“If experience is the best teacher, there’s nothing that comes close to the experience of life.” ~ Michael A. Singer

I’ve not discovered a cure for a major disease nor have I invented something that radically changes how we live. And it’s probably fair to say that neither have you. Still, we are significant; why else would we be here? Each of us is making a contribution to humanity simply by living in full expression of who we are. For whatever or however you are contributing, I honor and respect you!

Life is about continuous progress; the ability to move forward and achieve your own version of greatness. To get there, however, some of us need to let go of things from our past and listen to our inner voice that can urge us toward a space that seems both unclear and at times, crazy.

When we listen to our voice we begin to imagine and dream about following this higher knowing and the possibilities that lie ahead. Sometimes though, when we start to believe in such prospects, the ego-mind interjects itself and we find ourselves doubting our dreams and desires. And we retreat. You’re familiar with this, right?

So, why do we self-sabotage? One reason for inaction can be understood when an individual not progressing is viewed as part of a larger social situation. When one has to marshal the herd and get others to move, there is some risk that accompanies that. It is much easier to not lead the way, blend into the crowd, and wait for somebody else to assume the risk and be responsible. In social psychology this is called the “bystander effect.” But when others are not involved, it becomes justly about you.


If you are On A Verge, listening to your inner voice, perhaps sensing opportunity and an associated need to untether, these considerations are important to remember:

  1. Appreciate what you have. Rather than focusing on what you think may be missing from your life, reflect on that with which you are blessed. It’s too easy to look at the people you surround yourself with and want what they have. Just because someone has material possessions doesn’t mean s/he is internally happy. Be grateful for what is most important to you instead of what you perceive as lacking.
  2. Take full responsibility. Near always, you are responsible for the quality and condition of your life. Sometimes we choose to do nothing when we get hit hard because it’s just easier (and less painful) that way. But disappointment is often only deferred. You have to live with that inner voice that says you didn’t try hard enough in pursuit of your dreams/desires. It’s your choice to plow through and keep moving forward.
  3. Do one simple thing. To move forward; start moving. One step, small steps, in the direction of your goal or vision is progress. Determine one (simply one!) area of your life where you have wanted to move forward. Spend time visualizing what it would take to get you started. And act! Take that first step. Then, move on to the next step.

96 thoughts on “Untethering

  1. I like the encouragement and the 3 things to remember – especially the 3rd one because it’s so simple – yet powerful! and also it helps to be around encouraging people (or read encouraging material like this)

    • You’re a jogger, Carl. Simply run around that “bystander effect.” 🙂 Kidding aside, indeed to one step at a time. Eventually, taking those early steps becomes second nature, they yield forward progress and they become appreciated!

  2. I like your points. #1- Gratitude becomes your attitude. #2- Responsibility is necessary to reach goals. #3- All one has to do is take one step at a time and we’ll get where we need to be.

  3. I often feel so tethered to other people that I forget to think about what I might like to independently reach for. I’m generally a very easily satisfied person and content with where I am. But sometimes I do wonder. 🙂 You make me think!

  4. I wish I could really do/behave this way. Some I can, but there are many questions and doubts this mind present us with. Self doubt kills more dreams than anything else.
    Thank you Eric. It really is an inspiring and thought provoking post.

    • Thank you, Sahasra. You are correct… self doubt kills dreams. Have you ever, intentionally, tried to shift your mind-set so that self-doubt becomes self-belief? Rather than simply “wish” you could live this way, commit to yourself that you “will” live this way. Consider making it a mantra. 🙂

  5. Great post Eric. It is timely for me as I once again try to get something going for Baby Boomers – thanks for liking my post the other day – I rejigged Encore Australia into South West Baby Boomers. There should be a letter to the Editor in my local paper tomorrow asking for expressions of interest to get involved.
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insights 🙂

    • I sincerely believe, Lorraine, that your passion and perseverance will pay off. When we believe in a cause/purpose/mission, we desire it to manifest now. You’re on to something helpful and useful. Stay your course! 🙂

  6. Great post Eric! All great journeys begin with one step, followed by another, and another. . . They key is to identify the path, the desire, the passion, and then take action to make that first step

  7. I have heard comments about appreciation before, but they way you word it, Eric, brought new meaning to it. When your thoughts are fixated on what we don’t have instead of what we already have, it becomes much more difficult to clear out all the external distractions and take that first step. Great post, as always, thanks for sharing!

  8. Here’s to one step at a time, Eric! Sometimes the ‘whole picture’ can be overwhelming but if I take one small action, then another, then another I am able to move toward whatever the goal, or thing is that I’d like to accomplish. Also, trying to appreciate what I have…so thanks for the reminder!

    • First, I hope you are feeling better! Indeed, the ‘whole picture’ is often overwhelming. Your incremental approach is tried and true an worthy of others’ consideration. Thanks for your thoughts, Geralyn.

  9. I’ve found time and time again that #1 on your list is so key to getting out of funks or whatever it might be. “Looking outside your world” as I have heard it called many times. But it’s true. We are so blessed…there is always, always someone who would love to have our problems if it meant they wouldn’t have to have theirs anymore. Great post as always, my friend.

    • To your observations, Brian, I believe it is equally important for each of us to both look within and look externally. Only then can we see, feel and appreciate the ‘whole’ self and bigger outside picture. Otherwise, it’s often a narrowly focused lens through which we experience, empathize, and act. Yes, many of us are blessed, abundantly.

  10. One small step at the time is the only way to move forward. I found the ‘heard mentality’ or ‘bystander effect’ example very well illustrated. Was reading someplace recently that we live in a world of too many managers and not enough leaders. Great post, Eric. Always thought-provoking.

    • To your astute comment, Silvia, I would add that if people recognized the extent to which they simply follow other people and trends, and where it gets (or does not get) them, they might rethink how they are choosing to live their otherwise lives with unique potential. You surface a significant thought/view. Thank you.

  11. Great advice, Eric! From my own experience I know it works! It really does. Just now on the verge of seeing some good stuff manifesting itself. And that’s a good place to be, far from where I used to be…

    • BINGO! As long as we keep at it, Kath. These considerations are not silver bullets or one-hit wonders. They take consistent effort, practice and commitment. But they do yield dividends! Happy days! returned.

  12. Great post. I’ve always use the expression about people who brag or make me feel less successful as “dangerous for my mental health” and I move away from them.

    • Glad the post serves to remind, Audrey. My inner voice never stops spinning. 🙂 I finally learned it was/is prudent to heed it, always. Happy to learn that that the “rumblings” are forward leaning and that you are at peace. This is good!

    • Indeed, Noel. In our often too fast-paced world, one in which many multi-task, the benefits of focusing on a singular task/goal/initiative can be lost. Good to learn that you appreciate and find value in the approach. Thanks for creating time to share your worthy perspective.

  13. So good. You are an inspirational writer Eric. I have grown quite dependent on your posts and the thoughts they provoke. Whether I agree with them or not is irrelevant since the road to there is full of insights, Your posts are so intelligent and well written. Thank you.

    • Well didn’t your kind comment simply make my day. No, make that my week! Thank you. So much of me is about being in service. This blog has, for 20+ months, been a labor of love. When someone pauses to share thoughtful feedback, my spirit is lifted. I am warmed that the posts ‘speak’ to you and provoke thought.

    • I’ve not before had a fellow blogger claim that a post served as a “needed kick in the tail.” 🙂 Here’s to its having an intended affect. Thank you for your kind acknowledgment of the blog, Shauna.

  14. Hi Eric! I love #3: “To move forward; start moving.” Sometimes It’s so hard to get and stay motivated, especially if what we are aiming for seems so far away. I am learning this now. Reminds me of that saying, “An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest”. It really only takes a little motion to get the ball rolling! Great post!

  15. It is amazing to see sometimes how we sabotage ourselves without really understanding how/why we do it, and inaction is usually the path. Throughout this great post, I kept thinking about one of the greatest sentences/thoughts I have read in awhile: “…making a contribution to humanity simply by living in full expression of who we are.” This is simple and pure and perhaps the only goal we should ever make sure we follow through, as the rest will follow 🙂

  16. A man and fan of simplicity, I appreciate the concept of simply being who I am. When coupled with using my personal gifts, acting in service to others, and making meaningful connections in the process, well… I’m unsure, from a purpose perspective, it gets any better. To your wise observation, Randy, the rest *will* follow.

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