What we see when watching others

“What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.”

—Author Unknown

Woman looking through a Dirty Window

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.

Exercise:

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?

Swim With the Stream

“Only dead fish swim with the stream all the time.”

– Linda Ellerbee, journalist

Image from fifteenminutescience.com

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.

Exercise:

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?

Who looks outside dreams. who looks inside awakens.

“Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakens.”

– Carl G.Jung, psychotherapist and psychiatrist

Image of man in contemplation

Image from Unsplash by Ben White

As a former science teacher and professed watcher of the Discovery Channel (and TV shows from my youth such as Mr. Wizard), I have always been fascinated by exploring new worlds beyond my reach.

During my childhood, I even dreamed of one day being an astronaut and visiting the moon and the planets. As I aged and pursued adventure, personal growth and my career in coaching, I found a new excitement in taking more frequent journeys within my mind and my heart – all without the assistance of a rocket.

Exercise:

Consider engaging in your own inner journey daily, through a practice of your choice such as meditation, prayer, journal writing, and the reading of insightful or thought-provoking books or blogs.

Feel free to reply to this message and let me know what practices you use to awaken and clarify your vision.

The voyage of discovery

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust, novelist

Imagine seeing life from the perspective of:

  • An infant, toddler, fifth-grader, or teenager
  • A millennial
  • A Gen-X-er
  • A Boomer
  • A senior citizen
  • A person of the opposite sex
  • A person of a different religion, race, or cultural background
  • The eyes of a more analytic, or more creative, person

… you get the idea!

Exercise:

What expanded value do you discover when shifting your perspective?
How can you continue to look at the world through many sets of eyes in the future, to expand and enhance your life?

#110: “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”

– Attribution uncertain

Have you ever picked an apple from the trunk of a tree? Me neither! The sweetness of life can only be found when we go out on those proverbial limbs and take a risk.

We must face failure, change, getting hurt, and looking foolish in order to explore our visions and reach beyond our grasp. How else can we experience all that life has to offer?

Exercise:

Where are you playing it too safe, and missing out on the sweet fruits of life?

What are the limbs of life that you can climb out on, to reach what you deeply desire?

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#65: “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart…”

“…Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”

– Carl Jung

The past year has been particularly difficult for me and my family, due to the passing of my mother, Rose. As we all took the time to be with each other and to experience the deep feelings within our hearts, I experienced a significant awakening. I even serendipitously discovered Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening to assist me on this inner journey.

Exercise:

How can you look into your own heart through inspirational reading, faith-based practices, meditation or other means to find greater depth and meaning in your life?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

Nothing happens unless first a dream

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.”

– Carl Sandburg, 20th Century Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet

Close up image of a blue eye

Image from Unsplash by Daniil Kuželev

A dream, a vision, a goal, an objective: Words that convey a view of the future. When we envision the future, a magical attractive power begins to pull us towards its realization.

Without this first thought of what we want to see, we are left exactly where we are – with something neither good nor bad unless we make it so. However, the moment we think about, imagine, and envision a future, we find the ability to reach our destiny.

Exercise:

What are your personal and professional dreams?
How can you exercise your personal and professional capacity to envision your future, and use this capacity to enhance your world?

“You cannot dream yourself into a character…”

“You cannot dream yourself into a character, you must hammer and forge yourself into one.”

– James Anthony Froude, English historian

QC #1021a

Image from Flickr by Hans Splinter

We sometimes hope for a quick-fix that will resolve our problems, and dream of how our future lives would look.  If only we could find that magic bullet!

Dreaming is important, as is having a vision. But neither comes to pass without the work it takes to realize our dreams.

The great leaders and people of our time had dreams and shared their visions. To realize those visions, though, they all worked hard, and put in tremendous effort over many years. These people of character have the bumps, bruises and calluses to show for it.

Here is a secret: Find something of extraordinary value and meaning in your life. Pursue something you truly love to do, and you will enjoy the process.

Exercise:

What do you envision and dream about that would be worth a lifetime of hard labor?