In the arena of human life the honors

“In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”

—Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher and scientist

Image of Aristotle

Image from classicalwisdom.com

Take out a piece of paper and list your very best qualities. Ask yourself what others in your personal and professional worlds would add to this list given your modest and humble nature.

Create a second list of qualities you most admire in those around you that may not have made it onto your first list.

Rate yourself on the level of action you demonstrate regarding those qualities, on a 1-10 scale.

EXERCISE:

What would be the value and benefit to you and those around you if you upgraded or shared even more of your best qualities with your various communities?

What action will you take today to realize the difference you intend to make?

Do the Best You Can

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

—Maya Angelou, late American poet, author, and civil rights activist

The process of coaching kicks many areas of life into a higher gear, given its experiential and interactive nature. Regardless of whether we are a senior citizen or infants, we all interact with the world, receive feedback, and then determine how to proceed in the future.

Through its emphasis on self-awareness, constructive feedback, and experiential learning, coaching expedites this process. It allows individuals and organizations to know more and do better at a more robust rate.

EXERCISE:

How and where can you do your best in a more intentional learning environment? How would the assistance of a teacher, mentor, or coach help you do and be better every day?

Rise above the little things

“Rise above the little things.”

—John Burroughs, 19th Century American essayist

Have you heard of the book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff?

There is a companion workbook to help you put many of the techniques and strategies from the book into practice.

I suggest a three-step process to help you rise above the little things that often bring us all down:

EXERCISE:

Step One: Conduct a 5-10 minute inventory of the “little things” that hold you back, personally or professionally. A list of 3-5 in each category is a good start.

Step Two: Clarify the specific benefits or desired future possible if these pesky or intolerable issues were handled.

Step Three: Summon the courage, fortitude, and grit to become a bigger, more capable version of yourself. Take the necessary action and/or shift your perspective to have many of these “little things” fade away.

Feel free to reply to this post and let me know how things go.

Something that will inch you closer

“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.”

—Doug Firebaugh, home-based business consultant

Image of a one-inch ruler

If you are reading this post in the morning, I hope it inspires you to take a particular action or two to improve yourself and your world.

Select a single area of focus in which the effort and hopeful outcome will bring a big smile to your face when you rest your head on your pillow tonight.

Inching closer to your personal and professional goals reminds me of what some people call the “One Percent Rule.” This rule encourages us to strive for a one percent improvement on some worthy task or objective.

EXERCISE:

In what area can and will you provide that extra one percent to inch you closer to a better tomorrow?

It is easy to sit up and take notice

“It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.”

—Al Batt (humorist)

image from Unsplash by William Iven

How active are you on social media? How many hours do you spend observing and interacting with the folks in your personal and professional communities?

What percent of your time is spent on content consumption, where you sit up and log into other people’s efforts?

What percent of the time are you getting up and taking action to create content and move the needles in your worlds?

EXERCISE:

Where would shifting the percentages from consumption to production cause others to sit up and notice, perhaps even taking greater action in their own lives?

Friday Review Taking Action

FRIDAY REVIEW: Taking Action

How often, and how quickly, do you take action? Here are a few action-related posts you many have missed. Click the links to read the full messages.

 

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

 

 

 

 

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

 

 

 

 

“The world will never discover a person who is hiding in the crowd.”

 

 

 

We are inclined to think

“We are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, we have taken part in it.”

—John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Image of a crowd at a sporting event

Image from Flickr by Danny Molyneux

Are you a sports fan? How many hours a week do you watch sporting events on TV? How often do you go to games or events in person?

Without question, the energy and excitement around sporting events – football, baseball, the upcoming Olympics, even golf – can be off the charts. Many people experience the by-product bursts of adrenaline through our proximity to these spectacles.

What if you lived in Roman times and were among the spectators in the Colosseum, where the game involved life or death? Clearly you would not wish to be one of the people facing the lions!

EXERCISE:

Where in your personal or professional life are you sitting on the sidelines as a spectator, thinking that somehow, you are actually in the game?

Where is it time to suit up and get on the field to actually experience life’s contests yourself?

The Biography of Souls

“Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.”

—David Thomas, President of Morehouse College

Image of an open book

Image from Flickr by Imanka

About 20 years ago I attended a year-long program called The Wisdom Course. One of our primary assignments was to write our autobiography. We were to include photographs from every age, if available, and document important people and life events from each year. This was done through our own recollection, as well as interviews with many of the people we identified.

I found it fascinating to see the impact I made on the people in my life, and the impact they had on my growth and development. Of particular interest was where and how I began developing my core values, personality, and character.

The most notable observation was that the unselfish and noble actions – my own and those of others – were the most memorable and enduring.

EXERCISE:

Consider doing your own biographical life review. Make particular note of the noble and unselfish actions taken by yourself and others along the way. How have these events shaped you to be the person you are today?

Trying to Impress Others

“The time men spend in trying to impress others, they could spend in doing the things by which others would be impressed.”

—Frank Romer, History Professor

Image of 80/20 rule

Image from Social Media Today

If we were to apply the 80/20 rule to today’s quote, it might go something like this:

“80 percent of the effort we put into impressing others creates 20 percent of the value we hope to produce.”

Although it seems pretty wasteful, many people put far too much effort in dressing for success than they should. Perhaps it is because these surface-only pursuits take less time and effort to make us look good. Unfortunately, they rarely produce the deep and significant outcomes we desire.

Consider shopping for a major purchase such as a home or a vehicle as a metaphor. Without a doubt, you would surely get a complete home inspection, or definitely look under the hood before making this kind of investment.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you flip the 80/20 rule to your benefit by taking more substantive actions to provide the valuable outcomes you desire, and likely impress others as a side benefit?

When You Run Away

“It’s when you run away that you’re most liable to stumble.”

—Casey Robinson, Screenwriter/Producer

Image from findapsychologist

I’m not completely sure if today’s quote is always true, but watching action films and TV shows, I see the main characters often fall when they run away from their pursuers. Perhaps in film and TV land this is to create more suspense. Invariably, though, they stop, turn around, and summons the courage to take on the bad guys and win the day.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently in retreat mode? What is causing you to stumble? What attitude shift or other resources are required to turn things around so you can move forward professionally or personally?