scratching the itch

“Too many young people itch for what they want without scratching for it.”

—attributed to Tom D. Taylor

Meme of today's quote

On a scale of one (low) to ten (high), rate your own perception of the work ethic, general persistence, and grittiness of the six generations of people currently on the planet:

  1. GI Generation, born 1901-1926
  2. Mature | Silents, born 1927-1945
  3. Baby Boomers, born 1946 -1964
  4. Generation X, born 1965 – 1980
  5. Generation Y | Millennials, born 1981-2000
  6. Generation Z | Boomlets, born 2001 and after

What do you think are their goals, desires, and wishes?
What general environmental and societal factors have shaped their attitudes towards work and improving their lives?

EXERCISE:

To what degree do you and others in your multi-generational communities scratch the itches in the hard-to-reach places?

Check out this link to discover some interesting characteristics of each group.

Friday Review: Negativity

FRIDAY REVIEW:  NEGATIVITY

What role does negativity play in your life? Here are a few posts related to negativity you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

 

 

 

 

Complaining is Draining.

 

 

 

 

Life is like photography. You use the negatives to develop.

 

 

 

Don’t Be Discouraged

“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”

—Author Unknown

Image of keys in a circle

Image from Flickr by Hayley Mechelle

What current personal or professional issue has you upset, frustrated, and perhaps at a breaking point? Where are you ready to throw in the towel and give up on a matter of great importance?

You may even feel that you have tried everything possible and don’t have it in you to go on.

Beyond the RAH-RAH of the If at first you don’t succeed… stuff, how can you remain patient and persist in new and different actions to open the locks of opportunities you seek?

EXERCISE:

Seek out the support of a friend, mentor, family member, or coach to tackle this matter. They will likely help you find the inner strength to go on, and the added perspective to achieve what you desire.

Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart

“Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart.”

—Sophia A. Nelson, American Opinion Writer

Image of a hard fist

image from Flickr by Giulia Forsythe

Consider the following list of “hard lessons,” and others that have occurred in your life:

  • The breakup of an important relationship
  • Being fired from a job you enjoyed
  • The failure of a business or entrepreneurial venture
  • Loosing a good sum of money on an investment or purchase
  • Missing out on a promotion or a job you really desired

What are some typical responses for you or those you know when such events occur? I often hear people say things like, I’ll never do that again! or You just can’t trust… or What’s the Use? I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up!

Unfortunately, when we engage in such heart-hardening decisions, we actually shoot ourselves in the foot. Hoping to protect ourselves, we keep ourselves from achieving the wonderful things that make life so worthwhile.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you remain more open-hearted and open-minded in the pursuit of the extraordinary life you desire?

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?

 

What Seemed Best Each Day

“I have simply tried to do what seemed best each day, as each day came.”

—Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

image of the ocean with today's quote superimposed

A state of calm centeredness came over me when I read today’s quote. My first thought was “I can do that!”

Many of us experience overwhelm in the enormity of all that must be done in our lives. Far too often we are exhausted by the end of the day, and frustrated by not having achieved what we intended. We then add insult to injury by throwing in our own negative commentary.

Alternatively, being satisfied with our best, which can differ from day to day, grants a peaceful and accepting sense of our humanity, and what Brené Brown would call the “Gifts of Imperfection.”

EXERCISE:

How would taking your life one day at a time, doing your best regardless of what happens, be the source of a happier and more fulfilling life?

Your Best Day at Work

“What does your best day at work look like?”

—Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

Image of a woman with a laptop and some papers

What do you typically say when someone asks, “How was your day?”

I usually hear phrases such as, “Not Bad,” “it was OK,” “Pretty Good,” “Awful, Stressful, Chaotic.”

From time to time I also hear from those super-positive, optimistic, people glowing with excitement and enthusiasm about how great their day has been.

How often do you actually believe those folks?

Today’s quote asks us to visualize our best days so we have a benchmark or a beacon of what is possible for the activity in which we spend most of our waking hours.

EXERCISE:

Identify what frustrates you and exacerbates your workdays.

Identify the parts of your day in which you feel energized and strong, when you may even lose track of time.

Given your answers, how can you modify or redesign your day to include less of the first and more of the second?

Applying this exercise on a daily basis for yourself and those in your company can be critical to both individual and organizational success, and a more fulfilling life.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

“A rising tide lifts all boats.”

—Author Unknown

Image of the new Panama Canal

Image from The Daily Mail

I recently watched a program about the building of the new Panama Canal. This engineering marvel permits the new mega-container ships to pass through the canal, no longer having to spend ten days to two weeks going all the way around South America.

For a single vessel to make this short journey costs nearly one million dollars. Given that time is money, it must be worth it, not to mention the savings on fuel and potential cargo spoilage.

Perhaps most remarkable is the engineering feat of lifting these massive ships through the power of water displacement. In nature, the gravitational effect of the moon and sun are the primary forces that pull our oceans, causing low and high tides.

EXERCISE:

What if all the people you cared about were actually boats? What methods could you employ to raise them up, or better help them and yourself navigate the waterways of life?

How You Climb A Mountain

“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.”

—Yvon Chouinard, American rock climber and founder of Patigonia

Image of climber facing a mountain

Image from Unsplash by Daniel Burka

Are you an explorer? How often do you venture out on a quest or journey, to scale life’s mountains?

What are the factors that inspire you to put on your hiking boots and venture outside your comfort zone, personally or professionally?

How critical or important is it to arrive and actually reach the summit? How much attention do you usually pay to your individual steps? How often do you take in the scenery and the people you meet along the way?

EXERCISE:

Examine your level of excitement, anticipation, inspiration, curiosity, and passion relative to the mountains you are climbing. How can you discover far more rich rewards through the way you climb the mountain, whether or not you reach the top?

The Most Important Thing You Wear

“Your expression is the most important thing you wear.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash

Putting our best foot forward, making a good first impression, and the general way we present ourselves to the world couldn’t be more important these days.

We know that people are judging us all the time. What you are wearing, literally? And what physical expressions are people observing about you?

Examining your current attitudes, moods, emotions, and feelings may provide some clues to how open and receptive people may be to you. This almost always impacts the success of our personal and professional relationships.

I tend to be a very serious person. My wife Wendy frequently asks me if I’m OK. When I say, “Yes, I am,” she often coaches me by saying, “Inform your face!”

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you become more aware of the expressions you wear in public? How can you use your expressions to enhance the personal and professional success you desire? A genuine smile is a great place to start.