“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways you yourself have altered.”
Nelson Mandela, late President of South Africa
Image from Unsplash by Jeffrey Hamilton
When I was in college, I took an afternoon to go back to my elementary school in Philadelphia to visit some of the teachers who played an important role in my development and inspired me to always do my best and contribute to others.
As I walked the halls and entered each classroom, it seemed like everything had shrunk to half its size when I was a boy. I had a vivid sense of how I had grown in many ways, where I stood in bigger shoes to pursue my future path.
I was able to look my teachers in the eye as a young adult, and thank them for their contribution.
Select a handful of books that have been pivotal to your development over the years, and read at least one of them again.
I hope you will notice that while the words are the same, you are not, and that new lessons await the ever-evolving and expanding person you have become.
Consider reading a few more of your favorite books again, if you find value in this exercise.
“Dialogue is an exchange in which people think together and discover something new.”
—George Kohlrieser, American Clinical Psychologist
Image from Unsplash by Kevin Curtis
Perhaps no single skill is more important to professional and personal growth than to be a masterful communicator.
In the classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie suggests the following:
- Demonstrate genuine interest in others and their ideas
- Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves
- Show respect for others opinions and beliefs
- Avoid arguments, criticism, and judgment
They say two heads are better than one. What can you do to enhance your skills of dialogue to think far better with others and discover many new things through such interactions?
Consider picking up Carnegie’s book to learn more from this pioneer in the field of personal development.
“Be there for others but never leave yourself behind.”
Examine all the roles you currently hold in your personal and professional worlds. If you are like many people, you may have to use toes as well as your fingers to count everything.
In what percent of these roles are you serving and supporting others? If you find the number approaching 80, 90, or even 100 percent, consider how much energy you have at days end for the most important person in your life – YOU!
There is wisdom in the flight attendant pre-flight instruction:
Please put on your own oxygen mask before you assist others.
Take some time today to be a bit more “Self-ISH” (not selfish) by taking care of your own well-being and not leaving yourself behind, so that you can be your very best as you serve the people and organizations in your community.
“… not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”
– Francis Bacon, philosopher
Stickiness and sustainability are words that describe an enduring quality of something. A good example of the lack of stickiness is a New Year’s resolution: at least 90% of resolutions fail.
What factors help us digest, save and remember the important lessons to make our intentions truly stick? The literature seems to lead us towards the development of habits as a key to sustainability.
Through consistent application of practices and lessons, we develop the muscle memory to incorporate these ideas and behaviors into our DNA. The things we consciously want become unconsciously incorporated into our very being.
What two or three habits would make the biggest difference in your life? How could you take action to develop these over the next three – six months?
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