“I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.”

“I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.”

—Lily Tomlin, American actress, comedian, writer, singer, and producer

Image from Unsplash by Affix Kusuma

Did you ever notice while watching a nature program that you never see animals complain when:

They are outwitted by their prey?
They deal with inclement weather?
They are injured?
They lose a fight to seek a mate?

They simply press on with things and try again.

Humans are different. It’s pretty common to see others or find ourselves complaining about a bad meal, lousy weather, poor service, our aches and pains, and a host of other matters in life that don’t go as we wish.

EXERCISE:

How might we better use our language skills to acknowledge what is right in the world and simply take the challenges and setbacks life offers with perhaps just a whimper or two?

“The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.”

“The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.”

—Henry Kissinger, Former U.S. Secretary of State

Image from Unsplash by Victoriano Izquierdo

Over the past several years I’ve been fascinated by people who live a sustainable lifestyle. Many live in remote parts of the world, spending the majority of their days focused on providing the essentials of water, shelter, and food.

These hunter-gathers take whatever nature offers, or they go to bed hungry. On many a day they go to bed hungry anyway because nature’s food isles are empty.

Somehow these rugged individuals remain remarkably happy with their lives and limited alternatives. It is also very common that they thank some higher power for providing them sustenance for another day.

EXERCISE:

Where has a life with far too many alternatives cluttered up your mind and caused you distress?

Consider eating a very simple meal with only a few ingredients for one or more of your meals today to see how this might clear your mind a bit.

How might dramatically reducing your choices in other areas of your life offer you greater peace of mind?

“Learning never exhausts the mind.”

“Learning never exhausts the mind.”

—Leonardo Da Vinci, the genius and most influential artist in history

Image from Unsplash by Dmitry Ratushny

I consider myself a lifelong learner and make the inclusion of daily learning experiences a top priority. I crave new ideas so much that many of my daily rituals and habits include them.

Unlike Leonardo, however, my capacity to learn gets a bit weary over time. I’ve noticed that when I visit museums, read for extended periods, or watch educational TV programs, I reach a limit and need a break to rest my mind with an alternative activity, or even a nap.

Fortunately, my mind recovers fairly quickly and I am ready once again to sponge up and apply new learning in quick order!

EXERCISE:

What topics and areas of learning energize you the most? How often do you exercise your mind to expand your capacities for growth and personal development?  Where do you need short breaks to renew and recharge between these efforts?

How can you more fully observe and appreciate all the good things in life?

How can you more fully observe and appreciate all the good things in life?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Tom Barrett

What has a recent hardship made you appreciate?

As you go through difficulties and darkness, make it a goal to appreciate all the good things in life. By observing this contrast, we can experience much gratitude for everything and everyone who brings richness and joy to our days.

Seek the good stuff and you will find it in abundance!

EXERCISE:

Where has experiencing some dark and difficult patches in life helped you see and more fully appreciate the light of all the good there is on your path?

Friday Review: Patience

FRIDAY REVIEW: PATIENCE

How patient are you on an average day? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

 

“Do not plan for ventures before finishing what is at hand.”

 

 

“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”

 

 

 

“Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year.”

 

 

 

 

“People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don’t need help.”

“People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don’t need help.”

—Glennon Doyle Melton, American author and activist

Image from Unsplash by Razvan Chisu

In my work as a coach, I’ve been most fortunate to work with many wonderful and highly successful people. On the outside, most of them present to the world an image of great achievement, self-sufficiency, and confidence.

Surprisingly, when allowed to dig below the surface many of them show their more vulnerable sides, revealing their need for assistance on various personal and professional levels.

Exercise:

Where and when do you sometimes present a “fake it to you make it” image to the world?

Where could you and others in your world need a helping hand that may not be readily apparent?

Who could you ask or offer this needed assistance?

“I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”

“I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”

—Elon Musk, CEO, at Tesla and at SpaceX

Image from Unsplash by Nicolas Lobos

Elon Musk probably lives by the credo “No Risk, No Reward.” He has clearly pushed the boundaries of entrepreneurship to their limits, and in many cases, come out on top. Although financial success is used on many occasions to demonstrate achievement, Musk’s shoot-for-the stars approach almost always focuses on making a difference and leaving a contributing dent in the universe.

Clearly venturing into space safely and reaching the red planet in one piece is pretty high on his list.

Exercise:

What impact do you wish to make with your personal and professional life? How can you more courageously go where you’ve never been before to explore and reach new levels of your potential?

What is the level of your listening?  Who in your life deserves your very best efforts, in which you listen for what is said and not said?

What is the level of your listening?  Who in your life deserves your very best efforts, in which you listen for what is said and not said?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by austin distel

Do you consider yourself a good listener? Why or why not?

My listening skills have improved considerably since I began my meditation practice. The people I am with take on greater importance and I do my best to make them the complete center of my attention.

Showing sincere interest, listening carefully, and letting them fully express themselves are my chief aims in each interaction.

EXERCISE:

What is the level of your listening? How can you go even deeper in your most important relationships?

 

Friday Review: Generosity

Friday Review: GENEROSITY

How can and will you demonstrate a generous spirit over the coming months? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

“Ideas, bread, and books are all the same. They’re better when they are shared.”

 

 

 

“Run marathons in the footwear of others.”

 

 

 

“Be frugal and generous.”