Think Different

by Lance Ekum on September 29, 2010 · 87 comments

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently – they're not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." ~ Steve Jobs

The opportunity to think different.

The Willy Street Fair:  Madison, Wisconsin

On a brisk sunny September morning, I travel to Madison, Wisconsin (just a short drive away) with two of my kids.  Our plan:

Think different. 

Be it.  Do it.

The Willy Street Fair.

The whole concept of this fair, a neighborhood celebration of diversity and united-ness, is different than any I've experienced before.  See, we went knowing we would be dressing different than normal, that we'd be walking in the parade and doing different. 


Different was the norm on this day.

This parade, this fair, this celebration of diversity shined the beauty of what different can be!  More than that, though – this was different with full acceptance.  A celebration of the unique!  A belief in all that IS possible!  Fun!  Life affirming!

What if…

What if every day was like that.  Where different was fully accepted.  Where different was encouraged.  Where different was celebrated.  Where different brought deeper connection.

How do we get there?  How do we get to where different is okay.  (because it is!!)

We have to do it!  When each of us takes those steps…those steps into the unknown that different can bring – we allow others to do that, too.

Small steps.  Big steps.  In between steps.

What can YOU do?  Today.

Think different.

Be it.  Do it.

This article is from Evita Ochel, writer at the Evolving Beings website.  Evita writes very deeply from a place of meaning and purpose.  Today she shares her words and insights here.

Life Happiness Lessons: What I Learned From a Duck

“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.” ~ Mortimer Adler

Living on a waterfront, in a more natural environment, I have the pleasure to observe and interact with nature in many ways. Whether it is the sun, the wind, the water or any of nature’s immaculate living species – Nature is an amazing teacher. If we allow ourselves to fully see, hear and experience what she presents, we open ourselves up to a wise and infinite teacher.

In doing so, we open ourselves up to learning about ourselves, our environment and all that is in it. We invite into ourselves learning opportunities that can nourish our being and soul, and move us forward along the path of our personal growth and evolution. 

One of my most recent teachers has been a little visitor to our property, whom in allowing myself to observe, I learned more from, than perhaps any book or guru. I named our little visitor Ethel – and Ethel is a duck. I warmly share with you here today, in Lance's wonderful space, four things that I learned from Ethel for living out a happy life.

1. Enjoy the Fullness of Each Moment
It only takes a few minutes of watching Ethel, to tap into a completely different space and time. A space in fact, where time does not exist – where there is simply – now – this moment.

Ethel knows how to enjoy her being, her life and her environment. She is never in a rush to do the “next” thing. She is fully immersed in being. She fully takes in each moment.  With Ethel, there is no multi-tasking. When she is swimming, she is in the moment of swimming. When she is grooming, she is fully focused on grooming. The same goes for her rest and feeding.  

May you always remember, to enjoy the fullness of each moment of your life. Each moment is precious and holds a gift for us, in what it can allow us to be, feel and experience.

2. Be Open To Receiving
On a few occasions, I allowed myself to offer Ethel some food. It was a personal experience that I felt was right for me, and allowed me to interact and connect with Ethel on a different dimension. Each time, Ethel received passionately.

How many times are you open to receiving, when another being is offering you their help, kindness, hospitality or any other positive gesture? How open is your heart to welcome in their personal expression of love?

May you always remember that 'in giving, you receive' – and 'in receiving, you give'. It is only when we allow for this balance within our hearts, that we allow ourselves and others around us the fullest expression of love.

3. Have a Personal Enough

In those few times that I fed Ethel, one of the most remarkable things was watching Ethel know when she had enough. Ethel may not know when or where her next meal will come from, but she knows that filling up too much at one time, is not going to help her.

Do you have your own “enough”?  Whether it is having “enough” food, or drink or of an activity, a healthy balance is one of the surest way for a happy life. In our society, we are not always so good at our personal boundaries of “enough”. We overindulge in various things.

Whether it be something physical, emotional or spiritual, may you find that sacred space within of knowing when you have had “enough” – as overfilling on anything leads us out of balance, and away from living out the happiest life ever.

4. Know When To Move On
As of a few days ago, I stopped seeing Ethel, but I caught glimpse above head of the ducks flying off in groups. Ethel knew that it would not serve her to stay here forever. 

Although a long flight to a warmer climate is going to take time and effort, and the journey holds a lot of unknowns, Ethel knew that ultimately this would be for her highest good. She knew when her present environment no longer served her, and when it was time to move on.

In the same way, we can look at our own personal relationships and places where we reside. Are we open to change and knowing when it is time to move on?  Are we willing to embrace a bit of the unknown, to benefit our highest good?

Whether it is a relationship with someone, a workplace, a neighborhood or a personal venture, may you always know when it is time to move on for your highest good. Trust that in letting go and moving on, you too, will find 'better climates'.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” ~ Rachel Carson

You can keep up with Evita by subscribing to her blog, and following her on Twitter.

Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum on September 26, 2010

I need you !!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Matthew Fang

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children … to leave the world a better place … to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

~ Comments closed ~

Pie-Making - finished pie, apple
Creative Commons License photo credit: CaptPiper

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.” ~ Dr. Seuss



Barbara Swafford!!

I have an apple with me today.  (yum!)  I want some apple pie. (double yum!)  And I am honored to know Barbara Swafford and have been touched by her presence!! (triple YUM!!)

Let me set the apple aside and stop dreaming of that apple pie (grudgingly…it tastes soooo good in this dream of mine!) for a moment…


Thank you!  (it hardly seems enough…)

As I think back to when I started down this journey with the Jungle of Life, I recall those early days when I was a bit unsure of myself out here in this new world online.  And then, magically, I found Barbara and her wonderful site – Blogging Without A Blog.  What a amazing and wise woman…sharing so many ideas!

It didn't stop there, though.

There was this thing – the New Blog of The Week (NBOTW) that she was doing back then…featuring new bloggers and helping to give them a start, a boost, a connection with others.

I knew so few out there in this big and unknown online world.  And then Barbara…well…she opened her heart…and connected me with her caring and amazing followers!!

Barbara…thank YOU!!!  Thank you for ALL of this!!

It's been over two years since that time…and what you gave me was truly a boost in confidence, an appreciation for caring souls, a deeper belief in my own abilities, and an online classroom in which to learn and grow!

Barbara…may your life be filled with magical moments…moments like you have given me and so many others!!

And for everyone reading this…know that each of you offer amazing gifts to this world! 


Enjoy some sweet apple pie!!!!  (…or an apple…) (…or whatever it is that warms your belly!!)

Barbara…you are a STAR!!  (…shining so brightly into so many lives!!!)

~ Comments are closed ~

Life: Do It Now

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: rogiro “Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.” ~ Anonymous The year was 1969.  I entered this world and life in human form began.  A life that was full of moments….of being truly in the present. Do you remember learning to walk?  Or talk?  Or eat?  And what about laughter – didn’t […]

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by Lance Ekum

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by Lance Ekum

photo credit: misterbisson “We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” ~ C.S. Lewis Note:  Please help me welcome Eduard Ezeanu, from People Skills Decoded, here today, […]

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photo credit: cosmonautirussi “Perhaps it will seem to you that the sunshine is brighter and that everything has a new charm. At least, I believe this is always the result of a deep love, and it is a beautiful thing. And I believe people who think love prevents one from thinking clearly are wrong; for […]

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Note:  If you are having trouble viewing this, please click here. Missy Higgins: Steer A special thank you to Mish, for the introduction to this artist. ~ Comments are closed. ~

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Arghh! I Screwed Up!

by Lance Ekum

photo credit: Simon Pais “Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your […]

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