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Posts from the ‘Motivation’ Category

Expectations

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

As we were finishing our walk in the woods, we heard the trees rustle. We looked quickly to the left and a beautiful deer popped her head up, mouth full of leaves. Startled at first, we gazed in awe in each other’s eyes for a minute and then quietly went on our way.

“If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.” – Heraclitus

“If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.” – Heraclitus

You never know what’s going to be around the next corner, on the path ahead. Assume good things are coming and open up to the “unexpected in common hours.”

Green Light

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee

What we “go” on, what we pursue, what we say “yes” to defines our very life. So often we say yes when we should say no and no when we should say yes. Or even worse, we don’t answer at all, we freeze, delayed by an overwhelm of options or believing that there are no options at all.

Open your eyes and see the abundance that is found in this day. Choose wisely, but by all means choose. What we don’t do is what we most regret.

So savor more, give more, be grateful more, be kind more and always choose optimism which is a daily decision. The light is green, GO.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucius

Reach

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning

It is in the effort and action of reaching that we are simultaneously pulled and pushed. Motion transforms to momentum. Dreams released to unfold. The effort soon becomes effortless and the action natural.

“But for each of us, isn't life about determining your own finish line?” – Diana Nyad

“But for each of us, isn’t life about determining your own finish line?” – Diana Nyad

Change is our friend not foe. Growth is our calling. And reaching our potential is not only for oneself but is the gift that the world needs from each one of us. Our purpose is to leave this world with no regrets or doubts that we became our best and most sacred self. And the world is better for it.

Reach, and keep reaching.

Drop by Drop

“The rain begins with a single drop.” – Manal al-Sharif

We don’t finish where we start. And we won’t finish if we don’t start. A single drop joins another and another to create a stream and flow. We discard precious time over-thinking how to get where we want to go. Start. And drop by drop, step by step, momentum and time join to create reality of mere thoughts.

flow

“Surrender to the flow.” – Mike Gordon

Brick upon brick soon reveals a building. One drop and suddenly the skies open to rain. The “secret” is there are no short cuts, the only way through and to is starting, believing and enjoying the road to the finish. If it’s in your heart, it’s meant to be. Start.

Define

In a number of halting moments recently, I am reminded yet again of the importance of defining who and what we let in. The theme of the week, month, year is “do more, faster.” But no matter how fast and far we run, it will never be enough. The spectators and critics will want more, more and more.

When we run our own race, dance our own dance, defining what we give ourselves to, we discover what we already know deep down – we are more than enough. When we show up, fully participate, give and be our best, the critic is silenced.

Discouragement is easy to be found, felt and shared to be sure. But we are called to a deeper, more meaningful life each day, beyond the obvious and below the surface. When we define who we are rather than letting others do so, we live out our potential, unfolding to our calling.

Define your day, define your life. And along the way, be kind.

The Frog

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” ― Mark Twain

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” – Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” – Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

There’s an old saying “eat the frog first” – do what you don’t want to do first so you stop procrastinating and move on. When we delay starting, we give too much power to the “frog.” Our perceptions, assumptions and worries are not reality, but we make them our reality when they prevent us from living the good life we are meant to live.

Jump to it and eat the frog! There’s a lot of living to savor and not a lot of time to do it.

Time and Distance

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” – Thomas Carlyle

As I was getting ready for my 20 mile run yesterday morning, I kept telling myself – time and distance, time and distance. It’s not about speed, but about running long enough to get the mileage in. I was apprehensive about my ankle and missing two long training runs over the past two weeks.

After the first 5 miles, I settled in, let go, listened to music and just ran. Nothing existing before or after, steeped in the flow of the movement, in the moment. When I hit 16 miles, I could feel the wear on my body but knew I would complete it. The last 4 miles were run by my heart.

After a long hot shower, gratefulness and contentment set in, something I was short on the past two weeks. My ankle demanded rest, my head argued that I would lose three months of training capacity if I took a break for however long it for my ankle to heal. Luckily with the encouragement of friends and family, the work of my chiropractor and massage therapist/friend  and rest, I finished.

Sometimes we need to rest. Sometimes we need to push through. Most times we need to do both. It’s the ebb and flow of life. And most of all, when we tire when we are so close to finishing, we need to let our mind rest and run with our heart that tells us we can do it, we have it in us, keep going.

Anything we pursue in life requires our whole person to be on the same team – our body, mind, heart and spirit. Our heart and spirit are fueled by faith. And often times our body and mind stray, leaving the heart and spirit to finish the job. And when we put the time in, we will go the distance.

“Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.” – Max Frisch

 

 

The Human Spirit

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph

Another Grandma’s marathon, another first marathon to celebrate. This time it was my niece Emily’s turn and she did it! The first marathon is about finishing. It’s the “I think I can and I’m ready but I’ve never done it before” elusiveness.

Four to five months of training, commitment and hard work gets you to the start line. You learn the value of preparing your mind as much as your body as well as your spirit. All play an important role in getting to the finish line.

Many training runs by yourself convince you that you are alone in this effort. But when you get to marathon day, you soon realize through the support and encouragement of family, friends and complete strangers along the way that you are in no way alone in the endeavor, or in life for that matter. The cowbells, people yelling your name, the texts from family and friends checking in, the running by your side the last mile show how many people are cheering for and sharing in your success.

“The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one's opportunities and make the most of one's resources.” – Luc de Clapiers

“The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one’s opportunities and make the most of one’s resources.” – Luc de Clapiers

Whether it’s a marathon or another dream or goal, the meaning comes from the journey before ever getting to the start line. It’s the unfolding and freeing of the human spirit that deepens the meaning and calls us to seek more challenges and dreams. There are no short cuts – the secret is in the intersection of time, effort, focus, consistency, faith, optimism, persistence and determination.

Pick your “marathon” and go for it with your whole heart, mind and spirit. We all have longings that pull at us to go out into the world to give and be our best, beyond what we could ever imagine. We need only to take the first step and each that follows become second nature. Your human spirit is ready and waiting to take flight.

Open Arms

Yesterday was one of those frustrating days when I wanted to throw my hands up in the air, give up and walk away. Tired of the battle to bend, accommodate, cave, give in. Games, politics, egos. This morning with some rest and much needed perspective, throwing my hands up is exactly what I should do. Give up and let go of my expectations and demands of the way I think it should be. Opening my arms to trust God’s plan rather than my own and release the rest of it. Following the path of unknowing, knowing that I will not be lead astray.

On Good Friday, we have a tremendous model of open arms, stretched out on a cross suffering unbearable anguish and humiliation all in sacrifice and service for others, for us. And while we have our share of crosses in this life, none compare to the depth and all encompassing weight of the cross borne today.

Good Friday is an ever comforting reminder that we are never alone on our journey and that we are loved and understood deeply. And when we let go, those things we think that will break us actually are put in their proper place and we are broken free from the unimportant. Our limited view expands to one of awesome peace, saving grace and gratitude. Easter always comes. Arms wide open.

Olympic Moments

“There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.” – Chogyam Trungpa

The true joy of the Olympics is witnessing the fruition and culmination of hard work, commitment and perseverance. Effort, focus and sacrifice win the day, no matter the medal. Potential is transformed into reality, not from luck, fairness or entitlement but from having a dream and vision and the willingness to risk it all and to pursue it with every fiber that’s within.

When Nicole Pikus-Pace won the silver medal in skeleton yesterday, she climbed into the stands to celebrate with her family – they all won the medal. The silver was her gold. Her joy and enthusiasm radiated. Today, Matt Antoine just won the bronze medal in skeleton – he’s the brother of one of my co-workers. It’s been awesome to watch the joy of their journey play out. Jeremy Abbott fell hard in his  ice skating routine, yet he had the courage to go back out, with no hope of a medal, and finish his Olympics with an outstanding performance. The fall was yesterday. Today is a new canvas to paint on.

And these stories show us the potential that is waiting for fruition in each one of us, if we dare. And while we may never get to the Olympics, we all have Olympic moments. When we lay it all on the line, give our best and never hold back, we win the gold.

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