“Eons of natural selection coded you to act first and think later. You must adapt to a new world that demands the opposite.”
—Jennifer Garvey Berger & Keith Johnson, Simple Habits for Complex Times
Image from Amazon.com
To what degree are emotions running high in your personal and professional communities? Where are you and others on edge, frustrated, angry and upset?
What behaviors are being demonstrated toward a better, calmer and more workable future? Where are you seeing your fellow men and women at their worst?
Our ancestors were coded to survive and live another day. Emotions clearly played a critical role, and pondering one’s situation could actually be deadly unless acted upon immediately.
Today, we like to see ourselves as thoughtful, reflective, and far more perceptive beings, whose reasoning minds can clearly override those animal instincts.
Where is it necessary to tap or slam on the brakes in your world? How and in what ways can you more fully awaken to think far more clearly before acting?
“Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”
—Sophocles, ancient Greek tragedian
COVID-19 moved our cheese. What was familiar and predictable months ago was suddenly no longer so, and we’ve all felt the loss.
Although these various forms of loss cause much pain, we can all take a lesson from the mouse in the classic business book, Who Moved My Cheese? Going through its maze one day, taking its traditional route, the mouse did not find the cheese he expected. Noticing this, the little guy fairly quickly changed his route to seek his reward elsewhere.
What are some of the new ways that you and others in your communities have adapted, adjusted, and expanded your cheese-finding efforts? What new opportunities and possibilities have you discovered and realized?
Feel free to reply to this post with some approaches that are working for you.
“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?
“If you are acting like a sheep, don’t blame the shepherd.”
—Eli Jaxon-Bear, American spiritual teacher and author
Image from Unsplash by Sam Carter
Throughout our lives, we have been taught we have to “go along to get along.” Fitting in, being one of the gang, and literally being “with it” has made us sheep in many of our communities.
Take a moment to identify all the personal, professional, and community-based groups that herd us together. Consider all the new digital communities that foster similar practices and beliefs.
Where does being a sheep actually work for you and serve your best interest? Where does it clearly not support your most genuine self?
In what areas of your life is it time to act like a lion versus a lamb?
What bold, courageous or simply contrarian thing will you say or do to say goodbye to these shepherds?
“We didn’t all come over on the same ship, but we’re all in the same boat.”
—Bernard M. Baruch, 20th Century American Philanthropist
Have you ever watched the procession of countries an the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games? Summer or Winter, you will definitely see thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries, each with their own languages, cultures, and traditions. This makes it appear that we are separate and distinct from one another.
With technology, we are in a hyper-connected world, with increasing evidence that through economic, social and environmental factors, we are all in the same boat. We sink or swim together.
Consider reading the latest edition of The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, or his latest book, Thank You for Being Late, to explore your own place in this global boat.
“Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.”
—John Wayne, American film icon
Image from SpaceSys
When you settle under the covers and reflect on your day, what factors bring you satisfaction and put a smile on your face? What represents a day well spent to you?
Most people would say learning something new, and making a positive contribution are keys to living a meaningful life.
What do you intend to learn and contribute today, to make for a much brighter tomorrow?
“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.”
Image of SS Edmund Fitzgerald by NewsMax.com
As a citizen of Michigan, I greatly appreciate our five Great Lakes, the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. The lakes have been traversed by native people since the dawn of time, and by western man since the 17th century.
Thousands of ships have sunk in these waters, and an estimated 30,000 people have lost their lives as a result. The most famous was the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in a Lake Superior storm in November, 1975, with the loss of the entire 29-member crew.
What personal and professional waters are you navigating these days? What stormy or rocky events are causing you to take on water and giving you that sinking feeling?
How and in what ways can you bail any water that has entered your worlds, and begin sailing toward calmer, more prosperous seas?