Insight and Inspiration for Flying Higher in Endeavors that Make a Difference
Values and virtues are terms frequently confused or conflated. Yet, the distinction between the two is worth teasing apart.
Values are your core beliefs and guiding principles. They're aspirational goals that provide you with a moral compass for navigating choices and decisions.
Virtues are your convictions. Values as lived and acted upon. Virtues are experienced and observed.
Put another way, values are theory, and virtues are reality.
For example, wisdom is a worthy virtue. However, if we deny our creativity or execute poor judgment, it is impossible to be seen as, or actually be, truly wise.
Equanimity and a sense of flourishing require harmony between virtues and values. And you can't make exceptions due to expediency or situational cherry-picking of when they apply and when one or the other doesn't.
This is why we feel internal dissonance and discomfort when the way we behave is out of alignment with or contrary to who we are.
What you do in many ways is who you ...
Life in the ancient world was full of adversity. If you lived to adulthood, you likely endured war, famine, plague, or some combination of the three.
In antiquity, there was a flowering of philosophical approaches to the art of living well and even flourishing while navigating such difficulties.
One of the most enduring of those traditions is Stoicism. Within this tradition is pragmatic wisdom and a practical, straightforward approach to stave off anxiety, cultivate resilience, and find meaning in any challenge you face.
The Three Disciplines
Stoicism, more than any other approach, is a lived philosophical practice. Epictetus, an important Stoic teacher, established three core practices, or disciplines.
What do you do when you don't know what to do?
Discussing this question with friends led me to contemplate the virtues of both stillness and motion.
What do you do when you don't know what to do?
One perspective is that uncertainty about what to do next is an invitation to adopt a posture of stillness. Resting with the tension of uncertainty is, after all, an exercise in acceptance, acknowledgment, and presence.
This approach can be effective for staving off the usual reactions to indecision, such as distraction and over-analysis.
An opposing perspective is that indecisiveness is a call to action. A challenge to put yourself in motion. Doing something coupled with the trust that you'll be able to thrash your way to clarity is often my default attitude.
But I wonder if stillness and motion aren't mutually exclusive?
Some of the greatest moments in history exemplify the capacity to practice stillness in motion. President John Fitzgerald...
It's no secret, setting intentions alone does not manifest change. Sending your intentions out into the universe is a one way conversation.
Intentions matter, of course. Set them with care and integrity. But destiny rewards pursuit. You must step into possibility to make change happen.
Here are three questions you can ask yourself after you set you intention that will encourage you to lean in and leap into worthwhile efforts.
And then... Take that step.
Let's keep flying higher together!
Scott - Difference Maker at Creative on Purpose
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Legacy isn't what you leave behind; it's the difference you're making now.
“While we wait for life, life passes.” - Seneca
It’s Time to Make a Difference
You are enough. Yet, capable of more. We need you.
It’s time to make a difference. It’s time to fly higher.
You have choices to make.
Haven’t you wasted enough time traveling the well-worn path of what’s expected?
Are you done with following the map drawn by the status quo and leading to where everyone else is headed?
Do you want to settle for the tried and true, the ordinary, and the unremarkable?
Or are you ready to chart a course and draw a map of your own?
It’s time to embark on a voyage of discovery. Who are you? What are you good at? Where do you belong?
You’ve answered these questions before. But you’re not the same person, nor in the same situation, and not surrounded by the same people now as you were then.
"Character is fate." - Heraclitus
What if character is fate?
What if to live a good life you must be a good person?
What if the path to better living goes through character?
What if destiny is determined not by what you do, but instead is defined by who you are?
What if instead of just answering these questions, you acted on them?
Scott Perry - Difference Maker at Creative on Purpose.
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It’s in looking back and reflecting that a life journey is sorted and makes sense. Marcus Aurelius knew this. Marcus Aurelius was the last of what are known as the Roman Empire's Good Emperors. Meditations is a printed collection of what remains from Marcus' private journals.
Creativity is a fundamental human impulse. Along with our capacity for reason and social instinct, it’s a defining characteristic of human beings. Creativity is the simple human act of making change happen. You employ your creative inclination every time you send a message, prepare a meal, make a mess, or make amends.
Stoicism is an ancient philosophy of life that, like any worthwhile metaphysical pursuit, answers the questions, “What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be happy? And, how can I be more of both?”
Stoicism suggests that our rational and social nature are defining human traits and that developing and employing both...
"The thing ordained for you – teach yourself to be at one with those. And the people who share them with you – treat them with love. With real love." – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Fate is who you are and where you're at now. You can't change what brought you to this moment.
But if you acknowledge and accept fate, you can frame yourself, your situation, and the possibilities and potential ahead.
Destiny is what's ahead. You can't know exactly what opportunities and obstacles await. But you can choose and take your next steps into them with intention and integrity.
Those choices and actions inform who you are and inspire your perception and posture as you continue stepping into your destiny.
Life doesn't happen to you. It happens through you.
Legacy isn't the money and monuments you leave behind. Legacy is about living fully and well with what fate has brought you in this moment.
Legacy is the difference you're making right now....
You are, of course, sufficient just as you are. At the same time you recognize that you have undeveloped potential and unfulfilled promise. What's keeping you from stepping into possibility and a better you?
If you had to choose one primary obstacle from the list below, what would it be?
If you're being completely honest, is there any truer answer other than the last?
What if you assumed agency over the way you frame yourself and your situation? What if you surrounded yourself with the right people? What if you developed a mindset for seeing possibilities and a posture for stepping into them?
Do you have the courage to take responsibility for developing yourself through endeavors that make a difference? What if courage is something you cultivate through engaging with these challenges?
Let's keep flying higher in endeavors that make a difference together!
What does it take to make a difference?
It helps if you’ve considered the Ancient Greek aphorism, “Know thyself."
You also need to see things as they are. What’s within your control? What’s not?
Most things are not within your control, but some are within your ability to influence. There are always possibilities to choose from.
And to make a difference you must choose and then step into possibility.
Life doesn't happen to you. Life happens through you. You have a role to play. Play it.
If you do that repeatedly with and for others with intention and integrity, you can help make things better.
Are you ready to make a difference? Let's go!
And let's keep flying higher together.
Spinning cycles on regret, uncertainty, and anxiety?
This 3-minute read shares three questions. Answer them to get out of your own way and get going with the difference you seek to make.
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