“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”

“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”

—William Wordsworth, in The Excursion

Image from Unsplash by Mark Pan4ratte

Achieving new levels of professional and career success is almost always a primary reason people seek coaching. They of course wish to soar, create more value for others, and better provide for themselves and their families.

In the course of pursuing these goals, most people see considerable spill over into their personal life priorities, sometimes right within arms reach.

It turns out that wisdom is far nearer than they thought. Reaching out to serve their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other communities helps them experience greater passion and purpose in their lives.

EXERCISE:

How might you gain far greater wisdom by doing a bit more stooping rather than soaring? What actions can and will you take today?

“Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent.”

“Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent.”

—Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

Image from wordpress

Imagine you are Aladdin with a magic lamp and three wishes to dramatically enhance your life. How many of your wishes would be extrinsic rather than intrinsic in nature?

What internal qualities and personal characteristics would you seek to more fully realize your vision of a brighter, more fulfilling future?

EXERCISE:

Consider that you already have your own internal magic lamp within you. Where will you begin, today, to use it to rethink, reinvigorate, and reinvent whatever aspect of your world you choose?

“Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.”

“Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise.”

—Frank Ocean, American singer/songwriter

Image from Unsplash by Glenn Carstens-Peters

I hope you love your life. I hope all your personal and professional efforts are rewarding in themselves, and that there is no need to brag or boast to call attention to your successes. After all, tooting your own horn can often backfire in our world of considerable judgement.

Ask yourself the following questions regarding your current work efforts:

  • How much impact, influence, and say do I have in my work?
  • How much am I learning, growing, and bettering myself through my work?
  • What difference, contribution, and purpose does my work provide to others in my various communities?

EXERCISE:

Take one minute tonight after you brush your teeth to look in a mirror and reflect on all your silent successes. You may notice how others in your world often toot your horn for you.

There’s no ceiling on effort

“There’s no ceiling on effort.”

—Harvey C. Fruehauf, President of HCF Enterprises

Image from Canva

Are you at the absolute pinnacle of success in all areas of life? If you answered “no,” or “not really,” today’s quote may get you a bit closer to your goals.

I’ll share with you three key attributes to success I learned from a wise coach and mentor early in my life, when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales person.

It uses the acronym: A.S.K. to point to the elements that lie within us or that can be developed to reach higher levels of achievement in virtually any are we desire.

The “A” stands for activity. It points us to the fact that the level of effort we put forth on any particular task is up to us. I like the idea that there is no ceiling or limit placed on us, and that through persistence, tenacity, and grit, we can all achieve far more of what we most desire.

It is through such massive efforts we can progress on to the “S” and “K,” which stand for skills and knowledge.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what important personal or professional goal can and will you raise the ceiling on your current efforts to gain the skills and knowledge to reach new levels of success?

You don’t need clarity on the rest of your life

“You don’t need clarity on the rest of your life, just on what’s next in your life.”

—Sam Horn, Motivational Keynote Speaker

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In my Coaching Discovery process, I ask prospective clients to rate their level of agreement, on a scale of one (low) to five (high), with the following statement:

“I have a clear view of where I am and where I want to go in life.”

Virtually no one rates themselves five, and most give themselves a score of three or less.

Sam Horn suggests, on one of her recent posts, that we can all use what she calls “The Four I’s” to add greater clarity to navigating a more fulfilling and successful life. They are:

  • Instincts: What does your gut say?
  • Interests: What are your talents, skills, and unique abilities?
  • Integrity: What life choices are most aligned with your core values and priorities?
  • Initiative: How can you proactively reach out to an individual or organization that is doing work you admire and respect?

EXERCISE:

Explore The Four I’s with a coach, close friend, or professional colleague whose perspective you value to help you see more clearly what’s next for you.

The future is something which everyone reaches

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

—C.S. Lewis, 20th Century British author

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Today’s quote has a bit of a passive quality for me. In a recent article, Michael Simmons points out the considerable downside of a passive approach by describing a term he coined “The Five Hour Rule” a few years ago. Through his research of the most successful people in the world he discovered a pattern: They all devoted at least five hours a week to deliberate learning, to ensure long-term success.

His work demonstrates that in maintaining only our current knowledge, about 50% will become outdated within a decade. He points out that each of us will need to learn five hours a week just to stay up-to-date in our current fields, and more if we want to get ahead.

Most of us know that we all forget a significant portion of what we learn, but did you know that facts in many fields of study have a half-life where previous knowledge can no longer be found in scientific citations?

Consider where the fields of artificial intelligence, app development, social media management, driverless cars and cloud computing will be even a few years from now. None of these fields existed 15 years ago.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and will you invest at least five hours each week on intentional learning?

Consider checking out Michael Simmons article by reading “The Math Behind the Five Hour Rule.”

Your Chances of Success

“Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.”

—Robert Collier, 20th Century author of metaphysical books

Cartoon of a man with devil/angel on his shoulders

Image from theconversation

Think back to when you were small, watching your favorite cartoon. For me, it was Saturday mornings with Looney Tune characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

Can you recall an episode or two in which your favorite character is faced with the pivotal choice of good versus bad, or perhaps a “Yes, you can!” versus “No, you can’t!” coming from an angelic or devilish character standing on opposite shoulders?

Through science and technology, it has recently been determined that the energies associated with our optimistic and positive beliefs actually correlate to better outcomes in our lives.

EXERCISE:

How can you increase your chances of personal and professional success by exercising and building your angelic belief muscle on a daily basis?

Our life is to be like a river, not a reservoir

“Our life is to be like a river, not a reservoir.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a flowing river

Image from Unsplash by Nathan Anderson

Potential energy versus kinetic energy… what’s the difference? How do these concepts relate to dams and the generation of hydroelectric power?

What are other examples in our society in which we amass a resource because it represents a reservoir of potential power? If you need a clue, consider looking at the stock exchange, the commodities market, or even your kitchen pantry.

The key to success is the flow, trade, exchange, and movement of these resources that actually turns the gears of society to hopefully better the world for all of us.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of Lynne Twist’s book, The Soul of Money, to examine the importance of the flowing nature of this man-made tool to better our world.

Where else would living life like a river and not a reservoir lead to greater happiness and success?

You Have Been Assigned This Mountain

“You have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a man on a boulder

Image from Unsplash by Tommy Lisbin

Over the years, I’ve posted many times about climbing to the top of one’s personal and professional mountains, to reach the pinnacle of success.

Moving a mountain is a considerable twist on the subject. It implies that an immovable object or enormous barrier must be shifted, not simply climbed.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what mountainous project or endeavor is it time to dig in, one shovelful at a time, to pass freely to the other side?

How can and will your efforts demonstrate for others what may be possible for them if they were to dig into their own mountainous barriers?

Here is another post about moving mountains.

Who Can You Give the Credit to

“Who can you give the credit to, before you take some for yourself?”

—Michael Bungay Stainer, Founder of Box of Crayons

Image of Jim Collins

Harry S. Truman once said, “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.”

The classic book, Good to Great by Jim Collins supports this idea as a critical characteristic of what he calls Level 5 Leadership. Collins found, through extensive research, that the focus on the success of others rather than on one’s own contributions and accomplishments were key attributes for those who achieved breakthrough results.

EXERCISE:

Who in your professional or personal communities has earned and deserves far more credit than they are currently given? When will you recognize and reward their significant contribution – today, and on an ongoing basis?