“Life is actually an essay, not a series of responses to someone else’s agenda.”
—Seth Godin, American Author
Image from Unsplash by Thought Catalog
In order to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools and other learning institutions closed for the year.
Once the initial “extended summer vacation” excitement wore off and the reality set in, we were given an extremely important assignment.
Our homework is to write and experience the next chapters of our life stories. Some of us might look to the limitations and constraints. But we can also see new levels of creativity, innovation, and freedom to express ourselves through the amazing examples set by others in our various communities.
What will you include in your Hero’s Journey essay? How can you continue to influence your communities, expand your capabilities, and make an even more purposeful difference in the world?
What would happen if more of us put down the remote and picked up our pens to pursue our personal agenda?
“Lovely days don’t come to you. You should walk to them.”
—Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet
Image from Unsplash by Bob Canning
The term snowbird was first applied to humans in the early 1900s, to describe northern laborers who flocked down south to work as the cold, harsh winter set in up north.
Today, northerners of all kinds – including vacationers and retirees – are migrating south as the first frost arrives, to experience more lovely warm days.
Rumi surely wasn’t referring only to the weather. Perhaps he wanted all of us to look around – and deeper within – to determine exactly what a lovely day means, and just how much influence we have to create our own weather, wherever we happen to be.
What are some additional ways you can use your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energies to walk or even run toward far more lovely days in the future?
Who have been the most influential people throughout your life, helping to shape your character?
Examine your most favorable and admirable traits to see when they were developed. What made you decide, intentionally or by default, to adopt your temperament, personality, and general approach to life?
On the flip side, what are some of your bad habits and less desirable character traits? What people or other factors influenced these qualities and behaviors to become your less than optimal self?
Take a good long and objective look at the company you keep. Where is it time for an upgrade? Where might you perhaps delete some viruses or other character software running in the background?
“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”
—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor
Image from Unsplash by Nik MacMillan
How coachable are you? How open and receptive are you to the guidance, direction and influences of others in your professional or personal life?
I begin working with all new clients with an all-day, one-on-one workshop in my office to clarify and fully align on the specific goals and objectives we intend to produce. With this up-front investment to align our objectives we can optimize the full benefit and value of our relationship.
How can and will you enhance the receptivity and coach-ability of yourself and those around you by doing the up-front work of assuring shared goals for your efforts?
“No one agrees with other people’s opinion. They merely agree with their own opinions expressed by somebody else.”
—Sydney Tremayne, Canadian Stock Investment Strategist
Image from FlightJobs
How would you like to be a more masterful leader and have far greater influence in your professional and personal relationships?
For this to occur, it requires less of you and more from others.
Have you noticed that virtually everyone is far more interested in what they are thinking than in what you may be saying? Being interested rather than interesting can be just the strategy to discover their opinions and leanings on any topic. Their perspective and beliefs can point you to the areas where they can be more easily led and influenced.
Where and with whom can you tap into the opinions and beliefs held by others, to significantly increase your current levels of leadership and influence?
“The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”
—John Quincey Adams, 6th President of the United States
Image from Unsplash by Alex Hockett
We often hear comments about newborns having their mother’s eyes, or their father’s nose or smile.
Beyond our genetic code living on in our offspring, today’s quote points to the tremendous influence those outside our immediate family can have on us.
Take a few minutes to look at your past and current relationships to see how they have shaped the person you are today. Consider among these friends, teachers, mentors, coaches, neighbors, and religious leaders.
Where and with whom do or can you intentionally have a more positive influence within your various communities? Who are some of the individuals you may wish to thank again, or for the first time, for their contribution to your life?