Post-study Poem: Ulysses

Thunder Storm over the Aiguiiles de Chamonix by WhiteGoldWielder.

Photo Credit

Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson

The above is only the final part of the poem, but it is my favorite on it’s own.  Right now, I’d say the final line is my mantra coming down the home stretch with the studies (though probably beyond that too).

//A.J.

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Plus Ultra, or What A.J. and Spain have in common.

PLUS ULTRA_02 by santacrucero.Photo Credit

Plus Ultra

This was my motto for the last half of 2009, and will be on into 2010 and beyond (at least one of the top ones).

Plus ultra is Latin for, “further beyond, further yet, more beyond or yet beyond,” and is an accurate description of my mindset each day.  It is the bedrock of everything I try, this blog for example; and keeps  me in the zone when I’m losing focus.

Expansion and Authentic Influence

It is open-ended to the extreme.  No boundaries.  It was also motto of Spain (hence the title) at the height of the Holy Roman Empire (Under Charles V and still is to this day), used to encourage the Emperor to take risks in expanding the Empire to the New World.

We are all trying to create our own empires.  Only instead of conquering new lands and convert the “natives,” we’re trying expand ourselves, ideas and influence beyond what is was the day before.

By expanding ourselves, I’m talking about the new blogs you read, networks you join, or presentations you watch (like TED’s).  Real purposeful growth, each day.  For me it’s also an inward quest to conquer myself daily.  To zone out the din of self-doubt, fear, procrastination, fatigue, amongst other feelings and emotions.

I’m not talking about being stoic, just not get in my own way when I need to move forward.

By influence I mean connecting with the many-spheres (of influence) out there and planting your flag.  Authentic influence, through trust, and not “do as I say because you are heathens” of the colonial powers.  Essentially two-way communication and transparency, which in social media so argue, like here, is the only way to go (I agree, within acceptable boundaries).

Influence, though.  That was goal of every colonial power, and that root motivation remains in the Internet age.  Case in point, Chris Brogan calls for us to set-up “outposts” on social networks.  Anyone with a semi-serious blog probably has links to their other social media accounts (check mine under A.J. Elsewhere).

Asking, “How?”

If plus ultra, “further beyond,” is the daily focus; each night the question becomes, “how far?”  That is the ebb and flow.  The bit of dissatisfaction that keeps driving you forward, over the hump.  And then again asking, “how will I got further still?”  Whether it is emailing one new, or old contact, each day; having a conversation (networking or just a chat) with three new faces daily; guest posting; or writing longer posts.  I’ve used it in thinking up ideas for new content on this blog (ex. interviews).

Plus ultra works as mantra as well in an unfamiliar networking event, or any social situation where you are alone (REMEMBER, fear is not an excuse) and need that confidence step into the fray.  Keep in mind, you should have something to say or be somewhat interesting and not awkward, but repeating plus ultra should at least get you threw the doors.

No Racing

Plus ultra today, again differing from the old colonial powers, is not about a race to the top.  It is a personal reflective tool on your endeavors and accomplishments.  We all, hopefully, have a unique view of success and how we conduct ourselves to get there.  Again, just to be clear, life is not a race.  Plus ultra is about reaching beyond your normal range, when you would stop.

Thus, that is plus ultra, my motto (and Spain’s).

What is your motto for 2010 and beyond?

//A.J.