“You don’t need clarity on the rest of your life, just on what’s next in your life.”
—Sam Horn, Motivational Keynote Speaker
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In my Coaching Discovery process, I ask prospective clients to rate their level of agreement, on a scale of one (low) to five (high), with the following statement:
“I have a clear view of where I am and where I want to go in life.”
Virtually no one rates themselves five, and most give themselves a score of three or less.
Sam Horn suggests, on one of her recent posts, that we can all use what she calls “The Four I’s” to add greater clarity to navigating a more fulfilling and successful life. They are:
- Instincts: What does your gut say?
- Interests: What are your talents, skills, and unique abilities?
- Integrity: What life choices are most aligned with your core values and priorities?
- Initiative: How can you proactively reach out to an individual or organization that is doing work you admire and respect?
Explore The Four I’s with a coach, close friend, or professional colleague whose perspective you value to help you see more clearly what’s next for you.
“Opportunities are seldom labeled.”
—John A. Shedd, 19th Century American author and professor
For most of my life, I have been fascinated by the subject of personal and professional success.
I’ve read hundreds of books, attended dozens of seminars and conferences, and can hardly count the number of blog posts, podcasts, and TED talks I’ve explored.
In his book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker digs into the science of success, to mess a bit with the conventional and unconventional wisdom on this subject.
One seemingly universal tenet of success does, however, point to the idea of taking massive action and trying many things along the way to stir up far more possibilities and opportunities to pursue.
To what degree are you waiting or being too passive, hoping for an opportunity to reveal itself?
Where would taking far more action and trying many more things help you bark up and climb the right trees for you?
“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”
—C.S. Lewis, 20th Century British author
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Today’s quote has a bit of a passive quality for me. In a recent article, Michael Simmons points out the considerable downside of a passive approach by describing a term he coined “The Five Hour Rule” a few years ago. Through his research of the most successful people in the world he discovered a pattern: They all devoted at least five hours a week to deliberate learning, to ensure long-term success.
His work demonstrates that in maintaining only our current knowledge, about 50% will become outdated within a decade. He points out that each of us will need to learn five hours a week just to stay up-to-date in our current fields, and more if we want to get ahead.
Most of us know that we all forget a significant portion of what we learn, but did you know that facts in many fields of study have a half-life where previous knowledge can no longer be found in scientific citations?
Consider where the fields of artificial intelligence, app development, social media management, driverless cars and cloud computing will be even a few years from now. None of these fields existed 15 years ago.
How and in what ways can and will you invest at least five hours each week on intentional learning?
Consider checking out Michael Simmons article by reading “The Math Behind the Five Hour Rule.”
“Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.”
—Robert Collier, 20th Century author of metaphysical books
Image from theconversation
Think back to when you were small, watching your favorite cartoon. For me, it was Saturday mornings with Looney Tune characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
Can you recall an episode or two in which your favorite character is faced with the pivotal choice of good versus bad, or perhaps a “Yes, you can!” versus “No, you can’t!” coming from an angelic or devilish character standing on opposite shoulders?
Through science and technology, it has recently been determined that the energies associated with our optimistic and positive beliefs actually correlate to better outcomes in our lives.
How can you increase your chances of personal and professional success by exercising and building your angelic belief muscle on a daily basis?
“Our life is to be like a river, not a reservoir.”
Image from Unsplash by Nathan Anderson
Potential energy versus kinetic energy… what’s the difference? How do these concepts relate to dams and the generation of hydroelectric power?
What are other examples in our society in which we amass a resource because it represents a reservoir of potential power? If you need a clue, consider looking at the stock exchange, the commodities market, or even your kitchen pantry.
The key to success is the flow, trade, exchange, and movement of these resources that actually turns the gears of society to hopefully better the world for all of us.
Consider picking up a copy of Lynne Twist’s book, The Soul of Money, to examine the importance of the flowing nature of this man-made tool to better our world.
Where else would living life like a river and not a reservoir lead to greater happiness and success?
“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.
“Who can you give the credit to, before you take some for yourself?”
—Michael Bungay Stainer, Founder of Box of Crayons
Harry S. Truman once said, “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.”
The classic book, Good to Great by Jim Collins supports this idea as a critical characteristic of what he calls Level 5 Leadership. Collins found, through extensive research, that the focus on the success of others rather than on one’s own contributions and accomplishments were key attributes for those who achieved breakthrough results.
Who in your professional or personal communities has earned and deserves far more credit than they are currently given? When will you recognize and reward their significant contribution – today, and on an ongoing basis?
“Regret for time wasted can become a power for good in the time that remains.”
—Arthur Brisbane, 20th Century American Newspaper Editor
Image from Unsplash by Matthew Henry
How many more years do you expect to live, given your current health status and general life expectancy statistics?
How delighted, satisfied, disappointed or regretful are you regarding your current levels of professional and personal accomplishments?
I’ve found that virtually everyone I coach has a heightened sense of urgency, wanting to squeeze even more out of the time they have remaining.
For whatever the reason, they often seek out the support of a coaching relationship to achieve more, at a faster rate, than they have experienced up to the current moment.
The time we all have on this earth is limited. How will you maximize the use of what remains in order to achieve the success and significance you desire?
“We would rather have one man or woman working with us than three merely working for us.”
—J. Danby Day, per Forbes Magazine
Image from Zimbio
When it comes to the subjects of leadership and management, one of my biggest pet peeves is the word “Boss.”
I find myself squirming, often downright repulsed by the idea of one person managing an individual or team through the “top-down / command-and-control” manner conveyed by this word.
My 35+ years of experience working for public and private companies have shown me that people are far more fulfilled, empowered, satisfied and successful when they work with one another rather than for others.
Because of the feeling of contributing to a community, people experience a heightened sense of impact and purpose, knowing they are truly valued.
How can you become a more masterful leader, manager, and coach in your professional and personal communities so people gravitate and look forward to working with you?
“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?