Learnings from Pygmalion

In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor reminds great leaders of the great learnings from the Roman poet, Ovid, in his story about Pygmalion. Pygmalion had the gift of looking at a piece of marble and seeing the sculpture it held. Pygmalion’s story tells of his vision of his ideal and how the power of his gift made it a reality.

Pygmalion had a vision of his ideal, the zenith of all of his hopes and desires – a woman he named Galatea. One day he began to chisel the marble, crafting it to his vision. When he was finished, he stepped back and looked at his work. It was beautiful. Galatea was more than just a woman: The statue represented every hope, every dream, every possibility, every meaning – beauty itself. Inevitably Pygmalion fell in love.

He realized that he could not love a stone, and asked the goddess Venus to grant him a wish to bring the stone to life. And she did. His vision became reality. The lesson of this story, today, is known as the Pygmalion Effect: “when our belief in another person’s potential brings that potential to life.”

May you always be someone’s magical Pygmalion, seeing in others their magnificent and unique gifts and treasures, and helping them see it in themselves. May you remember Albert Einstein’s wise counsel, “There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Fill your life with making miracles, and help others in making theirs. Your expectations, the priceless keys to those you serve, are magnificent catalysts to their growth.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Going Back to the Beginning to Find Your Way

St. Augustine reminds great leaders of the importance of continuing growth of their self-knowledge writing, “Men [and women] go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”

Deepak Chopra heightens this importance writing, “By becoming self-aware, you gain ownership of reality; in becoming real, you become the master of both inner and outer life.” Stephen Covey brings impact to its importance, “In our personal lives, if we do not develop our own self-awareness and become responsible for first creations, we empower other people and circumstances to shape our lives by default.”

May we remember always the wise counsel of Laozi, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” In each moment of your magnificent life’s journey, continue to discover the wonderment of you and the immensity and awesomeness of the gifts you bring to life and others as you fulfill your life’s purpose and meaning that will be your legacy. At end of days, may you look back and say proudly, “I carried my own water, and learned the value of every drop.” Life is so very, very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On Daring Greatly

There is a flame burning deep within all of us,” writes Tracey Osborne, “It is up to you to turn your flame into a roaring fire.” Each of us holds the keys to finding and living dreams undreamed. It is this continuous search to explore ourselves, life and its infinite possibilities. It is that magical step we take to do things we have always wanted to do, should do and have not yet done… to be the who we want to be, should be and have not yet become. The journey begins in that exciting and precious moment of daring, daring to be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more.

Helen Keller wrote, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” May you live each moment of your life as a daring adventure, an opportunity and challenge to find and give the gift of your magnificent self to the world, your organization, community and the people whom you touch and serve. May you turn your flame into a magnificent roaring fire. Dare greatly!   Dare to be more than you ever dreamed you could be. Your best is yet to come.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Sometime Later Becomes Never

In his recent blog post, John Maxwell speaks of “sometime”, the word we often use is our planning to do something. He suggests that our use of “sometime” in our thinking, doing this or that sometime, we allow it to take precedent over our planning and we are not doing those things we plan now at this time. “Sometime,” he says, “becomes comfort food to the emotions.” We relax in the thought that ‘sometime I am going to do that.’ There is no action, no real commitment, just the silent quiet of procrastination. He cautions against this, however, with the joyous possibility that “the sometime out there will give them the reward they want in life.”

Maxwell says, “Sometime is no time to believe in…. Sometime, somewhere, someplace, somehow robs them of what they need to do today to receive what they deserve in their life. Don’t let that happen to you.” May you turn your magical sometimes into the realities you do now, always remembering sometimes later becomes never. May you realize your joys, not sometime, but now. Life is so very precious.

Have a beautiful day, a magnificent week and an awesome, fantastic  autumn!!!

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You Are Absolutely Unique

Walt Disney said, “To be successful, you must be unique. You must be so different that if people want what you have, they have to come to you to get it.” His words emphasize the value of the unique difference you bring to life. The reality of your uniqueness is already there in you. It is the beautiful you who is unique in this infinite universe. An unknown author captures the joy, beauty and uniqueness of you in the following. Pause a moment to reflect on your magnificent gift.

You Are Absolutely Unique
Just think what a remarkable, unduplicatable and miraculous thing it is to be you. Of all the people who have come and gone on the earth, since the beginning of time, not one of them is like you.
No one who has ever lived or is to come has had your combination of abilities, talents, appearance, friends, acquaintances, burdens, sorrows and opportunities.
No one’s hair grows exactly the way yours does. No one’s fingerprints are like yours. No one has the same combination of secret inside jokes and family expressions that you know.
The few people who laugh at all the same things you do, don’t sneeze the way you do. No one prays about exactly the same concerns as you do. No one is loved by the same combination of people that love you . . . No one before and no one to come.
Enjoy that very special uniqueness. You do not have to pretend in order to seem more like someone else. You weren’t meant to be like someone else. You do not have to lie to conceal the parts of you that are not like what you see in anyone else.
You were meant to be different. Nowhere, ever, in all of history, will the same things be going on in anyone’s mind, soul and spirit as are going on in yours right now.
If you did not exist, there would be a hole in creation, a gap in history, something missing from the plan for humankind. Treasure your uniqueness as it is a gift given only to you. Enjoy it and share it!
No one can reach out to others in the same way that you can. No one can speak your words. No one can convey your meanings. No one can comfort with your kind of comfort or bring your kind of understanding to another person.
No one can be cheerful and light hearted and joyous in your way. No one can smile your smile. No one else can bring the whole unique impact of you to another human being.
Share your uniqueness. Let it be free to flow out among your family, friends and people you meet in the rush and clutter of living wherever you are. That gift of yourself was given to you to enjoy and share, so always remember . . . YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE!

Your uniqueness is a wondrous gift which separates you in all the beautiful value, joy, love and caring you bring to everything and everyone you touch. Revel in your gift. You are absolutely and beautifully unique. And in your uniqueness, may you expand and broaden its depth by remembering the wisdom of Margaret Mead, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” May you enjoy and celebrate the rich diversity you and others offer each other in your beautiful uniqueness. The offerings of your uniqueness and that of others will change the world.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Gift of Your Being Human

Great leaders are very, very human. These are men and women who, when things don’t go right, say, “I was wrong.” They don’t hold themselves up on pedestals to which people may see them as better than they are and bigger than life. Theirs is a humble, values-based and vocal acknowledgement that they are not perfect. Even in their words is a sense of security, not shame, in who they are. People are attracted to their simple humanity. They are simply one of them… one of us. And from this humanness, a great gift is given them, the precious, highly treasured gift of trust.

George Orwell wrote, “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” Tony Robbins adds, “Don’t try to be perfect, just be an excellent example of being human.” May you show people the real and beautiful you in your transparency, values and selfless giving, that you continuously and joyously journey, as Og Mandino writes, from human being to human becoming.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Power and Joy of Engagement – Walking Slowly Through the Crowd

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” wrote Aristotle. For great leaders, one of their greatest acts is that of serving… their selfless engagement with others that they may achieve their greatest potential. Tony Robbins said, “Engaging people is about meeting their needs, not yours.” John Maxwell adds to this saying, “You cannot be an engaging leader until you have engaged in the lives of people. Walk slowly through the crowd.”

The gift you give to those you touch and serve is one of caring… listening to them, respecting and valuing their opinions, understanding the beautiful uniqueness they bring to the world. And in your act of giving, you may receive a gift in return – their engagement and giving with you. And they will follow you for what you have given. It is not about your charisma, as Maxwell says, but about the connection that you make with them. It is a simple act of intended attention to those in your life. It is the beautiful you who walks slowly through the crowd. May you enjoy every beautiful step on your magnificent journey.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Gift-Giving Power of Belief

Thomas Paine wrote: “It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself.” Simply restated, great leaders must believe in themselves. Belief in self is one of the greatest, magical powers in the great leaders’ life journeys. Mahatma Gandhi captures its essence writing: “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

Belief is the magical key that turns the invisible into the visible, the dream into reality. It is the fire that sets the mind, heart and soul ablaze to overcome our own self-imposed limits or the words of others. Napoleon Hill tells us: “The number one reason people fail is because  they listen to their friends, family and neighbors.” Great leaders understand that everyone is different, having their own dreams, aspirations and goals.

On your magnificent life’s journey, may you remember the wise counsel of Frank Lloyd Wright: “The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief is a thing that makes it happen.”  And remember, also, the words of Dale Carnegie:Believe that you will succeed, and your will.” Be beautifully faithful to yourself… always, and change the world.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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There Is No Finish Line

Bill Courtney said, “In the marathon of life, there is no finish line.” Rather, it is a magnificent and joyous journey of continuing growth and learning as great leaders achieve their life’s purpose and meaning.  An old Nike poster captures the great leaders’ (the ‘serious runner’ below) passion of excitement in the life-changing special moment they experience as they joyously run their life’s marathon.

“Sooner or later the serious runner goes through a special, very personal experience that is unknown to most people.
Some call it euphoria. Others say it’s a new link of mystical experience that propels you into an elevated state of consciousness.
A flash of joy. A sense of floating. As you run, when it happens, you break through a barrier that separates you from the casual runners. Forever.

And from that point on, there is no finish line.
You run for your life. You begin to be addicted to what running gives you….
Beating the competition is relatively easy. But beating yourself is a never-ending commitment.”

Chuck Norris wrote, “There is no finish line. When you reach one goal, find a new one.” May you fill yourself with the joy and excitement of the challenges and opportunities you anxiously choose to pursue to make your life’s marathon the greatest beyond your wildest dreams. Remember always that “beating yourself is a never-ending commitment.” May you have a magnificent run every day of your beautiful life.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Joy of Life

What is the joy of life?” It is a profound question which great leaders continually ask of themselves during their life’s magnificent journey. It serves to set focus, establish priorities, create urgencies, expand horizons and dream dreams undreamed. Marcus Aurelius brings simplicity in answering the question writing, “Remember this, that very little is needed to make a happy life.” There is so much in life in which to find joy. We need only to open ourselves to its wonder, and choose to let its magic happen.

George Bernard Shaw captures this, magnificently writing, “This is the joy of life – that being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. That being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder, I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It’s a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

May you find extraordinary joy in living a life filled with passion, love and selfless giving that others may grow. On your journey, may Mother Teresa‘s words echo in your ears, “Profound joy of the heart is like a magnet that indicates the path of life.” May your candle burn as brightly as possible, also, before handing it on to future generations.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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