“Anything we are doing, we can do better.”

“Anything we are doing, we can do better.”

—Google’s Operating Assumption

mage from Unsplash by Markus Winkler

Each year for the past decade I have reviewed the book, Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler. One of its many exercises is to list all the roles you currently play in your personal and professional communities. The exercise then challenges you to determine your intentions for each role in the year ahead.

Taking time to examine our efforts and progress in the previous year shines a spotlight on our capacity, willingness, and promise to do and be better.

EXERCISE:

Given this year is well underway, how can and will you “spring” forward with greater intention, focus, and effort to improve in at least one area of your choosing?

“Do something about it!”

“Do something about it!”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Clark Van Der Beken

How often do you experience the feeling of being upset? Examine your world and note things that are not where they should be, based on your beliefs and expectations. How often do you point your finger and blame others for the situations and events that are not proceeding as you wish?

The act of observing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, can be troubling. Practicing our capacity for equanimity and accepting things as they are rarely satisfies us for long. We simply revert to seeing far too many things out of place.

Consider a recent day in which everything seemed right in your world. Think back to your levels of intentionality and efforts to move things forward. How many T’s did you cross? How many I’s did you dot?

EXERCISE:

Where is your world showing you a puzzle with some pieces missing? Where is it time to do something about it, bringing a better picture of your world into view?

 

“Find a need. Define a service. Be the bridge.”

“Find a need. Define a service. Be the bridge.”

—Seth Godin’s Impresario

What are your personal or professional areas of excellence and high achievement? Which of these activities stir the passions in which you often lose track of time, expressing your gifts and mastery?

Where also do you find the expression of these capabilities serving the needs and desires of others in some meaningful and value-producing way?

Jim Collins — author of Good to Great — might describe this scenario as a personal hedgehog. It points us toward an expression of ourselves that could be more fully developed and expanded to contribute to the world.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you be an impresario to find a need, define a service, and be the bridge to bring it to the world?

“Get out there. See the people.”

“Get out there. See the people.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by krakenimages

I have a friend and client named Tim who is a highly successful business leader. He exemplifies many strong qualities of leadership and personal character that most of his customers, colleagues, and even competitors admire.

Among his most positive attributes is his willingness to take initiative and proactively put himself out into the world to see the people and make things happen.

Where do you find yourself on the introvert-to-extrovert spectrum, especially given the constraints caused by the pandemic?

How have you continued to reach out to connect despite your efforts to be physically distant and keep one another safe?

Where have you not made the effort to be out in the world in some essential way?

EXERCISE:

How can and will you get out there and (safely) see the people in the coming months?

How can and will you encourage others in your personal and professional communities to do the same?

“I think that when the dust settles, we will realize how little we need, how very much we actually have, and…”

“I think that when the dust settles, we will realize how little we need, how very much we actually have, and the true value of human connection.”

—Author Unknown

Marvin Demp

On March 7 at 1:47 a.m., my father Marvin passed on to be with my mom and other loved ones in Heaven. The morning of his passing, I asked Google to play some of his favorite songs. A direct message came from my dad when “Cheek to Cheek” played — it begins with the words, “Heaven, I’m in Heaven…”.

As we cried and celebrated the life of this wonderful man, my family, friends, and the many loving and generous caregivers who supported him experienced the value and joy of our many human connections.

EXERCISE:

What are some of your stories of extraordinary and simple moments of human connection? How can you more fully embrace the richness these moments offer you each and every day?

 

Friday Review: Attention

FRIDAY REVIEW: ATTENTION

What has been the focus of your attention over the last year? Here are a few attention-related posts you may have missed.

 

 

“In one hand I have a dream, and in the other I have an obstacle. Tell me, which one grabs your attention?”

 

 

 

“By going out of your mind, you come to your senses.”

 

 

 

 

“Today will be what you make of it.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

—Leo Tolstoy, 19th Century Russian writer & Nobel Prize winner

Image from Unsplash by Sergey Shmidt

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

It’s happening all around… more and more people are heading out with a bit more pep in their step into the longer, warmer days.

What plans and projects are still in the formative stage or well under way in your life? Perhaps you are engaged in spring cleaning or have headed outdoors to work on your lawn or begin planting a garden.

The word “spring” itself is all the coaching we need to turn our intentions into action. How will you make your mark on the world through your personal and professional efforts?

EXERCISE:

What are some of your most inspiring and exciting plans and projects?

Get the message out to see who else may wish to join you! Consider asking others about their plans and projects, and offer to support their springs into spring!

“The stars we are given. The constellations we make.”

“The stars we are given. The constellations we make.”

—Rebecca Solnit, American writer

Image from Unsplash by Robson Hatsukami Morgan

The night sky has been watched, enjoyed, studied and interpreted since the dawn of mankind. Today we look up into the sky less often — perhaps because there is less to see. The lights from our cities are easily seen from space, and our preoccupation with looking down at laptops and phones has stopped all but a small group of us from seeking and finding the constellations seen just generations ago.

EXERCISE:

Examine how and in what ways we may be limiting our own view and appreciation of the cosmos. How can we continue to seek, find, and even make our discoveries more meaningful for ourselves and for future generations?

“Don’t be afraid of shitty first drafts.”

“Don’t be afraid of shitty first drafts.”

—Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird

Image from Unsplash by Thought Catalog

Bird by Bird is considered by many the bible of writing guides. It has sold non-stop since it was published in the 1990s. Today’s quote is a poignant nugget of Anne Lamott’s wisdom, gleaned from her many years of trial and error to give voice to her calling to write well.

The subtitle, Instructions on Writing and Life, points to the iterative nature of both. Capturing one’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings in words and deeds can often be pretty messy, especially during the early stages.

EXERCISE:

Where are you afraid that your initial drafts on some worthy goal or project are pretty awful?

How can and will you continue to develop second, third, and perhaps many more drafts, to fully express yourself throughout the rest of your life?