A Light In The Woods

“There is a candle in every soul / Some brightly burning, some dark and cold . . . Carry your candle, run to the darkness / Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn / Hold out your candle for all to see it / Take your candle, and go light your world.”

Chris Rice, “Go Light Your World”

In The Dark

I grew up in the country. Beyond our backyard was a pasture, then the woods. My brother, my cousins, and our friends liked to play in those woods. One evening after supper, we ran into the woods to play a game. We were having so much fun we lost track of time and didn’t realize that it was getting late. Before we knew it, night had fallen and we were in the dark. I began running, but of course I couldn’t see and ran smack into a tree! (I suppose you could say I couldn’t see the tree for the forest.) Fortunately for the rest of us, one of the guys had a flashlight. He turned it on and then we could see him. We all gathered around and he led us out of the woods, shining his flashlight . . . no more running into trees.

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Time To Be

To discover and understand your purpose and to organize your life around it requires time . . . time to think about how you’ll manifest your purpose and time to reflect on your performance. Organize your time and your calendar to explicitly schedule in these activities.

A Tale Of Two Workers

This is a tale of two workers. Call them Tom and Tim.

Tom works hard. He’s busy all day. Here is a typical day for Tom. When he wakes up, Tom immediately reaches for his phone to check for messages and e-mails. Before he gets out of bed, his mind is already teeming with thoughts of what he has to do today. He gets up and rushes through showering and dressing for work. He skips breakfast — who has time? He’ll grab a fast food sandwich and a cup of coffee on the way to the office.

Once at the office, Tom checks his e-mail again, then his calendar. He has several back-to-back meetings scheduled. He also has a major project that is due by the end of the week but he hasn’t had time to work on it yet. Maybe he can get to it today. And oh yeah, there was that upset customer that called yesterday . . . he still needs to call her back.

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How Purpose Leads To Accomplishment

What did you come here to do? How could you do more of it?

A Late Bloomer

I am a late bloomer. I did not follow a straight path to success or happiness or fulfillment; as a matter of fact, I am still walking that path. But over the years I have gotten closer to what those things mean for me.

My journey has been a circuitous one. I went about life for many years not really concerned about what my “purpose” was, or even if I had one. Like many people, I kept busy with work, helping to raise a family, being a husband and father, dealing with aging parents — all the every day stuff that can fill our lives.

I didn’t take much time to contemplate the larger questions: What did I come here to accomplish? What is my Job (with a capital “J”)?

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Lay A Solid Foundation

“You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation.” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley The first step in creating your Excelerated Life is to lay a solid foundation by identifying and living from your Valid Values.

The Parable Of Two House Builders

Two men aspired to build houses for themselves.

The first man, who was wise, selected a firm foundation of rock and built his house on this solid foundation. The second man, not so wise, decided it was too difficult to find a rock base for his house, so he built it on the sandy soil where he stood.

Both houses rose tall and stately while the sun shone and there were no troubles or bad weather. But one day, trouble came. It began to rain hard. Flood waters rose. The winds blew and beat against the two houses.

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How To Know Your Values . . . And Why

“The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person. . . Proactive people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.” ~ Dr. Stephen Covey

“Crossing The I-Beam”

If you have ever read much or listened to presentations by Hyrum Smith, founder of the company that developed the Franklin Planner time management system and co-founder with Stephen Covey of the Franklin Covey company, you have likely heard his “crossing the I-beam” exercise. If you haven’t, I’ll summarize it here. Continue reading “How To Know Your Values . . . And Why”

Capacities Clamoring To Be Used

“The muscular person likes to use his muscles, indeed, has to use them in order to self-actualize, and to achieve the subjective feeling of harmonious, uninhibited, satisfying functioning which is so important an aspect of psychological health. People with intelligence must use their intelligence, people with eyes must use their eyes, people with the capacity to love have the impulse to love and the need to love in order to feel healthy. Capacities clamor to be used, and cease their clamor only when they are used sufficiently.” ~ Abraham Maslow  Toward a Psychology of Being

Capacities clamor to be used.

I read this quote from Abraham Maslow’s book in a recent +1 note from Brian Johnson. The capacities that “clamor to be used” remind me of the VIA Character strengths.

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Make Your Contribution Greater Than Your Reward

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

In the book, The 10 Laws Of Lifetime Growth, authors Dan Sullivan and Catherine Nomura share their ideas, captured in 10 “laws” or principles, for continued growth, self-development, flourishing, and a lifetime of contribution and service. Continue reading “Make Your Contribution Greater Than Your Reward”

Remembering 2017

“When you think about it and apply yourself, you are creating your life. When you don’t think about it and do whatever, you are creating your life.” ~ Holiday Mathis

The new year is often a time for beginning new things. We make resolutions and set goals. Sometimes we make other new starts . . . a new assignment, a new project, a new job. It can be exciting, and sometimes a little scary, to make a fresh start and the new year just naturally offers a place to start anew.

Before jumping headlong into the new year, it can be beneficial and freeing to reflect on the year we are finishing up. Continue reading “Remembering 2017”