Intentional action builds culture and culture trumps rules every time. If the changes you want in your world aren’t happening, you need to ask “am I acting as if they will, working as if I can move the needle, and am I in the right place with the right people?”
It is easier, quicker and more fun creating a positive culture of work, support, community rather than trying to change a toxic environment. Once the air stinks, no appoint of Febreeze will remove it unless the source of the odour is removed. If you are in a unhealthy or abusive arrangement a work, home or play it is likely that you will need to find an exit strategy to free yourself.
If you feel the air going bad, you can speak up and act out to build a world that works for everyone, including you. The time to build is before it turns sour and then realize that there needs to be constant vigilance in keeping the naysayers and scarcity soothsayers at bay by being honest, transparent, vocal and brave.
There is nothing organic about culture or relationships or community. We need to work hard every day to ensure that ‘happily ever after’ is a reality. That means listening when someone else is speaking, hearing what they are really saying, responding to their statement (not what you want the topic to be), allowing time, seeking clarification, being helpful, being honest, and being brave ( I repeat this here because bravery is in short supply in our world).
There will be tension – that is what gets us past the mediocre. There will be disagreement – that is what challenges and creates teaching moments. There will be insincerity – we are all fallible and insecure. There will be fun – that is bi-product of community that shares. There will be trials – how would we know the victories without some tests. There will be mistakes – awesome. There will not be a silver bullet, magic elixir, Android app that will make the work easy or convenient. If you are ‘in’, be ‘in’ for the long haul. Long isn’t for ever and the changing world we face ensures that everything likely as a much shorter best before date than we originally considered. Don’t take offense or wring your hands when things change and culture shifts or community dissolves. Celebrate the opportunity you have today to be the best communicator, career, challenger, and collaborator you can be – today. But don’t beat yourself up too badly when you realize that on some (for me many) days you weren’t the best. Tomorrow is a fresh start. Learn from yesterday. Make any amends you need to make early in the fresh start. Rebuild relationships and recommit to understanding and respecting the culture you are swimming in. Step back of necessary and realize that you get to choose/create the atmosphere that you are inhaling and that it can make you wiser, nicer, and better or it can poison you and bring out your ego that wants to control, criticize, and crash the work you are doing.
Perseverance; the ability to commit and execute day after day isn’t easy but know that it is worthwhile. At the end of the day, at the end of our days, or maybe when we live through a great shift, the only thing that will have value is the community and reciprocity it brings. All material objects will wear out, lose value, or cause more grief than glee. Only in the way that we share our gifts in relationship, our concern in compassion and our joy in jubilation will stand the test of time.
Make Today Remarkable, by being intentional,