"Best things in life are sometimes the ones we always see yet we fail to notice." -Unknown
"All my life I've worked with the most awesome people you ever want to meet. I remember this one girl from when we worked together at CharlesSchwab, at first, on California Street, then we moved to 215 Fremont Street in our own brand new Schwab building designed in style of one of those start-up companies that mixes play and work. Her name was Ricki. Beautiful smile. Curly brown hair and hazel eyes. She was from back East, and sometimes we would just sit and hold hands quietly in a corner. One day with a group of co-workers she said, 'I wish I could put Charles in my back pocket and keep him with me always.' I liked that. Still do. When I am unhappy, I think about what Ricki said, and I start to smile and giggle. Instantly, I am happier.. Some Facebook people give me that same feeling and I smile and giggle at their posts, remembering Ricki's uplifting words..." --Charles L. Pearson
New International Version
Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done."
Let’s Stop Calling Them Soft Skills
The term “soft skills” in the workplace implies that they are somehow less important. Seth Godin, in arguing for their connection to success, wants to rename them as “real skills” and has broken them into five large categories:
1) Self Control — Once you’ve decided that something is important, are you able to persist in doing it?
2) Productivity — Are you able to use your insights and your commitment to actually move things forward?
3) Wisdom — Have you learned things that are difficult to glean from a textbook or a manual?
4) Perception — Do you have the experience and the practice to see the world clearly?
5) Influence — Have you developed the skills needed to persuade others to take action?
Learn more at Medium (7 minutes).
Leadership is not a way of being; it is a set of behaviors—it is kinetic.
And what are those behaviors? Here is the short list that resonates for me*.
What I ask of you (and me)? Let’s model them for our co-workers, and praise them when we see them. Let’s all lead from out seats.
* For those looking for the abbreviated version:
1. They praise.
2. They decide.
3. They take responsibility.
4. They communicate.
5. They set the example.
6. They give feedback.
7. They seek help.
8. They challenge.
Source: Business Day New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/business/terri-ludwig-of-enterprise-community-on-leadership.html?_r=0
“You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy
.You’re in a meeting with your colleagues and senior executives. The senior staff is brainstorming ways to streamline processes and become more efficient. The PERFECT solution hits you with such force and clarity you have to fight to maintain your composure. This is your moment. You will be the company hero. Your colleagues will idolize and adore you. You will get a raise, promotion, and the coveted corner office with that fantastic view. And that cute redhead you’ve been dying to ask out will not only notice you, but will be the one to ask YOU out.
Then comes the big moment. The company Vice President completes her spiel and then asks, “Does anyone have any suggestions?” And you freeze. You’ve never spoken in a meeting before. What if your suggestion is really not genius but utter stupidity? You miss your opportunity and to add insult to injury, Bob from the mail room chimes in with your exact suggestion. He becomes the hero, gets the promotion and the girl.
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is something you have to learn to embrace. Putting yourself in new and unfamiliar situations stimulates the part of the brain that releases dopamine, nature’s happy drug.
The most significant catalyst in the growth process is embedded in discomfort. Challenging your capabilities is what expands them. Most of us back away from things that make us feel uncomfortable—it’s natural. We shy away from the unfamiliar, but then later kick ourselves over missed opportunities. Comfortability brings complacency. It inhibits your ability to grow, your thinking, and your creativity.
The familiar and routine make you feel at ease and provides a sense of control; however, rigid consistency and the refusal to steer away from a routine can dull your senses. Think about your normal drive into work or school. You drive the same route repeatedly.
Eventually, the turns become automatic and you start tuning out most of the drive. You become oblivious to the scenery or the subtle changes that have occurred along the way. You arrive at your destination and barely remember the drive. So the underlying message here is, when you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you will tune out and miss so much in your daily life.
Step out of your comfort zone at least 10 times per dayThe key here is to be intentional. Look for opportunities to put yourself out there a bit. Speak up in a meeting, have lunch alone, strike up a conversation with the stranger in the elevator, take a different route home. Do something different. The benefits are immeasurable. By intentionally working to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation your world becomes bigger and possibilities become endless.
When you identify and decide to try something that makes you feel a bit anxious follow these steps:
Being uncomfortable is just that—it’s uncomfortable. It is scary and involves risk. You may look silly, and you may even fail, but you’ve learned something and have experienced the unknown.
Feeling uncomfortable? That’s proof you’re doing it right.
"A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are." -- Unknown
It's never too late to start over. If you weren't happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don't stay stuck. Do better.