Abundant Capacity


Look out! Potential!!

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The Meaning of Abundant Capacity

One of the greatest challenges and rewards of coaching executives is trying to help them uncover or discover their abundant capacities.  I tend to call them strengths, but lately I am liking the words “abundant capacities” more and more.

Abundant means to have an ample or more than sufficient supply.  Basically, whatever you have that is abundant is more than enough to meet your needs.

Capacity means one’s mental or physical abilities.

Put those two words together and you have been gifted with abundant capacities which are more than enough to make you capable of reaching your goals and a satisfying your life’s purpose. Discovering your abundant capacities allows you to live up to your full potential.

Where You Focus Is All You See

Many of the leaders I coach have lost sight of their abundant capacities that make them capable of greatness. They have become focused on their limited capacities that make them incapable of doing what they believe will make them successful. We are all just one failure away from facing our limits.  The question is, will we allow our failures and limited capacities to limit our achievements and pursuit of our destiny?  The most significant leaders do not.

Significant leaders are keenly aware of their limitations in certain capacities and develop strategies to cut their limitations’ impact and surround themselves with other people whose abundant capacities make up for the leader’s limited capacities. Leadership and management guru, Peter Drucker wrote, “All work is for a team. No person has the skills and abilities to do every job. The purpose of a team is to make the strengths productive and the weaknesses irrelevant.”

When confronted with 360 degree feedback from peers, bosses and direct reports, most leaders quickly gloss over their abundant capacities that are readily identified and fixate on anything that is reported as a potential limit or weakness.  By definition you cannot expand a limited capacity.  There is not such thing as 101% of anything. If you only have an ounce of compassion that is hardwired into your being, then expecting to develop 100 pounds of compassion by next Wednesday, may be a bit unrealistic. Yet, I have seen leaders who have been blessed with abundant capacities lose sight of this and constantly agonize over any limit they perceive as a fatal flaw. They begin to foolishly major in minor things at the expense of developing their more abundant capacities.

Life’s Challenge

God does not make mistakes.  He made you the way you are for His reasons. If you develop your abundant capacities and turn them over to His guidance, and direction, then you might get a chance to use them on His behalf. You will become an active participant in God’s eternal plan.  You’ll know if you do, because this will be the most satisfying experience of your life.

A reporter asked Mother Teresa of Calcutta if she had ever wished that she could have done more to help the poor.  She answered, “God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” 

Are you listening for your calling and purpose?  Are you ready to test all your abundant capacities in a risky venture that is sure to fail in the end?  We call it living.  And while our bodies might ultimately fail us in death, our significant legacy may live on eternally.

What gifts have you been given in an abundant capacity?  Who can you team with to make your limited capacities irrelevant?

If you need some help discovering your abundant capacities, get a copy of my non-profit book, “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!”   http://www.booklocker.com/books/4765.html

I give all the money I receive from book sales to CHADD.org, the national non-profit organization that helps people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD).  My hope is that this organization can help those with AD/HD and those who love them, to find ways to focus on their abundant capacities and not view AD/HD as a limitation.

You have abundant capacities! Using them will make you abundantly capable of achieving your significant goals and will fire up your life! What are you waiting for? Have faith!

3 Steps to Fire Up Your Life!


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How can you live a life that is more passionate, fulfilling, meaningful,  on-purpose and satisfying?

Three Steps to Fire Up Your Life!:

1) Find ways that you can use your unique, God-given, strengths, talents, gifts and resources to serve others.

2) Serve others passionately, humbly and as anonymously as possible.

3) Repeat steps one and two daily.

Tom Rath and the wonderful folks at The Gallup Organization created “StrengthsFinder 2.0” to help you to learn about your natural, personal strengths.  Marcus Buckingham has written numerous books on how to put your strengths to work.  I wrote “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!” to help you to make living a strengths-based life a habit. Download my how to find your strengths exercises for free here:  Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life! Exercises.

There are three requirements to create fire:

1) Fuel

2) Air

3) Ignition source

If you want to fire up your life you need three similar essential elements:

1) Fuel=Passions, strengths, talents, gifts, knowledge, skills, and personal experiences.

2) Air=Time

3) Ignition souce=Other people, situations, circumstances and I believe, God.

You were uniquely designed for a purpose. Your life’s quest is to seek to discover and to serve your purpose. Your purpose will involve serving others in ways that only you can serve them.

Your service to your purpose may end up only being a percentage of your time, but it will be your most satisfying use of your time. Living on-purpose is the reason to live.

My life motto is, “Learn it. Live it. Share the spark!”  I believe that my purpose for being alive is to first learn new things. Then I live with them to personally prove that the new learnings are true and helpful. Finally, I get to enjoy the satisfaction of sharing what I have learned and how it has personally benefitted me in my life’s journey to hopefully  help others in their journeys.  I live to be an ignition source or as I like to think of it, a “sparker” of other people so that they can live their lives more “Fired Up!”  Each time I can share a spark with  someone it fuels me up to invest more time in sparking more people which helps keep my life matches burning brightly!  Sparking others is my passion and is now my habit.

I was not always a sparker.  I had to learn and do the three steps above.

Unfortunately, one tends to lose what one does not use.  Fire up or  fizzle out.  You get to choose.  I choose to live Fired Up!

Hopefully, by writing this, I have shared a spark with you.  Please let me know if this helps you to serve your life’s purpose and to Fire Up Your Life! Then you will be sharing your spark with me.

PS: I give all money I receive  from  the sale of  the book “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!” to CHADD, the national non-profit organization that supports people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD).  Learn more about CHADD at http://chadd.org.  You can buy “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!” at http://www.booklocker.com/books/4765.html.

Addicted to Distraction


The cerebellum is largely responsible for coor...

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Can I have your attention? I have lost mine.

Have you noticed that you’re too busy being distracted to focus on anything?         

My family lives in an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) positive home. Distraction is a biological fixture in our lifestyle. Lately, I am beginning to believe that distraction is contagious and that I have come down with a bad case. Worse yet, perhaps my distraction habit has become a distraction addition.  Focusing on one thing now seems boring and un-natural.  I think that being distracted has evolved into my normal state.          

When I focus on how distracted I am, I don’t like it.         

How about you? Can you focus solely on these words long enough to actually think about them in one sitting?         

Surrounded by Distractions

As I sit comfortably semi-reclined in my living room, one of our two basset hounds is snoring loudly. The other hound has a hard to reach itch that requires sporadic scratching which results in dog tag jingling. I have a small envelope icon in the right corner of my screen that indicates that I have unopened mail. My Blackberry is on my coffee table and is blinking its red new message light. I have no less than 20 partly read and very interesting books on my end table next to my chair seeking my undivided attention. Next to the table is my overflowing magazine basket. I’ve not had breakfast yet so my tummy engineers are making their first calls to my brain requesting more food soon. At any moment my bladder will announce on my inner intercom that my two mugs of coffee have been successfully processed and need emptied. I need a shower and shave in a few hours. There are at least four work projects that could use a couple of check marks on my to-do list. The yard needs scooped. At any moment, my daughters will awake and ask, “What are we going to do today?” What was I talking about? Oh, I was writing my blog about being distracted.         

I’ve invested so much time in being distracted that I am too poor to pay attention.         

Sound familiar?         

News flash: The human brain does not have a multitask function.

I hear my father’s patient voice saying, “One thing at a time son.”         

If you are hoping I am going to give you 7 tips to better focus, I’m sorry to disappoint you.         

Distraction Recovery

I recommend several great books by Dr. Edward Hallowell, an expert on dealing with distraction and “Fully Present” by Susan L. Smaley and Diana Winston. Do as they say, not as I do at the moment.          

Lately, I’ve cranked up www.simplynoise.com at work to drown out the construction noise from next door. “Brown Noise” is my personal favorite.         

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Hi, my name is Andy, and I’m a distraction addict.         

First step to recovery complete! Man, do I feel better. Oh look, a squirrel!!!! The dogs want to go outside. Here come the kids.         

It didn’t take long to relapse.         

I hope you will join with me and start to recognize and cut distractions. Distractions are conspiring to rob us of our productivity, sanity, energy, creativity, and focus.         

If you’ve made it this far without distraction, there is hope for you yet!         

I think dad is right, “One thing at a time.”         

What distracts you? How is distraction impacting your life? What can you do to reclaim your focus?         

This is National AD/HD Awareness Week. 

Trust me, AD/HD is real!  Learn more at: http://www.adhdawareness2010.org/     

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