“You can’t leave a footprint that lasts if you’re always walking on tiptoe.”
—Marion Blakely, CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association
As you close out January, take a moment to look back at 2014 and the first month of 2015. How bold and courageous have you been in the pursuit of your professional or personal goals?
Should you realize that you have been tiptoeing around and playing it too safe, determine how this year will be different.
On what issues and projects will you take a bold stance to leave lasting footprints you will look back on next year with pride?
“One of the sanest, surest and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.”
—Robert A. Heinlein, American Science Fiction Author
Do you like Chinese food? I do.
I must admit that in addition to enjoying the wide variety of tastes, textures, and aromas of Chinese food, I also enjoy the little ritual at the end of the meal. Yes, I very much look forward to opening my fortune cookie.
Imagine, for a moment, that all your future fortune cookies are “good fortune” cookies, and that not only do you get benefit from the one intended specifically for you, but you also get a boost of happiness from those of your dining companions.
How can you bolster your own life satisfaction by experiencing the added joy and fulfillment through the good fortune of others?
“Everything you go through grows you.”
—Robert Tew, Chairman at Newcastle Knights Limited
How much formal education have you received? Perhaps you finished high school or college, and maybe you went further to receive an advanced degree or certification.
You may be glad that your educational experiences are over because they have little relevancy today, as you navigate your professional and personal pursuits.
Today’s quote reminds us that we are always enrolled in our own 24/7 life classroom, where we have considerable influence and autonomy to choose and customize our own advanced degree in life if – and it is an important if – we pay attention to all the growth opportunities around us.
As you enter your day, how do you intend to grow? As you reflect on your day, how did you grow through the experiences of the day?
“Don’t cut strings when you can untie knots.”
Photo from Flickr
When I think of cutting strings, I think of the times in my life I broke off a relationship or quit a project, where I might have been frustrated or unsuccessful.
Untying a knot, on the other hand, reminds me of times I was actively engaged in solving a particular problem or simplifying a complex matter.
Explore your professional and personal life issues to determine if they truly require a pair of scissors. How could a set of patient and diligent fingers reconcile or resolve selective challenges you are facing?
“All you can do is all you can do.”
-Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle
Tech entrepreneur and self-made billionaire Larry Ellison is one of the wealthiest men in America. He created Oracle, the second-highest selling software in the world.
Clearly he has been, and is, a pretty driven individual, to have reached this level of accomplishment.
What percent of his full mental, physical, emotional, and perhaps spiritual capabilities do you think he summons on a daily basis?
Now it is your turn. Examine your own levels of personal and professional accomplishments and check in with yourself. What percent of your fullest capacities have you accessed?
If you left it all on the field today by doing all you can do, what could you possibly get done? What results would you see in your life if you made this a daily practice?
“Don’t think of it as failure. Think of it as time-released success.”
-Robert Orben, speechwriter for President Gerald R. Ford
Photo from Flickr by lu-lu
Before I became a coach 22 years ago, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, where I had the good fortune to learn a great deal about business through jobs in sales, marketing, and advertising.
One of the industry developments during the 80s and 90s was that of time-released formulations that allowed patients to go longer periods between doses. This improved compliance and, presumably, clinical outcomes.
We have all heard the phrase “take your medicine,” which often means acknowledge, accept, and learn from our experiences—particularly mistakes and failures. Perhaps in this way failures and the lessons they provide are actually time-released sources of success.
How have your professional or personal setbacks or failures contributed to your developmental journey and the level of success you currently experience? Where are some of the challenges and obstacles facing you today releasing the knowledge and capacities of your future successes?
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
- adapted from Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch Post-Impressionist painter
photo from NASA.gov
If you have been a loyal reader of The Quotable Coach for some time, you may have read a few posts in which I shared my dream, as a young man, of being an astronaut.
The space race and the Apollo missions to the moon, inspired by JFK’s famous speech, inspired me to want to develop my own “right stuff” and reach for the stars.
If you research the monumental accomplishment of putting a man on the moon, you will discover the almost infinite number of small things and tens of thousands of people that had to be brought together to turn the dream into a reality.
What great things do you wish to accomplish that would be attempted and realized if you took the time to reverse engineer them into a series of small steps?
Consider watching In the Shadow of the Moon produced in 2007.
“We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released.”
—Jean Houston, Ph.D., scholar, philosopher and researcher
Photo from Mayo Clinic
The process of coaching is like being a geneticist. It begins with the fundamental belief in what Dr. Houston states. Guided by an extensive inquiry, it evolves into a supportive partnership to decipher each person’s special code, and helps them express it in the world.
Consider the discovery of DNA, and the work of scientists sequencing the entire genome with the intention of supporting each individual in living the most extraordinary life possible.
How can you be a coach for others and have coaching partnerships supporting you to release and realize the wonders of everyone in your professional and personal communities?
“If you’re able to be yourself, then you have no competition. All you have to do is get closer and closer to that essence.”
—Barbara Cook, 20th century American singer and actress
This quote reminds me of Shakespeare’s famous “to thine own self be true” statement, from Polonius’ speech in Hamlet.
The issue of fitting in and wanting to be accepted is not simply one for our school years. It continues into adulthood, professionally and personally.
Instead of participating and competing in a world of judgement and comparison, perhaps the wisest journey and focus should be to be our best selves.
What would you need to do in either your professional or personal worlds to tap into your most authentic and genuine essence, to be perfectly yourself?
By the way, there is a book titled Perfectly Yourself, Nine Lessons for Enduring Happiness by Matthew Kelly, that I recommend you explore.
“The reinvention of daily life means marching off the edge of our maps.”
—Bob Black, American Activist
When people experience a plateau in life, they generally say something like, “been there, done that!”
Bob Black coaches us, with this quote, by reminding us that personal or professional “reinvention” is to literally venture beyond the edges of our worlds. In doing so, you will likely experience a new vibrancy and excitement as you explore and do different things in uncharted territory.
If you enjoy traveling, consider picking up a copy of 1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz, and book a vacation to a place on your Bucket List.
Should your finances or time be limited, plan some adventures in your own community or state—perhaps within 100 miles of your home, to experience a feeling of rejuvenation and reinvention in your own back yard.
Lastly, explore your inner world maps by proactively altering your perceptions or behaviors in situations that appear routine or predictable.