On the Art of Living

The art of living a joyously successful and meaningful life has many beautiful definitions. The art you choose could be in your ability to learning how to hold on and let go. It could be your joyfully living each precious moment to its fullest, not living in the past or over-focused on the future. It is about living now. It may be in your realization of the beauty and value of our differences and what they bring to each other and life. Your art may be in the expression of joyous optimism and positive attitude. It may be in a life of continuous learning and growth that opens your eyes to undreamed of possibilities and visions of new realities. Or, very simply, it may be smiling at all that life’s situations and challenges offer and finding love and learning in experiencing them.

James Michener writes, “The masters in the art of living make little distinction between their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their mind and their body, their information and their recreation, their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which. They simply pursue their vision of excellence at whatever they do, leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing. To them, they are always doing both.” In all that you are and do, may you live life to its fullest in pursuing your life’s purpose and meaning. May you remember the wise counsel of S.N. Goenka, “One learns the art of dying by learning the art of living: how to become master of the present moment.” Choose to be a master in the art of living, a role model to all, and live every precious moment to its fullest.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Moments, Mosaic, Perspective | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

There Is Only One You

Each of us is a unique piece in the infinite universe’s mosaic. There is only one of us. How we see the world is the unique gift we bring to the world. We are beautifully and singularly different. An unknown author wrote, “The universe is filled with countless stars, each star has an important place in the universe, they are unique. Like a star, every single person has a special place in this world. Every one of us, no matter who we are is equally important, simply because we are all a shining star in someone’s life and universe.” Just as the billions of planets are unique, so are we. Harold Becker tells us, “Life is a cosmic unfolding, and we are here to add our unique loving energy.”

May your unique loving energy and the radiance of your light shine brightly and fill you and the lives of others. You are so beautifully and amazingly different in this entire universe, a piece that can never be replicated, and one that is needed to complete its full picture. There will never be another you. May you live your life to its fullest. Push your boundaries and perceived limits to discover the incredible gifts within you. Do it daringly and boldly as you remember Anthony Rapp’s wise counsel, “There is only one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Adventure, Fulfillment, Perspective | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I Am Whom I Choose to Become

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become,” wrote Carl Jung. Each choice is a step in your becoming. Each choice is the product of prior choices in whom you chose to be. Whether it be the selection of your life’s purpose and meaning, a mindset through which you see the world or the people who surround and influence you, all of these choices have contributed to your defining the magnificent you.

Throughout your journey, may you think continually of the extraordinary person you choose to become. Realize that every choice has consequences. May you remember that you are not what happened to you, you are what you chose to become. Bob Proctor counsels, “See yourself where you want to be and then be there. Don’t be in the past. Be there. Act like the person you want to become.”

Choose wisely; choose well. Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Tools | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Manage… or Lead

At times, great leaders pause to reflect on their leadership. They see an intermingling of their leadership and management. While not the same, they are complementary and linked, purposefully serving each other in their vision and its actualization. Reflection on the thoughts of various leaders on the harmony between leadership and management offers the possibility of great success in your life’s journey.

“Management is about persuading people to do things that they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” Steve Jobs
“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is against the right wall.” Stephen Covey
“Management is about doing things right. Leadership is about doing the right things.” Peter Drucker
“Management is a position which is granted; leadership is a status that is earned.K. Scott Derrik
“You manage things. You lead people.” Grace Murray Hopper
“Management deals mostly with the status quo, and leadership deals mostly with change.” John Kotter
“Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” Tom Peters
“Managers say ‘Go’. A leader says ‘Let Go.’” John Maxwell

May your leadership be visionary in your continuing pursuit to move yourself and the world from the ‘as is’ to the ‘what can be.’ May your management be the extraordinary tool that designs, builds and brings order to its successful execution. May one serve the other in elevating your impact to the stars and beyond.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

On the Magic of Boldness

Maya Angelou tells great leaders: “Timidity makes a person modest. It makes him or her say, ‘I’m not worthy of being written up in the record of deeds in heaven or on earth.’ They are afraid to say, ‘Yes, I deserve it.’” Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.” The learning from these words is simple: timidity holds the great leader back… while others who are bold step forward.

Goethe wrote: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” John Dryden said: “Boldness is a mask for fear, however great.” Boldness is the courageous opposite of fearfulness. To be bold implies a willingness to get things done despite risks. It is an action that moves great leaders forward rather than sitting and waiting fearfully of the next step ahead.

May we all hear and embrace the wise counsel of Horace: “Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.” May we repeat daily the words of William Shakespeare: “Boldness be my friend.” Let that friendship be the magical beginning and inspiration of realizing dreams undreamed.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Cannot Give What You Do Not Have

In his podcast, The Law of Intentionality, John Maxwell speaks of the critical importance of intentionality in the great leaders’ journey of continued growth and learning. He beautifully captures the importance of growth in the great leaders’ life saying: “You cannot give what you do not have.” Growth is the continued source of improvement, new discoveries and successes. It opens our minds and eyes to new possibilities . It is a choice to move from who and what we are to the who and what we can be.

Growth is not automatic,” he says, “If you want to grow, it has to be on purpose. You have to be intentional about it.” Many of us make the assumption that growth will happen naturally as the result of the day-to-day experiences in our personal life. Undeniably that happens, and the results can be great or small and they will occur by chance. There needs to be more – a plan, one which identifies the areas in which that growth occurs. He suggests that there are at least two elements of development in that plan: an area of choice (e.g. attitude, discipline) and skill (e.g. public speaking). These are starting points in our continued journey to achieve our greatest potential.

Growth is the only guarantee that tomorrow is going to get better,” he writes. May you always remember Maxwell’s counsel to great leaders: “Growth doesn’t just happen – not for me, not for you, not for anybody. You have to go after it.” Go after it with passion and excitement. Be bodacious, so that you can give plentifully and fully to yourself and those whom you selflessly and caringly serve. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Grow intentionally and live passionately. Be more than you ever dreamed you could be.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Adventure, Fulfillment, Tools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I See You

Seth Godin writes that one of the most important words that he knows and which, he notes, does not have an English equivalent is Sawubona, a Zulu tribe greeting. A literal translation is: I see you, you are important to me and I value you. Godin adds to this: “Not just your face… but your hopes, your dreams, where you came from and where you’re going.

At the Sawubona site, we find even richer words that magnify the beauty and meaning of this joyous greeting: “All my attention is with you. I see you and I allow myself to discover your needs, to see your fears, to identify your mistakes and accept them. I accept you for what you are and you are part of me.” May we find great learning from the Zulu people in enriching our understanding and relationships to people in our life and the importance of emotional intelligence in our living and leadership. As the author of the Sawubona article writes: “Thinking this way will allow us to see each other’s needs, forgive mistakes and promote cohesion in our communities.”

To you, my very dear friends, my family, I humbly utter a joyous Sawubona! May this new word’s significance and meaning be part of our life in all that we are and do.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Emotional Intelligence | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On Risk-Taking’s Rewards

Mark Zuckerberg counsels great leaders, “The biggest risk is not taking a risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” The risk is a step from the ordinary to the unusual, a move from your comfort zone to a step beyond. It is a risk because it challenges your ‘as is’, the world to which you are accustomed, one without fear of failure, one of certainty. Yet, the reward of the risk may take you to a greater life. So now enters a choice… stay settled or take a leap.

Sarah Parish writes, “Living with fear stops us from taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit.” One of the great beauties of risk-taking is the experience and learning it gives regardless of the outcome.

You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen,” wrote Paulo Coelho. We venture from the known to the unknown… and we learn and grow. These are the magnificent gifts of our risk-taking. May you choose not to accept the ordinary, but to venture into a world of the extraordinary, a world that will open your mind, heart and soul to dreams undreamed. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Adventure | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Fulfillment of Fulfillment

The art of fulfillment is the ability to experience not only the thrill of the chase, but also the magic of the moment, the unbridled joy of feeling truly alive,” wrote Tony Robbins. It is the gratification found in living each of life’s moments to their fullest – in personal or professional achievements or in your selfless service of others.

If fulfillment is the contents of a bucket, you find that it has no limits, as it continues to grow with new additions. The contents are magical keys found in your planning, goals, objectives and dreams. There are other keys that occur unexpectedly. Upon discovering them and acting on them, once again, with enthusiasm and delight, you achieve something more that adds another drop, or even a huge cup of water to your bucket.

Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” We all need to fill that bucket. May you remember Vince Lombardi’s wise counsel, “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour – his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear – is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he’s exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” May your finest hours be numerous in their abundance. May you, also, find your greatest fulfillment in your selfless giving and contributions to the lives and welfare of those whom you touch and serve.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Fulfillment, Mosaic | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feedback, the Fertilizer of Growth

Following a recent and learning-filled conversation with a dear friend, Sam Daniel, about the value of feedback in leadership development, Sam put pen to paper (as the expression goes) and shared how each of us are mirrors for others. It is powerful in its imagery and beautifully captures the importance of feedback in the great leaders continuing growth.

The eye cannot see itself…without a mirror. The mirror is the ultimate visual feedback aid in determining our physical appearance, facial expressions, conditions of our teeth, hair, skin, etc. Without a mirror, unless we have a pool of water nearby, we are blind to parts of our bodies including our faces. We are also blind to many of our behaviors without the “mirrors” of feedback from others.

Others become our feedback sources in revealing our blind spots when we’re not aware. They become our mirrors if we seek their views and judgments of us. We can only change our shortcomings when we are aware of them. However, many are reluctant to give feedback, unless it’s a job requirement, for fear of ruining a friendship or relationship. That’s why it’s important to seek it.

Feedback, even when it’s critical, is friendly if taken seriously and corrections are made in time. Criticisms and positive suggestions can be fertilizers of personal growth, and when heeded, they have triggered many corrective behaviors to save marriages, jobs, friendships, etc.. Without feedback, we can risk becoming legends only in our minds. Feedback keeps us in touch with the reality around us and helps us avoid being blindsided by a sudden divorce or loss of a job.

The mirror is a key to your self-image and successful grooming. Do you also have “mirrors” reflecting your behaviors and performance? It’s worth all the time and effort to get as much feedback as you can for more happiness and success.

Bill Gates said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” May your find myriads of mirrors in others that they may open you to opportunities for undreamed of growth. And may you be a mirror for others that they, too, will discover their greatest potential. As Ken Blanchard wrote, ”Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Posted in Tools | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment