My Desiderata

I wish to live a simple, open, and ordinary life inspired by a great love for God and for other people and by an insatiable enthusiasm for life and for everything that has life.

I will look to see, listen to hear, and touch to feel.

I will taste my food and drink.

When I speak, it will be to share my thoughts, feelings, and dreams. And, at times, even my complaints—but not very often.

I will indulge my sense of smell. And humor.

I will be okay with the unknown, but never stop asking questions.

I will refrain from gossip, look for the good in other people and in other things, and count others as better than myself.

I will be creative and allow the artist within to emerge.

I will be genuine.

I will feel things deeply, but be slow to take offense.

I will embrace paradox.

I will seek opportunities to empty myself into others and to lay my life down on their behalf.

I will take things in stride and, like the willow, bend with the breeze and be at home in the presence of water.

I will make beautiful music my soul’s anthem.

I will be generous to those who hurt me.

I will climb. High.

I will tell those I love how much I love them and what they’ve meant to me in my life.

I will enjoy the quiet of my own thoughts.

When I dream, it will be of great things: Convertibles, Unfailing Love (see 1), unending hardwood forests, selfless generosity, big waves, white rivers, and vertical rock faces. I will also dream of freedom.

I will find a way to enjoy the weather no matter how cold and rainy it might be.

I will enjoy the sensation of breathing.

I will embrace those things I’m afraid of and push myself beyond my perceived limits.

I will read the letters of old friends.

I will learn.

I will spend less than I make and work in such a way as to ensure the success of those for whom I work.

I will take time to write.

I will no longer hide my vulnerabilities.

I will set personal records.

I will express myself in ways children understand.

I will look back to that from which I came.

I will create shared memories with others.

I will think upon the Love God has for me personally and, when my cup is full, allow my heart to weep its deep waterfall of tears.

I will reflect on the hurt I’ve caused in others.

I will play at life; at 104, I will be the oldest 11-year-old walking the face of the planet.

I will share my heart with those nearest it and not just wait for things to happen.

I will not let life pass me by—I will pursue it with great abandon.

I will speak the truth in kindness and strive to make a difference in the lives of individual people.

I will enjoy my mornings and be grateful for what God has given me, striving ever to thank Him even in the midst of great loss.

I will not force myself upon others, but will invite and welcome their company.

With patient endurance, I will run the race set before me—for it will be MY race. I will pace myself, forever remembering the good things, until at long last I draw my final breath.


1. Unfailing Love is a Person: Almighty God.

2. I wrote this list of meditative aspirations about two months after my late wife, Brenda Hollis (9/29/66-6/3/02), passed away. It's a list of the things I wanted in life at the time. Now, after more than fifteen years, most of these things have become so much a part of me they're no longer just meditative aspirations—they're things I experience and enjoy repeatedly. That written, I don't want to let my guard down. The enemies of life will steal everything you have—if you let them. Hence, why I'm sharing these things with you (and, once again, with myself), for doing so reminds me of the things most dear to me. All of us need a Desiderata (a list of personal aspirations). As such, I encourage you to create one for yourself; and, once you do, to NEVER let it go! Peace to you...


IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):

Mondays: Meditative Prayer

Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

Fridays: Martial Arts Practice


The Life You Were Born to Live