Category Archives: growth

at the starting line

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
― Mark Twain

 

SONY DSC

Pikes Peak

Start somewhere!

It’s a new year. It’s time to start something new. It’s time to ban excuse making. It’s time to take responsibility.  It’s time to turn to a new page.  It’s time to write a new chapter.  It’s time to begin.

Most people don’t start something new.   They don’t start because they are afraid.

Don’t take a risk, your boss may not approve.

Don’t exercise, it’s too hard to get started.

Don’t learn something new, it might mean not watching TV.

Don’t fail, it might ruin your self-esteem.

If you’re like most people you have a reason not to start something new.   Challenge that reason.  Force that reason to tell the truth.  The truth is what ________________.   Write down what that is.

Find a reason to start something new.   You’re at the starting line of a new year.  Make something new come from you.  Let something new impact your thinking.   Start something new today.

mastering life

“Perhaps the severest requirement of the good life is to have the constancy of mind to maintain our joy and gratitude even amid hardship, pain, and injustice.”

Brendon Burchard from the Motivation Manifesto

SONY DSC

 

Have you ever asked the question what do people want?  What do people really want?   Is it more money?  For some it is but for most it isn’t.  Is it a better job, for some that may be the case but there are some who have their dream job.   Is traveling what you want?  Is it a better relationship?  Is it personal growth?  Is it the feeling of significance?  What is it that people want?

The answer might be as simple as a choice.  The choice to do what really matters most is what people want.  Work is often a choice for many people if it is engaging and meaningful.  Relationships that are fulfilling and allow for personal growth is a choice many would like to be able to make.   What kind of choices could you make to increase vitality and joy in your life?

What dreams have you had that dried up and blew away that you wish you made the choice to follow?   The choice was there at one time and you ignored its call to follow something that others would say is more important.  What if you had that chance again would you follow your dream?

The mastery of life is about making the best choices for you.  It is about living your life authentically and with vitality.   The mastery of life is about creating wonderful goals that inspire and motivate you and then doing what you can with what you have to realize those goals.   The mastery of life is about being aware of who you are and what you are doing.  The mastery of life is about having the ability to make choices.  What choices are you making that will make your life rich with significance?

A new year is around the corner.  What changes do you want to make in your life?What do you want to do that matters most to you?   What is stopping you from realizing your dreams?

Mastery is not something that strikes in an instant, like a thunderbolt, but a gathering power that moves steadily through time, like weather.”
― John Gardner

New rules, new behavior

“I have a subconscious list of rules for how reality should work. I did not develop these rules on purpose, and most of them don’t make sense – which is disturbing when you consider that they are an attempt to govern the behavior of reality – but they exist, and they play a large role in determining how I react to the things that happen to me. Large enough that a majority of the feelings I feel are simply a reaction to reality not complying with my arbitrary set of rules. ”
― Allie Brosh

SONY DSC

Think about the rules you have in your life.  You have rules for everything.  Your life is about rules, like stopping at a train crossing or stopping at a stop sign.

If you are thinking I don’t live by rules then just look at your habits.  You do have habits, things you do, things you say,  the way you approach a problem or the way you tackle each day.  You do have habits and some work for you and some don’t.

Habits are rules that we use to reduce the amount of thinking we have to do.  Habits are programs that run in the background of your consciousness and some work well and some don’t.  If you find yourself doing things that don’t produce great results for you then you might want to change some of the rules you operate by.

Sometimes the issue is trying to find the rules that you want to change so that you can change them.  Some habits/rules are so embedded in our daily life that we aren’t even aware of them.   Becoming aware of those “hidden” rules is the first step to creating positive change.    What rules are running your life the way you don’t want them to?   What would you like to change?

desire to grow

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Are you growing?   Are you developing your profession?  Are you investing in yourself?   Are you becoming more than you were yesterday?

Many people leave out their own growth in the quest to live a happy life and find that working on all the other things while important doesn’t always lead to a happier life.  Personal growth in some shape or fashion does help create change, change towards something better.

How many books have you read this year?

What kinds of books are you reading?

How is new information helping you grow?

What do you want to grow towards?

Stay curious and grow.

rejected again

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned.” Henri J.M. Nouwen

The answer is “No!” and  you’ve heard this several times in the past week and you believe that it isn’t the question, it is you that is being turned down.  “No” can feel like rejection if it is heard enough times.   Is that true? Is it true that a response to your request that is not favorable to you is a rejection of  you?

Often people find that when there request is denied that it feels like they are being rejected.  The wonderful idea that was rejected was a compilation of many hours of work, and how dare someone say “No” to the idea, project or design.  It just can’t be right, turns into I am not right. What is rejection?   Is it saying “No” or is it saying something else?

There are many people who fail to achieve their best because they feel they will be rejected.  So instead of living fully, they live a life or regret.

Wouldn’t it be better to find out if you could create the life of your dreams?   Wouldn’t it feel better to try and see what could be done?

Believe in “who” you are and accept a “No” with thanks.

what will your masterpiece be?

“We cannot know what a human being can achieve until we have seen [the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel].” — Wolfgang von Goethe

What do you want your masterpiece to be?   Everyday you have the opportunity to do something great, what will it be?

How are you going to use your genius, your passion, your grit, your persistence, your practice, your pursuit, your intelligence to make a difference in this world. The world needs all of who you are every day.   You can make a difference.  You have the all the abilities you need to change the world.

What will be your Sistine Chapel moment?   What will be your Sistine Chapel contribution to the world?

The realm of exceptional performance comes from the pursuit of an idea that is at the edges of your abilities that push your limits beyond where you have been before.  Push yourself, move outside the comfort of the known to experience the unknown and do something great.   Go to the place where the fear lives within you and push it back.

step into the fear and do it anyway

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert

SONY DSC

Then end of the year is approaching quickly, what changes have you made this past year that you planned on making at the beginning of the year.   Did you live your year the same way you started it?   Perhaps you started with big goals and those slowly melted away and the year suddenly disappeared.

Often times what I hear is, “I’ll start tomorrow”, “I’ll start losing weight”, “I’ll start looking for a better job”, “I’ll start going to school”, “I’ll start _________ tomorrow”.   Tomorrow never gets here, it is always a day away. The delay becomes a story, a story about what might happen when.   There is another story that is playing at the same time.  The story of fear, the story of delaying until the threshold of fear can be breached.

You’ve heard that story, most everyone has at some point in their lives.  It is a disabling story that results in living the way that is the same as it was yesterday.   You will live your next year the same way you are living today unless you take the steps to transform your life.

The question to ask, “is the dream worth it to me?”   Is that dream of yours important.  Is losing weight really important to you?  Is finding a career worthy of you worth it to you?  Is starting a new business really that important for you?  Is taking that special vacation really that important to you?

What would make you feel more alive?  What would feeling alive look like to you?

As Mandela put it: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

as things are …

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
― Anaïs Nin

SONY DSC

Illusions … blind spots …we think we know and we don’t.

What do you see here?

A young lady or an old lady?

Our minds don’t see things as they are, it sees things as it believes things to be true.  We have gaps in our ability to see everything around us.   Now if we have visual blind spots we probably have other blind spots as well.  Areas of knowledge that are incomplete.  Beliefs about ourselves that are not true or beliefs we have made up to improve our own self-image.

Our blind spots are often called “weaknesses” areas in our lives that appear as shadows, that are hidden from sight, or we are totally unaware that they exist.  Removing blind spots and illuminating those areas in our lives can produce startling positive outcomes.   We could generate better work in our career.  We could build stronger relationships with others.  We could solve a myriad of problems that have eluded us for a number of years.   We could start seeing what we have not seen before.

Imagine what you could do if you knew where your blind spots are?   Imagine how businesses could start to thrive if they knew what their blind spots are?

Information can turn to knowledge if we seek what we are missing in our lives.  Just the information about our weaknesses are can set us free from a number of things that hold us back from performing our best.

So, it’s not you that experiences or has experienced change blindness.  OK, let’s see what happens.  Watch this.

How did you do?   Now, how many things are you missing in your own life, things that are hidden from you yet in plain sight of those around you?   Imagine being able to see those things, imagine what it would be like.

That is what life/leadership/professional development/relationship/career  coaches do, they work with their clients to discover blind spots.  It can be transformational.

a new story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou

DSCN0155

 

Story.   Your life is a story and throughout the pages of your story are moments of joy, regret, sorrow and excitement.   What do you want others to know about your story?

For some people their story is routine, bland and roughly the same everyday.   Year after year they go to work and come back to a place they call home.  The story repeats itself in the spring, summer, fall and winter.   There isn’t something that creates substantial meaning in their story.   It just moves from one clock tick to the next.  Life becomes more about dealing with the bills, weather and occasional routine disrupters that interfere with most people’s lives,  fixing a broken pipe in the dead of winter, mowing the grass, trying to plant a garden, tripping over a piece of worn carpet, getting to work and getting back, talking with the same group of people, complaining about things that won’t change, listening to the news realizing that the story is the same every night, getting groceries, eating, cleaning up, and life goes on.

Life goes on and living has somehow stopped.   Real goals linger as “should do” items on a dusty shelf.   Beauty gets swallowed into a sea of grey thinking.  The crisp edges of life disappear and are replaced with safe routine.

There comes a time in life where reflection of the life lived  begins to ring louder and louder, and begs the questions, “Did I live?”  For most people there is a deep desire to live a life that does matter that there was some contribution, that there was a story worth sharing with others.

What story do you want your life to tell?   What new story do you want to write?

What would make life interesting rather than routine?   What do you want your story to be about?

Start writing a new story today.

DSCN0053

achievement motivation

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”
― Paulo Coelho

SONY DSC

What does achievement mean to you?   What does it mean to achieve something of value?

You decide to sleep in a little longer today than yesterday.  There is really nothing calling you to jump out of bed and make something happen.  It feels like there is no reason to be motivated and so a few more minutes pass by.  Thoughts gather and dissipate in your mind, there is nothing that is inspiring you to take action and you wait, wait for something that will be energizing.   Then in  a flash there is something that gets you moving, it is something you forgot to do and now there is movement.

The motivation to achieve is something some people do really well, they are just driven to make things happen.  For others this success mindset is much challenging to achieve on a regular basis.

Motivation to achieve is a force to do something you want and believe you are capable of doing.  The barriers to taking action are low compared to the feeling of accomplishment when you complete the task.   Things of low risk and high value are often easier to take on than things that have high value and high risk.  Imagine trying to do something with low value and moderate risk, that is something that is pretty hard to start.

Achievement motivation factors:

1. An important goal or objective you want to accomplish
2. The value produced is high
3. The risk is relatively low

If you find that you aren’t moving towards a goal you have identified as important it might be because:

1. Success is not a habit for you  (taking daily actions)
2. You don’t have the skills to make it happen.
3. The perceived cost/risk is too high
4. The goal isn’t important to you
5. There is no one holding you accountable

What is stopping you from taking action?   What are the benefits of doing something today?

What do you want to achieve?  What are you ready to commit to?