FRIDAY REVIEW: HABITS

FRIDAY REVIEW: HABITS

How are the habits you’ve developed supporting your growth? Here are a few habit-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Habit is the daily battleground of character.”

 

 

 

 

“To strengthen the muscle of your heart the best exercise is lifting someone else’s spirit when you can.”

 

 

 

 

“I’ll take good habits over good luck.”

 

 

 

 

“Our mortality ironically is a life coach.”

“Our mortality ironically is a life coach.”

Mo Gawdat Solve for Happy

Image from Unsplash by Benjamin Sharpe

When I was a young boy I was fortunate to go to Camp Indian Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. My father was the camp Director and as one of his perks, the whole family had a two-month vacation each year.

On Saturday evenings, there was a movie and each camper was given five tickets to exchange for candy to eat during the film — and perhaps to keep us from talking! Deciding what treats were worth two or three tickets seemed monumental back then.

Time, in many ways, represents the tickets we are given to experience the sweet and sour patches of our lives. Not knowing just how many tickets we have left makes our life choices even more important and urgent.

EXERCISE:

How can recognizing your own mortality help coach you to make the best possible life choices with the precious tickets remaining?

“Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year.”

“Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Christopher Lemercier

Winters in Michigan can be pretty cold and overcast. Not much is blooming these days, and it felt like we missed spring and summer altogether in 2020.

How has the past year treated you?

Where did things continue to bloom, and where did your world seem cloud-covered and cold?

Just as the earth continues to circle the sun, we must accept the seasons of life as they come, and do what we can to keep the seeds of the coming season ready for planting.

EXERCISE:

Where is greater patience with yourself and world most needed?

What steps can you take today to prepare for the flowers and fruits of the future?

“Work is the natural expression of human life.”

“Work is the natural expression of human life.”

—The Rebbe, Menachem Mender Schneerson

Image from nationalgeographic.com

Who are Chip and Agnes Hailstone? What do they have in common with Sue Aikens, Andy Basic, Rico DeWild, and Jessie Holmes?

They’re the primary cast members of the National Geographic documentary series, Life Below Zero.

These hardy, hard-working people living in remote areas of Alaska find tremendous satisfaction through their challenging lifestyle, which often tests them to their limits.

How do you feel after a good day’s work or when you see the fruits of your labor after a job well done?

Alternatively, how do you feel when life includes too much down time and leisure?

EXERCISE:

Pick up a copy of Michael Bungay Stainer’s book, Do More Great Work.

Toward A Meaningful Life by Simon Jacobson includes much more wisdom from the Rebbe’s long, hard working life. Please check it out.

“The opportunity to experience yourself differently is always available.”

“The opportunity to experience yourself differently is always available.”

—Yonger Mingyur Rinpoche, Tibetan teacher and Buddhist master

Image from Unsplash by Adam Hang

How much feedback do you receive on a regular basis from the people in your personal and professional communities?

What additional sources of feedback do you receive from your environment?

Are people clicking on your website, liking your social media posts, and returning your calls, texts, and emails? How do your pets respond to you when you walk in the door?

Outside sources of feedback can help us become more fully aware of our strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots.

Actively seeking such ways of experiencing yourself differently can significantly enhance your personal and professional growth efforts.

EXERCISE:

Listen to an audio or watch a video recording of yourself from a recent meeting. Schedule a performance review with your supervisor and compare your perceptions of yourself with theirs. Ask your significant other or members of your family how you are doing. Wait to have them fully express their thoughts and opinions. What do you plan to do with this information?

Friday Review: Failure

FRIDAY REVIEW: FAILURE

How do you define and react to failure? Here are a few failure-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

 

 

 

 

 

“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”

 

 

 

 

“If you call failures experiments, you can put them on your resume and claim them as achievements.”

 

 

 

“Counting other people’s sins does not make you a saint.”

“Counting other people’s sins does not make you a saint.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Tanner Mardis

What does it mean to live a good and meaningful life?
How important is it for you to be kind, thoughtful, generous, and of service?
Where do you see yourself on the saint-to-sinner spectrum of human behavior?

Many of us look at life and others with a critical eye. We often make comparisons to justify our predominate good-deed-doing status, and give ourselves pretty good marks on most days.

How many “brownie points” it takes to get into Heaven, no one knows. Keeping score of other’s sins is unlikely to increase your chances. Finding fault may actually be the type of sin we all should avoid.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you more fully express your values through virtuous actions?
Where and how can you more fully seek and find the saintly efforts within your personal and professional communities?

“The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearnings, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent.”

“The proper work of the mind is the exercise of choice, refusal, yearnings, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent.”

—Epictetus, Discourses

Image from Unsplash by Robina Weermeijer

In today’s quote, Epictetus suggests there are seven clear functions of the mind.

Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman break each of them down in the following manner in their book, The Daily Stoic:

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)

EXERCISE:

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.

“Not seeing results? Feel like giving up? Consider this: The last thing to grow on a fruit tree is the fruit.”

“Not seeing results? Feel like giving up? Consider this: The last thing to grow on a fruit tree is the fruit.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Jason Richard

Take a look at the past year. What was your level of productivity? What results were achieved and where did you come up short regarding your expectations? How often did you feel like giving up?

We all desire to see our actions pay off, and taste the sweet fruits of our efforts. We also know that sometimes the weather and circumstances of our lives can be harsh. Like trees, we sometimes need to conserve and reserve our energy to stay alive for the coming season.

EXERCISE:

Acknowledge yourself and others who found the courage and strength to withstand the elements of this past year, regardless of the harvest.

Consider picking up a copy of THE DIP (A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit and When to Stick), by Seth Godin.

“Every day is your day if you claim it.”

“Every day is your day if you claim it.”

—Iyanla Vanzant, American inspirational speaker

Image form Unsplash by Photologic

How much do you know about the California Gold Rush? Although about 750,000 pounds of gold were discovered, only a small percentage of the 300,000 people who participated in the rush found their fortune.

At the beginning of the rush, there were no property rights laws in the goldfields, and a system of “staking claims” was developed. James Wilson Marshall recalled his discovery while working to build a water-powered sawmill on January 24, 1848. He was noted as saying, “It made my heart thump.”

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully claim the richness in life by discovering the golden nuggets in each and every day? I hope you have a heart-thumping day!