Speaker. Entrepreneur. Author.

Spiritual Surprises

Added on by Sam Davidson.

I think God (G-d, god, gods) tends to surprise. 

In a world where it’s easy to explain away wonder with science, I’m working hard to leave room for the spiritual these days. I’ve found that most often, the spiritual shows up (if you let it/him/her) when you’re around other people.

Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to leave conversations that are good for my soul. These are moments shared over drinks or a meal, around a conference table or in a hotel lobby, that make me better than when I entered them. It’s these conversations that challenge me and leave me wanting more. 

Of course, certain books or TED talks can challenge and entertain, but rarely do I leave with a spiritual experience. TED talks can be viewed alone and books are read silently to myself. I receive education from those opportunities, but I don’t leave with a soul moment. 

On Monday night, I shared a meal with my friend Lee, someone I’ve known for over a decade. He’s helping to start a church in Hunstville. He knows he’s crazy, but he also knows this is what he should be doing. We talked some about that, but we also covered another range of topics and dived deep into some dark and uncovered places - places where we (any of us) don’t usually let people in. When you get to those places with people, when you’re willing to let people in at the corners and expose a piece of yourself (and walk carefully when they return the blessed favor), you feel like you’ve stumbled onto something. 

It looks a lot like holy ground.

I had another holy ground moment on Tuesday night. My friend James was in town (he has a new book out, by the way). We talked some about his book, but we also went deeper than catching up on itineraries and lists. We overturned and rolled away stones. And it was special, to stand on each other’s holy ground with reverence and respect, with just the right balance of silence and questioning. 

We can deliberately seek out moments of spirituality, and usually the default method of doing so is to darken the doorway of a church or mosque, to attend a prayer meeting, read the Torah, listen to a sermon, or spend time in prayer. We can prod the spirit(s) on and maybe she’ll show up when we ask. 

But sometimes, we accidentally find ourselves in the midst of spiritual moments. These can be fun times, if we’re ready and open enough to recognize them as such. Be careful; if you’re too busy or too proud then you can miss the awe of the place where you stand. 

And in those moments, you don’t need to explain. You just need to exist.

At the Ole Day Joy Again

Added on by Sam Davidson.

It was an innocent mistake. A casual typo. I wrote:

"How do you feel about your new day joy?"

I meant day job. Oops. 

Unless. 

Unless some of us are lucky enough to find the synonym between the two, where our job is our joy. 

It doesn’t need to be all of our joy in life, mind you, but deriving some joy from labor can be euphoric, healthy, and important. 

But if you’re in a place where the two don’t overlap, then I’ll simply ask, 

"What then, is your day joy?"

In other words, where are you finding joy during the daylight hours, inside or outside of that 9-to-5 parameter? 

No matter what you’re up to, joy is a choice

On a Deadline

Added on by Sam Davidson.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” (By reading online, this may have first been said by Napoleon Hill, but it’s been attributed to others, too.)

All of your dreams and ideas need deadlines. “Best by” dates so you can plan, test, evaluate, and decide what’s after that.

Without deadlines there can be no priorities. 

Dreams can expire, you know.

(h/t to my pal Rob for the kernel of this idea)

Collecting Mud

Added on by Sam Davidson.

I was so glad to be returning to trail running after several weeks, even though the recent rain made the running a little treacherous and incredibly muddy.

As I trudged along over branches and through the wet dirt, my shoes started collecting mud. It’s all part of the experience.

Until it slowed me down. Mud on mud on mud. I had to stop and kick some off before I could keep going.

Too often we’re all collecting mud in life. And it’s slowing us down. Why not take a moment this week to stop and get rid of some of it?

Kick off that negative self talk. Let another’s criticism of you go. Get rid of doubt that paralyzes, fear that stereotypes, or relationships that don’t bring out the best in you. Why travel with all this extra weight?

Shake it off. You’re going places.

The Upside of Jealousy

Added on by Sam Davidson.

What do you wish you’d done? What is the work you wish you had accomplished?

My pal James is fond of (playfully) telling people he hates them when they impress him by coming up with a great idea he wish he’d thought up or sharing a compelling story from the stage he longs to emulate. 

He’s jealous in those moments, but in a healthy and admirable way.

So are the staff at Bloomberg who produce their annual “Jealousy List” of articles they wish they’d written. It’s high praise couched in a phrase that catches our attention due to its taboo. (In other words, I’m jealous of the idea of a “Jealousy List.”)

But what is it you’re jealous of? Who is doing great work you wish you could copy or be on par with? Who is killing it? What do you long to be a part of, create, or manage?

Make a list. Not because you want to copy it. But because you want to do your work and reach your audience in an equally authentic and superb way. 

Don’t copy someone’s work. Copy their work ethic.