It’s Remarkable …


Looking at You with quote

Remarkable … in other words, something worth talking about …

I believe we need to speak clearly about those things which amaze and astound us, the things whose passing we ought to notice.

We all see things that are remarkable every day.

Just take the “sun coming up every day” thing … where is that guaranteed to happen?   In some ways, as you consider how the universe operates, you begin to realize we are all very small bits in a very large space, which runs on principles both known and unknown to us.  

In some ways, every single day of our existence is a miracle and a wonder.

That’s remarkable …

“Recognize the remarkable individuals in your life who help you envision a world far beyond yourself.”  (Bill Courtney)

REMARKABLE NON-EVENTS …

Sometimes our world becomes remarkable for what does NOT happen …

Take presidential political campaigns … please (sorry, could not resist a small joke).

Joking aside, politics at the national level has become increasingly partisan and sometimes we struggle to hear a clear and positive message that has depth and understanding to it about the challenges our country faces.

Yet we will elect a new president and will do so without the type of violence and theater that other countries regularly experience.   Even with a history of violence in our own politics at times, we remain much more effective, at least on the surface, than most other countries.

That’s remarkable …

“Remarkable’s a well-chosen word. It doesn’t give you away.” (James Hilton)

REMARKABLE ALTERNATIVES …

Sometimes, remarkability has to do with the one alternative that occurs from a myriad of possibilities.

On the personal level, our lives should and could be a series of remarkable events, and not gossip or chitchat.  You know, the type of exciting and wondrous events that make one grateful they are in a particular place at a particular time doing a particular thing.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to create stable and long-term supportive relationships with a significant other person will recognize this type of remarkability.    

When I think of all the possibilities that would have resulted in me marrying someone other than the person I did, I tend to get all slack-jawed at just how really cool it was that things worked the way they did.

That is truly remarkable …

REMARKABLE IN SPITE OF …

“If you are too afraid to offend anyone, then I’m afraid you may not be able to do anything remarkable”  (Bernard Kelvin Clive)

With regard to leadership, here’s a last thought about remarkability that has to do with achievements … helping make great things happen.   I cannot think of an instance when an idea or direction of any significance happened by someone without ANY resistance from someone else.  

If you would be the author of something about which others will remark, you need to have internal fortitude to bear the resistance that will undoubtedly come.   Sometimes doing a thing is remarkable not just for the being done, but for what was overcome or withstood to do the doing.

Feeling remarkably blessed for any number of reasons in the Heartland ….

John

Image:  adapted from Gratisography.com

 

3 Creativity Tips …


Pencils“When I teach critical and creative thinking, I often get push-back from students who use some version of “I’m just not creative” to deny any ability to think differently than they are programmed.  

This makes me crazy … and presents a challenge to help them realize that everyone has some creative ability.  We just have to realize and claim it.  

Here are three suggestions to stir your creative juices, in no particular order, and without claim to be the most effective.  They just work for me …

USE COLORED WRITING INSTRUMENTS …

Yes, black and white both count as colors – never mind the technical definition.  Move beyond the business colors (Black, Blue, Red, and Green) and experiment.  Make your notes in Purple or Brown, or even in Magenta:).

Try not to assign a code to the use of a color … just use whatever color you choose, find interesting, or that comes to hand when you reach for a pen.

You may not be any smarter for using colors, but you’ll have more fun taking notes in meetings. … and NO, it’s not the same when you electronically select a color for your font on your tablet, Ipad, or notebook.  I’m talking real, old-fashioned writing here.

LOOK FOR ALLITERATION …

I recently read a passage from a very old book, which included a description of a long-neglected attic.  The words “Cobwebs” and “Clutter” jumped out at me.

Right now, I have no idea what will come of these two words, but the sound of them together makes for an interesting title.   Cobwebs and Clutter” … you will see this again someday.

Words can spur our imagination.  Be aware of the words you see and read, and open your mind to new uses for them.

MEMORIZE A Shel Silverstein POEM …

You don’t have to WRITE poetry to be creative.  Just learn the words and say them out loud. Okay, you can memorize anyone’s poem, but I think Shel Silverstein is a great choice to stimulate your thinking.  

It is difficult to not include more inflection and dramatic flair when you are reading and saying “Where The Sidewalk Ends” or “One Sister For Sale“.   Here’s an easy one to start you off:

Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird 

And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.

If you’re a bird, be an early early bird—

But if you’re a worm, sleep late.

~Shel Silverstein

Shoot … you might even find some good learning as you go.  For example, the above little poem has some solid thinking about how our perspective changes based on our role.

These three suggestions are NOT the only or the best ways to be creative, but they usually work for me.

Trying to memorize “Sarah Sylvia Cythnia Stout“, who would not take the dishes out in the Heartland …

John

Our Daily Decision …


Being Us

That’s it … the whole thing …

Once we make this decision right out of the gate each day, everything else we do will fall into place … eventually.

For more thinking like this, visit Marc and Angel as they hack life by visiting the hard places and engaging in common sense. 

Dog and FriendNow to tackle that pesky question of just who I really want to be.   You know, when you fully embrace this question and grapple with it, life can be pretty scary for a while, as you come to realize that you really can decide who you want to be.

Then it’s just a matter of making it happen … and that is often the easy part:)

BTW, I hope you caught that “daily” part of this equation.  Every single day, we get new opportunities to declare, work on, and refine our vision for who we want to be.   How badly you missed the mark yesterday is not the point … aiming again or changing the target is the point.

I was reintroduced over the weekend to a video that is nothing short of remarkable.  No cute cats, or catchy nonsense words that foxes say … this is just a heart-warmer of a story about doing what they said you could not do.  

Check it out on YouTube by clicking here:

Arthur’s Transformation (Extended Cut).

After watching, then try to tell me “Change is too hard” with a straight face, in that whining tone we all use from time to time …

Making decisions and taking action in the Heartland ….

John

Postscript:  FOr even more, check out Inspired:  The Movie.