I am fortunate to have been born to a tomato farmer in South Jersey. My family owned and operated a thousand-acre farm where they made their livelihood selling seeds and tomatoes. As a boy of about 8 years old, I’d find my grandfather in the attic with a very large supply of tomato seeds in burlap sacks where he’d be weighing them and putting them in smaller canvas bags to ship all over the country.
New varieties were developed in the experimental tomato patches on the farm. In the 1960’s, among many seeds that my grandfather had created was a “new” tomato called Tomato Kille No. 7. This heirloom tomato variety had a high yield and was excellent for canning, juicing, preserving and table use. It became very popular and my grandfather was recognized by Gloucester County for it.
It was an arduous process to develop new tomato varieties and there was no way to tell how they would turn out. My grandfather was always looking to produce a better tomato, to improve on the last one - trying a little harder to be a little better.
Now, some 65 years later, I’m wondering, am I living up to the challenge that my grandfather taught me - am I simply living or am I evolving? I’ve long been involved in “Personal Development” not only for myself but training others to do this as well.
All of us, both professionally and personally, should be continually assessing how we are doing in any moment and looking for ways to be even better tomorrow. This can be accomplished by integrating your past with your present to build a more perfect version of your future, incorporating the values instilled throughout your life.
Engaging in self assessment can be challenging but no one need to do on their own. Coaching provides a way for individuals at all levels to take advantage of assistance in developing their own abilities to their fullest potential.
Effective coaching typically encompasses the personal realm as well as the professional. It supports you in an examination of your personal values and beliefs and their impact on your performance and, in turn, helps you enhance your personal and professional success.
Coaching provides an interaction of encouragement and support, with honest and constructive feedback. It leads you through a personal self evaluation, helps you to recognize and understand your strengths and weaknesses, your attitudes and habits, and your motivations. It assists you to set the right short-term and long-term goals, create an action plan, and measure your progress.
It’s time to stop just living and start evolving to our best selves.
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