The biggest impediment to forward progress has nothing to do with education, skill or experience. It’s fear. When we peel away the rationalizations and get people to admit what’s really holding people back It’s this: They were afraid.
Yes, there is validity to old chestnuts like, “where there is smoke, there is fire.” Patterns of behavior especially in times of adversity reveal character. But too often, we take what others say at face value, without question and judge accordingly.
The Ultimate Success Metric may not be what we think it is. Each of us keeps a personal scorecard, with which we judge ourselves and those around us. We measure everything from financial wealth to educational attainment, from athletic achievement to career progression. If I had to pick just one metric to define a life well lived, it would be…
In a world of instant Internet feedback, we have become addicted to approval. Beyond acceptance, appreciation and attention, one of an individual’s greatest desires is to be understood. Just as giving is a precursor to receiving, seeking first to understand is essential to being understood. And active listening is the key.
Forward progress happens when we “put first things first”. Deciding what’s important and moving it to the top of your to-do list is the foundation of every productive day.
Those who have benefited from integrating “Beginning with the end in mind” into their daily routines will tell you that this is not an easy process. And it never ends. Like any worthwhile endeavor, it is a muscle that, when continually exercised, gets stronger.
“Becoming is a lifelong quest,” the leader said. “We are imperfect beings but the wisdom that is revealed in the very act of service can guide us toward life’s sunset, with great power in our hands and peace in our hearts. This is The Ultimate Truth.”
As human beings, we owe allegiance to those we choose to serve so long as it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Part of that allegiance is being willing to share the feedback they need to hear, even if it’s uncomfortable, making sure they understand that it’s coming from a place of love and support. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Sometimes it can taste bitter, but ideas on how to move forward can help the recipient quickly digest it and grow.