Got It?

We ask this question to check for understanding. We can also gain insight by questioning ourselves. When grasping new knowledge, it’s useful to both discover what we are newly aware of and then to express that realization.

Grasping and expressing a newfound realization can be the most powerful outcome of honoring agreements. As a career coach specializing in authentic business building and self-employment freedom leaping, making agreements with my clients is essential. The resulting value of keeping agreements makes up for a lack of experience in budding entrepreneurs.

Honoring agreements is a leveraged tool because it builds confidence, delivers an intended result and creates fresh perspective, all in one. From the vantage point of fresh perspective we can see greater opportunities than we could previously and we see them in a different light. That’s when one needs to ask oneself this power question to complete this leveraged learning opportunity.

What have I realized as a result of completing this distinctly new action?

Realizations are often the greatest result from completing agreements, because they can be parlayed into even greater understanding and sustainable evergreen wisdom.

If you aren’t taking every opportunity to question yourself about your realizations then you are squandering opportunities for which you’ve already done the work.

Guy Kawasaki’s talk on Innovation and introduced his concept of jumping to the next curve of innovation.

Let’s look at career guidance and where the existing curve began. The start of the curve could be called economic survival. When my folks were coming of age in 1940 they gave little thought to fulfillment and took the best job they could find to feed their family.

The next point on the curve could be high school guidance counselors and their pitiful attempts to place everyone in a pre-existing box. Graduating from high school in 1968, I recall four labels in my yearbook that represented our only available choices of study. General – “you’re a loser get a job in the mill.” Commercial – “you’re not the brightest gal, so maybe you can be a secretary.” Academic – “you’re bright enough to go to college, so go and you might figure it out there.” Scientific – “you’re a genius-nerd who could become a doctor if you don’t squander your intelligence.” No wonder our college years were such a relief.

The abundance of choices in an atmosphere of relative freedom made college seem like Nirvana compared to high school. With raised expectations, we hoped that our college career counselors could finally help us nail our career identification quest. But to our disappointment, this next leap in the curve was barely a hop. Those overworked counselors simply added confusing psychological assessments that raised more questions than answers.

Many of us left with a university education but no more prepared to find our true calling. Upon reflection, perhaps there was never much of a curve at all, because when we entered the work force, many of us did the same thing that our parents did. We took the best job we could find. Then after 10-30 years of less-than-fulfilling work, the courageous among us began to ask, “Is this as good as it gets?”

Join me in my next post to read the continuing evolution of career guidance and discovery. I’ll also share my realizations regarding jumping this curve.

Do you usually reflect to recognize realizations?

Have you typically asked yourself what you’ve realized from honoring your agreements?

For that matter, do you typically make explicit agreements?

What was the essential leap of understanding in your right livelihood quest?

There is a shortcut to discovering your authentic business. Request a complimentary Confidently Make the Leap strategy session.  


  1. Hi Tom: We made an implicit agreement, I love it 🙂 I hope you enjoyed Kawasaki’s lecture, I know I did.

    I think in a way all of us who signed up for Blog Action Day 2008 and then took the time to learn more about poverty and write a post about it were honoring our commitment to the organizers of Blog Action Day, to the other bloggers who also signed up, and to ourselves. I wrote about Muhammad Yunus whom I already knew about, but I while doing more research I also learned a lot of facts about poverty that I had no idea about. I also renewed my commitment to help those in need.

    I look forward to reading your next posts on the jump to the next curve of career coaching. Thank you for the link.

    Marelisas last blog post..Eradicating Poverty Through Human Ingenuity – Blog Action Day 2008

  2. Hi Mare – I do hesitate to talk about implicit agreements with attorneys. 🙂 But I trust you.

    Absolutely his lecture was very enlightening and it allowed me to create a business mantra which I’ll share in the follow-up post. I appreciate all the good work that you do.

  3. Evelyn Lim says:

    I always refrain from making explicit agreements unless I know that I can follow up on them. I generally do not like to agree to group writing projects. But like Marelisa, if it is a good cause for Blog Action Day, I jolly well make a commitment and deliver on it.

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Should The Poor Mexican Fisherman Give Up Contentment For Cash?

  4. Tom,
    I was really impressed with Marelisa’s post also. I appreciate the tone of your post; do we honor our commitments. Another good question is what happens when we don’t?

    For me, it has not been great. 🙂

    Harmonys last blog post..When A Good Seed Goes BAD

  5. Tom,

    Hmm, I follow your thoughts here, but I wonder —

    People who are “innovating” are probably not thinking “wow, this is so innovative!” when they create these innovations. They probably look at it and go, “wow… this sure seems to work, but boy that’s different. Have you seen anything like this? I wonder if people will get it.”

    In a way, I can relate to writing a new song. As a songwriter, I have NO power what-so-ever whether people will like my song. Even people who liked my other songs in the past may not like it. This is pure and thorough uncertainty.

    So every time I share a song, I’m risking rejection, big time. In fact, I worked on a draft of a post about this fear today.

    Innovators become so because they were observant enough to notice a new need, creative enough to come up with something that’s weird and unusual, and above all, courageous enough to actually release their creation to the world. We all hear of the successes, but I’m sure there are countless would-be-innovations that just didn’t have the right combinations of above.

    I can see where some will look out with the intention of “how can I stay ahead of the curve?” but I tend to see it more like, watching and thinking, watching and thinking, watching and thinking… and being stupendously crazy. It’s not as much about competition, as it is about daring to scratch the itch exactly where it is, and taking chances. Courage with with having an eye for not settling for “sort of” solutions.


    Ari Koinumas last blog post..Blog Action Day: Abundance

  6. Harmony – What happens when we don’t honor our commitments?
    I’m with you there. Often the internal consequences in our own minds are more harmful than the outer result.

    Evelyn – You’re right about that. The easiest way is to make fewer promises so there is less chance of failing to meet one. Kudos to you and the other blog action day folks. I’ve not been able to muster the drive to participate yet.

    Ari – You bring up several good points. Especially regarding courage. In Mare’s post she shared several examples of revolutionary products that had taken off. You’re right for every one of those accepted by the marketplace there are most likely dozens that fell flat. Your watching and thinking is also a very sound and necessary strategy. The reason I like to go at things directly with exercises is that the exercises force me to think in new and different ways. There is a next curve for career coaching and I’m certainly not going to find it without looking for it.

  7. Ari said, “People who are “innovating” are probably not thinking “wow, this is so innovative!” when they create these innovations.”

    I have to say that when I got hit in the head with the idea for my canyon, I really did think it was innovative. I know what I’ve seen in the education field and knew there was nothing out there that could touch my canyon.

    We finally got it yesterday. We set it up both yesterday and today. IT IS SO AWESOME!!! Today I invited some friends to come see it and they were so impressed. I was talking about the issues we’ve had working in the public schools and she looked at my canyon and said, “Laurie, you are doing what you are supposed to be doing!” I agree. I have never been happier with my work. I am on a constant high with it!!! I keep pinching myself wondering if it is all a dream. We are getting called for bookings on a very regular basis. This is going to really take off. I am fastening my seat belt! My business is linked to my name if you want to take a look.

  8. Tom,

    I couldn’t agree more with “Often the internal consequences in our own minds are more harmful than the outer result.”

    When you make explicit agreements that you fail to keep, you poison your reputation – a very dangerous practice in the world of Web 2.0.

    However, when you don’t honor the implicit agreements you make, I agree- you poison your self – and that follows you on AND off the web!

    Kathy @ Virtual Impaxs last blog post..Social Media Warning: I am Rubber – You are Glue …

  9. Tom,
    What a beautifully written post. I can definitely see the “link” with you and Mare. Your positive outlooks are a matched-set.

    I LOVED what you wrote about High School Guidance Counselors, in particular. With one daughter graduating college (who did not need a Guidance Counselor) and one going to college next year (who needs not only a College Counselor to pick a school, but a LIFE counselor to help her understand what she should be looking for), it is depressing to hear what she is being “advised.” My current blog addresses these issues – in a much different, yet similar way.

    Don’t pinch yourself – why cause unnecessary pain? Enjoy the “ride” you’re on – it certainly sounds like you deserve it!

    Ritas last blog post..Average Children, Mean Parents

  10. Laurie – I agree, innovation can be both recognized and developed consciously. I’d even take it a step further. By recognizing and remarking on our ability to innovate I think we feed the innovation muscle and become even more innovative. Congrats on your canyon delivery. In my book of accolades next to the words “Enthusiastic Entrepreneur” I see your picture. 🙂

    Kathy – welcome. Indeed we need to cleanup our own self-promises and how we manage our own integrity first. All outside agreements become less without getting the inside aligned.

    Rita – welcome. I’ll be sure to check out your latest post. To be fair I was reporting on my experience with counselors 40 years ago. Let’s hope the profession has improved since then.

  11. The guidance counseling profession improve? I haven’t see it and I have been around a bunch of them. You can come around one now and then that is worth his/her salt, but most of them cause more issues than they solve!

  12. It’s always an interesting question, “what’s my next curve”, or cycle. I ponder that one at least once a week, because, though I work for myself, I keep wanting to reinvent myself at the same time. I have to stop somewhere and take a stand before moving on; or so I believe.

    Mitchs last blog post..What, A Muslim Can’t Be President?

  13. Enlightenment can come from all different places. I have just given 2 media interviews in the last 24 hours, and while ego swims luxuriously, the better part of my mind is replaying answers and wanting to call back with updates. You only move forward by reprocessing the data in front of you today and considering its relevance. Tomorrow will come anyway, but it can come as the “same old same old”, or be a step forward towards the life we want to lead. This only comes from asking questions and looking at different, harder to find, answers than what is just in front of us.

    Kip de Molls last blog post..A Tall Tale Told

  14. Laurie – as a recently retired teacher, you would know. I wonder why that profession attract so many duds?

    Mitch – I know what you mean. That’s the beauty of active minds. No sense standing pat. In fact I get renewed energy from considering the next move or idea to develop.

    Kip – welcome. I like what you have to say about freshness. Questions are delightful for the fresh perspectives that they offer. Enjoy your ego buzz. What the hell – that doesn’t happen every day or does it? What were the interviews about?

  15. “The Story” on American Public Radio interviewed me on the sub-prime mortgage that made me sell my home, ended my marriage, and precipitated the leap into embracing a life of writing and music. Our local newspaper is doing a story on the family heirloom cannon–that’s right, cannon–that was just stolen out of my yard, the cannon that represented the end of my parent’s homestead, the present transition to my new home, and the future as my son’s inheritance. Really, it’s the same 2 stories asking alot of the same questions about what really matters to me.

    Kip de Molls last blog post..A Tall Tale Told

  16. Tom,
    I’m glad I subscribe to your blog in my email. I would love to read Kip’s story as well!

    And, I have to agree with Laurie – too many Guidance Counselors that I’ve met are, at best, worthless – and, at worst, harmful! (Yes, there are a FEW exceptions…)


    Ritas last blog post..I MET STALIN – Part I

  17. Wow Kip that is quite the story. I’ll bet if I go over and read your blog I can read the whole thing. Think I’ll do that soon. 🙂

  18. Tom,
    I DID go over and read Kip’s story…amazing. Just amazing the insight he shows. I was QUITE impressed!


    Ritas last blog post..I MET STALIN – PART II

  19. Rita – I agree I’m hoping that Kip decides to post the interview on his blog and let us know here when it is up. It sounds like a doozy of a story!

  20. Many of us left with a university education but no more prepared to find our true calling. Upon reflection, perhaps there was never much of a curve at all, because when we entered the work force, many of us did the same thing that our parents did. We took the best job we could find. Then after 10-30 years of less-than-fulfilling work, the courageous among us began to ask, “Is this as good as it gets?”

    This is so true, and really hits home for me. Love your writting style.

  21. Isn’t it amazing how words uttered what seems a lifetime ago come back and haunt us?


  22. Waldosk – Welcome. Thanks man. Now that we’ve recognized it, we can do something about it.

    Rita – Welcome back, I thought that might be you. I sense that you are referring to something other than this post? I understand.
    However all things are not as they seem. Thank goodness for that.

  23. Yes, Tom…

    Thank goodness indeed. I miss you.


  1. […] Wisdom requires fresh understanding. Without realizations, or the occasional epiphany, we don’t know what we newly know.  Thus we cannot adjust in areas where we remain unaware. Rich, questioning conversation, encourages realizations. […]

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