“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”
Image from Unsplash by The New York Public Library
The world recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon.
It is interesting to note that many of the first pioneers into space pointed to the fragility of the earth and how vital it is for all of us to be better stewards of our precious planet.
We are so often enthralled by the big picture that we can fail to pay attention to what is right before us, as today’s quote implies.
Did you know that the human eye is so sensitive that if you were standing on a mountain top on a dark night, you could see a candle flame flickering up to 30 miles away? The height of the mountain would remove the impact of the earth’s curvature.
We can also sense the light from the Andromeda Galaxy, composed of about a trillion stars and located an amazing 2.6 million light-years from Earth.
Yet how often do we not see what is right in front of us?
Regardless of how far you can see, what are some of your top personal, professional, and even global priorities that need your best efforts?
“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?
“There’s no ceiling on effort.”
—Harvey C. Fruehauf, President of HCF Enterprises
Image from Canva
Are you at the absolute pinnacle of success in all areas of life? If you answered “no,” or “not really,” today’s quote may get you a bit closer to your goals.
I’ll share with you three key attributes to success I learned from a wise coach and mentor early in my life, when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales person.
It uses the acronym: A.S.K. to point to the elements that lie within us or that can be developed to reach higher levels of achievement in virtually any are we desire.
The “A” stands for activity. It points us to the fact that the level of effort we put forth on any particular task is up to us. I like the idea that there is no ceiling or limit placed on us, and that through persistence, tenacity, and grit, we can all achieve far more of what we most desire.
It is through such massive efforts we can progress on to the “S” and “K,” which stand for skills and knowledge.
Where and on what important personal or professional goal can and will you raise the ceiling on your current efforts to gain the skills and knowledge to reach new levels of success?
“Anybody who is not pulling his weight is probably pushing his luck.”
—Adi Da Samraj, 20th Century American spiritual teacher
Image from Unsplash by Stijn Swinnen
Consider the following three aspects of your life, and determine your level of effort, success, and satisfaction:
Examine how often you put in the time, focus, and heavy lifting to achieve your goals in each area.
Consider those around you with sluggish careers, failing relationships, and poor or diminished health. What do you observe regarding their efforts?
Where would pulling more of your weight bring you greater luck and good fortune in these are other important aspects of your life?
What actions will you take today to put on some more muscle, to tone up your life?
“All rising to great place is by a winding stair.”
—Sir Francis Bacon, 16th Century Lord Chancellor of England
Image from MTM
When I was a young boy, my family took a trip to New York City to see some sights and take in a show at Radio City Music Hall. We also had a fancy meal that included chocolate mousse in an edible chocolate shell. This was a very big deal even though we lived nearby in Philadelphia.
A highlight of our visit was walking up the winding staircase to the crown of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, to view the harbor and the New York City skyline.
I distinctly remember the aching and burning in my legs as we climbed to this extraordinary vantage point.
What current or future staircases are you climbing – or will you climb – to reach the great places you intend to go? What will make the considerable effort worth the winding journey?
“You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.”
—George Burns, 20th Century comedian and actor
Image from New York Daily News
George Burns the actor, writer, singer, and perhaps most notably, comedian, was a bit of an expert on aging. He lived to be 100. His career spanned over 75 year in vaudeville, radio, and even film, where at the age of 79, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 1975 film, The Sunshine Boys.
Along with his comedic wit, George must have been an efficiency expert, looking to squeeze all the value out of his efforts, even along the short journey down to tie his shoes.
Where would a “work smarter, not harder” approach to your daily efforts make the biggest difference in the days, weeks, months, and years to come?
“You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”
Image from Unsplash by Tommy Lisbin
Over the years, I’ve posted many times about climbing to the top of one’s personal and professional mountains, to reach the pinnacle of success.
Moving a mountain is a considerable twist on the subject. It implies that an immovable object or enormous barrier must be shifted, not simply climbed.
Where and on what mountainous project or endeavor is it time to dig in, one shovelful at a time, to pass freely to the other side?
How can and will your efforts demonstrate for others what may be possible for them if they were to dig into their own mountainous barriers?
Here is another post about moving mountains.
“It’s not enough that we do our best. Sometimes we have to do what’s required.”
—Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1940 – 1945
How do you define “Doing Your Best”?
Perhaps it involves working long hours, working till you’re exhausted, till you have nothing left in your physical, mental, or emotional tanks.
What if this best effort is still insufficient to produce the outcome you desire? What options, often hidden from view, are available to somehow find a way?
Churchill’s quote creates a provocative coaching question:
The openness of this question will likely have you inquire and explore efforts beyond your personal best to tap into people and resources previously not considered.
Where in your world is your personal best not enough to achieve a particular goal or outcome?
How would exploring what is actually required in this situation lead you to a solution previously hidden, or not considered?