On Seeing What Others Do Not

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others,” wrote Jonathan Swift. It is the magical ability to think with imagination and wisdom, to see what others do not see and see it before they do. Visionary thinking unlocks the gates of self-imposed limitations and the confining thinking of others. It is big-picture thinking at its finest… no boundaries, only endless speculation on possibilities that move life from the ‘as is’ to the ‘what can be.’ Rosabeth Moss Kanter writes, “ A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.

Warren Buffet said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” May your vision of life’s possibilities and its undreamed beauty and richness be the seeds of those trees which will bring joyous, peaceful shade to the lives of many. May your vision be your call “to become something more,” something and someone so much more. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Value of Appreciation

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated,” wrote Marcel Proust. On appreciation, Margaret Cousins tells us, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary.” It is in this gift that you give recognition to the great value someone brings to your life… in who they are, and in what they do.

Your appreciative words that acknowledge a significant impact that someone has brought to your life engenders in them a deep personal sense of self-value. Their gratitude for this recognition gives you the joy and feeling of your own beauty and greatness. What you give opens you to the gifts you will receive.

Proust counsels us, “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” May your words sow seeds of happiness and appreciation in those you serve that they, too, will be the charming gardeners to others in making souls blossom.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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We Can’t Do It Alone

In his recent blog post, Leaders Find Accountability Partners to Help Them Cement New Habits, Larry Center speaks to the importance of accountability partners in life’s journey.They are those wonderful friends, coaches, mentors and others who provide you “with tough love, wise feedback and compassionate caring” in your continuing growth and development. Center describes them as:

    • Someone who believes in our aspirations
    • Someone who believes in our capabilities
    • Someone who trusts us and who we trust
    • Someone with whom we can communicate on a regular basis
    • Someone who is willing to hold us accountable and tell us the truth
    • Someone who we can be truthful with regarding our feelings and our hopes
    • Someone who will not think any less of us if and when we fall down and who can help us get back up

These are the beautiful people who have your back in your continued journey to be more than you ever dreamed you could be. Charles Stanley writes, “An accountability partner is able to perceive what you can’t see when blind spots and weaknesses block your vision.” May you embrace and enjoy those in your life who see and believe in your fullest potential, take learning from them and come to find it in yourself. Your best is yet to come!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Legacy

Pericles counsels great leaders: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” These words beautifully capture the great leader’s true legacy and impact – the change that their life, in all its magnificent being and doing, has brought to the lives of those whom they care and serve.

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you sow,” writes Robert Louis Stevenson. His words describe the process through which their legacy is built. Each word, action, behavior and attitude, selectively and intentionally chosen, are the precious seeds they sow each day. Individually or collectively over time, their porous magic finds its way into the minds and hearts of those around them and finds a home.

Kalu Ndukwe Kalu writes: “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” May your precious, extraordinary and treasured seeds blossom forever, begetting an endless regeneration in others of living a life of passion, deep caring and a ceaseless pursuit of becoming more than they ever dreamed they could be… and more… so much more.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Resilience

Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” It is the great leaders’ resilience to bounce back and face life’s difficulties and challenges. It is the unstoppable you who chooses boldly and daringly to move forward. Each step is a testament to your belief in yourself, a further strengthening of your commitment to live every precious moment that life offers to its fullest.

Nelson Mandela wrote, “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” And in those moments when life’s challenges dampen the beauty and joy of your spirit, may you hear the words of Emory Austin, “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” And, quietly, may you whisper to yourself, “And my heart will go on,” for today’s challenges are tomorrow’s strengths. Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Make It One Heck of a Summer

At the onset of summer, we recall Philip Humbert’s article, “Make It One Heck of a Summer,” and its message of “carpe diem“. 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 are 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 every day – 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! May it be our best yet.

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

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On Togetherness

In his recent blog post, Our Power of Togetherness, Gary Burnison speaks to the power, joy and incredible need for togetherness in our life’s journey. He shares a story of his first trip internationally after three years of not meeting clients in person. He writes, “There is something about being physically together. The conversation invariably just seems to go in a different, deeper direction. Sometimes it’s completely unexpected—an outpouring that’s authentic, vulnerable, and healthy.” That personal connection, our “shared humanity” comes to life.

Togetherness is not necessarily about a location,” Burnison says, “it’s all about intention. No matter where we are, no matter how we work, we need to rediscover the connection points that resonate.” This intentionality is demonstrated as an openness to others’ ideas and perspectives, a vulnerability to see the world differently by standing in someone’s shoes, a desire to discover a personal connection.

He counsels leaders, “As leaders, we’re the fulcrum of that balance: on one hand understanding people’s concerns and answering their questions, and on the other hand helping them to relate better to each other. The direction may change but the winds will always blow. And while we can’t control the storms—neither in life nor in leadership—togetherness is what adjusts our sails.”

In all that you do, say and act, may you bring greater depth, meaning and sail-adjusting to our “shared humanity”. May you remember the words of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, “The power of one, if fearless and focused, is formidable, but the power of many working together is better.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Balance

There is no such thing as work-life balance – it is all life. The balance has to be within you,” wrote Sadhguru. It is your awareness of your continuing and passionate pursuit of your purpose and meaning, your dreams and aspirations, your goals and priorities through which you choose to achieve your balance. The balance you seek may not be daily, weekly or even monthly as each day provides neither an equal balance of the good and bad nor ups and downs. Your awareness provides you the magical lever of inner control by which you live your days. It allows you to be resilient, adaptable and flexible to life’s offerings and to bring balance. As Jana Kingsford wrote, “Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.”

Stephen Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” His words put your choices for balance in your hands. Choose wisely; choose well. On your magnificent life’s journey ahead, may you sometimes pause and remember Dolly Parton’s counsel, “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” Life is so very good… and it’s all up to you.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Growth and Popcorn

Every success story is a tale of constant adaptations, revision and change,” writes Richard Branson. Each day, we add another verse to the chapter in our life’s masterpiece. Each day we are different from the day before. Days build upon days, months upon months and years upon years, and our success story’s depth and breadth grows and unfolds its luster and significance.

Yet, on our journey, we see that our growth rate varied at times. We see that difference in others also. People adapt to change and circumstances differently. So we pause to remind ourselves of popcorn. Popcorn is prepared in the same pot, in the same heat, in the same oil. And yet, the kernels do not pop at the same time. But we know that our turn to pop is coming as is theirs. Great stories take time. And yours will be a magnificent one as you continuously live a tale of constant adaptations, revision and change. Life is so very, very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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To Have Succeeded

What will success look like? It is a time-honored and critical question used to paint a visionary picture of the desired outcomes of work efforts. Its intent is to capture the “big picture” of desired, tangible and, potentially, intangible results.

Just as the question relates to business work efforts, it applies to the work effort of our life’s journey. What will success look like at the end of days? Our beautiful and wondrous diversity provides a plethora of answers including: inner peace, loving what you do, power, prominence, money, making a difference in other people’s lives, and so many other answers. May we remember that there are no wrong answers, only different ones because we are different.

In his poem, What Is Success, Ralph Waldo Emerson suggests a visionary picture of success which we can all share. May you pause a moment and reflect on it.

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and
the affection of children;
To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure
the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give of one’s self;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and
sung with exultation;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you
have lived –
This is to have succeeded.

In all that you do and in all who you are in your life’s journey, may Emerson’s words gently cloak the immeasurable and wondrous gifts you give the world because you choose to understand what success will look like in your life. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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