My highest priority

 

In my recent blog, Get Back, I shared my observations on the Peter Jackson documentary. Since then, I have focused on defining my highest priority for 2022. 


I want to keep it simple. 


First, capture my intention with one word. 


Then, develop a framework around both defining my vision for success and maintaining the focus needed to achieve it.


My highest priority in 2022 will be Growth. 


I have identified three key areas I am going to work on. I want to:


  1. grow as a husband, father, uncle, and friend. 
  2. develop my skills and knowledge as a Coach and Thinking Partner.
  3. grow and push myself to learn new skills and take more risks as a photographer. 


As Carol Dweck describes it, I plan to bring a Growth Mindset to everything I do. 


I have decided to integrate my approach to coaching with my love for photography. As a result, you will be seeing more of my images accompanying the blog and a few more photography analogies to illustrate a coaching point. 


For example, the picture above is from Acadia National Park. I share it because it is an example of looking at the subject at different angles using lens filters to capture the subject matter a little differently and a bit more creatively.


Changing the lens 


As I began to think about what it means to grow, I used every lens at my disposal:


  • I started with a wide-angle view focused on all of the options in front of me. 

  • Then, I decided to narrow my focus and zoom in on the areas of my life that were most important and of most significant interest to me. 
  • Finally, I added the filter of Gratitude.


I first realized how fortunate I was to have options and choices.

 

I am a life-longer learner, and we live in an age of access to all kinds of books, articles, videos, courses, and people from whom we can learn. 


The key to my success was challenging myself to be thoughtful in my evaluation and choices.


My gratitude lens then shifted to the people in my life I am most grateful for. 


First, of course, my family, friends, and colleagues are at the top of the list. 


They are an excellent source of inspiration as they challenge me to think differently about myself and how I show up and make a difference. 


Finally, I am grateful to a handful of people that I relied upon to help me through a health challenge over the past several months. 


I am pleased to say that it looks like I am fine, and I will continue to monitor the situation going forward. 


As I talked to those close to me as I worked through the diagnosis, I realized that I was in a pretty good place, and there is much more that I want and need to do. I would go so far as to say the whole experience has been a gift for which I am grateful. 


I learned that there is much more I want to do, and it is time to stop talking and take action.


New angles and perspectives


I mentioned three areas of life where I want to improve in 2022. The key to progress in each will require looking at the world from new angles and perspectives.


Family and Friends


My most significant focus in this area is to practice active listening. I do this when I coach but need to do a better job in my relationships with people in my life. 


As I talked with Diane, my children, and others over the past several months, I wondered when they became so insightful. 


The realization I came to is that the change came not from within them but from within me. 


I had begun shifting my mindset from hearing their words to listening to what they had to say. 


My goal concerning my family and friends is to listen more and not rush to judgment.


Coaching 

As a coach, I am grateful for working with a diverse group of individuals over the past year- diverse in thought, race, gender, experience, and aspirations for the future. 


I have had the opportunity to use this experience to help these individuals set a meaningful course of action and learn about their perspectives, opportunities, and challenges. 


In addition, I am grateful for the opportunity to deepen my technical skills as a coach and nurture my authenticity as a coach. 


My goals for 2022 are to achieve the PCC level of certification and expand my network of coaches. In addition, I will continue to grow my coaching skills through informal and formal learning programs.


Photography

I am grateful for the role that photography plays in my life. 


I have had the opportunity to travel again in 2021 and have several incredible trips planned in the months ahead. I have met some fantastic and talented photographers and instructors that continue to fuel my passion. 


My goals for my photography are aligned with my other areas of life. Just as there is a difference between listening and hearing, there is a difference between seeing and looking at a subject.


My goal is to be more mindful in my image capture – to stop and ask what I want to tell about my sharing the image. 


Case in point, the picture above captures the story of the sunset as told by the light. I will also challenge myself to improve my skills in post-processing my images—more about that below.


Embrace the Grit


When I think of “Grit”, the words that come to mind are perseverance, determination, resilience, and persistence, to name a few. 


First, it is about determining what you want to accomplish and why it is most important to you. 


From there, it is about finding the right tools and resources you need to achieve your goals, setting aside the time and space, and doing the work.


Sometimes you will find the work exhilarating, while it will be frustrating at other times. Change or learning new skills can be messy. Achievers want to achieve and sometimes forget that they were not always as accomplished as they are now in other parts of their lives. 


Passing the CPA exam back in the day required time and effort. Becoming a successful coach required me to step away from skills I had leveraged my whole career and master new ones. 


It got a little messy.


Of all the goals I have set for myself, improving my skills in post-processing is the most daunting. It will take time; it will be highly subjective at some levels, but if I do not step out of my comfort zone, I will not get better. 


So this is the year! 


To help hold me accountable, I am working with a Photoshop “Coach,” and I invite you to watch my online portfolio grow via my blog and by checking out my work at photosbyagarons.com.


A final thought


I am grateful to all of you for your support and for following the blog. If I can be of help to you, let’s start a conversation at alec@aronscoaching.com.


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