Above All, Try Something!

abovealltrysomethingThe title of this post is a quote from Roosevelt that comes from a Facebook graphic that I saw the other day, and it reminded me of one of my favorite bloggers Seth Godin. Seth’s continual messages are Pick Yourself and Ship Something and Poke the Box.

Pick Yourself means that you don’t have to wait for permission all the time to start an initiative or begin working on an idea that could go big. We find excuses not to make a bigger difference at work or in the world because we blame the forces holding us down (preachin’ at myself here!). But, usually, there is no one stopping you but YOU. Why not you?

Ship Something means that you can talk a good game about all the great dreams you have, all the exciting ideas that could turn into something that will catch fire. But at the end of the day, unless you put pen to paper, or paint to easel, or blog into cyberspace, it remains just a dream–which is deflating, not inspiring. Just start, and then Just finish!

Seth also says to Poke the Box–just put something into play and then see what happens, and make adjustments (iterate) to respond to what you discover. Standing still will not get you anywhere (unless it’s briefly to recharge your batteries to avoid burnout). You must try something, and your world will open up–you will meet a key person who can push you forward–your pursuit will get more clarity and traction. Initiate action!

If you need assistance pushing through your obstacles, contact me for a free breakthrough strategies session. That’s what coaches are for! pcgrowingforward@gmail.com

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Remember Scrimmage Games?

scrimmageScrimmages were the best part of practices for sports when growing up. You didn’t have to do drills, but you got to play a simulated game against your teammates–which was way more fun!  But when the coach would say today would be a “controlled scrimmage,” it wasn’t quite as fun, yet way more beneficial to our development in the sport.

Controlled scrimmages were when the coach would blow the whistle and stop the scrimmage at any time he wanted to evaluate what just happened so that we could do it differently next time–and better–leading to winning results.

Think of your life as a controlled scrimmage. If you take the time to stop (blow the whistle on your life) and evaluate how the day went, at its end, you can determine what to repeat for successful outcomes, and what must change tomorrow for a better chance at results.

You can evaluate after every event, every project, every season of your life, at work and at home. Anything worth doing is worth evaluating, says Andy Stanley. Without a perspective of evaluation, you will keep running drills without much thought as to whether they are getting you to your goals, or you’ll just keep making the same errors in the games (one sign of insanity?).

And a coach (life/strategies coach) can be that objective outside source that can process your life and self-leadership with you so that you are more successful. Time to shoot me an email and sign up for a free strategy session? pcgrowingforward@gmail.com

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A Lesson from the On/Off Ramp

mergingI was in traffic today on the freeway and was approaching my exit. It’s one of those that has cars merging on and merging off in the same 75 yards or so. A car cut in from my left, trying to get over to exit, putting his turn signal on at the last minute. I braked and let him in. At the same time a car approached at high speed from the on-ramp to squeeze in front of me with blinker on. I again backed off and let her in.

At that moment, a life lesson hit me. I have been very intentional this year with allowing people to merge with my life. I could try to speed up and keep them out, making them fall in behind my selfish leadership, but I have found this to just make them irritated as they stare with disdain at my bumper.

Allowing people to merge with your life means to be a good listener, keeping an open mind to others’ perspectives, and often deferring to their wisdom that is better than mine. To be a learner. To be unhurried in the process of life. To make someone’s day who is seeking my attention to their need.

I didn’t feel any stress as I pulled onto the off-ramp today after letting the two mergers into my lane, and I think I will continue to be grateful for the merger friends and acquaintances that God brings into my lane of life who teach me something valuable for my journey.

www.paulcasey.org to sign up for my e-newsletter Target Practice

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Would You Describe Yourself as Open?

open communicationI was at a communication seminar last year, where the presenter was encouraging open communication, as opposed to closed communication. Open communication meant that a person was transparent with information about work projects and decisions, but also about one’s self and life. They “got things out on the table.” Closed communicators held information close to the chest, built walls around themselves, and made those around them guess/surmise about what they were thinking. There was an uncomfortable aloofness about them.

Openness is a great character trait and is a very healthy style of interaction with others. People who display openness attract others to their leadership and have an easier time building trust. Friends gravitate toward them because there is a humanness about them that makes others feel comfortable.

Of course, everyone needs boundaries, which determine how much of one’s self goes out to the world, but if you have to err on the side of open or closed, I would recommend being that direct communicator who shows humble vulnerability–and you will reap rewards in relationships!

www.paulcasey.org

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The Best Leaders (Spouses; Friends; Etc.)…

leader helping a followerDo these supportive things for those they lead and/or care about:

1. Help prevent you from stumbling. If they see that you are on a path for tripping up, they speak up and caution you against a course that would harm you or your future.

2. Send reinforcements. With the resources at their disposal, they point you to other sources that support your pursuits or ways to help you get unstuck.

3. Meet your specific needs. If you need time/attention/an ear to listen, or if you need a wise word, or a helping hand, they meet you right where you are with what you need.

4. Celebrate your efforts. They notice where you are sacrificing to make something awesome happen, and cheerlead your progress.

5. Help you be the best version of you. They aren’t a YES-person, but a truth-teller in your life to help refine you and help you live according to your values.

You will feel incredibly fulfilled when you do these 5 things to light up those around you!

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What Do You Stand For?

convictions“Conviction” is a word best described as “what you stand for” in your life. We all have them, and they drive our behaviors in all our relationships and in how we spend our time and money. Have you ever given some thought to what your driving convictions are?

Here’s an exercise to do. Ask yourself what motivates you to take action at work to solve a problem, or how you use your discretionary time, or what really gets you irritated when it is NOT happening around you. That most likely is a conviction that has become bedrock in your life.

After that, try to describe it with one sentence, and make it a personal sentence that starts with “I”. Then, show evidence of that conviction by writing down 5 behaviors along that theme. Sometimes people do this from another angle: start with the motivating behaviors first, find patterns, and then label it as the conviction.

My example might be helpful:

Conviction: Improvement/Maximizing

Descriptor: I desire to take everything I’m associated with to the next level of excellence, adding more value.

5 behaviors that best reflect it:

  1. Staying alert to all facets of my organization and immediately thinking of positive changes to bolster it
  2. Keeping a personal self-improvement plan current and expanding
  3. Helping those I coach take their lives/roles to the next level through resourcing them
  4. Thinking creatively about how to freshen up a rut
  5. Expanding outputs of what I learn as broadly as possible

Now, live your life in alignment with your convictions to bring out your best self! It’s your sweetest spot!

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You Are Writing Your Story

writing450Every day, you are writing your autobiography, whether you are putting pen to paper in a journal or not. Every action, every word, every minute spent–all are a part of your history as soon as they come from you. And people are reading you….

So, what kind of book is yours going to be? A tragedy? A drama? A comedy? Probably our lives entail all of those at one time or another, but what would characterize your life overall?

I want to encourage you to think twice before saying that impulsive thought that might be a bit judgmental or harsh–so that you leave good text with that recipient. Think twice before spending your time with mindless pursuits that leave you emptier–so that you then choose to put other people in the priority slots of time. Think twice before posting that picture on social media that is off-color and shows disrespect–so that others can still be influenced by the goodness of your heart and not turned away.

Yesterday’s script is written, and unfortunately, there are no erasers for bad decisions. You can, however, be the hero in your story by asking forgiveness and making it right, which ups people’s respect for you. Tomorrow’s script has yet to be penned. Be a best-seller!

 

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