Some thoughts on success in life.
Some thoughts on success in life.
Some thoughts on purpose and the noble goal.
By now, you’ve probably seen a thousand articles on new year resolutions. This post is not one of them. I just want to give you some new year advice.
I’ve always believed that you know how to live your life, so my help is designed to come alongside of your journey and inspire.
Here’s my new year advice:
If you need any help with the points in my post, reach out through the comments section or by email.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the space between the notes, in music and in life. Quite frankly, the blending of the two. As a musician, I was taught about the discipline of waiting and going forward. The discipline has served me well. Its been a cruel teacher when I’ve failed to take it seriously. It has been a two-sided friend.
I read a quote once credited to Bill Evans. He was asked in an interview why he seemed to linger after striking certain notes. His response was simply his desire to wait and see what the next note would bring. Jazz musicians have always been credited with strong improvisation skills. Obviously, or not , Bill Evans was a master at it. He believed that music was conversational.
Life is conversational.
In your race to grab a hold of something or someone, are you missing the space in between? Could it be that what you’re looking for is found there? The impact is always felt once a note is played. The best artists know true impact is felt in an echo or the lingering tone. It’s instinctive in so many respects, yet ignored in the same frame.
Is your life just a flurry of notes, full of hurry, clutter, fear, and doubt? Why won’t you slow down? Why won’t you let go?
I know many who fear what’s in between the notes. Between the notes we find the wounds. People often fear those same wounds will be exposed. Who will listen? Who will give empathy? The world has become shallow, and safe places to open up are becoming more rare. Social media has made it worse. I sometimes think about what it would be like to wave a magic wand and change it all, but of course I don’t possess that power. Life is tough and it can be daunting.
Take comfort, there is safety here.
In my last post I gave you a glimpse of how I manage my life. I didn’t quite describe it as “life management,” but you get it.
So if life is a composition, then what are the notes?
Thoughts, words and actions are the notes. They are the power in the music. Thoughts, words and actions will determine the beauty or the ugliness of the composition. Even more importantly, the hearer will be influenced. Daunting.
I’m always floored when I think of how many people manage life by accident. The jumping from thing to thing, just to land in a place I don’t recognize doesn’t appeal to me. I want to make deposits into eternity.
Considering that more than a few people have seen me as a man from mars, for putting so much emphasis on the composition, explains a lot.
I’ve made some mistakes with my choice of notes. I sometimes tried to play a dance song, when I should have played a ballad. I sometimes had the volume too loud, when a soft melody would have sufficed. Just the same, I keep practicing. I keep practicing because I want my life to sound something like this:
Dreams are fragile things. They’re given as a spark, designed to turn into a flame. That flame should only go out if used to ignite the new dream.
That’s why I don’t want you to let career snuff out your dreams.
No surprise, but keeping our dreams alive is very hard work. More and more hard work is not esteemed. We’ve been programmed (deceived) to believe there’s an easier pathway. The reality remains, keeping dreams alive requires hard work. It’s worth all you have.
I see our dreams as brushstrokes on the canvas of our lives. We were made to dream.
The most insidious enemy of our dreams is career. Career is the ring, the untamed beast, the riptide. It can be mastered when one orders their lives. It be made to be slave if you have the courage to be who you are. If not, it will seek to be the dominate force in your life. I’ve been fighting for over ten years.
What are you doing with your dreams?
I posted this over a year ago and I returned to Andy’s TED Talk a couple of days ago. It was a great reminder of a precious gift.
So why does mindfulness matter? It matters because if you’re like me, there is a ton coming at you everyday. Social media, email, work demands, family issues, and the list could go on. I’m so thankful that I found yoga. It has helped me in so many ways with this war (mental in this case) we’re in. The mindfulness and physical lift I get are two big ones that leap out.
In the clip, Andy Poddicombe, points to some insights I plan on expanding in my mind. I want to do a better job of managing my thought-life in the here, and on.
In December of last year I caught this article on creativity. Specifically, how creativity is viewed in the work place. I found it rather ironic because of the changing face of work today. In a work world where so much is being turned upside-down, you’d think the creative would be more valued. I carry a bias toward the creative. I belong to that tribe, with great energy and vibe.
Between coaching clients, conversations with decision makers (small and large companies) and the written word, I get a strong sense of how work is changing. The following is not based in theory, and gives a sense of what is here and what’s to come:
The bullets above are sobering. Don’t lose you soul navigating the waters.
Note: I'm conscious of all the talk around guns in the U.S. As you will see, guns in this post are used as a metaphor.
Learning how to get shot has been one of the best things to ever happen to me.
I was chatting with an entrepreneur a couple of weeks ago and we got into the subject of failed ventures/experiments. I told him that after a few failures, you begin to learn how to try again with better information and understanding. We agreed and smiled as if we both were remembering the "one" that should have gotten traction.
He went onto tell me about a conference he attended, where he met a man in the training business. He was no ordinary trainer. This man trained soldiers in multiple areas, but the one that leaped out at me was the area of combat. Specifically, teaching soldiers how to get shot. Teaching them how to get shot? How about not getting shot?
Here's the deal. This entrepreneur was a part of the British Special Forces and had been shot multiple times in the line of duty. Where things happen lightening quick, you can understand the importance of this art. He retold the story of how he was wounded, but the very interesting part was around how humans respond to trauma.
When harmed we go into shock.
Going into shock hinders our ability to heal and keep going. This entrepreneur teaches soldiers how to keep going if for some reason they're shot. The mission doesn't end because of a wound. The mission continues and should. See the connection? Like soldiers, we need to keep going.
As our conversation came to a close I reviewed my own history and I thought about how many times I've been "shot." Many times, as many of you know. I felt good. Not because I enjoyed the failed experiment or that wanted to see if I could take the hit, but because these events have shaped me and prepared me for what's to come-good and bad. This is truly when life is like Hebrew (have to read it backwards to understand it).
I've been walking this planet long enough to know that most things in life are unexpected. I also don't believe in accidents when it comes to the fundamental movement of our life story. Call me a fool or heretic, but many who are wiser than me have aaid the same.
So when you get the call out of the blue (so you think) don't freak out. It's all a part of the plan. It might hurt you deeply or leave you with much excitement, but just breathe and go where the road is leading.
All of this comes with a warning. If you have been goofing around with your life and not managing it, then an unexpected call or seemingly random accident will wreck you. That's my disclaimer.
Here's to the unexpected events and accidents.