Monthly Archives: December 2011

Are You Ready To Live?

Relax and Live!

There are people who will tell you that, in order to be successful, you must do more, accomplish more…more, more, more.  You will hear that you deserve to “have it all” and that you can’t be happy unless you’re in constant turmoil of motion.  There are places to go, things to do, people to schmooze, foods to eat, things to drink, and the fact of the matter…you can’t do it all!  You will drive yourself to ulcers and endless frustration if you try.  It’s just not humanly feasible! 

Think about it, if you could do it all, you’d have nothing left to leave you in awe.  If you did everything people tell you must be done to be happy, you’d lose your sense of wonder.  Life would become just another chore.  Would you be able to remain sane?

Want to know the secret to living? Here it is: decide to live!  That’s it.  That’s the secret.  You don’t have to have it all; you don’t have to do it all; you don’t have to earn it all; you don’t even have to dream it all.  Decide to live! Now, instead of trying to go and do until you drop, take time to look around and enjoy.

Let me ask you something: What is your life worth?  If you spend your days stressed, frustrated, upset, angry, complaining, finding fault, then you’re selling your life cheaply.  You could be enjoying the fact that you are breathing instead of wondering why you can’t breathe in the Alps.

What’s your life worth?

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Wouldn’t It Be Easier To Learn?

Wouldn't it be easier to learn?

Ever wonder why we tend to cling to the negative memories?  We have so many experiences in our lives, why carry around the negative?

Think about it this way: Which is easier, writing your experiences on a stone and carrying them around, or writing them on a scrap of paper to carry?

While the answer to this query is fairly obvious, we have the tendency to carry around the stone tablets of every hurt, wrong, bad experience, negative word ever given to us.  You’d think we’d learn that pushing stones up a hill is pointless and a LOT of work!

BUT, if we learn from them, instead of holding on to them, we can move on with our lives a lot easier.

Sisyphus was condemned to push a rock up a mountain over and over.  You are NOT Sisyphus and you have not been condemned to rock pushing, so let the stones of the past go.  Learn from the experiences and let’s move forward!

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Fear Not!

Why do we not try new things, blaze new trails, do something out of the “norm”?  Is it because we’re afraid?  Could it be that we’ve been told that it’s wrong or impossible?  Perhaps we were told that to stand out in any way was too weird, because, after all, “we’ve never done things that way before.”  But that’s the whole point! Shake up what’s ‘normal’! 

Tell a person that they’re worthless long enough and they’ll begin to believe that they are worthless.  Why do we do that to others?  So we can ‘feel’ superior to them?  Maybe it’s because we’re jealous of their creativity and wish to silence it if we can’t be creative on our own.  How shallow we are!

Think for a moment, why do we build houses on the water?  Is it because we’re afraid of the land?  No! There’s land under the water.  We build houses on water because we seek to be different!  We seek to express our weirdness and oddities in unique ways!  Because being “normal” didn’t suit us.  WHO gets to decide what’s ‘normal’ anyway?

Take careful inventory of your own life!  See that you have value and worth and creativity to offer this world.  You truly are worthwhile!  Just because you’re different from others, just because you think differently, have a different perspective or opinion, does not make you of any less value!  It simply means you’re weird!  So live your life out loud and BE WEIRD!!!

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I’m NOT Lost!

It's Good To Ponder!

Ever let yourself think?  Just let your mind wander where it wanted to go to ponder, meditate, contemplate, dream…

I like these mental excursions.  It’s not an “escape method” or a “wasting time” scenario. Rather I use these mental wanderings as a distraction. There’s something almost hypnotic about using your imagination. 

I’m one of those odd people who read books and picture the scene in my mind.  I imagine what the characters look like, how they sound, what the environment would be, where do they go to relax and escape.  Trust me, I’m not lost.  Well, not completely.  I do tend to wander about a bit.  Helps clear some of the cobwebs that are becoming more and more frequent.

George Harrison, of the Beatles (yes, I’m THAT old), had a song that contained the line: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  Some of my favorite times growing up were the family vacations where we just pointed the car in a direction and away we went.  Might sound idiotic, but we always found the most interesting places.  And it’s true, the road isn’t supposed to take you anywhere, it’s just a means of getting SOMEwhere.  The WHERE we go is a given, we’re all headed toward the same exit.  The HOW we get there is up to us.

How would you choose to get there?  What would you want to see?  Would you bother to look up long enough to see anything or are you focused solely on the road? 

Take some time, all roads lead the same place. Don’t be in such a hurry to get somewhere, take time to enjoy the sights as you travel.  I’ll bet you’ll see something or meet someone amazing! 

I’m NOT lost, just weird.

 

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Potholes, Detours and Excursions!

Ever notice that as we cruise along the road of life, we occasionally find potholes, speed bumps, detours and, sometimes even missing sections presumably under repair?  Consider this, why do we focus so hard on our destination and getting there as fast as possible? Our focus is working for that next promotion, to stand out at work, to have more degrees hanging on the wall, to have more money in the bank, to have the newest car, the latest gadgets, more, more, more, more.

The journey would be a LOT more enjoyable if we were able to slow down a bit and look at the scenery around us.  Some of the most interesting adventures have been side-trips, detours, and excursions.

If we try to plan out every part of our trip, we will stress out, flip out, and miss out on far too much.  What’s the hurry to get there?  Take time to BE weird!  Take time to enjoy your insanity! Far too many people try to achieve so much before they die that they go through life without living.  It’s almost as if they’re afraid to deviate from their plan; they’re afraid of surprises; they’re afraid to live. 

Yes, it is good to have a plan.  Yes, it is good to have goals.  No, achievement is not a bad thing.  But when our plan is so inflexible and we are so focused on achieving our goals, how is that living?  That is merely an existence…and a sad one at that.

One of my favorite lines of poetry is from John Greenleaf Whittier:

“Of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are: ‘It might have been.’”

Think about that for a moment. When you reach the end of your life, will you regret what might have been?  Will you be remembered for your achievements or will your legacy be measured by the lives you touched?

Will your departure be heralded by the applause of a life lived, the applause because you are finally gone, or the soul deafening silence of apathy that you were ever here?

I leave you with these words from Walt Whitman:

O ME! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;  Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;  Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)  Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;  Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me; Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;  The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?    

 Answer.

That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

What will your verse say?

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Finding My Way

"Do not go where the path leads, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I sit here, coffee in hand, I can’t help but reflect on my life’s journey thus far.  The pathway has never been a straight line……EVER!  It’s been more of a meandering, winding, curvy path.  In reflecting on my path, I came to a couple of realizations:

First, our lives were not designed to be a race.  Look at the design of the world: there are very few straight lines in nature.  That’s on purpose!  If the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, then consider that the world was not designed to accommodate straight lines.  Perhaps this was so we would have to spend time wandering about and in so doing we see more. 

I’ve seen far too many people head down, “game face on,” pushing toward the end of their lives as if it were the finish line of a race.  They don’t seem to enjoy much of anything.  Their lives are focused on achieving more, earning more, accumulating more, doing more than anyone else.  They are driven!  I’m not saying it’s wrong or bad to achieve, earn, accumulate or do. What I AM saying is that if this is your sole purpose for existing, you are missing out on far too much!

Think about your weekends and vacations (if you take any such time).  When you return to your job, what’s the first thing people ask?  “What did you DO?”  I’ve made a point of spending some of my down time doing absolutely nothing but enjoying being.  You wouldn’t believe the astonished responses I get when I tell people this.  “WHAT? You did nothing on your time off?”  Actually, I did a lot of LIVING on my time off.

Do you go to the Grand Canyon at full speed, glance at the crevice, think “OK done that,” and then race away to the next object?  NO!  We go, we stop, and we are amazed by the beauty of this wonder!  Then, we go back to the “real world” and it’s time to put the nose to the grindstone and charge ahead at full speed.  Why?  And yet we wonder why we have so many stress related illnesses, so many ulcers and heart attacks? We call ourselves “The Human Race” as if someone is going to win. 

SLOW DOWN! Spend time looking around you.   LIVE your life.  After all, you only get a few trips around the sun.

Second, we spend far too much time and effort keeping our walls up.  Think about it…we don’t want anyone to get close to us.  We are very particular about having our privacy.  There are more people on this earth now than ever before, yet we don’t want anyone to get to know us.  We put up false personas, as if we were actors on a stage.  We stifle how we feel, what we think, how we care, because we don’t want anyone to know that we’re human.

Our lives were not meant to be lived alone or in a plastic bubble isolated from the rest of the world.  We are, by design, social creatures!  We NEED others, whether we want to admit it or not.  Don’t believe me?  Go to the desert where nothing else grows and see how long you last alone.

Why is it so difficult for us to be genuine with each other?  If you are hurting, chances are there are several people within a stone’s throw that are hurting too.  Feeling uncertain? Bet there are quite a few others in your office who are feeling uncertain too.  Are you lonely?  Guess what? So are many of the people you come in contact with every day!  If only we would drop our plastic façade and let others see who we truly are, we would find who our genuine friends are truly.  Okay, some people would need to get passed the shock of who we truly are, but we would find people who are just like us.  And they’re a lot closer than we may think.

If only we would take the time to LIVE, we would enjoy our time here a lot more!

Categories: Wanderer's Wonderings | 8 Comments

WOW

Sometimes all you can say is "WOW!"

There are times when we just go through the motions of existing. We just muddle along, not looking up, focused on what’s happening to us, running through out To-Do lists, checking emails….

Take a minute…just one minute…and look around. We weren’t put on this spinning rock just to muddle through. We aren’t here to merely exist. We are here to LIVE! Truly live with all the energy, courage, fun and exhilaration we can muster.

Want to know why some people seem to have a lot of fun in life? Because they choose to. Plain and simple. Here’s my challenge to you: LIVE! Right now, take a deep breath and go for it! We only get a few rides around the sun, so make them count!

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