Tag Archive: life to the full


carpe

It’s the beginning of a new week and if you’re not careful, and a little bit intentional, before you know it it can suddenly be Friday and the week will have snuck by like just another week. i wanted to do my little bit to hopefully help you stop that from happening by suggesting five very different ways you can be intentional about make this a week of Significance. Don’t try and do all five, but maybe there is one or two of these that jump out at you as something you can plan to do this week to make it a better one than if you had just breezed through on Autopilot: Continue reading

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Choose this Week…

yesterday

Well here we are, at the start of another week.

In one sense, it’s just another day in another week in another month in another year and if we think like that, chances are we are going to meander on in the same old way we have been and nothing too significant is likely to happen.

But if we stop for a second and approach this week as a whole new thing and today as a brand new day, then it creates opportunities. And highlights potential.

For me [as a somewhat disorganised, easily distracted, Improv-embracing kind of guy] i find that spending a few minutes planning the week before it happens really helps to focus me on things i want to see done, deadlines i must remember to meet and opportunities for greatness or significance to plot. If i don’t plan even just for a little bit i find that Friday happens upon me too quickly and i have missed out on a week that could have been so much more.

clingtoamistake

So what is one thing [you have been putting off?] that you want to achieve by the end of this week? Write it down. i have a whiteboard in my Man Cave office which makes it easier for me to have things-to-do staring in my face all week. Before it used to be a piece of paper on the floor or a hand-written note at the side of my bed.

Who is one person who you can encourage? Take a minute to think of someone in [or at the edges of] your life who might be in need of a bit of a boost. Not the person that everyone would choose, but someone who really needs it. The power of a phone call, or a coffee date, or a hand-written note or even a text message is SO HUGE. Decide now at least one person that you are going to give a lift to this week and then go through with it.

Enlarge your circles

One thing i want to encourage you to do is to seek diversity. Have a conversation with someone outside of the regular people you hang with. Ask them to share a part of their story. Choose to read a book written by a person from a different background, country or language than those you normally read. Rent a movie with subtitles. Choose at least one moment this week to stretch yourself and invite something new into your life. You might not like it and that’s okay – choose something different next week. Try cooking a dish you’ve never cooked before.

This week is yours to embrace. Or you can simply zombie-walk through it like every other week. The choices you make in this moment are going to help define what could be a super incredible life-transforming above-average week. The kind i love to live.

And if you decide to give any of these things a chance, please come and tell me about them in the comments. I’d love to hear how your week was shifted. Have a super amazing one.

Oh and lastly, don’t be sad…

coversad

hemustbecomegreateriless1.jpg

It is the start of a brand new week.

With it come opportunities to reflect on what has been, to consider what might be, to wipe slates clean and start again, to get freshly excited for old relationships and new causes, to lift up your head once more and believe in everything that is possible, to seek forgiveness where relationships might be frayed, to entertain the ‘What If?’ of the seemingly impossible and to consider how each one of us might be a part of changing our world for the better. Both on the smallest scale as well as in a family, provincial, national and perhaps even global way.

So i wanted to share a prayer with you that i was reminded of again this last week.

When tbV and i were in Philly, we got to spend a few days at a Benedictine monastery connected to a university and our short time hearing some of how they operate with such a much bigger life picture [600 year plans as opposed to 60 year plans, 60 years of seeing transition happen as opposed to viewing it in one year increments] affected and hopefully infected some of how we see and do life. This is a Benedictine prayer and may each line move you to your very core…

My prayer for you this week:

Prayer of Discomfort

“May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.”

How about you print this out or make it a screensaver or something so that you can start each day this week by reading and praying and meaning those words, and let’s see just how incredible a week we can all have together.?

When tbV [the beautiful Val] and i were living in Oakland about a year ago, we came across a book titled ‘Free’ by a friend of ours we had met over here, Mark Scandrette.

free

The tagline of the book is ‘Spending your Time and Money on What Matters Most’ and that really does sum up the book. We decided to gather some people together and work through the book over an eight week period. Continue reading

tomb

i wrote a post a couple of years ago titled, ‘Your Obituary Starts Here’ which i need to flesh out a little i think, because we don’t say or think enough about that.

When i turned 40 last year, among other things my wife got my best friend from college to bake a Boob Cake [yup, exactly what you thought when you read that] and put together a bunch of the things i had wanted to happen at my funeral one day, so that i could more sensibly enjoy them while i was still alive.

Last night we had some friends around at the place we are staying at with our old housemates in Americaland for a bit of a Generosity Dinner, which involves pooling some money and sharing some needs of people we know and then coming up with some ideas together that might be able to help them.

And the other day, tbV posted this short summary video of the Justice Conference she just attended in Chicago, which literally moved me to tears, even though it was just sound bytes.

Three short posts and a video – if you have ten minutes then follow those links and really take them in. Are you making the most of you life count for something? Am i?

Are you involved in conversations that count? Are you reading things that are important and informing you about life and how to live it better? [interspersed with Terry Pratchett novels of course – it doesn’t all have to be too serious, but let some of it be] Is at least some of your time involved in volunteering or mentoring or investing in key relationships? Are you taking time to listen to people that are not the typical voices you listen to? [Like reading books/blogs/news written by people who are not your colour, age, religion] Is any of your thinking, dreaming, bucket-listing related to world-changing ideas and plans? Or country-affecting? Even just local neighborhood, school or family transforming?

Basically, does your life count? How much of a difference are you involved in making? If the answer to this depresses you, don’t let it. Rather change something. It is never too late.

Life is too short to simply exist. We have to live. And the more of us that really start living, the better. Embrace life. Thrive. You are never to old to learn and you are never too old to make some kind of difference. There are too many dehydrating starfish on the beach and not enough little children, tossing them back into the waves one by one.

i have lived [and continue to live] a full life…

The other day i posted about how my wife organised Black Widow and Hulk costumes so that we could watch the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie dressed up.

i also returned home from my trip to Durban to find that she had discovered an old stack of photos from my life with some really crazy hairstyles and some crazier life moments documented right there before her eyes. Continue reading

However you choose to live your life, refuse to settle.

As both just a person, but especially a Christ follower, this is something that i have witnessed in so many people in life over and over again. Not everyone, fortunately, and it is the ones who refuse to settle who keep me hopeful and energised and aiming at a thrive-filled life, but just so many people give up fighting or dreaming or pursuing passion or believing they can change any part of the world and this is so sad to me.

But i think i read something that makes it all make a little more sense.

settle

i have just finished reading Scott M. Peck’s ‘The Road Less Traveled’ and while the number of ‘L’s used in the word ‘traveled’ in his book title deeply disturbs me, i found it to be really interesting and helpful in many ways. Much wadier than the typical book i would give attention to, but well worth the pushing through. And i would highly recommend it.

This extract i want to share follows on closely from the really helpful posts i shared on mapping, which you can catch up on over here if you missed them [and seriously do, cos they could revolutionise your life] and looks at a Dedication to Reality:

The third tool of discipline or technique of dealing with the pain of problem-solving, which must continually be employed if our lives are to be healthy and our spirits are to grow, is dedication to the truth. Superficially, this should be obvious. For truth is reality. That which is false is unreal.

The more clearly we see the reality of the world, the better equipped we are to deal with the world. The less clearly we see the reality of the world – the more our minds are befuddled by falsehood, misperceptions and illusions – the less able we will be to determine correct courses of action and make wise decisions. Our view of reality is like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life. If the map is true and accurate, we will generally know where we are, and if we have decided where we want to go, we will generally know how to get there. If the map is false and inaccurate, we generally will be lost. 

While this is obvious, it is something that most people to a greater or lesser degree choose to ignore. They ignore it because our route to reality is not easy. First of all, we are not born with maps; we have to make them, and the making requires effort. The more effort we make to appreciate and perceive reality, the larger and more accurate our maps will be. But many do not want to make this effort. Some stop making it by the end of adolescence. Their maps are small and sketchy, their views of the world narrow and misleading. By the end of middle age most people have given up the effort. They feel certain that their maps are complete and their Weltanschauung  [Yes, i had to look this up: A comprehensive world view created by the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society’s knowledge and point of view – Wikipedia]is correct [indeed, even sacrosanct], and they are no longer interested in new information. It is as if they are tired. Only a relative and fortunate few continue until the moment of death exploring the mystery of reality, ever enlarging and refining and redefining their understanding of the world and what is true.

But the biggest problem of map-making is not that we have to start from scratch, but that if our maps are to be accurate we have to continually revise them. The world itself is constantly changing. Glaciers come, glaciers go. Cultures come, cultures go. There is too little technology, there is too much technology. Even more dramatically, the vantage point from which we view the world is constantly and quite rapidly changing. When we are children we are dependent, powerless. As adults we may be more powerful. Yet in illness or an infirm ol age we may  become powerless and independent again. When we have children to care for, the world looks different from when we have none; when we are raising infants, the world seems different from when we are raising adolescents. When we are poor, the world looks different from when we are rich. We are daily bombarded with new information as to the nature of reality. If we are to incorporate this information, we must continually revise our maps, and sometimes make very major revisions. The process of making revisions, particularly major revisions, is painful, sometimes excruciatingly painful. And herein lies the major source of many of the ills of mankind. 

What happens when one has striven long and hard to develop a working view of the world, a seemingly useful, workable map, and then is confronted with new information suggesting that their view is wrong and the map needs to be largely redrawn? The painful effort required seems frightening, almost overwhelming. What we do more often than not, and almost unconsciously, is to ignore the new information as false, dangerous, heretical, the work of the devil. We may actually crusade against it, and even attempt to manipulate the world so as to make it conform to our view of reality. Rather than try to change the map, an individual may try to destroy the new reality. Sadly, such a person may expend much more energy ultimately in defending an outmoded view of the world tha would have been required to revise and correct it in the first place. 

[from ‘The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth’ by M. Scott Peck]

[To read the first part of these three pieces i shared, which introduces the map idea, click here]

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