My thanks to Jim Stovall for the ultimate gift

Not for the book he wrote nor for the movie it inspired.  It was through something eles that Jim Stovall helped drape language over this second quest on which I’m embarked.

My first quest was one to find a sense of alignment, of balance & equanimity.  A quest to find my own true self, buried under layers of distraction, misunderstood messages & misguidance.

When I started, at 24, my goal was to empower my inner swan to dive down down down through the depths of a pond to the very bottom, to connect with its riches & discover my basic self, then return safely to the surface (no small task, given a swan’t buoyancy).  When that quest came to a close in July, the image my 65-year old self held was more of a beautiful stool made of precious wood – mahogany or cherry – painted over many times, frequently with beautiful touches, that’s been stripped down & restored to its original appearance.

By the end of this past summer, it was clear the first quest was finally over -and- that I’d struck out on a new – – but what it was, where it was meant to lead, was outside my ken.

Until reading Jim Stovall’s portion of The Art of Learning.  Ray Hull co-authored & contributed wonderful chapters, but Jim’s chapters hit home.  Especially Chapter Seven – Living to Learn:

The highest utilization of learning is to apply knowledge & wisdom in our lives in productive ways.”  Amen & hallelujah!  The goal of learning is its application, not accumulation.  Revolutionary thought!

“Productivity is the pursuit of creating more efficiency & results in all that we do…”

“If we are going to understand & apply our learning in productive ways that will make a true difference, we must master motivation, communication, and implementation.”

“All learning is valid & legitimate, but some learning is more productive given that we all have individual goals, dreams, and aspirations.”

Just because I can memorize information & repeat it doesn’t really mean that I’ve really learned it.

“In order to determine what type of learning is most productive (for us), we must understand where we are trying to go & what goals we want to reach.”

“Motivation is the key to learning, and learning is the key to staying motivated.”

“Collaboration is (a) key to success.”

“Just because something motivates me, it doesn’t mean that it motivates anyone else.”

“Assuming you understand other people without taking the time and effort to learn about them is a form of prejudice.  Prejudice is a lazy exercise.”

“Be careful what we learn & who we learn it from.”  

“The Internet is an amazing learning & communication tool, but we must be able to discern the validity & accuracy of what we are learning.”

“People communicate most effectively in different ways.  The best communication is two-way communication – open, consistent, free-flowing.”

Jim tells the story about a resort hotel where he stayed frequently;  they realized that since Jim is blind, a flashing light on his phone wouldn’t alert him to messages – so they wrote the messages out on paper & slipped them under his door.  It showed while they realized  he needed a solution to a basic problem, their response wasn’t a helpful answer!

Never assume that the person you’re talking to has correctly processed your intended message.  “The most powerful message you can ask is, ‘What do you understand?”

“Unless we apply that which we learned in the real world, we can never make the impact that we are intended to make throughout our lives.”

“Implementing, sharing & teaching that which we have learned does not diminish us.”

“If you share information, knowledge, or wisdom with others, they will have more, and you will find yourself elevated in every way.”

“Constantly revisit the books and other learning resources that have impacted you the most.  No matter how many times you have reviewed a great book, you will find hidden treasures when you read it again.” 

“Memory is like a muscle.  You either use it or lose it.”

“People in their 80s, 90s, or even over 100 who continue to learn stay vital, alert, and relevant.”

“Those people who stop learning and pursuing knowledge begin to waste away both mentally and physically.”

“(Anything) can be valid learning tools at the right time and in the right proportion.”

Jim Stovall co-founded the Narrative Television Network, designed for people with vision impairments with popular with sighted people, too!










Honoring those who serve – Website Wednesday

As we come up to November 11, Veterans Day, am honored to take the opportunity to share StoryCorps wonderful collection of veterans’ stories.

With heartfelt forever thanks to the men & women who serve, their families & loved ones who have their backs.

StoryCorps – Wed website

Want some fun reading on the Internet but not sure where to turn?  Listen in on StoryCorps & check out the Staff Picks under “Collections.”  Check out the wide range of topics, settle back for a dandy listen – one, two or twenty!

One of my personal favorites – Herman Heyn talking with his nephew, John, about setting up his telescope on Baltimore’s street corners, inviting passerbys to look UP.

StoryCorps is all about giving glimpses into people we’d probably walk past without noticing.  Actually, it would be hard to miss Herman, with his telescope inviting us to look at the stars!

Herman tried quite a few jobs – without any sticking – before, on a whim, he set up his beloved telescope on a Baltimore street corner & invited folks walking by to take a peek at Jupiter & the moon.  He had a hat out, to see what happened – made $40 that first night, $100 the next.  Now, he is a Baltimore institution!

I love the staff picks – always unusual, unexpected, mind expanding!

LIFE is GOOD – Website

Have got to flip yesterday & today – Website Wednesday & TED Talk Thursday.   Much more click baity!

Starting NEXT week – can’t postpone sharing LIFE is GOOD, a website & company that flipped my life into full-consciousness mode!

Envision a display of fireworks – the most excellent ones you can imagine – bursting over your digital device, celebrating my discovering Bert & John Jacobs, their AWEsome company…  and Steve Gross,  Founder & Chief Playmaker of the Life is Good Kids Foundation.  My world opened up, the angels sang, the Universe say, “Get working, kiddo!”

Great Life is Good T-shirts & products, awesome back stories, ab fab work & life credo, and – behind it all – an incredible MOM.

Because of Life is Good, my present is busy busy busy & my future looks off the charts!