Life as a splendid torch

Today is the first of my ‘ghost’ post series (appropriate from the invisible blogger, right? Thanks Tisha at tMedia for the suggestion). Previously I offered my community a chance to guest post here and my good friend Kaarina Dillabough has the distinct honour of being my first. She is a life and business coach (w/ Olympic experience I might add), so please check out her site and enjoy this read.

“Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”  George Bernard Shaw

I love this quote.  It speaks to a life fully lived, experienced in all its glory with a purpose and a passion to glow brightly while on this planet, and to leave it better for having shone your own unique flame.

Are you burning brightly?  Are your actions matching your dreams, your wishes and your hopes, not only for the here and now, but for the legacy you’ll leave?

I got to thinking quite a bit about this lately.  As I’ve roamed the blogosphere, I’ve seen the words of wonderful people who are tired…overwhelmed…frustrated…somewhat defeated.  And others who have felt those feelings, but are surmounting them by drawing back, re-evaluating and re-prioritizing.

It put me in mind of a wonderful book, “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, and in particular, his lecture and his chapter, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”.  If you haven’t yet read this wonderful book, I highly recommend it.  And if you have, maybe it’s time to go back and re-read it.  I assure you it will bring many ah-ha moments, reveries and reflections.

I’m a big believer in the slow-down-to-speed-up philosophy of life.  The stop to smell the roses, take the extra moments with a friend, ask “why”…why am I doing what I’m doing?  Am I making a difference?  Am I happy?

Over the years I’ve collected questions: questions that help me keep on track and ponder my actions.  They help me see if I’m burning brightly, hiding my light, dimming my light or extinguishing it completely.  Here’s just a few to ponder:

  •          If you never had to think about money, and every financial need you could ever have was taken care of, what would be your life’s purpose?
  •          If you had only months to live, would you be doing what you’re doing?
  •          What have you always wanted to do, but never done?
  •          What are you really good at?  What are the things that you most take for granted in yourself, but others always compliment or acknowledge?  Are you capitalizing on those skills and talents?

That last question is one of the first I ask my clients to answer, because the things we take most for granted in ourselves are often actually the skills that are often our most powerful and marketable.  By not recognizing them, we dim our own lights.  By thinking “anyone can do that” or “everyone knows that”, we diminish our own uniqueness.  And our uniqueness is one of the best gifts we can share.  As George Bernard Shaw said: (yes, you can see I’m a fan)

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

Don’t let your ideas be brief candles.  Let them burn brightly.  Don’t worry if someone will agree or disagree, like or dislike them.  Just let them out.  The results will take care of themselves.

As my mentor, Jack Donahue, American-born Canadian Hall of Fame men’s National Basketball Coach said:

“Take what I say and chew it around.  If you don’t like it, spit it out.  But at least chew it around for a while.”

Happy chewing…:)

Kaarina is a business consultant, coach and strategist who helps you set and attain your goals, to be the best you can be, in business and in life.  If you want to create more success in your life, grow your business and become an even more extraordinary entrepreneur join her at http://www.kaarinadillabough.com and subscribe to her content at http://feeds.feedburner.com/KaarinaDillabough.  

 

  

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126 thoughts on “Life as a splendid torch

  1. How excellent, Bill’s first GP, and my first time commenting here when there wasn’t a hundred other already on the page! Yeah! 🙂

    Wow, there’s so much in this post! But I just loved the quote from Shaw: “If you have an apple… But if you have an idea…”

    Knowledge is not a zero-sum game, and one of the great things about sharing knowledge, through blogging, mentoring, whatever method, is that you add something of value to the other person’s life. So many people make their ideas “brief candles”. Here’s to a world full of torches!

    Kaarina, as always, love the positive energy and inspiration. You are a wonder.

    Bill — you’re setting the bar pretty high for your future guest posters, don’t you think? 🙂

    • Adam, thanks for your kind words: I’m honoured and humbled, and you have added to my torch, burning brightly.

      I so love the Shaw quote about apples: it really does paint a vivid picture of how, as you say, “knowledge is not a zero-sum game.”

      I’m with you: Here’s to a world full of torches! Cheers! Kaarina

    • Pretty cool, huh Adam? Baby steps, but next might be self-hosted.

      Thanks for stopping by and saying hello to Kaarina; she did really put together a good one.

      I’ll see you around.

  2. Wow, Bill, great job getting an all star for your first ghost writer.

    Kaarina, this is such an inspirational and thought-provoking blog post. My goal for my blog is to help others. When I decide a topic to write upon, my first thought is to wonder who will be helped by the blog. I confess, every so often I have a thought creep into my mind, “will this post get a lot of readers?” Sometimes I think a post won’t but I write it anyway, believing it will truly help a small group of people. I’m surprised that those posts are often quite popular. So helping others is the flame that lights my blogging candle. 🙂

    I have a lot of favorite lines in this blog, but the top one is your last quote from George Bernard Shaw:

    “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

    Thank you for sharing your ideas with us.

    • Carolyn, I’m flat-out flattered: thank you so much for your kind and gracious words.

      I, too, focus on providing value and being of service when I write, and through my work. I feel that when my intention is set that way, the writing literally flows out of me. It’s when we “try” too hard, rather than “do” the work that we (or at least I) seem to struggle.

      I’m a ridiculously huge fan of quotes and sayings, and I’m glad you liked the George Bernard Shaw apples:) I’m going to take the liberty of sharing another, which happens to be the quote I live by:

      “If I have been of service, If I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, If I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, If I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.” ~ Alex Noble

      I’m delighted that you liked the post, and I thank you for your kind and thoughtFULL comment. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Hey lefty, did you say something about creepy posts……………

      I don’t really check stats per se; yes, I see them when I pull up my WordPress account, but it is very obvious there are many more visits than comments. Therefore, I think your posts are getting read and you can have a positive impact on someone.

      So good to see you and thanks for coming by to support Kaarina.

  3. Hey Kaarina Bobina, Adam beat me to the punch so he gets to be the ‘first’ too……….

    I really appreciate you offering up a GP for me; thank you so much.

    Today will probably be a crazy day for me (in a good way though) so I’ll have to keep checking back.

      • I figured I had to do something to get you to come to my site. I posted my best post ever on Monday and you were too busy galavanting around everywhere else to even say hello; it’s a good thing I love ya………………

        Great job ma’am; I knew it was good as soon as I read it. I hope you were ok with the torch and if you’ll will notice in my intro I even had a Canadian word in there for you as well.

        I really do appreciate you being bold enough to do this for me. Very much appreciated ma’am.

  4. Your torch is burning brightly with this post Kaarina, I think we all often underestimate ourselves and it’s others who fan the flames of our creativity to get us moving again. You are right that we need to ask ourselves these key questions now and again to make sure our flames are flickering brightly.

    I really like your ‘slow down to speed up’ philosophy. In my experience when you are struggling with an idea or have a bad attitude to a task, stepping away from the frantic activity of the moment to do something different usually resolves the issue.

    Congratulations to Bill for inviting such an excellent guest and to you Kaarina for your thoughtful post 🙂

    • Tony, thanks for those lovely words.

      I’m glad you like the “slow down to speed up” philosophy. I believe if we just take a moment of time to pause and reflect before simply steaming ahead, we can identify if the activity is fruitful and productive, or frustrating and busytizzy.

      And yes, I do believe we all underestimate ourselves. The flame is already within us. It is we who choose to fan its flames. Growth, learning, productivity and profitability…it’s all an inside-out job. I liken it to Dorothy’s shoes in the Wizard of Oz…it was always within us.

      May your torch always burn brightly Tony:) Cheers! Kaarina

    • Hey Tony, Kaarina did a great job, didn’t she? I was very happy she agreed to do this. She asked me what she should write about and I said ‘me, of course’ but that didn’t go over so well so I think her plan B did much better.

      Thanks for coming by and saying hello.

  5. Kaarina,
    As a mom I’m aware of how much I influence my children. They are my “future generation”. Sometimes in my excitement and enthusiasm to grow and interact with people outside of my family (and I LOVE it) I lose sight of “burning brightly” for them. We were swimming yesterday and I was goofing around. They were all crabby. But I noticed that being a mom the way Betsy is a mom was really making a difference in how they were seeing and seizing the moment.
    So, as fractured and fragmented as my life seems to be, it all boils down to being the brightest me I can be and letting my light shine brightly, like you said, whether it be in business or at home, or for that matter wherever I show up.
    Beautiful post Kaarina! Thanks.
    Betsy

    • Betsy, you are so right: the flame that you show and share with your children will have so much impact on how they view the world, treat others, and experience their own torches.

      I love your line, “it all boils down to being the brightest me I can be and letting my light shine brightly”. I have a little suggestion. Why don’t you take that sentence and have a fun session with your children, painting or drawing or crafting something that illustrates that concept. I wonder what your children would create if you said to them: let’s create a picture of what it looks like to be the “brightest me I can be”. Could be fun:)

      “Be the best me I can be”…Betsy, that line says it all. Glow fiercely, my friend. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Hey Betsy, thanks for coming by to say hello to Kaarina.

      I really liked your comment of ‘it boils down to being the brightest me I can be and letting my light shine brightly’. Especially with the kids because they grow up in the blink of an eye.

      Good to see you.

  6. Hi, Kaarina.

    Your torch will always be burning bright for all of us to see. Thank you for extending the warmth and generosity of your heart right here on Bill’s blog.

    You are right. We should all work at not letting our ideas be brief candles, but instead let them burn brightly as torches and leave them as part of our legacy. You have inspired me and egged me on to become better than I thought I could be. I knew I could write but I never knew that I could do it with the same passion and confidence that I am doing now in my company’s blog.

    If all the needs of my family were taken care of and money was of no issue to me, my life’s purpose would still be to write but it would be about the marginalized sector, the victims who don’t have their own voices, it would be about discovering the beauty of life despite the pains. I would be traveling doing research for these stories and sharing them to the whole world.

    I am so happy, honored, humbled and proud to have known you, my soul-sister friend. I will always, always be grateful to have you in my life.

    And, Bill, I think you couldn’t have chosen a better person to be your first ghost writer. I am so happy I was able to stop by today. 🙂

    • Wow…I don’t know what to say, Kim. Your words warm me like a favourite blanket, and I’m so honoured and happy to be your friend, and to have played a small part in further igniting your torch.

      There’s nothing more satisfying to me than working with someone and seeing them embrace their torch and further ignite their flame. And although you and I haven’t had a “working” relationship, but a friendship, the intention and the outcomes are the same…my mission is To Spread Joy, and to hopefully leave each person I encounter a bit better off for the experience. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Wow Kim, I could so see you doing that; being the voice for the marginalized. We tend to want to keep them out of sight, out of mind and not deal with it. To a certain degree I see that through the Guardian program I volunteer for. We are all just people that will leave this big green ball the same way, nobody better than another. People deserve a certain level of dignity and respect.

      Kaarina was a good choice.

      • That was what I did during my media days, Bill, and what I miss the most about that job. But, soon, I know I will be able to do something about that aspiration. I’m positive that I can still become the champion of the oppressed. 🙂

  7. Kaarina! You are a rock star, my dear. So happy to see GP on a wonderful topic. It’s so important to let your light shine for the world to see and don’t hold back. This is a topic near and dear to me. Spread joy, leave everyone on your path a little better than you found them. We must be true to ourselves and follow our bliss. Our passions allow us to create the world we desire and I think it’s important for others to not hold themselves back but free themselves to follow their desires.

    When we really focus on what we do best, put our time and effort into those talents, the possibilities are endless, there is no end to positive impact the dedicated focus can have on our world and the lives of those we can touch with our unique talents.

    Thanks for sharing and for being a great inspiration. It’s an honor to be in your circle. Rock on, Kaarina!

    • Jen, I’m delighted that this post resonated with you, and I’m so happy to hear of your ongoing “ignition”. To follow one’s bliss is truly what I believe we were all put on this planet to do. Because when we are, in Betsy’s words, “the best me I can be”, it pays itself forward to others, almost like osmosis.

      And to be a rock star…well that just makes my day, my friend. Cheers! Kaarina

  8. This is a favorite post; glad it’s in Bill’s house. You’ve got some heavy counsel pushing the cob webs, Girl. I think I’ll just clam up for now and carry on with the matters at hand; perhaps I’ll come back to this hard thinking later, in the shower, where all the thinking occurs.

    • Jayme, you are my gal: love that the cobwebs are being pushed. Cobwebs and clams…interesting concept…could be a blog post I’m hearing:) Hit the showers and let all those drops of water invigorate, inspire and cleanse away any cobwebs. Cheers! Kaarina

  9. Kaarina,

    First of all, congratulations to you for being guest poster number one. And to Bill for snagging such an excellent and inspiring writer.

    Lately I’ve been slowing-down-to-speed-up. Halting the insane multi-tasking and turning my attending to one undertaking at a time. I know you’ve written before about the ebb and flow of life, that life is imbalanced. Recently I’ve learned to accept that imbalance, and understand I don’t really have that much control. It’s not giving into what life throws at you, but it is going with the flow and slowing down to think about what I’m doing and why in the world I’m doing it.

    I’ll have to chew on your first question for a while. It’s a bit overwhelming because there are so many options when it comes to defining your life’s purpose.

    If I only had several months to live I would want to spend that time with my family, hopefully able to enjoy that time.

    What have I always wanted to do. Well I’ve never been bungie jumping or sky diving, but not sure if that’s for me 😉 I’ve always wanted to speak in front of a large audience and be happy with the result. I am working on that. Slow steps indeed, but moving forward. Really, I’m just a very average Joe who wants to enjoy life and contribute something meaningful along the way. If I can help others, all the better.

    Thanks again for your words of inspiration. Your writing is enlightening, packed with good, positive energy, and EXTREMELY helpful, because you always give well thought out, sound advice! Most people underestimate their true potential and we need other people to remind us that we can achieve a level of success never thought possible, soon burning quite brightly.

    If you are quoting anyone, I guess George Bernard Shaw is not too shabby. Thanks for bringing up “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. I’ll have to check that one out.

    Nice chewing 🙂

    • Craig, I’m delighted that you found this “chewable”, and I’m glad I can provide words of inspiration. And thank you so much for your very kinds words: you too have added to the torch of my life:)

      “The Last Lecture” is simply a wonderful book. You can find the actual lecture online on youtube as well, but the book…well, you can carry it around with you, and dog-ear the pages, which I love to do.

      I’m thrilled that you’re finding your ebb and flow “imbalanced” life and footing: your comments on blogs around the blogosphere are always well thought out. And sign me up for tickets to that first speaking engagement:) I’ll be there with bells on! Cheers! Kaarina

      • Very “chewable” indeed! And, always love to add to my reading list.

        Pretty soon you’ll be up there with the big boys and girls. It will be fun to watch. I know you’ll stay grounded no matter how famous you are, but I’m worried about Bill. Hope fame doesn’t go to his head 🙂 😉

    • Hey, you never give me that much praise………….whadda mean I gotta write better?

      She did knock one out, didn’t she? I’m so happy for her. She agonized because I didn’t give her good direction on what to write about. I told her to just write about me, but she was smart enough to truly not turn it into a ghost post.

      Good to see you buddy, thanks for stopping by. BTW – I go with the flow very well, it drives my wife crazy how easy I can just adapt to the situation at hand.

      • Now. Now. I didn’t say that 🙂 Check out Nancy D’s house, I’m waxing poetic about you over there. Actually I’m saving my praise for you in an upcoming blog post. I am trying to get that off the ground, so be prepared for more sycophantic behavior.

        Yes … she did knock it out of the park! You and Kaarina are rising stars. Don’t go all “A-Lister” on me.

        Love to stop by!

  10. Hi Kaarina… Thank you for having such thought provoking words and quotes…and allowing me to “chew” things around for a bit!! I love that…not many of your words I would throw away… I like that you have us thinking about our best attributes…as those are often the easiest and most enjoyable for us for us to do..and yet we so often underestimate them… we don’t have to reinvent the wheel all of the time…just keep the skills and talents we already have well oiled!!
    Thank you again for your words of wisdom, plus I love the bits of humour you toss in.
    🙂 Faye p.s. tech problems with echstone emails thus the personal email address

    • Faye, so delighted to see you here! And I’m always happy to provide “chewable” bits and bites.

      It’s too often true that people underestimate themselves, and that’s a shame. We each have our own unique “me” (again, thanks Betsy), and that “me” should shine brightly. Another quote (yes…I do love quotes)…

      “A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle.” ~ unknown

      In my words, I’d say a torch loses nothing of its light by lighting another torch. To brightly shining torches! Cheers! Kaarina

    • Thanks for stopping by and saying hello to Kaarina at my place. Since it was my first GP, I’m glad people found her and hopefully it has been easy to get in and out of here.

      BTW – I always kid Kaarina for dropping Canadian words like ‘humour’ in the mix. I ask ‘where did that u come from anyway’. I see you dropped one too………….:)

      Good to see you today.

  11. Hey Kaarina, (P.S. Your name is similar to one of Bollywood’s leading actress. Check out Kareena Kapoor)

    Coming back to the point…too much chewing actually! My jaw hurts.

    If money wasn’t the big thing, I would just make people happier, yes..people are too sad and they need to be happy somehow! Wait, if money wasn’t the worry, everyone would actually be happy! There’s a catch!

    Would I be doing what I am doing if life is shorter than I am hoping for, well, no. Really, I am working for a corporate sector and though the pay is awesome, it is busting my soul…I mean literally! I would be travelling, definitely. I haven’t traveled as much as I hoped I would but yes, I would do that someday! 🙂 Spending time with family…I am so close to them already that they wouldn’t mind be backpacking around the world in my ‘last days”!

    What have I always wanted but never done…loads actually…travel, join a language class (don’t ask why!) and travel more!

    What am I really good at…well I could go on for ages about this 😉 I am good at writing, at least I am hoping I am and I want to make that my career, solely, write some great books, earn royalties, see the world..see, all that fits just fine! 😉

    Great ghost post…. you have the honor of being the first ghost blogger ever! Trust Bill Dorman to think out of the box!

    • Hajra, I will now proudly wear the “first ghost blogger” badge:)

      I see that travel is a recurring theme…perhaps that’s something that should come into the priority list of things to do…not a “to-do” list, because they never get “tuh-dun”…but an actual list of priority activities. I do recommend doing that each day. The night before, identify the top 3 priority activities for the next day, and then DO them:)

      Where would you like to travel to? And yes…I’m asking…why a language class? Don’t leave us dangling:)

      So, Hajra, I see you as the great writer, writing those books and seeing the world. Let that torch shine brilliantly! And let me know where your first stop is…maybe I’ll join you:)

      And now I’m going to check out Kareena. Cheers! Kaarina

      • Where would I like to travel… see more of my country- India, it is just too huge to get over with! 🙂 Egypt also, all my life in the Arab world has made me fall in love with it even more, to US, my sister lives there and her kids will blow me up if I don’t plan a trip to their “amazing California” someday.

        Language, because I am so darn bad at it. I grew up in the Arab world and still don’t know fluent Arabic, yes, we are managing all fine with English (contrary to belief!)

        But I took up Hindi in school and can speak it well, also at home my parents made sure I knew Urdu, though I can speak it, I can’t write it! 😦

        Books…yes, I wish to do that someday! Maybe, I should start something 🙂
        Check out Kareena, she is a quite a beauty!

        Great post! 🙂

    • Hey Hajra; when we ALL make royalties on our writings maybe we can get on one big bus and travel the world together. I know I would love to backpack/travel across Europe; maybe take a summer or more to do it w/ about $100 in my pocket. That would be interesting, especially if I had to sell my body to make money and could only raise .37 cents……………:(

      Thanks for stopping by today and seeing Kaarina. You will be coming up soon.

      • Across Europe on a blogging bus… that is such a dream! Maybe we should all get down to some serious writing! Before I become too famous to travel 😉 Wait, what if we do!

  12. Thanks Hajra: checked out Kareena…she is indeed a beauty.

    I spoke Finnish before I learned English, so language is a passion of mine. I love words, I love to write, and I love to write longhand in beautiful lined notebooks with lovely pens.

    I think you should pack some notebooks and pens, a backpack and passport and head on over to California! Send me a postcard:) Cheers! Kaarina

    • Finnish? Don’t tell me, that’s Canadian for finish? Well, that’s an interesting tid bit of information; sounds like a blog post in there somewhere……………just sayin’……

      • Ah, Bill, I still have many secrets yet to share in that cone of silence:)

        Thanks so much for permitting to be your first “ghost”. The comments here have brightened the torch of my life considerably, and I’m glad that your community has found my words to be of some value. I really appreciate everyone who’s chiming in…I feel a group hug coming on…or better still, a group blogging bus. I’m putting Hajra in charge of that one:)

        And I love the “she rocks hot” comment Bill: attribution Jayme. I think I’ll make a little “Rocks Hot” post-it for my desk to remind myself to always rock hot and shine bright (and yes, I know it should be brightly, but I’m goin’ against grammar here)

        Cheers everyone! Thanks for all the comments so far. Kaarina

      • If I make you smile, I consider it a job well done.

        Ah, I have many secrets to share one day…One of my favourite books of all time is Pierre Berton’s “The Secret World of Og”. Anyone who hasn’t read it, it’s a beaut! Great for adults and kids alike. Maybe I’ll start the ‘secret world of Kaarina aka Agent 99 aka bear runner”….hmmm… the possibilities!

        Head over to my blog, Bill, to see how I did the re-direct to here. Think it will make you smile:) Cheers, and thanks for letting me be your first “ghost”. Kaarina

  13. Kaarina,
    I love your questions, especially “What are you really good at? What are the things that you most take for granted in yourself, but others always compliment or acknowledge? Are you capitalizing on those skills and talents?” I think about those questions often. I don’t think it ever hurts to continue to re-examine the path you are on. I certainly want my flame to glow brightly.

    Your first quote by George Bernard Shaw was fabulous. It set the scene for your fabulous post. Thank you for sending me the note so I didn’t miss it.

    Connie

    • Hey Connie, thanks so much for coming by to see Kaarina; she really did a great job with this post.

      Yes, if we can all keep or flame glowing brightly; that is a life of energy and fulfillment.

    • Connie, thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. Great to see you here:)

      I agree: it never hurts to continue to re-examine the path you’re on and believe me…your flame is glowing brightly, my friend. I look forward to staying connected. Cheers! Kaarina

  14. Aunt Kaarina,

    It was a pleasure to read such eloquent words. Our uniqueness is one of our greatest gifts to share. Thank you for sharing yours.

    Kerry

  15. I read this earlier this morning, Kaarina, and was so struck by it that I needed time to absorb it. I think I still do! But it’s just lovely. I see a lot of inspirational posts that are not very inspirational, but cliched (IMHO). This is not. Love the apple and chewing quotes!

    To answer (or at least try to answer) your questions:

    1. If I never had to think about money, I’d find a way to connect people who can help each other. I do that now too, but then I wouldn’t have to worry about work time, etc.

    2. If I had only months to live… I feel like we may have had this conversation before…? And I’ve thought about it some more since then. In some ways, yes – I really enjoy what I do. But if I knew when my end was coming, I’d do all I could to make sure those left behind would not suffer, at least financially. Also from an organizational point of view – I’d hate for someone (my husband, for example) to have to deal with figuring out where the accounts are, where the petsitter’s number is, etc. (Yes, I do all that!). That said, I’d probably spend as much time as I could with the people I love and who’ve enriched my life so much.

    3. What I’ve always wanted to do but never done… hmmm. See ABBA in concert. Fat chance now, eh?!

    4. What am I really good at? I think I’m really good at connecting people, at listening and at coming up with solutions. And I *think* I’m using those skills in my daily work and life.

    I hope Bill has you stop by again. Thank you for a wonderful way to start my day!

    • Thanks, Shonali: I’m glad to have been able to contribute to your day:)

      You are a true connector with a wonderful spirit, a critical thinker with an engaging style, and I’m delighted to call you friend.

      Your answer to #2 got me to thinking on a very practical level. We recently made sure that all of the things I take care of in the household (cough, everything!) in terms of administration, that both my husband’s and my names were on everything that might need attending to. We found out the hard way once, when my husband tried to deal with the hydro company, but because I’m the name on the file, they wouldn’t speak to him. Big lesson. Be sure that all that “paperwork and stuff” is accessible to all those who might need access. Good point.

      And now, just for you…although you’re not in the concert seat, I hope this link takes you to see ABBA in concert (I have no clue if this link will work or not, but here’s to the attempt): http://youtu.be/CqaTWwyOJ10

      I probably didn’t make it live, but then it gives someone opportunity to teach me, right?

      Your first paragraph blew me away: thank you so much, Shonali, for showering me with such a beautiful compliment: I’m honoured. Cheers! Kaarina

      • Oh yeah, look how she plays nice with you………..you should see her dog cuss me when it’s my post…………………:). Nah, she’s the best; a true friend indeed.

    • Hey ma’am, thanks for dropping by to see Kaarina; she did have a very thought provoking post. I don’t really have a bucket list per se, so depending on my mobility if I knew it was my last days I might take the time to travel and see family that don’t live in the same town. I’d probably have all the bad dishes that taste so good prepared for me; I’d turn it into a 90-day last meal………………..:). Think I like to eat?

      Glad you are back from vacation, from Houston, etc. Hope all has been well for you.

  16. Kaarina, we’ve talked a bit about social media fatigue on Spin Sucks. And Jayme Soulati and I are batting around what the U.S. debt ceiling could mean to the world…and especially American small business owners.

    While I LOVE your questions, I think we have a bigger issue at hand here. The U.S. has been in a recession for three years. If something drastic doesn’t happen by Monday, the last three years will be minor, in comparison. The Great Depression will be minor, in comparison. No one will be spending money. Most small businesses will go out of business. People’s livelihoods will be altered forever.

    So I think we have to ask ourselves these questions in a greater context of what is about to happen, not just to the U.S. economy, but the global economy. Suddenly things are in a completely different perspective.

    • I agree Gini, but I guess I’m of the belief that, despite or due to circumstances, it still remains important to move from the telescopic to the microscopic, the strategic to the tactical, and act on the the things we can control, influence, affect and emanate. And yes: the world is a huge context to position oneself in, and that’s why many will let their own flame dim or extinguish in these times. And yes, many will have their flames extinguished by external circumstances, far beyond their control.

      So I guess all those questions can and should be asked in the greater context. But I think people often struggle with the enormity of that, because everything then feels so out of their control, and they can take a defeatist or fatalistic position that immobilizes them completely…they lose even a flicker in their soul.

      I guess I’m of the mind that, whatever the circumstance, condition, time or context, if we don’t hold fast to goals and dreams, possibilities instead of probabilities and continue to burn as brightly as we can, we can fall victim to the enormity of the global context and extinguish completely. Just my perspective. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Nobody is spending money now; it’s all sitting on the side lines in a ‘wait and see’. Although it doesn’t appear a resolution is in sight; there is no way they better let this happen. They are all smart people and need to figure out a way to work together.

      Politics is a VERY dirty word these days. All I can say is WTF, and I have a personal friend in the House; Dennis Ross.

  17. Wow Kaarina! So many comments by the time I had the chance to respond! What can I say that hasn’t been said above?

    I love that this post makes you stop and think. It’s always good to be a bit introspective.
    My purpose–and what makes my light shine brightly–is helping others. I think that’s why I was a social worker for so long. It’s in my nature to help others prosper.

    I have carried this into my life now as a business owner. I feel that customer service is so important. People need to know that you really care about their work and their success. I truly feel that for my clients.

    It’s also extended into my role as a mom. It changes you. Everything you do is for them–to see them succeed. It’s a wonderful thing.

    Way to go, Bill on the first GP! 🙂

    • Hey you, we have the same mantra; the same mission. I feel if you are willing to help others w/ no expectations in return, thing will take care of themselves.

      Kaarina did good, didn’t she? Thanks for coming by today and saying hello; this was fun.

    • Thanks, Alicia, for stopping by here and by my place too: much appreciated! I’m happy this post caused a pause…a wee bit of time to stop and think. I, too, love to help others and pay-it-forward as much as possible. And parenthood…it is indeed “a wonderful thing.” Cheers! Kaarina

  18. HI Kaarina,

    Great job for being the first to write a guest post over here at Bill’s place, and a good one it was too.

    I’ve been going through a course recently and of all things, they’ve asked each question that you noted in your post. Yep, it’s a course to really get to learn who you are, why you are here, the steps to making yourself more known, etc. But when I read your post and saw those questions it actually put a smile on my face.

    The best thing about this experience is that all of the answers to those questions, I’ve known for awhile now. Like many, mine is also helping others. I’ve always been like that without realizing I could actually do something with those God given talents of mine. What a wonderful feeling it is too and such joyful experiences as well.

    So thank you for sharing this with us and again, congratulations for being Bill’s first guest. You did a wonderful job.

    Adrienne 🙂

    • Thanks Adrienne…and you’ve piqued my curiosity about the course you’re taking. If you don’t mind me asking, what course/ what instructor? Online or off?

      It’s my pleasure to share…it appears to be the common theme here:) And thanks for your very kind comments. Cheers! Kaarina

    • And it’s good you have taken the time to be contemplative and answered those questions. I think it provides a good direction and meaning.

      Thanks so much for coming by.

  19. Hi Kaarina
    Love to read you here and congrats for being the first gp at Bill’s.

    Your questions are great, money, goals, vision. I look at things differently, I think life gives us different routes to choose from and we should explore them. When we start with purpose and values we usually find it easier to choose these routes.
    Otherwise we spend a lot of time walking around in circles and getting frustrated.

    Thanks for asking these powerful questions and congrats on taking over from Bill here 🙂

    • Thanks, John: I think perhaps we’re two sides to the same coin. I think it’s important to be clear about our mission and purpose, but sometimes it helps to ask the “big dream” questions to help cultivate that. Many people are able to say what they ‘don’t’ want, but have great difficulty saying what they ‘do’ want. After I’ve heard the “well, I don’t want this and I don’t want that”, my follow-up question is always: OK then – Can you articulate clearly to me that which you DO want? (picture blank stare)

      And I think that values are the underpinning of all that we do. Our values provide the foundation for our intentions and our actions. And as far as routes go…perhaps we just have different ways of carving out those routes. I’m a big explorer too, John…certainly not like you: You’re both literally and figuratively an explorer extraordinaire. But walking around in circles? Not something I’d want to do, or would want my clients to do. Cheers! Kaarina

      • I haven’t thought of it that way, but a lot of people can articulate what they don’t want very clearly. Most don’t know what ‘success’ should look like; they need to take time to visualize it, embrace it.

    • Forks in the road and you make a good point about starting with purpose and value. Those should never change regardless of all the other noise.

      Thanks for coming by to say hello to Ms K.

  20. I’m one of those people who is eager to do everything possible that she can at once, but on my own terms, in a leisurely way. A torch that glows on deadlines, basically. But one aspect of life I refuse to let slip: language. I seldom ever say the common thing, unless it’s out of context. I like to take my time and make myself say something out of the ordinary to make the conversation more interesting than perhaps the other person was looking for.

  21. I am one that believes EVERYONE has something to give to the world during their time. A talent they are just natural at. Sometimes it just takes a while to realize what that is.

    I love when someone discovers it. And at that moment, in finding themselves, they find the world opens up for them. And the world gives back. I try to harbor this concept into my children. I hope they know they are special in their own way.

    Everyday I read about people that are more fulfilled because they found their “way”. I wish everyone could feel that way. With small steps i am getting there.

    Thanks for the great read.

    ~Allie

    • This might sound corny, but I think I have found my way (without trying to be silly). I’m at a place I don’t ‘want’ for much and really do try and take the time to enjoy life as I live it. It’s way to easy to get caught up in the things we don’t have vs being thankful for what we do have.

      I know it’s just called life and I’m living it and maybe my outlook would be different if I were homeless and broke. I don’t know, I’l probably still rock as a homeless dude, huh?

      Thanks so much for coming by Allie and paying a visit to see Kaarina at my place; it has been fun and I think she has enjoyed it as well.

      I better get back over to your place to make sure I’m still in the running for the car. I thought it was kind of funny someone asked you about the contest……………leave it to me stir things up………..

  22. Love this post Kaarina!

    I have found there are two types of people – – those who see outside of themselves and are always on the lookout and thoughtful of others and how they can contribute to lives of others, whether they have 2 nickels or a million dollars; and,

    Those who are consumed with themselves, give very little (no) thought about others, whose life revolves around their personal struggles or how they can benefit from any given situation. I call that self-centered, selfish, or cursed.

    Everyone has the opportunity to give something of value to another, to their community, to the world. No matter how little, or how big a contribution is, that thoughtfulness and mindset can and will change someone’s / or peoples lives.

    Positively impacting the lives of others is a privilege and an honor. Serving others with your gifts and resources are the foundation of a purposeful and fulfilling life.

    Everything else leads to despair and emptiness, regardless of how much or how little possessions one has. Being a servant to yourself is a very small and narrow vision with very little air, very little love, very little hope – – and always leads to whole bunch of sorrow and many regrets.

    From what I’ve seen in my life experience, people don’t choose which of these camps they’ll be part of – – some are just blind and some just see… or carry the torch of life as you put it 🙂

    Cheers Kaarina!

    • Thanks for the heads-up on the DM; the sad thing is I had to send it to trash to make it go away………..all my work down the drain…………..

      Missed you today; hope all is well for you buddy. You were one of the good guys out there and people connected to you for the same reason they do to me; because they like us, and that’s not a bad thing. Be like Danny, don’t have a set schedule for a blog, just do it when the mood strikes.

      Thanks for saying hi to Kaarina.

    • Ah Mark, I miss you my friend:) What a lovely comment, and I so agree that “everyone has the opportunity to give something of value to another, to their community, to the world.”

      So glad to see you here, and I hope all is well in your world. I agree with Bill…no schedules…just blog when you feel like it, but we’ll be chasing you down to stay in touch:) Cheers! Kaarina

  23. Love the idea exchange story here. So many times, my great ideas were inspired by great ideas of my friends and family. If we were to think for ourselves all the time, we would not have ears to hear other people’s dreams, would we?

    • Hi Brankica: great to see you here:) They say there’s actually no “original” idea on the planet…everything is an adaptation, amalgamation, reconfiguration or innovation of something already in existence. The Kaizen approach of always finding a better way also stems from hearing peoples’ dreams, learning from others and building upon the foundations that really are all around us. And, of course, burning brightly and sharing! Cheers! Kaarina

      • We are all a ‘sum’ of the parts, huh? Which in a way makes it original because it is us, but most appears as ‘well, I’ve seen or heard that before’, right?

    • And some of us can’t think for ourselves…………..just sayin’…………….

      Good to see you Ms B, hope all is well in your world these days; you sure are looking busy, I know that………..

      Have a good weekend.

  24. Ah, the lovely Kaarina writes for the handsome Bill – what a match!

    I agree with the thinking here, “slowing down to speed up” is something that I’ve done to a point these past 2-3 months, especially the slowing down part. I realised that my life had been spent rushing around doing things which didn’t warrant rushing around, so I’ve cut down on the stuff I don’t need, and minimised my life in true Zen style.

    Needless to say, the effects have been positive – I don’t feel stressed, I feel good about my future, and there’s only a handful of things now that I actually WANT. The rest isn’t worth the hassle.

    Thanks for enlightening the site Kaarina, I’m sure Bill appreciates people taking the immense writing load off him for a while 😉

      • Ah, we see you now Stu:) Thanks so much for the lovely compliment, and I’m delighted to hear that, by ‘hushing the rushing’, you’re feeling positive, less stressed and optimistic about the future. With all the negative that is going on in the world, it can sometimes be challenging to see beyond the storm clouds: but I think it’s vital, especially in those times, to keep your own flame burning brightly, and shine it all around to help those who perhaps are feeling far more scared or worried or dis-empowered by all that is going on.

        Zen on, my friend:) Cheers! Kaarina

    • This was kind of cool, and have yours ready to pop next Thursday.

      I too have tried to develop more focus and not just running around chasing rabbits here and there. I think it’s working and at least it feels like I’m a lot more organized.

      Good to see you this weekend and hope all is going well.

  25. Thanks for the shout-out Bill! 🙂 And thank you especially for hosting this beautiful post by Kaarina.

    Kaarina, you sure gave me a lot to think about this evening. What a wonderful reminder to keep our inner dreams alive. I love The Last Lecture and the message that it sends to all of us about reclaiming who we really are and living our ideals (or trying to).

    I absolutely agree with you that our moments are really all we have and rather than get caught up in all the doom and gloom over the economy, politics – whatever – the best we can do is embrace our moments with all the love, awareness and purpose that we can muster.

    Thank you for a lovely (and very chewable) read.

    • Have to give credit where credit is due, right?

      Thanks for stopping by and saying hello to Kaarina; this has been a fun week.

      Hope you are having a good weekend.

    • Tisha, than you so much. I’m glad you found it a chewable read:)

      Although it is sometimes easier to get swept along with all the “doom and gloom”…we are, after all, surrounded by it right now…I remain steadfast in believing in being a bright light, and in your words, remember: “The best we can do is embrace our moments with all the love, awareness and purpose that we can muster.” Great sentiment: great credo to live by. Cheers! Kaarina

  26. Ahh … finally able to catch my breath and soak in this wonderful post … sorry for my delay Kaarina! And you lucky woman you for guest posting on the one and only Mr. Dorman’s site. 😉 Whoo hoo!

    What a beautiful soul you are Kaarina! First, I love George Bernard Shaw! Second, such a fabulous collection of questions to ponder! This post makes incredible sense and that is why I like you … you make me question and evaluate things and I like the challenge. I pray I’m burning my candle brightly; however, I know it’s been burned out a time or two only to be relit once again.

    Often I take inventory of my goals, my dreams, where I am in life and what has changed. What burned bright at one time naturally distinguished as it’s time was done and then off in the distance another candle lit.

    I’m definitely going to look into the reading material you suggest – sounds wonderful – just like you!

    May both of you have a wonderful, memorable weekend!

    With kindness & gratitude,

    Elena

    • Hey Elena, thanks for coming by this lovely Sat. Yes, it was fun to have Kaarina here and love the support our blended communities provided.

      One and only………….is that a good thing, or a bad thing?…………:). Thanks for the kind words.

      So good to see you and hope your weekend is splendid as well.

    • Elena, thank you so much: I’m honoured and grateful for your oh-so-kind words.

      I agree that sometimes one candle can extinguish, to be replaced by another…or it’s extinguished because its time has passed. The important thing is to re-light, re-ignite and re-charge on whatever the new path becomes.

      I’m glad you “like the challenge”…it makes my heart sing when I can provide a bit of a different perspective, a prod or a gentle push to look at things from a slightly different angle. With kindness & gratitude back at’cha…and of course…Cheers! Kaarina P.S. I hope Elvis arrives soon:)

  27. Awesome Kaarina. I have been waiting to read a post from you for some time. You are such a gifted writer and a great thinker so I hope this is the first of many posts. Hope to meet you soon on one of my trips to the Northeast!

    • She did do a great job, didn’t she? I think I will just turn over my site to her now.

      I’m glad you were able to find her and reach out. She produced a good one and glad people had a chance to see it. I told her I would have kept this for myself……….

      Good to see you Mark and hope all is well in your world.

    • Mark, thank you so much for dropping by and commenting. I do post regularly on my own blog site (hope you might drop by there some time, winkwink;), and was delighted when Bill asked me to guest (or in his words, ghost) post here.

      The welcome mat’s always out, online and off, so if you’re ever up “north of the border” you’ve got a friend and a place to stay. I will make meatloaf:) Cheers! Kaarina

  28. Just started following Kaarina. What a great post, with great quotes. Love it. Look forward to reading more, Kaarina.

    Oh yeah, and from you too, Bill. Thanks.

    Roll Tide ! Ha !

    Al

    • Hey Al, great to see you here. Just followed back, and it looks like we’re now FB friends too. Awesome how the community of “social” works!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my blog site as well. I look forward to our continued connection. Cheers! Kaarina

    • I heard that…………

      Thanks for stopping by Al, I might have been born on a Wednesday, but it wasn’t last Wed and I know by bringing the lovely ladies by it will attract a crowd. Kaarina did a super job; she’s going to have to be my ghost writer full time know……..except I’ll start taking credit for it………….:)

      Hope your weekend is well. I’ll see you around.

  29. Hi Kaarina,

    I have read “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, and it was an amazing book. I am still thinking about it more than a year after I read it. I have been thinking a lot about accomplishing my dreams. My problem though is to understand and finding out what my dreams are.

    I’m a dreamer, and I have new dreams all the time. I love being around my family, and I love to be able to help people and animals. And I almost never think about money, but the thing when you’re not thinking about money is that it becomes a problem. I hardly ever have any money, and I don’t need a lot… but my kids have a different opinion about money.
    But slowing down, and smelling the roses, that’s something I do a lot. I am just back home from 4 weeks living in a tent with my family. And it was fantastic 🙂

    Jens

  30. Jens, so great to see you here: I too, love “The Last Lecture”. I just watched it again on youtube, and posted it on my FB profile page. So good.

    Ditto that on the dreamer: I love to dream and set goals. And my thoughts on money? I believe money is the result of providing value, doing good things and being of service…it’s the result of all that good stuff!

    How cool to have gone camping with your family. And 4 weeks…wow! My two boys are now grown and gone, but we did lots of camping and hiking with them when they were tots.

    I’ve been following your comments/Twitter for some time now…must get over to your blog more often. Thanks for taking the time to share and comment. Cheers! Kaarina

    • I haven’t watched the last lecture on YouTube yet. But I definitively will now. I read about the video in the book. But I was on an island in Greece when I read the book, and I forgot about the video when I got back home 🙂

      I love camping, especially the way we do it. I don’t like the big trailers, and a lot of people. I just want it to be nature all around us.

      I’m still sort of on camping, at least five days this week, and every weekend until I leave for Italy (in about five weeks).

      Talk to you later Kaarina 🙂

  31. Kaarina, aloha. Congratulations on your excellent post launching the the guest posting series. You have set bar quite high!

    Like you, Kaarina, I have long been a George Bernard Shaw fan and that apple/ideas quote is one of my favorites. Here is one another favorite which fits perfectly with your questions:

    “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

    Because if people honestly answered what they would do it they had an abundance of money or only months to live, they would figure out what truly mattered to them.

    Their answer to the question: “What have you always wanted to do, but never done?” would cause them to dig deep within themselves. No doubt the answer for many would be “I don’t have enough money to . . .” The response then is “why don’t you have enough money?” “Why are you holding yourself back from going after the things that are important to you?” Or perhaps, they are not really so important rather they sound good when someone asks about your bucket list.

    Kaarines, I believe your last series of questions is a powerful way to unlock the door to greatness or to set the torch aflame.

    Thank you so much for your inspiring post, Kaarina. Best wishes for a terrific day. Aloha. Janet

    P.S. Congratulations to you, Bill, for a brilliant start to your series.

    • She blew the place up; I’m so happy for her. I’ve been trying to clean up around her for a week……………:).

      She really did do a good job though.

      Thanks for taking the time to come by and say hello to her; hope your day is going well.

      Aloha

    • Janet, how wonderful to see you here, and thanks so much for your lovely comment. I must admit to feeling guilty about not keeping in contact with you more regularly: I so enjoy our connection. I’ve been quite remiss in keeping up, and I’m sure it’s “cold comfort” for me to say I think of you often and see your comments all over the blogosphere…shame on me. This will be corrected!

      If I had a penny for every person who says they “don’t have the money” to do something (which is an excuse, plain and simple), I’d be a millionaire! “Not having the money” is the biggest self-imposed excuse on the planet, because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, as you point out…if you say you don’t have the money, you won’t have the money.

      I’m honoured to have been Bill’s first “ghost”, and grateful for your very kind comments, Janet. I will now be in touch more regularly:) Cheers! Kaarina

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