Often I am woken up by the songs of coyotes howling in the predawn. It might be a single, mournful wail, but more often the entire desert hillside comes alive with the yipping chorus.
It’s a beautiful, eerie song that evokes something ancient and primal, almost like a genetic memory stretching back to the beginning of time.
As well as hear them, I also see them frequently. Wild and furtive, a coyote darts across the path during my morning walk, where I see her hiding among the sage and bitter brush watching me with wary eyes.
I wonder what she thinks. If it’s pure survival instinct, why doesn’t she run? Has the pack come to recognize me over the past two years as I walk several times a week along Rattlesnake Trail that winds up the hill by a cattle ranch, the same territory they occupy?
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.~Arthur Ashe
Several years ago, my good friend and I shared an apartment. We both just started our first “real jobs” and weren’t making a ton of money. We took turns cooking dinner, and we came up with a plan to use everything in our fridge before we went grocery shopping.
We didn’t waste food and saved serious cash at a time when we needed to most. It also forced us to be ridiculously creative.
Apples and tofu were the only thing in the fridge? Check out the pantry. We’ve got some walnuts, honey and a lone red onion. Suddenly we went from scrounging to gourmet cooking.
We called this using what you have, and we applied it all over the place. I just used it while shopping yesterday.
It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts.~Dr. Robert H. Schuller
Have you ever felt trapped in a negative, toxic environment? Did you feel overwhelmed by the negativity, and were you unable to shield yourself from it?
If so, you’re not alone.
Some time ago, I was in an environment that was so toxic that I almost quit my job. I was trapped among endless gossip, mean-spiritedness and backstabbing. I worked every day feeling like I was in self-preservation mode.
My character is strong, resilient and caring, but my work environment made me question that. I thought my positivity would spread to others and be enough to at least slightly improve their outlook — right?
Whatever it takes to find the real you, don't be daunted if the rest of the world looks on in shock.~Stephen Richards
About a year ago I left my job, moved up in the mountains far away from family and friends, and started anew. I had enough of crowded places, constant machine noise and a life spent mainly indoors. My way out was to use part of my savings to offer myself a year to find out: “What’s next?”
Until then, I had lived in different cities around Europe, working in offices for many years — a normal western lifestyle with its ups and downs and its hectic and stressful rhythm.
For some time I had been uneasy about it, and as I started searching for other possibilities, I suddenly felt I needed to do a clean cut and find a way of life that really fulfilled me.
Here I had my big chance to review my life, and the main question I tried to answer as honestly as I could was: Did I live according to my dreams, my convictions and the demands of my heart?
Everything's mine though just on loan, nothing for the memory to hold, though mine as long as I look.~Wislawa Szymborska
I always had the impression that time was passing too fast, that I was not fulfilling my potential and that I was lost in a world, which I was struggling to get to know even in a small part.
I always wanted to travel, but I didn’t know how to start. I was insecure about my own decisions, but first and foremost I was afraid to do it alone.
One day I just decided to finally leave all these concerns at home and go traveling by myself. I decided to book tickets to places I had never been, pack my backpack and escape to a new part of the world for almost a year.
After visiting 40 countries, I can assure you that being your own captain while crossing into unknown lands is the most self-developing experience it is possible to have. Let me explain to you why.
Stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth.~Susan Cain
I’ve been an introvert my whole life — but until recently, I was working against my brain.
That is, I was trying to force myself to be social when I was mentally exhausted, to work in conditions an extrovert would thrive in, to not allow myself some sweet alone time that all introverts love every now and then. No wonder I was always tired!
Here’s the thing: It’s OK to be introverted, just like it’s OK to be extroverted.
Unfortunately, it’s an extroverted world at first glance, and many introverts try to fit themselves into an extrovert’s life, not realizing that they would be so much happier if they simply went with the flow of their body and brain, living a more quiet life.
Here are six tips that I’ve learned as an introvert that have vastly increased my happiness, productivity and overall peace of mind.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.~St. Augustine
I’ve spent the last year wandering around the globe and exploring this wondrous thing called life. Through 26 flights, I’ve managed to circle the globe twice and touch five of the seven continents.
The journey led me to scuba diving for a month straight with whale sharks on islands in Thailand to hitchhiking my way through an African country to being paid to make sand castles on the beautiful Australian beaches to almost having a foot amputated in Asia.
It’s been a hell of an experience. I’ve learned more about the world and myself than any book, teacher or person could tell me.
I’m not claiming that this has made me a superior human being. Maybe a bit wiser, but I’m just as much human as you are. I still have trouble putting my own insights into practice.