A Flow to Simplicity through Growth

Failing has been exceptionally empowering to me because it has highlighted for me those things on which I must focus my energy. −Ric Gonzalez, Woo Woo Leadership

Personal growth can at times feel like a lonesome journey. It is important to embrace growth as a journey, and an unfolding process that thankfully never ends. It is only in such acceptance where we may begin to float in the flow that is simplicity.

How is simplicity important to growth?

At the core it is about clarity. There is entirely too much on which to focus our energy. We need the simplicity of clarity to guide the balance of intention and attention.

I hear it all the time in one context or another, “I wish we could return to a simpler time.” Well, I don’t know about we, but you certainly can. A more simple time does not mean a time void of technological advance, political confusion, etc. Simple is what it is, and it is applied one individual at a time−you alone have the access code.

Simplicity is a specifically spoken purpose.Simplicity

Your purpose is encoded deep within you and all efforts to grow must serve this purpose. It’s pretty darn easy, while at the same time one of the hardest things to do, to focus on your purpose.

So, what is the key to growth−and the impact of your purpose? The answer … Love. More specifically, your very unique brand of love.

Know this love. Describe this love. Hold this love close. Give it your energy−for here lies your unique impact.

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Story – The Gift of Focus

A story is not a distraction in the scuffle of a busy 21st Century. A story is evidence of meaningful purpose both understood and applied. Purpose is our portal to focus.

The act of telling a story for direction can launch us on a collective journey. To keep us safe and consistent as we travel, we each have an accountability to engage as storytellers – telling the small, important stories that assure our path, progress, and unfolding impact.

In the 21st Century, we are considered leaders when we guide others to a story of abundance. This is not about money or possessions; it is about service – giving our gift in the world. As a leader, you confidently give your gift and then lead others to give from their own confidence.

Purpose is not found in a full schedule or wickedly long to do lists.  The core of your purpose is in your own authenticity – a reality guiding you in your own story. From this reality, you find focus; you confidently find your place in a larger story.

This is your gift in the world.

An Environment of Focus

This is being written as I continue to process what I perceive as the end of a long run of work with an organization. I am reminded how easy it is to blame. The most appropriate response for me may be to say, “It is what it is.” However, I realize in writing I can bring closure to the processing and move forward.

In one of the 7 Habits, Stephen Covey asks us to “Seek first to understand … .” Understanding opens the mind. I need an open mind just now as I make some important decisions about my work. Understanding releases one from the prison of a closed mind; thinking that is unable to focus.

From the beginning of the last two projects in the aforementioned organization, it is clear there was a lack of focus both individually and collectively (of course, this is very clear in retrospect). Throughout the organization, busyness distracted everyone from the presence of success. Confidence for each person was shaken and trust eroded rapidly as one reactive change fell against the next.

For now, and in the energy of moving forward, I must consider lessons learned. A New Confidence opens you fully; opens you to the clarity of focus which sustains collective action through the downturn that is a natural shape in the cycle – the flow. And, I renew my commitment to the individual as I ask my question of impact: What does it look like to create an environment promoting the personal accountability of each individual?

Relaxed Focus

The constant change, and consequent demand for action, of the 21st Century can be described by many terms; the likes of which would not include “relaxed.”

As Mark and I brought to an end the process of documenting his Personal/Professional Development Story. I was swept up in the question I had to ask. Mark is a trained, experienced engineer now leading a large group of the same. In light of the goals and actions we had formulated in the process, I asked how often he took time to disappear and think strategically. From the look on his face, I struck the nerve I was seeking.

More than ever we need our leaders to invest energy in this private time. It is less about strategic ‘planning’ and more about strategic ‘preparation.’ Planning is linked to action (how). Preparation is linked to focus (what and why). Preparation is understanding; and understanding releases tension in subsequent action.

The purpose found and spoken in Mark’s intentional strategic time will open doors that busyness will never be able to do. The excellence Mark values so innately is a natural result of the focused.

Relaxed focus is a state of being grounded in the what and why and flowing through the how.

NetworkingWe need you to be focused!

Growth Demands Focus

The busyness of our collective 21st Century is a conceived barrier to individual focus. This leads one to believe that we can give attention to superfluous activity and demonstrate competency in the process. This is misguided.

To focus is to choose direction; it is present clarity in the light of individual purpose and commitment. Focus is a treasure in the 21st Century.

Too often I observe supposed development efforts being composed from a litany of perceived weakness. This misguided focus is ‘not’ a path to personal/professional growth and development. True growth and development can only occur when built on the foundation of one’s core values, innate strengths, and developing skills.

Your intended impact in this world is demanding your present attention and focused intention.

2 good reads in relation to your focused expertise in the 21st Century:
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Peace and Presence

Think about a break you took from the busyness engulfing you – a break that truly restored and renewed your energy. If you really think it through, it became restorative and renewing, not just because you took a break, but because in the break – the stopping – you were present.

I fly fish – wade the stream – because the stream draws me into its presence. The presence of the stream restores and renews my soul. Peace is an outcome value in my core.

For me, it is not about stepping out of life to find peace. Rather, I step into the stream of life with a commitment to presence – allowing the stream to teach me about being at peace in the full spectrum of life.