In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark

“In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have taken for granted.”

Bertrand Russell, 20th Century British Philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson

Did you do a year-in-review assessment for 2022?

If you did, where did you notice things not progressing as you had wished? You may have even noticed some areas regressing.

If this is the case, it may be because we keep doing and thinking the same things over and over since they worked reasonably well in the past.

So many things around us have changed in the past year. When we remain fundamentally the same, it’s not surprising that a good number of our efforts miss the mark.

Questioning our thinking and adapting our behaviors accordingly seems like a wiser strategy for the year ahead.

EXERCISE:

In what areas of life would a few more question marks help you break some of your personal patterns so that new worlds may emerge?

Friday Review: Behavior

FRIDAY REVIEW: BEHAVIOR

What do your behaviors say about you? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

 

“Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”

 

 

 

“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person — your behavior does.”

 

 

 

“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”

 

 

 

A classic sign of addictive behavior is when

“A classic sign of addictive behavior is when something not human starts to supplant human relationships.”

—Arthur C. Brooks, faculty member of the Harvard Business School

Image from Unsplash by Unsplash

Over the 4th of July holiday we attended a family pool party. The weather and water temperature were perfect. It was extra special because everyone focused on each other the entire day without a cell phone in sight — except for one individual.

When not swimming or eating, this person was head down in his device, even when his bathing-suit-clad children were seeking his attention to talk or play.

EXERCISE:

Where do you or others in your life prioritize things over people? What addictive behaviors need some adjustment to demonstrate that the best things in life are not things?

Before you try to increase your willpower

“Before you try to increase your willpower, try decreasing the friction in your environment.”

James Clear, Writer, Entrepreneur and Behavior Science Expert

Image from Unsplash by Sandeep Singh

In any new coaching engagement, it is very helpful to examine the personal, social, and structural supports that are already in place.

Better outcomes are unlikely without a significant degree of motivation, ability, and willpower.

Having the social support of friends, family, and colleagues provides both encouragement and accountability.

Structural support is often trickier in that environmental cues already in place often trigger old, entrenched habits that do not serve new behaviors and better results.

EXERCISE:

Explore James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits for more ideas on this subject, and his 1-2-3 Newsletter to get you thinking differently to create better results in many areas of life.

I also recommend the book Influencer — The Power to Change Anything for other strategies to decrease the friction in our environments.

Upgrade your morning routine to get an even better start to your day

Upgrade your morning routine to get an even better start to your day. What small or significant adjustments will you make?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Khadeeja Yasser

What do you include in your morning routine? How often do you need an alarm to wake you? How often do you push the snooze button for a few extra minutes?

What time do your go to bed? What bedtime rituals occur before your head hits the pillow?

When was the last time you experienced jet lag?

When have your circadian rhythms been knocked out of whack by changing time zones, daylight savings time, or even staying up extra late to watch a movie or go out on the town? When we do, there almost always seems to be a cost we pay the next day in our ability to focus and be productive.

EXERCISE:

Consider reexamining your bedtime and morning routines. What tweaks or tectonic adjustments can and will you make to get a better start on your days?

Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act

“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

—Leonard Cohen, late Canadian singer-songwriter

Image from Unsplash by Kyle Head

To what degree are you the person you want to be? Where do you see gaps that you wish to bridge in your personal or professional worlds?

Consider examining the lives of people you admire and respect within your various communities. What are others doing and achieving?

Examining the lives of people outside our communities and studying the biographies of remarkable people from the past can also provide clues to how we wish to live.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you begin acting in the way you would like to be?

What specific behaviors have been modeled for you by others, to guide you to act the way you would like to be?

Shape behaviors instead of shaming them

“Shape behaviors instead of shaming them.”

Sam Horn, CEO of The Intrigue Agency

Image from Unsplash by Lea L

How do you go about getting the things you want? How do you influence and persuade the people in your life to act in ways that you desire?

What are your current strategies and approaches with family members, neighbors, and your professional colleagues? As parents, grandparents, and other influencers of young impressionable minds, today’s quote is particularly relevant.

I recently attended an engaging webinar on Ethical Persuasion by Sam Horn, in which she introduced many practical and creative ways to gain attention and buy in to our ideas and intentions.

She shared what she called “words to lose” and “words to use” when we want to transform resistance into rapport. Here are just a few of her suggestions:

Words to Lose: but —should — you’ll have to
Words to Use: and — next time — If you would please

EXERCISE:

What are some of the words you use that are shaping or shaming the people in your life?

To be To do To have Take life in this order

To be. To do. To have. Take life in this order.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Paico Official

The CALM app I use each morning recently added a new seven-minute morning meditation/guided journey called The Daily Jay with Jay Shetty. Jay is an English author, a former Hindu monk, and a life coach. Prior to joining the CALM team, he was perhaps best known as the host of the podcast On Purpose which included many famous guests and has received over 60 million downloads.

In a recent offering, he suggested the idea of a To-Be list to go along with our often-crammed To-Do lists.

Considering how we currently behave, and then shifting and choosing how we would prefer to be as we do the things we need and want to do, can make a remarkable difference. Consider the following word list and expand it for yourself as you do your chores, go to work, listen to your children, and relate to others in your various communities.

Calm Patient Positive Hopeful Courageous
Generous Loving Supportive Helpful Kind
Open-Minded Bold Caring Disciplined Funny
Joyful Content Fair Nurturing Adventurous

EXERCISE:

Add an extra To Be column next to your To-Do list today.  Please reply to this post about the kind of day you have. What other words of being did you add to your list?

“Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”

“Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”

—Gyalwa Rinpoche, the 14th Dalai Lama

Image from Unsplash by Shashank Sahay

Each tropical storm and hurricane season, meteorologists begin naming the weather events alphabetically, alternating between male and female names.

Who are the people in your life that create the stormiest weather and buffet you with their winds and waves?

What strategies do you use to deal with these disruptive people in order to remain calm and centered?

EXERCISE:

Take time today to notice the people in your world who exemplify the inner peace and calm you desire.

Consider asking them what they do to channel their inner Dalia Lama, then give some of their ideas a try.

“When elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.”

“When elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.”

—African proverb

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?

EXERCISE:

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?