“Because of a great love, one is courageous.”

“Because of a great love, one is courageous.”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

590“Operating outside your comfort zone” is perhaps one of the most commonly used phrases in the coaching and professional development industries.

Unfortunately, the overuse of this concept means it sometimes sounds a bit trite, and it often gets overlooked or neglected due to its familiarity.

The quote above by Lao Tzu points to a primary reason why we decide to be courageous and stretch beyond our current state.

Exercise:

Examine the relationship of love and commitment as a source of courage in your professional and personal life. Notice where this courage mobilizes you to take the necessary risk to move outside your current self-imposed limitations.

For extra credit, consider emailing me (barry@dempcoaching.com) with some phrase you have heard, or used, as an alternative to “operating outside your comfort zone.”

For instance, I often use the question, “Where does your commitment supersede your comfort?”

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

577Image from Flickr by rodaniel.

Lao Tzu must have been an outstanding coach. Many coaching philosophies have at their core the concept that virtually all answers lie within each individual. If this is the case, why has there been such a phenomenal growth in this industry?

Many coaches, including me, assert that the engaging, committed, and inquiry-based coaching relationship literally draws these answers out of each client to clarify and crystallize this inner knowing.

Once these answers are made clear, the coach provides the ongoing reminder and support system to assist the client to pursue their authentic life journey toward their deepest held desires.

Exercise:

Who are the coaches in your life that will help you answer the important questions regarding who you are and what you want, and support you to realize your best future self?

If you would like to explore my own coaching services, please start by looking at my flagship program, Personal Excellence Training:

http://www.dempcoaching.com/personal-excellence-training

A great quote from Lao Tzu

“The reality of the building does not consist in the roof and walls but in the space within to be lived in.”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

562Image from Flickr by jillyspoon.

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the wedding of my son Dan to his beautiful bride Carla. I am not a wedding planner, thank goodness, and I was amazed at how many venues it took to pull off this celebration.

Included were:

  • A restaurant to host the rehearsal dinner
  • The rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art for the ceremony
  • The ballroom of a wonderful, supportive hotel
  • A breakout room for a Sunday morning brunch
  • And even a local dance studio where the family and guests got to learn swing dancing

In each case, loving, joyous spaces were created by everyone who attended.

Exercise:

How can you, and those you care about, make the spaces within the buildings you live and work in even more special?

“The journey of a thousand miles begins and ends with one step.”

 “The journey of a thousand miles begins and ends with one step.”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

We have all heard this famous quote a thousand times.  What about all those steps in between?

Of course we would all acknowledge the important of taking the initiative with the first step toward our goals. Once we have done so, we are at a new beginning point, ready to take the next first step.

In the beginning, it may be difficult to move toward our goals – however, with persistence and the development of this habit to act, we will be much more likely to find ourselves taking that last step to reach our desired destinations.

Exercise:

Identify at least one professional or personal goal that you deeply desire, where you find yourself procrastinating or simply stopped in your tracks.

Brainstorm alone or with others the first, second, etc. steps toward its achievement.

Before you know it, you will have arrived.

Please reply to this message and let me know the goals you choose to pursue – and what happens.

#46: “Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them…”

“… Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say, ‘We have done this ourselves.’ ”

– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

I have been a student of leadership for most of my adult life. I’ve always been fascinated by how leaders generate buy-in, alignment, loyalty, and shared vision. Lao Tzu’s quote points to a critical characteristic about leadership: people are most likely to buy-in when they have been actively involved in the creative process.

When people see their own ideas and fingerprints on the work, they have a sense of ownership that feels true and genuine.

Exercise:

Where in your work, family, and community can you draw on others to create the futures you desire? As long as you get there, who cares who gets the credit?

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