The method of the enterprising

“The method of the enterprising is to plan with audacity and execute with vigor.”

—Christian Bovee, 19th Century New York City writer

Image from Unsplash by Simeon Jacobson

To what degree are you a “Go for it” person?

When you put on your thinking cap, how creative and bold are your ideas and plans?

Once your strategies and tactics are formulated, how inspired, energized, and motivated are you and those around you to execute them with passion and purpose?

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional priority would a far more enterprising approach be what is needed to achieve a more audacious outcome?

Fools Live to Regret Their Words

“Fools live to regret their words, wise men to regret their silence.”

—Will Henry, 20th Century American Screenwriter

Image of a boy screaming into a microphone

Image from Unsplash by Jason Rosewell

Through the process of coaching, most people become far more aware and mindful of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Too often, we see foolish individuals blurting out whatever comes to mind to make their point, exert power, diminish others, or just be “right” on whatever the subject.

Wise and perhaps more thoughtful individuals sometimes remain silent on matters of importance with the all-too-frequent statement, “I should have said something,” when their inner voices urged them to do so.

EXERCISE:

Where, when and on what subjects is speaking up or remaining silent the right and wise thing to do?

The only way some of us exercise our minds

“The only way some of us exercise our minds is by jumping to conclusions.”

—Cullen Hightower, 20th Century American writer

Image of a frog jumping to conclusions

Image from Ellen’s Little Visits

With our never-ending race to get it all done today, we have all run into a problem. Despite our brain’s magnificent power to process vast amounts of information, we are beginning to hit a barrier to open and novel thinking.

We have learned a trick in which our established mental models create shortcuts to our processing power. We skip the often useful objective and reflective capacities needed in many situations.

EXERCISE:

Where have you recently jumped to an incorrect conclusion? Where and with whom might a slower, more thoughtful and open-minded approach prove most useful, in your professional or personal life?

Nurture Your Mind With Great Thoughts

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.”

—Benjamin Disraeli, British Statesman

Image of a psychedelic tree

Image from Twitter @HighestThinking

How often do you eat junk food? How often do manufactured foods with excessive sugar, fat, or mystery ingredients find their way through your lips?

When you do, what are the results on your physical, mental, and emotional vitality and well being?

How many junk messages enter your mind from news, social media, books, or even the people with whom you associate? What impact do these factors have on your abilities to better yourself?

EXERCISE:

How can you make more efforts to ingest and digest more nurturing ideas and thoughts, to take your life higher?

How can you reduce or stop detrimental thoughts and influences that hold you back in order to  make room for empowering and uplifting ideas?

The Tree of our Thinking Minds

“We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”

—Ram Dass, American Spiritual Leader

Image of a person sitting in the shade under a tree

Image from Flickr by Kat Northern Lights Man

On a hot, sunny day we all enjoy being in the shade, perhaps with a frosty beverage. It’s cooler, and just more comfortable.

Our own thinking often plays the role of a shade tree in that we are literally blocking out new, more creative or innovative input, which might enlighten us.

If, for some reason, you feel stalled, stuck or plateaued in your growth and development, take a hard look at how often and how much you are sitting under your limited thinking canopy.

EXERCISE:

How can you let in more bright ideas and alternative perspectives by welcoming the light of other people’s input, personally or professionally?

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking

“A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.”

-Arthur McBride Bloch, Author of Murphy’s Law Books

Image of a magnifying glass over the word "conclusion"

Image from MP3ringtone

Time pressure is one of many factors affecting our personal and professional worlds. Most people I coach are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress. They feel they are required to accomplish more in less time than ever before, just to keep up.

Critical thinking and decision-making are vital components of the world we live in. It often feels like we are all on a game show in which getting the right answer is only one part of how we win. The speed of our answer is also part of the equation.

The sheer number of decisions we need to make causes many of us to seek short cuts in our decision-making process, to avoid exhaustion and burnout.

EXERCISE:

How are you currently allocating your mental energies to your personal and professional priorities? How can you conserve or strengthen this energy to help you reach your most optimal and wisest conclusion?

Friday Review on Thinking

FRIDAY REVIEW:  THINKING

How much time do you give to the art of thinking? Here are a few thinking-related posts you may have missed. Click on the link to read the full message:

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“No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.”

 

 

 

 

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“From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.”

 

 

 

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“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather, leads you to the threshold of your mind.”

 

 

 

Threshold of your Mind

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather, leads you to the threshold of your mind.”

-Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer

image from itu.edu

image from itu.edu

Take a moment to get into an imaginary time machine and go back to your youth.

Specifically, I’d like you to visit your grammar school, middle school, high school, college, and if you had them, post-graduate educational experiences.

As you explore each of these periods in your life, take note of the teachers who have made the most memorable and lasting impact on your life. How many of them challenged your thinking and encouraged greater personal inquiry, rather than simply pouring their reservoir of knowledge into you?

EXERCISE:

Who are the current teachers, mentors, and coaches that lead you to expand the threshold of your mind? How can you be such a resource for others in your personal and professional communities?

From the Errors of Others

“From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.”

—Publilius Syrus, ancient Syrian writer

QC #906

A highly notable technique to support personal growth and development is to encourage people to embrace failure. When we fail, we have the opportunity to pick up experiential lessons from the event.

Today’s quote, however, suggests that not all lessons need to occur from our own failures, setbacks, and stumbles. All we need do is pay particular attention to the misadventures of those around us. From them, we can glean additional nuggets of knowledge and wisdom.

Given the fact that there is only one of you, and so many people in your personal and professional worlds, the odds favor the open and receptive mind in picking up a higher proportion of lessons this way.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you use the errors of others to pursue greater success and mastery throughout your day?

Everything you Think

“Don’t believe everything you think.”

—Allan Lokos, founder of the Community Meditation Center in New York City

Photo from Flickr by Karen Neoh

Photo from Flickr by Karen Neoh

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t believe everything you hear.” Over the years, most of us have learned to take much of what we hear or read with the proverbial grain of salt.

At some point however, we decide what we are going to internalize and cement within us as truth. This choosing, whether intentional or perhaps mostly unconscious, can be useful and at the same time, limiting. Usually, these thoughts help us navigate our world efficiently and effectively, supporting a form of life momentum.

Alternatively, sometimes our thinking simply doesn’t work or serve us in certain situations.

EXERCISE:

Take out a piece of paper or Post-it Note, and write the following questions:

  • How does my current thinking help or hurt this situation?
  • What alternative thoughts would generate even more work-ability?

If you have been reading The Quotable Coach series for some time, you may know that Edward DeBono’s The Six Thinking Hats is a resource I refer to frequently.