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?

Be Discerning about your Learning

“Be discerning about your learning.”

—Jenny Blake, author of Pivot: The only Move that Matters

Image of a man at a computer with a knife and fork in his hands

Image from One in a Billion

A while ago I attended a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park where, happily, the Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 7-to-4, sweeping the series.

One of the best parts of going to the ballpark is the not-so-good-for-you-but-tasty food choices. Perhaps you are salivating already!

Recently, the owners of Comerica Park took the coaching of health-conscious fans and added a good variety of healthier choices to the menus of the Grab-and-Go carts and the Brushfire Grille.

Today’s quote is about the ingestion of information through a variety of resources, including all forms of media. Some of the media resources available today are considered “junk,” off limits, and perhaps even detrimental to our health and well-being.

EXERCISE:

How and in what way can you be far more discerning about your learning to ingest and digest only the highest quality choices and nuggets of wisdom that enhance your life?

Please consider sharing The Quotable Coach blog, or my book that contains 365 “nuggets of practical wisdom” with a friend, colleague, or family member.

Thank You!

When you’re happy you enjoy the music

“When you’re happy you enjoy the music. When you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.”

-Frank Ocean, American songwriter and rapper

Image of Bob Dylan on the cover of Rolling Stone

If you were asked to name your favorite songwriters, who would make your list?

Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Songwriters include:

  • Taylor Swift, the youngest artist on Rolling Stone’s list
  • Eminem, contemporary pop artist with head-spinning wordplay
  • Sam Cook, one of the first African-American civil rights songwriters
  • Loretta Lynn, Nashville’s feminist revolutionary
  • Bert Berns, who wrote hits like Twist & Shout, and Piece of My Heart
  • Willie Nelson, whose hits include country, reggae, and standards with strings
  • John Lennon / Paul McCartney, powerhouse duo of The Beatles
  • Paul Simon, who wrote The Sounds of Silence, and Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • Chuck Berry, music’s first ever guitar hero
  • Bob Dylan, 1960s folk music hero

Recently, Bob Dylan was recognized with a Nobel Prize in Literature for the lyrics he wrote that moved so many with their power and meaning. He was also #1 on Rolling Stone’s list.

All of these songwriters are lyrical poets, sharing their most moving and significant life moments in song.

EXERCISE:

How might you glean even greater insight and life wisdom by listens more closely to the words of masterful songwriters, regardless of your mood?

Whether to say it

“A smart person knows what to say. A wise person knows whether or not to say it.”

—Author Unknown

When can less be more? How often do you find yourself giving others advice or sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience, only to find that it is unwanted?

Were you ever that kid in school who raised their hand saying “call on me!” so you could share the right answer and show how smart you were? If so, what reaction did you receive from the other students? If not, how did you feel about your classmates who did?

I have found it very useful, in recent years, to restrain my exuberance to share what I know in order to more fully allow others to share and contribute their thoughts and ideas. Not surprisingly, I learn far more when my mouth is shut and my ears are open!

EXERCISE:

Where can less from you and more from others be a wiser recipe for your future success?