“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Everyone …..

850 0371
Photo: D. Paul Graham, ‘Being Present’, Present Hotel, 2022

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Everyone …..

I recently read about a newspaper reporter from the Lewiston Morning Tribune named David Johnson. For over 20 years, he has picked a name out of the local phone book and, if the person called agrees to be interviewed, their story is printed in his Friday column, “Everyone Has a Story”. Wow do I wish I had thought of that. Johnson inspired this morning’s M5T by starting a new week considering things that everyone has.

1. Has a story.

Johnson commented that almost everyone he phoned would be incredulous that they would have a story anyone would care to hear. We all share a commonality in that we started from nothing as newborns. As we grow, we all have stories of where we began, where we are from, and where we are going. We all are doing something, and we all are going somewhere. We all have things we love to do and people that we love to love. Each of our stories are full of beginnings and endings, triumphs and failure, boldness and anxieties, elation and depression, fearlessness and panic, and laughter and tears.

2. Has a dream.

Big or small, I’ve always believed that dreams are essential and necessary, just like breathing is necessary to keeps us alive. Dreams make us excited with anticipation. Dreams give us focus. Dreams help us overcome obstacles and limitations. They allow us to expand our thoughts, develop new habits, and for some, a reason to live. Dreams affects our very being – our psyche, our health, our mindset, our heart, and our sole. Dreams move us onto something larger than ourselves. Working toward our dreams inspires ourselves and others and can prove naysayers wrong.

3. Has a point-of-pain.

As I’ve gotten older and learned to listen to others, I recognize that no matter how people look on the outside, there is always an internal point of pain. Pain that can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Sometimes all three. There is a cost of those points of pain. Baggage that carries over for years, if not a lifetime, that affect relationships on all levels. Pain that can lead to hidden depression, pulling energy and enjoyment from life. But once recognized, pain can also teach us appreciation, humility, and empathy. Pain can make us stronger, builds character, and makes us adaptable. Pain can position and motivate us for success and provides the opportunity for us to give and receive grace.

4. Has a passion.

Our passions in life fuel purpose and focus. Passions define what we are willing to risk and perhaps even what we are willing to die for. Passion ignites our emotions. They excite, motivate, inspire, and uplift us through adversity. It stokes our energy and drives our success. Passion provides a positive outlook for us and others and bring a sense of aliveness to all we do and to all we meet.

5. Has a happy place.

Whether in our mind or in a physical location, our happy places are unique to each of us. Just the thought of a happy place makes us happy and relaxed. There is a calmness, contentment, and positive energy that we get in our own happy places. Happy places allow us to embrace the fragility and gift of life, and to be thankful. Happy places can encourage us to step out of our comfort zones yet receive emotional connections that refresh and rejuvenate. Happy places can be our sanctuary to center and clarify; a place where we are able to shut out the clamor, the chaos, the constraints of life. Go there as often as you can.

Here’s to you being here for another Monday. And to celebrating and embracing your unique story, dreams, pain, passions, and happy places.

© 2022 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 10 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T ™.  Each Monday, Paul shares his observations, thoughts and passions on people, life, and culture.

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