“Set your course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship.”

“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?

The one thing I love most

“Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want.”

—Ryan Gosling, Canadian Actor and Musician

Image of a bowl of Halloween candy

mage from Flickr by Sean Freese


Looking back to my childhood, Halloween was perhaps my favorite holiday. The process of selecting our costumes to be hand-made by mom, and the pillow cases we used to collect our booty, still brings a fond smile.

In those years, we went out early and stayed out pretty late, and it was common to head home to drop off a load of the sweet stuff and head back out for more. That night, and for a few short weeks after, we had the freedom to eat our fill and not hear “No!” too often.

This freedom to choose our actions was something I cherished and it has been a core value of mine ever since.


How and in what ways can you experience even more of the sweetness of life by embracing and exercising the personal freedoms we sometimes take for granted?

Keep out of the suction

“Keep out of the suction caused by those who drift backwards.”

—attributed to E. K. Piper

Image of a boat being sucked into a whilrpool

Image from Pinterest

When I was in my early teens, I hung out with friends at the local bowling alley. Beyond pursuing our mastery of bowling, we also rode bikes, played wall ball, stick ball, hand ball, wire ball, and a game called “Chink,” which also included a ball.

Back then, if you had a ball, you were guaranteed entertainment all day.

When some of the older friends started driving and hormones kicked in, things began to shift. Their behaviors and language became unacceptable to the values I was taught by my parents and teachers. I could actually feel the negative backward drifts whenever I was encouraged to behave in similar ways.


Where do you currently feel the suction of selected individuals in either your personal or professional communities?

What steps must you take to eliminate this backward draft so you can continue pursuing your best future self?

Friday Review: Values

Friday Review: Values

What are the values on which you base your choices in life? Here are a few value-related posts you may have missed. Click on the Quote to read the full message:

QC #1026a

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” 





QC #1026b

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” 




QC #1026c

“It’s always worthwhile to make others aware of their worth.”






be true to yourself

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”

– Hardy D. Jackson

Image from imgion.com

Image from imgion.com

Have you ever felt disconnected and off your game? How does this feeling differ from being in the zone and experiencing flow?

What if you had the ability to shift from disconnect to flow, and stay there for longer periods of time?


Create a list of your fundamental guiding principles for living. Google this subject to see what others have written, and collect the seven to twelve principles that resonate best for you. Display these principles in multiple places in your life, as a reminder of what is in your heart.

If you are presented with an experience or situation that does not fit with these beliefs, take yourself out of it.


#53: “You cannot talk your way out of something you behaved yourself into.”

– Stephen Covey, self-help author

Actions speak louder than words. They are all we really have to make our dreams of a better future become our reality.

Consider a business leader who consistently touts his core values and corporate vision, yet is seen by his colleagues to act inconsistently with these beliefs. Consider the individual who is constantly discussing his interest in health and wellness, but is often seen making unhealthy eating choices and is rarely seen engaged in physical activity.


Where in life can you bring greater alignment between your actions and your words?

To whom besides yourself will you make these promises, and what added support will be required to ensure this new level of personal accountability?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

Be who you are

“Be who you are, say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

– Dr. Seuss, children’s author

Be authentic. Or, as Shakespeare said it, “To thine own self be true.”

But what if people don’t like us, or even reject us? There has never been a person who  pleased everyone. The best we can do is to please first ourselves and then those in our lives who truly matter.

Stop being a chameleon, constantly trying to change in order to please those around you. In fact, it is the natural human state of things to become more of who you truly are.


Determine what you value, what really makes you tick and your fundamental beliefs – and shout them from the rooftops. The people who matter will pick up your signal, and those who don’t were never really tuned in the first place.

#41: “If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher…”

“…I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.”

– Confucius, Chinese philosopher

I have a passion for learning and personal growth. My personal antenna and receiver are often on high alert to the knowledge, wisdom and behavior of others.

One of my favorite questions to ask coaching clients is “how would you describe your best future self?” If they are unclear about the meaning of this question, I often suggest that they identify the qualities of the people they admire – such as integrity, courage, loyalty, and enthusiasm. They can also identify the qualities that they least admire – such as greed, dishonesty, arrogance, and pessimism.


Who are the people that can help you discover and develop your best future self? What are their qualities (good or bad)?

Where can you begin your future journey today?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

#32: “A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart and set out to accomplish it.”

– James Allen, philosopher and writer

Life purpose, making a difference, and living a meaningful life are fundamental to happiness.

How can you find your purpose and life direction? How will you know when you are heading the right way, and when you’re getting close to arriving?


List your top 20 – 30 core values.

Cut this list in half, and then in half again, to get to the real core.

Next, create a life vision statement, using all of the final list and perhaps most of the second list of values. Wordsmith this vision until you feel it is 100% you.

Now use your vision statement as the context to inspire your actions in every area of your life: it can help you become happier and more fulfilled.

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.