Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Practical Exercise from Philosophy

Much to my father’s dismay, I chose to study philosophy as an undergraduate.  While it caused some difficulty when I initially entered the professional world, I enjoyed my time in the discipline immensely and am thankful for many of the lessons.

There is one exercise, introduced to me my freshman year, that I value a great deal and still employ to this day.  My first philosophy professor encouraged us to reflect and be honest with ourselves about who we are, what we know and what skills we possess.  Once we recognized and accepted our shortcomings, he pushed the exercise a step further.  He recommended that we should look outside of ourselves to the world around us, and seek the guidance and instruction of those that knew, or at least appeared to know, that something that we yearned to understand.  In essence, he was directing us to seek quality mentors – people who specialized in the areas we were curious about, and had a history of success in that realm.

It was a difficult exercise, but one that I continue to practice on a routine basis.  I have sought and continue to seek mentors on a wide range of themes.  I have or have had mentors on business and professionalism, writing, love, women and relationships, fashion, music and performance, cooking and manners, religion and spirituality.

These mentors are friends, family, bosses, colleagues, athletes, writers, artists, heroes, models, news anchors, famous folk, fictional characters and strangers.

Making this a routine exercise will develop a mindset that values honesty and fosters growth.  If you do not know something or are not naturally gifted in a certain area, be honest with yourself and recognize it.  Then seek the counsel of someone who does know or is gifted in that area.  You will develop core capacities and competencies faster and become a stronger, more thoughtful and more rounded individual because of it.

$.50 Philosophy

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Importance of Pace

I am currently preparing for my second triathlon, which is coming up on July 12th.  The triathlon has become a great activity for me, physically, mentally and emotionally.  While I will be far from impressing anyone with my time, I am excited for the event.  Preparing for this has taught me to slow down, and think long term.

During today's morning run, I began contemplating pace and its relevance to not only physical activities, but all projects and pursuits.  While being able to think fast and move quickly is a great skill, it does not secure long term success.  Long term success arises occasionally from luck, but mostly from deliberate, methodical thinking and planning.  Additionally, the quick mentality is not always the best strategy to apply to other pursuits.  You must give yourself time to adjust to new careers, new places, relationships and hobbies.  Transitioning into these new roles and areas is not easy.  A proper pace and consistent rhythm though will have a huge influence on whether or not you meet the goals you set out for yourself whenever you first dreamed up the new pursuit.

Taking some time to reflect on your current pace in the workplace, your relationships and your personal activities is a great exercise.

Do not try to change yourself or the world today.  Take some initial steps.  Write up a plan for tomorrow, next week and thereafter.  Make adjustments as you progress.

Myself and others will cheer you on.

$.50 Philosophy

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Hope for my Niece

Dearest Elly Rose,

When you are much older, I hope you meet and commit to someone whose values, dreams and ambitions captivate and inspire you.

I hope your lover embodies strength and tenderness, and they are wise to know which characteristic to call upon for a given situation - sometimes both.

When you find them, focus on building confidence in one another and share all aspects of your personhood.  This level of transparency will be difficult, but the returns could not be more rewarding.  Sharing the various challenges and pangs suffered through in earlier days provides springboards to strengthen your level of trust, and elevate your relationship.  Let each other in.

Spend your time stretching the unique talents and insights that each of you bring to the relationship. 

While I hope the physical attraction is intense, I believe it most important to fall in love with someone's spirit, charms and grace. 

Additionally, I hope your relationship is filled with affection, laughter, romance and intimacy, and I hope you routinely celebrate the small things together.

A commitment to these practices will permit you to reach heights together unattainable by any other methods or means.

While this planet does not objectively owe anyone anything, in my eyes, you deserve the world.  Trust that your ever-growing group of friends and family will do all they can to ensure it lands safely in your lap.

All my love to you, chick.

Alex (Hunkle)
Elly Rose & me

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lovers Past

Throughout my life, I have had the great fortune of knowing a handful of women quite intimately.  We loved one another fiercely for a time, and although they are no longer at my side, my heart rages on for them with varying degrees of intensity and frequency. I have yet to have a relationship materialize with any of them following our final goodbyes.  However, I remain hopeful that something will eventually develop, at a time suitable for both our wants and needs.
I miss creating moments with them.  Where we once dreamed, laughed, pleasured and pained, we can now only reflect.  Time, space, uncertainty and fear have displaced us.  New passions have undoubtedly arose for all of us and for that I am grateful.  Still, I yearn for one last smile, one last kiss, one last affectionate embrace and one last hopeful, shared dream of a future where we reside together, tackling the world hand in hand, our hearts beating in unison.
Until next time, be that in this life or the next, I wish them well.
"I have come to speak of love
of its valleys and its hills
its tremors, chills and thrills
I have come to say I love love
and I love loving love
and I, surely, love
the brave and sturdy hearts
who dare to love..." -Maya Angelou