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Life of Meaning

Hope for a Future

November 5, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in life… Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

I just completed, for the second time, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Nazi concentration camp survivor and psychologist Viktor Frankl. The book is ranked as the eighth most influential book ever written, and for good reason.

I thought I would post four quotes from the book and end the post with a couple comments.
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The Simple Secret of Pleasure

October 14, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

People are happiest when they are engaged in activities that challenge them.” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Hungarian Psychologist 1970

Just recently I received a photograph of me with three 12 year-old baseball players from a baseball team I had the honor to coach, the OC Aztecs. Amazingly, today all three players in the photo are in the Major Leagues playing baseball. Joe Musgrove for the Houston Astros, Zach Davies with the Milwaukee Brewers, and Austin Hedges with the San Diego Padres. Wow. What a treat!
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Your Life is a Collection of Moments

September 30, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“No one can accomplish your dreams except you… moment by moment.” Anthony Trucks, former NFL player and Founder of “Trust Your Hustle”

It was more than twenty years ago but my memory of the moment is as vivid as if it occurred yesterday. My son Austin was 4 or 5 years old on the beach in Dana Point chasing a flock of seagulls from one landing spot on the sand to another. His inexpressible joy was contagious.
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Living in Alignment with Your Intentions

September 16, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

Live each day in alignment with your intentions. Loosely quoting Brendon Burchard from Success Live Conference

Whew. I just finished the first day of my first motivational conference. Although there was lots of great information the hoopla drove me nuts. I will not jump up and down waving my hands, screaming absurd little motivational quotes. Still, although I did refuse to play the jumping games I did glean a lot of good ideas about life and work.

Your Life’s Intentions

I like the implication Brendon Burchard made about aligning your life with your predetermined intentions. Now that, of course, assumes that you do have sone intentions in your life. I’ve written about this a lot. What excites you and what do you love to do? And, I might add, to whom do you give your time and money?

As you know I have three categories of intentions in addition to taking care of my family: Learning (satisfying my insatiable curiosity by reading, museums, and travel), creating and giving. These serve as guidelines to which I align the vast majority of my activities. Lately “giving” has taken precedence with my new Ugandan commitments.

You most certainly have some critically important intentions in life regarding family, work, charity, and fun. Have you ever taken time to ponder precisely what some of those may be? If not, then please take some time and write them down. Make your life intentions clear to yourself.

Creating Your Legacy

Currently I am considering the importance of leaving a legacy consisting of giving love and charity and hope. How might your life be any better if you approached your life on purpose instead of randomly accepting whatever comes your way day after day? I guarantee your life would double in pleasure if you were to be the person you are DNA’d to be.

My friend Terry was a very popular speaker and writer in Orange County, CA when he decided to honor his intention of living a more satisfying and meaningful life on a little island in the Peugeot Sound. It took courage and boldness to make that move yet he aligned his life with his deeply motivated intention of owning acres of garden space, growing his own food, simplifying his life, and removing himself from the rat race.

He still writes and speaks and builds gardens, but he has his personal sanctuary to rest his weary soul. He truly lives his life in alignment with his intentions. He knows what he loves to do and is dedicated to spending his time on those desires.

And you? Are you aligned with your intentions? Have you identified your intentions? If so, have you established some sort of system to ensure you have aligned actions to satisfy your heart’s desire?

The World Needs You

You need the world and the world needs you. You will never be totally satisfied until you make it a habit to give part of yourself to the vast needs of the poor and disenfranchised. For example, as most of you already know, I build water wells in rural Uganda—both through funding and volunteering. My life will never be the same. It obviously fits well in all of my three life intentions of learning, creating, and giving.

Let me conclude with a few ideas:

  1. Create at 2-4 high level “life intentions,” e.g. learning, creating, and giving.
  2. List at least 3 activities that you can Do to fulfill those intentions.
  3. Align your life with those intentions. In other words, PLAN to actually do them.
  4. And if you do the three above, write me and let me know how much richer your life has become. I really want to hear.

Whatever You Do

Do It Intentionally!

Photo courtesy of ALotOfPeople at istockphoto

Worry: Imagination or Reality

September 9, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. Seneca, Letters from a Stoic

Here’s a test. One year ago today you were worried greatly over something very troubling. It may have even kept you up at night. It made you nervous and grouchy, afraid and angry. What was that thing that worried you so?
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To Change Yourself You Must Know Yourself

September 2, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 4 Comments

To become different from what you are, you must have some awareness of what you are.” From Bruce Lee’s insightful philosophy of life

Okay. Let’s get vulnerable. I recently returned from a charity trip to Uganda in which I encountered a level of poverty I never even imagined. I visited very rural villages where thousands of people live on $1.00 to $2.00 (max) per day. No running water or electricity or sanitation. And yet these people are happy and very friendly. As a result, I will never be the same.
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I Was Thinking…

August 12, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 4 Comments

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.  Eleanor Roosevelt


I’ve written in the past that gossip might be the most favorite form of communication of the human race. Admit it. We love to talk about people. We talk about people we don’t know and about those closest to us as well.
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The Value of Hopelessness

August 5, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”

American Tibetan Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödrön. From Maria Popova Brain Pickings

In January 2017 I was enjoying a short charter cruise of the canals of Copenhagen, admiring sites like the Grand Opera House (the top of which is the size of a soccer field), small ports and homes of famous people like Hans Christian Anderson.
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Wisdom Redefines Success

July 2, 2017 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Our happiness depends on wisdom. Sophocles

What comes to mind when you think of “success?” Most of us go right to the accumulation of stuff, popularity, prominence in business or sports, being admired for some accomplishment, or a host of other similar attributes. Surely the individuals that have developed any of those properties have attained some level of success.

My Misdirected Approach

Personally, I have devoted a good portion of my life focusing on acquiring cars and houses and clothes, in addition to the getting myself in a position where I was needed by several individuals and groups. Although I never thought of it in those terms, that did, indeed, define my goals in life. I felt that if I was that kind of person I would be successful. And success was my ultimate goal.

I longed to be popular and powerful. As a result, I spent a fortune on therapy to remedy my depression and lack of self-respect—indicating that my goals were misplaced. In recent years, as I approach old age, I have discovered that a healthy self-love and a desire to make my world a better place are a much more profitable means for success.

It all began and continues with the pursuit of wisdom: understanding life in terms of character, goodness, and insight. Instead of trying to be important and envied, I am trying to be “good. I realized I was not in tune with God and his intentions for me—intentions that represent the “real me” I was created to be.

First, I must say the pursuit of genuine wisdom is not an easy task. It requires breaking down much of what I have believed most of my life. It’s not that I have been a selfish jerk. I have always tried to be a person of service to others, but my underlying goals were too often selfish. I loved being needed and important. I loved the accolades. I loved (and, honestly, still do) the stuff I could acquire in the process.

The Wisdom Within

The pursuit of wisdom is teaching me differently. Today I search my heart for impurities, but more important, I search my heart for understanding and insight. I believe that you and I are naturally hard-wired to bring good to the world, but the world we live in teaches us differently. We are taught to pursue stuff and positions, without understanding the efforts required to attain those worldly goals are in direct opposition to genuine success.

The genuinely successful person, although self-loving, is nevertheless selfless, promoting peace, understanding and goodness.

In the last three years I have become engaged with a spiritual leader who is helping me understand myself and my life through an entirely new lens, a lens that examines my soul and my innate, God-implanted, desires for goodness and unity.

Her name is Taryn Voget. She is certainly one of the most insightful people I have ever known. Through her guidance I am learning to trust the wisdom that already resides within me. I am learning to follow my heart, not my head, and certainly not to follow our current social narrative that defines success in terms of acquisitions and position.

Finding Your Wisdom Within

I believe that you innately know what is good and right. It’s part of your God-given DNA. The problem is that you have been misled by our culture. All you need are reminders to help you dig deep into your soul, and perhaps a few “prompts” to help get you there.

Here are a few things I do to initiate those reminders and prompts:

  1. I read age-old philosophy, mainly Stoics, Epicureans, the Tao Te Ching, and the Bible.
  2. I meditate 20 minutes daily in an attempt to clear my mind of the distractions I face regularly.
  3. I schedule regular checkups with people I feel have attained a degree of wisdom, people like Taryn.
  4. I work on “controlling my mind and my thoughts.” The Buddha teaches that control of one’s mind will naturally lead you to Enlightenment and wisdom.

If you resonate with any part of this post, I wish you success in your journey to wisdom and a meaningful life of love, kindness and self-revelation.

Success is Defined by

Demonstrating Your Goodness Within

Photo courtesy of DigtialStorm at istockphoto

NOTE: Taryn is available to all seekers. You can reach her at taryn@tarynvoget.com.