“Set your course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship.”
—Omar N. Bradley, 20th Century American Military General
Image from harborfreight.com
Historically, sailors used a device called a sextant to determine their position in the ocean, and to chart their course.
Given the fixed positions of various stars, including Polaris (The North Star), and other commonly seen constellations, they were surprisingly successful in finding their way.
With today’s GPS technology, only a few sailors continue to use the sextant — although many a masterful sailor uses it as a backup in case technology fails.
With the volume of cruise ships, container vessels, and other boats on our oceans, it would be foolhardy to try to navigate strictly by watching every passing ship.
Consider your core values and guiding principles as fixed stars that guide your life. Which do you cherish the most? How do they help you navigate life’s rough seas?
“Success is not to be pursued. It is to be attracted by the person you become.”
—Jim Rohn, 20th Century American motivational speaker
Image from jimrohn.com
Jim Rohn, who passed away in 2009, was a personal development pioneer.
His over 6,000 seminars, countless books, tapes, learning programs and, of course inspirational quotes, have influenced millions.
Many of his wisest lessons were focused on our abilities to work on ourselves and contribute to others in our various communities.
One of his many students was a young, broke, down-and-out Tony Robbins, who has said many times that Rohn was the man who turned his life around. Tony, as we all know, has been working on himself for decades, and has paid forward similar lessons to millions.
What are the strategies, habits, and behaviors that help you continue your personal best journey?
What additional approaches can you incorporate in your days to both contribute to others and attract the success you desire?
“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”
—Sir John Lubbock, 19th Century British politician
Image from Unsplash by William Hook
Imagine you are a cell phone.
You begin your day with a full charge, and prepare to productively navigate your day. All of a sudden, a Worry App is opened on a family matter. Then two more open on your way to work. After your first cup of coffee, a couple more Apps open, due to an email and a text you’ve received.
Following a day of such events, your reserves of power are low or completely exhausted.
You’re in need of a recharge.
Unless you can limit or eliminate the open Worry Apps, you may find yourself headed to bed mentally and emotionally exhausted, sometimes unable to turn them off so you can rest.
How can you more efficiently and effectively allocate your physical, mental, and emotional energies throughout the day?
How would greater awareness of your worries limit or prevent you from experiencing these draining factors?
“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
Image created in Canva
As part of my customized Personal Excellence Training — which sets the stage for the majority of coaching engagements — I introduce a self-coaching tool called “The Pivot Point.”
This technique uses the concept of “creative tension” described by Robert Fritz in his book, The Path of Least Resistance.
Essentially, the pivot point involves asking yourself — or perhaps a group — these three questions:
- What is the current reality?
- What is the vision or goal?
- What actions can and will I/we take to move forward?
The leverage of our vision provides the impetus to move forward, and creates the opportunity to better our situation.
Select at least one personal or professional front-burner issue or project to try out the Pivot Point technique. Please consider replying to this post to let me know how things go.
“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
—Abraham Maslow, 20th Century American Psychologist
Image from Unsplash by Travelergeek
When was the last time you needed to repair your car, an appliance, or some other device in your home?
In days gone by, we would sometimes give these items a good whack in hopes of getting them going again.
Sometimes it actually worked!
These days, it is rare that any single tool or technique can get the job done, given the multitude and complexity of the many technologies and challenges we face.
In our use of communication, leadership, management, and coaching tools, it almost always takes a tailored and customized approach to optimize our outcomes.
Where in your life is being a hammer not working?
Consider asking a friend, colleague, family member, or coach for guidance regarding what other tools might be a better choice.
“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; wisdom is better than silver or gold.”
—Bob Marley, 20th Century Jamaican singer/songwriter
Image from Unsplash by Steve Harvey
How strongly do you “fit” and experience a sense of belonging in your personal and professional communities?
To what degree do your beliefs and core values align and resonate with others at home and at work?
Where may you be looking the other way or squinting a bit as you view your world, due to the benefits and payoffs some of your communities or associations provide?
What, if any, soul-diminishing effects are you experiencing due to certain decisions or indecision?
What wise and perhaps courageous choices and actions can and will you take to strengthen your soulful foundations toward an even more richly rewarding life?
“If you call failures experiments, you can put them on your resume and claim them as achievements.”
—Mason Cooley, 20th Century American Aphorist
Image from Unsplash by Christian Fregnan
Are you failing enough?
On a daily or weekly basis, how likely are you to try something new, take a risk, or experiment with something that may work just fine?
Being wrong, looking bad, and of course, losing, is to be avoided at all cost. Due to the potential for striking out, many of us never suit up and step on the playing fields of life, never swing away at our goals.
Today’s quote flips this idea on its head, to empower us to wear our setbacks and failures as badges of courage and honor.
How can and will you build an even more impressive resume given this expanded perspective?
“Every silver lining has a cloud.”
—Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
Image from Unsplash by Jacob Mejicanos
Living in Michigan for over 30 years, I have come to fully appreciate all four seasons. For many who live here, the joke goes that there are only two: Winter, and Construction.
I also see the down side of this perspective, yet most Michiganders are a pretty hearty, upbeat bunch.
Folks around here seem to find a good number of silver linings on a day-to-day basis despite those cloudy days and episodes in life. We are pretty good at making lemonade and of course experience gratitude for all the good things around us.
How can you more fully notice and appreciate the silver lining moments in your life? Looking for clouds may be a good place to start.