This is a wildly popular quote, however if it’s new for you, it’s something to familiarize yourself with:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 Times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
People who live with Character and the CT are not afraid to fail. And when they do, there is no self-blame but a commitment to move towards their goal; however small the step. They are abundant thinking. They keep “shooting” until things work out better. They focus on what’s there to build on not the lack of what’s there to get anxious about.
“Fail. Fail Again. Fail Better.” -Samuel Beckett, Nobel Laureate Literature
Tonight I’ve listened to an interview on the BBC with an SAS soldier. He was one of the Special Forces guys on the famous May 5th hostage rescue in the Iranian embassy in London 30 years ago. He used the term “luck shines on the brave.” He was referring to the fact that a door they had to smash through had not been barricaded by the terrorists. The entire event was watched by the world on broadcast television. Within the narrow boundaries of these horrible situations, it was a success.
Most of us do not live in the dramatic life and death world of a Special Forces soldier, but the phrase I think applies. We have to be brave and “bust through that door” even when we are not completely sure about the other side. We need to take calculated risks. It is part of an abundant perspective. The great news is that it almost never life or death. But going through that door is often a combination of discomfort, learning, and personal growth.
Be abundant. Luck shines on the brave.
Shirin Khamisa is a career coach with Toronto Careers by Design. She is quoted in the Edmonton Journal (May 1, 2010) as noting that humor “is sometimes underrated” in the workplace. She goes on to emphasize that laughter is a good way to build connections with people, create a contagious positive vibe. I agree. I love working with people who laugh and smile often.
So how does humor intersect with respect? Montreal career coach Cheryl Stein points out in the same article a simple rule of thumb for humor at work: “a joke isn’t a joke unless both people are laughing.” She goes on to stress that its important gauge your audience and ask yourself first, whether the joke’s at someone’s expense. If it is, it’s obviously not funny and therefore not respectful.
I think it’s worth emphasizing the importance of humor and its essential fuel in acting with character. The benefit of the noting these guidelines is that humor and respect do go hand in hand. The scarcity people who make hurtful fun of others need direct coaching and guidance. People acting with character have the ability to get people laughing and seeing the humor in much of our daily life.
Combine joy and respect.
Sometimes crap just happens. You can be as abundant thinking as you want but it will. A loved one will get sick. A relationship will deteriorate, even end. We will all likely experience job loss, health loss, financial set backs and other losses. Everything, and I mean everything, comes to an end sometime. So how can we feel abundant?
The answer is because we CAN – and that outcome is one heck of a lot better than the alternative. Why not picture and believe a more desired state? Why not take a step in that direction? A hundred small steps get us so much closer. Yes s**t happens to all of us. However, you have two choices: wallow in it or dust yourself off and move on. Accept what is. Learn from it. No self-blame but serious understanding and personal growth is everything.
I heard a story once… Think of all of our personal problems represented by a set of keys with each of us throwing our keys into a pile in the middle of the room. Then we are given insight into what each set of keys represented. Most of us would be relieved to retrieve our own set of keys versus another’s. Whew!
Accept… learn… move forward… paint a desired future… be fearless… take a step at a time… have Character…
Hi Characters, I like to tell a story of my dad dying in the palliative care unit. My mom gets a call from a friend of my dad who is in her late 80’s. She insists on visiting my dad in the hospital to say goodbye before he dies. So she talks her nurse into driving some 60 miles in the dead of a Western Canadian Winter so she can get to his bedside. Why?
Apparently some 80 plus years ago my dad and his neighbor friend Alice, the lovely gal referred to above, had to walk three miles to and from school. One miserable blizzard, with frigid temperatures below -30 degrees, found my dad and Alice struggling to walk home. Alice said her hands were so cold she was weeping in pain. Her mitts got wet sitting on the classroom radiator and froze along with her hands on the trek home. My dad, 7-years-old at the time, gave Alice his mitts to wear instead. She never forgot that generosity.
Be abundant. Give up your mitts. You may get a hug 80 years later. Your generosity matters.
My friend of almost 40 years, Larry Berg, is the CEO of the Vancouver International Airport. During the recent 2010 Winter Olympics, there was a lot of pressure on the airport and all related logistics. Imagine all those thousands of people and thousands of pieces of equipment coming and leaving in concentrated ways over a two week period.
It is especially stressful as the entire Olympic world departs at once after the closing ceremonies. My understanding, by all objective accounts, is that Vancouver set a new bar for great airport performance.
If you know anything about being Canadian, you probably know that hockey is the oxygen of the country. There was no better ending to the 2010 winter Olympics than to have Canada play for the gold medal in men’s hockey on the last day of the games. Tickets for that game sold for thousands of dollars on eBay.
Larry, who is a big hockey fan, had four premium tickets to the game. What did he do? He gave the tickets to four of his direct reports who worked their butts off to make the airport run like a finely tuned machine.
That’s being abundant! That’s character. Character Hall of Fame inductee: Larry Berg.