“Find a need. Define a service. Be the bridge.”
What are your personal or professional areas of excellence and high achievement? Which of these activities stir the passions in which you often lose track of time, expressing your gifts and mastery?
Where also do you find the expression of these capabilities serving the needs and desires of others in some meaningful and value-producing way?
Jim Collins — author of Good to Great — might describe this scenario as a personal hedgehog. It points us toward an expression of ourselves that could be more fully developed and expanded to contribute to the world.
How and in what ways can and will you be an impresario to find a need, define a service, and be the bridge to bring it to the world?
“Mentors are like potato chips: You can’t have just one.”
—Eric Barker, author of Barking up the Wrong Tree
Image from lays.com
Whether you call them potato chips, crisps, or something else, potato chips are big business, accounting for sales north of ten billion dollars per year.
Countries around the world have unique flavors of chips – all adding to our waistlines! For example:
- Canada: dill pickle, jalapeño, ketchup and wasabi
- Indonesia: spicy chicken, nori seaweed, and salmon teriyaki
- Columbia: lemon, chorizo, sirloin steak, and mushroom sauce
- Japan: consommé, soy sauce, plum, chili, and scallop
- United Kingdom: prawn cocktail, beef and onion, spicy sriracha, and aromatic curry
What flavors have you tried? What type of chips do you crave during those naughty moments of self indulgence?
Mentors and coaches, meanwhile, are almost always beneficial and support you in leading a happier, healthier, and more successful life.
Where might adding a few more mentors and coaches support your progress towards greater personal and professional achievement?
Even if you don’t formalize these relationships on a one-on-one level, consider the books, blogs, seminars, and other resources from such individuals and how they can support your efforts.
“There are no ‘pretty good’ alligator wrestlers.”
Image from Unsplash by Matthew Essman
It’s unlikely that there is a Junior Alligator Wrestling League in your community or school system.
What parent would send their child off to such an activity, hoping they would rise in the ranks, and bring home the Champion Trophy – not to mention all their appendages?
Our world is hyper-competitive and sports include a significant risk of injury. Still, many families with an interest in fitness and athletic activities participate, knowing full well that their children are unlikely to make it to the Olympics or turn pro at some point.
Meanwhile, in the working world more and more people are finding that being only “pretty good” puts them at risk of being eaten by the alligators swimming in their vocational waters.
What efforts can and will you include in your “pretty great” developmental journey in the year ahead?
“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”
Image from Unsplash by Mark Pan4ratte
Achieving new levels of professional and career success is almost always a primary reason people seek coaching. They of course wish to soar, create more value for others, and better provide for themselves and their families.
In the course of pursuing these goals, most people see considerable spill over into their personal life priorities, sometimes right within arms reach.
It turns out that wisdom is far nearer than they thought. Reaching out to serve their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other communities helps them experience greater passion and purpose in their lives.
How might you gain far greater wisdom by doing a bit more stooping rather than soaring? What actions can and will you take today?
“Greatness comes by beginning something that doesn’t end with you.”
—Robin Sharma, Author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series
Image from Unsplash by Hanson Lu
The other night a close friend of ours placed a video call to me from The Great Wall of China. She was overcome with delight as she shared this 4,000 mile long structure that took about a thousand years to build.
Some other great human achievements include:
- The Great Pyramid at Giza
- Machu Pichu
- The Taj Mahal
- The Empire State Building
- The Panama Canal
- Man’s Landing on the Moon
What other great human achievements can you think of? What efforts and achievements have you begun and contributed to so far in your life? What personal and professional projects are you planning or beginning that will leave a legacy well into the future?
“Intent reveals desire. Action reveals commitment.”
—Steve Marboli, American Behavioral Scientist
Intention plus action: they are a formidable pair. Together, they have been associated with extraordinary achievements that have moved the world. Take a look around at past, current, and some of the upcoming quantum leaps we are capable of, and try not to be amazed.
On the other hand, when these two qualities stand alone or are completely missing, progress seems to limp along, stop, or even regress.
Where would summoning your most desired intentions and most committed actions help you realize even more of what you wish to achieve in your personal and professional life?
“The Roller Coaster is my life…It’s mountaineering; It’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself.”
Image from Unsplash by Claire Satera
The full quote for today is:
“The roller coaster is my life; Life is a fast, dizzying game; Life is a parachute jump; It’s taking chances, falling over and getting up again; It’s mountaineering; It’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself.”
Based on this quote, you might think I am a massive risk taker, tempting life and limb on a daily basis. I’ve had my share of adventures along the way, but for the most part, I am a bit more of an introvert than you might guess.
I do, however, love the idea of wanting to get to the very top of oneself, base on those life mountains or even hills we choose to climb.
In what areas of your life do you have the greatest desire for growth and achievement? How and in what ways can you be a bit more bold and courageous to get to the top of yourself in these important life domains?
“Analyze your life closely, frequently. You will eventually find it difficult to misuse it.”
Image from Unsplash by William Iven
Every December, usually over the holidays, I do an assessment of the past year as a way of acknowledging my efforts and progress, and to set the stage for a new year of personal and professional growth.
The process of developing greater mindfulness and self-awareness can become an essential skill. It helps to not only avoid missing the gift of life, but also in learning to make the most out of each day we are blessed to receive.
Take three to five minutes to answer any or all of the questions listed here. Consider doing this with a friend, family member, colleague, or coach, to gain the social support to have this exercise make a significant and sustainable difference:
- What did you accomplish in 2017?
- What were your biggest disappointments?
- What were your most significant lessons?
- Where are you currently limiting yourself?
- What goal areas do you intend to emphasize in the year ahead?
A few resources you may wish to explore for extra credit include:
Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell
Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly
Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg