Shelf Life

“Ideas have a short shelf life. You must act on them before the expiration date.”

-John Maxwell, American author and speaker

Image from michellelianna.wordpress.com

Image from michellelianna.wordpress.com

When you visit the grocery store to purchase food for yourself and your family, do you have a particular strategy? Do you make a comprehensive list, or just have a general idea of what you need? Do you walk down each aisle to see what is on sale, or fill your cart with what appeals to you in the moment, especially when you’re hungry as you shop?

One strategy I employ is to examine the expiration date on all packaged food.  On numerous occasions, I find myself looking toward the back of the shelf to select those items that will stay freshest longest.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the best ideas sitting on the shelves of your mind? Which one will you act upon today and not let it expire?

“Don’t let anyone rent…”

“Don’t let anyone rent a space in your head, unless they’re a good tenant.”

—Author Unknown

image from runningisfunny.com

image from runningisfunny.com

Self-talk is a powerful thing.

It can inspire us to achieve greatness or stop us in our tracks and affect all aspects of our lives.

Where and when did you first notice your own internal monologues? Who in your past or present life is responsible for this programming?

EXERCISE:

What negative voices have taken residence in your head? How can you begin the eviction process, put up the “for rent” sign, and encourage a more supportive and empowering tenant?

“Your mind is a garden…”

“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, you can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Flickr by My Photo Journeys

Image from Flickr by My Photo Journeys

At this time of year, the northern hemisphere is harvesting many crops. Due to advances in farming technology, our ability to grow food throughout the year has greatly expanded.

Today’s quote suggests that our minds are always very fertile. We can all do a better job selecting and planting only the most optimal and positive thoughts to help us harvest a healthy and abundant life.

EXERCISE:

Examine how much time you commit daily to your own growth and development. Be specific in minutes and hours. Examine, too, how much time you spend in the weeds of negative or toxic thinking, in your personal and professional worlds.

What actions can and will you take today to harvest far more flowers and considerably less weeds in your world?

Everything you Think

“Don’t believe everything you think.”

—Allan Lokos, founder of the Community Meditation Center in New York City

Photo from Flickr by Karen Neoh

Photo from Flickr by Karen Neoh

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t believe everything you hear.” Over the years, most of us have learned to take much of what we hear or read with the proverbial grain of salt.

At some point however, we decide what we are going to internalize and cement within us as truth. This choosing, whether intentional or perhaps mostly unconscious, can be useful and at the same time, limiting. Usually, these thoughts help us navigate our world efficiently and effectively, supporting a form of life momentum.

Alternatively, sometimes our thinking simply doesn’t work or serve us in certain situations.

EXERCISE:

Take out a piece of paper or Post-it Note, and write the following questions:

  • How does my current thinking help or hurt this situation?
  • What alternative thoughts would generate even more work-ability?

If you have been reading The Quotable Coach series for some time, you may know that Edward DeBono’s The Six Thinking Hats is a resource I refer to frequently.

#94: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

– William Shakespeare, playwright

Our ability as humans to interpret the world around us is remarkable. Consider your thoughts about the following pairs of words:

  • life – death
  • win – lose
  • big – small
  • happy – sad
  • right – wrong
  • power – force
  • full – empty
  • leadership – management
  • optimism – pessimism
  • young – old
  • growth – decline
  • success – failure
  • strong – weak
  • natural – artificial

Exercise:

Is there a fundamental “goodness” or “evil” in anything?

How does your thinking about the world and others help you or limit you? How could you expand or shift your thinking to lead a far more fulfilling life?

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