scratching the itch

“Too many young people itch for what they want without scratching for it.”

—attributed to Tom D. Taylor

Meme of today's quote

On a scale of one (low) to ten (high), rate your own perception of the work ethic, general persistence, and grittiness of the six generations of people currently on the planet:

  1. GI Generation, born 1901-1926
  2. Mature | Silents, born 1927-1945
  3. Baby Boomers, born 1946 -1964
  4. Generation X, born 1965 – 1980
  5. Generation Y | Millennials, born 1981-2000
  6. Generation Z | Boomlets, born 2001 and after

What do you think are their goals, desires, and wishes?
What general environmental and societal factors have shaped their attitudes towards work and improving their lives?

EXERCISE:

To what degree do you and others in your multi-generational communities scratch the itches in the hard-to-reach places?

Check out this link to discover some interesting characteristics of each group.

Mend Your Manners

“Look at the manners of others and mend your manners.”

—Japanese Proverb

Meme of today's quote

As part of my signature Personal Excellence Training, which kicks off each new coaching assignment, I conduct a Core Values/Life Vision exercise. A key part of this effort is for the coaching client to describe their “Best Future Self.”

Most clients inquire into their own good qualities first, then examine the wonderful and desirable qualities of those they admire.

Some take an alternate approach, exploring their own undesirable qualities and the poor manners of others, then flipping these traits around to identify the opposite trait they would choose to exemplify.

EXERCISE:

Where it is appropriate to mend your manners, personally or professionally?

How can the example set by others assist you in this effort?

Feel free to reply to this message and request the full list of questions I use in this exercise.

Take The Oars

“If the wind will not serve, take the oars.”

—Latin Proverb

Image of oars


Image from Flickr by Sarah Brabazon

Have you ever been sailing, wind surfing, flown a kite, or even played golf on a breezy day?

What was it like in terms of your progress and level of success when the wind was at your back?

It’s pretty great when we get an assist to help us on our journey!

All to often, however, life doesn’t provide the winds that serve us, and in some cases, the headwinds of life come directly at us to thwart our efforts.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional issue is it time to “take the oars” and do the difficult and challenging work that will get you where you wish to go?

Punishing others is punishing work

“Punishing others is punishing work.”

—John Heider, The Tao of Leadership

Image of a judge's gavel

Image from Flickr by slgckgc

How often do you play the role of judge or jury in your personal or professional life?

How often are you on the receiving end of judgement and criticism?

What are the benefits and costs of being right and making others wrong?

In the arenas of organizational leadership, criminal justice, and even the family unit itself, punishment is rarely effective in controlling behavior, and fear is a horrible teaching strategy. It is exhausting, and sucks the life out of everyone involved.

EXERCISE:

What alternative and empowering strategies might you use to produce the behaviors and attitudes that will benefit your world?

Aim at nothing and you hit it every time

“Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time. Know where you are going and you can take anyone with you.”

—Ken Davis, Motivational/Inspirational Speaker

Today’s quote, for me, is about leadership. It points to the critical factor of having a vision for the future, and articulating your compelling message to others within your community, to garner their support and join you on the journey.

When we aim at nothing we get just that, every time.

EXERCISE:

What work do you need to do to sharpen your aim and clarify your personal and professional direction? With whom will you share the message? Who will you invite to join you on the journey?

The Big Art is Our Life

“All the arts are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.”

—Mary Caroline Richards, 19th Century American Poet & Potter

Image of a potters wheel

Image from Flickr by pax-h2o

Do you live to work or work to live? Regardless of how you answer the question, it is clear that we spend a pretty high percentage of our lives engaged in our work.

How many different jobs have you had so far in your life? Many of my coaching clients have multi-page resumes, often including five, ten, or more positions. Quite often, one reason they hire me is to support a transition in their professional life.

They almost always simultaneously seek to live more artfully and include a high degree of focus and effort in their personal lives.

EXERCISE:

What artistic efforts are most appropriate at this point in your life? What would make it a more beautiful masterpiece?

Friday Review Possibilities

FRIDAY REVIEW: POSSIBILITIES

What is possible for you? What is impossible? Here are a few possibility-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

 

 

 

 

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.”

 

 

 

 

“What is possible for you is dictated by your hunger, not your history.”

 

 

 

 

If only we knew what we knew

“If only we knew what we knew! How can you use the wisdom in the room?”

—Michael Bungay Stanier, founder of Box of Crayons

What are your thoughts and experiences regarding the following phrases and ideas?

  • Two heads are better than one
  • Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM)
  • The Wisdom of Crowds

How well do you play with others in your professional and personal worlds?

If you are like most people, you constantly evaluate ideas and concepts through your life experiences, your beliefs, and your perceptual filters. These evaluations often come with a judgmental or critical view of ideas that don’t line up with your own way of thinking.

EXERCISE:

For at least the next day or two, consider that everyone in your professional and personal world is far more intelligent and wise than you think they are.

How could you orchestrate this brain trust or mastermind community to achieve far more than you ever thought possible?

tune your pace to the trickle of a stream

“See what happens when you tune your pace to the trickle of a stream, or the waft of a lazy breeze.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a stream

Image from Flickr by CP369

Consider how often you experience:

  • Calmness
  • Serenity
  • Peace of Mind
  • Tranquility
  • Inner Harmony
  • Relaxation

What benefit might you gain in shifting from the frenetic pace of life many of us experience to a slower, more natural pace?

EXERCISE:

How can and will you apply the slow and quiet aspects of Mother Nature to achieve greater Peace of Mind and Calmness in your life?