“When elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.”
Image from Unsplash by Jonathan Plugaru
Who are the elephants in your world? Take a look through your personal and professional communities. Look also beyond your immediate communities to national and global elephants that are throwing their weight around.
How are their skirmishes and all-out brawls impacting the grass and smaller, less powerful creatures beneath their feet? How much disruption, destruction, and scars are left that may never fully heal?
Where and how can you use the sunnier, milder days of the coming spring to calm the elephants in your world?
What actions can you take to reseed your world for all creatures to graze in peace?
“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person — your behavior does.”
Image from Unsplash by Matt Collamer
18th Century English writer, Samuel Johnson, once said, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
Beliefs, values, and good intentions are simply not enough to improve our world.
Until values become virtues that manifest through committed action, things stay the same and can even regress.
Where in your life are you and others more talk and less action?
What issues are so important and urgent in your world that it’s time to leave the stands and get on the field with others in order to move things forward?
“Laws are never as effective as habits.”
—Adlai Stevenson II, 20th Century Governor of Illinois
Image from Unsplash by Unman Yousaf
To what degree do you see yourself as a law-abiding citizen? Take a moment to examine the laws and some of the “do’s and don’ts” that influence and govern your household, organizations, and communities.
How do you feel when any form of authority tries to enforce any particular law?
Given our current pandemic, how are you and others viewing social distancing efforts and the wearing of masks?
We all love our freedom and the ability to choose our own behaviors guided by our values. In groups and organizations that have empowering cultures, it is the sharing of these values and principles that guide the norms and habits of its members.
Where and how could you and others in your various communities be even more effective by encouraging better habits and enforcing fewer laws?
“There is a fragility to life. Behavior has consequences.”
Image from PBS
The ten-part PBS series, Expedition with Steve Backshall, should definitely come with a huge “Don’t Try This at Home!” warning. Of course, there’s really no way you could, since his adventures take him to far-flung locations that take many days or even weeks to reach.
The photography is breathtaking. Steve and his adrenaline-infused team risk life and limb to go places and engage in adventures rarely or never done before.
In the episode called “Bhutan – White Water,” Steve’s kayak capsized in rapids for over four minutes in the freezing melt water of a high-altitude mountain river. Thankfully, he survived, due to a quick rescue by his crew.
Are any of your current behaviors a bit too risky, evoking potential serious consequence to the fragility of your life? Where within your personal or professional communities are you observing others you care about taking unnecessary risks?
“Did you ever wonder why no one ever tries softer?”
—Lily Tomlin, American actress and comedian
Image from Unsplash by Max van den Oetelaar
If you keep up with books on personal and professional achievements, you will likely have seen an emphasis on deep work, drive, grit, leaning in, and discovering your strengths.
There is no question that hard work, persistence, the power of habit, and putting in those 10,000 hours is correlated with considerable progress and achievement.
What would trying softer look like?
How could this be an access point to a more successful and rewarding life?
Where would quieter behaviors and approaches to your relationships with yourself and others, and the general way you move through life, provide access to new personal and professional possibilities?
“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”
—Wallace Stevens, 20th Century American Poet
Image from Unsplash by Delbert Pagayona
When I was a boy, one of my hobbies was maintaining a tropical fish tank with many varieties of brightly colored and various shaped species. In the early years, before they knew my level of commitment, my parents purchased a small set that included a ten-gallon tank.
As my interest grew, I graduated to more elaborate set-ups, which always involved a larger tank.
One thing I particularly enjoyed was that almost all fish species grew a bit larger in their expanded environments.
Examine some of the professional and personal containers in which you swim each day. How large is the container that supports your growth? Who are the individuals that influence your nature? What attitudes and behaviors do they exhibit?
“Success is not to be pursued. It is to be attracted by the person you become.”
—Jim Rohn, 20th Century American motivational speaker
Image from jimrohn.com
Jim Rohn, who passed away in 2009, was a personal development pioneer.
His over 6,000 seminars, countless books, tapes, learning programs and, of course inspirational quotes, have influenced millions.
Many of his wisest lessons were focused on our abilities to work on ourselves and contribute to others in our various communities.
One of his many students was a young, broke, down-and-out Tony Robbins, who has said many times that Rohn was the man who turned his life around. Tony, as we all know, has been working on himself for decades, and has paid forward similar lessons to millions.
What are the strategies, habits, and behaviors that help you continue your personal best journey?
What additional approaches can you incorporate in your days to both contribute to others and attract the success you desire?
“There is no sense in crying over spilt milk. Why bewail what is done and cannot be recalled?”
—Sophocles, 4th Century BC Greek Writer
Image from Unsplash by Daniela Diaz
Our delightful grandson Weston stayed with us recently to give his mom and dad a break, and give us a treat. He has a particularly robust appetite and often makes messes, as if many children were having a food fight.
With the latest and greatest in bottles and cups, the incidents of spilled milk have gone down considerably.
We all expect to deal with the messes made by young children, but how well do you deal with your own mistakes, or those of other grownups in your world?
How easy is it to accept these mishaps and move on rather than ruminating or beating yourself up?
Where and on what matters would a “Done is Done” approach to your day help you lead a calmer, more satisfying life?