I love book stores. I find them inspiring. So many ideas. So many trains of thought colliding. A collection of authors that went DEEP. They spent years of their life creating, articulating, and synthesizing ideas, characters, plot, curiosity, and passion. When reflecting on the thought of doing something similar, many of us quickly reject it with the cliche “that’s way too much work. I don’t have time for that.” But, perhaps, you, we, do have time. LOTS OF TIME.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, even shortly after feeling positively excited and inspired. For example, I am aware that not long after feeling inspired and energized being inside a book store, I experience a sensation of overwhelm, which is followed by thoughts that resemble, “how am I ever going to read all these books that I want to read? There isn’t enough time.” Maybe you’ve also experienced this when dining out. You look at a menu first with excitement, “Oh my GOD! Look at all these amazing options” and then it turns to overwhelm “there’s too many good looking options, I don’t know what I am going to order.” What these examples have in common are feelings knotted up in default, finite thinking patterns.

Finite thinking patterns served our evolutionary ancestors much better when it much more realistically was eat or be eaten, and, biologically, our genes taught us too overindulge in a good thing because we could not be certain of our next meal, let alone how much time we had left on Earth.

A modern day vestige of this finite thinking is heard every time someone asks “will this be on the test?” While an important question to ask in order to prepare for the finite test one is about to take that one wishes to pass, this question creates a habit of thinking that increases pressure, minimizes intrinsic motivation, and undermines learning potential.

When you start from the mindset that life is long, then a better question to ask is how will studying for this test and passing it serve me, and what I desire to better understand, so that I can ____________

So many of our thoughts and behaviors are predicting problems in which we need to clench and brace for impact; hence, the chronic stress that so many of us feel. However, over time, we can learn to breathe slower and deeper by appreciating the length of time that we do, indeed, have.

Life is LONG; therefore, the OPPORTUNITY IS

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