Many cultures and religions focus on the art of introspection. It is a worthwhile endeavour to spend some time with yourself, understand your thoughts, behavior and mental state. It is through this process that we are enlightened, that we get to explore previously unimaginable traits. Without this action we will most likely coast through life on the whims and fancy of the world and without meaning and purpose.
"We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.”
— Famous Zen proverb.
For many of us life is a drive on the super highway; it’s fast, it’s flashy and it can become reckless. We confuse initiative with risky behavior. We’re always in a hurry to get to “the next best thing.” Our desires drive our point of view.
So, we see things the way we want them to be; not the way they really are. Before we know it, our actions can often go awry, and we find ourselves stressed, confused and dealing with conflicts or issues resulting from our distorted state of thinking which led to misguided actions.
But, we can take a stand and drive to live the best life we can. It is within our power to manage our mindset, thoughts and action. This power comes when we utilize the insight into our true nature to honestly frame our mind and our thoughts; guiding our decisions and actions.
I’ve learned that, when things feel the most out of control, I need to focus on staying grounded, connected to a path, we cannot change others, we can only change ourselves. What this means is that we have an opportunity to do the “inner work,” to reflect on the things we can control and ways we can move things forward.
On a few occasions lately, I’ve found myself feeling frustrated by small, inconsiderate actions by others — people making easily avoidable mistakes, individuals showing a lack of enthusiasm or interest. These minor transgressions added up and eventually made me feel unsupported, or even a little bit defeated.
It’s during these times that you realize “you cannot control the outside world and their actions” but you can control your reaction to the situation. Look within yourself and seek the strength and determination to find poise, positivity and purpose.
6 word stories
"For sale: baby shoes, never worn." is the entirety of what has been described as a six-word story. Written by Ernest Hemingway, This story popularized a writing style commonly known as flash fiction. The six-word story, it’s said, came from a ten-dollar bet Hemingway made at a lunch with some other writers that he could write a novel in six words.
In November 2006, Larry Smith, founder of SMITH Magazine, gave the six-word novel a personal twist by asking his community to describe their lives in exactly six words.
They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“From migrant worker to NASA astronaut”). and hilarious (“Married by Elvis, divorced by Friday”). And the Six-Word Memoir project was born.
Since then, Six-Word Memoir project has become a global phenomenon and a bestselling book series.
Check out some great 6 word stories here for inspiration on how to write yours.
A creative way to express one's emotions and feelings in a succinct and qualified manner. Emotional expression often makes people nervous and uncomfortable which is why we sometimes shy away from them.
Six-word stories are perfect little bite-sized emotional expressions. You can throw it out there and leave it open to interpretation. Interestingly enough, because of our common threads and shared experiences, we can often intuit enough about the story to understand exactly what it means.
Using only 6 words, write A story about something that gives you hope!
Wisdom/What I'm Reading...
Blake Mycoskie - Next Steps
“Giving connects you to something beyond yourself; and when you put others first, you’re making the world a better, more hopeful place.”
Read an extract of the TOMS story here
The story of Blake Mycoskie starting TOMS Shoes is well known in entrepreneurial circles. While many would be content after building a half billion-dollar business, Blake is not one of them.
After founding the shoe company in 2006, using a “buy one, give one,” model that has seen 86 million pairs of shoes donated to those in need, Mycoskie sold a 50% stake to Bain Capital for $300 million in 2014 and stepped down as CEO in 2015.
He is now on a mission to share his learnings to encourage people to lead their best life.
Read this short (8 Chapter) series which delivers a solid punch of reality that will in some way resonate with each of us.
Some of my best extracts:
Lesson 3 - Think Like a Beginner: “It’s the unbridled enthusiasm of landing on a revolutionary thought; the seemingly foolish optimism that gets so many start-ups up and started”.
Follow the rookie modest, always maintain exploration mode and never be shy to learn a lesson.
Lesson 6 - Ask for Help: “The takeaway here is that help really helps”. This sounds obvious but most of us find it very difficult to admit.
Lesson 7 - Know your Mission: “To Live Courageous Lives with Grace and Moderation”
What's your life mission in 50 words or less. Just like a business thrives when it has a purposeful and meaningful mission, so do you.
Think about what is important to you and your core values.