“What is the part of yourself that you left behind to become the person you are today?”
—Deborah Anacona, Founder of the MIT Leadership Center
Image from Pinterest
Imagine that you are a lobster that is not on the menu of some local restaurant.
You are swimming in the ocean, doing what lobsters do.
To get to be a two pound or larger crustacean, you had to molt many times. Over the years, you broke out of your shell due to your continuous growth.
What constraining or limiting factors did you have to leave behind to reach this point?
What parts of yourself will need to grow – and what parts must be shed – to become the person you will be tomorrow?
“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”
—Wallace Stevens, 20th Century American Poet
Image from Unsplash by Delbert Pagayona
When I was a boy, one of my hobbies was maintaining a tropical fish tank with many varieties of brightly colored and various shaped species. In the early years, before they knew my level of commitment, my parents purchased a small set that included a ten-gallon tank.
As my interest grew, I graduated to more elaborate set-ups, which always involved a larger tank.
One thing I particularly enjoyed was that almost all fish species grew a bit larger in their expanded environments.
Examine some of the professional and personal containers in which you swim each day. How large is the container that supports your growth? Who are the individuals that influence your nature? What attitudes and behaviors do they exhibit?
“The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.”
Image from NorthTexasKids
Tomorrow is my grandson Weston’s first birthday. There are so many people in his life that want to celebrate this special day that my daughter rented a pavilion in a local park to accommodate everyone.
Watching the transformation of Weston’s body and brain this year through visits and video calls has been a delight. Rolling, crawling, cruising, and of course being carried and taken many places has revealed an exponential development of how he takes in and interacts with the world.
Where will your body take your brain today? What wonderful sights, experiences, and people will you meet to bring new lessons and growth opportunities into your life?
“Grow through what you go through.”
Image from Unsplash by Stas Ovsky
Compared to traditional school, life is a paradox. It gives you the test first, before you learn the lesson.
What are some of the most difficult things you have gone through in your life? You know – the things that challenged you physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually?
Take a moment to actually picture yourself before that experience, and look again at your capabilities today.
What time in your life are these memories from? To what degree have you experienced these tests and challenges professionally or personally in the past year?
Regardless of whether challenges seem to find you or you initiate your own life-stretching circumstances, how can you more fully acknowledge and appreciate more of these growth opportunities?
“Change is inevitable. Growth is Intentional.”
—Attributed to Glenda Cloud
Image from Cadillac Gardens
A somewhat recent movement in many cities is the community garden. Residents and community members take modest sized plots of land that have gone unused or, in many cases, represent urban decay, and renew them.
Over the years, most abandoned lots have changed for the worse through the proliferation of weeds, trash, and even vandalism.
To improve these areas, committed community activists and volunteers intentionally clean up the lots and begin flower and vegetable gardens to renew and beautify their towns.
Where can you intentionally bring a greater growth mindset to create the positive change you wish to bring to your world?
“Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”
—Susan Cain, Author of Quiet
Photo from Unsplash by Long Vang
Genetics versus Environment.
Nature versus Nurture.
What do these factors have to do with how each of us turns out along our life journey?
As a coach passionate about growth and development, I do my best to keep the lights of knowledge and the beacons of wisdom prominent in my world. My intent is to shine my best in each of my communities, with the goal of contributing to those around in a meaningful way.
How and in what ways can you “amp up” the environmental voltage to illuminate yourself and those around you so that everyone’s inherent qualities and talents shine even brighter?
“The Roller Coaster is my life…It’s mountaineering; It’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself.”
Image from Unsplash by Claire Satera
The full quote for today is:
“The roller coaster is my life; Life is a fast, dizzying game; Life is a parachute jump; It’s taking chances, falling over and getting up again; It’s mountaineering; It’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself.”
Based on this quote, you might think I am a massive risk taker, tempting life and limb on a daily basis. I’ve had my share of adventures along the way, but for the most part, I am a bit more of an introvert than you might guess.
I do, however, love the idea of wanting to get to the very top of oneself, base on those life mountains or even hills we choose to climb.
In what areas of your life do you have the greatest desire for growth and achievement? How and in what ways can you be a bit more bold and courageous to get to the top of yourself in these important life domains?
“You can’t grow yourself unless you know yourself.”
—John Maxwell, American Author on Leadership
Last year was my Big “60.” I read Daniel Pink’s new book, WHEN: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing recently. Pink points to certain dates, times, and even years in which people tend to embark on the more tectonic shifts in their lives.
My journey and exploration includes books, blogs, podcasts, and a year-long practice of daily meditation. With over 100 hours of quiet reflection, I am seeing more and more opportunities for growth in the hopeful years ahead.
What activities and efforts can and will you engage in today and in the years ahead to better “know yourself to grow yourself”?
“Keep a green tree in you heart and a singing bird may come.”
Image from Unsplash by Ray Hennessy
If you were a bird, what would cause you to visit a particular tree? Perhaps it was a good place to find food, protection from predators, or maybe a mate and a place to nest.
Your own song would be an announcement of sorts, letting the world know that you are here, looking to attract that special someone or something.
What are your heart-centered qualities that represent the growth and aliveness of a green tree?
What do you have to offer the world? Which of these qualities are most worth singing about?
“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.”
—Karle Wilson Baker, 20th Century American Poet
Image from Flickr by Dickson Phua
In the plant world, trees are among the most remarkable living creatures. In addition to being some of the largest and oldest living things, they have the ability to defy gravity. They reach toward the sky to absorb the sun’s energy, using it to make their own food through the process of photosynthesis.
I believe today’s quote points us to those tall, stand-out people within our personal or professional communities. These are the individuals we most admire and see as leaders who inspire us to stretch for our own greatest heights.
How and in what ways can you grow and stand even taller by walking with and associating with others who are stretching skyward toward the canopy of life?