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Posts Tagged ‘possibility’

I think it would be fair to say that I am an avid outdoor enthusiast. Hiking, biking, walking, kayaking – anything that gets me out in Nature. Others would add that I am an environmentalist, having spent many years protecting the environment and teaching hundreds of young adults to care about the natural world around them.

 

So you can imagine my surprise on a recent kayaking trip down the Delaware River, with osprey and bald eagle circling overhead, when I saw a billboard on the riverbank announcing, “Hot Dog Man Around the Corner.”

 

First of all, rivers don’t have corners, they have bends. Second of all, rather than be upset that such commercialism has polluted the river, something about this just made me smile. As I rounded the bend, I saw close to 100 people in tubes, kayaks and canoes waiting to buy a hot dog or snack.

 

hot dog1When I paddled by, I admired this perfect scene of Americana and thought to myself, “That right there is the entrepreneurial lifeblood that fuels this country.” Someone saw an opportunity – hundreds of people floating down the river each day – and took advantage of it by setting up a mobile snack shack on their boat.

 

This brought to mind a billboard I saw on Interstate 95 a few years ago on the way to Philadelphia which proclaimed, “Microsoft was started during a recession.” I loved both the hope of this message as well as its encouraging, if not bold, challenge to all the dreamers and entrepreneurs in the world. Essentially, it was saying, “Go for it! Don’t be afraid to try!”

 

This is what I love about America and working with entrepreneurs and business owners. They go for it! The blood that courses through their veins is rich with possibility. They see what CAN be, take the risk, and set out to make it reality.

 

In some cultures they would call that magic, for they are creating something from nothing. In America, we call it the entrepreneurial spirit.

 

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

– Edgar Allen Poe

 

Entrepreneurs and business owners daydream a lot and live in a world of possibility. They are future-focused, proactive and constantly ask themselves, “How can I . . .? They rarely take “no” for an answer and they are the fuel that powers the American workforce.

 

However, I think this is true of Americans as a whole. We daydream a lot. We see things as they can be or as we hope them to be. It is a spirit of possibility that was planted within us at the birth of our country and it is programmed into our DNA . . . which means we are ALL capable of performing magic and transforming our lives if we have the desire.

 

READ HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS here.

If you don’t believe that spirit is within you, think back to when you were a kid. That is where you will find the belief you seek. It is still there . . . it is just covered with the dust of adulthood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzf7u6GPGBA

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Recently, I went out to dinner with my niece and nephew. They are 3 and 4 ½. I LOVE spending time with them. They are a tremendous amount of fun and their eyes are always wide with possibility. They not only see things as they are, but they also see into the infinite realm of their limitless imagination.

 

After dinner, we went out to “explore.” This often turns into a game of observing the ordinary and making it extraordinary. Essentially, I let their imaginations run free, and I simply follow in the wake of that possibility. It is always a magnificent and fun experience for me.

 

On this particular evening we were gazing out from a patio, across a street and into a train station parking lot. The kids would share what they see, shouting out each announcement as if they had just discovered an amazing treasure. “I see a car!” “I see a bird!” “I see a flower!” I would acknowledge their tremendous find with equal excitement.

 

I see a purple tree!” shouted my nephew.

 

purple tree1Huh? You see a purple tree? Where?” I am always careful not to deny their possibility, imagination, or world as they see it, but a purple tree? Come on. I stared and I stared and I stared, but I could not see it. Of course, we all know trees are green. I kept asking where he saw the purple tree, wanting to get into his world. He kept pointing and insisting right there. Still, I could not see it. I would have sworn he was recalling a cartoon or perhaps a Dr. Seuss book.

 

Finally, after a good 30 seconds to a minute, I saw it. “Hmm. Look at that. A purple tree.” It was right there in front of me the whole time, yet, I did not see it. They were plum trees or perhaps Japanese maple trees.

 

The weeks following this experience, I saw a lot of purple trees. My eyes were wider with possibility. I didn’t just see trees as the green I expected them to be, I saw them as they truly are. And as a result, my world became more colorful.

 

I am continually amazed by how knowledge, wisdom and experience blind us not only to infinite possibility, but also to the world right in front of our eyes. As we are told, or learn, what is “right,” we eliminate what is possible. Our world shrinks, and we become more blind. This is one of the key reasons I LOVE and prefer to immerse myself into the world of children. They continually pave a path to limitless possibility and hope.

 

Where have you gone blind in your life? Can you no longer see what is in front of you? Can you see beyond what you know to be true into what is possible?

 

If, and when, your world gets smaller, take some time to connect with children. Suddenly you will see things you never have, or that you might have been missing for quite some time.

 

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

– Epictetis

 

If you want to miss out on the magnificence of life, live it as if you already know. Pretend you know all the answers. Pretend you know exactly how a person is. Pretend you know exactly what will happen next. Pretend you know what your life will look like because of what happened yesterday. Pretend you know what works and what doesn’t.

 

Just keep in mind . . . it is all pretend.

 

READ HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS here.
 

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Last month I suggested that the three most DISempowering words we could ever utter are, “I don’t know.” These three words give us an excuse to pretend we don’t know what to do. They allow us to stay stuck and not move forward, keeping us safe in our comfort zone.

 

Given that I am all about creating possibility with my clients, now it is time to share what I believe are the three MOST POWERFUL words you can say. I have come to understand their power based on the last 15 years that I have been coaching. During this time, most of my clients have been entrepreneurs and business owners, a truly unique group of people who possess an incredibly inspiring spirit. I love working with these clients . . . and here’s why.

 

Entrepreneurs and business owners have a mindset that when confronted with a challenge or uncertainty, they don’t stand around in a helpless state, scratching their heads, muttering “I don’t know what to do.” They don’t have the time or luxury to do that! They have people, and a business, counting on them.

 

Instead, they create an amazing transformation of thinking that allows them to immediately get into action. Intuitively, they transform the uncertainty and challenge of “I don’t know” into an inquiry that looks like this:

 

I don’t know >>> How Can I . . .

 

  • How can I grow my business?
  • How can I take advantage of the current market?
  • How can I develop a new product?

 

possibility1This re-framing of any dilemma that faces entrepreneurs and business owners drives them to find an answer. It drives them to find a way to solve whatever problem or challenge confronts them. Their thinking and commitment doesn’t allow for them to pretend they don’t have an answer. Rather, they exist in what is possible. And this way of thinking is exhilarating!!

 

Without fail, they find a way and discover a creative solution that addresses the problem they face.

 

“How can I” (or “How can we” when it involves other people) are the three most powerful words in the English language. These words immediately move you from being stuck in a space of uncertainty to getting you to a place of action and thinking creatively.

 

So why not take a cue from these fantastic people and transform your “I don’t know” into “How can I . . .”

 

I think you will find that your life immediately becomes more enjoyable and satisfying.

 

“What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”

Thomas Merton

 

There are always two options that can be pursued when a problem presents itself. The first allows you to be defeated quickly by thinking you do not have the answer to the challenge. That is the path of “I don’t know.” The second promises a path of inspiration and endless possibilities. That is the path of “How can I . . . “

 

The path you choose is up to you, but I challenge you not to utter the words, “I don’t know” for the next month and see how your life changes.

 
 

“How Can I . . .” is a mentality. A mentality of possibility. This short video describes that mentality perfectly.
 

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