Cultivate Something Special

“Like an oyster cultivating a pearl, cultivate something that is special to you.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a peral in a shell

Image from Prettywomanbeauty.gr

I recently watched a National Geographic special titled The Secret Life of Pearls, which explains the process by which South Sea pearls are produced. The show demonstrates the massive lengths of time and even life threatening dangers involved in creating these beautiful and highly prized marine gems.

Each of us has abilities, talents, and characteristics the make us who we are. These special qualities bring us much pleasure and satisfaction when we express them and share them with others in our personal and professional communities.

The use, practice, and pursuit of excellence and even mastery in these areas can create a sense of flow and timeless engagement, which often produces even more fulfillment.

EXERCISE:

What special qualities, talents, and unique abilities can you emphasize and cultivate moving forward?  Who in your communities can help you identify these qualities and support your growth in the areas that are special to you?

Check out The Secret Life of Pearls on the National Geographic Channel or on YouTube

“Figure out what it is…”

“Figure out what it is in life you don’t do well, and then don’t do it.”

—Doug Copeland, former president and publisher of the Triad Business Journal

QC #820

As I observe individuals and organizations pursuing success in our increasingly dynamic world, I see a great deal of frustration and stress.

Our collective drive, intelligence, and creativity has never been greater, yet it still feels as if something is missing.

Our efforts to have it all, do it all, and be it all seem possible when we look to the media.  In the real world, this formula for the perfect balance is elusive, if not improbable.

Navigating today’s world requires more filters and focus, to design our own imbalanced yet more workable, satisfying, and fulfilling lives.

EXERCISE:

Take a personal inventory of all the things you don’t like doing or that you don’t do well. Stop doing them as soon as possible. This should make more room in your world to focus on your strengths, so you can do the thing you are good at and love to do.

Consider reading Marcus Buckingham’s “The One Thing You Need to Know” for more insights into great leading, great managing, and sustained individual success.

“Do more of what makes you Awesome.”

“Do more of what makes you awesome.”

Kid President

Photo from Flickr by Sam Howitz

Photo from Flickr by Sam Howitz

Awesome is such an awesome word.

For years, I’ve encouraged my clients to be their personal best, pursue excellence, and of course, discover their strengths.

What is it that you do that literally induces awe in others?

Some might describe awe as a heightened sense of admiration or even a reverence for your gift, unique ability, or area of personal mastery.

Whatever it is, doing more of it will most certainly bring you great fulfillment, satisfaction, and most likely produce quantifiable rewards.

EXERCISE:

Consider asking a handful of people who know you best what makes you awesome. This is not the time to be timid or overly humble. Hopefully these conversations will shed some light on gifts or talents you have overlooked.

Once you come down from the high you will likely experience in these discussions, get out there and let others in your world know about the awesome qualities and abilities you see in them.

All We are Capable of Doing

“If we were to do all we are capable of doing, we would astonish ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Roger Bannister’s historic break of the 4-minute mile.

What are two or three of your greatest personal achievements?

What percent of your total potential did it take for you to breakthrough to those achievements?

Many of us are aware of the story of how Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile. In the following few weeks, dozens of others did the same.

Look at other achievements in our society in entertainment, science, and business, to see what it took for people to reach those.

EXERCISE:

What are your unique abilities and talents and what invisible barriers must you break to astonish yourself?