"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

..... You Inc. .....

….. You, Inc. …..

I pointed the car south this past week and started to drive.  A meandering day-journey along the awesome and beautiful Georgian low-country coast, barely a cloud in the sky, scouting locations for upcoming photo-shoots.  A day spent leisurely unwrapping a most precious gift of deliberately slowing down, appreciating nature and back-roads, pondering, and taking a respite that I so badly needed.  At one point stopping the car, walking for a while, I did something that I haven’t done in a very long time.  I simply laid back on the cool ground, intentionally exhaled the stress in my life, and deeply inhaled the peace around me.  As my eyes followed jet contrails etching the deep blue sky, George Bernard Shaw’s words came to mind.  “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”  And todays M5T began to take shape.

1.  It's your life.

Set your path and create the life you want with the end in mind.  Take responsibility for who you are, what you do, and where you want to be. You may be criticized, misunderstood, mocked, and at times left in isolation, mostly likely by those closest to you.  Refuse to allow anyone to take your voice or shape your life with their vision.  This is your life.  Accept who you are and who you want to be.  Moment by moment.  Day by day. Month by month. Year by year, until you can see it, believe it, and live it.  Fully, without excuse.

2.  Strive for excellence.

Steadfastly reject mediocrity or “just good enough”.  Demand excellence for yourself without compromise.  Be wise in who you allow to influence yourself and wiser yet in how you influence others.  Find your passions.  Resolutely live them with abandon.

3.  It's your story.

Define your narrative in your heart and mind.  Appreciate that the best lessons and growth will come from failures and from falling.  Embrace those lessons with dignity and be willing to reorient, reinvent and redefine yourself if needed.   Give yourself permission to thrive and then celebrate and accept your successes with grace, honor and gratitude.

4.  Find your "So That".

Your raison d’etre.   A reason to get up every morning.  Something that’s bigger than you, of which you are uniquely gifted and talented to impact.  Something you can leave a mark on, produce value for, that resonates with your dreams, your passions and the life you are creating.

5.  It's your dream.

Understand how much runway you need to take flight.  Set milestones and recognize constraints and limitations.  Build a foundation of faith. Be purposeful, have a sense of urgency, abhor procrastination and never stop learning.  Go beyond just talk.  Step up and just start.

Here’s to you and the life you are creating this week.

© 2018 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 .