Notice the pressure of perfect.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Christian Erfurt
Today’s quote is for you, even if you are not a perfectionist.
Although many of us like order in our lives, most of us realize that life is messy and perfection isn’t possible.
For those of us who know or perhaps live with a perfectionist, we can see the pressure this trait puts on them — and us — through our proximity.
Far too often we fall short of our expectations and the angst of not being good enough sends many of us to dark places.
Getting 1600 on your SATs and having the stress of living a 4.0 life isn’t likely to produce a happy, meaningful life.
Where in your world is the pressure to be perfect not working for you or others?
In what current situations is good enough good enough?
“Forgiveness is the ultimate weight loss.”
Image from Unsplash by Diana Polekhina
Each year approximately 45 million Americans are on a diet.
Losing those extra pounds and keeping them off produces untold suffering and angst among so many.
Beyond the physical weight so many of us carry, psychological burdens not related to calorie count and physical activity are also prevalent.
Anger and resentment in our relationships can build up year after year, weighing us down emotionally.
Lightening this load takes a different kind of effort with forgiveness being a key to unlocking many of the chains that hold us down.
In what areas of life would an extra helping of forgiveness aid you in losing much of the emotional weight you carry?
What are some of the first steps you can and will take to lighten your load?
“I love you a bushel and a peck…”
Image from Amazon
Today’s quote is the beginning of a song written by Frank Loesser in 1950 and recorded by Doris Day. My mom sang it to me as a child.
Pecks and bushels are standard forms of dry measurement. A peck is about two gallons. A bushel is four pecks.
This expression was used to emphasize large amounts, as in the love of a mother for her child.
With today being Valentine’s Day, it seems appropriate to let those you love very much know how you feel in some measurable and meaningful way.
Please read or reread one of my favorite books, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to help spread bushels and pecks of love to the special people in your life.
“Good habits exist despite circumstances.”
—Rohan Rajiv, a Product Manager at LinkedIn
Image from Unsplash by Nubelson Fernandes
How true is today’s quote for you?
What habits do you stick with regardless of the circumstances?
Consider the areas of family, health, faith and your vocation. What tried-and-true behaviors occur like clockwork even when facing the winds of change?
Just as a sturdy tree can yield and bend with the breeze, our good habits act as roots that keep us upright and grounded regardless of the weather.
Where in your life do external circumstances make keeping your good habits difficult?
How can you shore up these best practices with greater discipline and grit to keep up your forward momentum whatever comes your way?
“During times of change it is common to look for things we might lose or gain. Considering what will actually stay the same can steady your ship in the frequent rough seas of life.”
Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Torsten Dederichs
How has your life changed in the past few years?
To what degree have you experienced a wild ride of ups and downs?
When this happens on an ocean voyage, sea sickness is often the outcome. It is for this reason modern ships —especially the popular cruise lines — have a variety of stabilizers to help everyone maintain their footing and their meals.
What areas of your life seem the most steady and stable?
How do these areas offer you a sense of grounding and centeredness when other parts of your lifeboat may be rocking?
“Feelings are much like waves. We can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf.”
—Johan Mårtensson, Swedish professional footballer
Image from Unsplash by Jeremy Bishop
Wendy and I recently took a 5-day Caribbean cruise with good friends.
We got an extra good deal, which included a balcony and numerous other perks.
I made it a point to sit outside throughout the day to let the sights and sounds of the ocean flow in and around me.
Between wave watching sessions, I paid particular attention to the many conversations with our shipmates.
Learning more about them — how they surfed waves and managed the high and low tides of life — was profound, endearing us to one another more than ever expected.
How have you managed and ridden the waves of your life?
What are some of the nautical lessons you’ve learned over the years to help surf the ups and downs of life?
“A good friend is a connection to life —a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”
—Lois Wyse, late advertising executive and author
Image from Unsplash by Felix Roosting
About a month ago, I watched a short video clip in which Arthur Brooks was interviewed. In this conversation with Daniel Pink, Brooks he introduced the concept of real friends versus deal friends.
According to Brooks, deal friends are people who can help you in a transactional way, while real friends are the ones who might call you at inconvenient times in a crisis.
Deal friends are people who are useful to you in some way, however these friendships are often less satisfying and feel incomplete because they don’t involve the whole self.
Who are your real friends?
How have and do they connect you to life?
How often do you acknowledge these special relationships and let them know how meaningful they are to you?
“Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.”
—Helen Keller, American author and educator who was blind and deaf
Image from Unsplash by Gabrielle Henderson
To what degree does today’s quote apply to how you live your life?
We’ve all heard over the years that happiness occurs in the present, however I frequently observe most folks still living by the phrase I’ll be happy when….
To what extent is fulfilling your expectations synonymous with happiness?
How often and how much is your satisfaction diminished when things fall short of your hopes and dreams?
What is working and going well in my life? How is your gratitude for these things already a source of happiness?
What am I working for that excites and inspires me?
How are your efforts and progress toward these objectives also a source of happiness?