“The world breaks everyone, and after, some are strong at the broken places” Ernest Hemingway
When you think of strength, what image comes to mind? What characteristics do you envision? Some may picture feats of mental strength whereas others may see muscles and physical force.
“Impatience for victory guarantees defeat” Louis XIV
How often do you find yourself getting frustrated? Perhaps morning commuters get in your way, or perhaps your stomach growls as you sit waiting in a restaurant. Whenever moments like these arise, our ability to exercise patience is tested.
“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” John Dryden
Think of the last time you adapted to new surroundings. From a new home to new work colleagues, we have all experienced little and large changes. While some enjoy the unknown elements and thrive, others find it less pleasant and adapt differently.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Martin Luther King Jr
When was the last time you took a moment to reflect on a particular experience? Even in positive moments, it is often easier to identify negative aspects and focus on areas of improvement.
“What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning” Charlie Chaplin
The elusive search for significance can seem overwhelming at times. From starting a family to feeling valued at work, finding a definitive list of meaningful moments will always be affected by our individual criteria.
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” Oscar Wilde
Defined as “the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses”, perceptions of events and actions will frequently differ from person to person. As such, there is a high probability that they will influence our day-to-day interactions and subsequent decisions.
Picture your family and friends. Now picture yourself walking down a high street. How many factors could influence you?
Every day we are subjected to an array of external events that can affect our decisions. From human interactions to digital stimuli, there is an almost endless list of scenarios that can influence us.
“Often it isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the little pebble in your shoe.” Muhammad Ali
Obstacles come in many forms. Sometimes addictive substances can make it hard to limit our consumption of a particular product. Other times a warm bed and the snooze button can be very appealing.
How do you put your socks on? Do you carefully roll them up or do you stick your foot in and wiggle?
If something as trivial as getting dressed can be used to highlight differences and similarities between us, imagine where else we can illustrate this concept.
When do we make the best use of our time, at work or at play? How often do we maximise our physical and mental faculties?
Taking a moment to identify where perhaps we could do a little more, or perhaps a little less, may help us experience even more fun and adventures.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Have you ever whiled away a few moments daydreaming? How about time spent reflecting on more profound topics?
“Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself.” Mark Twain
How often does body language betray the message that words deliver? And how often does tone of voice dictate the reaction we receive?
“It takes more than just a good looking body. You've got to have the heart and soul to go with it.” Epictetus
How would you define being healthy? Although we each have slight variations in what we prioritise for our health, most items presumably fall within a physical, mental or spiritual bracket.
“At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. But keep thy state; come not into their confusion.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
How many times a day would you say you lose concentration?
We can take it and we can lose it.
Yet some of the most important things we can control are also some of the most basic. How much weight do you attach to your words and actions?
“You’ve gotta ask yourself one question, do I feel lucky?” Dirty Harry
From the humble horseshoe to a particular pair of underwear, we associate good and bad luck with a variety of sights and symbols. Some are borne out of past experiences and others from historical references,
“Do one thing everyday that scares you” Eleanor Roosevelt
What frightens you? What could keep you up at night? Although not necessarily the happiest of topics, it is nevertheless important to consider what scares us and ask why.
“Not all those who wander are lost” J.R.R. Tolkien
Think back to this time last year; were you planning this far in advance? Could you have imagined your current state? Sometimes we make plans and execute them to the letter, other times we may simply enjoy the moment and see where it takes us.
How often do you take things for granted or fail to appreciate the significance of certain moments?
Defined as a “recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something”, it is important to voice our appreciation when we feel it.
“I’m not trying to be sexy, it's just my way of expressing myself when I move around.” Elvis Presley
Not all of us are blessed with the natural rhythm and style that Elvis displayed when performing on stage. However, embracing movement and the benefits it reaps can be a highly rewarding part of life, whichever kind of movement it may be.