Some “Thinking” About “Ing” …


Christopher Morley - PD - 12 31 1931 Library of Congress“There are three ingredients in the good life:  Learning, earning, and yearning.”

Christopher Morley

Morley also spent a fair amount of time during his life doing one other very good thing:  “Thinking”.

As leaders, we often spend a significant amount of time doing things.  Our “ …ings” can drive our behavior, our attitudes, and our relationships, while eating up the largest part of our energy and ability.  

We owe it to ourselves and those we lead to spend some time contemplating what we are “doing”.

Here are some of my first thoughts about whether Mr. Morley has something here ….

LEARNING …

In my world, learning rules.   I used to think the expression “life-long learner” was just a marketing tool for certain books and speakers, but I am now a believer. 

Learning has been at the center of my life, regardless of roles, functions, and environments.

Learning can be formal or informal, with a business purpose or just for fun.  Some folks usually connect learning to earning (see below), while others learn for its own sake or even just for pleasure.

HOW AND WHY DO YOU LEARN?     

EARNING …

 Hmmm … not as much, but still essential.  Earning reflects what we do to survive.  I wonder if Morley was thinking only in financial terms, or with a larger scope in mind?

We can earn by working, either for ourselves or someone else.  Income is given in return for effort. 

Sometimes we earn money, sometimes we earn respect, sometimes we just earn a chance to breathe deeply for a few moments. 

WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD EARNING?

YEARNING …

Now this one is fascinating … what could Morley be thinking about here? 

We humans yearn for many things over our lives.   Sometimes we yearn for what was or what we remember as what was.   Other times, we yearn for better times ahead.  

We can yearn with motivating passion, which drives us to achieve, or we can yearn with nostalgia, which may drain us of energy to move forward.

I yearn for simpler or happier times, both of which I can choose to have as much as I am willing to allow into my life now.

WHAT DO YOU YEARN FOR?   WHY?

 Nothing earthshaking in these thoughts, but possibly some useful consideration of what we let dominate our lives and how our choices about our focus affect us. 

A last question about the “ings” in our lives:

HOW DOES THINKING ABOUT WHAT WE CHOOSE IN OUR LIVES HELP US?

 Enjoying starting the week doing something creative by asking questions in the Heartland ….

John

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