if the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine

Rilke:

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. And as you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, this intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world shall cease to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
And to the rushing water speak, I am.

do you have diamonds on the soles of your shoes?

paul simon says she has diamonds on the soles of her shoes.

do you?

seth godin:

You are hiding your best work, your best insight, and your best self from us every day.

We know how much you care, and it’s a shame that the system works overtime to push you away from the people and the projects you care about…

We’ve been so thoroughly brainwashed and intimidated and socialized that we stay huddled together, waiting for instructions, when we have the first, best, and once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something extraordinary instead.

Notes from Brené Brown’s talk at TEDxHouston

3:12 – Connection is why we are here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

4:36 – Shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection. Is there something about me that if other people know it or see it that I won’t be worthy of connection?

7:16 – People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

8:53 – The original definition of courage… (from the Latin word cur, meaning heart) was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.

9:05 – (People who believe they are worthy of love and belonging)… have very simply the courage to be imperfect.  They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others… we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly… they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were… They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful… They just talked about it being necessary.

14:46 – We numb vulnerability.

16:00 – The problem is… that you cannot selectively numb emotions… You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects and emotions… When we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness, and then we are miserable and we’re looking for purpose and meaning. And then we feel vulnerable so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.

17:12 – The other thing we do is we make everything that’s uncertain certain. Religion has gone from “I believe in faith and mystery” to “Certainty”. I’m right, you’re wrong. Shut up. That’s it.

17:40 – You know how blame is described in the research? A way to discharge pain and discomfort.

19:26 – This is what I’ve found – to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen, to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee… to practice gratitude and joy… and the last which I think is probably the most important is to believe we are enough because when we work from a place, I believe, that says “I am enough”, then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves. That’s all I have.

what’s remained constant?

Ben Casnocha posts this gem:

From a 1997 interview between Dan Pink and Richard Bolles of What Color Is Your Parachute? fame:

Pink: Despite all the things we’ve discussed so far, you’re not totally sold on the idea that the world of work is awash in change, are you?

Bolles: No, I’m not. There is a basic truth about what a human needs in order to survive; our culture seems unable to understand that. Human nature survives and has survived through the ages by being able to hold on tenaciously to two concepts: What is there about my life or world that has remained constant? and What is there about my life or world that has changed or is changing? I have always argued that change becomes stressful or overwhelming only when you’ve lost any sense of the constancy in your life. You need firm ground to stand on. From there, you can deal with that change. Observing the constants in your life gives you that firm ground. The thing about the great faiths is that they talk about what’s constant in the world: God, grace, prayer. But our culture, in general — and the profession of career counseling, in particular — gets absorbed with a single question: What’s changing? Nobody remembers to ask the other question, What’s remained constant?

in this life, the ball going out is not a very big problem

NYT:

Toni Nadal is constantly reminding his nephew that his worst day on the tennis court is better than most people’s best day. He drove home that point after Nadal sported a long face throughout his first-round match against the 93rd seed, Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia, who extended him to two tie-break sets.

After the match, his uncle talked to him about his demeanor. “I tell him you must be always grateful of the life,” Toni Nadal said. “I think one of the most important things I say always to Rafael is to have a good face. Because in this life, the ball going out is not a very big problem.”

you’ve got to be a mensch

Bill Taylor:

“What’s your definition of success?” we asked Needleman. His answer: “To be totally engaged with all my functions, all my faculties, all my capacities in life. To me that would be success. I grew up around the Yiddish language, and in Yiddish there are about 1,000 words that mean ‘fool.’ There’s only one word that means an authentic human being: mensch. My grandmother would say, ‘You’ve got to be a mensch,’ and that has to do with what we used to call character. To be successful means to have developed character.”

the epilogue of Delivering Happiness

the epilogue of Delivering Happiness ends with 4 quotations. they deserve scrutiny:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – H.S. Truman

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

resist these please

In Pursuit of Excellence:

Ellis and Harper (1976, 25) identified several perspectives or beliefs that can interfere with your capacity to perform to your potential and live a joyful life:

1. The belief that you must always have love and approval from all the people you find significant

2. The belief that you must always prove to be thoroughly competent, adequate and achieving

3. The belief that emotional misery comes from external pressures and that you have little ability to control or change your feelings

4. The belief that if something seems fearsome or threatening, you must preoccupy yourself with it and make yourself anxious about it

5. The belief that your past remains all important and that because something once strongly influenced your life, it has to keep determining your feelings and behavior today

an aspiration for an artist as good as any

Ebert:

What’s so powerful about the film is its level gaze. It calmly, almost dispassionately, regards the situation and how it plays out. No spin. It is the same with “Tokyo Story.” The most powerful films often simply show you events without instructing you how to feel about them

that’s all there is really

Kathleen Mallery via bobulate:

“What’s the best piano out there?” I asked.

The piano tuner’s eyes sparkled. ”I always get asked this question. Everyone always wants to know– what’s the best piano. And I always say, the piano that’s in your living room.”

The piano tuner ran his hands over the keys, played a scale and then a few notes. Our piano sounded much better. ”I fall in love with each piano,” he said more to my piano that to me. ”It’s all about getting it tuned right, bringing out its own sound and then when you play, you play the piano that’s in front you, and you see what it can really do. That’s all there is really. Tuning it and then playing what you’ve got.”

a good read and some good bits

What Matters Now – A Free ebook

Seth Godin: In a digital world, the gift I give you almost always benefits me more than it costs.

Jacqueline Novogratz: Dignity is more important than wealth. It’s going to be a long, long time before we can make everyone on earth wealthy, but we can help people find dignity this year (right now if we choose to).

Hugh MacLeod: Don’t worry about finding inspiration, it comes eventually… Nobody cares… Do it for yourself… When your dreams become reality, they are no longer your dreams… The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not… Remain frugal… Ignore everybody.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Cease participation, if only for one day this year – if only to make sure that we don’t lose forever the rare and vanishing human talent of appreciating ease.

John Wood: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

Guy Kawasaki: Never describe your cause by using bull shiitake terms like “revolutionary” and “paradigm shifting.” Instead, explain how it helps a person.

Joichi Ito: We live in an age where people are starving in the midst of abundance and our greatest enemy is our own testosterone driven urge to control our territory and our environments.

Micah Sifry: Nobody, but you…

Derek Sivers: It’s dangerous to think in terms of “passion” and “purpose” because they sound like such huge overwhelming ideas… Instead, just notice what excites you and what scares you on a small moment-to-moment level.

Penelope Trunk: What’s important is to be kind, and be gracious and do it in ways that make people want to do that for someone else.

the greatest lesson our ancestors have to teach us

David Brooks:

The greatest lesson our ancestors have to teach us is to remain both vigilant and unafraid. We must endeavor to emulate the ancient Romans; calm, efficient, treating zombies as just one more item on a rather mundane checklist. Panic is the undead’s greatest ally, doing far more damage, in some cases, than the creatures themselves. The goal is to be prepared, not scared, to use our heads, and cut off theirs.

soften the boldness of our propositions

Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Montaigne would prefer that children be taught other ways of speaking, more appropriate to the nature of human inquiry, such as ‘What does that mean ?’, ‘I do not understand it’, ‘This might be’, ‘Is it true?’ Montaigne himself is fond of ‘these formulas that soften the boldness of our propositions’: “perhaps”, “to some extent”, “they say”, “I think”, and the like.