Knowing. Man seeking knowledge.

Knowing

As I learn more and more, I feel like I know less and less. But to me, that is a positive thing.

Learning new things keeps life fresh, but it takes an open mind and a willingness to let go of our egos. So many of the problems in the world exist because one group of people thinks they know better than another group of people.

It’s OK to not know. In fact, “I don’t know” is a very underused and underappreciated expression.

In saying “I don’t know,” we’re not saying that we don’t have opinions or beliefs, or that we don’t know certain facts. We might be very well educated on an issue. But there’s always more to learn, and in learning, our perspective may change. We have to be open to that.

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Fear. Man peering through blinds.

Fear

Have you ever been afraid – I mean, really afraid? How did you handle it?

There are all kinds of fear: fear of physical danger, fear of the unknown, fear of the dark.

There’s nothing wrong with fear. It’s an emotion that keeps us safe from threats and is a built-in survival mechanism that all humans need; but the extent to which fear controls our actions is worth considering. We can handle, lessen, or remove fear through our experiences and through personal growth.

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Stepping stones along a path

Path

Are you headed in the right direction?

Are your journey and your desired destination likely to make you happy?

Did you chart your own path, or is it a product of circumstances? Do you have control over your path?

That last one is a biggie. It may seem that our paths are out of our control, that we are destined to continue with our lives the way we have been and that deviations aren’t possible. We may feel trapped.

In some cases, we are wedded to certain aspects of our lives. We make commitments, we have responsibilities, and we have people to whom we have to answer. But if we take those as foundations on which we can build a life that is flexible (as much as possible), fun, fulfilling, and meaningful, we may find that we have more control over our paths than we originally thought.

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Civility. A frank conversation between two men on a stair case.

Civility

It can be quite frustrating when we can’t seem to get our point across—we all face this from time to time.

“Why can’t you understand what I’m saying?!”
“Why do you keep arguing with me?”
“You’re not hearing me!”

It can be very easy to take it personally—to question the other person’s motives. It can be a short journey to anger, frustration, and bitterness.

The other person may fully understand your point—but disagree with it—and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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Portrait of young woman with finger on lips.

Silence

How would you describe the soundtrack of your life?

What is the nature of the sounds—both those inside your head and those reaching your ears—that you hear moment-by-moment and day-to-day?

Do you ever experience silence? Are you comfortable with it?

My soundtrack is very musical. Music helps motivate me and influences my mood. I listen to music in the car, when I exercise, and at other times where I might have chosen silence. But silence is never really silent, is it?

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