Yesterday, May 11th, was my birthday, the date of my birth.

I think of birthdays as a great time to reflect, as accountability checkpoints. What have I done with my life? Who have I become? What remains? How to create a compelling future that will draw me forward, exciting enough so that I bound out of bed each morning, full of energy and passion?

I sat on my balcony on my birthday morning, drank in nature——the trees, the cool of the dawn air——and thought of things to come, the Nathan I would like to fully become, and my remaining challenges. I believe we are placed upon this earth to grow, to explore our gifts. As time flows, I become more focused on living a life of significance, a bit less on a life of material success.

Random thoughts from the balcony:

Patience: I can always use more of it. Patience is an active emotion. It is not a matter of just being born with it or not. Just like your muscles, the more you work it, the stronger it gets. Key is the mental frame I choose to view a situation. Problem or opportunity? Criticism or helpful input?

Posture: My dancer wife thinks I would benefit from Yoga, that it would give me a stronger stance, more energy, more powerful posture. She is right. And I will be a better person as I learn to frame her posture hints as helpful coaching, not hurtful criticism (see patience, above). I can choose the frame of “how lucky I am to have a 24/7 posture instructor.”

Meditation: My coach thinks I would benefit from learning to just sit with things sometimes. Feel the feeling, know the feeling, without trying to immediately fix it (run from it?). Become comfortable with the situation/emotion before going into immediate action mode.

Flexibility/adaptability: Remember to continuously say “yes to life,” be willing to risk my comfort level a bit, emotional and physical. As time goes by and we have experienced so many things, it is incredibly easy to fall into “been there, done that” and cease taking chances. It is from a willingness to explore, from a retention of a child’s wondering curiosity that much serendipity arises.

Closing Quotes: The first of these, by Jerry Seinfeld, is an anti-quote. Sometimes avoiding what we don’t want can be as motivational as what we seek!

“Well, birthdays are merely symbolic of how another year has gone by and how little we’ve grown. No matter how desperate we are that someday a better self will emerge, with each flicker of the candles on the cake, we know it’s not to be, that for the rest of our sad, wretched, pathetic lives, this is who we are to the bitter end, inevitably, irrevocably. Happy birthday? No such thing.” — Jerry Seinfeld

“All the world is birthday cake. So take a piece, but not too much.” — Beatle George Harrison, 1943-2001

“Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.” — Tom Wilson

“Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.” — Jean Paul Richter