I made my family disappear… I made my family disappear.
- Kevin McAllister
Trying to include a little seasonal relevance with this Christmas quote. I think it’s particularly important to reflect on since the holidays usually mean spending extended time with your family.
No matter how much you love people, once you get to know them well enough you will also get to know both their positive and negative personality traits. This is rarely more true than with family, since years spent growing up with them have given you a perfect view of all their flaws. As a result, spending extended time together may create friction simply by exposure to these well known annoyances.
Rather than wishing for something rash, like having them disappear forever or something equally drastic - make a little time for yourself. Remove yourself for even fifteen minutes from the chaos surrounding you to find some calm and presence of mind.
Holidays are a hectic time but they can be made more bearable by finding brief moments of solitude. Don’t let overexposure cause you to make regrettable decisions.
Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory… lasts forever.
- Shane Falco
Life is not fair, nor is it easy. Pain, both physical and emotional, is inevitable. What is important is how we deal with our trials and tribulations. We must learn to accept pain and work through it.
Once the immediate source of trouble has passed, the healing process begins. It may be quick or it may be long and drawn out but with time and effort all wounds can heal. There may be scars but these metaphorical battle wounds can become a source of pride just as much as any physical ones. They tell that world that “I have faced great pain and have emerged victorious.”
Conquering pain is reward enough, but success in the face of adversity leads towards glory. Success in the face of adversity is more heavily rewarded. For this reason, it is important to accept the challenge of difficult tasks even in unfavourable situations.
When the inevitable pain comes, don’t crumble in submission but push forward to eternal glory.
You are good at what you do, you just need to switch off that big ol’ melon of yours.
- Danny Butterman
Many of my messages revolve around action. However this needs to be balanced against relaxation. While results are obtained by work, it is easy to overextend. The cost of which can be a loss of sanity.
As important as it is to learn how to get the most out of our own abilities, it is essential to learn how to temporarily extinguish the fires of desire. This is a level of control too often overlooked by people with strong ambition.
The method for achieving relaxation will differ for everyone. However, it is almost certainly begins by allowing oneself to relax. This act of permission is so crucial and sometimes so difficult. If there is no permission, then attempts to relax will only generate stress.
After working hard, be sure to give yourself the opportunity to clear your mind. Maybe pop in a little Point Break or Bad Boys 2.
Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.
- Miracle Max
Such an immensely quotable movie; it had to show up sometime.
For the most part, this statement is that true in a literal sense (although medical procedures are pretty darn impressive these days). But in a more metaphorical sense, there is good value in distinguishing between mostly dead and all dead.
If something is important, it is worth fighting for even if the cause is hopeless. Things which may seem final and immovable often turn out to be more malleable but only if you refuse to accept the initial rebuttal and pursue your course.
Persistence is often rewarded and it is worth continuing your work doggedly until a breakthrough is achieved or you are definitely told any further gain is impossible. Don’t forget that somethings may be all dead but it’s worth the effort to discern whether this is the case or if things are just slightly dead.
When Jordan would go out to the spotlight introductions, he would look up into the stands and realize that there was at least someone up there that night who had never seen him before, who would never see him again and this would be the one Michael Jordan moment they would ever have. And he would say he was playing for those people there.
- Bob Greene
I’m kind of sneaking a sports quote in through a loophole here. However, it is a quote made in the IMAX film and isn’t actually made by Michael himself.
Now, most people aren’t on public display in their jobs or or any other part of their lives, so this quote may seem a weird selection at first glance. However, everyone does have interactions on a daily basis with others. Sometimes, this interactions may go unnoticed by either participant (passing each other in the street, holding the door for someone, etc.).
This is a reason to always be aware of your behaviour and to strive to ensure that your actions project the lasting image you wish to present to others. Perhaps that person you hold a door for will be your future spouse (if you make the right impression) or the person interviewing you for a position next week.
No matter where you are or what you are doing, remember that their may be someone observing you for the only time. Live your life for those people and it will be closer to a Michael Jordan experience.
Let us explore it together. Each man hides a secret pain. It must be exposed and reckoned with. It must be dragged from the darkness and forced into the light. Share your pain. Share your pain with me, and gain strength for the sharing.
One of the lesser Star Trek films (sandwiched between the greatness of The Voyage Home and The Undiscovered Country), it nonetheless hides some great nuggets of philosophy and quotability.
Pain, by its very definition, hurts. As a result, the most common response to pain is to avoid it. When dealing with physical pain, this is possible and sometimes a very intelligent strategy to adopt - by say avoiding touching burning elements or getting into fist fights.
With mental or emotional pain, things are a bit different. It is not possible to avoid suffering these kinds of pain, so avoidance strategies instead morph into avoiding the acknowledgement of pain. Self-delusion. This is a strategy that has never been effective.
Rather, the path to overcoming this trauma is by opening up to the pain, sharing it and gaining strength from understanding the pain. Having a trusted friend who can share your pain and offer support is a valuable commodity indeed. However, a complete stranger can effect the same results (giving rise to the profession of bartending) so long as he or she is willing to listen.
With me? You mean to say… as in sex?
To Hell with this. I’m gonna live!
- Kaywinnit Lee Frye
Sometimes the secret to successful accomplishment is as simple as finding the proper motivation. This varies wildly between individuals and even tasks. There is no single, surefire means of motivating people.
This leads to a decision when put into a position of responsibility over others. One option is to choose a motivational style that fits you. The other is to identify the means of motivating those under your responsibility based on their individual needs.
The first route certainly involves much less work on your behalf - only requiring consistency. It comes with the drawback of only being effective if your motivational style matches that of those being motivated. Success then hinges on being either lucky enough to be in such a situation, specifically recruiting individuals who fit your style, or having low enough standards that you can succeed without motivation.
The second route will require more personal responsibility - and therefore more individual work. However, it will provide success with a more diverse range of individuals. Diverse and motivated individuals.
You hear that? Blessed are the Greek.
- Man #2
No matter how clear your thoughts, how logical your argument, and how precise your words, your meaning can and will be misunderstood.
There are many possible reasons for this. Perhaps that person had difficulty hearing (like Man #2), comes from a different cultural background, or is relayed your message by someone else. It doesn’t really matter much, except that someone will wind up misinterpreting your words, actions and message.
If you want to clarify yourself, don’t be content to simply repeat your delivery. Continue to move, talk to others, change your delivery. Find those people who didn’t understand your meaning the first time and try to direct your message specifically to them.
Be excellent to each other.
- Bill S. Preston, Esq.
Another straightforward but important one (I’ll try to be more creative with the next post, I promise). This is just “The Golden Rule” but in one of its greatest forms.
Usually this maxim is stated to be reciprocal and a touch didactic. But the sentiment shouldn’t be about feeling obligation to act positively in fear of future retribution. No one likes “or else” statements or teachings. Worse yet, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” can easy be twisted into “Do unto others as they have done unto you.” This is not always “excellent”.
Being excellent to each other simply asks that you do the best to treat everyone with respect. There is no promise of a return on this excellence. The value is in the deed.
And party on dudes.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
- Ferris Bueller
This quote is pretty straight forward but one I find to be important in my own life.
It is so easy to become completely focused - tunnel-visioned actually - that we miss out on what is happening around us. Perhaps that is focusing too hard on our studies, the latest crucial project at work, or figuring out what needs to be done next in raising a child. It is far to easy to allow ourselves to be carried along passively, just looking one step ahead (or maybe only at the task at hand).
These experiences are important but they are not everything. Most of the time it is possible to pause for a brief moment and examine what is going on in the world without impeding the flow of life. Maybe it is as simple as going for a walk through your neighbourhood, or perhaps skipping the usual Friday night hang out and instead trying an activity for the first time.
Additionally, it is a good practice to take the time periodically to simply re-examine your goals and current life path. Maybe life would be better if we went back to school, considered a change in careers, or maybe just started biking to work. Habit is comforting but we shouldn’t allow better opportunities to pass by simply because we weren’t paying close enough attention to life around us.