“All the arts are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.”
—Mary Caroline Richards, 19th Century American Poet & Potter
Image from Flickr by pax-h2o
Do you live to work or work to live? Regardless of how you answer the question, it is clear that we spend a pretty high percentage of our lives engaged in our work.
How many different jobs have you had so far in your life? Many of my coaching clients have multi-page resumes, often including five, ten, or more positions. Quite often, one reason they hire me is to support a transition in their professional life.
They almost always simultaneously seek to live more artfully and include a high degree of focus and effort in their personal lives.
What artistic efforts are most appropriate at this point in your life? What would make it a more beautiful masterpiece?
Though hope may seem like a soft concept, it has hard edges and bottom line implications in the world of professional and personal achievement. Shane Lopez Ph.D., a professor at The University of Kansas School of Business, and a Gallup Senior Scientist, points to the following “Bottom Line” benefits of hope:
Hope is the basis of all positive change.
Hopefulness can be learned and taught.
Hope is different from wishing due to its active quality. Wishing is passive and undermines the chances of success.
People work harder, and greater resources are put behind hopeful endeavors.
Hopeful organizational cultures dramatically enhance employee engagement and productivity.
What are the personal or professional projects you are working on that require a booster shot of hope to help them become realized?
Consider checking out Shane Lopez’s Book Making Hope Happen if you would like to learn more.
—Michael Bungay Stainer, Sr. Partner at Box of Crayons
I am currently reading the book Mastery by Robert Greene, with great fascination. The subject of mastery has intrigued me all my life. This brilliant analysis includes stories of a wide variety of historic and current masters, and how their life journeys evolved.
Fundamental to the majority of these stories is a clear and authentic passion for the type of work or activity the subjects pursued. Each person tapped into their own gifts and unique abilities, and combined them with an unstoppable drive to pursue, develop, and contribute their talents to the world.
What does doing more great work mean to you? How can you do less bad work, or stop both the bad and even some good work, to make room for more great work in the year ahead?
Consider making the book Mastery a must read for 2016.
The “Fountain of Youth” is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. The legend became particularly prominent in the 16th century, attached to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s travels in what is now Florida.
In an April 2014 Time Magazine article titled, “9 Secrets to Living Longer,” author Alexandra Sifferlin points out that good, old-fashioned work plays a critical role in not only the quantity but also the quality of life.
Consider working up a bit of a sweat and adding to the length of your life by…
Working out and doing some form of exercise daily
Working on your diet – you are what you eat
Working on your relationships
Engaging fully in vocation and avocational activities that you enjoy and that will make a difference in the world
Working on your mind by participating in life-long learning
Please reply to this post with some of your own sweat-inducing activities that make your life more rewarding.
“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.”
– John Ruskin, 19th century English artist and philanthropist
I am a work in progress. How about you? With the wide variety of daily experiences we all have, I believe that we are constantly evolving and becoming a fuller expression of ourselves.
We all work each day to earn the compensation that allows us to care for ourselves and others. Ruskin’s quote, however, points to the less recognized and often subtle developments that accompany such experiences.
Explore how your daily efforts further your journey toward more fulfilling relationships, enhance creativity, expand greater self-esteem, support vibrant health, and extend your pursuit of wisdom.
How are you going beyond your basic psychological and physiological needs to pursue your own self-actualization? Consider Googling Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to explore this concept in more depth.
We have all heard the quote, “When you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” A by-product of this mixture of love and work is mastery, due to the amount of practice we experience over time.
Think about famous artists, top athletes, and great entertainers as examples of this synergistic combination.
What are your greatest skills, where you lose yourself in love?
It would be wonderful if these included your vocation. They may be hobbies or similar avocations – and hopefully, they can include building extraordinary relationships, in all areas of life.
What masterpieces have you built to this point and what future works of art are on the way?
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