Self Improvement · Uncertainty

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.

adventure
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

Original Thought · Self Improvement

Flip the Page

A month that was and a month that will be. The flipping of a calendar page should offer pause to reflect on what challenges you faced in September and how you responded to them. Did you shrink away? Are you still researching possible solutions? Was some butt kicked and challenges overcome? Could you have done better? What inspired you in September? Did you try something new? Take on something different? Meet someone special? Were you inspired by a challenge?

I take these somewhat arbitrary but appropriate passages as an opportunity to move ahead. I reflect on what I did and what I could have done another way. I learn from my past experiences, I try not to beat myself up, and I move ahead.

October brings a new season, some celebrations and family gatherings, new opportunities with work, some planned challenges and a birthday. I set out to add some routine – 31 days in a row of writing, 31 consecutive days of working out, and an alcohol free month. I have mental and physical goals attached to these three commitments and a plan and schedule to remove barriers. I have set some expectations of myself and outcomes.

I am also leaving space for the unexpected, the anti-routine. I have a couple of events I am attending that aren’t my usual fare. Places and people that I wouldn’t encounter if I stayed the course. I have 3 books at the ready from authors I don’t know and whose subject matter is outside my comfortable niche. I have set a goal to meet someone new every day; not for any advantage or leverage but just to add their their space with mine for a moment in time. I don’t have any assumptions or predictions about what comes from venturing away from the safety of my shore but I approach October with hope.

What challenged you in September? What inspired? Have you charted a course for parts of October? Are there adventures you are planning?

Make October Remarkable,

B

Uncategorized

Challenge the Process

A continuation from yesterday’s post regarding  Kouzes and Posner Five Practices from ” Leadership Challenge”.

I begin by confessing that I am not really a process guy. I tend towards variation on a theme and so I try not walk home the same way twice in a row. I still get home but following Dr Seuss’s advice I get to say;”And that is a story that no one can beat And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street.,

That said, challenging the process can still be daunting. The bounded rationality of success however limited fixes the path. Process is just the path that others have discovered that takes us from A to R  supposedly efficiently and effectively. But locking into ABCDEF…R reduces the possibility of discovery, excitement and improvement. Maybe ABDLR works and we create something valuable and unexpected along the way.

Go for a meandering walk today and see  if you come back with a story like;

seuss

Uncategorized

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).

happy

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

Uncategorized

Inspiration

Last night we had the privilege of hearing Emma Hooper @waitress4thebees read from her novel ” Etta, Otto, Russell and James” (EOR&J)at Calgary Reads Big Book Club (BBC). I was given the opportunity to introduce Emma and I was gushing about the beauty and character of this début. Emma shared readings, stories and music with us. She talked about her writing process and a pretty weird publishing story. The evening was a success for Calgary Reads and I am sure more BBCs will be just as great.

Given the stage, Emma took the opportunity to share herself and some of her worldview. She said ” If you have ever said “I have always wanted to ….. go to Japan, learn to. Play the cello… The only thing standing in your way is you. Get up and do the I have always wanted to …” If you haven’t read EOR&J I recommend it with extreme prejudice – it is the first book in the past 20 years to unseat a book from my ‘desert island bundle of 5’. The worldview fits with the theme of adventuring and not knowing if this is your last great adventure.

For readers, you know that I am a proponent of change and risk and this gentle encouragement from Emma seemed to resonate with so many in attendance, I am anxious to see how we live out the challenge.

Make Today Remarkable, by going on an adventure,

B

Uncategorized

Will you do Enough to Fail This Week.

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Being an impatient imperfectionist, I get to ‘fail’ often For me it is the measure of how much I am avoiding the monotony of status quo. The abundant life I have been promised (and am living) exists because my eyes and ears are open to the possibilities not the sureties in front of me. When I march with my eyes up and my heart open, adventure arises. If I trudge along head down the scarcity of my feet’s perspective, while certain, isn’t very interesting.

When uncertainity is embraced and mystery is involved I become confident in making unimagined decisions. They are easy to make but not necessarily perfect. But I do get the opportunity to evaluate, adjust and retry. If I sit on my hands planning and waiting, all I get is cramped hands.

Make Today’s Adventure a Remarkable Failure,

Bob

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Becoming a Legend

On the weekend I was visiting the Surf Museum in Oceanside California, scouting out their vintage, gently used shirt collection and had a great conversation with a volunteer. We talked about retail and plovers and waves and seismic sensors. She asked ” Do you have a membership? If you are a legend, over 62, it only costs $25″. I wasn’t offended by her assertion that I look that old but rather taken by the category.

I have heard senior, retired person, retiree, golden ager, old timer, pensioner, geriatric and old fart but never legend. I love the idea and maybe I have enough time to truly qualify. I have 629 days until October 17, 2016 when I turn 62 years old.

I love the category of Legend but just surviving 22,642 days doesn’t seem like enough of an accomplishment to warrant the title.

Every day I am committed to consciously consider how my actions, intentions, ideas, words, work and play might contribute to leading a larger-than-life story that is worthy of admiration. Even if I don’t get there, it will be a blast trying. I can’t even imagine the possibilities that are awaiting now that I have put this statement out to the world.

Make Today Legendary,

Bob