Among the skills introduced to our children during their early years, reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic as we called it, took top billing. The nightly bedtime story is still an integral part of many family rituals, including my grandchildren.
There probably isn’t a family that doesn’t have at least a few choice Dr. Seuss books that haven’t seen some considerable wear over the years.
Beyond the funny characters and rhyming words, there was almost always a life lesson in those pages to inspire and guide our little ones to be good people and do their part to help and serve others.
Please download and read The Carbon Almanac for Kids to help our future generations become knowledgeable and contributory stewards of our beautiful world. It’s free!
—Arthur C. Brooks, faculty member of the Harvard Business School
Image from Unsplash by jeshoots.com
What were your favorite subjects in school? In what areas did you excel and demonstrate significant mastery as you grew up? Who were the teachers, mentors, coaches, and family members who guided and supported your development? What resources guided them before they were there for you?
How fortunate we are these days that so much knowledge is available at the touch of a few buttons or keystrokes. How exciting it is that we are only moments away from tapping into the greatest minds of all time whenever we wish, and can stand on their shoulders if we choose.
To what extent have you taken full advantage of great minds to support your personal and professional efforts? Where and how can you, too, be a great mind to support future generations in the years ahead?
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
—Margaret Fuller, 19th Century American journalist and editor
Image from Unsplash by Kaizen Nguyễn
My grandson Weston loves lemonade. He loves it so much that he prefers it to eating if given the choice. One minute a full glass is in front of him and the next it is empty and he asks for more.
Another wonderful thing about Weston is his thirst for knowledge. His candle is always ablaze with interest in learning about his world and showing others what he can do.
How about you and others in your personal and professional communities? Where do you have the greatest thirst for knowledge and the interest in lighting the candles of others?
Who are the open-minded and always ready students in your world? How can you be their teacher, mentor, or coach supporting the next steps in their development? How ready are you as a student, and who are the wise ones in your world that help you light your way?
“Left untended, knowledge and skill, like all assets, depreciate in value surprisingly quickly.”
—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor
Image from Unsplash by Fredy Jacob
Where are your skills and knowledge not keeping up with the times?
Where have you dropped your intellectual anchor, letting the whole world know you have stopped at what seems like a safe spot to rest and sit things out?
I was recently asked to help a friend with her printer, to make copies of her resume to secure a new job. Although she had brand new cartridges installed, her computer couldn’t communicate with her printer due to an old, unsupported operating system.
Where are you falling a bit behind in the skills and knowledge needed to be successful professionally or personally? What investments can and will you make that will appreciate in value in the years ahead?
“Knowledge is like underwear. It is useful to have it, but not necessary to show it off.”
—Bill Murray, American actor
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Who are the people in your world who give you instructions to build a clock when all you ask is the time?
Knowledge can definitely be useful, but too much of a good thing can go awry pretty quickly.
We all wish to be helpful, to be of service, and to contribute. Unfortunately, in our many efforts to do so by sharing what we know, we do not always consider the openness and receptivity of those we wish to enlighten.
Where would it be much wiser to share far less of what you know in either your professional or personal communities? We all know no one likes a know-it-all.
—Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father & 3rd President of the United States
Who are the “know it alls” in your personal and professional communities? Who are those who insist on showing everyone that they are the human version of Google?
How do you feel when you are around them? To what degree might you be on someone else’s “know it all” list?
Being interesting versus interested can only take us so far, and it almost always backfires. Wanting to be understood versus seeking to understand with more of a beginner’s mind seems like a wiser path to take.
What do these factors have to do with how each of us turns out along our life journey?
As a coach passionate about growth and development, I do my best to keep the lights of knowledge and the beacons of wisdom prominent in my world. My intent is to shine my best in each of my communities, with the goal of contributing to those around in a meaningful way.
How and in what ways can you “amp up” the environmental voltage to illuminate yourself and those around you so that everyone’s inherent qualities and talents shine even brighter?
“The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.”
-Lord Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
Image of Milford Sound from Flickr by Bernard Spragg
What do the following places have in common?
Bay of Islands
For those who wish to travel more, these are wondrous destinations in New Zealand.
I visited these amazing places as part of my 60th birthday adventure. Getting out into the world can be transformational! In just a few weeks, I felt I took a quantum leap in my awareness and knowledge of geography, history, culture, plants, animals, and many other subjects.
How and in what ways can you investigate and explore your world more fully to add and expand to you awareness and knowledge? Consider scheduling one of your most exciting “Bucket List” travel adventures soon.
“A smart person knows what to say. A wise person knows whether or not to say it.”
When can less be more? How often do you find yourself giving others advice or sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience, only to find that it is unwanted?
Were you ever that kid in school who raised their hand saying “call on me!” so you could share the right answer and show how smart you were? If so, what reaction did you receive from the other students? If not, how did you feel about your classmates who did?
I have found it very useful, in recent years, to restrain my exuberance to share what I know in order to more fully allow others to share and contribute their thoughts and ideas. Not surprisingly, I learn far more when my mouth is shut and my ears are open!
Where can less from you and more from others be a wiser recipe for your future success?