“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. So I Asked Myself …..

Img 4098Photo: D. Paul Graham, LGA Final Approach, 2022

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. So I Asked Myself …..

While flying out of LGA, I watched ‘Wall Street’ (for what could possibly be the bazillionth time) and as my over 30-year habit has been, as soon as I got into my rental car, after watching that movie I listen to ‘The Talking Heads’. There are many reasons for that habit, but that’s best left for another Monday.

Taking a meandering drive through the back roads of upper New York state, I pondered the movie and the father/son relationship of Carl and Bud Fox, as well as the complexities of Gekko, Darien, Sir Wildman, and Lou. As I crested a hill, one of the stunning finger lakes of that area came into view just as ‘Once in a Lifetime’ began to play. Existential questions raised by the lyrics of David Byrne began to fill my head and I had to pull over.

The song postulates that many people simply let the days go by and let the water hold them down. Living on autopilot, numb yet wondering how they got to a point in their lives. Defining themselves by their actions, things, and failures. Fearful of risks and disappointed at neglected dreams. Asking themselves, “Well, how did I get here?” and “My God, what have I done?” Same as it ever was. This morning’s M5T shares some of the ‘so I asked myself’ questions I jotted down overlooking a lake somewhere between Syracuse and Ithaca.

1. What kind of person do I want to be?

What are my core values, my moral compass, and my world view? What do I love? Who do I love? Where am I attached? Who is my person and who are my people? Where do I need to improve? What makes me the most peaceful, the most content, the happiest? What are my dreams and goals? Am I being true to myself and authentic with others?

2. What is my focus?

What kind of world do I want to live in? Who do I admire? Where should my focus be? What is missing in my life? What and who can I influence? What distracts me? What commitments are most important to me? Where and with who do I spend my time? Where do I waste time? Who wastes my time? What am I ignoring? What is cluttering my life? What do I most appreciate in my life? How am I growing?

3. What do I believe in?

What is most important to me? What is my purpose, my calling, my raison d’etre? Where do I put my faith? Who do I trust? Who do I believe in? Do I believe in myself? What does eternity look like to me?

4. What moves me?

What does justice and equality look like to me? Where do I find my strength? What overwhelms me? What makes my cry, deeply? What makes me laugh without restraint? What gives me hope? What encourages me? Who inspires me? What really moves me to action? Am I willing to be moved to act?

5. What am I going to do about it?

Am I living my life as I really want to? Who do I need to forgive? What do I need to let go of? What do I need to hold tighter? What have I learned from my past? What am I building for the future? What will my legacy be?

All of which beg the question, what will you ask yourself today? Here’s to a week of asking deep personal questions, to answers that define moments of clarity, and to an unrelenting, never-ending process and commitment to living a fearless, honest, and full life.

© 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