“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.”
—Sir Richard Branson, KBE, founder of Virgin Group
Image from www.64ouncegames.com
We all know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Life in general, and our journey toward success, never really works that way.
To navigate our world we must, as Sir Branson suggests, adapt, revise, and change our approach moment to moment. This iterative process works very much like an internal GPS system, constantly informing us of where we are, and where we wish to go. It helps us plot the alternative routes we can take to progress toward our desired destination.
Where is it necessary to adapt, revise, or change your approach to tell a more successful tale in either your personal or professional life?
“Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.”
—Kaaren Hanson, VP of Design /Innovations/ Intuit
Through the course of our lives, we have all developed strategies for success which we apply to the daily challenges we face in our professional and personal worlds.
As long as these default solutions work reasonably well, we rarely seek alternative solutions that may actually work far better.
When we embrace, and even fall in love with, the problems we face, we generate a higher ability for innovation and creativity, discovering possible solutions that were previously unrecognized.
How might falling in love with your problems help you release some of the “sacred cow solutions” you have used over the years? What new and potentially more successful solutions would be possible?
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
—W.B. Yeats, Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature
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Take a moment to examine your current ability to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.
Did you know that:
- A Silvertip Grizzly Bear can smell you from 18 miles away?
- Jumping spiders can see four primary colors versus the three that humans see?
- Some birds have an internal GPS that acts as a compass, to help them find their way home?
- The bat uses echolocation to navigate and catch its supper?
- Catfish have 10 times more taste buds than humans (100,000 versus 10,000)?
How can you capture more of the magic life has to offer by sharpening and focusing your senses? One way to develop these capacities is to focus on each sense separately, whenever possible.
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”
—Don Marquis, American humorist, journalist, and author
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My father Marvin is a great teacher relative to today’s quote. One of the characteristics he demonstrates quite often, given his age and occasional forgetfulness, is what I call reverse procrastination. He has developed a “do it immediately” approach to many things.
The new habit can be surprising, because he often stops in the middle of one activity and starts another that has just come to mind. If he doesn’t do it when it comes to mind, he is likely to forget to do it at all. The up side of it is that he does remember to go back and finish the first activity!
Where do you fit on the procrastination continuum of “do it now,” or “it can wait for whenever”?
What adjustments are needed to make sure you are not simply keeping up with yesterday?
“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.”
Photo from Amazon.com
In my first career as a science teacher, the work of Charles Darwin and his book, “The Origin of Species,” was always part of the curriculum. The bottom line is that a species will survive only as long as it is able to adapt to its physical environment, including climate, food sources, and predators.
How well do you adapt to circumstances so that you survive in your professional and personal ecosystems? What adjustments, if any, are required to optimize your ability to thrive?
“Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes.”
– Henry David Thoreau, American author, philosopher and transcendentalist
Image from Flickr by Tambako the Jaguar.
Chameleons are remarkable animals that have the capacity to change their “clothing” to suit their surroundings. Although many people believe they change coloring to blend in, some studies suggest that other factors such as light, temperature, mood, and even the desire to communicate with other chameleons can cause them to change their outfits.
People sometimes refer to friends and colleagues as “chameleons” who change, often inauthentically, their presentation to the world to adapt to their circumstances.
Examine your own orientation toward changing who you present yourself to be, in order to adapt and fit in with what is expected.
What authentic set of “clothes” makes you feel most at home in your own skin, just like a pair of your most comfortable jeans?
“There are people whose clocks stop at a certain point in their lives.”
– Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, French literary critic
Image from Flickr by oatsy40.
As I sit in my favorite chair writing this, it’s Sunday February 2nd. That’s right, it’s Groundhog Day.
But I’m not referring to that little furry creature, Punxsutawney Phil, or whether he saw his shadow. Instead, I want to describe the movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, which is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me.
If you’ve not seen the (ahem) “masterpiece,” the moral of the story is that until Phil Connors (Bill Murray) changes his ways, he will be destined to live a life that is making him a bit insane by being the same person he’s always been before – i.e. his clock has stopped.
How can you put a fresh battery in your life clock to make the very most of the time remaining to live life to its fullest?