“Learning never exhausts the mind.”
—Leonardo Da Vinci, the genius and most influential artist in history
Image from Unsplash by Dmitry Ratushny
I consider myself a lifelong learner and make the inclusion of daily learning experiences a top priority. I crave new ideas so much that many of my daily rituals and habits include them.
Unlike Leonardo, however, my capacity to learn gets a bit weary over time. I’ve noticed that when I visit museums, read for extended periods, or watch educational TV programs, I reach a limit and need a break to rest my mind with an alternative activity, or even a nap.
Fortunately, my mind recovers fairly quickly and I am ready once again to sponge up and apply new learning in quick order!
What topics and areas of learning energize you the most? How often do you exercise your mind to expand your capacities for growth and personal development? Where do you need short breaks to renew and recharge between these efforts?
“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.
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.
“What is the part of yourself that you left behind to become the person you are today?”
—Deborah Anacona, Founder of the MIT Leadership Center
Image from Pinterest
Imagine that you are a lobster that is not on the menu of some local restaurant.
You are swimming in the ocean, doing what lobsters do.
To get to be a two pound or larger crustacean, you had to molt many times. Over the years, you broke out of your shell due to your continuous growth.
What constraining or limiting factors did you have to leave behind to reach this point?
What parts of yourself will need to grow – and what parts must be shed – to become the person you will be tomorrow?
“Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else.”
—George Halas, founder of the Chicago Bears
What would you rather be doing at this very moment? Hopefully you love learning, personal growth/development feels more like play than work, and reading The Quotable Coach every morning is an enjoyable and rewarding minute of your day.
What are the areas of your life in which you expend considerable effort because those activities fill you up rather than bring you down?
When I first began coaching, I was introduced to the word “toleration” by Thomas Leonard of Coach University. Simply defined, tolerations are things that bug us, sap our energy, and could be eliminated. Although some people have a sense of pride and even feel noble about carrying many of these burdens, there can be a considerable price to pay.
Where and how can you bring more fulfillment and satisfaction into your work and life? What are some of the tolerations you can reduce or eliminate to lead a more enjoyable life?
Consider picking up a copy of Thomas Leonard’s book, The Portable Coach to learn more about this technique.
“If you see someone without a smile today, give them one of yours.”
—Dolly Parton, American singer, songwriter, and actress
Image from Amazon
How much time each day do you spend reading for enjoyment and personal growth? For many people the answer may be, “Not much,” with the add-on phrase, “Who has the time?”
If this is the case for you, or even if reading is a significant part of your daily routine, I suggest a wonderful smile-inducing book called, Be the Sun Not the Salt by Dr. Harry D. Cohen.
A key concept he shares is the idea of being heliotropic, which is the tendency for all living systems to be drawn to the energy that sustains its life. Throughout the 71 pages of this book, I hope you will find yourself nodding and smiling at its many nuggets of wisdom.
How and in what ways can you be more heliotropic and a more positive influence on others in your life?
Consider sharing a big genuine smile with others as a good place to start.
“More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them.”
—Dan Sullivan, founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc.
Image from DailyCaring
Having a bias for being right and making others wrong seems to be one of the fundamental challenges facing the majority of people throughout history. Although most of us prefer to consider ourselves self-aware and open-minded, we often fall into the trap of seeing the mistakes of others far more often than viewing our own shortcomings.
Instead of closing our eyes to our own responsibilities for certain failures, what if we could shift our perspective from one of embarrassment and shame to one of learning and growth? How would this support the courage it takes to be vulnerable in those moments we fall short in our efforts?
Where and on what life issue are you, or perhaps someone you know, in denial about a significant mistake? What would be the benefit if you or they would more frequently embrace the life changing magic and important lessons in such situations?
“The reinvention of daily life means marching off the edge of our maps.”
—Bob Black, American Activist
Image from Unsplash by Abyan Athif
If you happen to be a passionate advocate for your personal growth and development, you’ve probably heard of Tony Robbins.
Since the late 70s, he has impacted millions of people through his seminars, self-help books, and infomercials. He and his numerous companies earn about $6 billion in annual sales.
I recently watched his “I am Not Your Guru” documentary, which highlights his 6-day “Date with Destiny” event, in which 2,500 participants invested about $5,000 each in their own reinvention efforts toward a happier, more fulfilling life.
Fundamental to each participant’s quest was the generation of breakthrough thoughts and actions well beyond the personal maps and mental models that limit all of us.
In my opinion, he delivered on his promise and earned every penny.
Where and in what ways it is time to leave your own predictable life and venture off the maps that seem to limit your horizons?
What specific changes can you implement immediately to shift your thinking, modify a habit, or alter a daily routine to begin this reinvention process today?
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways you yourself have altered.”
Nelson Mandela, late President of South Africa
Image from Unsplash by Jeffrey Hamilton
When I was in college, I took an afternoon to go back to my elementary school in Philadelphia to visit some of the teachers who played an important role in my development and inspired me to always do my best and contribute to others.
As I walked the halls and entered each classroom, it seemed like everything had shrunk to half its size when I was a boy. I had a vivid sense of how I had grown in many ways, where I stood in bigger shoes to pursue my future path.
I was able to look my teachers in the eye as a young adult, and thank them for their contribution.
Select a handful of books that have been pivotal to your development over the years, and read at least one of them again.
I hope you will notice that while the words are the same, you are not, and that new lessons await the ever-evolving and expanding person you have become.
Consider reading a few more of your favorite books again, if you find value in this exercise.
“Dialogue is an exchange in which people think together and discover something new.”
—George Kohlrieser, American Clinical Psychologist
Image from Unsplash by Kevin Curtis
Perhaps no single skill is more important to professional and personal growth than to be a masterful communicator.
In the classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie suggests the following:
- Demonstrate genuine interest in others and their ideas
- Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves
- Show respect for others opinions and beliefs
- Avoid arguments, criticism, and judgment
They say two heads are better than one. What can you do to enhance your skills of dialogue to think far better with others and discover many new things through such interactions?
Consider picking up Carnegie’s book to learn more from this pioneer in the field of personal development.