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Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others
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Last year I read the short book Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others by Robert Glazer (4 stars; it has nice photos and would make a good gift). It's about capacity building, which is the development of your skills and abilities in four areas so you can perform at a higher level and reach your full potential. The areas are:
“1. Spiritual capacity is about understanding who you are, what you want most, and the standards you want to live by. 2. Intellectual capacity is about how you improve your ability to think, learn, plan and execute with discipline. 3. Physical capacity is your health, well-being, and physical performance. 4. Emotional capacity is how you react to challenging situations, your emotional mindset, and the quality of your relationships.”
Glazer writes that we should think of each of these areas as a separate, gas-filled chamber of a wheel that can grow (or shrink) in size. The wheel performs best when all of the chambers are balanced instead of some being larger than others. These chambers are also leaky and require constant maintenance. Being aware of which chambers are out of balance can keep your life on track.
Glazer writes, “...spiritual capacity is about understanding who you are and what you want most for your life. It's the process of developing your...principles that guide your actions and shape your major decisions....It's the motor that is driving you....Consciously or subconsciously, [your core values] drive many of your most important decisions....When you are doing things aligned with your core values, you feel energized....”
Glazer says that your core purpose provides “a clear direction supported by your values....” Those few people who can articulate their purpose have an elevated focus. And “it is in the service of that purpose that they spend the majority of their time and energy. For some, there is a clear formative event in their life that drives their purpose, and it often originates from a place of pain.” My purpose is to help people live a fulfilled life, and my heart attack was the place of pain from which that originated.
Glazer says that intellectual capacity is “your personal processor/operating system that can be continuously upgraded to perform the same tasks smarter, faster, or more efficiently than before. The greater your intellectual capacity, the greater your level of achievement with the same or less expenditure of energy....Intellectual capacity is highly correlated with a commitment to lifelong learning. It's the product of...voracious reading, intellectual curiosity, and a desire to...acquire new knowledge.”
“Your physical capacity acts as either an accelerant or a drag on your overall quest to build capacity.” When you're healthy, you “learn and process faster...feel better...and have more to give to others.”
The greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. ~ Joyce Meyer
“...your health is one of those things you don't really value until you lose it....Looking into my baby son's eyes and thinking he would never know his father is a memory I will never forget.” And I will never forget the look of fear on my 10-year old son's face when he walked into the emergency room after my heart attack.
“Putting your physical health and well-being first isn't selfish; it's...the best thing you can do...to ensure you will be around for [others] in the long term.” If your health isn't right, then nothing else is possible and therefore doesn't matter.
Your food choices “serve as the fuel for both your mind and body...[and] affect not only how we feel but also our cognitive abilities and our mental health....I suggest you follow Michael Pollan's...advice: 'Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food'....'real food' does not have a nutrition label.”
Sleep is an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow. ~ Tom Rath
One expert on stress says “we have access to more stimulation and information in one day than we are wired to process in a lifetime....[but] the brain is hard-wired to constantly crave more....[She] suggests building in time to regularly recharge throughout the day [by] meditating, breathing deeply” or practicing gratitude.
Glazer notes that “...it is actually the lowest points that define our character and resolve and help us clarify what we want most in life. Failure and struggle are the path to success, not an obstacle.”
“The quality of our relationships and the energy gained or consumed by these relationships is extremely powerful.” You can either get an energy boost by surrounding yourself with energy ambassadors, or allow energy vampires to drain your precious energy.
A major problem for young people “has been the rise of helicopter parenting [by] parents who can't handle unhappy kids or accept the necessary struggle that comes with growth.... they constantly interfere and save their kids from the pain of failure or struggle....As [these kids] grow up, they are unprepared for the real adversities they will face as adults.”
Glazer says that “...suffering is a result of an intense focus on one's self. Gratitude moves you away from this suffering and toward appreciation for what you have. It shifts you into a state of presence, which is your healthiest state.”
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. ~ Tony Robbins
I thought this was the most profound paragraph in the book: “The one thing that has proven to accomplish both [happiness and longevity] is having quality relationships....[The] formula for success in life is what you know raised to the power of who you know (What^Who)....knowledge is far less valuable if you don't have a way to connect with others to apply it....in this equation, the who actually has the logarithmic or multiplicative effect, meaning that your relationships might matter more than what you know....[You should] focus on the needs of others and the creation of value for others.”
Glazer concludes by calling for the opposite of accumulating Facebook friends: “At this point in my life, I have become much more focused on relationships of significance. One meaningful, fulfilling relationship in my life is worth ten or twenty casual ones.... cultivating the right relationships...as well as pruning the ones [that] have been holding you back, is one of the most important things you can do...to build your capacity and elevate.”
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