Keep Showing Up

October 27, 2014 at 5:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“The danger of venturing into uncharted waters is not nearly as dangerous as staying on shore, waiting for your boat to come in.”  – Charles F. Glassman

We are always left feeling inspired and grateful when we reflect on the feedback provided by the participants and accompanying teachers after they take part in our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program. This year I have noticed a certain response that keeps popping up in the feedback in regards to what the participants most enjoyed about the experience. Of course many students list certain activities, games or reflections that they loved but jumping out to me is the amount of participants who write something like ‘spending time with people I wouldn’t normally hang out with’, ‘working with other students who I don’t usually work with’ or ‘getting to know more about others in the grade and seeing what their strengths are as a leader’.

“My friend, leaving one’s comfort zone is no small chore! Trust me, I’ve learned this first hand. I can say that when all’s said and done it’s worth it!” – Josh Hinds

We would all know intimately the feelings associated with expanding our comfort zones. How many times have your daily thoughts, words or actions moved you to somewhere along the scale of slight discomfort to full blown fear? One of our biggest comfort zones is our friendship group/s. Within them we experience feelings of comfort, connection, safety and belonging, having shared various parts of ourselves, expressed certain beliefs and ideas, and not been turned away or rejected. So choosing to keep showing up as we interact with others can be confronting, accepting that uncomfortable feelings may be present and that our ideas or beliefs may be challenged in various ways. But these ‘keep showing up’ choices provide us with opportunities to continue stretching and growing, ultimately creating new awareness, appreciation, connections and space for us to make a difference in our own and others lives.

“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” – Robin S Sharma

What I love most about the feedback examples that I listed at the start of this post is that the lens of connection is becoming a new normal for each individual. In a world that can focus on highlighting difference and what/who/where we should be fearful of, these students are choosing to see a deepening connection to self, others and the world around them as the thing they most enjoyed and are taking this away with them from the experience. This is a theme that we are very purposeful about in the program and why our vision remains ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’. A powerful tool of a leader is embracing connection as the glue that holds our humanness together.

“Anything you to do to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone will ultimately enable you to take larger risks and grow.” – Leslie Evans

So as I read another set of feedback forms from a school community that we support I am left feeling inspired and grateful again. We believe so strongly in each individuals and our shared journey of potential. This potential is heavily influenced by our interdependence, connection to and interactions with self, others and the world around us. Our ability to form supportive and inspiring networks and communities helps keep us engaged, challenged and motivated to make a difference in our own and others lives. A strong sense of connection and purpose is such a powerful energy source if we choose to view life through this type of lens. Good luck as you continue to explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically, ‘being the change you wish to see in the world’.

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell

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Instead of Control, INFLUENCE

October 20, 2014 at 8:25 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“Influence may be the highest level of human skills.” – Author Unknown

At Explore Discover Act we believe, “Leadership is a purposeful journey that utilises a combination of developing skills, attitude and behaviours, and is courageously practiced daily by individuals and groups through their thoughts, words and actions.” The purpose we refer to in this statement is our ability to make a difference in our own and others lives each and every day, as we explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically. As we show up, engage fully and make individual and collective choices we will inevitably encounter the themes of and ripples created by striving to control or influence ourselves, others or specific situations/interactions/etc. Within these choices we offer that instead of seeking to control, INFLUENCE.

“You can’t light another’s path without casting light on your own.” – John C. Maxwell

When we attempt to control, whether it be ourselves, others or an external happening, lashings of judgement accompany the given thoughts, words and actions. Control invites a separation from rather than an acceptance of and continued deepening connection to self, others and the world around us. A decision is made from a place of vulnerability, superiority, power, righteousness or other similar feelings that certain thoughts, words or actions can be justified and are the only option at a particular time. The journey of ‘being the change’ is indeed a vulnerable one, with all of us experiencing times when we ‘believed’ that someone, something or a particular situation should look/sound/behave/etc. a certain way. Staying open to our ability to be a shining light in our own and others journeys unfolds within striving to influence rather than control.

“The only way in which one human being can properly attempt to influence another is by encouraging him to think for himself, instead of endeavouring to instil ready-made opinions into his head.” – Leslie Stephen

Growing our awareness and appreciation of control and influence offers us opportunities to be empowered, empower and connect. It is incredible how far ripples of influence can travel in our own and others lives. As we navigate the successes and challenges that life presents we can remember that we are all in this together and that our daily thoughts, words and actions matter. Our impact, in our own and others lives, unfolds moment by moment, choice by choice. Our vision at Explore Discover Act of, ‘Informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’ highlights a lens of choosing influence over control. We continue to be inspired by the example of so many that we come into contact with on this interdependent journey.

“Every one of us receives and passes on an inheritance. The inheritance may not be an accumulation of earthly possessions or acquired riches, but whether we realize it or not, our choices, words, actions, and values will impact someone and form the heritage we hand down.” – Ben Hardesty

How would you describe the role that control and influence play in your own journey of potential? Who in your spheres of influence inspires you by the way they interact with themselves, others and the world around them? What are you most proud of in your journey of making a difference in your own and others lives? What would you hope others would say about your daily thoughts, words and actions and the way you influence all those you come into contact with?

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.” – Albert Einstein

At Our Core

October 13, 2014 at 5:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“Deep meaning lies often in childish play.” – Johann Friedrich von Schiller

Last week I was over at my parents house looking through a box of photos that has been put aside for me. They form a collection that spans the best part of two decades, providing for a great walk down memory lane. The photo I have included above jumped out at me for many reasons. I love seeing photos that chart the evolution of our childhood backyard. I love reflecting on great stories related to fun and games with siblings and friends over the years. I love looking back on the fashions of growing up in the 80’s. But above all, this photo reminded me of what’s at our core.

Words like Wonder, Curiosity, Play, Adventure, Joy and Gratitude came flooding through as I was looking at this picture, and were also present as I looked at many of the others that were in the box as well. What words come up for you when you consider what is at our core? How can reminding ourselves of what lies at our core positively influence the choices we make, the way we interact and the connection we develop on our journeys of potential? What photo from your collection, whether it be during your childhood or taken more recently, captures a moment, feeling, connection or some deep meaning for you?

“Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.” – Jean de la Bruyere

How Can We Do This Together?

October 6, 2014 at 10:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.” – John Donne

This week sees our global village navigating its way to World Mental Health Day on October 10. Here in Australia Mental Health Week has begun, with many events, forums and conversations promoting an ever increasing awareness and appreciation of our own and others issues, challenges and available support around this subject are taking place. An example of this is the ABC’s integrated web and TV week long focus on Mental Health, with a variety of programs and events aimed at getting people talking about the topic.

“Contrary to popular belief, there most certainly is an ‘I’ in ‘team’. It is the same ‘I’ that appears three times in ‘responsibility.'” – Amber Harding

The Mental Health Australia website is another example of a forum to get people talking. Their theme of ‘Mental health begins with ME’ is asking each of us to make and share a mental health promise. Visit their website (https://1010.org.au) and consider what you’re willing to commit to around this very important part of our individual and shared journeys of potential. 

“Regardless of differences, we strive shoulder to shoulder… [T]eamwork can be summed up in five short words: ‘We believe in each other.'” – Author Unknown

Within the complexity and vulnerability that is inevitable with being human, connection is the glue that holds our humanness together. Our vision at Explore Discover Act remains ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’. So a week like this one becomes an important opportunity to engage as individuals and groups, beginning with us posing the question that appears at the beginning of this post. How can we do this together?

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro

So as we explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically this week, what opportunities exist to make a difference in our own or others lives? What daily practices assist and promote your own mental health within navigating the successes and challenges that life presents? What support is available to you or important that you ask for within your spheres of influence? How do you reach out to those around you to create the ripples of connection that hold our humanness together?

“It is a fact that in the right formation, the lifting power of many wings can achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.” – Author Unknown

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