“If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.”
—Stephen Covey, 20th Century American writer & educator
Image from Unsplash by Debby Hudson
What did you want to be when you were little?
Who did you look up to and admire and what was it about those special people that inspired you?
How energized and excited did you feel, given the anticipation of one day climbing a similar life ladder to reach your own pinnacles of success?
What ladders are you currently climbing in your vocational efforts? How confident and sure are you that it is absolutely leaning against the right wall, the one that aligns with your vision and values?
This past year full of economic and social upheaval has caused vast amounts of unemployment. Many people face significant challenges in adequately providing for their families. The transition process has caused many to reconsider if they truly want to get back to climbing the same ladder, leaning against the same or a similar wall.
If that scenario resonates with you or someone you know, please consider picking up a copy of the 2020 edition of What Color is your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles.
“Your fierce spirit and efforts will, in time, transform those boulders in your path into pebbles in the sand.”
—Peg Streep, American author
Image from Unsplash by John Salzarulo
A respected fellow blogger, Rohan Ravi, who writes A Learning a Day, recently wrote a short commentary on the subject of values and virtues. His perspective was that although many of us espouse our values and heartfelt beliefs, quite often our actions do not fulfill these standards and become actual virtues.
Where is it most important for you to combine your fierce spirit with courageous actions in order to transform the boulders in your path into pebbles?
Who are the friends, colleagues, mentors, family members, or coaches that can support you in these efforts?
“Sometimes changing the game is as simple as finding a few people who play by the same rules you do.”
Image from Unsplash by Christopher Paul High
Imagine you are about to play a new board game. Although you want to begin playing immediately, you must first read the rules.
What if your current life was actually a board game in which the rules – and even the players – were already established without your knowledge? How much do you enjoy playing your current game, and how often do you experience that winning feeling?
Upon opening the box to your new game, you are surprised to see that instead of being highly detailed and specific, the rule sheet offers a number of provocative questions for you to create your own set of rules.
You have the power to guide your play and who you invite to join in the fun.
What questions could you ask yourself to reveal a set of rules that would most fully resonate with your most closely held values and guiding principles?
Which people in your world that live by these rules can and will you invite to take their turn rolling the dice?
“Is the work people pay for the work you want to do?”
—Bernadette Jiwa, global authority on business philosophy
Image of Bernadette Jiwa from thestoryoftelling.com
Today’s quote comes from a blog post Bernadette Jiwa wrote on August 21, titled “The Value Shift.” Check out her insightful work and website.
What is your answer to the question posed in today’s quote?
Are you a yes, a no, or a sometimes? What would it take to be a Hell Yes!?
Yes, we all have our responsibilities and commitments we sometimes feel we have to do, instead of want to do. But overall, to what degree is the work you actually do what you want to do?
What bold, courageous, and creative actions would it take to move the “no” or “sometimes” far closer to the “yes” you deeply desire?
Feel free to reply to this post with the actions you will take to have a far more rewarding life.
“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?
“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
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 caused by those who drift backwards.”
—attributed to E. K. Piper
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?
“Values are critical guides for making decisions. When in doubt, they cut through the fog like a beacon in the night.”
—Robert Townsend (attrib.)
Image from Flickr by briant87
I am reading A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business, by Ari Weinzweig. He is the co-owner of Zingerman’s, located near the University of Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor.
This book contains a wide variety of essays that show how Zingerman’s became what Bo Burlingham from Inc magazine refers to as “the coolest small company in America.”
Townsend’s quote speaks to the very heart of what makes Zingerman’s, with now over 500 employees, a great place to eat and work.
Google Zingerman’s to do a bit of research into how their values guide their decisions and why they are famous for “the Zingerman experience.” You can even use their mail-order business at zingermancommunity.com to get a literal taste for yourself.