The Blog + Video Series 10: Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19

Developing and Managing Resilience

I’ve been reflecting a lot about developing and managing my own resilience this week; and, just how important both are right now. So important. What is resilience you ask? Good question. Here is the definition.

Resilience

(also resiliency)
Pronunciation /rəˈzilyəns/ /rəˈzɪljəns/
Translate resilience into Spanish

NOUN
1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.‘the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions’

2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.‘nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience’

Oxford Languages

Essentially resilience is our ability to face adversity, walk through it, learn, and repeat. Again, and again.

I’ve also been thinking about a video I’m going to do soon on resilience for my Developing Servant Leaders site. The idea looks something like this.

First

What we are facing right now is a huge gap between that which we once knew to be our reality, and the current COVID-19 reality. A large gap. Inside of this gap, we are all being asked to face ourselves and each other in new ways, with new tools, in entirely new contexts. Hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2993.jpg
August 1, 2020

For those that are less resilient, even harder. Resiliency, like all developmental traits, lives upon a continuum. It is not that someone has resilience or does not. Everyone has some, some have more. Alright, next.

Second

When you connect the four points of the above whiteboard, you can see the space that we are being asked to navigate and step into. A distinction. Stepping into reality is different from hiding, and running from reality.

It means taking the action you know is there to take, even, maybe especially, when it is hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2994.jpg
August 1, 2020

Now, you can see the above box, yes? Alright, then within that, let’s call it the COVID-19 developmental box, there are lots of other little boxes, which represent each of us and our comfort zones.

Yep. Meaning that as we interact with, and bump into each other, we are continuously floating in the COVID-19 developmental box. Then how, you may ask, do we develop our resiliency?

Third

We step outside of our box and into the reality that is in front of us. What is stepping outside of your box? It is doing. Again, and again.

Learning, practicing, falling down, failing – AND, getting back up again. Every time.

Know that we don’t have to continuously live outside of our box, or comfort zone. We can, what a friend of mine calls it, blip out, and blip back. Here you go.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2995.jpg
August 1, 2020

And, guess what? Everytime we go outside of our box, represented above by arrows, and do something that we consider uncomfortable, we grow. Yep, our box or container gets bigger. Here is one more illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2996.jpg
August 1, 2020

As you can see from the above illustration, some people will grow, boxes labeled with a G are now larger, some will not. It’s not a demerit, or a problem if there is no growth. It is, however, a missed opportunity to learn more about yourself and being human. Alright, last section.

Fourth

Also know, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, that all there is to know and to be experienced in this world, is much larger than this present moment. The COVID-19 moment. Last illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2998.jpg
August 1, 2020

Let us say that the entire whiteboard is what is knowable. Got it. Okay. Then consider that the super small box you see is what we’ve been calling the COVID-19 developmental box or gap. Yep. Pretty small in the proper scale.

Remember this distinction when you are confronted with uncomfortableness; and, remember it when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Though today COVID-19 feels like everything there ever was to know, on a universal and historical scale, there is far more to know and experience. Seriously remember that.

There are countless opportunities to develop your resilience today. More opportunities than most people would care to have. Really. And, believe me when I tell you that there are days when I feel the same way. Really. It’s hard.

Yet, like all of life, it is a paradox. Because the opportunity to develop and to learn how to manage our resilience is also a wondrous process. Yep. Hard and wonderful. A paradox.

Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash

#covid-19, #covid-19andresilience, #covid-19developingresilience, #covid-19resilience, #developingourselves, #developingresilience, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #develping-resilience, #growth, #growthanddevelopment, #managingresilience, #resilience

A Blogger’s Diary 8/8/20: On Resilience and Breakdown to Breakthrough

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This past week, as you can tell from three of my most recent posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about resilience, breakdowns and breakthroughs, and getting unstuck. I’m unsure if I actually connected the three concepts in the posts, so I am going to do so here real quick, promise. 🙂

In the post Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19, I write about the necessity of getting outside of our comfort zones, to learn new concepts, and to expand the size of our containers, which also increases our resiliency.

In the post, 4 Things to Notice and 4 Ways to Move Yourself From Stuck to Unstuck, I write about becoming more aware of how we feel. Noticing when we don’t feel well, and using this new awareness and the information that comes with it, to move ourselves forward.

In the post, A Journey from Breakdown to Breakthrough, I write about how breakdowns are normal. Though there is a stigma attached to breakdowns, especially in the U.S., they are perfectly normal. More, they are needed. When we welcome our breakdowns, we get to breakthroughs, which then opens us up to more insight.

Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash

How are they connected?

Connection 1

Being more aware of how we feel, when we feel frustrated, anxious, angry, or nervous means that we are not addressing something. As possible, we are not welcoming a breakdown. Maybe we are resisting it, because we think it’s a problem to have a breakdown. If that’s so, it’s okay. I lived that way for a long time.

Connection 2

However, what I’ve come to realize is that welcoming breakdowns when they are there, will move us to breakthrough, and guess what? When we move from breakdown to breakthrough, we are now unstuck. Consider that when we avoid breakdowns, we remain stuck.

Connection 3

And, when we move from stuck to unstuck by addressing something we’ve been avoiding, or are in denial about, we increase our resilience. Yep. It’s so. Resiliency increases as we face difficult situations. Sometimes those situations are external, sometimes internal. Consider also, at some level they are always internal.

COVID-19

Lastly, continuing to live through COVID-19 reminds me that being aware of the following is needed now more than ever.

  • The importance of
    • Being sensitive to how we feel.
    • Welcoming our breakdowns.
    • Using our breakthroughs; and,
      • Moving from stuck to unstuck again and again, which
      • Expands our containers, and increases our overall level of resilience.

We are all going to have to face, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, many, many, more unknowns in the months to come. And, living inside of the unknown is a very uncomfortable place for most people. However, there are actions we can all take to increase our resiliency, which will make the unknown less scary.

There are actions here, and in each of the aforementioned posts, which walk you through strategies you can utilize, if you choose, to increase your awareness and resilience, which you may find beneficial in the long run.

Be well. Be aware. Be resilient.

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

#breakdown, #breakdowntobreakthrough, #breakthrough, #covid-19, #covid-19andgrowth, #covid-19andresilience, #covid-19developingresilience, #developingourselves, #developingresilience, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #emotional-intelligence, #emotional-self, #emotions, #growth, #managingresilience, #resilience

4 Things to Notice and 4 Ways to Move Yourself From Stuck to Unstuck

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Do you ever feel stuck? Like you are doing the same thing every day, getting the same result, and wondering why this is so? Yep. Happens to all of us at some point in our lives. In fact, it is possible that it happens often.

On any given week, I would say that I get stuck multiple times. True. Really. I have no issue owning my stuckness, as it is inside of being stuck that you learn to become unstuck. How?

Well, let’s take a look at 4 things to notice and 4 ways you can, right now, today, if you choose, move from stuck to unstuck.

1. Notice Frustration and Worry

When we are stuck, emotions like frustration and worry arise more often. Why? Because internally we know that the actions we are taking are not working. They are, rather, a product of being in a rut. Or, being stuck.

As I wrote about in The Stories We Are Told and The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Becoming Limitless, we are the ones that get ourselves stuck. And, it happens inside of limited thinking. We believe we are limited in some way when we are stuck. Or, we believe we already know all there is to know about a particular subject or topic. Issue?

Yes. Why? Because it is an impossibility for anyone to know everything there is to know on any subject or topic. Really. Impossible.

1. What can you do if you are thinking, feeling, and acting this way?

  • Once you notice your frustration and worry, stop what you are doing. Really. Stop. Take a break, and think about the thoughts you are having. Are you considering all options? Or, are you merely reacting to the situation at hand? Important distinction.
  • Then, ask someone their opinion. Seriously. Often, when I am stuck, it is someone else that shows me another way forward. The coolest part about this? That you get unstuck and learn something new at the same time. Pretty cool.
Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

2. Notice your own fear, especially of the unknown

Ah, I’ve written a lot about fear. In Fear of the Unknown: Take A Stand and Take Action Anyway, I write about getting out of our own way. Seriously. Read any self-development book, and in it you will read about getting out of your own way. Is it easy? No. Not at first.

Yet, like anything we do, it gets easier the more we practice getting out of our own way. When you experience fear about an action you are thinking about taking, more than likely it is a product of an innate need to look good or be right. Yep.

We are so concerned that we might look silly or foolish, we don’t take action, or we take action within a limited framework. Which, when you really think about it, is kinda silly and foolish.

In order to become unstuck from our fear, we must be vulnerable; and, take the action there is to take, especially when we feel nervous. When you are nervous, you are growing. Yep. At that moment, you are growing your own developmental spectrum.

2. What can you do if you are allowing fear to keep you stuck?

  • Take the actions anyway. Move forward. Let go of the need to look good, and be right. When we are stuck in looking good or being right, we cannot grow. There is absolutely no growth with that mindset.
  • A growth mindset is about being open, vulnerable, and the practical knowledge that we know way less than there is to know.
  • Learn to become comfortable in not knowing, and looking silly. You will find that when you take action from a standpoint of not knowing, and being okay with “looking silly” that people will actually respond to you. Why? Because they have the exact same fears. The exact same. When you get outside of your fear, you will inspire them.
Photo by Anna Auza on Unsplash

3. Notice when you are avoiding situations, tasks, or contexts

In the post, 3 Reasons Why Avoidance is an Ineffective Strategy, I write about why avoidance is ineffective. Essentially when we are avoidant, we are contributing to our own stuckness. We are. Why?

Because we are actively resisting a situation, task, or context, which means in that area of our life, we are stuck. Yep. When we avoid, we don’t move forward. We standstill. Stuck.

Further, when we avoid, we can also feel off, and not so well. Frustration, worry, and anxiety can be higher because internally we know we are avoiding something that needs our attention. See, we can’t get out of ourselves. Even when we think we can get out of it, we can’t.

However, when we are open to our own avoidance, we can actively choose to notice it, and begin to consider how to move forward. It doesn’t mean that that area of our life will move forward all at once, or simply. Noticing our avoidance, however, does mean we are now open to creating movement.

3. What can you do when you are being avoidant?

  • Pay attention to those situations, tasks, and contexts that you are avoiding. When you notice them, stop yourself and ask, why. Why are you being avoidant? Get to that reason if you can.
  • Whether the reason is at the surface or not, begin to consider things you can do to move forward. Once you choose an action, take it. No matter how small. Take that action. It will be uncomfortable. Especially at first.
  • Remember though, it is inside of the continual actions we take every day that comfort will come. And, comfort in what is uncomfortable today will come. It will.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

4. Notice when you are holding tight to your current reality, and begin to let go

In the post, Creating Your Life Anew by Letting Go of The Life You Are Currently Living, I write about the necessity of letting go of the life, or reality, you are currently living in order to live a new one.

It is the same as being stuck. When we hold tight to our current reality, we cannot let go. Impossible. We are then stuck. Essentially, holding onto our current reality is being stuck. They are synonymous. Why?

Because you cannot become unstuck from that which you are stuck to. We must learn to let go. If we do not, we end up living in a false reality where things are static and do not change. Yet, that is not the real world. The world changes with or without our consent. Just look at the current reality right now.

4. What can you do when you are holding tight to your current reality?

  • Practice letting go. Choose an aspect of your life that you believe you are stuck in, and begin to consider what about that current reality you can live without. And, let go.
  • Once you’ve let go of that aspect of your current reality, create something new to fill that reality, to move forward.
  • As with the other suggestions, you can focus on smaller aspects of your life where you are stuck first. Practice, practice.
  • When you’ve practiced letting go in smaller aspects of your life, you may be ready to try something larger. Take it one step at a time. Slowly. There is no hurry here.

Alright, there are 4 things to notice, and 4 ways to move from stuck to unstuck. Remember, being stuck is a normal part of life; and becoming unstuck is a wonderful learning experience.

Moving from stuck to unstuck is a developmental growth process. You simply need to be open to notice when you are stuck, and then to take a different action in that area of your life.

My invitation to you

Notice when you are stuck. Be at peace with it. It is okay, normal. Once noticed, create a new action in that area of your life. When you’ve created that new action, create the next one, and then the next one. And, so on. I think you will be surprised at what you get back.

#avoidance, #beatpeace, #becominglimitless, #beingsilly, #beingvulnerable, #creatingmovement, #creatingmovementinourlife, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #embracingoursilliness, #gettingunstuck, #growth, #growthmindset, #inspiration, #learingtoletgo, #learningcomfortinuncomfotableness, #lettinggo, #movingfromstucktounstuck, #takingaction

Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gia-oris-5dt-joxsl78-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash

I’ve been reflecting a lot about developing and managing my own resilience this week; and, just how important both are right now. So important. What is resilience you ask? Good question. Here is the definition.

Resilience

(also resiliency)
Pronunciation /rəˈzilyəns/ /rəˈzɪljəns/
Translate resilience into Spanish

NOUN
1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.‘the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions’

2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.‘nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience’

Oxford Languages

Essentially resilience is our ability to face adversity, walk through it, learn, and repeat. Again, and again.

I’ve also been thinking about a video I’m going to do soon on resilience for my Developing Servant Leaders site. The idea looks something like this.

First

What we are facing right now is a huge gap between that which we once knew to be our reality, and the current COVID-19 reality. A large gap. Inside of this gap, we are all being asked to face ourselves and each other in new ways, with new tools, in entirely new contexts. Hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2993.jpg
August 1, 2020

For those that are less resilient, even harder. Resiliency, like all developmental traits, lives upon a continuum. It is not that someone has resilience or does not. Everyone has some, some have more. Alright, next.

Second

When you connect the four points of the above whiteboard, you can see the space that we are being asked to navigate and step into. A distinction. Stepping into reality is different from hiding, and running from reality.

It means taking the action you know is there to take, even, maybe especially, when it is hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2994.jpg
August 1, 2020

Now, you can see the above box, yes? Alright, then within that, let’s call it the COVID-19 developmental box, there are lots of other little boxes, which represent each of us and our comfort zones.

Yep. Meaning that as we interact with, and bump into each other, we are continuously floating in the COVID-19 developmental box. Then how, you may ask, do we develop our resiliency?

Third

We step outside of our box and into the reality that is in front of us. What is stepping outside of your box? It is doing. Again, and again.

Learning, practicing, falling down, failing – AND, getting back up again. Every time.

Know that we don’t have to continuously live outside of our box, or comfort zone. We can, what a friend of mine calls it, blip out, and blip back. Here you go.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2995.jpg
August 1, 2020

And, guess what? Everytime we go outside of our box, represented above by arrows, and do something that we consider uncomfortable, we grow. Yep, our box or container gets bigger. Here is one more illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2996.jpg
August 1, 2020

As you can see from the above illustration, some people will grow, boxes labeled with a G are now larger, some will not. It’s not a demerit, or a problem if there is no growth. It is, however, a missed opportunity to learn more about yourself and being human. Alright, last section.

Fourth

Also know, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, that all there is to know and to be experienced in this world, is much larger than this present moment. The COVID-19 moment. Last illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2998.jpg
August 1, 2020

Let us say that the entire whiteboard is what is knowable. Got it. Okay. Then consider that the super small box you see is what we’ve been calling the COVID-19 developmental box or gap. Yep. Pretty small in the proper scale.

Remember this distinction when you are confronted with uncomfortableness; and, remember it when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Though today COVID-19 feels like everything there ever was to know, on a universal and historical scale, there is far more to know and experience. Seriously remember that.

There are countless opportunities to develop your resilience today. More opportunities than most people would care to have. Really. And, believe me when I tell you that there are days when I feel the same way. Really. It’s hard.

Yet, like all of life, it is a paradox. Because the opportunity to develop and to learn how to manage our resilience is also a wondrous process. Yep. Hard and wonderful. A paradox.

Develop well.

#comfortzone, #comfortzones, #covid-19, #covid-19growht, #covid-19growth, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #develping-resilience, #growing, #growth, #humandevelopment, #learning, #managingresilience, #perspective, #resielnce, #selfdevelopment, #uncomfortable

Create A Vision For Your Future Self in 5 Minutes

Photo by tanialee gonzalez on Unsplash

Alright, I’ve written about creating a vision for yourself in several posts, yet, to date, have not walked through the process of doing so. What’s interesting is that people usually associate creating a vision with business, which makes sense, yet it makes as much sense, as we will discuss, to create a vision for yourself – for your life. Ready? Let’s go.

What’s first?

First, you want to get out all of your ideas about what your future self will look like, think like, and feel like. Here are some questions to get your thinking started.

  • What are your goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
  • Where do you see yourself in 1 year?

That’s enough to get us started. Let’s take them one at a time, and use practical examples. Here we go.

Identify your 5-year goals

Make a list of all of your goals. Yep, all of them. Why? Because at this stage, you are concentrating on getting out all of the goals that you want to accomplish. Make a list. Here are some of mine.

  • Publish a book
  • Travel to Spain
  • Learn Spanish
  • Travel to Japan
  • Knee recovery so I can run again
  • Expand our remote community education classes
  • Take a trip out of the country with my best friend

Alright, there are some we can work with. Once you have your goals identified, pick one to start working on. Where you start in the future will depend on the goal. I suggest going out as far as you can. Why?

Because you will find that once you start thinking about 5 years from now, let’s say, more goals will come to mind.

Now that you have your 5-year goals identified, time to start working those goals backward. Meaning that you need to create 3-year goals that connect to the 5-year goals.

Photo by Alex Nemo Hanse on Unsplash

Year 3

Let’s use my 5-year goal to publish a book and work that backward. In order to actually publish a book 5 years from now, I would like to have 75% of it written by year 3? Why? That will give me plenty of time to edit, market, and engage people about the book.

Now, publishing a book is not something I’ve ever done, and that is okay. The realisticness of your goals in year 3 matter less, than that you have an idea or picture of what that future state will look like.

Having that picture in mind is important to the next step, which is creating the next year inside of the 3-year goal.

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

The next year

When you start working on your goal for the next year, you are now in the realm of actually putting your theoretical goal into practice. I’m sure you’ve heard people say theory should feed practice, well, it is as true that practice should feed theory. They are inextricably linked. Always.

Now you can choose how to create your next year inside of the goal you are working on. There are many ways to put yourself to work inside of your goal. First you need to decide what your goal will look like at the end of the next year. Let’s keep using my goal of publishing a book.

What will the book look like at the end of the next year?

I would like to have 150 double-spaced pages written. Alright.

Now, to complete 150 pages by the end of next year, I will have to schedule time to get those pages written. How? First, create quarterly goals. With this particular example, I will break 150 pages into 4 parts.

My quarterly goal then is 38 pages. Now take that to monthly, which is 13 pages. Yep, now to the week. 3 pages a week. Alright, I now have a weekly goal.

And, it is a weekly goal that is connected to a quarterly goal, which is connected to a yearly goal. And, that yearly goal is connected to a 3 year goal, which is connected to the 5 year goal. Phew. Pretty cool.

Here is the system. And, you can put any goal into it, and work it backward the same way.

  1. Identify all of your goals.
  2. Pick one to work on.
  3. Set that goal out into the future and visualize what it will look like.
  4. Work backward to year 3.
  5. Set that 3 year goal.
  6. Work backward to the next year.
  7. Set that yearly goal.
  8. Work backward to each quarter.
  9. Set that quarterly goal.
  10. Work backward to each month.
  11. Set that monthly goal.
  12. Work that backward to weekly.
  13. Set that weekly goal.

You can even take it to daily goal-setting, however, in this example it is not necessary. Now, if my goal was to get that book finished in the next year, taking the goal-setting to daily would actually be very helpful.

As you create these goals and work on them, know that you are actively creating the vision of your future self. Yep. And, as you put them into practice in your life, you are actively working on and creating your future self every day. Pretty cool, and fun.

How to organize them to ensure you move them forward?

Here are some tools you can use.

  • Calendars
  • Post-it boards
  • Whiteboards
  • Day planners.

How you organize yourself matters less than creating the actions and actually holding yourself accountable to doing them every day. Use whatever organization system that works for you.

And, if what you are using now doesn’t work, change it. There are tons and tons of tools for organization. So many.

Okay, that’s creating a vision of your future self in 5 minutes. Another thing I like to do with my goals is to create a mind map. As I’ve mentioned in many other posts, I am very visual, so I love to see my goals inside of a mind map.

In case you’ve not created a mind map, here is a quick video I created that describes the process.

Alright, you now have a system to create your future self. And, when you get into it, I think you’ll find that it is quite fun. And, guess what?

When you take those daily or weekly actions to create your future self, you will find that your longer term goals are being accomplished bit-by-bit each day. Happy creating.

#creatinglongtermgoals, #creatingshorttermgoals, #creatingyourfuture, #dailyactions, #goal-setting-2, #goals, #growth, #mindmaps, #practice, #selfdevelopment, #theory, #theoryandpractice, #vision

Blind Spots: How Knowing About Them Can Help Move You, Those You Know, and All of Humanity Forward

Photo by Taras Chernus on Unsplash

Have you ever considered your blind spots? No? Probably not, seeing as we are blind to them. What in the world are they, and how do they function; and, even more importantly, what can we do about them? Alright, let’s take a look.

What is a blind spot; and, how do they function?

You know what you know, right? Okay. Let me write it this way. You are aware of all those things that you know about, yes? Yes, good. How about those things that you know you don’t know. Yes? Good. Last one. How about those things that you don’t know you don’t know? Hm. A little different, right. Yep. That’s right. That’s your blind spot.

We all have them. And, they are all different. Meaning, that we all have different things that we don’t know we don’t know. Phew. A little semantical, I know. Hm. Let’s do a whiteboard real quick to show you. I also feel another video coming.

July 13, 2020

There we go, better. Let’s say that the circle encompasses all that is knowable. Got it, okay. Now, as you can see, the sections of that which we know we know, and know we don’t know, are much smaller than all that we don’t know we don’t know. A very important distinction. Why?

Because what this simple illustration shows, and what I am pointing to in this post is that there is a vast amount of information (knowing) that is available to all of us, yet is not accessible to most people. Why? Because that which we don’t know we don’t know lives in our blind spot. What can we do?

What can we do?

First, we can become aware. Check. Now what? Well, we can create access to those blind spots. How, you ask? By being open to those that we are surrounded by.

Yep. It is those people that surround us inside of an open communication system where we can learn about our blind spots. Important. Here is another whiteboard to illustrate.

July 13, 2020

What this whiteboard creates is an important distinction that I’ve written about quite extensively on this website, and in many other contexts. Relationships and the interdependent nature of those relationships equals collaboration; and collaboration is where the access is. Yep.

As a matter of fact, the Monday message that went out to the team I work with today, was all about relationships, and just how important they are in all of our lives.

It is through these relationships that we can gain access to our blind spots. Don’t have those kinds of relationships? That’s okay.

You can create them. Really. You can. Why wait. There are so many people on this planet that are interested in the things that you are interested in.

Photo by alexandra lammerink on Unsplash

And, guess what?

You know things about your interest, and so will they. And, I can guarantee you that you will both learn from each other. Uncovering blind spots for each other along the way. No matter what the topic.

What we are discussing in this post has been written about for thousands of years. Here is an example.

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” -Socrates (469-399 B.C.)

Goalcast

I love this quote. There are many others like it, written similarly across all cultures. When we recognize that we know way less than there is to learn, and know, we immediately become open to new experiences, and new perspectives.

When we are open, and are in conversation and relationships with people that are interested in our growth, as we are in theirs, our blind spots are regularly pointed out. That is learning. It is the best kind of learning.

Ever heard of the socratic method? Here’s a snippet.

“In the Socratic method, the classroom experience is a shared dialogue between teacher and students in which both are responsible for pushing the dialogue forward through questioning.”

Edited by CTL Associate Director Mariatte Denman
Photo by Edvin Johansson on Unsplash

I too love this quote, however, I’m going to offer you a new way to think about it. Consider that the world is your classroom, and that everyone you meet, and are in relationships with can be the person that you share this kind of learning experience with. Truly.

When we are open, interested in learning from someone more than expounding on that which we know, we can learn something from almost anyone we meet.

Really. It is a beautiful experience.

Of course, we must be willing to, in a way, let go of that which we know. Let it go, and start listening, and taking in that which other people know. In the end, guess what? We end up knowing more. Yep.

When, however, we aren’t open, guess what? We get to keep that which we know, yes; yet, we miss out on the opportunity to add to that which we know. A truly missed opportunity.

My invitation to you

Don’t let those learning opportunities pass you by. Grab them while they are here. And, offer them back to those that you meet. For, they, like you, have something to learn from you.

We all have something to learn from each other. And, when we approach our relationships and interactions with that attitude. Phew. We can learn so much. You can learn so much. Start today.

Ask questions, listen, and believe. Believe in your ability to add to that which you know, and to contribute to someone else’s knowledge base. You can.

That is movement. Movement for yourself, for those you are in relationships with, and for all of humanity.

Learn, know, and reciprocate well.

#blindspots, #collaboration, #development, #growth, #growthanddevelopment, #knowing, #knowledge, #learning, #learningmore, #reciprocallearning, #relationships, #socrates, #socraticmethod, #theworldisyourclassroom

The Blog + Video Series #3: Finding Comfort in Being Uncomfortable: Part 1

July 12, 2020

There are countless quotes, books, and movies about “living outside of your comfort zone.” What this actually means, however, is open to great interpretation, and, I think, changes for people over time.

How you view the idea of living outside of your comfort zone is a product of how you were raised, how you think, the context you live and work in, and those that you surround yourselves with.

Further, the idea and actually experience of a comfort zone, and the corresponding uncomfortableness that comes with being outside of it is different for everyone.

As there are over 7.5 billion people on the planet, we can actually say that there are over 7.5 billion different comfort zones.

Growth is the byproduct or result of living outside of your comfort zone. In fact, the only real growth there is is found outside of your comfort zone. There is never any growth inside of a comfort zone.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

This may seem like common sense, and it is, however, most people have a hard time realizing this truth. Why? Simple. If feels really good inside of our comfort zones.

Who would want to intentionally create situations or contexts that challenged this comfortability? Really, not many. Most people are perfectly content inside their comfort zones.

Yet, if these people were to examine themselves on the inside, they would find that this contentment is covering up other issues.

Sometimes being outside of your comfort zone happens unintentionally, which can happen when we are faced with a very stressful situation or life event that we didn’t see coming. If we are open to it, there is also growth in these experiences.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

Learning how to find comfort in being uncomfortable is manifested by doing things that we find uncomfortable often. When we are open to getting outside of our comfort zones often, there is a comfort that comes as a byproduct of the continual practice of being uncomfortable.

As with most everything else, it takes practice to realize this kind of comfort in the uncomfortable. By practice, I simply mean creating intentional contexts that we find uncomfortable, and engaging in these contexts until they no longer feel as uncomfortable.

Ultimately, until they feel comfortable.

If you are reading this and thinking, nope, not me, I like my comfort zone and have no need to create intentional contexts of uncomfortability. Very well, that is your choice.

If, however, you are thinking, maybe, or yes, sign me up. Then go out and do one thing today that you’ve been avoiding or putting off because it makes you feel uncomfortable, and see what happens.

If it’s anything like the many experiences I’ve had, yes, you can count on being uncomfortable.

Yet, you can also count on that experience providing you a whole lot more, which is only possible by doing things that you find uncomfortable.

Until next time….

#comfortzones, #creatinggrowth, #development, #growth, #growthanddevelopment, #individualdevelopment, #personaldevelopment, #selfdevelopment

Letters: For My Dad

Corvallis, Oregon

One year ago today my father passed away. It was sudden. He was 71. There was still a lot of life left in my dad when he died. Today is difficult, and will be even more so for my mother.

I will cry, I am crying now. Yet, what I want to do in this post, is to remember my dad as he lived.

Remember the times that he was there for me. The times that he stood for me, when I was lost. Lost inside of myself, and in the greater world.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

The first memories I have of my dad are of him in dress clothes, heading off to work. Work that he liked, and didn’t, yet went anyway, every day, because it was expected and needed. Expected of himself, by himself.

I remember the first time we played catch, which may sound awfully cliche, yet it was an important moment in my life. Knowing that my dad would make time to spend with me, regardless of other pressing priorities, was an important learning for me as a child.

A learning in dedication and love.

He loved movies. I remember watching all kinds of movies with him as a child, teengaer, and adult. Spending time with him. Talking with him about movies that were upcoming, getting excited, and sharing in that joy with him.

Photo by Georgia Vagim on Unsplash

And, yes, popcorn. I loved popcorn as a kid. We would also often add powdered parmesan cheese to the popcorn. Loved that.

I remember him bringing me home hot wheels once after work. Oh my. I was so excited.

The idea that he would take time to purchase something for me, think of me like that, made a huge impression on me.

He also loved music. One of the things I miss the most about my dad is hearing him play the guitar. Was lovely. Now, I often listen to the songs that he played most often. I feel very connected to him at these times.

Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

My dad loved people. Loved conversation. I learned so much from him about being with people. Though my dad was an extrovert, like me, he also had a large introvert living inside of him, also like me, and most of us.

He also loved to read. I remember wondering about what he was reading when I was little. I learned later in life that some of his reading included self-development books. Didn’t know that for a long time.

Now his only son’s professional career revolves around personal and professional development. Special.

The holidays were always a special time growing up. I still love them today. And, though he had to work sometimes, especially when my sisters and I were little, he always made time to put a bike together for us, even if that meant staying up super late after working all day.

Photo by Denise Johnson on Unsplash

I learned a lot from my dad about difficult conversations. I didn’t learn until later, that he would strategically engage me in these conversations. Why?

To help me grow and develop. Though it didn’t feel like it at the time, that is what love really looks like.

He also taught me that running from things that make you uncomfortable does no one any good. And, though I hid from that part of myself for a long time, it has resurfaced with wonder. I owe a piece of that part of myself to my dad.

As a teenager, my dad and I didn’t get along all that well. We were at odds often. Yet he was always there. Always. He never wavered in his dedication to his family.

My dad has a huge family, and he deeply loved all of his brothers and sisters, as he did his mother and father. Lots of love.

My dad would often talk about not having much growing up in Los Angeles. Helping me see and understand that appreciating what you have today, in this moment, is super important.

Olvera Street Plaza, Los Angeles

And, that when we want to create a new way forward, we must rely upon ourselves to do so. Though my dad didn’t always language his persistence and grit this way, he didn’t need to. He was a living example.

He also loved cars. Boy, did he. My dad and his brothers, usually his older brother, would go to car shows often. He loved to look at them, hear them, see them run, and to talk about them.

Photo by Terence Burke on Unsplash

His dedication and love for his family extended to his grandchildren, of which there are several. Our sons loved their grandpa, and they miss him. My dad would always make time to talk with his grandchildren, always. He loved them so much.

Flagstaff, Arizona

There are so many things I miss about my dad. So many. What is written here is but one brushstroke of the many brushstrokes that are a living painting that my dad created with his contributions, time, dedication, persistence, and love for life and his family.

My dad’s sudden death last year reminds me of the necessity for all of us to make sure to tell those people in our life how much they mean to us. To tell them we love them, and value them. And, most importantly to show them that love.

Maybe especially when that love might not look like love to them. Such an important learning from a father to his son. Important.

My dad and I didn’t always get along, even as an adult. Yet, what transcended those disagreements was the love that we shared for each other. A love that for most of my life went unspoken.

However, about two years ago I went through a transformative experience, and during that time I told him and my mother how much I appreciated and loved them. Not something that we really said to each other at all. What did he say?

He said, well, I love you too son. Wow. Was one of the most powerful moments in my life. Why?

Because though I knew that my father loved me, we didn’t really say it. And, I was actually nervous about telling him that I loved him. I am so glad that I made that call. So glad.

Now I am a father to two beautiful boys. I am one of the luckiest people on the planet to have been given this wonderful gift. As my dad was, I am so proud of both of them; and, I see so much of my dad in each of them. I love them more than words can possibly express.

I always miss my dad, and I miss him even more today. For all of those that my dad touched and loved, know that I am thinking about him and all of you today.

That I am with you in kindred spirit through the love that we shared for my father, and the love that he shared with us.

For everyone else reading this, thank you. Thank you for sharing a very special moment with me, on a very difficult day.

Love, live, and be well.

#cars, #dedicationandlove, #family, #fathersandsons, #growth, #letters, #lifelessons, #living, #losangeles, #loveandloss, #makingtime, #movies

Persistence Without Resistance: Getting Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Photo by Alex Wong

What is the difference between conceptual thinking and execution? And, what lives inbetween the two? Let’s take a look.

A concept is considered an idea, intention, or plan to do something. Though conceptual thinking is needed and necessary, without the execution behind the idea, intention, or plan to do that something, nothing real will exist in the world.

I often think that people do very well at the thinking part of leading a concept or idea into a planning phase, yet often times during the planning and the following execution phases of a project, traction falters, and the project either stalls, or drops completely. Why is this?

I believe it has to do with the myriad of stimuli we find ourselves dealing with every day, combined with the habit of continually firefighting in whatever business we find ourselves in.

Two years ago I went to an all day strategic thinking training, which included people from all spectrums of work, from line workers, and administrative and operations personnel to company presidents. And, what did all of these people, including myself, have in common? Every one of us was spending more time working in the business rather than working on the business.

When you spend more time working in the business, you are reacting, and firefighting, which, in effect, keeps you on track to reproduce the same outputs and outcomes that you’ve already been producing. You are effectively treading water. If you feel this way about your work right now, you are not alone.

I learned a lot from that strategic thinking training, and one of the most important takeaways was that I was not alone. We are all trying to work on our businesses, or our marriages, or our relationships, yet we continually, without being aware of it, reproduce the same results every day, which keep us stuck in the same place we were yesterday.

To become unstuck, you must not only think, or conceptualize a different future, you must then actively create it. One step, or action, at a time. Otherwise you will continue to get the same results as you’ve always gotten. And, what did Einstein say about that: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

We cannot attain different results without “getting out of our lane.” We must remove the blinders that keep us in the same lane, and venture out into unknown territory. Uncomfortable, yes. Yet, these are where the jewels of life reside. The rare and wondrous moments of growth, are when we stop reproducing the same thing we had yesterday, with the same result, and take a different action, or set of actions, giving us different results.

Conceptual thinking and execution are both needed. When you have both, you have the ability to create new future realities. And, inside these new realities, you have the opportunity to live life in new ways. Ways that were previously unknown and unavailable to you. Regardless of the context.

How do you do this? First, you must be prepared to be uncomfortable, as the journey to creating new realities through new conceptualizations and corresponding new executable actions will be new territory for you. Because humans feel most comfortable inside their already created patterns or habits, living outside of them is uncomfortable.

If you are prepared for such discomfort, the process is not altogether difficult, and must also include an openness to all that is happening, and all those around you. Meaning that things will happen that get in the way of the actualization of your created concept, or you may forget about it at times.

The most important thing to remember is that becauses things happen that get in the way does not mean that you cannot still attain that goal. Building a new habit around a new goal is difficult, yet people do it all the time.

Persistence without resistance is key. Meaning that when things get in the way, know that these things are there for a reason, and that it is okay. Don’t resist what is happening, and continue to persist.

For instance, I’ve wanted to learn another language for a long time. And, have created the opportunity to do so, yet for the past two weeks, I’ve not studied very much Now, I could get frustrated, effectively resisting reality, and give up. Or, I could accept reality as it is, reserving all of that time and energy spent on being frustrated, and put that time and energy into studying.

In order for anything to exist in the world, there must be both concepts and actions that execute on those concepts. And, to do both requires an understanding of how most human beings typically operate, which is inside of their comfort zones. A comfort zone that will produce results that are similar to the results they’ve produced in the past. And, there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you are looking to produce extraordinary results, you need to be prepared to conceptualize and execute outside of your comfort zone. In that territory that is unknown to you, until it is known. And to know, that once that territory is known, it will be time to create something outside of your now larger comfort zone. This is the process of growth, and you are never too young or too old to grow.

#business, #comfort-zone, #creativity, #extraordinary-results, #growth, #life, #persistence, #psychology, #self-development

Finding Comfort in Being Uncomfortable: Part 1

There are countless quotes, books, and movies about “living outside of your comfort zone.” What this actually means, however, is open to great interpretation, and, I think, changes for people over time. How you view the idea of living outside of your comfort zone is a product of how you were raised, how you think, the context you live and work in, and those that you surround yourselves with.

Further, the idea and actually experience of a comfort zone, and the corresponding uncomfortableness that comes with being outside of it is different for everyone. As there are over 7.5 billion people on the planet, we can actually say that there are over 7.5 billion different comfort zones.

Growth is the byproduct or result of living outside of your comfort zone. In fact, the only real growth there is is found outside of your comfort zone. There is never any growth inside of a comfort zone. This may seem like common sense, and it is, however, most people have a hard time realizing this truth. Why? Simple. If feels really good inside of our comfort zones.

Who would want to intentionally create situations or contexts that challenged this comfortability? Really, not many. Most people are perfectly content inside their comfort zones. Yet, if these people were to examine themselves on the inside, they would find that this contentment is covering up other issues.

Sometimes being outside of your comfort zone happens unintentionally, which can happen when we are faced with a very stressful situation or life event that we didn’t see coming. If we are open to it, there is also growth in these experiences.

Learning how to find comfort in being uncomfortable is manifested by doing things that we find uncomfortable often. When we are open to getting outside of our comfort zones often, there is a comfort that comes as a byproduct of the continual practice of being uncomfortable.

As with most everything else, it takes practice to realize this kind of comfort in the uncomfortable. By practice, I simply mean creating intentional contexts that we find uncomfortable, and engaging in these contexts until they no longer feel as uncomfortable. Ultimately, until they feel comfortable.

If you are reading this and thinking, nope, not me, I like my comfort zone and have no need to create intentional contexts of uncomfortability. Very well, that is your choice.

If, however, you are thinking, maybe, or yes, sign me up. Then go out and do one thing today that you’ve been avoiding or putting off because it makes you feel uncomfortable, and see what happens.

If it’s anything like the many experiences I’ve had, yes, you can count on being uncomfortable. Yet, you can also count on that experience providing you a whole lot more, which is only possible by doing things that you find uncomfortable.

Until next time….

+

#being-uncomfortable, #comfort-zone, #covid-19, #growth, #human-development, #intention, #life-events, #psychology