Thursday July 24, 2014 #647
“Doing doesn’t come from inspiration, inspiration comes from doing.” ~Billy Cox
Many people spend their lives searching for the inspiration they need to finally do the thing they dream of most. Sadly, most of these people will never find it. Don’t be one of them. Start doing the thing you dream of. NOW. It is only in the doing that you will find your inspiration.
Tuesday July 22, 2014 #646
“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.” ~Jon Bon Jovi
Relationships, jobs, art, music, sport…. It all becomes a bit empty if we engage in any of these without passion. If you are finding yourself bored or not doing what you are capable of, the first question is why are you in it? If you are in it because you want to be, your task is to rediscover the passion that drew you to that person or activity. If you are in it because of someone else’s passion and not your own, you must question the logic of staying there.
Thursday July 17, 2014 #645
“Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.” ~Mark Sanborn
We all know that today’s world is changing more rapidly than at any other time in history. Technology provides us with both the conveniences and efficiency we desire, but also creates an “always on” environment giving us little or no “down time”. The people who will not only survive, but thrive in this fast-paced, always-on world will be those who can and enjoy rapid adaptation and change. Key to this will be three things: Spending time on pursuits that align to your values and passions, the desire to learn and adapt continuously, and the ability to do so. The first two are firmly in your control. Choose your work and your relationships carefully and this part will come relatively easily. The last one – the ability to learn and adapt – may come naturally, but may require additional training and experiences.
Do what you love, continuously learn and grow your capacity and ability to change – rapidly!
Tuesday July 15, 2014 #644
“Ideas have a short shelf life. You must act on them before the expiration date.” ~John C. Maxwell
How many times have you had a “great” idea and promised yourself you would get to it when you have a little more time, a little more money, a little more _______________ (fill in the blank)? You have realized by now that you rarely get to do something about all those great ideas. It is time to use a different approach. Next time you get a great idea – or even a decent one! – do something to activate it NOW! Make a call, write a short business plan, engage a co-worker, but do something! Ideas don’t wait – they expire from lack of activation. Don’t let your ideas die!
Thursday July 10, 2014 #643
“Humility, I’ve learned should never be confused with meekness. Humility is being open to the ideas of others.” ~Simon Sinek
The weakest people I know are those who lack the character strength to listen to and respect those with opinions that differ from theirs. To do so requires humility. Humility, I believe, is one of the most difficult competencies to master as it relies on a bedrock of character strength. The humble person is neither meek nor weak, but rather is confident that their character allows their beliefs to evolve over time, and is curious to actively seek out new perspectives, new knowledge, new ideas that challenge their thinking.
The way to grow the competency of humility is to intentionally seek out and listen to opinions different than yours. Not necessarily to agree but rather to engage in thoughtful, respectful discussion or reflection and determine by your own thinking whether your beliefs should evolve. Be strong, be humble.
Tuesday July 8, 2014 #642
“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”
We all know people like this: unable to open their minds to new ideas and inexorably wedded to outdated and often factually incorrect beliefs. Out of stubbornness, fear, or misinterpretation of religious or other teachings, they refuse to evolve their thinking even in the face of irrefutable evidence or new thinking. Is it possible you are guilty of this in some aspect of your life?
In its most benign form, this inability to change one’s opinions and habits shows up as unwillingness to learn a new piece of technology (phone, computer program, etc.), or buy a different brand of a familiar product (car, coffee, even underwear!). Those are normal but still limiting impacts of this problem. Are you “stuck” on one or more similar habits? Do you really want to be like that annoying grandparent who refuses to learn how to Skype?
Where it gets serious is when we are unable to evolve our thinking and see that our beliefs in our employer, our partner, our politics, and even our religion need to be challenged. Not necessarily to be changed, but to ensure continued alignment.
If we are truly unable, as Ali quotes, to evolve our thinking over our lifetime – we have truly wasted our life.
I challenge you to reflect on how or if you allow your thinking to evolve. Do you allow or even seek out alternative viewpoints? Do you check your habitual affiliations against how they are (or are not) evolving and the changing world around us? Take this moment and consider if and where you need to challenge your potentially limiting beliefs.
Thursday July 3, 2014 #641
“One’s mind stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
One of the common practices of extremist religious leaders is to forbid learning or exposure to materials not prescribed by their narrow world view. This is because they know the biggest threat to their domination over their followers is exposure to alternative thinking. This extreme example is also true in everyday life. Politicians and marketers try to bombard their followers with evidence that their beliefs and benefits are correct and better than their competitors’. Even parents, with every good intent, often seek to control their children’s access to only those people and inputs they deem acceptable. However, the incredible nature of the human mind is its capacity to learn, grow and evolve through exposure to new ideas and disruptive concepts. Education – and ongoing exploration and learning – is the driver of our ability to progress as individuals and as a people.
If you are in a position of leadership – as a parent, a manager, or a community leader, your obligation is to ensure your and your team’s thinking is challenged regularly to keep yourself and your team competitive, enlightened, and able to successfully evolve through the changing landscape. Expose them and yourself to new ideas, radical thinking, and unrelated thought leaders. Stretch your mind – it will never be the same. And that is a very good thing!
Tuesday July 1, 2014 #640
“Great ideas need landing gear, as well as wings.” ~C. O. Jackson
In any team there are idea generators and there are executers. Both talents are necessary for great ideas to become actionable and their potential to be realized. It is rare (and wonderful!) to find an individual who possesses great skills in ideation and execution – and if you find them, keep them! Most people however, will be more skilled in one or the other. Executers may get frustrated in brainstorming sessions, and ideators can feel trapped by the rules of effective execution. Your job as leader is to understand your team’s individual skills and leverage them. Use your idea generators when brainstorming is needed, decide on an idea to take forward, and give it to the executers to make it happen.
Thursday June 26, 2014 #639
“We think we believe what we know, but we only truly believe what we feel.” ~Laurence Gonzales
Logic and factual knowledge are great sources of strength you can and must use to bring context and understanding to ambiguous situations and problems. However, the only thing that truly keeps us moving with commitment, drive and passion is our belief in ourselves, in others, and in our vision of the future. And that belief is not due to logic or factual knowledge. It is due to how we feel.
As leaders, we must provide our teams with a compelling vision of the future that they can believe in. That vision must be grounded in fact, but even the seeming impossible can be achieved when people believe in their ability to do something great.
Determine your vision for your team’s success, articulate it with passion repeatedly, support efforts to make progress, and watch the magic happen. And be sure to pay attention to how you and your team are feeling along the way.
Tuesday June 24, 2014 #638
“Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”
Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough allies. Not enough skill. Too many obstacles. Too many other priorities. And the list goes on… All the reasons why what you really need to do is delayed or ignored. The truth is that there will always be reasons – good reasons – stopping you from doing what you are meant to do. Despite all of that, you must start now. You must find it within yourself to muster the strength to push forward and do what you must do. And you know what? The very act of starting will begin to create solutions that remove obstacles. Forward motion creates its own inertia you can use to gain momentum and ultimately achieve your potential. Start now!
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