“You can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe your sweat.”
Image from getyourbridebody.com
When was the last time you had a really rigorous workout? You know, the kind that makes your muscles burn, makes you gasp for air, and drenches you in sweat?
Where do you, or have you, demonstrated similar efforts in your personal or professional life?
How often do you give things your all? With what frequency do you merely put in enough effort just to get by? How often do you throw in the towel and give up completely?
What are the key tasks or priorities in which you could dig deeper, make a stronger commitment, or break more of a sweat?
With whom can you partner to coach, encourage, and challenge you to give these goals your very best?
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”
image from www.marclangloisconsulting.com
Take a moment sometime today to reflect on your most satisfying and deeply felt moments of personal fulfillment. Make sure you look at your personal and professional worlds.
Examine what percentage of these highlights occurred as an individual versus within a larger group or community. Consider, also, to what extent you were operating in an area of strength or unique ability.
Where can you make more ripples, or even waves, in your professional and personal worlds by casting more of your special stones across the waters you come upon today?
“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.”
—Laura Esquivel, Mexican novelist, essayist, and screenwriter
Photo from changingmydestiny.wordpress.com
I must admit that I watch reality TV shows. I enjoy those that involve living in remote areas of the world, where there are little or no creature comforts.
The fundamental necessities for survival include food, water, and shelter. Without exception, fire is another essential resource, needed to cook the food and sterilize the water. Achieving a successful fire is often a significant challenge and hardship for would-be reality show survivors. Almost always, success comes from the collective efforts of numerous individuals.
How can you spark and ignite the potential of others to more fully realize the fires that burn within them?
Who are the people in your personal or professional worlds that can and will play this valuable role for you?
“Coasting only happens when you are going downhill.”
—Mike Rayburn, one of the youngest inductees in the Speaker Hall of Fame
Photo from dimitri.co.uk
When was the last time you took a bike ride outdoors? Try to remember a specific ride with many hills. Close your eyes and visualize the effort and “burn” it took to climb the steepest and longest hills. Experience the relief of going over the crest, when you began coasting, allowing gravity to make your journey far easier.
Examine some of the current professional or personal hills you are on, or intend to climb. How will the pursuit of reaching the top make you even stronger for future challenges?
If you happen to notice that there are very few or no hills ahead, perhaps you are coasting, and headed downward. Make a point, once you have relaxed or recovered, to find the next hill worth climbing.
“If it scares you, it may be a good thing to try.”
-Seth Godin, American Author
As I examine my own life and identify its highlights, I realize that many of them involved overcoming a fear in order to achieve some form of breakthrough. Among them are:
- Starting my first business at age eleven!
- Risking rejecting in applying to a highly competitive high school.
- The “What Ifs” of resigning from a secure yet unsatisfying Fortune 500 career to enter the coaching profession when it was in its infancy.
- The fear of judgement as I began speaking to increasingly large groups of people.
- Risking potential criticism and judgement in writing and publishing my own blog and book.
Examine the things that have scared you over the years, and look at what scares you today. Where would giving some of these things a try help you overcome the fears and bring you even greater rewards and life satisfaction?
“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.”
—Napoleon Hill, American author of personal-success literature
How fulfilled and content with life are you at this moment? How perfect are your personal and professional situations? How often do you find yourself longing for some other place, some other future, where you believe you will be far happier?
Imagine that some amazing technology company invented a new device called the “Opportunity-O-Matic,” and you are among the early adopters. When you use the device, you discover, pursue, and realize wondrous possibilities of life, right at your own doorstep.
Perhaps we already have such a device installed in our minds and hearts, momentarily turned to Airplane mode. Are you ready to flip the switch?
“All you can do is all you can do.”
-Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle
Tech entrepreneur and self-made billionaire Larry Ellison is one of the wealthiest men in America. He created Oracle, the second-highest selling software in the world.
Clearly he has been, and is, a pretty driven individual, to have reached this level of accomplishment.
What percent of his full mental, physical, emotional, and perhaps spiritual capabilities do you think he summons on a daily basis?
Now it is your turn. Examine your own levels of personal and professional accomplishments and check in with yourself. What percent of your fullest capacities have you accessed?
If you left it all on the field today by doing all you can do, what could you possibly get done? What results would you see in your life if you made this a daily practice?
“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
– Chinese Proverb
Since my first job as a middle school science teacher in Philadelphia, I have always been fascinated by the process of learning. Back then, the old-school didactic method of teaching did not truly help children to grow in understanding, or to consistently retain information.
As a coach, I engage clients in a multitude of learning experiences, where practical. “On the court” involvement over a six month time frame is critical to long-term understanding.
You can find out more about my Personal Excellence Training here:
What professional and personal lessons do you most wish to learn that will make the biggest difference in your life?
How can you build greater involvement and real-world experience into the lessons, to support your desire for greater understanding and long term achievement?
“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Image from www.imdb.com
One of my favorite movies of all time is Rudy, in which the main character is a small and very feisty football player with a passion for the University of Notre Dame. Through dogged determination, persistence, and a tenacity rarely seen, he takes quite a beating by being a veritable practice dummy for the first team – and eventually rises to glory in the final hours.
What are your passions and commitments to which you give your all, no matter how often you fall?
What inspiring “Rudy” stories have you participated in or observed?
What stories are yet to be written, in which you will experience future glorious moments?
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra.”
– Jimmy Johnson, football coach and broadcaster
Image from news.com.au
Many years ago, I read a book called The Slight Edge, with the fundamental premise that the little extra makes a big difference in life.
In golf, it can be one stroke over the course of a four day tournament that wins the match. In a race, it can be a single step or fraction of a second that makes the difference. And in a horse race, we have all heard the phrase “winning by a nose.”
Where in your professional and personal life can you put forth that extra effort, to realize the extraordinary?
Choose this area now and tell someone close to you, so that you will receive the extra support you may need.