We take care of the future best by taking care of the present now

“We take care of the future best by taking care of the present now.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness Meditation

Image from Amazon

I am currently reading The Carbon Almanac, edited by Seth Godin, who also wrote the Forward. It is a 300+ page book of facts about climate change.

Representing the global efforts of more than three hundred volunteers in over 40 countries, it is the most up to date and well-vetted resource that presents where we are and how we got here, in language that we can all understand.

This book is a call to action to have all people, organizations, and governments come together to meet this moment in time to take care of our world and each other.

EXERCISE:

Please order, read, and discuss this important book with others in your various communities.

Encourage others to actively participate in this urgent global effort.

“Doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

“Doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Serena Repice Lentini

What percent of the time do you give your personal and professional activities your very best?

How often do you feel stretched and notice the burn physically, mentally, or emotionally as you take on a particular challenge?

In grade school, I had the opportunity to visit New York and climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. The 162 steps to the top seemed like a million. I recall the heat and shaking in my legs as I tried to keep pace.

No one was stopping to catch their breath on the various platforms, and I sure didn’t want to look like a slacker in front of my friends.

Twenty minutes or so from my first step, I received my crowning reward, seeing the panoramic view of New York’s skyline, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building.

EXERCISE:

Where in your world are you holding back your best efforts?

Where would taking those extra steps place you at a higher point to both see and pursue even greater personal and professional excellence?

“Don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you have now.”

“Don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you have now.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Ismael Paramo

How satisfied are you with your life? Examine who you are on the inside and take a look on the outside to explore your intrinsic and extrinsic accomplishments.

How do your observations compare to the answers you would have offered from 5, 10, or even 20 years ago?

Which of your efforts — based on what you wanted — have come to fruition, and how pleased are you today?

EXERCISE:

Take the time today to count your many blessings. How rich do you feel?

Consider having a conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague to expand the value of this exercise to more fully appreciate how far you have come.

“Nobody notices what you do until you do not do it.”

“Nobody notices what you do until you do not do it.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by John Cameron

How tired do you feel at the end of a long, challenging day?

Before you head to bed tonight, look at all you did personally and professionally to serve and support others.

How much gratitude and sincere appreciation came your way?

Alternatively, how much and how many of your efforts seemed to be taken for granted or were simply expected by those around you?

Who would notice and what would they notice if you did not fulfill your duties?

Now reverse the situation and look closely at what all the people in your world do for you. Where are you missing or taking for granted the multitude of efforts of others due to your ingrained expectations?

These days, perhaps more than ever, we need to see all people as essential workers who make our lives much better for their generous efforts.

EXERCISE:

How might paying closer attention to the big and small efforts of others, and a few more words of acknowledgment and appreciation help all of us fall to sleep tonight with a smile of satisfaction?

 

“What is the least I can teach you that would be the most valuable?”

“What is the least I can teach you that would be the most valuable?”

Michael Bungay Stanier, Founder of Box of Crayons

How familiar are you with the developmental and problem-solving tool called a quadrant graph?

Even if this specific term is unfamiliar, my guess is that you use some form of this concept to be productive and achieve your goals.

Take the example above, using effort and result as the two axis of the graph.

By evaluating each quadrant, we can calculate a course of action to optimize a path toward the result we desire.

The Quotable Coach blog series tries to apply a similar approach by offering a nugget of wisdom in about a minute’s read, potentially providing significant value to the reader.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom could you apply today’s quote in your role as either a teacher or a student?

Please reply to this post to describe the value created.

“You don’t have to be sick to get better.”

“You don’t have to be sick to get better.”

—Hale Irwin, American professional golfer

Image from Unsplash by Morgan David de Lossy

Golf has become one of the go-to sports given COVID-19 and our need for social distancing. Being in the fresh air and walking or riding in a golf cart solo allows players to enjoy natural beauty, be with friends, and engage in a game that can never quite be mastered.

I recently heard the story of a fan watching legendary golfer Hale Irwin practicing on the range following one of his many career wins, where he shared today’s quote. Clearly he was driven by the desire within most of us for the goal of continuous improvement and personal mastery.

EXERCISE:

Where can and will you continue to practice and apply your most committed efforts to take an aspect of your life from good to great?

Please share this intention with a coach or two who would be delighted to support your efforts to get better.

“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.”

“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.”

—Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Take a few minutes to reflect on your level of confidence regarding your personal and professional skills, abilities, and talents.

In which areas are you most or least confident?

Examine the levels of effort, practice, and overall experience you have put forth in each of these areas.

What factors seem to be most associated with higher versus lower confidence?

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional matter would a surplus of effort increase your effectiveness and your confidence?

What actions can and will you take to do just that?

“People can’t jump on your bandwagon if it’s parked in the garage.”

“People can’t jump on your bandwagon if it’s parked in the garage.”

—Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert, Author, Communications Strategist

Image by Freekee, in the Public Domain

The term bandwagon first appeared in a book about P.T. Barnum, the famous circus promoter.

Back in the 1850s, a circus made a showy parade through town before they set up. The bright and ornamental wagons were always part of the parade, meant to attract villagers. Musicians were always included, so their arrival could be heard and seen for considerable distances.

What ideas, causes, missions, or purposes do you wish to share with the villagers in your personal and professional communities?

What are you currently doing to broadcast your energy and excitement so that others will climb aboard and join your parade?

EXERCISE:

Where are you still in the garage with your idea and vision? How can and will you strike up the band so that others can jump aboard?

“The years teach much which the days never know.”

“The years teach much which the days never know.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th Century American essayist, philosopher, poet

Image from Unsplash by Christopher Burns

If you take a close look at our beautiful Earth and have done some traveling, you will have likely enjoyed Mother Nature’s magnificence.

Consider the sculpting power of wind, water, ice, the tectonic forces below us, and how they have all shaped our world for 4.5 billion years.

Occasionally, and perhaps a bit more often these days, we see dramatic examples of Mother Nature’s power. However, it may be her patience and ongoing work over years, decades, centuries, and millennium in which we can most fully appreciate her masterpiece.

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully appreciate your own daily efforts as the sculpting tools they represent in designing and crafting the future you desire?