Life is not a solo performance

Life is not a solo performance. How and where can you collaborate with others to accomplish an important goal?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Emma Day

Carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders is a task too big for anyone. This may be why the biggest sporting events involve teams working together on the common goal of winning. As spectators in the stands or even in a comfy chair watching TV, we feel the excitement of being part of the effort, especially when celebrating a victory.

Where in your life do you operate as a solo performer?

What is your experience of victory and defeat when you are the only one on the field?

How long do these feelings last?

Where in your world do you partner and collaborate with others on a common goal?

When did you last experience the acronym TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More?

EXERCISE:

What areas of your life would being better together make the biggest difference?

A Single Leaf Working Alone Provides No Shade

“A single leaf working alone provides no shade.”

—Chuck Page, American Politician

Image of a single leaf along with today's quote

We’ve all heard phrases such as:

“It takes team work to make the dream work,” and “Together everyone achieves more. (TEAM)”

Instead of responding with “I know,” “Of course,” or “DUH!,” I suggest we each take a moment to revisit the idea more closely.

Most would agree that cooperation, collaboration, dialogue, alignment, and agreement are virtuous interpersonal qualities and characteristics.

How often do you exhibit these qualities rather than preferring to be “right,” go it alone, or perhaps actually undermine the efforts of those around you?

It’s OK to do an honest assessment of the personal tendencies we all prefer to hide and keep to ourselves.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you put your personal or professional agenda aside and join the other leaves on your tree of life to achieve more of the extraordinary outcomes you desire?

Gathering the Honey

“It is not the bee touching the flowers that gathers the honey, but her abiding for a time upon them, and drawing out the sweet.”

—The Mother’s and Young Lady’s Annual, published in 1853

Image of a bee gathering nectar

Image from Unsplash

Pollination and making honey are the two primary jobs of bees. Most of us have seen those nature shows on TV in which the brightly colored flowers put on their spring display to attract these amazing creatures.

Upon close inspection, the journey from flower to flower involves the bee’s hard and enduring work of nectar-gathering. The fortuitous by-product of their efforts – the wonderful honey they produce – is achieved by the flowers passing their stores of pollen to a neighboring blossom.

EXERCISE:

What personal or professional projects are not progressing as you wish due to your less-than-optimal attention and efforts? Where would greater intensity, persistence, and tenacity help you achieve more of the sweet success you seek?

better persuaded

“We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.”

—Blaise Pascal, 17th Century French Mathematician

Image of quote

Image from Nonn’s

Our own thoughts, ideas, and opinions always ring true for us, having the power and leverage to move us into action. We participate in that which we create.

Leadership, stated simply, is the speaking of a desired future and engendering the “buy in” from others. Unfortunately, many of us often find that those around us are not on board with our brilliant thoughts and ideas.

A useful coaching strategy to turn things around is to elicit the thoughts and ideas of others, so that all parties can buy into a path forward that is mutually desirable.

EXERCISE:

Where would using the thoughts and ideas of those around you be a more persuasive strategy to forward a key initiative in your world?

“Play the game where…”

“Play the game where everyone wins something.”

—Author Unknown

Image from ericcheser.com

Image from ericcheser.com

It is the norm for most sports and board games to result in winners and losers. A driving force for many is to beat, vanquish, and annihilate their competition.

A wide variety of collaborative pursuits in the game of life—including relationships, team projects, and business partnerships—do not need to go this route.

In fact, when we focus our efforts to realize win-win scenarios, the end results are often far better and significantly more satisfying.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you take more of a win-win approach in your personal and professional life? What would you be able to celebrate together if you did that more often?