Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Life Balance’ Category

We are judged by what we finish,
not what we start.
Anonymous

Hectic days infect us with an amnesia of our actions. Despite our certain knowledge of constant and diligent effort, we sense we’ve fallen further behind.

The determination to achieve is fueled by the knowledge that we can do what we set out to do.

Without believing we can make a difference, even the strongest amongst us get run down. Both sprints and marathons require bright ribbons to mark and entice us towards the end of the race.

In a perfect world, the heavens would announce every achievement with a herald of trumpets. In the world we’ve been dealt, we must blow our own horns, even if we’re both trumpeter and audience.

Every achievement, from finishing a tiny scrap of writing, to placing the call we’ve been avoiding, to the completion of that six month project, is worthy of noting and celebrating. Whether it is with a sly smile of satisfaction, a mark made on a list or a dance of joy performed in solitude; every celebration honours past efforts and prepares us for the next activity.

We measure distances with a ruler, time by the ticks of a clock and small steps of progress by tasks scratched off our list.

Read Full Post »

Most ignorance is vincible ignorance:
we don’t know because we don’t want to know.
Aldous Huxley

In all human endeavors there lie risks we don’t want to explore, flaws we’d rather ignore, and conflicts we’d rather avoid. We choose the comfort of deliberate ignorance over the insecurity of uncertain knowledge.

We are all incredibly good at stepping around the things we mustn’t discuss. Irrational actions rule supreme in the face of topics smeared with the taint of taboo.

The solution of course, is to take those lonely and invisible 800 lb gorilla problems and place them in the middle of the table. Shave them naked and paint them a glorious glowing neon pink. Make it so that we’d have to be blind to ignore their presence.

Problems grow stronger in the shade of solitary confinement. They shrivel to a fraction of their size when exposed to those dedicated to finding solutions.

Problems by definition ‘need fixing’… actions that result in conspiracies of deliberate avoidance are counter to intelligence.

From a reluctance to tell a friend they have bad breath, to the corporate wide ‘decision’ to ignore unethical policies… problems gain strength from silence.

The unacknowledged problem is forever unsolvable.

Read Full Post »

Don’t fight forces;
Use them.
Buckminster Fuller

Ships sail against the wind, waters behind the dam give it strength, the weight of an arch bestows suspended flight to waves of stone and steel. In all of these, the forces that work against success, are what make it possible.

Physical force has direction and energy, but no motivation or intention. Manipulate what works against you, into working for you.

Our first reaction to any opposing force is to push back, it’s an instinctive, simple, uncomplicated strategy, and this sometimes brings success. We have other options.

In unrelenting heat, ice cold water is scarce, unless you place it in a porous terra-cotta pot. The evaporating droplets create a chill, just as sweat will cool the body. Don’t fight the heat, use it.

The forces we encounter as obstacles to our goals aren’t always physical, sometimes they’re political, spawned of human nature and desire. The advice doesn’t change, don’t fight the forces, use them.

If someone is an expert at finding fault with a project, place them on the project with the task of avoiding fault.

If someone’s ego is in the way of a change, then frame the success to feed the ego.

Make the force be with you…

Read Full Post »

Let us endeavor to live
that when we come to die,
even the undertaker will be sorry.
Mark Twain

Each day is a brick to be thrown or build upon. Even at the height of anger we have choices — to defend or to destroy. We choose our roles — protector or protagonist.

Is today a better place, because of actions taken yesterday? Did we roll the rock higher? Did we grow, or were we ground down?

These are simple questions, no less important because of their simplicity. They search for the light that guides us. When every wind is against us, when every path is uphill, what keeps us moving? What makes it all worthwhile?

Or is the secret not to think too much? To let it all just happen and cast our lot into the storm? “Making the world a better place,” is one of the many answers found. Another is: “Take care of those around you.”

The probing question remains… how wide do we cast our net? How large the circle of our friends?

It’s not all chaos. The search, for the reason behind the fury, is the foundation of future progress.

Let our passage turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Read Full Post »

Unhappiness is best defined as
the difference between our talents
and our expectations.
Edward de Bono

We suffer from too many options, enticements and temptations. The possibilities before us, make us richer than the Kings of yore. But that nagging desire for even a fraction of what we see, but cannot own, makes us feel as poor as paupers.

The definition of happiness for most, is to own all of the horizion
For others, it is to revel in the sand beneath their feet and the sun above their head.

Defining happiness for yourself is worthwhile. It starts quite often, as a definition of possessions and therefore of wealth. “I’d be happy if I had…”

Sometimes the most desired possession is… Time. A commodity in equal supply for all, both Kings and Paupers, and beyond price if you require a single second more. We make do with what we have – it’s all there is.

Keep following your definition of happiness for a while, and it all boils down to simple things. Pick anything you think would make you happy if you owned it, and keep asking why that would make you happy. Seek out the root reasons. It’s always personal, there’s no Guru on the mountain to help you in this journey, so you’re on your own… again.

Happiness is found in what we are within, not in what we are without.

Read Full Post »

In the City,
time becomes visible.
Lewis Mumford

Sit today under a childhood tree and you sit in the shade of yesterday.

In the countryside, time moves slowly enough for the seasons to dance in stately circles. From year to year the changes are inconsequential, minor and repetitive.

Sit in the city at a corner cafe and you sit in the path of an oncoming future. In the city, time is pushed aside, hurried and harried. It piles up upon itself, incapable of making way for the next great thing, it then topples over like a breaking wave washing away reflection and solitude.

We and we alone, separate the country from the city. We’re the cause of the differences and the reason time takes flight. Other than the acts of God, where the ground shakes and wind blows, change doesn’t just ‘happen.’ It isn’t a random event, there’s always a cause with determination. That cause is us.

Somewhere between the lazy shade of a leafy tree and the center of a twenty lane highway is our preferred pace of change. Examining where we are, in relation to where we’d like to be, is a personal choice.

Left unconstrained, there’s no speed limit to change. Change can shatter time.

Read Full Post »

If you can make a man laugh,
you can make him think
and make him like and believe you.
Alfred E. Smith

Humour is our physical and emotional response to the perverse incongruities of life. Without a sense of humour, we stumble from cosmic incident to comic accident, never seeing the connection. Our belly laughs, are wry detectors.

We laugh at the indignities that befall us, because the alternatives are too depressing.

We chuckle at both the small and large misfortunes ensnaring us, because we have no other choice.

Despite our best laid plans, life sometimes just happens to us. The knack of seeing the hidden irony is a precious gift.

Humour doesn’t come easy. Especially when the humour is in our follies and foibles. To laugh at ourselves is to acknowledge our shared, and all too common, weakness. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who, with the dual, and never dull, scalpels of tact and gentleness expose the humours within.

With every burst of laughter there’s the opportunity to reflect on what we’ve found out.

Our sense of humour is a symptom of our intelligence. Once we laugh, we know enough to pay attention.

When your audience is laughing, they’re listening.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »