“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt
First of all, Merry Christmas to all Americans and thank you all for reading my columns through the years. Thank you for taking action on the serious issues facing America in these early years of the 21st century. This is our watch and we must make future generations proud of our efforts to maintain our country.
Since it’s Christmas, I would like to give you a small gift or “taste” that may make a difference in your life or that of a loved one. If you look to the side of this column, you will see the cover of my latest book: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World. It’s meant for kids from 15 to 95.
This book gives teens and young adults precise directions for living successful lives. It dissolves middle aged life crises. This book thrusts new energy into retirees’ golden years. In a few words—it’s a vibrant book for anyone at any age who wants to live his or her dreams.
You will find five life enhancing concepts and six practices in the book that will thrust you into your highest good, your greatest abundance and finest hour. Please note that your adventures may be painting, sculpting, writing poems, pottery or walking down a leaf-strewn lane in autumn. You define your adventures and the speed at which you pursue them. You may love to travel or paddle a canoe. This book celebrates your proclivities and passions.
This is the first of its kind book on how you can switch from dreaming to living your dreams. One high school senior, after hearing the program said, “This has been the best hour of my entire four years in high school. Thanks for the lessons.” One baby boomer said, “This is the most fascinating book I’ve ever read. I’m going for it!”
Below, you might enjoy Chapter 29 as the second of six practices that will show you how to live your dreams.
2nd Practice—Choose your view
No one else but you chooses your mental perspective or your life view. You may choose a positive, negative, neutral, fearful, dull or bored life attitude. You could choose an outlook such as, “I don’t care.” You can choose an outlook such as, “I will make a positive difference.” You may become involved in life or uninvolved. It’s up to you.
Please examine two basic views that will lift you toward an extraordinary life experience or an average life path.
Will you choose a worm’s-eye view or an eagle’s-eye view? Okay! I know what you’re thinking. Worms don’t have eyes to see. Work with me here. Which will you choose? If you think below the surface or think limitations or wallow in your muck from past conditions—your world will remain that of a worm’s reality.
When I attended high school, I studied every night. I attended every class. I played sports. I joined clubs to connect with other students. I learned how to swing dance. I pitched newspapers to 80 customers on my paper route at 5:00 a.m. seven days a week. I kept my eyes on the prize.
At the same time, quite a few of my classmates hung out in the parking lot—smoking, drinking and wasting time doing nothing. They didn’t complete their homework assignments. Many dropped out to work as tire changers, janitors or stock boys. None of them advanced to college or trade schools.
They guaranteed themselves mediocre lives. They chained themselves to the lowest financial rung of the ladder. They hung with each other so they thought their actions or lack of actions appeared normal. Intellectual mediocrity, lassitude and sloth rarely make for a fulfilling lifestyle.
Such a worm’s-eye view ensures definite lifetime limitations. It limits mental and physical travel. It relegates such a person to trailer parks or housing projects. It means factory jobs, stocking grocery shelves, maid work and other minimum wage employment. It means few choices and scant satisfaction.
At my high school reunions, I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if those dudes and dudettes had chosen to study hard, engage in high school, move on to college and live a more abundant life. Their eyes may have been as bright and shiny as those in our class who chose the eagle’s-eye view. Be certain that you get to choose. When possible, choose your view early in life.
The creative process affords, however, that at any life juncture, a mental shift will produce stellar results. It’s really up to you how dynamic a life you want to live. It can start at any time you choose to change to an eagle’s-eye view.
For those who choose an eagle’s-eye view, hold on to your hats. What a ride! When you put your heart, mind and spirit into the joy of living, you discover a passionate, purposeful and energy-filled life. It’s whatever turns you on that thrusts your mind toward mental and emotional zeniths.
I met a young guy named Sandy on my adventure to Antarctica. He was spirited, exuberant and friendly. He worked his way through college to become a journalist and photographer. He possessed buckets of high energy. During his time in Antarctica, he raced in the Scott Hut Race in bitter cold. He jumped into the water in the 12 foot thick ice of the Southern Oceans. He raced around the world within 10 seconds at the South Pole.
I’ve watched him for 13 years. He learned to speak Japanese. He traveled to France to learn how to speak French. He traveled to China, South America, Australia and other regions on the planet. Later, he met a delightful lady. They decided on a family. Today, he’s a father and loves it. He skis, rafts, climbs and races in marathons. He lives in the woods of New Hampshire.
Did he receive a special start in life? Not really. He’s a country boy from Missouri. He earned everything through hard work and tenacity.
Sandy provides you with an example of an eagle’s-eye view of living.
“The outward movement into form does not express itself with equal intensity in all people.” said Eckhart Tolle, author of Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. “Some feel a strong urge to build, create, become involved, achieve and make an impact on the world.”
Does an eagle’s-eye view mean you must be excited or filled with high-energy?
Quieter yet equally dynamic people may be called “frequency holders.”
“They are more inward looking by nature,” said Tolle. “Their role is just as vital as that of the creators, the doers and the reformers. They endow the seemingly insignificant with profound meaning. They affect the world much more deeply than is visible on the surface of their lives.”
Another young man I met in Texas on my 2010 bicycle ride across America proved quiet yet dynamic. Davis walked up to me at a sandwich shop, “Are you the one riding that bike that says coast to coast?”
“Can I buy you dinner?” he said.
“Why would you buy me dinner?” I asked.
“I want to learn how you do it,” he said.
As we talked, Davis said, “I don’t want to live a boring life. I want to see the world. I don’t want to be average.”
What did I notice about him? He came across as a quiet 18-year-old with a thirst for knowledge to live a great life. He attends college where he reads and writes profusely. His mind expands toward the great events of his future. We keep in touch and I look forward to his unfolding life with an eagle’s-eye view attitude.
When you decide to see the world from a higher calling, your intentions fly with your thoughts. In other words, your dreams become your reality. Let these concepts move you toward your dreams. You make the call. No matter what the pains of your past, forgive anyone that has ever hurt you and unload your emotional baggage so it doesn’t burden your brain or emotions. Your current perceptions color your imagination and fulfillment.
Engage these points to adopt an eagle’s-eye view.
1. Write down what will move your dream into motion.
2. Take inventory, improve, build upon and expand your talents and abilities to maximize your potential.
3. Think positively, optimistically, affirmatively and constructively.
4. Delete that other self in your brain that comes on negatively.
5. Identify any trepidation and neutralize it by positive mental decisions.
6. Think and see success, write it down on paper and repeat it aloud.
7. Keep and read affirmations on your desk, fridge, car dash, bathroom mirror and everywhere that will move your mind toward your intention.
8. Hang with others that enjoy your eagle’s-eye view.
What does an eagle’s-eye view feel like?
When I go skiing, I take the Panoramic Express chair lift in Winter Park, Colorado to the highest point on the mountain at 12,065 feet. Once off the lift, I spread my arms like the wings of an eagle and fly down the mountain with long graceful turns. Out front, the massive 13,000- foot Perry’s Peak greets me and the Continental Divide cuts a rugged profile across the cobalt sky above me. Essentially, I am an eagle flying at great altitude.
However, you don’t need to live in the mountains to enjoy an eagle’s-eye view. You can ride your bicycle while flying down the road for the same feeling. You can choose a positive mental-emotional point of view. You may be scuba diving for that eagle’s-eye view or perhaps taking a canoe trip. Whatever your activity, take it to your highest level of attitude and fulfillment.
Proceed toward tomorrow with an eagle’s-eye view.