“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”
—David G. Allen, Author of Getting Things Done
In my very early years as a coach, I learned a variety of reasons why people get upset, such as unfulfilled expectations, and thwarted intentions.
Given the realization that many things can and do happen in different orders, or at different times, Allen coaches us to exercise greater patience, resulting in fewer upsets in our days.
How and in what ways can greater patience and acceptance of life’s upsetting moments bring greater peace of mind and calmness to your world?
“I have simply tried to do what seemed best each day, as each day came.”
—Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
A state of calm centeredness came over me when I read today’s quote. My first thought was “I can do that!”
Many of us experience overwhelm in the enormity of all that must be done in our lives. Far too often we are exhausted by the end of the day, and frustrated by not having achieved what we intended. We then add insult to injury by throwing in our own negative commentary.
Alternatively, being satisfied with our best, which can differ from day to day, grants a peaceful and accepting sense of our humanity, and what Brené Brown would call the “Gifts of Imperfection.”
How would taking your life one day at a time, doing your best regardless of what happens, be the source of a happier and more fulfilling life?
“Some books are undeservingly forgotten. None are undeservingly remembered.”
-W.H. Auden, 20th Century English Poet
Image from Flickr by UNCG Research
Do you love books, as I do? Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? Regardless of your choice, take a moment to recall the books that told a great story or taught a profound lesson that has stayed with you to this day.
What percentage of the books you’ve read have you forgotten completely – perhaps undeservedly – due to a less than optimally open and receptive mind?
How would a far more open mind and receptive attitude toward seeking value and benefit from the books you read support you in living a fuller and more prosperous life?
“To thine own self be nice.”
Image from choosetobenice.com
A critical component of all coaching relationships is to significantly increase each individual’s self awareness. To achieve this, various strategies can be utilized, including a wide variety of assessments, interviews with colleagues, family, and friends, and of course, discussions with the clients themselves.
Through these efforts, behavioral achievement, cognitive and leadership traits can be evaluated. Greater insights are also revealed about their beliefs, attitudes, values, and perspectives on themselves and the world around them.
One surprising observation I’ve made over the years is just how many people demonstrate a more critical view of themselves than of others. For some reason, they demonstrate an “I am not enough/not good enough” attitude, which is obviously self-limiting.
How would a “To thine own self be nice, accepting, and more loving” approach make a meaningful difference in your life or the lives of others you care about?
“Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.”
Image from Flickr by Alvanman
With Black Friday behind us and the Christmas holiday just days away, a great deal of attention is being devoted to consumerism and asking our Santa’s for the things we desire.
About ten years ago, my wife Wendy and I took a very special vacation to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We made a practical budgetary decision, and promised to forgo purchasing additional gifts for one another.
When the holidays arrived, I was shocked to see wrapped packages from my wife sitting by the fireplace. I began to get upset, thinking she had broken her promise. With an elfish smile, Wendy simply said“Yes, I know what we promised,” and asked me to open the gifts.
To my pleasant surprise, inside those packages were some of my favorite possessions⏤things I already owned and loved. Opening the packages caused me to remember how much I enjoyed them!
How can you take greater satisfaction in the things you already have, rather than things you want or even receive? Consider paying particular attention to non-material items.
“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”
I recently finished reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. This book focuses on issues regarding aging, the state of affairs of healthcare, and the quality of life—or lack thereof— that often results.
We’ve all heard the statement “no one ever gets out of this life alive.” Gawande points out our ability and responsibility to make sure we make our journey workable and wonderful, despite the imperfections and challenges we face.
If you or those you care about are experiencing the imperfection of our healthcare system as it relates to our aging society, consider reading this book. Where can you support yourself and others in having as wonderful a life as possible?
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”
— Denis Waitley, American motivational speaker and writer
image from http://www.faithingyourblueprint.com
When I read today’s quote, I felt a bit troubled. Observing the world around me, I notice many people making a third, and yet very undesirable choice in life: the choice to be the victim. This is where individuals, organizations, and sometimes even nations, blame others for their current conditions.
Waitley points to two better choices for us to consider as we journey through our days. As the serenity prayer suggests, it is often helpful to simply accept those things we cannot control or influence, and of course, accept and take responsibility for those situations about which we can do something.
What choices are you currently making in your professional and personal life? Where would greater acceptance of your responsibility to change for the better make the biggest difference?
“Forgive them even if they’re not sorry.”
-Julian Casablancas, lyricist (from the song “11th Dimension”)
Photo from westerngreatlakesdistrict.org
Perhaps no single human trait causes more damage than the fundamental need most of us have to be right.
When we assume this stance and other have an alternative point of view, they are, of course, wrong.
This vicious cycle often causes both parties to do and say things that are hurtful and often damaging.
Look at your own professional or personal worlds to examine where you see yourself inside this cycle. Notice how long it has been occurring, and just how much time and attention it takes from your days—time which could be spent far more enjoyably and productively.
How would the practice of forgiveness—even if those who have hurt you are not sorry —take the additional burden of these events off your shoulders? How would that help you lead a lighter and more fulfilling life?