Accomplishments. Rock climber rappelling.

Accomplishments

What are you most proud of?

How much do you think about it?

There can be a tendency, especially as we get older, to believe that we’ve done our best work: We’ve run our fastest race; we’ve written our symphony; we’ve painted our masterpiece. We might go so far as to base our identities on our past accomplishments rather than on our current lives.

It is interesting to think of the periods in our lives when we were (or will be) on fire. When is our heyday? If we think it was in the past or will be well into the future, that’s a sign we’re not living our lives the way we could. Why can’t our heyday be right now?

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Express yourself—Man eating breakfast

Affectation

It’s very interesting to see how the lingo changes through the years and how phrases that are firmly associated with a certain subset of society (e.g. surfers, bikers, environmental scientists) explode into common usage.

For example, I started thinking about this entry and have since noticed that I use the word “dude” a lot.

It’s not intentional. I have no idea where it came from.

I’m not proud of it.

But is it in affectation? I can honestly say that I do not say the word “dude” to elicit any specific response or present myself in any particular light. But it begs the question, when is a figure of speech (or action or fashion statement) an affectation?

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Doing Nothing. A man sleeping on a sofa.

Nothing

Every once in a while, a voice inside me says, “I’m done.” I’ve used up all my energy and concentration, and I need some downtime. I need to spend some quality time doing nothing.

All of us need downtime—some need less than others and some seem to need way more than others. Why is this? One of the reasons might be what people do when they’re doing nothing. Some people waste their time when they’re wasting their time; and end up needing more time to waste (stay with me here).

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Opportunity. A plant finding a way to come up through a crack.

Opportunity

How do you find the path that will make a real difference—in your life or the lives of others?

When in your life do you find the time to do the important things?

We all have things we must do—the practical and the necessary—making a living, taking care of our stuff; but a lot of what drives us is more fundamental.

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Underneath. Deep under the ocean, looking up towards a Diver and Humpback Whale.

Underneath

Although whales have to surface to breathe, they are able to swim down, below the maelstrom, and exist in the relative peace of the deep.

We have this ability too, although it may seem unattainable at times.

We have the ability to sink down, below the drama, below the turmoil, below the pain, and arrive at a peaceful place; but like any ability, it has to be developed.

Like whales, we have to surface periodically. We have to enter the fray of our lives, do battle for the good of the kingdom, and take care of business. But the good news is that we don’t have to live there.

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