Fly like a bumble bee…

“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway. ”

Mary Kay Ash

As a parent there are few things better than watching your child grow and achieve things they didn’t yet know they could do. It is beautiful to watch the joy in their eyes as a child succeeds in successfully completing some new physical or mental challenge for the very first time. You can literally see their confidence in their abilities grow right before your eyes.

The beauty here is that children don’t know they “can’t” do something and when they have a cheerleader, whether that is a parent, grandparent, sibling, etc. alongside helping and teaching they can, and will, learn and accomplish things that perhaps they would never have dreamed were possible. They haven’t yet created self-imposed limits on their abilities.

When is it that we as adults begin to create beliefs governing what we can accomplish? How are these belief systems formed? Is it because we don’t have, or haven’t created, the right support system of people around us coaching and pushing us to learn new and different things? Is it because we have tried and failed and therefor have turned failure into a belief that says “I can’t?”

Every time we try and fail we can either turn that into a learning opportunity which will help us as we grow towards our next attempt OR we can choose to treat those failures as limits on our abilities. The first perspective serves as a platform for future growth. The second creates a world that is constantly shrinking as you implement a belief system based on limits and “I can’t.”

How we talk to ourselves and who we surround ourselves with as coaches and mentors will greatly influence our ability to accomplish things we don’t even know are possible. Choose wisely if you want to fly…

No quit…

“For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”

Mary Kay Ash

It’s not failure unless you choose to quit without having exhausted every potential option. Failure isn’t fatal, but quitting just might be. Sometimes the detours are the most rewarding options…

Too busy to listen?

“No matter how busy you are, you must take the time to make the other person feel important.”

Mary Kay Ash

What makes you feel important when speaking with others? What signals do you pick up on that let you know another person values you? Do you know the answers to these questions for the people in your life?

One of the best ways to make another person feel important is to truly listen when they are speaking. Giving someone time is meaningless if you aren’t really in the conversation. Being engaged in actively listening and seeking understanding is one key to communicating value and importance. Unfortunately I am often guilty of being in a hurry and not doing this very well.

Today, in your conversations with others, see how many times you find yourself listening in order to respond versus truly hearing what another person has to say. Are you serving others, or focused on being served? You might surprise yourself.

Losing is a choice…

“When you reach an obstacle, turn it into an opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone. Refuse to throw in the towel. Go that extra mile that failures refuse to travel. It is far better to be exhausted from success than to be rested from failure.”

Mary Kay Ash

Winning is a choice.  But then, so is losing.  

I was watching game four of the World Series between the Red Sox and the Dodgers on Saturday night.  In the bottom of the 6th inning the Dodgers scored four runs to take a 4-0 lead in the game with only 9 outs remaining for the Red Sox to try and come back and win the game.

The night before the Dodgers had won the game with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 18th inning to win the game 3-2!  (the longest game in World Series history).  So a 4-0 lead going into the top of the 7th inning was a commanding lead.  But the Red Sox players are professionals and they are winners and they didn’t panic.  They chose to overcome.  The Red Sox scored 3 runs in the top of the 7th, and then another run in the top of the 8th to tie the game.  

Then in the top of the 9th they went on a rampage and scored 5 more runs to move the score to 9-4.  But did the Dodgers give up?  No way.  They lost the game but not before scoring two more runs in the bottom of the 9th.  Final score 9-6.  I love that neither team quit.  They just keep slogging it out. 

My point is this.  At any point someone could have decided “this is too much, we can’t win, I need to quit and rest myself for another game.”  But that isn’t what champions do.  They win, they persevere.  They rise to the challenge and if they lose, they get up and they try harder.  Failures quit.  Winners don’t make that choice.  

Someone has to win a game in the end, but no one has to quit…

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