Doug Fleener's

The Day Makes the Year

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Stretch Like Armstrong

Jul 12, 2023

Here is a condensed version of a chapter from my upcoming book, The Day Makes the Year (Makes a Life.) 

Living in the present allows us to overcome self-doubt and push ourselves beyond our limits. Like the iconic toy Stretch Armstrong, we can stretch ourselves and explore new possibilities. Stretching is not limited to physical activity but extends to our personal and professional lives.

Stretch Armstrong, a popular toy from the 1970s, was known for its impressive stretchability. No matter how far it was stretched, it always returned to its original shape, never breaking. Similarly, we can continue to push ourselves, always stretching a little further without fear of failure.

To achieve greater success, we can adopt some practices from Stretch Armstrong:

1. Stretch daily. Just as physical stretching benefits our health, intentional stretching in our actions promotes personal growth. Seek opportunities to stretch yourself daily, creating intentional results and fostering development. Think for a second. How did you stretch yesterday? How can you stretch today?

2. Don't limit your options. Instead of focusing on limitations, explore all possible solutions. Brainstorm ideas and pursue the most effective ones, even if they seem challenging or unfamiliar. Stretch yourself and find a way to accomplish them, propelling your progress. Success comes from a combination of doing many things well over and over while at the same time taking on new ways of doing things. What have you done new lately? What is something you've been thinking about that you can try today?

3. Flip your narrative. Our minds often resist change when faced with new challenges. Flip the narrative and ask why you shouldn't try something new or more difficult. Embrace the possibility of failure as an opportunity for growth and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Too many people stop their progress thinking about why they can't do something. Instead, the challenge to yourself (and your team) is why you can. What narrative in yourself or your work can you challenge today?

Like Stretch Armstrong, we have the resilience to stretch ourselves and overcome challenges. By embracing the mindset of continuous growth and striving for new heights, we can achieve One-Day Success. 

So let me ask, how can you streeeeeeettch yourself and unlock your full potential today?