-Paul J. Meyer, Founder of the Personal Development Industry
Image from Flickr by Kate Ter Haar
One of the primary reasons people experience varying degrees of upset in their lives is unfulfilled expectations.
When we believe that something is supposed to happen, such as a friend or colleague making a promise on which they do not follow through, our blood can boil a bit.
If we take coaching from today’s quote, and inspect what we expect, we can often shift our expectations on the fly. This will reduce negative consequences considerably. On many occasions, the added attention we give to such matters increase the odds of our expectations being fulfilled.
How would the practice or habit of inspecting what you expect impact your personal or professional worlds for the better?
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My Thanksgiving is perpetual.”
—Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet, and philosopher
Thanksgiving is a United States holiday celebrated every fourth Thursday of November since Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “thanks-giving and praise to our beneficent father who dwelt in the heavens,” in 1863.
Thoreau’s quote suggests a value 365 times that of this single November day, coaching us to embrace and express the gratitude and thanks we can experience and express on a daily basis.
In what ways can you be perpetually thankful to help yourself and others in your communities live a more full and richly rewarding life?
For most people I work with as a coach, life is difficult, challenging, and often upsetting from time to time. Some are so stuck or stopped that they can hardly see any path forward.
During these times, feelings run high and the “emotional tension” they experience as part of their current realty must be acknowledged fully so they can cry the rivers that are appropriate. Only then can they collect themselves to realize that life goes on. Building bridges to the future is now the job at hand, to realize their resolve and get on the other side of life’s barriers and obstacles.
How can you fully acknowledge and experience all the emotions associated with some of your most significant challenges? How can you use that wisdom to garner the strength and capacities to build bridges and get over situations on your life journey?
“Don’t worry so much about knowing the right people. Just make yourself worth knowing.”
A number of years ago I read a book by Dr. Wayne Baker from the University of Michigan titled Achieving Success Through Social Capital. A key take-away from this well-researched book was that, without question, relationships are valuable.
We have all heard phrases such as, It’s not what you know, but who you know, that counts, pointing to the power of being connected to these centers of influence and super-connectors. One challenge with the advent of social media and the huge demands it puts on our time is that getting to know the “right people” can be difficult.
Today’s quote suggest that instead of the old push or pursuit strategy to meet these individuals, we instead work on ourselves to attract and pull people to us and the value they perceive we provide.
What one or two qualities or abilities could you more fully develop in yourself to make yourself an even more desirable person worth knowing?
“Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us.”
Image from Flickr by Sebastien Wiertz
A topic that comes up fairly frequently in my coaching sessions these days is aging. As someone in the middle of the Baby Boom Generation, I see that most of my contemporaries are also experiencing the “grayification” of our society. We’re dealing with aging parents and our own health and fitness related issues.
Despite all of our best efforts to eat better, exercise more, and get much-needed rest to renew and recharge, we are heading toward an entropy of life, where things begin to break down and stop working optimally.
There happens to be a new form of coaching called “Eldering.” One of its tenets is to assist people in navigating these years with more grace, dignity, and life mastery.
How can you adjust, adapt, or change yourself in relationship to those issues and situations that are unchangeable, to more fully experience a life of greater happiness and fulfillment?
—William James, American philosopher and psychologist
The first book I ever read by Robin Sharma was The Monk who Sold His Ferrari. It is an amusing and insightful story of a hard-driving attorney, determined to win every case and annihilate his opposition while he reaps the material rewards of success. As you may guess from the title, he experiences various life events that literally stop him in his tracks, and had him re-evaluate his life from a new perspective. He begins to seek a life of greater meaning and significance.
What issues, obstacles, life complexities, and other barriers are you facing that would be better overlooked?
“It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.”
-Elizabeth Kenny, unaccredited 20th Century Australian nurse
Image from Flickr by Tambako the Jaguar
Take an inventory of your life’s greatest moments—the ones where you did or were part of something remarkable, noteworthy, and of course, memorable. What were you doing at the time? I would guess that on many of these occasions you were reaching for some goal, striving for something you desired, or operating beyond your comfort zone inspired by a high-priority commitment.
Rarely do great accomplishments occur when we simply move day-to-day, grazing on the same grasses of our personal or professional worlds.
How and in what ways can you rally your inner lion to courageously roar, chase, and pounce on the successes you desire?
“From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.”
—Publilius Syrus, ancient Syrian writer
A highly notable technique to support personal growth and development is to encourage people to embrace failure. When we fail, we have the opportunity to pick up experiential lessons from the event.
Today’s quote, however, suggests that not all lessons need to occur from our own failures, setbacks, and stumbles. All we need do is pay particular attention to the misadventures of those around us. From them, we can glean additional nuggets of knowledge and wisdom.
Given the fact that there is only one of you, and so many people in your personal and professional worlds, the odds favor the open and receptive mind in picking up a higher proportion of lessons this way.
Where and in what ways can you use the errors of others to pursue greater success and mastery throughout your day?
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet
Image from heyjamie.com
What is the current pace of your life? If you are like many, it’s busy, rushed, in overdrive, or even hyper-drive. You may find yourself eating fast or convenience foods on the run, skipping meals altogether, or getting a boost from coffee and caffeinated energy drinks. Or just as damaging, you may be missing out on the rest and exercise your body needs to reach and maintain optimal health.
What results would be possible if you took a more patient approach to life and your top priorities? What items on your to-do list could you reduce or eliminate, to make room for a more patient and peaceful flow in your life?
What steps can and will you take to achieve a more natural and patient pace throughout your day?
How can you make this practice a daily habit?
A new book that will definitely help you progress in these areas is On Target Living, by Chris Johnson.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not in fighting the old, but on building the new.”
—Socrates, Classic Greek Philosopher
image from bigfishmedia.ca
When I consider the idea of fighting the old ways of doing things, I think of the phrase, whatever we resist persists. Notice how some of your own less-than-desirable habits or behaviors seem to stick around no matter how much you try to fight them off. The act of building things is much like a replacement strategy where we insert what we desire into our lives instead.
What would be the biggest difference in your personal or professional life if you stopped fighting the old and started building the new?