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Reading the Moment

Posted on 19 November 2018

I like to read, a lot. But it’s not just books, its people, places, all the little sights and sounds that make a moment come alive and tell the story of a lifetime. I’d usually categorize myself as a speed reader, flying through life at near warp speed, soaking up as much as I possibly can each day so that when I finally lay down at night I’m filled to the brim with passion and excitement for the people and places that make me who I am. In recent weeks though I’ve taken the time to slowwwwwwwwww downnnnnnn. I’ve been intentional with the pace of my days, still reading the moment as much as ever, but taking one extra breath just to soak it all in. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Behavior creates culture

Whether it is our family, our friends, or our co-workers, every group that we associate with has a unique culture. It’s hard to put our finger on culture, so we usually end up dancing around it. “I love my gym because everyone is motivated, but nobody is out to get anyone else,” or “our office drives me crazy, is anyone excited when they walk in the door?” We know how we feel, but what drives these emotions? Culture.

Culture is the choices we make and the choices we promote or tolerate in others. Culture is not a destination, it is a daily awareness of a million little things. Little things that drive the way we value ourselves, and the people and places around us.

Be quick, but don’t hurry

The Wizard of Westwood was ahead of his time in more ways that we realized. Long after his coaching career ended John Wooden has been regarded as one of the best leaders of his time. I have read and studied his career and teachings for a while, but it wasn’t until recent that some of his principles started to hit home with me.

In today’s society there is no online and offline. We are always plugged in to seemingly every aspect of our lives. Every goal, every responsibility, every fear, is always within reach, so how do we know what to reach for? Trust your gut. I think we spend too much time paralyzed by not wanting to get “it” wrong that we miss opportunities to get “it” a little more right than yesterday. And that’s not to say there won’t be times when we need a minute to figure it all out. You’ll know when this moments come up, and when they do, take a deep breath and leave yourself something to do tomorrow.

Love is off-white

Virgil Abloh has taken the fashion industry by storm in recent months with his Off-White collection. He describes his work as “defining the grey area between black and white, as off-white.” The complexity and density in that sentence I think perfectly describes how a lot of us see the world walking through our daily lives, and the reality is, we’re all trying to figure it out.

You can want to save our waterways and have the man or woman working the line in the bottling factory at the front of your mind. You can promote free enterprise and have a strong calling for charity. The world is not all black and white, can you imagine a sunset if it was?

The truth is we have a lot to figure out, and that’s why we must stay committed to being students of the day. Reading the people, places, and moments that will enable us to write the story of a lifetime.

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