“Did you ever wonder why no one ever tries softer?”

“Did you ever wonder why no one ever tries softer?”

—Lily Tomlin, American actress and comedian

Image from Unsplash by Max van den Oetelaar

If you keep up with books on personal and professional achievements, you will likely have seen an emphasis on deep work, drive, grit, leaning in, and discovering your strengths.

There is no question that hard work, persistence, the power of habit, and putting in those 10,000 hours is correlated with considerable progress and achievement.

EXERCISE:

What would trying softer look like?

How could this be an access point to a more successful and rewarding life?

Where would quieter behaviors and approaches to your relationships with yourself and others, and the general way you move through life, provide access to new personal and professional possibilities?

“There is no sense in crying over spilt milk. Why bewail what is done and cannot be recalled?”

“There is no sense in crying over spilt milk. Why bewail what is done and cannot be recalled?”

—Sophocles, 4th Century BC Greek Writer

Image from Unsplash by Daniela Diaz

Our delightful grandson Weston stayed with us recently to give his mom and dad a break, and give us a treat. He has a particularly robust appetite and often makes messes, as if many children were having a food fight.

With the latest and greatest in bottles and cups, the incidents of spilled milk have gone down considerably.

We all expect to deal with the messes made by young children, but how well do you deal with your own mistakes, or those of other grownups in your world?

How easy is it to accept these mishaps and move on rather than ruminating or beating yourself up?

EXERCISE:

Where and on what matters would a “Done is Done” approach to your day help you lead a calmer, more satisfying life?

No one wants to hear everything that’s in your head

“No one wants to hear everything that’s in your head. They just want you to live up to what comes out of your mouth.”

—Adam Grant, American psychologist and author

Image of a person holding a megaphone

Image from Unsplash by Clem Onojeghuo

Who are the blabbermouths in your life? Who are the people who go on and on about their ideas, beliefs, and opinions, and never seem to take a breath? How do you feel around them?

To what degree might people in your world place you on their list of those who are more focused on being interesting rather than interested?

What makes these individuals even more troublesome is that on many, if not most, occasions, they appear to be all talk and very little action.

EXERCISE:

Who are the people in your life who are impeccable with their words? How would your life be enhanced if you and others lived up to what comes out of your mouth more often?

Consider reading or re-reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz for some added wisdom on this topic.

Friday Review of Posts on Accountability

FRIDAY REVIEW: ACCOUNTABILITY

How do you hold yourself and others accountable? Here are a few accountability-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full messages.

 

“Don’t ever stray away from yourself to get closer to someone else.”

 

 

 

“You cannot talk your way out of something you behaved yourself into.”

 

 

 

“Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side.”

 

 

 

Man did not weave the web of life

“Man did not weave the web of life – he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”

—Greg Braden, NYT Best-Selling Author

Image of a large spider web

Image from Unsplash by Robert Anasch

If you happen to enjoy history, consider exploring the history of our planet and how animals and plant life have evolved. Consider checking out fossil records and other scientific methods including carbon dating.

A surprising discovery for many is just how recently man – especially modern man – has been around.

Humans, because of our remarkable brains and our ability to coordinate and cooperate, have altered our world far more quickly and dramatically than all other creatures combined.

EXERCISE:

What positive and negative strand-pulling activities are you observing these days? How and in what ways can all of us contribute and strengthen the web of life to leave a positive and lasting legacy for all future generations and all creatures that share our beautiful world?

Friday Review of Behavior

FRIDAY REVIEW: BEHAVIOR

What do your behaviors say about you? Here are a few behavior-related posts you may have missed. Click on the Quote to read the full message:

 

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

 

 

 

 

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.”

 

 

 

“When you want to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department uses water.”

 

 

 

 

Don’t Blame the Shepherd

“If you are acting like a sheep, don’t blame the shepherd.”

—Eli Jaxon-Bear, American spiritual teacher and author

Image of a heard of sheep

Image from Unsplash by Sam Carter

Throughout our lives, we have been taught we have to “go along to get along.” Fitting in, being one of the gang, and literally being “with it” has made us sheep in many of our communities.

Take a moment to identify all the personal, professional, and community-based groups that herd us together. Consider all the new digital communities that foster similar practices and beliefs.

Where does being a sheep actually work for you and serve your best interest? Where does it clearly not support your most genuine self?

EXERCISE:

In what areas of your life is it time to act like a lion versus a lamb?

What bold, courageous or simply contrarian thing will you say or do to say goodbye to these shepherds?

Leave the familiar

“Leave the familiar for a while. Change rooms in your mind for a day.”

—Hafiz, 14th Century Persian Poet

Image of a small boy walking on the beach

Image from Unsplash by Andre Mohamed

One of my favorite quotes is, “When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge,” by Tuli Kupferberg. In a nutshell, it points to a primary reason the coaching process works to support all kinds of professional and personal change initiatives.

Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult due to entrenched ways of thinking and acting that have become habituated over many years.

The good news, supported through today’s quote, is that we all can begin to grow and change by taking baby steps rather than quantum leaps, to better our worlds.

EXERCISE:

Experiment today by intentionally deviating from the familiar in your thoughts and actions. Please consider replying to this post regarding what occurs when you change things up a bit.

Elbow Grease is the Best Polish

“Elbow grease is the best polish.”

—English Proverb

Image of "elbow Grease" tins

When I was a boy, Vaseline was always in our medicine cabinet. This magical goo is simply a brand of petroleum jelly used for cosmetic purposes like removing makeup or soothing dry skin.

We also found that a little dab of Vaseline could put quite a shine on our shoes, and provide a bit of waterproofing as a bonus!

For us Baby Boomers, the term “elbow grease” simply means hard work and doing what it takes to make something good even better.

EXERCISE:

Which current personal or professional project would shine a bit brighter with a bit more elbow grease from you or others?

The Biography of Souls

“Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.”

—David Thomas, President of Morehouse College

Image of an open book

Image from Flickr by Imanka

About 20 years ago I attended a year-long program called The Wisdom Course. One of our primary assignments was to write our autobiography. We were to include photographs from every age, if available, and document important people and life events from each year. This was done through our own recollection, as well as interviews with many of the people we identified.

I found it fascinating to see the impact I made on the people in my life, and the impact they had on my growth and development. Of particular interest was where and how I began developing my core values, personality, and character.

The most notable observation was that the unselfish and noble actions – my own and those of others – were the most memorable and enduring.

EXERCISE:

Consider doing your own biographical life review. Make particular note of the noble and unselfish actions taken by yourself and others along the way. How have these events shaped you to be the person you are today?