With wisdom comes the desire for simplicity

“With wisdom comes the desire for simplicity.”

—Brendon Burchard, American Personal Development Trainer

In today’s fast-moving world, many people seem to be racing around their lives, looking for more. At the same time, others are slowing down a bit, and being more mindful of how their days are spent.

To which group do you belong?

If you examine your current communities, or even your wondrous memory bank of the things you’ve learned over the years, which individuals rank among the wisest? What did their life stories look like, as they pursued and reached this level of self-actualization?

A very consistent theme I’ve observed is their increased ability to focus, prioritize, eliminate distractions, and keep their worlds as simple as possible.

You are probably aware that the title of my book is The Quotable Coach: Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom. It is my belief that a quote is a condensed and simplified version of a profound thought.

EXERCISE:

How can you simplify your life, to more fully pursue greater wisdom for yourself?

Consider searching the over 1,600 quotes/nuggets of wisdom on The Quotable Coach website, using the category drop-down box in the right-hand sidebar.

Make visible what without you might never have been seen

“Make visible what, without you, might never have been seen.”

—Robert Bresson, 20th Century French Film Director

Today’s quote reminds me of “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson in her work A Return to Love. It is often incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela.

I thought sharing these words in their entirety might stir something in you, even if you are familiar with this wisdom.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

EXERCISE:

Where and how will you generously, courageously, and visibly contribute your unique and special qualities and talents to the world?

A Point of View Can Be a Dangerous Luxury

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”

—Marshall McLuhan, 20th Century Canadian Professor

Image of a messy drawer

Image from Unsplash by Ashim D’Silva

Most people generally prefer order to chaos. We tend to like thing organized neatly, whether it be our closets, our files, and in the case of today’s quote, our minds.

When we take in information and experiences, we like to put them into neat piles based on previous knowledge. We categorize them by varying points of view on what is right or wrong, good or bad.

When you hear those around you – or maybe even yourself – saying, “I Know,” it often means they or you have stopped listening or closed their mind to alternative insights and perspectives.

EXERCISE:

With whom and on what issues have you developed a point of view that is holding you back in either your personal or professional communities?

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?

Everyone Shines

“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”

—Susan Cain, Author of Quiet

Image of a book filled with lights

Photo from Unsplash by Long Vang

Genetics versus Environment.

Nature versus Nurture.

What do these factors have to do with how each of us turns out along our life journey?

As a coach passionate about growth and development, I do my best to keep the lights of knowledge and the beacons of wisdom prominent in my world. My intent is to shine my best in each of my communities, with the goal of contributing to those around in a meaningful way.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you “amp up” the environmental voltage to illuminate yourself and those around you so that everyone’s inherent qualities and talents shine even brighter?

Lifes Tragedy

“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”

—Benjamin Franklin, American Statesman & Founding Father

Image of Ben Franklin

Image from prachnhachivit.com

Benjamin Franklin lived an extraordinary life well into his 80’s. He considered each day precious in his personal growth efforts, and in his desire to contribute to the world.

Even so, he may have had regret, given today’s quote, that he did not realize even more of his potential.

EXERCISE:

How can you squeeze the most out of each day with a youthful spirit and the wisdom to pay your lessons and contributions forward?

True Wisdom Lies in Gathering the Precious Things

“True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by.”

—E.S. Bouton

Image of woman lounging on a beach chair

Image from Unsplash by RawPixel

My wife Wendy’s “happy place” is the beach. She loves nothing more, except family and friends, than her time on a sandy ocean beach, looking for interesting and beautiful shells. Among her favorites are brightly colored or interestingly shaped mollusk shells, particularly if they are shaped like a heart or infinity symbol.

When she is not at the beach, she sets a wonderful example for me, my children, and others, by squeezing the most out of each precious day. It is not uncommon for her to alter the hours she sleeps, simply because she doesn’t want to miss any of the joy and sweetness life has to offer.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you seek, discover, and savor more of the precious things around you to make more of each and every day?

The breeze at dawn

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.”

—Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, 13th Century Persian Sunni Muslim poet

Image of trees in early morning fog

Image from Flickr by Jona Nalder

I’ve been an early riser my entire life. Even as a child, I would wake early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. There were no video recorders or DVRs in the 60s!

These days, I consistently wake before dawn to get a quick start on my day through meditation and a multi-faceted exercise routine.

The noise level of the world is substantially lower in the early morning hours. I find the quiet supports greater creativity and the ability to listen to whispers of wisdom that are often drowned out by higher decibel levels during the day.

EXERCISE:

How might an “early to bed early to rise” strategy help you hear more valuable secrets of the dawn, to live a more full and happy life?

Learning is a Treasure

“Learning is a treasure whose keys are queries.”

—Arabian Proverb

Image of "A More Beautiful Question" Book Cover

Have you ever played the lottery hoping to strike it rich? Perhaps as a child you searched on a sandy beach, hoping to find a bit of buried treasure.

The daily pursuit of knowledge and nuggets of wisdom are a form of treasure hunt instantly available to you. Today’s quote points to the importance of curiosity and a mind filled with questions, as keys to opening the vaults and delights of learning.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger to become a more masterful locksmith in opening the treasure chest of life-long learning.

Another book I like very much that will help in this area and develop your own proficiency as a coach is The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.

If only we knew what we knew

“If only we knew what we knew! How can you use the wisdom in the room?”

—Michael Bungay Stanier, founder of Box of Crayons

What are your thoughts and experiences regarding the following phrases and ideas?

  • Two heads are better than one
  • Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM)
  • The Wisdom of Crowds

How well do you play with others in your professional and personal worlds?

If you are like most people, you constantly evaluate ideas and concepts through your life experiences, your beliefs, and your perceptual filters. These evaluations often come with a judgmental or critical view of ideas that don’t line up with your own way of thinking.

EXERCISE:

For at least the next day or two, consider that everyone in your professional and personal world is far more intelligent and wise than you think they are.

How could you orchestrate this brain trust or mastermind community to achieve far more than you ever thought possible?