“Every man is a volume, if you know how to read him.”

“Every man is a volume, if you know how to read him.”

—William Ellery Channing, 19th Century Unitarian Preacher

Image from Unsplash by Aaron Burden

How well do you really know the people in your personal and professional communities?

Which ones do you know only on the surface of things, perhaps analogous to a tweet? Or maybe you know a bit more, along the lines of a blog post or professional resume?

Going deeper, you may be familiar with their book summary, or for those who remember them, their Cliff or Monarch notes.

Who do you know on the level of War and Peace, or some other weighty volume?

Who knows you in that level of detail?

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom is it time to read the full volume of their life story? Perhaps this process will help you write a few extra chapters together in the days and years ahead.

“When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.”

“When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.”

—Nelson Mandela, late South African anti-apartheid political leader

Image from Unsplash by Derek Story

On most mornings I wake up very early and head to the health club to kick start my day. My club is located near my office, about 15 miles from my home.

Given the light traffic at this early hour, I do my best to avoid stop lights by adjusting my use of the gas pedal and brakes. This maintains my momentum and improves my fuel efficiency.

EXERCISE:

What are some of your personal or professional projects in which the water is already boiling?

How can and will you keep adding another log to the fires of your current momentum to achieve even more extraordinary outcomes?

“The word ‘listen’ has the same letters as the word ‘silent.’”

“The word ‘listen’ has the same letters as the word ‘silent.’”

—Alfred Brendel, Austrian pianist, poet and author

Image from Unsplash by Jodie P.

How high would you rate yourself in the category of listening?

How close do you come to the two-to-one ratio implied by the fact that you have two ears and only one mouth?

What makes this skill so very difficult?

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we almost always listening to our own inner thoughts and opinions instead of granting others the respect and honor of our silence and full attention.

EXERCISE:

With whom in your personal or professional communities would it make the biggest difference if you silenced your inner voice and listened far more deeply?

“If you do not change directions, you may end up where you are headed.

“If you do not change directions, you may end up where you are headed.”

—Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Jammie Templeton

As part of my coaching discovery process, I ask prospective clients to answer a number of questions that help them fully examine the potential value of us working together.

These questions help them expand what is working, and impact what is not. For many individuals, the following question provokes considerable interest:

What do you expect to achieve in your professional
and personal life, given your current plans, strategies,
and general direction?

Given time to explore this question fully, most people see the need to change course if they are to fully realize their highest priority goals and not end up where they are currently heading.

EXERCISE:

Consider answering this question for yourself and discussing any insights and potential actions you plan to take with a friend, colleague, mentor, family member, or coach.

Feel free to reply to this post with what value you create.

“You cannot outrun your fork.”

“You cannot outrun your fork.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Google

Over the first two weeks of September, Wendy and I had a bucket list adventure with friends. This included visiting Greece, and a 10-day cruise titled “Extreme Israel.”

On most days we walked, hiked, and even climbed around ancient sites and got in plenty of steps.

Upon arriving back on the ship, we were treated to top-notch cuisine provided by the Azamara Cruise Line staff. As you might guess, our forks more than made up for our extreme daily effort, resulting in a few extra pounds and some tighter-fitting clothing!

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully optimize the balance of your nutritional and exercising efforts to improve your health and remain active for many adventurous years to come?

Friday Review: Compassion

FRIDAY REVIEW: COMPASSION

Compassion is a virtue we should all develop. Here are a few compassion-related quotes you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full post.

 

“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but being moved to help relieve it.”

 

 

 

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

 

 

 

“Time is one of the most loving and compassionate gifts you can give someone, including yourself!”

 

 

 

 

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

—Morpheus, portrayed by Lawrence Fishburne in The Matrix

Image of Morpheus from Wikipedia

Morpheus was the Greek god of dreams. The Greek work “morphe” translates to “form” in English. Morpheus is, according to legend, the god who shapes and forms our dreams.

Although most people dream, for some reason many of us seem to forget them, including the insights they may provide, when we wake.

One strategy to consider is to keep a notepad near your bedside to fully capture the ideas and insights you wish to act upon.

EXERCISE:

What insight, dream, or priority matters are you still “in the think” about? When will you begin taking action to walk the path to realize your dream?

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Alan Turing, 20th Century English computer scientist

Image from Unsplash by The New York Public Library

The world recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon.

It is interesting to note that many of the first pioneers into space pointed to the fragility of the earth and how vital it is for all of us to be better stewards of our precious planet.

We are so often enthralled by the big picture that we can fail to pay attention to what is right before us, as today’s quote implies.

Did you know that the human eye is so sensitive that if you were standing on a mountain top on a dark night, you could see a candle flame flickering up to 30 miles away? The height of the mountain would remove the impact of the earth’s curvature.

We can also sense the light from the Andromeda Galaxy, composed of about a trillion stars and located an amazing 2.6 million light-years from Earth.

Yet how often do we not see what is right in front of us?

EXERCISE:

Regardless of how far you can see, what are some of your top personal, professional, and even global priorities that need your best efforts?

“It is better to prevent than to cure.”

“It is better to prevent than to cure.”

—Hippocrates, 3rd Century BC Greek Father of Medicine

image from Google

I live and work in Southeast Michigan, where Detroit—also know by its legendary title of The Motor City—is at the hub.

Over the years, car manufacturers have added all kinds of technological safety features to our vehicles. Perhaps one of the most useful and least celebrated is that little yellow maintenance light that alerts us to the need for preventive care. An ounce of prevention eliminates our need for a pound of cure.

We love our cars and celebrate them each year with a multi-week party called The North American Auto Show, drawing participation and car buffs from around the world.

Please join us June 20, 2020, for the great vehicles, and our terrific summer weather!

EXERCISE:

What areas of your daily life would benefit most from far more rigorous prevention strategies?

What actions will you take today to install a few more yellow lights in your world, as a reminder to yourself?

“Being able to think about how you think, is a sign of higher intelligence.”

“Being able to think about how you think, is a sign of higher intelligence.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Jordan Whitfield

When was the last time you changed your mind and reconsidered your point of view?

How often do you find yourself frustrated by others because of their stubbornness or being set in their ways of thinking?

If you are brutally honest, you may quickly see that our paradigms, mental models, and biases run deep. We rarely stray from the path worn by many years of experience.

Today’s quote suggests that we can all exercise our thinking muscle and think about thinking to build the important capacity to improve our lives and better our world. We may also add a few more IQ and EQ points by doing so.

EXERCISE:

Feel free to respond to this post with tools or strategies you use to exercise your own thinking muscle. Consider picking up a copy of my book, The Quotable Coach – Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom, to explore 365 thinking exercises to use over the next 12 months.