“If there was no money, and everything depended on your moral standards, the way that you behave, and the way you treated people, how would you be doing in life?”
—Tupac Shakur, 20th Century American rapper and actor
Image from Unsplash by Markus Spike
Money and possessions are a primary way many of us measure our success and status.
Who are the people at the top in your various professional and personal communities?
What are their extrinsic and intrinsic measures of excellence and achievement?
How do you measure yourself against these people?
How often do you use good character and high moral standards as benchmarks for a meaningful life?
If you were to eliminate all external evidence of success how well would you be doing?
Create a list of 5-10 people in your life that model the moral standards and behaviors you most admire.
Do your best to spend additional time with these folks and let their example help you up your game.
“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.
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?
“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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
“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?