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Coaches Corner: Expand Your Knowledge

At the end of December, I asked my husband if he was up for a challenge this year. He looked at me a bit perplexed and said, "hmmm, what is the challenge? I said, "a typical book has 55,000 to 65,000 words. If we spend 45 minutes a day reading, we can read one book weekly." Much to my surprise, he said, "I'm in." I believe he is on book five. Me, well, I'm on book three...sticking to one book a week.

Why am I doing this? Readers make leaders, and I understand that successful CEOs and great leaders read more than one book weekly. When I heard those statistics, I was blown away. If I intended to grow, expand, learn how to lead better, and gain much wisdom from other like-minded people, then I would read.

I have many books here at home that have been sitting on our coffee table or shelved for too long, and it is time to dust them off and start turning pages. So, I want to challenge you to dust off the books you intend to read and read. Make a list of the things you like, the things you are passionate about, the things that excite you or bring you joy, and the things that you are good at...start expanding your knowledge.

Authors have a unique gift of getting a message or story out there...they are all so different but very much needed. Over the last couple of years, I have read more than the years prior. It has helped strengthen my writing muscle and given me a glimpse into other people's hearts and minds in how they express themselves through pen and paper.

Maybe reading isn't your jam, and that's Okay, but you were created to be courageous, and sometimes, you need the voice of another to inspire and encourage you to spread your wings. It's your time to take grow and expand, you must learn to climb to the highest peak and not just fly over it. Sometimes, flying seems much safer, but do you learn or get any better?

Playing it safe and being safe are very different. We get to choose every day...are you going to fly over the peak, keeping your life status quo, or are you willing to grow through the highs and lows of the sometimes tricky terrain and valleys?

Perhaps you are in a different season and have those deep urgings to step towards the beautiful, courageous thing you are afraid to do. I encourage you to take those steps, as you probably won't always have the chance. Now is the time....make your move. Don't let all those beautiful ambitions get stuck. All things are possible, trust and have faith.

On a recent flight, the flight attendant sitting next to me on the jumpseat was sharing a lengthy story. This person said, "you have been flying a long time, and I was just wondering how you stay fresh in serving others?" It was a great question, as some may think our job is mundane. I can assure you that it is not mundane for me.

Each trip is different. I have different crews, different passengers, different situations that may come up, and endless possibilities to touch another life each day. I start each day by writing in my journal three things that I am grateful for, and I ask myself the same simple question, how can I best serve my crew and passengers today? I responded, "number one, I love what I do, and if you are operating in your gifts, what you do will never be mundane or boring.

I often remind myself that serving others is not about me. Sure, I used to play it safe, go to work, do my job, and then go home, and it was a bit boring and mundane asking the same question to each passenger repeatedly for several segments in a week. But it wasn't until I started to grow and expand in truly becoming my authentic self, understanding my gifts, and utilizing them to the best of my ability that I could stay fresh in serving others.

How do you plan on staying fresh this year?

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you will go." ~Dr. Suess

To connect with Ellie, FB/IG @coachelliewest