"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Verba MMXIX…..

Well, here we are in a New Year. How many resolutions have failed so far? Yeah. My thoughts exactly, which is why I don’t make resolutions. For the past few years however, I pick five words that I try and focus on for the coming year. This New Year’s morning I found myself alone on a dock for hours, cup of coffee in hand, having time to think, to talk with God, and to sort some things out… which is where this missive was liberated. And on that note, or perhaps syllable may be more apropos, today’s M5T presents my five words for 2019.

1. Analog

So long Kindle, hello book shelves. I want to go back to reading books. Not that I’ve ever stopped reading, but after years of using e-readers I recently rediscovered the joy of physically holding a book, writing in the margins, and underlining words that strike my heart, my mind and my soul. I am still kicking myself for giving away my (very substantial) vinyl record collection back in the day of CDs. I have found myself longing for the crackles, pops and warmth of the sounds of Davis and Coltrane, Parker and Monk, Skynyrd and Zeppelin and Floyd and AC/DC (to name but a few) played on a good turntable, and speakers that do not require a WiFi connection. Especially now that vinyl has hit a 30-year record (no pun intended) for sales. And speaking of kicks, I will also continue to refuse to buy shoes on-line.

2. Intentional

We all know that our lives are a sum of the choices that we make. I want to be intentional in my choices. I want to intentionally define my ideal day, every day… knowing I will not be successful every time, but I will strive for it nonetheless. I want to be intentionally thankful for who and what comes into my life each day, good or bad, because I will learn from both. I want to intentionally define my vision, my purpose, and my mission, and align my choices, actions and thoughts with that vision, purpose and mission. I want to be intentional in my focus, and each day intentionally, without excuse, work my plan.

3. No

Saying no. Without guilt. Without excuse. Without discomfort. Without shame. I need to say no to the negativity from my past, my failures, my fears and my mistakes that can invade my heart, cause emotional paralysis, or physical procrastination. Saying no sets parameters, both for me and in my relationships. Saying no will allow me to say yes to the most important things in my life.

4. Health

I’m 56 years old this year, and my health, in a word, sucks. I need to make better decisions that will benefit not only my physical health, but also my mental and spiritual health. I am learning, slowly, to live without masks. I need to get back to activities that bring me peace in life. I am working on honest communication in all areas of my life, specifically with those who matter the most to me.

5. Be

And that means, being me, putting my time and energy into the things that matter the most to me. That means letting go of the things that don’t really matter, or that don’t contribute to my vision or my mission. I will need to constantly circle back to being intentional. I need to break free of comfort zones that hold me back. I need to take more time to pray, to commune with God, to get back to the tenets of my faith. I need to take time to just breathe… to be the man that I should be for the reasons I am here on this earth.

Here’s to making anno MMXIX your year with the words that resonate the most with you.

© 2019 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com