“Opportunities are seldom labeled.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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?

“Is the work people pay for the work you want to do?”

“Is the work people pay for the work you want to do?”

—Bernadette Jiwa, global authority on business philosophy

Image of Bernadette Jiwa from thestoryoftelling.com

Today’s quote comes from a blog post Bernadette Jiwa wrote on August 21, titled “The Value Shift.” Check out her insightful work and website.

What is your answer to the question posed in today’s quote?

Are you a yes, a no, or a sometimes? What would it take to be a Hell Yes!?

Yes, we all have our responsibilities and commitments we sometimes feel we have to do, instead of want to do. But overall, to what degree is the work you actually do what you want to do?

EXERCISE:

What bold, courageous, and creative actions would it take to move the “no” or “sometimes” far closer to the “yes” you deeply desire?

Feel free to reply to this post with the actions you will take to have a far more rewarding life.

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”

—Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Clemens

Image from Unsplash by Fikri Rasyid

Consider your life as a roll of bathroom tissue.

When you are born you have 1,000 sheets to use. As the days, weeks, months and years pass, you begin to notice the roll is spinning faster. Perhaps you are now closer to the end of the roll than the beginning.

Consider the idea that rather than fretting that some or even many of those sheets have been wasted or lost, you still have the opportunity to make each moment of every day something to joyfully enjoy and celebrate.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you be far more intentional about making the most of each precious and beautiful day ahead?

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

—Morpheus, portrayed by Lawrence Fishburne in The Matrix

Image of Morpheus from Wikipedia

Morpheus was the Greek god of dreams. The Greek work “morphe” translates to “form” in English. Morpheus is, according to legend, the god who shapes and forms our dreams.

Although most people dream, for some reason many of us seem to forget them, including the insights they may provide, when we wake.

One strategy to consider is to keep a notepad near your bedside to fully capture the ideas and insights you wish to act upon.

EXERCISE:

What insight, dream, or priority matters are you still “in the think” about? When will you begin taking action to walk the path to realize your dream?

“Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.”

“Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.”

—Dame J. Iris Murdoch, 20th Century British novelist

Image from Unsplash by Jayden Brand

In the book, Factfulness, I was introduced to the concept of Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 societies. The primary mode of transportation in a Level One society is walking. In many cases, the people may not even have shoes to wear out in their daily endeavors.

As members of a Level 4 society—given that you are reading this post by email or on social media—you are probably doing far less walking these days.

We may want to look for other signs of wear that demonstrate our propensity to take action.

EXERCISE:

What are some examples of things that wear out and need repair or replacement due to the significant level of action you take to better your world?

Please reply to this post to share the evidence and examples you discovered.

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

Image created in Canva

As part of my customized Personal Excellence Training — which sets the stage for the majority of coaching engagements — I introduce a self-coaching tool called “The Pivot Point.”

This technique uses the concept of “creative tension” described by Robert Fritz in his book, The Path of Least Resistance.

Essentially, the pivot point involves asking yourself — or perhaps a group — these three questions:

  1. What is the current reality?
  2. What is the vision or goal?
  3. What actions can and will I/we take to move forward?

The leverage of our vision provides the impetus to move forward, and creates the opportunity to better our situation.

EXERCISE:

Select at least one personal or professional front-burner issue or project to try out the Pivot Point technique. Please consider replying to this post to let me know how things go.

“Step one is to start at step one.”

“Step one is to start at step one.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Pawel Janiak

Today’s quote, and the related statement, “Just Do It,” helped make Phil Knight (CEO of Nike) one of the wealthiest people in the world, with an estimated net worth of 34.7 billion.

I am sure you are thinking there were many, many steps on his and Nike’s journey to success, but it all started with that first step. From there, it was on to the second and third… and the wonders of momentum.

It is a fact that something in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force.

EXERCISE:

How often do you stop yourself before you even begin?

On what priority project are you procrastinating, or stopped in your tracks?

What one step will you take to begin the journey to realize what you desire?

Consider sharing this goal or objective with a friend, family member, mentor, or even reply to this post to let me know what you intend, and for added social support.

“Live a gentle, human-sized life.”

“Live a gentle, human-sized life.”

—Will Kestrel, kestralcreek.com

Image from Unsplash by Henning Witzel

Did you know that the United States population of 328,748,284 represents just 4.27% of the world population?

Despite our modest population footprint, the U.S. consumes 24% of the world’s energy, one third of the paper, and 27% of the aluminum.

If you do the math and all people around the world consumed resources as we do, we would need about six planet earths. Given the increasing global population and the fact that all nations are on a journey towards greater prosperity and quality of life, how can this continue?

EXERCISE:

Mahatma Gandhi once said that the world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed. What actions can and will you take – starting today – to live a more gentle, human-sized life?

Plant the seeds of beautiful ideas

“Plant the seeds of beautiful ideas in your mind and water them with belief and action.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a hand tending tiny plants

Image from Unsplash by Joshua Lanzarini

The X Prize Foundation’s tag line is “We Make the Impossible Possible by Incentivizing Great Minds to Make a Difference.”

The Foundation and its supporters believe that the solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges will only be reached through the ideation and realization of critical solutions by pioneering individuals and organizations around the world.

Some of the current projects include:

  • Discovering the mysteries of the deep sea
  • Empowering children to take control of their own learning
  • Transforming the lives of low-literacy adults
  • Transforming CO2 into valuable products

EXERCISE:

What beautiful ideas for a better world inspire you?

Regardless of the size and scope, how can your belief and motivation to act help you and others reap the harvest of a better world?

Friday Review on Action

FRIDAY REVIEW: ACTION

What prompts you to take action? Here are a few action-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full messages.

“The world will never discover a person who is hiding in the crowd.”

 

 

 

 

“It is hard to fly when something is weighing you down.”

 

 

 

 

“Don’t step over dollars to pick up a dime.”