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Knowing and Appreciating

Sometimes, there's no better way to say something than the way it was originally put forth.

Today, I share an important thought that I've been wanting to convey poignantly, but that my girlfriend has already succinctly done in reflection from an experience we had on our recent trip to Moab and Arches National Park during the eclipse.

It's an idea about how our familiarity and expertise with something can often impede our ability to appreciate it for what it is.

Please enjoy below.

"When I got down from this pose, an older woman who had been watching applauded.

I found this pretty amusing, since I'm sure any real yogi (which I definitely am not) watching would probably have scoffed and pointed out all the ways in which my form was bad. It made me stop and think about how knowledge of a thing affects appreciation of that thing.

Because I know a lot about climbing, I can be very critical of the way others climb.

I am snarky about certain art because I consider myself an artist.

But it might be a good practice every once in a while to take a step away from what I know and simply appreciate what IS.

Instead, to marvel at the fact that someone is scaling a vertical rock face in the first place. To ignore everything I know about art and just LOOK at the beauty of creating.

Next, use my knowledge to appreciate, instead of appreciating less the more I know.

I KNOW it's hard to climb a vertical rock, and I can APPRECIATE that someone is doing it despite the natural fear and physical strain.

I KNOW the countless hours and heart and soul that goes in to creating art, and I APPRECIATE the time, effort, and energy it took to make a piece.

Knowing and appreciating don't often go hand in hand.

We are quick to judge, scoff, and point out flaws. We almost strive to immediately see the negative in things.

Next time you see something familiar, take a step back. Erase any predetermined judgements, and simply appreciate.

Even if it's being done horribly, appreciate that it's being attempted at all.

Spread positivity and the world will become a much more positive place.

It starts with me, and it starts with you. It starts with all of us. "

Yes, I'm a very fortunate man to be dating not only a beautiful, but a wildly insightful woman and I appreciate her ability to increase my own awareness and for her letting me share her thoughts with all of you!

If you appreciate her thoughts you can follow her art work and miscellaneous musings at


In addition, early bird spots for our next adventure are opening up for application today!

We'll be dogsledding through the Alaskan Wilderness while exploring our own potential for personal growth. 3 days and 2 nights in the Denali wilderness in a small group of individuals, each mushing their own sled dog team, while having a great chance to see the Northern Lights.

With gratitude,

Dennis McGinley

STRIVENT - Founder, Performance Coach

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