Live the Adventure

Are you living your adventure? We have an opportunity to lead an abundant and exciting journey. With about 675,000 hours, we have a chance and a responsibility to make the most of them. I have lived almost 550,000 hours ( I shouldn’t have done this calculation but that is 80% of my allotment). In the remaining 20% or whatever number you calculate, what am I going to try? where am I going to go? who am I going to meet? what am I going to learn? what will touch me? what will scare me? what will challenge me? what will make me laugh? cry? love?

I am feeling wistful and jealous as good friends set out on a two-month adventure. I look forward to hearing the tales of travel, food, drink, sites, problems and relationships. There is a side of me that wishes we were joining them but a deep realization that this is their trip and their test.

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I/we need to make each day an adventure regardless of where we/I land. Living in one of the best countries in the world (Canada was again rated #2) in a city that gets the highest honours for liveability and opportunity(Calgary) , in a neighbourhood that has again been voted one of the coolest places to live (Inglewood), we/I shouldn’t need to go far to be showered with possibilities.

We have an average of 2396 hours of bright sun each year, spread over 333 days. Our weather is variable but for the next five months, it will be temperate. We/I live along the shore of two rivers and have hundreds of miles of walking/biking trails. We are within a fifteen-minute walk of two large urban parks and have urban excitement and a bird sanctuary within fifteen minutes on our bikes.

From early spring to late fall, there are festivals almost every weekend. Some are large multi-day events like Folk Festival, Opera in the Village and The Calgary International Children’s Festival. Some festivals are one-day and local to communities like Lilacfest, Sunfest and Chinatown Street Festival. There are events that celebrate ethnicity – Serbian Fest in May, Greek festival in June, Fiestaval Latino Festival in July and Carifest in August. Some featured food and beverage – Taste of Calgary, Circle the Wagons and Alberta Beer Festivals. There are celebrations of the arts, parties for local and national holidays and the amazing Beakerhead; a smashup of arts, culture, and science.
Even when there isn’t an organized party, there is still so much to see and do.

If we/I took in some of everything that I listed and a day at the Calgary Stampede, we could spend 200 hours laughing, learning, listening, lingering and letting go. Sounds like there are adventures waiting for us and we just need to step outside and breathe them in.

We/I are heading off to the Outdoor Show today, to be inspired and encouraged by what adventure awaits outside the boundaries of our great city.

Find your adventure for today and be ready for tomorrow’s,

B

Are You Ready for 2016?

2016 is the Year of the Monkey which in Chinese astrology signifies flux, upheaval and change. I see hope in change. I see hope raising up and capturing our attention through the next 400 days. Are you seeking hope and responding to her urging?

What 3 goals have you set for the first quarter? Do you need some urging and encouragement to set a mind, body and soul goal? Would weekly encouragement and accountability help?

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If You Seek Hope, She Will Find You

I set out yesterday, ready to meet hope around the corner. She wasn’t in the places that I expected her; in my morning run or a walk along the river. She didn’t jump out of a closet and surprise me when I was feeling doubt. She didn’t whisper in my ear as I struggled to find the right words.

She was there in the kindness of colleagues voice and their graciousness towards our joint situation. She appeared in the encouragement I received from a supplier. Her shadow crossed my path with a new opportunity and the gentle closing of a long standing contract.

Hope went to battle on the sidelines with depression late in the day and held a shield to protect me from pessimism when I woke up at 2 in the morning. I will continue to seek hope and likely be surprised where she finds me.

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. ~ Desmond Tutu

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Happiness

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition. ~ Martha Washington

I have been following Gretchin Rubin’s blog and podcast through her last two books ” The Happiness Project” and ” Better Than Before” On her blog , in 2009, she wrote “I’ve noticed that people often assume that everyone enjoys the same activities that they enjoy, because they believe those activities are inherently enjoyable.” (There is also an interesting happiness quiz in this post).

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I somehow connect Martha and Gretchen’s thoughts to conclude that our disposition isn’t inherently consistent. We become what we see. We see what we seek. We seek what we think makes us happy. We are happy when we believe we are happy or if we believe we are happy then we are.

It is that simple and that difficult. Every day we get to go on an adventure of our choosing (either in our life or in our imagination or both). As we seek happiness, it manifests itself in new ways. If observant new people appear with a smile or a chuckle. If watching a scene of glee plays out in front of you. If careful, you will take in an opportunity, small or large, to brighten another’s day. If diligent you will find purpose for today, which is where true happiness resides.

Make Today Remarkably Happy, for someone else,

B

What to Do in your 40’s

If I knew then what I know now (or think I know) I would have done some things differently (maybe). This isn’t regrets (I have a few, but then again too few to mention). This is about offering encouragement to readers in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to take action to change your world earlier than I undertook. If you have personal goals for a distant future, don’t put off starting until a later date (usually when I have more time, have more money, have more energy, experience..) Excuses are poor reasons to not begin.

I am healthier today than 10 years ago, I am smarter today than 10 years ago and 10 minutes ago I have stronger relationships than yesterday and last century. I wasn’t intentional about these changes until the last 6 years. Every day my intentions rule my actions and inactions. Every day I have the choice to do things or not do things that make my life, my family, my world better. I am better intentionally recognizing the choices and imagining the impact.

If I knew then … I would have set significant long term goals and then putting in place 10 day landmarks, 100 day navigation points and 1000 day destinations for as many longer term aspirations as possible. The higher level discipline of intention and accountability towards something important (to you) will reap remarkable benefits when you are a decade older and another decade older …

Make Today Intentionally Remarkable,

B

Friday Free-for-all

Things I am thinking about as expressed articulately by others.

It is very important that you only do what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

Marilyn Monroe

I think the problem with reasonable and societally-accepted behavior is that we train ourselves to pursue planned paths and stable foundations. As a result, we never have the opportunity to discover and chase what makes us truly feel alive. Solution: Be unreasonable in the pursuit of your dreams.

Unknown

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw

The way a book smells when you thumb through it. The way quiet winter air makes you feel like no one else exists. The smell of the woods after a thunderstorm. That split second before your chair tips back. The feeling right before you cry. The euphoria before the heartbreak. That moment when you wonder if they think of you the way you think of them. These things, I live for.

Katie Humphreys

New One Minute Manager

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To say that the original “One Minute Manager” is a timeless classic seems silly but it has been one of the most read business books of the last thirty years.  13 Million sold and published in 37 languages speaks to the popularity and importance of this short work. So when IO received a notice from Becky Robinson – Weaving Influence  that a new version was launching very soon (next week) I started thinking about where I was twenty years ago and how the book (among a few) helped shape me.  To be honest, I hadn’t thought about one minute goals, one minute praises or one minute feedback, at least not consciously, for years.

Twenty years ago, I was doing a job, going to work every day, getting the job done – barely. I remember having an attitude of complacency and getting by. I didn’t feel the day-to-day was meaningful. Work to live. Blanchard was one of a few authors I read that changed by my attitude along with a practical approach to making the day-to-day productive and fun. It was a stress reducing, meaning making tool that I put away on a bookshelf.

I am anxious to get New One Minute Manager ;  the new version for the new times where there seems to be so many distractions, pressures, and so many fewer person to person opportunities.

Make Today Remarkable, by praising someone,

B

Big Ideas Require Community

Actually if  big ideas are going to remain just ideas, they only require one person. One person who holds onto the idea, tightly, refusing to share out of ego, fear, or the unknown.

Big ideas that get recognized, get acted on, get changed, change something are finessed, financed, finalized and fun when a group/tribe/community rallies around it. Big ideas need supporters to promote, pitch in, and praise. When friends, family and colleagues come alongside your idea it has the chance to become remarkable. Big ideas need detractors (just a couple) who challenge, change, and check (and then cheer). Improvement comes from different viewpoints. Big ideas need hands and feet to test, adapt,retest, and lift and tote and bleed and sweat, and do whatever is needed to make the big idea into a remarkable action.

“I can do this myself (and get all the credit).” ” They will think I am crazy.” ” ” I don’t know if this is any good.”  might be the resistance you run into. Resist the resistance and share.

Make Today Remarkable, for yourself,

B

Turning a Deaf Ear

After yesterday’s post, I received 5 emails from readers who said ” I don’t have any art to make”. This was sad and telling.

I am told, by my beloved,  that I can exhibit ‘selective hearing’ – only being aware of what I want to hear. This can be rude and hurtful if done with other people but may be helpful if you can hone it for conversations you are having with yourself.

What if my heart was screaming “say something, do something, this isn’t right” and I tuned  out the voice? If the gift of fear was warning me to “stay away from this scheme” and I ignored it, the consequences might be serious. “You are remarkable” comes into my head and I deny it. ” Bob, try again” is the encouragement I ignore.

It is tricky business selecting which of my voices I should honor and trust and which are the voices of procrastination, dishonesty, anxiety. How do I know it is anticipation speaking and not naivete?

Lewis Smedes says “Seeing reality for what it is is what we call discernment. The work of discernment is very hard.” It is hard  given the judgments of the world. Unless I can discern, I cannot be certain I am acting in the highest and best manner. “However, when I feel aware, expanded and full of love, I must be doing something right (and conversely, when I feel bored, impatient and regretful I am not listening to the highest voice).”~ Sal Rachelle

Discernment is an act of awareness, whereas judgment as an act of ego. Practicing discernment  is like everything else and contrary to the adage it doesn’t simply make it perfect. Practice only makes permanent, if there isn’t reflection and accountability. Doing this practice alone is possible but can be earned and learned more easily and more quickly with a coach. I know that I have been assisted by the wisdom, challenge and accountability of a formal coach and my clients have added remarkable value and insights  to their lives through feedback, accountability, courageous goals, tension  and some systems thinking.

As always, I am available and open to discussing how coaching might add value to your life. Contact bob@remarkablepeople.ca

Make Today Remarkable, by being aware rather than judgmental,

B

Freedom

Those who were dancing were thought crazy by those who couldn’t hear the music ~ Nietzsche

Last night, we watched a elderly lady dance her heart out to some 1970’s folk/rock music at an outdoor event. She couldn’t stop smiling as she swayed a stepped to music she heard as a young adult. She danced alone when others were sitting straight backed – prim and proper (me too). Some voyeurs smiled (me too) and some shook their head at this crazy old lady. We could hear the same tunes that she did and her moves were pretty good, but still no one else joined in.

Imagine if she was the only one who heard the songs. If you were the only one. Would she have still danced? I think so. Would you? Maybe. Me? I hope so.

Even though I didn’t take to the pavement a share a dance last night doesn’t mean that I don’t hear different music. It is exhausting being contrary, even when it is with the best intentions. The lessons I learned were to be okay with others dancing when I don’t and to be okay when others see me as odd for being tuned to a different frequency.