Invite people into your life who don’t look or act like you

“Invite people into your life who don’t look or act like you. You might find they challenge your assumptions and make you grow.”

-Mellody Hobson, Chair of the Board of Directors of DreamWorks Animation

Image from the shore of Australia

About a month ago, my wife Wendy surprised me with a 60th birthday trip to Australia and New Zealand. During our three week trip, I had the opportunity to expand my world view and perspective by meeting dozens of people from other countries.

Among these interesting individuals were a kiwi farmer from New Zealand, an Academy-Award Winning sound designer who worked on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and a Naturalist about to start working with a non-profit in Hawaii.

EXERCISE:

How can you arrange – sooner rather than later – a “Bucket List” adventure so you can invite more new and interesting people into your life?

Our antagonist is our helper

“He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills. Our antagonist is our helper.”

Edmund Burke, 18th Century Irish Statesman

Image of wrestling competition

Image from Flickr by Christopher Paquette

My dad was a physical education teacher and coach for multiple sports, one of which was wrestling. Young men of equal weight would compete in one of the most challenging and physically exhausting sports I’ve ever experienced.

In a matter of minutes, while engaged with your adversary, you would likely find yourself gasping for air and having already worked up quite a sweat.

Not surprisingly, wrestlers are some of the most fit athletes because of the struggles they face in competing at a high level.

EXERCISE:

Who are the antagonists/adversaries that strengthen your nerve and build your personal or professional skills? How can you appreciate and perhaps seek even greater challenges to further your personal excellence journey?

Friday Review March 24 2017

Friday Review: Humor

How would you describe your sense of humor? Here are a few humor-related posts you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full message.

“I learned that when I made people laugh, they liked me. This is a lesson I’ll never forget.”

 

 

 

 

“Humor is the affectionate communication of insight.”

 

 

 

 

“Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom.”

 

 

Getting Ready is the Secret to Success

“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.”

-Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company

Image of an announcer with a bullhorn

Image from Flickr by Jun

Get Ready! Get Set! Go! …. Announcers of so many races use this phrase!

Perhaps as a child you raced with friends on the playground. I recall numerous events in which a particular race was deemed “unfair” by a participant or two. Their exact words, when complaining about the unfairness were, “I wasn’t ready!”

EXERCISE:

What are some of the most important life races in your professional or personal worlds? What extra effort can and will you make to be fully ready when it is time to go?

If people are doubting how far you will go

“If people are doubting how far you’ll go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”

-Michele Ruiz, award-winning broadcast journalist

Image of man walking on ice

Image from Unsplash

Having supportive people in your life is a critical component to success.

It is bad enough when our own thinking fuels the seeds of doubt; we surely don’t need those around us sharing their limiting beliefs and negative views of our potential.

The coaching for today is to see these individuals as toxic, and to remove them completely from our worlds.

EXERCISE:

Who are the doubters and naysayers in your personal and professional worlds? In what ways can you get far away from them, to avoid their negative influence? How can and will you surround yourself with “true believers” to support your greatest personal and professional potential?

Guests see more in an hour

“A guest sees more in an hour than the host in a year.”

-Polish Proverb

Image of Barry on the bridge overlooking the Sydney Opera House

Barry and the Sydney Opera House

For my 60th birthday, my wonderful wife Wendy surprised me with a “Bucket List” vacation to Australia and New Zealand. I take adventures such as this with my senses wide open, even though they can be exhausting.

The sights, sounds, tastes, and feelings make experiences like this magical!

Surprisingly, a good number of the people we met who live and work in Australia and New Zealand saw their worlds as “normal,” with only reasonable pleasure and satisfaction in what we, as tourists, experienced as amazingly beautiful and extra-special.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you more fully explore and take greater delight in the world right around you? You may wish to invite a guest, friend, or colleague to visit your home and express what they see and appreciate about your world.

Dig the well before you are thirsty

“Dig the well before you are thirsty.”

⏤Chinese Proverb

Image of a wishing well

Image from Pinterest

The Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” has been used by millions of scouts around the world since the early 1900s. It focuses on always being in a state of readiness, in mind and body, to do your duty.

How prepared is your mind to evaluate and explore the many opportunities, challenges, and choices that present themselves on a daily basis?

How strong, flexible, and able is your body to do what you know is right, so that you can  live your vision and values fully?

EXERCISE:

What are some of your current priorities in which it is important or even urgent to “be prepared’? How will you dig your personal or professional wells before you become thirsty?

Friday Review Simplicity

FRIDAY REVIEW: SIMPLICITY

What is the value of simplicity in your life? Here are a few simplicity-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

 

 

 

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.”

 

 

 

“Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you; you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.”

 

 

 

If you don’t read people well

“If you don’t read people well, you’re climbing up a wobbly career ladder, blindfolded.”

⏤Dan Rust, author of Workplace Poker

Image of "Workplace Poker" book cover

When you hear the phrase, “office politics,” what comes to mind? If you are like many, this idea draws strong reactions, including hate, disgust, annoyance, or for some, a bit of curiosity. Regardless of your feelings, office politics are a fact of life. In Workplace Poker, Dan Rust suggests we either learn to play it or we are likely to be played.

His advise on learning to read people includes:

  • Minimize your own emotional reactions, and set aside preconceived notions, judgements, and expectations. You can’t get inside someone else’s head until you get out of your own.
  • Learn to be a third-party observer. Notice how people speak, dress, act, and interact with others. You will gain a baseline of their behavior, which can be revealing and useful.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of Workplace Poker if you have ever experienced bumps or dips in your career trajectory. This resource can also prove useful in many community and non-profit organizations.

Without promotion something terrible happens

“Without promotion something terrible happens… Nothing.”

⏤P.T. Barnum, 19th Century politician & Founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus

Image of Greatest Show on Earth poster

The Greatest Show on Earth will sadly close forever in May 2017. It appears that after 146 years, no amount of promotion will overcome the numerous challenges facing the circus, including considerable shifts in public taste.

If you have visited Las Vegas over the last decade, you can see what Cirque du Soleil has done to reinvent the genre.

Are people losing interest in your products, services, or ideas?

How engaged and active have you been in promoting them?

What feedback have you received that has caused you to rework or reinvent your ideas in order to remain relevant in today’s world?

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Cham Kim and Renée Mauborgne to get some fresh ideas in this area, and then promote away!