“Greatness comes by beginning something that doesn’t end with you.”
—Robin Sharma, Author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series
Image from Unsplash by Hanson Lu
The other night a close friend of ours placed a video call to me from The Great Wall of China. She was overcome with delight as she shared this 4,000 mile long structure that took about a thousand years to build.
Some other great human achievements include:
- The Great Pyramid at Giza
- Machu Pichu
- The Taj Mahal
- The Empire State Building
- The Panama Canal
- Man’s Landing on the Moon
What other great human achievements can you think of? What efforts and achievements have you begun and contributed to so far in your life? What personal and professional projects are you planning or beginning that will leave a legacy well into the future?
“Intent reveals desire. Action reveals commitment.”
—Steve Marboli, American Behavioral Scientist
Intention plus action: they are a formidable pair. Together, they have been associated with extraordinary achievements that have moved the world. Take a look around at past, current, and some of the upcoming quantum leaps we are capable of, and try not to be amazed.
On the other hand, when these two qualities stand alone or are completely missing, progress seems to limp along, stop, or even regress.
Where would summoning your most desired intentions and most committed actions help you realize even more of what you wish to achieve in your personal and professional life?
“The Roller Coaster is my life…It’s mountaineering; It’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself.”
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.
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 closely, frequently. You will eventually find it difficult to misuse it.”
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.
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 is essential to any great achievement.”
—Thomas N. Carruthers, late bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina
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.
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 not dare is to lose yourself.”
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.
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 and the thrill of creative effort.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
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.
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?
“Are you following a path, or blazing one?”
-Michael Bungay Stanier, Sr. Partner of Box of Crayons
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.
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?