Tuesday, November 29, 2005
recently, i made a decision that i wanted to learn more about a variety of factors that have given shape to my life today. to read and learn about the history of my ancestors, to learn more about the development of the religion i was raised in and to further my understanding of the history of my country. setting out to do this has begun to reveal new ideas and concepts left and right.
some of the information i am encountering is not new, but looking at it from new perspectives is providing a whole new experience. and in other instances there is new information, bit and pieces that can be woven into what i already knew and create a much more clear and understandable picture of my world. "ah, so that's why my finnish grandmother always reacted so strongly when..."
this exposure to new ideas has just begun, and each time i come across a new concept it only increases my desire to learn more.
it's unfortunate but often true that formal education either doesn't allow us to learn what we would truly like to, or if we are lucky enough to be studying a topic we enjoy it doesn't allow us to learn at a reasonable enough pace to truly soak in all that we are reading and memorizing. deciding to learn what we want to in a way that will allow us to fully incorporate and understand the ideas presented can be incredibly empowering.
whether you learn by asking your grandparents to tell you stories, going to local film festivals or checking out books and magazines from your local library, setting out to find the information your brain is craving is an exciting adventure.
what would you like to learn?
how do you want to learn it?
what does it mean for you to be life long learner?
i'd love to hear your ideas or suggestions for finding new perspectives and learning new things...as always, post your thoughts here!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
certainty is overrated
the reality of course if you scratch a millimeter below the surface is that adults are often no more certain than people in their twenties about where they are headed or how they are going to get there. i've come to the conclusion that most people are in fact not all that certain, and yet there seems to be an almost compulsory expectation that we look certain and persuade others to see us as such.
i recently finished reading ranier maria rilke's letters to a young poet. it's an interesting book consisting of rilke's letters to an aspiring poet who attends the same school that rilke did in his youth. the book has woven through it the concepts of unfolding, of patience and of living life fully without certainty of what is to come.
i particularly liked this passage:
later in the book he goes on to say this:
Always trust yourself and your own feeling...if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened.
You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand will not let you fall...Why do you persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the middle of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change.
rilke seems not only unconcerned with certainty, he seems to advise against it. growth, change and transition are what life is made up of and one can never be completely open to these forces if she tries to keep to a certain path or govern where her life takes her.
how might you view the inevitable periods of transition in life differently if you saw them as opportunities, as the point of living rather than a difficulty to be endured?
being certain is overrated. i've decided to unabashedly declare myself uncertain. i am, so why not be real about it. and i'm hoping that with this uncertainty will come openness, fresh ideas, growth and change.
i'd love to hear your thoughts on certainty and life, as always post 'em here!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
two year old wisdom
now don't get me wrong, young children have loads more energy than the average 26 year old like myself, but they also use their energy in a very different way. what i found my friend had that i often lack was the patience and concentration to truly immerse herself in an activity. she could spend 20 minutes examining the dead ladybug in the windowsill while i was itching to head back outside, find some new ball to play with, or make sure we had what we needed for lunch.
when we hiked in the woods, the same thing happened. our hike didn't take us far because there was way too much to experience in just the first three feet. crunching through the fall leaves, each plant, bird song or insect called us to slow down and observe.
it was a marvelous weekend, and i ended it feeling physically exhausted and mentally renewed. i was so pleased to have spent the time i did watching the pond and listening to the birds, to have sat quietly while she slowly and painstakingly painted my fingernails. i realized as the weekend came to a close that my little friend had opened my mind, her two year old wisdom had shown me that slowing down allowed much more to happen than did my usual method of rushing to fit everything in.
when was the last time you immersed yourself completely in something?
how might your daily experiences differ if you slowed down and really soaked in every detail?
as always i'd love to hear your thoughts...post 'em here!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
living on purpose
they were put together by lance beggs, you can check out more of his stuff at: www.howtobehappynow.com.
it's a long list, so i wouldn't recommend trying to take it all on at once. but, you could take one question a day for the next 50 days, or just skim it and ponder the questions that catch your eye or get you thinking. the act of taking time to think about your life, even if its only for five minutes, has immense value.
so, take some time out for you, and consider the following questions:
1. What is my life’s purpose?
2. If I had to take a best guess at my life’s purpose, what would it be?
3. Who am I?
4. What is the most important thing in my life?
5. What do I love to do, more than anything else?
6. If I had only six months left to live, what would I like to achieve?
7. What would I like to leave the world, as my legacy?
8. What would I do with my life, if I knew I could not fail?
9. If money, or time, or current responsibilities were not an issue, whatwould I like to do with my life, more than anything else in the world?
10. What activities have I discovered that give me the most pleasure?
11. What do I still want to learn?
12. When I was a child, what did I dream of doing with my life?
13. What has been the greatest challenge that I have overcome so far in my life? Could I help other people to overcome that same challenge?
14. What challenge would I love to overcome, and then help others achieve the same?
15. Who are the people I most admire?
16. Why do I admire these people?
17. How would I define their life’s purpose?
18. What qualities do these people possess that I’d also like to be known for?
19. What is the biggest dream I have ever had for my life?
20. What subjects did I enjoy most in school?
21. What sport have I most enjoyed?
22. What art or craft have I most enjoyed?
23. What social activity have I most enjoyed?
24. What hobbies have I pursued?
25. What hobbies do I wish I had pursued?
26. What would I like to do, if only other people didn’t think it was silly?
27. Where in the world would I most like to live?
28. Who would I like to live there with?
29. Where in the world would I like to work?
30. Who would I most like to work with?
31. What would my perfect day be like?
32. Is there a spiritual side to me, waiting to be unleashed?
33. What would I like to do, RIGHT NOW, which would bring me the most happiness or pleasure?
34. What special gift do I have that I could give to the world?
35. What makes me cry with joy, or brings tears to my eyes?
36. What would I like to do this weekend, just for fun?
37. If I could be granted the power to change the world, what would I do?
38. If I were given three wishes, what would they be?
39. What is something that scares me a bit, but would be really exciting if I did it?40. What does my heart say I am to do with my life?
41. What qualities do I possess that I am really proud of?
42. What have I done in my life that I am really proud of?
43. If I had time available to contribute to a charity, or some cause,what would it be?
44. What am I usually doing when I suddenly realize that time has flown by, and all my focus has been on that one task?
45. What do I want to do on my next vacation?
46. Who in history would I most love to be, and why?
47. What do I most regret not doing, so far in my life?
48. At the end of my life, what would I most regret not having done?
49. What is my life’s purpose?
50. If I had to take a best guess at my life’s purpose, and just get started with something that excites me, what would it be?
i'd love to hear your answers, or which questions you like best!