Author: D. Paul Graham

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Immersed…..

Our eyes needed to adjust to the dark anteroom. Then, the short brush strokes and bold contrasting colors were immediately recognized. Flowers and fields. The bedroom. The hospital. Snippets of information of the man and artist that left me wondering what I would have asked him if we could have shared a table and coffee on a Parisian promenade. Harvests and irises. Cafes and boulevards. Starry nights and full moons. Cypress trees and tree roots. Portraits of others. Portraits of self that revealed the old, troubled soul of a much younger man. Benches and chairs to sit within his paintings. Space designed to allow one to slow down from a hectic week and simply be immersed in the brilliance of his art.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Short Minutes & Many Moments…..

One of my favorite breakfast places to start a day in Atlanta is the iconic OK Café. After a late Saturday brunch, belly’s full and in the pain zone from indulging in some great southern cooking, we walked past the sign that shows the amount of ‘short minutes’ of time needed to wait in line for a table. From today, there are 81 days left in 2021. Each day filled with 1,440 short minutes. This morning’s M5T uses some of those minutes to once again reflect on the 1,440 unique opportunities that we have today. 1,440 short occasions to recognize and seize upon the moments that we will encounter today.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Not So Common…..

Four different conversations with four different people last week all brought up the ‘lack of common sense’. We all agreed that, today it seems, common sense is anything but common. Once again culling my collection of quotes and some prior M5T’s, I humbly offer up some quotes about sensical matters.

“Monday 5 Things” ™….. RE’ing …..

There are moments when M5T’s come together quickly, almost spur of the moment. This week presented one of those moments that found its genesis at the end of my Sunday morning yoga session. Whilst prone on my yoga mat, I was pondering my back issues that continue to plague me, yet thankful, that for the second week in a row, I didn’t topple over at any point in the hour-long class. I opened my eyes to take in a brilliant cerulean Georgian morning sky with nary a cloud to be seen; my ears attuned to the gurgles of the Savannah River flowing along with other early risers walking or running about at the waterfront as the sun rose over the city. Our instructor read a quote that used alliteration emphasizing renewal. As I reflected on that passage through the day, this morning’s M5T was realized.

“Monday 5 Things” ™….. Of Planet B 612 …..

These past couple of weeks have lent themselves to some late-night reflection and I chose some literary relaxation and distraction. During these moments, one of my go-to books is Saint-Exupéry’s 'Le Petit Prince'. The first edition was released in 1943 and weaves the tale of a pilot who crashes in the Sahara and meets a young prince. The prince, who was from Planet B 612, shares his anecdotes of wanderlust as he travelled through the universe to other planets in search of answers to wisdom, loneliness, love, pain, friendship, beauty, and his beloved rose. If you haven’t read this incredible book, give yourself the gift of a few hours to read it. I can assure you it won’t be the last time that you open it up. This morning’s M5T shares some of my favorite quotes from a well-worn copy that resides on my bookshelf.

“Monday 5 Things” ™….. “So That’s”…..

.....our “So That” is the reason we purposefully follow particular paths in life. Choices and definitive decisions are made, “So That” you live your life a certain way, for a specific, often-times, higher purpose. To this day, when facing major decisions in life, whether personal or in business, I ask myself these questions to get to my “So That”.

“Monday 5 Things” ™…..Labor or Labour?…..

As we wake up on this Labo(u)r day Monday, it’s hard to believe it’s September already. Today is a day to celebrate our work, to relax, to take a breath and get ready for Thanksgiving. This morning’s M5T pops open a cold one, gets the grill ready and, with a somewhat tongue in cheek missive, gives a nod to the first holiday of the fall.

Monday 5 Things” ™…..5 D’s for a Monday…..

Monday 5 Things” ™ …..5 D’s for a Monday….. I screamed a two-word expletive at the radio and wanted to pound my head against a wall. I had reached a point of abject annoyance listening to the media talking heads skreiching over themselves.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Up Above …..

Labyrinths come in many shapes and sizes. And types. Beside physical labyrinths, there are labyrinths of the mind, situational labyrinths, spiritual labyrinths, metaphysical labyrinths, existential labyrinths, and relationship labyrinths. This morning’s M5T considers rising up. Up above the fray, the noise, the confusion, the demands, and the clatter of all that is around us to get to the center of our own personal labyrinths.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Pebble People…..

I once again pinched myself as I walked down Peter Hays Hill to the Lodge at Pebble Beach, thankful that once again that Michael Brooks and South Magazine arranged for ‘South Goes West’ after Covid cancelled last year’s concours.This morning’s M5T shares some the conversations heard and had during this past week in Monterey, Pebble Beach, and Carmel by the Sea.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Making Space …..

I have been pondering space of late. Not the type of space that Branson and Bezos went to; although given the opportunity and the cash flow to do so, I’d be there in heartbeat. Rather, I have been thinking a lot about the space in my life. What and who I fill it with. What needs to be removed and replace. Who should I create more space for in my life. At the risk of sounding platitudinal, this morning’s M5T reflects on some of the things I want to make more space for in my life.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. What If? …..

It was a relatively normal, very early, lengthy morning drive for some meetings. I arrived early and decided to stop to get some gum to cleanse my palate after one too many Red Bulls during the trip. Oncoming traffic made it easier to turn right into an old food store rather than left into a cleaner Shell station. Gum in hand, I returned to my car and noticed a man in his car next to me crying. As I backed up, I glanced at him again. A vision of a man broken and in despair; despondent and defeated. I felt compelled to not leave.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. When Ya Gotta Go …..

And on a distinctly lighter note this week, do you think that Aristotle, Socrates, Kant, Nietzsche, Confucius and the other usual philosopher subjects were ever tempted to share their wisdom in the loo? Apparently, the Romans were quite fond of graffiti, but I presume WCs were somewhat different in their time. I also suspect that ink wells and quill pens didn’t travel all that well; plus Sharpies weren’t invented until 1964. This morning’s M5T shares some of my favorite quotes of Loo philosophy.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Higher Valuations…..

M. Scott Peck wrote that “until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” Recent discussions with some friends about their fears, taking risks, making changes in life and how we value – or more expressly how we undervalue ourselves – led to thoughts on higher valuations. This morning’s M5T considers realizing and affecting a higher value.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Sam He Is…..

2020 marked the 60th anniversary of ‘Green Eggs and Ham’. I still have a collection of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, books on my bookshelf. With all the negative-rhetoric of late about this most positive-hearted man, I pulled the books off the shelf and re-read them. With no politically correct intent, this morning’s M5T reflects on taking risks by trying something new, through the eyes of Sam.

“Monday 5 Things”TM ….. More Or Less …..

“Monday 5 Things”TM ….. More Or Less ….. A friend asked me, “what’s your answer when people ask, ‘how are you?’”. I answered by saying that it depends on who is asking. Pondering the question and my answer for a few hours, I recalled a conversation I interloped on in a caffeine den. A woman asked her friend how she was doing. She replied, “I’m fine…..more or less.”, and moved onto other innocuous points of conversation. Her lack of elucidation, stuck with me, and is More or Less the reason for today’s M5T.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Backroads and Lyrics…..

I took the backroads from Watkins Glen up to Syracuse a couple of weeks ago. Well, there actually is nothing but back roads on that journey, but that’s a mere detail. Beautiful vistas of the finger lakes, a surprising number of vineyards, and rolling upper New York state roads made for a most pleasant two-hour drive. Along the way, I enjoyed some Classic Rewind on Sirius XM, and if you know me at all, this involved singing at the top of my lungs to the point of a rather hoarse voice by the time I reached my hotel. Today, M5T shares some of the more notable lyrics that struck my fancy.

"Monday 5 Things"™…..Of Memorial Days…..

Today is a day to give honor to those men and women who gave the ultimate price of their lives, so that we can live free. It’s a day to offer up a prayer of humility and gratitude. A day to really listen to the words of this country’s anthem. A day to take a moment longer to look at the sun reflecting through the back of a flag that has come to mean so much to so many around the world. M5T starts this day with the words of those that have served and sacrificed for this country.

Monday 5 Things™…..Mama Don't Take My Kodachrome Away…..

As I sorted through the three to four thousand images that I took each day at Watkins Glen for the Ferrari Challenge race series last week, I found myself thinking how photography has changed since my days of using Kodachrome. Photographic technology has changed radically with digital imaging – for starters, I wouldn’t have taken that many images with Kodachrome - but the importance of photographs has not. This M5T snapshot from 2017 just seemed like a good start to this week.

Monday 5 Things™…..Practice…..

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Aristotles 'Nicomachean Ethics". In other words, practice. This morning’s M5T looks at practical practices we can all adopt for fuller, richer lives.

Monday 5 Things™…..Dear Mom…..

This morning’s M5T is for my mom, for your mom, for moms everywhere, and for the reasons we have to be thankful for them, as seen through the eyes and pens of the literary world.