life is a journey…grow or slowly fade away

I share these here not because they apply to every life and offer some sort of blueprint to existence, but in the hope that they might benefit your own journey in some small way, bring you closer to your own center. ~ Maria Popova photo courtesy and


As you can imagine I read a lot in order to write. Well let me tell you, this is nothing compared to the amount that Maria Popova reads, reflects and reproduces on her amazing life journey and as the founder and author of Brain Pickings. (Ahem….excuse me for a sec while I pull up my soapbox.) I believe that in order to be fully who we are as human beings, as employers and employees, as parents and children and friends, we have to grow and change intentionally, strengthening who we are at the core as we evolve. If we sit in the same place believing the same things and acting in the same manner day after day and year after year, we are failing. At some point we are no longer relevant. We are no longer contributing. The world has changed and grown beyond us.

As a designer, if I still created the same palettes now that I began with in design school, the world would be a dizzying mess of gray and mauve. Remember that? My ability to design and understand and communicate the needs of my clients has solidified as the designs I create have changed. And if you, as a restaurateur, are still serving the same dishes that made your restaurant famous twenty years ago, you probably no longer have a restaurant (except for these old standbys…but even they have changed and grown to fit today’s clientele). The world changes, people change. If we sit adamantly by in our armchairs watching and stubbornly clinging to ‘the old days’, well, just don’t. It’s too sad. Read Brain Pickings and grow your mind. Grow your soul. Take a few minutes and go meet Maria…she is so worth your time.

And while you are there, check out her seven life learnings. My poster is already on the way.

  1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
    • don’t borrow opinions, take the time to cultivate your own convictions
  2. Do nothing out of guilt, or for prestige, status, money or approval alone.
    • figure out what you really like, not what you’d like to like
  3. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words.
    • enough said
  4. Build pockets of stillness into your life.
    • you can’t force the muse, and besides, sleep boosts creativity!
  5. Maya Angelou famously said, ‘When people tell you who they are, believe them’. But even more importantly, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
    • other people’s assumptions about you say more about them than they do about you
  6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. As Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
    • be where you are
  7. Debbie Millman captures our modern predicament beautifully: “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.”
    • it’s a journey…be patient and enjoy the ride

Thank you, Maria, for sharing your seven years of Brain Pickings and giving us an easy starting point to learn and grow and change.

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