The Backstory of Look Up Mantra
For those of you that are new to my monthly Look Up posts or just need a refresher, I created the Look Up Mantra after a life lesson in the fall of 2009. I’ve written an entire book about my When All Balls Drop moment, but I can do the crib note version for sake of time. On the 27th of September 2009, I had a near-death run-in with a tree, which threw my life as I knew it off course. It forced me to pause for nearly a year, but I did get a second chance at life.
Look Up Reminds Us to Do Two Things
What I learned or perhaps rekindled was the powerful life tool of perspective. As you probably have experienced personally, we have little control over many things in this life (ex. DNA, accidents, other people, etc.), but we do have the power at any moment to switch how we look at each situation, obstacle, or When All Balls Drop moment. In order to ensure that I would not forget my lesson in my very fortunate second chance on life, I created the monthly holiday of Look Up Day. The Look Up Mantra and Look Up Day would reinforce the power of perspective by reminding us all to:
- Be in the moment, appreciating the beauty as well as hazards around us.
- Find the upside in any situation. All hurdles, hiccups, and wounds turn into a lesson and wisdom.
Happy Look Up Day!
In celebrating Look Up Day, every 27th of the month, since its creation, I have written many posts, book chapters, and video scripts explaining Look Up. Here are some of my favorites.
Look Up from Matterhorn, Switzerland
Why Traveling Reminds Us All to Look Up
Discovering Look Up Lessons Around the World
It is no secret from my books and talks that one of my passions is travel. Through my travels, I have celebrated numerous Look Up Days in many countries, including Cuba, Peru, and the list continues to grow. However, along these adventures, I have discovered similar phrases in multiple languages that also help shift your perspective.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Pura Vida – Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, one of the happiest countries on the planet, you will hear Pura Vida as a way to say hello and goodbye, but also a blanket statement to react to a myriad of situations whether you are shaking off a negative experience or commenting that life is good. Most Ticos (nickname for Costa Ricans) would say that although it is a common phrase that has many translations, Pura Vida is more of a vibe, spirit, or attitude that inspires a worry-free and happy lifestyle.
C’est la vie – France
The French sum up something that is out of one’s control with C’est la vie. It translates to “that’s life” or “what can you do?” Having heard my French friends use this phrase after one travel hiccup or another, I would bet the grand majority, like my friends (amis), decide to compliment C’est la vie with a Pastis, coffee, and/or a cigarette.
Mai Pen Rai – Thailand
In Thailand, you will hear Mai pen rai countless times. Its usage stems from the Thai people’s Buddhist teachings as well as relaxed pace. Mai pen rai would best translate into “never mind, water off my back, get on with your life,” or the Spanish phrase and lyrics to a popular song, “Qué será, será” There’s no New York minute in Thailand. So, just Mai pen rai!
Sempre Tem Jeito – Brazil
In Brazil, when you have a mishap or just a bad day, you will often times hear sempre tem jeito. It most closely translates to “there’s always a way.” However, I would add that it would be like me calming a girlfriend down with, “Don’t drive yourself crazy over stuff now; there’s always a way to work it out in the end.” So, Brazil not only has some of the best soccer players and beaches in the world but also good advice.
La Dolce Vita – Italy
Whether it is from the movie or your travels to Italy, La Dolce Vita is a phrase to inspire living life to the fullest. It translates into “the sweet life.” Most would describe it as living in the moment, enjoying a coffee with friends, eating another gelato, or adventuring through Roma on a Vespa scooter. To live La Dolce Vita everything is better if you talk with your hands as well!
Aloha – Hawaii
Although Aloha can be a greeting like hello or goodbye, aloha is a way of life. I wrote about living Aloha in my last book, Cubicle to Cuba. Here’s an excerpt:
“At its core, aloha describes a state of mind or behavior that encourages everyone to be loving, patient, in tune with nature, and appreciating the moment…..With #LookUp’s two components of “being in the moment” and “finding the upside of any situation,” it fits naturally with living aloha.”
Are there more that I missed?
I know that there may be many more. Please add your favorite positive global phrases that ring true to the Look Up Mantra in the comments below.
As always, here’s to looking up!