“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Novembers …..

Zfc 1469 2Photo: D. Paul Graham: “Stone Mountain Perspective” Atlanta, 2021

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Novembers …..

November. The month has been one of beginnings, milestones, and passages in my life. Twenty-five years ago, I started my first company in Canada in November. It’s been a fantastic ride. Eleven years ago this month, I began to write the first M5T from Tanzania while pondering life, faith, and business as the African dawn illumined the start of a new day. I have not missed a Monday since and I continue to be truly humbled by your responses and that you take time out of your day to read M5T. Another passage of sorts, (I ask in advance to be forgiven for the pun) occurred sixty years ago when in the wee hours of a Tuesday morning in November, Maxine Graham gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. Even with my first birthed breath, I was an early riser who couldn’t wait to find out what my new world, what the new day would entail. And this November, I had my first gallery showing of some of my photography. Thank you to all who were such an encouragement and attended to share the moment with me. Today M5T considers the wisdom that can only be garnered from the passage of time, from all the Novembers and the other months of each year, and a willingness to fully embrace and experience all that life unfolds for us each and every day.

1. Masks

No, not that fabric mask. Rather, the metaphorical and allegorical masks that we all wear at certain times and places in our lives. Behind every mask is a story. Behind every story is pain, joy, fear, insecurities, strengths, hopes and dreams. Our lives become so much richer when we take the time to understand and listen to the real story behind the mask of someone else. It is only then that we will nurture compassion and experience deeper friendship and unselfish love with others.

2. Decades

Four decades ago, I thought I had all the answers. Today I realize I want to ask more questions so that I can learn from others. I desire the patience to persist and the grace to be gentle. I look for chances to be considerate, the sensitivity to be sympathetic, and the temerity to be truthful. Decades of experiences from both good and poor choices in my life have imparted the understanding and wisdom that people, things, situations, successes, and failures do not define who I am as a person.

3. Trust

Trusting may be harder than loving. Forgiveness is a mastered strength. Passage of time that has taught me to recognize the distinctions between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting, and being lavish and generous. Learning to trust myself has garnered the confidence to be comfortable with who I really am. Trusting the real you can inspire and allow the self-assurance needed to take calculated risks.

4. Permission

Give yourself permission to let ideas take flight. Then fly higher. To engage in deeper conversations. Listen. Stand by your convictions, but unafraid to test, to question, and to challenge your beliefs. Grant yourself permission to go for it. Whatever that “it” is for you. Permission to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Permission to say no to others. Permission to say yes to others. And to discern the wisdom of the difference between the two. To be comfortable with your solitude. Permission to love yourself. Permission to celebrate. To gift yourself permission to open up to the possibilities of growth, of love, of success, of realized dreams, and of positivity. Permission to unwaveringly seek out you.

5. Lead

Lead by example. Always and in every situation. Be comfortable being uncommon. Lead by acknowledging your fears and weaknesses but, despite those, being willing to step up and focusing on your strengths to affect positive change. To being honest, noble, forthright, honorable, and principled. Lead by cultivating a mindset of growth, to nurture a heart unafraid to love, and be confident with a soul that is prepared for eternity. Lead by running the good race. Lead to win.

Here’s to a week of progressing through passages, gaining wisdom, indulging yourself with permission, and to leading and living a full life.

© 2022 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved

For 11 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.