How do you prepare your mind and body for the task at hand? Establishing simple repeatable rituals can help.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by TJ Dragotta
Are you a basketball fan? Did you watch any or all of the madness in March? If so, you are probably familiar with some of the pre-shot routines players use before each free throw. Close your eyes and picture the number of ball bounces, deep breaths, and other gestures of your favorite players.
Where in your world do you engage in simple repeatable rituals to help you remain calm, centered, and focused on the task at hand?
Consider looking at the example of others who perform at the highest levels and see what they do to be their best.
Begin your day with slow, calming activities. Like a car on a cold morning, you need some time to warm your engine before you put your day into drive.
Image from Unsplash by Cody Black
In athletics we all know that we should stretch and warm up our muscles before the game begins to improve performance and avoid injury.
How much time do you give yourself to warm up your engine before you hit the gas pedal of your days?
Few of us take enough time to fully prepare ourselves for the day ahead. After a few slams of the snooze button and a little personal hygiene, many people leap into action with only something caffeinated “for the road.”
With the cooler months ahead, how can you make it a point to start your day with a few more calming activities to warm you up for the daily trip ahead?
Choice: to do and think right
Refusal: of temptation
Yearning: to be better
Repulsion: of negativity, of bad influences, and what isn’t true
Preparation: for what lies ahead or whatever might happen
Purpose: our guiding principles and highest priorities
Assent: to be free of deception about what is inside and outside our control (and be ready to accept the latter)
Consider printing this post out to work on and think through one of these functions of the mind each day. This exercise could be a crash course in Stoicism in itself.
To what degree does your company or organization offer a well-defined career path?
Prior to entering the working world, many of us in the Baby Boomer generation experienced an educational system that was very linear and predictable. This approach won’t work for our 21st century workforce, and thankfully, things are changing.
For all of us, especially members of our younger generations, there will likely be far more zig-zagging, climbing, and leaping due to the exponential nature of change occurring in our world. Continuous learning of new and diverse skills will be an absolute necessity for motivated and hard-working people to reach the top levels in their chosen fields.
How can you, your colleagues and perhaps most importantly, your children and other young people be better prepared and engaged in navigating the jungle gyms of their current and future vocational playgrounds?
“Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.”
—Mattie J.T. Stepanek, late American child poet & agent of peace
Image of Mattie Stepanek from oprah.com
What is the best time to plant a tree? If you’ve heard this question before, you know the answer is something on the order of, “25 years ago.”
The typical follow-up question to this riddle is, “What is the next best time to plant a tree?” The answer is, of course, “Today!”
Those of us who desire a more fruitful future continually look for and take the next step that will begin or continue the journey. In this way, we can realize the future that may initially seem far away.
What specific seeds will you plant within your community efforts today? Better yet, what will you do right now to make this possible future a reality?
“Life is amazing, and the teacher had best prepare himself to be a medium for that amazement.”
—Edward Blishen, 20th Century British author
Image from Unsplash by Amanda Dalbjorn
Have you heard of Sam Horn? If not, look her up, and strongly consider reading her newsletter and books.
She often shares a concept she calls The Eyebrow Test, which refers to the ideas, concepts, and life events that literally make your eyebrows move upward, demonstrating great interest, or in the case of today’s quote, amazement.
How and in what ways can you more fully engage in your own life to experience far more raised eyebrows of amazement?
How can you share such moments or help others in your world experience greater amazement through your potential roles as teacher, mentor, parent, or coach?
“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.”
-Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company
Image from Flickr by Jun
Get Ready! Get Set! Go! …. Announcers of so many races use this phrase!
Perhaps as a child you raced with friends on the playground. I recall numerous events in which a particular race was deemed “unfair” by a participant or two. Their exact words, when complaining about the unfairness were, “I wasn’t ready!”
What are some of the most important life races in your professional or personal worlds? What extra effort can and will you make to be fully ready when it is time to go?