Blog Archives

There’s no elevator to the top, you’ll have to take the stairs

Upon hearing this expression the other day, it got us thinking. What does this mean and is taking the stairs a plus or a minus? On first blush it seemed more negative, as in “wow, stair climbing, that’s a lot of work,” but on second thought, it seemed liberating as in “wow, it’s actually achievable, there are steps I can take that will add up to big changes.” When you read this saying, how does it strike you?

We often want things to be easy and quick – like an elevator ride – and our modern lifestyles reflect this. Further, technology, as wonderful as it is, fuels the assumption that it is always possible to get things done quickly and effortlessly. However, there are many examples of where having things come too soon or too easily can be challenging. Think of lottery winners who become wealthy instantly, athletes who win their very first competition, or celebrities who become famous just after being discovered. All too often people in these circumstances “crash and burn” because they are unaware of how to sustain their good fortune. They end up in unpleasant circumstances because their success came too rapidly, with few if any intervening steps.

Stair climbing begins to feel a lot more appealing after taking a closer look at the possible “elevator scenarios”. Taking things slowly has its advantages. With that in mind, how do we help ourselves look at things more positively when we feel we aren’t making progress toward our goals or we face obstacles that seem too big to surmount? Here are a few tips:

Recognize where you are. Expect that your long-term plans will be like running a marathon – when you feel the finish line is a long way off, notice how far you have come from the starting gate. Recognizing this will help you stay motivated to keep going.

Break big goals into much smaller ones. Nothing new here, but how often do we forget to do this? Remember the expression “Rome was not built in a single day” and apply this wisdom when things start to feel overwhelming. Completing small tasks over time yields big results.

Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! We can become so fixated on our goal that the journey becomes an afterthought at best or drudgery at worst. It doesn’t need to be this way. We can celebrate each small success and enjoy the fact that we are learning and growing as we proceed – indeed this should be our goal no matter what else we are hoping to accomplish!

Self-Discovery Tool Number 69:
Quick results can be seductive, but often they only have temporary staying power. Instead of wishing and waiting for an immediate payoff, take a small step and congratulate yourself on accomplishing it. Make an effort to enjoy the ride in whatever way you can, rather than exclusively focusing on the destination. Love yourself as you keep on learning and you’ll be reaching the top before you know it!

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What Are Resolutions Really?

In January it is traditional in many cultures to make resolutions for the year ahead. But what are resolutions and what is resolve? Where do these terms come from and what do they really mean? In honor of the New Year, let’s explore the meaning of the words “resolution” and “resolve” as a deeper knowledge of these terms may help us fulfill the ones that we have made.

In the parlance of modern technology, resolution can refer to the quality of an image, display or printout. With greater resolution, things are sharper and clearer. Applying this to goal setting, if you develop a detailed resolution, you are more likely to choose appropriate, realistic goals – centered on what you can add to your life to improve it, instead of creating punitive goals centered on taking things away or making yourself wrong. In other words, build upon and strengthen what is already present and good in your life. With this clarity, your goals are on target and the way forward is understandable and achievable. You anticipate what’s coming and so are better able to manage roadblocks and seize opportunities as they arise.

A person can also exhibit resolution: determination, steadfastness and tenacity are just a few of its synonyms. You may be familiar with the comment made by Thomas Edison, inventor of the electric light bulb – “Genius: one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Good things don’t tend to happen without effort. Hard work and doggedness pay off over time. If you go at your resolutions with energy, firmness and a sense of purpose, you are more likely to achieve what you set out to accomplish.

A resolution can also be a decree or pledge. Use this meaning to get support for the lifestyle changes you would like to make – declare your objectives and decisions to all who will listen and ask that they help hold you accountable. Make a promise to yourself and to significant others. Then make a real go of it, including renewing your efforts when you have occasional slip-ups. Commit to your growth and development and let others help you along the way

Self-Discovery Tool Number 68:

Use 2014 as an invitation to start something new and live your dreams. Declare to yourself and supportive loved ones that you are now choosing to develop your potential and work your goals. Connect to the greater meaning of “resolve” and “resolution” and make this year your best yet!