“Doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

“Doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Serena Repice Lentini

What percent of the time do you give your personal and professional activities your very best?

How often do you feel stretched and notice the burn physically, mentally, or emotionally as you take on a particular challenge?

In grade school, I had the opportunity to visit New York and climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. The 162 steps to the top seemed like a million. I recall the heat and shaking in my legs as I tried to keep pace.

No one was stopping to catch their breath on the various platforms, and I sure didn’t want to look like a slacker in front of my friends.

Twenty minutes or so from my first step, I received my crowning reward, seeing the panoramic view of New York’s skyline, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building.

EXERCISE:

Where in your world are you holding back your best efforts?

Where would taking those extra steps place you at a higher point to both see and pursue even greater personal and professional excellence?

“Don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you have now.”

“Don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you have now.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Ismael Paramo

How satisfied are you with your life? Examine who you are on the inside and take a look on the outside to explore your intrinsic and extrinsic accomplishments.

How do your observations compare to the answers you would have offered from 5, 10, or even 20 years ago?

Which of your efforts — based on what you wanted — have come to fruition, and how pleased are you today?

EXERCISE:

Take the time today to count your many blessings. How rich do you feel?

Consider having a conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague to expand the value of this exercise to more fully appreciate how far you have come.

“Nobody notices what you do until you do not do it.”

“Nobody notices what you do until you do not do it.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by John Cameron

How tired do you feel at the end of a long, challenging day?

Before you head to bed tonight, look at all you did personally and professionally to serve and support others.

How much gratitude and sincere appreciation came your way?

Alternatively, how much and how many of your efforts seemed to be taken for granted or were simply expected by those around you?

Who would notice and what would they notice if you did not fulfill your duties?

Now reverse the situation and look closely at what all the people in your world do for you. Where are you missing or taking for granted the multitude of efforts of others due to your ingrained expectations?

These days, perhaps more than ever, we need to see all people as essential workers who make our lives much better for their generous efforts.

EXERCISE:

How might paying closer attention to the big and small efforts of others, and a few more words of acknowledgment and appreciation help all of us fall to sleep tonight with a smile of satisfaction?

 

“What is the least I can teach you that would be the most valuable?”

“What is the least I can teach you that would be the most valuable?”

Michael Bungay Stanier, Founder of Box of Crayons

How familiar are you with the developmental and problem-solving tool called a quadrant graph?

Even if this specific term is unfamiliar, my guess is that you use some form of this concept to be productive and achieve your goals.

Take the example above, using effort and result as the two axis of the graph.

By evaluating each quadrant, we can calculate a course of action to optimize a path toward the result we desire.

The Quotable Coach blog series tries to apply a similar approach by offering a nugget of wisdom in about a minute’s read, potentially providing significant value to the reader.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom could you apply today’s quote in your role as either a teacher or a student?

Please reply to this post to describe the value created.

“You don’t have to be sick to get better.”

“You don’t have to be sick to get better.”

—Hale Irwin, American professional golfer

Image from Unsplash by Morgan David de Lossy

Golf has become one of the go-to sports given COVID-19 and our need for social distancing. Being in the fresh air and walking or riding in a golf cart solo allows players to enjoy natural beauty, be with friends, and engage in a game that can never quite be mastered.

I recently heard the story of a fan watching legendary golfer Hale Irwin practicing on the range following one of his many career wins, where he shared today’s quote. Clearly he was driven by the desire within most of us for the goal of continuous improvement and personal mastery.

EXERCISE:

Where can and will you continue to practice and apply your most committed efforts to take an aspect of your life from good to great?

Please share this intention with a coach or two who would be delighted to support your efforts to get better.

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.”

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.”

—Neil De Grasse Tyson, American Astrophysicist

Image from Unsplash by Jason Leung

The world idolizes winners. Examine the media and you will find countless examples from game shows, reality TV, sports, social media icons, and even speakers, leaders, and coaches.

Who sits at the top of the list of super achievers in your personal and professional communities?

In recent weeks I’ve been paying even closer attention to my daughter Rachel and my grandson Weston. Beyond learning his numbers, letters, shapes, and colors, he is in new territory with potty training.

If you’ve experienced this right of passage with children and grandchildren, you know that there are far more mishaps than successes in the early stages.

EXERCISE:

Where is it time to give out far more “A’s” for effort and supportive encouragement in your world? Where and from whom could you most benefit from a booster shot of encouragement?

“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.”

“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.”

—Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Take a few minutes to reflect on your level of confidence regarding your personal and professional skills, abilities, and talents.

In which areas are you most or least confident?

Examine the levels of effort, practice, and overall experience you have put forth in each of these areas.

What factors seem to be most associated with higher versus lower confidence?

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional matter would a surplus of effort increase your effectiveness and your confidence?

What actions can and will you take to do just that?

“People can’t jump on your bandwagon if it’s parked in the garage.”

“People can’t jump on your bandwagon if it’s parked in the garage.”

—Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert, Author, Communications Strategist

Image by Freekee, in the Public Domain

The term bandwagon first appeared in a book about P.T. Barnum, the famous circus promoter.

Back in the 1850s, a circus made a showy parade through town before they set up. The bright and ornamental wagons were always part of the parade, meant to attract villagers. Musicians were always included, so their arrival could be heard and seen for considerable distances.

What ideas, causes, missions, or purposes do you wish to share with the villagers in your personal and professional communities?

What are you currently doing to broadcast your energy and excitement so that others will climb aboard and join your parade?

EXERCISE:

Where are you still in the garage with your idea and vision? How can and will you strike up the band so that others can jump aboard?

“Argue as if you are right and listen as if you are wrong.”

“Argue as if you are right and listen as if you are wrong.”

—Chip Conley, American hotelier, author, and speaker

Image from Unsplash by Maria Krisanova

We all desire autonomy. We all wish to be heard and to have what we say make an impact and influence our world. To do that, we must voice our thoughts and opinions, sometimes loudly.

After all, speaking about the future well beyond our current reality may never be noticed if we are silent or only whisper our views to avoid a ruckus.

We have two ears and one mouth. Our creator must have known that we would need to hear other’s voices that might be contrary to our own, and consider the possibility of our own views being incorrect.

EXERCISE:

To what degree do you currently speak up and argue for what you believe?

How carefully and completely do you currently listen to others, given the potential for being wrong?

In which of these areas and with whom would an extra effort make the biggest difference?

“Setting your intentions is like drawing an arrow…”

“Setting your intentions is like drawing an arrow from the quiver of your heart.”

—Bruce Black, American writer, teacher, and poetry judge

Image from Unsplash by Bianca Berg

The modern expression, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is a proverb first published in the mid 1800s in Henry G. Bohn’s Handbook of Proverbs. An alternative form is, “Hell is full of good meanings, but Heaven is full of good works.”

In 2004, Dr. Wayne Dyer published The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way, which is one of my personal favorites.

EXERCISE:

What are your intentions for 2020?

How many heart-based efforts do you intend to realize, personally and professionally?

How may arrows will you let fly?