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3 Snippets of Wisdom

At school I was always told that, “I couldn’t make a living from staring out of the window.” But then I became a pilot! 

Staring out of a window became my profession. 

Often, while staring out of the window from 40,000’, my mind would wander. Just like the clouds outside, my  thoughts would take on all sorts of shapes and sizes. 

Eventually I decided to capture some of  these thought clouds. If something particularly insightful formed I would take out a pen and write it down. 

When the pandemic hit, and I started blogging, I began to share these meditations in a weekly newsletter under what is now called Stuck in the Clouds. 

To give you a flavour of these thoughts I thought (ha) I’d share a few snippets of wisdom with you today on Wise and Shine.

In aviation, there’s a flying technique known as crabbing.

Let’s say you’re flying towards a destination due west of your current position. In nil wind conditions, you would select a heading of 270 and set sail.

However, if you have a crosswind from the north, you would need to choose a heading, depending on the strength of that crosswind, north of 270. Otherwise, the wind will blow you off track.

Aiming for the future works the same.

To become the person you’re meant to be, you must aim at an ideal version of yourself. You have to strive towards an outlandish vision. If you aim for what’s realistic, the crosswinds of life will blow you south of that destination.

The only way to find out who you’re meant to be is to aim as high as possible and then see where you land.

Many of us live in the shadow of our mortality precisely because we refuse to look at it. If we did, we’d realise that shadow is made from light.

Death is what gives life its ultimate meaning.

The same way we cannot appreciate positive emotions without negative ones, death makes us understand how pain achingly lucky we are to be alive.

By staring into the abyss we awaken to what’s truly important. We realize just how limited our time on this earth truly is. In doing so, what’s essential comes sharply into focus.

That’s why you should meditate on your death every day. You should picture yourself losing everything you hold dear. It’s one of the most life-affirming things you can do.

The closer you are to death, the closer you are to life.

Money can buy you happiness.

If you’re starving, and someone gives you some money to buy a meal. That money will buy you happiness.

If you’re worried about paying your rent or providing for your family, some extra income will also buy you happiness.

However, like most things, it works on a diminishing rate of return. After a certain point, the amount of happiness money can buy you reduces.

Once you’re in a position where you don’t have to worry about your next meal or whether you can pay rent or provide for your children, more money won’t necessarily make you any happier.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t pay for someone else’s happiness. Ironically, past a certain point, paying for someone else’s happiness might be one of the best investments in happiness you can make.

That’s all for today folks. If any of these musings resonated let us know in the comments below.

You can sign up for Stuck in the Clouds here.

Finally, I’m currently compiling an ebook that contains my best snippets of wisdom from the past two years of writing online. It’s due out in the fall.

I will be gifting it to all my subscribers.

29 thoughts on “3 Snippets of Wisdom

  1. On the subject of money and happiness.
    My mother in law had a saying,

    “Money may not buy you happiness, but it’s a great tranquilizer.”

  2. School sayings;
    Try harder – trying not enough?
    Listen carefully – listening not enough?

    Education is indoctrination. We have to harness what people are interested in and want to engage with and expand their minds

      1. Yes I agree. An education that affords you the understanding to apply the knowledge to the situation and gain experience is your intelligence. There’s 5 components; Knowledge, Intelligence, Understanding; Experience and perception.

        If you have all these skills you can tackle anything that you want to

  3. “Becoming the person you’re meant to be” — I wish everyone on the planet understood that this is so very possible.

  4. I love the story about your making staring out the window your profession. The 3 snippets of wisdom are great too but the window is awesome! It reminds me of a quote from John Lennon, “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

    Great post, AP2

  5. I find this post so poetically written with such depth and important wisdom about life.
    Staring at a Window is the best gift for using the imagination and being creative. The flow of thoughts. By the way, a Buddhist monk I interviewed recently mentioned the same thing, Meditating over one’s death was one of his practices. Great post AP2.

  6. The closer you are to death, the closer you are to life – this is my favourite. I disagree however on aiming as high as possible. What if you fall? If you fly down you can assess thoroughly what there is on the ground and decide for the best based on the knowledge you gathered. You can always fall (fail) of course but you won’t be hurt as much as if you aim higher.

    1. Here’s a quote that was shared with me recently: “If you shoot for the moon and miss you’ll still end up among the stars.” You are going to fall anyway. Better to fall short of your wildest dreams than your smallest ones. The net result is your further ahead. I actually think that hurts less – because at least you went for it and tried your best. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Cristina 🙏

      1. I read before that quote and I like the idea of being among the stars. But life has taught me lessons that now I prefer flying down. Maybe it’s because I am getting old 😉

  7. In a world where superficiality often reigns, your reflections provide a refreshing, insightful perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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