“What can you smile about today?”

“What can you smile about today?”

—Calm app Reflection

Barry and Weston

In late August, Wendy and I had the opportunity to watch our three-year-old grandson Weston for four days. We found it pretty hard to believe that we actually raised two adults—now 36 and 34—given our frequent need to nap when Weston did!

Along with puzzles, toys cars, reading books, and finding clever ways to avoid going to bed, Weston’s favorite toy is Play Doh. Over the years, he has assembled quite a collection of colors, and the other day he had the great idea of mixing them all together.

Being a serious guy, I was sure this was not appropriate. I insisted that he keep the colors separate, which made both Weston and my wife pretty upset.

Upon reflection, I realized that what mattered was the big smile this process brought to his little face, and not the grumpy, rigid method I was holding on to.

EXERCISE:

What brings a smile to your face?

Take a look at the grins of those you love and consider those smiles even more important than your own.

What can and will you do to bring even more miles of smiles to your world?

If your feet are firmly planted on the ground

“If your feet are firmly planted on the ground, you’ll never be able to dance.”

—Iris Johansen, Crime Fiction and Romance Writer

Image of dancer's bare feet

Image from Flickr by Roger Jones

Who do you know personally or professionally that is exceedingly stubborn, rigid, set in their ways, and rarely budges in their thinking and actions? These are people who almost never produce new and better results because they are living examples of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

Who are the people you know that are open-minded, flexible, and even playful—people who “dance” with life, always exploring and creating new possibilities around them?

EXERCISE:

Where in your world is it appropriate to stand firm? Where is it time to be more flexible and dance to the music of your own life vision?

Be Stubborn

“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.”

-Author Unknown

Image from www.jobsite.co.uk

Image from www.jobsite.co.uk

A quality most people admire in their leaders is clarity around their visions, missions, and goals. We all lose confidence in those who flip-flop, leaving us feeling lost at sea.

At the same time, the route to achieving our desired futures must remain flexible and open to various course corrections, which also encourages the participation and collaboration of others who want to join the journey.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what issues are you or others in your world being too stubborn about your methods, and perhaps somewhat unclear about your goals?

On what matters would greater stubbornness or greater flexibility be the way to go?