What do you get when stringing several famous quotes together?
Answer: a most spectacular dinner conversation.
I invited 12 of my closest literary friends through time and space to gather around for this mélange of ideas and opinions.
These poets, diarist, novelist, and satirist are all seekers, lovers, and stalwarts.
Let the banter begin…
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely… by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria — which is our actual experience.”
“Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”
“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ”
“The Soul selects her own Society.”
“Really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other. Generally speaking, these meetings occur when we reach a limit, when we need to die and be reborn emotionally. These meetings are waiting for us, but more often than not, we avoid them happening. If we are desperate, though, if we have nothing to lose, or if we are full of enthusiasm for life, then the unknown reveals itself, and our universe changes direction.”
“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.”
“Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
“What you seek is seeking you.”
“Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”
Life does not equal only that 1 end-all/ be-all job, person, or whatever “win.”
Life is actually just renting time.
Multiply the amount of fun you’re having and remember to also give back a greater good for others.
Regardless, keep pushing forward infinitely.
Life isn’t only about achieving that one important job, dream person, or crucial win. Work hard for personal/professional goals, of course. Yet, what will you do when you have nothing else to prove to yourself or your social/familial network? How big is that sales deal or how critical is it to have that kitchen back splash tile imported from Italian quarries? All of the material accumulation, university credentials, and relationship realities do not define you completely.
News flash: we don’t actually own anything or anyone.
It does not really matter whether you’re living in a villa/shed or drive a luxury/junk car. Sure, have a standard minimum, but there’s no need to obsess. Someone else has likely relentlessly pursued that.
What will you really accept as your own Return on Investment (ROI)?
You can’t have 100% of that lover/friend/spouse/parent through 6 weeks or 60 years of a relationship either. Our unpredictable hearts cannot be contained. A lot of our “crazy” actions are actually driven by a steady current of subconscious emotions, poised to explode like a deluge while your logical mind has no idea what’s coming…
Pause to ponder this: All of life’s “critical” trials and triumphs reduce down to renting time. We are all borrowing approximately 80 years from Eternity as a gift. There are no guarantees, returns, or exchanges. Time is life’s only currency.
So, what are you going to do if we’re all just renting time on this wild ride? Shifting from living to renting re-frames my framework of urgency.
There is no need to get your panty/knickers knotted in an existential crisis.
Tune into your built in, internal compass.
You already have abundance around you.
Let Go/Fight For It.
Just keep persisting and pushing forward, no matter what.
No one has all the answers, which means you’re free to define what works for you. Everyone is fighting for his or her own happiness/joy/contentment at end of each day.
Remember: life is designed to be enjoyed.
Go forth. Give back.
Do well. Be well.
I had high hopes for the 2012 TEDx Orange Coast since 2011’s inaugural conference rocked. This year’s theme was Redefining Relevance, a challenge we face across socioeconomic strata.
Attending a TED Talk in Long Beach, California now costs $7,500 per person, is by invite only and quickly sells out. The independently organized TEDx events are more accessible for most people.
Although I left the October 10th conference feeling mixed about the day’s events, I did take away these interesting quotes from notable speakers.
What is my innovation space?
Your pain holds the key to your purpose.
Miracles are two-sided.
Plork. Play + Work.
Chaord. Chaos + Order.
Lead with love.
These are standalone quotes from people who could be at the country’s best cocktail party. How would you like your title to be “Catalyst”, “Global Strategist Pastor”, “Chief Scientific Officer”, or “Shadow Master?” Each speaker pitched how his or her work/life is a different interpretation of redefining relevance.
Although this year’s speakers were less well known, they engaged more with the audience. My little brainscape did expand a bit. Completely organized by volunteers, TEDx are a noble effort to keep the mind stretching dialog going.
The day’s only standing ovation went to 15-year-old Jack Andraka from Maryland who invented a rapid and cheap test for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers while in high school. Jack’s takeaway conclusion was that he achieved this feat largely through the Internet. “If I can do this, so can you.” Um, yeah… talk about having that “What have I done with my life?” kind of feeling…
My hurdle is the attention required to keep the inspiring and innovative energy from TED Talks constantly swirling each day. Perhaps remembering and appropriating these quotes is one step in that direction. Perhaps it is less Redefining Relevance and more Keep Defining Relevance.
“Perls proposed that in all relationships people could be either toxic or nourishing towards one another. It is not necessarily true that the same person will be toxic or nourishing in every relationship, but the combination of any two people in a relationship produces toxic or nourishing consequences. And the important thing that I can tell you is that there is a test to determine whether someone is toxic or nourishing in your relationship with them. Here is the test: You have spent some time with this person, either you have a drink or go for dinner or you go to a ball game. It doesn’t matter very much but at the end of that time you observe whether you are more energized or less energized. Whether you are tired or whether you are exhilarated. If you are more tired then you have been poisoned. If you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and I suggest that you use it for the rest of your life.” –Milton Glaser, “Ten Things I Have Learned”