Don’t play the blame game. Accepting things as they are and working to improve them is an act of personal responsibility.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Slim Emcee
Blaming others and playing the victim perpetuates a cycle of powerlessness.
Focusing on our role in various life situations can help us determine what control and influence we may have to make things better through our committed efforts.
No one ever scored any points sitting on the bench or for being a Monday morning quarterback.
What are some of the areas of your life in which taking personal responsibility versus blaming others would make the biggest difference?
What is the first step you can and will take today to make this shift in how you approach some of your current challenges?
“Truth does not carry within itself an antidote to falsehood. The cause of truth must be championed and it must be championed dynamically.”
—William F. Buckley Jr., 20th Century American author and commentator
Image from Unsplash by NeONBRAND
Where do you get your news? Who are the people and what are the sources you trust? What are some of the sources that bend the truth, provide widely divergent views and spins on current events, in pursuit of their own agenda?
In the past—and to some extent today—I was foolish enough to believe that the truth would always set us all free and that it was indeed the antidote to any falsehood.
These days, the truth itself does not always matter enough to set things right, given the many other divergent perspectives being advocated.
Where are you dynamically championing the truth in your various personal and professional communities? How can you better apply a “trust but verify” approach to the many sources of information coming your way?
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”
—Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet
Image from Amazon.com
As a child, my favorite movie was the Wizard of OZ. Because of its length, it was the only day of the year we were permitted to eat our family dinner in our living room to partake in this once-a-year event.
There was just so much to enjoy about this spectacle including the music, wonderful characters, the engaging story with many twists and turns, and of course, the happy ending.
I recently came across a video which presented a provocative perspective to the story, pointing out how each character’s role help bring home the film’s enduring lessons.
What do the characters of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion mean for you? When Dorothy called the Wizard a very bad man, he responded “I’m a very good man, but I’m a terrible wizard.”
What are some of the lessons you have learned traveling your own yellow brick road over the years? How did your fellow travelers along the way contribute to where you are today?
“The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.”
—Martina Navratilova, Czech-American professional tennis legend
Image from Unsplash by Keith Luke
Take at least five minutes today to reflect on all you have accomplished so far in your life. Examine your victories and significant successes closely to see what came before the wins and what happened afterward.
To what degree did you learn, grow, and enjoy the journeys that took you to these summits? How sustainable was the afterglow and how much momentum remained weeks, months, and perhaps years later?
Who are the people and what are the things that make your life most rewarding and meaningful?
What shifts in perspective would help you see far more of these moments as a series of continuous victories available each and every day?
Who and what events trigger your negative thoughts, feelings and emotions?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Karan Mandre
Mindfulness and self awareness help up notice the many triggers in life that often have us react with heated emotions.
By catching ourselves we can find the space to remain calm and centered so that we can respond in appropriate ways to maintain our perspective and equanimity.
This can be easier when we are clear about who and what circumstances trigger us ahead of time, to preemptively head them off at the pass.
Who and what triggers you? How can you better support yourself in these moments?
Consider checking out Marshall Goldsmith’s book, Triggers, to dig a bit deeper into this topic.
“If you have achieved any level of success then pour it into someone else. Success is not success without a successor.”
—T.D. Jakes, American author and filmmaker
Image from Unsplash by Reuben Juarez
Who are the people in your personal and professional life that helped you get where you are today?
When I was in my mid 30s, I participated in a year-long seminar called the Wisdom Course. Among the various assignments given was the goal to create a visual and written autobiography of my life.
Beyond going through tons of family photos and a yearbook or two, we were challenged to reach out to many of these individuals to acknowledge their significant influences and acts of generosity.
How have you paid forward life lessons with family, friends, and colleagues?
With whom can and will you generously offer your coaching and support to help them be all they can be?
Don’t be surprised when your own success and satisfaction get a boost of momentum from the law of “Givers Gain.”
“Think all you speak, but speak not all you think. Thoughts are your own; your words are so no more.”
—Patrick Delany, 18th Century Irish clergyman
Image from Unsplash by Kai Pilger
When and with whom have you learned the lesson, Silence is Golden?
Where and with whom have you learned, Loose Lips Sink Ships?
These days, it is not just the spoken word that can get us in trouble.
How many emails, texts, tweets, and posts do you put out each day?
How much time do you take before you speak or hit send?
Before you dig your own grave with your tongue or your digits, consider the wisdom in the acronym W.A.I.T. which stand for Why Am I Talking?.
Where would a few strategically placed reminders of this idea help you make sure your inner voice is not always expressed through your external speakers?
Select a close family member, friend, or colleague with whom your intention and efforts will make the biggest difference.
“People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.”
—Bob Hope, 20th Century British-American stand-up comedian
Image from Unsplash by Henry Gillis
Consider the following personal gestures:
- A real kiss versus a thrown kiss
- An air hug versus a real one
- A text versus a phone call
- An emoji versus the real thing
With our physical distancing efforts over the past 18+ months our habits and interpersonal rituals have changed. At what cost have these shortcuts and acts of laziness impacted your most valued personal and professional relationships?
One of my favorite books, which I have mentioned over the years, is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Within its pages are many strategies related to the offering of quality time, words of support, and acts of personal touch that can still be offered to those you love in full measure. Consider checking it out for yourself.