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Thoughts on Intentional Living
A Newsletter from Brady Mikusko, Life Coach
In This Issue
Two Excerpts from Paul Hawkins' University of Portland Commencement Address
Life Changing/Life Shaping Questions
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Issue: #3
October 2009
You are brilliant
 and the Earth is hiring
Greetings!Mother Earth

This third issue of Thoughts on Intentional Living continues to present useful ideas, tools and practices to help us construct more intentional lives.  I am excited to present some ideas from a man named Paul Hawkins, an entrepreneur, visionary, and environmentalist.

The following two excerpts are from a commencement speech he gave at the University of Portland in June 2009. Although most of us graduated from high school or college some time ago, I feel these excerpts are juicy and inspiring, and speak to the importance of each one of us on planet Earth.  Further, they are a natural segue to the Exercise Section containing key questions to pose about your own life. As Sam Keen, author of Fire In the Belly and many other books, states:

"Nothing shapes our lives so much
as the questions we ask."


Two Excerpts from Paul Hawkins' University of Portland Commencement Address

brilliant stars

...There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn't bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring. The earth couldn't afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here's the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don't be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

...Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television. This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn't stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence.

Life Changing/Life Shaping Questions
question marks

Tell me, what is it that you plan
to do with your one, wild,
precious life?
                  -- Mary Oliver

There is nothing sacred about this particular set of questions. You may have your own set, which speak more powerfully to you. The point is to begin the practice of asking yourself about yourself and your life.

If you are not paying attention, who is?

I recommend taking 30 minutes today (why wait?) and write the first set of answers to these questions. Then, repeat the process in a month, and perhaps every month for a year.

The results of such an inquiry can be transformative.

Sam Keen, author noted above, discovered the power of questions and listening to the answers. He had always dreamed of flying. Just before his 62nd birthday, Keen enrolled in a trapeze class at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts. This experience led to his creating an "Upward Bound" trapeze program for abused women, drug addicts, and inner-city school children, and others. 


  • If I continue to do what I am doing now, where am I going?

  • If I weren't afraid, what would I do differently?

  • What inspires me? What moves me? What excites me?

  • What is calling to me that I have thus far ignored?

  • What dreams did I once have and put aside or forgotten?

  • Do I allow myself to dream now? If not, why not? What new dreams can I dream now?

  • What do I want to explore, learn, create?

  • What do I want my legacy to be?

My heart is set on living.

-- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Pass It On
I am committed to reaching out and sharing skills, ideas, and practices that I believe can lead people to living their best and intentional life.  Please pass this newsletter on to others if you are so inspired, and ask your friends and colleagues  to sign up for the newsletter if these ideas interest them.

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Wishing you well,

Brady Mikusko, ACC, Life Coach
author of Be Smart: Prepare Yourself for Divorce Mediation