“You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.” – Heraclitus
Every moment is unique. It has never happened before and it will never happen again. In our everyday lives, we often do ordinary and routine tasks – things we have done countless times before – like brushing our teeth, eating a meal, driving to work, walking outside. How can we experience childlike wonder instead of boredom with the seemingly mundane activities of our lives? How can we notice old things anew, with our senses completely engaged and in the moment?
Do you experience the dullness in the routine OR experience excitement in the moment?
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” – Carl Rogers
When we are children and begin to be socialized, one of the lessons we learn is that of self-control. If we are angry, for example, we can’t just lash out and hit others. If we do, our actions will have consequences. As we get older, sometimes it isn’t self-control that we need to learn, but self-acceptance. We need to accept that we have a full range of emotions, even if we don’t act them out. Accepting our emotions can be a bit like making friends with ourselves. We love our friends, warts and all, as they say, and we should extend that same acceptance to ourselves.
Do you tend to act on your emotions OR actively accept your emotions?
“Settle for a choice that meets your core requirements rather than searching for the elusive best.” – Barry Schwartz
The tyranny of choice abounds in virtually every area of our lives – from simple decisions like what to eat, what to purchase, and where to vacation – to more life altering decisions regarding home, career and love. Many critical decisions require serious thought and evaluation. Once we make our decisions though, revisiting them to second guess our choices and conclude that better ones could have been made, leads us to a state of regret and unhappiness. In times like these, it is better to heed the advice to leave well enough alone. If we endeavor to seek the optimal choice at the time, rather than the perfect one, we stand to achieve greater overall satisfaction.
Do you insist on perfection OR recognize when good enough will do?
“The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.” – Elie Wiesel
It is said that there is a story for every light on Broadway – a story of someone just like you who is living and breathing, with hopes and dreams. In our daily lives, we pass nameless faces each day at work, at school, in the supermarket. How often do we take the time to reach out to strangers or even to those people we meet more regularly who serve us coffee, do our dry cleaning, or sell us a pack of gum or magazine?
Do you ignore others OR truly see the other?
“This above all – to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare
A basic geography lesson. True north versus magnetic north. Finding your true north – that directional point that guides you exactly where you need to go—is about living authentically, according to your deepest values. When you use a compass to find your way, you may be pointed in the general direction of your destination, but the earth’s magnetic forces may actually steer you in another direction. It is like that in life: we could be guided by our internal compass or the forces outside.
Do you surrender your beliefs and values to others OR are you true to yourself?