“Eons of natural selection coded you to act first and think later. You must adapt to a new world that demands the opposite.”

“Eons of natural selection coded you to act first and think later. You must adapt to a new world that demands the opposite.”

—Jennifer Garvey Berger & Keith Johnson, Simple Habits for Complex Times

Image from Amazon.com

To what degree are emotions running high in your personal and professional communities? Where are you and others on edge, frustrated, angry and upset?

What behaviors are being demonstrated toward a better, calmer and more workable future? Where are you seeing your fellow men and women at their worst?

Our ancestors were coded to survive and live another day. Emotions clearly played a critical role, and pondering one’s situation could actually be deadly unless acted upon immediately.

Today, we like to see ourselves as thoughtful, reflective, and far more perceptive beings, whose reasoning minds can clearly override those animal instincts.

EXERCISE:

Where is it necessary to tap or slam on the brakes in your world? How and in what ways can you more fully awaken to think far more clearly before acting?

“You don’t have to be sick to get better.”

“You don’t have to be sick to get better.”

—Hale Irwin, American professional golfer

Image from Unsplash by Morgan David de Lossy

Golf has become one of the go-to sports given COVID-19 and our need for social distancing. Being in the fresh air and walking or riding in a golf cart solo allows players to enjoy natural beauty, be with friends, and engage in a game that can never quite be mastered.

I recently heard the story of a fan watching legendary golfer Hale Irwin practicing on the range following one of his many career wins, where he shared today’s quote. Clearly he was driven by the desire within most of us for the goal of continuous improvement and personal mastery.

EXERCISE:

Where can and will you continue to practice and apply your most committed efforts to take an aspect of your life from good to great?

Please share this intention with a coach or two who would be delighted to support your efforts to get better.

Friday Review: Risk

FRIDAY REVIEW: RISK

What is your current tolerance for risk?  Here are a few risk-related posts you may have missed.

 

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”

 

 

 

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.”

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.”

—Neil De Grasse Tyson, American Astrophysicist

Image from Unsplash by Jason Leung

The world idolizes winners. Examine the media and you will find countless examples from game shows, reality TV, sports, social media icons, and even speakers, leaders, and coaches.

Who sits at the top of the list of super achievers in your personal and professional communities?

In recent weeks I’ve been paying even closer attention to my daughter Rachel and my grandson Weston. Beyond learning his numbers, letters, shapes, and colors, he is in new territory with potty training.

If you’ve experienced this right of passage with children and grandchildren, you know that there are far more mishaps than successes in the early stages.

EXERCISE:

Where is it time to give out far more “A’s” for effort and supportive encouragement in your world? Where and from whom could you most benefit from a booster shot of encouragement?

“They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.”

“They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.”

—Sir Francis Bacon, 15th century British philosopher and statesman

Image from Unsplash by Marten Bjork

If time is the coin of life, how are you currently investing yours? A frequent coaching exercise for individuals who wish to master this elusive resource is a Time Log.

It begins by tracking professional and personal chunks of time in a log. The next step is evaluating not only where that time is spent, but also the level of satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness experienced.

Sadly, statistics point to well over 50% and up to almost 70% of people experiencing reluctance and significant dissatisfaction in their vocational efforts. Perhaps we need to shift from the idea of “that’s why it’s called work,” to a far more enjoyable and engaging perspective.

EXERCISE:

To what extent do you wake up with an “I don’t want to ____” view of your current job or career? How would pursuing a vocation that far better suites your nature provide a stronger foundation for a richer and happier life?

“If you can be happy with simple things, then it will be simple to be happy.”

“If you can be happy with simple things, then it will be simple to be happy.”

—Neil Pasricha, The Happiness Equation

Barry, Wendy, and their family

Every summer when I was a kid I got to camp for two months at Indian Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. I look upon those yearly adventures as some of the happiest times of my life. Our days were simple and always included friends, food, fun, and sun.

On July 1st, my daughter Rachel realized FaceTime was not sufficient. She decided to get a COVID test and bring our grandson Weston to Michigan for “Grandma and Pop Pop Camp.”

Guess what?

Family, food, fun and sun are still essential elements of many happy times over a half century later!

EXERCISE:

What are the essential elements—internal and external—of a full and happy life for you?

How and in what ways can you rediscover the happiness and joy in the simple things in life?

“Be grateful for people’s complaints. Turn a complaint into a question.”

“Be grateful for people’s complaints. Turn a complaint into a question.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unslpash by Analia Baggiano

We all complain from time to time. I’m sure you see a bunch of whining and complaining within your various communities. How often do you think or even say some expletive aloud, to silence all the negativity?

Effective coaches and communicators know the value of questions, especially open-ended questions that can have the power of an “off” switch of negativity and an “on” switch of possibility.

Consider the following questions, and perhaps make up a few of your own:

  • How would you like things to be?
  • What could you do to improve the situation?
  • What ideas do you have to resolve this issue?
  • Where could you look for solutions to this challenge?
  • What alternative approaches can be taken to improve things?

EXERCISE:

How can you find more silver linings and gratitude in the complaints you currently experience?

How can the right question at the right moment be used to move your world forward today?

Friday Review: Storytelling

FRIDAY REVIEW: STORYTELLING

What are the stories you tell yourself, and the ones you hear from others? Here are a few storytelling posts you may have missed.

 

“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.”

 

 

 

“When I look back in five years, which of these options will make the best story?”

 

 

 

“Consumers don’t just want to understand the story. Increasingly they want to be part of it.”

 

 

 

“When demand exceeds capacity we experience stress.”

“When demand exceeds capacity we experience stress.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unslash by Christian Erfurt

Where are you currently experiencing stress and observing it in others in your personal and professional communities?

Take a very close look at the demands placed on the individuals and the systems where stress is easily or not so easily seen. Take another look at the capacity and the resilience of the people and processes attempting to meet these demands and challenges. To what degree are they holding up, or not?

Although there is a type of stress called eustress that can be productive and support growth, when things go too far it can easily create the distress many of us are experiencing.

EXERCISE:

What actions can you take today to reduce demands or increase capacities to lower the levels of stress in your world?

Please reply to this post to describe your efforts and how things progress.

“Don’t go to war to maintain the past.”

“Don’t go to war to maintain the past.”

—Seth Godin, American Author

Have you seen Hamilton? If not, you are in luck—Disney just paid a fortune for the rights to the show. It is now available on its streaming platform with the original cast.

Beneath the wonderful music, staging, and the extraordinary performances is the powerful story of the beginnings of our nation and how we went to war to become free and chart our own future.

The comical King George in the production went to war to hold on to the past, and obviously lost.

EXERCISE:

Where are you and others in your personal and professional communities still engaged in a war to maintain the past? What revolutionary ideas, efforts, and opportunities are worth fighting for to create your new future?