“Opportunities are seldom labeled.”
—John A. Shedd, 19th Century American author and professor
For most of my life, I have been fascinated by the subject of personal and professional success.
I’ve read hundreds of books, attended dozens of seminars and conferences, and can hardly count the number of blog posts, podcasts, and TED talks I’ve explored.
In his book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker digs into the science of success, to mess a bit with the conventional and unconventional wisdom on this subject.
One seemingly universal tenet of success does, however, point to the idea of taking massive action and trying many things along the way to stir up far more possibilities and opportunities to pursue.
To what degree are you waiting or being too passive, hoping for an opportunity to reveal itself?
Where would taking far more action and trying many more things help you bark up and climb the right trees for you?
“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?
“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”
Image from Unsplash by Mark Pan4ratte
Achieving new levels of professional and career success is almost always a primary reason people seek coaching. They of course wish to soar, create more value for others, and better provide for themselves and their families.
In the course of pursuing these goals, most people see considerable spill over into their personal life priorities, sometimes right within arms reach.
It turns out that wisdom is far nearer than they thought. Reaching out to serve their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other communities helps them experience greater passion and purpose in their lives.
How might you gain far greater wisdom by doing a bit more stooping rather than soaring? What actions can and will you take today?
“A man may learn wisdom even from a foe.”
—Aristophanes, 4th Century BC Greek Playwright
Image from India Today
Take a look at this list of famous foes:
- Batman / The Joker
- Superman / Lex Luthor
- Professor X / Magneto
- Spiderman / The Green Goblin
- Harry Potter / Voldemort
In the business world, consider the following pairs:
- Coke / Pepsi
- Ford / GM
- Thomas Edison / Nikola Tesla
- Bill Gates / Steve Jobs
- Marvel Comics / D.C.
What other famous adversarial pairs can you think of? What potential positive benefits have been brought forth due to the considerable challenges faced on the battlefield – both imaginary and real?
Who do you consider your foe? How and in what ways may they be providing you wise lessons you often overlook?
“The good and the wise lead quiet lives.”
—Euripides, tragedian of classical Athens
The subtitle of the book, Quiet, by Susan Cain is:
“The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.”
By no means am I suggesting that extroverts are not good or wise. I am, however, suggesting that because of their quietness, we often miss seeing the goodness and the wisdom in those who are more introverted.
Perhaps you are one of them.
Other resources, including the classic “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, describe the value and impact of the more quiet and humble Level 5 Leaders.
Where can you more fully appreciate and perhaps pursue a quieter life to experience even greater wisdom and goodness in your world?
“With wisdom comes the desire for simplicity.”
—Brendon Burchard, American Personal Development Trainer
In today’s fast-moving world, many people seem to be racing around their lives, looking for more. At the same time, others are slowing down a bit, and being more mindful of how their days are spent.
To which group do you belong?
If you examine your current communities, or even your wondrous memory bank of the things you’ve learned over the years, which individuals rank among the wisest? What did their life stories look like, as they pursued and reached this level of self-actualization?
A very consistent theme I’ve observed is their increased ability to focus, prioritize, eliminate distractions, and keep their worlds as simple as possible.
You are probably aware that the title of my book is The Quotable Coach: Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom. It is my belief that a quote is a condensed and simplified version of a profound thought.
How can you simplify your life, to more fully pursue greater wisdom for yourself?
Consider searching the over 1,600 quotes/nuggets of wisdom on The Quotable Coach website, using the category drop-down box in the right-hand sidebar.
“Make visible what, without you, might never have been seen.”
—Robert Bresson, 20th Century French Film Director
Today’s quote reminds me of “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson in her work A Return to Love. It is often incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela.
I thought sharing these words in their entirety might stir something in you, even if you are familiar with this wisdom.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Where and how will you generously, courageously, and visibly contribute your unique and special qualities and talents to the world?
“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”
—Marshall McLuhan, 20th Century Canadian Professor
Image from Unsplash by Ashim D’Silva
Most people generally prefer order to chaos. We tend to like thing organized neatly, whether it be our closets, our files, and in the case of today’s quote, our minds.
When we take in information and experiences, we like to put them into neat piles based on previous knowledge. We categorize them by varying points of view on what is right or wrong, good or bad.
When you hear those around you – or maybe even yourself – saying, “I Know,” it often means they or you have stopped listening or closed their mind to alternative insights and perspectives.
With whom and on what issues have you developed a point of view that is holding you back in either your personal or professional communities?
“Fools live to regret their words, wise men to regret their silence.”
—Will Henry, 20th Century American Screenwriter
Image from Unsplash by Jason Rosewell
Through the process of coaching, most people become far more aware and mindful of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Too often, we see foolish individuals blurting out whatever comes to mind to make their point, exert power, diminish others, or just be “right” on whatever the subject.
Wise and perhaps more thoughtful individuals sometimes remain silent on matters of importance with the all-too-frequent statement, “I should have said something,” when their inner voices urged them to do so.
Where, when and on what subjects is speaking up or remaining silent the right and wise thing to do?