Each month, my intention is to introduce you to some of my favorite inspirational philosophers, theorists, and deep thinkers. So far, you’ve read essays by Marianne Williamson, Garrison Keillor, and Anna Quindlen. Today, I’d like to introduce you to my mentor and teacher, Mary Morrissey.
I met Mary through the Life Mastery Institute where I received my coaching training and certification — she’s the founder, by the way. After listening to her lectures on how to discover and define your dreams and goals and then design an action plan for success, I was hooked! Her teaching combines practical and proven methodologies, effective success-building strategies, and common universal principles, all with a spiritual and universalist twist.
Last week, I wrote about the strong impact fear has on your life and the absolute necessity to face your fear, befriend it, and use its power as a catalyst for change. Today, I’m following that with Mary’s essay on the importance of finding your direction. This is step 1 in a process to achieve the success that you desire and deserve.
Advice from Ancient Roman Philosopher, Seneca, on How to Create a Life You Love
By Mary Morrissey
“Do you feel adrift like you don’t know which way your life is going? Wouldn’t you love to know how to find your direction but are not sure which course you should take?
One of the ancient Roman philosophers, Seneca, delivered some sage advice in his day that we can apply to our lives today. He once said, ‘If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.’ What did he mean, and why is it important when it comes to you creating a life you love living?
Many of us feel dissatisfied with our lives. We know what we don’t want and we tend to often speak about the things we dislike. But if you ask someone what they do want, many people will say, ‘Well, I don’t know. I’ve never really thought so much about what I want. I just know what I don’t want.’ …
It’s vital to have a clear and specific vision for your life. I’ve found that if you don’t have a clear vision for what you would really love to have, to be, and to do, then you have no clear destination. You end up living by default instead of by design — just accepting and reacting to what comes to you, instead of choosing to do and create the things you love.
Seneca’s quote says that not knowing your destination will lead to unfavorable winds. In this state of unknowing, it doesn’t really matter where you go or what comes to you because none of it will get you closer to where you want to go. You’re just being tossed and turned by everything that’s coming at you, and in today’s world, there’s a lot coming at you.
You have a short, precious span of time called life. What will you do with it?
The question is, what kind of results would you truly love? … In your health, your relationships, your vocation, and your time and money freedom, you can measure your results right now, and you will have measurable results one year from now. But if you’re unclear on where you want to end up in a year, two years, or three years from now, then you’ll find yourself drifting around in the sea of possibility.
You won’t be creating the results you desire — not because you don’t have the capability and potential — but because you didn’t have a goal in mind. You couldn’t harness your potential, your abilities, and the laws of success in order to reach your chosen destination…
How do you determine what you’d really love?
If you don’t know what it is that you would really love, start looking at the areas in your life where you notice some longing or discontent. What are you longing for? What do you wish could be another way? What are you frustrated with or tired of? Notice those feelings and thoughts. They’re actually signals from the power breathing in you, from life itself, designed to wake you up and say, “Hey, you were meant for more than this. Don’t settle here, but get a clear picture of what you want. I gave you an intelligence that empowers you to do that.’
Where would you love to end up? What results do you want to create and experience? …
The important question is, “What would I love in my life?” When you know what you would love, this helps you design an end point. You’ll no longer be the sailor without a destination, to whom no wind is favorable. Instead, you’ll be on your way to realizing your dream, and a life that you will truly love living.”
As I wrote in Blog # 8, Do You Know YOUR Destination, which builds on Mary’s salient advice:
Yes, your destination does need clarity — something that you can visualize and describe to anyone who asks, like an “elevator” speech. It’s up to you, and only you, to have that visual image, that picture in your mind.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the destination is static. Far from it. You need to hold that dream, that vision, that big goal with an open hand. Meaning, that as you take each step forward, you may realize that the destination has shifted, or morphed, or gotten even bigger than you could have ever imagined, and that’s okay.
So, give your mind a picture that will need to evolve as you move towards it. It’s a living concept, a living dream of the life that you want to create. You do not need to know all the steps required to achieve this dream. But, you have to have some idea of where you want to be in the full spectrum of your life.
With a clear direction, your dreams and big goals will be much easier to accomplish.
Cooking for Joan
One night last spring, I was starving and had limited ingredients in my "larder." While perusing through the relatively empty fridge shelves, I noticed a takeout carton of truffle french fries. Now, I like fries, but don't really love them — I know a sacrilege in the U.S. — but it's the truth. I wasn’t in the mood for warmed up fries but I was very hungry and didn't have many options.
As a lifehacker, I thought there must be some very clever and unusual way to use leftover french fries. As I was researching, I came across a soup recipe. Soup? I would never have thought of that! But, of course, it makes total sense. It's just cooked potatoes and all you would need to do is puree them just like any other cooked vegetable.
Well, I made the soup and it was so good — creamy, starchy (in a good way), smooth, and with the added touch of truffles and sriracha, a perfect meal. I had a large batch and brought some of it into the office. Needless to say, I was the office hero that day, and I still get asked when I plan on bringing in more soup. I made it again this week — sadly, without the truffles — but it was still an amazing addition to Cooking for Joan. I only made a small amount, so I kept the whole pot for myself…shhhh!
French Fry Soup with Sriracha
Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 10 min | Makes: 2 - 3 | Difficulty: Easy
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 TB Olive Oil
- 9 ounces (about 3 1/2 packed cups) cooked french fries (leftover truffle fries are great)
- 3 1/2 cups chicken or veg stock
- Splash white wine (may substitute malt vinegar)
- Splash heavy cream or milk
- Freshly ground black pepper
- A few dashes sriracha
malt vinegar or any other vinegar, except ones that are flavored
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft
Put the french fries in the saucepan and pour the broth over them.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low
Cook, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the french fries are quite soft.
Remove from the heat.
Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.
Stir in the wine and the cream or milk
Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed (the amounts depend on how the fries were originally seasoned).
Stir in more broth if the consistency is too thick
Stir in the sriracha (and the vinegar if using)
Ladle the soup into bowls.
Dot or drizzle each portion with sriracha; serve hot.