Tag: Inspiration (Page 3 of 3)

Are You an Eagle or a Duck?

I am coach and mentor. Like most small companies, I’m self-employed, one issue is to make potential clients find me. Another issue is how to stand out in the crowd. There are lots of coaches and mentors, how can I be different and make a difference?

I have two questions that I work with:
• What can I do differently?
• What can I do that my competitors don’t?
I don’t think there’s a final answer to any of those. It’s about Kaizen, gradual improvement, and keeping an eye on what my competitors do.

Eagle or Duck?

Yesterday I came across Be an Eagle, not a Duck, a great story posted by Keith Stoeckeler that’s on a related topic. The story is about Wally the Cab Driver and how he changed his business. As Keith said: “Small changes can make a large impact.” Wally got his inspiration from a quote by Wayne Dyer:

Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.

Wally the Cab Driver made a choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles. He put in a few changes at a time, gradually improving his business.

I intend to soar with the eagles. What about you?

Mission statement

Wally the cab driver in the Eagle or Duck story above had this Mission Statement:

To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

That mission statement is short and to the point, easy to understand and also fairly easy to measure. It reminds me of this quote:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupe

Twitter connects

@Amy Stark recommended that I should take a look at Convince & Convert. I liked it, subscribed and decided to follow @Jay Baer. Then Jay tweeted about @Keith Stoeckeler and the story above.

The Power of Slow

I read Mindfulness makes you more productive over at Brazen Careerist. It’s an interesting post which in turn took me to the blog The Power of Slow. There’s this great quote:

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
Eddie Cantor

I like these sentences that I picked from the About-page at The Power of Slow:

Life is in the details. Don’t let it whiz by.

Christine Hohlbaum who runs The Power of Slow is on Twitter as @powerofslow.

Some of my details in life right now: I listen to “The Essential Leonard Cohen” and enjoy some dark chocolate. Life’s good.

I got so interested in learning more that I ordered Christine’s book The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World. Saving time is not possible but we can learn to use it wiser.

Seth Godin and Linchpin

Seth Godin launches his latest book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to Drive Your Career and Create a Remarkable Future in an unusual way. Today he is interviewed or guest post around the blogosphere, a good starting point is his own post The 2.0 media tour. I have followed some of the links and this piece of text from Escape From Cubicle Nation: You are not a cog is great.

if you’re a freelancer and you’re doing what everyone else in your market is doing, why on earth is someone going to hire you? Why will you be able to charge more? Where will your freedom come from?

The need to stand out and be different makes a lot of sense and it’s something I am working on for my own business as coach and mentor.

I have ordered the Linchpin book, it sounds very interesting, but it’s not delivered yet. A linchpin is defined like this:

linchpin = a pin inserted through holes at the end of an axle, so as to secure a wheel; a central cohesive source of stability and security; a person or thing that is critical to a system or organisation

Is it really a good thing to become indispensable? If employed, will your boss let you move on or try to keep you?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

The text above is from from the book A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. It is often incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela and his inauguration speech.

If so inclined you can check at Nelson Mandela’s own website: Deepest fear quote not Mr Mandela’s.

The cracked pot

I got this classic story from a friend, it’s great and makes us see cracks and flaws in a different way.

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One pot had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.


I found this image some years ago, I think it was in an ad for an insurance company. Fell in love with the combination of picture and text, it is a great way to explain the concept of trust.

Trust is not being afraid even if you are vulnerable.


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