Self Improvement · Uncertainty

What We Need More Of

What we need a lot more of is exuberance, enthusiasm, and elation. The world around me and the one created by media is vitriolic, spiteful and polarized. I find the atmosphere draining and depressing so I am calling on all my friends, family colleagues, readers and any strangers who happen to encounter this challenge to step into the world today, tomorrow and the next day – Until October 1 with the 3 e’s on your face and sleeve.

Be exuberant. Be ebullient, buoyant, cheerful, jaunty, lighthearted, high-spirited, exhilarated, excited, exultant, euphoric, joyful, cheery, merry, jubilant, vivacious, enthusiastic, irrepressible, energetic, animated, full of life, lively, vigorous, adrenalized; be full of life and optimism. Smile when you are walking down the street, down the hall or through the park. Smile a ridiculously big smile at every person you encounter. Laugh, giggle, snort when something tickles your funny bone. Don’t suppress it because of some imagined social convention.
Sing along with the radio, cd, or mp3. Listen to uplifting, inane, silly songs and join in. Try Mary Poppins, Frozen, or Weird Al for inspiration. Sing loud and like you mean it (even if you don’t).

Stand up with your back straight and your shoulders back as you skip, march, prance and dance through your day. Be an invitation to exuberance for the world that sees you and wonders, sees you and smiles, sees you and joins in.

Be enthusiastic. Be eager, keen, avid, ardent, fervent, passionate, ebullient, zealous, vehement; excited, wholehearted, committed, devoted, fanatical, earnest; go hog-wild, can-do, gung-ho, rah-rah. Cheer on someone who is trying, be first in line to accept responsibility or to try something new. Wear your passion on your sleeve by celebrating a great idea, a small victory, a valiant effort, a team success. Share the victories with others and include them in the credit.

Be Elated. Be thrilled, delighted, overjoyed, ecstatic, euphoric, very happy, joyous, gleeful, jubilant, beside oneself, exultant, rapturous, in raptures, walking on air, on cloud nine, in seventh heaven, jumping for joy, in transports of delight; on top of the world, over the moon, on a high, tickled pink. The other two e’s are easy to see and easy to demonstrate – they exist outside of us and are on exhibit for all to see and experience. Being elated is inside of us and is more difficult to hold on to. But like most things, elation is a choice. I get to decide, you get to decide, we get to decide to feel joyful in difficult times, to be delighted by the blessings we have not dejected by any perceived deficiency and tickled pink with the privilege of relationships we have.

As I reach the end of this post, I do a twirl and laugh out loud. Will you do the same? As I step away from my computer, I commit to smiling and celebrating with those I encounter this morning. Will you do the same? In the moments between my desk and the door, I simply choose joy over anger, glee over anxiety, and appreciation, love, and mindfulness over the messages and images that will likely bombard me this afternoon. How about it, are you ready to be exuberant, enthusiastic and elated?

Make Today Remarkable,

B

Original Thought

Until the Truth is Forgotten

I was listening to ” How to Fly a Horse” by Kevin Ashton this morning. He tells the story of an African slave who figured out how to assist orchids in their self pollination and thus created a vanilla industry. His master initially gave him credit but the story soon, because of cultural norms, shifted to the master teaching the slave who taught other slaves. The powerful created their own truth when they couldn’t explain how a slave could figure out a solution to a problem they had faced for decades. Eventually historians recognized that there were inconsistencies and through research discovered that Edmond Albus was the slave who launched the vanilla industry.

Ashton’s point in ” How to Fly a Horse” is to demonstrate that invention and genius comes from relentless monotonous actions and observing and adapting to the conclusions. My point is that truth is malleable not immutable.  How many Edmonds never received credit for their contributions to the world because of their race or gender? How many legends just stepped in and appropriated credit for something they didn’t invent?

What other truths do we  hold that have been created and recreated to support other truths that were universally accepted even though they may be false? Maybe the way we use the word truth creates the problem – many think it is synonymous with fact ( another idea that is far more malleable  than we are comfortable to admit). What if truth is closer to believe or understand or feel? I often use a disclaimer when telling stories to an audience ” I don’t know if this really happened but I know it is true”. I am suggesting that the essence is where true has power rather than in veracity, authenticity, accuracy, or certainty. There are things that I can prove, based on a conjecture that passes a burden today. There are things that I know because of the sum of my experience and education.  There are things that are true because I know them to be – know them not in my head but in my heart.

 

If you find yourself declaring a truth, check where it is rising up from. If your ego, ask why do I feel so insecure that I need to shine in this moment. If your education identifies with the statement, remember the vanilla industry and the millions of other manufactured truths. If you just know something to be right, you are likely  on a path that is worth exploring.

 

B

Uncategorized

How Long is the Truth True?

Does truth have a shelf life? Can/will everything we hold to be true eventually be disputed and ‘disproved’? How much of your world today still holds onto ‘facts’ that you learned in elementary school? How much will still pass a veracity and authenticity test in 20 years?

Are you like me? I try to hold onto my truth bias as gospel until the last second and then surrender to the new certainty. I wiggle and squirm for quite a while to confirm what I believe in the face of contradiction. When the tipping point happens I can two- facedly expound on the new honest to goodness truth.

If my exactitude and rightness is so malleable  why do I grasp and defend with such persistence? I think it is about my foundation. I have pretty good sea legs when I am afloat but appreciate getting back on solid ground. It is exhausting (or it feels exhausting) fighting the swell and stepping onto a dock seems secure.

What if the only way to continue the journey is to get a bit wobbly and then trust that your values, experience and gifts will keep you safe in the sea of change? I have, on occasion, trusted and found the next leg in my adventure to be exciting and impactful.

Get off the dock and experience life (2)

Very little happens if you stand on the dock too long. Step out and set yourself adrift for the next exciting experience.

 

B