Thursday’s Thoughts: Some Experiences are Humbling

When I was 13 or 14 years old, I got my first guitar. I learned a few chords and tried to play along to my favorite songs. More than 25 years later, I bought myself a new guitar, and here I am, trying to re-learn everything that I once new.

It’s a humbling feeling when the teenager in me knows the tunes, but my 42 year old fingers keep messing up the songs. Even an old dog will have to re-learn his or her tricks if they’re not used to doing them. Practicing is how you create your rhythm. Artists, athletes, and musicians, just to name a few, practice their crafts to become proficient. The ones who practiced a lot are easier to pick out of a crowd. You can see it in their presentation, their preparedness and their confidence. Once you get into a good rhythm, the things you “like” to do ultimately become the things your “love” to do. Keep practicing what you love to do every single day. You may never perfect your given craft, but if the spotlight was on you, you wouldn’t be afraid to stand up on that stage and play.

guitar, acoustic guitar, acoustic electric guitar

Illuminate like a Lightbulb

When a lightbulb is on, it illuminates a room. It helps us to see clearer and enables our eyes to focus so we don’t have to strain them.

When off, the glass of a bulb reflects the contents of its surroundings, as long as the glass isn’t frosted.

If you yourself were a lightbulb, do you think that you illuminate the people that surround you, support and care for them, congratulate and promote them, or do you reflect them, pay them no mind, toss their ideas to the side only to concentrate on yourself.

If you have just realized that the latter sounds more like you, don’t fret, you’re in luck. There is an easy fix to this: flip the switch up to the ‘on’ position. Be the filament that brightens someone else’s day!

lightbulb, light, shine

Simple Ways to Enrich Your Life

Today couldn’t get any better!

I can’t wait for what tomorrow brings!

Why isn’t today enough? Why does it seem we are always looking for something better–something bigger and brighter elsewhere.

Why don’t we just marvel at the life we have today? Don’t let a second pass without taking a deep breath and appreciate what you have.

No one has ever found that pot of gold at the other end of the rainbow. The simplest way to enrich your life is by looking within yourself.

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Gratitude: Stand Up and Be Counted

The time to express your gratitude towards another for their kind deed doesn’t have to be the second after or even a minute after they do something for you––as long as it eventually happens. There are a lot of giving souls in this world. Don’t you want to be counted as being one of them?

Stephen Sheffield, Time Keeper, watch, pocket watch, time, panopticon gallery

Stephen Sheffield, Time Keeper, 2010

Seizing Your Opportunity

You can’t just linger out on the periphery and hope that you’ll get noticed. Some opportunities only come around once. You need to be standing up front and present. You need to shake some hands and introduce yourself. Let whoever you are talking to know how passionate you are about your art, your cause, your life. Be in it to win it!

As Milton Berle smartly stated, if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

frank armstrong, door

Frank Armstrong, Side Door – Fordyce, AR, 1986

 

 

Thursday’s Thoughts: Are You A Fearless Leader?

“Playing ‘follow the leader’ is a waste of your time. If you work at your craft long enough, and take a few risks, you just might carve your own unique path.

If your bold ideas are sound, you won’t even have to leave crumbs along the way, the well-worn groove in the trail will lead others to you. People are always looking for fearless, new leaders.” ~Jason Landry

samuel quinn, photographer, panopticon gallery, footsteps

Photograph by Samuel Quinn

Cautiously Optimistic

“Cautiously optimistic is one way of looking at life, or the future. The ‘optimistic’ side tells us we’re confident that things will work out as planned, while the ’cautiously’ side tells us to prepare for the unexpected, because things don’t always go as planned.

If what you seek isn’t as lucid as you had hoped it to be, reach back through your mental Rolodex and try and remember what advice your Mother might have given you. She helped to get you this far, right?” ~ Jason Landry

heidi kirkpatrick, mother, book, artist book

Heidi Kirkpatrick, Mother, 2001 — German/English Vest Pocket Dictionary

As Fluid As Your Thoughts

“Your actions should be as fluid as your thoughts.
If someone does something good for you, don’t just thank them, find ways to reciprocate the gesture.
Building your network is a two way street.
Make sure things are flowing in both directions.”
~Jason Landry

scott lerman, fluid, water, liquid

Scott Lerman, Liquid 2

These Are My People

the human store, frank armstrong, photographer, people

Frank Armstrong, Alpine, AR, 1991

People enter our lives in a variety of ways.

Some people we refer to as family––both blood relatives and those that are like family without the genetic makeup. You might be closer to some than others. This isn’t your fault or theirs––life just happens.

Then there are friends––some stay, and some go. Your taste in friends changes as you grow older and begin to see who you are as a person. Your priorities change and that’s when you realize you want to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who have similar life goals and dreams.

We also have teachers, mentors and advisors. Some of these people are hand-picked and some find us––we have no idea how they arrived on the scene, and frankly, we don’t care. We like them around. Some stick around even after their jobs are done. Some become friends.

And let’s not forget our loves and lovers. We are attracted to them for one thing or another. Remember that the beauty on the outside is just a facade to their inner-most beauty. It’s important to look beyond the shell because one’s inner beauty never changes. Love radiates from the inside out.

We the people. . .
People are people. . .
People are strange . . .
These are my people.

Who are the people in your life who have helped enabled you to do great things? You don’t need to have a large family, or a wide circle of friends to figure this out. It’s not about the number of people in your life that count. Leave numbers for bankers, accountants, and mathematicians to deal with. It’s the quality of those people that matters most. Make sure to thank them once in a while.