"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

.....Of Hemingway & Icebergs


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Ocean paddle boarder

Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Of Hemingway & Icebergs…..

A week in which I didn’t accomplish much of my considered agenda. A week of sleeping with the windows open despite the humidity, waking to the sound of pre-dawn sea waves that served as my alarm clock, taking unhurried, meandering sunrise strolls on the beach, being awestruck by the power of daily tempestuous and spectacular thunderstorms, experimenting with new recipes whilst sipping new wines, and being humbled and quietened by sunsets that revealed God’s glory to me each night on the terrace. A week of solitude, deliberation, and prayer. A well-intentioned week of books and articles that have gone unread. Except for the “Old Man and the Sea”, which I read again with fresh eyes. All of which contributed to this morning’s M5T of a few principles in life.

1. Hemingway Principle.

Often referred to as the ‘iceberg principle’. It is said that an iceberg shows only 10% of its mass above the water. The remaining 90% is concealed below the water. Hemingway first used this principle in ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. He let the reader’s mind determine information about Santiago, Perico, Manolin, and Rogelio rather than laying out explicit character details in the book. Hemmingway makes us think, wonder and draw conclusions about the characters, leaving the unseen 90% for us to picture in our minds. A suitable analogy that most of us publicly expose but a fraction of who we really are. Our true depth, our strength, our power for both good and bad, are all found below the surface of what we choose to reveal about ourselves or that others may care to consider.

2. Magic Principle.

As I watched people this week, the ocean, the salty air, the sand, the warmth, all seemed to bring out a sense of joy and wonder in both young and old. I realized that we can anticipate and actually expect, magic every day, with every situation, every encounter. It is possible to re-kindle childlike wonder by simply looking around, by consciously stopping for a moment to be in the present. By laughing, first at ourselves. By dreaming. By loving and forgiving. By appreciating anew what is always around you and by embracing the unseen, and the unknown.

3. Momentum Principle.

Nothing is accomplished without starting. There is power in momentum and moving forward toward a goal with persistence. The more momentum you have, the harder it is to stop, either by yourself, or by others. We may not like it at times, but life is anything but linear. Distractions, curves, and detours may slow you down, but when handled and timed properly, momentum will carry you through and can serve to accelerate you forward with even greater impetus. Understanding where and how you spend your time, setting out what you want to accomplish, defining your goals, knowing and using your strengths to your full advantage, and then adopting a mindset of a sense of urgency will build that momentum.

4. Learning Principle.

Continuous learning creates a life of freedom; freedom to think for yourself, freedom to accept personal responsibility for your life, and freedom to question and to know where you place your faith in life. Learning is an active process, that keeps focus, teaches skills that provide innovative tools in life, and equips with knowledge that truly can be powerful. Failure is perhaps the greatest learning experience if - and only if -we allow ourselves and our egos to move on to find strength through the lessons and the growth that will come from those failures. Learning can be intense but rewards with a nourished mind and personal enrichment that builds on the principles of magic and momentum.

5. Positive Principle. 

Attitude is predictive of behavior. Positive attitudes build up; negative attitudes tear down. Positive attitudes foster gratefulness, service, enjoyment, confidence, fulfillment, and better health. Positive attitudes can influence others and helps when dealing with stress, frustrations and disappointments of day-to-day life. Positivity can bring about a change in perspective, allow for celebration of the smallest victory and win, and be a catalyst for generosity. Positive attitudes broaden your viewpoint that attracts and identifies opportunities and solutions from a bigger picture in life.  

Here’s to a week of principles and to your 90% that is below the water.

© 2020 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