“Set your course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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.”

“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:

  1. What is the current reality?
  2. What is the vision or goal?
  3. 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.

EXERCISE:

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.

Friday Review: Adaptation

FRIDAY REVIEW: ADAPTATION

How adaptable are you? Here are a few adaptation-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

“Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes.”

 

 

 

 

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”

 

 

 

 

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

 

 

 

 

“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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.”

“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?

EXERCISE:

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.”

“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.

EXERCISE:

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?

FRIDAY REVIEW: APPRECIATION

FRIDAY REVIEW: APPRECIATION

How do you show appreciation in your life? What makes you feel appreciated? Here are a few appreciation-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

 

 

 

 

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

 

 

 

 

“You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Help me understand that better.”

“Help me understand that better.”

—Author Unknown

Today’s quote can be extremely helpful in the development and enhancement of relationships, especially for men.

A few months ago, I attended a coaching conference. One of the key “conversation starters” was John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

Given the importance of relationships to maximize the benefits of the coaching process, we were “all ears and all in,” seeking greater mastery for ourselves and our clients.

If you are a student of Gray’s work, it is pretty apparent that many men have a limited attention span in certain conversations, and almost always seek to solve or fix problems even when the other party has made no request of them to do so.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom would seeking to understand others better make a significant difference in both your professional and personal relationships?