I just got back from a conference where we were encouraged to create new and different approaches to accomplish our goals.
One thing we learned is that to create a strong brand, it’s helpful to have your own unique word. Given my love of quotes and my love of coaching, I came up with the word quotching, which is simply coaching through the use of powerful and inspiring quotes.
“It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.”
– Jean Nidetch, co-founder of Weight Watchers
It is surprising to learn the percentage of people who have clearly defined written goals for both their personal and professional life. Estimates are definitely in the single digits – with most hovering around three percent.
So many people have a “take it as it comes” attitude to life, and they may even believe that their destiny is already determined. Yet free will and our capacity to choose how we spend our days are simply fundamental to being human.
Take five minutes this morning to choose how you will spend your day. Select only those activities and people who fit best with your vision and values.
Take five minutes at the end of your day to reflect on what you learned, achieved and experienced.
Consider doing this exercise every day, or at least every week, if you like what you discovered. Feel free to press reply on this email to let me know if something wonderful happens.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day, you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
– Robert Brault, freelance writer
The human mind is an amazing thing. It provides us with a phenomenal capacity to learn, to create, to solve problems and to remember.
There was recently a TV crime show where the detective had a photographic memory – she could remember every single detail. For most of us, this is impossible and in many cases, undesirable. We need to restrict what enters our mind to simply get through our days with a degree of balance and sanity.
Of course we want to remember and cherish those big events, such as graduations, weddings, new jobs and the births of our children. But what about those little things – those simple pleasures of each day that add to the richness of life?
Develop a “little things” journal to capture the small and highly important life events that happen each day.
Block out 30 minutes over this coming weekend to start your list with at least 100 of these little things, which may actually be the big things that make life so meaningful.
“The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it and the faith to believe it’s possible.”
– Rich Devos, co-founder of Amway
Many years ago, I read a book by Wayne Dyer entitled Manifest Your Destiny. In it, Dyer suggests that each person represents a miracle manifested by God – and that since we were created by God, we too have the capacity to create and intentionally manifest our lives.
Devoss is recommending that we exercise our faith muscle and believe that greater things in our lives are possible, and that we mobilize our will to take the necessary action to realize these possibilities.
In the book Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins goes to considerable length to overcome his debilitating condition, with the help of funny movies, other forms of humor, and high dose Vitamin C.
There is considerable evidence that the light-hearted experience of laughter has positive effects on our immune system. It protects our nervous system by reducing stress, and it may actually enhance our life span.
Milton Burle, often referred to as “Mr. Television” or “Uncle Miltie” was born in 1908 and lived to the age of 93; he had a career of bringing “s—t-eating grins” and belly laughs to generations.
In our rapidly-moving and often stress-filled lives, we often find ourselves longing for an escape to our favorite vacation spot. Unfortunately, our ability to make these journeys may only occur a few times a year. Let’s all take Burle’s suggestion, and take far more mini-vacations to brighten our days.
Google Milton Burle and check out some of his video clips on YouTube.
Explore the works of other comedians – such as Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Bob Hope – or check out some jokes / funny story books and websites and share a few chuckles on a daily basis.
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher, writer and artist
I love to go to the movies. One of my favorite types are adventure movies – you know, the kind when the hero or heroine summons the courage to overcome seemingly overwhelming odds to reach their goal, get the girl, or achieve some other form of victory. We all love a good story.
Radmacher’s quote touches home for me in that most of us live much quieter, less adventurous lives, where we summon the courage daily to do our best to contribute and serve others at home and at work.
Consider how often, at the end of your day, you feel the satisfaction of knowing that you did what you could with what you had, where you were – knowing and hoping that you could do it again tomorrow.
Capture your thoughts and feelings in a journal or with others.
“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
In my coaching work with clients, I have a favorite simple technique to help them solve problems. I refer to this as a “pivot point exercise.” It involves three simple steps:
1. Identify the current reality of a situation – what’s working and not working.
2. Describe your vision for the future that you and others desire.
3. Decide what new and different actions you and others can take that move you from the current reality toward your committed vision.
Capture this three-step pivot process on a few post-it notes and place them strategically in your home and in your place of work.
Add the word “repeat” as the fourth step to build your own self-coaching muscle to move your world forward.
“Happiness is a state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.”
– Ayn Rand, novelist and political philosopher
The pursuit of happiness is a topic of great interest to most of us. Many people spend considerable time chasing it through the accumulation of material possessions, climbing the corporate ladder, or seeking recognition from others.
Rand may be suggesting that we take off our running shoes and simply look within ourselves for the values that we hold most dear. Once we are clear about these core values, we can then set about our days to live our values with integrity and passion.
“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”
– Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 19th century English novelist
Over the course of the past year, I’ve written a number of The Quotable Coach entries that relate to the heart and head regarding decision making. Shelley’s quote appears to go even deeper, into the level of soul – our own very being as humans.
I believe she is suggesting that having a steady purpose will provide deeper meaning to our lives and at the same time quiet the loud and often disjointed chatter that frequently occupies our minds.
Block out five minutes each morning when you awake and five minutes each evening before bed to sit in silence with a quiet mind. Focus on or reflect upon your intended purpose for the day.
Take a couple of minutes to capture your thoughts in a purpose log or journal.
Consider discussing these observations or insights with your friends, family or colleagues over a meal.