August 4, 2015
Peter Dean Bouloukos
Something struck me not too long ago while watching a documentary about our solar system. We are so lucky to find ourselves precisely where we happen to be. Each day, regardless if it seems good, bad, ugly or whatever, be grateful. As it turns out, we inhabit an extremely narrow band of life-sustaining space. A little closer or farther from our sun and Earth would be a barren rock just like our neighbors in the sky.
Time? We are so very fortunate to be in this place in time. Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years and today we have the highest quality of life available to so many on the planet. Yes, we have a lot to workout internationally where it comes to health, wellness, conservation and getting off fossil fuels, but life is pretty incredible in this day and age! We all have the same 24 hours in each day and an unknown quantity of time! Something to remember!
Further, our solar system happens to be in an unusually calm region of the Milky Way galaxy. One of the few places spared of continual turbulence in space. If our solar system were a little bit farther or closer from its center, we would most likely have been blown away by an onslaught of asteroids many years ago.
We are only beginning to understand the associated costs of dependency on nonrenewable natural resources. It is abundantly clear to me the pace and scope of our current consumption of resources is not sustainable and abuse of the planet is not wise. With this, while our place in time and space certainly gives us a great deal to be grateful for, it should also help us to focus on balance or provide a reason to pause and reflect upon what we truly have…and it’s a gift.
The gift I speak of drives me to learn, laugh, love, share experience, thoughts and my life on places like facebook or while working with kids on the soccer fields here in Bozeman. In business, we all should seek on-going learning opportunity. We all need mentors. We all need to set goals. We also all make mistakes in life, but in my opinion, life is far too short to hold a grudge, to give up or to quit on something of meaning. Bruce Lee said "flow like water" and that is exactly what we should all do, letting go of perceived control while enjoying the ride!
Now, consider both current circumstances and challenge while also thinking about the road ahead. What do we really need, what do we have, who do we truly love and are we well, healthy and happy?
In my own bubble, there are three perspectives I like to keep in mind:
1. Gratitude: We are all truly blessed, at minimum, with our life force and with the opportunity to live on this planet and at this time in history. If you are reading this, chances are high that you fall into an especially lucky group — one with the good fortune to be concerned primarily with what are often referred to as “first-world problems.” Even if you are facing dire challenges, it’s worth remembering just how much you have at disposal. It’s important to acknowledge the resources and support to which you have access, and the meaningful, potentially transformative choices that are within reach. Be grateful for being loved. Be grateful for what is good. Be humble.
2. Consciousness: In order to fully appreciate what we have, we must first acknowledge that it could just as easily be otherwise. Virtually everything we enjoy in our lifetimes is dependent on a thousand variables we tend to ignore or take for granted. Consider how many people regularly go without the things you never have to worry about, and you will be humbled. Become conscious of the responsibilities with which your good fortune endows, and you will become more inspired to appreciate and give your greatest gifts.
3. Preparedness: The world we live in now is both unpredictable and volatile. Changes — technological, environmental, social — are occurring at an increasingly fast pace, and with increasingly complex outcomes. While it is impossible to adequately prepare for every possible scenario, it makes sense to mentally and emotionally prepare for change in general. Undoubtedly, some of the changes we’ll face over the coming decades will be challenging; others will be hopeful and encouraging. Developing skills and perspectives build resilience and depth. Be positive, focused and open-minded.
Should you ever feel you are losing center or sense of perspective, I have one other piece of advice: Take a moment to go out at night in a place where you can still see the stars. Look up. Remember that you are part of something so much larger. Your perceived "time" and independence is really interdependent on so many variables it's impossible to fathom. With this, relax, embrace the unknown, take time to gain perspective but always keep internal and external commitments you make to internally and the world you surround yourself with. We are the sum average of everyone and everything we surround ourselves so pay attention.
We all must be willing to dig deep, to look inside our hearts and mind in order to maximize all of the abundance the world truly offers. Keep perspective with relationships, everything your significant other does or says is beautiful and right. Everything that "happens to us" likewise is beautiful and right. What's incredible in such a small place in time, all "love" is right and everything is truly a gift.
Sometimes, simply connecting with our own place within this immense universe of ours is all it takes to help explore our challenges and blessings from a whole new point of view. Find your own oasis and discover what you are made of.
I have been so blessed over the years and so far 2015 has been exceptional. I have no idea what is coming next, but I know I have comfortable socks, shoes and a ton to be thankful for. That’s all that truly ever matters!!!
Just my .03cents…
Peter Dean Bouloukos
Restaurant, Bar, Nightclub Consultant