“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.
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.”
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
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.
—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.
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.”
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?
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.”
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?