Throw Something Out There

Sometimes all that’s needed is an idea, even if it’s a bad one.

Have you ever been I a group where a decision needs to be made, but no ideas or suggestions are coming?  I have!  (In fact, I was in one such meeting less than 2 hours prior to writing this blog.)  These gatherings can be frustrating because the focus of the group seems be on the problem versus finding a solution.

Sometimes I find that what’s needed most in this scenario is an idea, any idea, just to cause people to start thinking and narrowing down the discussion toward a decision.  Throwing out an idea, be it good, bad, or ugly, gets the conversation off of the problem, and focuses it on a solution.

Say you throw out a bad idea to solve the problem at hand and no one in the group likes it.  Great!  The group’s negative reaction to the idea is the spark that begins the conversation toward a better idea, and ultimately a solution and course of action.

Don’t worry about looking dumb or foolish.  Instead, focus on starting the conversation and navigating discussion toward a solution.  Specifically, ask others what they think of the idea or what they don’t like about it or how they would change it.  Use their ideas to build on the initial bad idea.  Instead of trying to be the one that comes up with all the great ideas, focus on being the one that can take input from the group  and orchestrate solutions by leveraging the knowledge and wisdom of its members.

Look for opportunities this week to throw out initial ideas and then help others to shape and build them into a viable solution to the problem at hand. You’ll become a valuable contributor to your team and a person of action; a person who causes something to happen.

Make it Your Own

The only limitations you will ever have are the ones you put on yourself.”

                ~Unknown

No matter how often I hear this quote, or any variation of it, it always resonates with me.  It reminds me that anything is possible in my life and that the limits I face are usually the one I place upon myself.

One thing I like doing with a quote I find especially inspiring is to make it my own.  I do this by changing the pronouns so the quote speaks specifically to me.  For example, I could replace all the pronouns with my name and come up with:

The only limitations Scott will ever have are the ones Scott puts on himself.”

 That’s a little better, but it still sounds like it could be written for anyone in the world named Scott.  A better variation would be:

The only limitations I will ever have are the ones I put on myself.”

That’s powerful!  When I read this version, there is no mistake that it is directed specifically at me.  However, there’s one more thing I can do to unleash the full power of this truth in my own life, and that is to speak it, out loud, on a regular basis.

When we read a quote or principle like this out loud, we’re not just reading the words; we’re also speaking them and hearing the encouraging words in our own voice.  Great things begin to happen when we begin speaking encouragingly to ourselves.  We don’t need to wait for others to encourage us, we can begin encouraging ourselves today.

What are some of your favorite quotes of encouragement, success, or inspiration?  (If you don’t have a favorite, check out the book of Proverbs.  It’s loaded with enough great principles and quotes to keep you supplied for a lifetime!)

Take the steps below to cause the encouraging words of others to hold specific meaning for you:

  1. Identify or discover 1 or 2 of your favorite quotes or principles.
  2. Determine how you can re-word them to make them your own.
  3. Put the re-written quote somewhere where you will see it every day.
  4. Every time you see the quote, say it out loud to yourself.

Try this for a few weeks.  You’ll be encouraged by a message that’s written just for you.

I’d love to see how you’ve re-written your favorite quote to make it your own.  Place it in the Comments section of this post and share your encouraging words with others.

Continue to Dream

What do you dream about?  A better question might be, “Are you still dreaming?”  When you envision your future, do you think of your dreams and all the possibilities that lie before you, or do you have thoughts about opportunities lost, time squandered, or the feeling that it’s too late to pursue your dreams?

 

Here some really great news:  there’s’ no such thing as being too old to dream!  We’re not required to jettison all our unrealized dreams when we reach a certain age.  Nor are we restricted from picking up new dreams after a certain birthday has passed.  We are free to dream and pursue those dreams as long as we have a pulse.  That is so encouraging and inspiring to me!  It’s encouraging because it reminds me that life is an adventure to be lived until our very last days, and inspiring because it causes me to realize that each of us should, at all times, have at least one dream that we are actively pursuing.

Dreams give purpose, excitement, and direction to our lives when we are actively thinking about and pursuing them.  The mere acts of having and pursuing our dreams make us interesting as people both to others and to ourselves.  How boring it would be to just drift along without any dreams or ambitions to help guide and direct our lives?

Perhaps you’ve had dreams at one time that you’ve neglected, or maybe you’ve never really given much thought to a dream you have buried inside of you.  If you’ve been distracted from your dreams, reconnect with them today.  If you don’t have any specific dreams, spend the next several days, or even weeks thinking about what you’d like to accomplish with your life.

Once you’ve reconnected with, or defined your dreams, think about them every day.  See yourself working toward your dream and ultimately achieving them.  Then, with this vision in mind, begin making progress every day toward the pursuit and fulfillment of those dreams.

Begin living an interesting life by identifying, visualizing, and finally pursing your dreams.  Today is the perfect time to start.

Reach Out and Renew a Connection

A few weeks ago I learned about a new professional field that focuses specifically on customers’ experience within an organization or business.  I was excited to discover this new field and eager to learn more about it and how I could become a part of it.

Through my research I found that a previous colleague from many years ago was currently working and active in this new customer experience field.  Since I was eager to learn more about this field, I thought I’d cause something to happened and reach out to them and see if they’d be interested in talking to me about their current position and the customer experience work they do.

I’m so glad I reached out to them!  We me t for lunch and spent over an hour and a half talking about customer experience, their role in the industry, and where it is heading in the future.  I got to ask a ton of questions and gained some valuable insight as well as suggestions for getting the field myself.  In addition I got to reconnect with someone over a common interest.  It was a great experience.

It’s so easy to avoid reaching out to others and asking for help, suggestions, or guidance.  However, doing so robs us of opportunities to build connections with others, which is actually fun to do.

Do you know anyone you haven’t talked to in a while who has experience, skills, or insights that you’d like to learn more about?  If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to them and make an appointment to talk with them over lunch, coffee, or any other event or venue that is conducive to conversation.  You’ll not only benefit from what they share with you, you’ll probably make the other person’s day b showing an interest in what they do.

Don’t wait.  Reconnect with someone today.

Remember Your Good Samaritans

Can you remember a time when you were assisted by a Good Samaritan?  Perhaps you were stuck, lost, in need, or even scarred, and someone came by and offered the very assistance you needed at the very moment you needed it, and they didn’t want anything in return.

I think we’ve all had a moment, or moments, like that.  For me I can think of more than once when I was helped by Good Samaritan, and each time I felt a strong sense of gratitude.  I’ve attempted to show my thanks with some dollar amount, but I’ve always been turned down.  These people just helped me out without expecting, or wanting, anything in return.

I was reminded of the good Samaritans in my life recently when I got to play this role, along with several others, for 2 people who had got their car stuck in some gravel at a trailhead.  We all got together and pushed their car out and they were on their way, extremely grateful that some good Samaritans were there to help them out.

That incident also reminded me of the ability we all have to be good Samaritans in the lives of others.  After we helped the 2 peoples get their car unstuck, I thought about how grateful I was to the people that helped me in the past and felt that in some way, I was paying back their kindness to me by helping someone else.

Try something this week.  Think about the Good Samaritans in you past and be aware of opportunities to honor them by freely helping out someone else in need.  Not only will it make you feel good, you’ll probably encourage them to do likewise for someone else in their future.