"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


Monday 5 Things…..Upping…..

I once again had that child-like excitement in my stomach and a big smile on my face – even if it was covered by a mustachioed mask.  I had a spring to my step, despite the weight of my camera bag on my shoulder, with my Tumi bag obediently following in tow behind me. Even the dawdling zig-zag terminal ramblers couldn’t frustrate me that morning. I sat in my seat with a great contented sigh. After six protracted months, it was good to be in an airport and great to be flying again. Slipping in my EarPods, randomly starting Spotify, the unmistakable riff, ‘daa na na, da ana, da na na, da na na’ (admittedly better heard than written) filled my ears. Sure, it was 6:30 in the morning, but I couldn’t understand why my fellow passengers seemed bored and disinterested, seemingly failing to grasp the import of this morn. I wanted to yell, “Everybody wake up – we’re going flying!!!”, but I thought the better of that so as to be allowed to remain in my seat. Rather, I sat back and enjoyed Mick and the boys playing ‘Start Me Up’ which seemed most apropos to the moment as the engines started to wind up. Now you may ask what all this had to do with ‘Monday 5 Things’? For the duration of the flight to Indy (where I would once again be like a little kid at the racetrack photographing the Speedbourne Racing / Ferrari of Atlanta race team) I kept thinking about that word Up. As such, this morning’s M5T shares questions I jotted down and asked myself during the flight about Upping one’s life.

1. Stock up.

Take some time to stock up on what your life looks like. Does it align with what you want your life to be? The good: What are you thankful for? What are you most proud of? What are your true strengths? Where do you contribute most? What are your true passions in life? What and who inspires you? The bad: What frightens you? What are you ashamed of? What relationships need to be healed? What keeps you up at night? The ugly: What do you do in life, privately or publicly, that you know you shouldn’t? What do you lie about? Do you listen to that little voice in your head telling you are worthless or that you can’t possibly achieve your goals and dreams? Why are those voices there? What negativity, pain or trauma from the past do you hold on to and let control your life? The choices: Will you focus on your strengths? Will you push through the bad? And will you take whatever steps are necessary to change the ugly in your life?

2. Stand up.

Deliberately. For yourself. For others. Don’t wait to be validated; no one can do that for yourself but you. No one owes you a hand up. Bring light to darkness; correct a wrong with a right. Show your character and strength. Stand up for your time, your self-worth and your self-esteem. Understand healthy selfishness. Trust yourself and stand up powerfully to bullies. Others will recognize and realize how you expect to be treated. Know when to stand up for someone who can’t. Respect yourself and respect others.

3. Step up.

Steps for change can often be frightening and paralyzing. Some steps are huge. Some are small. Accept what needs to change in your life. Acknowledge the fears in your life. Take responsibility. Recognize the moment. Step up when you see a need you know you can impact when no one else will. Make the decision to step up and just take that first step.

4. Speak up.

Find your voice and use it.  Be clear, be positive, be transparent and be truthful. Articulate without fear or apology the basis of your beliefs, your faith, and your point of view. Chances are you are not alone in your thinking. Learn when to say no. Say yes when it’s the right thing to do. Speaking up can be a catalyst for others to speak their mind. Your silence will be assumed approval; if you disagree, say so. No one can read your mind. If in doubt question and question again. Speaking up carries the responsibility to listen up to voices of others; an art that sadly seems to be disappearing today.

5. Shake Up.

It is too easy to dig a rut and then wallow in it. Shaking up your habits can fill in ruts. Change your perspective, your scenery, the use of your time. Follow your passions, your gifts and talents and put them to use. Complete what you have habitually, lazily left unfinished. Take a chance, take a risk. Take a trip, even if for an afternoon. Forgive to just let go. Cook instead of eating out. Read something, anything, instead of binging NetFlix. Write a letter instead of an email. Call instead of text. Be aware of opportunities and take them unabashedly. Be fearless of failures. Develop a mindset that you can move mountains for things that are important to you. Choose to focus on your blessings. Get up early to watch a sunrise. Pull over to marvel at a sunset or a moon rise. Practice positivity and express your gratitude. Give recklessly for no reason. Drop the spirit of someday and shake up your life today.

Here’s to a week of upping your game, your perspective and your life.

© 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