Auspicious Occasions

When you celebrate any occasion you feed it, giving it your full attention – and thereby capturing its most essential value.

This weekend I attended the commencement ceremony for the 2012 Class of Indiana University, of which my daughter is a proud member.

The commencement speaker, IU alumnus, and honorary doctorate recipient was Booker T. Jones, a four time Grammy winner and founder of the soul band Booker T and the MG’s, which recorded a hit while Booker T was still in high school. Despite his commercially successful track record as a young musician, Booker T made the decision to pursue a formal music degree.

Mr. Jones commented in his speech that his father was known to announce from time-to-time that this was an auspicious occasion. Graduation from college is an auspicious occasion, so is recording a hit record, and practically anything else you can imagine.

You only have to be aware to recognize any occasion as auspicious.

It’s all about focus and awareness.

Awareness Captures Attention

When you are engaged with your accomplishments you see the future potential.

Graduating from or completing any endeavor is a celebration that can end right there. You did it. Congratulations. End of story.

This is precisely why we need commencement ceremonies to remind us to take the next steps for building on our accomplishments.

When you take a positive look back on your accomplishments and ask yourself what comes next, you focus your attention on using your talents to achieve everything you have imagined.

It’s a very basic formula – recognize the auspicious occasion by celebrating it and then consider what can be accomplished as a result by dreaming of something even bigger.

Education Calls for Implementation

Formal education gets a bad rap because it often never meets with the expected practical applications. Within all of us is the desire to achieve something that is meaningful – and often personal.

Supporting yourself or your family is personal. It gives you a sense of accomplishment. When you apply that mindset to the needs of your customers, the feeling is the same.

How can I use this to take it further? That’s the question we all should be asking when we achieve a new level of understanding.

One of my customers, who was also a mentor, was fond of asking me a simple question – “What’s’ next?

By challenging me to better serve his needs, he helped me to think about how I could be a better business for all of my customers.

Every Day is Auspicious

I’m convinced that Booker T Jones developed a mindset of appreciation at an early age – one that helped him to take full advantage of every single opportunity, large or small.

Recording a hit record and graduating from college are accomplishment that create opportunities, and so is making a new friend or helping out a complete stranger.

Accomplishments, activities, and personal interactions matter only to the extent that something of value is derived from them.

The key is being aware that every day is full of auspicious occasions – opportunities for transcending the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Will today be an auspicious day?

It’s up to you.

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Until next time, Jeff

 Photo Credit: Robert Loerzal