Even though our brain is wired to help us forget painful and negative experiences, we still get wrapped up in our frustrations each time our lives don’t go the way we want them to. Might we remember we won’t remember most of our present aversion to discomfort and carry on with grace.
If you're anything like me your head isn't always the safest place to be. Whether it's the stories you're telling yourself or the thoughts you're allowing to persist, our mind can turn the entire world into a haunted house if we let it. Here's the good news: We have more ability than we realize to influence what happens in our noggins. Though we can't always control the incessant head chatter, if we're purposeful we can get to a place where every thought doesn't also have to be a threat.
We believe one day we'll construct a life without distractions when we'll be able to be who we were meant to be. And the days keep passing. The truth is we'll never have perfect circumstances. What if things never slow down? What if the challenge you're facing with your family or your health doesn't ever let up? Then what? We must stop waiting to do what we were meant to do in the hopes we'll one day be given the gift of more time and less challenges. Dreams of a future supported by perfect circumstances will only delay a life meant to be lived today. Participation here and now is the answer, not more time.
Though our circumstances might not present us with opportunities for car chases or heists or revolutions on a daily basis, our wiring is still the same. Meaning we still feel fear, wonder, awe, and the rush of doing something risky. We feel it in our bones when we to choose to be bigger, more confident, or different when it's the last thing we want to do. The moments when we feel those things are what punctuate an adventurous life.
It's graduation season and everyone is terrified their futures aren't going to pan out the way they expected. Don’t worry - I’m here to assure you the rest of your life doesn’t have to be so disappointing, if only you’re willing to work on your expectations. The secret to unlocking our potential, creating opportunity for ourselves and finding fulfillment is to remember our attitude in the present matters more than the alignment of our plans for the future. When we're grateful we can grow up to be great.
I was once scared of the idea I might end up living a normal life. For as long as I can remember I wanted to embark on my own hero's journey and rejected any path not exciting enough. Yet I'm beginning to see how my obsession with adventure was distracting me from the opportunities in my presently ordinary life. I'm learning to love a regular existence, because a normal life is the meeting place for the circumstances necessary to launch someone reluctantly onto an incredible journey.
We're a strange species. It seems like we enjoy learning the same lessons over and over again. I've found it helpful to pause and reflect on the things about myself I know are true, the lies I tell myself, and what allows me to best navigate life. Though the past isn’t a place to live, it can be a great source of wisdom - an instruction manual of sorts for how to move forward. We'll never live our lives perfectly, but by now you probably know yourself well enough to create default decisions or mindsets for scenarios you frequently encounter.
We waste a lot of time looking at the wrong scoreboard. The lives and the accomplishments of others are none of our business. When we keep our eyes on our own scoreboard and measure the things that really matter, we're able to make contributions that transcend point systems and actually add value to others.
Many of us spend our lives waiting in the wings for an internal voice to give us the wisdom we need to move forward. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. We receive the gift of intuition from our internal guide when we’re participating in our lives with no safety net. Wisdom is not a gift received in times of peace.
Raise your hand if you spend time throughout the day thinking about what others might be thinking about you… Wait...you do that too? Crazy. For those of us who find ourselves obsessed with doing things right and live in fear of judgements people are probably making about us - we have some brain space and internal peace to reclaim. When we ground ourselves in reality and remember it's not all about us, we can find the freedom to do our best work and navigate life with more joy.
What do we do when our work just isn't very fulfilling? Well, we can keep searching for the next career path that might bring us satisfaction - or we can realize we're responsible for our level of fulfillment in our work. Learn how to make anything meaningful and you'll find the fulfillment you've been looking for.
The key to doing extraordinary work has nothing to do with the amount of work one can handle, it's the intention one brings to their work that makes the difference. Whether it happens fast or slow, how we do our work matters more than how much we do. And how we do our work is rooted completely in our ability to know and love who we really are.
How will we ever make our best contributions if we’re too busy adhering to rules and standards that don’t really matter? We’re free to do our best work when we give up the idea there was ever a correct way to approach our work or our lives. Peace and freedom come with the willingness to risk uncertainty and live differently.
How many times do you approach a challenge in life or work as if it's the first time anyone in the history of the world has ever dealt with that challenge? We waste so much time and energy inventing new problems for ourselves instead of realizing someone has been down this road before. When we navigate hard times or start something new we make real progress by seeing where the water is already flowing and jumping in that river.