In every man there is something

“In every man there is something wherein I may learn of him, and in that I am his pupil.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th Century American essayist and poet

Image of two people talking at a business meeting

Image from Unsplash by raw pixel

There is a wise saying about the fact that we have one mouth and two ears, and should use them proportionately.

For most of us, coaching, teaching, advising, and mentoring others, although with good intentions, plays into the fact that we often prefer to be interesting rather than interested.

Consider yourself an explorer or a miner looking for the gold in “them thar’ hills.” To reap such riches, the only tools you would need would be an open set of eyes, ears, and of course, an open mind.

EXERCISE:

In what area of your life is it far more important to be the pupil rather than the teacher?

What is it that you most wish to learn to support either your personal or professional life?

Who are the specific teachers in your world that hold the wisdom you seek?

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

—St. Francis of Assisi

Image of a sunbeam coming through a tree

Image from Unsplash by Darren Bockman

Who are the people in your world that light up your life?

Take a minute or more to make a list of these special people, and note the qualities and characteristics they exhibit that caused you to put them on your list.

On the flip side, note the individuals in your personal and professional communities that cast shadows over your world and reduce your aliveness and life satisfaction. What are their specific behaviors and attitudes that cloud your world?

EXERCISE:

Beyond spending far more time with the first group and less with the second, how can and will you personally bring more sunshine to those around you, for the benefit of all?

This effort will almost certainly attract many more sunbeams from others who also desire brighter days.

One aspect of a successful relationship

“One aspect of a successful relationship is not just how compatible you are, but how you deal with your incompatibility.”

—Daniel Goleman, Founder of the Emotional Intelligence Movement

Image of an older couple sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean

Image from Unsplash by James Hose Jr.

Did you know that in western cultures, over 90 percent of people marry? Healthy marriages are good for the couple, and for their children. Unfortunately, 40-50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.

During the courting/dating phase of a relationship, compatibility is a key element to the initial connection. Over time, partners begin seeing aspects of one another they were a bit blind to during the “show only your best side” phase.

Goleman and other experts on successful marriage point to numerous success factors – see the list below – that help marriage stand the test of time.

  • Respecting each other’s differences
  • Sharing common values
  • Open and honest communication
  • Being fair and respectful
  • Having a sense of humor
  • Demonstrating appreciation and gratitude
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Sensitivity, compassion, empathy
  • Seeing your marriage as a partnership and working as a team
  • Forgiveness for your partner and yourself

EXERCISE:

On this Valentine’s Day, consider having a discussion with your partner regarding this list. What efforts can and will you take to make your relationship more successful and fulfilling?

To keep a warm heart in winter is a real victory

“To keep a warm heart in winter is a real victory.”

—Marty Rubin, Canadian author of The Boiled Frog Syndrome

Image of baked potato in foil

Image from Livestrong

We are currently in the grips of winter here in Michigan, and today’s quote reminded me of a story a friend shared at a holiday luncheon.

As a little girl, she would often wait outside in the cold for the school bus. To keep her warm, her mom would bake small potatoes in aluminum foil and slip them in her pockets to hold through her mittens, making her wait a bit more comfortable. Once in her seat, she had the extra benefit of a tasty snack to eat on her way to school.

To this day, she attributes this heartwarming story from childhood for her current fondness for hash brown potatoes for breakfast.

EXERCISE:

What heartwarming strategies can you employ to show your love and care for others this winter, and all year long? If you happen to have one of your own heartwarming stories, please hit reply and send it my way!

Who needs me on my ‘A Game’ the most right now

“Who needs me on my ‘A Game’ the most right now?”

—Brendon Burchard, High Performance Author

Image of a boy with an A+ paper

Image from verywellfamily

Brendon Burchard is a best-selling author and one of the world’s leading High Performance coaches. His latest book, High Performance Habits, was one of Amazon’s top three best business and leadership books of 2017.

Today’s quote hits home for me personally and professionally. Throughout my life I’ve observed that most everyone desires and is committed to contributing to others. This focus seems to be universally required to live a full and meaningful life.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently operating well below your “A” game and fullest potential?

Who specifically in your world needs you at your very best?

What specific efforts are required to make this level of contribution?

Friday Review All About Relationships

FRIDAY REVIEW: RELATIONSHIPS

How would you describe most of your relationships? Here are a few relationship-related posts you may have missed. Click to read the full message.

 

“You can’t help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.”

 

 

 

“Examine the contents, not the bottle.”

 

 

 

 

“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.

 

 

 

 

You don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note

“You don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note.”

—attributed to Doug Floyd

Image of two women playing guitar and singing while sitting on a curb

Image from Unsplash by Fotografia.ges

Do you enjoy music? Perhaps you play an instrument or two. Other than trying my hand at the drums in grade school, I realized quite quickly that I was more satisfied listening to it rather than playing it.

Recently, I was watching a Netflix program called “Explained” on the subject of music. I was amazed to learn just how much I did not know about its workings. Beyond the notes were additional concepts of which I knew little, including pitch, timbre, melody, and rhythm. Combining them all in the appropriate amounts can have us tapping our toes, caught up in its harmonious magic.

EXERCISE:

Consider your professional and personal communities. Where and how does variety and diversity of thought and capabilities provide for greater levels of harmonious achievement and success?

Their opinion of your potential has nothing to do with your opportunity to prevail

“Their opinion of your potential has nothing to do with your opportunity to prevail.”

—Brendon Burchard, High Performance Author

“What others think about you is none of your business” is a thought to consider, particularly when being judged harshly.

Consider your parents, teachers, bosses, and friends, and see how many of them sapped you versus zapped you over the years.

Unfortunately, many of these usually well-intended folks leave a negative wake and plant bitter seeds that can dramatically impact our self-worth and confidence.

EXERCISE:

Who are the negative, unsupportive, and even toxic people in your world that could be avoided?

Where and in what ways can and will you find the determination, grit, and tenacity to prevail in your most important priorities?

Consider working with a coach, mentor, or friend to support your efforts.

A man’s pride can be his downfall

“A man’s pride can be his downfall, and he needs to learn when to turn to others for support and guidance.”

—Bear Grylls, British Adventurer

Image of Bear Grylls

Image of Bear Grylls from DailyExpress

If you were to look up the phrase “rugged individual or adventurer” on the internet, you would likely see a photo and description of Bear Grylls.

He served in the British army, trained in unarmed combat, desert and winter warfare, survival, climbing, and parachuting. He is also noted for his numerous expeditions, including:

  • Climbing Mount Everest
  • Circumnavigating the United Kingdom on a jet ski
  • Crossing the North Atlantic in a rigid inflatable boat
  • Climbing remote and “unclimb-able” peaks in Antarctica

Although much personal attention has created his celebrity status, he points out most vividly, with today’s quote, that in virtually all cases, his successes involved and were dependent on the support and guidance of others.

EXERCISE:

Where in your personal or professional life have you been going it alone to achieve what you desire? Where and on what matters it is time to more fully embrace and yes, request the assistance of others in your various communities?

Check out Grylls’ Wikipedia page, and note how many of his accomplishments include many other people backing his efforts.

A simple Hello could lead to a million things

“A simple ‘Hello’ could lead to a million things.”

—Author Unknown

Image of hands holding up pink balloons spelling "hello"

Image from Unsplash by RawPixel

I see a very kind woman most mornings at my health club. Her name is Pat, and her primary job is to swipe each person’s membership card as they enter the facility.

I know her husband’s name is John, and that she, like me, has a passion for books and reading. Perhaps what is most notable is that she welcomes each person with an authentic ‘Hello!” and a pleasant glance, which in turn generates a reciprocal greeting and kind words from almost everyone.

On days Pat is not at the front desk, the greeting ritual is far less likely, with the front desk person and most of the patrons going through an almost robotic entrance.

EXERCISE:

Where could a few more Hellos, Good Mornings, Pleases, and genuine Thank You’s lead to millions of wonderful things to brighten the day? How can you be more like Pat in your personal and professional communities?