The best way to change the world is in concentric circles

“The best way to change the world is in concentric circles; start with yourself and work your way out from there.”

—James Clear, author of Atomic Habits

Image from Unsplash by Pablò

Whenever I think of concentric circles I see an archery target.

As a kid, I had the terrific opportunity to go to Camp Indian Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania every summer.

Archery was a skill we all had the chance to experience. Drawing the bow and setting our sights on the bullseye was always the goal, and no one ever got hurt.

Today, the thought of giving a bunch of 10-year-olds bows and arrows seems pretty crazy!

As an adult, playing darts fits nicely in this concentric circle concept, where the spokes and areas beyond the bullseye come into play.


How can you change the world by applying this concentric circle idea to yourself and the world around you?

As soon as I have a deadline, I work much better

“As soon as I have a deadline, I work much better. Time unbounded is hard to handle.”

May Sarton, pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton, 20th century novelist, poet, memoirist

Image from Unsplash by Markus Winkler

To what degree do you experience deadlines in your personal and professional lives?

How do time constraints impact your engagement and performance?

Where do they help you step up your game, or act as negative stressors that crush your spirit?


How does having unbounded time impact your life?

Where is the sweet spot between eustress and distress as it relates to setting deadlines for yourself?


“Buying your kids the best will never replace giving your kids your best.”

“Buying your kids the best will never replace giving your kids your best.”

—James Clear, author of Atomic Habits

Image from Unsplash by Juliane Liebermann

A few weeks ago, we celebrated my grandson’s fifth birthday. In many ways, our multi-day extravaganza reminded me of places like Disney World, where they celebrate significant milestone events for an entire year.

I also related this series of events to the 5 Love Languages concept I’ve referenced numerous times over the years.

Although there was an abundance of gift-giving during these days, I took great pleasure in the countless expressions of quality time, words of affirmation, and physical touch offered by both family and friends.


How do you show your love to those close to you?

In what ways do you make it a priority to give them the things money can’t buy?

When we practice mindfulness, we are learning to be a hero of consciousness

When we practice mindfulness, we are learning to be a hero of consciousness.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Ashley Batz

What come to mind when you think of a hero? For many people, it can involve risking one’s own life to save another. The media loves displaying such acts, and most of us secretly shudder at the thought of actually being in the place of these brave men and women.

What if you could be a hero of consciousness, where the person you were saving was yourself?

How could your own mindfulness practices be a catalyst for bolder and more generous contributions to yourself and others without risking life and limb?


Declare yourself a hero of consciousness. Reading this post and the many other actions you take to better yourself in support of others warrants a big pat on the back and a hearty handshake.

“We are the gatekeepers of our expectations.”

“We are the gatekeepers of our expectations.”

Sue Heatherington, writer

Image from Unsplash by Georg Eiermann

Earlier this month a good friend asked me to help launch his boat and take it to his dock about an hour away from where it was stored for the winter.

During this process, we traveled through various bays and canals that required bridges to be raised for us to pass.  As an inexperienced land lubber, I found the gatekeeping process that allowed our passage fascinating.

When we repeat the process in October, I’ve been promised to be promoted to co-captain for an hour with a short stint of steering the boat in open water, of course.


Where do your experience various types of gatekeepers in your life?

How would being more mindful of your personal and professional expectations help you avoid some of the stormy seas of life?

If you can go to bed late, you can also get up early

“If you can go to bed late, you can also get up early.”

Niklas Göke’s grandmother

Image from Unsplash by mostafa mahmoud

Are you an early bird of a night owl? How would you describe your current circadian rhythm?

What are the personal and professional benefits and pitfalls of operating this way?

As an early bird myself, I find it easy to make my case of why the early bird gets the worm.

On the down side, I’ve been labeled a party-pooper by a number of folks over the years as they point out all the excitement I often miss by turning in early.


Seek out people in your life who operate best at different points in their days.

Have them share all the ups and down they have discovered over the years.

What priority commitment do you have that might benefit from swapping out when your head hits and rises from your pillow?

We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate

“We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate.”

Bruce Lee, 20th Century Hong Kong/American martial artist and actor

Image from Amazon

My wife and I are fans of the show American Idol. We have been watching it for many years and consider this year’s contestants to be some of the best.

The judges, mentors, and vocal coaches this season have been particularly prominent in helping the Idol hopefuls evolve and develop their own unique voices and styles.

When participants take the path of least resistance and safety by imitating the original artists they tend to fall by the wayside and get sent home.


Where have you placed too much faith in imitating others in your personal or professional life?

When and how would finding and expressing more originality offer greater rewards that are worth the risk?

Consider checking out Adam Grant’s book, Originals for more insights into being the one and only you.

Seek opportunities to be more active

Seek opportunities to be more active.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Anupam Mahapatra

We all know exercise does a body good. Here are some benefits you may already know, and perhaps a few you don’t:

    • Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss.
    • Exercise combats health conditions and diseases including stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, depression, anxiety, arthritis, and many types of cancer.
    • Exercise improves your mood and boosts your energy.
    • Exercise promotes better sleep
    • Exercise can help put the spark back in your love life for both men and women.
    • Exercise can expand your connections with family and friends.


In what ways can and will you introduce more opportunities to be more active each day?
Consider checking out the Mayo Clinic for more information.