Resting on Laurels

It Matters Less What We've Achieved in the PastIn a world that measures ‘success’ by milestones of achievement, it is tempting to lean into our past accomplishments as a measure of our self-worth and ability, focusing on what we’ve done (for ourselves), rather than what we can do (for others), especially during times of struggle or transition. While the process of achievement itself can be a labor of love, when we identify with and cling too tightly to an outdated past, we risk losing ourselves in the process.

Consider the 1988 motion picture, Everybody’s All American, directed by Taylor Hackford and based on the 1981 novel by longtime Sports Illustrated contributor, Frank Deford. In the movie, Dennis Quaid plays the leading role as Gavin Grey, a 1950s star athlete known by the moniker “The Grey Ghost,” who plays football at Louisiana State University, later joining the Washington Redskins, though no longer as the beloved and worshipped college star idol he once was back home. Over time, age and injuries ultimately result in Gavin being traded, benched, and finally forced into retirement, where he spends his withdrawal from professional sports depressed and dejected, reminiscing about his famed athletic youth. Stuck in past, his sense of self-worth tied to his earlier acclaim, it is a sad, yet all too familiar tale, though one that is not relegated to past sports figures alone.

I’m curious…

Have you ever found yourself stuck in your ego and/or stuck in your past? Have you every found yourself clinging to an out-dated self or script that no longer serves you in the present? Do you have enough faith to move forward when the door closes behind you?

Whatever your future dreams or endeavors; regardless of where you’ve been in the past or what you’ve accomplished, the key to getting un-stuck, out of your ego, and into your heart, is to start from where you are in the present; to open yourself to learning, act from a spirit of service, create, take risks, disrupt and discover. Ultimately, it requires having enough Faith in life itself to let the door to your past close to create space for new dreams and possibilities.

 

Journeying Forward

Sometimes we have to take a step back to move forward. We have to disconnect from the busyness of our lives to reconnect with our deeper sense of purpose, before we are finally ready to journey forward to the place we call home.

This past December, I made a choice to disengage from this blog — to ‘wander in the wilderness’ of life for a while — always learning, growing and expanding my own thinking and perspective, while focusing on the most important priorities in my life. In the midst of personal loss, it has been an important season of rest, reflection and renewal, filled with equal parts joy, sorrow, hope, grief, peace and an ever-deepening sense of purpose.

Weaving together the old with the new, the original ‘heart path’ blog is now back — refined, refreshed and ready to relaunch! A little less ‘me’ and a little more ‘we’, the weekly posts, quotes, quips, and questions are intentionally designed to challenge you to reflect more deeply and deliberately on the course and purpose of your own life, while leaving you with bite-sized bits of wisdom (and the occasional dose of wit) on living and leading an authentic, heart-centered life.

Looking forward to journeying forward together!

Sharon

Achieving Together

‘Out to Life’

It’s that time of year when many of us take a time out to do our own post-mortem on the year behind, while drafting our resolutions for the year to come — those areas and elements of our life that we want to expand, enrich, shed or improve upon. And while statistics suggest that few of us actually stick with our resolutions, I think the act of drafting and writing them down is still a worthwhile endeavor — creating, in essence, our own accountability plan for living our best year yet.

Part of my own plan includes being more intentional with my writing — shifting from insight to action, and from random reflection to a more mindful way of sharing my own wisdom and learning with the world. It also includes prioritizing immediate needs and learning to say ‘no’ to some indulgences, so that I can say ‘yes’ to those people and purpose-driven projects that matter most.

With that in mind, I’m taking a break from blogging on this site — allowing myself to more fully engage in life itself and all that it holds in store. Until we meet again, I wish you a very happy new year — one filled with rich opportunities for learning and growth, and an abundance of peace, love, laughter and joy!

Leveraging Limitations

Thought for the day:

So often we seek conformity in the face of limitation; we assume change is neither feasible nor possible, and from that place, seek to fearfully ‘fit in’ to the status quo. But what if instead of accepting our limitations, we leveraged them…allowing them to creatively push us into new ways of thinking and behaving; allowing them to be the catalyst for growth and innovation?

True Leadership

True leadership is inclusive by nature, building bridges rather than walls through the gift of authentic connection.

Rooted in respect, it holds space to acknowledge difference, while remaining aligned to its core vision and values.

Born of integrity, it is courageous in thought, word and deed, willing to take risks and advocate for what is right over what is popular; for what is true over the convenient.

Purposeful in nature, it is not defined by its title, but by its ability to influence positive change.

Collaborative and humble, the best leadership serves, enables and empowers others to grow into their best selves, seeking not to glorify itself, but to acknowledge and exalt the good of others along the way.

Charisma Versus Character

Thought for the day:

When we perpetually value and elevate charisma over character, we cannot be surprised by the failings of humankind. As long as we remain a society that rewards title over influence and power over deep purpose, we will never produce the kind of courageous leaders needed to advance our growth, build bridges of peace and care for our society.

Charisma vs Character

Imperfectly United

Thought for the day:

Just as our imperfection and differences have the power to divide us, so too, can they be leveraged to unite us. When we allow ourselves to see our own good in others or others’ shortcomings in ourselves, our perspective begins to change and the chance to make a different choice emerges.