The Roller Coaster is My Life

“The Roller Coaster is my life…It’s mountaineering; It’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself.”

—Paulo Coehlo, Eleven Minutes

Image of a roller coaster

Image from Unsplash by Claire Satera

The full quote for today is:
“The roller coaster is my life; Life is a fast, dizzying game; Life is a parachute jump; It’s taking chances, falling over and getting up again; It’s mountaineering; It’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself.”

Based on this quote, you might think I am a massive risk taker, tempting life and limb on a daily basis. I’ve had my share of adventures along the way, but for the most part, I am a bit more of an introvert than you might guess.

I do, however, love the idea of wanting to get to the very top of oneself, base on those life mountains or even hills we choose to climb.

EXERCISE:

In what areas of your life do you have the greatest desire for growth and achievement? How and in what ways can you be a bit more bold and courageous to get to the top of yourself in these important life domains?

Analyze Your Life

“Analyze your life closely, frequently. You will eventually find it difficult to misuse it.”

—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Self-Meditation

Image of charts and graphs

Image from Unsplash by William Iven

Every December, usually over the holidays, I do an assessment of the past year as a way of acknowledging my efforts and progress, and to set the stage for a new year of personal and professional growth.

The process of developing greater mindfulness and self-awareness can become an essential skill. It helps to not only avoid missing the gift of life, but also in learning to make the most out of each day we are blessed to receive.

EXERCISE:

Take three to five minutes to answer any or all of the questions listed here. Consider doing this with a friend, family member, colleague, or coach, to gain the social support to have   this exercise make a significant and sustainable difference:

  • What did you accomplish in 2017?
  • What were your biggest disappointments?
  • What were your most significant lessons?
  • Where are you currently limiting yourself?
  • What goal areas do you intend to emphasize in the year ahead?

A few resources you may wish to explore for extra credit include:

Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell
Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly
Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Faith that the thing can be done

“Faith that the thing can be done is essential to any great achievement.”

—Thomas N. Carruthers, late bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

Cartoon image of a man stretched out

Image from hbr.org

Over the past year, I have noticed a growing trend in many of my clients who work for large corporations. It has become increasingly apparent that the goals set for them go far beyond the usual “stretch” goals, to a level of the unreasonable and unbelievable.

What remains for many of these folks are feelings of upset, discouragement, hopelessness, and even anger.

Genuine faith that a goal is achievable is essential to empowering all of us to give our best to the task at hand.

EXERCISE:

Where can you collaborate and create shared goals, to maintain and encourage the faithful beliefs and actions that the goals will be fully realized?

To Dare is to Lose your Foothold for a Moment

“To dare is to lose your foothold for a moment. To not dare is to lose yourself.”

—Swedish Proverb

Image of a man's foot about to step on a banana peel

Image from Flickr by Perry Hall

In the famous song “My Way,” Frank Sinatra sang the line: “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.”

When we look at our own significant achievements or if we look at the accomplishments of others we admire, in virtually all cases risk and the willingness to dare to do things our way was involved.

Unfortunately, those who don’t dare the momentary loss of footing remain on what they perceive as solid ground. They risk loosing themselves, and live lives with far too many regrets.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what issues is it time to throw caution to the wind and dare to live more of the life of your dreams?

Feel free to reply to this post with the actions you plan to take.

 

Happiness Lies in the Joy of Achievement

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

Image of a man surrounded by bubbles

Image from Unsplash by Brandon Morgan

If I could go back in time, and Roosevelt had asked me for coaching on this statement, I would have encouraged a bit of editing.

What if it instead read, “Happiness lies in the joy of creative effort and the thrill of achievement”?

I suggest that the time we spend in our creative efforts could comprise the bulk of our days, whereas the thrill of achievement is often more finite and short-lived.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can and will you use and apply your most creative and joyful efforts to realize the thrilling achievements and happiness you desire?

Friday Review Achievements

FRIDAY REVIEW: Achievements

What’s on your list of achievements? Here are a few achievement-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.

 

“If we were to do all we are capable of doing, we would astonish ourselves.”

 

 

 

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra.”

 

 

 

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”

 

 

 

Are you following a path or blazing one

“Are you following a path, or blazing one?”

-Michael Bungay Stanier, Sr. Partner of Box of Crayons

Image of a path in the forest

Image from Flickr by Vinoth Chandar

We are all creatures of habit. Just take a look at a typical day to explore all of the routines and rituals that engage your time.

The good news is that habits are often extremely helpful in that they usually provide us the necessary momentum to pursue and achieve many of our goals.

On the other hand, new goals that we passionately desire rarely come to fruition because we continue to follow our current path, using familiar strategies and tactics.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional goals is blazing a path the thing to do to achieve what you most desire? What new and different behaviors and attitudes will be required to do so?

“There’s no such thing as an overachiever…”

“There’s no such thing as overachievers; there are only under estimators.”

—Author Unknown

Image from pass-it-on.tumbler.com

What is your potential for achievement?  Perhaps the better question is, “What is your perception of your potential?”

People never simply luck out and exceed their expectations. They have to work at it.

Too many people, on the other hand, have a more limited or modest view of what they can achieve. Even if they hit their mark, they are often shooting at a less than optimal target.

EXERCISE:

Where in either your personal or professional life is it appropriate, even necessary, to stretch and overestimate your capabilities to achieve your most highly desired objectives?

Well begun is half done

“Well begun is half done.”

—Cited by Aristotle as an ancient proverb

post-it-note with today's quote

Image from Data49

When was the last time you were super satisfied with something you had done or accomplished? Take a few seconds to bask in the joy and pleasure of that event.

What would it be like to feel that way all the time, or at least more often?

What gets in the way?

We all know that putting things off acts like an anchor on our lives. Not only do we not achieve what we deeply desire, but most of us do a good job of beating ourselves up about it. That places an even bigger and darker cloud over our lives.

EXERCISE:

Select at least one personal or professional project you will initiate and follow through on today to experience the satisfaction and exhilaration of Aristotle’s coaching.

measure your life

“How will you measure your life?”

—Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business Professor

Image of Book "How will you measure your life?"

Today’s quote stopped me in my tracks and caused me to sit down to examine its profundity. I then watched Mr. Christensen’s TEDx Boston talk from 2012, to see what this Harvard Professor had to say.

This is a question we must all answer for ourselves, based on many factors. I looked at the personal and professional achievements that measured me against others, and more importantly, against myself. My conclusion here was that personal development and growth have always been measuring sticks for me. What became more of a priority for me was the measure of family, and the development of close, collaborative relationships. In this area, contribution and making a difference in people’s lives was paramount.

When Clayton stated, in his talk, that God does not employ accountants and statisticians, I wondered what I’d like people to say upon my passing. This caused me to set about my efforts far more intentionally, so that I might fulfill my purpose.

EXERCISE:

Explore setting up a discussion group within your personal and professional communities to ask and answer this question for yourself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and what you discovered.