Jungle of Stone

Occasionally, someone tells a story that changes your life.

I can’t quit thinking about this book, not only because of the harrowing adventures it took to discover the lost Mayan Civilization and the brave and brilliant Stevens and Catherwood that made it their calling, but because the vastness of a “universe,” I had been only remotely aware of, has expanded my own. Jungle of Stone.

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Confronted by these two noble, gifted, driven, and humble explorers, I am inspired and humbled by my lack of knowledge, scope, tenacity, and awareness. Thanks, William Carlsen, for excavating the story for me and forcing me out of my own “backyard.”

Even if you have no interest in ancient history or archeology, the life-stories of John Lloyd Stevens and Frederick Catherwood will enlarge your existence.

Transitioning into a Meaningful LIFE (VIDA)

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The events of 9-11 jarred Naveed Jamali into doing something more meaningful with his life.

His entertaining, down-to-earth story reminded me how common it is to coast along, following a prescribed path from thing to thing to thing without really discovering a passionate path toward contribution. Naveed’s life radically changed when he fully surrendered to this pursuit. So will ours.

VIDA is Spanish for life. It is also an acronym for a tool I use to help clients focus on improvement:

V-Vision

I- Inspiration

D-Direction

A-Analysis

As a daily 5-minute exercise,

  • Visualize what you want your life to be
  • Get Inspired (borrow inspiration online if you have to)
  • Define your Direction with at least one action step
  • Analyze what is working and what’s not

Prepare for lift-off.

Lives Are Not Tidy

Resumes don’t tell the whole story, do they? We leave out things about bad endings, disagreements, detours, and mucked up stuff.

Our life stories are the same.

One of my heroes is Dorothy Day. She did a lot of good for a lot of people. I’ve read her autobiography and a big fat biography by a trustworthy historian. I watched documentaries and have seen a movie about her. Yet, The Road to Character contained new, not-so-flattering information that Dorothy Day admitted she left out of her story.

None of our lives are storybook quality. None. Not one.

That gives me three freedoms:

  1. To forgive myself
  2. To accept others, flaws and all
  3. To lighten up with my expectations

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