you?

“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”

“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th Century German Philosopher

Image from Amazon.com

Can you recall any of the words from Madonna’s song, Material Girl? If you do remember a few words, I bet you can also recall the melody.

We do live in a material world in which dealing with our day-to-day physical environment is essential. For most people, life is filled with highs and lows, with varying levels of happiness along the way.

A surprising thing happens when we periodically move beyond or perhaps better said, within, to examine, discover, and explore our spiritual and soulful selves.

EXERCISE:

Beyond deepening your own spiritual practices, consider exploring the journey toward greater happiness within by reading, and studying the book, Toward a Meaningful Life. Perhaps discuss it with others in your life who are also ready for a deeper look around.