“On the other side of the door of uncertainty is a room of wisdom.”
—Chip Conley, American hospitality entrepreneur, author, and speaker
I recently reviewed Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein. The subtitle is: The Gentle Art of Asking instead of Telling, which as a coach, had a great deal of appeal to me. Some key take-aways include:
- Asking questions to which you do not already know the answer, and building a relationship on sincere interest in the other person.
- When we tell instead of ask, we can sometimes offend or demean others.
- Barriers to humble inquiry include status, rank, and the roles we play in our professional and personal communities.
We can all practice this important skill by slowing down, becoming more mindful and aware of our interactions and our surroundings.
Consider exploring Humble Inquiry – The Gentle Art of More Asking and Less Telling as a door to greater wisdom for yourself.
“If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits.”
—Don Ward, Late Canadian Hockey Player
There is no doubt that our lives have been limited in many ways these past few months. Our freedom to visit with friends, go out for a meal, and attend social gatherings has put the brakes on our lives.
With an unclear future and difficult current realities, our doubts about our capacities have thwarted our efforts, even when nothing but our own thinking is stopping us.
Over the year, I’ve recommended Rick Carson’s book, Taming Your Gremlin as a resource to take on the villainous bullies lurking in the shadows of our minds. His approach includes awareness, altering our behavior, creative visualization, and seeing ourselves as being “in progress.” These efforts can strengthen our capacity to doubt our doubts – to get out of our own way, and live a happier, more enjoyable life.
Pick up a copy of the book or check out THIS SHORT VIDEO check link to help tame your own pesky gremlins.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”
—Robert Swan, OBE, FRGS—first person to walk to both Poles
Image from Unsplash by The New York Public Library
How are you personally coming to the rescue of planet Earth?
How aware are you of the significant impact we have on our beautiful world?
In the business world, we look at adding more revenue through various channels, making wise and progressive investments, and of course, we conserve resources and reduce waste wherever possible.
What if Earth was a business and all people, all organizations, and all nations became optimal stewards of the planet, so that Earth could truly be, as Jim Collins said, Built to Last?
How are you currently acting as a loyal and caring steward to our planet? In what new and expanded ways can and will you take greater responsibility and accountability to safeguard our collective home?
“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”
—Sir John Lubbock, 19th Century British politician
Image from Unsplash by William Hook
Imagine you are a cell phone.
You begin your day with a full charge, and prepare to productively navigate your day. All of a sudden, a Worry App is opened on a family matter. Then two more open on your way to work. After your first cup of coffee, a couple more Apps open, due to an email and a text you’ve received.
Following a day of such events, your reserves of power are low or completely exhausted.
You’re in need of a recharge.
Unless you can limit or eliminate the open Worry Apps, you may find yourself headed to bed mentally and emotionally exhausted, sometimes unable to turn them off so you can rest.
How can you more efficiently and effectively allocate your physical, mental, and emotional energies throughout the day?
How would greater awareness of your worries limit or prevent you from experiencing these draining factors?
“Think of the consequences if you were to do nothing.”
FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out – has many folks living in overdrive throughout their days. When asked by colleagues and friends how they are, they respond with words such as, busy, slammed, and crazy.
A common exercise I offer to my clients is to create a Time Log – to capture the reality of where their time is going. With this new awareness, they can reduce or stop certain activities completely, and regain a greater degree of control in their lives.
In the case of the seeming urgent but not important aspects of life, doing nothing has no real consequences. On the other hand, doing nothing on the important aspects that may also be urgent (or not) can have significant consequences.
Consider creating a Time Log or applying Steven Covey’s Time Matrix to the various aspects of your life.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
—Thornton Wilder, 20th Century American Playwright and Novelist
Image from StubHub
In 1989, Phil Collins, the multi-talented musician and singer, released his popular and catchy song “Another Day in Paradise.” If you have 4 or 5 minutes, watch this video.
Unfortunately for me, I’ve been humming this tune and tapping my hand on the steering wheel of my car for all these years, without really listening to the lyrics.
The key phrase of the song is “Oh, think twice – it’s another day for you and me in paradise.”
Perhaps it was my meditation on gratitude this morning that had me think twice and be far more conscious of the abundance of daily treasures I often overlook.
How can you think twice and be far more conscious of your daily treasures, to be more alive and fully appreciative of the paradise around you?
“Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
—James Thurber, 20th Century American Author
Image from Wonderfest
On an episode of Space’s Deepest Secrets on the possibility of time travel, a wide variety of scientists from prestigious institutions around the world shared their theories.
Among the hot topics were worm holes, black holes, dark energy, and moving faster than the speed of light.
You don’t have to be a theoretical physicist to know that we all travel in time in our minds. We sometimes visit the past and the future with anger, fear, and other emotions that can often have negative impact on our lives.
What would be the benefit of focusing far more of your time in the present, to more fully allow this heightened awareness to improve your world?
“It’s got to happen inside first.”
—Jim Morrison, Late leader of The Doors
Image from Unsplash by Johannes Plenio
Over the last year or two you may have noticed a higher percentage of Quotable Coach posts related to self-awareness and general mindfulness.
The inner worlds of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions are fundamental to what occurs or potentially can occur in our outer worlds.
Observing your outer personal and professional communities can also clue you in to what those around you are thinking and feeling. It’s much like having super powers of x-ray vision and the ability to read minds.
How can you become far more masterful at navigating and exploring your own and others inner worlds as a first step to manifesting your most desirable outer realities?
“We didn’t all come over on the same ship, but we’re all in the same boat.”
—Bernard M. Baruch, 20th Century American Philanthropist
Have you ever watched the procession of countries an the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games? Summer or Winter, you will definitely see thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries, each with their own languages, cultures, and traditions. This makes it appear that we are separate and distinct from one another.
With technology, we are in a hyper-connected world, with increasing evidence that through economic, social and environmental factors, we are all in the same boat. We sink or swim together.
Consider reading the latest edition of The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, or his latest book, Thank You for Being Late, to explore your own place in this global boat.
“We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”
—Ram Dass, American Spiritual Leader
Image from Flickr by Kat Northern Lights Man
On a hot, sunny day we all enjoy being in the shade, perhaps with a frosty beverage. It’s cooler, and just more comfortable.
Our own thinking often plays the role of a shade tree in that we are literally blocking out new, more creative or innovative input, which might enlighten us.
If, for some reason, you feel stalled, stuck or plateaued in your growth and development, take a hard look at how often and how much you are sitting under your limited thinking canopy.
How can you let in more bright ideas and alternative perspectives by welcoming the light of other people’s input, personally or professionally?