Results....No Excuses

Personal Responsibility

I was fairly lazy in my youth. Sure, I did pretty well in high-school (3.5 GPA or there-abouts), but engineering school in college (University of Lousville Speed Scientific School) was the first life challenge I failed – – very definitively. My first semester was tough but I did well enough. My second 15-credit-hour semester was more than I could handle. Depression, fear and procrastination sunk me. One C, three D’s and two F’s. Flunkee. College …

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My Family

What is Success? Wealth? Prosperity?

I became interested with “success” when I was about thirty years old. I had been working at GE for about 10 years, and bounced from one salaried position to another to keep one step ahead of CEO Jack Welch’s annual 5-10% mandatory headcount reductions. The positives of my time escaping the pink slips? I remained employed during my total of eleven years there before leaving of my own accord. I broadened my experience as I …

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Mural: Inspiration is Everywhere

Dispatches From Elsewhere

A fascinating limited television series launched at the beginning of March 2020 titled Dispatches From Elsewhere. It consisted of ten episodes and aired on AMC weekly on Mondays until the end of April. The show was produced by Jason Segel and featured four primary characters who all lead lives of various levels of mundaneness, fears, challenges, distractions and lack of direction. Sounds a bit like most of the population, doesn’t it?  These individuals – Peter, …

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2017 Solar Eclipse - Photo by Drew Rae from Pexels

Total Solar Eclipse – August 2017

Since I just posted about this week’s Lunar Eclipse, I may as well also post about our 2017 Total Solar Eclipse experience. The United States was treated to a rare opportunity to see a total solar eclipse as it traveled across the continent on August 21, 2017. I promised myself when I was a kid while watching the 1970 eclipse on TV, that I would make a point of directly experiencing the totality of the …

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Total Lunar Eclipse photo

Total Lunar Eclipse – January 2019

Sunday night January 20, 2019 we were treated to relatively clear skies in Louisville, KY for a total lunar eclipse.  I stepped outside into the frigid cold before midnight to have a look just prior to, and into the time of totality.  What a beautiful red hue this magical orb took on! It was called a “super blood wolf moon eclipse.” I don’t yet have my recently-purchased (used) Meade LX200 Classic 10-inch telescope up and …

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Michaelangelo's Creation of Man, Sistine Chapel - image from Pixabay.com

W. Barry Bizot, M.D. – Modern Renaissance Man

Recently, while reading the local newspaper’s obituaries I came across an entry for a certain W. Barry Bizot, M.D. I didn’t know Mr. Bizot, but his obit touched my soul with who he was, and what he represented. His life resonated with me. Mr. Bizot was a modern day Renaissance Man. His obit writer even noted him as such. I only wish I could have known this individual; to have befriended him and been inspired …

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Montserrat, Spain

Montserrat, Spain

On our recent trip to Spain we made sure to visit Montserrat outside of Barcelona.  Most recently featured in Dan Brown’s book Origin our traveling crew felt we had to include it on our itinerary.  We were not disappointed.  In fact, it was one of the highlights of our trip. What made it so special? The history – It’s an operating monastery and abbey since 1025 AD The uniqueness – Home to the Catalonian “Black …

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Energy in the forest

Live an Aesthetic Life

Aesthetics “Officially” speaking, Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty and artistic taste. But you don’t have to be a philosopher to bask in the benefits of living an aesthetic life. Simply having a sensitivity and appreciation for beauty is a good start.  Slow down; pause; observe.  Note and appreciate those things that give you pleasure and inner satisfaction when you experience them with your senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, …

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Wonder image

Wonder: From Emotion to Spirituality by Robert C. Fuller

A little over a year ago I listened to a podcast on ArtOfManliness.com entitled The Power Of Wonder wherein Brett McKay interviewed the author of a book (Robert Fuller) on the topic of Wonder.  It was particularly interesting since this topic fascinates and inspires me and it’s difficult to find references of any kind on the subject. (Not to mention that it’s the titled-focus of this web site.)  So after listening to the podcast I …

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El Escorial Library - Spain

El Escorial Library

Our trip to Spain this month found us visiting some incredible sites.  One of our notable visits (for me, at least) was the Monastery and Royal Palace of El Escorial in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial; specifically the Royal Library. Biblioteca del monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, by Xauxa Håkan Svensson, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. The library consists of several rooms (most of them no longer used), however, …

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Linderhof Palace, Bavaria

Romanticism

What is Romanticism? Ask anyone on the street what “Romanticism” is and you’re likely to get replies that include:  beautiful flowers, surprise gifts, elegant date nights, heartfelt love letters, tender gestures, etc. – – essentially, anything that generates romance between two people in a relationship. While that concept is nice (and important) it isn’t the same definition of “Romanticism” as my focus in this article. Specifically, I speak of Romanticism as a state of mind; …

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The Biltmore Library

Biltmore Library

One of my favorite places in the world is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  It was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II, grandson of Cornelius “The Commodore” Vanderbilt. Completed and opened to friends and family during Christmas 1895, it’s the largest private residence in the United States, and is still owned by descendants of the family. George Washington Vanderbilt by John Singer Sargent Public Domain, Link The “house” is a gorgeous châteauesque-styled mansion …

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Mundaneness & Mediocrity sign image

What is “Mundane”?

What do I Mean by “Mundane”? I use the word “mundane” frequently, and realized I should probably level-set on its meaning. So . . .  what exactly is “mundane”? From my perspective and life-philosophy, the mundane in life is bare minimum “living.” It looks something like this: Work, eat, consume, zone out on media, sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat. Do the same thing day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year. It’s about just getting through the work day, then escaping …

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Image: Man with arms raised to sunset oover a body of water

Growth and Self-Actualization

If you resonate with any of the messages presented to you in the writings on this site, you’re already of the mindset of someone who knows the importance of Growth and Self-Actualization. But what is it exactly?  Why is it important – at least to some of us who are driven beyond the normal and mundane? Growth Personal Growth is the desire to self-develop yourself; to become more than you are today; to discover the …

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Vintage Compass Rose image

Your Purpose and Mission in Life

Why should anyone be concerned with identifying their Purpose and Mission in life?  What good is it?  Will it really make any difference with living life in this hodgepodge world of the mundane and chaotic? What’s the difference between Purpose, Mission and Vision?  Do I need big goals to have a Purpose and Mission?  Or is it the other way around?  Is this some kind of useless, fuzzy-bullshit, corporate or new age stuff? Hang on, …

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SpaceX Launch image

SpaceX – Engineering and Technology Awe & Wonder

What an incredible achievement by private enterprise that inspires and strikes me with awe and wonder . . . (video starts at 8:00 minute mark) I just love the way SpaceX does their launch coverage: allowing a huge crowd inside mission control, young energetic people to describe what’s going on, people of both sexes working within mission control, and video cameras mounted everywhere showing you live what’s going on, before and throughout the actual launch. …

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Personal Core Values poster image

Values – Personal Core

What Exactly Are Values? Value can fall into several arenas: Economic – the material worth of something compared to the monetary price paid. Utility/Importance – something held in high regard due to its usefulness or importance to you. Aesthetic – this could technically be a part of Utility/Importance, above, but has a more specific relation to art, beauty, harmony and nature such that it elicits a pleasurable experience for the viewer. Personal-Core/Ethical – what’s most …

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Dartboard bullseye target image

Knowing is not enough . . .

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Featured image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay)

Legacy carvedin stone image

If you would not be forgotten . . .

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.”  – Benjamin Franklin (Featured image by Chad Cooper on flickr, licensed by CC BY-NC 2.0)

Carpe Diem, pop-open cards

Carpe Diem!

Over the last several months my wonderful wife bought some really nice pop-open cards, all titled “CARPE DIEM.”  She hides them here-and-there for me to find and writes something sweet on the back of them. After popping open the perforated cover of the card, inside each is a quote that shares an inspiring thought for personal growth and self-actualization.  This is particularly nice because it fits right into the niche I’ve been passionately pursuing for …

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Galaxy image

Awe & Wonder

A key part of an enriched life is to allow yourself to regularly experience a sense of awe and wonder.  Life without wonder is stale and mundane – a formula for restlessness, anxiety and outright depression. “Wonder is the first of all the passions.”   – Rene Descartes What does “awe” and  “wonder” mean exactly?  Various definitions, Wikipedia entries and online articles define these concepts in a very sterile manner.  A lot of these like to …

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Bull & Bear Pub - Freedom of the Seas (Kunstkammer)

Bull & Bear Pub

This may seem rather trivial to most (I have to remind myself I’m not writing to “most“), but a large part of my appreciation and embellishment for an enriched life consists of surrounding myself with a rich sensory aesthetic that speaks to my inner core.  Therefore, based on my own personal tastes and passions, that aesthetic always involves elements of knowledge, discovery, learning, beauty, truth. On a recent Royal Caribbean cruise with my beautiful wife, …

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Kunstkammer, Wunderkammer, Cabinet of Curiosities (old engraving)

Kunstkammer/Wunderkammer (Cabinet of Curiosities)

During the Renaissance period Kings, Princes and other aristocrats who had an intellectual and adventurous bent (and wanted to show off their sophistication and wealth), created what was known as a Kunstkammer or Wunderkammer – a Cabinet of Curiosities. What did those cabinets contain?  Well, first of all, the word “cabinet” most often referred to an actual room – not a traditional piece of furniture.  Nowadays we do have curiosity cabinets; small display units that …

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Jay Walker Library image

Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination

One of the things that satiates my soul and ignites a spark of excitement, awe and wonder is a gorgeous and robust library.  There are two reasons for this. The vision of a plethora of books ignites a fire within.  I see the myriad of bindings lining the shelves and immediately imagine a wealth of knowledge, adventure, and discovery in their volumes!  Each tome an element on the road to ultimate Truth. But books alone …

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Gorgeous mountain lake image

What is “Enriched Living?”

I wanted to call this category “Renaissance Living” but didn’t want to appear presumptuous or portray something I’m not. Ideally my attitude over the last 25 years has been to try and mimic the adventurous spirit of discovery that my grandmother, Elsie Lacy, embraced in her life. For me, growing up as a child, my grandmother was a beacon of getting out of her comfort zone and experiencing as much about life and culture as …

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