Posts tagged ‘perspective’

June 18, 2016

What matters in life, in three quotations

Sometimes we need a reminder of what really matters in life (and what doesn’t). Here are three quotations that drive the message home on three different levels:

From Dee Williams in The Big Tiny:

Whose idea was it that we should all get jobs, work faster, work better, race from place to place with our brains stewing on tweets, blogs and sound bites, on must-see movies, must-do experiences, must-have gadgets, when in the end, all any of us will have is our simple beating heart, reaching up for the connection to whoever might be in the room or leaning into our mattress as we draw our last breath.

From Peter Matthiessen in Indian Country:

[Our society’s] lunatic insistence on “progress,” on “growth,” on gross national product . . . is destroying the land and air and water, the wild animals and plants . . .  not to speak of quality and craftsmanship, birdsong, silence, night, and the very soul of man.

And from Henry Miller in The World of Sex:

Why are we so full of restraint? Why do we not give in all directions? Is it fear of losing ourselves? Until we do lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves.

❤

 

January 15, 2016

The bright side of endings

Thought of the moment, courtesy of Marilyn Monroe:

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

This is a perspective on change and endings that we often don’t think about. The end of something “good” really might be the start of something so much better.

❤

June 22, 2015

The journey is the remedy

Ever faced a long, daunting project, the scale of which set your anxieties astir? Actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman did so when they embarked on a four-month motorcycle journey around the world, following a route that included some of the toughest riding conditions on the globe.

Here are a few tips from their book, Long Way Round, about facing down your inner demons and just getting on with it:

  • The secret to any long journey or project is to take it in blocks — little chunks that you can process and manage bit by bit. A week into their 29,000-plus-kilometre journey, McGregor writes: “Even now, I couldn’t conceive of the scale of our undertaking. For months [before the trip] I had been talking people through the map [of our route]. Now I was sitting on my bike riding it. . . . But I still couldn’t fathom the distance ahead. The secret, I felt, was to take the journey in little blocks. Morning til coffee break. Coffee til lunch. Lunch til mid-afternoon break. . . . By breaking it up into chunks, we’d make it manageable. But the moment my mind drifted to the bigger picture . . . , the journey became overwhelming and panic set in.”
  • As the journey progresses, it’s also important not to let setbacks and disappointments get you down. Obstacles will crop up, and when they do, they may appear overwhelming. But if you take the time to step back and examine your situation from a broader perspective — one that looks beyond the obstacle looming right in front of you — you may see that the bigger picture is more important than the immediate, in-your-face details. McGregor and Boorman faced abysmally difficult roads in Mongolia — so bad that McGregor wanted to pack up and get out. But as he talked about his dilemma with his team, he realized that turning tail would rob him of the opportunity to experience more of a country that was already affecting him on a deep emotional level. Fighting through the roads might be difficult and put the trip “behind schedule”, but did that really matter in the long run? “It’s hard here,” Boorman tells McGregor, “it’s really hard. But it’s also really beautiful and we just have to concentrate more on the beauty and less on the hardship. . . . We [need] to open our eyes to our surroundings. Any journey [is] difficult when the field of vision [is] just five feet ahead of you.”
May 7, 2015

A note about what’s most important

A great quote from Vickie M. Worsham:

Remember what is most important:

It’s not having everything go right;
it’s facing whatever goes wrong.
It’s not being without fear;
it’s having the determination to go on in spite of it.
It’s not where you stand,
but the direction you’re going in.

Remember to live this one day and not add tomorrow’s troubles to today’s load.
Remember that every day ends and brings a new tomorrow full of exciting new things.
Love what you do,
do the best you can,
and always remember how much you are loved.

January 16, 2015

Beauty in small pieces

A beautiful poem by Jason Mayes, as it appears in the 2002 anthology The Fish Come In Dancing edited by Kate Braid:

Life holds nothing
but beauty in small pieces
which only seem small
from afar.

November 16, 2014

Scatter the seeds of happiness

Thought for the day, courtesy of Robert Louis Stevenson:

There is no duty so overrated as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.

Get sowing! 🙂

October 13, 2014

Life is like a camera . . .

Anonymous and random thought for the moment:

Life is like a camera . . .
focus on what’s important,
capture the good times,
develop from the negatives,
and, if things don’t work out,
take another shot.

September 30, 2014

With age comes the freedom to DO IT NOW

From Falling in Honey: Life and Love on a Greek Island by Jennifer Barclay:

The older I get, the more I appreciate and enjoy life, I think. There is a kind of freedom in getting older: the idea that if you don’t do something now, when are you going to do it?

What are you going to do today, tomorrow, now, before another day, week or year passes?

July 17, 2014

Give fear and doubt the busy signal

Quote of the moment, courtesy of Edith Armstrong (and my mother!):

I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then, whenever doubts, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal — and soon they’ll forget my number.

Our attitude to life and what it brings our way really does depend on which thoughts we choose to broadcast over our internal sound systems. We can turn some thoughts way up and others down to zero. Choose your sound track wisely, for the music of your mind has wide-reaching impact on many areas of your life.

March 11, 2014

Lessons from a Russian doctor: A metaphor for life in general

In Boris Pasternak’s classic novel Doctor Zhivago, Yuri Zhivago says to Lara Antipova:

I don’t think I could love you so much if you had nothing to complain of and nothing to regret. I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and of little value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them.

I think this is a fitting metaphor for life in general: if you haven’t encountered and overcome challenges, setbacks or failures in your life; if you don’t have old scars that have healed with time, or wounds that are healing right now; if you haven’t faced difficult decisions and simply done your best to navigate those moments with as few bumps as possible, then I think you are missing out on the richness of experience and emotion that life has to offer. And in this experience and emotion is where the true beauty of life lies — or at least where you learn to see that beauty, in comparison to what has come before.