“It’s hard to see a halo when you’re looking for horns.”
—Cullen Hightower, late American quip writer
Image from VG24
Are you a good person?
Most of us like to think we are – and could even prove it through the kind and generous gestures we make throughout the day.
Take a moment to look at the variety of people in your personal and professional worlds. How many have the same size halo you see above your own head? Perhaps more disturbingly, how often do you see their not-so-pleasant horns, because you are focusing on their faults and shortcomings?
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I don’t like that man. I need to get to know him better.”
How can you, too, rise above your own fault-finding perceptions and discover far more halos in those around you?
“Examine everything as though you had just taken off blinders.”
—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self-Meditation
Image from The Bittersweet Score
Imagine losing your sight for 24 hours. Perhaps you had a surgical procedure and were required to wear blinders to protect those sensitive windows into the world.
What would that be like? What would be the impact on your other senses? Perhaps most interestingly, what would you observe and appreciate even more when you removed the blinders?
Although this is an extreme example, consider that fact that we all wear blinders or at least perceptual lenses by which we view the world. Some are particularly dark and negative, doing a number on our happiness and overall life satisfaction.
Take off your blinders or at least your perceptual sunglasses today and look deeper and completely at the people and things around you.
Feel free to reply to this post to share what new, brighter, and surprisingly different things you observe.
“See the good all around you even if you have to squint.”
Image from lasikmd.com
If you are like me, your eyesight is not what it used to be. Perhaps you need glasses to drive at night, or to read. You may even need longer arms as you “trombone” food labels in order to read the ingredient list.
Having 20/20 vision has great benefits, but when we look at the world, including the folks in our lives that are taking this journey with us, it may not always serve us to have clear and complete objectivity. As an example, as we look at the weaknesses and faults in others, we know full well we have our own share.
Where would a bit of squinting help you overlook some of the unimportant things around you, and help you see a lot more good available in your world?
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
—Earl Nightingale, American self-help speaker and author
photo from Flickr by kerolic
Some say that a vision is a dream with a deadline. Nightingale points out that this “time thing” is a primary cause of many people giving up on their dreams and visions. Of course many, if not most, rewarding futures take considerable time. That is what makes the accomplishment worthwhile.
Another interpretation of today’s quote is the saying, “It’s more about the journey than the destination.” Each small step toward your dream can be a source of satisfaction on its own, without your having to see the mountain you have to scale as unachievable or not worth the time it will take.
What dream or personal vision for the future will you commit to today, knowing that every day lived with enthusiasm and passion is what the journey is all about?
“Create each day anew.”
—Morihei Ushiba, founder of the Japanese martial art of aikido
When I was a young child, Etch-a-Sketch was one of my favorite toys.
You could draw almost anything just by twisting the two knobs at the bottom.
Imagine for a moment that your professional and personal life was created anew each morning, and that overnight someone or some power would shake it to clean the slate for the new day.
I am sure that with today’s technology there are many far more advanced toys and tools to create whatever you wish—perhaps in color or three dimensions.
How can you design your commitments and vision for a better future for yourself and those around you, to live each day as a masterpiece?
“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”
– Henry David Thoreau, American author, philosopher, and transcendentalist
Image from Flickr by martinak15.
What does it mean to live your dreams? Where would you live? How would you spend your days? Who would be with you on this journey? What purpose would you fulfill? What memories would you make?
Answer at least one of the questions above and take at least one committed action toward living your truest life today.
Feel free to come up with your own questions on this subject, and keep selecting daily actions to live the life you once only dreamed about.
“What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.”
Image from Unsplash
Driving in Michigan, specifically in the Detroit metropolitan area, is challenging for numerous reasons. If we eliminate poor roads, construction and heavy traffic, we are left with what I call visibility challenges. Rain, fog, road salt, frost, snow, and splattered insects all have a way of reducing the clarity of our windshields.
I dislike not having clarity so much that I just had a special window treatment applied to our new SUV to better help us see where we are going.
What are some of your obstructing views, beliefs, and attitudes about others that are blocking your clear and objective view?
How can you apply your own perceptional “Windex” to help clarify what you see in others and in yourself?
“Only dead fish swim with the stream all the time.”
– Linda Ellerbee, journalist
Image from fifteenminutescience.com
We have all heard phrases such as “Go with the flow” and “Take the path of least resistance” as ways to simply and effortlessly navigate life. When we take such advice, we are almost always carried along by factors not influenced or controlled by us, and we wind up somewhere we didn’t intend.
When we chart our own course and swim against the current, we strengthen our ability to navigate our own life’s journey and realize our deepest held desires.
Where in your personal and professional life are you being carried downstream by someone else’s current?
What issues have you come alive, so that you use your fins to swim upstream and realize your vision?