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Life of Awe

What Makes You Wealthy?

December 8, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Attention without feeling, I began to learn, is only a report. An openness — an empathy — was necessary if the attention was to matter. Mary Oliver

It’s a warm So Cal winter’s day in early December. We just had two or three days of very heavy and much needed rain leaving the air bright and crystal clear. I sit at my favorite spot for writing blogs—the Montage Hotel lobby in Laguna Beach. From my seat I have a view a large fireplace, a huge Christmas tree, and in the background out the window is a magnificent scene of the Pacific Ocean.
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Wonder: A Most Primitive Need

November 24, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” Neil Armstrong

We enter the world hungry. Not just for sustenance, but also for a host of primitive needs like love, knowledge, and wisdom. Included in this list of basic needs is the need for awe and Wonder.
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Get Lost and Get Wise

November 17, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” Henry David Thoreau

I was having breakfast at my favorite Saturday morning hotel when I fell into a discussion with my regular 26-year-old server. Let’s call him Brady. Brady is lost, a quite common place to be at the pivotal age of 26, when one thinks he should be on the path to success and wealth.
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From the Archives: The Pleasure of “Finding Things Out”

July 28, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“It is imperative,” wrote Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman“to have uncertainty as a fundamental part of your inner nature.”

Richard Feynman recognized early in life the special, distinctive feeling of being close to the edge of knowledge, where people do not know the answers. He held curiosity and uncertainty at the center of his intellectual and creative life.

Curiosity Can Lead to Odd Behavior

To say that Feynman (1919-1988) was a bit of an oddball is most certainly an understatement. Along with his brilliant achievements as a physicist (including the integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, as well as assisting in the development of the atomic bomb) he dabbled in dozens of creative and entertaining endeavors—a truly admirable hero to those of us driven by curiosity.

Feynman consistently tested the frontiers of his own competence by teaching himself a wide and wild array of skills, always romancing the intoxicating uncertainty of not-quite knowing. Knowing nothing about drawing, he taught himself to make perfect freehand circles on the blackboard; He taught himself how to write Chinese. He taught himself how to force everything from his field of vision except for his research problem of the moment. Lastly he taught himself how to live with cancer, and then how to surrender to it.

There is also the story that has become part of physics lore. A young Feynman grew bored in the remote New Mexico desert while working on the atomic bomb during World War II. He amused himself by learning to pick the combination locks in the supposedly secure filing cabinets containing America’s nuclear secrets. Frustrated administrators of the project changed to more secure locks and, as you might guess, Feynman picked those locks as well—all for the fun of it.

No One Really Knows–That What makes it Fun

Feynman is the poster child for the delight of toying with curiosity and uncertainty. In my research of Feynman on curiosity and uncertainty I came upon this statement by Carl Sagan. For me, his comments are essential for the truly curious person to remain open-minded, resting on the value of uncertainty and the humility to admit no one human has a lock on truth.

“If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from,” Carl Sagan wrote, “we will have failed.” Perhaps because, as Krista Tippett has observed, science and religion “ask different kinds of questions altogether, probing and illuminating in ways neither could alone.”

Sagan’s and Tippett’s comments are appropriate not only for religion and science, but also for all human knowledge as we know it. For me, except for the inexplicable power of Love, everything we know is subject to review, reconsideration, and quite possibly change.

Scary? What’s there to lose in the art of learning?

Radical Open-Mindedness

A Most Lonely Option

Photo courtesy of ClaudioVentrella at istockphoto

IMPORTANT NOTE: Parts of this post have been directly lifted from Maria Popova of Brainpickings.

Wonder: A Most Primitive Need

July 21, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” Neil Armstrong

We enter the world hungry. Not just for sustenance, but also for a host of primitive needs like love, knowledge, and wisdom. Included in this list of basic needs is the need for awe and Wonder.
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Leisurely Fruitful

July 7, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are. George Eastman

Today I slept until 10:00 AM.

Well… actually I did the same thing yesterday and mostly likely the day before that. And you know what? There is this guilty little voice that tries to remind me of how lazy I must be to wake up so late in the morning. Although, that voice doesn’t belong to me anymore. I think it is most likely remnants of that old voice that comes from our highly productive, goal-oriented culture.
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The Fall of Your Life

April 29, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Fall. B. C. Forbes

Although it may seem counterintuitive but you need a Fall in your life. Although I do believe times of despair and falling are indeed essential, that is not the topic today. Today I am arguing for the reintroduction of the season of Fall in your life.
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Archetypes: 4 Options for Survival

April 7, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 3 Comments

“Four Survival Archetypes are the only archetypes that every single person encompasses in themselves. We at some point in our lives open ourselves to the negative and positive sides of these archetypes – Child, Victim, Saboteur, & Prostitute.” Louisa Mitchell

When Your Back is in a Corner
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The Human Soul is Hungry for Beauty

February 3, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves… When we experience the beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming.” John O’Donohue 

He was around four years old when I introduced my son, Austin, to sunsets. We were driving up Laguna Canyon Road when I looked in the side view mirror only to be stunned by one of “those” sunsets. You know the kind I mean—the ones that are quite literally breathtaking.
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The Magic of Mindful Walking

October 21, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

“Mindful walking is a dreamlike experience.” Andy Puddicombe, Headspace

While in Buenos Aires Pam and I took two days from our holiday to fly to a tiny city called Igauzu to see the famous water falls which more than rival Niagara. In fact on some lists the Igauzu Water Falls are considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
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