Category: Blog

The Certainty of Nothing

“What I’ve experienced is that I can’t know the future. I can’t know if anything that I do will change what happens tomorrow. I can’t know with certainty, but what I do know is if I do nothing, nothing will change.” – James Orbinski

This is true, rather bleak and incredibly inspiring. I know what you’re (likely) saying: “it can be the first, and one of the latter, but it can’t be all three.”

It’s almost as if each sentence tracks with my three suppositions (that it’s true, rather bleak and incredibly inspiring).

Let’s go through them one-by-one:

“It’s true.” This one’s easy, there’s – to my mind – not much to argue here. (So I won’t try… )

It’s “rather bleak.” I will concede that Orbinksi (a former president of Doctors Without Borders) is a bit of a bummer when he says he can neither know the future, nor change what happens tomorrow. But he’s right.

And finally, he’s “incredibly inspiring;” or at least I think so. These words inspire me because they mince no words in explaining what needs to happen for me to create my future, to have a significant influence on achieving my goals and ensuring a decent-to-amazing quality-of-life.

Put another way, he points out the certainty of nothing: that if we do nothing, nothing will change. (In fact, things will likely change, and for the worse, even if only slightly, if we do “nothing.”)

So, what are you going to do to change your world for the better?

The Key To Freedom

“My belief is that personal freedom cannot grow beyond personal responsibility. The more people that learn to be fully accountable for their lives, the more freedom each of us can enjoy and the more fulfilling all of our lives will be.” – Ross Parmenter

Put another way, we are limited in our ability to create our lives, as we would have them, to extent that we blame others (including ourselves) (for anything).

I have written about this before and it cannot be repeated enough. When we take responsibility for everything we have (and don’t have) in life, we can have anything we want in life.

Many people though, confuse taking responsibility with blaming-themselves or wanting-to-control-everything.

That’s a mistake of interpretation.

Taking responsibility, responsibly, means that we acknowledge that we had some role in creating every aspect of our lives.

Are there things beyond our control? Absolutely.

Is there anything we can’t perceive constructively and act intelligently towards? Nope.

***

For another perspective, I offer the words of the Dalai Lama:

“In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.” – Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama)

A View of Enlightenment

I read recently that the Dalai Lama said that enlightenment is love and insight working together, like wings on a bird.

I love this idea because it conjures a rich metaphor for understanding our lives.

Neither love or insight alone is enough to live well. Both must come together and act in concert for us to to be happy and accurate, satisfied and effective.

The metaphor is further useful in that there are birds that have wings, but can’t fly. I see people who have the capacity for love and insight, but they are so stunted in their lives, and development, that they cannot “fly.” Perhaps they could glide if they jumped off a cliff or something, but true flight eludes them.

And then there are those who cannot fly because they have had their wings clipped. They could fly if they removed themselves from their current situation and left their feathers regrow, but, for whatever reason, they don’t.

What I want to emphasize is that both love and insight necessary. You need to be introspective and critical, questioning and curious. As importantly, you need to be gentle and nurturing, accepting and inviting.

Do you accept the premise? That to live a truly wonderful life, one must embrace and nurture these different (yet complementary)  impulses?

What do you think?

What do you live, each day?

One Way Coaching Works

People make the best decision they can with the information they have available, and do the best they can with what they have.

On its face the above isn’t that controversial, but do you believe it’s how things work?

Do you think it’s how you live your life?

I would argue that it’s the only way any of us live our lives – and it’s a foundation of where I come from as a coach.

Let’s break it down.

First, people do make the “best” decision they can, even if it’s not the best decision.

Second, by definition, people are using the information they have available, even if it’s (in the “grand scheme” of things) incomplete information (and it’s not all the information they truly have).

Finally, people do their best with what they have in each instance, even if it isn’t the best they could do, or isn’t even moral or “good.”

How does apply to coaching? Simply put, coaching is (largely) about: 1) giving you more and better resources (distinctions, practices, information and otherwise); 2) growing your capacity to make better decisions in each moment and 3) helping you develop the habits of mind and body that will allow you make better decisions (all the time… ).

How we think and act is a continual process. Therefore, it is an ongoing opportunity.

We can either continue to do the safe, known things we have, or we can engage in an effective process of examination, inquiry and adjustment and make intelligent and authentic changes.

Our lives are result of that choice.

Curious about coaching? Read below (the last paragraph in particular… ):

What’s Really In Your Way

“A man’s doubts and fears are his worst enemies.” – William Wrigley Jr.

This is the fear Roosevelt was talking about…

We each create our own reality (by how we think).

When we think optimistic and* realistic thoughts we can meet any situation with strength, confidence and intelligence.

When we don’t we will be hesitant, in-effective and less-than-happy.

Think better. (And live great.)

* These qualities are NOT mutually exclusive, despite what you have heard, or think.