“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
What are your plans and goals for 2018?
Did you know there are three types of goals: outcome, performance, and process.
Did you know there are three types of goals: outcome, performance, and process.
How many times have you heard someone say “don’t be selfish”? Most of us probably grew up hearing lectures or learning lessons about how bad it is to be selfish. For some of us, just having boundaries was an expression of selfishness. For some of us, for whatever reason, developed habits of selfishness and carried those habits into business. It’s unfortunate that Conscious Capitalism is so unique that it catches the attention of media and cultural observers as something out of the ordinary. Business people are not known for their unselfishness.
Simon Sinek in his books Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last has introduced to his readers what is essentially the biology of happiness, fulfillment, and the basis for a successful business. He talks about the four hormones responsible for feelings of happiness and the behaviors that cause the release of those hormones. One of those hormones, Serotonin, is released when we do something for the benefit of another, especially if the other cannot do something for us in return. So it would seem we are created to do for others.
Martin Luther King Jr. suggests that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question” is “What have you done for others?” In other words, if we are feeling like our life doesn’t have any meaning or purpose, if we are feeling unhappy in our work, if getting up in the morning is a drudge it is in part because we are not doing something for others.
The theme for January’s Reflective Options has been about starting the New Year, creating new habits, making plans for the year. If 2018 isn’t something you are looking forward to with anticipation, perhaps it would serve you, and those around you, to put into action a plan for doing something for someone who cannot do something for you in return. Is there something you can give your employees? Want to ramp up your company morale? How might you engage your employees in doing something for someone who cannot return the favor?
How might our communities be better if we were doing something for those who cannot return the favor? What is one thing you could do this week? This month? This quarter? How will you include something for nothing in your plans for 2018?
Remember these words: “Ask not what your country can do for you…ask what you can do for your country.” (JFK) How might we all release a little serotonin into our lives?
FYI: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968, was an American Baptist minister, spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights movement advocating non-violence to overcome prejudice and inequality.
Don Miguel Ruiz in his book The Four Agreements wrote, “Your word is the power you have to create…Through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word that you manifest everything…Your word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.”
Dr Maya Angelou said, “Words are things, I’m convinced. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, in your clothes, and finally, into you. We must be careful about the words we use. Someday we will be able to measure the power of words.”
Do you have any doubts that words thought or spoken have great power to impact the lives of those who hear them? We may not have the science yet to prove it, but is there really any doubt?
Here’s a simple experiment. As you read the following words, try to follow the directions.
Whatever else you do, don’t think of a red apple. Lest you are not sure of the directions, I will repeat them, “don’t think of a red apple.”
For most people reading the words triggers the thought and creates an image. To follow the directions requires increased effort. There is power in words.
Now, let’s take this a step further: What are the words you say about yourself to yourself? Are they uplifting and encouraging or are you your own worst enemy? What you say to yourself repeatedly is what you will create.
Do you have to do cold calling? Cold calling is one of those activities that lands in my “I’d rather drink bleach” category of activities. The last few weeks I’ve had some cold calling to do. My friend Laurie came up to help. She suggested I ask the question “What if the person I talk to next loved the idea? What if I got the response I want?” By asking the “What if” question I got my mind to shift from fear and loathing to “I can do this!” It’s not surprising that I got more positive responses once I shifted my outlook.
What about what you say to others? Are your words beneficial? That immediately eliminates gossip, doesn’t it! I remember my mother saying, “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.” But, what if you’re an employer and you have an employee or a child you have to correct? How do you do that and remain positive in your speech? What if you’re angry with the employee or your kids? How do you remain positive?
Couple of suggestions:
Laurence J Peters, formulator of “The Peter Principle” wrote, “Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” So cool off!
So this week’s tried and true key to success is to speak only those words that uplift and encourage. Are you up for the challenge? How will you track your success?
FYI: Benjamin Franklin, January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790, was one of the Founding Fathers of the US, a famous author, political theorist, politician, and diplomat to France on behalf of the US. What many don’t know is that he was born into severe poverty and he was the youngest of 13 children.
Before you answer here’s a little context: St Patrick was the son of a rich nobleman when at the age of 16 he was kidnapped and sold into slavery by an Irish raiding team. For six years he worked tending the sheep of a barbaric cruel man. He escaped and returned home to become a monk in the Christian church. Later he received a vision of people of Ireland asking him to return and teach them the Good News of Christ. He did. He later became known as the “Apostle of Ireland”.
So here’s my question: imagine your business is threatened by a competitor whose business practices are just this side of legal. Eventually, he runs you out of business. You lose everything you worked so hard to attain. In fact, it’s so bad you have to leave town and find another place to live, in a much poorer neighborhood. Forced to live in a one bedroom apartment with your kids and wife, you hear that the competitor is now out of business. He finally crossed the line and got caught.
What would you do? Would you go to him and offer aid or let him sit in his “stinkin’ cell and rot”? Would you reach out in compassion to comfort his family or gleefully laugh at their pain?
St. Patrick returned to Ireland and even tho’ he faced opposition, was jailed twice, accused of immoral behavior, threatened with execution he continued to reach out and love the people of Ireland.
What would you do? Why?
FYI: St Patrick probably born around 387 A.D. and died around 460 A.D. Born in Britain, which was part of the Roman Empire, he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and forced into slavery. He escaped and later returned to teach the Irish about the love of Christ.
2016 is past and with it we have our unrealized dreams and unmet expectations. So now what?
Last week I talked about the value of taking some time to reflect on the past to build the future. It doesn’t work to wallow in what did or didn’t happen, but it is important – educational to take time to reflect. It’s during that reflection that clarity comes.
However, clarity without action is just the wind. Clarity followed by action becomes pivotal.
I had a pivotal moment. It came with a Facebook post someone shared. They talked about setting aside a jar, which in my case I’ve named my “Joy Jar”. Throughout 2017 my intention is at least on every Sunday to jot a note about something that happened during the week, something to be grateful for or proud of or a lesson learned. Notice I said, “at least”. That means something happens I will add to it during the week. The end of 2017 I will take time to go through my Joy Jar and re-celebrate those moments.
See, I need help remembering those moments. And sometimes I need help taking action. This Joy Jar will provide me a quick and easy way to remember successes and other moments of joy. This will help me make the changes necessary to create more moments of joy. Why? Because what we focus on is what we create more of.
What I don’t want to do is focus on the things that didn’t work. I want to take note, consider adjustments, and move on. I want to remember what did work and do those things more often.
How about you? What moment of clarity do you want to take action on?
FYI: Don Miguel Ruiz Jr born August 27,1952 is Mexican author teacher and shaman. He ;has written 9 books and was listed as one of the Watkins 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2014.