This month I share one topic, one focused piece of wisdom from my own life experiences this past month that I hope you’ll find meaningful in some small way.
No matter where you are as you read this and how you feel about or interpret all that’s going on with the coronavirus, I think we would all agree on one thing: this is a time of learning and growing for us all.
True learning occurs when you can see the same thing with new eyes. They call this a Copernican Revolution.
For example, when we as a people realized the sun did not revolve around the earth, but vice-versa. That single insight shifted how we saw everything. We were looking at the same stimulus but with a new frame.
We can look at life with a new frame, a new lens. Beyond this pandemic reality we all find ourselves in, I had a powerful shift this past month. Maybe you did too. Two dear friends died in April. Neither of their deaths had anything to do with the virus. Life and loss happens all the time. Sometimes it coincides with deeply troubling worldwide events.
As someone steeped in gratitude and a perpetual glass-is-half-full lens, these experiences of loss gave me yet another new lens. Fundamental to that lens was empathy and love. My lens got rebooted and updated and it reminded me of this important message.
If your lens of the world is not updating regularly, then you are not learning enough. Your lens of the world should continually be updating through experience, learning, and relationships.
The more intensive the experience and learning, the greater shifts to the lens. See the same things from totally different angles. This creates experiences that spark insight and learning. This leads to genuine questions and curiosity.
When questions are genuinely asked, then learning becomes far easier. Experiences are fundamental to learning. If you’re shielding yourself or others from having powerful, and sometimes uncomfortable experiences, then you’re shielding yourself and others from growth.
Research Provides Some Interesting Findings
Research shows that people progressively become less open to new experiences as they age. They stop putting themselves into difficult and emotional situations. They stop expanding their horizons.
Instead, they generally begin repeating the same common experiences over and over and therefore stop expanding their worldview.
Having new experiences isn’t enough, though. You need a process of integrating those new experiences into learning and change.
For instance, many people keep journals. Journaling is such a powerful tool. It allows you to process and integrate your experiences, and begin applying what you’re learning into your life. If you’re not learning through experiences, then you’re repeating the past and not transforming.
Your life can and should transform. You seek experiences and then you integrate your learning to change your life and self. Constantly growing and expanding.
Here’s something else I’ve been thinking about because both dear friends modeled this for me.
If you’re going to do something, you might as well push it to the absolute limits!
None of us are given the same set of circumstances in this life.
None of us will ever fully realize our potential. Like a painting, none of us will ever be finished. At some point, we will simply end in an interesting place.
Rather than being upset about what happens, it is best to simply use this life to see how far you can go. Rather than attaching to exactly how it all turns out, why not remain open, humble, engaged, excited, and always pushing the boundaries? Always investing further and further into the growth and possibility of what you’re doing.
Human beings are designed to explore.
We’re designed to rise up to challenges.
Most people waste huge amounts of their life because they aren’t actively chasing a challenge that summons their greatest focus and creativity. They aren’t pursuing one or two things for years and watching the compounding effect of long-term goals.
- Why not dedicate yourself to something that will completely transform you through doing it?
- Why not see how far you can get in accomplishing your goals?
- Why not continually stoke the fire of your imagination, and then relentlessly chase that imagination?
Never over-identify with what you’ve done. Never get stuck in your past, whether failure or achievement. Take the past for what it is: information. It is information which is constantly adapting and changing based on what you’re currently pursuing and focusing on.
If you’re going to do something, do it great. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Whatever you are, try to be a good one.”
See how far you can go.
Create experiences that become Copernican Revolutions.
As you have new experiences and grow in maturity, your priorities will continually change. What may have been interesting 1–2 years ago will no longer be interesting. What may have been a brilliant opportunity last month is no longer worth your time.
Focus on the essential. Focus on what absolutely matters to you. I’ve written this message so often in Joyinmovement newsletters, haven’t I? I must think it’s important 🙂
Raise your standards for the type of work you do, the people you spend time with, and how you spend your time.
If you’re not growing, then your best work is not being produced.
The best work generally comes in response to taking on something that has a high probability of failure. While chasing something big, your best work emerges. Your best life emerges.
Are you going to invest your time on this beautiful planet continually expanding, learning, and designing?
Or will you live day-to-day, never realizing the power of imagination and creation?
Until next month, find Joyinmovement wherever you can,
p.s. For those of you feeling anxious, nervous, or out of sorts due to the stress coronavirus adds to your life, here’s a great article about getting your thinking brain out of panic!
p.p.s. Much thanks to you all for continuing to support Joyinmovement by shopping at Amazon and using the Joyinmovement link. Much gratitude from me to you!