Category Archives: Choices

Being More About Fishing

I recently discovered (with the help of my coach) a great truth in my life about how I fish and how I lead my life when I’m not fishing.

  1. When I go fishing, I often get to a lake, river or stream unprepared and without expectation, I just wade out and cast my line.
  2. When I go fishing, my gear typically hasn’t been checked or inspected and my flies haven’t been sorted.  I often find out when I’m on the lake that I missing that one fly that I was hoping to use – I shrug it off and stay and fish anyway.
  3. When I go fishing, I usually go alone.  I love the quiet solitude and the freedom to fish (or not) when I am out there floating.
  4. In the winter before I go fishing, I read through three books that I read almost religiously every year before the season.  I set my sights on a new body of water to try my luck – and I dream.
Photo by Kirsty Knudson

Photo by Kirsty Knudson

Fishing gives me solitude, freedom, relaxation, confidence and a quiet acceptance of everything around me.  No need for control, plans or expectation.  Taking fishing to the rest of my life would be life changing and all those wonderful things I mentioned before.

Being more about fishing is more about values and priorities.  Being true and unreserved.  What is your fishing moment?

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A Step Back to Simplicity

“In response to people saying you can’t go back say well what happens when you get to the cliff and you take one step forward or, you do 180 degree turn and take…one step forward which way are you going? which is progress?” – Doug Tompkins (Founder of North Face)

Movies are great.  They move, transform and build on your imagination.  Last night I watched the movie 180° South and it inspired me to write again.  The film is about Jeff Johnson and his journey retracing the epic 1968 adventure of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia.  It was easy to get awestruck by the great cinematography however it was the will, drive and passion of every single character in the film that caught me and my own imagination.

In the movie, Yvon said, “the hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex.”

Tomorrow is Monday and for many, it is one of the hardest days of the week.  Mondays are usually met with a laundry list of commitments, scheduled events or activities and filled with many things that exhaust us before we even start.  Sunday nights are often sleepless for me for many of the same reasons.

As a challenge to myself, I am going to simplify my life this week.  No TV after 8pm, I will read, write or have conversation with my family or even play a game.  I will not schedule anything for me to do other than be at home.  I will wake up in the morning and focus on the moment and not the day ahead of me.  I will take a 180 degree turn and walk back to simplicity.

I will blog within the week and release the results of my week. 🙂

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Challenging 7 Billion People

Challenging 7 Billion People

Today was a day of celebration and a day of growing concern for many others as the 7th billionth child was brought into the world.  The media labelled it as an honorable milestone while others called for action against world poverty and hunger in the light of continued global economic challenges.

I marked today’s milestone with concern.  Not from poverty or hunger but from something just as basic – how do we get along with each other?   It’s an obvious fact that as the population grows, less and less will become available to us all.  However something we can all find in tremendous abundance (if we work at it) is patience, compassion, compromise, empathy and above all, love.  Like no other time, humanity needs to embrace each other and share.  We can no longer close our door, pull down the drapes and turn off the lights.  In order to survive we need each other.

This growing sentiment is taking many forms today.  The Occupy movement is moving across the globe with tremendous speed with their message to “take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.”  The middle easts’ Arab Spring has resulted in civil uprisings causing the fall of regimes.

I mentioned to my wife on the way into work this morning the that world “was ripe for something.”  I don’t claim to know what the world needs or what it is ripe for, however,  there is a desire for change in our midst and how that change becomes reality will depend on how well we see each other as partners in this greatest challenge.

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Noise

How well do you listen to yourself? I have been exploring this more and more that past few weeks. Listening to yourself takes practice (especially if you have fallen out of touch and need to be reacquainted with your intuition or inner voice). There are a ton of distractions out there that get in the way. One of those distractions is noise.

Noise is all around us. It’s in traffic, the office, at home, at dinner, on TV, on the radio, in the mall and on and on we can find noise and distractions that take us away from hearing ourselves.

I read a great quote this evening from Steve Jobs who had just past away:

“…Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

I found a way to get rid of the noise and listen to myself again. I went fishing, I went running and I breathed deep. I felt the stress, anxiety and unimportant issues leave me. The lesson for me is knowing when to make time (and make it important) to practice listening again so that in times of ‘noise’ all I hear is me!

 

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Here is another article that speaks to making time for peace on Odewire

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Kid Lessons – Arguing

My children were arguing and crying one day. I asked my six year old son to apologize to his younger sister. He didn’t want to apologize because he claimed he didn’t do anything wrong, I said “I know”. I asked him to give her a hug and say I love you anyway.

He did. Argument over.

Adults, take a lesson.

 

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Jack Layton – Helped us ‘Get it’

I joined the NDP party last Spring. Partially for the policy (I am a little to the left when it comes to politics) and partially for the leader – Jack Layton. Jack Layton passed away one week ago today. His impact to Canadian politics was honest, true and rooted in common values around equality. Listening to Jack was like being in college again. He helped me to remember the idealism of my college years. Whether Jack or his party could have led the country successfully is not a concern of mine. What I did care about was the passion, honesty and integrity he brought to the job. How can you fail with those three awesome qualities?

I was in Denver for a business trip last week. When I left in the morning the taxi wound its way through the side streets of the city. I travelled through a part of the city less known to tourists. I saw crowds gathering at food banks and drop in shelters. I saw their tired faces and large back packs that they carried with their entire life’s possessions. I saw the comradery that they all shared with each other as they lived each other’s reality. I sat there in the car and wondered what would it take for society to ‘get it’? I think Jack was on to something and I hope others saw it as I did. Thanks Jack for helping me to ‘get it’.

Here is an article that sums up Jack’s impact in his last letter to Canadians.

He couldn’t have said it better…..

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” – Jack Layton

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Living Dreams

My posts are infrequent but my thoughts are constant.  One of those thoughts that keep coming back to me hit me while I was running yesterday.  While running westward and watching the sun set below the Rocky mountains I realized how easy it truly is to live a happy and full life.  It all comes down to perspective, attitude and recognition of the perfect ordinary moments in our lives.

The simple words of Martin Luther King Jr. – “I have a dream” back in 1963 came to me and I thought of my dream.  The dream was grand, and the dream was perfect and the dream was simple and it went something like this:

“I have a dream that I can become the dad my children look up to. I have a dream that I can become the husband that loves and supports unconditionally. I have a dream that I can accept and learn from the experiences of my parents. I have a dream that I can become a best friend to my brother.  I have a dream that I can live with passion, honesty and integrity with everything I do.  I have a dream that I can love life, capture its wisdom, harness it, share it, learn from it and contribute to the lives of others.  I have a dream.”

I came across a tune other day that helped me to appreciate the fact that I am living my dreams.

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Merge or Yield?

Merge or Yield?

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Ever drive down the highway and experience the indecision of whether to merge or yield? A few weeks ago that analogy make perfect sense in my life. I had been yielding and letting others go first, allowing the will of friends and colleagues to take precedence over my own life goals. Call it kindness or fear but my inability to merge in, take control and set my direction kept me further from my life purpose I have often referred to in other blogs.

Next time you’re driving and you come up on a merge, take it, jump into the flow and set your direction. You may find you get there faster :).

How to Save a Life

I scan news headlines everyday. It beats listening or watching to the gloom and doom on radio or TV. I can choose when and how I want to be informed. I came across a story that struck a cord in me the other day.  A 7-year old boy was suffering from a rare disease and needed a bone marrow match. As a result, a bone marrow swab clinic was being held at a nearby university. There was no question, I had to make this in hopes of helping this child or someone else (apparently your screening is entered in a worldwide database).

In this ‘perceived’ busy world and busy life, we quickly and easily forget how precious life is and what truly is important. As I referred to in an earlier blog when I was in perfect silence – I realized that living without the moments of pure “silence” takes us away from the perfect, true and honest moments – the ones with perspective. Reading that article put me back into the perfect silence – where my perspective was clear and my purpose of going to the swab clinic was unwaivering.

I went to the swab clinic and I may save a life one day.  Not bad for wisdom in the moment and taking action when inspired by perspective!

For more information on bone marrow donations you can go here to One Match.

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Second Chances

I mentioned before that I don’t believe in luck but I do believe in the power of choice.  I believe that at every moment of our lives we can choose to be genuinely honest with ourselves and those around us.  The more we choose to live genuinely, the greater fulfillment we get from our lives and the closer we get to living our life purpose (“There’s no higher purpose than service to others” – Dan Millman).

The passing of a close uncle of mine this week has left me with a sense of loneliness.  Loneliness that he has moved on but happiness for having witnessed him live a genuinely loving life.  A life  purpose fulfilled. 

At times of grief, families and friends get together and for a few moments all congregate for the purpose of remembering a life.  This can for some however, be a time of sorrow and regret. 

I read an article this week from an absolutely fantastic magazine called Ode Magazine called “Buy Now, Pay Later…Be grateful for all life’s second chances.”  I have attached it here:

Buy now, pay later – Be greatful for all life’s second chances

The message of the article told me to never feel like it’s too late to live genuinely, to listen to the voice inside you and to act upon it when heard.  There is much in the world we cannot explain and there is much more we probably cannot fix however we can choose to try, in whatever way we can – this is what I tell myself tonight.



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