When spoken to with a series of words by another, we have the choice for what we will hear, see and take in for ourselves. We can absorb them at face value to be true. We can ignore the words or the character of whom the words are being offered. Or, we can fully interpret both the words and the conditions for them being offered to set a best course for what we will take away from the interaction.

Samuel Beckett is quoted as saying, “Words are the clothes that thoughts wear.” Underneath the clothing there is an idea that another may be trying to share. This is where our interpretation is so important. There is more to be interpreted than just the words. We should look to interpret the usefulness of the ideas that may be offered and the value that may derived from them as you take it in by listening fully.

We navigate in our lives to first listen to take in knowledge or ideas and then act for ourselves going forward with what we know. Listening to take in ideas is key to our continuous learning. Believe what you will with an open mind to progress from your listening capacity, Listening is the mechanism of interpretation that will help you to discover your full potential and offer your full contribution in life.

“Don’t look for meaning in the words. Listen to the silences.” — Samuel Beckett —



When you become stuck and unable to resolve a problem, think less about the magic answer and more about the right questions to be considered. The right questions lead to apt learning and improved experiences in their application. Solutions, at least those that sustain over time, are the outcome of sound problem analysis brought about by asking the right questions.

Sage marketing will sell solutions that specify their product as your resolution. By example, the marketed solutions to lose weight, sleep better or to exercise more regularly are plentiful. Few, if any, may be right for you and others, but many are a commercial success because they offer a well-crafted and easy solution. Take a pill, register for a class or join a gym are frequently misapplied resolutions to problems ill-defined by consumers. Don’t be that consumer, ask questions first.

What are the right questions to ask and be answered for your prescriptive success to learn a different and better way? Only you know your motivation, experiences, competencies and determinable habits for whether the problem is well enough understood to then grasp a solution to be applied.

We function to learn and resolve better in application of this learning when leading with questions of analysis to fully understand the problem ourselves and own the outcome. Questions first, and then the resolution may be learned and applied for progress.

“I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.” — Socrates —


Passage of Contribution

With relationships, the primary value comes when we are sharing a moment with and for one another. If alone, with just by yourself, there would be nothing shared.

With the wisdom we gain from our applied learning experiences, the primary value again comes from when we share and relate that wisdom for application for another. If we alone have wisdom and it goes unrelated or unapplied, there is no value to the knowledge gained.

With happiness, the value of this piqued emotion is rarely attained and preserved if we were to only experience it alone. Often, happiness is mostly attained when we first seek to support the happiness of another.

Relationships are key to a productive life in that we share to relate with another. Little can be gained if never applied for the benefit of another. The world is a complex relationships, each with a cause and effect on another. Know that your gifts and talents only bring real value when shared.

Aim ambitions and purpose to relate with others as a contribution, rather than a conquest for just yourself. We will be remembered for and recognized most because we aimed to contribute rather than to simply consume our time alone.

“The wisdom acquired with the passage of time is a useless gift unless you share it.” — Esther Williams —


Changing Our Minds

We most easily change our minds when it is our own idea to do so. If it were the idea of another, we are often hesitant. In either circumstance, good things come to us when we are able to change our minds. Learning is a process of evolutionary and directed change, some just gather it more quickly and acutely than others.

If we were to hold onto only what we knew as a teenage, we would have missed thousands of good lessons to grow by. Whether on purpose, by accident or by pertinent influence, changing the mind is how we can discern to find the better way. We won’t control everything that may determine a change for the better, but we do own and operate the mindset and attitude surrounding change acceptance and ownership.

When you are at a point where you no longer care to be, think immediately to change with an open mindset. Think to direct yourself to have changed for a better outcome. Strongly held beliefs are central to a committed and continuous learner, but we must always believe there may still be a better way as our mind is adaptable to change.

“Change your thinking, change your life.” — Ernest Holmes —


In Practice

If you would offer advise to another person, be sure that you are willing to do it in the same manner being offered.

It’s unfortunate that too often people will offer their suggestions to others with no intent to act or to model those actions shared for themselves. What is best for you by your learning experiences is what you should offer and then allow the other to determine from that guidance what is best for them.

Practice to offer your viewpoint, opinion or perspective to another with only what you would do for yourself in a similar situation, Know that manipulating another by having them to do something you wouldn’t do yourself is quickly discovered.

If no one is asking for your guidance, the reason may well be that you didn’t live your own perspectives in practice. In applied practice, be authentic in actions to match the words that you offer. A well-earned perspective will always be sought when authentic with your actions.

“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.” — Knute Rockne —


Full Heart

To amble in life with no clear direction takes us to nowhere. To aim to think we can forge a predictable and pragmatic path for down the road often causes us to fail just as poorly. In the middle there is a balance of leading with the head and the heart to live our best life.

As you invest your time in your priorities toward your life’s purpose, we will often find that we go forward best with a full heart. A full mind can lead us to freeze and to hesitate as we analyze over and over again our next steps. The full heart pushes us to a balance of apt motivation and determination to wind forward.

“Although the road is never ending take a step and keep walking, do not look fearfully into the distance… On this path let the heart be your guide for the body is hesitant and full of fear.” — Rumi —



For any of us to gain any level of mastery with a certain task, it requires our time, our dedication and our tenacious habits to continually learn. If it were easy to become a master at anything, it wouldn’t be of all that much value.

Everyone can do the easy. Everyone can try to grow in their skill sets, but never go near far enough to master a thing. Mastery is the work to grow above most others to have learned to a high level of value as you perform it.

Intelligence is a factor of growing to mastery, but don’t let that get in the way. The work and the formulated patterns of behavior amid a variety of circumstances is much more than intelligence. Dedication and motivation serve you just as well as intelligence.

“If you know how much work went into it, you wouldn’t call it genius.” — Michelangelo —


Get Up

Life is known to knock you back from time to time. Problems are just that, problems, and they often remain if you fail to deal with them.

A factor necessary to adequately deal with your problems is to be resilient. If we hide in defeated agony without our resilience, we fail to accept reality. We fail to push back and to brush ourselves off to live again. It isn’t easy to deal with problems, but it is necessary if we hope to be happy to any degree.

As I often state, it is on us to direct our course. Look inside ourselves first. In the face of adversity and looming problems it is in our favor to get up and live again as we learn a better way.

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.” — Steve Maraboli —



We will generally come to pause and to rest at a point in time. The reasoning for why we pause is worth consideration.

We may pause to rest due to physical or mental exhaustion so that we can continue on refreshed. We may pause before we are tired in hesitation for what may be next in the form of an anticipated challenge. It might also be that we pause because we have no clear motivation nor determination for where we should be going, clearing having made no decision at all.

If there is an action worth taking, it is worth doing as well as we can do it. To pause ought to be a planned strategy for analysis and refreshment toward your purposeful effort to set your next steps firmly. We shouldn’t be all accelerator and no brakes, to pause in thought on the journey is often critical to a successful and impact effort.

Decide to go or not. When you go forward in application of learned experiences, pause only for sustaining efficiency of effort and you will be living a fuller life.

“Many people die with the music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes —



Dwight D. Eisenhower was once quoted as saying, “The middle of the road is all of the useable surface.” At one far edge and then the other, the track is only apparent to a very few.

As an independent thinker that is learning their way, the useable surface has been the course that I have set for myself with others. A compromise may be necessary to reach a shared value for more than just myself. From compromise, the productive value is generally far greater and much broader in scale on the useable surface.

None of us should compromise integrity. There is no place on the road, nor at the edges of it to secure any real value in this manner. The essence of compromise must be on the useable surface. When the approach or resolution works, it will make great sense to others engaged as well. From a mutual agreement of many, greater and better things will occur.

From compromise, find your place on the useable surface to reach the best outcome. You needn’t always be right, it is better to do the right things with the direction we set ourselves off on with others. In future learning with others, you may evolve to another track closer to your originating thoughts or even further away. You’ve compromised, but likely not forgotten your basis at the onset of the journey toward the greatest of principles.

“I shall argue that strong people, conversely, know when to compromise and that all principles can be compromised to serve a greater principle.” — Andrew Carnegie —