Thursday February 5, 2015 #700
“Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.”
As I reflect on the milestone of writing my 700th JAM with Mike, I am most grateful for all I have learned from and about you, and about myself in the process. I don’t always follow my own advice, but I try! And, whether you have been with me since the beginning in 2008 (and thank you for that!), or have just recently joined, I hope you have learned something about your ability to help yourself and others achieve greatness and find joy in living. I have learned from so many of you and I look forward to our mutual learning in the next 700 JAMs!
Tuesday February 3, 2015 #699
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
A standard and important practice in business and in our personal life is to follow a failure with reflection, seeking to understand the cause of the failure and planning to do better in the future. However, an even more effective practice which is rarely done is to reflect on what caused a success. Instead, we tend to move on quickly from success without much thought other than, “I sure did great!” It is actually far more powerful to learn from success. Just as it is rarely fully about you when you fail, it is almost never fully about you when you succeed. There are many factors that lead to a particular result and the more we can seek to understand these factors, the more likely we can improve our performance in the future.
Thursday January 29, 2015 #698
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”
Today, think about how you can bring a little bit of child-like wonder, playfulness, and naiveté to your life. All of us face the significant challenges of adult life: driving our professional careers, dealing with financial pressures, handling family issues, keeping up our health in our ever-aging bodies, etc. It isn’t what we face, it is the attitude we bring to our normal daily trials. The secret ingredient to seeing life as relatively joyful on balance is a sense of enthusiasm. That enthusiasm can come if we can pause and find the child within us – seeing the possibilities ahead of us, and our capacity to hope, to dream, and to believe we can do anything!
Tuesday January 27, 2015 #697
“Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.”
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Like everyone, you will have moments where you feel like the world is conspiring against you, while comparing your situation to all those people who seem to have it so easy and always get what they want. Perhaps you feel this way often, and even right now. STOP. Unless you are in a war or natural disaster, it is almost certain that you can take action to change your situation. And guess what? You’re not alone – everyone goes through dark times of fear and loss.
For yourself, find the courage to act when faced with challenges. And perhaps more importantly, when you meet someone who is being difficult, remember that they, like you, may simply be experiencing a dark moment. Rather than reach a negative conclusion about them, take a moment to consider whether they just need a little help, and offer it.
Thursday January 22, 2015 #696
“There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, ‘Yes, I’ve got dreams, of course I’ve got dreams.’ Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they’re still there.”
It is wonderful to reflect on your potential to improve your personal and professional life, to dream big dreams and imagine great things. But… Isn’t it time you stop dreaming and imagining what you want for yourself and the people in your life and actually do something about it? Keep dreaming, AND, start doing!
Tuesday January 20, 2015 #695
“When I talk to managers I get the feeling that they are important. When I talk to leaders I get the feeling that I am important.”
~Alexander Den Heijer
When you think of your supervisor and your interactions with them, how do they make you feel? Energized or defeated? Respected or not? Valued or disregarded? Leaders can have an amazing impact on the engagement, effectiveness, and energy of their teams simply by the way they make them feel in their interactions. Most of you are leaders. Now ask the same questions of how you make your team feel. Energized, respected and valued? Or defeated, disrespected and disregarded? Make no assumptions on this – be intentional on body language, tone of voice, choice of words, and the unique characteristics of each of your people. No matter what your experience is with your own leader, be the kind of leader you would want to have.
Thursday January 8, 2015 #694
“A leader’s role is not to control people or stay on top of things, but rather to guide, energize and excite.”
Whether you are a titled leader, or simply in a position to lead in the moment in your work group, your family, or community organization, remember this: being a leader is not about control, but rather about facilitating others’ success and achievement. It’s not about you – it is about them. Only by facilitating their success will you find long term success for yourself. Though this fact is well known, few are able to act in this manner, getting lost instead in the human frailties of greed, hubris, and self-indulgence. Be one of the great leaders rather than one of the many mediocre managers.
Tuesday January 6, 2015 #693
“If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.”
As you start back to work and/or your normal daily routines, do not lose your enthusiasm for all the great ideas and goals you set for yourself as 2014 ended and the New Year began. Spend 5 minutes each morning reminding yourself and regaining your energy which you will need to keep moving forward. Don’t wait to start this – do it today!
Thursday January 1, 2015 #692
“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”
~Sarah Ban Breathnach
On this New Year’s Day, I wish for you a year of significant, if not dramatic growth for yourself and all that you hold dear in your professional and personal life. That growth will not come without purposeful and persistent action on your part. Don’t wait for good things to come to your door! Get out in the world and push yourself forward to the amazing potential that is within you. Perhaps more importantly, be intentional about helping others accelerate their own growth. You have amazing talents and gifts that if shared, will give others hope, challenge their thinking, and spread the potential for improved circumstances across your family, community, and workplace.
My best to you and yours as you launch your best year ever!
Tuesday December 30, 2014 #691
“You are where you are right now because of your best thinking. If you want something different, change your thinking.”
You are an amazing talent. You are driven to succeed and keep yourself in action daily toward achievement of your professional and personal goals. And yet… You’re not satisfied with your progress or achievements. What is happening?
Today’s quote asks us to stop, reflect, and rethink both our goals and our actions. Take the time today to assess the goals you have laid out for your personal and professional life. What have you experience and learned this last year? How have your capabilities grown or changed? Who has come into your life, or left it?
Does any of this require rethinking your goals? If so, make the change today and begin altering your actions to move toward your revised goals. If not, but you are still not satisfied with your progress, it is time to change your thinking – about your goals, about your capabilities and resources, and about the very actions you have been taking.
Experience, reflect, learn, change, repeat….
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