“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
—William James, 19th Century American philosopher
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The term “prejudice” carries negative connotations for most people. We see numerous examples related to prejudice when we watch the local, national, and global news.
Few consider themselves prejudiced. “That label applies to the short-sighted individuals out there, not to me.”
Today’s quote points to the fact that our everyday thinking is actually a form of prejudice that helps us navigate our world, on the one hand, and which can limit us on the other hand.
How often do you find yourself exploring new ways of thinking, or trying on views other than those you have held for years?
What would be possible, and what value could you create, if you were to rearrange your prejudices?
“Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we’ve touched.”
—Will Fetters, American Screenwriter
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I’ve been fortunate over the years to build a coaching practice in which I often see clients in person in my office. Sessions are held at a special round table covered with glass. By the end of the day, the glass is often covered with fingerprints, along with a few crumbs if we happen to meet over lunch.
Perhaps the most profound reason the profession of coaching has grown so significantly over the years is the stickiness and sustainability attributed to these special, collaborative relationships.
Where can you make an enduring and lasting impact in the lives of others? Who are the people who have made an enduring and lasting impact on your life? How can you continue to positively build on these “life fingerprints” and only bring out the “glass cleaner” to remove the smudges that sometimes come your way?
“Ignorance killed the cat; curiosity was framed!”
—C.J. Cherryh, Speculative Fiction Writer
Image from Flickr by jinterwas
Two highly correlated factors to success are life-long learning and, of course, hard work.
Examine the levels of success of people who have dropped out of school, or never cracked a book after graduating from college or university. Formal education is not the only course to pursue success. There is a wide array of true stories in which people who lacked a formal education became extremely successful. These individuals possessed a curious nature, and a desire to learn and grow in support of their passion or purpose.
Where could greater curiosity and expanding your learning efforts bring you and those around you a more satisfying and rewarding life?
“The book that will most change your life is the book you write.”
—Seth Godin, American author and entrepreneur
It has been just over a year since I published The Quotable Coach – Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom. The process, from my first blog post to published book, took over two-and-a-half years.
I have always loved quotes. I enjoy the inner journey as I look at my own life. The 30 months of developing the book were far different in that I found myself digging deeper, and wrestling more fully than ever before. It was, without question, the extra efforts that resulted in the most profound gains I’ve experienced, professionally and personally.
If you were to write a book that would result in substantial growth, what would be the topic? How can you begin this process today? Possible first steps could be a journal entry, a blog post, or a short story.
“If the world is cold, make it your business to build fires.”
—Horace Traubel, 20th Century American Essayist
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The life blood of any business is satisfied customers who are attracted to you as well as your products or services.
The goal of business development or outreach efforts is to convert the unaware or “cold” prospect to a hot prospect, and to eventually consummate a win-win agreement. In our frenetic, over-communicative world, this is often easier said than done.
One strategy I found that will definitely warm things up for you is to create a discovery process that intentionally seeks to establish the fit and value of a future agreement.
Create an assessment that specifically identifies the best candidates for your product or service. Create another assessment that helps people determine the value and areas of impact of your product or service.
Feel free to examine the Assessment Section of my website to see how I help prospects determine the fit and value of working together. Consider adapting these resources to support your own efforts.
“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.”
—Sir Richard Branson, KBE, founder of Virgin Group
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We all know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Life in general, and our journey toward success, never really works that way.
To navigate our world we must, as Sir Branson suggests, adapt, revise, and change our approach moment to moment. This iterative process works very much like an internal GPS system, constantly informing us of where we are, and where we wish to go. It helps us plot the alternative routes we can take to progress toward our desired destination.
Where is it necessary to adapt, revise, or change your approach to tell a more successful tale in either your personal or professional life?
Help. Other. People. Evolve. (HOPE)
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One of the main reasons I enjoy the coaching profession is that it is a very hopeful way of relating with others. We are constantly exploring new and different approaches to better our lives and have a more fulfilling future.
To this end, I encourage you to pursue the two-way street of being a coach for others and having a variety of coaches to support your own evolving life.
Identify one of your unique abilities or special talents and share it with someone in your world who could benefit.
Select a specific area of growth and development you most desire. Secure a coach, mentor, or other individual to support your progress in this area.
Repeat this exercise often.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
-Stephen Covey, Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
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Stephen Covey was a wise man. Few individuals have had a more lasting impact in the development of individuals as life-long learners. Part of his brilliance was his ability to break complicated principles into their simplest form, resulting in his brilliant Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Apply today’s quote to Covey’s Seven Habits to discover your main things for the day:
- Be proactive
- Begin with the end in mind
- First things first
- Think Win-Win
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood
- Sharpen the saw
How will greater focus and far fewer “main things” help you realize more of your potential now, and in the future?
“The bias against introversion leads to a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness.”
—Susan Horowitz Cain, American writer and lecturer
Image from christiehartman.com
We’re all familiar with the phrase, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” To gain anyone’s attention these days, it is critical to be louder, bolder, and more outrageous than ever.
Look at those who have the attention of traditional media, and of course, social media. Looking into our organizations and institutions, we also see a good bit of bias toward extroverts rather than introverts. In some cases, introverts have been encouraged to “fake it till we make it.”
Consider exploring the book Quiet by Susan Horowitz Cain. I love the subtitle of this work, which is, “The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking,” to see what is being wasted.
Cain also has a TED talk you will find revealing if you have 15-20 minutes.
“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”
-Robert Tew, Australian, Chairman at Newcastle Knights Limited
Image from Flickr by Oleg Sidorenko
Today’s quote is a pretty good barometer for progressing in life. Mr. Tew calls on us to fully open our eyes and hearts to determine what is and is not working at this point in time.
Take the opportunity to dig deeply into the ideas of service, growth, and happiness to not take the simple way out of your evolving self. Then, and only, then, make a beeline for the door!
Where in your personal or professional life is it time to walk away from certain people, events, or circumstances, in order to gain greater self-respect?