Category: Perspective

Spread Some Joy Today > Perspective

Where Do You See Yourself?

[I wrote this in Jan 2016 and it was published in a magazine.]

Where Do You See Yourself In 10 Years?

I’ve always loved movies. I’ve watched thousands of them in my life beginning as soon as I could change the channel on the old black & white TV, watching all those movies from the 30s and 40s. 

My latest favorite is called, The Intern, with Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, and Rene Russo. The reviews weren’t very good, but I love it (tells you what critics mean to me. . .) because it makes me feel good, and I like feeling good. If you haven’t seen it, Robert De Niro’s character applies for a “senior intern” position at a start-up clothing company and is assigned as a personal assistant to the CEO, Anne Hathaway, but she isn’t thrilled to deal with that. He overcomes her resistance with patience and by providing value, which I think almost everyone appreciates.

In the interview before getting the position, he is asked by a 20-something interviewer, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” His answer, “What? You mean when I’m 80?” The kid backpedals not really realizing that he is now 70 years old.

It’s one of those silly questions that employers and their representatives often ask. Heck, I asked it many times myself in interviewing potential hires. It must be one of those things that came from some expert seminar or something, but it is truly a silly question. I can remember being 20 and could not even imagine in my head being 30, so how would I answer that question? In the movie, he is 70 and at first, I laughed, and then I calculated that I am 68 this year, and could relate to his surprise at such a silly question.

It’s difficult to consider the future that far out. Heck, it’s difficult to consider it only a year from now, and the older I get in years, the more I focus on now. I can’t do anything in the future, but I certainly can do something now. 

Many want us to worry about the future, but that simply destroys our today. I get the question and its meaning. They want to know what our ambitions are, whether we have much ambition, what our goals are, how we will grow to become more, and so on. Wonderful. Why not ask those questions. But, here are some better ones to consider, I think. See if you agree.

How can I enjoy my life more right now? How can I be more loving right now? In what ways can I be of more value right now? With all my experience in life, who can I share the value of my unique perspective with for their benefit (and mine) right now? How can I love myself more right now? In what ways can I spend more time focusing on joy right now? What excites me? What causes me to want to dance? How can I find more inner peace right now?

How about this: Where do you see yourself right now?

What Are You Going To Be When You Grow Up?

[Classic post from 4-14-16]

As I lazily got up this morning after sleeping until 6:30 am, I was reminded somehow about the idea of maturity. It’s a crazy thought first thing in the morning, I know. But, there it was.

I remember my mother asking me when I was going to grow up a few times when I would do something silly. I guess she thought that I should have progressed more by then. I also heard it from my wife during my first marriage a few times. I guess a few bouts of silliness is all it takes to question whether or not I’ve grown up yet, become more mature.

Mature. It’s interesting what images come to mind when I look at that word. I see a man who is serious looking, confident, controlled. The Bible even says that as a child, I did childish things, and as I grew up I let go of childish things. And, truth be known, I have let go of a lot of childish things. Not because I wanted to necessarily, but I’m way too big now to ride a tricycle (actually, I’ve been too big since I was five). Yes, there’s a lot of silly kid things that I no longer do.

And yet, there are some silly kid things that I still do. In fact, it makes me laugh at myself whenever I do them because I can recall the first time I did them and it was during my childhood, or as a teenager. No, I’m not going to tell you what they are. I cannot blow my cover completely. Let it suffice to say that I do them proudly and in all fun when I am alone only. People would look at me in crazy ways if I did any of them in public. Of course, all those on the other side that are interested in looking down at me can see and hear them, but I can’t seem to see them, so I imagine that I am alone and safe.

Here I am at 66 years of age, still immature in many ways. It’s amazing. And, it’s fun too. I mean, these things bring me joy, laughter, fun, and they have for well over 50 years now, and some even longer. So, if I’m not yet grown-up at 66, then what hope is there for me? Maybe 70 is when it happens, or 80. Hmmmm. I don’t think it happens then either. I think there are just some things we hang on to simply because they feel good, make us laugh, that we find funny, and yes, silly too. It’s okay.

I’m keeping mine, and frankly, I don’t give a damn about maturity anymore. I hope you’re proud and happy with your own private immature moments and actions. It’s our own little private world where we can do those silly things, laugh at ourselves and our own immaturity, and wonder to ourselves if we will ever grow up. Nah.

I Know That I Have No Plans To Grow Up Anytime Soon. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by laughing often and much. It’s a healing thing.

What Inspires You To More Life?

[Note: This was written at the beginning of 2017 and published in a magazine.]

Recently, a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with so-called terminal cancer. We spent some quality time together one day in December, and I asked him what seemed like a crazy question. I said, “do you want to live?” He wanted to know why I asked this odd question; I said that it is okay to want to and not to want to, but that it makes such a huge difference. It’s this kind of question that we are often afraid to ask ourselves or others.

This question of wanting to live is one that I was asking myself recently as I was considering what may lie ahead in my life. I had let go of some important disciplines, growing in girth and weight, generally inactive, and more. Though I was writing my daily inspirations blog to inspire others, I was in want of some inspiration for myself.

Then, in late December, I read a new book by Bruce Springsteen titled, Born To Run. I listened to Bruce read his entire book as an audiobook (my favorite way to read these days), and I was amazed. What a life he lived and he is still living it fully. I did some research and found that he and I are both 67, but that there is no way that I could keep up with him in what he does physically, let alone as a musician. He is lean and trim and strong and can do a 4-hour non-stop show singing every song from memory, and then do it again a couple of days later. I saw some on YouTube, and I was blown away by his presence on stage. I was immediately inspired to change my life. I immediately decided that I wanted to LIVE!

This inspirational moment was almost a month ago, and I am more committed than ever to reclaim my life and provide even more value to others by being the best that I can be. It’s interesting how something comes along and inspires one to make a major change in their lives. Whether it is the Law of Attraction, and that I was attracting Bruce and his book into my life or what doesn’t even matter. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have learned more about Bruce, who I knew so little about, and have him inspire me to want to move forward. We all can positively affect each other in our lives.

Do you remember some of those major turning points in your life? You’re going along, bored maybe, uninspired for sure, and then something happens—a book, a song, a letter, a photo, a friend’s concern, or a thousand other things. And then, your life is different. You’ve been inspired to change something or many things that take you from neutral into high gear. I can remember many of these turning points over the years. This one with the book, Born To Run, was another. But, it was more than the book. If I had just read the book, I don’t think it would have had the impact as Bruce reading it. His passion, determination, mistakes, successes, pain, sorrow, and joy are in his voice because he is the one who lived it and wrote it. The book is pure poetry. He is an outstanding writer.

I don’t want to live Bruce’s life. I have my path, and yet our paths have crossed so that he can help me be more inspired on mine. He doesn’t even know how much he has helped me, and yet on some level, we are brothers.

Who inspires you? Are you open to being inspired? Do you want to live?

Young At Heart

In 1953, Lyricist Carolyn Leigh wrote lyrics to a tune that Johnny Richards had put together as an instrumental. That same year, Frank Sinatra, the first to record it, made it a million-seller that year, with many recording artists even up to today who are still recording it. This song is like eternal spring to me because it applies to each individual alone as their own choice of how they will look upon and receive from life. Whether you’re single or married, 50 or 90, it works for all who are willing to live by the powerful words and sentiment.

The first verse goes like this: “Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you if you’re young at heart. For it’s hard you will find, to be narrow of mind if you’re young at heart.” And the last verse reminds us all, “And if you should survive to a hundred and five, look at all you’ll derive out of being alive! And here is the best part, you have a head start if you are among the very young at heart.” The song title is, of course, Young at Heart. When I hear it in my head, Jimmy Durante is singing it. He is the master of the talk-sing style of singing, and I just love his style.

How old are you in your heart? How young are you in your mind? The body changes, but the heart and the mind are free of the body. I’m not as flexible or trim as I was when I was 35, but there is my heart and there is my mind. Even in my forties and early fifties, I wasn’t as prime in my body as I was in my heart, so nothing has changed there! The me that I am is not attached to my body at all. I am young at heart and joyful in mind and I intend to stay there no matter how old my body becomes, and I’m wishing you the same!

Beautiful Jewels Of Wisdom

“Calmness of mind
is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”

– James Allen

 

He claims that “Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power.” I love how that all comes together with ‘calmness is power.’ It is our accumulated wisdom that creates this calmness.

Of course, some may rather grow in their accumulated prejudice, but I think that moving toward the upper ages allows most of us to see how blessed our lives have been including all of the things we used to struggle with. Now we can see how that struggle was self-inflicted and temporary pain, and that these instances were also steppingstones to an improved position. There are so many ways and paths to the same end result.

As I age and make use of that golden ticket called reflection, I can see how everything worked out, often in spite of my efforts to thwart it. And, in the process of each, I accumulated bits of wisdom, now accumulated to a substantial and delightful amount, both in quantity and quality. This is what I love about being older. I love that I can see more clearly now.

We Are Complicit. I Am Complicit.

We are all complicit in whatever reality that we are experiencing whether inside our own thought-realm or outside our body in anything that we see, hear, or feel. Because we are complicit, we have the authority and responsibility in our dominion. As we are seeing, hearing and feeling that which is before us, we are involved in it to one degree or another, and we are at the same time in choice; albeit, the choice may seem to not be something purposely chosen. Yet choice it remains.

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