Plan de Vida

In South America, plan de vida is similar to the term vocation.

Vocation is the intense feeling of suitability for your career or occupation.

It is the reason why you do what you do.

In Japan, it is also called ikigai. 

I was thinking about these terms this morning as I read Shawn Askinosie’s book Meaningful Work and his reference to Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It got me thinking more about what I am currently doing, what I’ve done and what I am planning to do.

What truly drives you?

This conversation in my head, now written in this blog, starts with an excerpt from Tuesdays With Morrie.

Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

“You’ll notice,” he added, grinning, “there’s nothing in there about a salary.”

“Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t belonging for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.”

Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom

Helping others drives me.

To actually propel someone forward, to leave them slightly better than you found them, and to make a small dent in the universe requires showing up daily with generous intent.

This will look different depending on who you are.

Making a dent in the universe doesn’t mean saving the world from the next pandemic. It doesn’t involve curing cancer. And it doesn’t necessarily mean holding the door open for the person behind you.

Helping others is really about an attitude and approach towards life.

It shifts the focus from me to you. 

Metaphorically, it requires stepping out of one’s shoes and swapping with your neighbor. It also doesn’t mean you must keep your neighbor’s shoes. It is more about understanding where the other person is coming from.

And this involves listening deeply. And not waiting to speak when the other person is speaking.

It is about being heard and being seen.

Parents who are actively involved with their kids know this. When you have a kid, you stop looking at the ground in front of you. You shift your eyes to the horizon. You pick your kid up higher above your shoulders so they too can see the view ahead.

Plan de vida, ikigai and vocation.

Whatever you choose to do, whether that be a project, career, or even lifestyle, do so with intent and tact. Think about how you will end or transition the project before you even start it.

That’s all for today.

Thanks for reading,

Cory.

Write

When you are happy, Write.

When you are sad, Write.

When you are feeling confident, Write some more.

When you are unsure and stuck, Write Again.

Keep Writing and then Write some more.

Reflect on what you Wrote.

No one ever has to see it.

If you do share, do so generously.

And Write again in the morning.

Keep on Truckin’

Love, Your Future Self

Series of Short Stories 2.0 (for the kids)

Pedal Faster!

Pedal faster, she screamed in a mixed excited, surprised wail. There’s a giant squid behind us and it’s going to get us!

It was just the motivation dad needed to pull the trailer up the increasing incline. He thought of the lactic acid building in his legs starting to become more of a reality than purely a textbook idea. Dad had not seen the squid but knew it was there. She had seen it. And it was real.

Her sister had not seen the squid either but as she turned her head around, her eyes widened and her mouth dropped. She joined in Dad, Pedal faster! The squid! The squid! It’s going to get us.

Mind racing, feet spinning, dad kicked into high gear for fear of their potential peril with this unknown underwater creature. Shouts of glee paraded from the back of the trailer!

Once they were around the corner past the top of the hill free of the squid, dad downshifted again on the 80s purple Bianchi, slowing a tad to catch his breath. They were almost home and all four of them were nap ready.

The end.

Story Footnotes

We had pedaled all the way to Pirate Island and back, a place about ten miles from our home. The one hundred pound trailer included the kids, the chocolate-colored toy poodle, water, wet wipes and snacks, which decreased due to hungry tummies.

Pirate Island is a magical place. It sits just along the river, shaded by cottonwoods providing a small beach that ebbs depending on the river’s flow. Today, the sand beach was limited due to the snowmelt. The sky remained crystal clear blue with cumulus clouds in the distance.

Riding around in our neighborhood is similar to icing on cake. It is where adventure continues. Adventure doesn’t always have to be hours away or even halfway across the globe. It starts right when you wake up. It is an orientation toward life. It’s about possibility and opportunity. It’s a way of seeing the world from the eyes of a child. The ability to keep this perspective as an adult is what keeps me young. The kids and the weight of the trailer, of course, help.

Biking has everything we need. So, I’ll keep at it and pedal faster.  

As a sidenote, want to know something funny? This is a true story. Including the giant squid.

Thanks for reading.

Cory

Series of Short Stories 1.0 (for the kids)

CAMPING

The best thing about summer is camping and everything that comes with it, she thought. She thought about the hikes, the orange flowers, sitting on a rock, the puffy clouds, the crisp air, the dark starry nights and of course, single-track mountain biking. High in the mountains with you and our yellow tent is precisely where I want to be, she told her sister.

Well, let’s go, her sister exclaimed! What exactly do we need? she asked.

Two bicycles, a tent, some marshmallows for food, and maybe a snuggly teddy bear or two for nighttime, she said. I think that’s about it.

And off they went.

When they arrived high in the mountains, the girls pitched their tent between three big trees. It was a perfect spot with a view towards one of the fourteeners. They unrolled their sleeping bags, placed each teddy bear in their respective snuggly spot and proceeded to check out the scene around their campsite.

This is relaxing defined, she told her sister. This is adventure defined, her sister replied. They both laughed. Want to go biking, she asked?

Well, of course, sister answered, why else would that trail be there?

They put on their helmets, grabbed their adventure bags and off they went, biking along the single track.

(the end, more later)

Shipping before you’re ready (and you’re always ready)

Write, they said.

It will be fun, they said.

They must have been on drugs were right.

Writing is a fun, creative, painfully antagonizing! process, which is a reflection of thought. The ability to deliver a succinct message, create tension for a reader, hold it, and then have them breathe out with release with a change in their perspective is the result of a laborious grueling process, similar to shoveling pig slop. The final written product of what you read results from clear perfectly formed ideas having an idea, putting it down on paper, revising, and revising some more. It might appear like pig shit shiny and bright once you’re finished with it.

However, this is rare. The ability to put the alphabet in a particular order and then form a word combined with another word that makes somewhat of a haphazard sentence is easy as 1-2-3! takes daily practice, and requires showing up generously.

It is a simple act of throwing, catching, releasing, and shipping before you think you are ready.

To throw a ball well, you must first practice throwing the ball. You might shatter a neighbor’s window in the process, yet this is essential to learning. This learning process might be described as a peaceful flow of revising and editing that ebbs back and forth like a calm shoreline at dusk, as I was once told.

I couldn’t disagree more. Editing what you write is similar to stepping out on your porch in the morning to discover a hungry ravenous snapping alligator who has just eaten your dog; it must be wrestled with until either you or the alligator wins. Ah, now you can breathe.

The fact is, you are always ready. You must simply decide.

That’s all for today.

Cheers to shipping and gator soup,

Cory