Education has a purpose. Equally important when learning all the important facts about history, math, science, literature, music and art, is learning where you stand in relation to everything that has happened, is happening and will happen around you. Educating yourself about what is in your control to change, and learning how priceless the value of your reasoned choice, will be your most powerful allies in learning how to live well.
Asking for the want of nothing can be backed up by the action of being content with nothing. Asking for the want of everything is a sure way of never being content with anything.
The amount of teeth we display when we smile is not an accurate measure of joy. Joy is not gregariousness. Joy is not vivaciousness. Joy is not measured in the heartiness of our laughs. Joy is not superficial.
Joy is a deep feeling – not a behavior. Joy is a profound awareness of our raw gratitude. It’s not written in our faces, it’s a grounding force.
Alas, when we reach the summit of the highest peak, there’s a brief moment of exaltation, closely followed by a crushing dose of perspective in the form of a 360-degree reveal stretching miles in every direction of all the other mountains we’ve yet to climb. Then, reality dawns in form in our inevitable descent, during which time we get to ponder the next mountain we’ve identified to climb. Such is life – Such a gift.
Nowhere is it written that we have to love each moment. Reality dictates that we most definitely won’t love each moment. What’s most important is to be sure we always aim to live each moment. They are finite for us all. There is no data to suggest otherwise.
Shitty days are fertilizer. Water them with tears, and let there be growth.
It doesn’t matter what chapter we’re on, it’s most important to know what type of story we’re in. Although we can’t control much of what happens, we do get to determine the genre of the story of our lives, because we get to choose how we live through what happens.
We learn from failing. In order to fail, we have to embrace the idea of bracing for impact. For that’s what affords us the opportunity to get back up and try again. If we choose to spend our time dodging obstacles or avoiding what we fear, we are really choosing to allow our minds and experiences to be stunted. We’ll grow old and gray while our minds remain adolescent and inexperienced. Avoidance is no fountain of youth, it simply creates mountains of ignorance that obstruct an enlightened view.
Growing up with old video game systems provided lessons that newer gaming with expansive and seemingly endless worlds and environments to explore don’t afford. If we wanted to get to Level 2, we had to first beat Level 1. They had a linear, point A to point B, design that forced players to figure out how to succeed past where they were getting stuck before moving forward. Getting stuck in life is no different. Continue anew until we get through the obstacle. There are no cheat codes to circumvent our own stucks.
To get the gist of something colloquially means to get the basic idea of it. However, gist is defined as “the substance or essence of a speech or text,” or “the real point of an action.” Synonyms include: essence, substance, quintessence, crux, nucleus and marrow. A far cry from having a basic understanding! We tend to feel that knowing a little about a lot of things somehow makes us cultured or well-rounded. But look to experts in any field and the opposite is true; they tend to know a great deal about very specific things.
Experts spend time gaining a deep understanding of the fundamentals through trial and error in form of practice, experimentation, inquiry, study, discipline, passion, curiosity, and/or experience. There’s a lesson here. Before we pride ourselves on our intellectual breadth, let’s first be sure we understand the gist of our intentions.