“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”

– Confucius, Chinese philosopher

574Image from Flickr by jurvetson.

Consider yourself a pebble of charcoal when you were born. Over the years, the countless tests and challenges you faced put you under varying degrees of stress and pressure. Under the right conditions, Mother Nature can transform this pebble of charcoal into a brilliant and precious diamond.

Exercise:

What life strategies do you need to develop and master to manage life’s considerable stresses, to bring out your personal brilliance?

“A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”

“A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”

– Confucius, Chinese philosopher

(Hanoi)Image from Flickr by dalbera.

When I first read this quote, it immediately made me think of the Level 5 leader described in Jim Collins’ best-selling business book Good to Great.

Collins describes a Level 5 leader, who is often associated with good companies becoming great companies, as someone possessing the following primary qualities:

  • Extreme personal humility
  • Intense professional will

Perhaps some of these Level 5 leaders were students of Confucius, who guided them to their compelling modesty and unwavering results.

Exercise:

How can you take the coaching of Confucius and Collins by letting your actions, today and every day, speak louder than words?

“Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.”

“Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.”

– Confucius, Chinese philosopher

527Image from Flickr by backpackphotography.

As part of my Personal Excellence Training program, I use various assessments to determine the likelihood of success for each person.

One of the traits associated with success is initiative. People who are motivated self-starters take it upon themselves to proactively move in the direction of their goals – such as completing a new project, finding a new customer, or securing a raise or promotion.

Exercise:

Where in your professional or personal life would a booster shot of initiative make the biggest difference for you today?

Secure the support of friends, family, colleagues, or a coach to stretch and grow this ability in yourself and you will have many more roast duck dinners in the years to come.

#41: “If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher…”

“…I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.”

– Confucius, Chinese philosopher

I have a passion for learning and personal growth. My personal antenna and receiver are often on high alert to the knowledge, wisdom and behavior of others.

One of my favorite questions to ask coaching clients is “how would you describe your best future self?” If they are unclear about the meaning of this question, I often suggest that they identify the qualities of the people they admire – such as integrity, courage, loyalty, and enthusiasm. They can also identify the qualities that they least admire – such as greed, dishonesty, arrogance, and pessimism.

Exercise:

Who are the people that can help you discover and develop your best future self? What are their qualities (good or bad)?

Where can you begin your future journey today?

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