Way before we ever heard about THPL we started with our family. One that is the foundation of all that we are. Set the right path from the beginning and it is much easier to stay the course – that is what family does. And then there is that moment when we become independent; we get to decide what to do, where to go, who to hang out with and much, much more. And it is during these times, when we make these decisions, that we should be explicit about what it is we are becoming part of. What is the community that we are joining, or affiliating with, or spending time with? What are their values, do they align, are they accretive to how we live? It seems that THPL is an instance of this community that we can use just like any other extended family. We reach in and we grab the core values and principles and use them - then we support others in this community with our attention, our thoughts and our efforts. We celebrate each other and we stand behind each other whenever necessary. And when we create this “community” we create a complimentary and additive element to the traditional definition of family, the basic unit of relationships, and by so doing web extend and reach and find a much bigger platform for support, life, learning and fitness. And this can last us throughout our lives.
We get to where we are going on our THPL journey because somewhere along the way we learned the fundamentals. Fundamentals - a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based. We know them, in life, they are the truisms that we learn as we grow up, we know so many of them innately. For example, treat others as you would treat yourself, build competencies – the ability to do something, stretch the body so that it stays resilient. So, what happens along the way? We often forget the fundamentals, we move on, and we don’t practice the base level of what we need to do. In so doing we weaken our ability, we compromise our potential and we miss opportunity. So, it is with importance that we need to remind ourselves of the fundamentals, keep the knife honed and sharp and it is always ready when needed for the task at hand. We need to take the same mindset to our lives and our journey – stay honed, stick to the fundamentals and build more when we are prepared and ready. From this great things will come in a sustained and satisfying way.
There have been many a location that THPL has travelled to where the cars drive on the left side of the road. And to the locals in these countries this seems rather normal. And so it struck me that since most of us have no idea as to why something so basic as, why we drive where we do, needed some investigating. The learning part of THPL needed an info shot and since Australia, once a British Colony has cars drive on the left side a bit of research was in order. Turns out that this one is quite interesting in its origin - In the past, almost everybody travelled on the left side of the road because that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies. Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent and their scabbard further from him. Moreover, it reduced the chance of the scabbard (worn on the left) hitting other people. Interesting for sure. We find out again, that indeed, there is always a reason……we just have to want to find out why……
Loving life ….every time find out something I did not know…
The THPL journey has us with a lot of things to focus on. Yes, Life, Learning and Fitness – but at a more detailed level there are a lot of things that we need to focus on and some of them get done and others, well, we just choose not to do them. And we know that when some of these things do not get done that we have deemed them to be not that important. Yes, we can argue that there is good reason for not getting it done. This point, though, really is hard to defend. The reason being that we are all making decisions, and we really do have enough time, and we have a sense of what really is important….so when something does not get done, and it needed to, we need to ask ourselves, why…why did we not do it. Look for the real reason – not the explanation, not the excuse…..but the real reason. When we find it, there is a level of freedom that comes with that knowledge. We are now capable of getting what is important done…. if we want….or not…at least we will feel good with either decision and a recognition of what really is important.
The number of steps, a book a month, an hour of yoga. Counting, measuring, it seems to have a direct effect on what we get done. We are more focused, we make less excuses, and we get seem to be drawn to the activity. So, if for some reason you find yourself struggling for motivation to achieve one of your goals on your THPL journey then set a quantitative goal and then start tracking to it. You might just get a different result…..and be happy about it as well!
There have been many an occasion on the THPL journey when we have contemplated words, some similar to each other, and some different, and the implications when we look at them closely on our way of thinking about THPL. Power and strength, seem to fit into the THPL “topic”. They feel different, close, but not the same. But how are we to think about them. The definitions cast “Power” as the amount of energy produced in a set amount of time, and “Strength” as the inherent capacity to manifest energy, to endure. So are we powerful or strong? Are we both? It sort of depends, and it does feel like we can be one or the other or both. The key is that they are both explicit representations of the kinds of traits that we aspire to have and to have more of. More power or greater strength give us the ability to embrace THPL at a bigger level. And with the definitions in hand we can indeed do this – embrace power –embrace strength and do it better and better every time.
I am not sure that there is a natural intersection between the Super Bowl and THPL. But we can think about how we prep for the day when we eat differently, most likely exercise less and put on hold some of our normal disciplined behaviors. Maybe we do a bit more in the lead up to the game – a few more miles, a few less bites to eat, whatever offset we can come up with that makes the indulgences just a bit less impactful. Of course there is nothing wrong with indulgence, the key point is to be fully aware of what we are doing and understanding the tradeoffs and impacts. Then we can go to the game and enjoy eating more and just having fun. Monday comes soon and we can be back at it. For now a day of awareness makes the game just that much better.
Loving life ….when enjoying all types of activities
On this most interesting journey that we call THPL we are fortunate to be around others whom have similar objectives for how they choose to live life. In this circumstance it is often easy to see how well our fellow THPLers are doing on their journey. Even if not asked, we have “opinions” for how they can do better, we have thoughts for how they can embrace THPL more actively, and we have ideas for the way to solve vexing issues that they are wrestling with. And in this situation emerges the conundrum – why is it that we can so easily see what others can do to improve but often we cannot see how we ourselves can improve. The objective “us” is lost in the journey of life and we need to aim to get a hold of it so that we can do for ourselves what we can do for others. We need to find a way to bring a bit of distance to how we think and act and see if indeed we can get to that place where we can easily see how we can improve and then act on it. It will be at this moment when we have truly embraced THPL and taken it to the next level.
Loving life ….when I can see how I can do it better, myself
As the THPL journey gets ready to make the grand traverse to the states it is striking how we can, on a regular basis, go from one setting to another and in each setting establish the same principles of THPL regardless of time zone, location, culture or other. It is an important life lesson….that is, we need to carry THPL and our principles for living and our focus on what is important to each of us on our THPL journey towards personal fulfillment. We need not compromise or sacrifice because the setting changed. Rather we should make it intrinsically important that we stay true to the way we live and our focus on life, learning and fitness. It truly is everywhere, ready for us to grab it. Maybe with a bit more effort but worth every “watt” of power required to get it. In this way the entry….or re-entry is not that big of a deal, just one more stop on the THPL journey. Now that is one fun life!
As I sit in Sydney Australia and order a coffee, in this instance “a long black” (versus a short black) it struck me that this beverage, while a truly global beverage, has a lot of “local” to it. There is the Americano (for American GI’s in world war II who diluted espresso with water), the drip coffee (Dunkin or Starbucks?), the latte (milk just makes it better), the Turkish (who needs to filter the grinds), and of course Espresso (not a bean blend but a method of brewing) each of which has a significant element of culture embodied in this omni-present (the second most traded commodity in the world), magical (that made goats dance) drink that seems always to be in waiting for us as we travel from anywhere to anywhere. So maybe it is a worthwhile goal while on our THPL journey to try each of the local versions of coffee as we travel around…..whether near or far, for sure, it will be a learning experience and one that might just keep us coming back for more.
When it finally hits us it is a bit surprising. And indeed while easy to understand it sometimes is hard to internalize. The mystery that is the THPL life becomes more and more real every day that we continue on the journey. The journey towards a life of personal fulfillment; by using a focus on Life, Learning and Fitness as a way to engage the soul, the mind, and the body. When done in earnest the return is great and the results even better. And from this comes that moment when we just have to smile, we smile because we are in control – we smile because we have created meaning in our lives and we smile because we want to show others that we have found better. Every day then, we need to feel the power of that smile and show it to all who will receive it. The smile is a gift that comes from the way that we use the THPL journey to give us the pathway and the purpose. Yes, a smile, might just well be the sign that our THPL journey is really on track.
THPL is on the road again…. Melbourne, Australia, and summer in January. A great place to be and to visit. The Aussies are some of the friendliest “mates” you can have as you travel the world. They treat you like they have been your friend for life, even if you just meet them, they extend their lives to include you and they make sure, that even thought you are 10,000 miles from home you never feel far away. And if you are fortunate to get out to see the countryside on a ride or a run you might even see a kangaroo or two and find out that Melbourne is not flat. Another example of why it is so good to get out and see the world!
There are many metaphors, if we look hard enough, that can serve as a life lesson and an echo for how we can think about our THPL journey. For example, many years of drought are actually good for grapevines. The less water there is, the deeper into the soil the roots must delve to find it. In this way, the rich textures of the earth are better imparted to the wine, drawn up from some otherwise unreachable depths. So if it good for a plant to suffer to make something better than it would be otherwise, then how about we think about it for ourselves – we need to find ways to go deeper, to suffer, at least a bit, to find that better “us”. A powerful metaphor for how we can think about living and getting closer to personal fulfillment
It would seem quite logical that while on our THPL journey that we would be our own best supporters. But all too often when it comes down to the moment of truth, a moment of challenge, we often lose our nerve, we stop believing in ourselves and we get tentative and at this moment, our capability is masked by our own view of ourselves. As we think about it, it is quite clear that we would want it to be just the opposite. That at the moment of truth we dig deep into our own confident view of who we are and what we are capable of. And we take this power to the “moment” and we do our best, we do more than we thought possible and we meet and / or exceed our expectations. And all of that happening because of how we think of ourselves. Seems to me that we should take advantage of this magic that is inside all of us.
One month into 2016 and our THPL journey is well on its way in this new year. There is a lot going on around us. And with that, whether it be the world stage, the political landscape, the financial markets, climate change or any other “big” topic, we have an opportunity to grab a hold of one of these topics and dig in, embrace it, think about it, talk about it and absorb it. And then to do it again, and again. The intrinsic value of pressing the learning button of THPL is way bigger than we sometimes give credence to. As we stretch our brain, absorb more, fire those neurons, so many good things happen. We are catalyzed to act, we are ready to debate, we are better prepared to navigate on our journey of life. We need to take the moments that we have and embrace the opportunity to learn and we should challenge ourselves to make it the central point of conversations in and amongst those close to us and far away from us. Debate big ideas – do it often – leave the trivial to the side and feel the power that comes of it. It is a great feeling for sure.