On Letting Go to Grow

In his book, The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff writes: “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” These words are a simple reminder to great leaders that further growth and development is attained as they let go of old ideas, beliefs, habits and thoughts which may be holding them back from new discoveries. From that once new knowledge, they learned and stretched their limits. Now, the time has come to again stretch their boundaries and find new paths in their search for purpose and meaning as the building blocks of their growing wisdom.

Lao Tzu wrote: “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Choose to live a joyous, learning-filled life of continuing renewal of mind, heart and soul. Remove what is holding you back to create the freedom and excitement to explore as you become what you might be. May you remember the wise counsel of Brian Tracy: “You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Great Leaders’ Hunger and Thirst

In Seth Godin’s blog post, Confusing Hunger and Thirst, great leaders find a moment of pause to reflect on their choices between life’s offerings of material success and happiness and to realize that each plays an important complementary role in achieving their life’s purpose.

If you find yourself stranded in the desert with nothing but an endless supply of chips, you’re going to die within a week. The same thing could happen to you if you had nothing but water to live on. Hunger and thirst are similar, easily confused but very different.

Our culture of corporate consumption tries to persuade us that being hungry is all we need. Hungry to earn more, buy more, save more, spend more. It celebrates the hustler who doesn’t know how to stop, asserting that this person is getting all the fancy prizes because they’re contributing so much. Status is awarded to the unsated hungry person.

But they might still be thirsty. Thirsty for meaning and connection. Thirsty for the satisfaction of creating beauty. More hustle won’t satisfy those needs.

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “How prompt we are to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our bodies; how slow to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our soul.” May we choose to live a life that gives ample satisfaction to each need as the situation requires. In our beautiful hunger and thirst for life may we achieve that magnificent fullness of mind, body, heart and soul that at end of days, we may joyously say: “No regrets! It has been a magnificent and joyous journey. Life has been so very good.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Joy of Always Going Beyond

Neale Donald Walsch writes: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” The lives of great leaders are filled with the continuing excitement of newness: seeing the world, ideas and people through different eyes, challenging the ‘as is’ in search of the ‘what can be’ and the ceaseless exploration and discovery of self which further exposes their infinite possibilities. They pause quietly to reflect on the wise counsel from Thomas Jefferson: “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done before.”

May you fill your life with new wonders every day: with people who will challenge and grow you by the beauty and differences of their perspectives; opportunities that will stretch your perceived limits and boundaries in their experience; ideas and perspectives that will open your mind and heart to new worlds that will enrich your passion and love of life and all that you do. All that it takes is the courage and commitment to take that next, new step… one that may change your life forever. As it is said, every accomplishment starts with a choice. May we remember the wise counsel from Lao Tzu: “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Continue to be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more. Life is so very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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A Lesson from Candles

We are holding a lit and unlit candle. We light the unlit candle with the lit one. What we see is that the lighted one has not lost its original glow. It has simply passed its light to the other candle. So it is in our journey of selfless caring and serving of others. Our light is our passion and love of life and all that we do. It is the radiant glow of our enthusiasm, energy and excitement that brings happiness, hope, possibility, encouragement to fade the darkness in the lives of those we touch and serve.

Buddha wrote: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” May you radiate and share the beauty and joy of your light being always mindful of Francis of Assisi’s wise counsel: “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” Be that beautiful and magnificent candle which brings its fire to the many unlighted candles awaiting and searching to be set ablaze.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Guiding Attention Through Intention

Starve your distractions, feed your focus” writes an unknown author on the importance of focus. Tony Robbins tells great leaders: “Where your focus goes, your energy flows.”  It is this intentionality that drives an action-orientation in the great leaders’ purposeful commitment to their choices – a movement from pure mechanics of habit to thoughtful purpose. Winston Churchill captures this beautifully having said: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog who barks.” His message is simple: not everything needs our attention.  But, may I humbly add, we still can pet the dogs along the way.

May you fill your life with all that realizes its beautiful purpose and meaning. May distractions play their needed part in giving pleasure, enjoyment, reflection and peace along the way. May you remember always David Duchemin’s wise advice of: “Guide your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it.” May you make every precious moment count… every moment your masterpiece. Life is so very, very good.

Have a beautiful day, a magnificent week and one heck of a summer!!!

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Everyone Wants to Be a Frog Man/Frog Woman on Friday

Andy Stumpf, retired member of the US Navy SEAL Team 3, shares with great leaders his compelling insights on the importance of perseverance in difficult times and never giving up.

Everyone wants to be a Frogman on Friday. One of my favorite quotes from the Teams, because it applies to everyone and every goal.

To use SEAL training as an example, 80-85 percent don’t see the third day of hell week, let alone the last day of training. It takes a lot of work to even show up for day one, but it doesn’t take much to end it. All you have to do is say “I quit”, ring the bell in the picture three times, and it’s over. There is paperwork later, but in essence, that is the end.

All SEAL training is really about is pushing people to their lowest point, and watching the decisions they make. When you are at your lowest point, tired, hungry, cold…do you give in and take the easy way out?

During the most difficult portions of training, the instructors bring the bell with them, to make it that much more enticing and easy to quit. It sits right there, in plain sight, always ready for the next taker.

I have noticed that most people focus on the illusion of the shiny object, not the reality of what it takes to achieve it. The amateur can only see the end state. The professional focuses on the fundamentals and incremental progress.

If you think the “bell” doesn’t exist in your life, your eyes are closed. It is everywhere. The only difference between the BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL School) bell and everywhere else, is that in BUD/s, when you ring it, the outcome is instantaneous.

Laziness, procrastination, selfishness, lack of discipline, you fill in the blank…all small rings of the bell. The bell is everywhere, and it is always calling you. Ring it enough times and you will find yourself looking back filled with regret. Everyone wants to be a Frogman on Friday, but you will never get there if you give in on Tuesday.

I know the sound of the bell haunts many men.  Don’t let the decisions you make when things get difficult end up haunting you.

If you don’t push your limits, you will never know what your limits are. May you push your limits and beyond each day, never giving up and taking the easy way out. In doing this, you will be that remarkable and extraordinary Frog Man/Frog Woman on Friday… because you choose to be!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Make It One Heck of a Summer

With the beginning of summer for those of us in the northern hemisphere, Philip Humbert’s article, “Make It One Heck of a Summer,” and its message of “carpe diem” again comes to mind.  I share this at the beginning of each summer as it continues to serve us well as a moment of reflection of the great possibilities and joys of the coming summer.  In his article, he talks about how he and his wife seemed to always have the same conversation about summer in October:  “Oh, no!  Where did the summer go?”  Moments later the house was filled with whining and moaning, a few complaints and exclamations that, “I can’t believe we let it get away again!”  I believe his experience is similar to most of ours, and that, come October, we may look back with similar regrets… if we don’t purposefully choose a summer filled with fun, relaxation and infinite possibilities for joy and happiness.

Humbert reminds us that we are in control.  Our summer and how we will spend it is in our hands. It is about goal setting – a plan, getting things on our calendar and locking-in on them.  Human beings, by nature, he says, are “goal-setting and goal-achieving creatures.”  We set goals everyday – from the planning of our daily schedule to planning what we will eat during the week.  So, if we are to have the greatest summer yet of our lives, we need to plan to make it the greatest.  Start today.  Circle dates on the calendar and mark them with things you want and love to do.  Fill it up and let it overflow the brim. Live this summer as the greatest you have ever had!

It is your beautiful and special life to live to its fullest.  Stretch yourself to do new things and discover new possibilities and happiness – for you, your family and those around you. Set goals and make a checklist of all those things you want to do, and do them.  And in October, look back proudly with joy, happiness and extraordinary satisfaction at what you have achieved, learned and experienced.  Happiness and success are in your choosing and doing.  Choose wisely; choose well! Life is so very beautiful and good.  Make yours one heck of a summer, my very dear friends! Life is so very good.

Have a beautiful day, a fantastic week and a joyous, magnificent one heck of a summer!!!

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The Joy and Value of Diversity and Inclusion

John Dewey wrote: “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” Last July 2019, our weekly Three Minute Leadership note spoke of “The Joy and Great Value of Seeing Things Differently.” Today’s world is providing extraordinary opportunities to reflect on our experiences. These learnings not only remind us that we all see life through our own unique lens, but that this understanding implies and calls for a respectful acknowledgement and response to those differences. I humbly ask you to pause for a moment on the joy and great value of seeing things differently as we stand in the shoes of others.

Everyone has a beautiful uniqueness in their gifts and view of life. We are all wonderfully different in our own individuality, in how we see the world, understand ideas, perceive realities and relate to people. There is richness and abundance beyond belief in our unique gift to the world. It is often said  of Steve Jobs that he “imagined the unimaginable”. It was not unimaginable to Steve Jobs; it was who he was. He was simply different. So it is with each of us in our own world view. How each of us sees and responds to the world could possibly change the world… because we see it differently, not right or wrong, simply differently.

Great leaders understand and embrace the richness and diversity of these differences. For in their abundance and breadth, there are undreamed of possibilities for growth and change both in people and the world around us. May we recognize and embrace these differences and remember always the wise counsel of Wayne Dyer: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Aldous Huxley reminds us: “There are things known and there are things unknown and, in between, are the doors of perception.”

Let us open ourselves to all the richness of life and the wonders of those whom we serve as we stand in the shoes of others and see the world through their eyes. May we choose to adorn this openness and understanding with an extraordinary, actionable inclusion that brings life to thought and words. Verna Myers tells great leaders: “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

 

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On Commitment

If I’m committed, there is always a way” wrote Tony Robbins. For great leaders, it is their passionate commitment to a vision, purpose, cause or goal that unlocks the possibilities of bringing them to reality. They don’t allow themselves to be cheated, as John Maxwell says, “out of the possibility that is on the other side of commitment.” It is a choice… to act, to go beyond hesitancy and doubt to realize the ‘what’ to which they have committed. Peter Drucker captures the impact of that moment writing: “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.”

It is in that magical moment of freedom and release that a door opens. The great leader is now free to explore new opportunities unfettered by indecision and uncertainty to bring reality to their commitment. They have boldly and heroically chosen not to be cheated “out of the possibility that is on the other side of commitment.”

May you remember the wise counsel of Pat Riley on commitment: “There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as a life in-between.” May you be ‘in’ at every moment of your magnificent life’s journey – in all who you are and in all that you do. Life is so very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Your Defining Moment Is in Every Moment

In his blog post, Your Defining Moment, Seth Godin reminds great leaders that their defining moments are found in every moment in their life… when they choose to decide that it is.

“It’s easy to wait for it. The movies have taught us that when the music swells and the chips are down, that’s when leaders arrive and when heroes are made. It turns out, that’s not how it works.
Our work is what happens in all the moments. Leadership doesn’t simply appear when the script announces it does: it is the hard work of showing up when we’re not expected to, of seeing what’s possible when few are willing to believe…. Your defining moment is whenever you decide it is, and you get a new chance to lead every day.”

William Shakespeare wrote: “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” Our life is the reflection of those defining moments, a beautiful mosaic of choices that have shaped the person we are and what we do. Godin writes: “Possibility is where you find it. We each have more to offer than the world expects. And growth is something we’re capable of, as soon as we’re committed to seeing what we can contribute.”

May you make your defining moments taking counsel from the words of Amy Atherton: “Our defining moments often result from putting more importance on the desires of our hearts rather than the doubts in our heads.” May you work hard, unconditionally and selflessly serve others, see the world through different eyes, dream dreams undreamed and change the world, and continue to become more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more. Your best is yet to come, and it will because “Your defining moment is when you decide it is, and you get a new chance to lead every day.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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