Monday Motivation

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Press On …..

As we start this week leading up to Thanksgiving, I have spent a lot of time being just that. Thankful. Thankful for so many and so much in my life and yet I have this sense of restlessness as the end of the year approaches. A restlessness that, I think, is a healthy state of state. A state of mind of pressing on. Pressing on to affirmative attitudes, constructive changes, elevated expectations, and fearless faith. And so, this morning’s M5T Presses On.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. If You Only.....

I recalled a coffee shop conversation that I had interloped on a few years ago, as one friend asked the other; ‘What would you do if you only had a month to live?’ I remembered a previous M5T missive that I had written. This morning’s M5T asks, “If You Only…..?”.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Of Ayn and John …..

The US government has taken over the economy, instituted heavy regulation and socialism, and the country is moving toward economic and social collapse. Hmmm. Sound familiar? Sixty-five years ago, on October 10th actually, Ayn Rand released her final and seminal book, “Atlas Shrugged”.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Oh Canada …..

I took a trip down memory lane in my car listening to the Canadian band ‘The Northern Pikes’. Fond memories flooded my mind of friends and places from that time in my life north of the 49th parallel. As Canada sits down for thanksgiving dinner today, or perhaps is still full of dinner from last night, this morning’s M5T gives homage to all things Canadian, all whilst wishing I had a sandwich with leftover turkey, mayo, and cranberry in hand.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. 89 & The Power of Now …..

...I realized that as of today, there are 89 days left in 2022. Three quarters of this year are finished. And I asked myself some questions: What will you do with the days left this year? What have you left unfinished? What haven’t you started? What haven’t you stopped? Who haven’t you spoken to? Will you start now? This morning’s M5T looks at the power of doing things now for the remaining 89 days of the year.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Lessons from an Old Man …..

We became friends when I was in high school. He was already an old man, a widower, yet there was something about him that I was drawn to, intrigued by, and respected greatly. As I grew older, he became all the more influential in my life. I was reminded of him again when I saw a dilapidated fishing boat on the Pacific Ocean a few weeks ago.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Inspired …..

“What inspires you?” I felt I gave a somewhat quick, rather trite response to my friend that asked the question. I’ve since reflected on the question, rolling it around in my mind, pondering a better answer, perhaps for no one other than myself. Today’s M5T, postulates a more considered response to a seemingly simple question that, once we understand the complexity of the answer for ourselves, can shape a fulfilled life.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Laboring .....

Whichever country you are reading this in, Labo(u)r Day is meant to be a celebration of the work of so many who make these countries two of the greatest in the world and yes, I still believe that. Today’s M5T pauses to reflect on the importance of labor, no matter how you spell it.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Round 2 It …..

“I’ll get around to it.” A phrase repeated by a precocious, barely mustachioed teenager who felt he had better things to do than the tasks that his mother wanted done around the house. In class one morning, I opened up a textbook, to find a sticker. A ‘Round 2 It’ sticker. Mom had a rather subtle way of getting messages across to me. It has stuck with me as reminder all my life. Thinking through some decision points recently, I mused where my mom’s “Round 2 It” sticker might apply. This morning’s M5T gets round to getting “Round 2 It’ in life.

“Monday 5 Things ….. Graham’isms …..

Hang around me long enough and you’ll hear certain phrases that I use quite often. I can’t take credit for all of them, but I have embraced them, living the meanings behind them for years. This morning’s M5T shares some of these simple, yet profound perspectives on life that I’ve adopted as Graham’isms.

“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Of Ari, Randy, James, Bill, & 4 Brits …..

Aristotle wrote in his seminal tome, “Ethics”, that there are three types of friendship. The first is a friendship of utility or advantage. Each person may not even really like each other, but there is a mutually profitable relationship in which each person provides something that the other needs. The second is a friendship based on pleasure or fun. Once the fun stops, a deeper friendship can break through. The third and most profound, is what Aristotle called the “friendship of good-will”. A genuine friend that loves another for the sake of that other person. In a word, “true”. With a nod to Aristotle, and other lesser recognized philosophers Randy Newman, James Taylor, Bill Withers, and the Beatles, today’s M5T looks at true friendship.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Everyone …..

I recently read about a newspaper reporter for the Lewiston Morning Tribune named David Johnson. For over 20 years, he has picked a name out of the local phone book and, if the person called agrees to be interviewed, their story is printed in his Friday column, “Everyone Has a Story”. Wow do I wish I had thought of that. Johnson inspired this morning’s M5T by starting a new week considering things that everyone has.

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

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.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Marked Time …..

Time. Five days that focused on time. Departure and arrival times. Session times, start times, lap times, finish times. Prep time for the team to get the cars ready for testing and racing. Time through the bus-stop, the esses, the boot, the heel, the toe. Time between corners to photograph beautiful cars at speed. Time to observe, to contemplate, to appreciate.

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Sunsets, Mermaids & Un’s …..

It was a perfect low country evening. Wispy clouds, no gnats or humidity, and a rising flower moon that was a day away from being full. All were minor in comparison to our serious task at hand. Four-year-old Nellie was on her first boat ride and we were on a quest for mermaids and dolphins.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Thumper’s Theorem…..

Each year since my mom’s passing from Alzheimer’s, I’ve devoted the Monday after Mother’s Day to her memory. My mom was a gentle soul, who did not have an easy life growing up, but she always had a smile, a memory, or a story to share with anyone she met. I rarely ever heard her say a negative thing about anyone else. As far back as I can recall into my childhood, she drummed into me, the “Thumper” approach to life.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Four Letter Words …..

Sitting in my office in the wee hours of a Thursday morning, I heard two men loudly arguing on the sidewalk right under my window. It seemed that every second word from each of them was a expletive that rhymes with buck. I looked down from my window to keep an eye on them until they parted ways. As I sat back down at my desk, the heaviness of their anger, the violence of their speech, and the use of their profanity got me thinking about other four-letter words. This morning’s M5T considers four-letter words to live by.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. If I Had A Million Dollars …..

This morning's M5T may give you some insight into how somewhat peculiar thought patterns in my brain work. I leave you with some distinctly ironic names (which I did not make up – you can Google them) of finance professionals to hopefully start your week with a chortle.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. Risen Indeed …..

I quietly stepped out on the balcony of our room and for over two hours watched as the storm slowly moved over the ocean and meandered up the Georgian coast. Dazzling flashes of lightning illuminated the grounds of the resort, the whitecaps of waves, and backlit the dark and ominous clouds. The winds drove rain sideways and buffeted the palm trees. My body resonating with every concussive tonitruant of thunder. I have always marveled at thunderstorms; so much peace found in the midst of so much turbulence.

“Monday 5 Things”™…..Before You Grumble About Monday…..

Driving back and forth between Savannah and Jacksonville these past few weeks has given me a lot of windshield time to think, to pray, and to generally be thankful for all the incredible blessings in life. This morning’s M5T looks at changes that have affected all our lives.

“Monday 5 Things”™….. …..Chuck’isms…..

The current state of life for Ukrainians has brought many people, your scribe included, to their knees in prayer for a country under siege. I was reminded of a M5T that I wrote six years ago about one of the most prolific preachers that the world has known. Charles Spurgeon is said to have preached 3,500 sermons over 40 years. He was known for speaking clearly (with surprising wit and humor) and for making the bible relevant to everyone’s life. The profundity of his words is a legacy over 130 years later. This morning’s M5T considers some of my favorite Spurgeon quotes.