“See limits on your resources as opportunities to get creative.”
Image from Unsplash by Jr Korpa
Growing up my family lived in a very modest row house in Philadelphia. My dad was a physical education teacher and my mom worked as a receptionist at Temple University Hospital.
The majority of our summers were spent at Camp Indian Lake in the Pocono Mountains, where my dad happily worked as the camp’s director. On hot summer days when we were home and before school was back in session, we were always looking for things to do. One day when I must have been getting on my mom’s last nerve, she handed me a plastic bucket filled with water and an old paint brush and told me to go outside and paint the cement wall and driveway out back. Given the scorching heat it took less than a minute for the water to evaporate and offer me another blank canvas for my artistic pursuits.
Where and how can and do your see limits on your resources as opportunities to get creative? Please reply to this post to share some examples from your own life that bring a smile to your face.
“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.”
—Tigger, The House at Pooh Corner
Image from disney.com
Running fast and climbing high are definitely part of any success journey. They represent the positive and affirming aspects of achievement and progress.
On the other hand, setbacks, stumbles, and outright failures beset us all. Quite often, we get the wind knocked out of us, leaving us reluctant to get up and bounce back into the game.
Where and on what issues do you need to be more “Tigger-like,” and bounce back to gain greater resiliency in your world?
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
—David Allen, American productivity consultant & author
Among the books I recommend most often to clients who are challenged with managing their professional and personal time is Getting Things Done by David Allen.
One of the critical insights I derived from his work was the idea that too many people use their minds and memories to hold too much information. It turns out that doing so makes most of us far less productive and also causes overwhelming feelings and considerable stress. Perhaps that is why the subtitle of this valuable book is “the art of stress-free productivity.”
Please pick up and study Getting Things Done, and do whatever you can to “have” ideas, but “hold” them in memory-keeping or commitment-keeping technologies, where they will be available to you in the moments you plan to work on them.
“I’m no longer sure what the question is, but I do know that that answer is ‘Yes.’”
—Leonard Bernstein, American composer, conductor, author, and pianist
One of my favorite and longest standing clients – a man named Stephen – was recently on vacation. This may not ordinarily be remarkable except that he and his family were in Antarctica. On Facebook he posted the ultimate “Ice Bucket Challenge,” by jumping into the frigid waters of the Antarctic Ocean.
How many of us would have said “Yes” to such an experience?
Stephen and I have worked together for 19 years. I admire and respect his “Yes!” attitude and intention to be fully alive.
Examine the opportunities that lie in front of you today, professionally and personally. Where would saying “Yes” and leaping into your own life waters help you live an even more extraordinary life?
Consider picking up a copy of A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, to explore the writings of Donald Miller, another individual who chose to say “Yes.”
“It is hard to fly when something is weighing you down.”
My health club is one of the largest in the region. It includes all the regular exercise facilities you might expect, plus some extras such as tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pools, and even a climbing wall.
I’ve noticed some of the fittest and most competitive athletes adding extra weights to their ankles or waists, to weigh themselves down and make their normal athletic efforts even more difficult.
When they remove them and are no longer weighted down, they experience a lightness and an added strength that lets them fly a bit higher and further.
Identify the circumstances and issues that weigh you down.
How can you use these personal and professional challenges as a resource to build your capacity to fly once you remove them completely from your life?
“I not only use the brains I have, I use all the brains I can borrow.”
– Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States
We have all heard the phrase, “two heads are better than one.” Research on this subject demonstrates this is a general truism in which there is a high degree of openness and communication regarding individual perspective and points of view.
However, in cases where this openness and collaborative communication is missing, or less than optimal, more brains can actually produce worse results.
Consider picking up a copy of Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats to support both your own individual and group collective thinking.
This is a great example of putting on your thinking cap (or hat). 😉
Reply to this message if you’d like a one-page summary of de Bono’s tool.
“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.”
– John Ruskin, 19th century English artist and philanthropist
I am a work in progress. How about you? With the wide variety of daily experiences we all have, I believe that we are constantly evolving and becoming a fuller expression of ourselves.
We all work each day to earn the compensation that allows us to care for ourselves and others. Ruskin’s quote, however, points to the less recognized and often subtle developments that accompany such experiences.
Explore how your daily efforts further your journey toward more fulfilling relationships, enhance creativity, expand greater self-esteem, support vibrant health, and extend your pursuit of wisdom.
How are you going beyond your basic psychological and physiological needs to pursue your own self-actualization? Consider Googling Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to explore this concept in more depth.