Archive for July, 2009

I’ve noticed that something happens when we stop trying to find ourselves and start creating ourselves instead. And, that requires paying attention to how we are in and with the world, and the discipline to behave in ways that align with who we want to become.

There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.
– Dale Carnegie

Today, I’ll increase the mindfulness of how I am with, and how I behave in the world. Wanna join me?

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On one of those days when I was feeling less than motivated to do my best, I ran across this quote from Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States:

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.

Okay, I’m back on track. This moment will not be mediocre. How about you?

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Have you noticed your thinking being affected by the bombardment of news, reports and conversations about how bad things are lately? I stopped at the gas station the other day and couldn’t even fill my tank without constant negative news invading my space – yes, a monitor set at face level was screaming the latest bad news. Did you ever stop to think about who selects what to cover (called news) and why?

I walked in the house feeling disturbed, opened my email and read a communication that reminded me of my power of choice. The message ended with a sign off that read:

Thoughts become things . . . choose the good ones!

Today, I’ll stop and be even more mindful about what information I allow in.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson has whacked me upside the head more times than I’d like to admit. And, in reflection, I’m often befuddled when I re-read a particular quote (sometimes decades later) only to realize that I’ve not applied it masterfully. Here’s a good example:

We are always getting ready to live but never really living.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Okay, so I’ve gotten better over the years. There are days when I can honestly say I’ve lived boldly, purposefully and with great gusto – and remember those hours with great grins. However, am I alone in reflecting upon days, weeks, and then months that pass by so quickly that I have little to no recollection of catching up to myself? Busy doesn’t equal excellent; preparing to do a thing isn’t actually doing the thing; intending to accomplish something isn’t accomplishing it. Thank you, once again, Ralph, for reminding me to live today – really live.

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We’re approaching a significant American holiday – a day to remember freedom and the price many have paid for it. Perhaps there’s no better time to ask ourselves if laziness or conformity have become our approach to democracy and the free enterprise system . . . a dangerous position according to many economists who suggest our current apathy and mediocrity are putting our freedom at risk. Let Henri Poincarte’s words simmer with you:

To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the need for thought.

Perhaps this July 4th can wake us up and encourage us to honor our cherished freedom and salute our current power of choice so as not to give either away mindlessly.

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