Friday Review: Initiative

FRIDAY REVIEW: INITIATIVE

How do you determine what needs to be done? Here are a few initiative-related posts you may have missed.

 

 

“All man’s gains are the fruit of venturing.”

 

 

 

“Initiative is to success what a lighted match is to a candle.”

 

 

 

 

“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. And the first to forget is the happiest.”

 

 

 

 

“Revolutions are ideal times for soldiers with a lot of wit – and the courage to act.”

“Revolutions are ideal times for soldiers with a lot of wit – and the courage to act.”

Napoleon Bonaparte, 18th Century French Emperor and Military Leader

Image from Unsplash by Jessica Felicio

I recently saw a video keynote speech by David Burkus on the topic of how great teams find a purpose around which to rally.

In addition to using excellent examples of well-known organizations to make his points, he also used a few historical samples of powerful revolutions that galvanized communities, countries, and the world.

He suggests that we can all dig deeper than the core values or mission statements hanging in organization headquarters or above executive desks to discover our sacred values worth fighting for.

We are all allies in the sacred crusade to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and combat racism around the world.

EXERCISE:

Where and how are you and others soldiers in your various communities bringing your wit and courage to act in these fights? How can and will you rally even more allies in these efforts?

“Be your own compass.”

“Be your own compass.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by AbsolutVision

To what degree have you felt lost over the past several months?

Where did you once have clarity in your life, and to what extent do things now seem to be foggy?

Now is the time to be your own compass, to verify your “True North” and set forth with more confidence and commitment.

What are the values, beliefs, and priorities that generate the magnetic field within you, keeping you on course regardless of small or mountainous issues along the way?

EXERCISE:

How do you know when you are on the right path?

What personal or professional adjustments will you make today to better follow your own inner compass?

“Don’t wait for inspiration.”

“Don’t wait for inspiration.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Alex Sheldon

Waking up this morning, I was not particularly inspired to leap out of my warm, cozy bed to meditate, take my daily walk, or for that matter, begin writing today’s Quotable Coach post.

I did all those things anyway.

Consider counting the times in the past week that you felt the urge to take on a particular task or activity.

Take this little test: On a one-to-ten scale, rate each of the activities on this list as “inspirational”:

  • Making your bed
  • Daily hygiene efforts
  • Preparing (hopefully healthy) meals
  • Household chores such as laundry
  • Mowing the lawn & other yard work
  • Paying bills
  • Daily exercise
  • Going to work

Given your responses, is it a wonder we ever get out of bed at all?

If you have children and ask them to help with some of those activities – or simply to do their homework and clean their rooms – what responses do you get? What seems to mobilize us to action is our commitments and not our comfort.

EXERCISE:

How might a shift from “I have to” to an “I get to” perspective help you achieve a more inspired life?

“Take a massive baby step.”

“Take a massive baby step.”

—Liz Wiseman, Author Of Multipliers

Image from Unsplash by David Straight

There is something about oxymorons – such as the one presented in today’s quote – that appeals to me. A few that always get me thinking are:

  • Awful Good
  • Bittersweet
  • Crash Landing
  • Original Copy
  • Student Teacher
  • Working Vacation

And of course, my favorite: JUMBO SHRIMP.

Placing these contrary terms next to one another causes me to ponder life’s inherent conflicts and incongruities.

As a coach, I often encourage my clients to take the first steps toward their goals and objectives. Once they overcome inertia, the momentum of the first baby steps often lead to the next and then the next.

EXERCISE:

What area of your personal or professional life might call for a massive baby step?

What might life look like from where you stand once you do?

Consider seeking the help of a close friend, family member, mentor, or coach for added support.

Friday Review: Ambition

Friday Review: Ambition

How ambitious are you? Here are a few ambition-related posts you may have missed.

 

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”

 

 

 

“We remain young to the degree that our ambitions are greater than our memories.”

 

 

 

“Don’t aim for consistently heroic efforts. Aim for being heroic at consistency.”

 

 

 

 

“Condense it and Present it.”

“Condense it and Present it.”

—Author Unknown

Whether we like it or not, our attention spans are shrinking.

My first attempts at blogging – around nine years ago – met with very modest success. I even found it difficult to attract the eyeballs and minds of family and friends on a consistent basis.

The people closest to me simply told me that my post took them a few minutes to read and their time was in short supply — OUCH!

When I took a close look at what I tended to read and make time for, I too found that a shorter, tighter, get-to-the-point format fit with my “snacking” approach to consuming certain forms of information.

It turned out that in some situations the “sound bite” garnered greater attention and often stuck with people. That became the foundation of The Quotable Coach: Thought-provoking ideas presented as a Quote, a Commentary and an Exercise you can explore in about a minute.

EXERCISE:

Where in your personal and professional communication efforts would a Condense It and Present It approach work best?

“If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that little shall be much.”

“If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that little shall be much.”

—Hesiod, ancient Greek poet

I recently reviewed Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. During the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, I wanted to feel that doing what appeared to be little or even nothing might prove beneficial beyond saving myself or others from exposure to the virus.

Ryan recommends little steps of stillness related to the domains of body, mind, and spirit. His examples include the story of Winston Churchill taking up bricklaying during a very demanding time of intense work and stress. The slow process of mixing mortar and stacking bricks was just the thing he needed to keep his body busy while allowing his mind to unwind.

EXERCISE:

Where might the process of introducing small mind, body, or spiritual activities/rituals to your day result in much more than you might expect?

Feel free to reply to this post with the practices that work best for you.

“Govern thy life and thy thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other.”

“Govern thy life and thy thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other.”

—Thomas Fuller, 17th Century English Churchman/Historian

Image from Unsplash by Deniz Göçmen

What have you been doing these days? What have you been thinking about over the past few months? How pleased are you by what you and the world are seeing in your efforts and overall character?

Comparing oneself to others can be a slippery slope with a considerable down side. But examining the best qualities of others can be an excellent form of coaching by the example certain individuals set for us to emulate.

Look for the qualities of generosity, compassion, empathy, kindness, and courage as these individuals navigate their days to serve their communities while – hopefully – taking care of their own well being.

EXERCISE:

When you look in the mirror tonight, observe how pleased you feel about how you spent your day. What tweaks or significant adjustments to your actions and thinking will generate greater satisfaction when you look in the mirror tomorrow?

“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

—Sir Tom Stoppard, British playwright and screenwriter

How has your life changed over the last few months? Where have you exited from the familiar aspects of your pre-COVID-19 life, into uncharted waters? What have you done to right your ship and chart your course forward as you enter each new day?

A tool coaches often use with their clients in the development of goals is called the Wheel of Life, in which each spoke represents a priority in one’s life. The list can be modified based on your areas of greatest importance:

• Family • Relationships • Health • Finance • Adventure
• Spirituality/Faith • Work/Profession • Community • Personal Growth • Learning

EXERCISE:

Consider discussing your own life priorities with family, friends, colleagues, mentors, a coach, or other trusted adviser to more fully explore your own transitioning efforts of exits and new entrances.

How can the support of these individuals help you live a more full and meaningful life?