What you wish to ignite in others

“What you wish to ignite in others must first burn within yourself.”

-Aurelius Augustinus, early Christian theologian

Book Cover "to Sell is Human"

In his book To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink points out that one in every nine people in the working world is in sales.

Initially this thought lures the reader into thinking, That’s not such a big number, or I can’t stand those pushy sales people, or I’m glad I don’t have to do that!

A few sentences later, however, Pink points out that the rest of us are also in sales. We all must sell our thoughts and ideas at work and at home, even if we are not selling a product or service.

In all cases, the ability to influence and enroll others is fundamental to our success. Today’s quote points to the importance of and, in my opinion, the essential element of genuine enthusiasm as a key factor in igniting the flames of excitement in others.

EXERCISE:

What are the issues, priorities, projects, or even products that get your fires burning? How and where can you share your excitement and passion to ignite the flames of excitement and interest in others?

highest success levels

“The slogans ‘hang on’ and ‘press on’ have solved and will continue to solve the problems of humanity.”

—Ogwo David Emenike, Nigerian Author and Speaker

image of a man on a mountain top with a flag that reads "Keep Exploring"

Image from Unsplash by Justin Luebke

Are you familiar with the word grit? There has been a media frenzy over this buzzword, which some claim as the key to success.

Believers in this concept suggest that if one is to reach the highest levels of success, talent must be combined with hard work, determination, and perseverance.

Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, emphasizes the importance of passion. She stresses that without passion, dogged determination, and tenacity, hard work simply becomes drudgery without direction.

EXERCISE:

In what way does your passion fuel personal or professional projects, giving you the energy and desire to “hang on” or “press on”?

career and passion

“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and passion come together.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Flickr by Chris Parfitt

Image from Flickr by Chris Parfitt

Watching young children at play is a joyful activity. If you happen to be a parent, the joy is magnified even more. The exuberance and passion these little ones show as they engage their world is truly a thing of beauty. Some would even say that play is their job.

Now take the average working man or woman –  including yourself if you wish – and examine the level of passion and fulfillment they show as they head off to work on Monday morning. Few people would call their facial expressions “a thing of beauty.”

What happened between our time as little ones and our adult years?

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you regain the playful and passionate exuberance of your youth, to make your current career or career transition a reason to look forward to many more beautiful Mondays?

 

“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.

“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?

You Can Do Anything

“You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hope rise to the stars.”

—Henry Ford, American Industrialist

Photo from Flickr by Soren

Photo from Flickr by Soren

When I was in my late teens, I worked at the Country Club bakery/restaurant in Philadelphia. My first job was to wash pots and pans in the bakery. It wasn’t such a bad gig, since I got to eat a lot of sweet treats and good food from the restaurant.

I’ve always been motivated and driven, so it didn’t take me long to realize that being a baker was the “cool” job.  With that realization, washing the soiled pots and pans was not in my cards for long.

I made a deal with the bakers. If I could complete my dish washing duties quickly and completely, they would teach me how to bake.

The good news is that it worked, and one of my first duties as a baker’s apprentice was to make what we called water bagels. This meant putting the yeast-filled dough rings into a vat of boiling water to create the rapid rise that makes bagels so tasty and popular.

EXERCISE:

Summon your intense eagerness for an important task or job today. Allow this heated enthusiasm to help you achieve new heights in either your professional or personal worlds.

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

– John W. Gardner, American educator and politician

Girl-with-crayons-quote-597

Photo from Flickr by Roseannadana

Think back to the last time you visited the home of a family with young children. You probably saw various pieces of artwork created by those young Rembrants, Picassos, and Monets around their home, especially on the kitchen fridge.

Children live their lives as free spirits and don’t seem to be all too concerned about how things look. As we age, this changes. We become far more aware of the judgments and opinions of others and we often find ourselves holding back our most authentic expressions of ourselves.

Exercise:

How would your professional or personal life look if you threw away all erasers, and simply leaped into each day to pursue your own journey of artistic living?

“The race will go to the curious, the slightly mad, and those with an unsatiated passion for learning and dare-deviltry.”

“The race will go to the curious, the slightly mad, and those with an unsatiated passion for learning and dare-deviltry.”

– Tom Peters, business author

A few weekends ago, I went to see the Formula 1 racing movie Rush, directed by Ron Howard. In this true story of the rivalry of two top drivers of the 70s was a healthy dose of passion, slight madness and dare-deviltry which actually helped these two individuals win many races.

I would almost never describe myself this way: I rarely exceed the speed limit! On the other hand, what I lack in dare-deviltry, I think I make up for in curiosity and passion for learning and achievement.

Exercise:

What races are you trying to win in your professional and personal life?

How can you mobilize your curiosity, passion and dare-deviltry to see many checkered flags in the future?

“To do what you love and feel it matters; how could anything be more fun?”

“To do what you love and feel it matters; how could anything be more fun?”

– Katharine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post

Many coaches share a common mission and purpose: to assist and support others in living their best life.

Fundamental to this mission is its expression in our vocations and professional worlds. To coin another quote, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”
Connecting who you are with what you do is critical for all of us if we are to be happy and fully expressed as individuals.

Exercise:

To move yourself forward in this area, I suggest you do both a values clarification assessment and a signature strength appraisal. By blending the results of these exercises, you will see the route that can be taken to fulfill your professional destiny.

You can use the value clarification assessment from Quote #32 here and you can do a signature strength appraisal based on the book Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham.