“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
– Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
In the world of physics, perhaps no-one is more famous than Einstein. He is best known for the formula E = mc2 where E =energy, m stands for mass and c represents the speed of light.
There is genius in simplicity, in that it brings ideas and insight into our lives. Compare programming your first VCR with the simplicity of many of our plug-and-play devices today.
Look up the term “Occam’s Razor” and explore how making things in your life far simpler is a road toward unleashing your own genius and creating a more user-friendly, workable world.
“The gratification comes in the doing, not in the result.”
– James Dean, actor
A coaching colleague, Michael Bungay Stanier, is a remarkable guy. He has built a fantastic company, Box of Crayons, and has written a number of outstanding books. Among them is one called Do More Great Work.
I find it interesting that this title emphasizes the act of doing, which comprises the vast majority of the time we spend engaged in our daily efforts, versus simply reaching the top of some professional summit or finish line, about to take a short-lived victory lap.
Please visit Michael’s website at boxofcrayons.biz and purchase his wonderful book and other resources to help you find your own gratification through doing more great work.
“People will cling to an unsatisfactory way of life rather than change in order to get something better, for fear of getting something worse.”
– Eric Hoffer, moral and social philosopher
Do you know any living examples of the definition of insanity? You know, those people who keep on doing the same thing over and over, yet they expect a different result?
Perhaps one reason for their stuckness is what Hoffer suggests: the fear of getting a worse result if they change their ways.
What I have found in my years of coaching and in my own life is that high levels of commitment, combined with multiple levels of support over extended periods of time, almost always produce far better results.
To support you in altering some unsatisfactory part of your life, try this three-step exercise.
- Identify your top commitments in your life that you wish to realize.
- Rally support from all parts of your world.
- Stay in action toward these objectives and accept the risk, and over time your life will be improved.
Repeat as often as you wish.
“Habit is the daily battle-ground of character.”
– Dan Coats, U.S. Senator
I agree with the quote above, and disagree with it at the same time.
Let’s start where I disagree. Many of us engage in a variety of not-so-wonderful habits that would be called “character flaws” by many. These habits include eating junk food, not exercising, and spending money we don’t have, leaving us in debt.
On the other hand, the good and noble habits that demonstrate character often occur initially as a battle-ground, due to the need to go outside our comfort zones.
Most people of high character would suggest that the rewards of these habits are well worth it – and over time they become far less of a struggle to maintain.
Choose one of your current undesirable habits and promise yourself (and those around you) that you will replace it with one that demonstrates your highest character.
If you would like additional help with this and other habits you may wish to develop, consider purchasing and implementing the strategies in the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg: charlesduhigg.com/the-power-of-habit
“The race will go to the curious, the slightly mad, and those with an unsatiated passion for learning and dare-deviltry.”
– Tom Peters, business author
A few weekends ago, I went to see the Formula 1 racing movie Rush, directed by Ron Howard. In this true story of the rivalry of two top drivers of the 70s was a healthy dose of passion, slight madness and dare-deviltry which actually helped these two individuals win many races.
I would almost never describe myself this way: I rarely exceed the speed limit! On the other hand, what I lack in dare-deviltry, I think I make up for in curiosity and passion for learning and achievement.
What races are you trying to win in your professional and personal life?
How can you mobilize your curiosity, passion and dare-deviltry to see many checkered flags in the future?
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
– Nelson Mandela
I am sitting in a hotel room outside Lansing, Michigan. It is early morning and I am waiting to begin my day by attending a regional coaching meeting where I will make my best effort to expand my mind, to forward my skills as a coach.
Beyond this mind-expanding effort is the realization that I sincerely enjoy being part of a community of fellow coaches. They have hearts filled with love and the generous desire to use their vocation to make their world and the worlds of others a better place.
What effort are you making (and what effort can you make) to strengthen and expand your own head and heart combo, in order to better your world?
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.”
– Carl Sandburg
This quote originally appeared as #5 in The Quotable Coach series (http://www.thequotablecoach.com/time/time-is-the-coin-of-life). It has been so popular over the past year and a half that I wanted to share with you my father Marvin’s reflection on it. – Barry
When I was a young man and physically fit, I felt somewhat indestructible. Then at the age of 30, I decided to undergo surgery for my duodenal ulcer which was troubling me. Unfortunately in those days, surgery involved losing 80% of my stomach. I recovered nicely and my stomach grew so that I could eat a full meal, but not overeat.
At the age of 40, while driving to a counselors’ convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania, I suddenly got a severe pain in my head. God was with me while I pulled off the road and hailed the first car that I saw: the driver stopped. Soon after I found myself in the Hershey Hospital. I had suffered a stroke.
Now, at the age of 87, I find that each day is precious. I’m looking forward to warmer weather and my condo in Florida. I need to regain some of my strength, endurance, balance and flexibility by swimming regularly. I still have some quarters in the jar!
How many quarters are in your jar – and how will you be spending them over the next few weeks?
What would you do differently if you treated each day as precious?
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Today, Wednesday 27th November, the holiday of Hanukkah begins. As part of this celebration, it is traditional to light the Hanukkah candles with the shamash candle. The shamash does not count as one of the Hanukkah candles but it is used to light all the others.
Imagine that your life force is a candle that has the power to bring happiness and light up the lives of others.
How will you use this gift today (and throughout the holiday season and the new year) to do just that?
“What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.”
Driving in Michigan, specifically in the Detroit metropolitan area, is challenging for numerous reasons. If we eliminate poor roads, construction and heavy traffic, we are left with what I call visibility challenges. Rain, fog, road salt, frost, snow, and splattered insects all have a way of reducing the clarity of our windshields.
I dislike not having clarity so much that I just had a special window treatment applied to our new SUV to better help us see where we are going.
What are some of your obstructing views, beliefs, and attitudes about others that are blocking your clear and objective view?
How can you apply your own perceptional “Windex” to help clarify what you see in others and in yourself?
“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”
– Aldous Huxley, author
Those of you who have been reading The Quotable Coach for some time may know that in my first career 30 years ago I was a science teacher. Two subjects I found most fascinating were astronomy and physics.
Entropy (“the degree of disorder and randomness of a system”) is constantly at work expanding the universe and bringing disorder to our world. Fortunately, as Huxley suggests, we can use our own energies to counter this disorder and design the world as we desire.
How will you use your energy today to improve your corner of the universe?
How can you combine your energies with others to make even larger improvements in your world?