“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!
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.”
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.
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.
“Set your course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship.”
—Omar N. Bradley, 20th Century American Military General
Image from harborfreight.com
Historically, sailors used a device called a sextant to determine their position in the ocean, and to chart their course.
Given the fixed positions of various stars, including Polaris (The North Star), and other commonly seen constellations, they were surprisingly successful in finding their way.
With today’s GPS technology, only a few sailors continue to use the sextant — although many a masterful sailor uses it as a backup in case technology fails.
With the volume of cruise ships, container vessels, and other boats on our oceans, it would be foolhardy to try to navigate strictly by watching every passing ship.
Consider your core values and guiding principles as fixed stars that guide your life. Which do you cherish the most? How do they help you navigate life’s rough seas?
“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”
—Sir John Lubbock, 19th Century British politician
Image from Unsplash by William Hook
Imagine you are a cell phone.
You begin your day with a full charge, and prepare to productively navigate your day. All of a sudden, a Worry App is opened on a family matter. Then two more open on your way to work. After your first cup of coffee, a couple more Apps open, due to an email and a text you’ve received.
Following a day of such events, your reserves of power are low or completely exhausted.
You’re in need of a recharge.
Unless you can limit or eliminate the open Worry Apps, you may find yourself headed to bed mentally and emotionally exhausted, sometimes unable to turn them off so you can rest.
How can you more efficiently and effectively allocate your physical, mental, and emotional energies throughout the day?
How would greater awareness of your worries limit or prevent you from experiencing these draining factors?
“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
Image created in Canva
As part of my customized Personal Excellence Training — which sets the stage for the majority of coaching engagements — I introduce a self-coaching tool called “The Pivot Point.”
This technique uses the concept of “creative tension” described by Robert Fritz in his book, The Path of Least Resistance.
Essentially, the pivot point involves asking yourself — or perhaps a group — these three questions:
- What is the current reality?
- What is the vision or goal?
- What actions can and will I/we take to move forward?
The leverage of our vision provides the impetus to move forward, and creates the opportunity to better our situation.
Select at least one personal or professional front-burner issue or project to try out the Pivot Point technique. Please consider replying to this post to let me know how things go.
“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
—Abraham Maslow, 20th Century American Psychologist
Image from Unsplash by Travelergeek
When was the last time you needed to repair your car, an appliance, or some other device in your home?
In days gone by, we would sometimes give these items a good whack in hopes of getting them going again.
Sometimes it actually worked!
These days, it is rare that any single tool or technique can get the job done, given the multitude and complexity of the many technologies and challenges we face.
In our use of communication, leadership, management, and coaching tools, it almost always takes a tailored and customized approach to optimize our outcomes.
Where in your life is being a hammer not working?
Consider asking a friend, colleague, family member, or coach for guidance regarding what other tools might be a better choice.
“Every silver lining has a cloud.”
—Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
Image from Unsplash by Jacob Mejicanos
Living in Michigan for over 30 years, I have come to fully appreciate all four seasons. For many who live here, the joke goes that there are only two: Winter, and Construction.
I also see the down side of this perspective, yet most Michiganders are a pretty hearty, upbeat bunch.
Folks around here seem to find a good number of silver linings on a day-to-day basis despite those cloudy days and episodes in life. We are pretty good at making lemonade and of course experience gratitude for all the good things around us.
How can you more fully notice and appreciate the silver lining moments in your life? Looking for clouds may be a good place to start.
“Leave no stone unturned.”
—Euripides, Ancient Greek Tragedian
Image from Unsplash by Priscilla Du Preez
In many areas of life, “Good Enough” is good enough.
Perhaps you, like many people these days, have pivoted more mindfully, professionally and personally, to dramatically reduce or eliminate certain life commitments, duties, or obligations.
In some cases, leaving these stones unturned makes sense.
On the other hand, there are those high-value priorities and commitments that warrant our fullest attention. What personal or professional areas of life deserve all you’ve got, and anything short of excellence won’t do?
Select one top priority project or area of your life in which you will leave no stone unturned until you realize your goal.
“It is the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.”
—Aeschylus, ancient Greek tragedian
Image from Unsplash by PCMedia
If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling life, today’s quote is filled with coaching wisdom.
Unfortunately, jealousy and envy are all too prominent in our “more, more, more” hyper-competitive world. Coming out on top is all that seems to matter.
Consider the idea that you could double or triple your life satisfaction by taking pleasure and delight in the successes of others in your personal and professional communities.
How and with whom will you sincerely acknowledge and honor the successes and accomplishments of others in your world today? What would be the impact on your life if you made this a daily habit?