Many people chase goals and achievements. Then there are the select few who seem to just take it in their stride and success and happiness follow. I had an incredible session with a mentor who has shared so much wisdom with me. What he said will be my subject of meditation and I will take the advice to heart. (Advice summarized and paraphrased) Always plant the right seeds and focus on creating the necessary conditions for these seeds to ripen. It may take a while before the exact combination of appropriate conditions come together but when it does, everything falls into place. Often times, we just have to be patient, wait, observe and be ready to strike when conditions ripen.
On occassion I chance across people who are truly happy. it doesn't happen too often as most people do not seem to be entirely content with where they are in life, or what they may have. Happy people appear to be content with whatever they may be blessed with, and optimistic in nature. Contentment: a state of happiness and satisfaction It takes a change in our personal mindsets to switch from being discontent to being content
Life. This precious life. I am 44, and if I am lucky, perhaps I may have another 22 years of health, energy and strength to live a full life. Every day I march towards the inevitable, the end of life. So let me make my life epic and meaningful. I had discussions with two close friends this past week around the subject of truly living. And to do that, I must be intentional, planned and strategic in life decisions.
Uncertainty appears to cause more stress than the certainty of a bad outcome happening. This may include an unfavourable outcome of a business deal or an imminent eruption of a volcano. On Saturday morning we were informed that the volcano alert status had reached level 4 - imminent level. But no one could reasonably say when it may happen, an hour, an day, a week or a month away. "Experts" were also unable to represent the potential devastation it would cause except to say that the ash cloud may drastically pollute the air and contaminant the water supply systems. Making assumptions of outcomes in such situations may help us plan and reduce anxiety. At least we can then make decisions on these assumptions. We packed our bags and flew the family to our other home. Uncertainty of whether and when the volcano may erupt remains, but in the meantime, we move forward with life and doing our best to help best we can from this other perch.
We had just unpacked our boxes from storage and among all our kitchen items laid out on our kitchen counter, an old cup of mine with the following words on it "Planting Virtues" seemed to call out to me. I picked it up and instinctively closed my eyes to reflect on these beautiful words. They resonated in me. Then I turned to my wife and told her that this needs to be in my office with me. She smiled and nodded. Synchronous as it may be, I just had a conversation with a dear friend about meaning and purpose of his business and how he consciously only takes on projects and client work that bring him closer to his mission of positively impacting his clients and the community. Each action we take, each thought or decision we make, may be considered like planting a seed in our garden. In time, these seeds will either grow into useful and beautiful plants or useless and ugly weeds. We reap what we plant in our garden of life. I dedicate myself to performing virtuous actions and developing righteous thoughts in my garden. And so this cup has taken its place on my office table, and its words, into the consciousness of my business activities.
My significant other mumbled that it would be challenging to live in a country with too many 'robots'. She caught me off guard and I didn't get what she meant initially. Then it dawned on me... yes a country of 'robots'. Right then, I was trying to make conversation with the Uber driver who did not once turn to look at me (even though I sat in the front passenger seat) and replied without emotion, to each of my questions. Robots everywhere indeed. As I traveled on the subway the following day, I made an mental count that 8 out of 10 persons had their heads tilted down with eyes glued on their phones. Not a smile sighted or a conversation heard. Humans are social beings. We all need to connect. My best memories have always been activities or incidences where there was a sense of connection with friends, loved ones or even strangers - a birthday, a reunion, or just having a conversation over tea. As I exited the train, I scanned the cabin again and pondered the disconnecting irony of what we now term "social media."
I love mornings and continue to work on my daily morning ritual, which includes both physical and mental activities. I like to set aside 30-45mins for my morning ritual in the early morning before anyone else in the family is up. A truly magial cmorning ritual would be as follows - Tidy bed - Brush teeth - Drink 2 glasses of water (preferably with lime) - Make coffee - I am currently experimenting adding Bulletproof Brain Octane and a bit of butter (preferably blended) - Take cold shower - while the coffee is being prepared - Eye Exercises - Meditation (this is perhaps the anchor of my morning ritual and and it includes my setting the intentions for the day) - Write morning pages - jotting down thoughts and notes. If I notice that my mind is particularly busy on the particular morning, I will do my morning pages prior to starting the meditation session. For me, it is very clear. When I truly perform my ritual, the magic takes place and the day seems to be so much more enjoyable.... the state for the day tends to be "intentional" and "proactive" versus "reactive" and "mindless doing"
I believe the skill of recalibrating oneself is one of the most beneficial skills to develop in our busy and demanding lives. Often times we feel overwhelmed with work, demands of the kids, expectations of spouses or just feel like we need a short time out. The last couple of weeks have been particularly taxing emotionally with a number of uncertainties that just require time for the situations to play themselves out before we may have more meaningful information to respond. Time out may mean different things to different people. Today I took a much needed Sunday morning gym-swim time out to recalibrate. And it was just exactly what I needed. The key is to be mindful enough to realize that we are experiencing a state of imbalance, and taking your own personal time off session to reset yourself.
The greatest inertia in starting a project is taking the first initial step. Seth Godin, best selling author, marketer and public speaker, and one of the world's most popular bloggers, advises that it's a great mental practice to write a blog post each day, not monthly, not weekly. Snipets from Seth's interview on the Unmistakable Creative Podcast: "Your podcast will reach more people than your book will. A blog post will reach more people than a podcast." "Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea." "If you know you have to write a blog post tomorrow, something in writing, something that will be around 6 months from now, about something in the world, you will start looking for something in the world to to write about. You will seek to notice something interesting and to say something creative about it. Well, isn’t that all we’re looking for? The best practice of generously sharing what you notice about the world is exactly the antidote for your fear." Snipets from Seth's post on Ruckusmaker day: "Committing to having a point of view and scheduling a time and place to say something is almost certainly going to improve your thinking, your attitude and your trajectory. A daily blog is one way to achieve this. Not spouting an opinion or retweeting the click of the day. Instead, outlining what you believe and explaining why. Commit to articulating your point [...]