“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.”
—Karle Wilson Baker, 20th Century American Poet
Image from Flickr by Dickson Phua
In the plant world, trees are among the most remarkable living creatures. In addition to being some of the largest and oldest living things, they have the ability to defy gravity. They reach toward the sky to absorb the sun’s energy, using it to make their own food through the process of photosynthesis.
I believe today’s quote points us to those tall, stand-out people within our personal or professional communities. These are the individuals we most admire and see as leaders who inspire us to stretch for our own greatest heights.
How and in what ways can you grow and stand even taller by walking with and associating with others who are stretching skyward toward the canopy of life?
“Becoming is Better than Being.”
—Carol S. Dweck, Stanford University Professor of Psychology
I consider myself a “work in progress,” a lifelong learner, and of course, a Coach, who is in the business of helping others become a better version of themselves in as many areas of life as they desire.
The book Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck describes the fixed and growth mindsets that apply to each of us to various degrees. Attributes of each include:
|Skills, abilities and intelligence are static
||Intelligence and ability can be developed through effort
|Works from a “judge and be judged” framework
||Learning occurs from setbacks
|Avoids obstacles & challenges
Gives up earlier in the process
Often ignores feedback
|Open and receptive to feedback
|The success of others poses a threat to them
||The success of others is a model to guide their own success journey
|You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
||You can teach an old dog new tricks
Where can you augment and fan the flames of your own growth mindset to become the best “YOU” possible?
How can you serve as a coach or mentor for others to help them become all they can be?
“Body and soul need new challenges.”
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Use it or Lose it!” As a former science teacher, this reminds me of the concept of entropy, which points to how things decay or fall apart if energy is not added to the system.
New challenges are tests that bring forth the efforts and energies to tackle them. It is through such exertions that we grow, and bring order to our lives.
What challenges are you currently rising to in your personal and professional worlds?
How can you initiate and proactively take on new challenges to improve your life in body and soul?
“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
-Harvey S. Firestone, American businessman, founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
Image from freightdawg.com
Personal growth and development are among my top core values. Not so surprising is the fact that a very high percentage of people seeking the support of a coach share this commitment.
There is a magical power that reveals itself when we pursue our own personal growth, and support the growth of those around us.
What would be possible if each parent, teacher, and student would embrace and demonstrate these values?
How will you pursue your own development as a leader by supporting the growth and development of others today?
“Success is never owned; it is only rented. And the rent is due every day.”
-Zig Ziglar, American author, salesman, and motivational speaker
Photo from zazzle.com
When was the last time you had a really tough day? Have you ever found yourself saying things like:
- After all these years, I expected things to be easier.
- It’s time for my ship to come in. Surely I’ve earned it with all my hard work.
- I’m pretty tired. I was hoping to slow down by now.
- Life sure feels like a roller coaster.
Virtually no one lives a charmed life or stays on top of the success ladder perpetually. Perhaps it is these everyday challenges and adversities which actually make our self-earned successes so sweet.
How can you take a “Pay as you Go” attitude to suit up and do what is necessary so that you can experience the success you’ve earned when the day is done?
“Teaching others scales right back to us.”
—Seth Godin, Author
I have always had a passion for learning. As a child, I remember vividly my mother coming upstairs to read after our evening meal and some family time. Although she had only a high school education, she had the most expansive vocabulary of anyone I knew.
My own family, and my wife’s, were educators, so it was not surprising that my first career was as a teacher. After a few years, I shifted to business and found myself in teaching roles within the company. For the past 22 years, I have continued to be both student and teacher as I pursue my professional efforts as a coach.
Over the years, I’ve learned by watching others, applying what I’ve learned, and learned the most by sharing what I learned with others. The lessons always scaled back to me with even deeper meaning and impact.
How can you learn what you most desire by watching people you admire, practice what you learn, and scale these lessons back to you even more by teaching others in your professional and personal life?
As Seth Godin said in his latest book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn, “Teaching rewards us all.”
“Everything you go through grows you.”
—Robert Tew, Chairman at Newcastle Knights Limited
How much formal education have you received? Perhaps you finished high school or college, and maybe you went further to receive an advanced degree or certification.
You may be glad that your educational experiences are over because they have little relevancy today, as you navigate your professional and personal pursuits.
Today’s quote reminds us that we are always enrolled in our own 24/7 life classroom, where we have considerable influence and autonomy to choose and customize our own advanced degree in life if – and it is an important if – we pay attention to all the growth opportunities around us.
As you enter your day, how do you intend to grow? As you reflect on your day, how did you grow through the experiences of the day?
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”
– Jon Acuff, New York Times Bestselling author
Have you or do you know anyone close to you who started a new job, hobby, or sport?
Although we all know cognitively that it takes time to build competency and eventually mastery, many people compare their own beginning skill level to others who have been on this or a similar journey for some time.
They see where they are limited or falling short because the comparisons they make are not equal, and actually unfair.
As you strive toward excellence in any area of life, be inspired by the mastery and capabilities of those you admire, yet compare your current capabilities only to those of what you were capable of yesterday.
“Growth and comfort seldom ride the same horse.”
Image from Flickr by Montgomery County Planning Commission
When I was a small boy, I went to a carnival where I had the opportunity to ride a pony. The initial aspect of walking in a circle at a slow pace was enjoyable – however, I found that my bottom got a bit of a jolt when we worked our way up to a trot!
At the start of a new year, very few of us wish to kick things off at a walking pace. Our goals are far more ambitious – and we must gallop forward to reach them with urgency.
Today’s quote suggests that we be prepared for a rough and sometimes bumpy ride to reach our destination before the setting sun.
Identify between two and three primary goals you have for 2014 where you are fully prepared for the possibility of a rough ride.
Share these goals with a coach, mentor, colleague or family member who will support your efforts to reach your destination.