“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 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!
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?
If you selected several, you must have a considerable amount of life experience to share with family, friends, and colleagues who may be experiencing various setbacks and challenges.
Although I frequently encourage a “coach approach” to facilitate the internal learning capacity of those around us, please take the wisdom of today’s quote and note when it is time to share your stories and experiences generously as a contribution to those in need.
“Life is simply a collection of experiences. Your job is to increase the intensity and then the frequency of those experiences.”
-Jim Rohn, late American entrepreneur, author & motivational speaker
Life is about making memories. If you doubt this idea, you only need to examine Facebook and other Social Media sites to observe the highlights from someone’s vacation, weekend, or other significant events. We all like to see what interesting and sometimes amazing experiences our friends and families are having. Of course, we far prefer to engage in these experiences ourselves!
Create your own one week, one month, and one year bucket list to be more intentional about increasing the intensity and frequency of your life experience collection.
“The things we know best are things we haven’t been taught.”
—Luc de Clapiers, 18th Century Marquis de Vauvenargues
My first career, fresh out of college, was as a teacher. It was my belief at the time that it was my job to literally pour my knowledge of life science into the minds of 25 sixth grade students. What I discovered was that very little got in, and even less of my brilliant lessons stuck for more than a week or two.
One of my fascinations over the years, and particularly since I began my career in coaching, is what some call the “stickiness” factor. It turns out that most of life’s greatest and enduring lessons occur through experiential learning, in which the student is fully engaged, even lost, in their own inquiry.
What areas of personal or professional development are you and others in your world most open, interested, and excited about? How can you structure a deep and meaningful learning experience in these areas?
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
-Rumi, 13th Century Persian Poet
Image from Flickr by Orbital Joe
When was the last time you visited a fine jewelry store? Imagine yourself in one, examining all the beautiful diamonds and gem stones.
I am sure that If you were to go back in time to when these stones were pulled form the earth, you wouldn’t recognize them. They would be dull, rough, and unremarkable. It takes considerable rubbing and skilled cutting to bring out their brilliance.
How and where can you examine and appreciate the daily rubs of life as experiences and resources to bring about your personal and professional brilliance?
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
image from www.cbc.ca
There are two primary schools of thought regarding what spurs people into action. The first is what I call the “avoiding pain” strategy, in which people examine the bad things that may occur if they don’t take action. Some sales methods take advantage of this approach by turning up the level of pain in order to compel people to buy a product or service.
The alternative strategy, suggested in Nelson Mandela’s statement, could be called the “pleasure strategy.” Here, a compelling and hopeful objective mobilizes us to choose certain actions and behaviors that will help us realize our desirable future.
What will you do to make the majority of your life choices—personally and professionally—from a more hopeful perspective?
Foolishly, many people pursue their happiness through extrinsic factors. Although many of these pursuits can result in pleasurable moments, rarely do they produce enduring or sustainable happiness. Wise people, on the other hand, have learned over the years that intrinsic factors much closer to home are the source of a meaningful and more enduring form of happiness.
How can you increase your own personal happiness by embracing more factors that lie right under your feet, and far fewer in the distance?
“Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us.”
Image from Flickr by Sebastien Wiertz
A topic that comes up fairly frequently in my coaching sessions these days is aging. As someone in the middle of the Baby Boom Generation, I see that most of my contemporaries are also experiencing the “grayification” of our society. We’re dealing with aging parents and our own health and fitness related issues.
Despite all of our best efforts to eat better, exercise more, and get much-needed rest to renew and recharge, we are heading toward an entropy of life, where things begin to break down and stop working optimally.
There happens to be a new form of coaching called “Eldering.” One of its tenets is to assist people in navigating these years with more grace, dignity, and life mastery.
How can you adjust, adapt, or change yourself in relationship to those issues and situations that are unchangeable, to more fully experience a life of greater happiness and fulfillment?
“One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.”
—James Russell Lowell, 20th Century American poet, critic, and diplomat
Image from Flickr by Taro Taylor
Perhaps the single most significant reason the coaching profession has grown to over a $2 billion industry is the fact that it focuses a great degree on experiential learning. Although there is still a substantial value in telling and showing, it seems the stickiness and sustainability of the lesson comes from experiencing things firsthand, where we actually get on the field, run a few plays, and see what happens.
Where and how can you include far more experiential learning opportunities to help you progress even further in your life?
“Sometimes, you just have to bow your head, say a prayer, and weather the storm.”
Image from Flickr by Melinda Swinford
In recent weeks, I’ve met a number of people experiencing significant challenges in their professional and personal worlds. They were knocked down and kept down by death, illness, accidents, and other major life events. For some, many of these things were happening at the same time.
Those who weather the storms the best all mentioned that it was their faith, family, and friends that made these disturbing and often tragic life events bearable.
Where can you seek for yourself—or offer to others—a level of support to more successfully weather the storms of life?