“Monday 5 Things” with D. Paul Graham…..Underestimated…..
Monday 5 Things…..Underestimated…..
It was a beautiful Savannah winter afternoon. A pleasant 70 degrees, no wind, no clouds, and I found a sun patch illuminating a park bench in Wright Square at Bull and State Street. I was early to a meeting and opted to ‘waste’ 30 minutes of time sitting on the bench. I underestimated the importance of simply taking some time to myself that afternoon. To tilting my head back, closing my eyes and allowing the sun filtering through the oak trees to warm my face and my thoughts. To thinking. To being thankful for the blessings of people in my life. To smiling at how life can change for the better from a simple act of someone I had not talked to in years. To just let good thoughts filter thought my mind. To deliberate on underestimated things in life that formed this morning’s M5T.
Reading books is underestimated in so many ways. I’m surprised at how many people my age that can’t answer the question “so what books have you been reading lately?” Reading builds vocabulary and comprehension. It helps you sleep and reduces stress. Reading slows you down and lets you take a breath. It keeps your brain sharp. Step away from Netflix and Amazon for a night or two or twenty and read a few pages; it will be good for your heart, soul and mind. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Mark Twain.
Now, perhaps more than ever, it is important to think for yourself; and to think critically. Thinking is a skill, a learned skill. Make ideas your own. Think and be attentive. Question. Everything. Thinking increases your self-confidence and situational awareness. Thinking solves problems, inspires action, and produces change. Thinking helps you understand and communicate a desired outcome. Exercised thought instills richer emotional intelligence. Thinking leaves no room for intellectual laziness. Thinking allows you the freedom to imagine and to dream. “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” Plutarch.
I start every day with prayer. Sometimes my prayer time is short, other days much longer. Prayer sets the tenor of my day by centering and focusing on what I am thankful for and what is good in my life. I voice what is troubling or confusing me and more often than not helps me make better decisions. Prayer keeps God front and center in my mind and actions. Praying for others is an act of love, even for those that I’d rather not love. Prayer transforms through a desire for a deeper relationship with God. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Paul writing to the Philippians 4:6-7.
Another aspect of life that is so often underestimated is time. We can either choose to sit around and wait for things to happen, or we can adopt a mindset of a sense of urgency to use the finite amount of time each day to make things happen, for ourselves and for others. Time is commonality shared by each of the other four things in today’s missive. Time is not complex; the use of time is very complicated. How and what we choose to use our time for. For what purpose we invest our time. Taking control of our time each day, never underestimating its irrevocability, is a means to living fully, passionately, and without regret. “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” C.S. Lewis.
How often do we underestimate ourselves? Perhaps we have fears. Fears of failure, of pain, of trust. We compare ourselves to others and think our lives have come short of our expectations – or perhaps short of what social media is telling us our lives should be like. The voices of those around us impact us. Our internal voices tend toward negative instead of positive thinking. It’s easier that way. It’s comfortable not to change. It can be risk-free but there is an emotional cost. The fact is, every one of us can handle more than we think we can, we impact people more than we realize, people impact us more than we admit to, we can do more than we are doing today, and we can dream bigger than what we think are our biggest dreams. Taking time (there it is again) to change your thinking, recognizing your worth to others, and pushing yourself to overcome fears will drive you out of a comfort zone and into a perspective of confidence and a willingness to take risks in life. “People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.” John Porter.
Here’s to a week of finding your own sun-lit bench, whatever and wherever that may be, changing a mindset of underestimating and reaching for more than you think you are capable of.
© 2021 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 firstname.lastname@example.org