Define right…

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. ”

Mark Twain

How much time, effort and energy do we each spending thinking on the definition of “right” versus the simple act of doing? Is the real opportunity here to first focus defining “right” in your own mind? Because once you have made that determination there really isn’t a choice anymore is there…

A very Good Friday…

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

Mark Twain

This might seem like an odd quote to use on Good Friday but hang with me…

It can be so easy to spend all of our time thinking about what we don’t have, instead of reveling in all of the blessings that we have been gifted with. It can be so easy to manufacture problems and troubles that really aren’t there.

I personally can’t think of a better day of the year to have a broader perspective than on Good Friday. For me this is a day of reflection and appreciation. Wonder and amazement. There isn’t a trouble that I have that holds a candle to what happened on first Good Friday.

So no matter what you believe, find something that grounds you and serves as a reminder of how all our troubles pale in comparison to what truly matters.

Read for life…

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

Mark Twain

Those who know me know that I read incessantly. I am always reading or listening to a good book. In a typical year I will read between 40 – 60 books across a very broad range of topics and literary styles. I have had a love of reading for my entire life. In many ways, as a person who was home-schooled for my primary education, reading was both my doorway to learning and my way to explore a broader world.

Today I continue to read to both learn and to experience more of the world. I have always felt that there were dozens of vocations or lives that I could have explored. Unfortunately there was no way to do this so reading has been a way to “live vicariously” through the stories shared by great authors. Reading is a way to live a much broader and expansive life, even while focusing on being present in the here and now.

I truly can’t imagine going through life without a good book (or 3) going at any one time. Right now I am reading “Hamilton,” “Sacred Pace,” “The Power of Habit,” “Knowing God,” & “Outlaw Platoon.” Very different texts obviously but all scratching a particular itch.

What’s on your reading list right now?

There is enough trouble…

“I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

Mark Twain

How do you achieve the right balance between thinking things through and anticipating problems and challenges, and getting lost worrying about the things you can’t control?

It is so easy to get wrapped up in something that might happen, or might not, and lose all sense of what is good and what is true. I am guilty of this far too often. When I get lost in my troubles, real or imagined, this is the verse that I turn to to help me break free from incessant worry.

‘”Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

It is amazing how much your perspective can shift if you seek to embody this principle. There is no need to borrow trouble from tomorrow and lose yourself worrying about things that might not happen. It doesn’t add value and it bogs you down.

Perfect isn’t possible…

“Progressive improvement beats delayed perfection.”

Mark Twain

Perfect isn’t possible.  Once you come to terms with this then there is no need to wait hoping that you can get there.  How many great ideas, projects, initiatives, etc. never see the light of day because the “timing isn’t perfect,” or the idea, project, initiatve “isn’t perfect yet?”  

This doesn’t mean that there is an excuse for shoddy work or poor execution.  You can still be striving for great, but waiting for perfection means that you will be waiting forever.  Make change happen.  Make mistakes, learn, grow, get better.  Do something! Just get better.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Just don’t wait to create change because you are hoping for perfect because it will never happen.  

 

 

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