Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Influences And Experiences

In some cultures, especially in Asia, it is not unusual for a young man to spend time in a monastery like some men spend time in the Army or the Navy. This is what I did. Although it was a short time a long time ago it was one of the formative experiences of my life and it played a big part in me becoming who I am today. Anyone who knows me well believes I am still very much like a monk. Sometimes in my daydreams I like to look back and remember all the people, places, and experiences that made me who I am. We all have them even if we aren’t conscious of it. Maybe it was a teacher, a coach, or a spiritual leader. Maybe it was your college years or a time when you were an athlete. Maybe you’ve had experiences being in exotic places or different cultures. If you are like me you have also read thousands of books, some of which have changed your life. I have been blessed to have many great teachers and mentors and to have experiences that many people have not had in their lives.  In addition to all of the above, I have an introspective and curious nature that drives me to contemplate life and its meaning. I encourage all of you to reflect on your own lives.  Who or what has formed you? What experiences have shaped you into who you are? What kind of person are you? What drives your life? When you stand on the shore, what do you hope is on the other side of the ocean? Who are you and what do you want to be? I am not talking about what kind of job you want. What kind of person do you want to be? Whoever you are, good or bad, you will be that person in whatever job or role that you have. Sometimes I try to imagine what kind of eulogy someone will give about me at my funeral. All of life is a journey of self-discovery and development. You can follow your own inner voice or you can allow life to form you as it tosses you about like an object in a stormy sea.

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