Archive for February, 2012

February 19, 2012

Dedication to Self

Friday was my beginning of weekly walks around Greenlake, a local 3 mile path.  It also brought the most rain Seattle had seen in a while.  With my windshield wipers busy pushing endless water back and forth, I imagined asking my walking partner to stay inside our meeting place and drink steaming chai instead of venturing into the weather.  Reminding myself I would be happy when we finished, I continued without calling it off.

A mile from the coffee shop I passed a drenched cyclist kneeling next to her bike, tire off, cell phone at her ear, looking hopeful and confused at a patch kit.  Weighing the safety factor and recalling our recent Hawaiian adventure that required hitchhiking, I u-turned and offered her a ride.

Nicole was on her way to the gym when she got her first flat in the pouring rain.  As we were loading her bike into my hatchback she mentioned her job had become another casualty of our current unemployment market two days prior.  This had inspired her renewed commitment to cycling; Friday was her third day riding to the gym.

Her next comment amazed me “I guess I will be taking my car to the gym today after all.”  Here I was convincing myself to keep my commitment to walk Greenlake, and here she was getting a ride to her warm home after being drenched with a flat, fully dedicated to her health.

Inspiring and such a reminder of how important self care and dedication are.

We must be prepared, at any moment, to sacrifice who we are for who we are capable of becoming.
~ Charles Dubois

With that in mind I thought a few self motivating questions when we hit a setback were in order.  Sometimes the simplest moments of self reflection can be the most potent.

  • How will I feel after I ___________?
  • What does completing ___________ create in my life?
  • How will I feel if I choose to not complete ___________?  Is that in alignment with what I want for myself?

What questions do you ask yourself when you encounter a setback?

February 15, 2012

“There are no facts, only interpretations.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Recently rereading Seven Habits of Highly Effective People I was struck by how well Steven R. Covey articulates the omnipresent role perspective plays in our lives. (Part I, Inside Out)

In one second we have thousands of sensory nerves sending information to our brain.  Consider the number of cells that are working together to read this text: to differentiate letter from background, distinguish a word, interpret a sentence.

Throughout development each experience forms greater context around this sensory input, attributing a significance to each chemical exchange.  As your reading this post, your past experiences are determining whether this post is interesting, useful, or should go “in one ear and out the other”.  While sensory information doesn’t actually flow out an ear, the significance we attribute to the input determines the neural pathways the information takes in our brain. Does it lead to long term storage, trauma, loop only through the spinal cord without ever hitting the brain, etc.

Our highly-functional brain creates a pathway for what is deemed important enough to enter our conscious mind.  Just as a map is only one interpretation of important landmarks and terrain based on actual geography (fact), our conscious mind is only a partial representation of all that we experience.  This is the context for how we see the world.  We source every behavior and interaction in this projection.  As Covey puts it, this is our paradigm.

Sources:
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey

February 14, 2012

Manage your mood

Name 1 thing that surprised you today…

Name 1 thing that moved you…

Name 1 thing that inspired you…

Gino Norris

What are your favorite quick ways to retune your mood?