The Journey Home

It’s amazing how paintings and poems can speak to our hearts. I recently read the poem “Ithaka” by C. P. Cavafy and was struck by the symbolic meaning of “Ithaka.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with the word, Ithaka is the home of the legendary Odysseus, the hero of the Odyssey.

Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus is trying to find his way home to Ithaka. Here is the text of C. P. Cavafy’s poem. What does it mean to you?

ITHAKA
By C. P. Cavafy
Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard 

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn’t have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

(Source: PoetryFoundation.org)

Lift Another, Lift Yourself

Today’s episode of Keep Moving Forward was inspired by the biography of Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson.

Franklin once said that to serve man is to serve God—and it’s so true! But this timeless truth goes even deeper than that, because I’ve learned that as we labor to lift other people, we also lift ourselves…

The Man in the Maze and Moving Forward

An ancient Native American symbol is a powerful reminder to keep moving forward…

I just got back from a trip to Arizona. While there, I was given a gift of the “The Man in the Maze,” an ancient Native American symbol for life. I talk about it in more detail in the video below.

This video is the first part of a YouTube series called “Keep Moving Forward.” My goal in this series is to produce daily videos that are inspirational and uplifting. This year, I will travel to numerous places, meet a lot of incredible people, and document my travels and insights through video. Naturally, I will post a lot of those videos to my blog, but if you want to stay up-to-date, then please feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Thanks for all of your support and keep moving forward!

VIDEO – A Literal Interview with Author Jason F. Wright

A Literal Interview Jason F. Wright

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Jason F. Wright, the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Jars and The Wednesday Letters. In this interview video, he shares some of his experiences and insight into writing.

Before you get intimidated by the length of the video, I want you to know that I divided it into individual chapters. So if you’d rather skip ahead to his advice for aspiring authors, or jump to ahead to a different section, you can click on the link in the video to see that part of the interview (it’s a neat little feature that YouTube has).

After the interview, I drop a few hints about one of my secret projects…

Is It Possible to Fall UP?

Falling down is part of life.
Getting back up is part of living.

Falling Up

The inspiring story of Meg Johnson.

In 2004, Meg Johnson accidentally jumped off a 40-foot cliff and was paralyzed. Her recovery became a journey of discovery into the true nature of happiness.

Please take six and a half minutes to watch her incredible story in the video below. You won’t regret it! Below the video are some of my thoughts and some behind-the-scenes info…

In the summer of 2014, I was introduced to Scott Wilhite, the producer of this film. He had seen an interview I had conducted of Meg Johnson and was inspired by her story. I sent an email to Meg and he immediately began writing the script. What they have created is an elevating work of art. I am truly in awe of the meaning and message of this film.

Furthermore, I am so proud of Meg and all of her accomplishments! She’s a beautiful soul with an indomitable will to keep moving forward. If you’d like to learn more about her or even schedule a speaking event, please visit www.MegJohnsonSpeaks.com

Since producing this film, Scott has created an incredible app that gameifies positive psychology. He’s also planning on releasing several other inspiring films. Check out more of his work at www.nCOURAGE.tv

You, Unstuck – My NEW eBook!

After nearly two months of complete radio silence, I am happy to announce my triumphant return—and I come bearing gifts!!

First of all, why the silence? Well, my wife and I had to work through a couple of heavy things and it took up a lot of our time and energy. (Don’t worry, we are fine—no marital drama. Just outside pressures.)

Also, I’ve been working on three top secret projects. These projects are so top secret that only a handful of people know about them! It would take too long for me to tell you about them here and now, but you’ll find out more about them by the end of this month (and trust me, you don’t want to miss this!)

But here’s the BIG news: my new ebook is out!! Huzzah! Let us bask in the glorious cover of my new ebook:

My former boss, Jeevan, did the illustration. Isn't it awesomeness?!

My former boss, Jeevan, did the illustration. Isn’t it awesomeness?!

A little background: This was originally intended to go into my first book, Your Life Isn’t For You, but there wasn’t enough room for it (I was contracted for a specific amount of words.) So, I published an extremely watered-down version of this idea and published it as The Most Damning Belief of All Time.

The article did so well that my publisher approached me and asked about experimenting with a short ebook. After one year (and many, many rewrites), the ebook has been published!

Here is the publisher’s summary:

All of us feel trapped, stuck, or unable to move forward in life at some point. What is it that’s holding us back? According to Seth Adam Smith, it’s who, not what. Ultimately, the greatest obstacle to achieving your full potential is you.

But you are also the solution to your greatest problem.

This book combats a destructive mind-set that we all sometimes fall into: I can’t change. I am the victim of my circumstances, and I am confined by my personal limitations. This philosophy, though intangible, destroys more dreams and limits more lives than any actual, physical obstacle. To show us how to overcome this philosophy of fear, Smith draws on literature, history, and his personal experiences with chronic depression, as well as on encounters with remarkable “ordinary” people who’ve embraced a different philosophy: the belief that we possess the power to lift ourselves out of the abyss and into the light.

Smith inspires us to see that no matter how dire our circumstances may be, there is always a positive step you can take, however small it might be. He doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties or offer promises of overnight success. But he does promise that if you continue to see yourself as a victim you’ll remain frozen and fearful. We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can always control how we react.

But I don’t want to give any more of it away. Click on this link and buy a copy for yourself! I dare ya. :)

How to Be…Unhappy?

Everyone wants to be happy, but have you ever tried being unhappy? In this humorous and insightful TEDx talk, Dr. Matthew Whoolery (a good friend of mine), illustrates how we can find happiness through…unhappiness? But I don’t want to spoil it for you. Watch the video to learn more!

As a side note, Matt is a good friend of mine and I owe a lot to him. He helped me to see the world with friendly eyes.

Each Of Us Is An Innkeeper…

“Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus.” -Neal A. Maxwell

I recently finished making this music video for songwriter, Shawna Belt Edwards. It features the artwork of Joseph Brickey, Howard Lyon, Jon McNaughton, and Liz Lemon Swindle. I’ve put the lyrics below the video. I hope you enjoy it!

“Do You Have Room” Lyrics

They journeyed far, a weary pair
They sought for shelter from the cold night air
Some place where she could lay her head
Where she could give her babe a quiet bed

Was there no room? No corner there?
In all the town a spot someone could spare?
Was there no soul come to their aid?
A stable bare was where the family stayed.

Chorus:
Do you have room for the Savior?
And do you seek Him anew?
Have you a place for the one who lived and died for you?
Are you as humble as a shepherd boy
Or as wise as men of old?
Would you have come that night?
Would you have sought the light?
Do you have room?

A star arose, a wondrous light
A sign from God — this was the holy night.
And yet so few would go to see
The babe who came to rescue you and me.

This child divine is now a King;
The gift of life to all the world He brings
And all mankind He saves from doom,
But on that night, for Him, there was no room

Chorus

Will you come tonight?
Will you seek the light?
Do you have room?

What Child Is This?

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Music “What Child Is This?” by David Tolk – www.DavidTolk.com

Paintings by Howard Lyon – www.HowardLyon.com