People ask me why I moved from Iowa to New Jersey. I did it in part because I knew that compared to Iowa, New Jersey is far more diverse in economic strata, religious affiliations, ethnic backgrounds, careers, cultures, customs, native languages, foods, clothing styles, values and traditions.
Life offers many opportunities to acquire new information. We can turn away, or we can be open to learning, a little bit at a time.
I have not been disappointed in that regard. I have found it exhilarating to be regularly challenged by so many different points of view and by people whose life experiences are so different from my own.
What do you do when exposed to new points of view?
Do you look at as an opportunity to learn something new? Do you eagerly ask questions to help your understanding? Or, do you throw up the barricades to protect yourself from a challenge to your way of thinking? Do you furiously marshal your arguments, ordering them into strategic position so that they can return fire at the first opening? Continue reading
Depending on the decade when you graduated from high school or college, you may remember the spoken word poem Desiderata (Latin for “desired things”) that was written in 1927 but did not gain widespread popularity until the early 1970s.
To live a good life, all we really need to do is show up and be ourselves. Every. Day.
Or the college graduation speech improbably delivered by a number of people ranging from Kurt Vonnegut to Darth Vader but I believe (and let me know if you have better information) was actually written by Mary Schmich in an article called “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young,” for the Chicago Tribune. You might know it as “Wear Sunscreen.” Both are intended as advice to help us live a good life. The self-help section of the book store overflows with advice on how to live a good life.
And yet, here you are, hoping I have some nuggets, a silver bullet, the secret solution for all of life’s problems.
In short, you want, The Answer. Because, when we know The Answer, everything in our lives will be good. Continue reading
Being authentic extends beyond what we say. It includes what we do, not only in specific instances but in the broad expanse of our lives. We have two choices in life.
Reaching for a dream means having the courage to set out alone, prepared and eager to discover the adventure that lies ahead
We can be our authentic selves or conform to others’ expectations. Others’ expectations for us are frequently far less than our capabilities, and rarely take into account our dreams, even if we’ve shared them.
When we live our dream life, whether or not that brings with it the level of success we envision, then we’re being authentic. It doesn’t matter if the dream is large or small, ordinary or exceptional. What counts is whether we’re doing what matters most to us.
Our dreams are not meant to torment us but to propel us to live to our full capability.