Self Improvement · Uncertainty

Insignificant

In the grand scheme of things, I feel insignificant. On a planet with 7.5 billion people that has been spinning in our galaxy for 4.5 billion years amongst stars that are nearing their 14 billionth birthday, my 175.25 cm frame is a grain of sand. And yet, in my most important relationships, I mark a much larger space. I am making a dent in the lives of my clients and colleagues. I have a spot in the heart of friends, grandkids, children and my beloved. In my head, my delusions of grandeur can run wild. I can imagine that I am a giant among men.

So which image is true? Are all of them relatively real? Does it matter? In this time and place and under these conditions can I feel important and inconsequential simultaneously?

“We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the remarkable fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.” ~Eric Hoffer

When I learn to be quiet and comfortable in insignificance, the pressure to be a performer subsides. My mind stops swimming in rough waters and a tidal ebbs and flows set in. Floating without judgment washes away the toxicity that my ego and my competitive tendency create. Out goes the claim to fame, megalomania and space opens for gentleness and generousity. Without the desperate need to be acknowledged, I find self-awareness. As I rest, nudges towards a different shore begin like the current of a slow moving river. If, I allow myself to be carried rather than resisting because of an agenda, there is a possibility for learning. It takes determination not to rush to a conclusion. Instinct wants me to stake a claim to the island and say ” look at my great new thing”. The moment I name it, the tide ceases. I am learning to ride further and without anticipation, relish the distant shore where my self is rinsed and raised.

I return to my keyboard and peck and pound, hoping that the scratching finds and audience with a niggling realization that my very survival requires moments of delusion. Allowing the rhythm to be a natural element of my life saves me from fits of inferiority and rages of superiority.

Make Today Remarkable, by finding your insignificance,

B

Original Thought · Uncertainty

CLEAR the Way

clear

 

The past is a different beast from the future if you choose to make changes. Today, you get to imagine a preferred future. It can be something personal; a different job, better health, a stronger relationship or learning something new. Make the preferred goal as CLEAR(r) as possible. Is it Consistent with your values? Can you Learn to be proficient? Are you Eager to attempt the task? Is it Achievable in a reasonable timeframe? Are you Ready to Risk? Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those times when taking small steps will suffice. To get from a current state to your best future means CLEAR and it also means “I am all in”.

Most of our frustration with yesterday and anxiousness about today rests in the decisions we are making that either consciously or unconsciously create dissonance with stated or espoused beliefs about the world. To live in congruence, we need to intentionally reflect on our choices and where necessary act to change the chosen path.

Stagnation; the sense that our life has us trapped in a rut or worse seems utterly meaningless is a result of our curiousity dying. For goals to have any impact they can’t just be same-old-same-old. We need to be open to learning new experiences, try new approaches and meet new people.

Have you reached the bottom or are close enough to realize that it is just around the corner. Has the current state brought you to a realization that something, everything needs to change? Is now the time? If you are eager to see your life change, you can use that energy to create stretch goals.

Now that you are an avid changemaker, I need to draw you back to what is doable, for you, in a reasonable time, with the resources available. This caveat isn’t meant to restrict the very best you can be but rather should garner a response from you ” if I can get this done, I can do a lot more.”

The double R’s; Ready and Risk are where most people fail. They can either say they are ready and don’t risk anything or take on dangerous risks without being ready. When your goals are consistent, learning focused, enticing, and achievable then you are ready to get ready. My serious action bias often makes me jump without considering the outfitting it will take to survive the jump. Being ready can be as simple as creating a checklist – 5-20 items that need to be on-hand before you execute. Without over-preparing and ending up in analysis paralysis, take the minimally viable approach to planning. Now had Risk by taking one more step in the chain without the gear you might need and see where you land.

A coach can help with the in between steps and the stumbles in CLEAR9r) goal setting but don’t be surprised by what you are capable of achieving on your own.

CLEARly Make Today Remarkable for you,

B

Original Thought · Self Improvement

Practice What You Preach

What are you practicing? I am re-reading Richard Sennet’s ” Together” ehere hr investigates cooperation. He takes us through an historical journey back to the early 16th century. When discussing chivalry as a cooperation technique he offers that chivalry is the practice of restraint and the maintenance of honor. The idea that knight’s practiced restraint was incongruous until he explained the they were practicing sexual restraint so as not to assault or rape women of the court.Seems an outrageous state when not raping someone is the most chivalric thing they could do. But the idea of practicing prompted some personal questions.

What am I practicing? Am I practicing perfectly and am I seeing improvement? I am not thinking about the running and weight training that I do almost every day which has provided improved health and fitness. It isn’t the practice of learning that takes me through a routine of reading, writing and inquiry. I isn’t the practice of healthy eating that makes me food conscious.

I am wondering about a less specific set of practices. Do I practice generousity? Am I taking intentional steps towards joy? Is there a planned routine to curiousity? kindness? restraint? improvement? cooperation? persistence? mediocrity? excellence? stubbornness? reflection? The list isn’t comprehensive but was meant to prompt me to think about what I am rehearsing by my attitudes, intentions and actions.

The path to achieve awareness is in the doing and the recognition of the doing. Becoming self aware requires honesty, transparency, reflection, and willingness to adapt. Is my practice working or is it bad practice fostering bad outcomes.

I have been dwelling on the tribalism of politics in my head, heart and writing and need to let it all go so I don’t break. Instead I am choosing to practice joy and look for ways to improve being joyful.

Mei Mei Fox of MBG wrote a post a couple of years ago entitled ” 40 Ways To Practice Joy Every Single Day“. It seems like a great place to begin. While I can’t undertake all of them every day – it seems that progress could come from trying/doing 10 each day.
For today I am making the following my own joy exercises.
5. Listen to the wisdom of elders
6. Cheerlead someone to greatness
8. Speak to yourself with kindness
13. Spend some reflective time alone
15. Pause to say thank you – and really mean it
20. Make someone smile
26. Re-gift something
29. Dress in brightly coloured clothes
37. Connect with nature
40. Pray

I am hopeful that you will take a look at the 40 and choose your own and practice them i your own way or write your list and make it habitual. The ingrained outcome comes from persistent practice and improvement.

Make Your Practice Remarkable,
B

Original Thought

Everything is a Draft

I am never really done. I begin and edit and adapt all the elements of my life. My choices today lead to an opportunity or challenge that requires a different approach towards a undefined outcome. I scribble ideas that are pertinent in the moment and get stale or inappropriate in a longer view. The drafts allow evolution and revolution to occur. There is no once and for all Statement of Belief or final product. I ship ideas, opinions, content and creative with the understanding and willingness to reframe, rethink, and rework. This allows the shipment to encourage, provoke, challenge, anger, disturb or humour the recipients and hopefully generate engagement.

When it all is an unfinished piece of business I can be curious rather than defensive. You can be inquisitive rather than passive and it opens the door to an as yet unimagined conversation.

I was volunteering with Beakerhead (a Smashup of Arts, Science and Engineering) over the past few days as a curiousity rover. I was able to begin micro conversations with thousands of people and in minutes make a connection that influenced the next interaction.  There was silliness, seriousness, satire, and scientific inquiry when I began with questions rather than statements. I learned about aliens, about people, about the hotel industry and some strong convictions about creation and certainty. In draft form, I was able to incorporate what resonated and consider what disrupted my confirmation bias.

It isn’t easy feeling like nothing is ever finished but for me it keeps me motivated and alive.

Make Today Remarkable, by creating a few draft conversations,

B