Monthly Archives: May 2008

It takes Intention

Breakthroughs can happen when we challenge our assumptions. Transformation can take place when we look beyond our limitations from “what is” to “what can be”. How often have we limited ourselves based on our own mental model of who we are? I’d bet that more often than not we have created an unrealistic imagine of ourselves and our abilities. Challenge those mental models.

ALIGN – Align your dreams with your energy and focus on what can be. That is having a laser like focus every day and set realistic goals each and every day. Typically we start off well only to find that we are sidetracked by something small that shifts our attention away from our primary goal. Before long we have lost the day to the tyranny of the urgent. Bring it all back – focus on the goal.  Get back in alignment.

CREATE – We were designed to create. We were designed to build things and make things better. That goes for everything we do, from cooking to raising children. We are artists and creators of experiences, memories, and numerous other wonderful things. Use your talents to create.

COMMIT – Make the commitment today. What commitment? To do one wonderful thing – create some wonder in your life. Create a moment of joy – create a moment of laughter. Align with your goal, commit and focus. The results will astound you. Be Intentional.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Gandhi

Our thoughts are powerful

What we ponder and what we think about sets the course of our
life. Any day we wish; we can discipline ourselves to change it
all. Any day we wish, we can open the book that will open our
mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish, we can start a new
activity. Any day we wish, we can start the process of life
change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month,
or next year.” Jim Rohn

What are your thoughts?   Can we change the course of our life, of our week, of our day, we can, we can and we can.

“Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.” James Allen

To keep us from creating weapons of destruction, which we can do in our own thoughts we need to work with someone else, a partner to help us weave the tapestry that will become our mansion of joy and peace.

Alone we are left to our own devices – work with others and break free of doing it your own way.

Encouragement

Live today fully, expressing gratitude for all you have been, all you are right now, & all you are becoming.” Melody Beattie

After a long day, a long Monday perhaps wouldn’t you like a few words of encouragement.  Encouragement comes in many flavors, a word of thanks, a hand written note, someone’s smile, a hearty well done and this list goes on.  Be an encourager!

Be different

“Trust yourself and speak out for what you believe.  If what you believe is different, dare to be different.  Date to be in a hurry to change things for the better.”  Geoffrey Ballard

Isn’t that an amazing statement – speak out for what you believe.  How often to we shrink back from the precipice because we can’t or won’t speak out for what we believe?  It takes courage to speak out and often the one who speaks stand alone and that takes even more courage.

Smile – just smiling can be an encouragement to others and it can be an encouragement to you as well.   Try it even if you don’t want to, smile.   Smile – and smile some more.  Smile until you start laughing.  Laugh until others are laughing with you and smile some more.  Sure you can do it.

Isn’t laughter a form of encouragement?   Doesn’t it break tension (let’s assume it is appropriate to laugh).

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”  Oscar Wilde

Take a look at the stars today!   Let your dreams begin today.

Goals drive results

What are your personal goals?

What are your professional goals?

Have you written them down? If you have do you know where they are?

Goals! These if written down, meditated upon, acted upon, and dreamed about can become reality. In many cases our goals are but momentary thoughts – yeah, I ought to do this or that. You’ll talk about it for a few days and eventually it will get pushed aside by the immediacy of every day life. Goals will become softer and quieter as the days go by and eventually slip from the tide of consciousness.

Goals alive! Yes, keep those goals right in front of you, work on them bit by bit, day by day, week after week until you reach a point that you can say, “I’ve done it!” . Celebrate that achievement and immediately reach higher.

Do you have your goals written down? Do you review them? Do you take action on them? If not maybe you need a coach to help you get over those hurdles.

The greatest mistake

“What can’t be seen is hard to change”, writes Daniel Goleman. That is one point of coaching to help expose what can’t be seen so that what isn’t being seen can come into the realm of being.

How often have we been exposed to one of our blind spots at a time that was not fun for us to experience? I’m sure it has happened, that someone brings up something we were totally unaware of and makes an issue of it. Well it shouldn’t have been an issue if you were aware of it.

When we reach some point in our life we get tired of holding putting on our “character armor” which hides our known flaws. Eventually that armor gets heavy and we grow tired of carrying it around. At that point we can decide to grow ourselves or grow with help. Growing with help (coaching) allows us to set real goals and work towards those goals. A coach helps encourage and acknowledge the successes that are being made and then reminds us of those goals that aren’t being attended to.

All this leads us to the world of risk and reward. To step into a coaching relationship requires taking a risk. If we were willing to take a risk earlier we would have likely achieved many of the goals that now are weighing us down. The reward is then the early step, the first step of risk and then towards the goal of achievement.

Elbert Hubbard said, “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

How important is encouragement?

You would think that it wasn’t very important given the issues we have in our society. Encouragement should be applied in ratios of 9 to 1, 9 encouraging events to one event of correction. Often the ratio is reversed and the belief that more correction than encouragement will increase the desired outcome.

Zen student: “Master, I am very discouraged.”
Master: “Encourage others.”

Certainly one way to increase the level of encouragement is to actively encourage others even when you’re not feeling very encouraged at the time. This will require a substantial effort on your part to be an encourager when you are down.

The coaching hint here is – encourage others. Start today. Now there are other elements of encouragement that need to be considered. The encouragement has to be genuine, meaningful, heartfelt, authentic and valuable. In order to encourage effectively means really digging deep into your own soul to find the right words. This may be the difficult part because encouragement has to be more than just words slipping off the lips it will take some real effort to construct a meaningful encouragement statement.

What do you encourage people for? If you have children you probably encouraged your child to master these early tasks, like walking, eating, talking, and reading. It wasn’t just a one time event it was a constant stream of positive encouragement. We should encourage people for things working on things that enable them to become better in something. We should encourage people who want to make a positive change in their lives.

Are you ready to encourage others? I hope so, make it a regular gift you give and encourage someone today.

The drive of humility

How many leaders have you known that are truly humble? Humility for a leader means openness and transparency and sometimes that is a difficult balancing act to manage. What can a leader share without appearing weak and what can they share that doesn’t come across as prideful?

If people can see the weaknesses in a leader they can begin seeing an authentic person, a person just like everyone else. A follower needs to know that the leader is not a perfect person and at the same time the follower needs to believe that the leader has integrity and character.

Listen to the words of Gandhi, “I own, however, that I have humility enough in me to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

Jim Collins the author of “Good to Great” speaks of humility in his monograph on the social sectors and says, “Humility is an absolute obsessive, burning ambition – for the cause, for the company, for the work, for the third-grade kids – combined with a ferocious will to make good on the cause; these kids read, it’s not about me, it’s about kids. It is that combination of humility, defined as burning ambition, transferred into the cause, with the brutal, stoic will that marks the 5.” Now that isn’t the image of humility most people associate humility with.

Who has a burning unquenchable desire to work for the cause with such focus and attention that people realize that the goal is bigger than the person working towards the goal? A person with great humility is the answer. If that person is immersed in the goal and they leave their ego out of the equation that is humility. It is also humility that acts to quench the thirst for recognition even though that type of determination and grit will often be recognized.   A passion for the mission that is larger than the ego – humility.