“Divine seeds are scattered throughout our mortal bodies.”
—Seneca, ancient Roman Stoic philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Annie Spratt
I’m sad to say that over the past few years, I’ve attended more funerals than at any other time in my life. Beyond the sadness and grief I’ve felt, I’ve come to more fully appreciate the celebratory stories often told by friends and family. Learning about these individual’s lives and discovering their gifts, talents, and contributions to the world is heartwarming and inspiring.
How often do we truly see and appreciate the divine seeds in one another? Why does it often take someone’s passing for us to discover their best qualities and gifts?
How can you seek out, more fully appreciate, and acknowledge the divine seeds in others today? How can you look beyond all the mortal and imperfect aspects of one another to see and celebrate their soulful virtues and wisdom?
What gifts in your life do you often take for granted?
—Calm App Reflection
Every moment of life is a precious gift.
Open each of these gifts slowly and mindfully so as not to miss a single one — this will help you live more fully and purposely, regardless of what you may accomplish. Don’t be surprised, however, if you accomplish a lot living this way!
What tangible and intangible gifts do your intend to offer the people in your various communities? How can putting greater thought and heartfelt intentions into your offerings? Please remember that your time might be your most special gift of all.
You may wish to explore the book, 4000 Weeks – Time Management for Mortals.
“The story of each stone leads back to a mountain.”
—W.S. Merwin, Late American Poet
Image from Unsplash by Daniel von Aarburg
Can you recall anyone telling you that you are “a chip off the old block”?
Perhaps you’ve used this phrase to refer to some bright, precocious youth showing great promise and demonstrating the positive qualities of their parents, teachers, or other well-regarded people.
Who have been the rugged, mountainous individuals in your life?
How have they shaped and carved your character, personality, attitudes, and talents?
What experiences and life lessons did they provide to help you become the person you are today?
Who are the people in your personal or professional worlds that see you as their mountain? How can and will you intentionally guide, teach, and coach them to be their very best?
“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.”
—Roy L. Smith, 20th Century American Clergyman
Image from Unsplash by Samuel Giacomelli
Heat treatment is the process of heating and cooling metals to change their micro-structure and to bring out the physical and mechanical characteristics that make them more desirable.
Before modern metalworking techniques were invented, blacksmiths used heat to make metal more workable in forming them into the shapes they desired and in making them stronger.
Where can and will you apply the fires of greater personal and professional discipline to expand your talents into more masterful abilities?
“A talent can be cultivated in tranquility; a character only in the rushing stream of life.”
—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, 18th Century German writer and statesman
Image from Unsplash by Sergio Souza
Reflecting on this Quotable Coach series over the past eight years, I realized that it was the values and character traits of each author that had me select their quotes.
These daily nuggets of practical wisdom are more often gleaned from the rushing streams of life than tranquil self-reflection.
Cultivating our talents in both tranquil and active times provides an added foundation for many of the character traits we most admire and wish to emulate in our own lives.
If developing your own character is a priority, you may wish to read the remarkable stories of less well-known individuals in David Brooks book, The Road to Character.
“Drop the hammer and pick up the shovel.”
—attributed to J.A. Dever
Image from Flickr by Daniel R. Blume
If you are a student of leadership and management theory, I’m sure you are fully aware that the old school “Command and Control” Taskmaster, or in this case, “Drop the Hammer” approach to success is history.
With the intense competition for talent, organizations and their leaders must create collaborative and cooperative cultures wherein each employee can develop and contribute in a meaningful way to remain engaged. Without the side-by-side pursuit of individual and organizational achievement, many top people will seek their futures elsewhere.
Where would more of a “Pick up the Shovel,” team leader approach to people and results be just the ticket for you and your organization to thrive today, and well into the future?
“At the heart of any good business is a chief executive officer with one.”
—Malcolm Forbes, late publisher of Forbes Magazine
Image from Adweek
The unemployment rate is at the lowest level in decades, and the search for talent is more competitive than any time most of us can remember.
With over 70 million Baby Boomers having exited or in the process of leaving the workforce, the prospect of attracting and retaining top talent to compete successfully in the global economy is not likely to get any easier.
Beyond all the benefits, perks, and bonuses, many leaders are finding it difficult to attract and retain the best and brightest.
What heart-based or heart-felt behaviors and cultural efforts can you initiate and sustain throughout your organization? What needs to happen – especially within the leadership ranks – to be one of the Good to Great and Built to Last organizations we so admire?
“Use what talent you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”
—Henry Van Dyke, 20th Century American educator
Image from Flickr by Rach
We live in a hyper-competitive world. Simply look around and see the countless examples in your personal and professional worlds.
For our children, it begins quite early with school and sports and other extra-curricular activities. As we enter our early adult years, the competition to get in the best schools and desirable companies can be fierce. Then we have to climb the corporate ladder.
Perhaps the primary goal of our journey through life is to reveal our unique abilities and talents. Perhaps it is our job or purpose to express and share them with the world as we become better versions of ourselves.
What are your special talents? How can and will you develop them to your fullest capacity, and offer them generously within your communities with your voice both loud and proud?
“How can we become a cause and not just a company?”
—Tim Ogilvie, New York City-based Entrepreneur
Employee engagement is a hot topic. Every day, I meet with business leaders pulling their hair out over the challenge of attracting and retaining top talent.
In his 2009 book Drive, Daniel Pink explores factors that engage and motivate employees to be their best, to be attracted to the organizations that fulfill their need for meaning and purpose.
Some companies do a better job than others at making a profound impact on the stakeholder groups they genuinely seek to serve.
Where and in what ways can you ignite and expand your company or organizational purpose?
How can tapping into this desire for a passionate purpose set you apart from your competitors?
How might it generate a waiting list of eager talented applicants who want to be part of something extraordinary?