Small Minds

“Don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big.”

-Zig Ziglar, late American author and motivational speaker

image from theproductivtypro.com

image from theproductivtypro.com

Who are some of the small-minded people in your personal or professional worlds? What qualities or characteristics have you assigned to them? See how many of the following qualities describe those who appear to have diminishing or completely crushing the dreams of others as their purpose:

Antagonistic Righteous Fear-Based
Condescending Oppositional Aloof
Perfectionism Judgmental Overly Aggressive
Controlling Critical Unethical
Combative Wishy-Washy Disrespectful
Temperamental Pessimistic Arrogant
Volatile Uncooperative Dishonest

EXERCISE:

How can you reduce or eliminate the small-minded people in your world, and replace them or attract more big-minded people to support your biggest personal and professional dreams?

Consider making a list of the big-minded qualities and characteristics to help you recognize these folks when you meet or see them.

Won’t Change You

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

—Fred Devito, American Yoga Instructor

Image from londonpowertunnels.co.uk

Image from londonpowertunnels.co.uk

What areas of your personal or professional life would you most like to change for the better? How long have you wanted these changes in your life? If your answer is “far longer than I care to admit,” a new approach will be required.

The New Year is just around the corner and a high percentage of people will be looking to resolve or achieve far more this time around.

One key to this success is to choose only a small number of challenging objectives that will cause you to stretch and grow, and to garner many more social and structural sources of support to virtually guarantee your success.

EXERCISE:

List one or two challenging goals for the New Year. Display them in multiple places in your personal and professional worlds. Solicit the rigorous support of a coach, mentor, family member, or friend, who will not give up on you to assure the lasting changes and results you desire.

Once this has occurred, select another priority goal and repeat the process, to have your best year yet!

What You Want Most

“Don’t give up what you want the most for what you want right now.”

-attributed to Peter Rossomando, Head Football Coach at CCSU

Image from wtvr.com

Image from wtvr.com

A characteristic shared by many of the most successful people is their ability to delay gratification in order to achieve their most highly desired objectives.

In the late 60s/early 70s Stanford University psychologist Walter Mischel did a study in which children ages four to six were given the choice between one marshmallow provided immediately, or two marshmallows if they waited for 15 minutes. In follow-up studies, the researchers found that those who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes.

EXERCISE:

What disciplined actions, behaviors, and habits must you develop in order to resist short-term wants so that you can realize your most cherished and valued priorities?

Perseverance

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”

—Walter Elliot, 19th Century Scottish Politician

Image from timemanagementninja.com

Image from timemanagementninja.com

My daughter Rachel is one of the hardest working, most persevering people I know.

Over a six-year period during college and a few years beyond, she was involved in a 12-week summer sales program in which she worked over 80 hours each week.

Despite many challenges including bad weather, barking dogs, and of course, tons of rejection, she was committed to selling high-quality educational products. She broke her day into two-hour manageable blocks of time, which helped her manage her efforts in small short races, instead of being overwhelmed by the long road ahead.

EXERCISE:

How can you use Rachel’s strategy – running many short races one after the other – to demonstrate the perseverance you need to win your most important personal and professional races?

“Live in such a way…”

“Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.”

-Author Unknown

Image from thestar.com

Image from thestar.com

During the very early stages of a new coaching relationship, I often give my clients the assignment to describe their best future self. This exercise forces each individual to look deeply at the qualities and characteristics they wish to develop and expand upon during the course of our relationship and beyond.

We employ a strategy in which they examine past and current role models they admire and respect, knowing that if others could act and achieve such remarkable things, it is possible for them as well.

EXERCISE:

Upon your passing, what would you like others in your personal and professional worlds to say about you?

What adjustment will you make in the way you live today to guarantee this as your legacy?

“The book that will most change…”

“The book that will most change your life is the book you write.”

—Seth Godin, American author and entrepreneur

QC Book Cover

It has been just over a year since I published The Quotable Coach – Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom. The process, from my first blog post to published book, took over two-and-a-half years.

I have always loved quotes. I enjoy the inner journey as I look at my own life. The 30 months of developing the book were far different in that I found myself digging deeper, and wrestling more fully than ever before. It was, without question, the extra efforts that resulted in the most profound gains I’ve experienced, professionally and personally.

EXERCISE:

If you were to write a book that would result in substantial growth, what would be the topic? How can you begin this process today? Possible first steps could be a journal entry, a blog post, or a short story.

The Person You Want

“Be the kind of person you want in your life.”

—Author Unknown

Image from picturespider.com

Image from picturespider.com

When you got up this morning, brushed your teeth, washed your face, and looked in the mirror, who did you see? What were your thoughts about the person staring back at you? For the moment, leave out any and all references to your physical features and appearance.

Instead, focus only on those inner qualities that make you who you are. Consider the following qualities to start, and add a few of your own:

Optimistic Dependable Cooperative
Honest Respectful Creative
Integrity Open-Minded Courageous
Hard-Working Caring Brave
Loyal Service-Minded Bold
Friendly Helpful Affectionate
Trustworthy Generous Loving
Responsible Productive Kind

EXERCISE:

How will you, today and in the future, become even more of the kind of person you want in your life? Consider sharing your intentions with selective people—those you respect and admire for their wonderful qualities—to help hold you accountable for being the best version of yourself possible.

“Big shots are little shots who kept shooting.”

“Big shots are little shots who kept shooting.”

– Christopher Morely, American Journalist, Novelist, Essayist and Poet

photo from Flickr by Simplistic.designs

photo from Flickr by Simplistic.designs

What are your favorite examples of people who achieved great success through the power of persistence? Some of mine are Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and of course, Michael Jordan.

What are some of your own personal stories where you stayed the course to achieve some important professional or personal victory?

Consider how you might break your “big shot” wins down into daily “small shot” behaviors you can easily practice on your journey of personal mastery. If this exercise is one you enjoy, both the journey and the results will reward you.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of one or more of the following resources to enhance your resolve to keep shooting to realize your most deeply held desires:

Three Feet From Gold by Sharon Lechter & Greg Reid
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson & John David Mann
The Power of Persistence by Justin Sachs
The Dip by Seth Godin
Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden

Want your own copy of “The Quotable Coach”? Click on the image below.
TQC-cover-welcome

“There’s plenty of room at the top, but there’s no room to sit down.”

“There’s plenty of room at the top, but there’s no room to sit down.”

– Helen Downey (attrib.)

Photo from Flickr by Horasis

Photo from Flickr by Horasis

Look at the people you most admire in your professional and personal life.

How did they reach the top of your list? My guess is because of their values, their character, and the way they take a proactive approach to life.

Exercise:

Where would a “stand up and step forward” attitude help you take your rightful place among the people at the top of their game?