“You can watch t.v. but all you’ll know is what they’ll tell you.”
Daron Roberts, college football coach, quoting his parents.
Say what you will about college football (oy), this quote fairly jumped off the pages of my Sports Illustrated. It goes to the heart of beginning to lead an examined life . By examined, I don’t mean picked apart, judged and over-analyzed, but a life filled with curiosity about who we are right now. What’s so? What needs attention? Where do I want to go? What qualities to I want in my life? What’s in my way? Most of the people I know who lead mindful, meaningful and joyous lives started by exploring a question so basic, we often don’t pay attention to it.
Who are you listening to?
Here’s one way to begin to find out. Answer the following questions (they’re simple). When you’re finished – no peeking – scroll down to the very bottom of the page. Warning: this 3 minute exercise rocked my world.
Give between 1-5 answers to the following questions. It doesn’t matter how many you have for each, but no more than 5.
1. Whose opinion to do value most?
2. Who do you consider your best friend(s)?
3. Who are the most important people in the world to you?
4. When you need to take care of your health, who do you consult?
5. Who do you trust the most in this world?
Coach Roberts’s parents were reminding him that it’s important to gather information from a wide variety of sources, to gain perspective by hearing many, and to educate himself beyond television or any one source. Admirable, and necessary. He says that this kind of reminder kept him curious. I love that. While many of us are taught to look outward at and take in from the world, which is fantastic, we are less likely to have been taught to look inward with the same level of curiosity. If we express too much interest (whatever that is) we’re indulging in navel gazing, as if learning about our inner landscape is somehow a lazy unproductive equivalent to picking lint out of our belly buttons. Clearly a near waste of time, right?
Now to your answers————– How many times does your own name appear?
What do you make of that? I’d love to hear your reaction to this exercise.