“The purpose of education is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.”
—James Baldwin, 20th Century American author
Image from Unsplash by Kyle Glenn
It’s pretty common at this point in the year for people to continue wishing each other a happy new year. I feel comfortable doing so even into early February.
As the days after the winter solstice become slightly longer and we pine for an early spring, many of us hope that 2023 will be a better and brighter year.
What were some of the most significant decisions you made in 2022?
How did they influence where you are today and the trajectory of the months ahead?
Perhaps it may be time to head back to school and expand your educational opportunities.
Instead of—or in additional to—formal schooling, please be sure to enroll in the “university of you.”
Consider creating your own personal and professional curriculum.
What would you like to learn? Who will be your teachers?
How might the lessons learned help you look more closely at the world and make even better decisions moving forward?
“In the game of life, there’s no high score list, but you never want to languish on level one.”
—Jay Shetty, life coach and former Hindu monk
Image from Unsplash by Erik Mclean
I’ve never been a big fan of video games. Except for space invaders and PAC Man many years ago, I never seemed to get the rush of leveling up in the multitude of games and systems that came after.
I have, however, always been interested in the game of life and the pursuit of growth and achievement. Tackling some worthy objective that filled my desire to learn and feel purposeful always had me want to take the next steps in my capabilities and impact.
Where do you have a keen desire to level up and build on your current abilities?
How can you measure your progress in these areas with your own inner scoreboard?
“If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?”
Image from Unsplash by Kenny Eliason
We are all works in progress if we choose to be.
From the day we are born, we have the capacity to take in all types of inputs and mix them with our previous experiences. This ongoing journey helps us become a better version of ourselves.
When it comes to our prized abilities and qualities, we all likely have some level of competency.
What qualities and personal characteristics do you value most?
How would you rate yourself in these areas?
Where can and will you choose to focus your attention and efforts today?
“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.”
—Roy L. Smith, 20th Century American Clergyman
Image from Unsplash by Samuel Giacomelli
Heat treatment is the process of heating and cooling metals to change their micro-structure and to bring out the physical and mechanical characteristics that make them more desirable.
Before modern metalworking techniques were invented, blacksmiths used heat to make metal more workable in forming them into the shapes they desired and in making them stronger.
Where can and will you apply the fires of greater personal and professional discipline to expand your talents into more masterful abilities?
“We learn by pushing ourselves and finding out what lies at the outer reaches of our abilities.”
—Josh Waitzkin, American chess prodigy and author
Image from Unsplash by JanFillem
Did you know that only about one in five people meet the total recommended amount of exercise?
Of particular relevance is renewed interest in strength and resistance training. The stretching and stresses on our muscles cause micro-tears in the tissue, which then actually heals and grows even stronger.
This growth and increase in muscle mass has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism by up to 15%. That helps with weight loss, or at least a reduction in body fat.
In what areas of interest would a few more cerebral push-ups help you stretch and grow beyond your current perceived abilities?
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
Image from worldonafork.com
How often do you find yourself or others in your life waiting to be inspired by some outside source? During his 75-year career, Pablo Picasso created 13,500 paintings, 100,000 graphic prints or engravings, 34,000 book illustrations, and 300 sculptures and ceramic pieces. He was also a stage designer, poet, and playwright.
To say he was a man of action is a massive understatement. He was definitely an individual who used his propensity for action and ever-present momentum to continually inspire creative expressions of his genius.
How can you find greater inspiration through the various personal or professional work projects underway? What additional work could more fully utilize your gifts, talents, and unique abilities to inspire even more of your own genius?
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.”
Photo from Flickr by Martin Heigan
Where in your professional or personal life are you leaning too much on the help and support of others? How would you cope and adjust if their support were suddenly withdrawn? Do you have a “Plan B”?
A dual strategy to proactively address such scenarios is to sit more lightly on the branches of others, and of course, exercise your own wings to fly solo when necessary.
Where in your life could you strengthen your capacity, trust your own abilities, and operate more independently?
How could you be a branch to support others, when needed, as they develop their ability to fly on their own?
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”
-Vince Lombardi, American football coach
Photo from Flickr by Jeff Kubina
Readers of The Quotable Coach series have learned, over the years, of my passion for cooking. I have been described, from time to time, as an “army cook” who can take a variety of ingredients from my fridge and make them into something tasty.
Recently I learned about a number of websites and apps that do the same, with an almost unlimited number of tasty combinations. On myfridgefood.com, you simple select the items you have on hand, press enter, and find yourself with a handful (or more) of options to try.
Examine your “cupboard” of knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents. How can they be combined with the spices and seasonings of your other positive qualities? What tasty recipes can you come up with for your professional and personal success?