“Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.”

“Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.”

—Frank Ocean, American singer/songwriter

Image from Unsplash by Glenn Carstens-Peters

I hope you love your life. I hope all your personal and professional efforts are rewarding in themselves, and that there is no need to brag or boast to call attention to your successes. After all, tooting your own horn can often backfire in our world of considerable judgement.

Ask yourself the following questions regarding your current work efforts:

  • How much impact, influence, and say do I have in my work?
  • How much am I learning, growing, and bettering myself through my work?
  • What difference, contribution, and purpose does my work provide to others in my various communities?

EXERCISE:

Take one minute tonight after you brush your teeth to look in a mirror and reflect on all your silent successes. You may notice how others in your world often toot your horn for you.

“It’s hard to see your own face without a mirror.”

“It’s hard to see your own face without a mirror.”

—Phil McGraw, American TV Personality “Dr. Phil”

Image from Unsplash by Laurenz Kleinheider

I recently facilitated a team-building workshop with one of my favorite clients. Half of the twelve participants had worked with me before. The other six were with me for the first time. The senior leader has been coaching each of them for more than a decade and he wanted to boost his efforts with this session.

We discussed a variety of topics, and did a strength/weakness exercise, which is fairly standard for such meetings. Surprisingly, the feedback and comments from their colleagues made an even bigger impression on the participants than most expected.

EXERCISE:

Where are or could you more fully use the people in your personal and professional communities as a mirror, to realize more of your fullest potential?

“Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.”

“Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.”

—John Harrigan, writer, director and performer

Image from Unsplash by Yuriy Garnaev

Did you know that Norway is considered one of the happiest places on the planet? The CNN special Chasing Life, hosted by Dr. Sanji Gupta, recently highlighted a small town 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Despite the frigid temperatures and the complete darkness November through January, most people interviewed described themselves as a 9 or 10 on the Happiness Scale.

A critical component to their happiness was the focus on the level of family and community engagement.

In Norway, after the birth of a child, a parent receives 80% of their wages and a full year off of work to focus on raising the child. If they choose to take off only ten months, they receive 100% of their wages.

EXERCISE:

Where can and will you plant the seeds of happiness in your community gardens, so that you can share the flowers of happiness with those you care about and love?

Friday Review: Optimism

FRIDAY REVIEW: OPTIMISM

Are you an optimist or a pessimist, or a little bit of both? Here are a few optimism-related posts you may have missed.

 

“The optimist already sees the scar over the wound; the pessimist sees the wound underneath the scar.”

 

 

 

“Complaining is Draining.”

 

 

 

 

“I have hope and I’m not afraid to use it.”

 

 

 

“Consider the postage stamp: Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.”

“Consider the postage stamp: Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.”

—Josh Billings, pseudonym of 19th-century American humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw

With the advent of email and texting, my use of regular or snail mail has declined by over 90%. How about you?

For selective or special mail such as birthday cards, I’m still an old-fashioned guy who sends cards with hand-written notes.

Despite my reduced use, I cannot recall stamps every falling off, and perhaps only a few times when my special message failed to arrive. The speed with which these message got there is another story.

EXERCISE:

What current project or top priority in your professional or personal life requires even greater focus and “stick-to-it-ness” for you to get to the result or outcome you desire?

“Step one is to start at step one.”

“Step one is to start at step one.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Pawel Janiak

Today’s quote, and the related statement, “Just Do It,” helped make Phil Knight (CEO of Nike) one of the wealthiest people in the world, with an estimated net worth of 34.7 billion.

I am sure you are thinking there were many, many steps on his and Nike’s journey to success, but it all started with that first step. From there, it was on to the second and third… and the wonders of momentum.

It is a fact that something in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force.

EXERCISE:

How often do you stop yourself before you even begin?

On what priority project are you procrastinating, or stopped in your tracks?

What one step will you take to begin the journey to realize what you desire?

Consider sharing this goal or objective with a friend, family member, mentor, or even reply to this post to let me know what you intend, and for added social support.

“Live a gentle, human-sized life.”

“Live a gentle, human-sized life.”

—Will Kestrel, kestralcreek.com

Image from Unsplash by Henning Witzel

Did you know that the United States population of 328,748,284 represents just 4.27% of the world population?

Despite our modest population footprint, the U.S. consumes 24% of the world’s energy, one third of the paper, and 27% of the aluminum.

If you do the math and all people around the world consumed resources as we do, we would need about six planet earths. Given the increasing global population and the fact that all nations are on a journey towards greater prosperity and quality of life, how can this continue?

EXERCISE:

Mahatma Gandhi once said that the world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed. What actions can and will you take – starting today – to live a more gentle, human-sized life?

Friday Review: Opportunity

FRIDAY REVIEW: OPPORTUNITY

How do you respond to opportunity? What opportunities have you passed up, or grabbed onto? Here are a few opportunity-related posts you may have missed.

 

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have one and not be prepared.”

 

 

 

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.”

 

 

 

 

“Doors don’t slam open.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Professional is not a label you give yourself. It’s a description you hope others will apply to you.”

“Professional is not a label you give yourself. It’s a description you hope others will apply to you.”

—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor

If you say something positive about yourself, it is referred to as bragging. If others say similar things about you, it is considered the truth.

What do the people at work and in your career efforts have to say about you? How are you perceived and how do these perceptions compare and contrast from your own?

What would you like others to say and how do your words and deeds warrant such acknowledgment and praise?

EXERCISE:

Seek feedback from a small group of trusted colleagues. Let them reveal the unique abilities, superpowers, and best qualities they see in you. Ask them also about your weaknesses, and the limiting blind spots that may be holding you back from the professional levels you desire.

Thank them for their candid and generous perspective, and promise to act on their wise council.

For extra credit, consider a similar exercise with family and friends.

Feel free to reply to this post to let me know what you discover and how it impacts your life.