“All habits serve you in some way — even the bad ones — which is why you repeat them.”

“All habits serve you in some way — even the bad ones — which is why you repeat them.”

—James Clear, author of Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits by James Clear is a big success, with about 30,000 Amazon 4 or 5 star ratings.  The book explores tiny changes we can make that can lead to remarkable results.

Being mindful and aware of our habits — both good and bad — is a key place to begin. Until we see that there is an obvious — or sometimes obscure — payoff or benefit that serves us in some way, we are destined to repeat them.

EXERCISE:

Please purchase Clear’s book, or check out its wisdom by exploring some of the excellent YouTube videos or book summaries available.

Also check out Clear’s 3-2-1 Thursday newsletter in which he shares three ideas, two quotes, and one question to ponder.

His motto for the newsletter is “Working to deliver the most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”

“Losses loom larger than gain.”

“Losses loom larger than gain.”

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow

Image from Amazon

I have become a consistent meditator. This daily mindfulness practice has had me thinking a lot about my own thinking and how it influences my experience of life.

Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow fit nicely with this exploration.

Throughout my professional life, I have consistently had a sales role, or at least a position that required persuasion or influence. On many occasions, I noticed that people tend to be pain-adverse rather than pleasure seekers. It seemed that avoiding loss influences our choices more than the potential upside of a particular decision.

What has been your experience?

EXERCISE:

Observe both your fast and slow thinking on choices and decisions you make today.

Which way of thinking serves you best and offers fewer losses and more gains in your life?

Friday Review: Leadership

FRIDAY REVIEW: LEADERSHIP

Who are the leaders you wish to emulate? Here are a few leadership-related posts you may have missed.

 

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

 

 

 

“The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.”

 

 

 

“A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”

 

 

 

“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?

“If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.”

“If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.”

—Stephen Covey, 20th Century American writer & educator

Image from Unsplash by Debby Hudson

What did you want to be when you were little?

Who did you look up to and admire and what was it about those special people that inspired you?

How energized and excited did you feel, given the anticipation of one day climbing a similar life ladder to reach your own pinnacles of success?

What ladders are you currently climbing in your vocational efforts? How confident and sure are you that it is absolutely leaning against the right wall, the one that aligns with your vision and values?

This past year full of economic and social upheaval has caused vast amounts of unemployment. Many people face significant challenges in adequately providing for their families. The transition process has caused many to reconsider if they truly want to get back to climbing the same ladder, leaning against the same or a similar wall.

EXERCISE:

If that scenario resonates with you or someone you know, please consider picking up a copy of the 2020 edition of What Color is your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles.

Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.”

“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.”

—Ray Bradbury, in Fahrenheit 451

Image from Unsplash by Marty Southwell

Imagine your life if you were a baby bird. Once you emerge from your shell, you begin taking in the outer world. In the beginning, all seems pretty safe and calm within the nest. Mom and Dad bring tasty bugs and critters to eat, and perhaps you have to fight a few siblings to get your share.

With all this food, you and your family grow, and the nest that was once safe and cozy gets a bit crowded. It is time for Mom and Dad to become empty-nesters!

Where and when have you had baby bird moments in your life? Explore the numerous times you needed to jump and unfold your wings as you began to fall, then soared to higher heights.

EXERCISE:

What personal or professional growth opportunities are calling you? When will you take the leap so that your life can continue to unfold?

 

 

“Nobody notices what you do until you do not do it.”

“Nobody notices what you do until you do not do it.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by John Cameron

How tired do you feel at the end of a long, challenging day?

Before you head to bed tonight, look at all you did personally and professionally to serve and support others.

How much gratitude and sincere appreciation came your way?

Alternatively, how much and how many of your efforts seemed to be taken for granted or were simply expected by those around you?

Who would notice and what would they notice if you did not fulfill your duties?

Now reverse the situation and look closely at what all the people in your world do for you. Where are you missing or taking for granted the multitude of efforts of others due to your ingrained expectations?

These days, perhaps more than ever, we need to see all people as essential workers who make our lives much better for their generous efforts.

EXERCISE:

How might paying closer attention to the big and small efforts of others, and a few more words of acknowledgment and appreciation help all of us fall to sleep tonight with a smile of satisfaction?

 

FRIDAY REVIEW: INTEGRITY

FRIDAY REVIEW: INTEGRITY

How do you define integrity in yourself and in others? Here are a few integrity-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”

 

 

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”

 

 

 

 

“Bad company corrupts good character.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Nothing burns like the cold.”

“Nothing burns like the cold.”

—George R.R. Martin, Author of Game of Thrones

Image from Unsplash by Frank Busch

Back in February, a wave of arctic air blew across Michigan. Not wanting to miss my daily walk, I bundled up and set forth to put in my 10,000+ steps.

During half of my walk, the wind was at my back and my steps felt easy and steady. Heading in the other direction, with the wind in my face, I noticed the considerable chill and the burn on my face, thighs, and fingers.

Where else do you experience cold in your worlds? Take some time to look at relationships — personal or professional — that are adversarial, in which you might be giving or getting the cold shoulder, or a frigid reception. Where do you notice the burn of anger, resentment, indifference, and judgment?

EXERCISE:

Consider engaging in a loving kindness meditation to warm up relationships in your personal and professional communities.

Sharing your experience of this exercise will be like adding another log to the fires of friendship. Please reply to this post with your own perspective.

“Life is like dessert. Keep your fork; the best is yet to come.”

“Life is like dessert. Keep your fork; the best is yet to come.”

—Andy Andrews, The Noticer

Image from Unsplash by Max Panamá

Today’s quote makes me think of my wonderful wife, Wendy. We have been together for over forty-five years. During our time together, I have gained a far deeper appreciation and love for her and all that she brings to our lives.

Following dinner, she frequently asks for something sweet to alter the flavors from our often savory or spicy meals. She sometimes takes only a modest portion of the meal in order to assure there is room for dessert. Perhaps this is the reason she has become a skilled baker during the pandemic — to remind us that the best is yet to come.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can and will you save a bit more room for the sweeter things in life?

What would be the value of having dessert at the start instead of it being an afterthought once you are too full to enjoy it?