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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Choice. With a compass and a Bicycle.

Choice

None of us ever has to do anything.

Of course there are many things we should do, even things we’re required to do. But we don’t have to do any of them.

So many of us get into patterns that make us feel like we don’t have any free will, but that is an illusion.

We all have responsibilities. We all have choices that, in our minds, are not really choices at all.

Each of us has a particular lifestyle. When we are faced with choices that, on their surface, seem inconsistent with our lifestyles, we tend to dismiss them out of hand. This attitude puts artificial boundaries on our lives that limit our experiences and close our minds.

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Equipment for adventure

Adventure

When we were children, we were constantly pushing our boundaries, learning what we can do, and then going beyond what we have done. This involves taking risks, trying new things and learning about the world. For a child, everything is an adventure and horizons are constantly expanding.

As we get older, it is easy to become jaded—life becomes routine and we lose our ability to see new things even when they are right in front of us. We begin to acquire commitments and responsibilities, and we tend toward living safer, more stable lives. But does that mean that we shouldn’t continue to take risks or do exciting things? Absolutely not.

Adventure and stability are not mutually exclusive.

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