It’s Back to School, and we’re here to learn! One of my favorite quotes of all time is from T. H. White’s, The Once and Future King. Merlin is speaking to young King Arthur. Enjoy!
“The best thing for being sad . . . is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewer of baser minds.”
“There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
What kind of learning are you drawn to – and what are some of the lessons that you’d very much like to complete for the balance of this year?
Yesterday, during our call, we discussed making a list of five basics which, if acted upon, would make a huge positive difference in our lives. Today on the call, we are going to discuss the lists of five that participants sent in. What are your five?
It’s interesting that oftentimes when things are working really well, humans have stopped doing the fundamental things that helped make things work. Perhaps there’s been some sort of mechanism that has had us take things for granted from time to time. Has that ever happened with you or someone close to you?
Is there anything that you have allowed to slide – any basic – that you know you’ve been allowing to slide, but you haven’t yet reversed it? Some people think that the consequences of not taking corrective action when you know better are even worse than unknowing omission of what we know to be right. What do you think?
“Back to basics” may sound boring, but basics can be the most powerful place on which to focus. Our lives can feel incredibly complicated – so much so that, from time to time, we have lost sight of the dynamics that underlie the results that we wish to have.
Basics like: do your homework, take care of yourself, treat people well, take personal responsibility, keep your word.
I was recently inspired to focus more on my meditation practice because of a conversation with someone whom I learned actually taught meditation – which was very different than the profession where I had known him. His example of meditation as a “basic” taught me a lot.
What basics would benefit from your attention at this point in the year? If you could think of only one “basic” on which to focus, what would the most important “basic” be? What kind of result would you expect to receive from focusing on it? What can you learn from the example of others?
Welcome back! It’s “back to school” and back to the traditional focus on successfully completing the remaining four months of the year. This is the time to review your goals for 2009 and to plan how you’ll achieve them. Where would you like to be at the end of December relative to your personal and professional life?
As we all know, target dates are very effective for accelerating our progress – as long as there’s accountability. How can you create a high level of accountability to accomplish what you intend to accomplish for 2009?
To whom are you accountable? What are the consequences – both of performance and of non-performance? What is your history in reaching your goals by the end of the year? Have you written down your goals for 2009 and the specifics of how you’ll achieve them?