Gregg Hake Launches New eBook: The Courage to Face Ingratitude

It is my pleasure to announce the release of my new eBook entitled “The Courage to Face Ingratitude”, the first of hopefully many to come!

Those of you have been following my daily blogs for some time will recognize the quotes I’ve excerpted from the remarkable work of Mr. William George Jordan, a writer and editor who lived roughly a century ago. Those of you who have not yet heard of Mr. Jordan are in for a real treat. His writing is the kind that inspires many rereads, not for its complexity but for its profundity and that unfolds layer upon layer of meaning and applicability.

If you believe in a healthy world and that you are here on earth for a specific and important reason, please follow this link to get your copy now. While you’re at it, feel free to share the link with others!

Have a fantastic day!

 

 

Infinite Possibility

Man must realize that he was not placed in the world, as a finality, something fixed, limited, restricted and unchangeable. He was entrusted with himself as infinite possibility, as mere raw material to fashion as he will for better or for worse as he may determine. It is part of his glorious gift of freedom, his responsibility of trusteeship. For what a man has he is dependent on others, but what he is depends on him alone. We may counsel another, help him, inspire him to live his life, but we cannot live that life for him. That is his individual problem, in accord with his vision and his ideals; the battle is his and the final victory or defeat, with its responsibility to himself and to other is his.” ~ William George Jordan

I love the opportunity to work in a corporate environment as it provides an endless array of opportunities to discover how to live life. There are routines that bring comfort, surprises that compel personal growth, relationships requiring constant maintenance and more, all within the walls of the office.

Every day is an opportunity to fashion yourself for the better. Your personal habits, the way you carry yourself, the manner in which you handle the daily challenges that come your way can be up for review every moment of every day. Why limit yourself to a life of stagnation, where nothing’s ventured and nothing changes?

Dare to live a little today. The possibilities are endless!

Vision

The great men of the world have ever been its men of vision, men of imagination, of ideals and of inspiration. They ever hold their heads high, and see above, through, and beyond the limitations of their time and environment. They will see with the poet’s imagination, the prophet’s intuition, the philosopher’s reasoning.

Vision sees a mighty forest of oaks in a handful of acorns. Vision sees a glowing revelation of the ideal as the birthright of the most sordid and seemingly hopeless real. Vision sees far down the coming years the culmination of the logic of events where others may not note even a trend or tendency. Vision sees the sunburst of the final triumph of right at the very hour when all seems wrapped in the darkness of doubt and failure.” ~ William George Jordan

As I sat watching the Republican presidential debate the evening before last, one of the central questions on my mind was whether the men on stage where men of substantive vision or men who delivered a plausible yet hollow semblance of true vision. The situation could hardly be more challenging, where members of the same party have to vie against one another in full view of the nation and of the opposition to sort out who is most fit to lead, all the while positioning themselves for a run against the opposing candidate, who presently holds the keys to the White House and the strings to a lot of people’s purses.

The question remained unanswered at the end of the debate but I must say that I find their passion, courage and tenacity led me to ask myself if I am doing all that I can to articulate a vision through my thoughts, words and deeds. If I understand anything it is this one thing: that there cannot be real growth, true development without vision. It is as true for the individual as it is for any grouping of individuals. It is true for you, for me and it is true for humanity as a whole. Where there is vision, the people flourish.

The privilege of vision, of imagination, of ideals and of inspiration is available to everyone on earth. Most people seem content to follow the vision of another, in some cases living vicariously through them, but you cannot truly live if you have not yet developed your capacity to articulate and actualize your vision. Living without vision is not living, it is existing.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. True vision is not manufactured by the mind alone. While it is crafted in the workshop of the mind and tempered by the fires of the heart, it comes from a place that few know anything about. How do you find this place? There are many ways, but one of the most direct routes involves learning to think, to truly think for oneself.

The human mind is a marvelous thing, but it tends to crystallize that which would flow naturally, gracefully and abundantly into expression. There are many things that frustrate this flow and they are easily identifiable. Fears, prejudices, rigidly held opinions, and arbitrary intentions top the list, their common denominator being unrelieved tension. Each of these qualities of being are restrictive in nature, man-made diuretics that increase the excretion of the waters of truth from the mind and heart, leaving the womb of creation, of original thought, of true vision and inspiration, an arid and desolate place.

It’s not simply enough to relax, however, for the mind and heart must be trained and toned to recognize the currents of true inspiration and vision from the ubiquitous extraneous and mixed impulses that tend to fill the hearts and minds of most people who are busy being busy, establishing a name for themselves or simply reacting to that which is round about. If you are reacting to the world around you, you are already one step behind. What you see, hear, taste and smell already happened, so when you react to those things you are struggling with the past. Again, you are existing, not living.

Living is the process whereby vision is articulated and all things are made new. You have an opportunity, nay, the responsibility to make all things new in the world you center. Anything less is technically beneath you, though most people set the bar so low in their existing that it is hard to get much of anything beneath them.

Dare to share your vision for the world we steward together. Dare to transcend that which has heretofore kept the real you imprisoned and hidden from sight. Don’t be afraid to fail and more importantly, don’t be afraid to succeed.

The world needs you!

 

 

 

The Glory of Going On

Tennyson uses the fine phrase, “the glory of going on.” There is tremendous power and influence in plowing through obstacles and opposition as though they did not exist, of remaining calm and undaunted, meeting fate or failure without protest, but ever seeking a new way out. Courage is not in never fearing but in conquering the fear, not in seeing no danger but in seeing safety beyond; it is the soul’s supreme contempt for cost so long as it gets value. Courage comes from conviction; it always rises when we face a situation with supreme confidence that we can master it, when we remain cool long enough to generate the energy and heat to go on.” ~ William George Jordan

When you fail to “go on” with respect to anything you face in life, you, or some part of you, stagnates. That part of you is held in suspended animation, its growth stunted and that which depends upon it is compromised.

Stagnation is never a healthy state. When water stagnates, it becomes an incubator for bacteria and parasites. Health-promoting, flowing water can become an environmental hazard when it stops moving. So too does the human body, mind and heart. Flow is essential.

The next time you see an opening in circumstance, an opportunity you have previously cowered from for one reason or another, take a chance and drive a truck through it. Do as Jordan suggests and plow through the obstacles and opposition as though they did not exist. You’ll be surprised as I have often been how quickly things can change when you refuse to hold back and dare to go on.

 

 

The obstacles in life are made harder, heavier and denser when painted with fear.

The Steady Glow

There can be no true living without the red blood of courage; it is never in what we bear but in how we bear it. Without courage we are but feeble slaves of condition, accepting life dumbly and with cowardly resignation in all that it may bring of good or ill. It is the steady glow of moral heroism in the dull round of daily duties that counts most, not the spectacular showing on some great occasion.” ~ William George Jordan

I’ve long maintained that great people are made so because of their ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Everything that comes to you is not the result of your doing. That said, there is no value in bemoaning your fate, blaming humanity or the gods or feeling yourself a victim of circumstance. At the end of the day it’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s how you handle what happens.

The Discipline of Life

In life as in war there are times when the wisest course is simply to stand still, to rest on one’s arms, to watch and to wait. When a mist of uncertainty enshrouds us and life seems to come to a pause, when we do not know just what to do, it is best to await the sunshine of revealing that will show us our way. To active, nervous, energetic natures, keenly hungering for action, the hours of waiting are hard. But they are often necessary; they are part of the discipline of life. It requires more courage sometimes to survive the dull, dead tedium of a siege than the tingling, thrilling exhilaration and excitement of the perils of a close fight.” ~ William George Jordan

There is a time for pushing forward and a time for hunkering and whittling. Both are equally important to sustained progress in living. The key, of course, is found in timing it right.

Hunker and whittle when you should act and your life will stagnate. Push when you should be tarrying and you will burn out prematurely. The oscillation of rest and action are fundamental to effective living and learning to discern and cooperate with the rhythmic pulsations is one of the most important lessons in life that anyone – especially those with a naturally energetic nature – must learn.

Some people take a while to learn their lessons. They charismatically and often monomaniacally try to force nature, the world around them, their circumstances, etc. to conform to their wishes as they seek to accomplish their goals. They seek to impose their will, through intention, or their might through physical force in a way that ignores the larger cycles and seasons in which their worlds are contained. Such people end up wasting their lives (and occasionally losing them) hunting down the Moby Dick’s in their world in an effort to avenge the wounds they received on previous hunts.

Man cannot control nature, neither is he the master of the universe. He is a steward of power, a focus of authority and a means of extending control into the range of creation for which he is responsible. To do so effectively he must learn to balance action and rest.

This balance is not easily struck in the world today. We in the western world, particularly in the American model, are conditioned from a very young age to push and push and when that isn’t enough, to push a little more. Is this a healthy and sustainable approach to living? I have to wonder if we’re not missing much of what is available of living by failing to notice the rests that do appear on the sheet music of life if you are watching and listening carefully to the world around you.

 

The Consciousness of Right

It takes courage to choose the harder road and to walk bravely in it, simply, steadfastly and uncomplaining. If you are right and know you are right it matters not what the world thinks or what it says. You can fight your way through the smoke of doubt, the choking atmosphere of misrepresentation, the blinding sulphurous clouds of unjust criticism and plow through the serried ranks of jealousy, cruelty and injustice, vitalized to new wondrous powers of resistance by the consciousness of right. You will know no fear but the fear of failing to do your best; you will glow in the thought that, no matter how hard the fight, the eagles of victory must finally rest on the banners of right.” ~ William George Jordan

The fear of failing to do one’s best is one of the few fears I would encourage holding onto for those desirous of living to their full potential. This fear pushes you to do better, to give more, to stay on point more consistently without the typical side-effects that come with other motivations, such as the fear of being wrong, the fear of making (or repeating) mistakes or the fear of disapproval.

Fear is rarely a creative motivation. It triggers processes in your body that heighten your awareness, strength and agility when you are under a physical threat, but more often than not fear controls where reason should hold sway. If you’re not careful fear tends to lead to one of two extremes: paralysis or frenzy. Neither are preferred to the consciousness of right.

The deeper you fall in love with the beauty, symmetry and elegant simplicity of truth, the more fully you are released from the death grip of fear. The closer your relationship with truth, the more likely it is that you will be conscious of right and not simply fooled by a semblance. It was once said that “perfect love casteth out fear” and I cannot imagine a more comforting and inspiring thought.

What fears have you held that you wish to be freed from, beginning now? If you think about it, fear is a form of worship. When you fear you say to the object of your concern: “You hold power over me” and “I am subject to you.” Fear, you may recall, is a synonym of reverence. It is for this reason that I have mentioned in previous posts that “What has your heart has you.”

To relinquish fear, you must love more perfectly. While I’m on the subject, don’t be afraid of that word, “perfection.” It is well within the realm of possibility, not something to be scoffed at or dreamed by means of some impossible dream.