Monday, March 21, 2011

When It's Silent Enough to Listen

For some reason, Sunday nights make me emotional.

There's nothing specific about the day itself, but the situation I commonly find myself in during these late hours at the end of the weekend just does something to me. Possibly because it's a combination of sadness that the weekend is over and bittersweet nostalgia brought on by being alone with my thoughts (and a glass of wine).

So tonight I find myself sitting at home spreading my attention between writing a blog post, doing my resume, and watching How I Met Your Mother.  (one of my favorite shows ever, BTW)

I've always had a disposition founded on a sense of emotionality that is very sensitive yet strong.
I commonly get teary-eyed at the stupidest of things, but I also very easily can keep my composure in the saddest and most intense of situations. And tonight, alone on my couch, I ponder my life and future with such deep conviction that my eyes well up with every passing keystroke and sip of wine.

My optimism is not lost.
My mood - only briefly low.
But right now - at least for tonight - I welcome my heart back to center stage and open my mind to hear all it has to share.

It tells me I love life.
It tells me I love children.
It tells me I adore all the beautiful people I'm so fortunate enough to have close to me.
It tells me that I've been far from perfect in all my living years, yet the pain of regret and consequence is one best embraced and learned from.

Of all it tells me, I listen most to what it says of my future.
For though there is no set path to finding all my heart desires, it knows the direction I must travel and helps guide me along the way. 

This allows me to know that as long I continue to keep my mind's ear close to my heart, my road to happiness will be one I will have no trouble following.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Another Year Older, Another Year Wiser

Yup.  Tuesday was just another one.
Another one of those days when US law requires I add 1 to the count of the number of years since my birth.

That date when the futile human desire to keep track of time combines with our idiotic yearning to quantify our lives.

You can deny the significance of the number all you want, but it's effect will not diminish.
The big X0 birthdays may carry more significance, but all the ones in between still seem like creaky, old, wooden steps in our staircase to each milestone.

Much more important than dwelling on your numerical age, is contemplating how much wisdom you've gathered up until this point.  Becoming smarter through experience is not always correlative to someone's age or level of maturity.  In fact, wisdom is more a question of character and will power.

There's many lessons to learn from in life, but what will you do with the knowledge you obtain when you've completed those lessons?

The industry of "self help" guides and motivational speakers and books is so huge because people are too focused on petty, meaningless issues and commonly fail to fully utilize the knowledge they get from life just by living it.

Learning a lesson and becoming smarter and wiser from the experience means absolutely nothing when no action is taken upon that enlightenment.

You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.
~Tony Robbins
Thinking leads to action. Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action, converts adversity into prosperity.
~Abdul Kalam 

One of the most poignant examples of enlightenment gained through life experience is someone saying,
"If I only knew then what I know now."

Well if we could go back in time and educate ourselves, how would you convince your past self to act on the knowledge you're now imparting on them?  
Will only the shock of seeing yourself make them realize it's their duty to follow the guidance you've given them?

Every lesson learned in life, every test failed or relationship broken, every love lost, every regret harbored.............. it all helps to feed our minds and hearts with the essential knowledge we need to find happiness.  Where most of us commonly lose traction on this journey is when we idly wait around for some fantastic sign - a burning bush, the voice of God, a time-travelling version of ourselves - instead of decisively taking action on what we already know from experience.

Some of the best lessons learned in life are those that required us to take great risks.  If you can do so, and gain valuable insight into who you are and what makes you happy, do not do yourself a grave injustice by not acting upon it with that wisdom as your guide.

There is no doubt that there is great fun in the journey to happiness, but hey - who says there isn't a wild party waiting for you at the destination?  So why not help yourself to get there sooner?