It may not always feel that way, but, if you think about it, everything you come across is part of who you are, part of your life experience, part of your own little empire.
From that perspective, we are all responsible for our interactions, our perceptions, our feelings, and our experiences; they are the elements of our realms, and we are the monarchs.
We can decide what kind of rulers we will be. We can be hands-on benevolent rulers who take responsibility for our realms and don’t abdicate our duty. Or we can be thoughtless rulers who don’t pay attention to the business of our realms and let others determine their fate.
We all have people in our lives—people who are important to us, people we spend time with, people we care about.
There are lots of ways we might characterize these relationships—acquaintances, colleagues, teammates—but how many of them are friends?
We tend to use the word friend without a lot of thought. It’s a very common word, and we tend to use it rather loosely, but I think it can be helpful to dig in to what it really means to have a friend. What does friendship mean to you?
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?
Every day I look at my calendar to see what meetings I have and begin to psych myself up for them. I look at the people that are going to those meetings and what I need to accomplish. I think about what kind of people I will be meeting. It’s not that I don’t like people—I do—it’s just that when I interact with people it takes significant energy, and I have to bring that energy to the surface. It’s like warming up a diesel engine.