Doors Don’t Slam Open

“Doors don’t slam open.”

—John Shanahan, Director for Defense Intelligence, The Pentagon

Image of an open door in a field

Image from Flickr by My Wave Pictures

When was the last time you heard a door slam shut? What was the cause for this abrupt action? Did it involve you and others in your life?

What relationships or opportunities were perhaps damaged or lost due to this occurrence?

Without question, closed doors and slammed doors are commonplace for people who have a “go for it” approach to life. It can be as simple as someone in your personal or professional world saying “NO” to something you want or desire.

People of courage, initiative, and grit always find new and better doors to open, thus creating their own “YES” and the lives they desire.

EXERCISE:

In what ways can you open more doors and realize the greater possibilities that lie on the other side?

Today will be what you make of it

“Today will be what you make of it.”

—Author Unknown

Image of "Mindsight" book

I recently learned about a new skill called “Mindsight,” based on the book of the same name by Doctor Daniel Siegel.

Siegel suggests this skill is a kind of focused attention. Mindsight allows us to see the internal workings of our own mind, including our mental processes, without being swept away by them through the autopilots of ignorance and habitual responses.

How often do you notice each day blending into the next? To what degree do you experience a bit of insanity and upset by not seeing better results, and feeling less engaged and alive?

EXERCISE:

How would a greater awareness of your inner thinking and outer efforts help you make more of each day?

Make the Days Count

“Don’t count the days; make the days count.”

-Muhammad Ali

Image from fearlessmotivation.com

Image from fearlessmotivation.com

We have all heard the adage, “Your days are numbered.” Not many of us fully appreciate the hard reality of that statement. How often do you find yourself—or others you know—looking into the future with the expectancy of an enjoyable weekend, event or vacation?

How often do you look forward to a “someday” when everything will be better than the current moment? Unfortunately, “Someday” is not an actual day of the week!

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you make the most of every minute, hour, and day to realize the “present” life can be, making each day count instead of counting the days?

Greatness is Within You

“Greatness is within you!”

-Author Unknown

Image from conversationswithdoggy-lama.com

Image from conversationswithdoggy-lama.com

Many of us have been told, throughout our lives, that humility is a sign of high character—we should not brag or call excessive attention to ourselves. Many of the Quotable Coach posts point out that focusing on others is a key to success.

Today’s quote, however, is more about your journey to pursue, achieve, and contribute your gifts, talents, and unique abilities—your greatness. Pursuing all that we can be is something we can all do with great passion and purpose. Our efforts contribute and build our characters even more.

EXERCISE:

Request a bit of feedback from those who know you best in your personal and professional worlds.

What good and great qualities and abilities do they say you currently possess that could be even greater if you put your everything into the effort?

In the Real World

“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm. In the real world all rests on perseverance.”

–Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 19th Century German writer and statesman

image from iRuler.net

image from iRuler.net

Who doesn’t admire and become inspired by the enthusiastic leader with a great idea? It is pretty easy to get caught up in the possibilities of some new and better future.

When reality sets in, we all would note that only a very tiny set of these ideas ever come to fruition. Rigorous execution of a great or even good idea is priceless in our world of metrics and quantifiable results.

EXERCISE:

How can you use a “what gets measured gets done” perspective in your personal and professional world? Consider generating the necessary perseverance to have your best and most enthusiastically shared idea become real.

Day of Infinite Length

“The day is of infinite length for him who knows how to appreciate and use it.”

-Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 19th Century German writer and statesman

Image from www.rottentomatoes.com

Image from www.rottentomatoes.com

In the 2006 movie CLICK starring Adam Sandler, the hero is an overworked architect who neglects his family. He acquires a magical universal remote that enables him to fast forward through unpleasant or outright dull parts of his life. He soon learns that the seeming bad moments he keeps skipping over contain valuable time with his family, and important life lessons.

EXERCISE:

How can you use your own life remote to slow down or pause the passage of time, so you can more fully appreciate each moment of every day?

Seminar in a Sentence

“A quote can be a seminar in a sentence.”

-Author Unknown

QC #921

About a year ago, I published my first book, based on the Quotable Coach series. It was subtitled “daily nuggets of practical wisdom,” based on the votes and recommendations of our loyal readers.

In our time-crunched lives, the idea of getting a seminar in a sentence has a great deal of appeal to many. I am pleased to report that we now receive over 6,000 monthly hits on the Quotable Coach website, and have well over 1,500 daily subscribers worldwide, because of kind readers like you.

EXERCISE:

Please reply to this post with your favorite “seminar in a sentence,” and feel free to share its value and importance in your life.

Consider purchasing a copy of The Quotable Coach book for yourself or as a holiday gift to others. Thank You!

Shelf Life

“Ideas have a short shelf life. You must act on them before the expiration date.”

-John Maxwell, American author and speaker

Image from michellelianna.wordpress.com

Image from michellelianna.wordpress.com

When you visit the grocery store to purchase food for yourself and your family, do you have a particular strategy? Do you make a comprehensive list, or just have a general idea of what you need? Do you walk down each aisle to see what is on sale, or fill your cart with what appeals to you in the moment, especially when you’re hungry as you shop?

One strategy I employ is to examine the expiration date on all packaged food.  On numerous occasions, I find myself looking toward the back of the shelf to select those items that will stay freshest longest.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the best ideas sitting on the shelves of your mind? Which one will you act upon today and not let it expire?

“Every success story…”

“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

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.

EXERCISE:

Where is it necessary to adapt, revise, or change your approach to tell a more successful tale in either your personal or professional life?

“Don’t let anyone rent…”

“Don’t let anyone rent a space in your head, unless they’re a good tenant.”

—Author Unknown

image from runningisfunny.com

image from runningisfunny.com

Self-talk is a powerful thing.

It can inspire us to achieve greatness or stop us in our tracks and affect all aspects of our lives.

Where and when did you first notice your own internal monologues? Who in your past or present life is responsible for this programming?

EXERCISE:

What negative voices have taken residence in your head? How can you begin the eviction process, put up the “for rent” sign, and encourage a more supportive and empowering tenant?