“Why do you get up in the morning?”

“Why do you get up in the morning?”

—Dan Buettner, New York Times-bestselling author

Image from Unsplash by Somnox Sleep

I like to start each day as purposefully as possible to learn and grow, to express gratitude and especially to find ways to serve others.

Writing The Quotable Coach post most mornings over the last nine years is one important expression that meets all of the criteria. Today I am getting up a bit early to go shopping for food for us and a close friend.

What are some of the important reasons you get up each morning? What goals and intentions empower and energize you, make your day special for yourself and others? How will spending your day this way put a smile of satisfaction on your face when you lie down to sleep tonight?

EXERCISE:

Consider exploring the 2200 Quotable Coach posts that are sorted by categories. Please consider sharing this resource with others whom you wish to support and serve in the coming year.

Thank You!

“Run marathons in the footwear of others.”

“Run marathons in the footwear of others.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Joshua Coleman

Most of us have been taught to walk a mile in others shoes before we are quick to judge. If you have done this during the past year, how has it impacted your life and the way you treat others?

What if, instead of a mile of walking, you ran 26.2 miles in the footwear of some of these individuals, to more fully explore their difficulties and heartaches?

Have you ever watched a marathon in person, or seen the Olympic or Boston event? If so, you would have seen thousands of people lining the routes, encouraging and supporting each competitor to run the best race possible, and reach their goal.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you more fully appreciate the marathons others are running in your world? How can and will you reach out more generously and compassionately to support their courageous efforts?

“The challenges that we face test us and help reveal our true potential.”

“The challenges that we face test us and help reveal our true potential.”

—Jon Gordon, Author of The Carpenter

Image from Unsplash by Taylor Wilcox

In school, we receive a lesson and then take the test. In life, we are tested and challenged—and only then do we sometimes embrace the lesson.

How and in what ways are your personal and professional circumstances testing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual capacities? Where are you being pushed and pulled to stretch beyond your perceived limits?

Where does your true potential lie beyond your current view of yourself?

Answering these questions many not always give us a full picture of our potential growth opportunities. Sometimes members of our communities who act as sounding boards or mirrors can reveal even more than we can visualize on our own.

EXERCISE:

Identify at least one family member, professional colleague, mentor, or coach to explore the various challenges and tests you are facing. Explore how such relationships can reveal even more of your true potential. Consider how taking on such a role for others can also enhance your own growth.

 

“How can you break out of old patterns and learn to look at life anew?”

“How can you break out of old patterns and learn to look at life anew?”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Simon Launay

Today’s quote is cousin to one of my favorites, by Tuli Kupferberg:

“When Patterns, are Broken, New Worlds Will Emerge.”

Examining these nuggets of wisdom may have some shortcomings if we use them only as thought exercises. Shifting our paradigms, altering our mental models, and simply looking through different perceptional filters is not enough.

We must also act in new and different ways if new worlds are to be realized.

An intention to act without action leaves us where or how we are—or perhaps worse.

EXERCISE:

As you look at life anew, what do you plan to actually do?

Feel free to reply to this post regarding the actions you took today.

“Is this necessary?”

“Is this necessary?”

—Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180

How often do you feel or hear yourself telling others that you are busy, slammed, and overwhelmed with all the demands of life? How often do you ever get to the bottom of your to-do list with energy left over to spend as you wish?

We all crave some wiggle room and respite in our days to recharge, renew, and even play. Many don’t let themselves play until all the work is done — and it rarely is.

EXERCISE:

Write the question, “Is this necessary?” on a few post-it notes places in strategic spots at home and at work. Now capture all those past to-do items that end up your ‘to-don’t-do” list. Share this list with others to support your new intentions and accountability.

 

“Stories are more appealing than statistics.”

“Stories are more appealing than statistics.”

—Author Unknown

Image from wikipedia.org

Every Thursday evening, Wendy and I make it a priority to watch Young Sheldon on CBS. The stories of this little boy in Texas with a Nobel Prize IQ always perks up our day.

We love to see how he drives those around him nuts with his encyclopedic knowledge, and his amusing struggles with the daily aspects of growing up.

The show and its cast of quirky characters has a lot of heart. We always find ourselves cheering Young Sheldon through each adventure.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can you incorporate more stories to humanize and help people better relate to your messages?

How can tapping into people’s hearts—not just their heads—better influence and engage others in your personal and professional communities?

“Run your own race.”

“Run your own race.”

—Author Unknown

image from Unsplash by Andy Beales

What is the pace of your life these days? What time do you get up on weekdays, and on weekends?

Which days do you look forward to the most?

How much freedom and how much choice do you experience in your professional and personal pursuits?

To what degree are you running your own race versus being run around by others without fully realizing it?

EXERCISE:

Take a few minutes to look at your life through the magic words of MORE — LESS — START — STOP.

What would be different and far better in your world if you applied these to your current race?

What would that journey be like, and what destinations would you visit?

Consider who you want to join you on your amazing race. They say that if you want to go fast, go alone… but if you want to go far, go with others.

 

“Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do.”

“Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do.”

—Irma Kurtz, Cosmopolitan Magazine’s unshockable Queen of Advice

In his terrific book, Give and Take, Adam Grant presents lots of interesting statistics on the upside and downside of being a Giver or a Taker. He even introduces a third category. The Matcher always seems to keep score and only tends to give if they are receiving something of at least equal value in return.

Sadly, since the pandemic began, we are increasingly seeing an increase of examples of people who fit into the selfless Giving group experiencing significant burnout, emotional challenges, and even death. Grant would most likely advise these individuals to shift from a “Selfless” approach to a more “Other-ish” approach by instituting more strategies to maintain their own health and well-being.

EXERCISE:

Where are you and other Givers in your communities experiencing the negative consequences of your generosity? How and where can you set better limits to protect yourself and still serve those you care about, including yourself?