“If your feet are firmly planted on the ground, you’ll never be able to dance.”
—Iris Johansen, Crime Fiction and Romance Writer
Image from Flickr by Roger Jones
Who do you know personally or professionally that is exceedingly stubborn, rigid, set in their ways, and rarely budges in their thinking and actions? These are people who almost never produce new and better results because they are living examples of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
Who are the people you know that are open-minded, flexible, and even playful—people who “dance” with life, always exploring and creating new possibilities around them?
Where in your world is it appropriate to stand firm? Where is it time to be more flexible and dance to the music of your own life vision?
“When you want to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department uses water.”
Image from Flickr by Jeshua.nace
When was the last time you were in a heated argument with tempers flaring and things getting out of control? If you cannot recall a specific event, just turn on a local, national, or global news program to see plenty of examples!
Rarely do such interactions result in win/win outcomes. Most of the time, we are left with win/lose or lose/lose results.
When we consider how to put out undesirable fires, all we need to do is take a bit of coaching from professional fire-fighters: use water to reduce the temperature of burning materials and extinguish the flame.
What new and more constructive ways of dealing with heated situations can you find to produce a better result for everyone involved?
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
-Rumi, 13th Century Persian Poet
Image from Flickr by Orbital Joe
When was the last time you visited a fine jewelry store? Imagine yourself in one, examining all the beautiful diamonds and gem stones.
I am sure that If you were to go back in time to when these stones were pulled form the earth, you wouldn’t recognize them. They would be dull, rough, and unremarkable. It takes considerable rubbing and skilled cutting to bring out their brilliance.
How and where can you examine and appreciate the daily rubs of life as experiences and resources to bring about your personal and professional brilliance?
“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.”
—Sir Richard Branson, KBE, founder of Virgin Group
Image from www.64ouncegames.com
We all know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Life in general, and our journey toward success, never really works that way.
To navigate our world we must, as Sir Branson suggests, adapt, revise, and change our approach moment to moment. This iterative process works very much like an internal GPS system, constantly informing us of where we are, and where we wish to go. It helps us plot the alternative routes we can take to progress toward our desired destination.
Where is it necessary to adapt, revise, or change your approach to tell a more successful tale in either your personal or professional life?
“Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.”
—Kaaren Hanson, VP of Design /Innovations/ Intuit
Through the course of our lives, we have all developed strategies for success which we apply to the daily challenges we face in our professional and personal worlds.
As long as these default solutions work reasonably well, we rarely seek alternative solutions that may actually work far better.
When we embrace, and even fall in love with, the problems we face, we generate a higher ability for innovation and creativity, discovering possible solutions that were previously unrecognized.
How might falling in love with your problems help you release some of the “sacred cow solutions” you have used over the years? What new and potentially more successful solutions would be possible?
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
—W.B. Yeats, Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature
Image from freger.weebly.com
Take a moment to examine your current ability to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.
Did you know that:
- A Silvertip Grizzly Bear can smell you from 18 miles away?
- Jumping spiders can see four primary colors versus the three that humans see?
- Some birds have an internal GPS that acts as a compass, to help them find their way home?
- The bat uses echolocation to navigate and catch its supper?
- Catfish have 10 times more taste buds than humans (100,000 versus 10,000)?
How can you capture more of the magic life has to offer by sharpening and focusing your senses? One way to develop these capacities is to focus on each sense separately, whenever possible.
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
—Don Marquis, American humorist, journalist, and author
Image from connectedhotel.com
For the past four years—since my mother’s passing—my father Marvin has been living with Wendy and me. One of the characteristics he demonstrates quite often, given his occasional forgetfulness, is what I call reverse procrastination. He has developed a “do it immediately” approach to many things.
The new habit can be surprising, because he often stops in the middle of one activity and starts another that has just come to mind. If he doesn’t do it when it comes to mind, he is likely to forget to do it at all. The up side of it is that he does remember to go back and finish the first activity!
Where do you fit on the procrastination continuum of “do it now,” or “it can wait for whenever”?
What adjustments are needed to make sure you are not simply keeping up with yesterday?
“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.”
Photo from Amazon.com
In my first career as a science teacher, the work of Charles Darwin and his book, “The Origin of Species,” was always part of the curriculum. The bottom line is that a species will survive only as long as it is able to adapt to its physical environment, including climate, food sources, and predators.
How well do you adapt to circumstances so that you survive in your professional and personal ecosystems? What adjustments, if any, are required to optimize your ability to thrive?
“Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes.”
– Henry David Thoreau, American author, philosopher and transcendentalist
Image from Flickr by Tambako the Jaguar.
Chameleons are remarkable animals that have the capacity to change their “clothing” to suit their surroundings. Although many people believe they change coloring to blend in, some studies suggest that other factors such as light, temperature, mood, and even the desire to communicate with other chameleons can cause them to change their outfits.
People sometimes refer to friends and colleagues as “chameleons” who change, often inauthentically, their presentation to the world to adapt to their circumstances.
Examine your own orientation toward changing who you present yourself to be, in order to adapt and fit in with what is expected.
What authentic set of “clothes” makes you feel most at home in your own skin, just like a pair of your most comfortable jeans?