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Posts from the ‘wellness’ Category

THE CHRONOLOGICALLY SUPERIOR: Part II – I’m Not Old…I’m CS!

Position Statement:

Wisdom is the sum of the reflective and reflexive understandings that settle deep in one’s soul after a long journey — a life adventure  peppered with laughter, tears, fear, foolishness, joy, doubt, amazement and wonder. Pay attention to those who have traveled before you. Ask questions and listen with your whole being. Like echoes in a canyon, the lessons will continue whispering their meaning.

NOTE 

What follows is Part II of a five-part essay on health and wellness for seniors. 

“I enjoy talking with the Chronologically Superior, for they have gone before us, as it were, on a road that we too may have to tread, and it seems to me that we should find out from them what it is like and whether it is rough and difficult or broad and easy.”

– Socrates, in Plato, “The Republic”

Yeah, yeah. Okay, you got me. Plato’s Republic quotes Socrates as saying, “…really old men” and not, “…the Chronologically Superior,” but, hey, I’m trying to make a point here…

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Here are a few of the age-related factoids that show up on the internet:

  • George Bernard Shaw completed “Heartbreak House” at the age of 60.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien was 62 when he published the 1st volume of “Lord of the Rings.”
  • Benjamin Franklin, at the age of 70, helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads after he turned 70.
  • John Glenn, at the age of 77, became the oldest person (CS) to fly in outer space.
  • Jessica Tandy and George Burns were both 80 years old when they won Oscars.
  • Coco Chanel was the CEO of a design firm at the age of 85.
  • Mother Theresa, at the age of 87, was attending to the needs of the poorest of the poor.
  • Grandma Moses, at 88, was named “Young Woman of the Year” by Mademoiselle” magazine.
  • Picasso was still producing drawings and engravings at 90.

Of course, advanced age brings physical and intellectual challenges—as does each of Shakespeare’s seven ages—but there are also “Members Only” joys and opportunities reserved for those with a CS attitude.

 

“Swept by the current of the four powerful rivers,

Tied by strong bonds of karma, so hard to undo.

Caught in the iron net of self-grasping,

Completely enveloped by the darkness of ignorance.”

– Lama Tsongkhapa

What’s it all about Alfie?

It’s all about “The Dash,” that’s what. Death is Not a Curable Disease.

Okay, one more time, here’s the deal: you’re going to die.  We all are.  As I’ve said before, I’m sorry if that comes as a shock; and more sorry if you know this but prefer to consider it at a later time.  That notion…that we can deny, ignore or defer the reality of death is dangerous, futile, wasted opportunity and the height of hubris. Once conceived, all of us reading these pages will ride the four raging rivers of birth, ageing, illness and death.  Awareness, acceptance, compassion for our fellow travelers and the ability to let go of attachments—to let it be, to go with the flow—will determine our level of suffering.

Here’s the really sad part.  Many people, when they are healthy and vibrant and not in the personal throes of giving care to a loved one, accept the concept of death — a finite existence — only as an intellectual construct.  Yes, sure, someday, someday, sure, but not now.  Someday.

Fact: Most of us will not die in our sleep after a wonderful fun-filled day of (fill in the blank). For most of us there will be a period of illness before we die and, if you are fortunate enough to watch today’s children and their children grow, there will be the accompanying infirmities that come with time. To quote the Bard from As You Like It,

“…The sixth age shifts 
into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
 his youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
 for his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
 turning again toward childish treble, pipes
 and whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history,
 is second childishness and mere oblivion;
 sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”

 — Jacques (Act II, Scene VII, lines 139-166)

So much for being delicate.  Oh, and to be more intrusive, I’m going to shake you out of your slumber so that you can be fully awake before you die.  Yes, that’s right, most of us are sleeping or shuffling along in that overcrowd village of Someday. Oh, please, you know the place, SOMEDAY. The place where, somehow, our once-upon-a-time-soaring-spirits, filled with determination, passion, and world-changing guts have landed, tail-tucked and whimpering for fear of … what?  Oh, yeah, fear of not meeting someone else’s expectations of where we should be or what we should be doing.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can focus on the real issue, morbidity.  Or, perhaps a better way of looking at it, the quality of the dash (-) that separates the date of your birth from the date of your death. The date of your birth is fixed and beyond your control. You are here, so open your eyes to all of it, the good, the bad and the truly ugly. The other date, your death, is inevitable and is simply a matter for the stonemason.

As they did about so many things, Joseph Campbell and Viktor Frankel spoke eloquently and passionately about the art of living — the dash. When asked, “What is the meaning of life?” Campbell would say, “There is no meaning of life. We bring the meaning to life.” He agreed with Frankel’s philosophy that sustained well-being (success, happiness) ensues from the honorable and enjoyable pursuit of meaningful goals.

Beyond the physical, the anxiety of ageing often spews from a gunnysack of wouldas, couldas and shouldas—a life of regrets. To those who have danced until their feet throb with joy, the quiet of old age is paradise. As Carl Jung once said, “An old man who cannot bear farewell to life appears as feeble and sickly as a young man who is unable to embrace it.”

 “Eternity is that dimension of here and now that all thinking in temporal terms cuts off. And if you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere.”

– Joseph Campbell

Coming Up…

Part III:                    CS “Members Only” – Qualifications

Part IV:                    Caution – Your Workforce and Consumer Base Are Ageing

Part V:                     Summary – So What?

THE CHRONOLOGICALLY SUPERIOR: Part I – A Conversation with My Father…

Position Statement:

Wisdom is the sum of the reflective and reflexive understandings that settle deep in one’s soul after a long journey — a life adventure  peppered with laughter, tears, fear, foolishness, joy, doubt, amazement and wonder. Pay attention to those who have traveled before you. Ask questions and listen with your whole being. Like echoes in a canyon, the lessons will continue whispering their meaning.

 

NOTE 

What follows is Part I of a five-part essay on health and wellness for seniors. 

“You hold in your hand the precious gift of all—the gift of life.  You can nuture and grow it, or you can crumble it and throw it away.  Either way, it’s yours.”

 

– O.E. Samuelson, 1909-1977, Age, 68

April 1962

I’m sitting in the school nurse’s office at Tappan Junior High school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Why? Because I’m too worried to remain in class. I need to talk with someone. The nurse is kind; she makes me feel safe. “It will be okay, Michael,” she says.

My father, Orville Samuelson, is at the University of Michigan Hospital having a cancerous lung removed. A heavy smoker all of his life, my dad, at 53, is only beginning to suffer the consequences of poor lifestyle choices. I’m 15 and just beginning to follow his example.

As a result of zillions of puffs on Winston cigarettes and a lifetime of alcohol abuse, my dad’s next 15 years were filled with pain, frustration, a prescription drug induced haze, and a zillion more puffs on Winston cigarettes. Oh, he has bursts of creativity (he is the original Mr. fix it) and fleeting moments of pleasure, but after that spring day, the fire fades from his spirit as the energy drains from his body.

Over the years, additional surgeries pull us back to the University of Michigan Hospital, including a series of horrific amputations for peripheral artery disease. The years of smoking have broken down the vessels needed to bring blood to his toes and feet. It eventually results in gangrene, leading to the removal of a toe, a foot, one leg, and finally the other leg. He stops drinking but keep smoking. He has one more burst of energy and creativity: he rigs his old Buick Electra 225 to operate with hand controls. This illusion of freedom is a dream that briefly puts the sparkle back in his eyes. Unfortunately, he has time for only a couple of test runs before he dies at the University of Michigan Hospital at the age of 68. Invasive melanoma has been diagnosed in his stumps, and his heart can no longer take the assaults.

I remember him as a decent man who loved his family, worked hard, and did his best. He certainly drank and smoked to excess but over that same 15 years so did I.

My father was not a philosophical man, nor, true to his Swedish heritage, did he show much affection or emotion. But shortly before he died, he beckoned me close to his bedside and spoke words I’ll never forget. He took my hand, looked at me with hollow, steel gray eyes, and said, with both sadness and parental urgency:

”In your hand you hold most precious gift of all–the gift of life. You can nurture and grow it, or you can crumble it and throw it away. Either way, it’s yours.”

This was both advice and confession. I was 30 years old, and throughout my entire life, that was the only direct guidance I ever got from my dad. But, it was powerful, and—for the most part—it’s held over the past 33+ years.

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So Many Questions Never Asked…Most Not Even Considered. Thirty-three years. That’s a lot of time. If I (we) had a “Do-Over” what would I ask him? What would I want to know? What did I need to know? What would he tell me? …

  • “I’m thinking about starting a business on my own. What do you think?”
  • “Another baby on the way. Whoa. What do I do now?”
  • “Any tips for not going crazy being away from home, living out of a suitcase?”
  • “How do I fix this broken window pane?”
  • “What was my grandfather like?” “Were you and him close?” “How about your mom?”
  • “In this picture, who is the funny-looking guy with the handle bar mustache?
  • “What was it like to live through the Great Depression?”
  • “Did you know about the concentration camps?”
  • “What did you do in Montana with the DPW CCC?”
  • “What went through your head when you were told you had lung cancer?”
  • “How did you get booze during Prohibition?”
  • “Yours was a time of segregation and open racism. How did you feel about that?”
  • “What can you tell me about our heritage?”
  • “What was your biggest regret?” “Your greatest joy?” What were your darkest fears?”
  • “Did you believe in God?” “Why?”
  • “What did you do when you were afraid that you couldn’t make the house payment?”
  • “Another baby. Two boys and a girl. Wow. How did you do it?”
  • “Dad, if you had a Life Do-Over what would you do over?”
  • “We think Hillary is starting menopause. Any advice!?!”
  • “How did you keep it together when my sister, your daughter, died?”

Of course, the above just scratches the surface. There are hundreds of things I wish we had talked about. Some profound, most very basic. The Walton’s kind of stuff. The point is that I never had (took) the opportunity to ask those questions. I never sat on a bench with my dad and started a sentence with, “What do you think about…,” “Can I ask you a personal question…,” “Please, help me figure out…,” “I’m quite upset and concerned about…,” “You’re going to think this is nuts, but, I have an idea…what do you think?”

Major Cliché Warning: Life is too short. And, too unpredictable. Sometime this week find mom or dad or Bill down the street or Mary in the next cubicle or that nice old (CI) neighbor and ask a couple questions. They don’t have to be “Meaning of Life” questions, just questions about the road they’ve traveled…and the one that stretches out in front of you.

“And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man on the moon

When you comin’ home dad?

I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son

You know we’ll have a good time then…”

– Harry Chapin, “Cat’s in the Cradle”

Coming Up…

Part II:                     I’m Not Old…I’m Chronologically Superior!

Part III:                    CS Members Only – Qualifications

Part IV:                    Caution – Your Workforce and Consumer Base Are Ageing

Part V:                     Summary – So What?

Be Aware of and Beware of THE CHRONOLOGICALLY SUPERIOR!

Position Statement:

Wisdom is the sum of the reflective and reflexive understandings that settle deep in one’s soul after a long journey — a life adventure  peppered with laughter, tears, fear, foolishness, joy, doubt, amazement and wonder. Pay attention to those who have traveled before you. Ask questions and listen with your whole being. Like echoes in a canyon, the lessons will continue whispering their meaning.

 

NOTE 

What follows is a five-part essay on health and wellness for seniors. 

Once Upon a Time…

If you have followed my writings, you know that I enjoy extreme mountain adventures. High altitude treks in remote settings. If this were the 1950s, my Samsonite would flash decals from the mountain regions of Nepal, Tanzania, Alaska and Peru.

Because I’ve lived at or near sea level my whole life, training for mountains takes a lot of time and a lot of discipline. I’m talking about legs. Lots and lots of stairs, leg-lifts, leg-curls, bike time and long walks in the woods with a weighted backpack.

In addition to flat terrain, I also live where it snows, a lot. This means that I am often forced indoors during the winter months. And, this is where my story begins.

___________

 

Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bally Fitness Center, December, 2000   

I’m pedaling furiously on a Lifecycle when a young instructor approaches.

“Excuse me, sir,” she says, “We have a new piece of equipment that I think you’d really enjoy.”

Looking up, I say, “Oh, hi. Thanks. What is it?”

“A recumbent bike.” she tells me.

I think I know where she’s going with this.

“I really like the Lifecycle, but thanks, anyway.”

She hesitates for a moment and then—nicely and respectfully—says, “Sir, we have found that [uncomfortable pause] for, for, for people like you, this is a better piece of equipment.”

Well, now I do know where she is going with this but she just isn’t sure how to tell this old man to cool it with all the time he’s spending on this bicycle. I smile back, appreciating the consideration and concern, and tell her, “Yes, well, thanks again, but I really do like the Lifecycle.”

She is younger than our daughter and intensely dedicated to her profession. I can see that she isn’t going to give up. She steps back for a moment, pauses to find the right words, nods her head obviously pleased with herself and approaches, once again.

“Sir?”

“Yes?”

“Sir, we have found that…for the chronologically superior…the recumbent bicycle really is a better choice.”

I smile, pleasantly shake my head, and look up one more time, “You mean I’m old, and my prostate could use a break?”

“Yes, sir!” she beams. “That’s it, exactly.”

That is also the precise moment I forever became Chronologically Superior. I liked the way it sounded. I still do. And, by the way, I now own a recumbent bicycle.

Coming Up…

Part I:                       A Conversation with My Father

Part II:                     I’m Not Old…I’m Chronologically Superior!

Part III:                    CS Members Only – Qualifications

Part IV:                    Caution – Your Workforce and Consumer Base Are Ageing

Part V:                     Summary – So What?

A Yanqui in Havana – A Peek Behind the Cuban Healthcare System

 

In 2009 I traveled to Havana with a small team from the University of Rhode Island. Our task (pleasure) was to look as closely as we could at the wellness and prevention aspects of the Cuban healthcare system. Below there is a link to the full article I wrote when we returned. If interested, simply click the link and the article is yours…no need to leave your email address.

Michael

Samuelson Article – A Yanqui in Havana

www.samuelsonwellness.com

 

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS ARTICLE NOW AVAILABLE WITH JUST A CLICK

 

Samuelson Article – High Performance Wellness

Now available with just a click…No email address required.

SIMPLY CLICK THE LINK…

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS ARTICLE

Greetings!

All essays and videos are listed on the right.  Just click and there you go…

The full seven-part article  on High Performance Wellness is now available in PDF at no charge. If interested, just click…

Samuelson Article – High Performance Wellness

Michael

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A SPECIAL “HELLO” TO THOSE WHO ATTENDED MY WORKSHOP ON “HIGH PERFORMANCE BALANCE” AT THE ABC CONFERENCE IN ORLANDO.  IF INTERESTED IN A COPY OF THE WORKSHOP SLIDES, JUST CONTACT ME AT THE EMAIL ADDRESS ABOVE AND I’LL SEND THEM OUT ALONG WITH ANY OTHER ESSAY YOU WOULD LIKE.   IT WAS MY PLEASURE!

www.SamuelsonWellness.com

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part VII – Summary (So What?)

 

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part VII of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture.

As someone who’s been both a successful entrepreneur and a successful intrapreneur, helped raise three terrific kids, talked my wife into sharing her life with me for forty years and lived long enough to be called, “Grandpa Sam,” I consider this article on High Performance Wellness to be of utmost importance.

I am reminded of a billboard I once saw, many years ago, when I was traveling to give a speech in the shadow of Mt. Shasta in northern California. I can’t recall the sponsoring organization—may have been the Adventists—but I remember the words:

 “What Good Is It If You Are a Success at Business But a Failure at Home?”

 At that point in our lives, I was on the road two – three weeks a month trying to build a national company while my wife was at home managing a household, raising three little kids (ages 11, 6 and 4) and working fulltime as teacher. Both of us were burning the candle at both ends… from both ends of the country. The chance glimpse of that billboard was a watershed moment for me.

“What Good is it…”, indeed.

Immediately after that trip I vowed to spend more time with my family and less time on the road. It wasn’t easy. There were bills to be paid, a steep mortgage on a new house, country club dues (for the children, of course), new car and the ubiquitous Jones who lived everywhere in our neighborhood. I wanted it ALL! Of course, as I would learn over time, I already had it all. I had three terrific kids, a woman who loved me and a clean bill of health that would one day—if I continued to take care of myself—allow me to live long enough to hear a precious little one call me, “Grandpa Sam.”

“What Good is it…”, indeed.

_____________________________

  • Without a personal mission statement, you’re traveling this life road without a roadmap. Write one, today.
  • Review your business mission statement and if it is not in harmony—supports and advances—your personal mission statement pay particularly close attention to how you are living your life. You should be operating under a cautionary yellow flag. If you can’t see it, open your eyes and drop the arrogance. Beware of assimilation.
  • If you buy into the notion that the six dimensions of wellbeing (physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social and economic) are important, conduct an internal assessment of how you are currently nurturing each individual sector to strengthen the whole you.
  • If you were to die now, today, this minute, how would you rate your life with respect to achievements and failures?
  • IF you were given another ten years, what would you do with those years?
  • Take a look at your list of goals, both short term and long term. Are the goals yours, or are you someone’s proxy?
  • Test your level of passion and commitment to your stated goals by completing the seven-day validation exercise in Part VI.

Next Article Coming Up:  Be Aware of and Beware of … THE CHRONOLOGICALLY SUPERIOR!

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part VI – How Do I Validate and Support the Goals I CHOOSE?

 

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part VI of a seven-part essay on work/life balance.

 

Advancing/Hindering Personal Goals & Personal Happiness: A 7-Day Exercise

Understand that, in the moment they occur, all actions are selfish. All of them. Decisions are made, and actions are taken, in the context of what we regard as meeting our best interests. There is a perceived emotional payoff. This is not in itself right or wrong, it simply is.

Writing down and announcing goals like losing weight, quitting smoking, starting an exercise program or finishing the Great American Novel make us feel valued, even righteous. Friends applaud, mom is happy, Oprah smiles, society is delighted with our decision. In fact, the external shouts of approval often drown out our internal hesitations, fears, doubts and even desires. Externally driven “Shoulds” trump internally driven “Wants.” And, while the “Shoulds” in life may get you engaged the “Wants” are the key to sustainability.

To determine whether your goals are actually yours and not just the urgings of your Aunt Betty, Dr. Phil, or your significant other, you need to monitor whether or not YOUR actions are advancing or hindering YOUR understanding of personal happiness. If you are constantly blocking goal attainment, it’s time to examine your passion or just maybe you need to restate your goal is terms of what you truly want.

 

 

For the next seven days — within an hour of getting out of bed — answer the three questions, below:

Coming Up:

Part VII:  Summary (So What?)

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part V – Once I CHOOSE a Goal What’s The Likelihood I’ll Stay With It?

 

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part V of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture.

The Process of Change (That’s Really What We’re Talking About)

Change!  No matter how badly we want it for ourselves or for others, sustainable, meaningful, change is a process, not an event.  The process is linear and sequential.  It progresses from intellectual, to emotional, to visceral before it becomes cellular.

  1. The Intellectual Phase:  We are informed (passive)
  2. The Emotional Phase:  We are engaged (active)
  3. The Visceral Phase:  We are moved to action (active)
  4. The Cellular Phase: We are the change (passive)

The KEY stage is the visceral stage.  Or, as Howard Beale would say, the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” stage.

Measuring Passion, Opportunity & Probability

Respect the power of the possible. Probability is the product of statistical variables, possibility, however is a defined empty cup waiting to be filled to the brim by your courage and determination.  Without passion, setting long-term goals are meaningless regardless of available resources.  In all cases passion will trump opportunity.

Using The Probability Gauge,™ select one of your achievement goals and chart both the passion you feel toward the goal as well as your available resources (opportunity).  The point of intersection will give you an idea of how feasible this goal is.

Sustainable change does not exist…until your soul awakens and your bones start shakin’

Coming Up:

VI:       How Do I Validate and Support the Goals that I Choose?
VII:     Summary (So What?)

HIGH PERFORMANCE WELLNESS: Part IV – If Life Gave Me a Do-Over What Would I CHOOSE to Do-Over?

well·ness, \ˈwel-nəs\: a dynamic objective and subjective progression toward a state of complete physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, economic and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Incremental improvements can occur from pre-conception up to and including a person’s last breath

 – MH Samuelson

Position Statement:

Wellness is located at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration. To live there, you must first choose to move out of the Village of Someday.

 – MH Samuelson

 NOTE 

What follows is Part IV of a seven-part essay on work/life balance. While the basic information applies to everyone who accepts pay in exchange for effort, the focus of this essay is on the skills needed to emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and financially thrive in a fast-paced, early stage, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial venture.

 

DISCOVERING YOUR PASSION

You know what moves you, what stirs your soul and shakes your bones. You’ve always known. Problem is that a lifetime of listening to others, quieting your inner voice, tempering desire with compliance and compromise, and applying a thin, comforting, facade of “Someday” have buried your spirit under a confusing tangle of noise, shadows and distortion.

As you think about a life “Do Over,” spend some time with the poem below. The first half reflects our lack of confidence and our dependence upon everyone else to see what is best for us. Our inner voice and spirit pleads to be heard but, like speaking to a child, we shush the voice so that the “adults” can be heard. In the second half of the poem, we have learned to pay attention to our gut, to our heart, and to our instincts. We appreciate the interest of others but focus on personal accountability and self-direction. 

______________________________________________________________________________

Be Very Quiet & Listen…

 – Michael Hayes Samuelson

 My ears accept your words but that’s where they seem to remain

The vibrations are clear and, yet, distant — yes, there is logic and the gift is truly appreciated

However, a persistent mute tugs at my sleeve and distracts me from the moment

 

Be still, I say, there are others talking and you must be quiet & listen

 

I pay attention; I really do, however, I only catch a spark and then it’s gone

What did you say?  I heard you speak but I can’t seem to follow

A muffled breeze tugs at my sleeve and distracts me from the moment

 

Be still, I implore, let those who know — speak their truth — you must be quiet & listen

 

I nod my head; follow directions, and give thanks for such strong support

Often the direction takes me to a place where I feel safe but somehow not secure

An echo of a whisper tugs at my sleeve and distracts me from the moment

 

Be still, I shout, who are you to contradict — you must be quiet & listen!

 

The companion voice wishes to speak but is smothered by noise from the street and

Daunted by scolding doubts from within

_____________

Years, reflections, and nurturing wisdom bring clarity to the voices

I listen with all my senses and pay close attention to the whispers — particularly those of

A used-to-be-mute that tugs at my sleeve and distracts me from the moment

Speak up, I say, and I will be quiet and I will listen

 

I pay attention as I strain to hear the pleas and questions hidden among the words

What did you say?  Sometimes, my ability to understand is impaired by the noise of emotion

The goddess tugs at my sleeve bringing both a cleansing breeze and a basket of dreams

 

Speak up, I implore, and reveal the truth — I will be quiet and I will listen

 

I nod my head, follow directions, and give thanks for such strong support

Often the direction takes me to a place where I may not always feel safe but I do feel secure

A clear voice tugs at my sleeve and protects me from distractions

 

Speak up, I shout, keep me aware of contradictions — I will be quiet and I will listen

 

The companion voice speaks freely high above the noise of the street and is

Encouraged by a growing confidence that glows from within

_____________

 

Exercise:  Discovering Your Passion…Clearing the Jungle

Write down three risks you’ve consider taking but you were stopped by the “Yeah, But…” syndrome. 

______________________________________________________________

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Write Your Obituary (assume you die today…sorry)*

  • name (including nickname, if any
  • age at death
  • residence
  • date of birth
  • education
  • employment
  • charitable, religious, political affiliations
  • ACHIEVEMENTS
  • disappointments
  • a published quote that sums up your life
  • six words to sum up your life
  • hobbies, sports, interests, activities
  • designations, awards and other recognitions
  • names of parents
  • siblings
  • marriage(s) date of, place, name of spouse
  • children (name(s), current residence(s)
  • humorous story

* at a minimum, write down “ACHIEVEMENTS” and at least one other item in bold

 Great News! You Get to Live Another 10 Years…Edit Accordingly

  • ACHIEVEMENTS:
  • DISAPPOINTMENTS:
  • HOBBIES, SPORTS, INTERESTS, ACTIVITIES:
  • SIX WORDS THAT SUM UP MY LIFE:

helpful, but secondary…

  • Make a list of the books you’ve read over the past five years
  • Ask your best friend where your passion lies (immensely helpful)
  • What magazines do your read (online or traditional print)
  • Favorite Websites
  • What kind of movies do you like (action, romance, comedy, independent, documentary…)
  • Reflect on the above and journal your thoughts (no more than 3 pages)
  • Go back and re-read your two obituaries

Exercise:  Discovering Your Passion…Clearing the Jungle

What I Expected (no surprise)…

  • ______________________
  • ______________________
  • ______________________
  • ______________________

What I Discovered…

  • _____________________
  • _____________________
  • _____________________
  • _____________________

Coming Up:

Part V:       Once I Choose a Goal, What’s the Likelihood that I’ll Stay with It?

Part VI:      How Do I Validate and Support the Goals that I Choose?

Part VII:     Summary (So What?)