“We’re better off when we’re all better off.”
—Eric Liu, American writer and founder of Citizen University
Image from Unsplash by Brett Jordan
I read a wide variety of blogs on a daily basis. Their wisdom and perspectives offer many ideas to add my two cents from time to time. Today’s quote was recently shared by Stephen Amant, who writes the Savenwood blog, which I encourage you to explore and consider becoming a subscriber.
Liu’s quote about bettering the lives of others as well as ourselves satisfies my spirit.
It helps me see that by leaning in to serve and support others in my communities I, too, will rise.
The idea of bettering myself while leaving others to do the same leaves me feeling empty.
Where and how can you raise up others in your communities so that we are all better off?
“Before you try to increase your willpower, try decreasing the friction in your environment.”
—James Clear, Writer, Entrepreneur and Behavior Science Expert
Image from Unsplash by Sandeep Singh
In any new coaching engagement, it is very helpful to examine the personal, social, and structural supports that are already in place.
Better outcomes are unlikely without a significant degree of motivation, ability, and willpower.
Having the social support of friends, family, and colleagues provides both encouragement and accountability.
Structural support is often trickier in that environmental cues already in place often trigger old, entrenched habits that do not serve new behaviors and better results.
Explore James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits for more ideas on this subject, and his 1-2-3 Newsletter to get you thinking differently to create better results in many areas of life.
I also recommend the book Influencer — The Power to Change Anything for other strategies to decrease the friction in our environments.
“I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.”
—Maya Angelou, late American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist
Image from Unsplash by Matheus Ferrero
Who are the people in your life that you can always count on? Those special folks who are there in both good and bad times with just the right amount of support to aid you in your efforts? What qualities do you look for in them, and how do you stack up, given these criteria?
It is fairly rare to have a large list of such individuals in our lives. One way to attract more of these special people is to be one yourself.
Who are the people in your life that are counting on you to always do your best? What specific actions are required of you today to not let them down?
Reflect on the ways you offer support to others.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Duy Pham
Wendy and I recently spent about a month in Pembroke Pines, Florida, within a community called Century Village. My mom and dad retired there over 25 years ago and loved their active lifestyle with many wonderful people. It’s now our turn to begin our own snow-birding lifestyle, to ease back on our work and enjoy the fruits of our labors.
This slower and more mindful pace has given me the time to observe the people in this community more closely and carefully. Noticing the many ways these welcoming and wonderful people support and celebrate their lives together is very satisfying, like a warm homecoming.
What are some of the ways you see people supporting one another in your various communities? What are the ways you can acknowledge this support and offer your own generous deposits to enrich the life of others?
“When things feel heavy, reach out to whomever is near and distribute the weight.”
Image from Unsplash by Rémi Walle
This past spring and summer Wendy and I began and eventually finished our move from Michigan to Pennsylvania. Our last move prior to this was 29 years earlier and we had the services of a corporate relocation company that handled all the details — including most of the heavy lifting.
The added years and the lack of corporate support made this move far more demanding physically, mentally, and emotionally. Thankfully we were blessed with the help of our amazing children, friends, and some interesting out-of-the-blue strangers who came to the rescue to lighten our load.
Where have certain aspects of your life become heavy and difficult to manage? Who are some of the people in your various communities that can and would happily let you distribute this weight? Who in your life needs your assistance at this heavy time in their lives?
“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.”
—Neil De Grasse Tyson, American Astrophysicist
Image from Unsplash by Jason Leung
The world idolizes winners. Examine the media and you will find countless examples from game shows, reality TV, sports, social media icons, and even speakers, leaders, and coaches.
Who sits at the top of the list of super achievers in your personal and professional communities?
In recent weeks I’ve been paying even closer attention to my daughter Rachel and my grandson Weston. Beyond learning his numbers, letters, shapes, and colors, he is in new territory with potty training.
If you’ve experienced this right of passage with children and grandchildren, you know that there are far more mishaps than successes in the early stages.
Where is it time to give out far more “A’s” for effort and supportive encouragement in your world? Where and from whom could you most benefit from a booster shot of encouragement?
“If you can’t be a pencil to write anyone’s happiness, then try to be a nice eraser to remove their sadness.”
Image from Unsplash by Copper and Wild
When was the last time you tried to cheer someone up? When was the last time your friends and family tried to pencil a bit of happiness into your world?
Although well intentioned, many of these efforts don’t do the trick and can sometimes backfire, leaving others feeling worse. In such cases, perhaps a “less is more” approach can act as an eraser to lighten the burden.
Where and with whom could your simple presence, care, and a loving shoulder to lean on be the way to support those experiencing sadness or loss?
“A man’s pride can be his downfall, and he needs to learn when to turn to others for support and guidance.”
—Bear Grylls, British Adventurer
Image of Bear Grylls from DailyExpress
If you were to look up the phrase “rugged individual or adventurer” on the internet, you would likely see a photo and description of Bear Grylls.
He served in the British army, trained in unarmed combat, desert and winter warfare, survival, climbing, and parachuting. He is also noted for his numerous expeditions, including:
- Climbing Mount Everest
- Circumnavigating the United Kingdom on a jet ski
- Crossing the North Atlantic in a rigid inflatable boat
- Climbing remote and “unclimb-able” peaks in Antarctica
Although much personal attention has created his celebrity status, he points out most vividly, with today’s quote, that in virtually all cases, his successes involved and were dependent on the support and guidance of others.
Where in your personal or professional life have you been going it alone to achieve what you desire? Where and on what matters it is time to more fully embrace and yes, request the assistance of others in your various communities?
Check out Grylls’ Wikipedia page, and note how many of his accomplishments include many other people backing his efforts.
“If people are doubting how far you’ll go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
-Michele Ruiz, award-winning broadcast journalist
Image from Unsplash
Having supportive people in your life is a critical component to success.
It is bad enough when our own thinking fuels the seeds of doubt; we surely don’t need those around us sharing their limiting beliefs and negative views of our potential.
The coaching for today is to see these individuals as toxic, and to remove them completely from our worlds.
Who are the doubters and naysayers in your personal and professional worlds? In what ways can you get far away from them, to avoid their negative influence? How can and will you surround yourself with “true believers” to support your greatest personal and professional potential?
“Don’t wait for someone to take you under their wing. Find a good wing and climb up underneath it.”
Image from Flickr by Savannah Sam Photography
We all need help if we are to fly high and far.
Think back to the recent Olympics in Brazil, and consider the social supports in place for each athlete. Beyond their coaches, there were friends, family, mentors, and sports psychologists directing their efforts toward personal excellence.
In the event you do not have your own team of supportive individuals lined up to encourage and uphold you, begin today to seek them out, and choose the very best. With a champion’s spirit and effort, both you and those with “good wings” will benefit greatly.
Once your “A” team of supportive individuals are on board, take the initiative to spread your own wings for others to climb underneath.