Measuring Up vs Showing Up

October 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.”
-President Rutherford B. Hayes

Opportunities exist each day to challenge our potential, explore new perspectives or skills, learn about or from those around us, demonstrate patience, to be fully present within our tasks and interactions, be grateful, while inspiring others to do the same. This combination is not easy, requiring reflection, focus and attention, and integrating empowered thoughts and actions. The benefits experienced by those on this journey though, regardless of where they sit on someone else’s beginner to expert continuum,  include a deepening of connection to self, others and the world around us and the honouring of our authenticity.

“The strongest force in the universe is a human being living consistently with his identity.”
-Tony Robbins

All to often as humans we try to measure up. To others or what they may think, our imagined perfect self that doesn’t honour our unique gifts and talents or expectations built on fear or perceived norms.Expectations like these see us experiencing feelings of not wanting to appear different, foolish or to fail and stop us before we even begin. We could all recall something in our own lives that we might have wanted to try or experience but the inner voice said, “You are not good at that type of stuff” or “I can’t do that, only _______ is capable of doing it” or “What will others think, I will be laughed at”. These thoughts drive a lack of action.

 “There is just one life for each of us: our own.”
-Euripides

The quote at the beginning of this post is one of my favourites. It is something that I try to reflect on when I experience thoughts that drive inaction. Being open to the journey of growth, without having to measure up but showing up ready to learn from the opportunities that I am privileged to experience allows us to make a difference for others and ourselves. This involves being aware of and appreciating our vulnerability, how our daily thoughts and actions are affected by the uncertainty of being human. We have to take the leap to connect, over and over again, as through connection we can glimpse and achieve potential, both individual and shared.

Love the passage below, summing up the courage that is involved in showing up to follow our own journey of ‘leaving footprints in the sands of time’.

The Man In The Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”.
-Theodore Roosevelt

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To Infinity and Beyond

October 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

– William Shakespeare

Delivering programs, whether they be in schools or as camps, is what we do. Why we do this is because it is a privilege to be apart of and support the journey of potential of each individual and group with which we work. We believe strongly that individual and shared potential is seen and experienced as deeper connection is developed to self, others and the world around us. This is why our programs are experiential, learning by doing with reflection, allowing participants opportunities to explore the possibilities, discover their potential and act authentically.

Here is some feedback we received the other week from one of our clients that resonated with the Shakespeare quote above.

” Thank you for an excellent day that was so well run and moved students beyond getting a leadership position to personal leadership and global citizenship.”

Shakespeare lived a long time ago but definitely left an indelible mark on the English language. We may be very aware of what we believe our human experience should include but how much individual and shared awareness and appreciation do we have for what we may be? This is why this feedback resonated for me with the quote. ‘Moved beyond’ is providing opportunities for participants to process pathways to potential, along with meaningful connection to action beyond the program. This is the what we may be.

The Year Fives we worked with from this client group are nominating themselves for Year Six leadership positions for next year. The outcomes for our leadership program complemented the desired themes that the client wanted to explore through the experience. Moving the students beyond seeing leadership as a glamorous status position that carries a badge, our program connects to each individuals opportunities for empowered daily thoughts and actions. Creating positive ripples is something we are all able to make, within our own lives and in the lives of others. Linking experiences within the program to connection to self, others and the world around us, we are inspired by the comment from the client highlighting personal leadership and global citizenship.

You might be thinking, ‘What is Buzz Lightyear’s quote doing as the title of this blog post?’ Not only do I count the Toy Story movies as some of my favourite of all time but I also think that many important themes are explored through its characters. We can sometimes cap our experiences, what’s possible, from what it looked like before or what has always been done or what we or others believe is open to us to achieve or influence. This is the label of ‘infinity’. But as I remember from when I was a kid, whenever someone tried to claim they won by saying infinity as the largest number, someone else was quick to say infinity plus one and a whole new ‘beyond’ became the focus. We will continue to provide programs that are open to the ‘beyond’.

Consider your own opportunities to harness Buzz Lightyear’s mantra and confidently leap, as he does in this scene from the movie, within your own journey of potential.

So Much To Be Thankful For

October 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am grateful for filmmakers like Louie Schwartzberg who use their gifts and talents to inspire others. The beauty and awe involved in the connection between us as humans and the amazing world that we live in is so beautifully captured in this short video. Fostering gratitude within our days opens our eyes wider to the opportunities and gifts that surround us on our journey of potential. These opportunities and gifts are always present, whether we see them, experience connection to self, others and the world around us through them, or make a positive difference within our spheres of influence is then up to us.

Rather than concentrating on what we don’t have, we are able to choose to focus on all that we do have and can be thankful for. We could all recall a news story that we may have seen or a first hand experience of when someone may have ‘lost’ everything, all their material possessions, but are just so thankful to have life, their family, friends, health or safety. All the ‘stuff’ in our lives isn’t the driver of connection, rather our humanness, feelings of love, togetherness, understanding, wonder and potential that give us purpose and meaning. Taking the time to stop and reflect within the busyness of our days provides us with greater awareness and appreciation.

Today is a gift, this is the moment that we are experiencing right now. We are able to make the best of who we are, what we have and the opportunities that present themselves. We are able to be present in each of our interactions. As the little girl in the video remarks, when you start to explore, you want to go deeper. What daily thoughts and actions are driving your ability to build connection to self, others and the world around us? As we view and interpret messages and information, some 80% through our eyes as is mentioned in the video, what do we choose to focus on and see? We are all able to develop gratitude as the compass that directs our days.

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus

Leadership Messages

October 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

– Wayne Gretzky

Every day our brain is processing messages. Interactions with self, others and the world around us see ideas, thoughts, dreams, opportunities, questions and expectations flowing through our minds. Our choices, through the way that we interpret these messages, affects our actions and the positive difference we are able to make.

I love the quote by Wayne Gretzky at the beginning of this post. It speaks about the opportunities that exist to explore the possibilities, discover your potential and then act authentically. This idea drives us and our programs each and every day. We have the ability to reflect on our experiences as humans, the thoughts, words and actions that make up our days, and make changes that can positively influence not only our own lives but also the lives of others. Through building connection, sharing our gifts and talents and following our journey, rather than just accepting a preordained path, we can more effectively process the messages that enter our minds. We all have the ability to empower and inspire potential. We don’t need to just settle for this is how it is or has always been, instead we can be the change we wish to see, honouring the messages and values that resonate strongly within us through empowered action.

This we believe is leadership. Each individuals ability to make a positive difference through their daily thoughts, words and actions. Being real and authentic in our interactions, while demonstrating an awareness and appreciation of potential, what’s possible through connection to self, others and the world around us. Building resilience and belief in ourselves and others in the face of life’s successes and challenges. Celebrating diversity and what uniqueness we all bring to the puzzle. Using language that empowers, reflecting connection to our individual and shared values. Building supportive and inspiring networks within our global village.

Consider what leadership means to you and the messages you receive about it?

Think about your own thoughts, words and actions, do they empower your own and others potential?

Watch this short reflection on leadership and see what resonates with what you believe or have experienced.

“For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.”

– Ingrid Bengis

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