Friday, May 22, 2020

Remaining Focused On The Here and Now

"Don't let your reflection on the whole sweep of life crush you. Don't fill your mind with all the bad things that might still happen. Stay focused on the present situation and ask yourself why it's so unbearable and can't be survived." - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.36

When I take a moment to reflect on some of the most impressive, scary, or other things I have done, or lived through; I sometimes wonder how they were possible. How did I make it through the tough times, or the times that required excruciating work? Marcus laid it out above quite clearly; I was too busy with the details to let the whole sweep of the situation crush me. 

You have likely heard the sayings- take things one day at a time, or hour by hour when things get difficult. There is good reason for these types of statements. Sometimes having an idea of the big picture is important, but considering how little we actually control in our lives, it can also be extremely counter-productive and overwhelming. I am not advocating that we walk through life as mindless zombies, but by focusing exclusively on the present, we're able to avoid or remove many negative thought patterns that might be clouding up our view of things. 

Along those lines: whatever might happen to us in the present, today- let's be prepared and ready for problems. Let's not be surprised by difficulties. Let's be ready for people to behave in disappointing and confusing ways. Let's accept things as they come and make life work for us. Don't spend time wishing you could turn back the clock or somehow recreate the world as you would like. It is much better and much easier to remake ourselves. Start by just doing the next right thing. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

I lost it!

Did you have a bad day? Did you say something cruel? Did you allow yourself to get frustrated by something that wasn't worth getting so worked up about? Did you simply lose control of yourself for a moment?

"The soul is like a bowl of water, and our impressions are like the ray of light falling upon the water. When the water is troubled it appears the light itself is moved too, but it isn't. So, when a person loses their composure it isn't their skills and virtues that are troubled, but the spirit in which they exist, and when that spirit calms down, so do those things." - Epictetus

None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and regret them almost immediately. Be kind to yourself and remember that the skills and virtues by which we have chosen to live our lives are always there, even in the midst of our emotional responses. Stop. Re-calibrate yourself. Your values are right there where you left them. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Kindly Considering Our Weaknesses

It can be an uneasy feeling to take a close look at ourselves. Self-assessment requires us to explore our beliefs about who we are and what we are capable of doing. We cannot be self-aware if we fail to reflect on our weaknesses.

Goethe has two maxims that are applicable here:
1. It’s a failure “to see yourself as more than you are.”
2. But also not to “value yourself at less than your true worth.”

Have you ever surprised yourself once you have made it to the other side of a harrowing or feared situation? Have you reflected on how you rose to the occasion or worked around some obstacle? We are creatures of estimating. We over estimate some abilities and underestimate others. Take some time to master the skill of judging yourself honestly. Look inside yourself and accurately assess what you are capable of doing. Latch onto that potential and make a positive change in your life. Improve where necessary.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

When- The Enemy of Happiness

I'll be happy when I get a new car. I'll be happy when ___ is over. I'll be happy when I find a new job. Don't allow yourself to fall into the trap of conditional happiness. Like a mirage in the desert, you can walk for miles and miles and never reach it. In reality, you aren't even getting any closer to being happy.

Waiting for a situation or circumstance to pass, looking forward to some future event, or awaiting a change in life can ruin your chance for happiness in this moment right now. That when can be the enemy of being content. Don't let the "when" hold you back from being happy right now!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Complimentary Coaching Consultation

Do you want to change something in your personal or professional life? Are you ready to make that change happen? My ideal clients typically : 

Have high integrity 
Are committed to achieve their coaching goals
Take ownership for the coaching process 
Enjoy the process of growth and development 

I am currently accepting new client applications. In our free consultation we’ll talk about what you hope to get out of coaching. Please contact me here: with any questions. Have a great day!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Taking Inventory Of The Day

"For this is what makes us evil- that none of us looks back upon our own lives. We reflect upon only that which we are about to do. And yet our plans for the future descend from the past."
- Seneca, Moral Letters, 83.2

About a year ago I wrote down 4 questions on a sticky note and put them on my bathroom mirror. The questions come from the writings of Seneca...

1. What bad habit did I curb today?
2. How am I better?
3. Were my actions just?
4. How can I improve?

I am not the journal keeping type. Many self-help professionals and therapists talk about keeping a journal, whether it be written or in digital form. If you can do so- I recommend doing it. For me I attempt to answer these questions while I brush my teeth. Should I spend more time on this? Probably, but we all have to start somewhere. Where will you start? Ask yourself these questions at the end of the day and see where your thoughts take you. What actions can you take to improve based on those thoughts?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


What is your purpose? What are you here to do? Are you here to be or to do?

Are we more worried about the image of success than we are in actually doing something? Only you can answer these questions, but if you are wanting to put others first you need to ask yourself a few additional questions:

What do I want to accomplish in life?

How does what I am doing serve what I am trying to accomplish?

What values and principles guide my decision making?

Take a moment to honestly answer these questions. Watch yourself starting to do the next right thing. Watch how much you improve!