Plant the seeds of beautiful ideas

“Plant the seeds of beautiful ideas in your mind and water them with belief and action.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a hand tending tiny plants

Image from Unsplash by Joshua Lanzarini

The X Prize Foundation’s tag line is “We Make the Impossible Possible by Incentivizing Great Minds to Make a Difference.”

The Foundation and its supporters believe that the solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges will only be reached through the ideation and realization of critical solutions by pioneering individuals and organizations around the world.

Some of the current projects include:

  • Discovering the mysteries of the deep sea
  • Empowering children to take control of their own learning
  • Transforming the lives of low-literacy adults
  • Transforming CO2 into valuable products

EXERCISE:

What beautiful ideas for a better world inspire you?

Regardless of the size and scope, how can your belief and motivation to act help you and others reap the harvest of a better world?

Friday Review on Action

FRIDAY REVIEW: ACTION

What prompts you to take action? Here are a few action-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full messages.

“The world will never discover a person who is hiding in the crowd.”

 

 

 

 

“It is hard to fly when something is weighing you down.”

 

 

 

 

“Don’t step over dollars to pick up a dime.”

 

 

 

we learn by taking action

“We learn by taking action and seeing whether it works or not.”

—Patrick Lencioni, Author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Image from Unsplash by Rawpixel

In the book BOLD – How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World, authors Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler point out key strategies to achieve breakthrough results.

It seems that most innovative and pioneering organizations and people use a form of rapid experimentation and iterations to come up with amazing products and services. Those products and services eventually come into our lives just like a delivery from Amazon.

One example is the process Google X (or just “X”) uses to support their prolific product development. Their “Never Fail to Fail” innovation principles use this rapid iteration process to fail frequently, fail fast, and most importantly, fail forward.

EXERCISE:

How can you increase your level of action and experimentation to create far more innovative solutions to better your world?

Pick up a copy of BOLD to examine many other ideas to make a far bigger dent in your own universe.

Don’t just go with the flow

“Don’t just go with the flow, take some dares through the rapids.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a person standing on a rickety wood bridge over rapids

Image from Unsplash by Benjamin Davies

If your life were a movie or TV show, how likely is it that it would be a blockbuster everyone talks about?

Mine would probably not be a big hit with most people. When I ask people who know me best to describe me, some words that pop up often include: dependable, disciplined, reliable, steady, cooperative, honest, loyal, and friendly.

Being a “Steady Eddie” has served me well, and I consider myself very happy with my reasonable, predictable life.

On the other hand, there are many displays in my office of my favorite quote: “When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge.” This thought constantly reminds me to keep checking in to see where I am committed to something bigger, better, or just different from “going with the flow.” It’s at these times I periodically jump into the fast-moving or riskier waters of life, and go for it. It’s interesting to note that a high percentage of these times are associated with some of my most memorable and significant accomplishments.

EXERCISE:

What is one important area of your life in which it is time to jump into the rapids and be a bit more daring?

Even though the future seems far away it is actually beginning right now

“Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.”

—Mattie J.T. Stepanek, late American child poet & agent of peace

image of Mattie Stepanek with Oprah Winfrey

Image of Mattie Stepanek from oprah.com

What is the best time to plant a tree? If you’ve heard this question before, you know the answer is something on the order of, “25 years ago.”

The typical follow-up question to this riddle is, “What is the next best time to plant a tree?” The answer is, of course, “Today!”

Those of us who desire a more fruitful future continually look for and take the next step that will begin or continue the journey. In this way, we can realize the future that may initially seem far away.

EXERCISE:

What specific seeds will you plant within your community efforts today? Better yet, what will you do right now to make this possible future a reality?

Intent reveals desire

“Intent reveals desire. Action reveals commitment.”

—Steve Marboli, American Behavioral Scientist

Image of Intention + Action = Achievement meme

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.

EXERCISE:

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?

In the arena of human life the honors

“In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”

—Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher and scientist

Image of Aristotle

Image from classicalwisdom.com

Take out a piece of paper and list your very best qualities. Ask yourself what others in your personal and professional worlds would add to this list given your modest and humble nature.

Create a second list of qualities you most admire in those around you that may not have made it onto your first list.

Rate yourself on the level of action you demonstrate regarding those qualities, on a 1-10 scale.

EXERCISE:

What would be the value and benefit to you and those around you if you upgraded or shared even more of your best qualities with your various communities?

What action will you take today to realize the difference you intend to make?

Outer Order Contributes to Inner Calm

“Outer order contributes to inner calm.”

—Gretchen Rubin, American Author and Speaker

Image of person in blue genie costume

image from YasminK

Consider the following life situations:

  • Finding something to wear in a cluttered closet
  • An e-mail or voice mail box filled to capacity
  • A dirty car, inside and out
  • Desperately needing a haircut
  • An unbalanced checkbook
  • Kids toys or clothing on the floor

Imagine having a genie, and that you can rub a lamp or snap your fingers and instantly all situations are in order. What happens to your heart rate, level of stress, or sense of general well-being?

EXERCISE:

Where would spending a little effort or even a bit of money bring greater order and a stronger calmness to your worlds?

Please also consider exploring the numerous resources available through Gretchen Rubin’s website.

Do the Best You Can

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

—Maya Angelou, late American poet, author, and civil rights activist

The process of coaching kicks many areas of life into a higher gear, given its experiential and interactive nature. Regardless of whether we are a senior citizen or infants, we all interact with the world, receive feedback, and then determine how to proceed in the future.

Through its emphasis on self-awareness, constructive feedback, and experiential learning, coaching expedites this process. It allows individuals and organizations to know more and do better at a more robust rate.

EXERCISE:

How and where can you do your best in a more intentional learning environment? How would the assistance of a teacher, mentor, or coach help you do and be better every day?

Rise above the little things

“Rise above the little things.”

—John Burroughs, 19th Century American essayist

Have you heard of the book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff?

There is a companion workbook to help you put many of the techniques and strategies from the book into practice.

I suggest a three-step process to help you rise above the little things that often bring us all down:

EXERCISE:

Step One: Conduct a 5-10 minute inventory of the “little things” that hold you back, personally or professionally. A list of 3-5 in each category is a good start.

Step Two: Clarify the specific benefits or desired future possible if these pesky or intolerable issues were handled.

Step Three: Summon the courage, fortitude, and grit to become a bigger, more capable version of yourself. Take the necessary action and/or shift your perspective to have many of these “little things” fade away.

Feel free to reply to this post and let me know how things go.