They tell us a lot

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We share the earth with many creatures and often we pay little mind to them.  The nature of our journey, for the most part, keeps us moving at a quick pace and avoiding distractions.  While it is an effective way to traverse, it does limit what we see that is going on around us.  It seems that the Scarlet Darter dragonfly might be telling us that global warming is real.  Dragonflies, like all insects, cannot regulate their body temperature like humans can, so they are highly sensitive to small changes in environmental temperature change.  And recently in the UK,  they are migrating south and flying further than they ever have.  They have no reason to travel so far but for the reason of a big temperature shift.  And so, we see this and it is up to us to respond in kind.  We need to keep working towards reducing the global warming effect.  We can make choices every day that will benefit all of us - use fewer fossil fuels for one.  The Scarlet Darter is giving us a warning – it is time to listen and act.

Loving life when I am listening to what is going on around me.

Rush Hour

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Rush hour - seems a bit of an oxymoron in life.  Rush hour, the time of day when we move the slowest.  Rushing to where? There is little we can do to overcome a backlog of people in our way and still we think that we can rush?  Our sensibility is turned upside down and it is up to us to get it back on track.  We need to think of that proverbial rush hour as a time for us to detach, to think, to reflect….to give ourselves the opportunity to reset and then appreciate all that we have.   We need not get caught up in the trappings of what is happening around us.  Let’s remind ourselves of our THPL commitments and how we choose to live.  It will pay dividends every time  

Loving life when I am not stuck in rush hour

Choices

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Seems that on the best days on our journey we feel good about our choices.  On those days or those moments when we don’t feel good about our choices…well, how about we think of it as a learning experience, a moment when we can dig deeper into why it was that we did not do as we probably knew we should.  When we can identify the cause of why we act differently (from our best intentions) we can work towards putting ourselves in a position where we can make a better choice.  For example, maybe we want to make better (different) food choices.  In these instances, we can make sure that we don’t keep the food (around) that we are trying to avoid.   If we are missing our opportunity to exercise maybe we can eliminate another activity that is eating into our exercise time.  And maybe if we are still struggling a bit overall we can ask others to help us with our choices.  An accountability partner is another way to set ourselves up to make the choices that we want to make.  The good news is that this is all under our control and we can always put ourselves on a journey to better (choices) as this is what THPL is all about.

Loving life when I am making the right choices

It sometimes takes longer

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It would be for many of us, who are on the THPL journey, that we could say that patience is not our strong suit.  We like to move quickly, we like to do a lot, and we want our performance to improve.  And we know that to get there we need to follow our Dream it, Plan it, Practice it, Do it approach.  The key is to understand that the practice just takes time.  We cannot rush our development, the body and the mind need time to grow and adapt.  We need to push hard, of course we do, but pushing hard does not shorten the time it takes to build true capability and resiliency into our systems (and our lives).  So, whenever we are thinking of taking a shortcut we should think twice because it will only make the “game day” take longer than we expected or wanted.  The more time we take up front to get ready the better we will do when we hit that moment of truth.  Practice might just take a bit longer but it is every bit worth it…..That is for sure…..

Loving life when I am taking the time to prepare

Live the life

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We have a lot of choice when we traverse the THPL journey.  We make “turns” when want, we dig in deeper as needed, we stop and study, and we learn what we need to know at the right time.  And with all of this power comes the ability to focus on living the life that we want to live.  We all too often let external factors, other people, even tradition to affect our choices and we fall short of putting in a sincere effort that is focused on what we want to do with our life.  Career, personal interest, community they are all for us to choose and in combination turn them into the life that we want to live.  We have the power and it is what we do with it that matters most when we aim to live the life that we want.   

Loving life when I am living the life

To observe

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When we go on our THPL journey we experience a lot, we feel a lot, and we see a lot.  And in each of these moments the opportunity to learn.  It comes by making observation into an active process.  One where we take the time and the care to be active and curious and engaged when we observe.  Take a bit of time to just sit and watch and it can become a learning experience if we want it to be.  We can see patterns form, observe unique behaviors, be captivated by unexpected situations and draw insight or inference from what we see.  It takes a bit of effort to get good at observation as there is much below the surface.  We need to be patient and not disruptive so that we can get best results – the less we interfere with what we are watching the better.  To get the most out of observation we have to make it important, we have to practice, and we need to do it frequently.  The benefits we will get from doing this will far exceed the time we put into it.   

Loving life when I am observing what is going on around me

New Roads School

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Today I had the pleasure of being at the New Roads School in Santa Monica, California.  An independent school that is, in my opinion, a remarkable school; one that is dedicated to learning in a way that I see as unique by focusing on independent thinking and a deep curiosity about the world and its people.  They bring it to life, for example, with their Change Maker Speaker series, at which I presented today to 150 students in the Middle School.  The topic was Grit and Perseverance and it was an honor and a privilege to be included in their program.  To spend an hour with the young people who will help to mold and create the future of the world is just about the best way that I could spend my time.  And to be able to share with them some of the stories of my THPL journey was a moment that I will remember forever.  I left the school today inspired and energized by the commitment being made to help each of the students reach their full potential; a mission that I support 100%.  I am reminded every day, and today even more, that this world is made up of really great and amazing people of all ages and races and cultures.  And I am looking forward to seeing all of the great things that will happen as we tap this potential more and more by creating an arc from youth to adult in ways that have not been fully realized.  There are only great things to come as we tap this potential and make the world a better place for all.  Thank you New Roads for all that you do for your students and all who touch them – we are inspired by you for sure!     

Loving life when I am hanging out with such amazing people

No one became poor from giving

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Every day that we are on the THPL journey we need to consider that we are blessed and fortunate that we have so many available resources, so much capability, so much potential to be realized.  There are others who are less fortunate and in need of many things.  It seems only logical, then, that we think actively about how to share what we have.  We can give of our time, our resources, our monies and more to those in need.  There are a lot of benefits that we get when we help those in need and we realize that giving is on some level a very selfish thing to do as it feels great to help others and it puts us in a position to do more than we thought we could.  So, let’s make it a priority to give and then some and we will all be better for it.

Loving life when I am giving of all that I have

Plant-based

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We need energy to keep going while on our THPL journey.  And there are a lot of food choices that we can make along the way and they each have an impact on us.  Some of them better than others.  We also know that food and diet are personal choices and there is little benefit that we can get from telling someone what to eat.  What is important though is to understand the options that are available and to make informed choices.  Options include considering how a plant-based diet can play a role in one’s diet.  A plant-based diet is one that is based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits.  We can think about how the positive nutritional impact this kind of eating can have for us and add it to our diet even if only part of how we eat.

Loving life when I am eating a plant-based diet

 

 

 

 

The standard

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We take the challenge while on our THPL journey to push ourselves, to achieve more, to set personal bests.  It is one of the ways that we stay focused – just the sheer nature of pushing beyond our current best performance keeps us on track and focused.  And maybe though, while it feels like we are pushing ourselves hard, we are not getting to the next level.  Maybe to get there we need to look for the standards that others are setting.  It is likely that we will find other people who have taken it to another level.  Once we see that there is more that we can do, further that we can go, we will start to think about how to make changes in what we are doing to get there.  It is amazing to see what happens with a little bit of outside induced motivation.  Here’s to finding that new level no matter how we get there.

Loving life when I am pushing to the next level

Make it easier

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We can get very focused during our THPL journey that we can forget that a big part of our mission is to be available to others who are on their journey.  So, how can we challenge ourselves to be available to those how are in our support network?  When they ask for something how do we go above and beyond the request; do we stop what we are doing when they need us – or even anticipate what they will need and help them with it.  Of course, there are times that they just want support and we should slow ourselves down enough to just listen and be there for them.  We cannot underestimate the benefits that they will get when we help nor the appreciation for what we do.  Make it easier for someone else and the benefits will come back to us in more ways than one.

Loving life when I am helping others

 

 

 

 

Making it happen

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It seems improbable and yet it is within our grasp. There are those things in each of our lives, that we want to do and if we are not careful we can lose focus and attention and it is at these times that we do not achieve them.  The way around this is to make the real commitment by putting in the time and effort, writing it down, making our goals into a series of daily practices and then keeping to them till the goals are achieved.  Simple thinking – better execution – great results

Loving life when I make it happen

 

 

 

 

a project

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The businesses of the THPL journey is such that much of what we do is in response to the daily requirements of life.  From brushing our teeth, to going to work, to cleaning, to cooking, reading and so on we are quite the busy people.  And when we add our mission to live a life focused on optimizing Life, Learning and Fitness there seem to be few hours left in the day.  We also know that the busier we are the more that we get done and the more that we commit to projects the better we feel.  The focus that comes from taking on a project is very clarifying and gives us a feeling of purpose above and beyond our daily life.  A project is a way to embed goals into activities.  We achieve so much when we give ourselves a project to do and we stick to it till we get it done.  So, let’s see what projects we can take on and how we set up another one when we are close to completing the one we are working on.  It is rewarding and provides meaning and makes the journey that much better.  Indeed it does.

Loving life when I am working on a project (or two)

Be careful of our impact

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When we go on a journey it is easy to see that just the act of being on the journey can have an impact on all that is around us.  It can take forms intended and not intended.   What is really important is to monitor our impact.  To make sure that we are not creating any sort of lasting damage, especially if it extends beyond our own personal space and situation.  A good and interesting example is coming to the fore in the UK where they are banning the use of a pesticide that has been determined to be contaminating the whole landscape and causing serious damage to bee colonies.  And while it seems obvious to do something that has such a big impact we must stay on alert for other similarly impactful, but not so visible, issues.  It is up to us to protect our planet – let’s stay vigilant and caring and good things will come of it.

Loving life when we are taking care of the planet

Make it better

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There are many places along our journey when we are greeted with a “top” list – top 3, top 10, top 100.  There are curious and interesting to see.  And with a moment of reflection, they can get us to think a bit. What is it that got someone or something to be on the list.  Is there something that we can learn?  Maybe we can extract a lesson, an approach, a technique….something that really makes a difference.  When we come to understand what it is that worked we can then leverage the learning by copying or incorporating it into the way that we do our thing on our journey.  There is nothing like leveraging best practices to help us make ourselves better.  It is after all that which we are setting out to do.  Let’s see how we can make it easier to get better and enjoy the results, very nice indeed….

Loving life when I am making it better.

 

 

 

Food as culture

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                                                                                                                                                                 There are many things that we need on our THPL journey, we need to feed our brains, our souls, and our bodies.  And while there is a clear nutritional need in what we eat there is also a soulfulness that drives what we eat.  And much of that feeling comes from our traditions, our preferences, our culture.  Sometimes it might even be very peculiar and particular to a specific geography; that is we cannot seem to understand why others don’t like what we do or vice-versa.  What we know, though, is that all tastes, all foods, don’t have to be universally loved.  What matters is that in the places that we live and take our journey that we embrace what we know, enjoy and appreciate.  We should share our food passions and keep true to them, sharing them, living them and loving them.  It is a good thing indeed…..

Loving life when I eat what I love

 

 

 

We must care

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Sadly, another tragedy came to innocent, regular, beautiful people just going about the activities in a seemingly normal life that was shattered in ways that we all fear.  Not fear in the way of being afraid, but fear that we have not been able to stem the tide of such tragic events as happened in San Antonio yesterday.  We need to do more than just hope and pray that this type of horror does not happen again.  We cannot accept it as a risk of living.  It is up to us to bring the essence of that which is good for all, that can be shared and serve as our reason to be.  There is so much good in the world, so much potential, so much possibility that we need to stay vigilant and on guard and way more proactive to prevent the magic that is life from being taken away from anyone at any time.  Let’s all commit to making part of our THPL journey a call for action and attention to a troubling trend that we need to stop, and to stop now……

Loving life when I care and then act.

 

How much time....

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As we traverse the THPL journey there are goals and objectives that we set for ourselves, there are destinations that we want to go to, there are new things that we want to learn, and there is a deep desire to improve.  And so the question that we have to ask ourselves is how much time are we willing to commit to that which we want to achieve.  What will we stop doing so that we can ensure our success?   We are in charge of how we use our time, it is our most important commodity and we need to be explicit about how we use it and how it enables us to reach our goals; to allow us to be who we want to be; to enable us to do more than we think we can.  So, before we start anything let’s figure out how much time we are going to spend on it and if it is not enough to achieve our objective then we should think about how important it is to us.  And once we get through this reconciliation we can make the commitment and get to the goal.  It is a simple choice, let’s use time as if it is all we have…..

Loving life when I use my time well

 

think more...

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The THPL journey is one that we act on through a combination of instinct and experience.  There is a general momentum that is created by the way we go about the activities that get us through the journey.  And yet, there is a need to do more than just act, or take action.  It is important to reflect, to think more, to challenge ourselves so that we can ensure we are going in the right direction at the right pace with the right actions.  Sometimes, it is hard to stop and think but it is always a good thing to do.  We can even engage others as we do our thinking – we can ask for input, we can discuss, we can seek out ways to be better.  It all is part of how we make for an optimal approach on our THPL journey.  We think more, we do better and then we do it again and again, and it all starts to work out as we would like it to be.

Loving life when I am thinking more

 

From the inside out

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When we set out to live the life that is THPL we do so with sincere intent.  It is about a focus and a commitment and follow through.  It is a way such that others can see that something is different.  It comes from the inside out – the THPL way is really how we live which comes from how we think.  Our behavior is what matters; are we doing what we know needs to be done, are we consistent and true to our values.  We know intrinsically know how to measure ourselves and we need to keep track of how well we are doing at it.  While we can look to others to validate we are living the THPL way, we are way better off building our own practices that tell us when we are on track….and when we are not.  For it is from the inside out that THPL flourishes and becomes a way of life…indeed it is.

Loving life when I am living inside out