Inspiration

Shooting the Wrong Stuff

 

It’s easy to take pictures of pretty food. And if you’re making pretty lunch food from scratch, then good on you. Be proud!

But the reason that food matters is that it’s the fuel to help you be the You you’re meant to be. What quiet dream are you pursuing? How does it feel to finally say, “I am a writer” or “I am an app-builder” after being curious and wanting to give it a go for so many years?

Those are tougher pictures to take. How will yours look?

 
 
ej self 2019 a.jpg
 
 
rss Block
Select a Blog Page to create an RSS feed link. Learn more

Friday Inspiration from Believers' Boxing Gym

Thank you to Rachel Schley at  Believers’ Boxing Gym  for always being that person who gives more and takes less.

Thank you to Rachel Schley at Believers’ Boxing Gym for always being that person who gives more and takes less.

Being a little afraid is okay. Don’t you think I was a little scared to get in a boxing ring for the first time?

That “scared” can also be the little spark of excitement that’s been missing lately. And the payoff of going for that thing you’ve quietly dreamed of is worth a facing little fear. Whatever arena is waiting for you, I hope you’ll eat something good at lunch today, then get the heck in there. You can, because you’re stronger—and braver—than you think.

rss Block
Select a Blog Page to create an RSS feed link. Learn more

Muy Bueno, Joe!

 

Joe is a busy executive, vice president kind of guy. His Box Lunch Lifestyle means a chance to practice his Spanish whenever he can—like during lunch.

Even though it's not easy, I find that even 15-20 minutes of Spanish practice over lunchtime makes the lunch break more meaningful. Focusing on something other than the problems of the day is like cross-training for the brain. Even if I only practice for a few minutes, I find that it helps to clear my brain for the afternoon's work.

Joe says he’s still working on making more meaningful food choices at lunch, and to make bringing his own lunch a habit. But progress is progress!

Muy bueno, José! (Oops, Joe.) ¡Sigue adelante!

stickman FULL.png

When Enough is Enough

I set a goal for the summer. I didn’t make it. Should I be hard on myself or not?

An important part of Box Lunch Lifestyle is learning—or remembering—how to listen to ourselves, and then trust what we hear.

Some of you probably know that I set a reading goal at the beginning of summer. There were about a dozen books sitting on my shelf that I just never seemed to get around to. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, each would finally get its chance.

As you can see, I was not completely successful. There were still quite a few titles in the Book Cup today.

 
The best book I read this summer?   Consider the Women   by my friend Debbie Blue. It’s amazing, and I don’t think you need to be a “church-y person” to appreciate the message: women have power.

The best book I read this summer? Consider the Women by my friend Debbie Blue. It’s amazing, and I don’t think you need to be a “church-y person” to appreciate the message: women have power.

 

Maybe you’re like me. I tend to be hard on myself. But a Box Lunch Lifestyle is a chance to be gentler: to practice listening honestly and trusting what I hear.

Did I miss my goal because I was using my time to do something else truly worthwhile? Or did the opportunity get stolen by “louder” things?

And when I answer these questions how—honestly—do I feel? Looking back, was I making satisfying choices? Or do I feel like I came up short? I’m the one setting the standards here (not the world). Am I honestly and truly meeting my own expectations?

If we listen honestly, and trust what we hear and feel, that’s as good as it gets. It isn’t always easy, but it will be real. Because it’s your answer to your question. It’s what matters to YOU.

#HappierLaborDay

If you’re feeling stuck in a not-so-satisfying relationship with work, Gretchen Rubin offers up the Labor Day holiday as a time to rethink what it is you really want.

What do you want to accomplish in your upcoming year of work? ... It could be something as big as switching careers or something as mundane as cleaning out your desk.
— Gretchen Rubin, author and expert on happiness, good habits, and human nature

I think this is a great idea. AND...I have no idea what I want to accomplish in my upcoming year of work. 

What I’m confident I can rethink, though, is what I want to do with lunch: make my food a little bit better for me, and act on something that matters personally even when the day feels out-of-control busy. This tiny oasis of happiness and satisfaction I know I can build for myself gives me a better shot at clarity. And clarity is what I’ll need to figure out what I truly want to say I’ve accomplished by next Labor Day.

Are you rethinking your workday lunch break? If you need help, I’m here.

Get the Ball Rolling

 

At some point, most of us have said something like, “I know I should eat better” or “I wish I’d stayed in touch with my cousin” or “I really want to get outside more.” But we haven’t done it...yet.

The choices you make at lunch today can mean actually changing things for the better.

Don’t overthink whatever it is you want to do, and don’t churn up a hundred reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t start today. Make some food, enjoy it, and give that thing you’ve been wanting to do a 15-minute chance. Then let yourself feel a little braggish. (I know that’s not a word, but it should be.) Taking one small step away from boredom or restlessness and towards satisfaction is a pretty big win.

C’mon. It’s just one day. It’s just lunch. You can’t fail.

post it aug 11.jpg
 

"Lunch Pail Kind of Guy" Changes the World

In this article, Dale Schroeder is described as having been a working-class, bring your lunch kind of guy. He had a quiet dream: he never had the opportunity to go to college. So DS went to work every day, and he worked hard.

And he saved more than $3 million to be awarded as tuition money after he died (in 2005).

Thirty-three people graduated from college debt-free thanks to DS. When they met recently to honor this man they’d never met, they gathered around his old lunch box.

A simple object, a quiet man, and a powerful symbol of what’s possible when we pursue what matters to us.

 
saw box 1.jpg
 

Different fights. Same big win.

gloves resize test.jpg

Most people know that there are different boxing weight classes (e.g. featherweight, welterweight, heavyweight), but did you know that length of an amateur fight varies a lot, too?

For example, pee-wee boxers (ages 8-10) can go for three one-minutes rounds, and elite females (experienced fighters ages 19-40) can fight four three-minute rounds. And there’s a big difference between spending 3 minutes and 12 minutes in the ring.

But all fighters train pretty much the same way: push-ups, hand pads, heavy bag, burpees and sprints. (And more.) It requires the discipline to show up at the gym, and show up for themselves at home, like getting enough sleep. All fighters learn what it means to feel brave, and to feel afraid.

Whatever fight you’re trying to win is personal. Maybe your dream isn’t to show the world you’re still standing at the end of three sweaty boxing rounds. For you, it’s finally becoming a writer, or building something with your hands. Maybe it’s just being a person who can take a few deep breaths when you need them.

No matter what the fight is that’s so intimately our own, what we want is the same: to show the world what our best looks like. 

That’s means getting started the same way everybody else gets started, whether you’re a pee-wee or an elite, a pro or an amateur. Show up for yourself, and show yourself what your best can look like even if its for just minutes in what would otherwise be a typical day.

Life speaks to us. And you've decided to listen.

I just heard Marcus Buckingham talk about individuality and how it doesn’t get valued as much as it should. This is disappointing, but not surprising to me. It would be tidy for the world if we all fit nicely into round-peg holes, but I know I’m a square, and maybe you’re a shape that doesn’t even have a name yet.

In this 2-minute video tidbit, MB says:

Your life speaks to you in a language only you can understand.

Box Lunch Lifestyle helps remind us that we’re individual humans first before we’re project managers or parents.

So congratulate yourself today for taking your own individuality seriously, and living it—sometimes in an environment that doesn’t appreciate it. You’re curious and willing to listen. Other people may not understand what it is that feeds you, so their advice and expectations aren’t the way to find that end-of-day satisfaction you seek. Good for you for being brave enough and strong enough to show up for that quirky, wonderful You. Maybe not every day, but on most of them.

Because it matters. You matter. Keep going.

MB has written, among other things, about using your StrengthsFinder® strengths. His book  Nine Lies About Work  was published in April 2019.

MB has written, among other things, about using your StrengthsFinder® strengths. His book Nine Lies About Work was published in April 2019.

Friday Inspiration from Mary Oliver

This line from The Summer Day has followed me since the early 90s and it’s been an anchor for me at many of life’s crossroads. I was sad to hear she’d died, because a dream for me was to send her a copy of my book—with my gratitude to her on the dedication page.

This precious life is made up of moments. Let’s feel as alive as possible for as many as we can. And let’s fight for those moments if they don’t just land in our laps. Find 15 minutes today to experience something meaningful, and grab them.