Act Like a Baby

Persistent

Determined

Tenacious

Focused

When you hear those words, does any specific type or group of people come to mind? Perhaps you think of a high achiever or someone who seems to get things done regardless of their circumstances.  For me when I hear those words I think of… babies.

Think about a baby that’s learning to walk.  They struggle to stand up, even with the support of a solid object, they wobble around, and they fall down.  But what makes me think of babies when I hear those words, is that after each setback or failed attempt, babies get back up and try again.

Once they get it in their mind to start walking, they will not be stopped until they achieve that goal.   They don’t quit because it’s hard.  They don’t complain because they suck at their first attempts.  A baby will repeat the process of getting up and falling down until they have mastered walking.

I stand in awe of the persistence, determination, tenacity, and focus of babies.

Is there any skill you’re currently trying to learn that has you frustrated and wanting to quit?  If so, I encourage you to act like a baby and embrace the process of falling down and getting back up to try again.

If a skill we’re trying to learn is truly important to us, we should approach it with the same level of persistence, determination, tenacity, and focus.

May we all be more like babies in this regard.

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Are You Committed

With 2017 looming, many people are beginning to express their intentions for the New Year in the form of goals and resolutions.  I love this time of year, because it causes us to pause and think about how we’d like to change our lives to be better in the next 12 months.

While we have no problem expressing our intentions, we often lack the commitment to take action that will move these intentions toward becoming reality.  Dr. Steve Maraboli states:

Intent reveals desire; action reveals commitment.”

 I would agree.  It’s easy to talk about our desires, because it doesn’t require anything from us.  The more challenging step is to parlay that talk into action, which often requires a potentially uncomfortable or unfamiliar step out of our norm.  Our willingness to take that step is a strong indicator of our commitment to what we say we desire.

Consider this, as you look ahead to 2017; what if the only thing standing in your way of achieving what you desire for the New Year is your willingness to take action?

Are you committed?

Your Comfort Zone and Beyond               

We all know that in order to stretch and grow we must consistently get out of our Comfort Zone.  But just how far out of our Comfort Zone should we be going?  Is there a limit?

I think there are 3 sections relating to our Comfort Zone that look like the following:

ComfortZoneGraphic-4-Jul-15

The characteristics of each section are as follows:

Our Comfort Zone:

  • Things you attempt are easy to accomplish
  • Success is almost certain
  • This space can expand as we master items in our Challenge Zone

Our Challenge Zone:

  • Things in this zone represent endeavors we have not yet attempted, or are in the early stages of trying
  • Success is not certain, but is likely with practice and continued effort
  • Mastery of items in this zone causes those items to move out of our Challenge Zone and into our expanded Comfort Zone

Our Danger Zone:

  • Items in this space represent skills or talents we do not yet , or may never, possess
  • Outcomes are disastrous at best; dangerous at worst
  • Items in this space can move into our Challenge Zone, and even our Comfort Zone, but only after significant effort, failure, and disciplined practice; it is a slow process

When we step out of our Comfort Zone, we should look for those items that lie within our Challenge Zone, perhaps those items close to, but not exceeding, the far edge of our Challenge Zone.  These items are the ones that will stretch us the most and cause the most rapid growth.

Take for example, a person who wants to be an airline pilot who has never flown an airplane before.  They would not start out flying a 500+ passenger aircraft for a major airline.  That would certainly be in their Danger Zone and would have disastrous consequences.  They’d first start out learning to fly small single engine airplanes.  Initially, this would be something that would be in their Challenge Zone, but as they spend time with a flight instructor, they would eventually develop mastery in this area.  At that point, flying small single engine aircraft would be in their Comfort Zone and they would be ready to move to move up to the next larger aircraft that is in their Challenge Zone.  They would continue learning to become familiar with increasingly complex aircraft, until that 500+ passenger aircraft has moved from their Danger Zone into their Challenge Zone.  At that point, they would begin training in that aircraft, until its mastery, which was once in their Danger Zone, becomes part of their Comfort Zone.

Moving items from the Danger Zone to the Comfort Zone is a process that is usually timely and slow, so patience and discipline is required.

What items would you like to add to your Comfort Zone?  What item in your Challenge Zone can you begin working on today to move you one step closer to its mastery and an eventual placement in your Comfort Zone?  Don’t wait!  Get started today and begin seeing your Comfort Zone expand as you achieve things you never thought possible.