You Can Change Your Stripes | In-Between the Pages

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Get Off the Carousel (Image: Shawn Ward)

There is a saying that someone cannot change who they are. In other words, a tiger cannot change its stripes. I believe you can change those stripes, or at least how others see them. Were going to us perception as our thought partner. You can change the way they see you as both a leader and a person. Here’s a few ways you can change people’s perception of what those stripes look like.

Find something that you already love to do and learn to do it better. We have the best work in front of us most of the time and yet we fail to bring our whole self to the game. Instead, we try to be something or someone that we aren’t. Take what you love and spend that 1% effort to make it better as often as you can. Daily if it is possible. If it is a strength you have, evolve it. Make it more marketable. Invest in yourself and that investment will always be paid back in great dividends. Don’t just abandon who you are because someone gave you feedback you needed to be someone else.

“Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” – George Halas

George Halas, “Mr. Everything” loved football. In that love for football, not only did he become a great coach and a founder of the Chicago Bears, but he also got credited with becoming one of the founding fathers of the NFL as we know it today. Give your best to what you already love, make it better. In doing so, show it and you can evolve.

Be a Braveheart in your ambitions to learn something different. Become a life long learner. You may find a skill or passion that you didn’t know you had. In this current world we live in where anyone can almost create a brand for themselves around a skill by googling it, you have to be able to set yourself apart. The only way to survive and excel in the face of all this overwhelming change along with the speed it happens, is to adapt at the same pace of the change. How many of us can really say we know what to do when we don’t know what to do? That’s where you have to be really comfortable. Being a Braveheart in learning then is a skill. You have to have it to get ahead of the change and new challenges you will face wether at work or home. You can never get into a place where you place a expiration on learning.

“When the winds of change rage, some build shelters while others build windmills.” – A Chinese Proverb

Engage with the present as much as you can. My guess is that you struggle to be in the present. We all do, thanks to the great invention of the smartphone. It is usually with us 24/7. My favorite device is my iPhone. However, it keeps me at times from engaging in the present by how it can distract me. Find ways to shut down the notifications, emails, and texts for at least an hour everyday. Be in that moment. What can it teach you? In that stillness of no interruptions take a look around you. What are people around you doing? What is their body language telling you? Where do you see an opportunity to change someone’s day for the better? Your head is up now. When you see how many opportunities that are in front of you more clearly, you can make a difference. When you start to live your life more and more in the present, you will find the things you need to succeed too. Those moments are far more important than answering that text you just got a notification for. People around you will notice your value as you pay a greater investment in being present with them.

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

To recap, invest in what you love and are strong in. Add to it by becoming a life long student of everything you can get your hands on, be a Braveheart in becoming learning agile. Lastly, be present and look at the impact you leave behind you in your wake. Keep yourself grounded and keep a clear perspective of where you’re playing the game.

Perception is at times unfortunate. But, it doesn’t have to be. To that end, you can with the above practices, give people the perception that your stripes are different. That your stripes can change. They can change into whatever is needed.

Have a great week of learning! Thanks for reading.

Shawn

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