Momentum: The Magic Potion

Finding a little momentum goes a long way.

This fact is especially when you’re sharpening up your focus to get sh*t done.  The approach isn’t new or complicated, but it is important.

Check your list.

If you don’t have one, write one down.  Depending on your level of motivation and focus as you begin, I suggest writing everything down.  The more items, the more focus you’ll have.

Consider the priorities you’ve got in front of you. Consider the time it will take to complete the various tasks on the list.  Don’t get overwhelmed by the list, be empowered by your effort to get it all down in front of you.  Once you’ve got a good representation of what needs to be done, it’s time to get after Number One.

My personal approach is to target a couple quick hits, items I can accomplish pretty quickly, to get some positive energy going in the right direction.  As you line out items on your list, you can feel the sense of accomplishment. Your focus will increase, your resolve to continue down the path will strengthen, you’ll be one your way forward.

So make that list and get after it.

The momentum you create will make the difference in your effort.  It will make it GOOD.

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Sublime? Redux. 

A while back I wrote a piece entitled “Sublime Sunday”. The basic idea was, find the joy and the peace in the subtle, in the mundane. I talked about laundry and hot coffee and being happy in the moment.

Taking that approach a bit further now, let’s diversify the application of this simple idea to now include coping, dealing with struggle. Here’s the concept in that context. 

Every day pretty much, each of us probably faces some difficulty. It’s in these moments that we should pause, take a step back, and realize there is a bigger picture to consider. Especially when there is a lot of emotion involved, finding a bit of space to think clearly and decide the best course of action is critical. 

What happens when we follow this path? We check our ego, check our anxiety and even our fear, and rise to a higher plane, to manage the situation.

Start with five deep breaths and enter that space in your mind the next time you’re struggling. You might be surprised at the results. 


Kindness

 this poem from “brain pickings”– it took my friend’s breath away- enjoy!
KINDNESS by Naomi Shihab Nye 

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

A Little Hungry? GOOD.

It’s a good idea to be a little hungry. Even used to it.  Not starving, malnourished, or any other otherwise at-risk state.  Just hungry.  Here’s what I mean.

You want to be a little hungry so you don’t over eat.  It’s all about portion control, at least here in the U.S.  The restaurants, by and large, don’t help.  They serve HUGE plates of food. At least two servings, if not maybe three.  That doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole thing in one sitting.  Don’t, in fact.

Case in point:  I was reading the results of a recent study that was addressing the miss-guided criticism of eating pasta.  It’s not pasta that makes one fat, it’s that many people eat too much of it.  Small portions equal the right amount.

Allow yourself to be a little hungry.

How else can you apply this simple principle?   Be hungry to learn.  Stay curious.  Keep pushing yourself to read new things, try new tools, check out a new website. Take a cooking class.  Or woodwork.  Or tap-dance. Whatever your fancy, Keep Learning.

What else?  For those things you already do well, do often, are good at…stay hungry to keep striving, to be a wee bit better.  Keep the ax sharp.

Yep, it’s good to have a healthy yearning for more.  In fact, it will make the world a better place.

Stay hungry.

The Power of Silence

The power of silence can cannot be overstated. For some of us it’s harder than for others. The effect can be a devastating tool for good.

Consider serious conversation. Consider talking with your spouse, your kid, your employee, your boss. Make your case and then be quiet. See where it leads.

Want a second, similarly powerful tool? It’s called “patience”, and can be applied with equal effect. In fact, in goes hand in glove with silence, often times. After all, the more patient you are with outcomes, the easier it is to sit with situations and allow them to play out.

Practice both of these skills. You’ll be surprised by the results, and the peace they can afford you when honed properly.

Friday Faves, #44

This week’s list is like a fine wine….it’s tasty, and it will grow on your.  ENJOY.

Destination of the Week:  Menlo Park, California.  Not just a pretty face, not just deep pockets, but a complex and cool, mid-peninsula town in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check it out. More than once.

Quote of the Week: ” We don’t want to try to pigeon anybody and say, ‘You’re only a third-down ‘back.’ I don’t believe in that. If you come to play football, you come to play every down.” – Tom Rathman.

Band of the Week:  Not a band, but an iconic figure in American folk music for a half a century.  Joan Baez. Sample?  HERE.

Meal of the Week:  Vietnamese sandwich.  Need one?  Me too.  Maybe HERE.

Website of the Week:  Like pro cycling?  Me too.  Might have shared this site before, but no matter. Twice is better than none!  Check it out for all the races, great pics, and as a portal to cool cycling info. HERE.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #43

This week’s list is all about beating the heat, ’cause it’s pretty hot in this neck of the woods….  ENJOY!

Destination of the Week:  Cambria, California is one of the many great, quaint coastal communities on the central coast.  Can’t beat the coast to stay cool when much of the state is bakin’!

Quote of the Week:  “Hydrate or die.”

Band of the Week:  Who else?  The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Here’s a classic.

Meal of the Week:   Ice Cream.  One of the best places to procure on the planet found here.

Website of the Week: Great Website. Great Tips.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!