“All people are beautiful, and the difference between us is so much less than the sameness.”
—Berry Gordie, Jr., Founder of the Motown record label
Image from Unsplash by Oren Atias
The passing of my father Marvin in March has been a catalyst for many changes in my life. On a recent trip to Florida, Wendy and I had the opportunity to thank some very close friends who supported Dad while we needed to keep our distance.
Over a wonderful three-hour dinner that included wine toasts and delicious food, we celebrated this wonderful man and the beauty of the wonderful people who were there when they were most needed.
As a record producer and the founder of Motown records, Berry Gordy clearly has been a force, wanting us all to “get it together” and “be there” for one another.
Where have you been focused on the ugliness and differences between people over the past year? Where have you discovered the beauty in others by connecting and appreciating our sameness?
“We see the same events through different lenses. We live in the same country but in different worlds.”
—Ted Koppel, British-born American broadcast journalist
Image of Ted Koppel from Wikipedia.org
When Ted Koppel speaks, people usually listen.
As a 42-year veteran of ABC News, he became the anchor and managing editor of ABC News Nightline in 1980 — one of the most honored broadcasts in television history.
As a member of the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Ted has won every major broadcasting award, including 40 Emmys. In the United States, he has received over 20 honorary degrees from well-regarded universities.
How are you and others seeing current events? Where are your lenses the same or considerably different from others in your communities? Where are people treating one another like aliens from different worlds? What are the answers to help us come together as one country?
What steps can we all take to be a more united country? Ted Koppel might suggest we start with a new pair of lenses to look for all the things that unite us.
“You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
—Jane Goodall, English primatologist and anthropologist
Image from NeverApart
Jane Goodall is an English primatologist and anthropologist, considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.
Her 50-something years work in conservation and animal welfare issues was acknowledged in 2002, when she was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Jane’s life work has been captured in dozens of books, and her many documentaries. There is even a 2002 TED talk about what separates us from chimpanzees. In it, she joyfully entertained the audience with her passion, authenticity, and purposeful adventures.
What purposeful difference have, can you, and will you make in your various communities? What would you like people to say upon your passing, to acknowledge and celebrate your contribution to the world?
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
—Dalai Lama XIV
Image from Flickr by ASCOM Prefeitura de Votuporanga
Did you know that the mosquito is the deadliest creature on the planet? More people have died by the mosquito’s transmission of diseases such as Malaria than all other poisonous, carnivorous, or other dangerous creatures combined.
How much influence have these tiny pests had on your enjoyment of a summer evening, or in an attempt to get a good night’s sleep in a tent?
How can you reduce or eliminate your limited views of yourself and become far more intentional and courageous to make a bigger difference in your world?
How can you bring your own positive bite into your communities, to spread more of the good things in life?
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
Image from clipartfest
The world is a pretty big place, and we are each but one of over seven billion passengers on this beautiful blue marble.
Given this perspective, it is common for most of us, on many occasions, to feel small, limited, and maybe somewhat insignificant. Who am I, or who are we, as individuals, to make a lasting and significant change or difference? Yet that is exactly what we do each day in our families, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and our extended communities.
How can and will you create more positive ripples in your communities in the future?
“Will this make people’s lives meaningfully better?”
—Dave Kashen, CEO at Worklife
Image from MAP Professional Development
As a coach for over 25 years, I have a great fondness for powerful and provocative questions. More often than not, I have a very strong preference for those deeply curious and probing questions that begin with who, what, where, when, why, and how.
Today’s quote is an exception in that it is closed-ended and requires us to determine if our answer is Yes or No.
Most people value making a difference and contributing to those around them. Perhaps we can all use this question to keep us focused on the priority of living an even more meaningful life.
Consider writing this question on a few Post-it-Notes and placing them where you will see them in your personal and professional spaces. Please feel free to write me about what value this exercise provided you and others over the coming weeks.
“Give ‘em the Pickle.”
-Bob Farrell, American motivational speaker
Bob Farrell, Author of “Give ’em the Pickle!”
About a month ago, while traveling to a coaching conference, I received a pearl of advice from a flight attendant with whom I had shared The Quotable Coach daily blog.
She mentioned that the airline loves positive, affirming thinking, and that I should consider looking into today’s quote.
Turns out, “Give ‘em the pickle” is all about exemplary customer service and going the extra mile to create customer evangelists, and optimal loyalty. This is especially important given the almost unlimited choices people have as consumers.
Check out this short YouTube video. Ask and answer this question, for yourself and your organization: What represents that special, tasty pickle you can offer to more fully satisfy and delight your customers? What about those in your personal worlds?
“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something. … My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can, with whatever I have, to try to make a difference.”
– Jimmy Carter, 39th President
Jimmy Carter sums up a fundamental need (and value) that most people have. His life is a very strong example of fulfilling the need to contribute and to make a difference. Even at the age of 88, he still puts forth his best in support of a variety of causes that have great meaning and purpose.
Where are today’s opportunities for you to do whatever you can to make a difference in your world?
Given your health status and your capabilities, what are some of the longer-range goals that you will commit to, to make your life count and to leave a legacy of contribution?