Being Remarkable – 1

Being Remarkable – 1

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I bet you could easily name one or more people whom you would describe as ‘remarkable’.  Those people stand-out.  And what’s more, if we were all in a room the names we produced would have plenty of overlap –  Mahatma Ghandi is an easy one, and Mother Theresa is pretty likely too.

Some small percentage of remarkable people become famous for what they achieve, and so many of us can name them – and in the cases of Ghandi and Mother Theresa there would be little debate about the description.  If you search the web for ‘remarkable people’, celebrity will be mentioned pretty close to the top of the resulting articles, and in some of these cases the debate would stronger!

But being remarkable doesn’t require fame.  The teacher that manages to genuinely inspire her pupils to greatness, surely is a candidate.  As would be the soldier who is awarded the Victoria Cross and the list of Nobel laureates.

My ‘elevator pitch’ version of what I think it takes to become remarkable is – Positive, Passion and Purpose.

  • Positive – what remarkable people do, is for good.  Whether on a small or a grand scale, against insurmountable odds or simply unique – but certainly, for good.
  • Passion – being remarkable takes effort and time, the kind of effort and time that few people are willing to commit… and passion is an amazing driver to put in that effort and time.
  • Purpose –  I was tempted to include another ‘P’ for ‘people’ but decided that purpose and people are intertwined.  We are fundamentally social animals and to be recognised as remarkable by other people, usually requires an underlying purpose that benefits others.  And like passion, purpose and meaning beyond ourselves drives effort over the long-haul.

The rest of this series will go beyond the elevator pitch and I hope it goes some way to inspire the remarkable in you…

Be remarkable,
Mark

How do you measure positive character?

Back at the formal start of Positive Psychology in 1998 one of the many challenges was the lack of an agreed way to characterize and measure good character… on the assumption that good character is one of the elements of positive human development.  A project created in 2000 by the Mayerson Foundation called the Values in Action Institute, now known simply VIA Character, was the start of the VIA Classification of Character Strengths.

The classification came about through a broad study to identify cross cultural, morally valued virtues and strengths of character. Led by Professors Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman, it includes 24 character strengths such as teamwork, kindness, creativity and authenticity.

Today, I love using VIA Character as one of the tools to help people understand their strengths… I say love using it because being able to spend time with somebody talking about their strengths and how that translates into what they are great at, has been a universally positive experience on both side.  And with the recent release of the VIA Character Team Report, using VIA Character with teams has become even easier.

Practically, being clear about our strengths can make working on and choosing projects or work assignments easier;  and if you’re able to adjust or tweak your work so you can emphasise your strengths, it can make an enormous difference to both effectiveness and enjoyment.

In a team, sharing character strengths can help to grow the bond between the individuals and foster and improve the chances of successful collaboration – and so the results of the team.  It can also help highlight gaps that can be consciously compensated for or at least considered.

VIA have recently published a video study with Allied Health in Wisconsin, USA which shows how they’ve used VIA Character… it’s worth a view.

Allied Health Organisation and The VIA Survey

 

If you have any problems viewing the video in the page, you can watch it here)

 

Be remarkable,
-Mark

Reach Remarkable

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Oh no, the first post!  I think the best strategy is to just get on with it, so deep breath, here goes…

Reach Remarkable has been a long time coming. To be launching a new business and, clichéd as it might be, following a dream, feels quite remarkable.  From what I can make of the Office for National Statistics information about ‘business births’ as they describe it, about 250,000 new business are created in the UK each year.  So in the grand scheme of things, one more doesn’t move the needle very much.

But, I can’t think of it on the grand scale.  This is a new business and career for me and so affects my little world quite a lot.  It’s aim is both simple and grand:

Help us (people) to be remarkable!

Easy to say, a little harder to achieve.  Not in any way because of our individual capacity to be remarkable; and entirely because finding the right approach and support to achieve that as a speaker, trainer and coach will be a driving challenge.

We are not all destined to be Ghandi, but then one of the keys to being remarkable is that we must do it in a way that works for us, is authentic for us – and understanding what is authentically ‘me’ is a good place to start… and for this starting post, a good place to end.

Be remarkable,
-Mark