“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible”
― Cherie Carter-Scott
What kind of life are you living right now? Is it the kind of life you really want or are you looking for something that would make your life more than just ordinary, plain, a dull grey rather than a life that is wonder filled, exciting and full of color.
Which column of words below describes your life?
The easy way
the right way
What’s in it for me
We all win
What are you intentionally doing to make your life better?
What are you taking charge of? What will it take so that you can start living an extraordinary life?
Step outside of your comfort zone and explore living with feeling, with zest, with abundance, with a sense of being alive and with a sense of excitement. Think about where you are right now and where you could be, what is it that you really want? Set the intention and take action today.
“But why do only unimportant things?” asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how much time he spent each day doing them.
“Think of all the trouble it saves,” the man explained, and his face looked as if he’d be grinning an evil grin–if he could grin at all. “If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you’ll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won’t have the time. For there’s always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing, and if it weren’t for that dreadful magic staff, you’d never know how much time you were wasting.”
― Norton Juster
You have this moment in time to make a difference. An opportunity is here. What are you going to do with it?
Many people look at the opportunity and wonder is it real. Others would look at the opportunity and say it is for someone else. Others would just wait until the opportunity no longer existed.
Now is the time to take advantage of opportunity. What opportunities do you have today that you will take advantage of?
“As we live out of such a mind, we become generous, with no sense of tolerance. We become patient, with no sense of putting up with anything. We become compassionate, with no sense of separation. And we become wise, with no sense of having to straighten anyone out.” ― Steve Hagen
Leadership means something different to just about everyone you meet. Some people have the title of leader and believe they are. Some don’t have a title to lead, they just do. John Maxwell, a leadership master, has written over 70 books on leadership, and yet we are still debating what leadership is and what a leader is.
So, what can be done to lead better, to lead effectively and lead others near and far from you? Let’s look at five ways to lead better.
1. Let go. Leadership is about letting go of control. It is about letting others contribute. As a leader ask others what they are thinking and instead of judging their thoughts give their thoughts life. How would you take that idea and make it bigger? Value the contributions of others.
2. Listen more. Listen always. Be the first to listen and the last to speak. What do you really hear? What is being said that isn’t being spoken? What is on the hearts of the people? Listen to what is being said between the words.
3. Be vulnerable. The last thing that some leaders want to reveal is their own weaknesses as they are hiding behind their own insecurities as a leader. They believe if people really knew who they are they wouldn’t be in the position they are in. The lack of vulnerability disables the full contribution of the followers. They will do as commanded, but rarely do more than that.
4. Be open. Sometimes leaders feel that they have to be “right” all of the time. Being right shuts down the contributions others can make. Why would you contribute if you knew your ideas wouldn’t be valued? Leaders who have to be right disable the contributions of others.
5. Invite others in. Sometimes leaders believe things just have to get done and they get it done. Visions are cast in close quarters and given to the followers. Decisions are made, directives delivered and pronouncements made. The more a leader does things in isolation the less the leader is leading. Let others give voice to ideas, visions and direction to initiatives and embrace the rich variety of creative energy that can be obtained from inviting others in.
“If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world we find
Success being with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are:
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.”
― Walter D. Wintle
Do you believe you can?
Do you have the attitude of a winner?
What will it take to create a better attitude in you?
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Apple Inc.
It starts when …
Maybe you need to look at yourself in a new way this coming year. Change is about seeing yourself as you want to be not as you are.
Perhaps you are getting tired of the way things are and have been and you’re ready to look at yourself in a new way and the only problem is taking that first step. For some taking that first necessary step is scary, take it anyway. Step across the boundary of fear and start seeing yourself in a new way.
You’ll smile on the inside when you make that step. When you commit to losing those extra pounds. When you commit to taking responsibility for your life. When you commit to doing work you love to do. When you commit to being authentic. When you make a choice to live fully. When you make a commitment and honor it change will come.
Start today. Look at the mirror and look deeply into the eyes looking back at you. What do you want those eyes to say? What do you want your life to mean? Honor the truth you have within.
“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.”
― Susan Polis Schutz
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “fake it until you make it”, the idea that if you really want something you can fake it until you figure out how to do it. That might be the case that attitude trumps aptitude, believing that you can do it results in the ability to do it.
That might be the belief that many winners take, an attitude of doing what it takes to make it. That is the attitude of success. The book “The Secret” wraps a story around the attitude of believing first then achieving second. While there is no real “Secret” to success other than having a profound desire to achieve “The Secret” would have you believe that the universe conspires on your behalf to generate the results you think about. The reality is that as you think about your success and start working on goals to realize that success you generate success. It is about your attitude of success that delivers results.
Creating a positive vision for your future and taking action upon that future will lead to more positive results than thinking about a future you can’t have or achieve.
There may be times that you feel unqualified to do something or achieve something big in your life and this is where you “fake it until you become it”. Believing that you can do something and working at doing it will be far more productive than believing you can’t do something and not doing it.
The idea is explained in this video and the key idea is about 15 minutes in. So if you are short of time skip over the first 15 minutes and then listen in.
What have you believed you can’t do that you’d love to do? Start doing to start becoming.
Which work environment would get the most out of you? The first one or the second one?
What gets you engaged in the work you are doing?
– The work
– The people
– The culture
– The environment
– The purpose and mission of the organization
– The values of the organization
– The perks and benefits
When you have a new idea, how it is received? Does the culture bring in the voices of the introverts? Does the culture promote professional development? Does everyone contribute? Do non-performers seem to hang around forever? Are their systems in place to help employees perform at higher levels? Does the company move quickly or does it take forever to get a new idea or process in place? Is there a focus on being better?
A great organization is going to help you be successful. Your part is to make the organization successful through the skills you have. If the work is boring or isn’t adding value, why would you work there? If you aren’t using your skills to your best ability then find out how you can make a bigger contribution.
Does the company “reward” employees and celebrate successes? Are there reviews when things don’t work well to find out how to make things work better? That isn’t a witch hunt, it’s a sincere effort to improve processes and results. Business growth is based on learning and people learn through experimentation and finding out what doesn’t work (some would call that failure).
“I am not what happened to me.
I am what I chose to become.”
~ Carl Jung
The mindset of many in today’s culture is that things happen to them, things that are out of their control, that lead to bad outcomes. No matter what is happening in their life all some people experience is the worst of life. How we experience life is a choice. We have the choice to make the most of a bad day or let the bad day make the least out of us.
Being a victim of external events removes power from anyone. Choosing to be caught in arguments, conflict, or negative situations without stepping back and pausing to see if the issue is that important puts us in a negative mental position. You can detect victim behavior by their language and how they blame others or the situation they are in for their attitude, how they can’t get things done or how bad they feel. Being a victim is a choice.
The other side of choice is driven by an attitude that says, “I take responsibility for my life and how I feel.” The person who desires to use the language of positivity will experience greater happiness and success. Those that choose to be grateful and positive will see better outcomes than those who believe that everything that goes wrong is an insult to them.
Learning how to become the person you want to be is a choice. Being the best you can be is something you can take charge of. If you know of someone who is always in the mode of a victim, who can’t seem to find positive outcomes in their life they may be a great candidate for coaching. Have them contact me at email@example.com for a free coaching consultation. Find out how you or someone you know can move from “poor me” to “powerful me”. It is your choice.
Are you happier?
“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”
― Malcolm Gladwell
In his book The Global Achievement Gap, Tony Wagner, co-director of the Change Leadership Group, Harvard School of Education,described seven key skills for getting a new job. Among those seven areas are four skills that might be something that everyone whether a new job seeker or a veteran can bring to the table of employment.
In the new world of work, workers need to have in their tool box of experience and knowledge the following:
1. Agility and adaptability
2. Collaboration and leadership
3. Critical thinking and problem solving – to ask the right questions
4. Initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit
What does it mean to be adaptable and agile? We know that the speed of change is creating more and more tension in the workforce and those who have difficulty modifying their work habits will be less and less satisfied in their work environment. Being agile means moving quickly and not getting stuck in the past.
The collaborator, the team worker is going to be better equipped in a fast paced world. Learning critical leadership skills, as in how to motivate from within, will be essential as more and more work is done globally. Leading with the heart, from a perspective of empathy, understanding and humility will be part of the foundation of powerful leadership.
Having the ability to solve complex problems though rapid iteration and learning from failure (something most people are adverse to trying) is a critical asset to have. Learning and achievement come from our ability to be resilient when we fail. We learn more through failure than we do from success, if we take the lessons we learned and apply them in our new attempts.
Taking initiative and action are essential to increasing overall momentum. Applying energy each and every day towards the generation of new outcomes is a valuable skill to have. It is a skill that can be developed. The entrepreneurial mindset is about creating new opportunities or grasping opportunity quickly and testing the value of that idea now.
We live in a world that “waiting” is no longer acceptable. We live in the “instant” and holding back instead of acting will have a greater price than taking action and learning. Learn quickly to grow exponentially.
Mastering today’s world will take adaptability, agility, collaboration,leadership, critical thinking, problem solving and taking initiative. Start developing your skills in these areas and become the person that people want to hire.
Learn more about Tony Wagner’s desire to reshape our education system.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Some people want to lead because they believe they deserve to lead. Others lead by showing other the way, by having a compelling vision and reason for others to follow. Leadership is an attitude. Leadership is being confident without being arrogant.
You may have seen those leaders that are using brute force to lead. The followers make sure they are going in a different direction when they see the brute force leader. Leadership by title or position isn’t leadership of itself it takes more and requires more.
People who want to grow into leadership positions must constantly be developing their attitudes, skills and evaluating their own growth.
1. Developing an attitude to lead is in part developing an attitude of humility so that you can serve others in their own development. People readily engage with those who are willing to help improve their abilities and potential for the future.
2. Honing your personal leadership skills by continual learning and experience. Moving up in an organization may be improved by showing that you can lead. This might mean finding organizations or areas that you can demonstrate your leadership. It might mean volunteering for leadership positions so that you can tune and grow your leadership skills.
3. Reflection and looking back at the lessons learned is something that allows the potential leader to see what can be improved. The leadership experience is enhanced when the developing leader can recognize areas for improvement and then to take responsibility for making personal change.
How many times have you seen or read about a leader who did not take responsibility for their outcomes. In recent weeks one recognized leader has not admitted their own failings and is paying the price in losing stature among his followers. Leadership means taking responsibility for both the good and the bad and owning the outcome.
It is easy for those who aren’t strong leaders to push that responsibility to someone else, to other things. The lesson is this, shape your attitude and take responsibility, continue to grow and develop and to look at the leadership lessons you’ve experienced and change what needs to be changed.
What does your attitude say about your leadership, take a look,