“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
Plato, Greek philosopher
Image from Flickr by wwarby.
Who doesn’t recall the story of the tortoise and the hare, or the phrase “slow and steady wins the race”? Yet in the world today, moving fast is often seen as a critical part of success.
In terms of the coaching process, each individual and organization needs to be treated uniquely and define their own standard of success. It troubles me when people place their own definition of success and achievement on others – often invalidating, judging and diminishing the efforts and progress of those around them.
Plato is suggesting that we support and celebrate others’ effort and progress, no matter how slow, in order to be supportive coaches, mentors and colleagues to those we care about.
How will you be an encourager and not a discourager of others in your personal and professional lives today?
With the help of The Quotable Coach readers (thank you!) I have come up with two “finalists” for the title of my upcoming book.
- The Quotable Coach: Practical Wisdom to Coach Yourself Each Day
- The Quotable Coach: Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom
Which do you like best? Just click here to vote.
“Sometimes in the winds of change, we find our true direction.”
Image from Flickr by epSos.de
Recently here in Michigan we have been paying particular attention to the weather. January was the snowiest in history and the temperatures were as cold as I’ve ever experienced. The weather forecast includes a metric called “wind chill” or “the wind chill factor, which is a combination of the actual temperature along with the wind speed – to provide a measure of how cold it actually feels outside.
In our society today we are all experiencing the winds of change at a far brisker pace – personally, professionally, and perhaps even globally.
In the coming days, how can you either lean into or go with the winds of change to find your true direction? Consider the possibility of adding your own breeze to sweep you toward your destiny.
“Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”
– Don Miguel Ruiz, Mexican spiritualist author
Image from Flickr by Brisbane City Council
We have all heard the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Our words have the power to tear down and destroy – or in the case of truth and love, to bring the world together.
We rarely hear the word “impeccable”. It points to an exemplary standard of excellence seldom seen today, and yet it can be the basis of character that we can all aspire to (and choose to follow in our leaders).
Unfortunately, more often than not, we see only rare glimpses of this impeccability – and even then, the actions we observe fall short of the mark. Take heart, however, in the fact that truth and love are two of the most powerful forces in humanity, and that fundamentally, we all strive for them every day, despite our shortcomings.
How can you and will you raise your own standard of impeccability of your word to forge all the wondrous benefits that truth and love provide?
A simple way to begin is with a promise you make to yourself and others. Feel free to let me know your intentions in this area and the results which you discover.
“When you’re presented with the opportunity to improve someone’s life, to help them go through a particularly difficult challenge, to engage with great comrades and achieve a noble mission – what could be luckier?”
– Unknown cadet, quoted by Jim Collins, business consultant and author
Image from The National Guard.
Today’s quote is a call to action. It is a call for you to channel your inner coach. It’s a call to help those around you realize their most cherished goals or simply navigate their worlds a bit more smoothly.
To begin with, view this supportive process as a personal scavenger hunt in which these individuals already have the answers or resources they require within them.
Should you discover that what they need is not within arm’s length, please do help them find the missing pieces outside of themselves. These may well include what you can bring to the situation.
Select one person in your personal or professional world to help achieve their most noble mission. They will be lucky to have your support and I bet you will feel lucky too.
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
– Thomas Edison, inventor
Image from Flickr by Marion Doss.
Whenever I think of the term “invention”, “innovation” or “imagination”, Thomas Edison comes to mind. During his life, over 1,000 patents were attributed to him.
But what about us? I personally do not hold a single patent. On the other hand, if there is validity to his quote and we can martial our imaginations as he suggests, perhaps there is hope for all of us to be future inventors.
Consider using a word such as “resources”, “assets” or even “belongings” in place of the word “junk”.
How could you apply, combine, blend or piece together these items with a healthy helping of imagination to bring something new and valuable into your world?
“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid.”
– Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
Image from Flickr by phalinn.
A major paradox in goal achievement is the premise and practice of working to improve our weaknesses. We often spend too much time focusing on weaknesses at the expense of strengths. Who hasn’t, as a child, had a parent review their report card and make strong suggestions to improve the Ds and Cs toward As and Bs?
Unfortunately, this produces a double-whammy for the student. They usually lack the desire to work on these areas, and this parental feedback fosters their belief in their inadequacy and even stupidity regarding the subject.
Instead of working on our weaknesses, we will achieve much more by playing to our strengths and fanning the flames of a fire that’s already burning.
If fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly, what areas of natural talent and ability can you develop in yourself to realize your own genius?
“Hope is a good breakfast but it is a bad supper.”
– Francis Bacon, English philosopher
Image from Flickr by ultrakml.
Starting each day with a hopeful mindset is very important – just as many nutritionists indicate that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
If hope, however, is all we have to keep us going, we’ll feel that grumbling sound in our stomachs at supper time.
What other factors constitute the meals and fuel that keep you going throughout your day, to move you from hopeful intentions in the morning toward goal realization by bedtime?
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”
– William S. Burroughs, American writer
Image from Flickr by anieto2k.
One of my favorite phrases about coaching is “coaches let their questions do the heavy lifting.” If this is true – and I assert that it is – then we can all coach others, be coached by others, and even coach ourselves if we simply ask the right questions, then relax as our answers reveal themselves.
It is through this personal inquiry that our question-answering muscles do the work and allow us to grow and evolve.
What one or two important questions do you need to ask and answer for yourself today?
“All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.”
– Federico Fellini, Italian film director and script writer
Image from Flickr by InExtremiss
Recently, I attended a webinar on how to write a transformational book and earn beaucoup dollars before it’s even published. The webinar was chock-full of free tips and techniques … which eventually led to the not so free stuff!
Perhaps a key point from the speaker was that we each have a message, a story, and perhaps a best-selling book within us that needs expression. Our art – in this case, writing – needs to be expressed in its authenticity and full beauty.
Explore your own expressions of art in your life, whether they are professional or personal. What autobiographical pearl can and will you offer the world?