Friday Review of Behavior

FRIDAY REVIEW: BEHAVIOR

What do your behaviors say about you? Here are a few behavior-related posts you may have missed. Click on the Quote to read the full message:

 

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

 

 

 

 

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.”

 

 

 

“When you want to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department uses water.”

 

 

 

 

Don’t Blame the Shepherd

“If you are acting like a sheep, don’t blame the shepherd.”

—Eli Jaxon-Bear, American spiritual teacher and author

Image of a heard of sheep

Image from Unsplash by Sam Carter

Throughout our lives, we have been taught we have to “go along to get along.” Fitting in, being one of the gang, and literally being “with it” has made us sheep in many of our communities.

Take a moment to identify all the personal, professional, and community-based groups that herd us together. Consider all the new digital communities that foster similar practices and beliefs.

Where does being a sheep actually work for you and serve your best interest? Where does it clearly not support your most genuine self?

EXERCISE:

In what areas of your life is it time to act like a lion versus a lamb?

What bold, courageous or simply contrarian thing will you say or do to say goodbye to these shepherds?

Leave the familiar

“Leave the familiar for a while. Change rooms in your mind for a day.”

—Hafiz, 14th Century Persian Poet

Image of a small boy walking on the beach

Image from Unsplash by Andre Mohamed

One of my favorite quotes is, “When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge,” by Tuli Kupferberg. In a nutshell, it points to a primary reason the coaching process works to support all kinds of professional and personal change initiatives.

Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult due to entrenched ways of thinking and acting that have become habituated over many years.

The good news, supported through today’s quote, is that we all can begin to grow and change by taking baby steps rather than quantum leaps, to better our worlds.

EXERCISE:

Experiment today by intentionally deviating from the familiar in your thoughts and actions. Please consider replying to this post regarding what occurs when you change things up a bit.

Elbow Grease is the Best Polish

“Elbow grease is the best polish.”

—English Proverb

Image of "elbow Grease" tins

When I was a boy, Vaseline was always in our medicine cabinet. This magical goo is simply a brand of petroleum jelly used for cosmetic purposes like removing makeup or soothing dry skin.

We also found that a little dab of Vaseline could put quite a shine on our shoes, and provide a bit of waterproofing as a bonus!

For us Baby Boomers, the term “elbow grease” simply means hard work and doing what it takes to make something good even better.

EXERCISE:

Which current personal or professional project would shine a bit brighter with a bit more elbow grease from you or others?

The Biography of Souls

“Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.”

—David Thomas, President of Morehouse College

Image of an open book

Image from Flickr by Imanka

About 20 years ago I attended a year-long program called The Wisdom Course. One of our primary assignments was to write our autobiography. We were to include photographs from every age, if available, and document important people and life events from each year. This was done through our own recollection, as well as interviews with many of the people we identified.

I found it fascinating to see the impact I made on the people in my life, and the impact they had on my growth and development. Of particular interest was where and how I began developing my core values, personality, and character.

The most notable observation was that the unselfish and noble actions – my own and those of others – were the most memorable and enduring.

EXERCISE:

Consider doing your own biographical life review. Make particular note of the noble and unselfish actions taken by yourself and others along the way. How have these events shaped you to be the person you are today?

Keep out of the suction

“Keep out of the suction caused by those who drift backwards.”

—attributed to E. K. Piper

Image of a boat being sucked into a whilrpool

Image from Pinterest

When I was in my early teens, I hung out with friends at the local bowling alley. Beyond pursuing our mastery of bowling, we also rode bikes, played wall ball, stick ball, hand ball, wire ball, and a game called “Chink,” which also included a ball.

Back then, if you had a ball, you were guaranteed entertainment all day.

When some of the older friends started driving and hormones kicked in, things began to shift. Their behaviors and language became unacceptable to the values I was taught by my parents and teachers. I could actually feel the negative backward drifts whenever I was encouraged to behave in similar ways.

EXERCISE:

Where do you currently feel the suction of selected individuals in either your personal or professional communities?

What steps must you take to eliminate this backward draft so you can continue pursuing your best future self?

Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest

“Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.”

—Confucius, Ancient Chinese teacher and philosopher

Image of Disney's Beauty & the Beast

Image from Disney Movies

I enjoy Disney movies – how about you?

My favorite over the last few years is Beauty and the Beast. A highlight of the animated and live actor versions is the “Be Our Guest” extravaganza.

Imagine how special and delightful it would be with the extraordinary level of service, attention, and delicious morsels of food offered at such an event.

EXERCISE:

How would your personal or professional world improve if you were to treat each and every one as a great guest you held with the highest regard?

Ships don’t sink because of the water around them

“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.”

-Author Unknown

Image of the wrecked SS Edumund Fitzgerald

Image of SS Edmund Fitzgerald by NewsMax.com

As a citizen of Michigan, I greatly appreciate our five Great Lakes, the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. The lakes have been traversed by native people since the dawn of time, and by western man since the 17th century.

Thousands of ships have sunk in these waters, and an estimated 30,000 people have lost their lives as a result. The most famous was the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in a Lake Superior storm in November, 1975, with the loss of the entire 29-member crew.

What personal and professional waters are you navigating these days? What stormy or rocky events are causing you to take on water and giving you that sinking feeling?

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you bail any water that has entered your worlds, and begin sailing toward calmer, more prosperous seas?

say something nice

“Gossip is the Devil’s Radio.”

-George Harrison, member of The Beatles

Image from giantbomb.com

Image from giantbomb.com

I clearly recall my parents emphasizing the adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Unfortunately, this altruistic idea is difficult when we desire to belong and fit in with our various communities.

Using the radio metaphor, where do you stand in your willingness to receive destructive transmissions? When do you initiate them? Given our hyper-connected social media world, these messages can spread like wildfire.

EXERCISE:

What if you choose to be an angel – rather than a devil- by sharing only positive, affirming messages today? What would be possible if we all engaged in this approach?

actions speak louder

“Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.”

-Mark Twain, pen name of American Writer Samuel Longhorne Clemens

Image from activrain.com

image from activerain.com

Who do you trust the most in your personal and professional lives?

Please name a few people, then examine the basis you have for instilling this level of trust in them. How often do these individuals walk their talk? Do they consistently do what they say they will do?

Who in your world do you distrust? Again, name some names to add greater clarity to this exercise. How often do these individuals exhibit the adage, “Talk is Cheap”?  How often do they over-promise and under-deliver?

Who within your personal or professional communities would place you on the first list rather than the second?

EXERCISE:

Consider taking my 10-minute Trust-o-Meter Assessment to examine the degree of trust you inspire in your friends, family, and colleagues.