“Greatness comes by beginning something that doesn’t end with you.”
—Robin Sharma, Author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series
Image from Unsplash by Hanson Lu
The other night a close friend of ours placed a video call to me from The Great Wall of China. She was overcome with delight as she shared this 4,000 mile long structure that took about a thousand years to build.
Some other great human achievements include:
- The Great Pyramid at Giza
- Machu Pichu
- The Taj Mahal
- The Empire State Building
- The Panama Canal
- Man’s Landing on the Moon
What other great human achievements can you think of? What efforts and achievements have you begun and contributed to so far in your life? What personal and professional projects are you planning or beginning that will leave a legacy well into the future?
“There’s no ceiling on effort.”
—Harvey C. Fruehauf, President of HCF Enterprises
Image from Canva
Are you at the absolute pinnacle of success in all areas of life? If you answered “no,” or “not really,” today’s quote may get you a bit closer to your goals.
I’ll share with you three key attributes to success I learned from a wise coach and mentor early in my life, when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales person.
It uses the acronym: A.S.K. to point to the elements that lie within us or that can be developed to reach higher levels of achievement in virtually any are we desire.
The “A” stands for activity. It points us to the fact that the level of effort we put forth on any particular task is up to us. I like the idea that there is no ceiling or limit placed on us, and that through persistence, tenacity, and grit, we can all achieve far more of what we most desire.
It is through such massive efforts we can progress on to the “S” and “K,” which stand for skills and knowledge.
Where and on what important personal or professional goal can and will you raise the ceiling on your current efforts to gain the skills and knowledge to reach new levels of success?
“Anybody who is not pulling his weight is probably pushing his luck.”
—Adi Da Samraj, 20th Century American spiritual teacher
Image from Unsplash by Stijn Swinnen
Consider the following three aspects of your life, and determine your level of effort, success, and satisfaction:
Examine how often you put in the time, focus, and heavy lifting to achieve your goals in each area.
Consider those around you with sluggish careers, failing relationships, and poor or diminished health. What do you observe regarding their efforts?
Where would pulling more of your weight bring you greater luck and good fortune in these are other important aspects of your life?
What actions will you take today to put on some more muscle, to tone up your life?
“All rising to great place is by a winding stair.”
—Sir Francis Bacon, 16th Century Lord Chancellor of England
Image from MTM
When I was a young boy, my family took a trip to New York City to see some sights and take in a show at Radio City Music Hall. We also had a fancy meal that included chocolate mousse in an edible chocolate shell. This was a very big deal even though we lived nearby in Philadelphia.
A highlight of our visit was walking up the winding staircase to the crown of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, to view the harbor and the New York City skyline.
I distinctly remember the aching and burning in my legs as we climbed to this extraordinary vantage point.
What current or future staircases are you climbing – or will you climb – to reach the great places you intend to go? What will make the considerable effort worth the winding journey?
“You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.”
—George Burns, 20th Century comedian and actor
Image from New York Daily News
George Burns the actor, writer, singer, and perhaps most notably, comedian, was a bit of an expert on aging. He lived to be 100. His career spanned over 75 year in vaudeville, radio, and even film, where at the age of 79, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 1975 film, The Sunshine Boys.
Along with his comedic wit, George must have been an efficiency expert, looking to squeeze all the value out of his efforts, even along the short journey down to tie his shoes.
Where would a “work smarter, not harder” approach to your daily efforts make the biggest difference in the days, weeks, months, and years to come?
“You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”
Image from Unsplash by Tommy Lisbin
Over the years, I’ve posted many times about climbing to the top of one’s personal and professional mountains, to reach the pinnacle of success.
Moving a mountain is a considerable twist on the subject. It implies that an immovable object or enormous barrier must be shifted, not simply climbed.
Where and on what mountainous project or endeavor is it time to dig in, one shovelful at a time, to pass freely to the other side?
How can and will your efforts demonstrate for others what may be possible for them if they were to dig into their own mountainous barriers?
Here is another post about moving mountains.
“It’s not enough that we do our best. Sometimes we have to do what’s required.”
—Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1940 – 1945
How do you define “Doing Your Best”?
Perhaps it involves working long hours, working till you’re exhausted, till you have nothing left in your physical, mental, or emotional tanks.
What if this best effort is still insufficient to produce the outcome you desire? What options, often hidden from view, are available to somehow find a way?
Churchill’s quote creates a provocative coaching question:
The openness of this question will likely have you inquire and explore efforts beyond your personal best to tap into people and resources previously not considered.
Where in your world is your personal best not enough to achieve a particular goal or outcome?
How would exploring what is actually required in this situation lead you to a solution previously hidden, or not considered?
“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 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.
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 a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”
—Henry David Thoreau, 19th Century American essayist and historian
Image from Flickr by Andrew Blight
If you have ever swum in a river, rowed a boat, or hit a golf ball, you have experienced the concept of going with the flow, and the underlying phenomenon of momentum.
When we put forth our efforts in the same direction, we discover the synergy and compounding benefits of the forces of wind and current.
Where in either your personal or professional worlds are you in the flow of success, with the wind at your back, or going with the current?
What additional encouraging efforts can you apply to these situations to more fully realize extraordinary levels of achievement?