Always Keep Your Eyes Open

“Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching because whatever you see can inspire you.”

—Grace Coddington, Vogue Magazine Creative Director

Image of two eyes next to each other

Image from Unsplash by Soroush Karimi

Over a three day holiday, I binged-watched a Netflix series titled “Natural Curiosities,” with one of my favorite narrators, David Attenborough. I love his accent, his passion for nature, and of course, his enthusiastic curiosity for the vast diversity and miraculous aspects of the animal world.

This series took a far deeper look into many creatures I thought I knew reasonably well, given the science-buff status I’ve given myself over the years.

Looking at many creatures with new eyes and Attenborough’s expanded view and insight inspired, entertained, and educated me for hours.

EXERCISE:

Where can you discover far greater inspiration in your life by widening your perspective, and looking more deeply and carefully at the world around you?

What would have drawn a wow 15 years ago

“What would have drawn a ‘WOW’ fifteen years ago won’t draw a yawn today.”

-Steve Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts

Image of an old calculator

Image from ebay

My first “WOW!” experience with technology occurred about 50 years ago in a department store in the Philadelphia area. I came upon a 10’ x 8” LED calculator that added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided—that’s it!

I was completely mesmerized for almost an hour by this magic box that seemed to complete an infinite number of calculations at the speed of light.

This experience seems downright primitive compared to the technological advancements since then. Just look at the children around you, playing with phones, tablets, gaming stations, and many other magical devices.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you maintain or even expand that “WOW!“ factor in your personal and professional worlds, to experience greater success and youthful exuberance?

Friday Review Inspiration

Friday Review: Inspiration

What inspires you? Here are a few inspiration-related posts you may have missed. Click on the link to read the full message.

QC #976a

 

“Your greatness is measured by your horizons.”

 

 

 

 

QC #1120b

 

“It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.”

 

 

 

QC #1120c

 

“Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.”

 

 

 

 

Set Your Life on Fire

“Set your life on Fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”

—Rumi, 13th century Persian Poet

Photo from freehdw.com

Photo from freehdw.com

Most people and many organizations embark on a fresh and inspired start at the beginning of each new year. Without question, you can feel the flames of their purpose and passions. Unfortunately, many of those fires are smoldering embers by now, or may be extinguished altogether.

Rumi knew long ago about the critical component that social support can provide to help keep those inspired flames alive. The engagement of social support from friends, family, co-workers, mentors, and coaches is like an insurance policy that boosts the odds of successful outcomes many fold.

EXERCISE:

Where would seeking and securing additional social support keep your personal or professional fires burning?

Where can and will you fan the flames of those you care about to return the favor?

One of my favorite books that emphasizes this critical idea is Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson,  and Joseph Grenny.

“Light yourself on fire with…”

“Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.”

-Author Unknown

Image from abetterinterview.com

Image from abetterinterview.com

Years ago, I attended a local meeting of coaches, where the majority of people did not know one another. As an ice breaker, the group decided to engage in an exercise we called a “passion presentation.” The rules were simple: each person had two to three minutes to share any area of their lives that literally lit them up. The fellow coaches could then ask questions in order to learn more.

The result was a room on fire! No one could contain their passion to the few minutes allotted, and we eventually threw the time constraint out the window. The exercise continued for most of the meeting.

EXERCISE:

Whenever you see the need to break the ice in your personal or professional world, just ask people what they are passionate about, and watch their fires burn. Sharing your passions with others will likely excite those around you, as well.

“Inspiration exists, but it has to…”

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

—Pablo Picasso

Image from worldonafork.com

Image from worldonafork.com

How often do you find yourself or others in your life waiting to be inspired by some outside source? During his 75-year career, Pablo Picasso created 13,500 paintings, 100,000 graphic prints or engravings, 34,000 book illustrations, and 300 sculptures and ceramic pieces. He was also a stage designer, poet, and playwright.

To say he was a man of action is a massive understatement. He was definitely an individual who used his propensity for action and ever-present momentum to continually inspire creative expressions of his genius.

EXERCISE:

How can you find greater inspiration through the various personal or professional work projects underway? What additional work could more fully utilize your gifts, talents, and unique abilities to inspire even more of your own genius?

“Managers light a fire…”

“Managers light a fire under people. Leaders light a fire in people.”

—Kathy Austin, Management Consultant

Photo from freehdw.com

Photo from freehdw.com

Leadership and Management are two of the most highly valued skills necessary to be truly effective in our professional and personal lives.

I feel strongly that these skills, along with masterful communications and effective supportive coaching, are the four legs of the solid foundation of soft skills that support our success.

When asked, most professionals usually view leadership as the more “evolved” and enlightened of the two, in that leadership involves the articulation of an inspired future for an individual or group. Conversely, management—particularly old-school management—is perceived as pushy, aggressive, and often domineering, in order to achieve desired results.

I’d suggest that they can actually work together in an empowered way with inspired leadership as a foundation for effective alignment and a desirable form of self-management. This involves the individual or group sharing a strong commitment with the leaders, willingly promising to give and keep their word to take the actions necessary for eventual success.

EXERCISE:

How can you develop and master inspired leadership and empowering management capacities to move yourself and others forward, professionally and personally?

“By Doing What You Love…”

“By doing what you love you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.”

—Satsuki Shibuya, painter, artist, spiritual teacher

Photo from Flickr by Chattgd

Photo from Flickr by Chattgd

Most coaches I know have their own coaches, supporting them on their professional and personal journeys. They consider striving for their own definition of success and fulfillment of great value and importance.

This behavior is one of the most important characteristics that attract clients to a particular coach. People see that their potential coach walks the talk and has made considerable progress in their own life journey. This makes them credible as a supportive partner in helping clients realize their goals.

EXERCISE:

Who do you know that truly loves what they do, and awakens your heart to pursue your own passions and purposes? How can you do more of what inspires you, to have the same influence on those around you?

Inspiration comes

“Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.”

—Madeline L’Engle, American 20th Century Author

Photo from Flickr by Hector Alejandro

Photo from Flickr by Hector Alejandro

Consider these three definitions of the word “inspiration”:

  • Divine Intervention
  • An instance of breathing in
  • That which brings about creativity or perseverance

I suggest we blend the three together. My reasons will be more readily apparent through the following example:

Imagine you wake up one morning and you are not particularly inspired to go to your health club and work out. The exercise gods simply haven’t infused you with enough energy to leap out of bed and into your sneakers.

In spite of not “feeling it,” you garner the discipline to just do it, and minutes later you are on a bike, a treadmill, or an elliptical machine. You notice your breath growing faster and more pronounced, which increases your mental and physical state, and gives you the energy and momentum you need to gain all the good that comes from rigorous exercise.

EXERCISE:

How can you simply begin a project, motivated or not, and let the effort and engagement of the first few steps energize you so that you keep it up and finish more inspired than you ever imagined?