When our actions don’t seem to be hitting the mark, it can make sense to try a biggish shift to ‘move the needle’ rather than tweaks that fall short of making a noticeable difference.
We each have a contracted, defensive, uptight piece of us that we might name Francis. Remind him of the one rule he needs. A hip-pocket sense of humor can be a super-power.
If your assumptions and habits are all invented and they are not delivering the life you want, why not reinvent them?
We would all benefit from a close look at the things we’re using to distract us from aspects of our work and lives that seem too painful for us to bear experiencing directly.
Live: Engage, Explore, Experience, Express, Expand, Enjoy (a little E digression there…)! Also ache and cry and grieve and long. This is it, and it’s all for you.
owers and catchers. Please excuse the modesty failure, but we are. I’m trying to apply a couple of meta-truths from that excellence to other areas of my life.
These moments are when the truth of what matters most to you gets its chance to shine. Finally, you create, one critical moment-of-truth at a time, a response that points toward a life and a self of your own creation.
Study after study shows that putting emotions into words can markedly improve our physical and mental well-being.
I’ve found myself thinking of the different ways the need for change shows up for people. It can be a complex recipe of feelings.
Fundamental orientations on life: Survival, Success, and Significance.
By orientation, I mean a fundamental drive or approach to life.
A quick, peak effort, however impressive, is unlikely to make a big change. Much more valuable in these cases are persistence and stamina.
This doesn’t make us morally superior people. It means that our felt disparity between who we are and what we do pushes us onward. Our disillusionment with the cost-benefit analysis of our success spurs us to ask more questions, experiment beyond current comfort zones and seek a more expansive perspective. The bits of us that have been compressed or stifled demand attention.
Successful career? Yep. Track record of achievement? Yep. Impressive earnings? Yep. Living the life you truly want? Fulfilled? Um, not really. You’re not alone!
You may be richer, smarter, prettier or more charming tomorrow. But none of this means you have less worth today.
What if we knew our life’s purpose with absolute clarity? What energy we could draw on! How free we would be from worrying about unimportant noise and distraction!
Even better, imagine we understood how to fulfil it. It’s possible, but it demands great self-awareness, intimately knowing who we really are.
What we unknowingly seek is our own wholeness - to express and experience all that we are. What stands in our way of finding it? Our own childish definition of the ‘me’ who seeks it, the labels we hide behind and the priority we give comfort over curiosity.
We carry unnecessary emotional backpacks through life. The more we see them in their proper context, the more frequently we can set them aside. They may always accompany us, but we needn’t bear their weight.
The Stoics counsel amor fati or ‘love of fate’, while Zen and other Buddhist paths encourage the related practice of acceptance. We are regular people, you and I. I smile often, but not always. Your forehead sometimes wrinkles. We’re not ideal beings with equanimity beyond ruffling. Is acceptance possible?
Throughout my life, my highest priority has been to be right, and I’ve assumed that being right would bring me security. Now, I value learning over knowledge, and I realise that learning requires admitting fallibility and befriending uncertainty.
The most profound personal growth comes from a deeper understanding and acceptance of Now, of What Is. Any moment, regardless of its particulars, is dazzling in its completeness, and this insight brings a new perspective.