the ‘resume’ vs. the ‘eulogy’

the ‘resume’ vs. the ‘eulogy’

“Make someone feel something and you will never be forgotten.” – Charlotte Eriksson

How successful are you? Have you made a lot of money or influenced many people? If you were to re-write your resume today, what would be on it? If you were to die tomorrow, what would your closest friends and relatives say at your funeral?

‘Eulogy’, what people say and think about you upon your passing is identified as being more important than our ‘resumes’, things we did or accomplished in our lives.

And yet, there is growing pressure day in and day out to bulk up your ‘resume’, be judged on your successes and add to your list of accomplishments. To me, this seems backward. The pressure should be to influence others, to touch their lives and to become a ‘Eulogy Builder’ rather than a ‘Resume Builder’. Have a celebration of life rather than a celebration of success.

“What a poor life I have had if I am only remembered for the amount of money I made.” – Jeffrey Fry

Money and power, they come and go. Like a baton, they are passed from one to the next. Your memory, however, lives on with those who knew you and those who were touched by your work. This to me is the ultimate goal.

 

 

a picture is worth 1000 words

a picture is worth 1000 words

There is a beautiful moment, in the wing of many hospitals where people are in palliative care. The moment is one of memory, remorse, joyfulness, love and regret.

This moment occurs when the patient is looking at old photographs with loved ones by their side, reminiscing on beautiful moments past and reminding them of the value and fullness of their life. The photographs meant so much. In some cases a photograph embodied a whole life, a picture represented an entire year, an entire decade or an entire marriage.

The value of old photos played such an important role in many lives. What is the role of the photograph today? Continue reading “a picture is worth 1000 words”

the way of the warrior

the way of the warrior

Bushido – the way of the warrior.

In the film The Last Samurai, there is a scene, more specifically a quote that has stuck with me since first watching this film as a teenager. Teacher and student are in a courtyard surrounded by beautiful cherry blossom trees and filled with the presence of their ancestors past. Teacher says to student:

“The perfect blossom is a rare thing, you could spend your life looking for one and it would not be a wasted life…”

Continue reading “the way of the warrior”

on daily meditation

on daily meditation

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
– Marcus Aurelius

Gym memberships have gone up 50% in the last 15 years. More and more people are realizing the health benefits of physical activity (or gyms are just getting better and better at marketing, probably both).

This number is fantastic, physical activity does so much good for the body and the mind. But to me, one muscle has been lacking exercise. We are quick to renew our gym memberships and exercise on a regular basis, we work out our bodies.

But what about our minds?

How often do you work out your brain? How often do you practice focus, practice mindfulness and exercise your mind in the habit of hard work?

How is it that we as a culture are increasingly advocating the physical upkeep of our bodies but so unaware and incompetent to the mental exercise of our brains? With rises in mental illness, stress and anxiety throughout our society, I can’t help but think there is a correlation here.

“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.” – Saint Francis de Sales

I only recently began taking the training and exercising of my mind as seriously, if not more seriously, than the training of my body. Daily meditation practice is a journey that has led me to more mindfulness, presence, and quality of thought.

The problem I had, was working it into my daily routine, sticking with it and actually making progress. Progress in mediation is not physical or palpable, and it is so easy to be discouraged. Need more convincing

Today, I have a secret to share with you, one that has helped me to make meditation a part of my daily routine. It has helped me to make sense of meditation and put me on a one way, runaway train to mindfulness town. The secret is…

Continue reading “on daily meditation”

on purpose, what’s yours?

on purpose, what’s yours?

When you awake each day, what is the first thought that crosses your mind? What is the first thing you do? Why are you doing what you are doing?

If you do not think about these questions, you will never have the answers. The problem I have found, is that not asking these tough questions is equally as bad as not asking them enough. 

We are creatures of habit. Our habits define who we are and who we become.

Trying to reach the tipping point between action that is keeping you stalled (or even in recession) and action that will take you towards your goals and greater purpose is the essential missing link in many of our lives.

I ask myself this question each day, “why are you doing what you are doing?”. Until you answer this question, until you realize what it is you truly want and admit it with honesty to yourself, it is almost impossible to achieve.

If you really want freedom and financial wealth, or to become an expert in your field of study or to live in nature or be a school teacher, you need to realize this within yourself, be honest with yourself and embrace it.

I was recently moved by an article by Derek Sivers, “Why are you doing”, which inspired me to write this post (read it, you will be thankful). Instead of trying to regurgitate his ideas in my own words, I will leave you with them:

Maybe the most important thing to you is learning, or creating, or giving. Maybe it’s how many people’s lives you can influence. Maybe it’s how deeply you can influence just a few people’s lives.

Once you realize it and admit it, you need to pursue it.

Like if you want freedom, then you own a business but delegate all the work. You won’t be learning or creating or giving as much as you could with a different strategy, but that’s OK. You know freedom is what you’re after.

Sometimes your best strategy is counter-intuitive.


 

Seriously, read the full post from Derek here. Stay golden.

on the good life

on the good life

The good life. A whisper, wives-tale, unreachable, too reachable, promise. Something you learn about growing up. The good life. Something you are meant to achieve. A balance of personal sacrifice, freedom and happiness. All of us are suppose to be working towards it yet so few admit to ever arriving. 

I regret that I do not yet have the key to the good life for you. Those answers I have yet to find for myself, but I do believe a few things to be true for anyone hoping for more happiness.

Have good thoughts.

“the soul is dyed the colour of its thoughts” ~ Heraclitus

Good is such a subjective word, but that is why it works so perfectly for the idea of a “good” life and the practice of having “good” thoughts. Have good thoughts. More of the thoughts that make you happy and fewer that do not. Easier said than done. For me, it started with 5 mins, each day, for a week. 5 mins of positivity, reflection and gratitude. If I was feeling like shit that day, maybe it was 5 mins of thinking about how or why I felt that way and how to avoid it in the future. Have good thoughts, dye your soul a whole new colour.

Make gratitude a habit.

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…” ~ Marcus Aurelius

The more I read, think and learn about what it is that will make me happy and fulfilled, the more I realize that it comes down to habits. I came across an idea recently I absolutely LOVE that I think describes it perfectly: The journey is the way. We are all products of our habits and to live a more fulfilled life, habits must not be overlooked. 

“Get to iconic levels not by your to do list, but by your NOT to do list.” Robin Sharma, from a talk at the Archangel Summit 2016.

If you can do ONE THING TODAY to improve your day and inject some instant gratitude into your life, it is to read the following quotes which I shall leave you with today:

When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…

and

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

 


When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

Both quotes are from Marcus Aurelius in his work, Meditations. I read or reference this book monthly. I highly recommend it as a starting point or point of continuation for learning more about stoicism, the good life and philosophy. Get it from Amazon here.

in search of moments

in search of moments

There is a beautiful moment, (a day or two too early and you miss it, a day or two too late and you miss it) when the summer heat turns to autumn cool and the leaves of the forest make their most miraculous swan song.

This moment is spectacular. One can spend their life in search of a perfect fall moment and it would not be a wasted life. I have the privilege of living in a place where the colours of autumn are perhaps the most vibrant of all.

Having just experienced one of the more perfect fall days of my life, it has me thinking about this moment in time and other moments in time, where if you are just early or just late the moment is gone.

How many of us can say we have just missed an opportunity and many more could think back on opportunities we did not even know we had that were missed.

My thought is that these moments of perfection do not come too often, especially if you do not know how to look. This is where I find my thoughts today, wandering and in search of moments. I think in part we are always searching for moments, moments to be turned into great memories, moments to be frequently shared and embellished and moments that seemed so perfect that to even recall them in detail does not do it justice.

Here’s to a life full of those moments.