You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make

“You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

—Jane Goodall, English primatologist and anthropologist

Image of Jane Goodall with a chimp

Image from NeverApart

Jane Goodall is an English primatologist and anthropologist, considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.

Her 50-something years work in conservation and animal welfare issues was acknowledged in 2002, when she was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Jane’s life work has been captured in dozens of books, and her many documentaries. There is even a 2002 TED talk about what separates us from chimpanzees. In it, she joyfully entertained the audience with her passion, authenticity, and purposeful adventures.

EXERCISE:

What purposeful difference have, can you, and will you make in your various communities? What would you like people to say upon your passing, to acknowledge and celebrate your contribution to the world?

We need to do a better job

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our to-do-list.”

—Michelle Obama, 44th First Lady of the United States

Image of a checklist

Image from Unsplash by Glenn Carsterns-Peters

The Checklist Manifesto, by writer and surgeon Atul Gawande, is a compilation of stories of how this simple tool has helped to simplify many areas of complexity in our modern world.

Beyond its focus on issues such as healthcare, law, and the financial industry, it points each of us toward simplifying our increasingly complex lives.

Through my years of coaching, I’ve noticed that many people do not list themselves as a priority item on their to-do lists. Sometimes, they never put themselves on the list at all, with considerable consequences.

EXERCISE:

What personal priority needs to be moved to a far higher place on your to-do list? Envision the difference it will make when you make this approach to life a habit that may not require a checklist at all.

Anger is an Acid

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

—Author Unknown

dark image of a man's fractured face

Image from Flickr by katmary

Research has shown that angry outbursts have a damaging effect on the heart, and increases the risk of a heart attack twofold.

This seems to be the case with expressed as well as repressed anger, when we try to hold it in.

Other harmful aspects of anger include the risk of stroke, and a weakening of the immune system, diminishing the body’s ability to protect itself and heal.

EXERCISE:

Consider any or all of the following strategies to reduce or perhaps even prevent anger’s harmful effects.

  1. Breathing Exercises
  2. Muscle Tensing Exercises
  3. Doing #1 and #2 Together!
  4. Meditation
  5. Exercise and Physical Activity
  6. Time in quiet, natural surroundings

 

Friday Review of Posts on Worry

FRIDAY REVIEW: WORRY

Have you ever questioned the benefit you get from worrying? Here are a few worry-related posts you may have missed. Click to read the full message.

 

“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”

 

 

 

 

“Worries and tensions are like birds. We cannot stop them from flying near us, but we can certainly stop them from making a nest in our minds.”

 

 

 

“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”

 

 

 

 

Don’t Blame the Shepherd

“If you are acting like a sheep, don’t blame the shepherd.”

—Eli Jaxon-Bear, American spiritual teacher and author

Image of a heard of sheep

Image from Unsplash by Sam Carter

Throughout our lives, we have been taught we have to “go along to get along.” Fitting in, being one of the gang, and literally being “with it” has made us sheep in many of our communities.

Take a moment to identify all the personal, professional, and community-based groups that herd us together. Consider all the new digital communities that foster similar practices and beliefs.

Where does being a sheep actually work for you and serve your best interest? Where does it clearly not support your most genuine self?

EXERCISE:

In what areas of your life is it time to act like a lion versus a lamb?

What bold, courageous or simply contrarian thing will you say or do to say goodbye to these shepherds?

telling the truth is a revolutionary act

“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

—Author Unknown

Meme of today's quote

Listed below are eleven synonyms for the word “deceit.” How many of these are you seeing in the world these days?

  • Dishonesty
  • Insincerity
  • False/Fake information
  • Unscrupulousness
  • Unprincipled behavior
  • Two-faced
  • Double-dealing
  • Underhandedness
  • Sneakiness
  • Crookedness
  • Machiavellian behavior

What other words would you add to this list? Who are the individuals that fit these descriptive qualities? To what extend do they influence your world?

EXERCISE:

How can you be an even more revolutionary force for good in your personal and professional communities, to bring greater truth and integrity to the world?

Doing what you like is freedom

“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.”

—Frank Tyger, late American Editorial Cartoonist and Humorist

Image of an elderly couple sitting on a bench

Image from Unsplash by Matthew Bennett

I am often asked by my contemporaries when I plan to retire. I’ve been coaching for 26 years, and find myself only a handful of years away from collecting Social Security and qualifying for Medicare. I love what I do. The idea of a traditional retirement has very little appeal.

I have, however, observed many people my age pining for the freedom to do their own thing and escape the daily grind of “working for the man,” or simply not enjoying their vocations.

Upon retirement, some individuals find their freedom isn’t always associated with the happiness they expected.

EXERCISE:

As you pursue your personal and professional objectives and purpose, how can you find freedom and happiness by doing more of what you like, and liking more of what you do?

First we Form Habits

“First we form habits, then they form us.”

—Jim Rohn, late American Motivational Speaker

image of The Power of Habit Book Cover

How much do you like yourself?

To what degree do you give yourself the seal of approval for who you are and what you do?

These questions are intended to gain an objective perspective on your current habits because in many ways, we are our habits for both better or worse.

One way to get a clearer picture of your own habits is to observe others in your personal and professional communities. Who do you admire and respect? What habits do they exemplify in their daily pursuits?

Conversely, who are the people you dislike or feel critical toward? What habits do they have that cause you to feel this way?

EXERCISE:

What is a bad habit you want to eliminate or replace with a good habit? Which of your good habits could be even better?

Consider reading Charles Duhigg’s 2012 book, The Power of Habit, to help you form yourself into the person you aspire to be.

Friday Review of Achievement

FRIDAY REVIEW: ACHIEVEMENT

What’s on your list of achievements? Here are a few achievement-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

“Teamwork is the ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

 

 

 

“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.”

 

 

 

 

“If it scares you, it may be a good thing to try.”

 

 

 

 

appetite makes eating a delight

“Tis not the meat, but tis the appetite makes eating a delight.”

—Sir John Suckling, 17th Century English Poet

Image of a colorful feast

Image from Unsplash by Dan Gold

What are your very favorite foods?

Take a minute and actually visualize a plate or perhaps a buffet of your favorites set before you. Is your mouth watering and your stomach growling a bit? Consider these questions from the perspective of having an empty stomach, or being stuffed following a feast such as Thanksgiving.

Of what importance is having an appetite to your levels of pleasure and delight? In what other areas of your life could this metaphor apply?

EXERCISE:

What areas of your life cause you to hunger and feel delight in them? Consider the areas of learning, travel, work, community, faith, relationships, family, and adventure.

What other meaty areas would add to your delight, when getting full isn’t an issue?