Character Creates Opportunity® – A Universal Gateway: Thursday, February 22, 2018

There is little denial to the fact that life continues to grow in complexity, uncertainty and intensity.  Based on how we receive our information, it seems we have bought into the notion that we all prefer to see the strong opinions of the loud and proud standing in opposite corners in order to pick a side and fan the flames of division and difference.    

There is no doubt that we have complex challenges to address in our communities, businesses and homes.  There is no community that is always safe and secure, no business that is insulated from extinction from swift market changes, and no home-front that is guaranteed to be happily ever after.

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, there is an opportunity to reinforce a universal gateway which leads to more effective solutions and a sustainable process to address the inevitable challenges to come.

Humility is the universal gateway that leads to understanding and steady progress towards solutions.

There is no such thing as achieving humility directly.  Humility is the byproduct of a genuine attempt to listen with the intent to understand, to suspend judgment, and to approach any situation with the framework that “our” solution will be more effective than yours or mine alone.  Our initial steps on the pathway to humility starts with a healthy awareness, acknowledgment, and acceptance of our personal responsibility in prior situations where we fell short of a desired outcome.

From a foundation of humility, we remain:

  1. Open to new ideas to solve complex problems. It was Albert Einstein that said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
  2. Open to learn from others as we are keenly and comfortably aware of our own shortcomings.
  3. Open to be influenced by others to develop a more effective solution. When we acknowledge to someone that they have positively influenced us, we build one of the strongest bonds for a healthy relationship.  We will need that strong bond as close relationships are never immune to a potential breaking point down the road.

As we look to make positive progress in our homes, the marketplace, and our communities, it will be the humble approach, not the “know it all” approach that keeps us moving forward to solutions.  As we model the way for others, we build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity to make a real difference in the complex world we live in today.  

Character Creates Opportunity® – When to Start? Thursday, February 15, 2018

We often have an idea, sense a need to fill or just feel a simple nudge about something we should do. 

The time to start is now.

Whether it is to take a step to heal a troubled relationship, extend some help and encouragement to someone struggling, improve our health, meet a need in our community or an idea to start or improve a business.

The time to start is now.  It is a much more effective strategy to start with a few small steps than to wait for that elusive perfect time.

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, committing to move forward with small steps of action when we see an opportunity will keep us headed in the right direction to reach our full potential.  

When we start with just a few small steps as opposed to the thunder and lightening of a dramatic start, we realize a number of benefits:

  1. We don’t have to be perfect with each small step so we can course correct quickly as we see the need.
  2. With a few small steps, we do not “bet the farm” so we can recover from small steps that turn into “learning opportunities” or if you prefer to label them as “mistakes.”
  3. We learn and grow a great deal more when we are in the ring as opposed to sitting in the back row wondering what it might be like to be in the fight.
  4. We reinforce to those around us the simple truth that real, lasting change always happens with small steps over time, not with shock and awe in one main event. It is the focus and persistence of the courageous few taking small steps over time that drives lasting change.

The time to start is now.

As we commit to start with a few small steps as opposed to waiting for the perfect time, we build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity for us to reach our full potential.

Character Creates Opportunity® – Can You Scale It? Thursday, February 8, 2018

In today’s hyper-fast internet economy, business leaders are constantly challenged with the demand of “how fast can you scale the idea that works?”  The ability to scale quickly can be the difference between surviving and maybe thriving compared to closing the doors of the business.

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, it is important we make progress on ways to scale a positive impact on those closest to us at home, work, and in the community.

The complexity of human relationships is witness to a wide variety of thoughts, decisions, and actions. The foundation of our interactions can range from kindness, compassion, and helpfulness to pettiness, anger, and revenge…and everything in between.

Looking across history and our personal experience, we can see examples of how both ends of the spectrum can scale.  Anger and contempt have the potential to scale.  Kindness and compassion have the potential to scale.  However, there is one stark contrast about these opposite ends of the spectrum.

Throughout our human experience, it has been demonstrated that anger and contempt eventually hit a bottom and the uprising for a better way comes forward to begin the slow journey to healing where a positive change can begin to form.  On the other side of the spectrum, that is not the case.  There has never been, in the history of mankind, a limit to kindness and compassion. 

Kindness and compassion scale and generate the momentum that leads to more.  The sky is the limit for kindness and compassion on a global scale and most importantly in our closest relationships at home, work, and in our community.  Kindness and compassion promote healing.  They build trust and hope in a more effective path.

Kindness and compassion open the door to our better nature.

As with most things in life, we may find it is easier to remain angry and bitter when we have been hurt as opposed to starting the healing process by forcing a change in direction with kindness and compassion.  However, we will soon realize it is worth the effort to change.

As we look to have a positive impact on those closest to us, we need to be intentional about extending kindness and compassion as oppose to anger and contempt.  As we guide our thoughts, decisions, and actions by kindness and compassion, we build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity to scale and sustain a positive impact on others.