Trying to Impress Others

“The time men spend in trying to impress others, they could spend in doing the things by which others would be impressed.”

—Frank Romer, History Professor

Image of 80/20 rule

Image from Social Media Today

If we were to apply the 80/20 rule to today’s quote, it might go something like this:

“80 percent of the effort we put into impressing others creates 20 percent of the value we hope to produce.”

Although it seems pretty wasteful, many people put far too much effort in dressing for success than they should. Perhaps it is because these surface-only pursuits take less time and effort to make us look good. Unfortunately, they rarely produce the deep and significant outcomes we desire.

Consider shopping for a major purchase such as a home or a vehicle as a metaphor. Without a doubt, you would surely get a complete home inspection, or definitely look under the hood before making this kind of investment.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you flip the 80/20 rule to your benefit by taking more substantive actions to provide the valuable outcomes you desire, and likely impress others as a side benefit?

When You Run Away

“It’s when you run away that you’re most liable to stumble.”

—Casey Robinson, Screenwriter/Producer

Image from findapsychologist

I’m not completely sure if today’s quote is always true, but watching action films and TV shows, I see the main characters often fall when they run away from their pursuers. Perhaps in film and TV land this is to create more suspense. Invariably, though, they stop, turn around, and summons the courage to take on the bad guys and win the day.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently in retreat mode? What is causing you to stumble? What attitude shift or other resources are required to turn things around so you can move forward professionally or personally?

 

The Safe Route and the Best Route

“In your life the safe route and the best route may not be the same route.”

—Author Unknown

What is your perspective or personal philosophy on these phrases?:

  • No risk no reward
  • The biggest risk is not taking any
  • Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all
  • Do one thing every day that scares you
  • Leap and the net will appear

EXERCISE:

Select the phrases that resonate the most for you and display them on a Post-it Note in a highly visible location in your personal or professional world.

What action will you take to put yourself on the best route to more fully realize your most important and meaningful life goals?

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

Take My Advice I’m Not Using It

“Take my advice. I’m not using it.”

—David J. Henderhand

Image of the TED logo

I am a big fan of TED Talks. I love great ideas, and as a coach, I find myself sharing them all the time. I recently saw Mel Robbins’ TEDx San Francisco talk from 2011, from which I had a “take away” – I’ll get to that in a minute. First, a few questions:

  • What percent of the advice you offer others is acted upon?
  • What percent of advice you offer to others do YOU act upon?

It is, after all, great advice. It makes perfect sense, and you’ve seen it work wonderfully for others!

Talk is indeed cheap, and Mel Robbin’s advice to all of us is that once the insight, idea, or words of wisdom pop into our minds, we must act upon them within five seconds to activate and reap the rewards they bring.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you use this five second “insight into action” strategy to use far more of the advice you offer to others?

How can you also coach and support others in your world to do the same?

How might you also apply this concept to the advice others offer you, and don’t happen to be using at the moment?

Make Sense Out of Change

“Make sense out of change by plunging into it, moving with it, and joining in the dance.”

—Author Unknown

Image of boy diving from a boat

Image from Lakehouse Lifestyle

As we move through the stages of adult life, most of us become a bit more set in our ways. There is nothing particularly wrong with that. We often find comfort in our rituals, habits, and routines.

Without a direct invitation from us, however, the world increasingly knocks or, in some cases, pounds on our doors, bringing all kinds of change into our personal and professional worlds.

What if, instead of bolting our doors or barricading ourselves into our comfortable worlds, we opened ourselves to more opportunities and adventures by moving, plunging and dancing with these changes?

EXERCISE:

Where would a more open, welcoming, “try it on” approach to the changes around you make the biggest, most positive difference? Consider opening this door, or better yet, stepping right out there and joining the dance!

The Past Should Be a Springboard

“The past should be a springboard, not a hammock.”

—Ivern Ball, Dadaist Poet and Writer

Image of a man standing on the end of a diving board

Image from DivSanDiego

I once heard that as we age, the ideal “Happy Hour” is a good nap.

Who doesn’t enjoy some well-needed rest to rejuvenate from time to time?

Our past achievements and successes can sometimes lull us into complacency or even a bit of a snooze by reliving the memory as if it was happening in the present.

Today’s quote urges us to see past events as a springboard for even more remarkable achievements and successes that lie ahead of us.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you use your past accomplishments and success as a springboard to dive into the deep end of your greatest potential?

Now is the ideal time

“NOW is the ideal time.”

—Author Unknown

Clock with "Make Time for What Matters" written on it

Image from LinkedIn

The first thing that came to my mind when reading today’s quote was, “For What?”

If we stopped there, we would simply be puzzled for a moment and then get on with our day. That, of course, is not the purpose of The Quotable Coach series!

It is powerful statements and the questions they generate that make us do the work of personal inquiry. We then reap the rewards of discovery through what can be revealing responses.

EXERCISE:

Examine your “For What?” answer as it relates to the following areas. Then take at least one step or leap outside your comfort zone to act upon it:

  • An important relationship
  • A work-related matter
  • Your health and fitness
  • Life balance
  • Your finances
  • Faith or spirituality
  • Community
  • A hobby or avocation
  • Travel and Adventure

Feel free to add to this list and let me know what other areas you identified.

The faintest pencil is better than the strongest memory

“The faintest pencil is better than the strongest memory.”

⏤Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism

Image of a pencil on a table

Image from Flickr by Chris

Sam Horn was one of the speakers/conversation starters at a coaching conference I attended last year. One of her favorite sayings is “Ink it when you think it.” She always has a notebook in her hand.

Productivity guru David Allen, who wrote Getting Things Done often advises his readers that brains were meant for thinking, not as a storage device for information of limited value.

EXERCISE:

How would an “Ink it when you think it” strategy foster less stress and far more productivity in your life?

Nobody in the history of the world has ever washed their rental car

“Nobody in the history of the world has ever washed their rental car.”

⏤Author Unknown

Image of a car in the shower

Image from ultimatecarwashanddetail.com

Are you familiar with the “Endowment Effect”?

I wasn’t either, until I learned that it is our tendency to undervalue things that aren’t ours, and to overvalue things because we already own them.

Do you, like many people, have drawers, closets, or even entire rooms filled with items that you haven’t used or worn in years? What are these items worth to you, and what might it be costing you in having them take up space in your world?

Consider what you would actually pay for these items, if you didn’t own them already.

EXERCISE:

Imagine that you are planning to change your place of residence. The two criteria I’d like you to consider as you go through the things you own are:

  1. You will be downsizing your living and storage space by 25-35 percent.
  2. You must pay a substantial extra fee to bring all non-essential items along.

What would stay, and what would go?

What actions will you take based on your answers?

Great ideas have a very short half-life.

“Great ideas have a very short half-life.”

-John M. Shanahan, Creator of Hooked on Phonics

image of biz card with the quote on it

Image from ofilispeaks.com

When was the last time you read a book, listened to a podcast, or attended a workshop or seminar? What percent of what you learned did you retain, or better yet, put into practice?

Without going into a lot of brain science and learning theory, it is clear that if ideas are not acted upon quickly, they never make it into long-term memory, much less into tangible results.

One of my past coaching clients even named her company Info-to-Action, for just this reason.

EXERCISE:

What personal or professional idea at the top of your priority list is about to expire through inaction or procrastination? How soon will you put this info into action?